Arsons shock perfect little North Toronto neighbourhood
Moore Park residents awaken to burned-out cars and a family home set on fire
A local resident of Moore Park in a quiet, leafy Toronto neighbourhood near the corner of Bayview Avenue and Moore Avenue was getting her children ready for school when she discovered her midtown neighbourhood looked like a war zone.
Shortly before 3 a.m. that morning, a spree of arson attacks had left several cars and garages totally burnt and one house on her street in flames.
“I didn’t even know what happened until our friend, who was picking up my child from school, couldn’t get down our street and called us,” said the woman, who requested her name not be used for personal reasons.
She walked outside to find it blackened, blocked off and swarmed with media, fire trucks and police.
“We were lucky that we kept our cars locked,” she said. Although she was spared any property damage, she has a friend on the street who lost three cars.
“It was very apocalyptic, one car was completely shelled out.”
It appears that people whose cars were locked were saved from the attack, but others who had left their car (or cars) unlocked, had theirs set on fire.
A surveillance video, released by Toronto Police Service, that was taken at the scene shows a dark figure — believed to be the arsonist — walking by an open garage.
“What’s really scary is that they set a house on fire with a family inside. That’s maniacal,” she said.
The worst damage was to a house that caught fire at the end of Burnham Road, and the flames reached the second floor where a five-year-old child was sleeping.
Luckily no one was hurt as a result of any of the fires.
Nearly two weeks after the attack, serious wreckage remains, including car-sized burn marks in the road, a blocked off corner property and a lot of unsettled residents.
“This happened in our seemingly perfect little neighbourhood,” said the resident, who had just moved into the area with her family one month before the incident.
This area of Moore Avenue — including Burnham Road, Evergreen Gardens, Heathbridge Park, Windmill Road and Nesbitt Drive — is typically a very safe neighbourhood.
Kids play hockey in the streets, there are basketball nets in many laneways and people leave their cars unlocked.
“Nothing like this has ever happened in this neighbourhood,” said Toronto city councillor John Parker, who had arrived at the scene early that morning after hearing the news in a radio broadcast on his way to work.
“So far it seems to have been a completely random act by a person whose motives are unclear.”
Parker said that although he has faith in Toronto police to do a great job, he believes it is going to be difficult to find a suspect with the limited evidence they have to work with.
Police are urging anyone with information to please come forward by contacting police, at 416-808-5300, or Crime Stoppers at 1-800222-TIPS (8477).
One of many burned out cars in Moore Park