There were 598 homicides throughout Canada in 2011 -- 44 more than in 2010 -- the first annual increase in three years, Statistics Canada said on its website Tuesday.
However, just 158 2011 homicides were committed with a firearm, 13 fewer than the year before and the lowest number of gun-related homicides in almost 50 years.
The number of stabbing homicides increased in 2011 by 39 from 2010, Statistics Canada said.
Stabbings accounted for about 35 percent of all homicides in Canada in 2011, the agency reported. Homicides involving firearms accounted for 27 percent, beatings for 22 percent and strangulation for 7.
Despite an increase in 2011, homicides in Canada have been declining since the mid-70s, the report said.