Beaches-Leslieville Daily Updates: May–June 2021

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.

Collision sends cyclist to hospital

Paramedics took a man to hospital with serious injuries after a cyclist was struck by a vehicle near Lake Shore Boulevard East and Carlaw Avenue. The collision was reported at about 8:26 p.m.

Police said the driver remained on the scene and they are investigating.

Arrest for east- and west-end robberies, including Leslieville bank

A 34-year-old Toronto man faces multiple charges after three businesses — including a Leslieville bank — were robbed on two days in June in three different parts of the city.

The Toronto police’s holdup squad made the arrest after investigating three robberies:

  • On June 5, a man allegedly approached the checkout counter of a store near Bloor Street West and Runnymede Road, pulled out a black handgun, pointed it at an employee and demanded cash. He was reported to have taken cigarettes and lottery tickets before fleeing in a light-coloured sedan.
  • On June 11, a man is reported to have approached the teller at a bank near Gerrard Street East and Jones Avenue area and handed over a hold-up note with a demand for cash. He was said to have obtained cash before fleeing the scene on foot.
  • Later on June 11, a man allegedly entered a store in the Roncesvalles Avenue and High Park area, selected an item off the shelf, and pulled out a black handgun, demanding cash. He is reported to have to have taken obtained cash before fleeing on foot.

Investigating officers were able to identify the suspect in these cases, police said in a statement this afternoon.

Cody Swackhamer, 34, of Toronto is charged with two counts robbery with a firearm, one count of robbery, three counts of disguise with intent, and three counts of failing to comply with probation. He appeared in court today.

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Ashbridges Bay Park entrance thumbnailFireworks attacks, stabbing and attempted murder at Ashbridges, police charge

Three arrests were made — including one for attempted murder — and a boy, 16, was hospitalized after incidents in Ashbridges Bay Park yesterday evening, police say.

And it all allegedly began with people shooting Roman candle fireworks at others. Read the 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.

modular housing thumbnailEast York modular housing project proceeds

After the city council meeting yesterday, Toronto is moving ahead with two modular housing initiatives, including the controversial East York project supported by Beaches-East York councillor Brad Bradford.

Council reduced the size of the East York project from 64 to 59 units but authorized staff to to begin the selection of non-profit housing providers to operate the modular building at 20 Bracebridge Ave. in the Woodbine Heights, despite local calls to delay approval. See the full story.


snow clearing thumbnailSnow-clearing extended to all our sidewalks

After a two-year trial with new, smaller sidewalk plows in Beaches-East York and other wards, the city is extending its snow-clearing program to all sidewalks starting next winter, council decided yesterday.

This is “good news,” says Coun. Brad Bradford, whose east-end ward has been the source of some of the complaints about the lack of snow clearing. Get the full story.

Beaches opened with expanded lifeguard hours

Toronto mayor John Tory, Beaches-East York councillor Brad Bradford and others opened the city’s swimming beaches at the Leuty lifeguard station at Woodbine Beach today.They also launched this year’s beach and water safety campaign as Toronto’s supervised beach program began today at 10 city beaches.

Lifeguards will be on duty for hours expanded from former years — 10:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. seven days a week.


Chill out during heat warnings at civic centre

If you badly need to cool off during the coming heat waves, you can head over to the East York Civic Centre at 850 Coxwell Ave.  It’s one of eight facilities designated emergency cooling centres by the city this year.

During heat warnings it will operate from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

stunt drivers accident on DVP thumbnailMPP and councillor call for action against stunt driving

Toronto-Danforth MPP Peter Tabuns and councillor Paula Fletcher are calling on Toronto police to identify and charge stunt drivers.

This comes after an incident involving motorcycles on the Don Valley Parkway — that left one person dead and two seriously injured.

This is just the latest stunt driving incident that residents living along the Don Valley have been reporting. Since last summer, the number of complaints has increased, according to a joint statement from Tabuns and Fletcher. See the full story.

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Knife-wielding woman found at Greenwood and Queen

A woman was taken into custody this evening after reports of someone wielding a knife near Queen Street East and Greenwood Avenue, police said on Twitter at about 7 p.m.

A woman, apparently “under the influence and/or in a mental health crisis,” was reported to be swinging at people with a knife, police said.

Officers located the woman and recovered a knife. An investigation is ongoing but “police will get her the help she needs,” according to the Twitter message.

Berns-McGown is NDP choice again

To no one’s surprise, New Democrats have renominated Rima Berns-McGown as their Ontario NDP candidate in Beaches-East York for the 2022 provincial election.

Rima Berns-McGown
Rima Berns-McGown to run for re-election.

The fact that she returned the longtime NDP seat to the fold in 2018 after a brief Liberal rule may have had something to do with it. And that she has been seen as an active representative for the party in the riding for the past four years.

“Always active and engaged at the grassroots level in Beaches-East York, Rima has lent her voice to everything from calling for provincial help keeping people housed to naming racism and vowing to fight hatred in all its forms,” said NDP Leader Andrea Horwath in a press release today. “People need hope after the COVID-19 crisis, and that hope is on the way in 2022 when the NDP forms government with Rima on our team.”

A former professor of diaspora studies, Berns-McGown won the riding with more than 48 per cent of the vote compared to incumbent Liberal Michael Potts with 27 per cent in the last election.

Before Potts, Beaches-East York was held by the NDP through five straight elections.

Pop-up vaccine clinic at Kew Gardens on Sunday

Anyone age 12 and up who lives, works or goes to school in any “M” postal code (and that’s pretty well all Toronto) can get a first dose of the Pfizer vaccine for COVID-19 at the ice rink in Kew Gardens, 2075 Queen St. E. on May 30.

It’s one of the latest rounds of pop-up clinics run by Michael Garron Hospital and its east-end health partners.

About 1,500 doses will be available, starting at 8 a.m. until they run out.

See more about the MGH schedule of clinics on the hospital’s mobile and pop-up clinics webpage for East Toronto.

rental apartments thumbnailApartment rents down in east end during pandemic

The Greenwood-Coxwell 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 both the Beaches and East End-Danforth were close behind. Respectively, their rents decreased 29, 28 and 27 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, 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.

Outdoor recreationGolf, tennis and other outdoor recreations are back

The Jimmy Simpson tennis courts, Woodbine sports fields and Beach fitness areas should be teeming with people getting their outdoor exercise again this long weekend — if it’s possible to teem while keeping physically distanced.

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

Get the whole story.

Community safety town hall tonight

Toronto-Danforth councillor Paul Fletcher is hosting a virtual town hall on community safety this evening, including news on the new 54/55 Division police station on Danforth Avenue at Coxwell Avenue. Topics are to include police reform and porch pirates.

Speakers include 55 Division superintendent Reuben Stroble, SDFA executive director Denise Andrea Campbell, and Mohamed Shuriye, manager of the city’s policing reform unit.

Register for the Zoom meeting in advance.

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.

little league baseball thumbnail

Bring back community sports, Bradford motion asks

On a motion from Beaches-East York councillor Brad Bradford, the city is pressing the Ontario government to make a plan for the return of community sports this summer.

And local baseball associations are ready for it with new, stricter health protocols. Get the whole story.


Leslieville Farmers' Market veggies thumbnailLeslieville market opening at new location

The Leslieville Farmers’ Market is back starting tomorrow — but at a new location. Formerly in Ashbridge’s Bay Park, this year it is operating Sundays in Greenwood Park.

Another change this year is that only in-person shopping is permitted, as online shopping introduced has been dropped. See more in the Things To Do listing.

New locations for speed cameras

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 Dundas Street East and Lesmount Avenue in Toronto-Danforth ward, and on Kingston and Spruce Hill roads in Beaches-East York ward.

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

  • Greenwood Avenue south of Glebeholme Boulevard (Toronto-Danforth)
  • Plains Road near Milton Road (Toronto-Danforth)
  • Victoria Park Avenue near Medonte Avenue (Beaches-East York)
  • Secord Avenue near Palmer Avenue (Beaches-East York)

Leslieville break-ins thumbSame man sought for store break-ins in east and west ends

Leslieville businesses complaining about a series of break-ins last weekend may have got an answer from the police. Today the police released information on a suspect in the break-ins — and it turns out to be a man they were already seeking after a similar series of store break-ins in the west end.

Images of the man being sought for both break-and-enter sprees were released by police. See the full story.


Three-vehicle crash

One person was taken to hospital after a three-vehicle collision involving a TTC streetcar yesterday evening. Queen Street East was closed between Glen Manor Drive and Balsam Avenue following the collision at about 9:25 p.m. on Queen at Maclean Avenue.
The extent of injuries is not immediately known.

Cannabis shop butts out

It looks like Ashbridge’s Bay won’t be getting a cannabis shop. The would-be vendor is reported to have withdrawn its controversial application for the city-owned site in the park near the beach.

Beaches-East York councillor Brad Bradford is quoted in the Toronto Star today as applauding the move.

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

You may think they’re better needed along the beach where dogs rule, but dog waste bins have been set up in two places in the Beach area: near Kew Gardens on Queen Street East and near Woodbine Park at Lake Shore and Northern Dancer boulevards.

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

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.

Fallen tree with squirrelsFalling tree hits car, closes Bingham — and moves a home

Bingham Avenue in the Upper Beaches was closed to traffic after a tree fell in the gusting winds that hit Toronto yesterday evening.

The tree fell on a car and brought down hydro lines shortly after 7 p.m. near Bingham and Gerrard Street East, police reported online. What they didn’t report was that a family of squirrels lived in the tree, leaving the little ones to run around the tree where their fallen home was.

More on this and other effects of the wind storm.