Dozens of retailers boarded up their stores in downtown Toronto following unverified reports about potential riots, reports BlogTO. No riots have taken place in the city so far.
As of Tuesday, storefronts throughout downtown are still covered with wooden barriers in case situations similar to the ones going on in the U.S. arise.
Toronto Police said that they know about social media posts calling for protests and they "will continue to monitor and respond if necessary to ensure the safety of everyone involved."
Violent riots have broken out in New York City, Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, Montreal and Minneapolis—where George Floyd died following an incident of police brutality last week at the age of 46.
On Saturday, there was a peaceful protest in downtown Toronto involving approximately 4,000 people that remained civil. The anti-racism rally was held by Not Another Black Life in honour of Floyd and Regis Korchinski-Paquet—a woman who died after falling off of a balcony during a police incident at a High Park apartment on Wednesday.
Protestors made their way from Christie Pits park to Toronto Police Headquarters demanding justice for Korchinski-Paquet and denouncing anti-Black racism.
Protestors held up signs saying “Stop killing us,” “No justice, No peace,” and “Cops lie Blacks die.” There were no arrests made.
Toronto retailers are still worried that the peaceful demonstrations may become violent after seeing the rioting and looting in other cities.
Video footage has recently been widely-circulated showing a Minneapolis police officer leaning his knee into George Floyd’s neck for several minutes as Floyd says he can’t breathe. Floyd later died from asphyxiation in police custody.
The cop responsible for the incident—Derek Chauvin—received third degree murder charges along with second-degree manslaughter.
The protests started as a peaceful stand against racism and police brutality but people took advantage of the situation to begin rioting and looting large stores such as Walmart, Target and Apple.
They have also destroyed small businesses, grocery stores, restaurants and shopping malls in U.S. cities and the National Guard has been deployed to 23 states as a result.
The last time there was mass unrest in Toronto was during the G20 summit protests ten years ago.