In a well-rehearsed manoeuvre, Toronto police corralled dozens of protesters headed south towards the G20 zone on Monday afternoon.
The “All Out In Defense of the Rights of All” march began at Allan Gardens at Sherbourne and Carlton streets shortly before 3pm.
At Dundas St., however, a solid line of police officers on foot and bicycle prevented the anti-poverty demonstrators from advancing.
Instead, the group – members of Sense of Security from Guelph – moved west on Dundas, although some broke away and stormed an Esso gas station at Jarvis St. After about 10 minutes, police forced them off the property.
Earlier Monday, the RCMP and Toronto police conducted a thorough sweep of Allan Gardens, possibly in anticipation of the protest.
And security preparations are gearing up as the G20 and G8 summits draw closer. There was a noticeable increase in the number of police officers in downtown Toronto over the weekend.
The G8 summit starts Thursday in Huntsville, while the G20 meeting starts on Saturday.
The security bill for both is said to be more than a billion dollars.
A former film studio on Eastern Avenue has been converted into a temporary police compound, including a makeshift jail. Officers spent much of Sunday rehearsing procedures.
Workers are putting the finishing touches on a security fence that’s encircling much of Toronto’s downtown core. The barrier stretches from King Street to the north, Spadina Avenue to the west, Lakeshore to the south, and Yonge Street to the east.
The TTC will be operating regularly scheduled service during the G20 Summit, with only minor surface route diversions planned. The subway will operate as usual – all stations and all lines will be open.
With files from the Canadian Press