A group of university students and people from Toronto's Jewish community rallied outside the Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre Monday to stand against anti-Semitism days after a threat was called into the facility.
The building at 750 Spadina Ave. near Bloor Street West was evacuated by Toronto police last Tuesday after a report of a threatening phone call. The centre also houses the Paul Penna Downtown Jewish Day School. Similar threats were made to a Jewish community centre in London, Ont. and several Jewish groups in the U.S on the same day.
More than 50 people gathered to show their support and spread their message against anti-Semitism in Canada and promote safety and peace for all.
Marlee Socket, a second-year Ryerson student who organized the event with help from local Jewish community groups, hosted a Facebook event to promote the rally after finding that most students didn't know about recent anti-Semitic events.
"My motivation to do this today was based off of the fact that I've been speaking to students on campus, and students at University of Toronto and students at York University and nobody really knows what's going on. It's been very frustrating," Socket said.
Many speakers at the rally referenced what they call anti-Semitic acts on university campuses throughout Toronto. Specifically, some Ryerson students at the rally said the university needs to do more to protect Jewish students.
Two weeks ago the university fired a teaching assistant in connection with alleged anti-Semitic remarks he made during prayers at a downtown Toronto mosque in 2016. But some students say the university hasn't done enough about anti-Jewish incidents on campus.
Mayor John Tory spoke at the rally, calling acts such as last week's threat "profoundly unacceptable" in a city like Toronto.
"Whether you're Jewish or Muslim or Christian, whether you're black or white or brown or some other skin colour. We all have to stand together and say 'We live differently here. We embrace differences. We treat them as a source of strength and make sure we never waver," Tory said.
Toronto police say the investigation of the threat is still ongoing.