Rainbow crosswalk in Aurora, Ont. defaced hours after unveilling
A permanent rainbow crosswalk is seen at Yonge Street and Wellington Road in Aurora after being unveiled Thursday August 20, 2020. (Pflag York Region /Facebook)
TORONTO -- York Regional Police are appealing for information after a rainbow crosswalk in Aurora was vandalized just hours after being unveiled by the town on Thursday.
The permanent rainbow crosswalk at Yonge Street and Wellington Road was unveiled by the town Thursday morning in support of the LGBTQ+ community and was meant to be “a symbol of acceptance and support of diversity and inclusiveness” according to the town.
However on Friday morning, town staff called York Regional Police after noticing black skid marks over the rainbow.
According to police, a pickup truck was spotted driving over the crosswalk just before midnight on Aug. 20. The truck left black skid marks over the rainbow area, and then returned a short time later and left some more, police said in a news release Friday.
Investigators said they believe the marks were etched intentionally over the crosswalk and are investigating the vandalism as an act of hate.
Police are now asking any possible witnesses or anyone who has dashcam footage from the area to contact investigators.
The motion to install the permanent rainbow crosswalk – the first in York Region – was put forward by Mayor Tom Mrakas in July and was endorsed 5-2 by the town’s council.
The move was hailed by Pflag York Region earlier this week as affirming the lived experiences of all residents.
“Regardless of where you live, LGBTQ2 folks and their family and friends can see their lived-experiences reflected and affirmed in each of their communities,” the group said on social media.
In their release, YRP said they do “not tolerate hate crime in any form. Those who victimize individuals based on race, national or ethnic origin, language, colour, religion, age, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or mental or physical disability will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”