toronto violence

Gotham City title sticks after another weekend of violent crime in Toronto

Statistics may say that gun violence is actually down in Toronto so far this year compared to last, but residents are feeling that the metropolis' adopted epithet of "Gotham City" is more relevant than ever as shootings and other alarming crimes continue to make headlines.

Last month, we saw a stabbing on a TTC subway car and two public shootings in broad daylight within just a few days' time, prompting many to draw the comparison between T.O. and the fictitious, crime-ridden city from the DC Universe.

And now, after yet another weekend of gun violence, people are reiterating the moniker.

First, a triple shooting rocked the Esplanade community late Saturday afternoon, with an elderly man, a middle-aged man, and a five-year-old child hit in what police are calling a "targeted" crime.

The violence took place around 6 p.m., when the touristy St. Lawrence neighbourhood was bustling.

Then, on Sunday, a 22-year-old man was shot near Burnamthorpe and the West Mall in Etobicoke — just a bit north of Sherway Gardens shopping mall — also during the day.

The incidents are stoking existing concerns that Toronto is rapidly going downhill, between its severe cost of living and housing crises, lack of action in addressing homeless encampments, scary moments on the TTC, these sorts of dangerous crimes in busy public spaces, and more.

Residents are feeling on edge, to say the least, and are calling for authorities and politicians across all levels to do more to better ensure safety for all and to help reclaim the far more preferable nickname of "Toronto the Good."

Many online are also criticizing Canada's gun ban in the wake of these events, as it has seemingly been ineffective at preventing shootings given that so many are committed with illegal firearms.

And, with incidents feeling near-daily, others worry this is just becoming the new norm in a city that citizens will just be forced to accept is broken — and that leaders like new Mayor Olivia Chow will not be able or willing to take the steps necessary to fix it.

According to the latest data from Toronto police, there have been 192 shootings and firearm discharges thus far in 2023, which is down about 24 per cent from this time last year.

Lead photo by

Toronto Police Service

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