Newspaper article The Canadian Press

London, Ont., Looks to Crack Down on Rowdy Rooftop Parties in City

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

London, Ont., Looks to Crack Down on Rowdy Rooftop Parties in City

Article excerpt

London seeks to crack down on rooftop parties

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A southern Ontario city is considering cracking down on residents who party on their roofs.

City staff in London, Ont., are recommending an addition to the municipality's public nuisance bylaw to target the so-called practice of "brewfing" -- sitting on a roof and drinking beer -- and other social gatherings on roofs.

In a report to be considered by the city's community and protective services committee on Wednesday evening, city staff explain that the bylaw was originally passed in May 2012 to address the issue of "nuisance parties."

That year, several St. Patrick's Day celebrations in the city erupted into street riots in a neighbourhood heavily populated with students.

The proposed amendment to the bylaw wants to add the practice of social gatherings on roofs to the elements that make up a nuisance party.

"This has become a trend in near campus neighbourhoods not only in Canada but also in the U.S.," the report said, noting that the slang term "brewfing" originated as a result of a St. Patrick's Day celebration at a California university where a roof collapsed while dozens of people were partying on it.

London is home to Western University and Fanshawe College.

Last year, during annual "homecoming" events around Western -- when student neighbourhoods see large celebrations -- police and municipal law enforcement officers responded to 15 rooftop parties, according to the report prepared by the city's chief municipal law enforcement officer.

"Social gatherings on roofs (slanted or flat) create a potentially dangerous condition of roof collapse as the roofs are designed for a certain snow load and not for public assembly," the report said. "With slanted roofs and flat roofs with no guard rail systems, there is always the potential of a slip and fall causing bodily harm. …

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