Toronto has been racking up some disappointing titles this year.
According to Statistics Canada, Toronto is home to 3.3 homicides per 100,000 people in 2018. Two murders earlier this week put the number of people killed in Toronto at 91 for the year. The previous record was 89, in 1991. Last year, there were 65 murders in the provincial capital.
Winnipeg is home to Canada’s second-highest homicide rate, at 2.6 murders per 100,000 people. Vancouver rounds out the top three with a homicide rate of 1.9.
While April’s van attack, which claimed 10 lives, could be seen as contributing to an anomaly in the homicide rate, 2018 has also seen the second-highest number of gun deaths. The only other year that saw more people be killed by guns was Toronto’s notorious 2005 ‘Summer of the Gun’.
So, what’s going on? There have been more than double the number of shootings and victims of gun violence this year than in 2014. The obvious answer: There are more guns on the streets. It’s impossible to tell, of course, since there is no data on how many black market guns are in circulation.
“We have to double, triple and quadruple our resolve to do whatever we can,” said Mayor John Tory on Monday.
Part of that includes city council requesting the federal government ban handguns, though it’s by no means a bulletproof resolution.
For some perspective, the city of Baltimore currently boasts a homicide rate of 56 per 100,000 people. In fact, if Toronto were in the United States, it wouldn’t even crack the top 50.