Toronto Life - The Informer

Insider intel on the politics and personalities shaping the city. Sign up for Preview newsletter for weekly updates

Random Stuff

3 Comments

Let them eat lake: as Toronto shuts down for the G20, feds spend millions on a fake Muskoka landscape

Please try again later (Image: Cameron MacMaster)

The rules in Toronto for the G20 summit are becoming clear as we get closer to showtime: first, no showtimes. Mirvish theatres have cancelled their shows for the week of June 21 due to “security concerns.” It’s the first time Ed’s stages have been closed since the blackout of ought-three. Second, no trains: Via Rail will be bypassing its main hub, Union Station, for the duration of the conference. Apparently, the plan is to gather media and notables from around the planet in a world-renowned city, only to drain it of everything that makes it world renowned.

The Globe and Mail reports:

FirstEnergy, a Calgary investment bank, has cancelled a conference scheduled for Toronto Four Seasons on June 24 because not enough people planned to attend. And the Factory Theatre, located at Bathurst and Adelaide, will close its 2009/2010 season a week early because of the G20.

This week’s announced G20 closings are in addition to recent changes to the Blue Jays’ schedule, which moved planned home games to Philadelphia, and the shutdown of the entire University of Toronto campus. The Ontario legislature also announced it would be boarding up its windows. Even the CN Tower will be shut down.

The foreign press won’t be entirely without entertainment, though: Canadian Press is reporting that the feds have ponied up almost $2 million for a “media centre” that mimics Muskoka (for the jealous journos who missed the G8 and are sick of their colleagues talking up cottage country). It comes complete with its own indoor lake, because Lake Ontario, though Great, will likely be closed down due to mermaid-related security concerns next week.

Hey, at least the feds are finally spending money in Toronto.

• G20 media centre with fake lake to cost $1.9M [Toronto Star]
• From megacity to ghost town: Toronto powers down for G20 [Globe and Mail]
• G20: Toronto closed for business [National Post]