Construction has officially begun for a massive new courthouse right in the heart of downtown Toronto. The courthouse will cost nearly $1 billion to build and will be 17 storeys tall. It will be the new hub for adult and youth criminal operations, merging 6 Ontario Court of Justice locations in the Toronto area.
According to the Toronto Star, the courthouse is set to become the busiest in all of Canada. It is also raising a ton of concern about increased criminal activity in the city, according to a secret police document obtained by the Star.
Authorities explain that by merging all 6 locations into a single massive courthouse, it will serve as a location for gang-related violence to occur, bringing an "unprecedented number of violent criminals to a single location.” Which is the last thing Toronto needs right now, considering 2018 has been a record-breaking year for gun violence and crime.
The secret police report states that the new courthouse will make it "extremely difficult" to prevent gang-related crime in the area, and could be used as "an opportunity for targeted attacks" among rival gangs.
"This is an unprecedented, and untested, scenario for the City of Toronto," the report reads.
"The creation of (the new Toronto courthouse) in the proposed location creates the potential for delays and even a shutdown of every criminal proceeding in the City of Toronto as a result of a terrorism/extremist threat and/or a large demonstration."
The new courthouse will be located at the corner of Dundas Street West and University Avenue in downtown Toronto. The area is already densely populated with government buildings including the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal. Which, according to the report, makes the entire area a "potential target for extremist threats and/or events.”
While the statements in the secret report are definitely alarming, the provincial government and Toronto police force say they are going above and beyond to implement security measures at the new courthouse.
A spokesperson for the Ministry of Attorney General told the Star that the new courthouse's "security features will meet or exceed those in other courthouses in Ontario.”
The courthouse will reportedly be fully built and operational by 2022.
Source: The Star