Leaside Daily Updates
A quick look at news, views and things to do locally
Parts of Bayview Avenue closed due to water
Hit by flooding, Bayview Avenue southbound from Moore Avenue and northbound from River Street have been closed by city inspectors this morning.
It is unclear whether Pottery Road is still open, police said on Twitter shortly before 11 a.m.
The first indication of problems came from police online at 9:12 a.m. when they reported rising water levels were leading to dangerous conditions on the Don Valley Parkway.
Inspectors were sent to assess the situation but the DVP ended up being left open while parts of Bayview were shut down.
$50-million deal to move and expand Islamic centre
Metrolinx is paying the Islamic Society of Toronto $50 million to move its masjid from Overlea Boulevard to an expanded building on Thorncliffe Park Drive, making way for the Ontario Line’s elevated tracks in the area.
And not everyone’s happy about it. Local residents and the Save T-Park group have expressed their dismay. See the full story.
Where can a band practise around here?
Like other musicians, Beach-based band Alter Kakers (their drummer is from Leaside) is looking for a place to play loud, but is finding Toronto rehearsal spaces are drying up.
The city is looking at ways to help them by stopping the hemorrhaging of rehearsal spaces and creating more. See the full story.
Would-be puppy sale ended with assault and robbery
A man, 41, was pistol-whipped and robbed after refusing to buy a Pocket Bully puppy yesterday evening near Sunnybrook Hospital, police say.
He met two sellers after responding to a Kijiji ad but when he decided not to buy the pup, the two men allegedly assaulted him took his cash. Here’s the story and images released by police.
Nominations open for Agnes Macphail Award
Many consider it the highest award an East Yorker can receive. The Agnes MacPhail Award annually recognizes a member of the East York community who exemplifies the causes that Canada’s first female Member of Parliament championed in her distinguished career.
And nominations are open for this year, to be received by Jan. 28 in time for an award ceremony near Agnes Macphail Day on March 24.
Nominees are residents who have made outstanding contributions as a volunteer for women’s rights, fairness to seniors, criminal justice system and penal reform, international peace and disarmament, access to adequate housing, health care and education — all causes close to Macphail’s heart.
The award recipient must be an East York resident who lives by Macphail’s motto, “Think Globally, Act Locally.”
Among the 28 winners since 1994 have been Paula Davies, Raymond White, Karen Fraser, Carol Burtin Fripp, Patrick Rocca, Alan Redway, Bill Pashby, Geoff Kettel, Lorna Krawchuk, Ruth Goldhar and Edna Beange.
Nominations can be sent by email or by mail to Agnes Macphail Recognition Committee, c/o Strategic Protocol & External Relations, City Hall, 100 Queen St. W., 12th Floor, West Tower Toronto, ON M5H 2N2.
For more information, see the City of Toronto site.
Even the bees and the butterflies hurt by COVID restrictions
Toronto’s BIAs have fallen behind in creating pollinator gardens on our main streets as small businesses have been preoccupied with staying afloat during the COVID-19 pandemic over the past couple of years.
The program is expected to languish as long as the pandemic lasts, unless the city kickstarts it. See the full story.
Entertainment venues closed
Entertainment facilities, like the Regent and Mount Pleasant movie theatres on Mt. Pleasant Road, are closed as of today as the province moves into Step Two of its “reopening” plan, the government has announced.
Venues listed as being shut down by the recent rapid increase of hospitalizations due to COVID-19 include concert halls, theatres, cinemas, museums, galleries, zoos, science centres, landmarks, historic sites, botanical gardens and amusement parks.
Library branches to close temporarily
Leaside Library on McRae Drive is among the public libraries to shut down as of Monday. The Toronto Public Library has announced nearly half of its branches are closing temporarily due to staffing shortages during the COVID pandemic.
Other branches, including the Thorncliffe Park Library, will remain open with 50-percent capacity limits. See the full story.
What’s open over Christmas weekend around here
Think you might need to pick up supplies sometime between Friday and Sunday over the holidays? Or pick up a prescription? Buy a last-minute gift? Or just get out of the house and go skating, visit a museum, or have some other fun?
Here’s our ever-growing list of what’s open over the Christmas weekend in Leaside, East York and neighbouring communities.
East York and Leaside hockey seasons suspended
Facing surging COVID-19 numbers, the East York Hockey Association and Leaside Hockey Association have both announced they are cancelling the rest of this year’s on-ice activities.
“At this time, we feel we have no choice but to cancel the balance of the December schedule including all House League games and practices,” says a statement on the EYHA website.
“It is our hope that we will be able to return to our regular schedule in the New Year,” it says.
The LHA says on its website its hockey activities have been paused until Jan. 2
The associations join other leagues and clubs, including the North Toronto Hockey Association and the North York Knights, who have reached similar decisions.
Arrest in April 2020 murder investigation
Remember the fatal shooting of Nazirullah Abdul-Rashid, 16, found in a car by the Leaside Park swimming pool about a year and a half ago?
A 20-year-old man has now been charged with first-degree murder. See the story.
Guns, drugs and money seized in Thorncliffe arrests
More than 70 charges have been laid so far and $1.26 million worth of drugs have been seized in a firearms and narcotics trafficking investigation in Thorncliffe Park, police say.
Four teens and young adults have also been arrested in “Project Malibu,” and two more people are being sought.
Escape to Europe — on Mt. Pleasant
Inspired by a mixed culture of Italian and French during a vacation on the Riviera, restaurateur Robert Prete is bringing a “European escape” to Mt. Pleasant with his establishment, Domaine MaMo.
He chose the area for his latest venture because he appreciates the sense of community here, he says. Get the story.
Community poppy project paid tribute at retirement residence
Bessborough Drive Elementary students helped create a field of poppies with heartfelt messages at Millwood Retirement Residence for Remembrance Day.
The Millwood Road retirement home worked with the Leaside community, including students, to create the Poppy Project, to pay tribute to the men and women who have served and sacrificed. See the story and pictures.
Shop and Vax is back for anti-COVID doses
You’ll be able to get your first, second or third COVID-19 vaccination while you visit a mall over the next several days.
The city has released its schedule of Shop and Vax locations at 15 mall clinics across Toronto, including at the Thorncliffe Park Community Hub, 45 Overlea Blvd.
The Thorncliffe Park clinic is open Nov. 11 to 14, from 12:15 p.m. to 8 p.m. each day. All doses at the clinic are available for walk-ins (without appointments).
City hosting Remembrance Day service in East York tomorrow
Members of the public are welcome to attend in person the Remembrance Day services hosted by the city this year.
The ceremony in the east end is being held at the East York Civic Centre, Memorial Gardens, 850 Coxwell Ave. at Mortimer Ave., on Nov. 11 from 10:45 a.m. to 12 p.m. See more information.
Bikes matched successfully
The Women’s Cycling Network has been successful in getting 65 bicycles to women who need them this year, it announced today.
The network is a group of nearly 100 women from the Thorncliffe Park and Flemingdon Park area whose BikeMatch program collects donated bikes to empower women by helping them learn to ride.
“We want to thank the many people who donated bikes,” the group said in an email message.
The long road to opening Leaside patty shop
Peter Pham relates how he came to open his Phamilyeats shop, specializing in meat patties and pot pies, on Eglinton Ave. E. after surviving a long-distance romantic relationship, a family tragedy and the pandemic.
It was meant to be, he says. See the full story.
The closest pumpkin parade
More than 30 pumpkin parades are being held across the city tomorrow. But the handiest one for us is at June Rowlands Park on Davisville Avenue.
Instead of throwing out your jack-o-lantern after tonight’s festivities, take it (and a candle) to the park to become part of the parade there. Then return in the evening to enjoy the event. See the full Things To Do listing.
Good news if you enjoy dining next to traffic
The sidewalk and curb-lane patios that have been part of the experience of drinking and dining on streets like Bayview Avenue and Mt. Pleasant Road during the pandemic may become permanent features of Toronto life.
The city’s executive committee yesterday approved extending “for years to come” the CaféTO initiative, launched to expand outdoor dining areas for restaurants and bars affected by COVID-19. See the full story.
Shop and vax at the mall this weekend
More mobile clinics have been added to the city’s Shop and Vax campaign this weekend. Now you can get your shot at 24 shopping centres and pharmacies across Toronto, including in Thorncliffe Park, on Oct. 16 and 17.
Called Shop and Vax 2.0, this effort expands on a similar campaign in September, which vaccinated more than 1,000 people.
Shop and Vax sites in the east end include:
- Shoppers’ Drug Mart at East York Town Centre, 45 Overlea Blvd., Saturday 9 a.m.–midnight, Sunday 10 a.m.–midnight.
- Shoppers’ Drug Mart at Shoppers’ World, 3003 Danforth Ave., 8 a.m.–midnight
- Walmart Pharmacy at Gerrard Square, 1000 Gerrard St. E., Saturday 9 a.m.–6 p.m., Sunday 10 a.m–6 p.m.
Anyone born in 2009 or earlier is eligible to receive first or second shots.
Learn to reduce waste at free city workshops
Toronto and its partners are hosting online events and workshops to help residents reduce the amount of waste going to landfill during the 20th anniversary of Waste Reduction Week from Oct. 18 to Oct. 24.
You can register starting now for the series of free events held each day of the week. See our Things To Do listing for details.
Shooting sends two to hospital with serious injuries
Two people were rushed to hospital late last night after reports of gunfire were investigated at Thorncliffe Park Drive and Overlea Boulevard.
Police reported on social media at about 11 p.m. they had responded to several callers saying they heard gunshots and someone was lying on the ground with unknown injuries.
When they arrived, officers found two gunshot victims with serious injuries. They requested a rush on medics to get the wounded to hospital.
Numerous shells casing were also found in the area. Thorncliffe Park Drive was blocked off from Overlea to Milepost Place for the investigation.
Become Leaside’s champion for local climate action
The city is inviting you to become a Neighbourhood Climate Action Champion. It’ll take four or five hours a month of engaging with the local community to develop neighbourhood-based projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
You’ll get training and support to empower you to support residents in developing projects that reflect the needs and values of their communities — and you’ll receive a modest honorarium. See more in our Things to Do listing.
Woman dies in Millwood Road fire
A woman described as in her 80s has died after a two-alarm fire in a condominium building at 955 Millwood Rd. at Southvale Drive.
At about 1 a.m. firefighters responding to an alarm found fire and thick black smoke coming from a first-floor unit of the building. A woman was pulled from an apartment but died later. Here’s what we know so far.
Man sought in Davisville assault investigation
A 32-year-old man is sought in a police investigation of an alleged assault of a woman 10 days ago.
Officers were called to the area of Yonge Street and Davisville Avenue on Sept. 14 where it was reported a man had forced a woman into a home and choked her. He then assault her with a variety of weapons before fleeing, police say.
Jahmar Drelle Sweet, 32, of Toronto, is wanted on 10 charges, including forcible confinement, assault causing bodily harm and three counts of assault with a weapon.
Oliphant wins his fourth term during Liberal sweep of Toronto
Liberal Rob Oliphant was re-elected for Don Valley West in yesterday’s federal election.
Oliphant is one of the midtown incumbents to win easily during the red sweep of Toronto, as his party won a minority government.
DVP shut down for weekend
You can expect busier than usual streets in the area this weekend as the Don Valley Parkway is closed for annual maintenance. The city has announced the closure from Friday, April 6, 11 p.m. to Monday, April 9, 5 a.m.
People travelling around Toronto on the weekend should consider using public transit, such as TTC or GO Transit, the city advises.
Alternate routes suggested for drivers include Kingston Road, Victoria Park Avenue, Leslie Street, Bayview Avenue and Avenue Road.
Speed bump pilot program to cut collisions at intersections
The intersection of Mt. Pleasant Road and Merton Street is one of eight sites where the city is installing rubber speed bumps to reduce left-turn collisions.
“The Left-Turn Calming Pilot is one of these solutions that I’m confident will ultimately protect people walking and cycling by making them more visible to turning vehicles,” Mayor John Tory said in a statement today.
Left-turns are among the most prevalent causes of collisions in Toronto resulting in fatalities or serious injuries to pedestrians and cyclists, especially at wide intersections, the statement said.
The bumps are to be in place by the end of August.
Civic centres opening after 17-month shutdown
The East York Civic Centre at 850 Coxwell Ave. (at Mortimer Avenue) will be among municipal buildings opening Aug. 9 to provide limited in-person services, the city announced today.
This will be the first time they’ve been open to the public since March 2020.
Starting Aug. 9 counter services at East York centre include payments and enquiries regarding taxes, utilities and parking tickets from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays to Fridays.
Licensing and standards services will begin Sept. 7 by appointment only via a new online booking system. This will include licensing of vehicles for hire, right of way permits, CaféTO licences, business licensing, and other services.
Leaside a leader in completing vaccinations
Leaside has one of the highest vaccination rates in Toronto — well above the Toronto average of 61.1 per cent getting all their vaccines for COVID-19. Neighbouring communities are close to the city average, while Thorncliffe Park remains one of the least vaccinated neighbourhoods in the city.
Here’s a breakdown of Leaside-area neighbourhoods showing completed vaccination rates from highest to lowest, as of today.
- 67.0% Leaside-Bennington
- 60.6% Rosedale-Moore Park
- 60.4% Mount Pleasant West
- 60.2% Mount Pleasant East
- 45.5% Thorncliffe Park
These figures are derived from the neighbourhood map on the city’s website.
Twenty-three communities COVID-free on latest city map
Thorncliffe Park is back on the list of communities with new COVID-19 cases, on the city’s latest neighbourhood map.
The map now shows 23 communities in Toronto without any new cases of COVID-19 over the past three weeks, a drop from 31 communities a couple of days earlier, as the Delta variant spreads in Toronto.
No Leaside-area neighbourhoods are on the COVID-free list.
Thorncliffe Park’s COVID cases fall below Leaside’s
Remember when Thorncliffe Park was considered one of Toronto’s worst-hit areas for the coronavirus? Not any more. The city’s latest COVID map shows the highrise neighbourhood with exactly zero cases over the past 21 days.
That’s better even than neighbouring Leaside-Bennington which has had relatively low COVID rates but currently is showing three cases over the same time period. And a lot better than adjacent Flemingdon Park with its seven cases over the past three weeks.
Looking at other nearby areas, Mount Pleasant East and Mount Pleasant West to the west have had a total of eight cases, while Rosedale-Moore Park to the south and Old East York across the valley share Thorncliffe’s COVID-free status.
Man struck at Bayview and Eglinton
A pedestrian was struck by a vehicle at Bayview Ave and Eglinton Avenue East today at about 11 a.m., police said on social media.
A man in his 40s was reported seriously injured and transported to hospital.
Eglinton west of Bayview was blocked in both directions for about half an hour.
Man arrested after attack in elevator
A 40-year-old woman was reported to have been sexually assaulted in an elevator at 43 Thorncliffe Park Dr. yesterday. A police press release today says a 24-year-old man was arrested for sexual assault and forcible confinement the same day. Here’s what we know.
More bike donations needed
The Women’s Cycling Network has received about 75 bikes over the past year to help women in Thorncliffe, Flemingdon and neighbouring communities learn to ride — but it needs more.
See how you can donate to the BikeMatch program to help empower women in our Things To Do listing.
Video released in shooting investigation
Police have released video showing three people in Flemingdon Park where 32-year-old Chavaughn Jones was shot to death and three people were injured July 2.
The three alleged shooters are still outstanding, police said today as they released security camera footage. See the story and video.
Thorncliffe and Flemingdon youth group awarded
Youth Leaders of East York were among recipients of the Mayor’s Community Safety Awards announced today.
Mayor John Tory and other other municipal representatives, along with sponsor Bell, presented the awards virtually to six safety projects in Toronto, each receiving $1,000 to continue their work aimed at improving community safety.
“The Youth Leaders of East York came together to address concerns in the community through youth-led and youth-driven initiatives, such as forums to address the presence and impact of racism on the community and its youth, as well as increased violence in neighbourhoods,” said a city news release announcing the winners today.
Also known as Youth of East York the group was formed to serve the marginalized communities of Thorncliffe and Flemingdon parks.
“They have uniquely tailored and blended social media, personal engagement, podcasts and online forums to engage on multiple issues and concerns affecting youth,” according to the city statement. “The team consistently demonstrates a nuanced capacity to receive input and bring it back to their constituency as well as shape it for youth and mobilize networks to reach populations across the community.”
Man shot to death in apartment lobby
A 32-year-old man was killed when shooters directed gunfire into the lobby of an apartment building in Flemingdon Park early Friday morning.
Three other people were injured in the two volleys of gunshots in the apartment complex, police report. See the full story.
Two males reported held as six sent to hospital after Thorncliffe-area fight
Six people were sent to hospital and two were taken into custody today after a fight was reported near Thorncliffe Park Drive and Overlea Boulevard.
Police first reported on social media at 1:34 p.m. three men were reportedly stabbed as a large group of people were arguing and fighting in the area. In an update about 3 p.m., the numbers were raised to six people taken to hospital for non-life threatening injuries.
Two males were taken into custody, police said.
City 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.
Cannabis shops high over re-opening
Cannabis shops across midtown — including on Bayview Avenue — have survived the pandemic. Some have even benefited from it. In any case they all seem excited about soon being able to serve their clientele in-store.
The cannabis culture is ready to make a comeback too — with a few changes, they say. See the full 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.
Second doses at Thorncliffe pop-up clinics
Hot spot second doses are being given at Thorncliffe Park Community Hub, East York Town Centre, 45 Overlea Blvd., on June 11 and 12. About 1,000 doses are available each day starting at 4 p.m. until 8 p.m. or until the supplies run out.
Priority is being given to those 12 and up who live, work or attend school in a Toronto hot spot postal code (M4A, M4H, M1B, M1G, M1J, M1S, M3J, M3K, M3L, M3M, M3N, M6M, M6N, M9L, M9M, M9N, M9V, M9W) and have received their first dose of Pfizer at least 21 days ago or their first dose of AstraZeneca at least 12 weeks ago.
To receive these second doses, enter through Entrance 6 in the northeast corner of the plaza next to Fit 4 Less, and take the escalator or elevator to the second floor.
Individuals 12 and up who live, work, attend school in any “M” postal code may also receive their first dose at these clinics.
Power out across midtown neighbourhoods
Power has been restored to hundreds of homes hit by an outage in midtown this morning, Toronto Hydro says.
Hydro reported the blackout appears to have hit an area between north of Eglinton Avenue and St. Clair Avenue, east of Allen Road.
But residents on social media also reported outages this morning in neighbourhoods further east, such as Moore Park, Sherwood Park and North Leaside.
We’ve restored power to many customers in the affected area at this time. Crews are on site and are working to restore power to the remaining customers as quickly and safely as possible. We thank everyone for their patience.
— Toronto Hydro (@TorontoHydro) June 6, 2021
Pop-up vaccine clinic at Burgess Park on Sunday
Anyone age 12 and up who lives, works or goes to school in any M3C and M4H postal code can get a first dose of the Pfizer vaccine for COVID-19 at R.V. Burgess Park, next to Thorncliffe Park Public School, 46 Thorncliffe Park Dr. on May 30.
It’s one of the latest rounds of pop-up clinics run by Michael Garron Hospital and its Toronto East health partners.
About 1,000 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.
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, will be closed 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 southernmost 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.
Fatal police shooting goes to the SIU
The so-called police watchdog is investigating the death of a man in “mental distress” who was shot by police in a Davisville condominium building last night.
Officers said the man stabbed one of them with a knife and advanced toward them until he was shot by a police firearm. Now the SIU has taken over the investigation. Here’s what we know so far.
Man, 19, hit in bus shelter by speeding car
A pedestrian was critically injured and a driver arrested at the site of a collision near Don Mills Road and Gateway Boulevard last night, police say.
Shortly after 11 p.m. three vehicles were reported speeding south on Don Mills when one of them struck a 19-year-old male sitting in a TTC bus shelter on the east side of Don Mills. See the full report.
Vaccines open to ages 12 to 17 at city-run clinics
As of Sunday 8 a.m. Sunday, Toronto is opening vaccination appointments at city-run clinics to youth age 12 to 17. This includes clinics at North Toronto Memorial Community Centre, 200 Eglinton Ave. W., in midtown and East York Town Centre, 45 Overlea Blvd., in Thorncliffe Park.
Appointments can be booked online or by calling the provincial vaccine booking line at 1-833-943-3900.
Parents or guardians do not need to accompany youth to clinics as parental consent is not required, as long as the healthcare personnel administering the shots finds the youths capable of understanding the decision to be vaccinated, according to a statement from the city today.
Sports, tennis and other outdoor recreations are back
The Bennington tennis courts, Talbot Park and Trace Manes sports fields, and local fitness areas should be swarming with people getting their outdoor exercise again this long weekend — if it’s possible to swarm 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.
Vaccine clinic for students and families at Marc Garneau tomorrow
Michael Garron Hospital and East Toronto Health Partners are operating a vaccine clinic at Marc Garneau Collegiate Institute on Thursday, May 20 for individuals 12 and older.
Eligible for the shots are students or immediate family members of students at schools located in M3C and M4H postal codes.
The vaccination clinic takes place in the Marc Garneau gymnasium at 135 Overlea Blvd. from 3 p.m. until the approximately 1,500 available doses run out.
Drop-ins are welcome. First doses of Pfizer will be administered.
For more information, see the hospital’s vaccine clinics webpage.
Record-setting day at Thorncliffe Park vaccine clinic
Thorncliffe Park, regrettably, has gotten used to setting records during the COVID-19 pandemic — but this is a good one. Yesterday the Thorncliffe Park Community Hub clinic set a Canadian record for the most doses administered at one location in a single day.
The ambitious goal for May 16 was to vaccine an unprecedented 10,000 people and the clinic surpassed even that with 10,470 vaccine doses delivered.
Toronto East Health Network and Michael Garron Hospital who run the clinic shared the great news on social media.
Thank you again, #Toronto, for the outpouring of support as we set a Canadian record yesterday for the most #COVID19Vaccines delivered in less than 24 hrs at one clinic! We’re feeling hopeful for the future & grateful for everyone who helped make this extraordinary feat possible. pic.twitter.com/ocCKcEopfN
— MGH / TEHN (@MGHToronto) May 17, 2021
View this post on Instagram
Invasive 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.
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 Erskine Avenue and Thorncliffe Park Drive in Don Valley West ward.
The new locations where you’ll have to watch your speeding in this area are:
- Blythwood Road near Blyth Hill Road
- Leslie Street south of Lawrence Avenue East
Local foxes shown with prey on Facebook
Suggested name for a new pub in this area: The Fox and the Squirrel. It could be popular — or unpopular — given the interest shown on Facebook, sparked by photos and reports of foxes carrying home their prey on Leaside streets. People seem to be split over cheering for the foxes or sympathizing with the squirrels.
Assault on man and dog led to two-and-half hour drama unfolding across town
It all started with the report of a man and a dog being assaulted near Bayview and Eglinton avenues, but it continued down Bayview and into Moore Park, and eventually popping back up in Don Valley’s Parkwoods area.
The trail of assaults and crashes committed by a suspect and the police off-and-on pursuit by car and on foot led across several Toronto neighbourhoods, ending in 10 charges. Read all about it.
More roads for walking, jogging and cycling this weekend
ActiveTO major road closures will again be in place this weekend along Bayview Avenue and Lake Shore Boulevard East, 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.
New bins for your doggy doo
So far this area has only one, but more just like it may start popping up in other parts of this canine-friendly area. We’re talking about the dog waste bin the city has set up on Kilgour Road in North Leaside.
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 them.
Another COVID case added at local Loblaws
Today the Loblaws on Moore Avenue upped the number of recent cases of COVID-19 found among staff members from two to three. (See May 1 item below for previous report.) It also added April 28 as a last day worked for the third affected employee.
Joggers, 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 the Bayview Extension, River Street and Lake Shore Boulevard East to vehicular traffic.
Trees fall in wind, damaging cars, pulling down lines
Gusting winds reached up to 75 km/h in Toronto yesterday, knocking down trees and branches — including in North Leaside where a car parked in a driveway is now wearing a large part of tree across its roof.
Elsewhere in the city, cars were damaged, streets were closed and hydro crews fanned out to neighbourhoods to restore knocked down power lines.
Vehicle crashes into house
A vehicle collided with a house at about 7 p.m. yesterday near Eglinton Avenue East and Brentcliffe Road, south of Eglinton, police reported online.
Fire services, paramedics and traffic services responded, but no injuries were reported, police told Streeter today. The house did sustain “significant structural damage” and a city engineer was called to the scene to inspect the damage.
The vehicle was eventually towed away and an investigation is ongoing, police said. Anyone with information is asked to contact 416-808-1900.
COVID cases found at Leaside grocery stores
The new month begins with a slew of coronavirus cases at Toronto grocery stores, including a few in the Leaside area.
The latest here are at the Loblaws, 301 Moore Avenue, at Moore and Bayview, where two staff members have tested positive for COVID-19, the chain reported today. The employees’ last days at work were April 23 and 27.
On April 29 a single employee at the Loblaw-affiliated Bayview Valu-Mart was reported to have tested positive for COVID-19. The last day the employee worked was on April 21.
Road closures for ActiveTO this weekend
Joggers, walkers and cyclists — don’t forget the city’s ActiveTO initiative is shutting down some of its routes to vehicular traffic starting tomorrow. You’ll be able to do your thing on stretches of Bayview Avenue, River Street and LakeShore Boulevard East on Saturday and Sunday.
See the Things To Do listing for more information.
Midtown residents upset planned Yonge-Eglinton development ignores them
A proposed complex of five apartment towers covering the block southwest of Yonge Street and Eglinton Avenue threatens to help turn midtown into a bedroom community, residents’ groups warn.
Oxford Properties Group cites the open spaces offered by the development, but residents complain the developer ignored much of what they had said they wanted in the plan. Read the full story.
Bayview road restrictions to continue
Lane restrictions on Bayview Avenue are expected to continue until late May, the city advises. Construction was planned to begin at three points along the street: near Sutherland Drive, Belsize Avenue and Fleming Crescent/Manor Road. The work near Fleming/Manor is scheduled to end April 28, while the other two jobs may go on until May 28.
Police crackdown on gatherings starts today
If you’re getting together in our parks or in your party rooms with friends or family who don’t live with you, watch out for the cops. They’re taking the latest prohibition against large gatherings — indoors and outdoors — quite seriously.
Like other divisions, 53 Division has even formed a special unit to find, break up and fine large groups flouting the rules. (The fines can surpass $10,000.)
Or better yet, give us all a break in the fight against COVID-19 — and don’t do it. See the full story.
Redway grocery store hit by COVID cases again
The Loblaws on Redway Road near both Leaside and Thorncliffe Park is reporting unspecified “multiple cases” of positive tests for COVID-19 today. It reported being hit by two confirmed cases four days earlier. (See April 14 item below.)
The store is not reporting the last days worked by the most recently affected employees.
Three positive COVID tests at Eglinton Metro
Three employees at the Metro grocery store at Eglinton Avenue East and Bayview Avenue have tested positive for COVID-19, the chain reported yesterday. The last day of work for one of the affected employees was recorded as April 8 and and for two employees was April 9.
Two more COVID cases at local Loblaws
Two team members have tested positive for COVID-19 at the Loblaws on Redway Road, the grocery chain reported today.
The last days the affective employees worked are recorded as April 6 and 8.
The store was previously reported on March 3 as finding a single COVID case among employees.
North Toronto community centre among vaccine clinics opening
The city is opening three more COVID-19 immunization clinics tomorrow, including at North Toronto Memorial Community Centre. The clinics are to vaccinate residents who are age 60 years or older or who are 50 years and older from COVID-19 hot spots.
This makes nine city-operated immunization clinics operating across Toronto.
Eligible residents can book appointments through the dark blue “Book a Vaccine” button on www.toronto.ca/covid-19 or by phoning through the provincial vaccine information line at 1 (888) 999-6488.
South end of Bayview to be car-free again
For six months last year, as part of the the ActiveTO program, the city closed stretches of Bayview Avenue and Lake Shore Boulevard to traffic on weekends and turned the roads over to pedestrians, joggers and cyclists.
It was so popular that city council agreed yesterday to run the program again this year — with a few changes. Read all about it.
Car thefts up in this area
Do you have a Lexus, Toyota SUV or Land Rover? If so, maybe you’d better take some extra precautions, because these are among the favoured models for vehicle thieves in 53 Division.
The area is experiencing a hike in high-end car thefts, by thieves who use electronic methods, police are warning.
See the report and what you can do to protect your car.
All Toronto schools shut down
Only yesterday Toronto Public Health advised the closing of 20 schools across Toronto for COVID investigations. Today the rest of Toronto’s elementary, middle and secondary schools are shuttered on the orders of Toronto’s chief medical officer, Dr. Eileen de Villa.
Students are to transition to remote learning which is to continue until April 18 — although this end date may also be extended, TPH warns. See the full story.
Arrest for murder in Rosedale laneway shooting
Police announced today they have arrested a 20-year-old man for first-degree murder and attempted murder for an alleged shooting on Jan. 29 that left a man dead and a woman seriously wounded in north Rosedale.
The shooting took place in or near a laneway running beside and behind houses on Mathersfield Drive, in an area sometimes considered part of Summerhill. See the story.
Thorncliffe Park PS (again) among schools shut down by COVID-19
Yesterday, the Toronto school board announced classes at Thorncliffe Park Public School and Gateway Public School were being shut down and moved online as of today.
The total number of TDSB schools closed in two days is now up to six, and with Catholic school board closures the total for this week has reached 11.
It’s the second time around for Thorncliffe Park PS as it was also closed in December for similar reasons. See the full story.
Driver found after girl struck, leg broken
Police have found a driver who left the site of a collision in which a seven-year-old girl suffered a broken leg yesterday.
The girl was allegedly struck by a vehicle in the Cleveland Street and Manor Road area.
The driver is reported to have remained at the scene briefly and spoken with the girl and her mother before he left the scene.
The girl was taken to hospital and diagnosed with a broken leg.
With the help of the public, police located the vehicle and identified the driver, they said. The investigation is ongoing.
Sunnybrook vaccinating 900 today
The Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre is holding a clinic to vaccinate about 900 people against COVID-19 today. In line for shots are those who 80 or older, as well as Indigenous adults, community healthcare workers, hospital staff, long-term care staff, retirement homes staff, and adults who receive home care.
It’s one of Toronto’s 18 clinics operating today, including mobile teams and on-site vaccinations, to vaccinate groups identified by the province as priorities.
New locations coming for photo radar
You have until May to improve your driving on Blythwood Road, near Blyth Hill Road, and Leslie Street, south of Lawrence Avenue East. That’s when the city’s automatic speed enforcement (ASE) devices will be moved to these locations to catch speeding drivers in Don Valley West ward. This will be the third locations for the ASEs. They are currently snapping pictures and issuing tickets from their sites on Thorncliffe Park Drive and Erskine Avenue.
COVID case found at Loblaws on Redway
A team member tested positive on a presumptive test for COVID-19, reported Loblaws at 11 Redway Rd. today. The last day the employee worked was recorded as Feb. 28.
How safe do you feel? Tell the city
The deadline is approaching to fill out the SafeTO survey. The city wants to know the level of safety and wellbeing you feel in your community, and your priorities for the SafeTO plan to guide social systems — like community services, healthcare, policing — in serving Torontonians.
The online survey, which should take less than 10 minutes, is to be completed before March 12.
Further road restriction on Eglinton
Another closure on Eglinton Avenue East is coming up, but this one is not directly to do with building the Crosstown LRT. The eastbound curb lane from Avon Drive to Brentcliffe Road is being closed from March 3 to April 16 due to watermain installation, the city advises. However, one lane of traffic is to be maintained in each direction.
McSorley’s back in (takeout) business
Leaside’s popular McSorley’s Saloon and Grill re-opens on Bayview Avenue today after temporarily closing in January, following a 10-month period since the first pandemic lockdown.
“All McSorley’s patrons can rest assured that their signature dishes are still available for takeout and delivery by third-party apps, with direct delivery from the saloon in the future,” general manager Avery Barker says. Get the full story.
Two-for-one offer to encourage local heritage group membership
The newly formed Leaside Heritage Preservation Society is seeking members and volunteers. The group, dedicated to finding and preserving material relating to Leaside’s more than 100-year-old history, is offering an introductory buy-one-get-one-free membership offer.
The LHPS is focusing on issues including the community’s huge contribution to both World Wars, the many important companies locating here in the 1920s–1950s, the people and events that have shaped the neighbourhood, and the everyday lives of residents who helped make Leaside one of Canada’s best places to live, says an email from the society.
Residents are asked to visit the LHPS website to see their offer: buy one individual membership and receive another free of charge for a family member, friend or neighbour.
As a new season of the gun shapes up….
We need strong gun control to help stop handgun violence that is once again terrorizing Toronto residents — in all parts of the city. And the federal government ban on military-style assault weapons, while welcome, is not nearly enough, Streeter editorial argues.
Read and comment on the editorial.
Leaside among neighbourhoods with low COVID-19 rates
Leaside appear to be one of the relatively safer areas in Toronto, judging by the latest figures from the province. The city’s mapping of the COVID rates over a recent three-week period shows Leaside-Bennington to have experienced 101 cases per 100,000 population.
This is far below its neighbour Thorncliffe Park, which has a rate of 526 cases. This is still better than the worst-hit areas in Toronto with more than 700 cases per 100,000. See how our neighbourhoods compare to other central, midtown and east-end areas.
Arrest in two robberies at same store
A 39-year-old man has been arrested after two retail robberies near Overlea Boulevard and Thorncliffe Park Drive yesterday. The first was actually an attempted robbery as a man allegedly entered the store, threatened to kill the clerk and tried to open the cash register. He failed however and fled the store empty-handed, police say.
Later in the day, the man allegedly returned to the store, forced his way behind the counter and took cigarettes from the display case. When the clerk ran from the store, the man chased the clerk and assaulted her, before fleeing to a vehicle, according to police.
Officers were able to identify a man and he was charged with two counts each of robbery and failing to comply with a release order.
Bridle Path fire reported
About 10 a.m. today, fire and police services have reported a fire at a home near Lawrence Avenue East and Park Lane Circle in the Bridle Path area. Medics are on the scene but no injuries have been reported yet. All occupants are said to have exited the house. More to come on this breaking story.
COVID-19 reported at local drug mart
Today the Shoppers Drug Mart at 1860 Bayview St. (at Broadway Avenue) is the latest to report an employee testing positive for COVID-19. The team member’s last day worked was Jan. 28, the store says.
Logo chosen for new Leaside heritage group
Out of 29 entries, the Leaside Heritage Preservation Society has chosen a design for its logo by Leaside resident and graphic designer Cathy Lam Freer.
The new logo features a stylized image of the octagonal home built by William Lea starting in 1851 and named “Leaside.”
More details of deadly shooting released
More information about Friday’s shooting, including the identity of the homicide victim, has been added by police. A description of a vehicle that sped away from the scene is also included in a statement released late yesterday afternoon. See the updated story.
Shooting leaves man dead, woman wounded in Rosedale-Summerhill laneway
One person is dead and one critically injured after a shooting yesterday evening in a neighbourhood variously described as being in North Rosedale or in Summerhill.
After calls reporting gunshots, police found the two suffering from wounds near Mathersfield Drive at about 8 p.m.
The shooting is thought to have taken place in a laneway running between houses on Mathersfield and the railway tracks barrier. Here’s what we know so far.
Another COVID case in a Thorncliffe grocery store
Food Basics has joined the list of grocery stores reporting recent COVID-19 cases in the area. An employee at 45 Overlea Blvd. tested positive today, the last day of the employee’s work being recorded as Jan. 22.
Sexual assault reported at station after altercation on bus
A man is being sought after an incident that began with a verbal altercation on a bus in the Thorncliffe Park area and allegedly ended with a sexual assault at a subway station Wednesday afternoon.
The 30-year-old woman and an unidentified man reportedly got off the bus at Broadview Station and the woman was sexually assaulted. The man then fled into the station, police say.
He is described as brown, 45–50 years old, 5-foot-5 to 5-foot-nine, and having a medium build. He was last seen wearing a red and black hooded jacket, a black baseball cap, black pants, brown boots and a blue mask.
COVID-19 cases at local food stores
Two food store conglomerates have reported four cases of COVID-19 at stores in the area over the past week.
Loblaw Companies issued a statement on Jan. 24 that a team member at the Loblaws grocery store on Redway Road has tested positive. The employee’s last day on the job was Jan. 21.
This follows a statement on Jan. 17 that a staff member tested positive for COVID-19 at the Bayview Valu-mart, having last worked there on Jan. 15.
Metro grocery stores announced on Jan. 25 and Jan. 19 two cases of positive tests at its Food Basics store on Overlea Boulevard. The employees’ last days of work were, respectively, Dec. 20 and Jan. 15.
Pedestrian struck, seriously injured on Bayview Extension
The Bayview extension was shut down today after a collision between a vehicle and a pedestrian left the latter with serious injuries, police report. The incident happened at about 10 a.m. on Bayview north of Queen Street east. The road was closed for several hours while police investigated.
Heritage group formed to start Leaside museum
The fear of losing the area’s unique character is driving some residents to start a museum to preserve Leaside’s past.
Spearheaded by resident Ann Brown, and encouraged by former premier Kathleen Wynne and the Toronto Historical Society, the newly formed Leaside Heritage Preservation Society is scouting out a location and historical exhibits for the museum.
Don Valley West drivers drew fewer ASE speeding tickets
Nearly 1,700 speeding tickets were issued by two photo radar stations in the Don Valley West ward over five months last year, according to figures released today.
This may sound like a lot but it’s actually lower than in other parts of Toronto. Across the city, 50 ASE devices issued 53,090 tickets during the first round — an average of nearly 1,062 per location.
These tickets were from the first round of automated speed enforcement (ASE) devices from July 6 to Nov. 30, 2020. The devices, placed mainly near schools, were moved to new locations beginning in late November.
Results from the two locations in Don Valley West were:
- Bessborough Drive north of Field Avenue: 817
- Ranleigh Avenue east of Yonge Street: 874
We’ll see how local drivers do at the two new ASE locations: on Erskine Avenue west of Redpath Avenue and on Thorncliffe Park Drive near 79 Thorncliffe Park Dr.
Local libraries open for pickup and drop-off
Branches of the Toronto Public Library will remain open during the lockdown beginning tomorrow — but for pickup and drop-off of library materials only.
Current operational hours are being maintained. A previous communication that branches will close at 8 p.m. were mistaken, the TPL says.
Leaside grocery store reports COVID case
Metro grocery stores have reported a positive COVID-19 test of an employee at its store at Eglinton Avenue East and Bayview Avenue. The employee’s last day of work at the store was recorded as Jan. 4.
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.
Keep each other safe and #StayHome this #NYE2020. There are many ways to safely make the holidays memorable. Ring in the new year only with people you live with every day. Connect virtually with your family and friends for celebrations. More: https://t.co/xdQN6mm4I0 #StaySafe pic.twitter.com/MXHlVAYstG
— City of Toronto (@cityoftoronto) December 31, 2020
Arrest for alleged murder of lawyer
A 62-year-old woman has been charged with first-degree murder after the death of a Toronto lawyer on Eglinton Avenue East.
The arrest came five days after a man identified as Scott Andrew Rosen, 52, was allegedly run down by a vehicle while walking in or near a garage on Eglinton, west of Mt. Pleasant Road, on Dec. 18.
Read the story in Streeter news.
New group to remember and preserve Leaside’s history
The storied past of Leaside will be the focus of a new organization created by local residents, the non-profit group announced today.
The Leaside Heritage Preservation Society (LHPS) was actually founded in November as a member of the Ontario Historical Society.
“The only thing missing in the remarkable history of our Leaside neighbourhood has been a coordinated effort to memorialize and preserve that history,” LHPS board chairperson Ann Brown said in today’s press release. “Every one of us on the Board is focused on taking steps to preserve and promote the historical contributions of Leaside, for the enjoyment and education of the community today and for future generations.”
Streeter will have more about this group’s work, but in the meantime you can check it out online at its website or on its Facebook page.
Man arrested for break-in after chase on foot
Police responding to a break and enter in progress at Laird Drive and Eglinton Avenue East yesterday morning ended up arresting a 24-year-old man.
Officers reportedly arrived shortly after 5 a.m. to find a man on scene and pursued him briefly on foot before arresting him.
Isaac Harvey faces nine counts of breaking and entering and six other charges, including breach of probation. He is to appear in court today.
Police treat death of lawyer on Eglinton as murder
A lawyer was reportedly walking in or near a garage on Eglinton Avenue East late yesterday afternoon when he was struck by a vehicle — in what police are investigating as a murder.
Officers found a man with no vital signs. Identified as lawyer Scott Andrew Rosen, 52, he was pronounced dead on the scene.
Witnesses said he has been stuck down by U-Haul van or pickup, which fled the scene eastbound on Eglinton. Here’s what we know so far.
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.
Midtown break-ins lead to 56 charges — so far
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.
Nine TDSB schools now closed by COVID outbreaks
Grenoble Public School in Flemingdon Park 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 — and four in the Thorncliffe and Flemingdon Park area. Get the full story.
Bayview closed by falling pipe
A 10-foot piece of pipe fell onto Bayview Avenue under the Prince Edward Viaduct — also known as the Bloor Viaduct — today at about 3:50 p.m., police reported. Bayview was closed and Rosedale Valley Road traffic diverted southbound only on Bayview, police reported.
The bridge was examined and determined to be safe, police said. Traffic on Bayview was reopened, they reported at about 8 p.m.
East Toronto testing sites extended through December
The temporary COVID-19 testing sites set up in in East Toronto (see Nov. 2 item below) are being continued until the end of December, Michael G
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