police motorcade toronto

Police motorcades have taken over Toronto

The black SUVs are back in action on Toronto's streets this week after nearly four whole days of (relatively) decent post-TIFF traffic – and this time, they've got the cops on their side.

And by their side. And probably inside, too.

Prince Harry, U.S. First Lady Melania Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau were all in town this weekend for the Invictus Games, which kicked off Saturday and will continue through to Sept. 30.

Torontonians have been sharing excitement over the arrival of these dignitaries – especially that of the handsome prince – for weeks.

The excitement peaked on Saturday as Harry made his way around the city for various appearances and meetings, including a visit to CAMH and sit-downs with Gov. Gen. David Johnson and Trudeau.

And then it dropped off a cliff – at least for all the motorists stuck in traffic.

Massive, police-escorted convoys for Harry, Trump and other dignitaries have been making it difficult to get around Toronto since Saturday morning.

At least 20 cars and black SUVs were seen escorting the First Lady from Pearson Airport on Saturday morning, almost all of them with flashing lights and surrounding by police motorcycles.

Police officers shut down major traffic routes running through the downtown core all day, of and on, for motorcades like this to pass through.

Some people were thrilled to catch a glimpse of royalty as Harry's convoy whizzed past (even though the windows were closed and they couldn't see him.)

Others were annoyed when police unexpectedly stopped traffic for dozens of guarded vehicles to zoom through the core.

"Prince Harry's motorcade has thundered by me twice in one day," tweeted one person in Toronto. "Enough already."

"Are the invictus games that big of a pull that the entire city of Toronto is in a traffic jam?" wrote another shortly before noon on Saturday.

Contrasted against Trump, however, the crowds seemed far more forgiving of Harry, who founded The Games for sick and wounded soldiers in 2014.

For their part, Toronto Police have been issuing releases every day of The Games so far to advise the public about "travelling in Toronto" – which appears to be a roundabout way of saying "road closures in Toronto."

They've also been as congenial as possible to citizens. Some officers even stopped to take a photo with a wedding party when they weren't escorting the prince.

The police listed about 10 different restrictions or complete closures for Saturday, including parts of Queen Street West, York Street, Bay Street, Adelaide Street, Front Street, Lake Shore Boulevard and Richmond Street.

"Members of the public travelling to and around these locations should plan ahead and consider taking public transit," reads the release. "Please note the closure times are flexible. Should events go longer than anticipated, road closures will be in effect until necessary."

Lead photo by

blogTO


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