Even Toronto residents who support safe injection sites aren’t keen on having them located in their communities: almost equal proportions are comfortable (51%) with a nearby safe injection site or uncomfortable (48%) with the idea. This finding suggests that even progressively-minded Toronto residents suffer from the occasional bout of NIMBYism. Indeed, a majority of residents throughout the GTA, no matter where they live, share the view that supervised injection sites will create more social problems in the places where they are located.
The survey also found that majorities of residents think that the three proposed locations for safe injection sites are appropriate: 71% each approve of a Queen/Bathurst site or a Queen/Carlaw site, while fewer (63%) believe a Victoria St. location (near Yonge-Dundas Square) is appropriate. When considering safe injection sites across the GTA in cities other than Toronto, residents of suburban regions are decidedly cooler to the idea.
Results reveal other contradictions in Torontonians’ feelings toward creating supervised, safe conditions for drug usage. Specifically, Toronto residents (more so than their 905 counterparts) agree that supervised injection sites will lead to fewer drug overdose deaths (71%), and that they will eventually encourage those struggling with drug addiction to seek treatment to overcome their dependence (55%). However, this is in contrast to the more than two in five who believe that the presence of supervised injection sites will encourage more people to use drugs.
So far, there has been a high degree of consensus among elected officials and policy-makers that safe injection sites are both necessary and beneficial. These results suggest the public has largely bought into this notion as well — although that support could diminish if future safe injection sites are proposed closer to their own backyards.