We braved a trip to Fortress Toronto to take in a baseball game yesterday. This weekend the leaders of the G20 nations are meeting downtown, and the whole place has been turned into an impenetrable armed camp. Just being near the G20 security zone without proper ID can get you arrested.
A three-metre-high concrete and metal fence stretches for 3.5 kilometres around the security zone.
Over 5,000 Police and RCMP officers are patrolling city streets with full riot gear at the ready.
Theatres, stores, restaurants and museums are closing for the duration of the lockdown.
The Toronto Blue Jays have moved their next three home games to Philadelphia.
Trains won't be stopping at Union Station, the city's main rail terminal.
And all this is costing me (and the rest of the taxpayers in Canada) more than $1 billion. I hope I can afford it.
I hope you realise I may be risking a lengthy jail sentence by posting these pictures.
We walked from Union Station to the Rogers Centre (formerly known as the SkyDome until Mr Rogers bought it) along the Skywalk.... lots of security evident but an easy walk with Callum in the stroller.
He was pretty excited to get into the stadium.
The Jays were playing St Louis Cardinals... Blue Birds vs. Red Birds. An Avian Assault. A Birdy Battle. Weather was perfect, warm, blue sky, a gentle breeze off the lake. The game was good too... three home runs for the home team, always exciting! We had great seats between third base and home plate.
Callum spotted the Jays Mascot lurking in the back row.
"B.J. Birdie, Hi! B.J.Birdie, hello!" He's waving like crazy, standing on the seat, and amusing all the baseball fans in the vicinity. "B.J. Birdie, come here! Hi, B.J. Birdie!" He wouldn't give up.
Finally B.J. Birdie (who seems to have changed his name to ACE about 9 years ago without me hearing about it) noticed the small boy in the red Tshirt and came over to visit.
OlderSon almost got squashed by the Birdie armpit.
Then in the 5th inning Fred Lewis hit a foul ball from Adam Wainwright straight into BJ Birdie's hand! Birdie (or ACE, whichever you prefer to call him) immediately headed in our direction and, to the delight and cheering of the crowd, presented the ball to Callum, and now I think the two of them are BFF! Callum got his picture flashed up on the giant TV screen.... fame at last!
Oh yes... almost forgot.... Jays win 5-0!
Dontcha love baseball?