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Toronto the Good… Or Not

Toronto the Good… Or Not-mileniostadium
Créditos: DR

I grew up in a city that was always a safe place to live …. l never had to think twice about locking my doors or ever looking over my shoulder when l went out for a walk. The windows to the family car sometimes were left open and the next day, nothing would be missing. Everyone in my neighborhood knew each other and there was an unwritten rule that if l wasn’t home, my neighbors would be very vigilant and look after my interests.

Those days seem to be long gone…

Toronto is a wonderful city and a very beautiful one at that, with unbelievable neighborhoods and diversity being its strength. The landscape and its breath-taking waterfront make it a very unique city and one of the best in the world. This city has a unique character and a soul that many large cities do not have, but like all that’s good, there is always some bad.

Toronto is the most developed city in Canada. This is the largest and the capital of the province of Ontario. Considering it’s a metropolitan city, some of the neighborhoods in Toronto experience crime and violence making some areas violent and you be careful visiting these neighborhoods, especially at night. It’s important to mention that overall Toronto is a fairly safe city. I will try to give you some context describing some of the spots in this city that have a high number of incidents based on statistics. If you compare the numbers with other cities such as New York, you will note that many spots in Toronto have a similar share of problems.

Some of the problematic areas are described below and starting with Regent Park being one of them. This neighborhood located in downtown Toronto has a very seedy past and a notorious reputation. During development, Regent Park was being set up to accommodate citizens who were poor and not as permanent residences, everything changed, and Regent Park was no longer a transitional area, and subsequently became permanent homes and turned into one of the poorest areas. It’s still the case to date. This area is faced with a sea of challenges ranging from substandard housing to poor education. However, current development plans will make it a better place.

St. James Town is one of the most densely populated areas in Canada and is part of the Toronto fabric. It is also the largest high-rise community in the country. Its location is between Parliament Street and Sherbourne Street. The crime rate in this area is also high but not like Regent Park making it one the toughest spots in Toronto and things changed and deteriorated, making it one of the poorest spots presently. The dense population of this community makes it prone to higher violent occurrences and this area is one spot that you need to stay clear of at night. The average crime rate is 10 per 1000 people and 24 per 1000 property. The crime related activities in this area are theft, robbery and sometimes murder.

Flemingdon Park which is situated in the former city of North York is another spot that has detrimental issues including violence, assaults and petty crime. This community has made it to the list of the worst neighborhoods in Canada and that translates to negative imagery for the area. Regardless of the good work and amenities in this area, crime and violence continue in many schools, this area has the highest crime and violence anywhere in this country. The apartment buildings in this area were assembled so close to each other, that it makes it very easy to commit crime and get away quickly. The average rate of crime is 5 per 1000 people and 7 crimes against 1000 properties. The crime rates are also a result of poor security and a festering of continuous small-time crimes.

Moss Park is located south of Dundas Street East in the area near Parliament and Jarvis Streets. Talking of property crime, this area holds some of the highest records and continuous assaults and robberies occur on a nightly basis. Moss Park is ranked first in terms of violent crime. The records show that there is an average crime rate of 20 per 1000 people and 46 per 1000 property crime. Not a spot you should visit anytime soon.

Weston is also located in the former city of North York and is notorious for crime and murder.

This section of Toronto has many apartment buildings clustered together which makes this area a haven for crime and very difficult to prevent. The adjacent area of Jane & Finch has a shooting almost on a nightly bases and many of these areas are not normal travel zones, in my opinion.

Toronto has good, bad and ugly, but in general this city is an example of diversity, but it has its challenges. However, l do want to point out that the city takes on a completely different vibe at night than during the day.

How safe is our city?

While Toronto ranks high in a global ranking of cities, we still need to be very vigilant that our ongoing crime issues don’t get out of hand. Many of bad areas are a black cloud over the many good things that this city offers. We all need to do our part about reporting.

Be smart, be safe and be careful where you travel in this town.

Vince Nigro/MS

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