Tempered excitement

Anti-G20 graffiti in Toronto. (Carmen Millet)

By Carmen Millet, G20 citizen blogger

carmen52.jpgWhen I learned the G20 was coming to Toronto, I was practically giddy. I thought, "Wow, I'm going to be 200 metres from 20 of the world's most powerful leaders. This will be fantastic!"

I couldn't whip my day-planner out fast enough to mark off the dates. I wanted to make absolutely sure I'd be in town to catch all the pomp and circumstance that an event as important as the G20 would surely garner.

Three weeks later, I was in the middle of a REM cycle when I was jolted awake by the sound of giant cranes dropping metre-high concrete barriers outside my window. When the concrete barriers were topped with three-metre-high fencing the next day, I started to worry about my safety during the summit, something I hadn't spent one millisecond doing. Not to mention, how exactly did they expect me to get to work (or, more importantly, my pilates classes) with this giant fence in the way? You don't know me, but I'm not a great climber.

Next thing I knew, anti-G20 graffiti covered a TTC shelter outside my house and talk of planned protests by "freedom fighters" from around the world were being posted on YouTube. For the first time, my excitement began to wane and I stopped to take pause -- was it really worth it? There must surely be a reason the Harper government chose to spend $1 billion to host the G8/G20 for 72 hours, but what was the real benefit to Canada? To the world?

Stuck at home for now, I'll just have to wait and see what, if any, chaos ensues. In hindsight, I should probably have spent the weekend on a nice, quiet lake like the rest of my fellow Torontonians. Hey, maybe there's still some room left around the "fake lake!"

Follow along as I share my tales of surviving life at ground zero during the "world's most expensive photo-op."

Wish me luck.

Related: Meet the team