Ellis Kirkland, Harvard-educated architect, charged in Toronto stabbing, remains in custody

Suspect Ellis Kirkland appeared in court today on multiple charges after a stabbing Thursday in the upscale Toronto neighbourhood of Rosedale sent a 67-year-old apartment building concierge to hospital.

Apartment building's night concierge, 67, now out of intensive care

Ellis Kirkland, 60, is charged with attempted murder, aggravated assault, assault with a weapon and weapons dangerous to the public peace. (Toronto Police Service)

A Toronto woman appeared in court today on multiple charges after a stabbing Thursday in the upscale neighbourhood of Rosedale sent a 67-year-old apartment building concierge to hospital.

Ellis Kirkland, 60, an internationally renowned infrastructure specialist, is charged with:

  • Attempted murder.
  • Aggravated assault.
  • Assault with a weapon.
  • Weapons dangerous to the public peace.

Kirkland was wearing a white jump suit and looked dishevelled during her court appearance.

She told the court she had not yet spoken with a lawyer. 

Kirkland was remanded into custody and is scheduled to appear in mental health court on Monday.

On Thursday, residents of the apartment building were shocked at news of the stabbing, in an incident that sparked a citywide manhunt and ended in Kirkland's dramatic arrest. 

"To think that one of your neighbours might do something like that … it is shocking," Peter Thomsen told CBC News. "I saw [the victim] this morning. I don't know him that well, but I see him in the morning when I go to work."

Just after 7:30 a.m. Thursday, police say, a man was stabbed multiple times with a large kitchen knife at a midrise apartment building in one of Toronto's wealthiest neighbourhoods.

He was taken to a trauma centre and underwent an operation. On Thursday, police said he was in critical condition. On Friday, police told CBC News that his condition has improved and he has been moved from intensive care.

The stabbing took place at this apartment building in the Rosedale neighbourhood of Toronto around 7:30 a.m. ET Thursday. (CBC)

Police released Kirkland's photo shortly after the stabbing, describing her as armed and dangerous.

Police rappelled down building

Police tracked her to the Town Inn Suites at 620 Church St., less than a kilometre south of where the stabbing took place. After negotiating with the woman for hours, two emergency task force officers rappelled down from the 28th floor of the hotel to the balcony on the 27th floor.

Police sources said Kirkland screamed when she saw the officers and tried to jump over the balcony. They stopped her and took her into custody at about 3:30 p.m.

Police don't know what led to the stabbing, which one resident told CBC News took place in one of the building's two laundry rooms. Police sources said the suspect and the victim knew each other, but the stabbing was not a domestic dispute.

Kirkland has worked as a provincial lobbyist for First Nations groups.

She was featured in an Ottawa Life magazine article published in October 2014 that said she has a master's in architecture in urban design from Harvard University, with a specialty in large-scale infrastructure development, and a bachelor of architecture degree from the University of Toronto.

Ottawa Life said she was the first woman to serve as president of the Ontario Association of Architects.

The NATO Association of Canada, a non-governmental organization founded in 1966 to promote knowledge and understanding of NATO in Canada, confirmed that Kirkland is currently a volunteer member.

Peter Thomsen lives in the building where the stabbing took place. 'To think that one of your neighbours might do something like that … it is shocking,' he told CBC news (CBC)