Forest Hill Daily Updates: November–December 2020

Stay home for New Year’s

There’s nothing planned in Toronto for New Year’s eve tonight — so stay home. Celebrate in person only with people living under your roof or celebrate with others virtually. That’s the city’s message for residents during the strangest New Year’s most of us have ever faced.

police car thumbnail60 charges in month after two stores robbed

Two stores on opposite sides of town were hit by an alleged group of robbers and three men were arrested on Nov. 21 and 22, followed a month later by the arrest of two boys, police reported today.

The stores were described by police as being in the Dufferin Street and Eglinton Avenue West area and in the Victoria Park Avenue and St. Clair Avenue area.

Together the five males arrested face 60 charges. See the full story.

red violin suspect police‘Stolen’ violin recovered, suspect sought

A violin that was missing since Dec. 18 (see item below) has been recovered, though police say a man suspected of having stolen it is still at large.

Images have been released showing a man apparently carrying the red violin case while exiting the Dufferin subway station on the day the instrument went missing.

The violin is being returned to the owner, police say, though the suspect, described as being in his 50s, is still outstanding.

violin and caseHave you see this violin?

A subway patron reportedly noticed his concert violin was missing after he left the St. Clair West station early yesterday evening.

The owner of the Lorenzo-Carcassi 1757 Concert violin had travelled on the subway at about 6:30 p.m. from College Street station north to Bloor-Yonge, west to St. George and north to St. Clair West, police say.

The violin was in a bright red BAM case. Images have been released.

13 Division investigators want to speak to anyone who has the violin, has seen it, or knows where it can be found.

CampTO and winter instruction programs cancelled

City-run holiday camps and skiing or skating lessons have been shut down by Toronto’s rising COVID-19 numbers.

The cancellations were announced today, following recommendations from Toronto Public Health and the city’s medical health officer, Dr. Eileen de Villa.

Read more about this.

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police file photoMidtown break-ins lead to 56 charges

Two people were arrested on a total of 56 charges and property was recovered in an investigation of a string of break-ins in 13 and 53 divisions. One man is still sought by police.

Homes were broken into at night-time while, in some cases, residents slept and were unaware of being robbed until morning, police said. See the whole story.

Little JamaicaHelp sought to save Little Jamaica

Two businesspeople from Little Jamaica appeared with MPP Jill Andrew at a press conference Monday to call on the provincial government for money and other support to keep the community alive.

The commercial strip on Eglinton Avenue West has been hit hard by both COVID and the pandemic shutdown and it faces extinction, they say. Get the full story.

Thorncliffe Park PSNine TDSB schools now closed by COVID outbreaks

Humewood Community School on Cherrywood Avenue is among the latest schools to be shut down by Toronto Public health after outbreaks of COVID-19.

This brings the total number of school closures to 13, including nine in the Toronto District School Board system. Get the full story.

car sought in hit and run thumbnailHit-and-run driver sought after elderly woman struck

Investigators are trying to identify the driver of an SUV they say struck a 76-year-old woman before fleeing the scene on Oct. 8.

The woman was reported to be crossing the intersection of Bathurst Street and Lawrence Avenue West on a green light at about 2 p.m. when she was hit.

See the story and vehicle.

retail robbery suspect thumbnailWoman arrested but her alleged partner in store robbery at large

A 35-year-old woman faces a charge of robbery with an offensive weapon more than four months after a store was robbed in the St. Clair Avenue West and Avenue Road area. A man, 38, is still being sought by the police holdup squad.

The identity of the man, who allegedly pulled a knife during the incident, is known, police say. His images have been released. See the story.

site for youth spaceYouth centre proposed for former Vaughan Road Academy

Toronto-St. Paul’s councillor Josh Matlow is asking the public to get behind a proposal for a community youth space in the Oakwood Village neighbourhood, as a means of stopping the violence that has plagued the area. On his motion, city staff have released a report urging the space be developed in the former Vaughan Road Academy.

He’s asking supporters to make deputations and send letters to the city committee considering the pilot project on Dec. 7. Read the full story.

Petrowska-Quilico-thumbnailPianist named member of the Order of Canada

Pianist Christina Petrowska Quilico, who has been profiled several times in Streeter dating back at least 15 years (including here and here), has been appointed to the Order of Canada.

Today’s announcement from the Governor General noted Petrowska Quilico is being awarded “for her celebrated career as a classical and contemporary pianist, and for championing Canadian music.”

Trained at Juilliard, the classical pianist is a leading performer of Canadian compositions. She also has many recordings of her solo work, as well as chamber works and concertos and in a duo with the late violinist Jacques Israelievitch, who received the Order of Canada in 2015.

She has been a professor of performance and musicology at York University since 1987.

We’ll have more in-depth coverage of the honour shortly. (Here it is.)

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tobogganing hill at RiverdaleLocal parks ready for tobogganing and other winter activities

Hills in Cedarvale are among the 23 sites where the city is encouraging tobogganing this winter in its Welcome T.O. Winter parks plan (though you likely know several other great hills to slide down on sleds and toboggans).

The city is also pushing other outdoor activities during the pandemic this winter, including skating, snowshoeing in city golf courses, playing disc-golf and exploring recreational trails.

See the story and where to go for the best tobogganing.

Where to go when you have to go

If you’re a person who plans your outings around available washrooms, here’s welcome news for you. The city is refitting and reopening washrooms in parks — like at Cedarvale Park or Winston Churchill Park — this winter.

It’s also adding portable toilets to new locations, along with keeping washrooms going in the usual places like libraries and recreation centres.

Get the full story here.

firetruck thumbnail

One dead, one injured in Westmount Avenue fire

A fire that started at the back of a house on Westmount Avenue and quickly spread throughout has left one person dead and a firefighter with non-critical injuries.

Information on the identity of the deceased and how he died are not being released because the incident is under investigation by the Ontario’s Office of the Fire Marshal.

Here’s what we know so far.


Dogstar thumbnailFormer customers and new pups returning to dog spa

Dogstar Boutique and Spa on Eglinton Avenue West, near Avenue Road, is back in the grooming business after the shutdown, the owners say.

Former customers, as well as puppies acquired during the pandemic, are keeping the place busy, while Dogstar takes all the anti-COVID precautions possible. Read all about it.

assault suspect headerAssault in Forest Hill North

Toronto police have released an image of a running man in an investigation of an alleged assault causing bodily harm in Forest Hill North yesterday.

A man was reported to have approached and assaulted a woman in the area of Ridelle Avenue and Newgate Road, before fleeing southward. See the story.

Arrest made in home invasion case

The Toronto police holdup squad arrested a man on Nov. 5 in relation to a home invasion robbery that occurred a week earlier near Dupont Street and Davenport Road area.

On Oct. 28, a man allegedly knocked on the door of a sex trade worker, forced his way inside and made a demand for cash while holding a knife.

Police say they identified the man and Oral Carver Lewis, 45, of Toronto, was arrested.,

Carver faces charges of robbery with an offensive weapon and breaking and entering to commit a crime.

Ghost Kitchens thumbnailEat restaurant foods without fear from Ghost Kitchens

A newly opened food service in midtown offers branded restaurant foods for pickup or through delivery services.

Ghost Kitchens opened last month at Oriole Parkway and Eglinton Avenue West in the midst of a pandemic, exactly when their service is badly needed, the owners say. Read all about it.

New locations for photo radar units

After three months of issuing tickets, the city’s photo radar units are being moved. All 50 automated speed enforcement (ASE) devices are to be moved to new locations starting this week “to address a greater number of areas with safety concerns and to encourage a wide-ranging deterrent effect,” the city said in a news release today.

In Toronto-St. Paul’s, the new sites are on Ava Road, east of Westover Hill Road near a community school, and on Tweedsmuir Avenue, south of Heath Street West near a long-term care home.

In Don Valley West ward, the two new ASE sites are on Erskine Avenue, west of Redpath Avenue, and on Thorncliffe Park Drive, near 79 Thorncliffe Park Dr. Both are close to elementary schools.

In Eglinton-Lawrence, new locations are Avenue Road, near Castlefield Avenue, and Bedford Park Avenue, west of Yonge Street, both near early years learning centres.

The city reports 47,195 speeders were caught by ASE devices in the old locations, but the number of tickets dropped in the second and third months.

“The Automated Speed Enforcement program is working,” Mayor John Tory said. “Each month, fewer drivers were caught speeding in school and community safety zones where they’ve been placed, and they are helping to keep vulnerable people, especially school children, in these communities safer.”

Poppy donation box taken, arrest made

A poppy donation box was stolen from a grocery store near Yonge Street and Rowanwood Avenue yesterday morning, police report. A 32-year-old man was arrested the same day and charged with theft and failure to comply with the terms of probation.

Police say a man entered the store at about 7:30 a.m. and stuffed the donation box down the front of his pants. But he was apprehended by store employees, police were contacted and the money was recovered.