ADRIAN HUMPHREYS AND KATRINA CLARKE A double shooting left one man dead and another injured at a café in an area north of Toronto notorious as a stronghold for mob friends of the Mafia leader killed in April just four blocks away, suggesting underworld unrest continues toward war.
Friday’s shootings came as a surprise as it was expected to be a quiet weekend in Toronto’s underworld; many mobsters were in Montreal for the Formula One racing at the Canadian Grand Prix, always a popular event with Mafia figures.
Instead, police received a 911 call about a shooting at 93 Woodstream Blvd. just off Highway 7 at Martin Grove Road at 6:40 p.m. Friday.
“When officers arrived on scene they found two men suffering from gunshot wounds. One was pronounced dead at the scene and the other was transported to hospital with serious injuries,” said Sgt. Clint Whitney of the York Regional Police.
Police are not identifying the two men.
The shooting happened in an industrial area filled with cafés and banquet halls. Homicide detectives were still investigating to see if the incident took place inside the café.
The area has long been home to Ontario’s ’Ndrangheta clans, the proper name of the Mafia that formed in the southern Italian region of Calabria. Many of the mobsters who frequented the area are aligned with the powerful ’Ndrangheta based in the Italian town of Siderno.
Carmine Verduci, shot and killed on April 24, was often in the area. Many of Mr. Verduci’s street crew did business in clubs and cafes in close proximity to the crime scene. The area has historically also hosted high-stakes illicit gambling games.
Because of a lack of buzz about the shooting within the mob community, it suggests the victims are not of high standing within organized crime.
There is much speculation that Mr. Verduci’s murder is related to the war for control of Montreal’s Mafia, which has been led by the mob faction originally from Sicily. Police believe at least some of the victims of Montreal’s Rizzuto crime family fell at the hands of the Calabrian faction.
York police said it was too early to tell what is behind Friday’s shooting.
They are appealing to witnesses to come forward to the police of call Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-TIPS.