Riverdale-East York Daily Updates: July-August 2020

Bike Share thumbnailRide a bike for free on Wednesday

Bike Share Toronto, which has stations all over East York and Riverdale, is letting would-be cyclists ride for free all day every Wednesday in September.

Check Streeter’s Things To Do for how to do it.

Colourful anti-racist rally decorates East York park

Love reigned in Dentonia Park on Saturday afternoon. Or, if not love, at least anti-hate. Colourful signs and banners festooned fences and trees for the rally to unite against racism and “reclaim the park.”

The event was a response to the alleged racist attack on a mixed race couple in the park two months earlier and, in the words of victim Mark Austin, to help fix a “broken” community. Get the full story and pictures.

Three shot in Crescent Town yesterday evening

A shooting in East York’s Crescent Town has sent three people to hospital, one with injuries called life-threatening and one called serious. It happened at about 9:30 p.m. Friday, police say.

Little information has been released on shooters or on how the incident developed. Here’s what we know so far.

arson investigation - policeWoman sought after east-end garage fire

Images of a woman have been released by police today, about two weeks after a garage was allegedly set alight near Gerrard Street and Woodfield Road in the Greenwood-Coxwell area on the morning of Aug. 12.

A person seen leaving the scene before police arrived was caught on security cameras in the area, arson investigators say. No injuries were reported from the fire.

Police are looking for a woman in the images, described as about 55 to 65 years old, with brown hair in a bun, and wearing a long red shirt, grey pants and pink Crocs shoes. She had a light-coloured shirt tied around her waist and she was carrying several bags, the images show.

condo being built thumbnailThis is the best place to buy a condo in Toronto

If you’re looking for a condo in the East York area to move into, your economically best option may be to buy one. The real estate district encompassing East York and Danforth Village ranks highest in the latest report by Zoocasa, which looked at purchase prices versus rental costs.

The Beaches area was closer to the other end of the spectrum, the brokerage firm found, placing it in the better-to-rent condo category.

Read the story in Streeter News.


Fight and shooting outside bar in Danforth area

Police are investigating shots fired and a man injured in the area of Danforth and Carlaw avenues early this morning.

Officers responded to a call of gunshots being heard at 2:43 a.m. A group of people were reported fighting near a sports bar. Someone had a gun and a man was shot, according to a police tweet at about 11 a.m.

The victim was taken to hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

Violent home invasion cases linked

Police have released video and a drawing related to two violent home invasion, robberies and shootings — one in the Flemingdon Park area and one in the east end of East York. Each of the two events sent two victims to hospital, in one case with what police called “life-altering injuries.”

Although the incidents occurred two months apart, police have linked them as having a common target.

Get the story in Streeter News.

Beam up your signature to top of hospital’s new centre

East York’s Michael Garron Hospital is inviting the community to sign the last structural beam of its new patient care centre tomorrow before it is lifted to the penthouse on the roof of the new centre.

The hospital has partnered with the Aboriginal Healing Program community to dub the beam the Unity Beam.

“Signing the beam will declare one’s support for the organization and the care it provides to the East Toronto community and solidify one’s place in the legacy and history of Michael Garron Hospital moving forward,” says a hospital press release.

You can sign it Aug. 24 from 4 to 6 p.m. Use the K-wing entrance at 650 Sammon Ave.

Be sure to wear a mask and practise social distancing. It is a hospital after all.

 coronavirus map east end fragment

East end nearly free of recent COVID cases

The Danforth area is free of new cases of COVID-19 and other east-end neighbourhoods are close behind, according to the city’s coronavirus map.

The latest map shows zero to three confirmed or probable new cases recently for all neighbourhoods in the east end, as well as in midtown and central Toronto, for the past 21 days — all of August actually.

Check out your neighbourhood and how it compares to others in the Streeter article.

CNE logo thumbGo to the Ex without leaving Riverdale-East York

Toronto’s traditional end-of-summer show and exhibition is back in 2020, though in anything but traditional form. The CNE continues online starting today until Sept. 7.

Without leaving home now, you can go to the Ex via the new CNE portal, where you can take in shows and performances, share food recipes, learn how to be a busker, take virtual rides, enjoy trips through history, and even enjoy a virtual air show.

More information in the Things To Do listing.

Story continues after ad

Suspected gas leak forces Carlaw closure

The south end Carlaw Avenue was shut down today after reports of a gas leak near Carlaw and Eastern Avenue. Police issued a “shelter in place” warning online at 11:14 a.m.

Enbridge Gas crews were on the scene.

Initially police said northbound lanes on Carlaw between Eastern and Lake Shore Boulevard were closed. But by 12:40 p.m. the closure was extended to include northbound and southbound lanes between Eastern and Queen Street East, as well as both directions of Eastern Avenue between Pape and Logan avenues.

Police fail to confirm report of knife-wielding woman

Police received a report today that a woman came out of a tent at Donora Park holding a knife and chasing children at about 11 a.m.. However, officers at the park near Dawes Road in the Woodbine Gardens area found no evidence of a knife-wielding woman, nor reports of injury. No criminal allegations were made, police said on Twitter.

EV charging station sign on Alton
New sign on Alton Avenue.

Two east-end streets get charging stations in pilot project

Hydro workers are installing an electric vehicle charging station on Alton Avenue today as Councillor Paul Fletcher announces the next stage in the city’s Electric Vehicle Strategy.

Alton Avenue in Leslieville and Mountjoy Avenue in the East Danforth area are among the seven locations across Toronto to get the stations to test the technology in the pilot project.

See the full story.


Permit parking enforcement begins tonight

Permit parking enforcement on residential streets is resuming at midnight tonight. It had been paused due to COVID-19 but the period to purchase or renew permits began on July 2 and ran to Aug. 7.

In case you missed the window, temporary daily and weekly parking permits can be purchased online anytime.

The parking permit office remains closed but can be accessed by phone at 416-392-7873 or email at permit.parking@toronto.ca, Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Call for artists to create Danforth murals

East End Arts, in partnership with the city’s StreetARToronto Program, is calling on artists to submit proposals to participate in the revitalization of Danforth Avenue under the name Destination Danforth.

Destination Danforth includes a roll-out of public art over the next year, with four mural installations and twelve traffic signal boxes to be completed by October 2020.

Right now, the call is for four murals — one in each of four Business Improvement Areas: Broadview Danforth, GreekTown on the Danforth, Danforth Mosaic, and Danforth Village. The two themes to be addressed by submissions are Gratitude, Resilience, Hope and #EastEndLove.

The deadline for submissions is Aug. 26. Artists can get more details from East End Arts online.

Alleged arsonist sought after East York apartment fire

Toronto Police are looking for a 42-year-old man after an apartment near Barrinton and Lumsden avenues was set alight shortly before midnight last night. A man was seen walking around a building with a yellow jerry can in his hand, police say. He reportedly poured gas and lit his apartment on fire, then left the scene.

Aaron Bonnell is described as 5-foot-11, bald with no facial hair, having a medium build, wearing a dark shirt and dark pants. He is known to frequent the area, police say.

He is wanted for arson and failing to comply with recognizance.


DVP shut down for coming weekend

The entire Don Valley Parkway from Highway 401 to the Gardiner Expressway is being closed this weekend from Aug. 14 at 11 p.m. to Monday, Aug. 17 at 5 a.m., provided it doesn’t rain.

The closure is for annual maintenance and improvement work that usually takes place in spring or fall, but has been moved to August this year to take advantage of both warmer summer weather and lower traffic volumes due to the pandemic, the city says in a press release today.

In case of inclement weather, the rain date for the work is Aug. 22–24.

Man charged with murder after body found in East York house

Police arrested a man, 41, after finding the body of a 37-year-old man in a semi-detached house on Greenwood Avenue, south of Millwood, yesterday.

Police issued a news release this morning, saying a man faces a charge of second-degree murder.

Here’s what we know so far.

Beaches-LeslievilleCentral TorontoDon ValleyForest HillLeasideNorth Toronto

Much of Bloor-Danforth subway shutting down over weekend

Subway service on Line 2 between St. George and Woodbine stations will be closed on Saturday and Sunday this weekend for track work, the TTC has announced.

Bay, Sherbourne and Chester stations are to be completely shut down, while other stations are to remain open only for the purchase of PRESTO fares and for connection to surface routes.

Shuttle buses will operate along the line, the TTC says.

museums thumbnail

Tours launched for Toronto’s historical museums

East York’s Todmorden Mills and Central Toronto’s Mackenzie House are among the 10 Toronto history museums you can tour — with all the public health precautions in place — in the city’s newly launched HistoricTO program.

Tickets go on sale starting tomorrow on a pay-what-you-can basis for the tours that run from July 30 to Sept. 4.

Find out all about it.


NDPers back Toronto call to limit construction noise

East-end MPPs Rima Berns-McGown and Peter Tabuns are among 12 opposition MPPs asking Premier Doug Ford to give Toronto back the power to limit construction noise. This comes after city council made a similar request and after residents and residents’ associations have complained about noise keeping them awake.

In April the province issued orders allowing “essential” construction projects to generate noise earlier and later than the city had previously allowed. Get the whole story.

390 Dawes Rd. thumbnail

Double shooting investigated at Dawes Road apartment building

Multiple suspects are being sought after two men were shot at a Dawes Road apartment building early this morning.

The two victims had to be rushed to hospital in life-threatening condition, police reported online.

Here’s what we know so far.

Sought by police

Man sought for alleged offences in east end

Police have released a photo of a Toronto man wanted for offences committed in in the area of Main Street and Danforth Avenue.

A man allegedly broke into a residence and assaulted someone on July 9, followed by two further criminal offences by breaching his probation on July 23.

Joao Martins, 56, of Toronto, is wanted for break and enter, assault and four counts of failing to Comply with a probation order.

He is described as 5-foot-4, 138 lbs., and unshaven with long dark hair.

Daycares opening but say they need financial help

Local child care centres say they are facing added expenses from the required health precautions during the pandemic at the same time as revenues are declining because fewer kids are retuning. Government assistance is needed if they are to stay in operation, some say.

Read the full story in Streeter.


Virtual commemoration posted

The city has posted a commemoration to the victims of the Danforth shooting online late yesterday, including video of the private ceremony held earlier in Withrow Park. See it here.

Two years after the Danforth tragedy

Two years after two people were killed and 13 injured by a lone gunman on Danforth Avenue, survivors and families of the victims joined city representatives in commemoration in Withrow Park. Mayor Tory, Toronto-Danforth councillor Paul Fletcher, and shooting victim Danielle Kane were among those laying flowers beneath trees planted in memory of the two girl who lost their lives. See the whole story.

East-end housing prices up despite pandemic

In the first half of 2020, the average house in the real estate district including the Beaches, Woodbine and East Danforth is priced nearly 12 per cent higher than in the same period a year ago, according to a real estate report released yesterday.

East York is up about nine per cent and the district including Riverdale and Leslieville are up nearly seven per cent.

Get the full story to see how we compare to other parts of Toronto.

Man buried by east-end building collapse

Toronto Fire Services pulled a lifeless body out of a trench at a Jones Avenue house-building site yesterday morning. A man had been buried under debris, mud and concrete when the structure partially collapsed during construction. Get the full story.


Farmers’ market back tomorrow

The East York Farmers’ Market continues its schedule of taking place every Tuesday at the East York Civic Centre grounds, in compliance with public health recommendations. See the Things To Do listing.

Person in custody after gunfire in east end

People were sent fleeing from the Topham Park area early Saturday morning after multiple gunshots were heard. Toronto Police received reports of gunfire near Victoria Park and Sunrise avenues shortly after midnight.

They quickly located a suspect and a suspect vehicle and they had someone in custody by about 12:30 a.m., according to the police Twitter account. Several shell casings were also found. No injuries have been reported.

Free outdoor programs for kids start Monday

The city announced today it is launching its ParksPlayTO initiative for kids up to age 12 and the Summer in the 6ix program for young people age 13 to 24 on July 20.

No registration is required for these drop-in programs in spaces across the city. In Riverdale-East York, this includes Riverdale Park East, Monarch Park, George Webster Park, Stan Wadlow Park, Withrow Park and many other local locations.

See the story and get the details in Streeter news.

East York Farmers’ Market reopens tomorrow

The farmers’ market returns to the East York Civic Centre grounds July 14, although this time with new rules to be in compliance with public health recommendations. See the Things To Do listing.

composite drawing of man soughtDrawing released of man sought in Crescent Town sexual assault case

A composite drawing of a man wanted in a Crescent Town sexual assault investigation (see July 3 item) has been released.

Police describe the man as being 30 to 40, 5-foot-7, and 180 pounds. He is said to have a slim-to-medium build and black curly hair.

He has been sought by police since a 37-year-old woman was attacked on Crescent Town Road near Massey Square on June 12 at about 11 p.m.

Another Pape lane shut down

A borehole investigation is planned to start on Pape Avenue north of O’Connor Drive today. The work is expected to close the southbound curb lane of Pape from O’Connor to Minton Place daily until July 17.

Meanwhile further south on Pape, the months-long construction restricting lanes between Gowan and Danforth avenues is planned to continue until July 25.


Morning rumble in Dentonia Park?

Police are looking for witnesses to a fight between two groups of people in Dentonia Park, between Dawes Road and Victoria Park Avenue, on June 25 at about 10:30 a.m. They are investigating the alleged assaults that reportedly started with an altercation between dogs in a park.

Investigators have interviewed witnesses and are appealing to anyone who may have seen the incident to contact Detective Emanuel Gialousis, 55 Division, at 416-808-5504.

Murals thanking frontline heroes

Have you seen that colourful graffiti-style mural covering the side of the gas station at 2265 Danforth Ave.? It’s one of the first artworks in the city’s project hiring street artists to create murals thanking frontline workers during the pandemic. Read more about it.


Man sought after sexual assault of woman in Crescent Town

Police released today a description of a man wanted in an investigation of a sexual assault. They say a woman, 37, had been walking eastbound on Crescent Town Road near Massey Square on June 12 at about 11 p.m. when a man approached and assaulted her, before fleeing eastward on foot.

The man is described as 30 to 40 years old, 5-foot-7 and 180 pounds, with a dark complexion, a slim to medium build, and black curly hair. He was last seen wearing a brown silk jacket.

Cooling centres near you

In this hot, hot, hot weather, if you desperately need a place to cool off, head to one of the city’s emergency cooling centres in the east end:

  • East York Civic Centre, 850 Coxwell Ave. — open Thursday–Sunday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • O’Connor Community Centre, 1386 Victoria Park Ave. — call 416-395-7957 first.
  • Greenwood Park, 150 Greenwood Ave. — call 416-396-4126 first.
  • Blantyre Park, 180 Fallingbrook Rd. — call 416-396-4126 first.


Time to resume your parking permit

If you’re parking on the street, you should be aware the free period due to coronavirus has come to an end. Beginning today the city is restarting its permit parking program. The office remains closed but it can be accessed by phone at 416-392-7873 or by email Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.

You can also renew an existing permit holders using the online renewal system or by mail, though you should call first before mailing in an application.

The parking permit renewal window will be open until Aug. 3, and enforcement is expected to begin again starting Aug. 14 at midnight. More information on applying for a parking permit on the city website.