Protesters blocked traffic around the Fairmont Royal York Hotel Wednesday morning on the first day of two international summits.
Early morning protests began just after 7 o'clock, with activists marching down Wellington Street before blocking the intersections at Wellington and Bay Streets, as well as University Avenue and Front Street West. At the latter crossing, they unravelled spools of yarn to make a barricade around the group.
The protest aimed to disrupt the Climate Summit of the Americas and the International Economic Forum of the Americas' Toronto Global Forum, both taking place at the Royal York Hotel in advance of the Pan Am Games.
The Climate Summit of the Americas, organized by the Ontario government, is dedicated to discussions on climate change and other environmental issues, with speakers including former U.S. vice president Al Gore and former Mexican president Felipe Calderon. The three-day Toronto Global Forum will see government and business leaders meet for panel discussions on global economy, energy and international trade.
Just before 9 a.m., protesters convened in front of the hotel entrance chanting "shut down the summit" while police stood in front of the doors.
About 200 people from a variety of activist groups came to support an environmental and anti-capitalism message.
Tings Chak from the group No One is Illegal said they wanted to send a message to those at the summit who have contributed to systems of oppression.
"They're gathering in these private meetings to discuss our future and the future of the planet," Ms. Chak said. "We're here to say that they're not welcome in our city, they're not representing our interests...We do not want human rights abusers to be determining our futures."
Attendees of both summits include CEOs from Royal Dutch Shell and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, as well as former Israeli president Shimon Peres and former Mexican president Felipe Calderon.
The demonstration at the hotel wrapped up after about two hours, when protesters headed to City Hall.