G20 Summit Resident Information Guide


By Carmen Millet, G20 citizen blogger

carmen52.jpgWhen I walked into my house on Friday night, I nearly broke my neck.

"Darn cat!" I squealed. But when I looked down to see what had caused me to slip and fall, all I saw was a piece of paper.

The culprit? A four-page "G20 Summit Resident Information Guide" my building had slid under my door. I picked it up and tossed it to the side because, really, what could it possibly tell me that I hadn't already heard?

Apparently a lot.

When I sat down to read the guide, all the angst over the summit I felt last week slowly crept back.

The guide provided information about the security zones. Apparently we're in the "Traffic Zone," although we have been warned our status can change "at any time."
It also talked about the 35,000 protesters who have pre-registered for the event, and a slew of other G20-related tidbits.

At first glance, the guide contained your normal, run-of-the-mill safety messages.

Then I turned the page.

I became speechless as I glanced over three of the four pages with information about "How the summit will affect you."

Frankly, it was enough to make your eyes bleed.

On a normal day, my building would be bustling with activity: people meeting friends, checking their mail, picking up packages, chatting with the concierge and going in and out to the plethora of restaurants and entertainment venues around us.

Apparently during the G20 summit, all that is going to change.

Here are suggestions of things we would normally do, but won't be allowed to do during the summit:

  • Pick up parcels.
  • Use any of the building's stairwells (unless in the event of emergency, of course).
  • Order food for delivery.
  • Have guests (if you expect a guest, they must be pre-registered by June 24).
  • Hang out in the lobby (read: no loitering).
  • Wear anything other than T-shirts outside the building (because wearing business attire may put us in a "susceptible" position).
  • Engage in conversations with the protesters.
  • Leave the building in our cars (I need more exercise anyway).
  • Use the barbecue, patio or recreation areas (you know, because cooking some meat or running on the treadmill may or may not attract hungry, exercise-seeking protesters).
Here are suggestions of what we should do during the summit, that we normally don't:

  • Keep our suite doors LOCKED at all times (yes, it was in capital letters).
  • We apparently may lose power and water during the event, so it is suggested that we stock up on enough food. It was suggested we stockpile food that won't spoil, such as canned food, energy bars and dried food. For our water needs, the guide suggests two litres of water per person per day, and include small bottles that can be carried easily in case of an evacuation order to last us 72 hours (yes, water was in bold letters).
  • In addition to food and water, it has been suggested we have on hand a manual can opener, flashlight with batteries, battery-powered or wind-up radio, first-aid kit, special needs items, extra keys and almighty cash. It's also suggested we have smaller bills, such as $10 bills or travellers cheques and change for payphones. I'm not sure who I'll be calling from a payphone in the middle of a protest, but I'll make sure to purchase the requisite roll of quarters just in case).

When I initially found out that the G20 was coming to Toronto, I didn't think for one second that I would be in any kind of danger.

According to my property manager, I stand corrected.

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