If you want to talk about Views From The 6, Polson Pier has one of Toronto’s most picturesque vantage points. Located in Toronto’s east end, the waterfront spot is host to one of the city’s best skyline views, especially when the sun is setting. As a result, many Instagram auteurs flock to Polson Pier, hoping to grab a crucial snap of Toronto’s good side.
On Monday, amateur photographers Matt Small was at Polson Pier taking photos of the sunset, when a helicopter entered the frame. To his surprise, the chopper touched down 20 feet away from him, and revealed a celebrity passenger. Drake exited the helicopter, with the pilot, a male friend, and two “mystery women...dressed identically in matching white parkas, skinny tan pants, tan boots and ponytail hairstyles.”
Small began snapping photos of the group, but the 6 God was in no mood to strike a pose. Drake’s male friend demanded to know who Small was, and when he replied with “nobody,” the situation escalated. According to Michael Massie, another photographer present at the scene, Drake removed his fur coat (revealing a turtleneck and chain, naturally), and scaled the six-foot fence in order to confront Small. Small alleges that Drake was “in [his] face,” saying “You need to delete those pictures out of respect.” Small says that when he refused, Drake began taking pictures of him, repeating, “I got you,” while Drake’s friend tried to grab Small’s camera to remove the memory card. Feeling threatened, Small called out for help, and that’s when Massie stepped in hoping to mediate the situation.
When Massie approached, demanding an explanation, he says that Drake told him, “You’ve gotta get rid of your pictures, too,” and asked him his name. After Massie obliged, he says that Drake pointed back at him ominously, saying “I’m going to find you Michael.”
Rattled, Small returned to his vehicle and began packing up his equipment, when he alleges a black Cadillac Escalade pulled up next to him with Drake and his crew inside, staring at Small before driving away.
Though Small did contact police, an officer told him that if he did file a report, “the chances of it going anywhere are nil.” “It’s just so messed up,” he told the Toronto Star. “I think they were just trying to bully me.” Small maintains that he’s not trying to capitalize from his celebrity altercation. “It was a bunch of punks last night, how they acted,” he added. “I’m really not in this to exploit Drake. It’s just the principle of bullying and walking off and getting into your limo and pretending your actions were OK.”
For someone who deals with paparazzo nearly every day, this whole scene sounds pretty out of character for the Aubrey we know—from the “I’m going to find you, Michael” part, to the mere visual image of Drake scaling a six-foot fence in a turtleneck and chain. If these allegations are true, it sounds like both parties are in the wrong. Putting your hands on someone’s private property? Okay, that’s not cool. But the fact that Drake’s success affords him a lifestyle where he can ride in luxury helicopters doesn’t mean he forfeits his right to privacy. Taking a photograph may not be illegal, but that doesn’t mean it’s never disrespectful. Drake rides for Toronto when he’s in the public eye, but that doesn’t mean he owes us anything when he’s not in the spotlight.
Publishing Matt Small’s unauthorized photos feels a little sus, so we elected not to run them. If you must, you can see them here, along with Matt Small’s full account. See below for Michael Massie’s version of the story, shared via Instagram.