Don Valley Daily Updates: January–April 2020

One male shot, one in custody, another sought by police

A shooting near Victoria Park and O’Connor Drive this evening has left one male in hospital injuries and one being held by police. Meanwhile police are looking for for another male and a white SUV that fled the scene. Read the full, updated story.

Vehicle fire in Victoria Park driveway

A vehicle has been reported on fire on Victoria Park south of Lawrence Avenue East late this afternoon. Officers arrived to find flames coming from the engine block of a vehicle parked in a driveway, police reported on Twitter. Police called fire services to put the blaze out. No one was found in the vehicle. No further information is available yet.

Put out your yard waste at least one more time

The city has extended its yard waste collection for another two weeks. It had been suspended as part of Toronto’s COVID-19 response but the city resumed it for a period from April 6 to 17. Yesterday it was announced the service would be continued to May 1. For more details see our report.

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Better behaviour found by enforcement officers in parks

Have you noticed it in Sunnybrook, Windfarms or other local parks? Fewer people flouting the city’s social distancing rules and gathering in groups, or using closed park facilities, like playgrounds and fitness stations?

That’s what enforcement officers have discovered on the first two days of their four-day holiday weekend blitz of the city’s parks. This comes as they move from issuing warnings to issuing tickets — up to $1,000 — for infractions of the public health measures. Read more about it.

Windfields dog owners among groups hit by distancing police

The city set a record for the number of tickets issued and people talked to for using shutdown facilities and congregating too closely in parks on Monday. This includes a large gathering in the off-leash dog area of Windfields Park.

For more, see the story.

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Doors closed and other local cancellations

The street festival known as Taste of Lawrence, originally scheduled for July 5–7, is among the local events that have been shut down in the latest wave of cancellations due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Now the cancellations and postponements extend right into summer. See our updated guide to the changes.

Local business shutdowns to spread after premier’s announcement

A lot more local businesses will be shut down tomorrow — temporarily, it is hoped — as Premier Doug Ford has announced only “essential workplaces” can stay open in the province.

This latest move to combat the spread of the coronavirus will leave our local grocery stores, pharmacies, hardware stores, pet shops and several dozen other types of businesses operating from their storefronts and offices, while many more others are forced to close their doors. The closed shops, however, can still offer their products and services online and by phone, and eateries can still provide takeout and delivery service.

Here’s what we know so far about how it will affect the businesses in our communities. We’ll have much more about the local business scene later.

Now we have to avoid extreme weather too

It’s bad enough our streets are already almost empty with people avoiding the coronavirus, but now we have another reason to stay home. Toronto Public Health is asking residents to avoid non-essential travel today, according to a media release this morning.

This comes after Environment and Climate Change Canada issued a weather statement warning of possible extreme weather today. See the story in Streeter news.

Local shutdowns and cancellations prompted by coronavirus crisis

Ontario’s and Toronto’s chief medical officers have issued their warnings and recommendations about combating COVID-19 through local distancing. And now the speed of local shows being cancelled, venues shut down and programs postponed has accelerated.

We’re trying to stay on top of it with an updated tips list in Streeter news. If you’ve learned of any other schedule changes in our communities due to coronavirus concerns, let us know.

Local events cancelled across our neighbourhoods

We’re starting a running list of events that have been cancelled or postponed and venues that have shut down or reduced hours in the local areas due to the growing coronavirus crisis. See the list in Streeter news.

Coteau places second in Liberal leadership race

Don Valley East MPP Michael Coteau came a distant second in the race for leader of the Ontario Liberals yesterday. Coteau won the support of almost 18 per cent of the elected delegates to the convention that concluded on March 7.

The winner was Steven Del Duca with more than 56 per cent support, despite having been personally defeated in the 2018 provincial election.

Coteau, however, came out ahead of four other leadership candidates, including one other sitting MPP, Scarborough-Guildwood’s Mitzie Hunter.

Garbage deal ratified by city and union

We should be getting garbage pickup and other services in our area for quite a while longer after union members and city councillors ratified a five-year deal with the city’s outside workers. Read the latest news.

Safe bike lanes pushed by local group

A cycling group that meets in Midtown every month is pushing the city to create safe lanes. Holly Reid, who co-chairs Cycle Don Valley Midtown, says one of the group’s focuses now is getting city funding for protective lanes in the plans for Eglinton Avenue, as well as in Thorncliffe Park and Flemingdon Park areas.

Get the story in Streeter news.

Garbage pickup to continue as tentative deal reached

It looks like garbage will continue to be collected and other public services provided in our area for at least another week.

Negotiators for the city and union announced late yesterday a tentative deal had been reached to avert a work stoppage. It still has to be ratified by the union members next week.

See more information in the full news story.

Wrong target hit in Flemingdon shooting: police

It was a targeted shooting near St. Dennis and Grenoble Drives but the woman put in hospital with a serious leg wound was not the intended target, police believe. More on the Feb. 26 shooting in Streeter news.

Will we get garbage pickup (and other services) next week?

Garbage, recycling and green bin pickup are being carried out as scheduled in Toronto communities east of Yonge Street today. But it could be the last pickup for a while if city-union negotiations don’t result in a deal before before midnight tonight.

A strike would mean losing several other public services in our neighbourhoods too. Read the latest news on the possible strike in Streeter.

Don Mills crash sends driver to hospital

Police are reporting a serious collision at Don Mills Road and Lawrence Avenue East shortly after 7 a.m. yesterday. A 49-year-old man was taken to hospital with life-threatening injuries, while a 26-year-old woman suffered minor injuries.

The man was driving a blue Mazda 3 southbound on Don Mills Road and entered the Lawrence intersection against a red traffic signal and struck a black Chevrolet Cruze eastbound on Lawrence Avenue East, approaching Don Mills Road, police said.

The crash is being investigated by investigation by officers in Traffic Services. They are asking local residents, businesses, and drivers to check their security or dash cameras for footage of the incident.

Fire in vacant Victoria Park building

A dilapidated commercial building at 1680 Victoria Park Ave. was the scene of a fire early this morning. Toronto Fire Services arrived at about 2:30 a.m. and found flames erupting from the building. The fire was put out quickly and no one was found in the building which had been sitting vacant, according to the fire department. The cause of the fire and cost of damages are unknown as of yet.

Don Valley area relatively crime-free in 2019

In a year when it seemed shootings — and worse — were being reported almost every day, the Don Valley East area was relatively unscathed in 2019, judging by a summary of police figures.

Homicides, for examples were few and far between east of the valley, with only one showing in Don  Valley East ward and two more in the Beaches-East York ward to the the south. See the full Streeter analysis.