A Neighbour Went on a Racist Tirade Over Mural Painted on Family's Garage

In an anonymous note, the neighbour said the painting made the area look like a “low income ghetto.”
Manisha Krishnan
Toronto, Canada
September 18, 2020, 6:49pm
Toronto ghetto mural
A Toronto-area mom said she received racist hate mail over a mural on her garage. Photos by Joanna Lavoie/Torstar and Sapna Shah via Facebook

A Toronto-area mom received an anonymous note accusing her of making her neighbourhood “ghetto” because she had a mural painted on her garage door. 

Earlier this week, Sapna Shah, who lives in South Etobicoke, said on Facebook she received a “nasty message” in response to the mural, which shows rolling golden hills and some constellations. 

Shah posted the note, which said (in all caps), “You just devalued all of the homes in this area with that hideous graffiti at the front of your house. It has made the entire neighbourhood look like a low income ghetto.” 

VICE News has reached out to Shah for comment but has not yet received a response. 

The lengthy note, which was addressed to “ghetto garage door,” went on to accuse Shah of being “tasteless” for subjecting her neighbours to the artwork. 

“Every visitor we have will now have to drive by that shit on the way to us like they’re driving through the hood,” the note said. 

Shah told Toronto.com the note was the second she received over the mural—the first said, “You do not live in a house! This is a community.” 

In her Facebook post, Shah said her 6-year-old asked her “why someone wrote such a hateful letter to us.” 

She told Toronto.com the letter had “undertones of racism, elitism, and classism” hidden behind a complaint about property values. 

“We’re a brown family. How dare you say ‘low-income ghetto’ to anyone, let alone a brown family,” she said. 

Shah posted the note in a neighbourhood Facebook group, where she received hundreds of supportive responses. 

She told Toronto.com she has filed a police report and installed security cameras at her house, and has no plans to remove the mural. 

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