gil penalosa toronto

Toronto Mayoral candidate kicked out of Nathan Phillips Square for campaign presser

Mayoral candidate Gil Penalosa was set to hold a little campaign press conference outside of Nathan Phillips Square today - until he was kicked out for not having a permit.

City Hall reporter for the Toronto Star Ben Spurr was there to document the meeting when he captured city security telling Penalosa to get the hell out.

The candidate also brought some structures to place beside the three-dimensional "TORONTO" sign, spelling out "GIL 4 TORONTO."

Of course, these signs were also a problem.

Many people, including Alex Bozikovic from the Globe & Mail, were quick to point that current Mayor John Tory gets to campaign basically where he pleases, including a recent appearance at Joel Swirsky Parkette.

Brad Ross, the city's chief communications officer commented on the Twitter thread, attempting to explain why Penalosa was ejected (or in his words "asked to relocate").

"A formal media event with structures was being conducted on NPS (Nathan Phillips Square), which is not permitted. Informal media scrums on the square are allowed," he said.

"These are the rules during an election period - Aug 1 to Oct 24 in this case. All candidates are provided with relevant policies, including the one that applies here."

Ross continued to comment that a "mic and speaker" were also caught on the square, which again, is prohibited.

Councillor Josh Matlow aired his thoughts on the situation, saying "this is wrong. There are small groups who gather at our city's main public square every day. This was not some big event, protest or concert. A mayoral candidate was trying to make a housing announcement in front of the very building where decisions affecting housing are made."

Penalosa has yet to make a public statement about today's situation, but retweeted the original thread and replied, explaining the situation.

Remember folks, unless your John Tory, Nathan Phillips Square is not for you.

Lead photo by

Gil Penalosa


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