Toronto closes street after powder scare

Toronto first responders recently closed two blocks of a major street located in the city's Greektown neighborhood after a Canada Post employee noticed a suspicious brown powder.

The Toronto police dispatched its chemical, biological, radiological nuclear and explosive unit to a postal sorting station on Danforth Ave. after the employee discovered the powder leaking from a package. They closed the street for approximately one hour while conducting tests on the material, according to

The street was reopened after the unit determined the powder was sand that had been included in a birthday greeting card.

At the same time last year, Toronto police closed a portion of nearby Parliament St. after a package containing a suspicious powder was discovered at the offices of Liberal Leader Bob Rae and Ontario MPP Glen Murray, according to

A 50-year-old woman was arrested and charged in connection with the incident. She was known to have frequented the building and was seen dropping off the package.

The powder was determined to be harmless, but seven employees complained of coughing, sneezing and itching after the discovery. They were treated at the scene and released.

"This is not a consistent problem, but there are occasional calls," Constable Tony Vella, a police spokesman, said, reports.