All they wanted was a place to have breakfast.
A group of three German tourists wandered Front Street this morning, trailing slowly along the G20 security fence and casting bewildered glances at the police officers who lined each intersection.
They arrived in Toronto on Friday and will leave on Monday to continue their tour of Canada, but their plans to enjoy the city were hijacked by summit security.
"No one told us," said Stephanie Wiegelmann, 27. "I found out two days before we left on the Internet. But it was too late."
Along with friends Stefanie Wittenhagen, 30, and Pamela Walther, 28, Ms. Wiegelmann said they had planned to visit the CN Tower and maybe take in a baseball game. But the tower is closed and the Blue Jays have been relocated to Philadelphia. They hoped to make it to the Hockey Hall of Fame before it shut for the weekend. They had also planned a tour to Niagara Falls but it was cancelled because the bus company said they were unable to get to their hostel.
The city they have arrived in is a shadow of its usual self. The downtown streets are mostly empty as residents have fled the city and most employees of the core have been instructed to work from home.
At the corner of Queen Street West and Spadina Avenue, the McDonald's franchise was boarded up early Friday morning, with workers attaching sheets of Styrofoam to the building's exterior.
Streetcars and subways were largely empty during the morning rush hour and police and private security guards vastly outnumbered the handful of people making their way to work.
Cyclists whirred down empty roads and a group of Korean delegates snapped photos with the Glenn Gould statue outside the CBC building. A lone sniper stood atop the Intercontinental hotel on Front Street, his outline framed against the CN Tower.
Jenny Santos and Daniel Venturi had ventured from home to check out the spectacle.
"It's silly," Ms. Santos said, snapping photos of the fence and a group of uniformed officers on motorcycles snaking their way around Front Street and Blue Jays Way.
The security seems a bit much, she said -- "too much time, too much money." But she lives a few blocks away and hasn't been inconvenienced at all.
A cluster of Toronto Police officers on bikes outside the University Avenue courthouse said they're a bit homesick for their Jane-Finch division: The policing downtown is "too nice," they said.
A spokesperson for the Integrated Security Unit said that all was quiet so far. One arrest was made this morning, although police had no further details.
The security perimeter remains open and will be closed at midnight tonight.
This morning, Justice. David Brown ruled that Toronto police can use the controversial Long Range Acoustic Device, but at a lower decibel range. The Canadian Civil Liberties Association had sought an injunction to stop the use of the cannons.
Gary McCullough, the 53-year-old Whitby resident pulled over downtown yesterday with an arsenal of weapons in his car, has been charged with possession of dangerous weapons and will appear in court at 2 p.m.
With a large rally planned for tomorrow, when the G20 leaders arrive in Toronto. The Ontario Coalition Against Poverty are hosting a rally at 2:30 today in Allan Gardens park and will march through the downtown and set-up a Tent City in protest of G20 policies.
Tonight, the Council of Canadians will hold a 'Shout Out for Global Justice!' at Massey Hall featuring Maude Barlow, Bolivian ambassador to the UN Pablo Solon, writer Naomi Klein.
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