Up to 1,000 Hells Angels members are making their way into Toronto for a memorial gathering today.
The motorcycle club is expected to ride through the city’s east end between 11 a.m. and noon, to honour the life of former member and Toronto boss, Donny Peterson, who passed away in December at the age of 74.
Toronto police warn of potential traffic disruptions as an estimated 800 to 1,000 bikers will form the “unsanctioned” procession.
“We expect a large procession of motorcycles, mainly consisting of members of the Hells Angels, but also members of the public who are motorcycle enthusiasts,” says Toronto police Supt. Scott Baptist.
“This procession will inevitably cause traffic disruptions. We are working with the OPP and York Regional Police to manage traffic and ensure public safety.”
The group gathered in Newmarket around 9 a.m. before travelling southbound on Highway 404. The convoy is expected to make its way south on the Don Valley Parkway from the 404 before heading eastbound on Lake Shore Boulevard.
The motorcade is expected to end at a Hells Angels property at 98 Carlaw Avenue in Leslieville. Carlaw Avenue has been shut down in both directions from Eastern Avenue to Lakeshore Boulevard East until 7 p.m.
As many as 1,000 Hells Angels members are expected to gather for their Canada Run event in Whitby this weekend. According to police, today’s procession has no connection to the upcoming event.
Baptist assures the police’s top priority is to protect the public.
“We’re going to do everything we can to ensure there’s a robust traffic plan, to ensure that traffic moves about the city and that this procession has the most minimal impact on the people of Toronto as possible,” he said.