[This article was updated in January 2019]
In the wake of a wave of murders that shook the Church Wellesley neighbourhood in 2017, the City and federal government, local organizations and the Toronto police are working hard to make our community safer.
A Year of Fear and Anger
The urgency for action was obvious following the chilling events of 2017:
The community was shaken to the core, as a sense of fear and vulnerability led to anger and questions about how the police had dealt with the cases. Did the sexual orientation, gender-identity and race of the missing and murdered affect the level of attention these crimes were given by investigators?
Compounding the sense of vulnerability on the streets of the Village: an ongoing epidemic of opioids, crystal meth and other drugs, combined with mental health issues, resulting in bizarre and sometimes threatening behaviour and an increase in property crimes.
On Sunday, we held our first meeting with members of the CWNA, BIA, and experienced volunteers, to discuss a potential safe walk program in the Church Wellesley neighbourhood. While we learned a lot about what a successful safe walk program looks like, we still have many questions that need to be answered. We want to create something that is sustainable in the longer term, and that will take time and ongoing community efforts.