The fear of losing the area’s unique character is driving some residents to start a museum to preserve Leaside’s past.
Spearheaded by resident Ann Brown, and encouraged by former premier Kathleen Wynne and the Toronto Historical Society, the newly formed Leaside Heritage Preservation Society is scouting out a location and historical exhibits for the museum.
Don Valley West drivers drew fewer ASE speeding tickets
Nearly 1,700 speeding tickets were issued by two photo radar stations in the Don Valley West ward over five months last year, according to figures released today.
This may sound like a lot but it’s actually lower than in other parts of Toronto. Across the city, 50 ASE devices issued 53,090 tickets during the first round — an average of nearly 1,062 per location.
These tickets were from the first round of automated speed enforcement (ASE) devices from July 6 to Nov. 30, 2020. The devices, placed mainly near schools, were moved to new locations beginning in late November.
Results from the two locations in Don Valley West were:
- Bessborough Drive north of Field Avenue: 817
- Ranleigh Avenue east of Yonge Street: 874
We’ll see how local drivers do at the two new ASE locations: on Erskine Avenue west of Redpath Avenue and on Thorncliffe Park Drive near 79 Thorncliffe Park Dr.
Local libraries open for pickup and drop-off
Branches of the Toronto Public Library will remain open during the lockdown beginning tomorrow — but for pickup and drop-off of library materials only.
Current operational hours are being maintained. A previous communication that branches will close at 8 p.m. were mistaken, the TPL says.
Leaside grocery store reports COVID case
Metro grocery stores have reported a positive COVID-19 test of an employee at its store at Eglinton Avenue East and Bayview Avenue. The employee’s last day of work at the store was recorded as Jan. 4.
Stay home for New Year’s
There’s nothing planned in Toronto for New Year’s eve tonight — so stay home. Celebrate in person only with people living under your roof or celebrate with others virtually. That’s the city’s message for residents during the strangest New Year’s most of us have ever faced.
Keep each other safe and #StayHome this #NYE2020. There are many ways to safely make the holidays memorable. Ring in the new year only with people you live with every day. Connect virtually with your family and friends for celebrations. More: https://t.co/xdQN6mm4I0 #StaySafe pic.twitter.com/MXHlVAYstG
— City of Toronto (@cityoftoronto) December 31, 2020
A 62-year-old woman has been charged with first-degree murder after the death of a Toronto lawyer on Eglinton Avenue East.
The arrest came five days after a man identified as Scott Andrew Rosen, 52, was allegedly run down by a vehicle while walking in or near a garage on Eglinton, west of Mt. Pleasant Road, on Dec. 18.
Read the story in Streeter news.
New group to remember and preserve Leaside’s history
The storied past of Leaside will be the focus of a new organization created by local residents, the non-profit group announced today.
The Leaside Heritage Preservation Society (LHPS) was actually founded in November as a member of the Ontario Historical Society.
“The only thing missing in the remarkable history of our Leaside neighbourhood has been a coordinated effort to memorialize and preserve that history,” LHPS board chairperson Ann Brown said in today’s press release. “Every one of us on the Board is focused on taking steps to preserve and promote the historical contributions of Leaside, for the enjoyment and education of the community today and for future generations.”
Man arrested for break-in after chase on foot
Police responding to a break and enter in progress at Laird Drive and Eglinton Avenue East yesterday morning ended up arresting a 24-year-old man.
Officers reportedly arrived shortly after 5 a.m. to find a man on scene and pursued him briefly on foot before arresting him.
Isaac Harvey faces nine counts of breaking and entering and six other charges, including breach of probation. He is to appear in court today.
A lawyer was reportedly walking in or near a garage on Eglinton Avenue East late yesterday afternoon when he was struck by a vehicle — in what police are investigating as a murder.
Officers found a man with no vital signs. Identified as lawyer Scott Andrew Rosen, 52, he was pronounced dead on the scene.
Witnesses said he has been stuck down by U-Haul van or pickup, which fled the scene eastbound on Eglinton. Here’s what we know so far.
City-run holiday camps and skiing or skating lessons have been shut down by Toronto’s rising COVID-19 numbers.
The cancellations were announced today, following recommendations from Toronto Public Health and the city’s medical health officer, Dr. Eileen de Villa.
Two people were arrested on a total of 56 charges and property was recovered in an investigation of a string of break-ins in 13 and 53 divisions. One man is still sought by police.
Homes were broken into at night-time while, in some cases, residents slept and were unaware of being robbed until morning, police said. See the whole story.
Grenoble Public School in Flemingdon Park is among the latest schools to be shut down by Toronto Public health after outbreaks of COVID-19.
This brings the total number of school closures to 13, including nine in the Toronto District School Board system — and four in the Thorncliffe and Flemingdon Park area. Get the full story.
Bayview closed by falling pipe
A 10-foot piece of pipe fell onto Bayview Avenue under the Prince Edward Viaduct — also known as the Bloor Viaduct — today at about 3:50 p.m., police reported. Bayview was closed and Rosedale Valley Road traffic diverted southbound only on Bayview, police reported.
The bridge was examined and determined to be safe, police said. Traffic on Bayview was reopened, they reported at about 8 p.m.
East Toronto testing sites extended through December
The temporary COVID-19 testing sites set up in in East Toronto (see Nov. 2 item below) are being continued until the end of December, Michael Garron Hospital has announced. The popup sites offer drop-in and same-day appointments for residents of priority neighbourhoods in East Toronto, as well as for the homeless and those without internet access.
The testing sites being extended to the end of December include:
- East York Community Centre, 1081 Pape Ave.
- Warden Woods Community Centre, 76 Firvalley Ct.
- Dennis R. Timbrell Resource Centre, 29 St Dennis Dr.
- Angela James Arena, 165 Grenoble Dr.
- South Riverdale Community Health Centre, 955 Queen St. E.
- Thorncliffe Park, 45 Overlea Blvd.
- Oakridge Community Recreation Centre, 63 Pharmacy Ave.
- Crescent Town Health Centre, 4 Market Place
See the website for dates, times and how to get tested
Toronto Public Health closed Thorncliffe Park Public School as of yesterday evening after nineteen cases of coronavirus came to light during an asymptomatic testing pilot project at the school.
Figures from the Toronto District School Board this morning show the number of active cases has risen at the school to 24 students and two staff.
Leaside schools faring better
With a school in their sister neighbourhood of Thorncliffe Park being shut down by COVID-19, Leaside parents must be wondering if their own kids’ schools will be next. But, although Leaside schools have also experienced the virus, so far their numbers are far below Thorncliffe Park PS’s 26 active cases.
Here’s a survey of active cases of positive tests at Leaside-area schools outside Thorncliffe Park, according to the Toronto District School Board’s figures, as of this morning:
- Bessborough Drive Elementary and Middle School — two active cases
- Leaside High School — three active cases
- Maurice Cody Junior Public School — three active cases
- Northlea Elementary and Middle School — zero active cases
Rolph Road Public School and Bennington Heights Elementary School are not listed as they have not reported any cases — active or resolved — since Nov. 10.
Shopping raccoon hits the news
The biggest news out of Leaside for quite a while seems to be video that has emerged of a wet raccoon wandering the aisles of Best Buy at the SmartCentres plaza on Laird Drive. The video taken by Jamie Muir on Nov. 21 has now appeared on numerous social media sites of major and minor news organizations.
A bargain-hunting raccoon caused some havoc at a Best Buy store in Toronto on Nov. 21. The critter, who appeared to be soaking wet, can be seen walking through the aisles of the store.
— Globalnews.ca (@globalnews) November 27, 2020
Crews are trying today to lift a crane that toppled yesterday evening. The mobile crane fell across the construction site where a secondary entrance for the planned Mount Pleasant Station is being built on the Eglinton Crosstown LRT line.
One man suffered minor injuries and Eglinton Avenue East has been blocked to traffic ever since. See the whole story.
Thorncliffe among areas to get added COVID-19 supports
Toronto announced enhanced COVID-19 supports today, mainly targeting the northwest and northeast corners of the city where the pandemic has “exacerbated long-standing, systemic health inequities related to poverty, racism and other forms of discrimination.”
But residents of Thorncliffe Park are also considered vulnerable and will receive targeted neighbourhood support, the city says.
The city is working with the Thorncliffe Neighbourhood Organization in the East York/Don Valley community to implement the enhanced supports.
Targeted measures include expanded testing sites, intensified community outreach and engagement, and income support for those who test positive and are unable to work due to mandatory isolation. They will also address the threat of eviction and improve newcomer access to COVID-19 services, among other measures, according to the city.
COVID case found at Overlea grocery store
The Metro grocery chain is announcing today an employee at Food Basics, 45 Overlea Blvd., has tested positive for COVID-19. The employee’s last day of work was Nov. 18, the store says.
Nine-year-old pedestrian struck at Millwood and McRae
A 9-year-old boy is in hospital after being hit by a car at Millwood Road and McRae Drive this afternoon. Police reported at about 2:45 p.m. being called to the intersection for a collision and finding the boy with unknown injuries. He had apparently been a pedestrian when he was struck.
Later, police reported the youth was “alert and responsive” but he was transported to hospital as a precaution.
The driver of the vehicle remained on the scene and was cooperative, police said.
If you’re a person who plans your outings around available washrooms, here’s welcome news for you. The city is refitting and reopening washrooms in parks — like at June Rowlands Park or Sunnybrook — this winter.
It’s also adding portable toilets to new locations, along with keeping washrooms going in the usual places like libraries and recreation centres.
Thorncliffe shows worst COVID-19 positivity rate in city
The four Ontario neighbourhoods with the highest COVID-19 positivity rates may all be in Peel Region, but right behind them is Toronto’s Thorncliffe Park.
In the community with the postal code beginning M4H, a study found 16.3 per cent of people tested for the coronavirus tested positive for the week ending Nov. 14, according to a report from the ICES institute.
This gives Thorncliffe the worst positivity rate in the city. The next nearest is the M9V neighbourhood in Etobicoke with a rate of 14.8 per cent.
Toronto as a whole has a positivity rate of 6.2 per cent, last week’s study found.
Don Valley West councillor and TTC chair Jaye Robinson attended a virtual meeting of the TTC board today — her first such public appearance since her cancer diagnosis more than a year ago.
“It’s been a long and tough road,” Robinson told the meeting. “While I’m not quite at the end, I’m very close and I feel very fortunate to be here.”
Crowded Overlea Bridge called dangerous for kids
Thorncliffe Park parents want the Overlea bridge redesigned to let kids physically distance while going to Valley Park Middle School and Marc Garneau Collegiate Institute, according to a CBC Toronto report.
“The bridge gets overcrowded in the morning and afternoon when kids go to school in the morning and come back home,” Huda Alyacoubi Jazairli, a mother of five, is quoted by the CBC as saying. “They walk shoulder-to-shoulder. There’s no way for them to practise social distancing.”
The Charles H. Hiscott Bridge on Overlea Boulevard crosses over the Don River West Branch ravine to connect Thorncliffe Park with Flemingdon Park where the schools are located.
An online petition is also calling for Overlea to have temporary widened sidewalks and protected bike lanes, noting, “Overlea is the only way for students in Thorncliffe to get to Valley Park and Marc Garneau. Hundreds of students walk to school every day, and there is very little space to social distance.”
The petition also calls for safety improvements to existing Thorncliffe bike lanes and to the E.T. Seton Park access road.
Tomorrow is the first day to order your Christmas tree from the 132nd Toronto Scouts Group. They;re taking orders until Dec. 5. Pickup is on Dec. 4 or 5 at the Leaside Presbyterian Church on Eglinton Avenue East.
See the Streeter Things To Do listing for more details.
Photo radar units being moved around
After three months of issuing tickets, the city’s photo radar units are being moved. All 50 automated speed enforcement (ASE) devices will be moved to new locations starting this week “to address a greater number of areas with safety concerns and to encourage a wide-ranging deterrent effect,” the city said in a news release today.
In Don Valley West ward, the two new ASE sites are on Erskine Avenue, west of Redpath Avenue, and on Thorncliffe Park Drive, near 79 Thorncliffe Park Dr. Both are close to elementary schools.
The city reports 47,195 speeders were caught by ASE devices in the old locations, but the number of tickets issued fell in each of the second and third months.
• Beaches-Leslieville • Central Toronto • Don Valley • Forest Hill • North Toronto • Riverdale-East York
Leaside toy drive a little different this year
The Leaside Community Toy Drive has raised funds with a Guy’s Night Out comedy show every year. Well, the drive and the laughs are still on for this year but, thanks to COVID, the show is now virtual — and it’s for both sexes.
The drive has announced it will be presenting “Guy’s and Gal’s Night In: A Laugh and a Half in Pandemic Captivity” on Dec. 3 from 8 to 9:30 p.m. to be enjoyed at home — singly or by couples.
It’s a night of adult humour, teaming up with the Nowhere Comedy Club, along with a free draw and items to be auctioned.
Free tickets to the comedy night come with any donation of $50 or greater. The goal is to raise $15,000 to buy gifts for more than 4,000 children in Thorncliffe and Flemingdon Park.
Check the toy drive’s website for more details and to donate.
Seven popup testing sites in east end
Seven COVID-19 testing sites are popping up in East Toronto, Michael Garron Hospital is announcing.
Operated by East Toronto Health Partners, the temporary testing centres offer drop-in and same-day appointments for residents of priority neighbourhoods in East Toronto, as well as for the homeless and those without internet access.
Five new testing locations open this week and join the two sites that were launched and recently extended in Thorncliffe Park and Taylor-Massey (Crescent Town). The five new sites are at:
East York Community Centre, 1081 Pape Ave.
Nov. 2 to 30: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Sunday from 1 to 7 p.m.
Warden Woods Community Centre, 76 Firvalley Ct.
Nov. 5 to 30: Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 1 to 7 p.m.
Dennis R. Timbrell Resource Centre, 29 St Dennis Dr.
Nov. 3 to 30: Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday from 1 to 7 p.m.
Angela James Arena, 165 Grenoble Dr.)
Nov. 9 to 30: Monday, Wednesday and Saturday from 1 to 7 p.m.
South Riverdale Community Health Centre, 955 Queen St. E.
Nov. 7: Saturday, 7 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Nov. 10: Tuesday, 2 to 4 p.m.
Nov. 16: Monday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Nov. 17: Tuesday, 5 to 7 p.m.
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