Toronto Neighbourhoods With Highest Rates of Gun Violence

September 27, 2019

This summer, Toronto saw a rise in gun violence that hasn’t been matched since before 2014. Although instances of gun violence are only up by about 2% from the same timeframe last year, media awareness is much higher. As a result, it seems as though Toronto gun offences have risen even higher than they have.

There are two key reasons for the higher public awareness of gun violence this year:

  1. A higher number of victims. The number of injuries and deaths resulting from gun violence is up about 17% from last year. Shootings with victims receive more media coverage and earn more local concern.
  2. Change in location. In past years, gun violence has been mostly restricted to “higher risk” neighbourhoods. This year there is a greater variation in where Toronto gun offences occur, as they spread into historically safer neighbourhoods.

Some historically higher-risk neighbourhoods, such as Jane/Finch, Rexdale, and Lawrence Heights are experiencing a 40% decrease (since 2016) in gun violence. Whereas, typically safe neighbourhoods, like Kensington, University & Richmond are seeing a 250% increase (since 2016).

With the shifting trends in firearms offences, it’s time to re-examine the safety of our neighbourhoods. We’re using Toronto Police Analytics to identify Toronto neighbourhoods with the highest rates of gun violence in 2019.

Toronto Neighbourhoods With The Most Shootings – 2019

To start, we’re looking at the neighbourhoods with the highest volume of shootings so far this year.

Division 31

Division 31 has the highest number of incidents involving gun violence in Toronto this year. This area includes the following neighbourhoods:

Shootings Toronto Neighbourhoods
  • Black Creek
  • Downsview – Roding – CFB
  • Greenfield – Jane Heights
  • Humber Summit
  • Humbermede
  • Pelmo Park – Humberlea
  • York University Heights

This area has a historically higher risk of gun violence and has the highest number of shootings so far this year. However, the rate of gun violence in these neighbourhoods has actually dropped, as shootings spread out to more neighbourhoods.

Shootings (Year-to-Date): 37

% Change (Since 2018): Down 8%

Division 23

Division 23 follows as a close second for the highest number of shootings in Toronto. Although there are fewer shootings, they have the same downward trend in shootings as Division 31. Division 23 includes the following neighbourhoods:

D23 Toronto
  • Elms – Old Rexdale
  • Humber Heights – Westmount
  • Kingsview Village – The Westway
  • Mount Olive – Silverstone – Jamestown
  • Rexdale – Kipling
  • Thistletown – Baumonde heights
  • West Humber – Clairville
  • Willowridge – Martingrove – Richview

Shootings (YTD): 34

% Change (Since 2018): Down 8%

Division 12

The first two entries had high volumes of shootings despite a drop since last year. However, these next three all emerged as top 5 shooting neighbourhoods as a result of a significant increase in gun violence. Division 12 had the lowest percentage increase of these next three but is still seeing a noticeable increase.

Division 12 includes the following neighbourhoods:

D12 Toronto
  • Beechborough – Greenbrook
  • Brookhaven – Amesbury
  • Keelsedale – Eglinton West
  • Maple Leaf
  • Mount Dennis
  • Pelmo Park – Humberlea
  • Rockcliffe – Smythe
  • Rustic
  • Weston
  • Weston – Pelham Park

Shootings (YTD): 31

% Change (Since 2018): Increase by 15%

Division 43

Division 43 includes the following neighbourhoods:

D43 Toronto
  • Bendale
  • Centennial Scarborough
  • Cliffcrest
  • Eglinton East
  • Guildwood
  • Woburn
  • Highland Creek
  • Morningside
  • Rouge
  • Scarborough Village
  • West Hill

Shootings (YTD): 26

% Change (Since 2018): Increase by 53%

Division 32

Of the Toronto neighbourhoods with the highest number of shootings, Division 32 saw the greatest percentage increase. The shootings in the area have more than doubled since last year. It even includes the upscale Bridle Path neighbourhood.

Division 32 includes the following neighbourhoods:

D32 Toronto
  • Bathurst Manor
  • Bedford Park – Nortown
  • Bridle Path – Sunnybrook – York Mills
  • Clanton Park
  • Downsview – Roding – CFB
  • Enlgemore – Lawrence
  • Lansing – Westgate
  • Lawrence Park North
  • Newtonbrook East
  • Newtonbrook West
  • St. Andrew – Windfields
  • Westminster – Branson
  • Willowdale East
  • Willowdale West
  • York University Heights
  • Yorkdale – Glen Park

Shootings (YTD): 22

% Change (Since 2018): Increase by 118%

Toronto Neighbourhoods With The Greatest Increase in Shootings

Approaches like increasing police presence in high-risk neighbourhoods do seem to have an impact in reducing shootings in those areas. However, they aren’t stopping the crimes from happening. Instead, gun violence is moving into other areas.

As the areas affected by gun violence spread, we see large increases in shootings in previously “low-risk” neighbourhoods.

Toronto Shootings Map

The neighbourhoods with the biggest increases in shootings (since 2018) are:

  • Division 13: 125%
  • Division 32: 118%
  • Division 33: 100%
  • Division 22: 75%
  • Division 43: 53%

Toronto Firearms Defence Lawyer

William Jaksa is a criminal lawyer with experience defending Toronto gun offences. If you or a loved one are facing a firearms offence, Jaksa will help you understand your charges, your options, and the potential outcomes.

Contact us today for a consultation.

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