TORONTO, Ontario — On a hot August night, not all that long ago – and for the next four consecutive nights – the good citizens of Toronto went crazy and ignited the largest riot in the city’s history – and one of the largest anti-Greek riots in the world.
On Friday August 1, 1918, approximately 20,000 soldiers and civilians attacked, looted and destroyed every Greek restaurant they could find – while police and militia, overwhelmed by the violence, just stood by and watched.
On Saturday night, however, the police struck back. Fired by vengeance and adrenaline, they raged through the city’s streets with clubs and whips striking out indiscriminately. An estimated 50,000 rioters, civilians and police waged furious battles for hours in the city’s downtown core. Hundreds were injured, including innocent women and children, and damages, in today’s values, totaled more than $1,000,000.