The Nativity scene at Old City Hall in Toronto has been vandalized six times in seven years. Photo by Ruane Remy

Vandals strike — again — at Nativity outside Toronto's Old City Hall

  • November 30, 2012

Updated 03/12/12

Toronto - Shattered plexiglass and tape is now what stands between the Nativity scene in front of Toronto's Old City Hall and the elements.

Vandals struck the Nativity scene at the corner of Bay and Queen Streets Nov. 29. With one statue decapitated, this is the sixth time in seven years that the Nativity scene has been vandalized, including one year when the statue of baby Jesus was stolen. The head of a statue of a lamb is missing, but the statues of Mary, Joseph and the baby Jesus remain visibly untouched. The structure is expected to be fixed by its sponsors, Gethsemane Ministries.

"It's going to cost us around $1,000 at least," said Suresh Dominic, founder and director of Gethsemane Ministries.

A lay Catholic movement, Gethsemane Ministries took over sponsoring the Nativity scene in 2005 from the Thomas More Lawyers' Guild of Toronto. It purchased a new manger at a cost of about $5,000 and uses the space for free with permission from the city.

"I feel very disappointed to see this (vandalization) happening over and over again in the city of Toronto and to see such intolerance towards Christianity," said Dominic.

Toronto Police have taken a report and are investigating.

The traditional manger scene has been at the centre of controversy before. In 2009, donors were accused of using the Nativity to play pro-life politics because of a sign on the back of the structure that paid tribute to the late Fr. Ted Colleton, who is a hero in the pro-life movement.

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