G20 plans include giant two-square-kilometre headache for downtown Toronto

G20 plans include giant two-square-kilometre headache for downtown Toronto

A is for Convention Centre: proposed security area for the upcoming G20 conference (Map: Google)

As more details emerge about the upcoming G20 summit in central Toronto, the more we are hoarding Advil to sell at inflated prices to hoteliers, restaurant servers, Mounties and anyone who has the misfortune of needing to be downtown this June. Right now, the RCMP says it will need 5,500 rooms for nine nights. According to the National Post, this about doubles the number of rooms needed for the summit last year in Pittsburgh—and it’s not because there’s something romantic about Pittsburgh that makes people want to share rooms. By comparison, our location for the summit is much more complicated and much more annoying. Further details of city-crippling security measures, motorcades and monstrosities after the jump.

New estimates have the security zone for the international event extending far from its epicentre at the Toronto Convention Centre: as far north as Queen Street, to Yonge and Spadina on the east and west sides, and south to the Gardiner. For those keeping track, these borders include the Rogers Centre, Union Station, the ACC, a whackload of Bay Street, the underground PATH system, the CBC and many other businesses.

For a hint at just how bothersome this is all going to be, we turn to Sgt. Leo Monbourquette, the RCMP unit’s media relations co-ordinator, who told the Law Times:

Pittsburgh’s security featured a pedestrian-only zone accessible from just two checkpoints, an outer car-free area, background checks, identity verification, and metal detectors.

If someone has a legitimate business or residence, they’ll have access through an accreditation process… As for customers, clients, and visitors, there will possibly be inconveniences, and we will likely encourage businesses that can do so to go to their clients and customers instead of having meetings at their own premises.

Legitimate business? Perhaps this is a good time to invest in a UPS uniform, too.

• Bay Street braces for G20 [Law Times]
• RCMP needs 5,500 rooms during G20 summit [National Post]