Niagara-on-the-Lake’s Pride crosswalk has been vandalized again — along with a newly installed security camera facing the crosswalk.
This time the crosswalk was defaced with tire skid marks and spray paint, with the words “F – – – you” written across the rainbow colours.
This is the third separate incident of vandalism at the crosswalk since its installation on May 30.
Niagara-on-the-Lake’s chief administrator Marnie Cluckie said the vandalism likely occurred shortly after 3 a.m. on Sunday.
A camera, which was installed shortly after the first act of vandalism on the crosswalk, was also defaced with paint.
“Unfortunately, upon initial review, it seems that the vandals may have first painted over the security camera such that you can’t see the vandalism occurring or the person(s) who damaged the crosswalk,” Cluckie said in an email Monday morning in response to questions from The Lake Report.
She said town staff is investigating further.
Cluckie strongly condemned the damage.
“The rainbow crosswalk is an important symbol of diversity, inclusivity and acceptance in our community. This act of vandalism attempts to diminish the spirit of unity the crosswalk represents,” she said.
“It is disheartening to witness such acts in our community and I hope we will join together once again and not allow such incidents to discourage us.”
“The appropriate measures will be taken to promptly clean the crosswalk, ensuring that it can continue to stand as a powerful symbol of unity and acceptance for all.”
She said staff is “currently co-ordinating to have it cleaned as quickly as possible.”
The cleanup cost will be “minimal,” Cluckie said. Total cleaning costs to date have been under $1,000, she added.
Cluckie said Niagara Regional Police are aware of the incident and that staff filed a formal police report Monday morning.
“Staff will work with the (police) and seek ways to prevent this from occurring again,” she said.
Niagara Regional Police did not immediately respond to questions from The Lake Report.
She said the town was alerted to the vandalism Sunday evening.
“We appreciate the importance the crosswalk has within the community and the residents who have reached out to inform the town of any acts of vandalism,” Cluckie said.
“While it is disheartening that this incident has occurred, staff will continue to preserve symbols of belonging and respect such as the rainbow crosswalk and respond to any acts of hateful vandalism. We remain steadfast in our commitment to collectively work towards a more compassionate and inclusive future.”
The crosswalk was also vandalized twice in June, once by a 15-year-old from St. Catharines.