Anti-Semitic and white supremacist stickers and posters shock Hillcrest Village neighbourhood
Sticker found at school grounds by local resident Matt Sadowski
On Monday, Hillcrest Village resident Matt Sadowski found small stickers at the front gates of Hillcrest Community School near St. Clair and Bathurst. The stickers were adorned with a swastika and the words “white land.” After he posted what he found on a community Facebook page he soon found out he wasn’t the only one that was finding anti-Semitic posters and stickers in the area and through midtown Toronto.
“I was disgusted, mad and afraid. This is both a Jewish and multi-cultural area,” said Sadowski. “It's why we live here and why we live in Canada. For its diversity.”
Following his post, dozens of people commented on how shocking it was to see such things in the family neighbourhood, but many also said that they’d found other posters in Wells Hill Park area directing people to a hate-fueled, anti-Semitic website hosted on Minds.com. But that wasn’t the end.
“I knew this meant that this was not an isolated one-off and more will come. And lo and behold, the next day (today) I find more,” he explained.
On May 28, B’nai Brith Canada released a statement about the incidents after learning of the Wells Hill Park posters as well as other anti-Semitic material put up on the walls of Dave’s restaurant, a family establishment in the Hillcrest neighbourhood on St. Clair Avenue.
“The public promotion of anti-Semitic messages in the heart of this country’s biggest city is totally unacceptable,” said Michael Mostyn, Chief Executive Officer of B’nai Brith Canada. “These posters are part of a perverse attempt to target Jewish and Israeli Canadians and ostracize them in their own neighbourhoods.
“We expect the police to treat this matter with the seriousness that it deserves, and for local residents to reject this anti-Semitic propaganda.”
According to Toronto Police Service, the incident was reported and officers arrived on the scene and a report was taken. The case has now been assigned to a detective who will be conducting an investigation.
For Sadowski, what happened doesn’t change his outlook on the area, but it had an impact.
“It does cause me concern for my children,” he said. “And it makes me feel a tinge of what my grandfather must have felt as a young man during the Holocaust.”