Student Life

Staying Safe in the Big City

Toronto is a big city, and as such, it’s not always the safest place to live. When I first moved here, my parents urged me to stay on the main streets like Yonge, Church and Bay and to avoid walking home alone at night.

Sure, I took their advice, but it wasn’t until recently that I truly started feeling unsafe. Learning that people were being targeted in the place I previously considered a safe space was downright terrifying.

It made me realize that safety can no longer be taken for granted. In light of all the horrible things that have been happening in our own backyard, here are some tips to stay safe downtown.

  1. Look for a friend to walk home with.
  2. Share your location with friends and family on the “Find My Friends” app. Snapchat also has a similar feature that you can activate, however, it only shows your location when you’re actively using the app.
  3. I know we’re all using Tinder, but seriously, be careful with who you meet up with. Get to know the person, check their social media, tell your friends where you’re going and try to meet up in a public place for the first time.
  4. Stay on the major streets, don’t take shortcuts.
  5. Be alert and observant.
  6. Turn your music down, it’ll make #4 easier.
  7. If you’re taking an uber, always check the license plate and make sure the driver confirms your name and destination before you get in.
  8. Trust your gut. If you’re getting a bad vibe, consider taking a different route.
  9. If something suspicious happens, take refuge in the closest store. Tell someone what happened and call the police.

Sign up for a free self-defense class at Ryerson. Click here for more information.

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Maxine Kozak
2nd year creative industries student specializing in storytelling in media and the business and practice of news / storyteller for ru student life / probably reading poetry, making zines or binging tv shows / IG: mx.kzk / twitter: maxinekozak_