Jamie Duce says he’s glad he has gotten the heck out of Calgary, especially in light of the five homicides in the city already this year.
He got fed up with Calgary’s violence last year while living in Erinwoods. The final straw for Duce was when a shooting happened just a few blocks from his house.
Two weeks after he left Calgary, innocent bystander Jose Neto was caught in the crossfire of a gang shooting and blinded by a stray bullet close to the same bus stop Duce used every day.
“I was in complete shock. I am just glad that I left when I did,” Duce said. “Violence has just gone through the roof.”
Duce moved to the sma ll town of Blairmore in the municipality of Crowsnest Pass. With only 6,500 people living in the area, he has been feeling a lot safer. He hardly ever visits Calgary.
“If I don’t have to come back, why would I?” he said.
However, real estate agents aren’t finding it difficult to sell homes in areas of Calgary that appear more susceptible to crime — typically because of the price point.
“There are still people who want to live in those areas,” said realtor Bill Hamilton. “It’s not difficult to sell there.”
Emilia Farrace is one of those people. She lives in Inglewood, which she said some people call the ghetto of Calgary.
“People always say, ‘oh, how do you do it?’ when I answer their ‘where do you live?’ questions,” she said. “But it’s fine, I don’t feel threatened. There are some sketchy people on the bus but I think that’s natural anywhere you live.”