A 16-year-old Toronto boy is facing multiple charges after police say he was found downtown with a semi-automatic rifle.

Toronto police allege the boy was seen in the Dundas Street West and Denison Avenue area — including the Vanauley Walk housing complex area — and had a Kel Tec, Sub 2000, 9 mm semi-automatic firearm with ammunition.

"This is a rifle, and a dangerous one," said Const. David Hopkinson.

Hopkinson said there is "gang activity" in that area, and while it's not clear if the boy is part of a gang, he said young boys are being recruited "more and more."

"This is very disturbing," he added.

The boy was arrested and charged with unauthorized possession of a firearm, possession of a firearm knowing its possession is unauthorized, careless use of a firearm, careless use of ammunition, and possession of a weapon dangerous to public peace.

He cannot be identified under the provisions of the Youth Criminal Justice Act.