Fine, Weston has more crime than the Junction. For now.

The CBC has released an interesting map of the crime in Toronto in 2011. It’s good news and bad news for Weston.

The good news: we have low rates of theft. There are few break and enters, thefts over $5000, and thefts of automobiles.

The bad news: we have high levels of arrest for assault, sexual assault, robbery, and drugs. 2011 was the summer of TAVIS, however, which put many more police on the streets, and would have led to increased levels of arrest, especially for drug crimes, which are often public. (The vast majority of assaults are domestic, not street fights.)

Averaging the crime rates¹ Weston is about the 35th most crime-prone neighbourhood in Toronto.

The most dangerous neighbourhoods are surprising. Bay Street is almost certainly the most criminal area in Toronto (make your own joke about bankers and lawyers). The financial district has a huge number of assaults, sexual assaults, and robberies. Baby Point/Lambton leads the city in murders per capita. The University of Toronto area is surprisingly unsafe, as is the North Riverdale area. Closer to home, the Elms area of North Etobicoke also fares very poorly.

Toronto remains one of the safest cities in Canada. Crime is at its lowest rate in 40 years, and only Guelph and Quebec City are safer Canadian cities. Kingston is Homs in comparison.

 

 

¹ I’m sorry, Dad. I know you would add 1 to the murder rate in Weston if you caught me doing this to numbers.

Wendell to be slower; Weston to get another traffic circle

Etobicoke York Community Council overruled city staff and voted to lower the speed limit on Wendell Avenue between Queenslea and Gary Drive. The limit will be lowered from 50 to 40 km/h.
At the same meeting, Council voted (with staff) to install another roundabout–Weston’s second–at the intersection of Queenslea and Deerhurst. Two additional stop signs will also be installed.
Frances Nunziata has a history of overruling city staff recommendations when it benefits Weston.

Big weekend

This weekend will be a big one in Weston.

The Farmers’ Market will be closing; next year it will re-open in a new location. There will be face-painting, balloons and a bouncy castle.

To celebrate the year end, there will also be a pet and owner parade with awards for the best Halloween costumes. The parade starts at 11, and all are welcome to enter.

At 12, there will be a dedication ceremony for Pantelis Kalamaris Lane and Pantelis Kalamaris Gardens. The streets are being named in honour of Peter the Barber, longtime Weston businessperson.

 

Police arrest three in thefts

Twelve Division police have arrested three people in connection with Weston-area thefts. The thefts were extremely unusual, as are the suspects. A female suspect would allegedly approach an elderly “Italian-looking” woman, ask her some questions about the neighbourhood, and then, in gratitude, hug her.

while doing so remove their necklace and/or earrings from the victims and replaces it with a false set or earrings and necklaces. Waiting in the getaway vehicle is a driver and sometimes a two- to- four-year-old child in a baby seat.

says Detective Sergeant Greenaway.

Police have arrested a married couple and their 18-year-old son. The suspects are Romani—better known as gypsies—and are claiming refugee status in Canada. They had been previously arrested in September for similar crimes.

Police believe there are more victims and are asking them to come forward. At least one woman was robbed in the Weston area.

Sullivan says Weston is more dangerous than it is

Mike Sullivan, our MP, spoke in the House this week about handguns and crime. He described our neighbourhood in a dramatic, violent light.  He was also entirely incorrect. He said,

Mr. Speaker, when we talk about personal security in the country, the other side seems to forget that there is far more danger to the residents in my riding from handguns than there is from terrorism. In fact, there were four funerals this summer of young men in their teens and early twenties as a result of handgun violence, all of them were from Somalia.

This is flat-out wrong. Sullivan is almost certainly referring to the murders of four Somalian men in Jamestown this summer, a troubled neighbourhood in Etobicoke. Jamestown is not in our riding; it is in Etobicoke North, held by Kirsty Duncan, a Liberal.

In fact, there has not been a single murder in Weston so far this year. In 12 Division, there have been two murders; one occurred after a soccer game at Eglinton flats—a 40-something man was murdered, likely by his brother, after a soccer game. This is hardly the stuff of nightmares.

Weston has a reputation problem. People—including many readers and friends—incorrectly think that Weston is dangerous. It is not.  We have too many muggings, yes, but we have very few other crimes. Murders are down by half from last year. Rapes and common assaults are flat. Toronto’s crime rate is lower than almost any other city in North America.

Comments such as Mr Sullivan’s do not help Weston’s reputation. They harm it. They make things worse: good people want to stay away from bad neighbourhoods—and that makes bad neighbourhoods bad. Reputation begets crime, which begets reputation.

I asked Sullivan for a comment; Paul Ferreira, his special assistant, got back to me and said that Mr Sullivan has been quite sick with a cold this week and that he took part in the debate anyway because he felt it to be important.

Addendum

Mr Sullivan called me to discuss this post. He said,

“I didn’t mean to infer that there were four funerals in the riding. I’m sorry that you took it that way, and I can see how you would. My point is that I’m trying to hold this government to account for the proliferation of handguns…. My point in raising these issues is not to say ‘we’re bad; don’t come here’; my point is to say, ‘we need help’—and more help that we’re getting.”

On that, we entirely agree.