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'Disgusting': Newmarket mayor outraged after 16 large planters on Main Street vandalized
July 30, 2021

York Regional Police are investigating after 16 large planters were vandalized on Main Street in the middle of the night between July 28 and July 29, Mayor John Taylor said.

Residents are "outraged" by the vandalism that saw planters turned over and plants spilled out on the sidewalk and into the street, he said.

"I think that speaks volumes about the pride people have in our downtown," Taylor said of the community response.

"The other thing it speaks to is after a year and a half of COVID and people pitching in and going through hardship and trying to pull together and pull through, people don’t have patience for this kind of nonsense... It’s unthinkable."

Police could not be reached for comment, but Taylor said he has spoken with the officer in charge of Newmarket.

"At 5 a.m., our staff contacted YRP," Taylor said. "YRP are aware of (the vandalism). I’ve contacted the superintendent for 1 District, Kelvin Chantiam, and asked him to really take this seriously and look into this fully because I would like us to identify, if possible, who did this," he said.

"It’s infuriating. We’ve had a planter tipped over in the past; we didn’t call YRP and engage the police. We fixed it and put it back in place, but this wasn’t some kids who weren’t thinking at the time. Somebody decided to be very destructive over and over and over again."

The vandalism is even more disheartening as business owners try to rebound from the pandemic, Taylor said.

"When I think of all these small business owners who are struggling through COVID on our Main Street in the downtown, the BIA, our town staff with the pride they take in the planting programs and downtown and how much we’ve invested as a town in the downtown, how much the business owners have invested and then somebody comes along and does this? I think it’s disgusting," he said.

"I really hope we can identify the person. We had some graffiti that went on a few years ago downtown and we were able to identify."

The town has cameras at municipal facilities, but Taylor is confident store owners will have footage they can share with the police.

He didn’t have a cost estimate of damage, but said staff have been cleaning up the mess for many hours and some new plantings will likely be required.