Little Italy is a Toronto neighbourhood that is often also called College Street West due to its location. As the name suggests, the area is home to many Italian Canadian businesses and restaurants. There are also many private residences in the Little Italy neighbourhood.
The area is located along College Street, primarily between Bathurst Street and Ossington Avenue. It goes south to Dundas St, and north to just past College. The northern border is sometimes debated, but Little Italy does not stretch any farther than Harbord Street.
The Little Italy neighbourhood is home to both a busy commercial area and a number of single-family homes.
Unfortunately, crimes against both people and property are quite high in the Little Italy neighbourhood.
In the area bordered by College Street in the north, Dundas Street in the south, Bathurst Street in the east and Grace Street in the west, there is an average of 5.62 crimes against people per 1,000 people living and working in the neighbourhood. However, there is an average of 32.77 crimes against property in this area.
North of College Street to Harbord, between Bathurst and Grace, there is 7.26 crimes against people and 40.66 crimes against property.
West of Grace Street to Ossington, but still between College and Dundas, crime is somewhat lower. There is an average of 6.5 crimes against people and 25.07 crimes against property.
Unfortunately, as with all neighbourhoods in large cities like Toronto, there is crime in Little Italy. The area’s restaurants, bars and nightlife draw a large number of people into the neighbourhood and this increases the likelihood of crime taking place.
In June 2011, a man in his 20s was taken to the hospital after he was shot outside of a bar near College and Bathurst. The shooting happened after 3:30 in the morning, when most bars were closing for the night. The shooter was also in his 20s and is currently wanted by police.
A man in his 40s was also shot in the same attack, but he suffered less serious injuries and he has been released from hospital. He was likely a bystander who had nothing to do with the argument that led to the shooting.
This shooting shows that crime can take place in any neighbourhood at any time and stresses the fact that it is important to protect yourself and to stay away from dangerous situations. If you feel unsafe or if a nearby argument seems as though it could turn violent, your best option is to remove yourself from the area as soon as possible.
Toronto rapper and actor Drake was also a victim of crime in the area. He was robbed at gunpoint while in his car with a date. The robbery took place outside a Little Italy restaurant in 2009. Drake has mentioned in the past that the robbery made him feel less than safe in his hometown of Toronto.
Unfortunately crime can happen to anyone. Recognizing the situation that you are in and protecting yourself is important. Securing your home or business with alarm systems and security cameras is also an excellent move to take.