Table of contents:
- Top Ten Major Offences Committed in Toronto
- Violent Crimes Against TTC Passengers Also Increasing
- Toronto Crime Rate by Neighbourhood
- How Many Murders Are Committed in Canada Each Year
- Is Toronto Dangerous?
Toronto consistently ranks high in studies that examine the safety of cities. For example, The Economist’s Safe Cities Index 2021 ranked the Queen City as the second safest city in the world, only topped by Copenhagen in the Netherlands. The Index scores 60 of the globe’s largest cities using 76 safety-related metrics, including health and digital, infrastructure, and personal security. From a personal security standpoint, Toronto ranked eighth in the world.
More recently, rentals platform Rentola.ca compiled an index of the safest cities in Canada, using indicators covering number of residents per police officer, violent and non-violent crime rates, and the crime-solving rate on a scale of one to 10. Of the 34 Canadian cities analyzed, Toronto was scored as the fourth safest. Toronto’s 6.63 score was only a half point lower than the safest city, Barrie, Ontario, with a 7.13 score. However, it was more than two points higher than the least safe city, Winnipeg, with a score of 4.59.
Despite these rankings, crime rates in Toronto are increasing in 2023, according to Major Crime Indicators statistics tracked by the Toronto Police Service. The statistics show that the 35,218 major crimes investigated by police year to date represent an increase of 20.7% over the 29,169 reported by this time in 2022. Note that last year’s 44,765 total represented an 18.2% increase over the 37,888 significant crimes reported in 2021.
Top Ten Major Offences Committed in Toronto
Except for homicide, all major crime offences are experiencing an increase in numbers reported by this time last year. As of Sept. 4, Toronto Police had reported 45 homicides in the city, the same number as recorded by this time last year. However, Toronto closed 2022 with 71 reported homicides.
Of the top ten major offences investigated by police, auto theft has experienced the most Signiant increase. Year to date, police have investigated 8,287 reported auto thefts, a 37.7% increase over the 6,019 reported by this time last year. Auto theft also experienced the largest jump of all major crimes in 2022 when reported numbers climbed almost 50% over the number investigated in 2021.
The top ten major offences reported by the Toronto Police Service for 2023 year to date include:
- Assault—21,398 (up 10.4%)
- Auto Theft—8,287 (up 37.7%)
- Breaking and Entering—4,821 (up 18.9%)
- Robbery—2,086 (up 8.1%)
- Sexual Violations—2,175 (up 12.1%)
- Theft Over $5,000—1,194 (up 24.5%)
- Assault with a weapon—3,059*
- Assault Causing Bodily Harm—688*
- Breaking and Entering with Intent—656*
- Robbery with a Weapon—637*
Violent Crimes Against TTC Passengers Also Increasing
According to a report released by Toronto Transit Commission CEO Rick Leary, violence against Toronto transit passengers rose 46% in 2022 over numbers reported in 2021. The TTC reported 1,068 violent incidents against passengers for the year, 334 more than were reported in 2021. Along with assaults, robbery, theft, mischief, and harassment, the system reported numerous high-profile incidents, including reports of people being shoved onto the tracks, lit on fire, stabbed, swarmed, and shot at with a BB gun.
In response, the TTC promised to hire 55 additional special constables this year, and work more closely with city officials and police to respond to issues causing the increased crime. The response also includes providing more support to homeless people who use the transit system for shelter.
Toronto Crime Rate by Neighbourhood
According to the Toronto Police Service’s Major Crime Indicators, the West Humber Clairville neighbourhood has experienced the highest number of major crimes year to date, with 1,099 incidents representing a 29.1% increase over last year’s numbers by this time. Woodbine-Lumsden has the fewest year-to-date reports of major crimes, with 42, a 39.1% decrease over the previous year. Other Toronto neighbourhoods with high numbers of year-to-date reported major crimes include:
- Downtown Yonge East—688
- Moss Park—685
- York University Heights—682
- Yonge-Bay Corridor—586
Toronto neighbourhoods experiencing the most significant year-to-date increases in major crimes include:
- Princess-Rosethorn—up 208.9%
- Kingsway South—up 138.1%
- Miliken—up 106.2%
- Bayview Woods-Steeles—up 100%
- Banbury-Don Mills—up 85.7%
How Many Murders Are Committed in Canada Each Year:
Statistics Canada tracks the annual number of homicides committed in the country and within major metropolitan areas. The latest numbers for the country and Toronto are:
- 2022—874 (136 in Toronto)
- 2021—796 (119 in Toronto)
- 2020—764 (105 in Toronto)
- 2019—689 (130 in Toronto)
- 2018 – 665 (145 in Toronto)
Is Toronto Dangerous?
The increase in police-reported major crimes suggests that Toronto is becoming more dangerous. Indeed, many reported major crime types both year-to-date and in 2022 are higher than pre-pandemic numbers. However, except for homicide, the increases experienced over the past two years are far more significant than comparing them with pre-pandemic numbers. Thus, the increases can partly be interpreted as a return to pre-pandemic numbers.
From a relative standpoint, when comparing Toronto’s safety to other cities in Canada and beyond, Toronto stands out as exceptionally safe. As noted in the Rentola report, from a crime perspective, Toronto is significantly safer than 30 other Canadian cities. From an international standpoint, our city is significantly safer than more than 50 others when scored on personal security. And with a score 10 points or higher than 30 of them and 14.9 points higher than the international average.
With extensive working experience with Canadian law, the criminal defence lawyers at Vilkhov Law are dedicated to keeping up to date with the latest information about our area’s crime trends.
If you need legal support or criminal defence services in the Greater Toronto Area, contact Vilkhov Law for a free consultation.