The G20 Summit will take place at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre in downtown Toronto on Saturday, June 26 and Sunday, June 27.
Word on the street is that demonstrations and disruptions related to the event will take place from June 21 to 28 in various parts of the city. These activities are expected to cause pedestrian and vehicle traffic delays, interruptions to public transit and GO Train service, road closures and possible PATH closures. In addition, access within the security zones will be severely restricted.
Today’s Toronto Star reports about the uncertainty faced by the one and only residential condo that will be within the actual security cordon and the likely restrictions those residents will have to face in order to get home after work.
My firm’s home base is in a highrise office tower on Bay Street around Queen, which is at the north end of the financial district and just a couple blocks north of the likely extent of the security cordon. In anticipation of the excitement later next month, our landlord recently circulated a memo with the following advice to tenants:
- If you must work on these days, avoid bringing your vehicle into the downtown core.
- Where possible/practical, work from home, especially on June 25, 26 and 27.
- Dress down, if you unexpectedly encounter demonstrators you will be better treated if you are in casual clothes than if you are in a business suit. [How about carrying granola bars and drug paraphernalia to “blend in” with the crowd?]
- When you are outside the building, keep any access cards or keys out of sight so they cannot be snatched by protestors. [Munchies too.]
- Access to the loading dock will be restricted during that week. We recommend that you pre-order any office or kitchen supplies, furniture, etc. for the preceding or following week.
These suggestions by our landlord might seem like overkill, but keep in mind that our building is owned by a large reinsurance company, so they can probably be forgiven for being overcautious.
Condos should be cautious too! In addition to the above suggestions, condominium corporations in the downtown core and lakefront in or around the vicinity of the summit location might also consider the following tips:
- Increase security staff during the relevant days to protect your residents, staff and property from civil disobedience and to be ready for unexpected challenges. Police response will probably be drastically less rapid than normal.
- Advise residents about expected traffic and access disruptions in your immediate area and to be alert for angry protests (and avoid them!).
- Remind residents to be especially vigilant to prevent strangers from gaining access to your building or garage.
- Reschedule or temporarily halt any work in or around your complex where contractors would need regular access the building or loading docks or are working on rooftops or balconies. [They’d be sniper bait.]
- Secure rooftop and balcony furniture or fixtures so they aren’t blown away by the rotor wash of low-flying helicopters in the immediate vicinity of the summit.
- Stay tuned to announcements and updates from the G20 security information service, online at: http://www.g8isu.ca/g20/index-eng.htm
- Update: Check whether the condo’s insurance covers damage arising from civil unrest. If not, consider taking out extra coverage for street level fixtures/fittings, especially plate glass.
What other steps should condos be taking to prepare for the G20 summit?
What measures are being implemented at your condo?
What are the condos in Huntsville doing in preparation for the G8 summit (which is being held concurrently with the G20 event)?