Ok i dont want to sound like a complete wimp, but the label of toronto the good is starting to die away, in 2005 toronto was called the year of the gun, with over 75 gun related deaths it was a sad year forthe people of toronto, but not all of toronto is dangerous in fact its pretty safe comapred to many othere north american cites like LA, NEW YORK, CHICAGO, VANCOUVER and MONTREAL, the east side of toronto is not that great in fact it sucks i know becuse i lived therefor 2 months before going back home the places to not to hang around in at night are Jarvis and sherbourne street. north of youge and wellesley street is safe, but at night its not the ideal place to be!!
You must always be careful when passing a streetcar in Toronto that is slowing down to a stop, or is not moving, because the doors open very quickly and people will come right out without looking, right in to the right lane of traffic (The street car travels always on the left side of the road to permit parking on the right) so this is very dangerous you can hurt some one or even kill theme. There is a small stop sign on the door that you can see when the door is open. So always remember to look before you pass
Don't Join The Bandidos
The big news of the week whilst I was there was a major biker fight try this link:
This guy looked harmless enough though, but you never know.
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Toronto's violent crime rates are extremely low compared to many cities in the U.S. and comparable to rates in larger European centres, and are low even if compared with most other Canadian urban centres.
Toronto has a comparable rate of car theft to various U.S. cities, although this is lower than in some other Canadian cities, especially Vancouver. Much of this has been attributed to organised crime, with stolen vehicles ending up being shipped overseas for sale.
Toronto is also struggling to come to grips with a nagging homeless problem which has ebbed and flowed throughout the years. Toronto has a considerably larger homelessness problem than many cities of similar size.
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Plane watching is no longer legal.
I am an aircraft lover, so naturally my hobbies include plane watching. With friends of similar interest, we used to visit select viewing areas by the airport. We had great days watching the planes departing or arriving.
This can no longer be done.
Here is the warning for plane lovers (like me) who love plane watching; it is no longer legal. Many “good plane watching areas” by the airport have been closed to the public. Even if you stop in a side road with ample space near the airport, police will request you to drive on.
The reason is naturally for security purposes.
I visited Vancouver in April, 2003. I had no problem watching planes there. Unless policies have since changed, save your plane watching for Vancouver!
Despite my warning above, I still managed to take a few snaps.This area was far enough to be legal. I was in the parking of a shop.
Yonge Street - The World's Longest!
To take a cab from one end of Yonge Street to the other it would cost more than $2,000. Warning number 1. It's the Longest street in the world and begins at the Toronto Harbour, runs 1,896 kilometres to pass through numerous Ontario towns to Rainy River, Ontario - bordering Manitoba and the U.S.
So if someone says it's on Yonge Street make sure you know what part. Just walking from the Four Seasons on Avenue Road to the downtown core will take 30 - 45 minutes for sure. I was getting a little humor at the Four Seasons concierge when they were not exactly recommending I walk Yonge Street and were trying to be politically correct. Then a bell hop contradicted and said how lovely Yonge Street would be to walk.
Obviously I was going to walk it to see for myself what it was like and I could see where both were coming from. Sure you going to see a lot of different sites and a broad range of people from the homeless, to the multi-cultural to the business tycoons. They also walk Yonge Street.
You can tell that certain blocks are less desirable to see than others but if you walk that stretch from Front Street to Bloor you will get a good idea of all the different sites and sounds. My advice is just walk like you know where your going!
This really isn't a warning tip, I am just having fun. You will be sure to experience Yonge Street on your visit, so enjoy the shops and everything else you witness here.
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I thought it would be fun to put this tip under warnings and dangers but in Toronto a lot of people are starting to use bicycles including the police force. Seen here is a picture of an officer and his bike.
There are approximately 170 police bicycles deployed across the city but mainly in the downtown core. These bicycles are a specialized and have a long-standing history with the Toronto Police Service. From the 1870's, single-speed "Planet" bicycles (made in Toronto) were first used as an efficient means of chasing down "scorchers" - reckless youths on other bicycles. Until the 1930's, there were twice as many bikes as there were vehicles on the Toronto Police Force! Those bikes were used by road Sergeants to visit beat patrolmen and to check extensive properties, but not for general patrol. They gradually fell into disuse by the early 1950's as mechanized patrol vehicles replaced them. It wasn't until the mid 1980's that the bicycle was re-introduced to our police service. Ironically, it was largely due to mechanization that they were brought back. By that time, there were so many vehicles in Toronto, bicycles again became one of the most efficient means of travel on our congested streets. They have also proven invaluable in negotiating narrow back alleys and lanes, as well as a myriad of parks and bicycle paths throughout the city. The bikes provide officers with silent and swift transportation to any situation.
There lies the warning and danger of getting caught! I found that historical information on their web site.
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SUMMERS not just winters
There is a saying
We were warned about the winters, but not the summers.
In summer, the city is frequently extremely hot. The sun can also be dangerour. Please wear a hat and eye protection.
SKATING ON THIN ICE IS DANGEROUS
The far north is known for its harsh winters. Winters are often so cold that water freezes. Ponds become ice skating rinks. People often think this is wonderful, let us go skating at the frozen pond in the park. Remember, just because it is ice on the surface, does not mean it is frozen fully. Often, people will skate, not realizing it is thin ice. If the ice breaks and they fall into the crack, it is EXTREMELY DANGEROUS. It is virtually impossible to climb out and the body will freeze up very soon. In fact, it is life threateningly dangerous.
It requires professionals with special equipment to measure the safety of the ice.
On Saturday nights, parking lots in the downtown district change their prices frequently. When there is a game at the Rogers Centre (formerly Skydome) the parking in those areas become outrageous. If you are planning to go near the stadium when there is a game, I suggest using other transport, carpooling or go somewhere else to socialize.
DANGER: ice can deceive.
Everyone has heard of the notorious Canadian winters. Visitors should therefore also be cautioned of freezing rain. In winter, frequently after rainfall, the temperature drops below zero. Water will then become ice. Often that ice layer is so thin, it is invisible. It is still nevertheless extremely slippery. Many people have fallen and severely hurt themselves. The sidewalk, while looking innocent can be very dangerous. Be extremely careful when walking outside.
Check the weather report for freezing rain.
There is one day in winter that I will not forget. I was standing on the balcony of a relative's apartment. It was overlooking a street corner that was extra slippery that day. In a period of about one hour, we counted at least a dozen small accidents e.g. cars denting each other frlom sliding. Fortunately there was nothing serious and no one was hurt. That is still a large number of accidents for one area in a short time.
Below, I included a website for the Toronto weather report.
It also includes safety tips for winter.
The most important winter driving tip: DRIVE VERY SLOW!
Toronto Crime Notes
-Forget the old idea that Canadians don't use guns. While gun violence may not compare to Detroit or DC, guns are used quite regularly in Toronto nowadays. Don't assume either that it is confined to one area of the city. I was surprised to learn of many recent incidents where innocent pedestrians or transit riders were struck by flying bullets!
(Half a year after adding this tip, the day after Christmas, six shoppers were shot on Yonge Street, just north of the Eaton Centre and just south of the Delta Chelsea hotel. A 15 year-old girl out with her family suffered fatal wounds.)
-Car theft. The numbers are huge in Toronto. (And the city also ranks as the bicycle theft capital of North America!)
-Carjacking. Thought of as a US problem, it happens here too. Mostly in expensive neighborhoods to boost high-end vehicles, but more often during other criminal incidents as a getaway or identity change.
-Financial crimes. If any place is bad for credit or bank card rip offs - this is it! Guard your privacy with a passion. Change your PIN numbers often. Check your transactions and verify the amounts often.
-Street crime. Especially in the downtown section around the major hotels, Eaton Center and Yonge Street strip. A large population of low-level street criminals float around here. You'll generally only have a problem if you engage them in communication.
-Mentally ill street people. Many of them are simply hanging out, but others may become beligerent. Many of those are still not cause for worry, but it is best not to mess with them. There have been several incidents of either direct violence or pedestrians being pushed into traffic, etc.
-Night clubs. Many serious outbreaks of violence, stabbings, shooting, etc. occur in and around the "Entertainment district" downtown.
-Drugs. Do not go near anyone offering anything whatsoever. You are really asking for trouble. No matter how nice they look. Most of the city is being fought over in territorial disputes by criminal organizations.
Night time safety
Toronto is a big city, so don't walk alone at night. There are street gangs, thieves, homeless people, prostitutes, runaway kids/teens, and other shady characters in the city, so be careful. Once, while at a park in Scarborough with my cousin, we saw some graffiti on the playground, and she told me it was likely gangs that sprayed it.
Beware the VT'ers
Be warned, VT'ers are a new gang that is sweeping not just Toronto, but the entire world. They frequently are disguised and normal people. When you find a pack of them, however, their abberent behaviour begins to crumble the veneer of normalcy that they present to an unwary public.
It's a CITY!
Toronto isn't particularly dangerous -- I've always felt (maybe naively) comfortable in any area of the city. But what you have to remember is that it is a CITY! And as a city of over 2 million people, it comes with all the dangers normally associated with a city.
1. There are areas of Toronto that are a little more dangerous than others (ie. Jane & Finch, Regent Park) -- you don't have to avoid these areas, but just be aware of your surroundings.
2. Don't put valuables down if you don't want to lose them ... don't leave your purses open.
3. Toronto is used to tourists - we get a lot of them, but that doesn't mean there aren't people who won't take advantage of you. Make sure to hang onto your belongings and don't flash too much cash.
4. Homelessness is a major problem in Toronto but not because they're dangerous!!! If you want to give them money or food, then please do so, but if not -- just walk on by! I've never seen anyone in a confrontation with a homeless person, they generally keep to themselves.
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