May 22, 2019 7:04 pm

New rainbow crosswalk in Bowmanville vandalized

WATCH: The region has its first rainbow crosswalk. But as Aaron Streck reports, it didn't take long for someone to vandalize it.

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After months of fighting for the region’s first rainbow crosswalk, the hard work of three sisters in Bowmanville has finally paid off, and the city’s east end is a little more colourful these days.

“It’s so beautiful,” said Emily Allison, with A Rainbow Crosswalk for Bowmanville.

“There’s nothing more beautiful than a rainbow and it really makes everyone smile no matter what your views I think,” said Allison.

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READ MORE: Halifax to add more rainbow crosswalks ahead of 2019 Pride festival

Allison and her two sisters created a Facebook group, fighting for the crosswalk.

Members of their families identify in the LGBTQ2 community.

For them, the rainbow crosswalk is a sign of inclusion and pride.

“We’re really seeing the community being more inclusive as a whole no matter [or] how you identify, but it really is nice for these kids who identify to know that they belong, that people stand behind them, that the community stands behind them,” said Allison.

“Community is about inclusion, support,” said Adrian Foster, Clarington Mayor. “That’s what this rainbow crosswalk is about.”

The Bowmanville rainbow crosswalk is the first in the region. The giant stick was rolled out Monday evening at the intersection of Mearns Ave and Apple Blossom Boulevard. By Wednesday morning someone had already vandalized the colorful crosswalk.

“We have some people that are concerned, no questions about it but there are literally hundreds of letters of support so this is something the community is behind,” said Foster.

WATCH: (September 2018) Fleming College unveils rainbow crosswalk

As for Allison, she’s not letting what happened faze her.

“I’m hoping this is just a one off and that we can go forward with being positive about how our crosswalk is going to hold up,” said Allison.

READ MORE: Merritt council rejects students’ rainbow crosswalk. Vancouver lawyers offer their lots instead

Residents in the area are also disappointed to see the tire tread marks that were left going across the length of the crosswalk. They hope it gets cleaned up soon.

“It’s a great idea, it’s beautiful, it’s nice to look at — why not promote inclusiveness in the community?” said Dani Robins, Bowmanville resident.

“We saw the rainbow crosswalk yesterday, we thought it was wonderful. In fact, we shared a picture of it with family in Edmonton,” said Doug Wentzel, Bowmanville resident.

The municipality of Clarington paid half of the $8,000 bill. And while Emily and her sisters helped raise the other half, it took them only five days to do so.

A dedication and ribbon cutting ceremony will be taking place at the rainbow crosswalk on June 13. The municipality says it hopes to have it cleaned up in time for the celebration.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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