Experts say the number of Halloween parties is on the rise, and they’re taking their complaints out on police. In May, the police arrested a man and woman in Toronto, Ontario on charges of extortion after they allegedly held a fake party at a residence.
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Like other western cities, Toronto has known its share of ghost-raids; these spiked in a dense housing area after Toronto changed its bylaws in 2003 to prevent trick-or-treaters from walking through homes.
So for the next few days, several fireworks, costume parties and a morning sugar rush for revelers won’t send worried citizens running for cover.
The national organization of police forces, Police Association of Ontario, was most upset that Toronto wasn’t making noise or sidewalk decorations for the upcoming holiday. It also wants the city to ban decorations that allow perpetrators to track where officers have been.
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In Toronto, though, organizers of Halloween parties told The Associated Press they aren’t worried by police reports of fake events. “It’s not as if people are doing it just for fun,” said Sasha Kim, who runs BooTaurus, a company in the city that produces Halloween events across Canada.
More than 300 events are booked through November 2, a massive increase from about 100 five years ago, said Al Fraser, managing director of Toronto Festivals, the company behind 270 Halloween-related events in Canada. The bulk of them are in Toronto.
But the estimated number of people that turn out each year hasn’t reached anywhere near the high of 2009, when more than 3.6 million people were scheduled to attend.
The shaky economy, and a growing demand for live entertainment across the country, are driving the demand. A sophisticated medical industry in Toronto’s LGBT community is another draw,
“It’s an emerging culture, and it really took hold just before the financial crisis hit in 2008,” said Fraser.