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Barrier at Bloor Street Viaduct significantly reduced suicides, study suggests

A new study suggests a barrier erected on a Toronto overpass that was once the second-most frequented bridge for suicides in North America is serving its purpose.The study from Sunnybrook Hospital, published in the journal BMJ Open on Tuesday, compares the 11-year periods before and after the barrier went up on the city’s Bloor Street Viaduct.Researchers say an average of nine people a year had been dying by jumping from the bridge before 2003, placing it behind only San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge for suicides-by-jumping.Read more:Once Upon a City: R.C. Harris, the man behind the Bloor ViaductArticle Continued BelowNets to be installed on Golden Gate Bridge as suicide deterrent systemSince the barrier was put in place, however, the study found only one person has died by suicide at the site, a 485-metre overpass that spans a multi-lane highway, ravine and another major roadway.A previous report that examined data up to 2007 suggested suicide traffic had relocated to other nearby bridges, but the latest research suggests suicide rates across the city dropped over the long term after the barrier went up.

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