Peterborough couple say children uncovered syringes, crack pipe in Toronto hotel

It was supposed to be a fun family vacation for Katie Spencer, her husband Joe and their two children. But it quickly turned into a nightmare.

The Peterborough-based family made the trip to Toronto for the weekend to attend a monster-truck rally called Monster Jam on Saturday. They had booked a room at the Ramada Plaza Downtown Toronto hotel and they said they ran into problems right off the bat.

“All of the tiles are broken and sharp throughout the hotel and the pool was freezing,” said Katie Spencer.

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But that was just the beginning of their troubles. When the family went up to their room, their nine-year-old son Larsen saw a needle poking out from under the dresser. Katie said she then asked her husband Joe to lift the dresser so she could get a better look at the syringe.

“He lifted it slightly, just enough for my boot to go under, and I just kind of kicked and all of it fell out,” she said.

Katie said there were eight syringes, an opened packet of lubricant and a crack pipe.

“I was disgusted, I wanted to get the kids out of there,” said Joe.

“I was furious,” added Katie.

“My nine-year-old was the one who discovered it all and my first thought was that if it had been my five-year-old that found it, he wouldn’t have told us. He would’ve played with it and he shoves everything in his pocket.”

The couple said what shocked them more than the discovery was how hotel management responded to the incident that night.

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“They came up and looked at the floor and just said, ‘We can give you a room down the hall or you can get your money back. Just push zero on the phone and tell us what you decide,’” said Joe.

The Spencers said management then left the family alone in the room without cleaning up the drug paraphernalia, leaving it strewn across the floor.

Ramada’s parent company, Wyndham Hotel Group, said in a written response that “the safety and well-being of our guests is paramount to us and we are troubled by these allegations as our goal is to always provide the best experience possible.”

“While this hotel is individually owned and operated under a franchise agreement, we take such matters very seriously and we, along with the hotel’s general manager, have reached out to the guest to address the situation,” the statement said.

However, the Spencers said they have turned down any compensation the hotel has offered, including a free two-night stay.

“I told them I had no interest in staying at that hotel ever again,” said Joe.

They said they want to encourage the public to conduct research before picking a hotel and to do a sweep of the room upon arrival.

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