August 23, 2017 (Ottawa, ON) – A new Mainstreet/Postmedia poll finds Winnipeg is the most unsafe city in Canada – according to Canadians. The Mainstreet/Postmedia poll has a margin of error of +/- 2.16 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.
“In 2016 Mainstreet Research (@MainStResearch) began looking at Canadian perceptions of safety across 15 major cities following the release of Statistics Canada crime statistics in attempt to measure relevant differences. A few consistent patterns have emerged in 2016 and largely those trends have continued in 2017,” said Quito Maggi, president of Mainstreet Research.
“With just a single exception in the City of Toronto, cities that are the seat of provincial government have a relatively higher perception of safety than other urban centres in their home province. Victoria, Edmonton, Regina & Québec City all have higher perceived safety when compared to Vancouver, Calgary, Saskatoon & Montréal respectively. In Ontario where the nation’s capital continues to have higher perceived safety than Toronto, the pattern does continue but in this case, the city with the House of Commons outperforms the city with Queen’s Park.”
“Ottawa continues to lead the pack among the 15 cities surveyed in 2017, increasing by net +4% over 2016 despite an increase in both its overall crime rate by 5% and Crime Severity Index by 10%. The centre of Canada 150 celebrations this year and the ongoing concentration of media being related to issues of the federal government, makes Ottawa Canada’s safest city.”
“Toronto lies at the other end of the spectrum and continues near the bottom of the list of safe cities in contrast to the lowest crime rate among the 15 cities that were surveyed. Toronto did see a 2% increase in crime rate and a 5% increase in its Crime Severity Index, but dropped 11% with 40% saying Toronto was safe, and a majority (52%) saying Toronto was unsafe (-12). Toronto again joined Winnipeg as the only two cities that have a net negative perceived safety.”
“The other trend we have seen continued in 2017 is the correlation between media concentration and perceptions of relative safety. A single violent crime that occurs in Toronto or Montréal, could have dozens of media mentions and potentially be shared on social media hundreds or thousands of times while the same crime in smaller urban centres does not get the same amplification effect.”
“Atlantic Canada is perceived as safe by most Canadians but not necessarily as highly by Atlantic Canadians. Charlottetown, St. John’s and Moncton are all in the Top 5 while Halifax remains in 7th spot of safest cities with Charlottetown continuing second to only Ottawa. The only Western Canadian city to make the Top 5 was the capital of B.C., Victoria,” finished Maggi.
For a full ranking of cities see page 26