Leaside is a Toronto neighbourhood that is west of the Don Valley Parkway and south of Sunnybrook Park. Running primarily along Bayview Avenue, Leaside is composed mostly of single-family homes.
There is an average amount of property crime in Leaside. According to the 2006 census, the rate of crimes against property in Leaside was 16.81 per 1,000 people. The average number of break and enters reported in 2008 was 2.753 per 1,000 people. Both of these rates place Leaside near the middle of Toronto neighbourhoods in regards to crime.
Earlier this year, a man broke into a Leaside home in hopes of squatting in the residence. In the case, a woman returned home from walking her dog to find a strange man inside her home. The man ran from the home, but was caught by nearby construction workers. Area residents were terrified by the incident and the woman is no longer comfortable taking her daily walks. A home alarm system likely would have scared the intruder off and made him think twice about attempting to illegally enter someone else’s property.
While there is a low rate of crime against people in Leaside, there have been some cases of violence on Leaside streets.
Last year, several students were robbed near a Leaside school by two young men. About 11 students were robbed by the two men who were carrying replica handguns and demanding the victims’ possessions. A similar robbery took place earlier this year.Two teenage suspects robbed two 12-year-olds of their cell phones and other items. It was reported that one man may have had a gun. The crime took place at about 4:00 in the afternoon. These crimes are similar to a rash of robberies that occurred in the area in 2009.
Also in 2009, a series of SUVs were stolen from driveways in the area. The sophisticated thefts were suspected to be linked to organized crime. The vehicles were stolen directly from driveways in Leaside, near Bayview and Eglinton. At least six Toyota SUVs were stolen. Criminals likely used laptop computers to crack the vehicles keyless entry codes in order to steal them without being noticed. All of the cars were parked in the driveways of Leaside homes and locked securely, but that didn’t prevent them from being stolen.
Keeping the vehicles in locked garages that are secured by alarm systems would likely have stopped the crimes from occurring. Adequate lightning that draws attention to vehicles and makes them easier to spot makes it more difficult for criminals to work unnoticed. This is especially important for homeowners who do not have garages or are unable to park their cars inside them.