Beaches-Leslieville Daily Updates

A quick look at news, views and things to do locally

Tree funeral thumbnailTree 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.

‘Funeral’ tomorrow for trees at risk from Ontario Line

A mock funeral is being held for the trees that could be cut down to make way for Metrolinx’s proposed above-ground transit line, presented by the Save Jimmie Simpson group.

The celebration of the lives of the trees is to be held at Jimmie Simpson Park on Queen Street East, outside the playground fence, on Nov. 28 at 2 p.m.

Eulogists, a choir and other commemorative activities are also planned, followed by a procession to Bruce Mackey Park and ending at Ralph Thornton Community Centre for light refreshments.

Stabbing victim found in Upper Beaches

Responding to reports someone had been stabbed near Gerrard Street East and Pickering Street, officers found a wounded young male yesterday at about 5:49 p.m.

His injuries appeared serious, police said. He was attended by medics on the scene and taken to hospital by emergency run.

No further details are available yet. Police are investigating.

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.

Greenwood Park rink thumbnailLocal outdoor rinks to open next week

There isn’t even any snow yet. But the city’s outdoor rinks at Greenwood Park and Kew Gardens are set to open next week — Nov. 27 — along with 36 others across the city. The following week the rink at Jimmy Simpson Park will join them.

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.

Leslieville’s industrial heritage needs protection, Fletcher says1913 Toronto Hydro-Electric thumbnail

“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.

55 Division thumbnailCity 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.

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.

Poppy thumbnailCity 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.

Traffic stop led to 21 gun and drug charges

Two 18-year-old men were arrested and a firearm and narcotics were seized after a traffic stop in the Upper Beaches yesterday morning, police say.

gun seized in arrestsOn Nov. 8 at about 10:30 a.m., officers stopped a car near Gerrard Street East and Fairhead Mews and found marijuana in the car, according to a police news release.

Upon further investigation, they found a firearm and ammunition, plus suspected cocaine, crack cocaine and psilocybin, police say.

The car’s two occupants were arrested and face a total of 21 charges, including multiple counts of possession of cannabis for the purpose of distributing, possessing a prohibited firearm without a licence, possession for the purpose of trafficking a Schedule III substance, and possession of the proceeds of crime under $5,000.

Both men were to appear in court today.

Second City planning move to east end

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.

Beach Hill entertainment hub thumbnailBeach Hill likes idea of becoming entertainment hub

Establishing entertainment venues in the Gerrard and Woodbine area could help it become a more vibrant neighbourhood, says a leader of the Beach Hill Neighbourhood Association.

The group may have some concerns about relaxing building codes and about fire safety, but in general they seem to like the city’s idea of creating new entertainment hubs in areas outside of downtown. See the full story.


Man sought for Queen Street assault leaving serious injuries

A 33-year-old man is wanted in the investigation of an alleged assault near Queen Street East and Bellefair Avenue on Oct. 23.

Police say a man was arguing with a woman in the area when another party tried to intervene. The man reportedly punched the other party in the face, causing him to fall and hit his head on the ground causing serious injuries.

Jamie-Lee McQuaig, 33, of Toronto is wanted for aggravated assault.

His image has been released by police. He is described as 6-foot-2, 190 pounds, with a thin build, short brown hair, brown eyes and brown facial hair.

 each Guild thumbnailLocal art show and sale begins online tomorrow

The Beach Guild of Fine art, promoting art and artists in the Beach community, is holding its winter show online.

From Nov. 5 to 28 you can visit the show online and buy any of the artwork.

More information in our Things To Do listing.

Toronto flag thumbnailPetition calls for a more inclusive flag

Should the Beaches and other non-downtown areas be better represented on the Toronto flag? How about the Indigenous people who resided here first?

An urban geographer and arborist are collecting names on a petition calling for a new flag, based on the old Metro Toronto logo that was more inclusive, they say. See the story.

pumpkin parade thumbnailShow off your jack-o-lantern tomorrow

The closest parks putting on pumpkin parades tomorrow evening may be Leslie Grove Park at Queen and Jones, and Moncur Playground, 38 Robbins Ave.

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. 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 for anyone with security or dash camera footage of the area or incident to contact them.

patio thumbnailGood 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 Queen Street East during the pandemic may become a permanent feature 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.

Pumpkins parade thumbnailPumpkin 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.

drug arrest thumbnailLocal health worker supports decriminalizing drug possession

Decriminalizing the personal use of illicit drugs could help stem illegal drug activity, the coordinator of a Leslieville-based 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.

club scene thumbnailChange 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.

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Mercedes suspect thumbnail$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 Beaches and Leslieville area, the following Toronto District School Board schools are among those affected, according to TDSB figures updated at 10:30 a.m. today:

  • Jarvis Collegiate — 1 student
  • Leslieville Junior Public School — 3 students
  • Malvern Collegiate — 2 students
  • Riverdale Collegiate — 1 resolved case

ASE at Victoria Park and TiagoEast-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 Leslieville 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.

Adams James Nash thumbnailEast-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:

  • 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

Toronto residents born in 2009 or earlier are invited to get their first or second COVID-19 vaccine dose today at any of these locations.

climate action thumbnailBecome a 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.


polling stations thumbnailCOVID-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 an East York polling station on Sept. 20 and at an Upper Beaches polling station on Sept. 11 and 12, according to a statement released on Sept. 30. Read the story.

Central TorontoDavenportDon ValleyForest HillLawrence WestLeasideNorth TorontoRiverdale-East YorkYork Mills

sacred fire thumbnailSacred 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.

Julie Dabrusin thumbnailDabrusin 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.

Here’s what happened locally.

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.

Suspected prowler sought in Beach area

The identity of a man suspected in a prowl by night investigation is being sought by police.

Officers said they responded to a call for a break and enter in progress near Queen Street East and Munroe Park Avenue in the Beach on Sept. 4 shortly before 4 a.m..

They received word a man had been on a property not belonging to him and had he looked through the side door of a home. The homeowner reportedly confronted the man who then fled.

Police released an image of the man suspected. He is described as having a medium build and wearing a balaclava with an opening for the eyes, a hooded long-sleeve sweater with a zipper down the front and a small logo on the chest, gloves, pants and light-coloured running shoes.

Suspect turned himself in

Tyler George, 28, turned himself in today, police said. He is charged with manslaughter related to the death of John Manion, 77, after an alleged assault on Aug. 6. (See updates below.)

He has been charged with manslaughter and was scheduled to appear in court this morning..

Arja Duffy, 41, also wanted for manslaughter in the same case, remains at large.

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.)

John Manion thumbnailAssault 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.

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Posted: Nov 29 2021 12:10 pm

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