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Grenade scare at Casey House expansion closes intersection

Fake grenade found on second floor of building in construction area

Toronto police survey the scene at the Casey House expansion, where construction crews reported finding a grenade. It was later determined to be fake. Credit: HG Watson

A fake grenade at the site of the Casey House expansion closed the intersection of Jarvis and Isabella Streets for about an hour and a half on June 30, 2015.

At approximately 9:30am, construction crews working on the expansion to Casey House — an HIV and AIDS supportive care centre and hospice — discovered a grenade on the second floor of the building behind a radiator. According to Stephanie Karapita, the CEO at Casey House, the site was immediately evacuated.

According to Toronto Police Service Sergeant Corey Crawford, emergency services were called to the scene at about 9:50am, including the explosive disposal unit.

“They disposed of the item safely,” Crawford says. “It was a replica grenade.”

At around 10:55am, a police officer left the building site carrying a red box.

Crawford says that there are no concerns that this may be a hate crime or anything requiring a criminal investigation. He says that it also looked like the replica grenade, which was green in colour and looked like a live grenade, was in good condition.

Karapita says that crews have been working on site every day for many months.

While the scene was investigated, work continued at Casey House’s other location just east on Isabella Street, Karapita says.

Crawford said that this was definitely an unusual situation. “I’ve never been to one [like this] that I can think of.”