March 23, 2019 11:50 am
Updated: March 23, 2019 7:06 pm

Tempers flare as counter-protesters outnumber attendees at far-right rally in Toronto

WATCH ABOVE: Ahead of a protest organized by a far-right, anti-Islamization group, police and counter-protestors were mobilized. As the afternoon wore on, both sides soon found themselves at an impasse before confrontations grew violent.


Tempers flared as counter-protesters greatly outnumbered the attendees at a far-right rally in downtown Toronto on Saturday.

The group Pegida, a far-right, anti-Islam group, held a rally near University Avenue and Dundas Street on Saturday afternoon.

Around 30 Pegida protesters showed up, while around 250 counter-protesters, some wearing masks, were there at the height of the event.

READ MORE: Police investigating after Canadian far-right website reposts New Zealand terrorist’s manifesto

There was a heavy police presence in the area as officers used barricades to separate the two groups and prevent clashes.

Scuffles occasionally broke out between the protesters and tensions remained high for most of the afternoon.

The situation grew increasingly tense in the early evening as counter-protesters worked to block the far-right protesters from marching and police looked to put an end to the event altogether.

WATCH: A far-right rally sparked tensions Saturday afternoon as counter protestors flooded the streets near University Avenue and Dundas Street.

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As of just before 5 p.m., police said no arrests had been made though a Global News crew did see some individuals get detained.

Mayor John Tory condemned the rally in the lead up to it on Twitter Saturday morning.

“I strongly condemn the ideology & tactics of white supremacists planning to demonstrate & disrupt today in our city,” Tory said.

READ MORE: Far-right Proud Boys and their Canadian founder Gavin McInnes booted off Facebook and Instagram

“There is no place for them in our Toronto.”

Tory said he has been in contact with police Chief Mark Saunders who assured him that police have prepared for the event.

The rally comes just two days after a Toronto event for the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination saw scuffles break out and around one week after a massacre at two New Zealand mosques in which 50 people were killed.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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