Resolving Car Theft In Toronto - A Brainstorming Session

- jim Young

“When you have exhausted all possibilities, remember this: You haven’t.” - Thomas Edison

Recently a Toronto Officer recommended “that people leave the keys to their vehicle in a faraday bag by the front door,” as a deterrent to home invasions. 

The idea being, the car thieves are only interested in your vehicle, so once they find what they are looking for (your car keys), they will not proceed to rob your home or confront your family.

So as wild as that may seem, that suggestion may actually be effective in reducing home invasions in Toronto; however it does nothing to reduce the car theft problem.

Brainstorming, “a creative thinking technique for coming up with new ideas and solving problems” uses a process which encourages everyone to offer any and every idea they may have as a solution, no matter how wild it may seem. The hope is, from all the ideas, no matter how crazy they may seem, the collective group can strip away the craziness and piece together one sensible and viable solution

So before “pooh-poohing” this officer’s idea, let’s hear more suggestions to see what we can come up with. Maybe we can combine them all and end car theft in Toronto once and for all.

Here’s my idea.  

First, I did a little bit of research. There are more car thefts in Toronto than any other place in Ontario. Why is that? It’s likely because Toronto has a population density of 4,150 people per km2. 

Thieves in general are usually a pretty lazy group of people. If they weren’t, they’d get regular jobs like you and me and there would be fewer thieves in the world. With a population as dense as Toronto, they don’t have to travel very far to find a car to steal.

Add to that, our tendency to want to “keep up with the Jonses”. If one person on a street buys a new, expensive car, there’s a good chance everyone on the street will have new, expensive cars. 

The solution seems pretty simple to me. SPREAD OUT!

The province of Ontario has a population of approximately 15 million people. Almost ⅕ of those people live in Toronto.

With everyone spread out a little, I think we would see the following positive results:


As it would be more difficult for car thieves to steal the cars, since they would have to travel further from one victim to the next, car theft would be reduced.


There would be less tendency for the “keeping up with the Jonses” syndrome to kick in, since the “Jonses” would live further away from each other. Fewer new and expensive cars means fewer car thefts.

It’s not just enough to spread Toronto’s population out however. Resolving the car theft issue in Toronto, would likely just put in motion a migration of car thieves to Ontario’s second largest city, Ottawa. We need to tackle the problem of car theft on a Provincial scale.

Ontario has an area consisting of just over 1 million km2. Let’s utilize that land by dispersing our entire population across all of Ontario which would result in a population density of just 14 people per km2.

But is that enough? A project of this magnitude will be costly so let’s make sure we plan for future growth. 

Let’s look at our neighbour, Quebec. After all, it’s the port of Montreal where all these automobiles are being shipped to in the first place.

Quebec’s population is a little more than ½ that of Ontario but it also has 50% more land mass. If Ontario annexed Quebec, the combined population density of the two provinces would be just 6 people per km2.

When spreading the population out, we would have to be certain that every km2 consisted of 2 upper class, 2 middle class and 2 lower class families to be certain there weren’t too many new and expensive cars in any one location.

Of course Quebec would have to ease up a little on their language laws to accommodate the influx of English speaking only residents. We could name the combined province of Quebec and Ontario Quontario or Onbec. But these are details not intended to be resolved in a brainstorming session such as this.

While I think this is a sound and viable solution that should all but eliminate car theft across both Ontario and Quebec, while maximizing the usage of all the vacant land both provinces have to offer there would be one major problem that would also need to be investigated.

Where are we going to get jobs for all these unemployed car thieves?

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