Scenes from the Occupy Toronto eviction

As some protesters pack up, others discuss what to do next


Around 10 a.m. this morning, the City of Toronto posted eviction notices on the benches and fountains in St. James Park telling Occupy Toronto protesters to “remove your tents, structures, equipment and personal belongings” between 12:01 a.m. and 5:30 a.m. It also said: “the City can no longer sanction the appropriation of St. James Park by a relatively small group of people to the exclusion of all others wishing to use the park and to the detriment of those in the vicinity.”

The park has been occupied by members of the anti-greed Occupy Wall Street movement for past 31 days. Protesters were evicted and arrested last night at the Occupy Wall Street protest in New York City, although a court order has allowed them back into Zuccotti Park today.

The scene in St. James Park this afternoon was more serene. Under bright sunshine, a handful of protesters chatted about what to do next, trading bets about the likelihood of riot police with tear gas tearing down their encampment at midnight. One man, who gave his name as Bertrand, packed up his tent, adding “it was a gift.” An advertising student from Humber College packed up too.

Others assembled at a microphone in front of St. James Cathedral to discuss what they might do next. The small crowd was doubled in size by journalists, local residents and onlookers in business attire. Meanwhile, an old lady sped through the centre of the park on her motor-scooter, a man jogged through in shorts, and children played in the mud where the grass was killed by tents.

Near the entrance to the park, a young man stood holding a poster of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, shouting out “this is the only permit we need!” A passerby called him a “loser.”


Scenes from the Occupy Toronto eviction

  1. packed up to go where??? these are homeless people we are talking about and winter is coming, shouldnt they atleast make sure they have some housing where heroine needles are not being poked into sleeping residents. I think NYC and Toronto have planned their eviction pretty similarly. Why do they get to assemble to harass and assault citizens. we pay taxes and we are allowed to go to any park.

    • To the poster named Macleans.

      1. Homeless people usually don’t pay taxes.
      2. The park belongs to everyone not just protesters.
      3. There isn’t an urban park in the country where camping is permitted.
      4. The protestors are not being denied their freedom to protest.
      5. There are services and shelters available for the homeless.

    • The vast majority of these people are NOT homeless! I totally support this whole movement but it’s important to stick with facts.

      • The facts are this group as a whole are doing a disservice to the community. Homeless or not. 99% does not exist. If you want to create a group, then call it 7.3% (aka. Unemployment Rate).

        The only movement that’s going on here is a bowel movement. The park has become a giant toilet. With all the infrastructure costs to this ‘demonstration’ we could have populated the Toronto Food Bank for 2 years. Disgusting. These people should be ashamed of themselves.

  2. Greetings,

    thank you for your story. At least people are aware that there are many important grievances in our society (and the world) which need to be discussed.
    With that said, I am one of the people who has been in St. James Park since the 15th of October, 2011. Personally, I am camped on the south-west side of the park and that area is actually the private property of the St. James Anglican Cathedral. I have a letter from the Dean of the Church, which basically states that we can use the private property of the church, in order to progress our movement.
    Not many people are aware of this for some reason … yet, the letter from the Dean has been public for over three weeks I think. How is the police going to come on the private property of the St. James Anglican Cathedral and remove my tent and arrest me?
    I think it would be quite outrageous but nonetheless I will continue to remain there indefinitely until our concerns begin to be taken a little more seriously by politicians (our representatives in government).
    Many thanks for your time and consideration.

  3. Finally. I am a resident of SoKev (South King East Village) for many years and DO NOT consider myself part of this imaginary 99% group. I am not rich, but a hard working tax paying citizen who does not appreciate these yahoos polluting my neighborhood. Everyday I walk by and I see nothing but various people on meth, crack and the always classic weed. I am sure that a select few have good intentions, but really, you should try other avenues to make your point as the majority of these losers are not making any points.

    It makes me sick that there are people fighting and dying for our freedom around the world, and these cowards sit in the park and bang on garbage lids and complain about Canada. They have no clue what a hard life is, and are nothing short of being lazy and/or drug addicted. The world is a challenging place, but boo hoo. Life is what you make of it, and anyone can be successful if you actually do something about it. I say hose them down once it goes below zero.

  4. Long overdue. Anyone a part of this circus should be ashamed of themselves. I find it hard to believe the dean of a church would enable an already crime ridden park with even worse guests such as the Occupy Toronto ‘people’. Canada is not Wall Street and St. James Park is not a giant toilet for nutbars who blame everyone else for their problems.

    Canada is an amazing country. Get out of our park. Join the army or a missionary if you truly want to do something with your life. Asking to be passed the gravy and get a hand out is just as much greed as the issues you claim you to be fighting for.

  5. To Stuart: Cowards? A negative comparison to soldiers overseas “fighting for a our freedom”? I’m sorry but cowardice and freedom fighting are extremely relative terms. It could be argued just as easily that the protesters are the heroes fighting for our freedom. I challenge you to be deliberately homeless for a night or two in downtown Toronto. You might find it more fear inducing than, for example, being part of the much better fed and sheltered group who occupied Afghanistan.

  6. If these protesters have permission from the Church, then why should they be evicted?

    • While I believe the protesters have some valid points, I would like to hightlight the fact that a lot of these tents at night are empty.

      These ‘heroes’ are returning home to the warm beds at night and leaving the homless behind. If I was homeless I would be there for the free food and riding this as much as I can.

      Ask a family who has lost a son or daughter in any Afghani war and see if you think these misguided are heroes.

  7. Normal tax paying non-lazy working class Toronto citizens should rise against the Occupy Toronto movement. We should occupy the occupy toronbto movement. We should arm ourselves with paintball guns and have fun shooting the idiots.

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