Central Toronto Daily Updates

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

Bayview ActiveTO thumbnailCity bows to pressure to close Bayview for ActiveTO

Cyclists and pedestrians have not appreciated Bayview Avenue being taken off the list of roads closed to vehicles during ActiveTO weekends, restricting people to the multi-use trails running alongside the traffic lanes.

City staff heard the complaints and the southern end of the road is back on the list this weekend, Mayor John Tory announced yesterday. See the story with details for this weekend’s closures.

Arrest for ‘hate-motivated mischief’

A man was arrested yesterday, ten days after anti-Semitic graffiti was sprayed on the windows of a business owned by a member of the Jewish community near Kensington Avenue and Baldwin Street, police report.

The incident that allegedly took place May 6 at about 10 p.m. was investigated, in consultation with the police hate crime unit, as “hate motivated mischief,” according to a police statement today.

A 29-year-old man of no fixed address is charged with mischief under $5,000. He is to appear in court today.

man charged with vehicle break-ins thumbnail

Arrest for 115 vehicle break-ins

A 54-year-old man faces 121 charges after a lengthy police investigation of a spate of vehicle break-ins, the majority of them in the Annex area.

The 115 alleged break-ins took place in parking garages between November 17 and June 7, police said today. See the full story.

On-street parking enforcement to resume Monday

Be careful when and where you park after this weekend. During the lockdown months you may have gotten away with parking on streets longer than the city-wide three-hour limit or in front of your house without an up-to-date permit, as police have been been lax in enforcing these and other parking rules.

But that’s about to change. As the province begins to reopen and traffic increases, routine enforcement of on-street parking regulations is to resume, starting 12:01 a.m. on June 14, Toronto police announced today.

You’ll have a little more time to get your residential on-street permits in order though. Enforcement of those violations will begin on June 21.

snow clearing thumbnailSnow-clearing extended to all our sidewalks

After a two-year trial with new, smaller sidewalk plows in Toronto Centre, University-Rosedale and other wards, Toronto is extending its snow-clearing program to all its sidewalks, council decided yesterday.

“Council’s approval today will ensure we can provide sidewalk snow removal across the city starting this winter,” Mayor John Tory said.  Get the full story.

Arrest after sexual assault, indecent acts in condo building

A 23-year-old Toronto man was arrested after officers were called to a condominium building near Sherbourne Street and Dundas Street East yesterday at about 5:30 p.m.

A man had allegedly followed a 56-year-old woman into an elevator in the lobby and onto her floor, verbally abusing her. He then allegedly followed her into her apartment and sexually assaulted her, police report.

Police say the man had previously been in the stairwell of the building committing indecent acts and propositioning women in the building for sex.

Cody Rodgers, 23, was arrested and faces five charges, including assault with a weapon, aggravated sexual assault and assault by choking.

He was scheduled to appear virtually in court today.

 

Cabbagetown Farmers’ Market back today

The market is back at Riverdale Park West with local, sustainable food products.

The Cabbagetown Farmers’ Market is on every Tuesday, starting today at 3 p.m. until 7 p.m.. and running into October.

Three walk into hospital with wounds after gunshots in St. James Town area

Several callers reported hearing gunshots and seeing people flee near Wellesley Street East and Bleecker Street, according to a police statement on social media at 9:50 p.m. yesterday.

Shortly afterwards, officers were advised three victims had walked into a hospital with gunshot wounds.

Officers also found evidence of a shooting at the scene.

An investigation is ongoing, police say.

 

Drugs lost on Yonge subway line

Somewhere on the subway line between Dundas Station and Rosedale Station, medication including methadone was lost about nine days ago, police are advising today.

The drugs, originally in a black backpack, were lost on May 21 at about 7 p.m. They include six bottles of methadone, 28 pills of clonidine and 14 pills of seroquel.

They could be harmful, even fatal, if ingested, especially by children, police warn.

Pedestrian dies from injuries

A 58-year-old woman has died nearly a week after being struck by an SUV on Dundas Street East at Sherbourne Street, police reported yesterday evening.

On May 21 at about 3:25 a.m., a female pedestrian was crossing Dundas when she was struck by a Volkswagen SUV driven by a 23-year-old man, police reported then.

The woman was said to have suffered significant injuries and was transported to hospital in critical condition.

On May 27, she succumbed to her injuries, police now say. An investigation by Traffic Services is continuing.

Arrest after nine commercial break-ins

A man broke into nine commercial buildings in the Church and Wellesley neighbourhood and in the Queen Street East and Sherbourne Street area between May 19 and May 27, police reported today.

But when officers responded to call for a break and enter in the Queen and Sherbourne area on May 27, they ended up arresting a man found a short distance away.

Police thanked the public for assistance in finding the man, which they said would help prevent future break and enters in the area.

Mathieu Blaquiere, 36, faces nine counts of break and enter, as well as failure to comply with a probation order and failure to comply with a release order. He appeared in court virtually on May 28.

rental apartments thumbnailApartment rents down in local neighbourhoods during pandemic

The Cabbagetown-South St. James Town neighbourhood experienced one of Toronto’s biggest drops in condo and apartment rents since the beginning of the pandemic more than a year ago, according to a recent survey. And the area it calls the Church-Yonge corridor is close behind. Respectively, their rents decreased 29 and 23 per cent in the first four months of this year from the same period in 2020.

But there are signs rents across Toronto may be stabilizing and preparing to rise again, the survey found. Get all the facts in the full story.

Bayview not part of latest road closures

ActiveTO road closures on the coming weekend have been announced as:

  • Lake Shore Boulevard East, eastbound lanes between Leslie Street and Woodbine Avenue, will be closed from May 29, 6 a.m. to May 30, 9 p.m.
  • Roads in High Park from May 28 about 11 p.m. to May 31 about 7 a.m.

You’ll notice the southern leg of Bayview Avenue is not on this list, as it has usually been for past ActiveTO road closures.

In a press release yesterday the city said a  “multi-use trail along Bayview Avenue, between Mill Street and Rosedale Valley Road, provides a safe and protected full-time space for people walking and riding their bikes every day, while also allowing Bayview Avenue to safely accommodate vehicles.”

A partial closure of Allen Road is also being planned, but not for this weekend. for ActiveTO next weekend. The Allen’s northbound lanes between Eglinton and Lawrence avenues are expected to be closed to vehicles from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday, June 5.

man at cage thumbnailMan sought for alleged indecent act after woman locked self in cage to escape him

Police are seeking to identify a man who allegedly exposed himself to a woman after she locked herself in a bicycle cage to evade him Friday morning.

Police have released images of a man in the garage in hopes of identifying him in the investigation of an indecent act. See the story.

Qi Sushi thumbnailPopular Gerrard Street sushi place closing

Patrons have reacted with sadness to the news that Qui Sushi at 358 Gerrard St. E. is shutting down permanently after this holiday weekend.

The closure was announced by owner Jennifer Park on Facebook on May 19 after nearly a decade of serving Cabbagetown and Regent Park customers. Read the news.

Outdoor recreationTennis, basketball and other outdoor recreations are back

Local tennis courts, basketball courts and sports fields should be busy with people getting their outdoor exercise again this long weekend, as long as they keep physically distanced.

Following Ontario’s go-ahead yesterday, the city is reopening its outdoor recreational amenities — albeit with public health restrictions in place — as of May 22.

Get the whole story.

LJS Khasos thumbnailNew restaurant replaces Peartree on Parliament

Peartree Restaurant, a 27-year staple of Cabbagetown life, shut down for good this spring after the death of its owner due to COVID-19. But a new establishment, LJS Khasos Restaurant and Bar, appears to have been quickly welcomed into the neighbourhood in its place.

See the article on LJS Khasos which opened on May 17.

police car fourth man arrested thumbnailTwo more bank robberies before fourth man arrested

Four men were alleged to have robbed a series of banks in downtown Toronto and East York in April but only three men were arrested.

Now, following two more holdups, apparently by one man, the fourth suspect has been arrested. Get the full story.

Arrest made in robbery investigation

Toronto Police Service have arrested a man in their investigation of that robbery of an 81-year-old at Yonge Street and Carlton Avenue. (See May 14 item below.)

On May 16 a man was charged with robbery, assault with a weapon, and robbery with an offensive weapon.

Idrisa Jallow, 37, is to appear in court today.

 

Images released of man sought in ‘unprovoked assault’ case

Police have released images of a man sought in the investigation of an afternoon assault nearly two months ago.

On March 24 at about 4 p.m., a man made an unprovoked assault on a woman walking along St. Luke Lane near College and Yonge streets, police said.

He was last seen walking westbound along Grenville Street west of Bay Street, wearing a blue jacket and khaki pants.

Several images have been released by police today in hopes of identifying the man.

Isaac Crosby thumbnailInvasive species in our ravines called danger to native vegetation, wildlife

The Brick Works’ Indigenous gardener is concerned invasive species in Toronto’s famous ravines are a danger to native flora and fauna — and to Indigenous people.

We got Isaac Crosby’s views on the ravines as a city-wide review is about to get under way. See the full story.

New locations for speed cameras in Central Toronto

The city is moving its 50 automated speed enforcement (ASE) devices to begin a third round of ticketing in June.

The ASE devices, commonly called speed cameras or photo radar, have until recently been located on Orde and Essex streets in University-Rosedale ward and on Sherbourne and Berkeley streets in Toronto Centre ward.

The new locations where you’ll have to watch your speeding in this area are:

  • Homewood Avenue near Maitland Place (Toronto Centre)
  • Parliament Street north of Oak Street (Toronto Centre)
  • Avenue Road near Macpherson Avenue (University-Rosedale)
  • Clinton Street north of College Street (University-Rosedale)

 

81-year-old robbed at Yonge and Carlton: police

An 81-year-old man was robbed near Yonge and Carlton streets May 12, police report.

The alleged robber approached the elderly man on the street, and blocked and bumped into him, before taking his money and fleeing.

The man being sought is described as 25 to 30, 5-foot-10, with a thin-build, black medium-length curly hair. He was wearing a dark tank top with yellow stripes around shoulders and yellow on the back, a grey long-sleeve shirt underneath, blue denim jeans and tanned shoes.

Police car and tape file photoAssault on man and dog led to unfolding of two-and-half hour drama across town

It all started with the report of a man and a dog being assaulted near Bayview and Eglinton avenues, but it continued down Bayview and into Moore Park, and eventually popping back up in Don Valley’s Parkwoods area.

The trail of assaults and crashes committed by a suspect and the police off-and-on pursuit by car and on foot led across several Toronto neighbourhoods, ending in 10 charges. Read all about it.

Briefs

  • REWARD FOR FINDING GOAT: Baby goat Juniper remains missing after apparently being stolen from Riverdale Farm last week. But at least one local resident is offering a $1,000 reward for finding her, according to a report on CityNews yesterday.
  • CRASH INJURIES: A two-car collision at Yonge Street and Summerhill Avenue sent one person to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries at about 5:30 a.m., police said. Yonge and Summerhill were partially closed for most of the early morning rush hour.
  • COVID CASE: A staff member at Matt’s No Frills, 449 Parliament St., has tested positive for COVID-19, Loblaw Companies reported yesterday.The last day the employee worked was recorded as May 2.

4 Howard Street demolition thumbBoarded-up Howard Street house finally comes down

The formerly heritage-listed house at 4 Howard St., long neglected and boarded up, has been demolished to make way for a condominium complex.

The mixed-use development will soar 53 storeys into the sky but also incorporate several other heritage properties and a public park on Sherbourne Street around the corner from Howard. Read all about it.

 

Arrest in hate-motivated assaults investigation

An arrest has been made a month after a series of assaults that police called hate-motivated. Between April 9 and 11, a man allegedly spit on people at Christie, Lansdowne and Wellesley subway stations and in one case was said to have yelled racial slurs. (See original story and photos.)

O’Sullivan Martinez, 26, of Toronto was arrested on May 5, police report. He faces 21 charges including multiple counts each of assault, causing a disturbance, failing to comply with probation and breach of recognizance.

He was to appear at court virtually on May 7.

goat thumbnailThree-month-old goat stolen from Riverdale Farm

An alleged thief or thieves entered a pen at Riverdale Farm in Cabbagetown sometime on Wednesday evening or Thursday morning and took a young goat named Juniper, police are reporting today.

Police are asking for public help in their investigation.

Here’s what we know so far.

 

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.

Dog poop bin thumbnailNew bins for your doggy doo

So far Central Toronto has only one, but more may start popping up in other parts of this canine-friendly area. We’re talking about the dog waste bin that has been set up on Homewood Ave. at Wellesley-Magill Park.

It’s part of a pilot project that’s created 10 “Dog Poop” receptacles across Toronto — soon to ramp up to 30 and then 100 bins. Read all about it.

 

Woman struck by streetcar

A woman is in hospital with life-threatening injuries after being hit by a TTC streetcar on Spadina Avenue yesterday.

Police report at about 6:40 p.m., a northbound streetcar struck the 38-year-old pedestrian near Nassau Street.

Traffic Services is asking anyone who may have witnessed the collision or has footage of the incident to contact investigators.

Third alleged bank robber arrested

Another man has been charged in a series of bank robberies between April 19 and 22 in downtown Toronto and East York. This makes three arrested in the police hold-up squad’s investigation so far, but a fourth man is still being sought, they say. Get the ongoing story.

Bayview during ActiveTO - thumbnailJoggers, strollers and cyclists return to ActiveTO roads

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.

See more about it.

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.

Join meeting today on Yonge bike lanes and patios project

A public meeting on the pilot project adding bike lanes and curb lane patios on Yonge Street between Bloor Street and Davisville Avenue is online tonight at 7 p.m.

You’ll get a project overview and a chance to give feedback. You should register ahead of time. See instructions and links.

 

College-Ossington fire thumbnailRooftop rescue in three-alarm fire

A three-alarm blaze engulfed the top floor of a three-storey commercial building at College Street and Ossington Avenue yesterday afternoon.

Two people escaped the blaze, one having to jump from the third floor onto a second-floor rooftop and await rescue by firefighters. Here’s the full story.

 

Sexual assault, choking charged after date

A 24-year-old man was arrested yesterday for an incident in an apartment in the Yorkville Avenue and Avenue Road area.

Police allege the man sexually assaulted a woman in the apartment after going on a date on March 12.

The man faces charges of sexual assault, choking and forcible confinement. He was to appear in court April 27.

Bloor East lanes closed

The construction season shifts into high gear as various roads across Toronto are suffering lane shutdowns to accommodate building and maintenance work.

Starting tomorrow, for example, both the westbound and eastbound centre lanes near 387 Bloor St. are being shut down for a “mobile cable pulling operation,” the city advises. The lane restrictions are expected to last until May 28.

Other new closures:

  • Queen St. East at 512–522 Queen St. E., westbound lane closed April 27 only for installation of an anode on gas main.
  • Bloor Street West from Avenue Road to Bedford Road, westbound curb lane closed April 26 and 27 due to vac trenching and repairing of conduit.
  • Avenue Road from Cumberland St. to Bloor Street West, southbound curb lane closed April 26–27 due to vac trenching and repairing of conduit.
  • Dupont Street at Spadina Road, southbound right lane and curb partially occupied April 26 to May 4 due to installation of new handwells.

Charges after woman allegedly assaulted, confined in her apartment

Other possible victims are being sought after the arrest of a man on April 23 for a sexual assault that allegedly took place in a woman’s apartment a month earlier.

On March 23 a woman, 25, was in her apartment near River and Oak streets when a man came over to visit, police said. The man allegedly propositioned her but she declined and then the man locked the apartment door and sexually assaulted her.

When the man left, he reportedly gave the woman money and advised her not to tell what happened.

Paul Noel, 57, of Toronto, was charged with sexual assault and forcible confinement. He was to appear in court on April 23.

Police say they are concerned there may be other victims.

Bloor-Yonge drug mart reports two cases

Two staff at Shoppers Drug Mart, 20 Bloor St. E., have tested positive for COVID-19, parent company Loblaw reports today. The last day the employees worked is listed as April 16.

Police chief James Ramer thumbnailPolice crackdown on gatherings starts today

If you’re getting together in our central-area parks or in your party rooms 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, 51 and 52 Divisions have 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.

 

Fatal collision at Dundas and Augusta

A 35-year-old man is dead after the car he was riding in collided with a parked vehicle on Dundas Street West late yesterday evening, police report.

A man, 34, was reportedly driving a red Mazda eastbound on Dundas near Augusta Street, when he passed a streetcar on the right side and hit the parked vehicle. The injured passenger was taken to hospital but succumbed to his injuries, police said.

Investigators are asking for anyone with security or dash camera footage of the area or incident to contact them.

hate crime suspect thumbnailSubway assaults were hate-motivated, police suspect

A spate of assaults at Christie, Lansdowne and Wellesley subway stations on April 9 and 11 are suspected of being a hate crime, police say.

They have released security camera images of a man they are seeking in their investigation of three incidents in which a man allegedly spit on another person and in at least one case is said to have yelled racial slurs. See the story and images.

877 Yonge Street thumbnailSummerhill, Chinatown buildings bought by city

With federal and provincial help, the city has bought buildings at 877 Yonge St. (a former seniors residence) and 222 Spadina Ave. (a former hotel) to provide affordable housing for women, Indigenous peoples, the homeless and others in need.

With purchase costs of just these two buildings surpassing $117 million and more purchases to come, the city is launching a program to provide housing and support services for 1,098 homes, ready to be moved into this year, according to a city announcement today.

University-Rosedale councillor Mike Layton praised the affordable housing initiative in his ward. “I’m pleased that we’re able to open the doors of these new homes and welcome our new neighbours to our community.” See the full story.

ActiveTO Yonge Street thumbnailMeeting planned for Yonge Street pilot

The city is to hold a virtual meeting on April 27 to get local feedback on the design of the Active Complete Street Pilot (see April 11 item below) that would create bike lanes, travel lanes and curbside patio spaces on Yonge Street.

See the Things To Do Listing for the event.

They are also surveying local business people for their feedback. See the online survey to be completed by May 3.

Reminder: 10-day subway closure begins

As announced earlier (see April 5 item below), the TTC is shutting down Line 1 between St. George and St. Andrew stations for repairs starting today and lasting until April 21. Stations closed over this period are Museum, St Patrick, Queen’s Park and Osgoode.

Bike lanes, curbside patios okayed for Yonge Street pilot

City council on April 7 gave the go-ahead for a pilot project that will transform part of Yonge Street, as part of their ActiveTO and CafeTO initiatives.

The roadway between Bloor Street and Davisville Avenue is to be reduced to two lanes, have bike lanes added and see on-street patios installed in a pilot project this spring and summer. See the full story.

Familiar name put forward for NDP

Brian Chang must be hoping third time’s the charm. The two-time candidate for the New Democratic Party in Toronto Centre is “enthusiastically” putting his name forward for the next federal election, the riding association has announced on its website.

It is not known if anyone else will challenge him to become the NDP representative in the election. The nomination meeting is to be held virtually April 21.

Chang came third in the 2019 by-election, well behind high-profile candidates Liberal Marci Ien, the winner, and Green Party leader Annamie Paul. In the 2015 Canadian election he placed second behind the Liberals’ Bill Morneau.

police car upclose thumbnailMan, 32, arrested after woman, 57, reportedly fought off intruder

A man carrying an airsoft firearm and methamphetamines was arrested after a woman reportedly scuffled with someone who broke into her apartment near Yonge and St. Joseph streets yesterday, police say.

See the story.

Bayview during ActiveTO programMajor roads to be car-free again

For six months last year, as part of the the ActiveTO program, the city closed stretches of Bayview Avenue, River Street and Lake Shore Boulevard 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.

Mathersfield homicide thumbnailMore murder charges in laneway shooting

A second arrest for murder was made yesterday, about two months after a shooting in a laneway near Rosedale’s Mathersfield Drive left a man dead and a woman wounded.

A 20-year-old man has been charged with first-degree murder and attempted murder, the same charges as those faced by another 20-year-old who was arrested March 30. Read the story in Streeter news.

Riverdale CollegiateAll Toronto schools shut down

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.

Another 10-day subway closure to begin April 12

Once again, the Toronto Transit Commission is announcing subway cars won’t be running on Line 1 between St. George and St. Andrew stations, this time from April 12 to 21,

The TTC is carrying out repair work, including asbestos removal, electrical cable repairs and structural rehabilitation work.

Museum, St Patrick, Queen’s Park and Osgoode stations will be closed. Shuttle buses will operate in the affected area during the morning rush period, the TTC says.

police car on MathersfieldArrest for murder in Rosedale laneway shooting

Police announced today they have arrested a 20-year-old man for first-degree murder and attempted murder for an alleged shooting on Jan. 29 that left a man dead and a woman seriously wounded in north Rosedale.

The shooting took place in or near a laneway running beside and behind houses on Mathersfield Drive, in an area sometimes considered part of Summerhill. See the story.

College Street sinkhole thumbnail25-foot sinkhole shuts down College Street

The city of Toronto announced today that College Street, between McCaul Street and Huron Street, will be fully closed for up to eight weeks as crews perform emergency repairs to the sewer under the roadway.

On Friday evening, a brick sewer, which dates back to 1873, collapsed and created a hole approximately 25 feet deep and up to 20 feet in circumference under College Street at St. George St. City crews and police responded immediately to close the roadway and make the area safe. Get the full story.

 

Thorncliffe Park PS closedEleven schools now closed for COVID investigations

Yesterday evening, the Toronto school board announced classes at Clinton Street Public School and Ryerson Community School were being shut down and moved online as of today.

This brings the number of TDSB schools closed in the past two days up to six, and with Catholic school board closures the total for this week has reached 11. See the full story.

Michelle Ross memorial thumbnailFamed drag queen Michelle Ross dies

Pride Toronto has announced the death of drag queen Michelle Ross, an icon in the Gay Village. The news came in social media posts yesterday.

After a 47-year career performing in Toronto and around the world, Ross is reported to have died peacefully in her North York home, although the cause of death has not been given.

Friends and fans have been placing flowers and well-wishes on the front steps of Crews and Tangos. Read the story.

More Bloor Street work planned by city

Work on Bloor Street West is among the projects the city is scheduling for this year’s construction season.

Mayor John Tory this morning introduced $1 billion in work planned for roads, bridges, expressways, TTC tracks, sewers and watermains across the city.

The major projects planned for this year include watermain replacement on Bloor between Spadina and Avenue Road.

 

Three COVID cases reported at Carlton Street store

Three staff have tested positive for COVID-19 the Loblaws store at 60 Carlton St., the grocery chain announced today on its reporting website.

The last days on the job for the affected employees at the store, based in Maple Leaf Gardens, are listed as March 24, March 25 and March 27.

Palmerston thumbnailPalmerston plan waiting to turn area green

Toronto and East York Community Council have adopted the green plan of the Palmerston Area Residents’ Association that aims to do its part to combat climate change — including starting the pollinators garden at Harbord Collegiate, and creating new green spaces and flower gardens along its streets.

But plans are on hold until after COVID-19. See the full story.

Multiple lanes closures in Yonge-Bloor area

It may be even more difficult than usual to get around the centre of the city for the next several days. At least six locations in and around Yonge and Bloor streets are to have one lane each shut down starting today and lasting until March 26, according to the city.

The closures, said to be due to “hydrogeological investigation,” are spread out on Yonge Street from Asquith Avenue to Hayden Street and on Bloor Street East at Park Road and Church Street.

As far we know, hydrogeological investigation means looking for groundwater. We’re not sure if this is what’s happening in the middle of Toronto.

Food Basics thumbnailCOVID-19 outbreak at Food Basics store continues

The Food Basics grocery store in St. James Town has found another case of COVID-19 among its staff today, its eighth case in less than a week.

Food Basics’ parent company, Metro, had previously reported seven more cases at the store at 238 Wellesley Street East: on March 11 (three cases), 13 (three cases) and 15 (one case). See full story.

Subway closure starts tomorrow

Just a reminder that part of the University line will be shut down for the next 10 days, starting tomorrow. Trains won’t be running between St. George and St. Andrew stations until March 24. Stations including Museum, St Patrick, Queen’s Park and Osgoode will be closed. See March 6 item below for more details.

Man reported to have chased girls in park, sought by police

Police are trying to identify a man who allegedly chased three girls around a park near Dufferin and Bloor streets on March 10 about 5:45 p.m.

The girls reportedly managed to run away from the man.

Police today released a security camera image of a man. He is described as being 5-foot and in his late teens to early 20s, with a slim build and short black hair.

He was last seen wearing a blue and black jacket, black pants and camouflage-coloured headphones, and he was holding a basketball.

The man is being sought in a criminal harassment investigation.

Ten-day subway closure to begin March 15

Just when some of us are getting back to work….

Subway cars won’t be running on Line 1 between St. George and St. Andrew stations March 15 to 24, the Toronto Transit Commission has announced. Museum, St Patrick, Queen’s Park and Osgoode stations will be closed.

The TTC is carrying out repair work, including tunnel lining repairs, asbestos removal, station cleaning and track remediation — work that undertaken now with reduced ridership could eliminate several years’ worth of shutdowns later.

Shuttle buses will operate in the affected area during the morning rush period, the TTC says. And riders are encouraged to take the Yonge Street subway route downtown rather than the University Avenue route.

 

COVID case at Carlton Street Loblaws

A team member tested positive on a presumptive test for COVID-19, reported Loblaws grocery store at 60 Carlton St. today. The employee’s lastday worked was said to be Feb. 28.

George Street memorial thumbnailRemains identified as missing woman

Human remains discovered at 291 George St. have been identified as the body of a 32-year-old woman who had been missing, police said today.

Police reported nine days ago a man was charged with indignity to a dead body as part of their investigation into the woman’s death. Another man was shot to death by police at the building on Feb. 23 when they were investigating the missing person report. Get the story.

Police catch driver on foot in valley after vehicle stop

A vehicle stop near River and Dundas streets on Feb. 28 led to a collision and an early morning manhunt for the driver on foot in the Don Valley, police said.

When they found him, with the help of dogs, the man seemed to be wet — as if he’d been in the Don River, according to police. They also found a firearm. See the full story.

 

Retail robbery results in arrest

A 32-year-old man was arrested yesterday, four days after a robbery at a store near Dupont Street and Spadina Road.

On Feb. 26, police report a man approached the store’s checkout counter, indicated he had a gun and demanded lottery tickets and cash. The man also allegedly picked up a debit card reader and threatened to throw it at the store employee, before taking lottery tickets and fleeing on foot.

The police holdup squad identified a man and neighbourhood community officers arrested him.

He faces charges of robbery, possession of property obtained by crime, and failing to comply with probation.

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.

 

COVID case at Sobeys

Sobeys grocery store at 81 St. Clair Ave. E. reports today a positive COVID-19 test of an employee. The employee’s last day at work was recorded as Feb. 21.

Bell calls for rent hike relief

University-Rosedale MPP Jessica Bell is calling on the provincial government to stop an increasingly number of rent hikes above guidelines being allowed in Toronto, according to an NDP press release.

Bell responded to a recent report by RenovictionsTO showing applications for such hikes from mainly corporate landlords have increased by 250 per cent in the past six years.

“Tens of thousands of Toronto tenants have been struggling to pay rent, through no fault of their own, due to lost income or wages during the pandemic,” Bell said. “Tenants have faced ever-increasing rents in this city long before COVID-19, with thousands impacted by unfair renovictions, and peoples’ salaries stagnating while rents go up and up.”

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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 mapRosedale-Moore Park, Annex among neighbourhoods with lowest COVID-19 rates

Rosedale-Moore Park 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 two communities to have experienced only 76 cases per 100,000 population.

Other central areas getting good news are the Annex with 124 and Yonge-Church Corridor with 131 — still way below the worst-hit areas in Toronto with more than 700 cases per 100,000. See how our neighbourhoods compare to other central, midtown and east-end areas.

 

Car hit streetcar at University-Dundas

Police have reported a collision between a car and a streetcar at University Avenue and Dundas Street East today at about 8:45 a.m.  And they’ve tweeted a picture of the investigation. No injuries were reported.

Seaton House thumbnailCOVID cases still rising at homeless shelter

On Jan. 21 the city announced an outbreak of COVID-19 at Seaton House shelter on George Street, and 10 days ago it reported 20 cases. Now, the number of positive tests has grown to include 43 clients and staff, the city says in a news release.

Further measures have been introduced to control the spread at the troubled homeless shelter. Get the full story.

Castleview sign where COVID-19 variant found (thumbnail)COVID variant found at long-term care home

An employee at the Castleview Wychwood Towers long-term care home, has tested positive for a COVID-19 variant, the city revealed today. The worker at the city-operated home, at 351 Christie St. in the Davenport neighbourhood, does not have direct contact with residents, according to a city press release.

All residents and staff who could have been exposed were tested yesterday and no one at the home has symptoms, the city said. Read the story.

 

Arrest made for store robberies

A 45-year-old man of no fixed address has been arrested in relation to several retail robberies, including one near Spadina Avenue and Dupont Street, police say.

On Jan. 28 and Feb. 9 a man is reported to have entered stores wearing a mask and with his hood up and tried to leave with merchandise without paying. When approached by security, the man allegedly threatened them with a hammer or broken bottle, before he fled on foot with the merchandise.

Holdup squad investigators identified a man and found he was alleged to be responsible for three retail thefts. He was arrested and appeared in court on Feb. 11, facing 19 charges including multiple counts of robbery, assault with a weapon and failing to comply with probation.

NDP selects candidate for University-Rosedale in 2022

…and one guess who it is? No surprise, it’s Jessica Bell, the incumbent MPP who in 2018 swept the new riding of University-Rosedale, made from parts of previously Liberal-held seats in central Toronto.

Bell has also just taken on the position of opposition critic for housing, tenants rights and urban planning.

arson suspect policeWoman charged after arson suspect identified as male

A woman faces arson charges after multiple fires were set on College Street in the Palmerston area.

An initial police report said they were looking for a man wearing a red jacket, black and white toque, and dark jeans. Several images of a “suspect” were released. See the story.

Valentine's Day with mask thumbnail Celebrate Valentine’s Day at home

Special dinners-for-two and online social events are among the ways being offered to lovers to enjoy this Feb. 14 during the lockdown.

Order or sign up online now for a safe Valentine’s Day in Toronto. Here are some suggestions.

 Church Street kitchen tumbnailChurch Street apartment building opens for homeless women

Mayor John Tory, Toronto Centre councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam and other officials opened this morning an affordable rental building at 389 Church St. for women who face homelessness.

The 13 storeys of the building offer 120 self-contained units where diverse woman can find shelter and restart their lives. See the full story.

 

NDP off to quick start in Toronto Centre

The next provincial election is still more than a year and a half away but the NDP members in Toronto Centre already know who they want to run: Suze Morrison, naturally. She’s the incumbent MPP who in 2018 took the previously Liberal riding with a clear majority. Morrison is currently the opposition critic for Urban Indigenous issues and for the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls Response.

Gun and drug charges after vehicle stopped in Bloor-Sherbourne area

A 23-year-old man faces multiple charges after a handgun, drugs, cash and stolen licence plates were recovered by police.

The investigation by major crime officers began after a vehicle stop near Bloor and Sherbourne streets, police said today. The Toronto man appeared in court on Feb. 1.

Starbucks thumbnailCoffee chain withdrawing from local neighbourhoods

Starbucks closures currently taking affect in Toronto are concentrated in central areas, including locations such as 686 Bay St. at Elm Street, 37 Grosvenor St. at Bay Street, 494 Bloor St. West at Bathurst Street and 66 Gerrard St. East at Church St.

It’s part of a Canada-wide cutback by the U.S.-based coffee chain as it moves to alternative, digital means of delivering all those Tall, Grande and Venti beverages. See the whole story.

 

COVID-19 reported at local drug mart

The Shoppers Drug Mart at 728 Yonge St. (at Charles Street) joins the list of stores in the area reporting employees testing positive for COVID-19. Today a team member, whose last day worked was Jan. 30, tested positive.

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More details of deadly shooting released

More information about Friday’s shooting, including the identity of the homicide victim, has been added by police. A description of a vehicle that sped away from the scene is also included in a statement released late yesterday afternoon. See the updated story.

Mathersfield shooting thumbnailShooting leaves man dead, woman wounded in Rosedale-Summerhill laneway

One person is dead and one critically injured after a shooting yesterday evening in a neighbourhood variously described as being in North Rosedale or in Summerhill.

After calls reporting gunshots, police found the two suffering from wounds near Mathersfield Drive at about 8 p.m.

The shooting is thought to have taken place in a laneway running between houses on Mathersfield and the railway tracks barrier. Here’s what we know so far.

COVID cases at local food and drug chains

Grocery stores and drug marts in this area have announced a slew of positive tests for COVID-19 among their employees over the past week.

The Metro store at 735 College Street leads with three recent cases, reported on Jan. 14, 17 and 23. This store has also reported previous cases (see Jan. 12 and other items below).

On Jan. 21 Loblaw Companies reported single cases at Loblaws, 60 Carlton St., and Shoppers Drug Mart, 970 Queen St. E. This follows a report on Jan. 18 of a positive test at Loblaws, 650 Dupont St.

Sobeys reported a single case at its 840 Dupont St. store on Jan. 19.

Central Toronto drivers drew few ASE speeding tickets

More than 800 speeding tickets were issued by four photo radar stations in University-Rosedale and Toronto Centre wards over five months last year, according to figures released today.

This may sound like a fair number but it’s far 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.

Tickets issued in Toronto Centre were especially low — the lowest numbers in the city. Results from the four first-round locations in the two wards, from highest to lowest, were:

  • Huron Street south of Bernard Avenue (University-Rosedale): 658
  • Lippincott Street south of Vankoughnet Street (University-Rosedale): 135
  • Spruce Street near Gifford Street (Toronto Centre): 13
  • Prospect Street east of Ontario Street (Toronto Centre): 10

We’ll see how if our drivers can keep up the good record at at the four new ASE locations. In University-Rosedale ward, they’re at Orde Street, west of Murray Street, and at Essex Street, west of Christie Street. In Toronto Centre, they’re on Sherbourne Street, south of Wellesley Street East, and on Berkeley Street, south of Gerrard Street East.

St. George home facing humanitarian crisis, MPP says

Conditions at St. George Care Community in the Annex are reaching the level of a humanitarian crisis, says University-Rosedale MPP Jessica Bell, who joined NDP Leader Andrea Horwath, as well as a personal support worker and a paramedic at a virtual press conference yesterday.

They castigated the provincial government for letting the situation in long-term care homes get so bad.

“Frontline workers, families and experts have laid out the solutions needed to give people hope in long-term care — and it’s unconscionable that [Premier] Doug Ford keeps choosing to ignore those desperate pleas,” Bell said.

“People are suffering and dying, and families are losing their cherished parents and grandparents,” Horwath said. “Frontline workers report a complete lack of infection protections, and staffing levels so low that seniors are left to wither and suffer, whether they have COVID-19 or not.”

They called for at least 10,000 personal support workers to be hired urgently for all LTC homes, including St. George, and infection prevention and control professionals put into every single home, as well as for paid sick days for all workers, including PSWs.

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.

Protests outside Annex long-term care home

Four protests in eight days have been held outside St. George Care Community. The long-term care home at 225 St. George St. in the Annex has experienced 156 infections, including 14 deaths, from COVID-19 among residents over the past month. Twenty-eight staff members are currently infected, according to provincial figures.

The protests have numbered from a handful to more than two dozen people. NDP leader Jagmeet Singh and Green Party leader Annamie Paul have also made appearances at the St. George demonstrations.

 

COVID cases reported at Metro stores

Metro grocery stores reported two positive COVID-19 tests of employees in the area today and yesterday.

On Jan. 12, the store at 444 Yonge St. store reported a positive test of an employee who was last on the job in November.

On Jan. 11, the store at 735 College St., found positive COVID-19 tests of two employees. Their last day of work was recorded as Jan. 8.

Arrest after one women died, another sent to hospital from apparent overdoses

A 23-year-old man has been arrested on drug charges after two women were found unconscious in an apartment near Yonge and Bloor streets on Dec. 31 at about 11 p.m. One of the women was pronounced dead at the scene and the other was rushed to hospital for treatment.

Investigators believe the women had ingested unknown substances purchased in the Square One area of Mississauga.

Tahir Ul-haq of Mississauga has been charged with trafficking cocaine and criminal negligence causing death. He appeared in court Jan. 4.

Police say they are concerned other people may be in possession of the unknown substance.

Local child care free for essential workers

The YMCA Child Development Centre at 15 Breadalbane St. (Yonge and Wellesley Streets) is one of 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.


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Posted: Jun 18 2021 11:45 am
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