Torontonians are starting to get a taste of the massive $1.2 billion security effort for the G8 and G20 summits later this month.
Crews started erecting the first stage of security fencing around the downtown core at 3am Monday, marking out the perimeter of the yellow zone — a four-block traffic and pedestrian area around the Metro Convention Centre, Rogers Centre and Union Station (see map below).
The barriers resemble the type of fencing you’d see on Lake Shore Boulevard during the Indy.
During the summit a registration card will be required to enter this zone, but the roads in the area will remain open until June 25th. If you don’t have the paperwork required to enter the area during the G20, you’ll have to show photo ID at a security checkpoint and outline why you need to travel in this zone.
The G20 summit takes place June 26-27.
The three-metre high chain-link barriers, anchored in concrete, are meant to keep protesters away from the summit venue and will reportedly take up to two weeks to install.
A second stage of security fencing will mark off the red zone – an area directly surrounding the convention centre. Authorities haven’t yet revealed the exact perimeter of that high security area, but it’s reportedly expected to include the convention centre, the Intercontinental Hotel and the CN Tower.
Last week the RCMP-led Integrated Security Unit showed off some of the tools officers will have on hand to maintain order in the downtown core during the high-level meeting. Toronto Police conducted demonstrations of their newly-acquired long-range acoustic devices, or L-RADs, and of crowd control formations involving bike officers, riot police and the mounted unit.
And Toronto Police also completed the installation of nearly 70 surveillance cameras around the downtown core last week. These new devices are in addition to the 18 closed-circuit cameras authorities already have in place.
The recently-installed monitoring devices will be removed when the summit is over, police said.