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 â and this time, they've got the cops on their side.
And by their side. And probably inside, too.
Prince Harry motorcade closing down the Gardiner #PrinceHarry #Toronto #InvictusGamesToronto pic.twitter.com/MCJJlCuc50â Chris McElhinney (@CMcElhinney) September 24, 2017
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 â especially that of the handsome prince â 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.
Gently cut of by Prince Harryâs motorcade. As, you know, happens from time to time.â đ¨đŚynoTđ¨đŚ (@CrtvPrdx) September 25, 2017
And then it dropped off a cliff â 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.
@CityNews #PrinceHarry #Toronto #InvictusGames motorcade under the Gardner pic.twitter.com/NEcNZ7k6XCâ WarningU2 (@WarningU2) September 22, 2017
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.)
When you're walking in front of The Ritz, a giant motorcade shows up and you realise you're walking by Prince Harry. #InvictusGames #Torontoâ Emma Badame (@pollyprissypant) September 23, 2017
Others were annoyed when police unexpectedly stopped traffic for dozens of guarded vehicles to zoom through the core.
When Prince Harry's convoy zooms by you with a police escort and you are just sitting in Toronto traffic đâ AyCarumba (@bartyboyronde) September 24, 2017
"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.
apparently the GO buses were delayed bc of prince harry's motorcade escort ughâ monica (âżâĄâżâĄ) (@monicapro_) September 24, 2017
Contrasted against Trump, however, the crowds seemed far more forgiving of Harry, who founded The Games for sick and wounded soldiers in 2014.
@FLOTUS had a meeting #PrinceHarry in Toronto. She had 15 SUV's in her motorcade. She sat in one waving to media. What a waste of resources!â Iris Collier (@IrisRCollier) September 23, 2017
For their part, Toronto Police have been issuing releases every day of The Games so far to advise the public about "travelling in Toronto" â 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.
In between moves members of Prince Harry's motorcade team joined a wedding party.â TPSMotorSquad (@TPSMotorSquad) September 23, 2017
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."
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