Riverdale-East York Daily Updates: July–December 2021
A quick look at news, views and things to do locally
What’s open over Christmas weekend in Riverdale and East York
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 this and other communities across Toronto.
Boy assaulted on northbound bus
Police reported yesterday a 15-year-old boy was assaulted on a TTC bus near O’Connor Drive and St. Clair Avenue East on Dec. 14.
A man who allegedly attacked the boy got off the bus at Sloane Avenue Eglinton Avenue East in the Victoria Village area.
It was reported the boy was sitting with friends at the back of the Route 91 Northbound bus, when a man seated behind the group suddenly stood up and assaulted the boy.
Police have released a photograph of the person they call a suspect in the assault investigation.
He is described as 20 to 30, 5-foot-11, thin, and wearing eyeglasses, a burgundy Adidas hoodie, a black puffy jacket, black/grey pants, and construction boots.
He was also wearing a grey and black backpack and carrying a neon yellow construction jacket, police sai
Fraud suspected in east-end chimney ‘repairs’
A group of men took cash payment for chimney repairs that left rooftops more damaged, say homeowners near Ellerbeck and Butternut streets in the Playter Estates community.
Police are seeking the identities of the men who allegedly knocked on residential houses, advising residents they needed work done on their chimneys and demanding cash payment. See the story.
East York hockey season suspended
Facing “unprecedented pandemic news,” the East York Hockey Association announced yesterday it is cancelling the rest of this year’s 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 its website.
“It is our hope that we will be able to return to our regular schedule in the New Year.”
The EYHA joins other local associations and leagues to shut down in the past few days, including the North Toronto Hockey Association, the North York Knights and the Leaside Hockey Association, that have reached similar decisions.
Danforth lanes now to be permanent — and longer
The bike lanes on Danforth Avenue and six other Toronto bikeways installed as temporary responses to the pandemic are to become permanent fixtures, city council agreed yesterday.
Councillors also approved extending the Danforth route further east and expanding the city’s plans for new bike lanes to be created. See the full story.
Woman killed in apartment fire
A woman in her 70s is dead after a two-alarm fire in a Woodbine Avenue building yesterday evening.
Firefighters, police and paramedics were called to the site near Gerrard Street East and found the woman without vital signs inside a burning apartment. Here’s what we know so far.
Our neighbourhoods among worst hit by COVID
You may be surprised to find that east-end neighbourhoods have some of the highest rates of COVID-19 in the city. The worst is Old East York but several neighbouring communities are not far behind.
No wonder so many of our schools have recently experienced outbreaks. See the full story.
UPDATE: Wilkinson Junior Public School (see previous item) has now been closed by Toronto Pubic Health.
East-end school listed among latest outbreaks
Wilkinson Junior Public School was identified yesterday evening as having a COVID-19 outbreak. Toronto Public Health announced online at 7:50 p.m. it was investigating four schools that have reported two or more confirmed cases, including the east end school at 53 Donlands Ave.
The school board’s COVID-19 Advisories page this morning indicates Wilkinson has three cases among students and one among staff.
The school, like most others with reported outbreaks, is being kept open for in-person classes.
“We’re carefully investigating & following our process of working w/our school community to notify close contacts & ask them to stay home, monitor for symptoms & get tested,” TPH said in a tweet.
As of 8:30 a.m. this morning, the city lists 28 elementary and secondary schools with currently active outbreaks.
Tree funeral calls for burying the Ontario Line
‘Mourners’ at the tree funeral in Jimmie Simpson Park yesterday seemed remarkably upbeat, as they pressed for the above-ground section of the planned Ontario Line in Leslieville and Riverside to be buried.
The funeral procession wound its way to the Metrolinx offices on Queen Street East where it left a coffin full of dead branches amid cries of “Bury the Line!” and “Build Transit Better!” See the full story.
Vaccination clinic at east-end library today
Dawes Road Library is among the sites for vaccination clinics today as part of the city’s month-long Vax the Holidays campaign.
The walk-in clinic at 416 Dawes Rd. is open today from 3 to 7 p.m. for first and second doses to anyone born in 2009 and earlier, and third doses based on eligibility.
For locations and hours of all Vax the Holidays clinics see the city’s COVID-19: How to Get Vaccinated page.
Three-car crash on Greenwood
Three cars were involved in a collision at the intersection of Greenwood and Chatham avenues in the east end yesterday afternoon.
Police said at 2:38 p.m. it was reported as a head-on collision and one person was thought to be trapped in a car.
Greenwood between Danforth and Mountjoy avenues was closed for several hours for the investigation and to clear the intersection of the damaged vehicles.
Further details or injuries have not been reported yet.
Elderly man defrauded of large amount of money, police say
Police say a fraud investigation led to an arrest in the area of Main Street and Gerrard Street East yesterday.
It is alleged a man made several phone calls to an elderly man, resulting in the elderly man turning over a large sum of money.
A 25-year-old man from Montreal has been charged with two counts of fraud over $5,000.
He is scheduled to appear in court Nov. 25.
Developers found for Vic Park affordable housing site
The city announced today Alterra Group of Companies and Mahogany Management will be development partners for the creation of affordable and market rental housing at 777 Victoria Park Ave.
The two-acre site at 777 Victoria Park Ave., next to the Victoria Park Station, is to house at least 508 residential units, including 254 affordable rental apartments.
The development should also provide a child care centre, retail and community space, and publicly accessible open space.
Construction is expected to start in the second quarter of 2022.
The site is one of 21 city properties included in the Housing Now initiative. The 21 sites within the Housing Now initiative will deliver more than 14,600 new residential homes across the city, including about 5,500 affordable rental units, according to the city news release.
Outdoor rinks about to open in Riverdale-East York
Already? There isn’t even any snow yet. But the city’s outdoor rinks at Dieppe Park, Monarch Park, Withrow Park and Riverdale Park East are set to open next week — Nov. 27 — along with 34 others across the city.
You won’t need a reservation to skate on the outdoor rinks as you did last year, but you will have to take the province’s pre-screening test first. See the full story.
Videos show man sought after daylight assault and robbery in Greektown
Police have released images and videos of a man being sought in the investigation of an alleged assault and purse-snatching during daylight hours in Greektown.
On Nov. 16 at 12:50 p.m., a man followed a woman on Bowden Avenue south of Danforth Avenue, struck her on the back of the head with an unknown object and forcefully took her purse, police said. He then fled north toward Danforth, as shown in one of the videos.
The victim suffered head injuries and needed medical treatment, police said.
Another video shows a man, identified as being wanted in the robbery investigation, walking along Danforth past the Carrot Commons.
He is described as 5-foot-9, in his 50s, with a slim build and short grey hair. He was last seen wearing a dark blue jacket, with white-coloured stripes down both sleeves.
Area’s industrial heritage needs protection, Fletcher says
“Iconic” buildings from Toronto’s early industrial history are risk from development pressure, Toronto-Danforth councillor Paula Fletcher says.
She’s asked for a report on preserving Leslieville’s industrial heritage, which she says is coming under development pressure. See the full story.
City looking at police station site for affordable housing development
The Coxwell Avenue location of 55 Division, which is moving north to Danforth Avenue, is one of five ‘future pipeline sites’ for the Housing Now program.
City council on Nov. 9 approved a staff report including the address as a possible site for affordable housing. Get the full story.
Pedestrian killed on DVP thought to be same man who stole vehicle in Riverside
A man suspected of stealing a car and being in collisions in the Riverside area is believed to be the same man who was later struck and killed while walking on the Don Valley Parkway on Friday evening.
Police say a man, 34, was walking on the DVP near Dundas Street East at about 8:30 p.m. A 2008 Dodge Caravan travelling south reportedly struck him.
He was pronounced dead at the scene, police say.
The 28-year-old driver remained on the scene and is cooperating with the investigation by Traffic Services.
However, a few minutes before the fatal collision, officers were called to the area of Dundas Street East and Carroll Street, where a man allegedly stole a vehicle and was involved in multiple collisions.
The man reportedly fled the area and was last seen walking onto the parkway.
Police say they believe this is the same man killed shortly afterwards.
Investigators are asking anyone who witnessed the events, or who have video surveillance or dash cam footage to contact them.
Local charity listed among most effective in Canada
East York Learning Experience has been named one of the top 10 “Impact Charities” in Canada and among the top five in Toronto for 2021.
The ranking is determined by Charity Intelligence Canada, which since 2006 has studied the value created per dollar spent — in other words, the bang per buck — of charities across the country. This is not the first time the local organization has been among the top charities on the list,.
East York Learning Experience, based on Donlands Avenue, serves adults with poor literacy, numeracy and digital skills, offering one-on-one tutoring with trained volunteers.
Shop and Vax is back for anti-COVID doses
You’ll be able to get your first or second, or possibly third, COVID-19 vaccination while you visit a local mall over the next four days.
The city has released its schedule of Shop and Vax locations at 15 mall clinics across Toronto from Thursday, Nov. 11 to Sunday, Nov. 14. All of these clinics are walk-in for first or second doses (no appointment needed) and some are offering third doses for those eligible.
East-end locations and times include:
- Eglinton Square, 20 Eglinton Square, Nov. 11–13, 10:15 a.m.–6 p.m, third dose available for walk-ins
- Gerrard Square, 100 Gerrard St. East, Nov. 11–14, 10:15 a.m.–6 p.m, third dose available for walk-ins
- Shoppers’ World, 3003 Danforth Ave., Nov. 11–14, 10:15 a.m.–6 p.m, third dose available for walk-ins
Some clinics are also offering the flu vaccine by appointment.
City hosting Remembrance Day service in east end 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.
Assault and robbery on Riverdale street
A woman was assaulted and robbed this morning while walking in Riverdale, police say.
She was reportedly walking westbound on Simpson Avenue east of Broadview Avenue, a block north of Gerrard Street East, when a man walked past her and attacked her from behind. The man allegedly sexually assaulted her, robbed her and fled.
Police are looking for a man described as about 20 to 30 years old, 5-foot-5 and having a medium build. He was last seen wearing a hat, large glasses, a face mask, and dark clothing.
Investigators are asking anyone with security and dash cams footage taken in the area between 5:30 a.m to 6:30 a.m. to contact them.
Woman suffers head injuries, struck crossing street
A 64-year-old woman is in hospital with life-threatening injuries after being hit by a vehicle while she was crossing Westlake Avenue yesterday afternoon, police say.
At about 3:20 p.m., the woman was crossing from the west side to the east side of Westlake south of Lumsden Avenue. A black GMC Terrain, driven by a 58-year-old man, was travelling southbound on Westlake, proceeding through the intersection of Lumsden Avenue, and allegedly hit the woman.
The woman was rushed to hospital with life-threatening head injuries, police say.
The driver of the vehicle reportedly remained on the scene.
Traffic services is investigating and are interested in speaking to anyone who may have witnessed the collision, as well as anyone with security or dash cam footage of the area or incident.
Second City planning move to East Danforth
If you’re wondering what’s happening with that boarded up building on Danforth, just east of Dawes Road, think comedy. Specifically Second City comedy. The famed troupe is planning to move — at least temporarily — into the one-storey building at 2800 Danforth Ave.
“The Danforth facility … will serve as a second outpost for the home of independently produced stand-up, improv, and sketch comedy shows,” according to a Second City press release last month. The move comes after construction on the theatre’s new permanent location downtown was delayed by the pandemic. It has been without a home for about a year.
A notice amid the hoardings on the Danforth site notes an online public hearing will be held Dec. 1 on a minor variance needed to convert space within the building to “cabaret dinner theatre use.”
We’ll have more on this shortly.
Man arrested in ‘suspicious incident’ investigation
Police reported today a 41-year-old Toronto man has been arrested in the investigation of a substance being sprayed into a water bowl on Queen Street East. (See Nov. 3 item below.) He is charged with mischief to property and is to appear in court Nov. 4.
Car fire on the DVP
Police posted on Twitter a picture of a car on fire by the side of the Don Valley Parkway in the Riverside area this afternoon.
N/B DVP & Lake Shore Blvd E
– reports of a vehicle on fire, right lane blocked
– police o/s
– @Toronto_Fire o/s
– unknown injuries
ROAD CLOSURE: N/B & S/B DVP closed at Lake Shore Blvd
– expect delays
– consider alternate routes#GO2124971
— Toronto Police Operations (@TPSOperations) November 4, 2021
Firefighters quickly extinguished the fire and no injuries were reported, police said.
Suspicious substance sprayed into water bowl
The public is being warned to be on the lookout for a man who allegedly sprayed an unknown substance into a water bowl for pets.
On Oct. 30, a man was seen approaching a water bowl in front of a local business near Queen Street East and Boulton Avenue and spraying something into it, police said today.
The man reportedly walked away. The business owner was alerted and removed the bowl before any animals could drink from it.
The man is described as 5-foot-10 with a medium build, dark facial hair and possibly a goatee. He was reported wearing a black and white jacket, a black-hooded sweater, black pants, black gloves, and grey shoes with white soles. He was seen carrying a large wooden stick, bright lime-green shopping bag, and a red and pink backpack.
Where to take your jack-o-lantern tomorrow
At least seven parks are putting on pumpkin parades tomorrow evening in the Riverdale-East York area, including Withrow, East Lynne, Dentonia and several others.
Instead of throwing out your jack-o-lantern after tonight’s festivities, take it (and a candle) to the nearest park to become part of the parade. Then return in the evening to enjoy the event. See the Things To Do Listing.
Man reported seriously injured jumping from car
A 33-year-old man was seriously injured at Victoria Park Avenue and Gerrard Street East after he allegedly jumped from a car early this morning.
Shortly before 3 a.m., a woman, 30, was driving an Acura SUV south on Victoria Park, approaching Gerrard Street East. A male passenger is reported to have jumped from the moving vehicle, striking his head on the road.
He was taken to hospital with life-threatening injuries, police said.
Traffic Services are investigating and are asking anyone with security or dash camera footage of the area or incident to contact them.
Petition on ‘dangerous intersections’ draws support after fatal accident
Following the death of a 81-year-old man crossing O’Connor Drive, a petition of local residents, workers and visitors has so far drawn 518 signatures, far more than its target of 300 names.
The petition, addressed to Toronto-Danforth councillor Paula Fletcher and the city’s transportation services department, calls for a community discussion with the city on safety measures. See the full story.
Pumpkin parades are back in the east end Nov. 1
Don’t throw out your jack-o-lantern after Halloween. Bring your carved masterpiece (and a candle) to a local park and let it join the pumpkin parades. The events have returned to the east end after being shut down last year. Here are nine parks and more information for Halloween’s last hurrah on Nov. 1.
Local health worker supports decriminalizing drug possession
Decriminalizing the personal use of illicit drugs could help stem illegal drug activity, the coordinator of the South Riverdale health centre’s harm-reduction program says.
As the city pushes the federal government to decriminalize, Rhiannon Thomas argues leaving drug use criminal is costly and helps no one. See the interview.
Pedestrian killed crossing O’Connor
An 81-year-old man died after being hit by two cars while crossing O’Connor Drive east of Pape Avenue on Tuesday, police reported yesterday.
When emergency responders arrived they found the man pinned under a vehicle and seriously injured. He was pronounced dead on the scene. Get the full story.
Change our ways to stop the virus
We’re a long way from defeating the coronavirus and we could be facing it — or something like it — for years to come, warns an East York correspondent.
But there’s hope, he writes. All we have to do is change our lifestyles — and the entire world. Read the letter.
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 several in the east end, 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.
$70K Mercedes was not returned 11 months ago
Police say a woman used deceptive identification to rent a Mercedes Benz in the east end in November 2020 and never returned the vehicle, worth $70,000.
They’ve released images of the woman they say presented photo identification that looked like her but wasn’t her. Get the story.
Man identified in alleged assault on crossing guard
With the help of the public, police have identified a man sought in an assault investigation.
On Oct. 6, 2021, at about 3:20 p.m., a crossing guard working at the intersection of Queen Street East and Boulton Avenue was allegedly approached and assaulted by an unknown man.
Police released a description of the man yesterday and thanked the public today for help in identifying him.
No charges have been announced yet.
COVID cases confirmed at local schools
While only one school — Silverthorn Collegiate in Etobicoke — has been shut down in Toronto due to a COVID outbreak, many more schools are reporting smaller numbers of confirmed cases. In the Riverdale and East York area, the following Toronto District School Board schools are among those affected, according to TDSB figures updated today:
- Chester Elementary School — 1 student
- D.A. Morrison Middle School — 1 student
- Diefenbaker Elementary School — 1 student, 1 staff
- Dundas Junior Public School — 1 staff
- Earl Grey Senior Public School — 1 resolved case
- Earl Haig Secondary School — 1 student, 1 staff
- East York Collegiate — 1 student
- Gledhill Junior Public School — 1 student
- Jackman Avenue Junior Public School — 1 student
- Selwyn Public School — 1 student
- Victoria Park Public School — 2 students
- Westwood Middle School — 2 students
- William Burgess Elementary School — 1 student
East-end photo radars lead city in speeders caught
Figures released by the city today show the number of tickets issued by automated speed enforcement (ASE) devices on Victoria Park Avenue and Glebeholme Boulevard were the highest in Toronto.
For two months, the cameras caught a grossly disproportionate number of speeders, compared to the city’s other 48 ASE devices. See the story.
Arrest made in east-end assault case
A 24-year-old man has been arrested for an alleged assault three weeks ago in an apartment near Carlaw Avenue and Queen Street East.
Officers were called to the apartment on Sept. 14 at 5 p.m. to learn a man had reportedly assaulted a woman and fled.
The man was arrested today and faces charges of threatening bodily harm, assault, choking and criminal harassment.
ID sought for break-and-enter suspect
Police have released images of a man apparently breaking into a house near Danforth and Coxwell avenues on Aug. 21.
The man was reported to have been confronted by the homeowner inside before fleeing.
He is described as 30 to 40 with a heavy build. He has tattoos covering both arms and on his right hand. He was seen wearing a black t-shirt with a red, black and white Champion logo, and a dark baseball cap with a light circular logo on the front.
East-end stabbing ends in murder arrest
A 45-year-old woman has been charged with second-degree murder after a man was stabbed in an apartment near Coxwell Avenue and Gerrard Street East.
Police were called to the apartment Oct. 3 at 4 a.m. and found the man, Adam James Nash, 39, suffering stab wounds. He was later pronounced dead. Here’s what we know so far.
Lots of vaccine clinics to choose from in east end
There’s really little excuse for not getting your vaccine after today. At least seven clinics in the east end are offering shots on an appointment or walk-in basis today, not including mobile clinics that may be popping up in the area. Take your pick of the following:
- Michael Garron Hospital, 825 Coxwell Ave., 9 a.m.–5 p.m. by appointment
- Eglinton Square, 20 Eglinton Sq., 10 a.m.–6 p.m. by appointment or walk-in
- Shoppers World, 3003 Danforth Ave., 10 a.m.–6 p.m. by appointment or walk-in
- Presteign Heights Public School, 2570 St Clair Ave. E., 4 p.m.–8 p.m. walk-in
- Shoppers Drug Mart, 1012 Pape Ave., 9 a.m.–9 p.m. by appointment or walk-in
- Shoppers Drug Mart, 755 Danforth Ave., 8 a.m.–10 p.m. by appointment or walk-in
- Gerrard Square, 1000 Gerrard St. E., 10 a.m. –6 p.m. by appointment or walk-in
Residents born in 2009 or earlier are invited to get their first or second COVID-19 vaccine dose today at any of these locations.
Become your community’s champion for 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.
COVID-19 cautions at two east-end polling stations
If you voted or worked at two east-end polling stations, you should monitor yourself for COVID-19 symptoms for 10 days afterwards — we’re being told 10 days or longer after the possible exposure.
Toronto Public Health is investigating potential COVID-19 exposures at the Presteign Heights Elementary School polling station on Sept. 20 and at the Kingston Road United Church station on Sept. 11 and 12, according to a statement released on Sept. 30. Read the story.
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Sacred fire ceremonies tomorrow
You’re invited to join Elder Little Brown Bear and community members as they offer a sacred fire at the Bear’s Den All Nations Traditional Medicine Sweat Lodge on the grounds of Michael Garron Hospital on Sept. 30.
You can drop by to commemorate National Day for Truth and Reconciliation any time from sunrise to sunset or partake in the pipe ceremonies scheduled for four times during the day. See more in the Things To Do listing.
Dabrusin and Erskine-Smith re-elected in another east-end Liberal sweep
Toronto-Danforth MP Julie Dabrusin and Beaches-East York’s Nathaniel Erskine-Smith were both easily re-elected in yesterday’s federal election.
The two Liberal incumbents in the east end were part of the red sweep of Toronto, as their party won a minority government.
Montcrest honoured for design excellence
The Montcrest School redevelopment, that fits in so well with its Broadview Avenue neighbourhood, was among the buildings honoured at the Toronto Urban Design Awards yesterday.
The awards, held every two years, recognized 26 design projects, most of them already built, that contribute to the city’s livability. See the full story.
Bermondsey drop-off hours expanded
You have a larger window for dropping off waste at the Bermondsey Transfer Station, 188 Bermondsey Rd., beginning Sept. 13. The city is announcing an expansion of public hours at the drop-0ff depot to 24-hour service from Monday at 6 a.m. to Friday at 9 p.m., as well as on Saturdays from 7 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Residents can drop off general waste such as garbage, recycling, yard waste and renovation waste. Household hazardous waste and electronic waste can be left Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 7 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Search for next of kin
Toronto Police are asking for help in finding the next of kin for an East York man who died five months ago.
Glenn Huntley, 65, passed away at his home at 75 Eastdale Ave. on April 1.
Despite exhaustive efforts, no family has been found to be informed of the man’s death, police say.
Knife-wielding pedestrian sought for assault
A pedestrian tried to strike a man with a knife and punched another man while holding a knife near Danforth Avenue and Dawes Road four days ago, police said today.
Officers were responded to reports of an assault in the area on Sept. 3 at 9 a.m.
The man with the knife is described as having a medium build, dark hair and a short beard. He was wearing a black Miami Marlins t-shirt, long blue jean shorts, and red-and-white running shoes.
An image has been released.
Second manslaughter suspect identified
The second outstanding suspect in the alleged Aug. 6 attack on an elderly man in East Danforth, leading to his death, has been identified.
Tyler George, 28, of Toronto is wanted for manslaughter.
Police say he is considered violent and dangerous and should not be approached.
(See updates Sept. 2 and Aug. 26 below.)
Assault victim dies, now a homicide case
With the death of John Manion, 77, the investigation of an alleged aggravated assault in the East Danforth area has become a homicide investigation.
Manion, who has been identified as the victim of an attack on Aug. 6, succumbed to his injuries on Aug. 29, police said today. One of his two attackers has also been identified. See the full story.
New couple wanted for aggravated assault
With an elderly man in hospital with critical injuries, police have released images of two new suspects in the investigation of an aggravated assault in the East Danforth area three weeks ago.
The images of the pair replace a photograph of a woman that was earlier released. Police say she is no longer a suspect. See the story.
Serious injuries in East York shooting
A man has suffered serious injuries in a shooting police reported near Cosburn and Pape avenues this morning.
Officers attended the area after a caller said shots had been fired, police said on social media shortly before noon today.
No further information is available yet.
Watermain break closes road
O’Connor Drive was closed between Curity Avenue and St. Clair Avenue East at about 5 a.m. today after reports of a watermain break. Police advised water flooded the intersection of O’Connor and Curity.
Fire closes Danforth Ave.
Danforth Avenue was closed between Donlands and Greenwood avenues today after reports of Toronto Fire Services working a fire on the second-storey of a building at about 3 p.m. Drivers were asked to consider alternate routes.
Arrest for break-ins
After responding to a call for a break and enter at a business near Danforth and Victoria Park avenues, police launched an investigation and alleged the suspect was responsible for several other commercial break-ins.
A 37-year-old Toronto man was arrested on Aug. 6, police said in an Aug. 14 news release. He faces 18 charges including five counts of break and enter and three counts of uttering threats.
He appeared in court virtually on Aug. 7, police said.
Dangerous medication lost
Police warn a quantity of medication was lost yesterday between 12:45 and 1:40 p.m. near Danforth Avenue and Craven Road, west of Coxwell Avenue.
The medication described as oxycodone hydrochloride could be harmful or fatal if ingested, especially by children. Anyone with information is asked to call police at 416-808-5500.
Services resuming at civic centres
The East York Civic Centre at 850 Coxwell Ave. is opening today as part of a citywide phased reopening of select in-person counter services at civic centres.
Some in-person services, such as marriage licences and zoning inquiries for the Toronto and East York district, will require booking an appointment, while other services will operate on a first-come, first-served basis, the city said in an announcement.
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.
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.
Suspicious deaths in Wakunda Place apartment
Police are treating as suspicious the deaths of two people whose bodies were found in an apartment at Wakunda Place and O’Connor Drive at about 11 a.m. today.
Few details are available but police are not at this time carrying out a homicide investigation, they said. Here’s all we know so far.
Pedestrians sent to hospital after being struck
A pedestrian was reported struck by a vehicle on Broadview Avenue near Danforth Avenue at about 11:21 a.m. today.
The man suffered injuries that have not been specified but was transported to hospital, police said on social media.
Police are investigating and are asking for anyone with information or dash cam video to contact them.
Traffic delays are expected in the area.
Vaccination rates vary widely by neighbourhood
Wide disparities in vaccination rates among neighbourhoods are evident across Toronto — but even just in the east end.
Figures from the city show the Beaches and North Riverdale areas with the highest uptake in vaccinations for COVID-19, far above the lowest vaccinated area in the east end, the Crescent Town-dominated area the city calls Taylor-Massey.
Here’s a breakdown by east-end neighbourhoods of completed vaccination rates from highest to lowest, as of today.
- 63.5% Beaches
- 63.3% North Riverdale
- 62.4% Player Estates-Danforth
- 60.5% East End-Danforth
- 59.9% Woodbine-Lumsden
- 59.3% Danforth Village-Toronto
- 59.1% Danforth Village-East York
- 58.9% Old East York
- 58.8% South Riverdale
- 59.0% Woodbine Corridor
- 55.9% Greenwood-Coxwell
- 55.4% Blake-Jones
- 52.5% Broadview North
- 52.5% O’Connor-Parkview
- 44.8% Taylor-Massey
These figures are derived from the neighbourhood map on the city’s website.
Twenty-three communities COVID-free on latest city map
The city’s latest COVID 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.
However, the figures remain more or less the same for the east end, with the same neighbourhoods fending off any new cases as reported a few days ago and the same neighbourhood showing as worst hit.
Star-studded lineup announced for Jack Layton tribute
City councillor Mike Layton has announced a growing lineup of artists and special guests taking part in the celebration of Jack Layton’s legacy Aug. 22.
Jack Layton was also a councillor for nearly a decade, and later Member of Parliament for Toronto-Danforth and leader of the federal NDP.
“Almost 10 years on, Jack’s message of love, hope and optimism is as important as ever— and that’s what this celebration is all about,” Mike Layton said in a statement July 18. See the full story.
Low COVID rates in east end — except for one neighbourhood
With COVID-19 numbers falling across Toronto, most of the east end continues to lead the way — with only one neighbourhood persisting with relatively high figures, according to the city’s latest COVID map.
Showing zero cases over the past 21 days are the areas designated Playter Estates-Danforth, Broadview North, Danforth, Old East York, Woodbine-Lumsden and Greenwood-Coxwell.
Areas with either one or two cases over the recent three weeks include South Riverdale, North Riverdale, Blake-Jones, Danforth-East York, East End-Danforth, Taylor-Massey and The Beaches.
The outlier is the area called the Woodbine Corridor, between Coxwell and Woodbine avenues north of Kingston Road, with seven cases in the same time period.
Alleged sexual assault in Riverside
Police are investigating what they called a “suspicious incident” early yesterday morning,
Late today they reported on social media a 21-year-old woman was walking in the area of Broadview Avenue and Mountstephen Street at about 1:40 a.m. when she was approached from behind by a stranger. The man allegedly pushed her to the ground and sexually assaulted her, before fleeing eastward through a laneway.
He is described as 5-foot-10 to six feet with dark almond shaped eyes. He was wearing a black hoodie with the hood up, black slim-fitted jeans, black running shoes, a dark blue mask and a silver, square-shaped earring, police said.
Two shot in Greenwood-Coxwell area
Two men are in hospital — both with serious but non-life threatening injuries — after a shooting yesterday evening near Gerrard Street East and Highfield Road.
Officers found the wounded men after they were called to the area at 10:30 p.m. and medics rushed them to the hospital, police reported on social media.
Another man was said to be seen running through backyards in the Greenwood-Coxwell area near the Little India business district.
Police were searching the area, though nothing further was reported online.
East-end pizzeria picketed by former staff, franchisee
The franchisee of a pizza joint on Queen Street East is picketing the shop and calling for a boycott after the Mamma’s Pizza corporation locked him and his employees out.
The lockout and the picketing came after Ozzy Anwari, who ran the shop for more than 17 years, refused to sign a franchise renewal agreement seeking higher royalties. Read the full story.
Do you remember seeing this man—19 years ago?
Police are trying to identify the remains of a man found near the Don River at the Queen Street Bridge on July 26, 2002.
Recently the Ontario Forensic Pathology Service and Office of the Chief Coroner, with the assistance of police, have undertaken to have three artist renditions completed of the deceased to assist in someone recognizing him.
They hope this helps to bring some resolution to both his family and the investigation, Toronto police said in a press release today.
The man is described as 30–40 years, 5-foot-5 and 217 pounds, with long black hair and a slight moustache. He was wearing a red t-shirt, a blue Roots sweater, brown cargo style pants, a black belt, white socks, and black and white running shoes.
Anyone with information is asked to contact police at 416-808-7411,
Local novelist follows WWII bomber command
Former East York resident and Centennial College professor Malcolm Kelly has published his first novel, Sprog, which follows Canadian recruits to bomber command during World War II. Writing the book was a 15-year adventure and publishing it was the result of a happy coincidence, he says.
He discusses it and the great feedback he’s received so far with Brian Baker. Read all about it.
Man and car pictured in east-end luring investigation
Police today have released photos of a man driving a car in the East Danforth area after a man allegedly tried to lure a 12-year-old girl to his car.
On July 9 at about 2:30 p.m., a girl was walking in the area of Barrington and Balfour avenues when she was allegedly followed by a car.
The driver was reported to have tried to lure her to the car with compliments but the girl, fearing for her safety, ran home.
The man is described as older with a heavy build and was driving a newer model black import car, police said.
Woman seriously injured crossing street in East Danforth area
A 32-year-old woman is in hospital with life-threatening injuries after reportedly being struck by a truck at Woodmount Avenue and Strathmore Boulevard shortly before noon today.
Police say a red 2007 Ford pickup truck was northbound on Woodmount when it halted at the four-way stop before proceeding and hitting the pedestrian.
The woman was crossing Woodmount at Strathmore in a marked crosswalk from the northwest corner to the northeast corner, police say.
Man with knife sought after woman threatened in east end
Police are looking for a man who allegedly threatened a woman with a knife near Coxwell and Gerrard avenues on May 24.
After 8 p.m. a man got into an argument with a woman, produced a knife and threatened her, it is reported. He then allegedly damaged her apartment.
Jordan Willshire, 31, of Toronto, is wanted for assault with a weapon, uttering death threats and mischief, police said.
Police released an image of the man being sought.
He is described as 5-foot-8 and was last seen wearing a royal blue t-shirt, blue jeans, a black baseball cap, white sunglasses and black New Balance running shoes. He was said to be carrying a white and blue shopping bag and a black suitcase.
East York 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.”
Woman killed crossing Don Valley Parkway
A 21-year-old woman has died from injuries received when she was struck on the DVP near the Gerrard Street bridge last night.
Police got the call at about 10:30 p.m. They reported the woman was apparently crossing the road on foot and was hit by a vehicle travelling south in the far right lane.
Her injuries were severe and she succumbed to them, police said.
The driver of the vehicle reportedly remained on the scene.
Investigators from Traffic Services are interested in speaking to people who assisted the pedestrian and are seeking security or dash camera footage of the area or incident.
Greektown stabbing victim sought
Police are looking for a man reported to have been stabbed last night near Danforth and Chester avenues. They responded to a call for a suspicious incident at 11:24 p.m. but found an alleged stabbing victim had left the area.
He is described as 5-foot-7 to six feet tall with a thin build and long black hair in an afro style. He was seen wearing a white zip-up sweater, camouflage pants, white running shoes and a red baseball cap.
Police say they are concerned for his well-being and want to ensure he receives medical attention.
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