Church in downtown North Bay repeatedly vandalized

Three windows at Trinity United Church in downtown North Bay currently have plywood instead of glass.

Staff at the church said Monday they have been continuously getting vandalized for the past several months.

“I would say in the last year and a half, we have seen an increase in garbage, vandalism and needles,” said Lisa Blais, a minister at Trinity United.

“More recently, in the last six months, we have had four windows broken. We have four big windows here beside the church and there’s metal bars outside of them. It’s very hard for them to get in. They’re not trying to get access to the building. It’s just straight up vandalism.”

Now the church is looking for ways to increase security on the property, with hopes the vandalism will stop.

“I’m hoping that maybe an increased presence with the police that could maybe come by on foot patrol,” said Blais.

“We are looking at getting a stronger lighting system, so that the lights are on all the time at night to increase visibility. We are getting security cameras put in and we don’t want to do that, but it’s become necessary. We have bars on our windows with bars on them that won’t get broken.”

While the recent acts of violence at the church have been discouraging, Blais told CTV News the church is still focused on the need of the community through its food bank offered each week.

“It’s a variety of people -- a lot of families that need that support. We also have homeless people and people on pensions and fixed income,” she said.

“It’s the lack of jobs because of COVID, and lack of resources available for people.”

Blais said the food bank has seen an increase of 25 per cent since the start of the pandemic.