BARRIE, ONT. -- Milligan's Pond in Barrie is best known for its sights and sounds.

It's a small, quiet piece of nature's best right in the heart of the city.

But in recent years, it has become a popular spot for the city's homeless community.

"I stay out here more than other places because it's more peaceful," admitted one man.

People with nowhere to call home have set up tents at Milligan's Pond.

Typically, those using the site as a place to crash would be given 24 hours to pack up and vacate once the city is notified.

But the mayor says new rules are in place because of the pandemic.

"Under the current situation with COVID, there are very few places for these people to go, if at all," says Barrie Mayor Jeff Lehman.

"The last thing we want to be doing during a crisis like the crisis we're in is kicking people out of the little shelter that they ready do have," says city councillor Keenan Aylwin.

The mayor says the tents will only be allowed during the short-term.

Lehman admits he's aware that there are several other issues with Milligan's Pond that need to be addressed, specifically the use of drugs and needles in the area.