Tuesday, September 9, 2014

All traffic stopped in Toronto Chinatown–Kensington Market

I was walking South on Augusta, then Kensington Market and St Andrew to Spadina (map). I was just walking out of a store when a police cruiser with the alarm flashing sporadically nearly ran me over. Then, as I made it to Spadina, I noticed they had blocked traffic going North, where I was coming from.

I then saw the TTC (public transportation in Toronto) guys getting off and their passengers crossing the street running. I asked the TTC drivers what was going on and they told me that a man with a rifle had been spotted closer to College, on a roof. I then posted the photo below, with a quick caption.

traffic stopped on SpadinaRifle alert! Cops driving fast through Kensington Market, stop all Spadina traffic going N of Glen Bailliet.

As scary as that police cruiser was, this lack of any announcement or information was scarier. Were they killing yet another citizen, as they had done so many times before? For a moment, I was tempted to go see for myself, but the feeling “I don’t have time for this” triumphed. Once home, I discovered a few echoes in Toronto Star:

A section of Spadina Ave. was closed by police around 6:30 p.m. Tuesday after reports were received of a gunman near Spadina Ave. and Nassau St.

At least five people were seen exiting a store in the area, which was surrounded by police, with their hands in the air, but it is unclear if they were arrested.

Residents and people in the neighbourhood were told by police to stay indoors because of reports that an armed man had been seen.

Even CBC had something to say:

Members of the Toronto police tactical squad appear to be wrapping up after a major operation led officers to block off a section of Spadina Avenue, between Baldwin and Nassau streets, in the city's downtown core. 

Police have released few details, but say officers responded just before 7 p.m. ET. after reports of a person with a gun.

The area wasn't evacuated, but police asked members of the public to avoid the area for several hours.

Witnesses reported seeing about six police cruisers and dozens of officers in the area, including a few police officers on nearby rooftops.

CBC reporters on the scene say as many as seven people were brought out of a building in handcuffs by police and all appeared to be in their 20s or 30s, but no further details were available.

One reason why Police is avoiding publicity is TIFF, which is in full swing. I’m not crazy about the stars, but just walking the streets these days you can’t help stumbling into an A or B-list celebrity. Just the other day for instance I stopped to film Michael Moore. And, let us not forget, secrecy if the Canadian way of getting by and avoiding the harsh light of the reflectors. It worked with Canada’s misbehaving banks to the point where it is now perceived as the best managed such sector in OECD. It worked with Michael Bryant’s murder of a bike courier. It worked with most cases of flagrant corruption.

Perhaps I should also tell you why I prefer to buy nuts in Kensington Market as opposed to Bulk Barn, but I’m falling asleep.

Sources / More info: torstr-rooftop-gunman, cbc-major-police-op, goo.gl/maps/L5ntr

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