Over the past few weeks, the Church-Wellesley Village has been the target of several hate messages delivered by email, regular mail, and graffiti. These are serious crimes and they appear to be motivated by, or linked to, Neo-Nazi ideology. I have met with the Toronto Police and they informed me that these incidents are being actively investigated.
These targeted threats, harassment, and hate crimes are unacceptable. Our community will not be intimidated. The Church-Wellesley Village has always been, and always will be, a welcoming and inclusive home to Toronto's LGBTQ2S community and those looking for acceptance.
If any community members should be targeted, they are encouraged to report it to the Toronto Police Service at the earliest opportunity through 416-808-2222. Physical hate mail should be handled as little as possible and placed in a paper bag, handling only the corners of the letter or pamphlet. Hate emails should not be deleted, as police need digital records for their investigation. Graffiti should be reported to police who will photograph it in accordance with evidence standards before it is removed.
I am encouraged by the Toronto Police Service's swift reaction to these incidents and the presence of our Villagetown community officers who have been building relationships in the Village for the last two years. Finally, I look forward to working with residents and business owners to bolster our pride as we kick-off Pride Month and come together again in celebration. This is our village!