Amid growing fear in Toronto’s Gay Village, police to update public on deaths, missing-person cases

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Tu Thanh Ha writes at the Globe and Mail:

For decades, the Church and Wellesley area was seen as a secure haven for Toronto’s gay community but also for single straight women or those seeking acceptance for their sexual diversity.

But an unease has been growing in recent years as a result of a spate of missing-person cases that remain unsolved. With the recent killing of a young club goer and confirmation of the death of a transgender woman, worries in the Gay Village have reached such a point that when friends of Dani Rose head home after working nights in the local clubs, they video-call her from their cellphones as a safety measure.

“I’ve had lots of gay friends in their 30s and 40s, grown men who should feel more comfortable in the area they’ve lived their whole life,” Ms. Rose said in an interview. “They don’t feel safe not being accounted for five minutes. That’s pretty telling of the state we’re in right now, that people don’t want to walk two blocks home by themselves.”

Toronto police are expected to hold a media briefing at police headquarters on Friday morning so investigators can offer the frightened community details about their efforts to solve the various crimes. “They’re attentive to the fact that there is anxiety and concern out there,” police services spokesman Mark Pugash said.

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