Go to the Globe and Mail homepage

Jump to main navigationJump to main content

A G20 summit protester throws a chair at a coffee shop window in downtown Toronto. (Kevin Van Paassen/Kevin Van Paassen/The Globe and Mail)
A G20 summit protester throws a chair at a coffee shop window in downtown Toronto. (Kevin Van Paassen/Kevin Van Paassen/The Globe and Mail)

Protests turn violent: storefronts smashed, police cars set ablaze Add to ...

  • Eaton Centre locked down this afternoon
  • Several storefronts at Queen/John, Yonge/Adelaide, Yonge/Shuter vandalized. Starbucks, banks and McDonald's among targets
  • At least three police cruisers set afire at King/Bay and Queen Street West
  • Subway service shut down south of Bloor street on Yonge and University lines. Shuttle buses in operation
  • Streetcars being turned back from downtown
  • GO Transit service suspended on downtown-bound trains but GO said late Saturday evening it is offering free shuttle bus service on the Lakeshore lines
  • Several hospitals restrict access to patients and families
  • The André Rieu concert at the Air Canada Centre postponed

Police maintained tight lines around the summit site.

"They're doing their best to try to keep their peace," said Constable Tim Garland, who characterized the police response as "measured and balanced."

As fresh officers were poised to work the night shift, police feared the worst may not yet be over.

"It's gonna be a very long night," said Mike McCormack, head of the Toronto Police Association.

Protestors jump on a police car in Toronto's financial district as anti G20 deomonstrators clash with police as the G20 summit commences on Saturday, June 26, 2010.

Mr. McCormack said that the radical protesters who attacked police cruisers and police headquarters were absolutely "disgusting" - unlike anything he has seen in his two decades as a cop. He said he witnessed many attacks on police as he wandered the downtown core.

The dynamic in the crowd changed around 3 p.m. ET as police donned gas masks. Some parts of the riot line were as many as three officers deep as the crowd chanted: "Let us through!"

The crowd cheered when windows were smashed, including at an Urban Outfitters near Yonge Street and Dundas Street West.

"This isn't our Toronto. My response is anger," Mayor Miller told CP24. "People came here deliberately to commit this kind of act."

In a statement, Premier McGuinty condemned the vandalism and violence.

"Peaceful protest has always been part of the bedrock of our democracy. The vast majority of today's demonstrators have been peaceful and responsible. However, willful, mindless destruction and violence have no place in our province. I appeal to all involved to allow calm to prevail," he said.

Late in the afternoon, Craig Herbert borrowed a broom from his workplace, the Ram in the Rye, a Ryerson student pub, and went to Yonge Street near College Street to sweep up glass outside a Starbucks and a Tim Hortons.

"I don't want to justify a billion dollar budget by wrecking shit," he said. "I like my city."

Police use the

Earlier in the day, thousands of demonstrators stood face-to-face with riot police at the corner of Spadina Avenue and Richmond Street West. Another line of mounted police stood behind them at the corner of Spadina Avenue and Richmond Street West. Protester set off flares, which filled the air with smoke and drew cheers from the crowd.

"We got them where we want them," one protester shouted. "Are the stores open in Chinatown selling fireworks?" the same protester yelled.

Near the MuchMusic building on Queen Street West and John Street, police pushed back on the most aggressive protesters with their batons and shields. One man looked to be defending himself with his bare arms. Some protesters threw objects across the police line, but none appeared to breach the police barrier. Some demonstrators stood behind and watched while the rest of the marchers slowly snaked west toward Spadina.

Several protesters were being treated for head wounds by fellow demonstrators amid reports that paramedics faced delays in getting to the area.

A Globe and Mail photographer was tackled by black-clad protesters after taking their picture. Some of his equipment was damaged.

See the liveblog on your mobile device here. To view the blog, click on the play button below



<iframe src="http://www.coveritlive.com/index2.php/option=com_altcaster/task=viewaltcast/altcast_code=d29c617600/height=650/width=600" scrolling="no" height="650px" width="600px" frameBorder ="0" allowTransparency="true" ><a href="http://www.coveritlive.com/mobile.php/option=com_mobile/task=viewaltcast/altcast_code=d29c617600" >globeandmail.com covers G8 and G20: Saturday, June 26</a></iframe>


"This is what democracy looks like. That is what a police state looks like," protestors chanted Saturday afternoon as they turned the corner at University Avenue and Queen Street West.

Raw video: The Globe's Kate Allen shot the violence and broken windows as the protests escalated.

Single page

Follow us on Twitter: @annhui, @adrianmorrow, @jillsmahoney

In the know

Most popular video »

Highlights

More from The Globe and Mail

Most Popular Stories