Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center (FSWC) on Wednesday condemned anti-Semitic graffiti that was discovered at a Toronto school this week.
Toronto police confirmed with FSWC that a swastika and the words "all heil Hitler" were found drawn in chalk on Dublin Heights Elementary and Middle School, which is located in an area with a large Jewish population.
A caretaker reported the graffiti to police on Tuesday.
"It is extremely alarming and disturbing to see such a message of hatred written on a school, particularly in a city like Toronto which prides itself on diversity and tolerance," said Jaime Kirzner-Roberts, FSWC's Director of the Campaign Against Antisemitism.
"We are pressing police to complete a thorough investigation in order to identify the perpetrator and lay appropriate charges. Hate has no place at our schools or anywhere else in the country."
Toronto police are currently investigating the incident and canvassing the area for witnesses and surveillance footage, FSWC said in a statement.
FSWC is reaching out to the school to offer its educators and students current online or future in-person workshops that address Holocaust history, anti-Semitism and human rights issues.
A report released last month found that anti-Semitic incidents in Canada rose to a record high for the fourth consecutive year.
The League for Human Rights, part of B’nai Brith Canada, recorded 2,207 anti-Semitic incidents in its 2019 Annual Audit of Anti-Semitic Incidents. That is an 8% increase over the 2,041 incidents from the previous year and an average of more than six per day.
Ontario had the greatest increase and Quebec saw the largest number of incidents for the second year in a row. Ontario and Quebec are home to the largest Jewish communities in Canada.
Earlier in April, a spate of anti-Semitic graffiti in the downtown Toronto area appeared to blame the COVID-19 pandemic on “the Jews.”
That month, a Judaica store in Toronto that had been closed due to the coronavirus outbreak was broken into and vandalized.