A Toronto-based climate change activist group took over the Bloor Viaduct bridge in an early Monday morning protest.
Extinction Rebellion Toronto gathered at around 8 a.m. in the area of Danforth and Cambridge avenues before protesters make their way onto the bridge.
The group wrote on its website that the demonstration is part of a global rebellion, with similar protests happening around the world and across Canada.
The aim of the protest is to disrupt business and bring attention to growing climate change issues, the group says.
The activists will reportedly be staging a sit-in demonstration for much of the morning. The group will also set up demonstrations at Playter Gardens Park just west of Broadview Station.
Rocky Petkov, one of the organizers, said the group is holding the bridge as a way to call on the climate crisis.
“The message we want to get to the public is act now,” he said. “We’ve had a lot of talk about climate action but we’ve yet to see government take the meaningful steps needed to actually secure a lower carbon future.”
However, there were also individuals protesting against the demonstration for disrupting traffic and commuters.
Peter Ussurinov stood opposite from the crowd of activists, holding a microphone and a sign that read: “Climate justice is nonsense. Canadian oil pays for your healthcare.”
Ussurinov said he wanted to call out the demonstrators for disrupting the normal commute.
“I want them to know that there are other voices out there that support economic growth, that support the expression of the middle classes and support getting Canadians out of poverty.”
Around 12 p.m., protesters refused to leave despite being asked by police. A handful of activists were seen being put into the back of a police van by officers.
Similar climate change protests are also happening in Vancouver, Halifax, Edmonton and Montreal.
These demonstrations are part of Extinction Rebellion Canada’s broader Bridge Out campaign intended to pressure the Canadian government to take action on climate issues.
— With files from the Canadian Press