A North York high school was evacuated yesterday after a pepper spray-like substance was released in one of the school’s hallways.

According to Paul Edwards, principal of Westview Centennial Secondary near Finch Avenue and Highway 400, several students came to his office just before 10:30 a.m. complaining that something in the air was bothering them.

After some investigation, school officials and police discovered that someone had released a pepper spray-like substance into the air.

School officials evacuated the building while the fire department used large fans to air out the building.

Seven students were treated by paramedics, with four of them sent to hospital with minor respiratory illnesses.

Students were able to return to the building after about an hour, said Staff Sgt. Guy Courvoisier, but one hallway remained closed.

Police are talking to students and trying to piece together what led to the incident.

Toronto District School Board spokesperson Kelly Baker said this is the first incident she can recall where pepper spray has been released in a Toronto school.

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