Officials remove vandalism on cenotaph outside Torontos Old City Hall – CTV News

Officials remove vandalism on cenotaph outside Toronto\s Old City Hall - CTV News
Old City Hall cenotaph vandalized with graffiti overnight, hours after Remembrance Day service
City officials are removing graffiti found on a cenotaph just outside Old City Hall the morning after Remembrance Day.

On Tuesday morning, the words ye broke faith and "with us" were seen spray-painted on two sides of the monument.

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

Toronto cenotaph vandalized with spray paint

The words appear to reference the line, "If ye break faith with us who die," from John McCraes poem "In Flanders Fields."

Blue spray paint reading "ye broke faith" in capital letters was scrawled on the base of the monument. On the back of the cenotaph, there is more spray paint that reads "with us."

DAMAGE: Bay St & Queen St W – reports that the cenotaph has been vandalized (spray paint) – officers o/s investigating – any info pls call 4168082222/8085200#GO2184146 ^al

Const. Alex Li said someone alerted police at 7 a.m. By noon, city crews had started the work of pressure-washing the graffiti off of the historic structure.

Speaking to CP24 outside Old City Hall, Toronto Mayor John Tory called the act of vandalism disgraceful and completely unacceptable.

You have to ask yourself what kind of person would do this kind of thing any day of the year, especially on the day after Remembrance Day when you had thousands of people place poppies here in somber and solemn remembrance of those who served us, he said.

While it's unclear who vandalized the memorial, it's possible the message references the well-known John McCrae poem In Flanders Fields.

The good news side of this … whatever idiot did this, used a bad kind of paint. The cold weather, if you want to look for a silver lining in cold weather, helped and its coming off with no damage, it would seem, to the monument.

Mayor John Tory called the act "disgraceful" and "unacceptable," especially because of the timing of the incident.

A small group of Toronto police officers joined crews Tuesday afternoon to help clean the cenotaph and move the Remembrance Day wreaths out of the way of the powerwasher.

"We thought we would come down and at least come down and help clean this up because its a disgrace and we are going to show that we are not going to stand for it," said Sgt. Rob Mcdougall with Toronto Polices 52 Division said. 

"Disgusting to see a monument to our heroic veterans disrespected by this shameful act of vandalism," he wrote.

On Monday morning, a Remembrance Day ceremony was held to honour fallen soldiers of the First World War and hundreds of people were in attendance. Wreaths and flags remained outside the historic building, located at Bay and Queen streets, the day after and are seen in the images capturing the spray-painted words.

Investigators believe an innocent 23-year-old man was shot and killed while heading home from work along a Mississauga highway one year ago just because he was in the same type of vehicle as the intended target.

Premier Doug Ford tweeted about the incident and said he hopes police will find the person responsible. 

This copy is for your personal non-commercial use only. To order presentation-ready copies of Toronto Star content for distribution to colleagues, clients or customers, or inquire about permissions/licensing, please go to: