Beaches-Leslieville Daily Updates: May–June 2020

Heated, spacious Access Hub provides better bus shelter on Vic Park

If you’re catching transit on Victoria Park Avenue at the Bingham Loop north of Kingston Road, you may appreciate the new heated shelter the TTC calls an Access Hub. The spacious shelters been set up all over the city, including at this site in Upper Beaches. Read all about them.


MPPs hosting fight against hate in east end tonight

East-end MPPs Rima Berns-McGown and Peter Tabuns are hosting a public forum to fight hatred after the recent incident at the Michael Garron Hospital construction site. It takes place tonight from 7 to 8:30 p.m.

More details in the Things To Do column.


Man arrested for Woodbine Park sexual assault, robbery

A suspect sought in the sexual assault of a 70-year-old woman in Woodbine Park has been arrested and charged, police reported today.

The woman was reported to have been walking in the park between 1 p.m. and 2 p.m., when she was approached by a man and assaulted, police said.

On Saturday, a 23-year-old man of Toronto was arrested and faces five charges including sexual assault, robbery, and theft Under $5,000. He was scheduled to appear in court on Sunday.

Fletcher to support police defunding motion “of course”

Toronto-Danforth councillor Paula Fletcher assures constituents she favours the motion by councillors Josh Matlow and Kristyn Wong-Tam to cut the police budget by 10 per cent and divert the savings to community programs.

“As a longtime advocate for reducing and reallocating the police budget towards social and community programs and mental health, of course I am planning to support the proposed Matlow/Wong-Tam motion,” according to a statement posted on her website on June 22. “I want to make this very clear as I have been hearing from a number of people who are uncertain about my position. I have always voted and worked to address the longstanding issues with police accountability and spending in our city.”

The defunding motion to defund is on the agenda for the city council meeting on June 29–30. (See the motion here.)

Beaches-East York councillor Brad Bradford has said he is waiting to see and weigh all the options presented at council before making a decision, though he will support a motion that gives real control of the police budget to council, makes real progress to address systemic racism in policing and across city services, and meets other anti-racism objectives.

Start signing up for CampTO tomorrow

Registration for the city’s new day camps initiative, CampTO, starts in this area tomorrow. Sign up by phone or online to send kids from age 6 to 12 for the camps that feature physical distancing, regular health checks and other measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Camp locations include several sites in Beaches and Leslieville. Find out all about it on Streeter.

Wider reopening finally gets the okay

You can soon take the family out to a local restaurant or hang out in a local bar again. Take the kids to the pool or splash pad. Go shopping for more than groceries. Get a haircut or your nails done. All this and more as Toronto reopens businesses, cultural places and recreational centres in the move to Stage 2 of the province’s reopening plan.

Read more about today’s long-awaited announcement.

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Female pedestrian reported injured in Upper Beaches collision

A woman, 62, was taken to hospital with head injuries after an accident at Woodbine and Corley avenues this morning, according to police. The police Twitter message at about 10:30 a.m. reported a pedestrian had been struck by a vehicle.

There is no word yet on her condition.

Police closed off the roadway after the collision but it was reopened within a hour, according to police tweets.


Road closures popular with cyclists, pedestrians, continuing this weekend

The weekend road closures that are turning over sections of Lake Shore Boulevard and Bayview Avenue to cyclists, walkers and joggers have proven popular, according to figures released by the city. The closures will continue this Saturday and Sunday. Get the whole story.

East-end farmers’ markets coming back?

City-run farmers’ markets — like at the East York Civic Centre, East Lynn Park Park or Ashbridges Bay — may make a reappearance this summer, if not earlier.

The city says it is working with the markets it operates to get them back up and running while complying with the new public health requirements. Read more about it.

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Part of Lake Shore closed to vehicles for weekend again

Vehicle access is again banned from the eastbound lanes of Lake Shore Boulevard East from Leslie Street to Kew Beach Avenue near Woodbine park on June 6 and 7, the city has announced. Only walkers, runners and cyclists will be able to use that stretch of the road.

Also closed to vehicles for the weekend will the south end of Bayview Avenue—from Rosedale Valley Road to Front Street East—as well as River Street from Gerrard Street East to Bayview.

Local businesses fear eviction for unpaid rent

How many stores will be left on Queen East and Danforth after the pandemic has passed? Some are worried they cannot pay their rents and may be shut down, despite the government’s rent-relief program. Beaches-East York councillor Brad Bradford is among those calling for a moratorium on evictions.

Get the whole story on Streeter.

That was no SOS last night

A sail boat seeming to flash an SOS off Silver Birch Beach turned out just to have a light out and the bouncing of the boat made it appear to flash the help signal, police reported on Twitter last night. Marine Rescue escorted the boat back to a marina and no injuries were reported.

If you gotta go while in the park….

The washrooms in Riverdale and Withrow parks are scheduled to reopen this week. But for other public facilities in east-end parks, such as Kew Gardens and Woodbine Park, well, you’ll just have to hold it till next week. The city is reopening about 50 parks washrooms by June 6, with the rest of the 200 washrooms to open by mid-June, the city announced today. See the story.

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East-end affordable housing sites get council okay

City council approved yesterday the second phase of the Housing Now initiative to build more affordable housing, including on two east-end properties, including on Queen Street East and Danforth Avenue. The plan and the sites had been announced by Mayor John Tory two days earlier.


Walk or cycle east stretch of Lake Shore this weekend

Vehicle access is again closed on the eastbound lanes of Lake Shore Boulevard East this weekend to give space to walkers, runners and cyclists. The road will be closed to vehicular traffic from Coxwell Avenue to Kew Beach Avenue. Read more about it.

Shooting leaves man seriously wounded

A man suffered life-threatening injuries after a shooting at Main Street and Gerrard Street East, police said on Twitter yesterday. Callers reported multiple gunshots about 5 p.m. and emergency responders arrived on the scene to find an adult male suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. He was rushed to hospital. Police are investigating.


Second east-end child care centre opened for essential workers’ families

Another child care centre for children of essential and critical service workers has been opened at 84 Blake St., near Danforth snd Jones avenues. The site was the home of the Blake Street Early Learning and Child Care Centre before it was shut down with all other daycares during the pandemic.

This is the eighth such centre opened in existing city-run facilities and staffed by city child care workers. It’s also the second in the east end, after the centre at 1125 Danforth, opened in mid-April.

Queen, Danforth among sites for affordable housing

Six city-owned locations were proposed for creating affordable housing in an announcement by John Tory yesterday. One of them is where a social services building now stands and another where a library operates — both in the Beaches-East York ward, with councillor Brad Bradford’s blessing.

Check out the full story on Streeter.


Quick arrest after Main-Danforth bank held up

It took uniformed officers only 45 minutes to locate a suspect and recover stolen money after being called to an east-end bank robbery on Monday, police said yesterday. Read the complete story.


Bizarre events began in east end with cops trying to stop speeding car

It began on Saturday with reports of a speeding car near Eastern and Coxwell avenues and ended with an arrest in Harbord Village on 13 charges. In-between, the sequence of events included a crash into a store window, a vehicle bursting into flames, a stolen patrol car, and a scuffle with arresting officers, according to a police account released Monday. See the full account.

Danforth shootings among wave of weekend gunfire

Police were called to two reports of gunfire within hours of each other on Sunday. They were among at least six shootings across Toronto over the weekend, including the wounding of two teenagers in Thorncliffe Park. Get the whole story.

Pothole-fixing blitz continues today

If you run into traffic delays today, it may be because the city is on a massive project of fixing potholes on expressways, major roads and neighbourhood streets. Sixty-six crews and 162 workers are fanning out across the city today in the final round of pothole repairs for this month, the city has announced.

About 18,000 potholes have already been repaired in May — and 105,000 so far in 2020. But in case those numbers sound impressive, bear in mind they are only slightly ahead of last year’s pothole-fixing pace — and well behind the numbers racked up by May in each of the two previous years.

If your least favourite east-end pothole is not filled in by today’s blitz, you can report it online, by email or by calling 311. It will likely be repaired within four days, the city says.

Library branches to start accepting book returns

No Beaches or Leslieville libraries are on the short list of public library branches to reopen their drop boxes for returned items on Monday, but they should follow on June 1 when other branches join the rollout of reopened library services. And curbside pickup of library materials ordered online is to begin shortly after that.

Read the whole story on Streeter.

Parks reopening more, but keep your distance

Toronto is following the province’s lead and opening more of the city’s parks facilities. Yesterday, Mayor John Tory announced skateboard parks and other facilities are opening immediately, followed by soccer fields, tennis courts, picnic shelters and other amenities by the weekend.

But no team activities are being allowed and physical distancing rules are still in place. Get all the details.

Car leaps onto Queen Street East sidewalk

A man who usually sits in front of the Shoppers Drug Mart at 970 Queen St. E. missed certain injury and possibly death when he left his post shortly before an SUV jumped the curb and crushed everything on the sidewalk this morning. “I would have been paralyzed or dead,” he says.

See the full story with pictures.


Drop-off depot reopened for waste in east end

The Bermondsey Transfer Station on Bermondsey Road is among two drop-off depots reopened — partially — to the public. But the hours for getting rid of your garbage, recycling and yard waste are limited mainly to evenings and nights and you have to follow public health guidelines to use the depots.

Read all about it.

Jazz fest among latest coronavirus victims

The Beaches Jazz Festival and Taste of the Danforth are among the latest local summer events to be cancelled, as the city has extended its cancellation of permits for major festivals to the end of August. Mayor John Tory announced the cancellations in his daily press briefing today.

See the latest news on what’s been cancelled, postponed and moved online.

GoFundMe money could help save Danforth child care centre

Blossoming Minds Learning Centre, which serves families in East York, Riverdale and Upper Beaches, was worried it wouldn’t survive the pandemic shutdown — thanks to high rents and non-existent revenue. But an online fundraising drive and the possibility of some government funding has given owners hope the centre will survive. Read the full story.

Woman arrested yesterday in saliva-spreading investigation

A 32-year-old woman faces a charge of mischief about two weeks after Pape Avenue bank staff reported surveillance cameras showed someone coughing, spitting and spreading saliva around an ATM machine. See the update on this case.

Bradford lauds ShopHERE program to set up shops online

The city has joined with BIAs and other partners in a free program to set up small businesses and artists with online stores. Up to 3,000 businesses are expected to take up this offer, allowing more consumers to shop online, order delivery, and arrange pickup at places offering curbside service.

A city press release quotes Beaches-East York councillor Brad Bradford as supporting the “city’s effort to support independent businesses, especially the mom and pops that are the heart of main streets everywhere.”

Read all about it.

Demand is up at food banks but they’re coping

With so many unemployed during the pandemic, food banks in midtown and east-end wards are facing long lineups and big changes to how they serve those in need. But, so far, most are dealing with it well. See the full story and photos.

In-store shopping at some garden centres

Getting the go-ahead from Ontario premier Doug Ford, some local garden centres are throwing their doors open to shoppers, while others are sticking to curbside pickup and delivery. But all are promising to observe social distancing and other safety considerations. Here’s the rundown.

Mother’s Day brunch without taking her out

Some local restaurants are offering Mother’s Day brunches on Sunday for pickup or delivery. But you may have to order now. Check them out.

Garden centres opening with curbside pickup

With the Ontario government’s go-ahead, many garden centres and nurseries are open and operating as online businesses. Here are some local places you can place an order for delivery or pickup.

Woman identified from images of saliva-spreading at East York bank machine

Police have identified a 32-year-old woman after security camera images of a coughing, spitting and saliva-spreading incident at an ATM were released a few days ago. She is being sought by police.

Here’s the story with images.

Canada Day festivities cancelled for east end

East Yorkers will miss their parade, festival and fireworks and Leslieville-Beaches residents will do without their fireworks at Ashbridges Bay on July 1. The city has cancelled all in-person Canada Day celebrations. They’re the latest events to fall victim to the COVID-19 pandemic, cancellations pushing well into summer. Read about them and see the entire list of local cancellations.

You can continue putting your waste out, city says

With a record amount of yard waste being generated while residents are stuck at home, the city has decided to resume its collection. Yard waste pickup was cancelled early this spring but brought back in April for a four-week trial. The trial must have been a success, because now the city says yard waste is returning for the season. Just when garden centres and landscapers are also reopening their businesses.

See the full story in Streeter news.