12 year old Emanuel Jaque’s body was found on the rooftop of the Charlie’s Angels massage parlour. He was a recent Portuguese immigrate to Toronto. To earn money for his family, he worked as Shoe Shine boy on Yonge Street.
He was assaulted, violated, and murdered by three men who were later caught fleeing Toronto. The brutality of his death lead to immense public sadness and anger which became directed at Yonge street. The general public felt that the bawdy nature of the strip had led to the violence against this young boy. Many believed that sexual images and entertainment created a melting pot of immorality and violence that was waiting to boil over.
The death of Emanuel became a rallying cry that mobilized those previously neutral to the strip. Politicians were forced to respond with tighter regulation and more scrutiny of the street. The Shoe Shine Murder was the catalyst for the transformation of Yonge street into a more conventional city core area. Sexual businesses were pushed out or shut down. Many massage parlours moved to the suburbs where they could operate on the quiet.