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Are Mississauga and Toronto safe cities to live in?

One of the most common questions I get asked from clients who are looking to buy, is whether the area they are looking to buy in is safe or not. While this is a legitimate question to ask because everyone wants their families to feel and be safe, it often comes from a place of fear that the news and media try to instill in our minds. Since crime stories sell best and journalists and TV programs come from a “if it bleeds it leads” mentality, they disproportionately report on crime related issues making it seem that crime is a critical matter the city needs to address.

Fear

This then givens off the impression that crime rates are increasing and that crime rates are now at its’ worse than ever before. In fact, it seems that majority of people, especially the older generation, believe this notion to be true. This is what the media wants. They fear monger so that we worry and come back to stories that are in reality, a non-issue.

According to a Canadian criminologist, “crime rates in Canada continue to decline and they have been at their lowest since 1972”. “Violent crime rate has also fallen and is now at its lowest since 1987”. This means that in reality, “fewer crimes are being committed and they are less violent” than they were in the past. This shows that crime is not something we should stress over too much since our “communities are safer now than ever before”. The real issue we should focus on is how our justice system deals with crime. Even though crime is decreasing, we have more people “starting their interaction with the justice system in custody”. There are so many people placed on Remand that “in 2010/2011 the Ontario Government spent 750 million on adult correctional services alone”. “Seven days on Remand costs tax payers a thousand dollars per accused, and many of these people placed on remand are non-violent offenders. Many of them are simply there because they have failed to comply with bail conditions such as curfew, bans on cell phone and internet use. This is a big issue for Ontarians, because “the size of the remand population is a significant cost liability for our government”. This is the real issue we should pay attention to and address, as opposed to stressing over crime rates and our safety when crime rates are decreasing and our neighborhoods are safer now than they were in the last twenty years.

 

I bring this up because I think this is an important issue that needs to be addressed. As mentioned, I often get asked about crime and safety of neighborhoods.

Safe-City-Mississauga

While I consider these to be legitimate and important questions that need to be asked, I don’t think that crime and safety is something we need to stress over too much and they are certainly not factors that should deter and discourage us from moving. Mississauga and Toronto are safe cities. Mississauga was actually named as one of the safest cities in Canada, based on “research conducted by safe city Mississauga,” and Toronto was named one of the “safest cities in North America, according to The Economist.

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