Police recorded 554 homicides in 2010 - 56 fewer than the year before. StatsCan reported that 170 murders - 10 fewer than the year before - were committed with firearms, accounting for half the murders in Toronto, 44% of the murders in Vancouver and 33% in Montreal.
Stabbings (31%) were nearly as common in 2010 as shootings (32%). Another 22% of homicides involved beatings, and 8% were by strangulation or suffocation. The remaining homicides used other means such as motor vehicles, fire and poisoning.
The rate of spouses killing spouses has remained relatively stable, the report said. There were 89 victims of spousal murder in 2010, just one more than in 2009. Common-law spouses accounted for 45% of homicides committed by a partner, followed by legal spouses and dating partners, both at 28%.
This was a considerable shift from the previous 10-year period, when the largest share were legal spouses, at 42%. The northern Ontario city of Thunder Bay had the highest murder rate for the second year in a row, followed by Saskatoon and Regina. Meanwhile, Vancouver recorded its lowest murder rate since 1981.