06/25/2015 02:10 EDT | Updated 06/25/2016 05:59 EDT

Miniature community library set on fire

Naomi Jardine and Doug Hadders developed a small, community-minded way to share literature with their neighbours: a wooden box housing a small collection of books and magazines that sat at the foot of the couple's front yard.

Early Thursday morning, however, the Little Library, as they called it, was burned down.

"In the wee hours of the morning, vandals set fire to the library and all the books inside," said Jardine. "We're quite sad and upset that this happened."

She said the library was well-received by the west end community.

"There was a huge response and people were using the library constantly to share and exchange books," she said. "We even had an official ribbon cutting ceremony for it at our block party."

Neighbours on Crawford Street, near Christie Pits, sprung into action upon seeing the charred library box.

"The silver lining is how quickly our neighbourhood has rallied," said Jardine.

In a matter of hours, the couple reports they had an "outpouring of support" and neighbours have started offering donations for the materials for the Hadders to build a new Little Library.

"We already feel re-energized," she said. "The good-heartedness of people easily overwhelms the actions of a few angry, drunk or destructive people, whoever they were."