The Community Safety Unit is actively involved in crime prevention throughout Toronto Community Housing communities. Crime prevention is a key piece of community mobilization, in which strong community partnerships are needed as an important piece of overarching community safety.
The Community Safety Unit works to prevent crime by being visible in the communities we serve, by patrolling in vehicles, on bike and on foot, and proactively engaging with community members. This is also supported by Community Safety Advisors, who actively engage, listen and support Toronto Community Housing's tenants across the portfolio.
Crime Prevention is not a sole-source solution to problems, but it is a collaborative approach among Toronto Community Housing staff, tenants and community partners/stakeholders to make the communities in which we live and work, safer.
The Community Safety Unit offers supports such as Crime Prevention through Environmental Design (CPTED) audits, conducted by Community Safety Advisors to help support safety by identifying physical issues such as camera coverage, lighting and other physical barriers which can impact community safety.
If you believe your building needs a CPTED audit, please speak with a member of your HUB who will refer your request to your building's Community Safety Advisor.
If you are looking for more information on Community Safety Unit services in your community or are looking for additional Community Safety Unit information, please contact;
What we are doing: Strategies and programs
In 2019, the Community Safety Unit was directed by Toronto Community Housing's Board of Directors to operationalize the Violence Reduction Program, which is focused on improving safety, well-being and security for tenants through a reduction of violence in TCHC communities by "connecting tenants/households to supports, place-based/ demographic-focused service delivery and better service integration and accountability" (Toronto Community Housing, 2021).
The Community Safety Unit, in support of the corporate and City of Toronto Violence Reduction Program/Strategy, deployed Special Constables to identified high-risk communities across TCHC's portfolio. These staff members are embedded within the communities, proactively patrolling, engaging with tenants and other stakeholders and providing education on safety and security.
Currently, the Community Safety Unit supports the Violence Reduction Program in the following TCHC communities;
- Dan Harrison
- Bleecker / Wellesley
- Moss Park
- Regent Park
- Falstaff / 2195 Jane St.
- Lawrence Heights
- Edgeley Village
- West Hill / Morningside Lawrence
- Chester Le (Currently supported through Contracted Security Services)
Staff assigned to the Violence Reduction Program are supported by investigative and administrative staff, who work in conjunction with frontline staff, to resolve complex issues and/or refer community members to additional supports both within TCHC and externally
Access Control and Governance
The Community Safety Unit is responsible for the oversight and operation of all Toronto Community Housing access control systems (access control systems) and ensures proper policies and procedures are followed in determining who can access TCHC properties.
The Access Control and Governance team works to foster community well-being and safety through the governance, administration and oversight of these systems by developing policies and procedures surrounding the issuance of building E-Keys (Access Fobs), programing of E-Keys and conducting audits and investigations into E-Key use as needed.
The Community Safety Unit also supports the safety and security of Toronto Community Housing tenants and staff through the governance of TCHC's Video Surveillance program in conjunction with other internal stakeholders (Information and Technology Services and Smart Buildings and Energy Management).
The Community Safety Unit is responsible for governance over Video Surveillance system access (who can view, review and secure) digital video recordings.
The Community Safety Unit also supports other internal stakeholders in testifying in various levels of court on how digital video recordings are access, reviewed and secured.
If you are a tenant, staff, or member of the public and require access to Video Surveillance recordings, please note all requests must be submitted through the Toronto Community Housing Freedom of Information (FOI) team.
The Community Safety Unit is not able to release Video Surveillance images without approval of TCHC's legal department in accordance with TCHC Policies and the Municipal Freedom of Information and Privacy Protection Act, with the exception of law enforcement agencies conducting a law enforcement investigation.
For law enforcement related requests (law enforcement officer requesting Video Surveillance footage to support an on-going investigation), please contact the Community Safety Unit Communications/Dispatch Centre at (416) 921-2323.
Alternate Response Unit
In 2021, the Community Safety Unit launched a pilot program to provide additional support to Toronto Community Housing tenants and staff through an Alternate Response Unit. This program, which has no additional cost associated to TCHC's budget, was launched to alleviate low priority calls that can be resolved via telephone or email from frontline CSU staff. The Alternate Response Unit enables frontline CSU staff to spend more time proactively patrolling communities and engaging with TCHC tenants and staff.
This program also provides tenants and staff with increased services as non-emergency calls can be addressed without CSU staff being re-directed to higher priority calls for service.