Bring back community sports, Bradford motion asks
On a motion from Beaches-East York councillor Brad Bradford, the city is pressing the Ontario government to make a plan for the return of community sports this summer.
And local baseball associations are ready for it with new, stricter health protocols. Get the whole story.
Leslieville businesses complaining about a series of break-ins last weekend may have got an answer from the police. Today the police released information on a suspect in the break-ins — and it turns out to be a man they were already seeking after a similar series of store break-ins in the west end.
Images of the man being sought for both break-and-enter sprees were released by police. See the full story.
- THREE-VEHICLE CRASH: One person was taken to hospital after a three-vehicle collision involving a TTC streetcar yesterday evening. Queen Street East was closed between Glen Manor Drive and Balsam Avenue following the collision at about 9:25 p.m. on Queen at Maclean Avenue. The extent of the injuries is not immediately known.
Local foxes shown with prey on Facebook
Suggested name for a new pub in this area: The Fox and the Squirrel. It could be popular — or unpopular — given the interest shown on Facebook, sparked by photos and reports of foxes carrying home their prey on Leaside streets. People seem to be split over cheering for the foxes or sympathizing for the squirrels.
- CANNABIS SHOP BUTTS OUT: It looks like Ashbridge’s Bay won’t be getting a cannabis shop. The would-be vendor is reported to have withdrawn its controversial application for the city-owned site in the park near the beach. Beaches-East York councillor Brad Bradford is quoted in the Toronto Star today as applauding the move.
More roads for walking, jogging and cycling this weekend
ActiveTO major road closures will again be in place this weekend along Lake Shore Boulevard East and Bayview Avenue, but now with High Park added to the mix.
The following roads are closed to vehicular traffic and open to pedestrians and cyclists from May 8 at 6 a.m. to May 9 at 9 p.m.:
- Bayview Avenue, between Front Street East and Rosedale Valley Road, as well as River Street between Bayview Avenue and Spruce Street.
- Lake Shore Boulevard East (eastbound lanes only), between Leslie Street and Woodbine Avenue.
- Roads through High Park, with road closures extended from Friday at about 11 p.m. to Monday at about 7 a.m.
As previously, residents should use these routes only with members of their own household.
You may think they’re better needed along the beach where dogs rule, but dog waste bins have been set up in two places in the Beach area: near Kew Gardens on Queen Street East and near Woodbine Park at Lake Shore and Northern Dancer boulevards.
It’s part of a pilot project that’s placed 10 “Dog Poop” receptacles across Toronto — soon to ramp up to 30 and then 100 bins. Read all about it.
The numbers seem down a bit from last year, but plenty of people are walking, jogging and cycling this weekend on roads that are usually full of cars and trucks.
It’s part of Toronto’s ActiveTO initiative to help residents get fresh air and exercise during the pandemic lockdown by closing parts of Bayview Avenue, River Street and Lake Shore Boulevard East to vehicular traffic.
Bingham Avenue in the Upper Beaches was closed to traffic after a tree fell in the gusting winds that hit Toronto yesterday evening.
The tree fell on a car and brought down hydro lines shortly after 7 p.m. near Bingham and Gerrard Street East, police reported online. What they didn’t report was that a family of squirrels lived in the tree, leaving the little ones to run around the tree where their fallen home was.
More on this and other effects of the wind storm.
Bermondsey and Commissioners Street transfer stations have been closed to the general public, as part of today’s shutdown of Toronto’s depots for dropping off garbage and recycling.
The drop-off depots are closing on public health advice because the city’s solid waste management services have suffered an increasing number of COVID-19 cases, according to a news release yesterday.
Road closures for ActiveTO this weekend
Joggers, walkers and cyclists — don’t forget the city’s ActiveTO initiative is shutting down some of its routes to vehicular traffic starting tomorrow. You’ll be able to do your thing on stretches of Bayview Avenue, River Street and LakeShore Boulevard East on Saturday and Sunday.
See the Things To Do listing for more information.
Councillor Brad Bradford joined Toronto’s BIAs in a letter to Premier Doug Ford saying restrictions on live-streaming music is unfairly hurting live music venues, already hard hit by the pandemic.
“We are asking you to please work with us on a plan to bring back the joys of live music,” urges the letter. “A lot of work will be needed to keep venues, artists, staffs and music-lovers safe. The time to start is now.” Here’s the story.
12-storey development proposed on Eastern
Real estate developer TAS Design Build expects to have shovels in the ground by fall 2022 for its proposed 12-storey building at 880 Eastern Ave.
After community consultations with more than 40 people who live or work nearby, TAS designed the building to enhance the neighbourhood’s cherished diversity and inclusiveness, according to the company’s website.
Last year TAS bought properties at the northwest corner of Eastern and Knox avenues, on a stretch of Eastern that divides residential Leslieville to the north and industrial uses to the south. The properties are presently occupied by Michael and Michael Auto Body, a parking lot and a former printing plant.
TAS recently submitted a zoning bylaw amendment application to the city for the mixed-use building.
An 82-year-old woman has died after being struck by a dump truck while she was crossing Danforth Avenue in a wheelchair yesterday afternoon.
She was in a crosswalk to cross north from the southeast corner of Danforth Avenue and Main Street, when she was hit by the vehicle driven by a 53-year-old man, police say. See the story.
Sidewalk repairs shut down Eastern lane
The curb lane on Eastern Avenue in the Studio District is to be occupied starting today as sidewalk repairs take place between Morse Street and Carlaw Avenue. The work is expected to take until May 7.
It’s a sunny day and you can expect the lakefront to be replete with people who can’t enjoy restaurants and bars on Queen Street East during the lockdown. And with them comes litter, especially cigarette butts.
So Beach resident Jane Anderson is also out on the sand picking it up. The cleanup is one of several initiatives by the group she co-founded, Toronto Lakefront Community.
Read all about her and others’ efforts to clean up the beaches and water.
A persistent squirrel is being blamed for a power outage in parts of East York and Scarborough this morning, while a separate loss of power in the Upper Beaches and East Danforth neighbourhoods may have been caused by a switch being tripped in an apartment building.
If you’re getting together in our east end parks or on our beaches with friends or family who don’t live with you, watch out for the cops. They’re taking the latest prohibition against large gatherings — indoors and outdoors — quite seriously.
Like other divisions, 55 Division has even formed a special unit to find, break up and fine large groups flouting the rules. (The fines can surpass $10,000.)
Or better yet, give us all a break in the fight against COVID-19 — and don’t do it. See the full story.
Abhijeet Manay has been nominated as candidate in the Beaches-East York riding for the scheduled 2022 provincial election.
The Green Party of Ontario announced the nomination today of Manay who has been serving as the party’s deputy leader and currently as the party’s critic for health and long-term care. He last ran in Mississauga-Streetsville. Get the full story.
Queen lane closed for construction
An eastbound lane of Queen Street East is closing as of today as workers engage in “cable pulling and bank installation,” the city advises. Affected is Queen between Willow and Silver avenues. The job is expected to take until May 19.
The search for a 54-year-old missing man in East York has now become a search for his remains. Police have arrested a man, 40, and now believe the missing person is dead, they said in a statement released late yesterday evening.
Police continue to search for the body of Paul Daly who went missing April 2. See the story.
COVID cases found at Upper Beach Loblaws
Two team members at the Loblaws at 50 Musgrave St. have tested positive for COVID-19, the grocery chain reported today.
The last day the affected employees worked in the store near Gerrard and Victoria Park avenues was on April 6, Loblaws said.
For six months last year, as part of the the ActiveTO program, the city closed stretches of Bayview Avenue and Lake Shore Boulevard East, among other roadways, to traffic on weekends and turned the roads over to pedestrians, joggers and cyclists.
It was so popular that city council agreed yesterday to run the program again this year — with a few changes. Read all about it.
Smoke alarms to be distributed in east end
The Toronto Professional Firefighter’s Association and alarm manufacturer First Alert have each donated 100 smoke alarms to be distributed to residents in the east end.
Beaches-East York councillor Brad Bradford is to ensure the 200 devices are given to the households most in need.
“With the recent tragic fire in the east end of our city, fire safety has been top-of-mind for everyone,” Bradford said. “These contributions … will help to save the lives and raise awareness of the importance of having working alarms. At a time where we’re asking folks to stay home, it’s critical we make sure that those homes are safe.”
Only yesterday Toronto Public Health advised the closing of 20 schools across Toronto for COVID investigations. Today the rest of Toronto’s elementary, middle and secondary schools are shuttered on the orders of Toronto’s chief medical officer, Dr. Eileen de Villa.
Students are to transition to remote learning which is to continue until April 18 — although this end date may also be extended, TPH warns. See the full story.
Stretch of westbound Danforth blocked
Expect more delays along Danforth for the next two weeks as, starting today, the westbound lanes between Woodmount and Glebemount avenues will be partially occupied for inspection of power cable chambers, the city advises.
The blockage is expected to continue until April 23.
City golf courses to open Thursday
The east end’s Dentonia Park Golf Course is among the city-run courses to open Thursday, several days ahead of schedule.
The city announced all five of its golf courses are opening for the 2021 season on April 1.
Guidelines have been developed in consultation with Toronto Public Health, including physical distancing between golfers and disinfection of equipment and surfaces, the city said in a press release today.
Tee times will be 10 minutes apart, starting at 7 a.m. and ending at dusk. Tee times are expected to sell out quickly, so residents are encouraged to book early. (Call Dentonia at 416-392-2558.)
Arrest for luring child
A 40-year-old man has been arrested on child luring and pornography charges after searches by the police child exploitation section.
Police executed two search warrants near Danforth and Woodbine avenues on March 4 and reported finding evidence of the offences and child sexual abuse material stored on devices at a residence, police announced today.
They allege that girls between the ages of 12 and 16 had been contacted online for a sexual purpose and online payments had been made in exchange for live viewings of child sexual abuse material.
Mahesh Bisesar of Toronto faces five charges including luring a child, making child pornography and accessing child pornography. He appeared in court virtually on March 5, police say.
Weekend vaccinations by Michael Garron
Michael Garron is plowing ahead with its vaccination program, each day giving thousands of shots against COVID-19.
On Friday the hospital held three on-site clinics, two primary care clinics, a pop-up clinic and two mobile clinics in the east end, vaccinating 2,155 people.
The drive continues over the weekend with five on-site clinics — at the hospital, Thorncliffe Park Community Hub and Jimmie Simpson Rec Centre and), three pop-up clinics and a mobile clinic. It plans to vaccinate about 2,417 people who are healthcare workers, individuals living in congregate settings, and community members 75 and older, according to a statement from the city this morning.
Michael Garron upping vaccinations
In its continuing vaccination drive against COVID-19, Michael Garron Hospital is today holding three east-end on-site clinics (at the hospital in East York, at the Thorncliffe Park Community Hub, and Jimmie Simpson Recreation Centre in Riverside/Leslieville) and is deploying two mobile teams.
It will vaccinate about 2,400 people who are healthcare workers, individuals living in congregate settings or who receive home care, community members 75 years and older, and individuals experiencing homelessness, according to a City of Toronto press release.
Yesterday, MGH held two on-site clinics and deployed two mobile teams to vaccinate 1,514 people.
On March 23, MGH held two on-site clinics and used one mobile team to vaccinate 628 individuals.
Coming up to their 50th anniversary, brother-sister team David and Ann Powell aren’t thinking about how the pandemic has tied up their Leslieville puppeteering business, Puppetmongers Theatre, but are rather looking to continue their legacy beyond.
Puppetmongers has been able to maintain a studio space since they started in 1974, and they plan to bequeath a puppetry space, with all the tools of the trade, for fellow puppeteers to perform shows and hone their craft.
See the full story and their coming online productions.
The report into the fatal fire at 95 Gainsborough Rd. in January is in, and it is disturbing. Investigators found the fire was caused by an electrical failure in the dining room ceiling, but perhaps more significantly they found the house had no working smoke alarms.
Four people were killed and others injured when fire consumed the second floor of the two-storey house. See the story about today’s statement from the Office of the Fire Marshal.
Beach Metro closing in on half a century in community news
Hats off today to the Beach Metro News which is beginning its 50th year. It marks the occasion with a reminiscence by someone who has been involved with the nonprofit newspaper — believe it not — almost since the beginning in March 1972, as a volunteer and an employee.
Clinics vaccinating for COVID-19
Michael Garron Hospital and East Toronto Health Partners yesterday held two on-site clinics, one primary care clinic and a mobile clinic, vaccinating 506 healthcare workers, first responders from fire and police services, residents 80 years and older, and individuals living in congregate settings.
Today they will hold another two on-site clinics, a pop-up clinic and deploy two mobile teams, to vaccinate about 855 more people, according to a city announcement.
New locations coming for photo radar
You have until May to improve your driving on York Mills Road, east of Rayoak Drive, and on Grenoble Drive, west of Spanbridge Road. That’s when the city’s automatic speed enforcement (ASE) devices will be moved to these locations to catch speeding drivers in Don Valley East ward.
This will be the third locations for the ASEs. They are currently snapping pictures and issuing tickets from their sites on Fenside Drive and Underhill Drive.
New east-end locations coming for photo radar
You have until May to improve your driving on Victoria Park Avenue, Secord Avenue, Greenwood Avenue and Plains Road. That’s when the city’s automatic speed enforcement (ASE) devices will be moved to these streets to catch speeding drivers in Toronto-Danforth and Beaches-East York wards. This will be the third locations for the ASEs. (See March 1 item below for current sites.)
How safe do you feel? Tell the city
The deadline is approaching to fill out the SafeTO survey. The city wants to know the level of safety and wellbeing you feel in your community, and your priorities for the SafeTO plan to guide social systems — like community services, healthcare, policing — in serving Torontonians.
The online survey, which should take less than 10 minutes, is to be completed before March 12.
East-end drivers fared well in December, scoring a relatively low number of tickets issued by the city’s newly located photo radar cameras, according to figures released today.
The automatic speeding enforcement device on Kingston Road in Beaches-East York ward issued the most tickets in the area with 673 speeders caught — but this was far less than in many other parts of Toronto. Best in the east end was Spruce Hill Road north of Queen Street East with only 33 tickets.
Tickets from the two ASE devices in Toronto-Danforth ward were between these figures. See the full story on how we compared to other areas.
Mayor John Tory announced on Tuesday the city-owned lot at Trenton and Cedarvale avenues in Woodbine Heights would be one of two new sites chosen for the city’s modular housing initiative for those facing homelessness.
He was supported in this by Beaches-East York reps MPP Nathaniel Erskine-Smith and Coun. Brad Bradford. But the reaction online so far has been mixed, with some neighbours raising fears of safety for kids and seniors in the area. Get the full story.
Tabuns attacks return of higher hydro rates
Toronto-Danforth MPP Peter Tabuns has criticized the Ontario government for reinstating its standard electricity pricing this week. This is particularly a problem in areas, like Toronto, where stay-at-home orders apply, causing electricity bills to jump while people are still coping with a pandemic, Tabuns said in a statement released by the NDP today.
The step is by the Doug Ford to cancel the discounted rates is “callous,” Tabuns said.
“So many Ontario households and small businesses are doing their best to stay on top of their bills right now, as the pandemic continues to rage and incomes continue to be impacted. They need things to get more affordable, not more expensive.”
It opened in November 2019, just before the pandemic hit Toronto, but Goprdon’s Pub Kitchen on Queen Street East has already served its last patrons.
An announcement was posted to Gordon’s Instagram page announcing it was closing for good after Jan. 30. See more on this story.
TTC constable uniforms reported taken
Someone may be walking — or riding — around wearing unauthorized special constable’s uniforms. Police reported yesterday three TTC Special Constable Uniform shirts and the front half of an external ballistic vest carrier were stolen near Woodbine and Danforth avenues on Feb. 18 at about 5 p.m.
The shirts are described as baby blue with TTC Special Constable patches on the shoulders. The front half of the ballistic carrier is black and does not contain any plates, police say.
Duties of TTC Special Constables include preventing crime, enforcing laws and ordering maintenance on the transit system.
Leslieville author Sharon Kirsch went looking for buried treasure under the floorboards of her old family home after moving her ailing mother out, but she uncovered prizes of another kind.
She relates what she found in a compelling memoir The Smallest Objective, which came out in the fall. Here’s editor Eric’s review.
We need strong gun control to help stop handgun violence that is once again terrorizing Toronto residents — in all parts of the city. And the federal government ban on military-style assault weapons, while welcome, is not nearly enough, Streeter editorial argues.
The Beaches appear to be one of the safest areas in Toronto, judging by the latest figures from the province. The city’s mapping of the COVID rates over a recent three-week period shows the community to have experienced 65 cases per 100,000 population — the second-lowest rate in Toronto.
This contrasts drastically with the worst-hit neighbourhoods with rates of more than 700 cases per 100,000. See the story and how we compare to other central, midtown and east-end areas.
A shooting in a parking garage on Danforth Avenue has left a 47-year-old man dead. It happened at 2301 Danforth Ave., a recently opened, eight-storey apartment condominium building at Oak Park Avenue, yesterday at about 10:24 p.m.
The east-end death is the fourth shooting homicide in Toronto in four days and the sixth over the past two weeks. Here’s what we know about it so far.
No shinny or large groups on rinks, Bradford warns
Councillor Brad Bradford is warning members of the community not to gather in large groups or play hockey on outdoor rinks in the area. In a newsletter released today, Bradford mentions Love Crescent in Upper Beaches, Topham Park in northeast East York and Fairmount Park in Beach Hill as rinks where skaters have been ignoring public health guidelines.
“Anyone on the rink should be wearing a mask or face covering, watching their distance, and not playing shinny,” he says in the newsletter. “There is also a capacity limit of 25 on all ice rinks.
Anyone seeing a large gathering or hockey being played on an outdoor rink is advised to call 311.
“I’m pleading with anyone who thinks they don’t have to follow the rules and guidelines, to please think again. We’ve seen this [pandemic] drag on too long and it takes every single one of us playing our part to stop the spread.”
Several online campaigns raise thousand for Upper Beaches fire victims
More than $116,000 has been raised in two GoFundMe campaigns to help Arija Jansons who lost her son, mother and close friends in the Gainsborough Road house fire on Jan. 29.
And more has been raised for the families of the fire victims in other online campaigns. See the full story.
Budget consultation with east-end councillors tonight
Councillors Paula Fletcher and Brad Bradford join Toronto’s budget committee chair Gary Crawford for the East End 2021 Budget Consultation today from 7 to 9 p.m.
The meeting is to include a presentation by Stephen Conforti, executive director of financial planning for the city.
Residents of Toronto-Danforth and Beaches-East York wards are invited to join the discussion on Zoom and ask questions.
To take part, register in advance online [link no longer available].
• Central Toronto • Don Valley • Forest Hill • Leaside • North Toronto • Riverdale-East York
More COVID cases at grocery store
The Loblaws at 17 Leslie St. near Eastern Avenue has reported its second and third cases of COVID-19 among employees in January. Two team members have tested positive on presumptive tests for COVID-19, the store reported today. The last days the team members worked were recorded as Jan. 19 and 26.
Pedestrian sent to hospital after being struck
A female pedestrian was struck by a vehicle near Victoria Park Avenue and Musgrave Street at about 8:30 a.m. today, police say. The woman, described as being in her 30s, was attended by paramedics and taken to hospital. Her condition is unknown.
The vehicle reportedly remained on the scene. Police temporarily blocked off the streets to investigate.
Victoria and Musgrave is an intersection in Upper Beaches giving access to plazas featuring Loblaws, FreshCo and McDonald’s.
Four people are dead and two more were injured after fire ravaged a house on Gainsborough Rd. early this morning.
The three-alarm blaze destroyed the top floor of a two-storey house near Coxwell Avenue and Eastwood Road and spread to the rooftops of two neighbouring houses.
Alleged diaper thief arrested
For nearly two months from Dec. 1, a man was removing soiled diapers from a green bin beside a home in the Gerrard Street East and Woodbine Avenue area, police charge. This sparked a prowl-by-night investigation, which resulted in an arrest on Jan. 23 of a 40-year-old Toronto man.
He faces charges of prowling by night, criminal harassment and theft. He appeared in court via video the same day.
Another COVID case at a Danforth mart
Loblaw Companies announced today a staff member at the Shoppers Drug Mart, 1630 Danforth Ave., has tested positive on a presumptive test for COVID-19. The last day the employee worked there was Jan. 22, the store says.
COVID cases found at local grocery stores
Food retailers in the east end have recently reported several positive tests for COVID-19 among their staff, including three cases at one location:
- On Jan. 23 the Loblaws at 17 Leslie St. reported a team member tested positive. The last day the employee worked was recorded as Jan. 19.
- On Jan. 19 two staff at Davidson’s Valu-mart at Danforth and Woodbine avenues tested positive. The last day they worked was on Jan. 12.
- On Jan. 18, Metro announced the positive test of an employee at the Food Basics at 1070 Pape Ave., their last day in the store being Jan. 10.
- The Sobeys at 2451 Danforth Ave. experienced at least three recent COVID cases. The store reported positive tests on Jan. 19, 24 and 25. The employees’ last day worked ranged from Jan. 10 to 16.
‘Missing middle’ housing pilot sought for Beaches-East York
The city’s planning and housing committee is considering a plan to find a city-owned site to develop with what’s called “missing middle” housing, hopefully with a pilot project in Beaches-East York, councillor Brad Bradford says.
“Missing middle” refers to a plan to increase the supply of housing in the middle ranges between expensive single homes and highrise condominiums — adding such housing forms as duplexes, triplexes, townhouses and low-rise apartments.
It would require planning and zoning bylaws to be changed to allow these forms of housing in areas where they had been previously prohibited.
Bradford has been pressing since early last year to bring a missing middle pilot project to Beaches-East York.
East end drivers chalked up large number of ASE speeding tickets
A total of 4,593 speeding tickets were issued by four photo radar stations in the east end over five months last year, according to city figures released today.
These were all from the first round of automated speed enforcement (ASE) devices located in the Toronto-Danforth and Beaches-East York wards from July 6 to Nov. 30, 2020. The devices, placed mainly near schools, were moved to new locations beginning in late November.
Across Toronto, 50 ASE devices issued 53,090 tickets during the first round, an average of nearly 1,062 per location.
Three of the four east end locations recorded numbers well above that average, with just one far below that average:
- Chatham Avenue east of Jones Avenue in Toronto-Danforth: 1,634
- Barrington Avenue north of Secord Avenue in Beaches-East York: 1,547
- Main Street south of Swanwick Avenue in Beaches-East York: 1,294
- Morse Street south of Queen Street East in Toronto-Danforth: 118
East end drivers will get a chance to redeem themselves by driving more carefully past the second round of ASE stations, currently located in Toronto-Danforth ward on Dundas Street East east of Broadview Avenue and on Lesmount Avenue south of Cosburn Avenue and in Beaches-East York on Kingston Road near Heyworth Crescent and on Spruce Hill Road north of Queen Street East.
Or you could try just following the speed limits wherever you drive.
Homeless at risk during stay-at-home push, MPP says
The provincially government’s stay-at-home order doesn’t help homeless stay safe, says Beaches—East York MPP Rima Berns-McGown in a statement released today.
The order exempts those without homes, “yet the government is making no real effort to provide them with safe housing options,” Berns-McGown said. “People are being told to stay home to suppress the virus, and merely exempting people without a home from the order cannot keep them safe.”
She called it a “callous move that is bound to contribute to the spread of COVID-19.”
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.
Another COVID case at FreshCo
Sobeys grocery stores have reported another case of COVID-19 at the Freshco franchise at Gerrard St. East and Victoria Park Avenue. The affected employee’s last day worked was Jan. 5, according to Sobeys.
FreshCo reports COVID case
Sobeys grocery stores have reported a case of COVID-19 at its Freshco franchise at 2490 Gerrard St. E. at Victoria Park Avenue. The affected employee’s last day on the job was Jan. 4, according to Sobeys. It’s one of more than 30 cases to be reported to date since Jan. 1 in Ontario at Sobeys, Foodland and Freshco outlets.
The east end is home to at least five of the 35 child care programs approved to provide emergency care for the children of essential workers in Toronto communities during the current lockdown of elementary schools.
Families that meet Ontario’s definition of essential workers can apply directly to the approved centres for this free service funded by the province.
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