TORONTO — A 43-year-old man arrested in connection with a weekend church fire in Toronto is believed to be a former parishioner.
Rev. Andrew Maderak of St. John the Evangelist Church says several people in the congregation have recognized the suspect as a former member of their community.
Maderak says he was reminded that he met the suspect a few weeks ago but does not recall the conversation.
Toronto police say Marc Porlier was arrested by the Ontario Provincial Police's Huntsville detachment Monday afternoon.
Porlier, of no fixed address, is charged with arson and mischief over $5,000. He is due in court Tuesday morning.
Police have said Porlier is known to them but have declined to give more details.
Investigators say they received a call around 8 a.m. Sunday morning for the west-end blaze, which they believe was set deliberately. No injuries were reported.
Neil McCarthy, spokesman for the Archdiocese of Toronto, said Easter mass was cancelled as a result of the fire, and it's unclear whether the church will reopen in time for the weekend.
He said the incident has shaken the community.
"It was very tough for them," he said. "Some people were in tears."
Toronto Mayor John Tory said the city is standing in solidarity with the parish.
The Canadian Press