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Toronto's Statistical Crime Rate

Colin Parkinson

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mariomike said:
Regarding Toronto's homicide statistics,

I wonder how many bodies are stashed around this town, including those dumped into Lake Ontario and the inland waterways?

And, the ravine system.

Topographically, Toronto is like San Francisco's hilly terrain - turned upside down.

Despite Metro's growing population, the ravines have been left in their natural state. There has been almost a complete ban on development in the ravines since 1954.

Last night's shooting spree on the Danforth reminded me of when they found a lady not far away. Under the showroom floor of a Chev/Olds dealer on the Danforth. She was in an oil drum.
She had gone MIA from the Linsmore Tavern ( it's still there ) in 1943. She was accidentally discovered ( and identified ) during a demolition in 1995.

Her husband ( a construction worker who poured the concrete ) told the other patrons that she ran off with some guy.

A few years ago, two friends of mine were sent to a call in Riverdale for a "baby not breathing".
It was wrapped in a 1925 newspaper!

Those are just a couple of examples of bodies discovered years later - by accident.

But, it makes one wonder how often that sort of thing happened in the pre-internet era?

We used to call the Fraser river the "Hells Angels retirement home" going by the number of biker bodies we found every spring. Most were never reported missing. Guy leaves home town under a cloud, perhaps mom dead, dad a drunk, gets involved in a gang in Edmonton, comes out to Vancouver, screws up and is taken for a swim one night. Very few people knew he was here and they are unlikely to talk. Just another associate gone. So in essence they just disappeared. 
 

Xylric

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Pulling on my Anthropology hat for a bit, I actually come down firmly on the side of saying that Toronto is inherently dangerous. Thing is, something doesn't have to be violent in order to be dangerous. I could, over time, lay out a generally convincing case that there are a number of factors significantly depressing the incident rates of violent crime within Toronto's city limits, a key example being the abundance of green and blue space, and thus access to nature. But it's easy for me to go into too much detail about that, so I'll focus on the rest of my point.

We have several million members of a hyper-predatory species with a heavy psychological (and physiologial) predisposition towards smaller packs crammed into exceedingly close proximity. That's likely going to cause a significant disruption and confusion to our native patterns of behavior, arousing a sense of agitation. It goes without saying that an agitated predator is *always* dangerous. The problem comes from the fact that most of us are too "smart" to admit that we're still simply very much extraordinarily advanced predators, and we like to think that we can continually ignore our baser impulses and instincts. I think the tendencies of children below a certain age to pull on things like beards, hair, or tails of unfortunate companion mammals because they haven't grasped that the act causes pain neatly demonstrates the foolishness of such thinking.

As I am the descendant of both the extreme rural and the suburban environment, I've seen such a divergence due to proximity or lack thereof firsthand. Up at the family farm, which originally consisted of an entire valley of around 2000 hectares near Sault Ste. Marie, the closest neighbor which wasn't a relative or close family friend was about twelve miles away. Where I am currently, it's instead next door. While I'm still commonly leaving my door unlocked while I'm going to get the mail or picking up a pizza at the plaza across the street, I still lock it at night or when going away for extended periods of time. I don't believe my great-uncle ever locked the farmhouse, even when travelling the eight hours to visit the rest of the family.

Looking at all the crime statistics of Toronto and comparing them on a per-capita basis with more remote settlements (for example, Kapuskasing, where my brother lived and worked for 18 months), I'm considering the possibility that the extreme artificiality of the deep urban environment Toronto represents is itself viewed as a threat in the deepest and oldest parts of the human brain. Urban and suburban residents are, at least to me, clearly more paranoid and distrustful than their more rural and remote counterparts, when speaking in broad strokes. Canadians appear to be among the least paranoid and most trusting people on the planet, so it's not like I have reliable subjects to study!  :rofl:

My conclusion is that Toronto's crime rate isn't simply increasing, it's also transitioning. Gang activity is rather fascinatingly similar to certain wildlife studies involving significantly disrupted ecosystems, so it seems to me that one factor in the increased visibility of criminal activity is not due to the fact that it is happening more often, but because of the explosive proliferation of cameras and recording technology.

One can argue that New York City is vastly more dangerous and violent, and yet I would still feel rather comfortable crossing Central Park at night - I'd simply study the migratory patterns of the local human wildlife before attempting to do so. :)
 

mariomike

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Xylric said:
I could, over time, lay out a generally convincing case that there are a number of factors significantly depressing the incident rates of violent crime within Toronto's city limits, a key example being the abundance of green and blue space, and thus access to nature.

You may be on to something. The natural boundaries of my neighbourhood are a lake on the south, a river on the west and a pond on the east. Lots and lots of big old trees.
Although only planted in the 1950's, the Sakura trees from Japan are my favorite.

Bloor West Village ( a shopping and entertainment district ) to the north. "A small village in a big city."

I think I live in a nice neighbourhood. Couldn't even buy a drink here ( except at the Legion ) until 2000. The Legion shut down when the area voted to go wet.

As for the rest of Metro, after being retired for ten years, much of what I know about it now is what I see on CP24, and read on here.  :)

A 2017 ranking of 60 cities by The Economist ranked Toronto as the fourth safest major city in the world, and the safest major city in North America.
http://safecities.economist.com/safe-cities-index-2017
 

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Xylric

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mariomike said:
You may be on to something. The natural boundaries of my neighbourhood are a lake on the south, a river on the west and a pond on the east. Lots and lots of big old trees.
Although only planted in the 1950's, the Sakura trees from Japan are my favorite.

Bloor West Village ( a shopping and entertainment district ) to the north. "A small village in a big city."

I think I live in a nice neighbourhood. Couldn't even buy a drink here ( except at the Legion ) until 2000. The Legion shut down when the area voted to go wet.

As for the rest of Metro, after being retired for ten years, much of what I know about it now is what I see on CP24, and read on here.  :)

A 2017 ranking of 60 cities by The Economist ranked Toronto as the fourth safest major city in the world, and the safest major city in North America.
http://safecities.economist.com/safe-cities-index-2017

If I'm not mistaken, the street car system passes that are at its south end - I love the view from Queen street.
 

mariomike

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Xylric said:
If I'm not mistaken, the street car system passes that are at its south end - I love the view from Queen street.

Yes. That would be the 501 car along the south. 506 is the "end of the line" car from the east.

When I was a boy, we also rode streetcars along the north. But, they were replaced by the subway.
 

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