noose toronto

Flurry of hate crime incidents in Toronto has people concerned

Toronto Police's hate crime unit is investigating several separate incidents that have occurred in the city over the last month, including hateful anti-Black graffiti and nooses at Toronto construction sites. 

The most recent incident occurred on Friday, after subway riders reported a woman had vandalized a TTC train with racist graffiti. 

The perpetrator, whose image has been circulated online by a woman who was harassed by the vandalizer, has yet to be identified or charged.

TTC spokesperson Stuart Green called the incident "a clear hate crime" on social media, and confirmed that the train was taken out of service to have the hateful slur removed. 

That incident follows disturbing incidents at three construction sites around the city where nooses have been found over the last month. 

The first incident was reported to police on June 10, when two Black employees found two strategically placed nooses attached to construction equipment at an EllisDon worksite at Michael Garron Hospital.

Yet another noose was discovered at an EllisDon construction site at 81 Bay Street this past Thursday.

The hate paraphernalia was discovered hanging on the 27th floor of the building. According to CBC reporter Dwight Drummond, a worker also said that someone had written "Black Lives Don't Matter" on washroom stalls on site. 

"This is a disgraceful act by someone weak and cowardly,” said EllisDon's CEO Geoff Smith.

“We will do everything possible to identify, prosecute and evict anyone involved from our industry. The perpetrator has acted in a way to try and achieve notoriety and even influence by sowing division and hatred. We will never allow that to happen."

The following day, the Daniels Corporation reported finding a noose at a work site near Dundas and Sumach. 

"We are disgusted and horrified at this heinous act, which we are treating as a hate crime,” said Daniels Corporation president Mitchell Cohen said.

While chilling, the incidents should effectively serve the larger purpose of ending the debate on whether anti-Black racism exists in the city. 

Lead photo by

Dionne Callaghan


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