East End Toronto braces for the arrival of hundreds of motorcyclists to support an “unapproved” procession and all-day gathering of the outlaw Hells Angels motorcycle club.
In preparation for the motorcycle convoy, the Toronto Police Department has announced that Carlaw Avenue will be completely closed in both directions from Eastern Avenue to Lakeshore Boulevard East between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m.
Only one lane is available for emergency vehicles and local traffic, police said.
Hundreds of Hells Angels bikers and their supporters are flocking to the city today as part of a commemorative ride for the death of a former member. According to police, between 800 and 1,000 motorcyclists are expected to participate in Thursday’s procession.
The infamous motorcycle club will hold its annual national event over three days starting this weekend in Brooklin, north of Whitby.
Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Toronto Police Department Traffic Services Supt Scott Baptist said the police’s top priority is to ensure public safety during this “unsanctioned” event.
“We have no information to indicate that they plan to do anything other than participate in the memorial ride, followed by a meeting in the city,” he said. influence on people’s daily activities.
“We are going to do everything we can to ensure that there is a robust traffic plan in place, to ensure that traffic moves through the city and that this procession has the least possible impact on Toronto residents.”
In a community message sent to residents on Wednesday, police said police will set up a command post on Commissioners Street. A RIDE program will also be set up in the area.
Residents who have questions or concerns about the matter are encouraged to contact 55 Division, or call 911 for emergencies, police added in the message.
That part of Carlaw Avenue. is a mixed neighborhood with dispersed shops, construction supply companies and single-family homes.
Toronto Police Department expects the motorcycle procession to affect the southbound lanes of the DVP, as well as a portion of Lakeshore Boulevard East, starting at approximately 11 a.m., before arriving at the Carlaw site.
York Regional Police also warned Newmarket residents to brace for local traffic disruptions in the Leslie Street and Davis Drive area, as well as the southbound lanes of Highway 404. Hells Angels members will gather there and are expected to will they be between 9am and 11am
Thursday’s meeting is expected to be one of the largest Hells Angels gatherings ever in Toronto.
In 2002, a Hells Angels national event in the Entertainment District sparked outrage after then-Mayor Mel Lastman was photographed in full color shaking hands with a gang member.
Lastman faced immediate reactions from the public and police, explaining that he shook hands with the motorcyclist for fear of not doing so.
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