Riverdale-East York Daily Updates

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

Pape-O'Connor intersection thumbnailPetition on ‘dangerous intersections’ draws support after fatal accident

Following the death of a 81-year-old man crossing O’Connor Drive, a petition of local residents, workers and visitors has so far drawn 518 signatures, far more than its target of 300 names.

The petition, addressed to Toronto-Danforth councillor Paula Fletcher and the city’s transportation services department, calls for a community discussion with the city on safety measures. See the full story.

Pumpkins parade thumbnailPumpkin parades are back in the east end Nov. 1

Don’t throw out your jack-o-lantern after Halloween. Bring your carved masterpiece (and a candle) to a local park and let it join the pumpkin parades. The events have returned to the east end after being shut down last year. Here are nine parks and more information for Halloween’s last hurrah on Nov. 1.

drug arrest thumbnailLocal health worker supports decriminalizing drug possession

Decriminalizing the personal use of illicit drugs could help stem illegal drug activity, the coordinator of the South Riverdale health centre’s harm-reduction program says.

As the city pushes the federal government to decriminalize, Rhiannon Thomas argues leaving drug use criminal is costly and helps no one. See the interview.

police car thumbnailPedestrian killed crossing O’Connor

An 81-year-old man died after being hit by two cars while crossing O’Connor Drive east of Pape Avenue on Tuesday, police reported yesterday.

When emergency responders arrived they found the man pinned under a vehicle and seriously injured. He was pronounced dead on the scene. Get the full story.

club scene thumbnailChange our ways to stop the virus

We’re a long way from defeating the coronavirus and we could be facing it — or something like it — for years to come, warns an East York correspondent.

But there’s hope, he writes. All we have to do is change our lifestyles — and the entire world. Read the letter.

Shop and vax at the mall this weekend

More mobile clinics have been added to the city’s Shop and Vax campaign this weekend. Now you can get your shot at 24 shopping centres and pharmacies across Toronto, including several in the east end, on Oct. 16 and 17.

Called Shop and Vax 2.0, this effort expands on a similar campaign in September, which vaccinated more than 1,000 people.

Shop and Vax sites in the east end include:

  • Shoppers’ Drug Mart at East York Town Centre, 45 Overlea Blvd., Saturday 9 a.m.–midnight, Sunday 10 a.m.–midnight.
  • Shoppers’ Drug Mart at Shoppers’ World, 3003 Danforth Ave., 8 a.m.–midnight
  • Walmart Pharmacy at Gerrard Square, 1000 Gerrard St. E., Saturday 9 a.m.–6 p.m., Sunday 10 a.m–6 p.m.

Anyone born in 2009 or earlier is eligible to receive first or second shots.

Mercedes suspect thumbnail$70K Mercedes was not returned 11 months ago

Police say a woman used deceptive identification to rent a Mercedes Benz in the east end in November 2020 and never returned the vehicle, worth $70,000.

They’ve released images of the woman they say presented photo identification that looked like her but wasn’t her. Get the story.


Man identified in alleged assault on crossing guard

With the help of the public, police have identified a man sought in an assault investigation.

On Oct. 6, 2021, at about 3:20 p.m., a crossing guard working at the intersection of Queen Street East and Boulton Avenue was allegedly approached and assaulted by an unknown man.

Police released a description of the man yesterday and thanked the public today for help in identifying him.

No charges have been announced yet.

COVID cases confirmed at local schools

While only one school — Silverthorn Collegiate in Etobicoke — has been shut down in Toronto due to a COVID outbreak, many more schools are reporting smaller numbers of confirmed cases. In the Riverdale and East York area, the following Toronto District School Board schools are among those affected, according to TDSB figures updated today:

  • Chester Elementary School — 1 student
  • D.A. Morrison Middle School — 1 student
  • Diefenbaker Elementary School — 1 student, 1 staff
  • Dundas Junior Public School — 1 staff
  • Earl Grey Senior Public School — 1 resolved case
  • Earl Haig Secondary School — 1 student, 1 staff
  • East York Collegiate — 1 student
  • Gledhill Junior Public School — 1 student
  • Jackman Avenue Junior Public School — 1 student
  • Selwyn Public School — 1 student
  • Victoria Park Public School — 2 students
  • Westwood Middle School — 2 students
  • William Burgess Elementary School — 1 student

ASE at Victoria Park and TiagoEast-end photo radars lead city in speeders caught

Figures released by the city today show the number of tickets issued by automated speed enforcement (ASE) devices on Victoria Park Avenue and Glebeholme Boulevard were the highest in Toronto.

For two months, the cameras caught a grossly disproportionate number of speeders, compared to the city’s other 48 ASE devices. See the story.

Arrest made in east-end assault case

A 24-year-old man has been arrested for an alleged assault three weeks ago in an apartment near Carlaw Avenue and Queen Street East.

Officers were called to the apartment on Sept. 14 at 5 p.m. to learn a man had reportedly assaulted a woman and fled.

The man was arrested today and faces charges of threatening bodily harm, assault, choking and criminal harassment.

ID sought for break-and-enter suspect

Police have released images of a man apparently breaking into a house near Danforth and Coxwell avenues on Aug. 21.

The man was reported to have been confronted by the homeowner inside before fleeing.

He is described as 30 to 40 with a heavy build. He has tattoos covering both arms and on his right hand. He was seen wearing a black t-shirt with a red, black and white Champion logo, and a dark baseball cap with a light circular logo on the front.


Adams James Nash thumbnailEast-end stabbing ends in murder arrest

A 45-year-old woman has been charged with second-degree murder after a man was stabbed in an apartment near Coxwell Avenue and Gerrard Street East.

Police were called to the apartment Oct. 3 at 4 a.m. and found the man, Adam James Nash, 39, suffering stab wounds. He was later pronounced dead. Here’s what we know so far.

Lots of vaccine clinics to choose from in east end

There’s really little excuse for not getting your vaccine after today. At least seven clinics in the east end are offering shots on an appointment or walk-in basis today, not including mobile clinics that may be popping up in the area. Take your pick of the following:

  • Michael Garron Hospital, 825 Coxwell Ave., 9 a.m.–5 p.m. by appointment
  • Eglinton Square, 20 Eglinton Sq., 10 a.m.–6 p.m. by appointment or walk-in
  • Shoppers World, 3003 Danforth Ave., 10 a.m.–6 p.m. by appointment or walk-in
  • Presteign Heights Public School, 2570 St Clair Ave. E., 4 p.m.–8 p.m. walk-in
  • Shoppers Drug Mart, 1012 Pape Ave., 9 a.m.–9 p.m. by appointment or walk-in
  • Shoppers Drug Mart, 755 Danforth Ave., 8 a.m.–10 p.m. by appointment or walk-in
  • Gerrard Square, 1000 Gerrard St. E., 10 a.m. –6 p.m. by appointment or walk-in

Residents born in 2009 or earlier are invited to get their first or second COVID-19 vaccine dose today at any of these locations.

climate action thumbnailBecome your community’s champion for climate action

The city is inviting you to become a Neighbourhood Climate Action Champion. It’ll take four or five hours a month of engaging with the local community to develop neighbourhood-based projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

You’ll get training and support to empower you to support residents in developing projects that reflect the needs and values of their communities — and you’ll receive a modest honorarium. See more in our Things to Do listing.


polling stations thumbnailCOVID-19 cautions at two east-end polling stations

If you voted or worked at two east-end polling stations, you should monitor yourself for COVID-19 symptoms for 10 days afterwards — we’re being told 10 days or longer after the possible exposure.

Toronto Public Health is investigating potential COVID-19 exposures at the Presteign Heights Elementary School polling station on Sept. 20 and at the Kingston Road United Church station on Sept. 11 and 12, according to a statement released on Sept. 30. Read the story.

sacred fire thumbnailSacred fire ceremonies tomorrow

You’re invited to join Elder Little Brown Bear and community members as they offer a sacred fire at the Bear’s Den All Nations Traditional Medicine Sweat Lodge on the grounds of Michael Garron Hospital on Sept. 30.

You can drop by to commemorate National Day for Truth and Reconciliation any time from sunrise to sunset or partake in the pipe ceremonies scheduled for four times during the day. See more in the Things To Do listing.

Julie Dabrusin thumbnailDabrusin and Erskine-Smith re-elected in another east-end Liberal sweep

Toronto-Danforth MP Julie Dabrusin and Beaches-East York’s Nathaniel Erskine-Smith were both easily re-elected in yesterday’s federal election.

The two Liberal incumbents in the east end were part of the red sweep of Toronto, as their party won a minority government.

Here’s what happened locally.

Montcrest thumbnailMontcrest honoured for design excellence

The Montcrest School redevelopment, that fits in so well with its Broadview Avenue neighbourhood, was among the buildings honoured at the Toronto Urban Design Awards yesterday.

The awards, held every two years, recognized 26 design projects, most of them already built, that contribute to the city’s livability. See the full story.

Bermondsey drop-off hours expanded

You have a larger window for dropping off waste at the Bermondsey Transfer Station, 188 Bermondsey Rd., beginning Sept. 13. The city is announcing an expansion of public hours at the drop-0ff depot to 24-hour service from Monday at 6 a.m. to Friday at 9 p.m., as well as on Saturdays from 7 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Residents can drop off general waste such as garbage, recycling, yard waste and renovation waste. Household hazardous waste and electronic waste can be left Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 7 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Search for next of kin

Toronto Police are asking for help in finding the next of kin for an East York man who died five months ago.

Glenn Huntley, 65, passed away at his home at 75 Eastdale Ave. on April 1.

Despite exhaustive efforts, no family has been found to be informed of the man’s death, police say.

Knife-wielding pedestrian sought for assault

A pedestrian tried to strike a man with a knife and punched another man while holding a knife near Danforth Avenue and Dawes Road four days ago, police said today.

Officers were responded to reports of an assault in the area on Sept. 3 at 9 a.m.

The man with the knife is described as having a medium build, dark hair and a short beard. He was wearing a black Miami Marlins t-shirt, long blue jean shorts, and red-and-white running shoes.

An image has been released.

Second manslaughter suspect identified

The second outstanding suspect in the alleged Aug. 6 attack on an elderly man in East Danforth, leading to his death, has been identified.

Tyler George, 28, of Toronto is wanted for manslaughter.

Police say he is considered violent and dangerous and should not be approached.

(See updates Sept. 2 and Aug. 26 below.)

Assault victim dies, now a homicide case

With the death of John Manion, 77, the investigation of an alleged aggravated assault in the East Danforth area has become a homicide investigation.

Manion, who has been identified as the victim of an attack on Aug. 6, succumbed to his injuries on Aug. 29, police said today. One of his two attackers has also been identified. See the full story.

couple sought in assault thumbnailNew couple wanted for aggravated assault

With an elderly man in hospital with critical injuries, police have released images of two new suspects in the investigation of an aggravated assault in the East Danforth area three weeks ago.

The images of the pair replace a photograph of a woman that was earlier released. Police say she is no longer a suspect. See the story.

Serious injuries in East York shooting

A man has suffered serious injuries in a shooting police reported near Cosburn and Pape avenues this morning.

Officers attended the area after a caller said shots had been fired, police said on social media shortly before noon today.

No further information is available yet.

Watermain break closes road

O’Connor Drive was closed between Curity Avenue and St. Clair Avenue East at about 5 a.m. today after reports of a watermain break. Police advised water flooded the intersection of O’Connor and Curity.

Fire closes Danforth Ave.

Danforth Avenue was closed between Donlands and Greenwood avenues today after reports of Toronto Fire Services working a fire on the second-storey of a building at about 3 p.m. Drivers were asked to consider alternate routes.

Arrest for break-ins

After responding to a call for a break and enter at a business near Danforth and Victoria Park avenues, police launched an investigation and alleged the suspect was responsible for several other commercial break-ins.

A 37-year-old Toronto man was arrested on Aug. 6, police said in an Aug. 14 news release. He faces 18 charges including five counts of break and enter and three counts of uttering threats.

He appeared in court virtually on Aug. 7, police said.

Dangerous medication lost

Police warn a quantity of medication was lost yesterday between 12:45 and 1:40 p.m. near Danforth Avenue and Craven Road, west of Coxwell Avenue.

The medication described as oxycodone hydrochloride could be harmful or fatal if ingested, especially by children. Anyone with information is asked to call police at 416-808-5500.

Services resuming at civic centres

The East York Civic Centre at 850 Coxwell Ave. is opening today as part of a citywide phased reopening of select in-person counter services at civic centres.

Some in-person services, such as marriage licences and zoning inquiries for the Toronto and East York district, will require booking an appointment, while other services will operate on a first-come, first-served basis, the city said in an announcement.

DVP shut down for weekend

You can expect busier than usual streets in the area this weekend as the Don Valley Parkway is closed for annual maintenance. The city has announced the closure from Friday, April 6, 11 p.m. to Monday, April 9, 5 a.m.

People travelling around Toronto on the weekend should consider using public transit, such as TTC or GO Transit, the city advises.

Alternate routes suggested for drivers include Kingston Road, Victoria Park Avenue, Leslie Street, Bayview Avenue and Avenue Road.

East York Civic Centre header

Civic centres opening after 17-month shutdown

The East York Civic Centre at 850 Coxwell Ave. (at Mortimer Avenue) will be among municipal buildings opening Aug. 9 to provide limited in-person services, the city announced today.

This will be the first time they’ve been open to the public since March 2020.

Starting Aug. 9 counter services at East York centre include payments and enquiries regarding taxes, utilities and parking tickets from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays to Fridays.

Licensing and standards services will begin Sept. 7 by appointment only via a new online booking system. This will include licensing of vehicles for hire, right of way permits, CaféTO licences, business licensing, and other services.

Beaches-LeslievilleCentral TorontoDavenportDon ValleyForest HillLawrence WestLeasideNorth TorontoYork Mills

Wakunda Place deaths thumbnailSuspicious deaths in Wakunda Place apartment

Police are treating as suspicious the deaths of two people whose bodies were found in an apartment at Wakunda Place and O’Connor Drive at about 11 a.m. today.

Few details are available but police are not at this time carrying out a homicide investigation, they said. Here’s all we know so far.


Pedestrians sent to hospital after being struck

A pedestrian was reported struck by a vehicle on Broadview Avenue near Danforth Avenue at about 11:21 a.m. today.

The man suffered injuries that have not been specified but was transported to hospital, police said on social media.

Police are investigating and are asking for anyone with information or dash cam video to contact them.

Traffic delays are expected in the area.

Vaccination rates vary widely by neighbourhood

Wide disparities in vaccination rates among neighbourhoods are evident across Toronto — but even just in the east end.

Figures from the city show the Beaches and North Riverdale areas with the highest uptake in vaccinations for COVID-19, far above the lowest vaccinated area in the east end, the Crescent Town-dominated area the city calls Taylor-Massey.

Here’s a breakdown by east-end neighbourhoods of completed vaccination rates from highest to lowest, as of today.

  • 63.5% Beaches
  • 63.3% North Riverdale
  • 62.4% Player Estates-Danforth
  • 60.5% East End-Danforth
  • 59.9% Woodbine-Lumsden
  • 59.3% Danforth Village-Toronto
  • 59.1% Danforth Village-East York
  • 58.9% Old East York
  • 58.8% South Riverdale
  • 59.0% Woodbine Corridor
  • 55.9% Greenwood-Coxwell
  • 55.4% Blake-Jones
  • 52.5% Broadview North
  • 52.5% O’Connor-Parkview
  • 44.8% Taylor-Massey

These figures are derived from the neighbourhood map on the city’s website.

Twenty-three communities COVID-free on latest city map

The city’s latest COVID map now shows 23 communities in Toronto without any new cases of COVID-19 over the past three weeks, a drop from 31 communities a couple of days earlier, as the Delta variant spreads in Toronto.

However, the figures remain more or less the same for the east end, with the same neighbourhoods fending off any new cases as reported a few days ago and the same neighbourhood showing as worst hit.

Get the whole picture.

Jack Layton campaigning thumbnailStar-studded lineup announced for Jack Layton tribute

City councillor Mike Layton has announced a growing lineup of artists and special guests taking part in the celebration of Jack Layton’s legacy Aug. 22.

Jack Layton was also a councillor for nearly a decade, and later Member of Parliament for Toronto-Danforth and leader of the federal NDP.

“Almost 10 years on, Jack’s message of love, hope and optimism is as important as ever— and that’s what this celebration is all about,” Mike Layton said in a statement July 18. See the full story.

Low COVID rates in east end — except for one neighbourhood

Part of city COVID mapWith COVID-19 numbers falling across Toronto, most of the east end continues to lead the way — with only one neighbourhood persisting with relatively high figures, according to the city’s latest COVID map.

Showing zero cases over the past 21 days are the areas designated Playter Estates-Danforth, Broadview North, Danforth, Old East York, Woodbine-Lumsden and Greenwood-Coxwell.

Areas with either one or two cases over the recent three weeks include South Riverdale, North Riverdale, Blake-Jones, Danforth-East York, East End-Danforth, Taylor-Massey and The Beaches.

The outlier is the area called the Woodbine Corridor, between Coxwell and Woodbine avenues north of Kingston Road, with seven cases in the same time period.

Alleged sexual assault in Riverside

Police are investigating what they called a “suspicious incident” early yesterday morning,

Late today they reported on social media a 21-year-old woman was walking in the area of Broadview Avenue and Mountstephen Street at about 1:40 a.m. when she was approached from behind by a stranger. The man allegedly pushed her to the ground and sexually assaulted her, before fleeing eastward through a laneway.

He is described as 5-foot-10 to six feet with dark almond shaped eyes. He was wearing a black hoodie with the hood up, black slim-fitted jeans, black running shoes, a dark blue mask and a silver, square-shaped earring, police said.

Two shot in Greenwood-Coxwell area

Two men are in hospital — both with serious but non-life threatening injuries — after a shooting yesterday evening near Gerrard Street East and Highfield Road.

Officers found the wounded men after they were called to the area at 10:30 p.m. and medics rushed them to the hospital, police reported on social media.

Another man was said to be seen running through backyards in the Greenwood-Coxwell area near the Little India business district.

Police were searching the area, though nothing further was reported online.

Mamma's Pizza picket thumbnailEast-end pizzeria picketed by former staff, franchisee

The franchisee of a pizza joint on Queen Street East is picketing the shop and calling for a boycott after the Mamma’s Pizza corporation locked him and his employees out.

The lockout and the picketing came after Ozzy Anwari, who ran the shop for more than 17 years, refused to sign a franchise renewal agreement seeking higher royalties. Read the full story.

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identity soughtDo you remember seeing this man—19 years ago?

Police are trying to identify the remains of a man found near the Don River at the Queen Street Bridge on July 26, 2002.

Recently the Ontario Forensic Pathology Service and Office of the Chief Coroner, with the assistance of police, have undertaken to have three artist renditions completed of the deceased to assist in someone recognizing him.

They hope this helps to bring some resolution to both his family and the investigation, Toronto police said in a press release today.

The man is described as 30–40 years, 5-foot-5 and 217 pounds, with long black hair and a slight moustache. He was wearing a red t-shirt, a blue Roots sweater, brown cargo style pants, a black belt, white socks, and black and white running shoes.

Anyone with information is asked to contact police at 416-808-7411,

Malcolm Kelly thumbnailLocal novelist follows WWII bomber command

Former East York resident and Centennial College professor Malcolm Kelly has published his first novel, Sprog, which follows Canadian recruits to bomber command during World War II. Writing the book was a 15-year adventure and publishing it was the result of a happy coincidence, he says.

He discusses it and the great feedback he’s received so far with Brian Baker. Read all about it.

Man and car pictured in east-end luring investigation

Police today have released photos of a man driving a car in the East Danforth area after a man allegedly tried to lure a 12-year-old girl to his car.

On July 9 at about 2:30 p.m., a girl was walking in the area of Barrington and Balfour avenues when she was allegedly followed by a car.

The driver was reported to have tried to lure her to the car with compliments but the girl, fearing for her safety, ran home.

The man is described as older with a heavy build and was driving a newer model black import car, police said.

Woman seriously injured crossing street in East Danforth area

A 32-year-old woman is in hospital with life-threatening injuries after reportedly being struck by a truck at Woodmount Avenue and Strathmore Boulevard shortly before noon today.

Police say a red 2007 Ford pickup truck was northbound on Woodmount when it halted at the four-way stop before proceeding and hitting the pedestrian.

The woman was crossing Woodmount at Strathmore in a marked crosswalk from the northwest corner to the northeast corner, police say.

Man with knife sought after woman threatened in east end

Police are looking for a man who allegedly threatened a woman with a knife near Coxwell and Gerrard avenues on May 24.

After 8 p.m. a man got into an argument with a woman, produced a knife and threatened her, it is reported. He then allegedly damaged her apartment.

Jordan Willshire, 31, of Toronto, is wanted for assault with a weapon, uttering death threats and mischief, police said.

Police released an image of the man being sought.

He is described as 5-foot-8 and was last seen wearing a royal blue t-shirt, blue jeans, a black baseball cap, white sunglasses and black New Balance running shoes. He was said to be carrying a white and blue shopping bag and a black suitcase.

East York youth group awarded

Youth Leaders of East York were among recipients of the Mayor’s Community Safety Awards announced today.

Mayor John Tory and other other municipal representatives, along with sponsor Bell, presented the awards virtually to six safety projects in Toronto, each receiving $1,000 to continue their work aimed at improving community safety.

“The Youth Leaders of East York came together to address concerns in the community through youth-led and youth-driven initiatives, such as forums to address the presence and impact of racism on the community and its youth, as well as increased violence in neighbourhoods,” said a city news release announcing the winners today.

Also known as Youth of East York the group was formed to serve the marginalized communities of Thorncliffe and Flemingdon parks.

“They have uniquely tailored and blended social media, personal engagement, podcasts and online forums to engage on multiple issues and concerns affecting youth,” according to the city statement. “The team consistently demonstrates a nuanced capacity to receive input and bring it back to their constituency as well as shape it for youth and mobilize networks to reach populations across the community.”

Woman killed crossing Don Valley Parkway

A 21-year-old woman has died from injuries received when she was struck on the DVP near the Gerrard Street bridge last night.

Police got the call at about 10:30 p.m. They reported the woman was apparently crossing the road on foot and was hit by a vehicle travelling south in the far right lane.

Her injuries were severe and she succumbed to them, police said.

The driver of the vehicle reportedly remained on the scene.

Investigators from Traffic Services are interested in speaking to people who assisted the pedestrian and are seeking security or dash camera footage of the area or incident.

Greektown stabbing victim sought

Police are looking for a man reported to have been stabbed last night near Danforth and Chester avenues. They responded to a call for a suspicious incident at 11:24 p.m. but found an alleged stabbing victim had left the area.

He is described as 5-foot-7 to six feet tall with a thin build and long black hair in an afro style. He was seen wearing a white zip-up sweater, camouflage pants, white running shoes and a red baseball cap.

Police say they are concerned for his well-being and want to ensure he receives medical attention.

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Posted: Oct 27 2021 12:00 pm

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