St. James Town is a Toronto neighbourhood and one of the most densely populated neighbourhoods in North America as well as the largest high-rise community in Canada. It is located south of Bloor Street between Sherbourne Street and Parliament Street. It stretches as far south as Wellesley Street.
As St. James Town is a very densely populated area in a large city, there is unfortunately crime in the region. On average, there is 10.44 crimes against people living and working in the area per 1,000. There is 24.97 crimes against property per 1,000. This is relatively average when compared to most downtown Toronto neighbourhoods in terms of property crime.
The crime in St. James Town (and the crime in all of Toronto) ranges from relatively incidents of theft and robbery to assault and even murder.
In March 2011 a man claiming to have a gun walked into a convenience store and demanded money. He fled the scene but was later arrested by police. They did not find a gun on the man or in the area.
In October 2010 a man was stabbed in the chest near Sherbourne Street and Isabella Street. From CityNews.ca:
It happened around 8:30pm at St. James Town West Park, near Sherbourne and Isabella streets.
The victim, believed to be in his late 30s or early 40s, was conscious and breathing when paramedics arrived.
“He was bleeding from the chest and the ribcage,” said one witness. “But there wasn’t a lot of blood.”
Bystanders say they saw the suspect fleeing on foot, but police only have a vague description.
In 2007 a 31-year-old man was shot and killed in a drive-by shooting on Bleeker Street in St. James Town. Two people were later arrested and charged with the murder, which was said to be related to a drug “turf war.”
From the Toronto Sun:
James was highly respected in the community because he purchased walkers for the elderly, supported the disabled and refused to sell drugs to children, said Toronto Det. Wayne Fowler, who headed the homicide investigation.
Fowler said there is no clear motive but the conflict may have been over a dispute between James and another drug dealer, who wanted to violate James’ rules on selling drugs in his Regent Park neighbourhood.
The driver circled James twice as he stood outside the Bleecker St. apartment.
On the second pass, JD fired several shots from an open backseat window. James died of a gunshot wound to his arm and chest, which injured his lungs and heart. The taxi roared off at high speed.
Unfortunately, crime is a reality in all large cities and Toronto is no exception. Being vigilant of your surroundings and properly following safety tips are the keys to remaining safe in Toronto.
Another situation in St. James Town that is worth noting is the large fire that took place there in September 2010. While this was not a criminal act, it was very destructive and damaged a great deal of property. From CBC News:
Officials are uncertain how long it would be before residents can return to a Toronto highrise after an intense fire forced some 1,200 people from the building Friday afternoon.
The fire, which started on the 24th floor of the 30-storey building at 200 Wellesley St. E. near Bleecker Street, sent at least 14 people to hospital Friday night, including three children, one of them just a month old.
Three of the injuries were described as very serious.
It is important to remember that in addition to burglar alarms and home security systems, fire alarms are also incredibly important when it comes to keeping to family safe. Fire alarms, smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors can be monitored by a 24-hour emergency monitoring station for maximum protection.