The Suicide Magnet - Dundurn

The Suicide Magnet

Inside the Battle to Erect a Safety Barrier on Toronto’s Bloor Viaduct

Published November 2023


The inside story of the grassroots fight to have a suicide barrier erected on Toronto’s “bridge of death.”

Most Torontonians have no idea their city once hosted the second most popular suicide magnet in North America, behind the Golden Gate Bridge. Since its completion in 1918, more than four hundred people jumped to their death from the Bloor Viaduct, which spans the cavernous Don Valley.

That number might still be rising if not for the tireless efforts of a group of volunteers, led by two citizens, who fought City Hall for years to get a suicide barrier erected. Not only did they win, they saved numerous lives and brought to light valuable research on how barriers actually lower suicide numbers overall. The resulting barrier — The Luminous Veil — has been praised for its ingenious and inspiring design.

The Suicide Magnet tells how the battle was won, and explores the ongoing efforts to help those suffering from mental health challenges.



Paul McLaughlin

Paul McLaughlin is a highly experienced and award-winning freelance writer, broadcaster and teacher. The author of 2022’s Asking the Best Questions, he has written numerous books, articles and playscripts. He lives in Toronto, where he teaches professional writing at York University.

Book Details

November 2023
6x9 in
248 pp
November 2023
248 pp
November 2023
248 pp