Monday, April 7, 2008

Shooting in West Hill

It was in the late afternoon and I heard the shots plain as day from my home half a kilometer away.

Two Toronto Police officers were patrolling an apartment at Morningside and Lawrence when they were shot at by a drive-by gunman outside a Scarborough high rise.

Slugs ripped into two cars parked at the apartment and also into the empty St. Martin de Porres schoolyard across the street. The shooting took place half a block away from where the police horse Brigarier was run down and killed.

Officers from 54 Division raced to the area and quickly found the four-door 2006 Acura parked on Oak Knolls Crescent, about three kilometers away.

A search of nearby McDonald's restaurant on Kingston Rd. near Port Union Rd. led to the arrest of one male who had moments earlier tried to hide a knife in the washroom.

Ours is a quiet neighbourhood, for the most part, as city neighourhoods in a major urban area go.

Crime has decreased by nearly ten percent over the past couple of years. We have a large new police division building, our outdated Mall is being replaced by a modern new shopping complex, our GO/VIA Train station has just completed a multi million dollar renewal.

New luxury condos are spreading along Kingston Rd. New Restaurants are being built. A vibrant community market with fresh vegetables, crafts and entertainment runs through the summer on the St. Margarets-in-the- Pines Church grounds. The City have rebuilt Kingston Road with a new treed median and Lawrence Ave in slated for upgrading this summer.

A new book by our local United Church Minister has become a national best seller. New Community Associations are hosting Community Picnics, Clean Up Days, Neighbour's Nights out and other events. More than any other area in Toronto, there is a sense of vibrancy about West Hill.

But all it takes is a punk with a gun creating the impression of the area being a dangerous place to visit to put everything at risk.

We are just emerging from the second most vicious winter since records were kept and may be entering a long hot summer.

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