TO UPDATE: Toronto Police say they will work overnight to reopen streets that were closed in the downtown core ahead of Saturday’s demonstration.
“We will maintain a visible police presence in the downtown core and respond as necessary to keep the city safe,” police wrote in a tweet late Sunday night.
“Updates will follow tomorrow morning. Thank you to our community for your patience.”
The Toronto Police Service will work overnight to reopen road closures.
We will maintain a visible police presence in the downtown core and respond as necessary to keep the city safe.
Updates will follow tomorrow morning.
Thank you to our community for your patience.
Toronto Police say they are maintaining road closures and a heavy police presence downtown on Sunday after a massive demonstration on Saturday that saw trucks block a major intersection for hours.
personnel support Toronto Police Service spokeswoman Lauren Pogue said the plan is to limit the disruption to the downtown core and continue to protect an area called Hospital Row, a section of University Avenue where there are a number of hospitals. The plan is the same as on Saturday.
“We have a very similar goal today,” Pogue said. “Yesterday our priority was to protect the hospital wing.”
She said ensuring access for workers, patients and their visiting families remains crucial.
“These healthcare workers had unhindered access to the hospitals. And we were successful with that. That’s still a priority for us today,” she said.
“When the protesters return we will again work with them to move them on and that includes the trucks. We hope we have your full cooperation. Everything went well yesterday. We have been very clear and continue to remind everyone that we will.” Do not allow prolonged protests or anyone to stay all night.
Police said they could decide to pursue charges at a later date in connection with the closure of the Bloor Street West and Avenue Road intersection. There were at least five large trucks parked there.
CLOCK | Toronto police respond to protesters at a closed intersection at night:
Pogue said police were not aware of any demonstrations against COVID-19 measures and vaccination mandates on Sunday in the city.
She also said police did not have an exact number of protesters who gathered on the north lawn of Queen’s Park on Saturday, but acknowledged the event had drawn a “significant” number of people.
Large crowds gathered in Queen’s Park after 12:00 p.m. The protest continued at the intersection of Bloor Avenue West and Avenue Road, where trucks blocked the intersection from around 1:00 p.m. The vehicles were evacuated at 8:00 p.m
Pogue said only two official noise complaints had been received by police as a result of the demonstration. The city said employees handling noise complaints can provide more information on the numbers on Monday.
2 men arrested in separate incidents during the protest
Police said they made two arrests in connection with Saturday’s protest.
A 22-year-old man was arrested on the north side of Queen’s Park and charged with assault with a weapon, administration of a harmful substance – a smoke bomb – and public mischief.
Another man, 34, was arrested in the area of Bedford Road and Bloor Street West after allegedly throwing feces at another person. He is charged with assault with a weapon.
CLOCK | Drone footage of the protest against COVID-19 measures in Toronto:
Pogue added: “We enable peaceful protests. But as soon as someone does something that endangers someone’s health and well-being, we certainly need to take care of it quickly.”
She said the police presence downtown is being “increased” and officers could respond if necessary.
constant David Hopkinson, who also speaks for the Toronto Police Department, said Sunday that it is illegal to park a truck at an intersection without authorization, permission or direction from an officer.
“Depending on the circumstances, appropriate charges range from breaking the law to criminal mischief,” Hopkinson said.
“Officials may choose to press charges at a later date. It may take some time to collect this information. Making the right enforcement decision depends on the circumstances and the safety of everyone involved.”
The mayor thanks the residents for their patience
In a statement Sunday, Toronto Mayor John Tory said he had met with Toronto Police Chief James Ramer to find out about the police response to the protest.
“While the situation remains peaceful today, police continue to monitor and a number of road closures remain in effect,” Tory said in the statement.
“I continue to thank all residents for their patience and understanding as we work to overcome this and continue to protect public safety.”
count. Mike Layton, representing University-Rosedale, told CBC radio Fresh air that he encourages the police to use all means at their disposal to keep hospitals open should the protests continue.
“I hope we do everything we can and I hope we are prepared,” he said.
Layton said much depends on the protesters themselves and whether they start harassing local businesses and residents and displaying hateful symbols like they did in Ottawa.
“I think it crosses the line when you start infringing on the rights of others,” he said.
The following roads will be closed on Sunday:
- Avenue Road is closed from Bloor Street West to Davenport Road.
- Dundas Street West is closed from Spadina Avenue to Yonge Street.
- Avenue Road from Dupont Street to Bloor Street West.
- Lowther Avenue from Avenue Road to Spadina Road.