Once Upon A City: The 1992 riot that served as a wake-up call for police

Outside police headquarters on College St., a works crew was removing several tons of rocks the size of softballs, designed by a landscape architect to look like a dry stream bed near the entrance.

“I’ve got to get rid of the ammo,” one of the workers told a Toronto Star journalist.

The dismantling of a pretty pathway on May 5, 1992, had ugly implications. The night before the city had erupted in violence and no one — least of all the police who’d been on the receiving end of projectiles — wanted a replay.

It was “a mob scene like Toronto has never seen,” declared the Star the morning after the rampage, which began as an anti-racism protest.