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Anti-abortion, pro-choice protesters clash at Carr Hall

Toronto Police, Campus Police called to anti-abortion workshops

Anti-abortion, pro-choice protesters clash at Carr Hall

Following an anti-abortion March For Life rally at Queen’s Park this morning, protesters gathered at Carr Hall at St. Michael’s College (SMC) to attend workshops as pro-choice counterprotesters lined up outside the south entrance, held back by Toronto Police.

Campus Police officers were posted at the entrances as counter-protestors, who have since dispersed, chanted outside.

The anti-abortion workshops were hosted by the University of Toronto Students for Life (UTSFL) club, a Ulife recognized student group.

According to Elizabeth Church, University Spokesperson, Campus Police were on-site as “observers” while Toronto Police were attempting to escort anti-abortion protesters to Carr Hall.

On the use of university space for anti-abortion workshops, Church wrote to The Varsity in an email: “The University of Toronto is committed to free expression and open dialogue, even if that means controversial topics may arise. This includes the right to peaceful protest.”

The UTSFL has an established relationship with SMC, having previously received funding from the St. Michael’s College Students’ Union, as well as hosted similar events there in previous years.

This story is developing, more to come.

Update (May 10, 12:39pm): This story has been updated to include comment U of T.

Five-hour lockdown at UTSG ends as Toronto Police conclude investigation

One man arrested, released without charges

Five-hour lockdown at UTSG ends as Toronto Police conclude investigation

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.”

UPDATED: Several buildings at UTSG on lockdown after reports of armed person

Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders confirms one person in custody, convocation unaffected

Update (June 13, 4:49pm): The lockdown has been lifted for all buildings on campus.

Several buildings centred around the north-eastern part of campus are on lockdown after Toronto Police received calls about a suspicious person at 9:30 AM.

The following buildings continue to be on lockdown as Toronto Police continue its investigation:

  • Falconer Hall — 84 Queen’s Park
  • Faculty Of Law — 78 Queen’s Park
  • Faculty Of Music: Edward Johnson Building — 80 Queen’s Park

Those who are already in these buildings are being asked to remain inside until the all-clear has been given.

Earlier today, the lockdown extended to more buildings on campus. The following buildings are no longer closed:

  • Trinity College — 6 Hoskin Avenue
  • Munk School Of Global Affairs — 1 Devonshire Place
  • Gerald Larkin Building — 15 Devonshire Place
  • Varsity Centre — 299 Bloor Street West
  • All buildings affiliated with Victoria University

In addition, Queen’s Park Crescent between Bloor Street and Hoskin Avenue remain closed off. The TTC has also announced that subways are also bypassing Museum station.

Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders told reporters that police has 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 in custody is “not the same likeness” as the person in the photo,  and declined to elaborate further

“We’re making sure we’re clearing as best to our abilities, utilizing our tactical officers, as well as our dogs to ensure we can maximize the safety of everybody here,” said Saunders.

Convocation for Rotman Graduate students was unaffected by the lockdown. Convocation for St. Michael’s College students will also go on as planned.

“We have no reason to believe there will be any safety concerns during convocation,” said U of T president Meric Gertler, in his convocation address for Rotman students.

This story is developing, more to follow.

Update (June 13, 12:08pm): This story has been updated to include comments from Mark Saunders and Meric Gertler.

Update (June 13, 2:24pm): The list of buildings under lockdown has been updated.