“Several” trucks entered Toronto Friday night to “cause disruption,” Toronto police say.
In a tweet Saturday afternoon, Toronto police said the force “made the decision to close further roads to ensure more couldn’t get in.”
“Thanks to the quick work of officers, the vehicles left,” the tweet reads. “We continue to monitor the situation and will adapt our plans when needed.”
The news comes as anti-mandate protesters in solidatrity with the so-called “freedom convoy” in Ottawa persist across the country.
Earlier on Saturday, Toronto police said a number of roads in the city’s downtown core would be closed.
Roads surrounding Queen’s Park and hospital row are closed to vehicle traffic.
Police said Spadina Avenue to the west, Church Street to the east, Davenport Road to the north and Queen Street to the south.
Police said though roads are closed, officers are “facilitating access to businesses and homes.”
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“All roads are open to pedestrians,” the force said in a tweet. “Roads will re-open when we can safely do so.”
The demonstrations, initially aimed at denouncing vaccine mandates for truck drivers crossing the Canada-U.S. border, have since morphed into a protest against a variety of COVID-19 restrictions and the federal government.
In a tweet Saturday afternoon, Toronto Mayor John Tory said he had spokes with Toronto police Chief James Ramer, and received an update on the work the force was doing to “keep our city safe from any ‘convoy’ protests.”
“I let the Chief know that I 100 per cent support police doing everything they can to make sure any protests in our city remain peaceful and respectful,” Tory wrote.
The mayor thanked all residents and businesses for their “ongoing patience and understanding of the road closures police have put in place to protect public safety and our hospitals.”
GTA officers, OPP sent to Ottawa
Meanwhile, several police forces within the Greater Toronto Area have confirmed that they have sent officers to Ottawa to assist with the situation there.
The Durham Regional Police Service, York Regional Police and Toronto Police Service each told Global News they have sent officers to Ottawa, but did not provide the exact number of personnel sent.
Similarly, Hamilton Police and Halton Police services each said they have sent officers to the nation’s capital, but did not confirm the total amount sent.
In an email to Global News Friday evening, Peel Regional Police said they had deployed around 55 officers to Ottawa.
What’s more, in an email to Global News on Saturday, OPP Sgt. Kerry Schmidt confirmed the Ottawa Police Service has requested operational assistance from the OPP.
“As this is an operational matter, we cannot confirm how many OPP members are deployed to Ottawa at any given time,” the email reads.