The Garden District is a Toronto neighbourhood that is located in downtown Toronto. It is named after Allan Gardens which is located nearby. The boundaries of the neighbourhood are Carlton Street in the north and Queen Street in the south. Sherbourne Street is the eastern boundary and Yonge Street is the western boundary. Some consider the area north of Carlton (and possibly as far north as Wellesley Street) to be part of the Garden District.
There are many well-known institutions in the neighbourhood including St. Michael’s Hospital, Ryerson University, Yonge-Dundas Square, the Elgin and Winter Garden Theatres, the Canon Theatre and more. It also includes a mix of housing, from single-family homes to large condominiums.
Unfortunately, as this is a very busy neighbourhood, there is crime in the Garden District. According to the Toronto Star, parts of this area are the most crime-plagued in the city:
the downtown Dundas and Sherbourne Sts. corridor ranks first in virtually every category of violent crime, based on sheer volume and crime per square kilometre, according to documents obtained by the Star.
In street robberies, assault-related offences and what police call “violent calls for service” (which encompasses shootings, stabbings, a person with a knife or gun, and sex attacks) the six downtown blocks south of Allan Gardens top every list.
The area bordered by Queen, Dundas, Jarvis and Parliament is one of the Toronto neighbourhoods with the most property crime.
In the area from Carlton to Queen, between Yonge Street and Jarvis Street, there is an average of 7.53 crimes against people per 1000 living and working in the area. There is an average of 31.31 crimes against property per 1000.
From Jarvis Street west to Parliament Street and from Carlton to Dundas, there is an average of 28.23 crimes against people per 1000 and 49.85 crimes against property. South of Dundas to Queen, still between Jarvis and Parliament, there is an average of 20.81 crimes against people and 45.94 crimes against property.
This area is slightly larger than what is typically described as the Garden District, but it provides a good overview of crime in the area.
In August 2010, a man was shot in the Gerrard Street and Sherbourne Street area. From the Toronto Sun:
A man in his 20s is in hospital after gun shots rang out around Sherbourne and Gerrard Sts. early Friday. Toronto Police got the first report of shots being fired around 3:20 a.m.
Police said a man turned up with gun shot wounds at a nearby hospital while officers were still searching for the source of the shots. Const. Tony Vella said the man has non-life-threatening injuries.
More recently, in July 2011, a man was stabbed in the back near Dundas and Sherbourne. From CityTV:
A 45-year-old man is in hospital after he was stabbed in the back early Sunday morning. It happened around 5 a.m. near Dundas Street East and Sherbourne Street. The man was taken to St. Michael’s Hospital and is expected to survive.
Another stabbing took place nearby in April 2009. From the Toronto Sun:
An argument between two men in a downtown highrise today ended with both in the same hospital – one in surgery after suffering multiple knife wounds, the other for head stitches.
Toronto Police in 51 Division said the pair, both in their 30s and known to each other, got into an argument on the lower level of a highrise building on Sherbourne St. north of Dundas St. around 3 p.m.
After one man had his head cut open from a swung beer bottle that broke, the other was slashed repeatedly, police said.
Another stabbing took place in the neighbourhood in 2009, this time at Yonge and Dundas. From the Toronto Star:
A 25-year-old man was stabbed in the lower back during a concert at Yonge-Dundas Square.
The man was with his girlfriend in a crowd of about 2,000 people at the North By Northeast festival concert just before 9 p.m. when a stranger apparently threw something at the woman. The boyfriend chased the suspect through the crowd. When he came back, his girlfriend noticed he was bleeding. Police would not say what led to the stabbing.
Also in Dundas Square, a man was attacked with a chair in the public space in 2011. From CityTV:
A man could lose one of his eyes following an alleged attacked in Yonge-Dundas Square Wednesday morning.
The 58-year-old victim was hit with a metal chair just before 6 a.m. He was rushed to hospital with a serious eye injury.
The attack happened in the north end of the square. Police cordoned the area off for their investigation for just over an hour after the assault. Toronto Police said both men involved live on the street and they got into an argument over money.
A suspect was arrested shortly after. A security guard apparently apprehended the 40-year-old man.