Toronto crime rate

Photo: ransomtech/Flickr

It looks like Canadian cities are becoming safer and safer. According to the recently released crime numbers from Statistics Canada, not one of 33 cities studied saw an increase in the crime rate from 2012 to 2013. The crime rate measures the total amount of Criminal Code violations, be they violent or non-violent crimes, reported to the police per 100,000 population.

Out of all the census metropolitan areas studied, Edmonton bucked the trend. It saw zero change in terms of its crime rate, while every other city recorded a drop between 2012 and 2013. However, looking back over the past five years, Edmonton saw the crime rate decrease by 24.1 per cent. Every single CMA saw a decrease in the crime rate over the past five years.

Here’s a closer look at the crime rate:

  • In 2013, Toronto was the city with the overall lowest crime rate. It recorded 3366.35 violations per 100,000 people. The rate fell 7.1 per cent from 2012 and 25.1 from five years ago. The Big Smoke was also named safest city in 2012.
  • Close on Toronto’s heels were Quebec City (3920.53), Guelph (3973.62), the Ontario portion of Ottawa-Gatineau (4121.7) and Barrie, Ontario (4232.78). Six of the top ten safest cities were in Ontario.
  • On the flip side, Kelowna (9490.84), Regina (9279.26) and Saskatoon (8674.09) had the highest overall crime rates. However, Kelowna did see a 7.9 per cent drop from the previous year and a 21.2 per cent decline in the crime rate from 2008.
  • Winnipeg saw the biggest year-over-year drop. It’s rate of 5695.44 represented a 14.7 per cent decrease from the previous year.
  • At 34.9 per cent, Victoria and Abbotsford-Mission, British Columbia tied for the steepest five year decline in the crime rate.

Statistics Canada also released the Crime Severity Index (CSI), which measures both the volume and severity of crimes. It uses a weighting system based on the average sentence handed down by criminal courts for each offence that is reported.

Once again, Edmonton stood alone. It was the only city to measure an increase, albeit an incremental one. The CSI inched up 0.2 per cent between 2012 and 2013 to 84.49.

Here’s a look at some of the CSI figures:

  • Barrie had the lowest overall CSI at 42.84. It was followed by Guelph (43.01) and Quebec City (46.48).
  • The highest rates were recorded in Regina (109.3), Saskatoon (99.09) and Kelowna (92.56).
  • From 2012 to 2013, Victoria saw the steepest decline with a 16.7 per cent drop to 59.11
  • Winnipeg improved the most in the long-term. In the last five years, the CSI fell 39.5 per cent.

Want to know how your city compares? Click through the fully sortable tables below:

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