A west-end high school is now under investigation by Toronto Police after an employee discovered a disturbing message spray-painted on the building. Investigators were called to Western Technical-Commercial School, located just north of High Park, on Friday morning where they found what has now been deemed a hate crime.
The suspects covered the building’s wall with swastikas, writing “Nazis were here." A Jewish advocacy group, The Friends Of Simon Wiesenthal Center For Holocaust Studies, condemned the act, warning Canadians not to forget that hate is always lurking in the shadows.
"We as Canadians — who describe our country as diverse, tolerant and free — oftentimes forget that anti-Semitism and extremism exist in the country and are growing at a terrifying rate," FSWC president Avi Benlolo explained in a public statement.
"Schools, law enforcement and community members must all join in speaking out against and countering any type of hatred, including when it comes in the form of graffiti,” Benlolo continued.
According to Constable Rob Reid, the case was transferred over to hate crime investigators after a brief consultation with the force’s Intelligence Services department. Police are hoping that the surveillance footage captured by the school’s security cameras will help identify the suspect. Investigators will also be making a point to talk to nearby residents in an effort to identify the suspects.
Incidents of hate crimes in North American reached new heights last year when a gunman entered into a synagogue in Pittsburgh and opened fire, killing 11 victims. It was the worst massacre ever recorded against the Jewish community in the United States.
As the world continues to progress towards a more tolerant and diverse society, it is inevitable that there will be push-back from those who don’t want to see such change take place. It is our duty as Canadians to rise against such hateful acts.