Toronto’s gangs smaller, looser – but packing more heat

Saturday, June 9, 2012 – Globe and Mail

Toronto’s organized crime is anything but.

The city’s gangs are smaller, their members more loosely organized than they were 20 years ago.

They’re also more lethal: The number of homicides classified as “gang-related” has risen since the 1990s. Last Saturday’s shooting at the Eaton Centre – while officially not gang-related in Toronto police lexicon – thrust into the limelight the sort of violence normally hidden in the city’s most blighted neighbourhoods.

The changes are driven by a combination of successful police crackdowns and deeper despair in the city’s poorest, increasingly isolated areas.

Interactive: Homicides, social housing and street crime in Toronto neighbourhoods

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Eaton Centre shooting shakes Toronto’s sense of safety


Monday June 4, 2012 – Globe and Mail


An eruption of gang violence in one of Toronto’s busiest crossroads – the Eaton Centre – has challenged the city’s reputation for downtown safety while drawing a promise from the mayor that “we’re going to apprehend this person, and we will convict this person.”

The gunman who fired on at least one intended target Saturday evening sprayed bullets across a crowded food court that is ringed with security cameras. Police said they have images of a suspect but did not release a description – an approach one retired homicide detective called an indication that an arrest may be imminent.

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