North Toronto Daily Updates: November–December 2020
A quick look at news, views and things to do locally
More COVID cases found at midtown Metro stores
The Metro grocery store at Yonge Street and Eglinton Avenue has reported several cases of coronavirus among employees over the past two weeks.
Positive COVID-19 tests were reported at the 2300 Yonge St. store on Dec. 23, 29 and 31. The affected employees’ last days at work were recorded as respectively Dec. 17, 27 and 28.
The Metro store at 3142 Yonge St., at Lawrence Avenue, also reported a case on Dec. 23 with a last day on the job of Dec. 13.
60 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.
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.
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
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.
Help 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.
Arrest in subway robbery investigations
After an investigation of gaming console robberies at Glencairn Station, police have arrested a 22-year-old man.
Investigators from 13 Division identified a suspect for two robberies on Nov. 16 and, with the Emergency Task Force, executed a search warrant on Nov. 29, police reported yesterday.
Shevaun Lashorn Darby of Toronto, faces three charges including robbery with a firearm. He is to appear in court next on Jan. 21.
Sewer collapse restricts stretch of Yonge Street
Workers are repairing a collapsed sewer main that is causing traffic slowdowns on Yonge Street, between Ivor Road and Mill Street, in the Hoggs Hollow/Cricket Club area.
The work is expected to take place daily from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. starting today until Dec. 17, the city advises.
Two-alarm fire hits house under construction
A neighbour smelled smoke and called in the alarm for a fire that engulfed the basement of a partly constructed house on Glengrove Avenue West yesterday evening.
The cause of the two-alarm fire is unknown but is being investigated, fire officials say. Here’s what we know so far.
Hit-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.
Arrests for gathering at alleged gaming club
Police raided a social club near Lawrence Avenue West and Marlee Avenue at 8:45 p.m. yesterday and charged 10 people for contravening the Reopening Ontario Act, which prohibits such gatherings during the current lockdown.
Also, the owner of the establishment was arrested for keeping a common gaming or betting house, and faces four other charges.
Officers executing a search warrant at the address seized 11 illegal gaming machines, police say.
Antonio Mazzei, 59, of Toronto, is to appear in court on Jan. 29.
Woman arrested but her alleged partner in store robbery still 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.
Night parking banned on North York streets to allow snow clearing
The North York Winter Maintenance by-law has been put into effect again, prohibiting street parking to let snow-clearing and emergency vehicles through.
The by-law prohibits parking between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m. until the end of March, on streets in the old municipality of North York, excluding the following in this area:
- Woburn Avenue — first block west of Avenue Road (#431–488)
- Brookdale Avenue — north side from Avenue Road going east to the North York municipal boundary (#368–390 approximately)
Parking enforcement is to begin Dec. 4 at 2 a.m., according to police.
Double shooting in Glen Park investigated as homicide
A man is dead and a woman seriously injured after a shooting in a parking lot on Glen Park Avenue near Dufferin Street yesterday. Police have identified the deceased today.
The couple were said to be sitting a vehicle in the lot in mid-afternoon when another car approached and opened fire. Here’s what we know.
• Beaches-Leslieville • Central Toronto • Forest Hill • Don Valley • Leaside • Riverdale-East York
Scouts’ Christmas Tree lot open
If you’re near the Davisville area, it’s time to buy your Christmas tree from the 58th Toronto Scouts, Cubs and Beavers.
The Christmas tree lot is open as usual this year, with safe shopping protocols in place, although the troop is also offering contactless pickup or delivery this year, if desired.
Check the details in the Things To Do listing.
Police not confirming suspect in Sherman murders
Toronto police are neither confirming nor disconfirming they have a suspect in the alleged murders of billionaire couple Barry and Honey Sherman nearly three years ago.
A “clarification” has been released by the homicide squad after media reports that police had a “person of interest.” See Nov. 26 item below and see the new story in Streeter news.
Subway down on weekend
Subway service is suspended on the Yonge Street line between Lawrence and St. Clair stations on Nov. 28 and 29 for work on the Eglinton Crosstown LTR, the TTC advises. Shuttle buses will operate and stations are to remain open for the sale of PRESTO fares and for connection to surface routes.
Break in Sherman double-murder case?
Nearly three years after the deaths of Barry and Honey Sherman in York Mills, police have a “person of interest” in the case, they have confirmed to several media.
This is not quite the same thing as having made an arrest or having a suspect in the alleged double homicide, but it may indicate police are chasing down new leads.
The bodies of the billionaire couple were found at their home on Old Colony Road on Dec. 15, two days after their estimated deaths.
Crane crashes across site for Mount Pleasant LRT station
Crews are trying today to lift a crane that toppled yesterday evening. The mobile crane fell across the construction site where a secondary entrance for the planned Mount Pleasant Station is being built on the Eglinton Crosstown LRT line.
One man suffered minor injuries and Eglinton Avenue East has been blocked to traffic ever since. See the whole story.
‘Suspicious incident’ investigated in Ledbury Park
At about 8 a.m. today, police were notified of a “suspicious incident” near Clyde and Bannockburn avenues. A commotion was reported involving a man and woman in a vehicle with the front passenger door open. A concerned citizen approached the vehicle and noticed a man who was driving and a woman who was the passenger were arguing. The vehicle left the area with both still inside.
Police would like to speak to anyone who was in the area at the time and are asking local residents, businesses, and drivers with security or dash camera footage of the area or incident to contact them.
The vehicle is believed to be a white Nissan Rogue with licence plate BVPA549. Security camera images have been released.
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 June Rowlands Park or Sunnybrook — 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.
Glencairn robberies show danger of selling your game console online
Game consoles have sold out in retail outlets, driving transactions for the units online. But recent alleged robberies have led police to issue an alert about meeting buyers or sellers found on internet marketplaces.
Two such robberies were reported to have occurred near Glencairn subway station on Monday. See the full story and tips to protect yourself.
Year-old tattoo studio surviving
In its first year, Pine Ink Tattoos has faced and survived a pandemic shutdown and continual construction in the Yonge and Eglinton area. But owner Damon Han is confident Pine Ink Tattoos, with its novel, Asian-inspired designs, will make it in this youthful neighbourhood.
Read — and see — all about it.
Jaye Robinson returns to public meeting
Don Valley West councillor and TTC chair Jaye Robinson attended a virtual meeting of the TTC board today — her first such public appearance since her cancer diagnosis more than a year ago.
“It’s been a long and tough road,” Robinson told the meeting. “While I’m not quite at the end, I’m very close and I feel very fortunate to be here.”
Videos released in gunshots investigation
Police have released two videos in their investigation of gunshots in the Neptune Drive and Baycrest Avenue area on Friday. No injuries were reported but police are looking for two men.
One man is described as having a slim build and wearing a dark hoodie, black baseball cap with a white logo on the front, face mask, white gloves, dark pants and dark shoes. He was shown holding a dark handgun. The other man is described as having a slim build and was wearing a dark hoodie and face mask. He was holding a dark-coloured handgun.
The videos can be seen here and here.
Former 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 causing bodily harm investigated
Toronto police have released an image of a running man in an investigation of an alleged assault causing bodily harm near Ridelle Avenue and Newgate Road 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.
Employees at two Metro stores test positive
Metro stores announced today employees at two North Toronto locations — 2300 Yonge St., and 291 York Mills Rd. — have tested positive for COVID-19. The employee’s last day of work at Yonge and Eglinton was Nov. 7 and the last day at York Mills and Bayview was Oct. 31, the company says.
Eat 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 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 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 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.”
North Toronto homes evacuated after gas line hit
Fifteen homes on Snowdon Avenue near Mt. Pleasant Road were evacuated this morning after a construction crew hit a gas line. A significant leak from a large line necessitated the evacuation of the west side of the street and the closing of the eastbound lane, Toronto police reported at 10:53 a.m.
Toronto Fire Services and Enbridge Gas were also on the scene. The damaged gas line was repaired and the roads re-opened by about noon hour, according to police.
Man sought for midtown assault and theft
Security camera images have been released to help identify a man wanted in the investigation of assault and theft at Yonge Street and Glebe Road.
Police say on Oct. 31 a man allegedly attended a spa in the area and assaulted two employees before stealing property from the spa.
He reportedly left and headed east on Glebe.
He is described as 20–23 years old, 5-foot-8, having a slim build and dark brown hair, and wearing a white or brown shirt.
Instead of trick-or-treating…
Costumed kids joined witches, wood fairies and spiders in Oriole Park on Oct. 31. They enjoyed interactive adventures in the magical forest at Creative Kids Halloween Quest, put on by a local dance troupe.
See the story and pictures of what transpired.
SUV thefts thought to be aided by electronic devices
Police in 53 Division are warning of an increase in SUV thefts, which may be carried out by thieves using electronic devices to compromise the vehicles’ security systems.
The thefts appear to be targeting SUVs, namely Land Rovers, parked in the driveways in the area of Lawrence Avenue West and Bathurst Street.
Investigators have notices an increase in car thefts in the area since Jan. 1. They urge the public to be vigilant with locking their vehicles, even in in their driveways and recommend using a locked garage or anti-theft device.
Residents should also take care to store vehicle keys in a secure location away from their front doors, police said in a news release today.
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