Several buildings centred around the north-eastern part of the St. George campus were on lockdown after Toronto Police received calls about a suspicious person at 9:30 AM on June 13.
At 10:15 AM, students were alerted that Falconer Hall, the Faculty of Law, the Edward Johnson Building, the Munk School of Global Affairs, the Varsity Centre, and all building affiliated with Victoria University and Trinity College were closed. Students and faculty in these buildings at the time were asked to remain inside until the all-clear was given.
University Avenue and Queen’s Park Crescent were also closed between Bloor Street and Hoskin Avenue. The TTC had also announced that subways are also bypassing Museum Station.
The lockdown was lifted for all buildings on campus at around 3:15 PM. As well, the roads reopened and subway service to Museum Station resumed.
Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders told reporters that police had seen a photo of a “male subject, dressed in all black with a black knapsack and a mask” with reports of this person armed with a gun.
An arrest was also made, but Saunders said that the suspect was “not the same likeness” as the person in the photo, and declined to elaborate further. The suspect was later released without charges.
Wycliffe College student Orvin Lao was coming out of Museum Station when the situation began to unfold and described the scene.
“Another pedestrian was telling me to duck and cover as there is a man with a rifle running around the Faculty [of Music]. And so I hid for a bit at the stairwell that led to the subway,” he told The Varsity. “I saw two female officers with unholstered firearms and another male officer a few yards ahead with an automatic assault rifle crouching.”
Convocation for Rotman MBA and St. Michael’s College graduates proceeded as usual.
In a statement, U of T president Meric Gertler thanked the Toronto Police, campus police, and members of the U of T community for acting swiftly: “I think I speak for many of us when I say that this has been a distressing day, but I am very relieved at the outcome.”