During the 1930s, antisemitism was often seen as socially acceptable. There were many instances of permitted antisemitism, including Jews not being allowed to stay at hotels and resorts or visit beaches, golf courses, and parks. There were people who refused to rent living spaces to Jews and boycotted Jewish businesses. Signs indicating that no Jews were wanted showed up across Toronto and Ontario. There were also restrictions placed on the sale of land to Jews, called restrictive covenants.
The press could also be antisemitic, both overtly and subtly, for example pointing out the “Jewishness” of individuals featured in court cases in an attempt to disparage the community. Despite knowing what was happening in Germany at the time, some news articles, such as ones written by the Evening Telegram, cast doubt on reports of the atrocities in Germany leading up to the Holocaust.
Many political players in the city of Toronto were not neutral on the topic, including Police Chief Dennis Draper. He spoke about the violence occurring around the city as a natural response, saying that the “Hebrew people arrived and caused trouble.”