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10 Places You Should Avoid in Toronto

10 Places You Should Avoid in Toronto

10 Places You Should Avoid in Toronto

Living in Toronto can be a total breeze, making it easy to fall in love with the city. But it's not without its dangers.

Many Toronto neighbourhoods see higher-than-average levels of crime and there are several areas of the city that don't receive enough police coverage.

Here are some places you should avoid, as well as some general safety tips when out and about Toronto.

What places should I avoid in Toronto?

Here are 10 places you should avoid in Toronto:

These areas generally have troubling crime rates and the presence of house gangs that can potentially incite dangerous situations.

  • West Queen West Area
  • Toronto Entertainment District 
  • Little Italy
  • Parma Court
  • Crescent Town 
  • Black Creek
  • St. James Town
  • Thorncliffe Park
  • Flemingdon Park
  • Parkway Forest

Entertainment Hubs and Tourist Spots

Toronto is a huge city, and it’s packed with things to do. But even though the city is known for its entertainment and beautiful tourist spots, there are some areas that you should avoid when you’re out on the town. 

Here are our some areas you should avoid:

1. West Queen West Area

West Queen West Area
Photo by Travelweek

Queen West is an area in Downtown Toronto located along Queen Street West between University Avenue and Spadina Avenue. It is home to restaurants, cafes, bars and clubs. The area is also known for its artistic graffiti alley murals.

This area is a busy area in downtown Toronto since this is a popular area for both locals and tourists. Because of this, a number of crimes are reported primarily in this area – mostly related to assault and harassment. 

In fact there was a reported stabbing incident back in 2022 in West Queen West Area. According to the news it was an unprovoked attack by a man behind a woman sitting in the TTC bus. 

Although this area offers a wide selection of shops and restaurants, it is best to be extra careful when visiting, especially at night. 

2. Toronto Entertainment District

Toronto Entertainment District
Photo by Ferdinand Stöhr on Unsplash

Just like the West Queen West area, Toronto Entertainment District is also home to some vibrant restaurants, bistros and bars. It is where most of Toronto’s nightclubs are located. 

Because the Toronto Entertainment District is very popular, a lot of people are visiting this area making it an area more prone to crimes. In fact there was a reported shooting incident inside a nightclub in Toronto Entertainment District. 

There was also a reported stabbing incident at around 2AM because of an altercation in Toronto Entertainment District. 

Because this area is home to bars and nightclubs, most of the reported incidents happen during midnight when most people are out in the clubs partying. 

Although this area can’t be missed when in Toronto, it is best to be on your guard when visiting. 

3. Little Italy

Little Italy
Photo by walksofnewyork.com

Little Italy is a district in Toronto and is home to Italian-Canadian businesses, restaurants and cafes. The area is a popular destination to youngsters because of the nightlife it offers. 

The area is always busy with locals and tourists and because of that, the area is prone to robbery and assault incidents. In 2017, it was reported that there were 6 teenagers charged with violent robbery in Little Italy. 

There was also a man stabbed multiple times because of an altercation in College Street within Little Italy.  

Due to the area’s popular restaurants, bars, and nightlife experience, there are more people in the area, which raises the risk of crimes. 

Neighbourhoods

There are also a few Toronto neighbourhoods that are unfortunately not so safe, so tourist or not, you should probably avoid them.

Here are some neighbourhoods you should avoid:

1. Parma Court

Parma Court
Photo by Parma Court – Rap Dictionary
Current Crime Rate594.58 occurrences per 100,000
Notorious ForGangs, drugs
When to AvoidAny time of day

Crime rate data by Toronto Police Service Public Safety Data Portal 

Parma Court is notoriously one of the most dangerous neighbourhoods in Toronto. It  has a concerning number of gang members around the area.

Most of the neighbourhoods in this part of town, like Victoria Village, have higher rates of crime than the rest of Toronto does as a whole. In 2019, there was a reported shooting incident which was gang-related in Parma Court.

2. Crescent Town

Crescent Town
Photo by Alan Shackleton on https://beachmetro.com
Current Crime Rate585.43 occurrences per 100,000
Notorious ForGangs, shooting, auto theft
When to AvoidNighttime

Crime rate data by Toronto Police Service Public Safety Data Portal 

Crescent Town is a neighbourhood in Toronto where you will find a large number of restaurants and stores that are open late at night.

If you’re looking for a place where you can enjoy some great food, drink, and entertainment with your friends, then Crescent Town is worth checking out.

However, Crescent Town is a low-income neighbourhood in Scarborough and is notorious for high gangs that operate there, like the Dixon Boys and the Northside Gangster Crips. This makes the area dangerous to linger in, especially at night. 

In December of last year, there was a reported shooting incident in the Crescent Town area, leaving one man dead. 

3. Black Creek

Black Creek
Photo by Black Creek Pioneer Village – Step into 1860s Ontario
Current Crime Rate1,210.89 occurrences per 100,000
Notorious ForAuto theft, assault
When to AvoidNighttime

Crime rate data by Toronto Police Service Public Safety Data Portal 

Black Creek is one of the most beautiful places in Toronto, but it’s also one of the most dangerous. It’s not just because there are plenty of sketchy characters hanging around, but also because of the amount of traffic.

Black Creek is also considered below average in terms of liveability as this neighbourhood is densely populated for its size. 

There was a reported car theft incident in this area, so it is best to be mindful when visiting. 

The only thing that makes this place worth visiting is if you have friends or family who live in the area, but otherwise, it’s best to avoid this place at all cost!

4. St. James Town

St. James Town
Photo by Joel Levy of www.torontoguardian.com
Current Crime Rate1,126.4 occurrences per 100,000
Notorious ForHomicide, robbery, breaking and entering
When to AvoidNighttime

Crime rate data by Toronto Police Service Public Safety Data Portal 

St. James Town is a neighbourhood in Toronto located in the northeast of downtown Toronto. The neighbourhood consists of high-rise residential buildings and approximately 17,000 residents live in this locale.

Because this area is a residential area, it is not impossible for crimes to happen, especially robbery, assault and even murder. 

In 2021, there was a reported incident where a man was stabbed multiple times in the abdomen in St. James Town.

In 2022, another incident was reported wherein a man was shot multiple times. 

Parks

Toronto is a beautiful city, with tonnes of parks filled with activities and things to do. But there are some places you should steer clear of if you want to stay safe, even in the best of times.

Here’s some dangerous parks in Toronto that you should avoid:

1. Thorncliffe Park

Thorncliffe Park
Photo by https://participatoryplanning.ca
Current Crime Rate399.69 occurrences per 100,000
Notorious ForBreaking and entering, drugs
When to AvoidAny time of day

Crime rate data by Toronto Police Service Public Safety Data Portal 

The Thorncliffe Park neighbourhood is a great place to live, but it can also be a bit dangerous if you’re not careful.

The area has seen a lot of crime over the years, and it’s not just drug dealers who are frequenting the area — it’s also gang members and other criminals.

The Thorncliffe Park neighbourhood is surrounded by several other dangerous neighborhoods, including Rexdale, Flemingdon Park and Etobicoke.

The park is known for its beautiful views of the city, but it also has a reputation for being dangerous as there were reported drug-related crimes in this area. 

On the average, there are about 54.14 crimes against property reported in this area making this a neighbourhood to avoid. 

2. Flemingdon Park

Flemingdon Park
By SimonP – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=17179592
Current Crime Rate527.54 occurrences per 100,000
Notorious ForAssault, breaking and entering, gun violence
When to AvoidNighttime

Crime rate data by Toronto Police Service Public Safety Data Portal 

Flemingdon Park is one of the most popular parks in Toronto. It has a lot to offer and is a great place for families as it has plenty of activities for kids to do. 

However, there are a few things you should avoid if you want to enjoy your stay at Flemingdon Park without any problems. 

This area has also been notorious for gun violence for years, so it’s best to avoid this area especially during nighttime. 

According to areavibes.com, Flemingdon Park has a violent crime rate 5% higher than the national average. 

3. Parkway Forest

Parkway Forest
By GTD Aquitaine – Own work, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4065120
Current Crime Rate372.58 occurrences per 100,000
Notorious ForAssaults, shootings

Crime rate data by Toronto Police Service Public Safety Data Portal 

Parkway Forest is a popular spot for tourists to visit in Toronto. The park features a playground, an ice skating rink, and a zoo.

However, this area can be dangerous and  you could get hurt if you don’t take precautions when visiting. 

In 2018, there was a reported drive-by shooting incident in North York, where Parkway Forest is located. And the following year, there was a report of a man who attempted to lure young girls into his car.

The most recent incident reported in Parkway forest is a shooting incident. This obviously makes Parkway Forest a dangerous place for locals and tourists alike. 

If you want to make the most of the place, it’s best to visit Parkway Forest in daylight rather than at night. 

Safety Tips When in Toronto

Toronto is one of the most exciting and fun cities in the world. But it’s also a place where you can get into trouble if you don’t stay safe.

Here are some ways to keep yourself safe while visiting Toronto:

1. Don’t leave home without a plan. 

Take time to decide what you want to see and do, so you’re not just aimlessly wandering around. If you’re a tourist, it is better to have a set itinerary of what you will do and where you will go before you leave your place.

Having a plan is better than wandering off the streets of Toronto that are dangerous.  

2. Don’t take shortcuts. 

The city is full of beautiful streets and interesting places that require time to explore. Be sure that you know where you’re going before you start walking down any street.

Don’t take shortcuts especially if you are unsure of the place. There are a number of navigating apps that you can use if you are unsure of the area you are in. 

Use these tools at your convenience when going from place to place.

3. Be alert at all times. 

Keep your eyes open for danger or suspicious activity. If possible, walk with a friend or join a group tour so that someone else can watch out for you if needed.

When using public transportation in Toronto, always be aware of your surroundings and keep an eye on your belongings at all times while waiting for buses or trains.

4. Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it. 

If something seems unsafe or unusual, don’t hesitate to say something about it! 

Call any emergency hotlines available in case you need help. There are hotlines available for the public to call in case of emergency. 

Hotlines and Contact Information

If something goes wrong, it’s important to know who to call in case of an emergency. Here are some numbers to keep in your speed dial.

ServicesContact numbers
​Assaulted Women's Helpline​416-863-0511 or 1-866-863-7868 TTY
​Crime Stoppers416-808-8477 or 1-800-222-8477
​Emergency services​911 (TTY and text available)
Ministry of the Attorney General Victim Support Line​416-314-2447
​Toronto Police Service Central Dispatch​416-808-2222 or 416-467-0493 TTY​​
​Victim Services416-808-7066

It is important to note that you may dial 911 if there is a crisis. To get information and access to non-emergency city government services, dial 311 instead.