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G20 mayhem in Toronto's streets puts a new site on tourists' maps

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Nick Kozak/Newscom/File

(Read caption) Protesters and police faced off in Toronto last year.

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• A local, slice-of-life story from a Monitor correspondent.

Violence, a massive police presence, and the biggest arrest in Canadian history made headlines during the Group of 20 summit in Toronto last June. Now, the former summit security zone has been added to a list of walking tours.

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On a recent Saturday afternoon, activists David Demchuk and Justin Stayshyn led about 60 people past shops where windows were smashed, street corners where police cars were burned, and the downtown intersection where police surrounded or “kettled” hundreds of peaceful protesters in the rain for four hours.

Those on the tour included protesters and downtown residents who had been kettled or arrested, and some told their own stories of policy heavy-handedness.

“Toronto is known as a friendly city, but that weekend it was turned into a military base,” says Mr. Stayshyn. “People completely lost faith in their institutions.”