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Ontario's Special Investigations Unit is looking into the case of a 22 year old man who died after being restrained by a Toronto police officer.John Lehmann/The Globe and Mail

Homicide detectives are investigating after two people died and 13 others were taken to hospital after ingesting "party drugs" at the VELD Music Festival in Toronto over the long weekend.

Toronto Police deputy chief Mark Saunders said at a news conference Monday that police don't know what the drugs are that led to a man and woman, both 22, dying in hospital, though "there's a possibility it could be poison."

The man's death is under investigation by the Special Investigations Unit, Ontario's police watchdog, as he was restrained by police while receiving medical attention before he died in an ambulance.

Deputy chief Saunders said early reports suggested the drug could be ecstasy or GHB – the latter an odorless and colourless "date rape" drug that can lead to euphoria, tranquillity or loss of consciousness – but police haven't been able to confirm that. He also couldn't say how the drug was ingested, whether in pill form or some other method.

The homicide squad was investigating because the deaths were a result of criminal activity that caused harm to more than a dozen others, deputy chief Saunders said.

"My concern is that someone could get harmed further," he said. "We've seen enough damage. We want to reduce that as much as possible. We would like to make sure that we eventually are able to get all these drugs that are out there that may cause harm to people."

Deputy chief Saunders appealed for anyone who purchased the drug at the music festival at Downsview Park to come forward so police can run tests to determine what the substance is and who is selling it.

"If you have one and you turn it into us, there won't be any criminal jeopardy," he said. "If you've got a bunch of drugs and you want to turn it in, I would ask you to contact a lawyer and then make arrangements to turn these drugs in."

It's unclear whether the seller intentionally sold poisonous drugs and whether they were contaminated, he said. Symptoms of taking the drugs included hysteria, euphoria and passing out.

The youngest of the 15 people who fell ill as a result of taking the drugs was 16, deputy chief Saunders said. The average age of the patients was 19. Most of the distress calls came in late Saturday leading into early Sunday, he said.

A postmortem for one of the deceased is expected to begin Tuesday.