why are you closed video

Video of Toronto man screaming at closed Eaton Centre gets metal remix

"WHY ARE YOU CLOSED? TELL US WHY YOU'RE CLOSED? WHY, WHY, WHY, ARE YOU CLOSED?"

These are the words of an angry local man who, more than 10 years ago, became the greatest inadvertent viral video star ever to come out of Canada (save perhaps for Star Wars Kid) when he publicly exploded over the temporary closure of Toronto's Eaton Centre.

Best known these days as the "why are you closed guy," the unidentified gentleman in question was captured on camera screaming at the mall's entrance near Roots amid the G20 riots of 2010.

And I don't mean screaming near the entrance — I mean screaming directly at the glass doors, repeatedly, demanding that they open for him and "the Toronto public."

"I want to go shopping in the Eaton Centre, why are you locked? Why are you closing your doors? Why are you locking your doors to the public?" he shouts in the video as people stand around giggling and gobsmacked.

"Why, tell us the reason, why? Why? Tell us the reason? Tell us the reason, why? Why are you putting people through this? Why? Why?
Why are you putting us through this?"

Uploaded on June 30 of 2010 by a YouTube user named lansaguy, the "Crazy guy- Why are you closed? Why?" video has since racked up more than 3.6 million views.

Not huge numbers by today's standards, but the video and resultant meme remain a beloved piece of Toronto culture, immediately identifiable by anyone with knowledge of that troublesome time (when, incidentally, more than 1,000 protesters were unlawfully detained during what became the largest mass arrest in Canadian history.)

The wild "Why are you closed?" clip has gained renewed interest worldwide amid ongoing pandemic-related closures, and recently caught the attention of a prolific musician in Portugal who is known for remixing viral videos into brilliant heavy metal songs.

"'Why are you closed' goes Metal!'" by Andre Antunes is now trending in its own right for a number of different reasons, including how perfectly Antunes was able to blend the rant into music.

Presented in split-screen format, the January 4 YouTube upload shows Antunes playing guitar as the man-turned-meme from 2010 plays the role of vocalist.

"Who gave you the right? Who gave you the right? What right do you exclude the population? Why? Who are you? How dare you do this to us?" the Toronto man "sings" alongside Antunes.

"We are the Toronto Public, we want to shop, we want to get into the Eaton Centre, it is a public place, it says it’s open till 7 o’clock.
Why are you closed? Why? Why? Tell us why? Tell us why?"

When written out, it's easy to see why Antunes chose this particular video; the rant is almost lyrical in its composition, and the ending — when the Toronto man says "let the police cut off my balls" — is pretty damn metal.

But there were other reasons behind the choice as well, says the artist, including how funny the original clip is.

"The main reason why I make videos such as these is to make people laugh in stressful times. Show people that you can change your perspective on harsh, negative or annoying things," said Antunes to blogTO.

""The 'Toronto man' video was already viral before and it had that 'comic' factor already, so I thought it would be entertaining to watch the final result."

A musician by trade, Antunes says he spent most of his career playing live shows, composing and doing studio sessions before COVID hit and forced him "to become a full-time YouTube musician" (at least for now.)

"Videos like these really help me to create melodies I wouldn't create in my head alone, because what they 'sing' comes from a place of pure 'nonsense', that doesn't respect any particular music rule," he said.

"Plus, they have raw emotion in it, so I think it just blends naturally with heavy metal music."

While he's never been to Canada, the Portuguese musician says that he'd love to visit Toronto someday.

"Everybody I know that has been there speaks wonders of the city and the people," he said. "I'd like to do some shopping there, see if I could find the 'Toronto man'."

Lead photo by

Andre Antunes


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