The City of Vancouver saw 15 homicides in 2011. The final homicide in the city was the New Year’s Eve stabbing death of 19-year-old Dylan Cody Smith at an apartment. A count for the Metro Vancouver and Fraser Valley places the number of 2011 homicides at roughly 35.
Edmonton saw its deadliest year ever in 2011 — including two slayings in the final 24 hours, with a 35-year-old man and a woman in her 20s becoming the 46th and 47th homicide victims. The city, which led the country in homicides, surpassed its previous record of 39 from 2005.
Winnipeg saw a record 39 homicides in 2011, up from the previous record of 34. The high number of deaths was attributed to increasing gang violence and one instance where a woman allegedly set fire to a rooming house, killing five occupants inside.
Population: 1.6 million
Montreal saw 35 homicides on its territory in 2011, down two from 2010. In the province of Quebec there were 102 homicides, an increase of 28 per cent.
Homicides were up significantly for Halifax, with 17 throughout the municipality in 2011. That’s six more than in 2010 and four more than the previous record of 13 from 2009. Most of the homicides weren’t random, but in late November three teens were charged in the indiscriminate shooting of a Halifax-area senior out for a walk.
Ottawa had 11 homicides in 2011. Four victims were women and the rest men. Knives were used in five of the cases. Three other homicide victims were shot; all were men with criminal ties, and two were killed in a single attack. The shootings remain unsolved as do two other cases. Ottawa had 10 homicides in 2010 and nine in 2009.
London police reported eight homicides in 2011 — up from seven in 2010 — the most murders on record since slayings spiked to 14 in 2005. The last murder was reported Dec. 27 when Said Hadbai, 20, was found shot in a parking lot. He died in hospital.
Population: 2.5 million
Toronto recorded 45 murders in 2011, the lowest number in 25 years. This was the fourth straight year of declines since 2007, when the city recorded its deadliest year (matched in 1991) with 86 homicides. Police Chief Bill Blair attributed some of the decline to the disruption of gang activity following sweeping raids carried out across the region.
Early intervention and funding commitments from municipal and provincial governments are being touted as major factors in keeping Calgary’s homicide rate at 11, the lowest it’s been in eight years. The final count is in stark contrast to killings at the height of the city’s gang war in 2008 and 2009, when roughly three times the murders were recorded.