Cross-posted from Eye Daily.
The issue of Toronto Life now on newsstands features an article by Denisse Balkissoon on the crowds that swarm the Entertainment District every weekend. In May, I wrote about Councillor Adam Vaughan’s ideas for dealing with the increasing violence that has plagued the area — it was an issue that generated lots of discussion. For those who doubt that there’s a problem, Balkissoon’s story will help clear up any confusion. In the meantime, here are some stats (taken from Balkissoon’s article) that might surprise you:
88: the number of clubs within one square kilometer bordered by Queen, Front, Bathurst and Simcoe — Toronto has the most concentrated club district in North America.
448: number of people charged with assault in the Entertainment district in 2006.
17: number of people charged with aggravated assault (a beating causing serious bodily harm)
86: number of charges of assault with a weapon (mostly smashed beer bottles and knives).
3: number of times a 12-year-old girl was stabbed in the head after leaving an all-ages party at Steam on Adelaide.
2: number of people killed.
3: number of Toronto neighbourhoods that received the temporary installation of closed-circuit cameras thanks to a provincial grant. These neighbourhoods included Malvern, Jane and Finch and the Entertainment district.
3: number of ounces of liquor bartenders were allowed to give customers per order until the Ontario government abolished the rule in 2003.
$500,000: the maximum fine a business faces for breaking laws that regulate the serving of alcohol.
Less than $1000: the amount courts usually fine club owners.
8: number of officers assigned to the Entertainment District Monday through Wednesday nights.
70: number of officers usually on duty Thursday through Sunday.
30,000 to 35,000: number of people in the area that Chris Fernandes, 52 Division staff sergeant in charge of clubland’s strategic plan, says his team of officers can handle.
Over 50,000: number of people that often cram into clubland Thursday through Sunday during the summer.
$125 million: amount the city estimates the Entertainment District generates in economic activity.