toronto eaton centre

TikTok stars spark teen riot at Toronto Eaton Centre

Toronto's busiest downtown mall was even more hectic than usual this afternoon after swarms of screaming teens congregated for what was apparently a surprise meet-and-greet with a number of TikTok stars.

Canadians Mariano Castano, Sammy Ha, Malcolm Suarez, Draco Dez, Matthew Scarfone and Donae are among the influencers from the video platform who were rumoured to be making appearances near the Eaton Centre's first-floor fountain at around 2 p.m.

Toronto Police were dispatched to the site to help with crowd control after things got a little out of hand.

Unsuspecting shoppers and mall employees took to social media to grumble about the gathering, many of them frankly confused about the cause of the chaos.

"Eaton Centre" consequently became the number one trending Twitter topic in Toronto.

Some aptly pointed out that a bunch of fervent Gen Z-ers vying to catch a glimpse of "celebrities" from a burgeoning social media platform created just a few years ago is a perfect microcosm of the times.

Others expressed concern about large crowds and public safety, especially given the fact that the Eaton Centre has been the location of fatal shootings, stabbings and other mass violence in the past.

According to fans at the meet-and-greet, the event was broken up by police after about 20 minutes, to the teens' dismay.

"I thought it was going to be a chill thing where they'd just be walking around the mall," said 14-year-old attendee Jade Carroll. She and her friend Fabienne Frederick, also 14, went to the Eaton Centre on Thursday specifically to meet "Malcom, Samy and Mariano."

Instead, they found themselves in a mass of people pushing each other around.

At least one of the TikTokers posted a video of the social media troup getting escorted out of the mall and through Nathan Phillips Square by police and security personnel.

While previous generations revered the likes of Elvis and the Beatles, we have the joy of witnessing the worship of arguably talentless viral video stars. Hello, 2020!

Lead photo by

@SylvietheBunnyT

- With files from Lauren O'Neil


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