Queen’s Park reopens to traffic after police warned of potential convoy protest

The roads in and around Queen’s Park in downtown Toronto were closed off to traffic for most of Tuesday morning  in anticipation of what police were calling a possible convoy protest.

Garbage trucks, TTC buses and police cars blocked motorist access to the provincial legislature throughout the morning rush. All side streets leading to the area were similarly blocked.

In an update on Tuesday morning, Toronto police said they received some information regarding a rolling convoy protest involving a large numbers of vehicles.

“My understanding is the demonstrators are part of the ‘Save the Children’ protest group,” said Duty Insp. Suzanne Redman, speaking to reporters. “Our intelligence is indicating it’s a demonstration involving vehicles to come to the City of Toronto.”

There were no signs of any protesters in the area throughout the morning. Police did say they are unaware of the exact time or location of the expected demonstration.

The roads around Queen’s Park reopened before 11:30 a.m.

The last time police took steps to block off roads around the legislature was during the ‘Freedom Convoy’ rallies in the winter of 2022.

Last Wednesday, the lawns around Queen’s Park were taken over by protesters and counters-protesters on each side of the issue surrounding the teaching of gender and sexual diversity in schools.

Members of the group ‘1-Million-March-4-Children’ staged gatherings across Canada, including at Queen’s Park in Toronto and city halls in Milton and Mississauga. Early reports on Tuesday suggested the same group could be behind the anticipated convoy protest, before police confirmed it was expected to be a ‘Save the Children’ protest.

The group is in favour of the elimination of any gender identity or sexual expression curriculum in schools. Members of the 2SLGBTQ+ community and others opposed to the protests staged counter-protests in response.

Both groups, with hundreds on either side, congregated on the north lawn of Queen’s Park and were separated by a divide created by Toronto police officers on their bicycles. One person was arrested before the large crowds fizzled out by the late afternoon.

MPPs returned to Queen’s Park on Monday after a chaotic 15-week summer break that saw two cabinet ministers’ resign, a cabinet shuffle, and a major policy reversal.

An estimated 8,000 healthcare workers and advocates rallied outside the legislature on the opening day. The Ontario Health Coalition says a second protest will be held on Tuesday at noon for members of the Jewish community who were unable to attend due to Monday being Yom Kippur.

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