Just as the affordable housing survey a few months ago caught my attention, so has a new study by Maclean's Magazine that reveals the "most dangerous cities in Canada". Apparently, Western Canada tops the list of the most crime-ridden cities north of the border with nine of the top 10 cities being located in that region. Noticeably absent from the top 10 were Toronto, ON and Montreal, QC; the latter of which just inched its way into the top-20 in the 19th spot. (Toronto was 26th!) Oddly, good ol' Halifax, NS rounded out the top 10.
Vancouver, BC came in ninth, followed by Victoria, BC in 8th, Chilliwack, BC (7th), New Westminster, BC (6th), Edmonton, AB (5th), and Prince George, BC (4th). The top three spots were reserved for Winnipeg, MB, Saskatoon, SK, and, in the number-one position, Regina, SK! All three of these cities were 140%+ above the national average! Ironically (or perhaps not so ironically) Regina was deemed one of the most affordable places to live in Canada in the aforementioned survey.
Halifax ranking 10th might have blown me away had I not been previously informed (by a friend that used to live there) about the incredibly high crime rates. I was taken aback, however, at Toronto only making it to 26th spot. Not that I'm disapointed, of course. But perception would lead one to believe that Toronto is the rough n' tough city filled with thugs and brutes.
Broken down by "type" of crime, the robbers gravitate toward Chilliwack, Victoria, and Regina; while the car thiefs make cities like Winnipeg and Joliette their home. Interestingly, Macleans points out that car theft rates in these two cities are actually higher than in the biggest car thief capitals of the U.S.: Detriot and Las Vegas! If you're poison is breaking and entering, then you're more likely to live in Chilliwack, Victoria, or Regina. Saskatoon and Regina were also highest when it comes to aggravated assault; and Saskatoon adds sexual assault to that list as well. Although it only ranked 21st overall, Arthabaska, QC, which is halfway between Montreal and Quebec City, can be considered "murder central".
As for my hometown of Toronto, it's likely that we're prone to crimes of a more violent nature, whereas other cities (like Regina) might log more crimes due to smaller-scale situations.
So where can you live to be safe? According to Maclean's, Caledon, ON, a small city about an hour west of Toronto, has been rated Canada's safest community". This doesn't surprise me, since it's pretty much a quiet area full of retirees, lots of open land, and well-to-do folks.
The numbers in this survey are drawn from the highest per-capita crime rates according to 2006 data. In case you're wondering why this data comes from a two-year old survey, this is supposedly the most recent data available from the Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics. But I doubt anything has really changed that drastically over 2007.