police cruiser

Hamilton Police's Hate Crime Unit is investigating a potential hate crime. (CBC)

Six McMaster University students have moved out of a house in Westdale after a series of alarming incidents — including a knife being stuck into a wall of their house one night last week, according to the father of one of the students. 

The six women are Muslim, and have reported the incidents to police. 

Hamilton Police confirmed that the Hate Crime Unit is investigating a reported incident that took place at the same location, but will not discuss specific details while the investigation is ongoing, said Const. Stephen Welton. 

"Hamilton Police takes all reports of this nature seriously," Welton said. 

The father of one of the students told CBC News that the students have found temporary housing elsewhere. CBC agreed not to name him or his daughter to protect the women.

Before the knife was discovered, there were earlier incidents including one where possessions appeared to have been rummaged through. The incidents frightened the women and they had begun sleeping in the same room, the father said.

The incidents have come just before exam time and have the women feeling very upset, the father said. 

"It is very sad," he said. "It is a heartbreaking thing."

McMaster University spokesman Wade Hemsworth said "the university is unable to provide any information."​