Toronto

Driver smashes into 10 storefronts, mosque entrance during rampage in Leaside

The male driver allegedly crashed into a Home Depot, Staples, Marshall's, Sobey's and an Oshkosh B'gosh outlet, among other retailers. He's also said to have damaged the doorway of a mosque, Toronto police say.

Police say male driver started crashing into various locations shortly after midnight

The driver smashed into Home Depot, Staples, Marshall's, Sobey's and an Oshkosh B'gosh outlet, among other retailers. The doorway of a mosque at Bartley Drive and Sufi Crescent was also damaged. (Martin Trainor/CBC)

A male driver is facing multiple charges after he allegedly smashed into 10 different storefronts and buildings, including an Ismaili Muslim centre, in Leaside on Wednesday morning.

Shortly after midnight, the driver — behind the wheel of a black Mercedes — began crashing into locations in the area around Eglinton Avenue E. and Laird Drive, according to Toronto police Sgt. Paul Lentsch.

Among the buildings hit were: Home Depot, Staples, Marshall's, Sobey's and an Oshkosh B'gosh outlet, among other retailers. The mosque doorway was also damaged in the process,  Lentsch said.

"The reason for causing the damage is unknown," he told CBC Toronto.

Robert Lowrey's Piano Experts on Eglinton Avenue East was among the locations smashed. (Martin Trainor/CBC)

After police were called, a brief pursuit ensued on the Don Valley Parkway, though that effort was abandoned by officers. 

At about 3:30 a.m., the male was located on Shepmore Terrace in Scarborough and arrested by officers with 42 Division. He was then transferred to the custody of 55 Division, where the vehicular rampage began. 

Lentsch had no further information about the driver and said that investigators do not believe he was impaired by alcohol or drugs at the time.

He now faces several mischief-related charges, and possibly several others, including flight from police and dangerous driving. He is expected to appear in court later today.

With files from Linda Ward

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