Where Is Toronto The Good?
Once upon a time, not too long ago, my cousin and her family came to visit us in Toronto for a long weekend. On a whim, late at night, we decided to go walking downtown. Now my cousin, who hails from Chicago was a bit apprehensive to say the least but we reassured her that Toronto was safe and you could walk pretty much anywhere anytime.
That has all changed in recent years. I would no longer advise anyone to go walk about late at night. Last Boxing Day, late afternoon, a young girl was caught in gunplay and shot dead on the streets of Toronto and a number of people injured. Most recently there was gunplay on a major downtown street and in that instance fortunately no one was injured.
During the American Thanksgiving holiday, another young Toronto man, who lived and was going to school in Pennsylvania came home to visit his family. During a night out with friends, he was robbed and when he and his friends went to look for the assailant, he was hit in the head with a brick. He died.
My middle grandson moved to Toronto from Calgary in October and I told him that Toronto was not as safe as it used to be. "Don't worry Oma" he said to me, "looks safe to me". This past Thursday night turned out to be not so safe for him after all. On his way to grab a bite of food on Yonge Street (our Main Street) with his buddy, they were waylaid by 8 or 9 hoods, shaken down and B was sucker punched. He is fortunate that all he has is a black eye, it could have been so much worse. He and his buddy lost the contents of their wallets, but they are alive to talk about it.
The powers that be wonder where the tourists have gone? Why don't they come in droves as they used to? They blame everything from our SARS outbreak (old news), to the strong dollar, but what they don't blame are the poor misunderstood hoods. We have a hug a thug mentality that requires strong backbone to change, but we have a City Father who doesn't know how to grow one.