St. James campus safe after dangerous package reported

The main building of George Brown College’s (GBC) St. James campus at 200 King St. East has been declared safe after a report of a dangerous package forced the evacuation of the building this afternoon.

At approximately 12:30 p.m. an alarm went off and staff evacuated the college’s St. James A building, forcing hundreds of students outside.

Toronto police said they first received a call from GBC security about a possible explosive package at 12:10 p.m.

GBC later stated that security had received a message suggesting that there was a dangerous package inside and the decision was made to evacuate the building.

Police throughly swept the building but did not find any suspicious package and declared the building safe. The college told students and staff they could re-enter the building at 1:35 p.m.

“Better safe than sorry!” said GBC student Natasha Burtenshaw-deVries who had been taking a mid-term exam when the alarm went off. “I had left in the test centre with the clock still running, thankfully they were great to deal with when we got back inside and I’m sure my prof will be understanding too.”

A spokesperson from the college said that this is the first time there has been such an incident at the college in her memory.

On Friday, March 16 CBC reported that police detonated a replica grenade in front of the Air Canada Centre. It was one of four suspicious packages reported by police in Toronto that day.

“There’s nothing at this point indicating that it is in fact connected,” said police constable Allyson Douglas-Cook. “Obviously that will be explored as it always is in situations like this because of the similarities but at this point there’s nothing indicating that they’re related to each other. “

Correction: An earlier version of this stated an incorrect time that the building was declared safe to re-enter. The Dialog regrets the error. 

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St. James campus safe after dangerous package reported