A year ago today, Toronto woke up with a heartache so big it seemed it might never go away. The day before, Jane Creba, a bright and pretty 15-year-old, was in the city centre hunting for post-Christmas bargains with her older sister. Suddenly, she was caught in a clash between street gangs. Shots were fired - in a dispute over trainers, police speculated later - and Creba was killed almost instantly. The shooting capped what the media called 'the Year of the Gun'. Toronto had experienced more murders - particularly with handguns - than at any other time in its history. Most of them were in tough neighbourhoods, where teenage drug thugs were fighting over turf. The Creba shooting was an indignity on so many levels. A young honours student cut down in her prime. A shooting in broad daylight, on Boxing Day no less, when it has been the custom to race down to the biggest retail stores to plough through the discounted leftovers. What's more, it happened at the corner of Yonge and Dundas streets, the unofficial town square. It is where Torontonians go to see and be seen. The response to the Creba shooting was massive. Police unleashed a six-month investigation, intercepted more than 250,000 telephone calls and charged nine young men for the crime. Then, a couple of weeks ago, the latest development was announced. Just before the Creba anniversary, police would be putting up three closed-circuit TV cameras along that stretch of Yonge Street. Businessmen pronounced themselves happy with the plan. Canada is still a long way from the situation in Britain, where there are over 4.2 million all-seeing CCTVs: London has become the most-watched city in the world. The latest innovation there is ultra-sensitive microphones attached to the cameras, which can pick up conversations 100 metres away. Britons credit these cameras with the quick denouement to the London subway bombings last year and the crackdown on potential terrorists. But this is Canada. Sure, we've become inured to the thousands of cameras peeping out at us from bank machines, convenience stories and taxis. But, with few exceptions, we've never really put the prying eyes of authority into public places like this. These Yonge Street cameras represent a huge line in the concrete. Given what happened to Creba a year ago, it's hard to argue against the precaution. But police already have enormous powers - such as those 250,000 telephone intercepts - to pursue wrongdoers. And aren't we all entitled to a certain amount of personal privacy, even in a public place? It's only a handful of cameras, I know. But, by their very presence they are changing the nature of my city.