An Ontario woman is issuing a warning after she says a hidden camera was found inside a Tim Hortons restaurant.

Hamilton resident Emily Hasler told CTV News Toronto her sister found the camera around 11 a.m. on Sept. 22 at a Tim Hortons, located at 30 Queenston Road, when she was with her young child.

“After my niece finished going to the bathroom, my sister-in-law was cleaning her up and noticed that there was a camera hidden in the corner,” she said.

A phone had allegedly been placed in a pile of garbage, with a slight opening around the camera. She said the phone was attached to a battery pack, which could have allowed the camera to operate for a longer period of time.

Photos posted to Facebook show the phone was placed in an empty Tim Hortons cup, with what appears to be tissue paper on top.

Hasler said the restaurant manager was informed and that a security camera showed what appeared to be a male entering the bathroom with the device.

“The men's bathroom was closed for plumbing issues,” Hasler said. “I guess they were having the men use the women's bathroom, which I guess would be the time when the guy got in there unnoticed.”

hidden phone

Police have confirmed they are investigating the incident and said when officers attended the scene, the cellphone was still recording. Officers seized the cell phone as evidence.

“It's scary for any individual to find a cell phone in such a vulnerable area,” Hamilton Police Cst. Indy Bharaj said. 

The investigation is ongoing, police said. No charges have been laid and there are no suspects at this point in time.

“It’s just like a violation,” Hasler said. “You just feel disgusting after that.”

“You don't know it wasn't streaming. Was it just recording? We don't know.”

Hasler said the east-end coffee shop is near an elementary school, and by the end of the day there are usually a lot of students inside buying treats and beverages.

The family is now issuing a warning to others to be mindful of their surroundings.

“I go to the bathroom all the time. I don't think, ‘Hey, should I look around for a camera?’ But the reality is that there are sick people out there.”

CTV News Toronto contacted Tim Hortons for comment but has not received a response.