So, you’ve decided to come to Toronto during the highly controversial G20 summit? Don’t worry, you’ll still be able to have some fun.
The truth is, much of Toronto will be on lockdown during the next week. A portion of the downtown core is being partitioned off for security purposes, and that includes the area containing some of the city’s biggest highlights. Unless you are a resident or tenant of the area who has been assigned a registration number, you are not going to get inside those limits.
The G20 summit committee has released their map of the security perimeter effective during the June 26-27 summit. (But expect the assorted stanchions/fences/security guards/traffic nightmares to start even earlier that that.)
The bad news? Well, look at the map. The CN Tower is inside those limits, so is the Rogers Centre, the Hockey Hall of Fame, the CBC Building, Second City and the Royal Alexandra theatres. Yeah, that’s a lot of fun that’s being put on hold, isn’t it?
Even some businesses well outside the security area are closing during the summit, claiming lost revenue due to slow tourism. This includes the Art Gallery of Ontario and Factory Theatre. Call the places on your “must-see” list and find out if they’re planning to close their doors, too.
My advice? Stay away from downtown next weekend if you can. Between the traffic jams and the crowds of protesters, you’ll just waste the weekend trying to push through the chaos. So head north of the city and check out some of the sites there. Feel like some shopping? Skip Eaton Centre and head to Yorkdale Mall. The Art Gallery isn’t the only educational experience in town; the Ontario Science Centre located in Don Mills is just as fun. Feel like a stroll outdoors? Stroll far away from the summit and check out Kensington Market’s monthly Pedestrian Sunday outdoor fair.
And finally, pat yourself on the back for getting a hotel room at all during the G20. I hear most places have been booked for months!