Maclean’s ranks Ottawa among Canada’s safer cities

An exclusive analysis of crime statistics by Maclean’s found Ottawa is safer than many other major centres like Vancouver, Toronto and Calgary.

The magazine’s editors compiled the ranking after poring over raw crime data from Statistics Canada.

“We take a look at a whole bunch of different crime measures,” said Maclean’s senior editor Claire Brownell. “We look at the Crime Severity Index, which is a measure overall that Statistics Canada uses to measure not just the number of crimes, but how severe they are.”

They also look at rates of homicide, assault, robberies and other crimes. With 14 murders in 2017, Brownell says Ottawa has the 65th-highest homicide rate in the country. Rates of firearms offences and sexual assault were also high for the size of the city.

“Those serious sexual assault crimes tend to be kind of worringly high in Ottawa,” said Brownell. “It had the 53rd-highest rate of Sexual Assault II — so that’s weapon or bodily harm — and the 27th-highest rate of Sexual Assault III, which is aggravated sexual assault.”

Despite the concerns around those serious violent crimes, the magazine’s editors found that overall Ottawa was in the safer half of places ranked: 153rd most-dangerous place, out of 237 towns and cities that were ranked.

Ottawa’s Crime Severity Index was 51.51, which is more than seven points lower than five years ago, and below Canada’s overall CSI of 72.9.

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