HomeFeaturedDespite Crime Stats, Canadians Say Winnipeg Most ‘Unsafe’ City

Despite Crime Stats, Canadians Say Winnipeg Most ‘Unsafe’ City

August 16, 2016 (Ottawa, ON) – A new Mainstreet/Postmedia poll of 4,231 Canadians has found some surprising results about which cities Canadians consider safe and unsafe. Among 15 major cities that were surveyed Ottawa is seen as the safest city while Winnipeg is seen as the most dangerous – though crime statistics recently released by Stats Canada show Saskatoon has the highest crime rate in the country. The Mainstreet/Postmedia Poll has a margin of error of +/- 1.52%, 19 times out of 20.

“Summer headlines are often dominated by crime like no other season. Gun related fatalities in Toronto have more than doubled since last year, in Saskatoon, a series of stabbings has continued to make headlines,” said Quito Maggi, President of Mainstreet Research. “This year, those stories are competing with the Olympics, and seemingly endless US Presidential election coverage. As we enter the last few weeks of summer, we take a look at how Canadians perceive crime and safety, both their own, and those of their neighbours across Canada.”

“Ottawa is Canada’s safest city, according to the perceptions of Canadians with 72% saying it was either safe of very safe, compared to just 16% who said it was unsafe. At the other end of the spectrum, Winnipeg is perceived to be Canada’s unsafest city with just 35% indicating it was safe or very safe, compared with 56% who said it was unsafe. Males and females, young and old, all ranked the safest and unsafest cities in the same way at the top and bottom of the 15 cities they were asked about.”

“Charlottetown, Moncton, St John’s and Quebec City rounded out the top five among the “safest” with Toronto, Montreal, Saskatoon and Edmonton rounding out the bottom 5 of those considered unsafest. Only Toronto joined Winnipeg with a negative score with 46% saying it was safe, compared to 47% saying it was unsafe. All other cities had at least a plurality of Canadians considering them safe cities, including a majority in 11 of 15 cities.”

“Perceptions compared to Statistics Canada’s Crime Severity Index yields some interesting comparisons. Toronto for example, ranks 14th out of 15 in terms of perceived safety, but ranks second behind just Quebec City and narrowly ahead of Ottawa which topped the rank of safest cities as perceived by Canadians. Winnipeg, which is ranked at the bottom by Canadians has a crime severity index lower than Vancouver, Edmonton, Regina and Saskatoon.”

“The results paint an interesting portrait of how we see each other,” finished Maggi.

About Mainstreet Research
Mainstreet is a national public research firm. With 20 years of political experience at all three levels of government, President and CEO Quito Maggi is a respected commentator on Canadian public affairs.

Differentiated by its large sample sizes, Mainstreet Research has provided accurate snapshots of public opinion, having predicted a majority NDP government in Alberta, a majority Liberal government in British Columbia and a majority Liberal government in Ontario. Mainstreet has been the most accurate polling firm in several by elections and the most recent Toronto mayoral election. Most recently, Mainstreet was the only polling firm to correctly predict a Liberal majority government in the 2015 federal election.


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