String of 'anti-LGBTQ' graffiti incidents in Toronto prompts police investigation

Toronto police are investigating a string of "anti-LGBTQ" graffiti incidents this week in the College and Dufferin streets area.

The first incident was reported to police Thursday morning, after area resident Daniel Malen found the words "Toronto hates queers," spray-painted on his garage door.

But when officers arrived to investigate, they found three other similar cases in the area.

​At first, Malen believed the incident was a personal attack. But officers informed him of several other garages marked with hateful comments — including some targeting the transgender community.

Then, a day later, police located another instance of the graffiti, containing the same type of hateful message. 

In total, police say five properties were damaged by the sprayings — and all are now part of a mischief investigation.

Investigators are hoping anyone who spots suspicious behaviour in the area will report it to police by calling 416-808-1100, or leaving an anonymous tip with Crime Stoppers at 416-222-8477.

For his part, Malen told CBC Toronto he took to social media with a photo of the damage to remind people that Canada is not immune to such incidents.

"This is an awful reminder that Toronto and Canada [are] far from perfect," a post on his LGBT-inclusive greeting card company's Facebook page read. "Please let this post serve as a reminder to our fellow LGBTQ that you can never be too careful."