Central Toronto Daily Updates: September–October 2020
A quick look at local news, views and things to do
Residents association running Halloween contest
The North Rosedale Residents’ Association is holding its annual Halloween photo contest, sponsored by Rosedale’s Finest and The Ten Spot. Awards are to be given for best boy and girl costumes, best adult costume, best pet costume and best group costume, as well as for best carved pumpkin and decorated house or yard.
Photos have to be emailed by Nov. 1. More information on the NRRA’s website.
Women arrested 3 months after Yonge-Bloor robbery
Two women have been charged in relation to an alleged theft in the Yonge Street and Bloor Street East area on July 31. One was arrested yesterday at Toronto Pearson International Airport, police reported. Claudia Mayorga Coreas, 23, is being charged with robbery.
The other had turned herself into police on Aug. 17, police say. Alexis Lafond, 22, faces a charge of conspiracy to commit an indictable offence.
Both are scheduled to appear in court on Nov. 4.
Increased crime reported by Cabbagetown residents groups
The Cabbagetown Residents Association says it has received emails from residents across Cabbagetown of safety and security issues in its neighbourhood, as well as reports an uptick in crime in nearby areas in Winchester Park and Cabbagetown South.
In an Oct. 22 post on its “Spotlight on Safety and Security” page, the CRA said incidents it has heard about recently include people following delivery trucks around Cabbagetown and stealing boxes from porches.
There has also been an increase in home invasions, assaults, bicycle thefts, and break-ins, though mostly in its neighbouring areas, the group says. The CRA covers the neighbourhood bounded by St James Cemetery, Gerrard Street, Parliament Street and the Don River.
Machete-swinging man on Yonge
A man was taken into custody today after being reported walking southbound near Yonge Street and Gerard Street East swinging a machete. Police received the report shortly after 4 p.m., according to their Twitter posts. The man was found quickly and the blade recovered without injuries, police said.
Man sought for string of break-ins
Images of a man considered a suspect in break-ins over the past six weeks have been released by police who are trying to identify him.
Five break-and-enters have taken place in the Yorkville and Annex areas from Sept. 8 to Oct. 14, police say.
In three cases the alleged culprit is said to have fled after being confronted by homeowners. Here’s more about it.
Knife-flashing man taken into custody on Church Street
No one was injured in an incident that ended with a man being taken into custody last night, police say.
A man was reported walking southbound on Church Street near Wellesley Avenue shortly after 10:30 p.m., yelling and showing people a knife.
Police responded and within minutes found the man described as a white male, 45, about six feet tall, and wearing a red bandana with a mask.
Roads closed again for ActiveTO
Two roads will be shut down to vehicular traffic again this weekend as part of the city’s ActiveTO initiative. Runners, walkers and cyclists will have these stretches of road open for their exclusive use:
- Lake Shore Boulevard West from Stadium Road to Windemere Avenue
- Bayview Avenue from Front Street East to Rosedale Valley Road, as well as River Street from Gerrard Street East to Bayview Avenue
However, Lake Shore Boulevard East will be closed this time, as it is needed to provide alternative routes for drivers due to Gardiner Expressway closures, the city says.
Virtual meeting on rooming house project
Local residents can get an update on the renovation of the heritage buildings 502-508 Parliament St. this afternoon.
The virtual community meeting is set for 3 to 5 p.m. to discuss the plans to create affordable, rooming house units at those properties and have their questions answered.
Gas leak reported
Police and firefighters responded to a gas leak at Ossington Avenue and Pendrith Street shortly after noon today. Traffic in the Christie Pits area was slowed for awhile but fire crews managed to resolve the issue, police reported.
Public consultations coming on renaming Dundas
The “problematic” history of Henry Dundas, the 18th-century Scottish statesman, is about to come under public scrutiny as the city considers renaming the street named for him. City council approved a staff report on the man who allegedly kept the slave trade going in his time.
Council gave the go-ahead to holding public consultations with businesses and residents near Dundas Street and with diverse Black communities. Get the whole story.
• Beaches-Leslieville • Don Valley • Forest Hill • Leaside • North Toronto • Riverdale-East York
Cabbagetown South house hit by gunfire
No injuries were reported when a house was hit with gunfire near Dundas Street East and Parliament Street, police said Tuesday night. Police responded around 11 p.m. after receiving reports of gunshots. Vehicles were reported fleeing the area and a male was reported running south on Arnold Avenue.
Multiple shell cases were found in the area and a local residence had damage from gunfire, as bullets had been fired into the house, police said. They are investigating.
Arts festival moved from the streets to online
Nuit Blanche, which has presented art installations in Toronto streets over the course of one night for the past 14 years, is now presenting a week of virtual experiences for its 15th presentation.
Funded by the city and the Government of Ontario, Nuit Blanche Online is running Oct. 3–10 this year in five online streaming programs. Find out more in Streeter Things To Do.
COVID-19 breakout at Yonge Street bar
Toronto Public Health is notifying staff and patrons who have visited the Yonge Street Warehouse, 336 Yonge St., that seven people linked to the establishment have tested positive for COVID-19.
Close contacts have been asked to self-isolate for 14 days and to go for testing. But as many as 1,700 others who were in the bar during the exposure period are viewed as low risk and have been asked to self-monitor. Get the whole story.
Owner of war medals sought
Toronto police are looking for the owner of Second World War medals, discovered during a drug investigation by 51 Division officers.
A photo of the six medals has been released to get the public help in locating the rightful owner.
One more weekend of ActiveTO road closures
Saturday and Sunday will be your last chance this year to walk, jog or cycle selected major streets that have been closed to traffic.
Closed from Sept. 26 at 6 a.m. to Sept. 27 at 11 p.m. will be:
- Lake Shore Boulevard West eastbound lanes from Windermere Avenue to Stadium Road.
- Bayview Avenue from Front Street East to Rosedale Valley Road, and River Street from Gerrard Street East to Bayview Avenue.
Note, the usual closure on Lake Shore Boulevard East between Leslie Street and Woodbine Avenue is not taking place this time because, the city advises, due to Saturday’s planned construction on the eastbound Gardiner Expressway from Yonge Street to Cherry Street.
Local events cancelled or moved online in city announcement
Toronto’s Santa Claus Parade, Nuit Blanche, and Halloween on Church are among the Central Toronto events seeing their live activities shut down by the city this week. Some of them though will carry on as virtual or online happenings.
The city followed public health advice in cancelling all upcoming festivals and other large in-person gatherings held at outdoor sites managed by the city or at public locations, the city said in a news release on Wednesday.
See the story in Streeter news.
Alleged knife-wielding robber escaped store security, man arrested
A 31-year-old man was arrested by the holdup squad Sept. 20 after a robbery attempt at a store near Parliament and Dundas streets, police reported today.
A man allegedly tried to leave the store with a gym bag full of merchandise but was stopped by store security, at which point he took out a knife.
Police say security disarmed the man and held him on the ground but a gathering crowd caused the security guard, fearing for his safety, to release the man, who left the gym bag and fled.
Police later arrested a man. Jared Shmagola of no fixed address faces charges of robbery, having a dangerous weapon, and failing to comply with probation. He appeared in court Sept. 22.
Are you a champion for climate action in the neighbourhood?
Could you help educate and collaborate with local residents to develop climate action projects reflecting the needs and values of your central Toronto neighbourhood?
If so, the city wants you. To become a Neighbourhood Climate Action Champion.
Being a local champion will take about four or five hours a month and it won’t pay much — a $500 honorarium. But you’ll get free training and the satisfaction of helping fight climate change. Read all about it.
Man wielding knife eludes police
Police failed to find a knife-wielding person in the Bloor Street East and Sherbourne Street area Sunday afternoon. Someone was reported threatening to hurt customers with a knife at a local business at about 2:26 p.m., police said online. But after searching the area, they reported at 3:33 p.m. the man had not been located.
The alleged knife-wielder was described as bald, 5-foot-8 and having a slim build. He was said to be wearing a black jacket, a white t-shirt saying “Game Over,” and camouflage shoes, and he was apparently carrying luggage.
Be a tourist in our own communities
How well do you know the Kensington-Chinatown neighbourhood? A walking tour of the area is part of Toronto’s StrollTO program, announced today. Self-guided tours are presented in all 25 wards, with self-guided tours pointing out culturally and historically significant local sites.
It’s part of an overall ShowLoveTO initiative to encourage residents to discover shops, stops, places and spaces on local streets, the city says. Get the whole story and links to local tours.
Projects completed ahead of schedule, city says
Here’s something you don’t hear often. A major road work project was finished early.
Watermain replacement, road resurfacing and laneway reconstruction on Yonge Street from St. Clair Avenue to Woodlawn Avenue was completed four weeks early — just one of many construction projects completed on time or ahead of time this summer, the City of Toronto says.
The city accelerated work on as many important construction projects as possible during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a news release today. Crews were reportedly able to take advantage of lower traffic volumes during the shutdown to work on infrastructure projects at a faster pace. More infrastructure projects are planned for fall.
Resurfacing work on more than 170 local roads roads has also been completed in the summer, with work on 323 more on track to be completed this fall, the city says. Plus, sewer upgrades on more than 100 streets to protect basements from flooding are proceeding on schedule.
BigArtTO scheduled for local neighbourhoods
The Alex Duff Memorial Pool in Christie Pits Park and the Equinix Data Centre in the Distillery District are two of the sites to be used as canvases for art projection in Toronto’s just-announced BigArtTO initiative.
BigArtTO features free access to more than 200 hours of temporary public artworks created by Toronto artists, projected and illuminated on buildings and landmarks across Toronto’s 25 wards.
Get the schedule and see the full story.
Public meetings on renaming ‘racist’ Dundas Street proposed
City staff is recommending the city hold public consultations on its response to the petition to rename Dundas Street and other sites bearing the Dundas name.
The petition objected to the street being named after Scottish politician Henry Dundas “who was involved in delaying the abolition of the transatlantic slave trade, causing more than half a million more Black people to be enslaved in the British Empire,” according to a city press release today.
Mayor John Tory and several councillors signed a letter on June 12 calling for the street to be renamed, referring to “signs of historic racism on streets, buildings and monuments all across Toronto.”
Some historians argue Dundas strongly favoured abolition of slavery and added “gradual” to the 1792 motion to abolish the slave trade in order to pass the motion, which would otherwise have failed.
The staff report is going to city council’s executive committee on Sept. 23.
Arrest for yesterday’s hit and run
A man has been charged with failing to stop after an accident causing bodily harm. A 52-year-old male was struck by a vehicle while crossing Dundas Street East at Parliament Street with a group before 3 a.m., police reported yesterday.
The pedestrian received life-threatening injuries and the vehicle, a grey Honda Civic, fled the scene eastbound on Dundas, police said.
A 25-year-old man was arrested today and is to appear in court on Nov. 3.
Alex Duff pool to stay open an extra week
City outdoor pools have been set to close on Sept. 6, but the summer season for at least 10 of them, including Alex Duff pool in Christie Pits, has been extended to Sept. 13. Mayor John Tory announced the extension today “recognizes the new start of the school year for many Toronto children.” Most kids are returning to school on Sept. 14, a week later than in previous years.
Woman stabbed and hit with bat in park
A woman was attacked in Barbara Hall Park around midnight last night. Police report the woman was walking in the park in the Church and Wellesley area when two men approached her and demanded her property. The men allegedly stabbed her and struck her with a bat.
The woman was taken to hospital with non-life threatening injuries, police say. Officers are searching for suspects.
Pedestrian injured by collision with vehicle
A female pedestrian was reported struck by a vehicle at Gerrard Street East and River Street at 11:23 a.m. today. Police describe the woman as in her 40s and say she suffered injuries. The vehicle remained on the scene, police said. No other information has been released at this point.
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