Toronto police ramp up patrols near CN Tower over potential risk

Toronto police are sending more officers to patrol the CN Tower and surrounding downtown area Thursday after receiving unconfirmed information that there’s a “potential risk to public safety.”

Acting Supt. Michael Barsky declined to provide any specifics about what police have learned, but told reporters a heightened police presence will allow the busy area, which includes a number of major tourist attractions, to remain open as normal.

“Whenever we report of potential risk, we take it seriously,” he said.

Meanwhile, York Regional Police have boosted patrols near Canada’s Wonderland north of the city.

Earlier Thursday, Toronto police spokesperson Mark Pugash confirmed officials had received an “unconfirmed, uncorroborated piece of information” so there would be an increased number of police officers throughout the city and specifically in the downtown core.

Barsky said that police presence will continue throughout the day. In addition to the downtown area being a major tourist draw, thousands of people live in highrise condos.

“The police presence in this area is to ensure that the public can enjoy and come down to this area unimpeded and without any worry.”

The CN Tower’s media team said in a news release that it’s “fully co-operating with Toronto police and other agencies to ensure our employees, guests and the tower are all safe.”

The Rogers Centre, meanwhile, is set to host a Foo Fighters concert tonight, with doors opening at 5 p.m. ET. Barsky said that show will go ahead as planned.

At Union Station’s bus terminal — a short walk from the tower — special constables kept an eye over the platform and parked vehicles near the edges.

York Regional Police announced around 11 a.m. that they are also upping patrols in several locations. The force is urging members of the public to remain vigilant and call 911 if they spot any suspicious activity.

Toronto Mayor John Tory was briefed on the situation by the police chief this morning, his office confirms, and will be monitoring the situation.

Meanwhile, Ontario Premier Doug Ford’s office tweeted it’s aware of a “reported potential threat,” and is in touch with security organizations from all three levels of government.

At Queen’s Park, there are no plans to cancel the 15-gun salute that will be part of Thursday’s throne speech event.

Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale’s office said the investigation is still being handled by local police at this point and that an alert will be sent out if the RCMP gets involved.


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