Residents rally after series of Toronto sexual assaults
Residents want to reclaim Bloor/Christie neighbourhood
About 300 people rallied near Christie Pits Park on Monday night, symbolically taking back the Bloor and Christie area, which has been the scene of a series of recent sexual assaults.
The rally, called "Action against Recent Sexual Assaults" was listed on Facebook and drew the attention of hundreds of online users. Organizers asked people to join and "build resistance and take up space" in an effort to reclaim the neighbourhood.
"The intention is to take up streets and reclaim the streets in that neighbourhood," organizer Liz Brockest said during an interview with CBC Radio’s Metro Morning on Monday.
Coun. Mike Layton said the reports of the assaults caught residents off guard.
"I think the biggest thing was this is normally a very safe community, I think everyone feels that it is a safe community and they want to continue feeling that way," Layton said during a telephone interview with CBC Radio’s Here and Now.
"We're not going to let this fear overtake our community. This is a community that has a lot of concern for one another," he said.
Toronto police believe the same man may have committed all the assaults which have occurred in the Bloor and Christie area over the past few weeks — and possibly two others near the Spadina Avenue and College Street area in early July.
Const. Wendy Drummond told CBC News that the physical description of the suspect has remained consistent with each case: a black male with a heavy build, who is reported to be five feet 10 inches to six feet tall.
Victims reported being approached from behind before being assaulted.