Home > Announcements, Contemplations, Life, The Universe, & Everything > Unfortunately, Racism Is Alive And Well In Toronto

Unfortunately, Racism Is Alive And Well In Toronto


The other night I was out at a great restaurant located in North York for my friend’s going away party. My night was ruined by the most racist experience I have ever had.

I decided to walk out onto the patio in the middle of the night to see if anyone I knew was out there. I looked around when I got out and saw a couple people sitting at the edge of the patio. One of the people, a young lady, shouted out to me, “Heil Hitler!”

I looked at her in utter shock. My brain just didn’t compute that anybody in Toronto in 2011 would have the audacity and lack of sense to say something like that.

After about 5 awkward seconds, she opened her mouth – aka stupid hole – and said, “German?”

I finally found my voice and said – still absolutely not comprehending the situation fully, “No. Jewish.”

I expected her friends/the people she was with to start apologizing profusely. I expected someone on the patio (which, to be fair, was mostly empty) to say something. Nobody said a word.

I expected her to start expressing massive amounts of regret for the disgusting display of racism and antisemitism for which realistically there is ZERO EXCUSE. But she didn’t. She pointed to one of the guys standing outside the patio and either said that he told her to say it or he was Jewish and that therefore made it OK. (It didn’t.)

I continued staring at her for another few minutes and told her that was an epic fail. She told me epic was a big word. I continued staring at her for another minute and then went inside.

I was just so astounded at the whole situation and it just goes to show you how close we are – even in an enlightened, Western country like Canada in the 21st Century – to hate without reason and racism. I refuse to believe she didn’t know what she was saying when she said her hateful comment. There is no excuse to say something like that, ever.

Let’s all be aware of people out there like that and not let this hate propagate.

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  1. June 16, 2011 at 10:03 am

    This is shocking. This has prompted me to write my story too, though it was 20 years ago. I just hoped that something had changed. Let me know where it was and we’ll hunt her down! 😉

  2. June 16, 2011 at 2:14 pm

    Wow! I’m dumbfounded, Dan.

    My only experience (aside from childhood bullies) has been two incidents that may or may not have been racial profiling by the cops. Too long a story to get into here but ask me about it next time you see me in person.

    Raymond AKA The Funky Barrister

  3. June 16, 2011 at 3:01 pm

    Though I am not shocked at the racism occuring in Toronto or any where for that matter, I am not sure how “well” it is. Most racist people keep their racism closeted. I think though this was an absolutely terrible thing to do and say, I don’t think it happens often, maybe I am neive though.

    I have experienced racism myself but generally from people that i also believed had a mental disorder as well. It generally happens to me on transit systems. I have called the white devil, and evil and several other odd things. Only once i confronted someone and that was the only one that i thought was saying these things and not suffering from a mental illness. He was telling two boys that you had to watch out for white people and you couldnt trust them. I made eye contact with him and he called me the devil or somehting similar to it. I basically told him he was no different then the people in the southern US teaching kids to hate based on skin tone. He went off and I just got off the bus. Maybe he also had some mental illness as well. What is odd about my experiences is that most people don’t expect that I would ever encounter it. I have no decernable cultural background, just generic white.

    I am sorry you had to experience this. I hope that this does give you any jaded feelings.

  4. Sasha Andrew
    April 4, 2012 at 3:24 pm

    I feel this comment was a sign of the woman’s idiocy; not of hatred of Jewish people.

    • April 4, 2012 at 7:56 pm

      Thanks for the comment Sasha. While I agree with you she is an idiot I think the fact that no one said anything to this person when she yelled out such a disgusting comment is indicative of the general attitude of people today and that’s a big problem.

      Do I think it is directed solely at Jewish people? No. I feel as if no one would have said/done anything if she had yelled racial slurs at, for example, an Asian person.

      However the issue here is really encapsulated by a quote by American President Ronald Reagan talking about freedom (it was said March 30,1961 – years before he became President and fittingly 51 years and a few days before today).

      I am going to paraphrase:

      “Equality as well as protection from discrimination and hate is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it on to our children in the bloodstream. The only way they can inherit the equality as well as protection from discrimination and hate we have known is if we fight for it, protect it, defend it and then hand it to them with the well thought lessons of how they in their lifetime must do the same. And if you and I don’t do this, then you and I may well spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it once was like in Canada where people were equal no matter their race; national or ethnic origin; color; religion; gender; age; sexual orientation; and mental or physical disability.”

      (If you want the full quote plus an audio recording of Reagan speaking it in a speech go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SDouNtnR_IA)

  5. Irwin
    May 8, 2012 at 8:21 am

    I experience it a lot as a first nations person, other night in gay village of and my friend had to sit next to white men complains that native people don’t pay taxes, which is not true, we say all sorts of taxes working off the reserve, so i had to hear tiger rant of what they deem to be a game out while i was celebrating my friend finishing another semester at U of T. And we only drank two pints of beer….

  6. Irwin
    May 8, 2012 at 8:23 am

    I experience it a lot as a first nations person, other night in gay village of and my friend had to sit next to white men complains that native people don’t pay taxes, which is not true, we pay all sorts of taxes working off the reserve, so i had to hear their rant of what they deem to be a hand out while i was celebrating my friend finishing another semester at U of T. And we only drank two pints of beer….

    • May 8, 2012 at 1:24 pm

      That’s horrible Irwin. Sorry to hear you had to listen to that.

  7. Lula
    August 27, 2012 at 12:50 pm

    I had never experienced racism before in Toronto, and really thought it was a great city and place to live. Until I went to “the local”, we were there around 1230 and knew we were cutting it
    Close considering bar close was at 2 but decided to grab a few beers. For
    Some reason the
    Server took a very long time to come to our table so my friend decided to investigate and go up to the bar. He returned 10mins later and said he was not being served by the bar tender so I laughed it off and decided to step up myself. (having worked in the service industry before as a bar tender I know all the tricks of the trade) I finally flagged him down amd ordered then he promptly said “no”. Thinking it was a joke (I give people the benefit of the doubt wayy too much) I said ok seriously, our drinks please. He said you guys-meaning me and my friend- do not tip. Now..this was our first drink there, so te tip was still pending right? I laughed and asked again for the drinks and he said “FUUCK OFF”. We walked right out. I suddenly realized what he meant by “you guys”. It was not about us but the people we are. This guy has a problem. And needs to be stopped from behaving like this. I wont tollerate that kind off treatment. Especially when its unprovoked. Down with the local. Pure hatred for people of colour… so sad.

    • August 29, 2012 at 3:05 pm

      @Lula: Thanks for sharing the story – that is just messed up!

  8. Truheart
    March 23, 2013 at 11:07 am

    Read a few scenarios here and decided I’d share my experience with racism. First off let me just state that I’m from NYC and was always under the impression that Canada (definitely Toronto) was far more civilized especially when it comes to racism. Well one day my lady and I were walking on our way back from a seeing a movie in downtown Toronto, we actually made a pit stop and had beers at Jack Aston’s off of Richmond st. And as we crossed the street a white male just blurted out “nigger”. My immediate response was to smash him. But seeing as though I’m in another country and was with my lady I didn’t want her to experience that. I must say I was caught off guard and have since changed my view on Canada it’s just like anywhere else in fact in all my life in NYC even in the south I have never experienced such a thing.

  9. Gil
    June 10, 2013 at 10:36 pm

    If you think that is shocking, just live here and you will soon discover that while Canadian racism is usually more subtle it’s just as destructive. White supremacy is stronger and more entrenched in the power structure here than in the USA.

    • June 10, 2013 at 11:40 pm

      Gil: if by here you mean Toronto I do live here. Thanks for weighing in either way! Never thought of White Supremacy being more entrenched in Canada vs the USA.

  10. Anonymust
    October 19, 2013 at 11:24 am

    Duh, racist Toronto, surprise! I went to Osgoode Hall law school and the racism displayed by some of the students was a surprise for sure. I am not joking: a blind student I knew once blurted out the most racist anti-black phase I’ve ever heard. Surprise, he was from small town Ontario so to be expected I guess. But yes, he was blind. Racism is everywhere and after you experience it all your life you can never let it go. The burden of being non-white.

  11. Jane
    November 7, 2013 at 8:30 pm

    I am mixed white races and the biggest racist event that happened to me was when a moslem landlord made me homless in ottawa and I have no family here and was new to the city. Apprently when u rent in his building your not allowed to go on dates. The same thing happened to the woman before me……

  12. Jane
    November 7, 2013 at 8:35 pm

    The second racist event was when I had to move and my government worker who is not in my culture (from some strange african nation) would not allow me the second month rent therein I had to leave ottawa and move to small town rockland, which lead me into a very dangerous situation with landlords who were involved with hells angels.

  13. Canadian
    December 1, 2013 at 11:49 pm

    Editor’s Note
    Possible defamatory comments by this commenter – which had nothing to do with the original post – removed as of July 1, 2014.
    Sole reason this comment has been left is so the below threaded reply remains.

    • Defamation Lawsuit
      June 30, 2014 at 6:44 pm

      Vilifying respectable female teachers is a pastime for delinquents and misogynists.It is certainly possible to find out the details of a computer that was used to make these libelous posts about Vivian. The libelous posts have done irreparable harm to Vivian that the persons responsible should be jailed and charged with blaspheme and hate crimes against women.

      We will find out your identities. Even if we have to investigate every staff at Martingrove Collegiate Inst. to find evidence, it is not impossible.
      If Vivian, Gordy’s and Abrams lawyers have to search every school locker, every notebook every washroom, every students backpack, and every trace of internet history of the teachers and students, it will be done to counter
      the misogynist and slanderous postings of these teachers.

      Vivian and the other victims of the misogynist and libelous posts need justice. It does not matter if businesses who do not comply with our
      subpena requests are forced to liquidate or enter bankruptcy. How can you sleep at night after posting such terrible posts about three respected teachers?

      The California Judge was correct when asserting that defamation and misogyny hold no grounds for right wing constitutional laws. Every teacher and student in Martingrove is a suspect. Every teacher who worked with Vivian, Gordana and Abrams are suspects. Misogyny is a terrible crime, and defamation of the victims of misogyny are extremely terrible and horrific.

      Their lawyers will work around the clock to obtain evidence, and here is one request which will be allowed by the court to find the libelous posters;

      I.P addresses, geolocation, warrants to search through computers, blood test information, stool test information, DNA samples; Income tax returns;Employee records, and much more
      to PROVE THESE ANONYMOUS POSTERS GUILTY OF THEIR ACTIONS.

      Now before you anonymous cyberbullies complain to your lawyers, YOU ALREADY LOSE! Ex parte applications are exempt from the excuses of the Charter!

      Time for Vivian to teach you cyberbullies a lesson about slandering her good name! Prepare for incarceration, legal damages, a criminal record and legal payback!

      • July 1, 2014 at 9:16 pm

        The original comment you replied to has been removed once I realized its possible defamatory nature.

  14. February 9, 2014 at 9:07 am

    Its most of the minorites new to canada who are racist, this is the problem in toronto.

  15. February 9, 2014 at 9:09 am

    Just to advise- there is no more slavery by whites in the world however its growing in africa and india by their own people. India has a few million slaves as young as 5 years old. And regarding poverty in canada-whites are the biggest group of poor people not blacks, its from 35 years of preferential treatment of nonwhites so whites have been neglected outside the big cities.

  16. February 9, 2014 at 9:15 am

    Stompin Tom Connors was so poor as a child (he is white) that at age 3 his mother and him roamed the highways in search of food and shelter. He was born in 1936 in the poorest city in canada which is 98% white. There was no welfare in canada then.

  17. February 9, 2014 at 9:16 am

    And take a picture in toronto if you see a nonwhite new to canada who hires a local white person. I have yet to see this. I go into their places and its all their people. Hows that for racism.

  18. anne
    March 30, 2014 at 6:04 pm

    Editor’s Note
    Possible defamatory comments by this commenter – which had nothing to do with the original post – removed as of June 27, 2014.

    Sole reason this comment has been left is so the below threaded reply remains.

    • NOTICE OF DEFAMATION
      June 27, 2014 at 12:42 am

      Dear ANNE:

      As you know, you replied to a slanderous post claiming that Vivian Mavrou was responsible for improper conduct with minor students. THAT ALLEGATION IS COMPLETELY FALSE. To make it perfectly clear, Vivian Mavrou nor Gordana Stefulic sexually harassed their students at the TDSB.

      Nevertheless, you and your blog continued to make these false claims about Mavrou and Stefulic.

      I contend that your insured is liable for defamation. Your blog post was a false statement of fact that you negligently or even intentionally published on the internet.

      If Vivian Mavrou and Stefulic sues you in trial, they will win.

      Female teachers will not stand by and allow this misconduct to continue.In defense of Vivian Mavrou and Gordana Stefulic we hereby that demand you:

      1) Retract the blog post about the TDSB and remove all comments
      2) Arrange a list of the I.P. addresses, email addresses, login information and GPS locations of all your users of the blog
      3) Refrain from notifying your users of the release of their metadata stored on your blog
      4) A record of internet users from 1995 to 2014. You will be required by the Supreme Court of Canada to store logs for an extended
      period of fifty (50) years.

      5) A draft agreement which gives us your consent to browse through your bank accounts, computer hard drives and bank statements for any signs
      of evidence and criminal activity.

      6) A written and public apology to Vivian Mavrou and Gordana Stefulic for your slanderous posts and comments.

      Failure to delete the offensive posts will result in legal and civil proceedings against your organization.

      In defense of Vivian Mavrou and Gordana Stefulic.

      • June 27, 2014 at 12:59 am

        Hi there,
        Sorry the comment you replied to slipped by my notice. As soon as I noticed it I deleted it and changed it to the above message. It had nothing to do with the post to begin with so if you’d like to just delete your reply, I can delete the entire thread.
        Very sorry it slipped by my notice until now. I have no idea why the comment was even on this post since aside from being in Toronto they had nothing to do with each other.

  19. Defamation Lawsuit
    June 30, 2014 at 6:46 pm

    REMOVE THIS ENTIRE THREAD AND CLEAN YOUR INTERNET CACHE OR ELSE THE SCREENSHOTS FROM YOUR WEBSITE WILL BE USED AS EXHIBITS IN COURT.

    WE EXPECT YOUR COOPERATION,

  20. Defamation Lawsuit
    June 30, 2014 at 6:49 pm

    DAN LEVY,

    WHAT IS THE I.P ADDRESS OF “ANNE”? KINDLY SUBMIT ALL RELAVANT INFORMATION TO THE TDSB CUSTOMER SERVICE. MISOGYNY IS A TERRIBLE HATE CRIME. GIVING THE TDSB THE I.P ADDRESS OF THE OFFENDING POSTER WILL BE USED IN A POLICE INVESTIGATION AND POSSIBLE CRIMINAL CHARGES UNDER THE HATE SPEECH LAWS.

    • June 30, 2014 at 6:52 pm

      Please stop yelling in the comments & threatening me. I am not a lawyer but am pretty sure in order for me to release that kind of information to you you need a court order.

      • Douglas
        July 1, 2014 at 8:27 pm

        The TDSB needs the I.P address, and you will be sent to court in the States to face trial if you fail to hand over the required information.

        Three teachers need to solve the case of the defamatory posts, and we will not tolerate hate speech and defamation on the internet.

        We expect your cooperation, or expect a subpoena letter if the need arises.

  21. Douglas
    July 1, 2014 at 8:24 pm

    Reminder to Dan Levy:

    Don’t play silly games. Hand over the I.P addresses of all the commentators on your article. The teachers need the evidence to file civil and criminal charges of defamation.

    Such a shame that minorities are free to talk slander about white female teachers.

    And you my friend, are a self-loathing misogynist for attempting to house and hide the information the teachers need to file a lawsuit against these disturbed individuals.

    The TDSB would never hide anything from the public & we value civil liberties as much as you do, but slander and defamation are no grounds for freedom of speech.

    Failure to hand over the I.P addresses will result in a subpoena application against your website and business premises. WordPress is probably in the U.S, and you will be sent to court if the Ontario Principals Council finds you guilty of harbouring the defendants.

    Hand over the information, Dan Levy. You wouldn’t want to have a criminal record wouldn’t you?

  22. Court order in Arizona denied SLAPP lawsuits
    August 4, 2014 at 9:46 pm

    Ontario Principals’ Council et al v. Giglinx Global Incorporated
    Filing 10

    ORDER DISMISSING CASE, the ex parte application 1 under 28 U.S.C. § 1782 for leave to conduct discovery in the District of Arizona for use in contemplated litigation in Ontario, Canada, and for an order protecting disclosure of such discovery is denied; the Clerk shall terminate this action. Signed by Judge Steven P Logan on 8/1/14. (REW)

    IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
    FOR THE DISTRICT OF ARIZONA

    Ontario Principals’ Council, Gordana Stefulic, Vivian Mavrou, and Varla Abrams
    (collectively “Applicants”) have filed an ex parte
    application under 28 U.S.C. § 1782 for leave to conduct discovery in the District of Arizona for use in contemplated litigation in Ontario, Canada, and for an order protecting disclosure of such discovery. (Doc. 1.) For the reasons that follow, the Court will deny the application.
    I. Background
    Applicants are comprised of a professional association of elementary and secondary school professionals,a member of that association, and school administrators in Ontario, Canada. Applicants allege that they have been the target of defamatory comments anonymously posted on Topix, LLC (“Topix”) websites, accusing them of acts of misconduct and illegal activity, including sexual acts involving minor students.
    Applicants refute the allegations and seek to bring a defamation suit against the online posters in Canada. Applicants have obtained certain internet protocol (“IP”) addresses associated with
    Topix user postings. (Doc. 2 at 3.) Applicants assert that Giglinx, an internet service provider (“ISP”) incorporated in Arizona, was linked to three of the user IP addresses
    In re Application of Ontario Principals’ Council, Gordana Stefulic, Vivian Mavrou and Varla Abrams, Applicants. No. MC-14-00050-PHX-SPL ORDER Ontario Principals' Council et al v.
    Applicants move this Court to subpoena Giglinx to identify the subscribers of those IP addresses.

    The Court notes the tracking information provided by
    Applicants indicates “ISP: nLayer Communications.” (Doc. 2 at 42-43.)
    However, Giglinx appears to be the ISP organization to which the IP addresses were reassigned by nLayer Communications for use in their internal networks.
    at 263-4.

    In considering whether to grant a 28 U.S.C. § 1782 request, a district court considers several factors: (1) whether the “person from whom discovery is sought is a
    participant” in the foreign case; (2) the nature and character of the foreign proceeding, and whether the foreign court is receptive to judicial assistance from the United States;(3) whether the discovery request is an attempt to avoid foreign evidence-gathering restrictions; and (4) whether the discovery request is “unduly intrusive or burdensome.”

    III. Analysis
    A. Satisfaction of Statutory Requirements

    Applicants meet the statutory requirements of 28 U.S.C. § 1782. Giglinx is located in Scottsdale, Arizona and Applicants are interested persons who intend to seek relief by
    commencing suit in Ontario, Canada. In order to apply for discovery pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1782, a formal proceeding in the foreign jurisdiction need not be currently
    pending, or even imminent, as is the case here.

    B. Satisfaction of Discretionary Factors
    In considering the Intel factors, discovery is sought from Giglinx, which will not be a participant to the foreign proceedings. The evidence may be unattainable by the Canadian court but would be within this district court’s jurisdiction and accessible in theUnited States. Intel Corp., 542 U.S. at 264. Nothing in Applicants’ request suggests it is an attempt to circumvent foreign proof-gathering restrictions,nor does the Court find the request runs afoul of policy of the United States.

    Further, in considering the nature and character of the foreign investigation, the information sought has the potential to be relevant to the contemplated proceedings. However, while Applicants
    generally satisfy these first Intel factors, the Court concludes they are significantly outweighed by the burden of the request.
    First, the Court is unable to determine the terms of the discovery sought by Applicants because their proposed subpoena names companies and IP addresses not subject to the instant Giglinx request. (SeeDoc. 1-1, “Attachment 1.”) Second, assuming arguendo that the attached subpoena is merely a filing error, Applicants have nonetheless failed to show any reasonable likelihood that the subpoenaed party would have the information they are seeking, in that, they have not shown that Giglinx’s disclosures would uncover the identity of any actual defendant online user.

    Applicants show nothing to demonstrate that the Giglinx subscriber and the defendant Topix user will be the same individual. The potential to draw numerous innocent internet users into
    the litigation, placing a burden upon them, outweighs Applicants’ need for the discovery. Granting Applicants the form of relief that it seeks would impermissibly allow them to subpoena an ISP to obtain the detailed personal information of unknown numbers of unrelated individuals that Applicants could never make party to its foreign suit and potentially subject them to onerous, invasive discovery.
    This risk is evident by Applicants’ failure to previously obtain this information despite the series of other similar discovery requests sought in other district courts throughout the United States.
    See In re ex parte Application of Ontario Principals’ Council , 5:13–mc–80237–LHK–PSG, 2013 WL 6073517
    (N.D. Cal. Nov. 8, 2013);
    In re Application of Ontario Principals’ Council , 2:13-mc-00120-LKK-KJN, 2013 WL 6 844545 (E.D. Cal.
    Dec. 23, 2013);
    In Re Application of Ontario Principals’ Council, 5:14-mc-80186-BLF
    (N.D. Cal. Jun. 18, 2014). Therefore, the Court declines to exercise its discretion and will deny the application. Accordingly,

    IT IS ORDERED that the ex parte application (Doc. 1) is denied
    .
    IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the Clerk of Court shall terminate this action.
    Dated this 1st day of August, 2014.
    Honorable Steven P. Logan
    United States District Judge

  1. June 17, 2011 at 5:15 pm

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