Safety and security

Policies and programs

Safety and security

At Toronto Community Housing the safety of our communities is our top priority. Like all Torontonians, our residents have the right to be safe in their neighbourhoods.

Residents can contact the Community Safety Unit at 416-921-2323 to report noise disturbances, loitering, or trespassing.

Always call 9-1-1 in an emergency such as a fire, a crime in progress or a life threatening medical emergency 

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Community Safety ​Unit​

The Community Safety Unit (CSU) is a team of 99 Community Patrol Officers that are responsible for:
  • Delivering Toronto Community Housing safety programs for residents,
  • Securing Toronto Community Housing buildings, and
  • Providing corporate security.

CSU Special Constables have the authority of a police officer on Toronto Community Housing property and have the ability to enforce:
  • Criminal Code of Canada,
  • Controlled Drugs and Substance Act,
  • Mental Health Act,
  • Liquor License Act,
  • Trespass to Property Act, and
  • Provincial Offences Act.

The Community Safety Unit works closely with other law enforcement agencies by conducting over 900 joint patrols per year and partnering on special projects. It also represents Toronto Community Housing on community policing liaison committees.

In October 2015, the Community Safety Unit moved to a new deployment model that will result in faster response times for residents and greater community engagement. This change will ensure Community Safety Unit Officers are a frequent and consistent presence in each community, allowing officers to build trust and relationships with residents, local police and agencies.

Quick facts:

  • The Community Safety Unit dispatch centre receives approximately 100,000 calls per year
  • The Community Safety Unit conducted over 900 joint patrols with Toronto Police Service in Toronto Community Housing communities by the end of 2015
  • The unit's 83 Special Constables have the authority of a police officer on Toronto Community Housing property
  • The Community Safety Unit team includes 5 Community Safety Advisors that develop community safety plans, coordinate safety services and provide community outreach
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Security cameras​

Toronto Community Housing has over 5,000 Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras across its portfolio, with cameras in every community. These cameras aid in investigations after a crime and help deter criminal activity.

By 2020, Toronto Community Housing plans to replace all older analog cameras with new, high-resolution digital cameras that have more responsive features, including better imaging in low-light conditions.

Camera use, footage retention, storage, and disposal are governed by Toronto Community Housing's CCTV Surveillance Policy. 

For questions about the collection of personal information you can contact the Toronto Community Housing Information Specialist by mail at 931 Yonge Street, 6th floor, Toront​o, Ontario M4W 2H2, or by telephone at 416-981-4231.

Community out​reach​

Toronto Community Housing has partnered with Toronto Crime Stoppers to leverage its network of corporate sponsors and expertise in developing education, awareness programs, and campaigns. The Community Safety Unit is working with Toronto Crime Stoppers to develop programs specific to Toronto Community Housing's needs.

The Crime Stoppers program is being rolled out to all Toronto Community Housing communities. The program includes:
  • Education on Crime Stoppers at community meetings,
  • Youth outreach activities - through a partnership with Mac's Convenience Stores, and
  • Installation of high-impact Crime Stoppers signage and distribution of public awareness materials.

Evictions for cause​

All Toronto Community Housing residents deserve to feel safe in their community. Toronto Community Housing has an Evictions for Cause Policy that guides the company in pursuing evictions of residents for anti-social behaviour, including serious criminal activity.

Toronto Community Housing has asked the City of Toronto to advocate on its behalf to the Government of Ontario to change sections of the Housing Services Act, Trespass to Property Act and Municipal Freedom and Information and Protection of Privacy Act to help make Toronto Community Housing communities safer.

If passed, these amendments would allow Toronto Community Housing to prevent individuals who have been previously evicted for anti-social behaviour from being rehoused in its buildings for at least two years; help trespass unwanted guests from residents' units; and allow for more information sharing with law enforcement agencies to support eviction proceedings.

Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED)​

Through its ReSet​ and Revitalization​ programs, Toronto Community Housing applies Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) principles when undertaking major capital repair or redevelopment projects. Crime Prevention through Environmental Design (CPTED) is an approach to planning and development that focuses on reducing opportunities for crime. Communities, neighbourhoods, individual homes, and other buildings are made safer through the application of design principles that make it more difficult to carry out negative activities.

This includes ensuring communities are street-connected and accessible from multiple points in their surrounding neighbourhoods. As well, pedestrian walkways and roads through the sites are designed to be well-lit and passively supervised from homes with generous windows and porches, providing improved "eyes on the street."​​​