Toronto police investigating Leuty Lifeguard Station graffiti as hate speech

Toronto police are investigating a case of vandalism that includes a swastika and the words "Hail Hitler" spray painted on the Leuty Lifeguard Station, a historic structure in the city's Beach neighbourhood.

Structure defaced with crude drawings, derogatory terms

The Leuty Lifeguard Station in the Beach was defaced with racist graffiti. (Paul Smith/CBC)

Toronto police are investigating a case of vandalism that includes a swastika and the words "Hail Hitler" spray painted on the Leuty Lifeguard Station as hate speech. The hate crime unit is involved in the investigation. 

Residents were outraged by the act of vandalism, which defaced the iconic structure in the city's Beach neighbourhood with crude drawings and derogatory terms.

Life-long Beach resident Anthony Piticco described it as "the worst graffiti" he has seen in the Beach.

"It's really terrible. It's disgusting. I'm embarrassed to be a person of this neighbourhood knowing that there are other people in this neighbourhood like this," he said. "I've never seen anything this bad in my life."

Police investigate at the Leuty Lifeguard Station in the city's Beach neighbourhood after it is vandalized with racial slurs and crude drawings. (Paul Smith/CBC)

Scott Rondeau whose house overlooks Leuty Station says: "In this day and age, I'm surprised that it's happening… I'm hoping that it's punk kids that are doing it for shock value and not because it is something that they value or think it's important… But either way, it's disgraceful."

"In this world that we live in, we need to breed positivity and not hatred and that stuff breeds hatred," he added.

Local councillor Mary-Margaret McMahon also condemned the vandalism.

"This will not be tolerated anywhere in our community, our city, our world," she wrote on Twitter, adding that the city's Parks, Forestry and Recreation department is addressing the incident.