Olivia Chow says Toronto is safer and more affordable, but the numbers don’t lie
Olivia Chow says Toronto is safer and more affordable, but the numbers don’t lie

In an end-of-year video addressing her city’s residents, Toronto Mayor Olivia Chow claimed that Toronto had become a safer and more affordable city in 2023.

Chow’s claims are contradicted by data showing the number of crimes committed in the past year increased while housing prices in the city remain unaffordably high. 

In a video posted to social media ushering in the new year, Chow listed off a number of accomplishments she feels she achieved in 2023.

“Working together over the last year, we’ve created a more welcoming city, a more caring city, a safer city, and a more affordable city,” said Chow. 

However, 2023 did not see a decrease in crimes committed in Toronto, but instead saw an across the board rise in crime across the city.

According to statistics from the Toronto Police Service, major crime indicators increased by 17.6% in 2023. 

Compared to 2022, there were 3,248 more assaults,or a 15.2% increase, as well as 24.2% more auto thefts, 25.3% more break-and-enters, 9.2% more robberies, and 6.3% more sexual offences.

Toronto police also reported 73 homicides in 2023, a marginal increase over 2022. 

Toronto also experienced a wave of violence on public transit, with 1,522 recorded assaults, an increase of 14% from the year prior. There were also 152 sexual offences on Toronto transit, a 27% increase from 2022. 

When it comes to the cost of living, one of the biggest impediments to achieving affordability in Toronto is the high price of housing.

Currently, the average price for a house in Toronto is just over $1,050,000, making the city one of the most expensive markets in the country. 

2023 did not see much progress in addressing unaffordability in the housing market as prices slightly increased from 2022 and the Bank of Canada’s interest rate hikes have made home loans even costlier for Canadians. 

According to the cost of living index Expatistan, the estimated monthly costs for someone living on their own is $4,345 and $7,472 for a family of four.

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