Stats show sharp uptick in Toronto shootings, but murder rate still below a dozen other Canadian cities
Meredith MacLeod, CTVNews.ca
Published Friday, December 21, 2018 9:30AM EST
As of the end of Thursday, Dec. 20, Toronto saw 406 shootings in 2018, resulting in 50 homicides and over 560 shooting victims (including those injured by gunfire).
Those numbers are in line with year-to-date numbers of the previous two years, but show a sharp uptick from 2014 when there were 169 shootings involving 222 victims.
The five-year average was 316 shootings involving 456 victims annually, showing that Toronto is indeed in the midst of a spike in shootings that begin in 2016.
Deadly shootings are also up markedly in a year of high homicides in Toronto. As of the end of Thursday, Dec. 20, 49 of Toronto’s 95 homicides this year came by way of a firearm. That compares to 65 homicides in 2017, including 39 shooting deaths.
Toronto’s five-year average for homicides is 70 and 36 for shooting deaths, again showing a marked increase in gun violence this year in Canada’s biggest city.
The numbers are not far off from 2005, the so-called “summer of the gun,” when the city recorded 80 homicides, 52 of them by guns, among 359 shootings.
2018’s homicide rate in Toronto is 3.11 per 100,000 people. That is just above the homicide rate of 3.05 in New York City, which has seen 263 murders as of Nov. 25, and well above Canada’s national homicide rate of 1.80 per 100,000 in 2017.
But Toronto’s homicide rate is by no means a leader in Canada.
Last year, the Toronto census metropolitan area (which includes 21 municipalities), ranked fifth out of Canada’s biggest cities when it came to homicide by capita at 1.47 per 100,000, behind Edmonton (3.49 per 100,000), Winnipeg (2.96), Calgary (2.07), and Vancouver (2.02), according to Statistics Canada.
When accounting for all of Canada’s 35 CMAs, the Toronto region ranks No. 13 when it comes to homicide rate.
Looking at firearm-related homicides changes the picture somewhat. Toronto ranks fourth among the country’s largest CMAs at (0.92 per 100,000), behind Edmonton (1.35), Calgary (1.00) and Vancouver (0.97) and sixth among all Canada’s CMAs.
- Statistics Canada: Homicides by census metropolitan area, 2016-2017
- Click here for mobile version of chart
Data portal Statista ranked St. Louis as having the highest murder rate in the U.S. in 2017 at 66.07 per 100,000 people.
The other murder capitals in the U.S. in 2017 were: Baltimore (55.77), Detroit (39.8), New Orleans (39.5) and Cleveland (27.77).
To compare, the deadliest cities in the world in 2017, according to World Atlas, were Los Cabos, Mexico at 111.33 per 100,000, Caracas, Venezuela at 111.19 and Acapulco, Mexico at 106.63.
Chicago makes for an eye-opening comparison to Toronto because the two cities have a similar population. The Illinois city recorded 650 homicides in 2017 for a murder rate of 24.13 and a tally exactly 10 times the number of people killed in Toronto.
And shootings in Chicago in 2017 were way down from the 762 people killed there in 2016. In 2017, Chicago recorded 2,785 shooting incidents and 3,457 shooting victims. Toronto police say there were 366 shootings in Toronto in 2017, involving 554 victims.