‘A disgraceful act:’ Nooses found at 2 Toronto construction sites

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Toronto police investigate hanging noose found at downtown construction site
WATCH: Toronto police investigate hanging noose found at downtown construction site – Jun 26, 2020

Toronto police say they are investigating after nooses were found at two construction sites.

EllisDon, which manages a site at 81 Bay Street along with Govan Brown, said one of the nooses was discovered there on Thursday, prompting police to be called.

“This is a disgraceful act by someone weak and cowardly,” EllisDon CEO Geoff Smith said in a statement.

“We will do everything possible to identify, prosecute and evict anyone involved from our industry. The perpetrator has acted in a way to try and achieve notoriety and even influence by sowing division and hatred. We will never allow that to happen.”

A photo showing the noose was posted on Facebook by user Edward Charles.

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“The cowardice of such racism has no place on any job site,” Charles said in the post, adding that he received the photo from a colleague.

Charles called for anti-racism education to be prevalent on construction sites.

“Based on current events, these conversations should have happened weeks ago,” he said.

EllisDon said leadership within the company immediately held talks with employees following the incident to condemn the act and ask whoever did it to confess.

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Toronto police investigating discovery of nooses at construction site as hate crime

The company said an investigation is underway and added that support has been offered to anyone who needs it.

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Toronto police Supt. Michael Barsky said the site is on the 27th floor of 81 Bay Street.

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Barsky told Global News there are a number of ropes suspended from the ceiling to hold a HVAC system, but added that none of the ropes looked like a noose, except for the one photographed. He said the location where the noose was found is guarded by security and has no public access, and added that no witnesses of the tying of the rope have come forward.

Barsky said officers are continuing to look into what transpired, whether or not it is a hate crime and if it may be connected to a previous incident.

The morning of June 10, nooses were found where two Black workers were stationed in areas of a construction site also operated by EllisDon at Michael Garron Hospital.

In that case, Toronto police investigators have worked with the service’s hate crime unit.

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2nd noose located at different site

Meanwhile, The Daniels Corporation said a noose was also located at a work site in the area of Dundas and Sumach streets on Friday.

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“We are disgusted and horrified at this heinous act, which we are treating as a hate crime,” a statement from the company’s president Mitchell Cohen said.

“We have taken immediate action and filed a report with [the] Toronto Police Service … We have also launched our own internal investigation with independent third-party experts who specialize in health and safety in the workplace to treat this with the severity it warrants.”

A Toronto police spokesperson confirmed to Global News they are investigating the incident, but didn’t provide further details.

— With files from Erica Vella and Daina Goldfinger

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