Beaches-Leslieville Daily Updates

A quick look at news, views and things to do locally

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.

ASE sign thumbnailFewer speeders caught in east end

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.

modular housing thumbnailEast-end community split over homeless housing initiative?

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.”

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.

memoir thumbnailReview: Poignant memoir of finding and losing family secrets

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.

gun control graphic thumbnailAs a new season of the gun shapes up….

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.

Read and comment on the editorial.

COVID rates mapBeaches among neighbourhoods with lowest COVID-19 incidence

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.

2301 Danforth thumbnailEast-end shooting caps four days of Toronto murders

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.”

Arija Jansons GoFundMe thumbnailSeveral 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.

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.

Deadly fire in Beach Hill house

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.

Here’s the full story.

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.

Blossoming Minds thumbnailFree emergency child care for essential workers

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.

Get the full story.

East York Chronicle founder dies

Gary Webb-Proctor, music journalist and founder of the East York York Chronicle, is reported to have died on Dec. 28 at the age of 70. The cause of death of the man who went by the nickname of “Gary 17” has not been announced.

Stabbings send three to hospital

Two females and a male were taken to hospital after an apparent round of stabbings near Jones and Boultbee avenues at about 1:30 p.m. today.

Police first reported a man had been stabbed in the area, but this soon changed to three victims with stab wounds.

Blake Street and Boultbee were closed for the investigation. Police said they have “no outstanding suspects.”

CampTO and winter instruction programs cancelled

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.

Read more about this.

Thorncliffe Park PSEast-end schools closed by COVID outbreaks

East-end schools shut down by Toronto Public health on Sunday after outbreaks of COVID-19 include CALC on Danforth Avenue, R.H. McGregor Elementary on Mortimer Avenue and Oakridge Junior Public on Byng Street — though no schools specifically in Beaches or Leslieville neighbourhoods have been closed so far.

The latest closures bring the total number across the city to 13 schools, including nine in the Toronto District School Board system. See the full story.

UPDATE: Second suspect in explosion surrenders

Police say they have made a second arrest in connection with the explosion and fire on Woodbine Avenue that sent two children to hospital with serious injuries (see Dec. 5 and Nov. 29 items below).

Cassandra Nicholson, 30, of Toronto, who was being sought by police after the arrest of another suspect, is reported to have surrendered to police today. She faces nine charges, including two counts of arson causing bodily harm, two counts of criminal negligence causing bodily harm, and arson with disregard for human life.

She is to appear in court today.

Site where nooses found in East YorkInvestigation of nooses leads to arrest

A 34-year-old man has been charged with criminal harassment nearly six months after two nooses were found at the construction site at Michael Garron Hospital.

Hate crime charges are yet to be filed, if they are considered applicable.

The arrest came from officers working with a task force set up to investigate a series of such incidents involving nooses at construction sites across Toronto. Get the story as we know it so far.

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.

Arrest after store robbed in East Danforth area

A 34-year-old man was arrested the day after a store was robbed near Danforth and Coxwell avenues.

The robbery happened in the early morning hours of  Dec. 2 shortly when a man allegedly approached a store counter, indicated he had a gun and demanded cash from the register. After the victim handed over money, the man fled the store, police say.

Holdup squad investigators were able to identify a suspect and on Dec. 3 Carlos Novello-Brideau of Toronto, was arrested. He faces charges of robbery, disguise with intent, and failing to comply with probation.

He was to appear in court on Dec. 4.


explosion thumbnailWoman sought in Woodbine Avenue explosion

A 38-year-old man was arrested after an explosion and subsequent fire on Woodbine Avenue sent two seriously injured children to hospital on Nov. 27.

But now police are also looking for a 30-year-old woman suspected of being his accomplice in the manufacture of illicit drugs in the residential building, thought to have caused the the explosion.

Get the full story.

man sought for assaultImage released of man sought in assault of woman

Police have released an image of a man being sought after the alleged assault of a woman in the area of Queen Street East and Glen Manor Drive.

Police report the woman was walking with a shopping cart on Nov. 29 when an unknown man started shouting at her and kicked the cart.

He then assaulted her, police said.

The man is described as white and short, having a stocky build, brown eyes and brown hair. He was last seen wearing a red backpack and a thick dark-brown and grey jacket.

Police car thumbnailWoman charged with attempted murder

A woman has been charged with attempted murder after an alleged stabbing in the area of Coxwell Avenue and Hanson Street yesterday evening. A man remains in critical condition after being rushed to hospital, police say.

Officers responded to the stabbing call in the area at about 6:52 p.m. Get the story so far.

Woodbine explosion thumbnailExplosion, fire on Woodbine spark charges

A man faces serious arson charges after an explosion and fire at a Woodbine Avenue house that caused minor injuries to several people.

The incident happened late Friday afternoon. Toronto Fire Services forwarded all media enquiries to police when it became apparent that charges were being laid. Here’s what we know.

The Scribe thumbnailStore to teach the ‘thrill’ of holding old books

Justin Daniel Wood’s store, about to open Dec. 1, is different from all the other bookstores on Danforth Avenue. The Scribe specializes in rare and vintage volumes that range in price from $5 to $1,000.

But Wood’s on a mission to show people they need not be intimidated by such books, which are neither untouchable nor expensive. Read all about this new business.

tobogganing hill at RiverdaleLocal parks ready for tobogganing and other winter activities

Hills in Greenwood and Glen Stewart parks are among the 23 sites where the city is encouraging tobogganing this winter in its Welcome T.O. Winter parks plan (though you likely know several other great hills to slide down on sleds and toboggans).

The city is also pushing other outdoor activities during the pandemic this winter, including skating, snowshoeing in city golf courses, playing disc-golf and exploring recreational trails.

See the story and where to go for the best tobogganing.

Arrest for Beaches break-ins

If your home or business was broken into last week, they may have caught the guy. Police say a man committed break-ins between Nov. 17 and 19 in the area of Queen Street East and Waverley Road. Several residences and commercial buildings were hit.

Yesterday police arrested a man. Kevin Burger, 31, of no fixed address, has been charged with nine counts of breaking and entering, 30 counts of failing to comply, and other charges.

Mary-Margaret McMahonMary-Margaret McMahon is back — as MPP candidate

Mary-Margaret McMahon, who served two terms as councillor for Beaches-East York, has been nominated as Ontario Liberal Party candidate for the next provincial election, the Liberals announced today.

The riding has flipped between the Liberals and New Democrats. Rima Berns-McGown now holds the seat for the NDP, having in 2018 defeated Liberal incumbent Arthur Potts, who himself had taken the seat from the NDP’s Michael Prue in 2014. See the story.

Where to go when you have to go

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 Greenwood Park and Kew Gardens — 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.

Get the full story here.

The story of the Empringham Hotel

The Empringham Hotel was the pride of East Toronto when George Empringham opened it at Danforth and Dawes in the 1890s and it remained an east end destination and social centre of sorts into the 1980s, when it was taken down.

Read all about it and see those great old photos in “From stately hotel to strip club — the Empringham story.”

Queen East lane closed for underground work

The westbound lane of Queen Street East between Coxwell and Rhodes avenues is closed starting today due to work on the “underground concrete duct bank,” the city warns.

The construction is planned to continue until Dec. 4, with the work being done daily between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Work begun on upgraded Dundas bike lanes

Protected bike lanes for Dundas Street East are on the way. Work on the upgraded lanes mandated by city council for one of Toronto’s most dangerous stretches of road for cyclists (see Nov. 6 story) has begun, says Toronto-Danforth councillor Paula Fletcher in her Nov. 13 email newsletter.

Transportation staff have begun pavement markings, and other upgrades, such as adding curbs and bollards will follow over the next month, Fletcher says.

You can publicly charge your EV in the east end now

Seventeen electric vehicle charging stations have been activated across the city, many of them in the east end wards of Toronto-Danforth and Beaches-East York.

Toronto mayor John Tory announced the official launch of the 12-month pilot program yesterday and Beaches-East York councillor Brad Bradford praised the program. See the full story and locations.

New east end locations for photo radar units

After three months of issuing tickets, the city’s photo radar units are being moved. All 50 automated speed enforcement (ASE) devices are to 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 yesterday.

In Toronto-Danforth ward, the two new ASE sites are on Dundas Street East, east of Broadview Avenue, and on Lesmount Avenue, south of Cosburn Avenue. Both are near schools.

In Beaches-East York, the new sites are on Kingston Road, near Heyworth Crescent, and on Spruce Hill Road, north of Queen Street East.

The city reports 47,195 speeders were caught by ASE devices in the old locations, but the number of tickets dropped in the second and third months.

“The Automated Speed Enforcement program is working,” Mayor John Tory said. “Each month, fewer drivers were caught speeding in school and community safety zones where they’ve been placed, and they are helping to keep vulnerable people, especially school children, in these communities safer.”

‘Dangerous’ Dundas to get protected bike lanes

A dangerous stretch of Dundas Street East may become a little safer for cyclists if the city upgrades the bicycle paths to protected bike lanes. A committee of city council adopted a report yesterday calling for installing cycle tracks — protected bicycle lanes — along Dundas between Broadview Avenue and Kingston Road.

Deaths and injuries that have plagued the street may be alleviated if protected lanes are installed, proponents say. See the full story — and a dangerous situation spotted by our photographer.

Kind message

Sign outside Upper Beach Health and Wellness on Gerrard Street East, as posted on the Facebook page for the Beach Hill Neighbourhood Association today.

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.

Native son John Candy would be 70 today

Mayor John Tory has proclaimed today as John Candy Day, on what would have been the comic actor’s 70th birthday.

Candy, as everyone knows around here, lived in East York as a child and attended high school at Neil MacNeil Catholic High School near Victoria Park and Kingston Road.

More about the beloved actor and his day.

Fourth community clinic to get your flu shot

The only community flu vaccine clinic east of the Don Valley is to open on Oct. 31, the city announced today. It’s to be located at Scarborough Town Centre, Exterior Unit D3, 410 Progress Ave. and is operated by appointment only.

It’s the fourth clinic launched by Toronto Public Health across the city, the other three launching Oct. 22. It will run until Dec. 31. For more information on locations and to make an appointment, see the TPH appointment booking system online.

The flu shot is also available at many other locations in Toronto, including pharmacies, doctors’ offices and clinics. Find a location near you at

Three-car collision at Coxwell and Lake Shore

A driver suffered unspecified injuries in a three-car collision near C0xwell Avenue and Lake Shore Boulevard early this morning, according to police. Officers responded to several reports of a collision and an overturned car at about 1 a.m.

Three tow trucks were called and Toronto Fire assisted the injured party on the scene, police say. Roads were closed at Coxwell and Eastern Avenue for about an hour.

Arrest made for summer break-in spree

A man has been arrested following investigation of a series of break-ins in apartment buildings and vehicles over several summer months in the area of Woodbine Avenue And Queen Street East. (See Sept. 16 update below.)

Harris Omo, 32, of Toronto, faces charges on 24 counts, including break and enter, assault with a weapon, and failing to comply with a release order. He is to appear in court today.

Gunfire and ‘suspect’ caught on video

Gunshots can be heard one of two videos released by police two days after the incident in Leslieville’s Greenwood-Coxwell neighbourhood.

Also on the video is seen someone whom police call a suspect running to a car parked on Hiawatha Road, shouting “Go go go!” before driving off. Get the whole story.

Man with knife confronted at site of gas leak

Firefighters responding to a gas leak in a building at Gerrard and Main streets were met by a man armed with a knife and behaving erratically, police reported today at about 10:30 a.m.

Police officers had to resolve the issue with the man. “We will get him the help he needs,” police said on Twitter.

Then fire crews were able to enter and evacuate the building which smelled of gas.

The gas leak was capped residents were allowed back in, with no reports of injury, police said.

Fox Theatre thumbnailFox Theatre struggles through pandemic

Government assistance helped and attendance is “okay” since the Fox on Queen Street East re-opened in August with reduced seating.

But the owners of the 106-year-old institution are still concerned over how long they’ll be able to preserve the movie theatre experience in the Beach. Read all about it.


Nooses at construction site not considered hate crime

Two more nooses have been found in the area of Michael Garron Hospital but police say they don’t believe they’re connected with previous incidents.

Police responded to a call about a suspicious incident on Sept. 24 at about 7:12 p.m. at Sammon and Coxwell avenues. Two nooses were located at a construction site there, they reported yesterday.

The hate crime unit has been consulted but it is not being treated as hate-motivated, police said.

Henry Dundas thumbnailPublic consultations coming on renaming Dundas

The “problematic” legacy of 18th-century Scottish statesman Henry Dundas is about to come under public scrutiny as the city considers renaming the street named for him. City council approved a staff report on the man who allegedly kept the slave trade going in his time.

Council gave the go-ahead to holding public consultations with businesses and residents near Dundas Street and with diverse Black communities. Get the whole story.


Arrest for child pornography

A 40-year-old man was arrested today after police searched an address near Greenwood Avenue and Gerrard Street East as part of an investigation into child sexual abuse material.

The man has been charged with possession and accessing child pornography. He is to appear in court today.

COVID germEast-end neighbourhoods hit by latest COVID wave

A month ago it looked like much of this area was free of the coronavirus. But recent figures from the city’s interactive map show we’ve been newly infected in the recent upsurge.

Worst hit in the east end have been the Beaches and Danforth East communities. Get the full picture.

Nuit Blanche thumbnailArts festival moved from the streets to online

Nuit Blanche, which has presented art installations in Toronto streets over the course of one night for the past 14 years — including in the east end last year — is this year presenting a week of virtual experiences.

Funded by the city and the Government of Ontario, Nuit Blanche Online is running Oct. 3–10 this year in five online streaming programs. Find out more in Streeter Things To Do.


Dangerous medication lost

A 35-millilitre container of methadone has been lost near Main Street and Stevenson Avenue. Police have issued a public safety alert, saying the medication could be harmful, even fatal, if ingested, especially by children.

Secondhand Sunday on today

Today’s the day you can give away or get reusable items — to or from your neighbours. It’s Secondhand Sunday, a city-supported event that runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Here’s more about it.

One more weekend of ActiveTO road closures

Saturday and Sunday will be your last chance this year to walk, jog or cycle selected major streets that have been closed to traffic. But this does not include the usual Lake Shore Boulevard East.

The city advises the closure on Lake Shore between Leslie Street and Woodbine Avenue is being forgone this weekend due to Saturday’s planned construction on the eastbound Gardiner Expressway from Yonge Street to Cherry Street.

Roads elsewhere that will be closed for ActiveTO from Sept. 26 at 6 a.m. to Sept. 27 at 11 p.m. are:

  • Bayview Avenue from Front Street East to Rosedale Valley Road, and River Street from Gerrard Street East to Bayview Avenue.
  • Lake Shore Boulevard West eastbound lanes from Windermere Avenue to Stadium Road.


pumpkinsLocal events cancelled or moved online in city announcement

The Beaches Santa Claus Parade and the Riverside Halloween Fest are among the east-end events seeing their live festivities shut down by the city this week. Some of them though will carry on as virtual or online happenings.

The city followed public health advice in cancelling all upcoming festivals and other large in-person gatherings held at outdoor sites managed by the city or at public locations, the city said in a news release on Wednesday.

See the story in Streeter news.

climate change thumbnailAre you a champion for climate action in the neighbourhood?

Could you help educate and collaborate with local residents to develop climate action projects reflecting the needs and values of the Beaches or Leslieville?

If so, the city wants you. To become a Neighbourhood Climate Action Champion.

Being a local champion will take about four or five hours a month and it won’t pay much — a $500 honorarium. But you’ll get free training and the satisfaction of helping fight climate change. Read all about it.

StrollTO thumbBe a tourist in our own communities

How well do you know the Beaches? A walking tour of the area is part of Toronto’s StrollTO program, announced today. Self-guided tours are presented in all 25 wards, with self-guided tours pointing out culturally and historically significant local sites.

It’s part of an overall ShowLoveTO initiative to encourage residents to discover shops, stops, places and spaces on local streets, the city says. Get the whole story and links to local tours.

Ashbridges Bay rocksMarkham man charged in fatal boat crash

Charges have been laid in that fatal boat crash beachgoers witnessed two weeks ago.

A Markham man, registered as the vessel owner and alleged to have been driving when it hit rocks near Woodbine Beach, faces criminal negligence charges, police say.

See the full story.

BigArtTO thumbnailBigArtTO scheduled for the east end

The Donald D. Summerville swimming pool is one of the locations to be used as a canvas for art projection in Toronto’s just-announced BigArtTO initiative.

BigArtTO features free access to more than 200 hours of temporary public artworks created by Toronto artists, shown across Toronto’s 25 wards.

The Beaches-East York event is running Oct. 21 to 24. A location in the Toronto-Danforth ward for Nov. 18 to 21 has yet to be determined. See the full story.

Public meetings on renaming ‘racist’ Dundas Street proposed

City staff is recommending the city hold public consultations on its response to the petition to rename Dundas Street and other sites bearing the Dundas name.

The petition objected to the street being named after Scottish politician Henry Dundas “who was involved in delaying the abolition of the transatlantic slave trade, causing more than half a million more Black people to be enslaved in the British Empire,” according to a city press release today.

Mayor John Tory and several councillors signed a letter on June 12 calling for the street to be renamed, referring to “signs of historic racism on streets, buildings and monuments all across Toronto.”

Some historians argue Dundas strongly favoured abolition of slavery and added “gradual” to the 1792 motion to abolish the slave trade in order to pass the motion, which would otherwise have failed.

The staff report is going to city council’s executive committee on Sept. 23.


Suspect sought in break-in spree

A series of break-ins in the Woodbine Avenue and Queen Street East area between June 25 and Aug. 1 has led to a search for a 32-year-old man. Police allege a man broke into various apartment buildings and vehicles in the apartment buildings in that time period.

Today they released a photo of Harris Omo of Toronto, who is wanted on numerous charges, including four counts of committing break and enter, theft over $5,000, assault with a weapon, and five counts of failing to comply with a release order.

He is described as 5-foot-5, 146 pounds, and having black hair and brown eyes.

Boat passenger killed in collision with rocks

A man, 47, died after the boat he was in collided with rocks near Woodbine Beach, police reported yesterday.

Police responded to a call about a boat crash about 12:35 p.m. It was reported a 46-year-old man lost control of the boat he was operating with six people aboard.

A 47–year-old man was rushed to a trauma centre with vital signs absent and was declared dead at hospital. The boat operator and remaining passengers received non-life threatening injuries.

Here’s what we know so far.

Summerville pool to stay open an extra week

City outdoor pools have been set to close on Sept. 6, but the summer season for at least 10 of them, including Donald D. Summerville at Woodbine Beach, has been extended to Sept. 13. Mayor John Tory announced the extension today “recognizes the new start of the school year for many Toronto children.” Most kids are returning to school on Sept. 14, a week later than in previous years.

Construction to shut down lanes on Leslie Street

Leslie Street north of Queen Street East will see a northbound and a southbound lane closed over the next three days due to construction, Toronto’s Traffic Management Centre advises. The two projects of of “permanent resurface reinstatement for Toronto water repairs” are to run from Sept. 2 to 4, daily from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Bike Share thumbnailRide a bike for free on Wednesday

Bike Share Toronto, which has stations all over Beaches and Leslieville now, is letting would-be cyclists ride for free all day every Wednesday in September.

Check Streeter’s Things To Do for how to do it.

Anti-hate rally decorates East York park

Love reigned in Dentonia Park on Saturday afternoon. Or, if not love, at least anti-hate. Colourful signs and banners festooned fences and trees for the rally to unite against racism and “reclaim the park.”

The event was a response to the alleged racist attack on a mixed race couple in the park two months earlier and, in the words of victim Mark Austin, to help fix a “broken” community. Get the full story and pictures.

arson investigation - policeWoman sought after Leslieville garage fire

Images of a woman have been released by police today, about two weeks after a garage was allegedly set alight near Gerrard Street and Woodfield Road on the morning of Aug. 12.

A person seen leaving the scene before police arrived was caught on security cameras in the area, arson investigators say. No injuries were reported from the fire.

Police are looking for a woman in the images, described as about 55 to 65 years old, with brown hair in a bun, and wearing a long red shirt, grey pants and pink Crocs shoes. She had a light-coloured shirt tied around her waist and she was carrying several bags, the images show.

condo being built thumbnailThis is the best place to buy a condo in Toronto

If you’re looking for a condo in the East York area to move into, your economically best option may be to buy one. The real estate district encompassing East York and Danforth Village ranks highest in the latest report by Zoocasa, which looked at purchase prices versus rental costs.

The Beaches area was closer to the other end of the spectrum, the brokerage firm found, placing it in the better-to-rent condo category.

Read the story in Streeter News.

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 coronavirus map east end fragment

East end nearly free of recent COVID cases

The Beach is free of new cases of COVID-19 and other east-end neighbourhoods are close behind, according to the city’s coronavirus map.

It shows zero to three confirmed or probable new cases recently for most neighbourhoods in the east end, as well as in midtown and central Toronto, for the past 21 days — all of August actually.

Check out your neighbourhood and how it compares to others in the Streeter article.

CNE logo thumbGo to the Ex without leaving home

Toronto’s traditional end-of-summer show and exhibition is back in 2020, though in anything but traditional form. The CNE continues online starting today until Sept. 7.

Without leaving home now, you can go to the Ex via the new CNE portal, where you can take in shows and performances, share food recipes, learn how to be a busker, take virtual rides, enjoy trips through history, and even enjoy a virtual air show.

More information in the Things To Do listing.

Condo rentals up in Leslieville area, prices dropping

Thanks to the pandemic, the formerly tight condo rental market has loosened up, with more apartments available and prices dropping, according to a new report. In the Leslieville area (including Riverside and Little India), both listings and rentals are up substantially.

The good news for tenants though is that the availability of rental units is driving the average prices for condo apartments in the area downward.

Meanwhile in the Beaches area, listings are up, while leases are down — also forcing prices down somewhat.

Compare what’s happening across Toronto.

Police seek info on body found near Ashbridges Bay

They body of a man was found in a wooded area east of the Martin Goodman Trail, in the south end of Ashbridges Bay Park, on Aug. 14. He may have been there since Aug. 12, police say.

A photo of Acquilino Logwee Iko, 29, of Mississauga has been released in a bid to get more information from the public, according to investigators. Here’s what we know so far.

Suspected gas leak forces Carlaw closure

The south end Carlaw Avenue was shut down today after reports of a gas leak near Carlaw and Eastern Avenue. Police issued a “shelter in place” warning online at 11:14 a.m.

Enbridge Gas crews were on the scene.

Initially police said northbound lanes on Carlaw between Eastern and Lake Shore Boulevard were closed. But by 12:40 p.m. the closure was extended to include northbound and southbound lanes between Eastern and Queen Street East, as well as both directions of Eastern Avenue between Pape and Logan avenues.

Video shows his porch furniture being stolen

On the I am a Leslievillian! Facebook group, a resident posted a video of a couple allegedly stealing furniture off his porch early this morning. See it here.

Two east-end streets get charging stations in pilot project

Hydro workers are installing an electric vehicle charging station on Alton Avenue today as Councillor Paul Fletcher announces the next stage in the city’s Electric Vehicle Strategy.

Alton Avenue in Leslieville and Mountjoy Avenue in the East Danforth area are among the seven locations across Toronto to get the stations to test the technology in the pilot project.

See the full story.


Permit parking enforcement begins tonight

Permit parking enforcement on residential streets is resuming at midnight tonight. It had been paused due to COVID-19 but the period to purchase or renew permits began on July 2 and ran to Aug. 7.

In case you missed the window, temporary daily and weekly parking permits can be purchased online anytime.

The parking permit office remains closed but can be accessed by phone at 416-392-7873 or email at, Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Hobo cannabis shops have changed name

You won’t be able to buy your weed at Hobo, 20 Leslie St., any longer. Instead, you’ll be shopping at Dutch Love. Same store. Same location. New name.

Hobo Cannabis has changed its name for its dozen stores across Canada, including in Leslieville, after complaints were raised that “Hobo” is derogatory toward the homeless.

Hobo denied the charges but bowed to public pressure, choosing its new name of Dutch Love to honour Amsterdam, a leader in the legalization of marijuana.


Call for artists to create Danforth murals

East End Arts, in partnership with the city’s StreetARToronto Program, is calling on artists to submit proposals to participate in the revitalization of Danforth Avenue under the name Destination Danforth.

Destination Danforth includes a roll-out of public art over the next year, with four mural installations and twelve traffic signal boxes to be completed by October 2020.

Right now, the call is for four murals — one in each of four Business Improvement Areas: Broadview Danforth, GreekTown on the Danforth, Danforth Mosaic, and Danforth Village. The two themes to be addressed by submissions are Gratitude, Resilience, Hope and #EastEndLove.

The deadline for submissions is Aug. 26. Artists can get more details from East End Arts online.

Arrest in Woodbine Beach area for sexual assault

A man was charged with sexual assault after returning to the scene of the alleged attack in the Woodbine Beach area, according to police.

On July at about 5 p.m., a 17-year-old girl sitting at the beach was allegedly approached by a man and sexually assaulted. He allegedly fled, but he was seen the next day at the same location and arrested, police say.

Get more details.

Man charged with murder after body found in Greenwood Avenue house

Police arrested a man, 41, after finding the body of a 37-year-old man in a semi-detached house on Greenwood Avenue, south of Millwood, yesterday.

Police issued a news release this morning, saying a man faces a charge of second-degree murder.

Here’s what we know so far.

Central TorontoDon ValleyForest HillLeasideNorth TorontoRiverdale-East York

Harmful medication stolen in Leslieville area

Dangerous medication may be floating around the east end. It was stolen in the area of Eastern Avenue and Woodfield Road between Dec. 5, 2019, and May 21, 2020, police reported early today. The 3,500 tablets of Contrave may be harmful, even fatal, if ingested, especially by children, they say. Anyone with information is asked to contact police at 416-808-5500.

Floaty rescue at Woodbine Beach

An unspecified number of people were rescued yesterday evening after their inflated device floated far out into the lake, police reported on Twitter.

NDPers back Toronto call to limit construction noise

East-end MPPs Rima Berns-McGown and Peter Tabuns are among 12 opposition MPPs asking Premier Doug Ford to give Toronto back the power to limit construction noise. This comes after city council made a similar request and after residents and residents’ associations have complained about noise keeping them awake.

In April the province issued orders allowing “essential” construction projects to generate noise earlier and later than the city had previously allowed. Get the whole story.

Man sought for alleged offences in east end

Police have released a photo of a Toronto man wanted for offences committed in in the area of Main Street and Danforth Avenue.

A man allegedly broke into a residence and assaulted someone on July 9, followed by two further criminal offences by breaching his probation on July 23.

Joao Martins, 56, of Toronto, is wanted for break and enter, assault and four counts of failing to Comply with a probation order.

He is described as 5-foot-4, 138 lbs., and unshaven with long dark hair.

Daycares opening but say they need financial help

Child care centres say they are facing added expenses from the required health precautions during the pandemic at the same time as revenues are declining because fewer kids are retuning. Government assistance is needed if they are to stay in operation, some say.

Read the full story in Streeter.


Virtual commemoration posted

The city has posted a commemoration to the victims of the Danforth shooting online late yesterday, including video of the private ceremony held earlier in Withrow Park. See it here.

Two years after the Danforth tragedy

Two years after two people were killed and 13 injured by a lone gunman on Danforth Avenue, survivors and families of the victims joined city representatives in commemoration in Withrow Park. Mayor Tory, Toronto-Danforth councillor Paul Fletcher, and shooting victim Danielle Kane were among those laying flowers beneath trees planted in memory of the two girl who lost their lives. See the whole story.

East-end housing prices up despite pandemic

In the first half of 2020, the average detached home in the real estate district including the Beaches, Woodbine and East Danforth is priced nearly 12 per cent higher than in the same period a year ago, according to a real estate report released yesterday.

East York prices are up about nine per cent, and the district including Riverdale and Leslieville are up nearly seven per cent.

Get the full story to see how we compare to other parts of Toronto.

Man buried by east-end building collapse

Toronto Fire Services pulled a lifeless body out of a trench at a Jones Avenue house-building site yesterday morning. A man had been buried under debris, mud and concrete when the structure partially collapsed during construction. Get the full story.

Free outdoor programs for kids start Monday

The city announced today it is launching its ParksPlayTO initiative for kids up to age 12 and the Summer in the 6ix program for young people age 13 to 24 on July 20.

No registration is required for these drop-in programs in spaces across the city. In Beaches-Leslieville, this includes Jimmie Simpson Park, Greenwood Park, Leslie Grove Park, Kew Gardens, Woodbine Beach Park and many other local locations.

See the story and get the details in Streeter news.

Man allegedly assaulted two on boat that left Woodbine Beach

Two people were assaulted after boarding a power boat in the Woodbine Beach area, police say. A man, 54, faces several charges including kidnapping and sexual assault. Read more details in Streeter news.

Murals thanking frontline heroes

There’s one already at 2265 Danforth Ave. and there’s supposed to be another one almost ready at 165 Main St. They’re among the first artworks in the city’s project hiring street artists to create murals thanking frontline workers during the pandemic. Read more about them.

Cooling centres near you

In this hot, hot, hot weather, if you desperately need a place to cool off, head to one of the city’s emergency cooling centres in the east end:

  • East York Civic Centre, 850 Coxwell Ave. — open Thursday–Sunday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • O’Connor Community Centre, 1386 Victoria Park Ave. — call 416-395-7957 first.
  • Greenwood Park, 150 Greenwood Ave. — call 416-396-4126 first.
  • Blantyre Park, 180 Fallingbrook Rd. — call 416-396-4126 first.


Time to resume your parking permit

If you’re parking on the street, you should be aware the free period due to coronavirus has come to an end. Beginning today the city is restarting its permit parking program. The office remains closed but it can be accessed by phone at 416-392-7873 or by email Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.

You can also renew an existing permit holders using the online renewal system or by mail, though you should call first before mailing in an application.

The parking permit renewal window will be open until Aug. 3, and enforcement is expected to begin again starting Aug. 14 at midnight. More information on applying for a parking permit on the city website.

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Posted: Mar 5 2021 10:37 am

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