Toronto’s weekend of gun violence ‘frustrating, angering and sad,’ says Tory

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The gun violence in Toronto during the Civic Holiday weekend that saw 17 people shot during 14 separate incidents is “heartbreaking,” Mayor John Tory said Tuesday.

The most significant incidents involved:

  • The District 45 nightclub in suburban North York. Five victims were located at the club by emergency crews. Police later said two people arrived at a hospital sometime after the incident, but they weren’t certain if the two were part of the nightclub shooting.
  • A shooting at an Airbnb in the swanky Bridle Path neighbourhood where a man was left with life-threatening injuries.

“It’s frustrating because we are doing a lot to try and get at it,” Tory told CBC Radio’s Metro Morning.  

He said police resources have been beefed up in response to the gun violence, echoing what police Chief Mark Saunders spoke about Monday, although he didn’t give specifics.

Tory also called for stricter gun control and tougher sentences for gun-related crime.

“I’ve come to realize that there is no magic answer to this,” he said. “So when this kind of thing happens in a concentrated way, it’s very frustrating, angering and sad. And bottom line, unacceptable.” 

Tory has pushed for a handgun ban, saying it would help address some of the city’s gun violence. City council debated a handgun ban in June, but such a ban would require action by both the federal and provincial governments. 

“If we have a choice of doing absolutely everything we can to stem this type of violence, then I do believe a handgun ban would make some difference, if it would stop a handful of the shootings and certainly any of the deaths that we see,” the mayor said. 

Saunders told a news conference on Monday that this was not a normal weekend for Toronto. 

The District 45 shooting in particular was “very bothersome,” with shell cases found inside and outside the club, Saunders said. 

“I find it disturbing that you have 100 people in a club and someone pulls out a gun.”

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