Here's the latest in hosting etiquette -- tell your guests to get lost, but then invite them over for pancakes the next morning.
Today (Thursday, July 20), Toronto police from 51 Division are taking over Allan Gardens to hold Breakfast In The Park, a shindig for the homeless.
For those of you who don't remember, Allan Gardens is the site of last summer's Ontario Coalition Against Poverty (OCAP) Safe Park for the homeless (which police busted up), the stomping ground for ongoing student solidarity protestors (to whom police issued tickets as recently as last week) and a spot from which homeless people trying to find a nice tree to crash under are routinely ousted.
"I can't figure this out," muses Harvey Manning of Anishnawbe Health. "Every day I look out my window and can see cops on their bikes giving out tickets there, and now they're having a breakfast? This is really strange."
51 Division officer John Segriff strikes a conciliatory tone.
"We have to enforce rules," he says. But "we're here to tell the homeless we care about them as much as any other part of the community."
"Obviously, we doubt the police's sincerity," says OCAP's John Clarke. "But if homeless people want to avail themselves, have seconds and thirds on us."
Cops serve homeless pancakes in the park