A staff report to be reviewed by Mayor John Tory’s executive committee is recommending enhanced security measures at Toronto City Hall, including metal detectors, bag checks, and a glass wall.
Toronto Mayor John Tory said violent attacks around the world make it necessary to re-examine city hall’s security measures. But he would not support or oppose any of the recommendations until the city hears from members of the public who visit and work at city hall.
One of the measures is “patron screening” through the use of metal detectors and physical baggage checks – the latter by security staff, X-Ray machines, or both.
The report points out that patron screening is done in various degrees at provincial legislatures in Ontario, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Quebec, at city halls in Calgary and Edmonton, the courts, as well as at the Air Canada Centre and Rogers Centre.
Tory said that City hall has “almost no security” compared to other public spaces in Toronto.
The recommended upgrades which would cost $774,000 per year for new security staff and $500,000 for one-time capital purchases — stem from confidential security assessments conducted by Toronto police and Public Safety Canada earlier this year.
The city adopted security measures after Canada’s domestic terrorism threat level was increased from low to medium on Oct. 1, 2014. However, since the threat level remains, the city says more permanent measures are needed.The executive committee will review the report on Tuesday. If approved, it will then head to city council on Dec. 5.