Family moves to Weston and loves it.

Read this post aloud

This is a headline that will never be seen outside of this publication. Good news will always takes second place to crime and violence.

‘If it bleeds it leads’ is often used in the news business.  News outlets want images and videos violence and crime scenes. It’s visual clickbait and improves ratings. Positive news doesn’t stand a chance alongside death and destruction. As a result, our view of the outside world is often distorted. The media’s focus on violence gives a false impression of our society making it seem more dangerous than it is.

From nicmaxxonline.com

Millions of Torontonians achieve happiness and success daily and nobody gets to hear about it. That’s the nature of news.

When it comes to Weston, things are no different. Hundreds of people moved to Weston in the past couple of years. The vast majority are happy to be here and lead satisfying, productive lives. Sadly, there have been shootings and other acts of violence in our community and these get the lion’s share of attention and that’s not always a bad thing because it’s important that something is done to find the causes and solutions.

Unfortunately, the press has a short attention span. After violent events, the police are asked what they will do to counter an upsurge in violence. The answer is usually a temporary band aid fix until things improve or until other news comes along. We all know that treating the symptoms rather than causes is ineffective.

I am a great fan of probability. This is the branch of mathematics that tries to calculate the likelihood of events. Probabilities are expressed by a number between 0 and 1. For example, the probability of a hot sunny day at this time of year is almost 0. The probability of matching six numbers in Lotto 6/49 is ridiculously close to 0. On the other hand, the probability that a Toronto pedestrian will be hit by a car today is close to 1 (More than two thousand people are hit by cars every year in Toronto).

Our ability to judge probabilities is notoriously poor. For example, how likely are two people in a group of 30 people to have the same birthday?  It’s about 0.7. Put this another way; ask 30 people to think of a number between 1 and 365 and you have an excellent chance that two of those people will guess the same number.

Many of us have bought lottery tickets feeling our chances of matching all six numbers are reasonable enough to keep buying tickets. Certainly much higher than the roughly one in 14 million chance (approx 0.000000071428571428571 as a number) Consider how optimistic we feel when checking our numbers and compare that to our actual chance.

Lotteries; a tax on the mathematically challenged?

What are your chances of getting hit by a car? It depends. If you’re a senior, out on a rainy night, wear dark clothing and cross the road, especially between intersections, your risk is higher. This is not to attach blame to the pedestrian (motorists are legally required to drive safely and adapt to the prevailing conditions) but all of these factors are definitely a consideration, especially when we know that there are intoxicated, careless and inattentive drivers out there.

We can control many risks in our daily lives. We wear seat belts in the car and stay away from the subway platform edge. These are sensible and proven precautions aimed at a real risk. On the other hand, when we overestimate the odds of something happening, our quality of life can suffer.

The probability of being attacked by a shark is tiny – close to that of matching all six numbers. If you stay out of the water, you improve your odds but lose the joy of swimming in an ocean. Yes, people get ‘taken’ by sharks and people also win the El Gordo but we deprive ourselves and limit our possibilities by overestimating dangers.

Crime is generally not random. Attackers are often known by their victims. Much violent crime occurs at night and on weekends most crimes happen at night. Poor and cooler weather seems to discourage crime. July is the month when most shootings occur and January / February have the least. Our current crime wave seems to be partly driven by domestic terrorists looking for notoriety by targeting (usually young and black) people in other neighbourhoods. Social media seems to be the place where they can bask in their new-found notoriety.

So where does that leave people who see crime stories and decide that an area is no longer safe? Is this a reasonable response?

The answer is clearly no for most people.

What can residents do to lower their risk of being a victim?

Since there’s little risk in the first place, the best advice is to carry on and not be ruled by fear. You still cross the road and that’s the most dangerous thing that anyone can do in this city. By fearfully abandoning a neighbourhood, you become a part of the problem and you lower your own quality of life.

To the families who have made Weston their home in recent years; welcome. You were right to move here. Don’t let fear stop you from enjoying your new neighbourhood.

If you see crime you can report it and be rewarded anonymously here.

23 thoughts on “Family moves to Weston and loves it.”

  1. Bravo, Roy!

    I’d like to add a quote to further soothe the dooms-dayers: “There is nothing to fear but fear itself.” (FDR, 1933)

    PS I often go out for late evening walks in our neighborhood. Not once have I felt threatened by another human being. Confronting a coyote on Church — now that was scary! But also a testament to how blessed we are to live in an area surrounded by an abundance of natural beauty.

    1. Paul….your annoying.
      Try being a women at the UP parking lot just as your approached by a weston vegabon with no one around.
      Try bringing your 8 year old to piano lessons at night with individuals suffering from mental health yelling at each other.
      Walk along weston rd at 8pm when everything is closed except shoppers and sketchy people hanging in the alleyways…..like paul give your head a shake.
      There are problems in Weston and building rental towers with some space for shakesphree isn’t the solution.

      1. I am a woman that walks home alone through Weston most nights a week and I also have an office at 15 John st (I’m assuming that’s where you are taking your 8 y/o to music lessons). You can add me to the people you walk past I guess (I hope I don’t look sketchy). I say hello to the guys at Taikwal Tires next door and the men exiting the mosque behind as I walk towards the bridge on John. I’ve started buying samosas from the small grocery across from 15 John. I don’t feel scared. I’m not naive either. As a woman I’m aware of my personal space when i walk ANYWHERE at night, but I actually feel more safe in Weston because I have become familiar with the people along the way. So Paul, I don’t know you, but I don’t think you’re annoying and I appreciate and share your comments. I feel sorry for these negative people that are missing out on so much in their community with their anger and mistrust.

      2. Thanks for the chuckle, Annoyed. Sometimes I annoy myself.

        I have a very good friend who lives on prime West Queen West. Go walk that strip in the evening, you might be very surprised by what you see and hear.

        But you know, maybe city living isn’t your kind of thing. I’ve got family in Erin. Apparently it’s nice and also very, very British. I get a sense that might appeal to some of the commenters here.

        PS Brigitte (we do know each other!), thanks for chiming in. I think you hit the nail on the head — if everyone made an effort to talk to their neighbours (especially those that may look different) we’d all be better off.

  2. I’m so glad you posted this. There is much to worry about in the world (not just Weston), but so much more to appreciate and enjoy. The risks exist but they are small. Don’t let it get you down – our community has problems but also many signs of great development and friendly neighbours. I’m one of the hundreds who moved here in the last few years and I have zero regrets. Things are looking up!

  3. I read this incredulity.

    Our family moved here 16 months ago because it was the only area we could afford.

    We now realize that it was a mistake, and when our mortgage is up for renewal in three years we will be leaving.

    1. Gee Chris, your post has left me incredulous.

      It’s one thing to be negative for a living, but at least do it based on facts. I’d suggest you didn’t look very hard if house price was your only consideration:
      https://www.zoocasa.com/blog/toronto-condo-house-prices-five-years/

      You’ll see on that list that at least eight areas in the city are LESS EXPENSIVE THAN WESTON when it comes to single family homes.

      So I’m going to flag your post and suggest you either moved here because:
      A) there was something good about Weston that appealed to you;
      B) the other, less expensive neighbourhoods are not as nice to live in.

      Which is it? And, hey, try being positive for a change 🙂

  4. i have been in weston for over twenty years, and although I love the neighbourhood, i do regret not buying further south in etobicoke back then
    Honestly every singe new visitor that comes to my home always comments at the trashiness of Weston Rd….doesn’t matter the race, culture, income bracket, every person comments at the pure ugliness of Weston Rd….

  5. It’s not always easy, but thanks for giving a “care”, Roy. And, for trying to accentuate the positive, as often as possible. It’s tough.

    To those topped up & wishing to move on, good luck & all the best.

    And, when you do get there, hope you can shed a lot of that negativity absorbed when you reach your dream destination & work really hard at making your new neighbourhood better thank than the way you found it.

    No magic, hard work.

  6. Great article Roy. Chris: why are you waiting til your mortgage is up? It would be great if you could move sooner – lots of non racist people would snap up your house and watch the property values soar while you move to Keswick or Barrie or Orangeville or wherever else the Weston rednecks move to these days.

    1. Out of curiosity, where do you go to have a drink out with friends? I am only asking because we have people come to visit and do not know anywhere decent to take them in the neighbourhood. Sorry to go off-topic but suggestions would be helpful.

      1. Hi. Good question. Try the Jolly II Restaurant which is next to Wakame Sushi in the Weston/401 plaza. Good drinks mixed with good Italian food. I’ve taken friends who were visiting there and there’s never been a complaint.

        1. but thats not Weston, Paul, as many would argue……see again, going away from Main St…thats the issue….you talk about Weston yet leave Weston as you have clearly indicated there is no place for a drink in Weston.

        2. Hi Sad. I didn’t mention P&M because they close early. Maybe a bunch of us need to ask Frank & Nikki to stay open later than 8 and then support the later hours with our dollars …

          I’m also a fan of the Central and know the owners do their best to try and run a good business. That being said, it’s gritty, rough around the edges and can draw a lively crowd. I don’t mind having a beer there but realize it may not be for everybody.

          So there’s two more suggestions, both on “Main Street”.

        3. Correction: I meant to say The Station as gritty, etc. The Central was where P&M now is. Sorry for confusion.

  7. I’m very torn on this. We moved to Weston a year ago, and for the most part we enjoy the area. But we have been considering a move. We have a young child and every time I start to think, “this isn’t too bad, the bad news is just exaggerated”, something worse happens. A few weeks ago, 15 minutes before I walked my son to the park, a shooting occurred right on the street at Weston and King. Right on the street we would have passed. At 5pm. Broad daylight. My heart still pounds thinking of how we could have been caught in the crossfire. Coming from someone who lived smack in downtown Toronto, I understand that crime happens everywhere. I just can’t help but shake the feeling that it’s more in this area? Or is it because we live right on Weston Road? I don’t know. It really is a shame as the people I’ve met and conversed with are all wonderful, more young families are moving in and we’re making more friends, it’s awesome being surrounded by nature in a pocket of the city… I just don’t know!

  8. “Our current crime wave seems to be partly driven by domestic terrorists looking for notoriety by targeting (usually young and black) people in other neighbourhoods. Social media seems to be the place where they can bask in their new-found notoriety.”

    What exactly are you trying to say/imply here? By “domestic terrorists” do you mean fellow gang members, or are you insinuating something else, something race-related with no evidence? Who is “targeting” young and black people?

      1. I would agree that they are the most frequent victims of gang violence. However, I would also agree that they are the most frequent perpetrators, and that no-one is specifically “targeting” young and black youths. Why would you say that domestic terrorists are targeting black youths for social media notoriety when the simple explanation is gang on gang violence?

        1. The aim of gangs is to spread terror for social and monetary gain – hence the ‘domestic terrorist’ appellation.

  9. Being human, I can be guilty of this as well, if & when “blurting out” a short or long rant – in frustration, fatigue or just being “hangry”.

    Many times, I’m grateful for being able to catch myself.

    Or if not, at least be embarrassed enough in retrospect – by the poor choice of words in my haste to get it off my chest.

    And, it’s always only made worse when I or anyone else chooses to use those button pushing “adjectives” to describe what’s wrong from their perspective.

    But, how do you write or speak without occasionally using an adjective, right?

    As in the case above, when poster, “not ashamed..” used the button pushing term, “rednecks”?

    A choice that “John” took umbrage with, and rightly so.

    Oddly, I get both their perspectives.

    And, in the case of Roy’s positive article – where he chooses to describe the violence in our part of the city as, “domestic terrorism” – I get that, too.

    Would Roy’s story telling be more palatable or truthful if he just chose to simply call all the guns & gang violence around our neighbourhoods, “mischief”?

    And, simply a result of too much time spent playing video games?

    Whether you like it or not, there is a proverbial “elephant in the room” and we can’t seem to usher it out.

    And yes, many good & decent folks do have their “head on a swivel”, for all the right self preservation reasons!

    And, why wouldn’t you – if you ever lived in an urban area – at anytime in history?

    Or wherever danger resides – even in the country?

    You’d be a fool to let your guard down, even for just a moment – and women know this better than anyone.

    For some, the nervousness developed CAN be a form of “terrorism”, if a person like “Confused” is quite worried about her home’s location near Weston Road, and consequently, fears taking her kids out for fun & play.

    I get that nervousness, too.

    No one needs that much drama in their daily lives and which happens everywhere – even in Etobicoke, and the Bloor West Village area, etc.

    Let’s face it, there will always be an “elephant in the room”, that we’ll tip-toe around because someone might take exception if it’s noted – as with the poster above, “10:54am Anonymous”. Contentiously, eager & willing to “play the race card” when many observations & perspectives are made and often, wholly supported by news & current event reports readily available to anyone paying a little attention.

    So, whether or not you want to admit it, there are forms of “racism” at play within our very own and varied races, creeds & cultures, right?

    No matter your race or whether your from different parts of Canada, the US, the UK, Europe, the Middle Eastern world, the Asian world, the Latin world or the African descendants’ world – sometimes we just don’t get or like the cut of someone else’s jib or the way “those other people” roll, in their day in & day out lives.

    Along with button pushing adjectives, playing that “card” is not helpful, either. That beast of an “elephant” will remain in the room, with no real & additional solutions presented toward a more positive result.

    Question remains, how do we take that elephant out for a “pee & poo”?

    And then, pick up after it does it’s business – in places where often, people won’t even stoop to pick up street litter?

    Hmmmm?

    Hey!
    On a more light & positive note..

    I hear that “Weston Memorial Jr. Public School” is about to celebrate it’s 100th Anniversary, next year!

    (The 680 News reporter couldn’t help but remind that Aubrey “Drake” Graham went there, too – from JK to Grade 4.

    He also wondered if “Drake” would shout out his childhood school & roots, again?

    Wouldn’t it be nice if “role models” like Aubrey would have a more positive social influence- instead of more “show biz” aspirations for our kids?

    He, along with many others, has missed many opportunities to do so, too.

    Tough job raising kids.
    We need many good hands for this one, everywhere.

    Thanks for “listening”.

    (Gotta get away from this for a while.
    Breathe. Go for a walk. It’s helpful.)

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