Rob Ford says time for Occupy Toronto to 'move on'

The Occupy Toronto movement is facing more pressure in light of Wednesday events at Occupy London, Ont. where police removed all tents.

Occupy Toronto Protesters remain in St. James Park amid growing pressures

Occupy protesters in Toronto's St. James Park are facing more pressure after Mayor Rob Ford said Wednesday it was time for them to leave. (John Rieti/CBC)

There's more pressure on the Occupy Toronto movement, after the events in London, Ont., on Tuesday night and Mayor Rob Ford's latest comment that it is time they "move on."

Protesters camping out in St. James Park in Toronto's downtown say their site is safe and they should be allowed to remain there.

However, at a news conference held to discuss the Eglinton LRT Wednesday morning, Ford said the protesters should move on. 

P.O.V.:  Is it time for the Occupy protests to move on? Take our survey.

"They've had a peaceful protests but I think it's time we ask them to leave," Ford said, "Again I have to confirm this with the chief and I'm not here to speak on the chief's behalf ... I think everyone can appreciate it's been a peaceful protest but I think it's time that we ask them to move on."

This follows the eviction of Occupy London protesters in the southwestern Ontario city. Officers removed the demonstrators' tents from Victoria Park just after midnight Wednesday morning.

The protesters in St. James Park said if they are forced to move they have a tentative plan to relocate — adding that the movement is not tied to one specific location.

Michael Vessie, a protester, said originally they planned on moving further onto the church grounds, but he now doubts the authorities would respect the church's property anyway.

"I think the only reasonable response to lines of police and gas and dogs and shields and helmets and bats and the whole thing is to sit down calmly," Vessie said.

But the protesters have also faced complaints from neighbours who are saying that their generators are too loud at night.

There have also been complaints that the outhouses at the site smell and residents in the area no longer feel they can freely use the space.