North Toronto Daily Updates: September–October 2020

Halloween in the age of COVID

It’s been one scary year already, thanks to the pandemic, notes Toronto-St. Paul’s MP Carolyn Bennett.

She urges families to celebrate Halloween within their households and follow all public health precautions to help end 2020’s COVID-caused nightmare. See her Halloween column here.

Arrests for Shane Shannon Stanford murder

A man, 27, has been arrested for first-degree murder about three weeks after Shane Shannon Stanford was shot while driving his car in the Lawrence Manor area. (See Oct. 8 below.)

A 17-year-old girl has been charged with being an accessory after the fact.

The arrests came after police executed two search warrants in Toronto and one in Welland. Get the whole story so far.

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Oriole Park residents set date for AGM

Directors of the Oriole Park Association have announced the group’s first virtual annual general meeting for Wednesday, Nov. 18, at 7 p.m.

The AGM’s theme is planning, transportation and neighbourhood safety, with guests from Toronto planning, transportation services, Metrolinx and police taking part online to answer questions.

More information on the OPA website.

COVID-19 outbreak at Sunnybrook

Five in-patients in one care unit at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre have tested positive for COVID-19, the hospital declared today. This meets the definition of an outbreak set by public health.

Here’s what we know so far.

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Toronto’s ‘The Amazing’ Randi dead at 92

He became famous around the world as a magician, writer and paranormal investigator, but it’s often forgotten that James “The Amazing” Randi was born and raised in North Toronto (Bedford Park actually) and Leaside.

He died in Florida yesterday. We will have an obituary and recollection of his 2014 interview with Streeter shortly. (Update: See it here.)

Gun reported in fight at Yonge and Lawrence

Police are investigating a gun being seen in an altercation at Yonge Street and Lawrence Street East today. Reports of a fight between two men were received at about 3:30 p.m., according to a police Twitter post. One man reportedly produced a firearm, then left in a taxi cab. No further information has been released yet.

Arrest was made in child pornography investigation

A 71-year-old man was arrested in late September after the police’s child exploitation section searched a property near Eglinton Avenue East and Bayview Avenue, Toronto police reported today.

Michael Allan of Toronto was charged with possessing and accessing child pornography, police say. He was to appear in court Sept. 30.

Avenue-Eglinton group to meet virtually

The annual general meeting of the Avenue Road-Eglinton Community Association is to be held virtually this year on Nov. 16 at 7:15 p.m., the group says.

With the assistance of Eglinton-Lawrence councillor Mike Colle, the meeting will be held via the Webex video conferencing application.

More information will become available on ARECA’s website.

Allen Road to be closed three days

The entire length of Allen Road from Eglinton to Sheppard will shut down this weekend from Friday at 11 p.m. until Monday at 5 a.m., the city announced today.

The closure is to allow maintenance and improvements on the Allen, including bridge maintenance, guide rail repair, painting and marking, pot hole repairs, tree trimming and lighting inspection.

Alternate routes for drivers are Keele Street, Dufferin Street, Avenue Road and Bathurst Street during the closure.

Arrest in child porn investigation

Toronto Police Service’s child exploitation section searched a property near Bathurst Street and Eglinton Avenue West today as pat of an investigation into the possession of child sexual abuse material.

A 30-year-old man has been arrested and charged with possession of child pornography and accessing child pornography, according to a police news release.

He is scheduled to appear in court today.

Man killed by gunshot in his car

A 33-year-old man died of a gunshot wound in the Lawrence Manor area last night. Police said they responded to a call for the sound of gunfire near Bathurst Street and Ranee Avenue and found a man inside a vehicle suffering from a gunshot wound. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Here’s what we know so far.

Car on fire thought to be stolen

Police are investigating what is believed to be a stolen vehicle found on fire at Eglinton Avenue West and Oakwood Avenue last night shortly before midnight. Officers responding to reports of a car fire at 11:49 p.m. found a car had apparently hit a building and burst into flames in the intersection.

Firefighters were also called to the fire. No occupants of the car remained at the scene.

Matlow with Bell box thumbnailMore public art coming to midtown

Lots more drab areas of Toronto-St. Paul’s would benefit from an artful sprucing up, Councillor Josh Matlow said after viewing the recent work done on Bell boxes over the summer.

He and community leaders are looking at redevelopments in the area to make public art a part of them, as well as in local parks and playgrounds, he said. See the whole story.

Beaches-LeslievilleCentral TorontoForest HillDon ValleyLeasideRiverdale-East York

COVID germNorth Toronto among areas hit by latest COVID wave

A month ago it looked like we were almost free of the coronavirus. But recent figures from the city’s interactive map show we’ve been newly infected in the recent upsurge.

Worst hit in this area have been Englemount-Lawrence and Mount Pleasant West. Get the full picture.

Nuit Blanche thumbnailArts 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.

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.

pumpkinsLocal events cancelled or moved online in city announcement

Pumpkin parades and street fests are among the local 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.

UPDATE: Arrest in case of syringes left at school

A 44-year-old man has been charged with mischief following the investigation of a package of syringes and other drug paraphernalia left by a midtown school at Eglinton Avenue East and Mt. Pleasant Road reported on Sept. 22.

Read the latest news.

police car thumbnailOne arrested, two to go for Deer Park home invasion

A 22-year-old woman has been arrested for assault and robbery two weeks after a home invasion near Avenue Road and St. Clair Avenue West — apparently only because she allegedly showed up at the victim’s workplace for another go at him.

Two males that police believe were also involved in the home invasion Sept. 4 are still at large. Police continue to investigate.

Here’s what we know so far.


climate change thumbnail2Are 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 midtown 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.


sexual assault alleged
Man sought by police

Images released after alleged sexual assault

Another incident in the Eglinton-Mt. Pleasant area. Police have just released security images of a person they are seeking in connection with an alleged sexual assault of a man in his room in the area.

It is reported that on Aug. 14 between 5:30 and 6 a.m. a 42-year-old man was asleep when another man gained entry to his room and assaulted him. When confronted, he fled the area, police said.

The man is described as 30 to 40 years, about 5-foot-8, having a slim build and a shaved or bald head. He was clean shaven and was wearing a white t-shirt and blue jeans.

Anyone who can identify the man is asked to contact police.

police photo syringes suspectDrug paraphernalia left at local school

Police have reported a package of syringes and other drug paraphernalia were dropped off this morning near Eglinton Junior Public School at Eglinton Avenue East and Mt. Pleasant Road.

Yes, just a few doors down from the Roehampton Residence for the homeless on Mt. Pleasant, which some local people have charged with drug materials being found in the area, though police have drawn no connection with this incident.

Police have released an image of a man on a bicycle seen leaving the area. Here’s what we know so far.

Chinatown StrollTO thumbBe a tourist in our own communities

How well do you know the Mount Pleasant East or the Lawrence Park South neighbourhoods? Walking tours of the areas are 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 thumbnailBigArtTO scheduled for local wards

Lawrence Heights Community Centre and Leaside Memorial Gardens Arena 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.

COVID-19 case reported at grocery store

The Metro store at Bathurst Street and Lawrence Avenue West reported today an employee has tested positive for COVID-19. The employee’s last day of work was Sept. 11, the grocery chain said.

 Bennett back to school thumbnailMP Bennett on going back to school in 2020

Toronto-St. Paul’s MP Carolyn Bennett recalls when she and her sister had their first school day in 1957. What a difference for school kids in the middle of the 2020 pandemic.

The former “Minister of Handwashing” talks about the government and local support needed by children, parents and teachers as they return to school. Read her column, “Back to school, not to normal.”

Construction to shut down lanes at St. Clair and Avenue

Expect delays at St. Clair Avenue West and Avenue Road today as construction is scheduled to close two westbound lanes, according to Toronto’s Traffic Management Centre. The work on utility maintenance is expected to take place between 7:30 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Spence's BakerySix hit by gunfire on Eglinton Avenue West

Six people sheltering from the rain in front of Spence’s Bakery in the Oakwood Village area were injured by gunfire about 2 a.m.

A black SUV with multiple occupants pulled up in front of the 24-hour West Indian bakery and shots were fired in what’s being called a “gang-related and targeted” attack. But the store and most of the victims were not targeted but innocent bystanders, police say. Get the full story.