Loading articles...

City Hall to begin screening visitors upon entering the building

Last Updated Feb 6, 2020 at 10:54 pm EST

File photo of Toronto City Hall. FILE/CITYNEWS

A visit to Toronto’s City Hall will soon include going through enhanced security measures as soon as you enter the building.

Currently, visitors have their baggage screened before accessing areas like the offices of the Mayor and councillors, committee rooms and the council chamber.

What’s new

As of Feb. 18, visitors will be screened once they have entered the front doors on the first floor before being allowed into the rotunda, customer service counters, elevators, council floors, committee rooms, or the building and planning customer service counters

The screening will include placing all personal items including cell phones into a tray and stepping through a walk-through metal detector one at a time. If an alarm is triggered you will be asked to walk through again or be screened with a hand-held wand, similar to the process at airports. If you use a mobility aids or medical devices, let security staff know so that they can use alternate screening methods like the hand-held wand.

Any bags must be opened for inspection and security staff will also be asking visitors about any prohibited items they may have that they want to declare. You will be asked to remove or discard those items in an “amnesty box” before being screened. Security will not store any items for you and anything in the amnesty box will be destroyed at the end of the day.

What not to bring

Any objects that may be a safety and security risk are prohibited. They include, but are not limited to, things like:

  • Firearms & Imitation Firearms
  • Blades, Edged or Sharp Objects & Striking Devices
  • Aerosol Weapons
  • Explosives and Flammable Substances
  • Noisemakers

Religious or ceremonial items like a kirpan in a sheath are permitted by initiated Sikhs but must not exceed a maximum length of 7.5 inches and it must be concealed and sheathed while in City Hall. You must declare a kirpan or any other religious items during security screening.

Tips for a smooth screening

  • If you can, leave your bags at home or in your car.
  • Don’t bring sealed boxes, but if you must, unseal them before screening.
  • Prepare to walk through the metal detector by removing all metal from your pockets including keys and cellphones.
  • Prep your bags for screening by opening all buckles and zippers.
  • Dispose of any prohibited items using the amnesty boxes before screening.