A church in downtown Toronto and a school in the Greater Toronto area are the latest targets of antisemitic vandalism in what appears to be a wave of incidents in the Toronto area.
Two schools in the town of Newmarket were reportedly defaced with antisemitic, anti-Black and LGBTQ-phobic graffiti. Police stated that they had been called in to Newmarket High School after anti-Black graffiti was found in a boy’s bathroom stall and were called back in two days later regarding carvings found in the school that were deemed antisemitic and LGBTQ-phobic.
The following day, police were called in to Huron Heights Secondary School regarding graffiti in the boy’s bathroom that “included a number of drawings, profanities and male genitalia as well as some possibly anti-Black and antisemitic graffiti that has been partially scribbled over.”
Police said that in all instances, the graffiti was quickly removed.
It was also reported that police are investigating after the Metropolitan United Church in downtown Toronto was vandalised with antisemitic and homophobic graffiti.
The Church released a statement in response to the incident in which it said: “Sadly, these acts have grown in frequency over the past years, with our building a regular target. Metropolitan takes action to quickly remove all graffiti, at considerable expense to the church.
“Above all, Metropolitan stands as an affirming church in downtown Toronto with a long history of support for the LGBTQ community. Likewise, Jesus’ teaching to ‘love your neighbour’ is our driving mission and we are therefore dedicated to standing up to antisemitism and all forms of hate.”
These reports follow last week’s in which antisemitic graffiti had been found on a building in Markham, Greater Toronto that is currently being used as a private school but formerly served as a synagogue.
Other recent reports include the news that antisemitic graffiti was reportedly found in four Toronto schools amid what appears to be a spate of antisemitic incidents being carried out among Toronto schools.
On 1st February, two students at North York’s Charles H. Best Middle School reportedly displayed swastikas and gave a Nazi salute in front of classmates in an incident that Principal Elever Baker described as “upsetting and unacceptable.” On 17th February, two students at Valley Park Middle School reportedly performed the Nazi salute to their classmates, while a third shouted “Heil Hitler” from his desk, all in the presence of their Jewish teacher. On 24th February, two twelve-year-old students at Pleasant Public School in the North York area of Toronto reportedly performed the Nazi salute when students were asked to raise their hands for a question.