G20 will allow Torontonians all the dignity of airport security without even travelling to Pearson
According to city leaders, the security planners in Ottawa aren’t listening to Toronto’s logistical concerns. Case in point: the summit—which will bring thousands of dignitaries (including Barack Obama), media and protestors to the downtown core—is going to collide head-on with a huge Blue Jays game at the Rogers Centre, one where Roy Halladay faces his old teammates for the first time as a Philly. While no one expects the summit to be cancelled because of a sporting event, we can’t help but be reminded of the city’s push to hold the summit at the Ex to avoid the crushing congestion.
Part of the problem is that Ottawa’s security planning seems to be based more on Google Maps than Google Streetview. Trinity-Spadina Councillor Adam Vaughan told the Post:
I’ve seen one transportation plan that involves walking people from Union Station, down Bay Street, along Lake Shore Boulevard and up Rees Street to the SkyDome… This was suggested by the folks up in Ottawa as being the easiest way to handle a crowd of 50,000 people. We had to explain to them that they would have to build a sidewalk on those streets, that there actually isn’t a sidewalk on Lake Shore Boulevard.
As it stands now, baseball fans, concert-goers and the thousands of other people who live downtown can expect individual searches if they plan to be in the summit security zone. To make things easier on the Integrated Security Unit, which is handling the security for the summit, all affected residents will be asked to fill out a voluntary accreditation document to prove they’re not spies.
Isn’t there some kind of bar code we could tattoo on our foreheads to make this process easier?
• Squeeze play as Jays, G20 to overlap [National Post]
6 thoughts on “G20 will allow Torontonians all the dignity of airport security without even travelling to Pearson”
this is going to be a nightmare, isn’t it?
Why do we claim to be a “world class city” yet when a world class event happens in our town we whine and complain? Sure, there will be inconveniences, but would New York City complain about hosting foreign dignitaries? C’mon, Toronto. We shut down sections of the city for Pride weekend every year. What’s the big deal? And we hosted the G7 in the very same Metro Convention Centre in 1988. We should be proud that the international media will get to see how urbanized and well-run our city is. In a 5-minute walk from the Convention Centre you can get to: the financial district, Union Station, Harbourfront, City Hall, Entertainment District, Queen St. W., Spadina, City Place, Rogers Centre, CN Tower, CBC, Roy Thomson Hall, Four Seasons Centre, OCAD, etc. What a great opportunity to show off our city to the world.
I work at a downtown hotel and live at King/Yonge. This is going to be sheer chaos for tourists visiting TO that weekend. I plan on requesting that weekend off and staying in Etobicoke to avoid this mess.
Canmark: If someone has a “world-class” house, and agrees to host a major event, and then is forced to sit back and watch as people who’ve never even seen the property before do all the planning, ignoring the host’s input… you don’t think he’d be justified in feeling just a little insulted? And doesn’t that lead one to suspect that the organizers see them as little more than a cute backdrop, rather than a “world-class” anything?
Frankly, I’m guessing that all those little Ontario towns that hate Toronto can sympathize with them on this one, even if they’re feeling too much schadenfreude to admit it openly.
We should be proud to have an event like this happening in our city, what I am not proud of is the look of our city, our major highways are a disaster full of potholes,, the railings are rusted, is Miller going to clean up our City for all these dignitaries coming from all over the world, this will be one way to show us were our taxes money is going. I am not worried about going to work downtown and be stuck in traffic, I am commuting everyday big deal, you get up a little bit earlier than usual for those days. We stop traffic for Gay Pride Parade, we stop traffic for Caribana, and we need the business Toronto stop complaining.
Yes, we stop traffic for Gay Pride and Caribana, but for those events, there aren’t thousands of police officers and security checkpoints.
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