Man shot to death in north end is Toronto’s 89th homicide this year — tying grim record set in 1991

A man’s shooting death overnight Wednesday in north Toronto marks the city’s 89th homicide this year, matching a grim record that has stood unbroken for nearly three decades.

Police responded to Ann Arbour Road, in the area of Albion and Weston roads, around midnight after several callers reported hearing multiple gunshots.

Officers found a 25-year-old man badly injured and “without vital signs” inside a vehicle at the scene. He was taken to the trauma centre at Sunnybrook Hospital, where he later died of his wounds.

Police did not have information about possible suspects and could not say whether the man was shot while inside the vehicle or if he got into it after.

Homicide detectives and forensic investigators were at the scene early Wednesday. Police also used canine units to help canvass the area around the scene, said Toronto police Det.-Sgt. Jim Gotell.

The victim’s death brings to the total of slayings in Toronto this year to 89, a figure that has stood as the most homicides in a single year in the city since 1991.

While Toronto remains a relatively safe city in terms of rates of violent crime, 2018 has been marred by a number of high-profile shootings. Among those that raised particular public ire were a shooting at a Scarborough playground that injured two young girls, the brazen daylight slaying of two young men with ties to the city’s hip-hop scene and a mass shooting during bustling summer evening on Danforth Avenue.

Police statistics show an increase in shooting deaths in 2018, with 46 recorded so far this year compared to 35 in 2017 and 34 the year before.

Gun violence and its root causes have become hot-button political issues as a result. Mayor John Tory has endorsed a complete ban on handguns within city limits, while both the province and Ottawa have contributed new funding for youth programming aimed at providing opportunities to especially vulnerable young people.

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