Home
 
Choose Your City
Change City

Workers begin cleaning up 'shocking' mess

After the mayhem, few were as busy cleaning up as Michael Byrne.

After the mayhem, few were as busy cleaning up as Michael Byrne.

Byrne’s company has the contract to fix the broken windows and doors of Starbucks Coffee, whose downtown outlets were targeted by vandals Saturday.

By mid-afternoon yesterday, Byrne and his 10 employees had boarded up with plywood a dozen outlets in a 24-hour period. And he expected to keep working at protecting both smashed and undamaged storefronts until his plywood ran out.

“I don’t think we were prepared for the magnitude of what happened. It’s pretty shocking,” said Byrne.

Byrne started making regular service calls for Starbucks at 5:30 a.m. Saturday. At about 3 p.m., he got his first call from the company to board up a downtown outlet with a smashed window.

Thus began a wild night of ducking protesters and dashing from one outlet to another.

“At Queen and John (streets), we had four attempts to get to the Starbucks ... We were chased away by a protester with a hockey stick one time,” said Byrne, 49, owner of Explore1.ca
On Queen Street West, the scene of burning police cars Saturday, merchants surveyed the damage yesterday and noted there was method to the madness of rioters. They targeted the icons of consumerism and financing.

The list of battered stores on the strip between University and Spadina includes Starbucks, Foot Locker, Nike and Gap. Every bank branch along the strip also had windows smashed.

Independent shop owners were spared — at least by the rioters. These merchants instead complained of a sharp drop in business due to the G20 security lockdown.

 
 
You Might Also Like