Campus and Neighbourhood Safety
The University of Toronto and the surrounding community are quite safe for an urban environment. In fact, Statistics Canada and U.S. Department of Justice data show that Toronto is one of the safest cities in North America (and even in Canada). However, as in all large cities, crime does occasionally occur and it's important to be on the alert and aware of your surroundings at all times. Additionally, if you should require emergency assistance, it is important to know how to access emergency services both on campus and off campus.
Should a medical, security or fire emergency arise, you can dial 911 from any phone free of charge — if you are calling from a public telephone/ payphone, you will not require a coin to place the call. In Toronto, and elsewhere throughout North America, this will connect you to an emergency operator who will send emergency services (police, fire and ambulance) to your location. Information about on-campus safety can be found below on this web page.
Newly arrived students to the St. George campus are occasionally surprised by the University's proximity to the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, as well as by routine encounters with people living on the streets and asking for money. This is part of the make-up of the City of Toronto. In a short time however, most students recognize the value of all the diversity that exists within our community.
One of the myths about Canada, popularized by Michael Moore's documentary Bowling for Columbine, is that we do not lock our doors. If you took a quick survey of people in the City of Toronto, you would find that this simply isn't true; precautions such as locking your door should always be taken. The overwhelming majority of students however, will not have any serious safety threats during their time at U of T.
The University of Toronto is dedicated to creating a safe and secure environment for students, staff, faculty and visitors. The following is a list of U of T services that you may find useful:
- WalkSmart: Formerly called WalkSafer, WalkSmart on the St. George campus is a reliable and safe alternative to walking alone at night. Student staff working in pairs (one male and one female) will escort you anywhere on campus or to a subway station. Staff carry photo badges and wear distinctive jackets while on duty, and are available from 7 p.m. to 12 a.m. Monday to Friday from the first day of classes in September until the last day of classes in April. Call 416-978-SAFE (7233) to arrange a walk. For more information, please see the WalkSmart website.
- At UTSC, please see the U of T Scarborough Patrol web page for more information.
- At UTM, please see the WalkSafer web page for more information.
- Campus Police: Each U of T campus has a Campus Police service. In the case of a life-threatening emergency, you should always call 911 before calling your campus police. Please note that on each campus, urgent calls to the campus police can be made free of charge from any campus public (pay) telephone.
- For the St. George Campus Community Police, call (416) 978-2222 for urgent matters and (416) 978-2323 for general information.
- For the UTM Campus Police, call (905) 569-4333 for urgent matters and (905) 828-5200 for general inquiries.
- For the UTSC Campus Police Services, call (416) 287-7333 for urgent matters and (416) 287-7398 for general inquiries.
Campus Emergency Telephones: These are located throughout each of the campuses. By pressing the button on the emergency pole or phone box, you will be immediately connected to the U of T Police who will know your exact location. Familiarize yourself with the locations of these phones, as well as of public (pay) telephones. Payphones will permit you to call 911 at no charge; you can also place urgent calls to the campus police from any public phone on campus.
- St. George campus: Emergency Phone Information and Map
- UTSC: Emergency Phone Information and Map
- UTM: Parking Map with Emergency Phones (additional phones are located inside campus buildings)
- Community Safety Office: The Community Safety Office is responsible for coordinating the ongoing education and outreach initiatives directed at improving safety and security on all three campuses. For more information, please contact the Community Safety Office website.
Living in Toronto means living in a city of vibrant neighbourhoods. You can imagine Toronto as a quilt with different cultures contributing to its fabric.