Anti-semitic vandals target condos
Willowdale homeowners outraged as police search continues
Toronto Police Service (TPS) has launched an investigation after several tenants found anti-Semitic notes and swastikas posted on their doors last week at Peninsula Place, a condo building in Willowdale.
Several mezuzahs, small cases containing scripture verses and hung on door frames, were vandalized or stolen, and notes which read, “No Jews” and bearing an obscenity above a swastika written in red ink, were found on the doors.
“Judging from the handwriting, it’s not a very educated person and not very sophisticated,” said Helen Chaiton, a resident who has lived in the building for 18 years. Her first mezuzah was broken on Saturday, and hours later, her replacement mezuzah was stolen and replaced with a note.
“Even the swastika leaves a little bit to be desired. I mean, if you’re going to do a swastika, at least get it in the right direction.”
The incident reminded her of her parent’s own escape from the Holocaust, and the history of antiSemitic remarks and actions she faced growing up.
“It’s ignorance and stupidity and an act of cowardice, and the scapegoating of people who have been scapegoated for millennia,” Chaiton added.
After the incident, Toronto police arrived at the building and launched an investigation.
“This is something that we take extremely seriously,” said director of corporate communications for TPS Mark Pugash. “These [incidents] are very disturbing not only for the victim but for the community generally. And we will continue to investigate until we find the people responsible and put them before the courts.”
TPS is now investigating the incident as a Hate Bias crime.