Together, Hundreds of Longboarders Ride Through Streets of Downtown Toronto


Longboarders Riding as a Collective in the Streets of Downtown Toronto. Hundreds of longboarders descended on Toronto City Hall and other downtown locations Saturday afternoon in a planned event called a board meeting. Many of the participants wore black ties and white shirts in keeping with the theme. LUCAS OLENIUK/TORONTO STAR

see source reprint from the Toronto Star

Several hundred longboarders surprised drivers, and police, when they took over downtown streets Saturday, September 10, 2011.

Decked in white dress shirts and ties — “because it’s a board meeting,” skateboarder Dan Slater quipped — they held up traffic as they zipped through stop lights, riding from Yonge St. and St. Clair Ave. to Bellevue Square in Kensington Market.

Pedestrians stopped to take pictures and several drivers honked in support of the event.

A dozen police officers on bicycles followed the group to “keep the peace and make sure everyone’s safe,” said Staff Sgt. Andy Norrie, adding that skateboarding on roads is “technically illegal.”

The organizers didn’t apply for a permit or give police any notice. “At this point, we’re not in a position to arrest hundreds of people,” Norrie said.

Early estimates showed at least 300 skateboarders took part, he said, adding that more came later. Event organizers pegged attendance at 900.

Mike McGown created the event nine years ago to promote the sport and give longboarders across Ontario a chance to meet. Longboards are longer than typical skateboards, and designed for cruising or racing.

“I think there were 35 people the first year,” he said. “It’s just ballooned.”

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