Beaches-Leslieville Daily Updates: March–April 2021

Bermondsey drop-off depot thumbnailTransfer stations shut down once again

Bermondsey and Commissioners Street transfer stations have been closed to the general public, as part of today’s shutdown of Toronto’s depots for dropping off garbage and recycling.

The drop-off depots are closing on public health advice because the city’s solid waste management services have suffered an increasing number of COVID-19 cases, according to a news release yesterday.

Read 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.

Danforth Music Hall thumbnailBradford pushes for plan to bring back live music

Councillor Brad Bradford joined Toronto’s BIAs in a letter to Premier Doug Ford saying restrictions on live-streaming music is unfairly hurting live music venues, already hard hit by the pandemic.

“We are asking you to please work with us on a plan to  bring back the joys of live music,” urges the letter. “A lot of work will be needed to keep venues, artists, staffs and music-lovers safe. The time to start is now.” Here’s the story.

12-storey development proposed on Eastern

Real estate developer TAS Design Build expects to have shovels in the ground by fall 2022 for its proposed 12-storey building at 880 Eastern Ave.

After community consultations with more than 40 people who live or work nearby, TAS designed the building to enhance the neighbourhood’s cherished diversity and inclusiveness, according to the company’s website.

Last year TAS bought properties at the northwest corner of Eastern and Knox avenues, on a stretch of Eastern that divides residential Leslieville to the north and industrial uses to the south. The properties are presently occupied by Michael and Michael Auto Body, a parking lot and a former printing plant.

TAS recently submitted a zoning bylaw amendment application to the city for the mixed-use building.


Woman, 82, in wheelchair struck and killed by dump truck

An 82-year-old woman has died after being struck by a dump truck while she was crossing Danforth Avenue in a wheelchair yesterday afternoon.

She was in a crosswalk to cross north from the southeast corner of Danforth Avenue and Main Street, when she was hit by the vehicle driven by a 53-year-old man, police say. See the story.

Sidewalk repairs shut down Eastern lane

The curb lane on Eastern Avenue in the Studio District is to be occupied starting today as sidewalk repairs take place between Morse Street and Carlaw Avenue. The work is expected to take until May 7.

Jane Anderson on beach thumbnailOne resident’s quest to clean up the beaches

It’s a sunny day and you can expect the lakefront to be replete with people who can’t enjoy restaurants and bars on Queen Street East during the lockdown. And with them comes litter, especially cigarette butts.

So Beach resident Jane Anderson is also out on the sand picking it up. The cleanup is one of several initiatives by the group she co-founded, Toronto Lakefront Community.

Read all about her and others’ efforts to clean up the beaches and water.

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Pharmacy power outage thumbnailEast end hit by two power outages

A persistent squirrel is being blamed for a power outage in parts of East York and Scarborough this morning, while a separate loss of power in the Upper Beaches and East Danforth neighbourhoods may have been caused by a switch being tripped in an apartment building.

Here’s the full story.

Police chief James Ramer thumbnailPolice crackdown on gatherings starts today

If you’re getting together in our east end parks or on our beaches with friends or family who don’t live with you, watch out for the cops. They’re taking the latest prohibition against large gatherings — indoors and outdoors — quite seriously.

Like other divisions, 55 Division has even formed a special unit to find, break up and fine large groups flouting the rules. (The fines can surpass $10,000.)

Or better yet, give us all a break in the fight against COVID-19 — and don’t do it. See the full story.

Abhijeet Manay thumbnailGreen Party candidate announced for Beaches-East York

Abhijeet Manay has been nominated as candidate in the Beaches-East York riding for the scheduled 2022 provincial election.

The Green Party of Ontario announced the nomination today of Manay who has been serving as the party’s deputy leader and currently as the party’s critic for health and long-term care. He last ran in Mississauga-Streetsville. Get the full story.

Queen lane closed for construction

An eastbound lane of Queen Street East is closing as of today as workers engage in “cable pulling and bank installation,” the city advises. Affected is Queen between Willow and Silver avenues. The job is expected to take until May 19.

missing man thumbnailMissing man now believed dead

The search for a 54-year-old missing man in East York has now become a search for his remains. Police have arrested a man, 40, and now believe the missing person is dead, they said in a statement released late yesterday evening.

Police continue to search for the body of Paul Daly who went missing April 2. See the story.

COVID cases found at Upper Beach Loblaws

Two team members at the Loblaws at 50 Musgrave St. have tested positive for COVID-19, the grocery chain reported today.

The last day the affected employees worked in the store near Gerrard and Victoria Park avenues was on April 6, Loblaws said.

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 and Lake Shore Boulevard East, among other roadways, to traffic on weekends and turned the roads over to pedestrians, joggers and cyclists.

It was so popular that city council agreed yesterday to run the program again this year — with a few changes. Read all about it.


Smoke alarms to be distributed in east end

The Toronto Professional Firefighter’s Association and alarm manufacturer First Alert have each donated 100 smoke alarms to be distributed to residents in the east end.

Beaches-East York councillor Brad Bradford is to ensure the 200 devices are given to the households most in need.

“With the recent tragic fire in the east end of our city, fire safety has been top-of-mind for everyone,” Bradford said. “These contributions … will help to save the lives and raise awareness of the importance of having working alarms. At a time where we’re asking folks to stay home, it’s critical we make sure that those homes are safe.”

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.

Stretch of westbound Danforth blocked

Expect more delays along Danforth for the next two weeks as, starting today, the westbound lanes between Woodmount and Glebemount avenues will be partially occupied for inspection of power cable chambers, the city advises.

The blockage is expected to continue until April 23.

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City golf courses to open Thursday

The east end’s Dentonia Park Golf Course is among the city-run courses to open Thursday, several days ahead of schedule.

The city announced all five of its golf courses are opening for the 2021 season on April 1.

Guidelines have been developed in consultation with Toronto Public Health, including physical distancing between golfers and disinfection of equipment and surfaces, the city said in a press release today.

Tee times will be 10 minutes apart, starting at 7 a.m. and ending at dusk. Tee times are expected to sell out quickly, so residents are encouraged to book early. (Call Dentonia at 416-392-2558.)

Arrest for luring child

A 40-year-old man has been arrested on child luring and pornography charges after searches by the police child exploitation section.

Police executed two search warrants near Danforth and Woodbine avenues on March 4 and reported finding evidence of the offences and child sexual abuse material stored on devices at a residence, police announced today.

They allege that girls between the ages of 12 and 16 had been contacted online for a sexual purpose and online payments had been made in exchange for live viewings of child sexual abuse material.

Mahesh Bisesar of Toronto faces five charges including luring a child, making child pornography and accessing child pornography. He appeared in court virtually on March 5, police say.

Weekend vaccinations by Michael Garron

Michael Garron is plowing ahead with its vaccination program, each day giving thousands of shots against COVID-19.

On Friday the hospital held three on-site clinics, two primary care clinics, a pop-up clinic and two mobile clinics in the east end, vaccinating 2,155 people.

The drive continues over the weekend with five on-site clinics — at the hospital, Thorncliffe Park Community Hub and Jimmie Simpson Rec Centre and), three pop-up clinics and a mobile clinic. It plans to vaccinate about 2,417 people who are healthcare workers, individuals living in congregate settings, and community members 75 and older, according to a statement from the city this morning.

Michael Garron upping vaccinations

In its continuing vaccination drive against COVID-19, Michael Garron Hospital is today holding three east-end on-site clinics (at the hospital in East York, at the Thorncliffe Park Community Hub, and Jimmie Simpson Recreation Centre in Riverside/Leslieville) and is deploying two mobile teams.

It will vaccinate about 2,400 people who are healthcare workers, individuals living in congregate settings or who receive home care, community members 75 years and older, and individuals experiencing homelessness, according to a City of Toronto press release.

Yesterday, MGH held two on-site clinics and deployed two mobile teams to vaccinate 1,514 people.

On March 23, MGH held two on-site clinics and used one mobile team to vaccinate 628 individuals.

Puppetmongers thumbnailLeslieville puppeteers looking to leave wider legacy

Coming up to their 50th anniversary, brother-sister team David and Ann Powell aren’t thinking about how the pandemic has tied up their Leslieville puppeteering business, Puppetmongers Theatre, but are rather looking to continue their legacy beyond.

Puppetmongers has been able to maintain a studio space since they started in 1974, and they plan to bequeath a puppetry space, with all the tools of the trade, for fellow puppeteers to perform shows and hone their craft.

See the full story and their coming online productions.


Gainsborough fire thumbnailNo working smoke alarms at house where four killed, investigators say

The report into the fatal fire at 95 Gainsborough Rd. in January is in, and it is disturbing. Investigators found the fire was caused by an electrical failure in the dining room ceiling, but perhaps more significantly they found the house had no working smoke alarms.

Four people were killed and others injured when fire consumed the second floor of the two-storey house. See the story about today’s statement from the Office of the Fire Marshal.


Beach Metro closing in on half a century in community news

Hats off today to the Beach Metro News which is beginning its 50th year. It marks the occasion with a reminiscence by someone who has been involved with the nonprofit newspaper — believe it not — almost since the beginning in March 1972, as a volunteer and an employee.

Clinics vaccinating for COVID-19

Michael Garron Hospital and East Toronto Health Partners yesterday held two on-site clinics, one primary care clinic and a mobile clinic, vaccinating 506 healthcare workers, first responders from fire and police services, residents 80 years and older, and individuals living in congregate settings.

Today they will hold another two on-site clinics, a pop-up clinic and deploy two mobile teams, to vaccinate about 855 more people, according to a city announcement.

New locations coming for photo radar

You have until May to improve your driving on York Mills Road, east of Rayoak Drive, and on Grenoble Drive, west of Spanbridge Road. That’s when the city’s automatic speed enforcement (ASE) devices will be moved to these locations to catch speeding drivers in Don Valley East ward.

This will be the third locations for the ASEs. They are currently snapping pictures and issuing tickets from their sites on Fenside Drive and Underhill Drive.


New east-end locations coming for photo radar

You have until May to improve your driving on Victoria Park Avenue, Secord Avenue, Greenwood Avenue and Plains Road. That’s when the city’s automatic speed enforcement (ASE) devices will be moved to these streets to catch speeding drivers in Toronto-Danforth and Beaches-East York wards. This will be the third locations for the ASEs. (See March 1 item below for current sites.)

How safe do you feel? Tell the city

The deadline is approaching to fill out the SafeTO survey. The city wants to know the level of safety and wellbeing you feel in your community, and your priorities for the SafeTO plan to guide social systems — like community services, healthcare, policing — in serving Torontonians.

The online survey, which should take less than 10 minutes, is to be completed before March 12.

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.