Toronto
Toronto iStock

A suburban park north of Toronto, Canada was defaced with antisemitic graffiti, which was discovered on Sunday.

According to a social media post by B’nai Brith Canada, the graffiti consisted of a swastika that covered a sign explaining how to perform jumping jack exercises and the phrase “Sieg Heil” written on a trail map. In both cases, the vandalism was done with black spray paint.

The park is located in Markham, a city north of Toronto in York Region.

“Sickened to see this antisemitic graffiti scrawled on a sign in a Markham park,” B’nai Brith said. “Police will be informed and B’nai Brith Canada will also follow up with the City of Markham to make sure this repugnant act of hate is removed immediately.”

The City of Markham responded to B’nai Brith’s tweet: “Good afternoon, thank you for bringing this to our attention. This has been reported to our Parks Department to look further into and have removed.”

Hours later, B’nai Brith praised city staff for their “swift attention” to the incident.

On Monday, Markham Mayor Frank Scarpitti condemned the antisemitic graffiti and said the he “stand[s] firm against antisemitism.”

“City of Markham staff removed the antisemitic graphics yesterday,” Scarpitti said. “York Regional Police were also contacted as they take hate crime seriously.”

“These vile and hateful markings have no place in our community,” he added.

The incident was not the first time Markham has experienced antisemitic vandalism.

In 2017, antisemitic and racist graffiti was found scrawled at three Markham schools.

Police subsequently launched an investigation into the disturbing messages that equated Jewish symbols with Nazism and made reference to the KKK and “white power” which were found on playground equipment at two area public schools and at a high school.