Skip to main content

Businesses 'fed up' with vandalism, theft occurring in Toronto’s St. Lawrence Market neighbourhood

Some businesses in Toronto’s St. Lawrence Market neighbourhood say they are fed up with constant vandalism and theft occurring in the area.

“This happened the day before yesterday, early in the morning. around 7:10,” Karan Dua, the owner of Thai restaurant Khao San Road on King and Sherbourne Streets, told CTV News Toronto Wednesday, pointing to the boarded up door. The glass of the front door was smashed early that morning, before the business opened.

The culprit was caught on security camera footage looking to steal things, and it wasn’t the first time they’d been at Dua’s business.

“This is crazy because it’s the second time in six months,” he said.

The first incident occured on May 5 at 5 a.m, when a man with a rock in his hand attempted to smash the front window of a business, police said.

“He was unsuccessful and left the area,” a news release issued by TPS states.

“That was just a smash,” Due said. “This time, [..] he took the cash register, it was empty, but he took it, and some food from our fridge.”

Toronto police say a quantity of alcohol was also stolen.

A quick drive around the neighbourhood shows other businesses with smashed windows and doors boarded up.

The owners of Tacorito have just repaired their front door. Security footage viewed by CTV News Toronto shows a man wearing a hoodie, his face covered by a bandana, using a hammer to smash the window, then using his elbow to make a hole in the glass, before walking away as a TTC street car approaches.

The businesses claim the problem worsened with the onset of the pandemic when the City of Toronto converted the local Novotel hotel into a homeless shelter.

“It is the third time in the last couple of years we had our window smashed,” owner Mansi Raturri said. “We had three break-ins before and so many times people have stolen money from our cash register. This is so rampant in this area “

Mayor John Tory said police are aware of the rash of break-ins and vandalism in the area.

“We’ve been in touch with the police [..] and the best thing to do is to increase the police presence there, which [..] they’re going to or have done,” he said. “I think, oftentimes, the presence of the police in areas with this kind of activity causes [it] to stop – I hope that’s the case.”

Communications spokesperson for the City of Toronto Brad Ross said in a statement to CTV News Toronto, "“Ultimately people who live in these shelters, the residents of these shelters, people who are experiencing homeless do have a right to be in the community at the same time.

"It is why we work closely with the police as well in addressing some of these serious concerns," he said. Top Stories

Stay Connected