Skip to main content

Photo of protesters aboard bikes chanting 'let us ride!' as they try to break through police barricade at Bloor and Spadina in Toronto, Sunday June 27.

laura blenkinsop The Globe and Mail

Protesters on bicycles have blocked the entrances to the detention centre holding those arrested during the G20 protests.

This was the second time today that protesters had demonstrated outside the Eastern Ave. facility, a former film studio converted to a holding area for those arrested.

About 60 police arrived to meet the protesters and began pushing them back from the entrance. The demonstrators remained peaceful, handing out jujubes and cashews.

Story continues below advertisement

Four protesters were released from the centre to be greeted by the waiting bikers.

Earlier, two of the hundreds of cyclists were arrested as the protesters rode through the streets of downtown Toronto early Sunday afternoon.

Hundreds started riding the streets in a protest they called a 'bike block' starting at Spadina Road and Bloor Street around 1 p.m. By 2:30 p.m., after a winding route through much of downtown, they were seen heading back north on Spadina past College Street. Police on bikes followed the group closely.

Half an hour before the planned protest a small group lingered. Some had bikes. Some were just sitting. Most seemed confused while they waited.

"What is it? Like a bike ride?" asks Paul who said he is here to take pictures. He has been documenting as many protests as possible and declined to give his last name.

Jamie Foss was wondering what exactly the organizers mean by calling the protest a "bike block". "I'm concerned about how it's going to look on the cycling community," said Mr. Foss who works at a local bike shop. "I'm not here to participate, I just want to see how it's all going to turn out," he said.

"I think I want to join in," said Janna who also declined to give her last name. She said that while she was riding on College to Spadina and Bloor, police were pulling cyclists over at random. She said they looked through her bag, checked her I.D. and asked about criminal activity. Then they let her go. "It's completely arbitrary she said."

Story continues below advertisement

Sean O'Connor joined the bike protest to send the message that the city needs more bike lanes, and he figured it would be one of the more peaceful protests during the G20.

"I bike to work everyday," he said. "There really should be bike lanes from the West of Bloor to the East."

The area began to fill up after 1 p.m. as a group of cyclists got ready to hit the streets. Police lingered and chatted with the cyclists.

As the ride started, cyclists began to shout "more bikes, less cops!"

The riders travelled south down Spadina Avenue and turned east through the University of Toronto after police decked in riot gear diverted the protest off Spadina.

Cyclists shouted 'turn around' after the march got stuck in a residential area off Spadina.

Story continues below advertisement

Riders continued south down University Avenue where hundreds of riders gathered at Queen's Park. They then turned north on University to Avenue Road, then across Cumberland Avenue.

Cyclists chanted "let us ride!" as they broke through a police barricade.

They rang their bicycle bells as speaker calls for peaceful protest.

But just before 2 p.m. the march turned tense as one man was tackled by police and carried into a parking Garage on Cumberland Street.

Riders then continued across Cumberland to Yonge Street, then continued moving south on Bay Street and later were spotted riding west down Queen Street and back north on Spadina Road.

Report an error
About the Author
Washington correspondent

Adrian Morrow covers U.S. politics from Washington, D.C. Previously he was The Globe's Ontario politics reporter. He's covered news, crime and sports for The Globe since 2010. He won the National Newspaper Award for politics reporting in 2016. More

Comments are closed

We have closed comments on this story for legal reasons. For more information on our commenting policies and how our community-based moderation works, please read our Community Guidelines and our Terms and Conditions.