Ottawa·Under the gun

Gang violence hitting people where they live

CBC Ottawa speaks with a number of people who live in neighbourhoods where many of the recent shootings have taken place.
People who live on Penny Drive and Ritchie Street say the reality and the stigma of gang violence has affected them. (CBC)

For Ottawa Community Housing residents living around Penny Drive and Ritchie Street, the 49 incidents in 2014 where gunshots were fired are not just statistics, but a grim reality.

CBC Ottawa spoke with people living on both streets about how the street violence has affected them and what they think are the roots of the problem. Here are some of their perspectives:


Anita Wade, a mother of three, lives in a townhouse on Penny Drive. She says she has taken to bringing out a baseball bat in an effort to break up altercations outside her home.

  • On mobile? Click here to hear Wade talk about the problem in her neighbourhood.

Laurent Gendron has lived in a private apartment building on Ritchie Street since 1979. The first shooting of 2015 in Ottawa was in the alley immediately behind his building.

  • On mobile? Click here to hear Gendron talk about gang issues in and around his street.

Adanech Tarekegne is originally from Ethiopia and came to Canada for what she thought was a safer life. A mother of three school-aged boys, she lives on Penny Drive.

  • On mobile? Click here to hear Tarekegne talk about her fears for her family.

Joseph Tadesse is Tarekegne's eldest son. He has a part time job and goes to Woodroffe High School. He said his family is disappointed in their neighbourhood: "It’s not the one we expected."

  • On mobile? Click here to hear Tadesse on the transition from Yemen to Canada.

Amber Wilson lives on Ritchie Street with her three children and pays a subsidized rent while she finishes her degree. She said she doesn't feel afraid, but doesn't like the stigma that's been attached to her neighbourhood.

  • On mobile? Click here to hear Wilson talk about how she views the issue of gangs on her street.


Friday on Under the Gun: How can people be steered away from the gang life? 

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