Toronto police say they have charged a man wanted in connection with a hate-motivated incident after two nooses were found at a construction site in the summer.
On June 10, police responded to a construction site in the area of Coxwell and Sammon avenues, near Michael Garron Hospital.
The construction company, EllisDon, said two Black workers were starting their shifts that morning when they found two nooses on their equipment.
The site is not accessible to the general public, police said.
On Dec. 4, officers arrested 34-year-old Jason Lahay from Toronto in relation to one of the nooses discovered on June 10.
He has been charged with mischief interrupt property over $5,000 and three counts of criminal harassment. He is scheduled to appear in court on Jan. 13.
According to EllisDon, the accused was a sub-trade worker.
“EllisDon wishes to thank everyone who has worked so hard to bring this matter, hopefully, to a close. We also wish to thank the victims specifically, everyone working on this project, the Michael Garron Hospital staff and the local community for their patience and for supporting each other during these difficult months,” President and CEO Geoff Smith said in a statement.
“Most importantly, we recognize that a great deal more work needs to be done to eliminate these hate crimes, and the existing systemic racism within the construction industry and in Canada. Our work is not over, it has just begun,” the statement continued.
Police said a task force for tackling hate crimes was set up in response to several similar reports at construction sites across Toronto.
On June 25, a noose was found at a construction site on 81 Bay St.
In July, a noose was found at an Eglinton Crosstown LRT construction site located near Fairbank Station at Dufferin Street and Eglinton Avenue West.
In September, two more nooses were discovered near the Michael Garron Hospital construction site.
There is no word from police if any of the three other incidents are connected.
Anyone with information is asked to contact investigators at 416-808-5500 or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-8477 or online.
— With files from Daina Goldfinger