Mob Rule: Inside the Canadian Mafia


317 pages
Contains Illustrations, Bibliography, Index
ISBN 0-7715-9686-3





Reviewed by Ross Willmot

Ross Willmot is Executive Director of the Ontario Association for
Continuing Education.


The encyclopedic knowledge of organized crime in Canada collected here by the author comes from eleven years of research. His investigative reporting for the CBC’s award-winning “Connections” series has “blown the cover” of many top Mafiosa, including “rubbed out” Paul Volpe, an example of what can happen to mob rulers in the white glare of media publicity. Dubro uses his literature background to give pictures of other deadly, albeit interesting, killer kings who exploit and profit from our weaknesses and act as a corrupting force in our society.

Dubro recommends serious legislation started by a top-level commission to examine thoroughly what he terms “clearly a national problem of gigantic proportions.” He thinks capital punishment or lifelong imprisonment appropriate deterrents to crime bosses who use murder or intimidation to carry out their rackets. Amazingly, his is the first serious book-length study dealing primarily with the mobs in Canada outside Quebec. This study features Paul Volpe, a native Torontonian who wormed his way into the Mafia and adapted it to multicultural Toronto. Dubro’s work gives the lie to the police claim that there was no organized crime ring in Toronto. The Mafia, Dubro points out, is alive and well throughout North America, despite offensives against it. Other forces and other thugs, including the Chinese and Asian gangs and the bikers, are taking a bigger role in organized crime.

The need for well-documented exposes like this one is thus emphasized. This is a fascinating and hard-hitting look at the Mafia from the early years of the century to the present day.


Dubro, James, “Mob Rule: Inside the Canadian Mafia,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed June 21, 2024,