Don Valley Daily Updates

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

Riverdale CollegiateAll Toronto schools shut down

Only yesterday Toronto Public Health advised the closing of 20 schools across Toronto for COVID investigations. Today the rest of Toronto’s elementary, middle and secondary schools are shuttered on the orders of Toronto’s chief medical officer, Dr. Eileen de Villa.

Students are to transition to remote learning which is to continue until April 18 — although this end date may also be extended, TPH warns. See the full story.

Thorncliffe Park PS closedEleven schools now closed for COVID investigations

Yesterday, the Toronto school board announced classes at four more schools were being shut down and moved online as of today.

With the previous announcements about Victoria Village and Brian public schools (see March 29 below), the number of TDSB schools closed in two days now totals six, and with Catholic school board closures the total for this week has reached 11. See the full story.

City golf courses to open Thursday

Don Valley Golf Course at Yonge Street and the 401 is among the city-run courses to open Thursday, several days ahead of schedule.

The city announced all five of its golf courses are opening for the 2021 season on April 1.

Guidelines have been developed in consultation with Toronto Public Health, including physical distancing between golfers and disinfection of equipment and surfaces, the city said in a press release today.

Tee times will be 10 minutes apart, starting at 7 a.m. and ending at dusk. Tee times are expected to sell out quickly, so residents are encouraged to book early. (Call Don Valley at 416-392-2465.)

Victoria Village PS thumbnailVictoria Village school closed by COVID-19

Victoria Village Public School closed today on the advice of public health officials for an investigation of COVID-19 outbreaks.

The school at 88 Sweeney Dr. is listed as having seven confirmed cases, all among students, on the COVID-19 Advisories page of the Toronto District School Board. Read the story.

Images of suspects released after tow truck arsons

Police have released today images of two people and a pickup truck suspected of being involved in the burning of two tow trucks. On Feb. 23, officers were called to fires near Victoria Park Avenue and Sunrise Avenue and near Victoria Park and Parma Court areas. Both suspects were seen fleeing the area in a silver Ford F-150 with stolen licence plates, police reported.

How safe do you feel? Tell the city

The deadline is approaching to fill out the SafeTO survey. The city wants to know the level of safety and wellbeing you feel in your community, and your priorities for the SafeTO plan to guide social systems — like community services, healthcare, policing — in serving Torontonians.

The online survey, which should take less than 10 minutes, has to be completed before March 12.

Boy arrested after alleged homicide of 62-year-old

A 16-year-old boy has been charged with first-degree murder about 10 days after the death of a man in the Wexford neighbourhood.

Responding to a call about gunshots at 1853 Lawrence Ave. E. on Feb. 8 after 7 p.m., police a man with injuries. He was pronounced dead and identified as Cam-Thanh Tat, 62, of Toronto.

The boy, who cannot be identified due to the Youth Criminal Justice Act, appeared in court today.

gun control graphic thumbnailAs a new season of the gun shapes up….

We need strong gun control to help stop handgun violence that is once again terrorizing Toronto residents — in all parts of the city. And the federal government ban on military-style assault weapons, while welcome, is not nearly enough, Streeter editorial argues.

Read and comment on the editorial.

Gunshots heard, one believed wounded

Gunshots heard last night about 9:45 p.m. sent police looking for two people believed to have been shooting at each other near Wynford Drive and Wynford Heights Crescent. One person was thought to have been struck, though police did not report finding a victim.

They did, however, find a shell casings in the area and a car with bullet holes. Police closed the area as the investigation continued.

One person on Twitter claimed to have heard 10 shots and described three vehicles that left the scene.

Longo’s first local COVID-19 case of the year

Longo’s at York Mills Road and Yonge Street has joined the list of Don Valley-area food retailers reporting COVID-19 cases among staff. (See Jan. 25 item below.)

Today the chain announced an employee, who last worked there Jan. 16, has tested positive for the virus.

Four cases of COVID at food retailer’s outlets

Yesterday was a bad day for Loblaw-related businesses in the fight against COVID-19. Three of their stores in the Don Valley area recorded a total of four staff had tested positive on presumptive tests for the virus. The retail conglomerate reported the following instances on Jan. 24:

  • Two staff members at No Frills, 1450 Lawrence Ave. E., who tested positive, last worked at the store on Jan. 17 and 20.
  • One staff member at Real Canadian Superstore, 825 Don Mills Rd., last worked on Jan. 13.
  • One staff member at Shoppers Drug Mart, 747 Don Mills Rd., last worked there on Jan. 19.

Don Valley East drivers drew fewer ASE speeding tickets

Note to traffic cops: If you want to catch speeders in Don Valley East, a good place may be on Gateway Boulevard near 10 Gateway Blvd. Nearly 3,273 speeding tickets were issued by a photo radar station there over five months last year, according to figures released today.

A poor location for catching speeders may be on Ness Drive, north of York Mills Road. A measly 32 tickets were issued there at the other Don Valley East location.

Across the city, 50 automated speed enforcement (ASE) devices issued 53,090 tickets during the first round — an average of nearly 1,062 per location.

These tickets were from the first round of ASE locations from July 6 to Nov. 30, 2020. The devices, placed mainly near schools, were moved to new locations beginning in late November.

Local libraries open for pickup and drop-off

Branches of the Toronto Public Library will remain open during the lockdown beginning tomorrow — but for pickup and drop-off of library materials only.

Current operational hours are being maintained. A previous communication that branches will close at 8 p.m. were mistaken, the TPL says.

Flemingdon Child Care Centre thumbnailFlemingdon Park child care shut down by COVID

Parents were informed two days ago the Flemingdon Early Learning and Child Care Centre is being closed temporarily after four cases of COVID-19 were found there, the city said today.

Two staff and two children reportedly tested positive for COVID-19 at the Flemingdon Park centre during the recent holiday break. Read the story.

Local child care free for essential workers

Maryvale Jr. YMCA at 1325 Pharmacy Ave. is one of 35 child care programs approved to provide emergency care for the children of essential workers in Toronto communities during the current lockdown of elementary schools.

Families that meet Ontario’s definition of essential workers can apply directly to the approved centres for this free service funded by the province.

Get the full story.

Stay home for New Year’s

There’s nothing planned in Toronto for New Year’s eve tonight — so stay home. Celebrate in person only with people living under your roof or celebrate with others virtually. That’s the city’s message for residents during the strangest New Year’s most of us have ever faced.

CampTO and winter instruction programs cancelled

City-run holiday camps and skiing or skating lessons have been shut down by Toronto’s rising COVID-19 numbers.

The cancellations were announced today, following recommendations from Toronto Public Health and the city’s medical health officer, Dr. Eileen de Villa.

Read more about this.

Thorncliffe Park PSNine TDSB schools now closed by COVID outbreaks

Grenoble Public School in Flemingdon Park is among the latest schools to be shut down by Toronto Public health after outbreaks of COVID-19.

This brings the total number of school closures to 13, including nine in the Toronto District School Board system — and four in the Thorncliffe and Flemingdon Park area. Get the full story.

 

Apartment fire at Vic Park and Arncliffe

A two-alarm fire is being reported in an apartment building at Victoria Park Avenue and Arncliffe Crescent at about 11 a.m. today. Fire Services are on the scene and occupants of the burning unit are out of the apartment, police say. Further details are not yet available.

Night parking banned on North York streets to allow snow clearing

The annual North York Winter Maintenance by-law has been put into effect again, prohibiting street parking to let snow-clearing and emergency vehicles through.

The by-law prohibits parking on streets in the old municipality of North York between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m. until the end of March,

Parking enforcement is to begin Dec. 4 at 2 a.m., according to police.

Dogtopia thumbnailDoggy daycare and spa opens at Parkway

Bryan Ward grew up in the Don Valley area just two blocks from where he and partner Kelly Downing just opened Dogtopia, a canine daycare, boarding and spa.

But it took years from idea to launching the business for the couple who are passionate about dogs. And then they opened their facility in the middle of a pandemic — though this has turned out well for them. Read all about it.

tobogganing hill at RiverdaleLocal parks ready for tobogganing and other winter activities

Graydon Hall Park is among the 23 sites where the city is encouraging tobogganing this winter in its Welcome T.O. Winter parks plan (though you likely know several other great hills to slide down on sleds and toboggans).

The city is also pushing other outdoor activities during the pandemic this winter, including skating, snowshoeing in city golf courses, playing disc-golf and exploring recreational trails.

See the story and where to go for the best tobogganing.

‘Suspicious incident’ in car

On Monday a woman driving a car in Don Mills with a male passenger is reported to have stopped at a light and asked a pedestrian to call police, before she drove off .

Police were called at about 4:30 p.m. and are carrying out a “suspicious incident investigation,” according to a news release.

The vehicle is described as a white Mercedes SUV with a licence plate beginning with “C” and ending with “639.”

The incident reportedly happened when the car was travelling northbound on Don Mills Road and stopped at a red light on Green Belt Drive. A woman was seen in the driver’s seat and a man in the passenger seat.

Police said they would like to speak with the woman and man to make sure they are safe, as well as with anyone who was in the area at the time or who have security or dash camera video of the area or incident.

Thorncliffe among areas to get added COVID-19 supports

Toronto announced enhanced COVID-19 supports today, mainly targeting the northwest and northeast corners of the city where the pandemic has “exacerbated long-standing, systemic health inequities related to poverty, racism and other forms of discrimination.”

But residents of Thorncliffe Park are also considered vulnerable and will receive targeted neighbourhood support, the city says.

The city is working with the Thorncliffe Neighbourhood Organization in the East York/Don Valley community to implement the enhanced supports.

Targeted measures include expanded testing sites, intensified community outreach and engagement, and income support for those who test positive and are unable to work due to mandatory isolation. They will also address the threat of eviction and improve newcomer access to COVID-19 services, among other measures, according to the city.

 

Maryanne Blandizzi thumbnailWoman stabbed to death on Rowena Drive

A 21-year-old man has been charged with second-degree murder yesterday after a 41-year-old woman was stabbed yesterday in the Parkwoods area, police say.

The stabbing took place on Rowena Drive near Victoria Park Avenue at about 1:29 p.m.

Officers reported finding a woman with multiple stab wounds. She was rushed to hospital but succumbed to her injuries. Here’s what we know so far.

Where to go when you have to go

If you’re a person who plans your outings around available washrooms, here’s welcome news for you. The city is refitting and reopening washrooms in parks — like at Edwards Gardens or Wilket Creek Park — this winter.

It’s also adding portable toilets to new locations, along with keeping washrooms going in the usual places like libraries and recreation centres.

Get the full story here.

photo of robbery suspectPolice seeking ‘violent’ suspect in robbery

Police are seeking the public help in finding a man suspected of a violent robbery and assault of a 61-year-old who was walking in the Victoria Park and Ellesmere area Nov. 8.

They have released a picture of Shawn Claydon, 32, who is not to be approached, as he is believed to be violent, police say. See more on this story.

Graydon Hall gunshots lead to two arrests

Two men, 18 and 19, face multiple firearm-related charges after arrests in an investigation of gunshots heard in the Graydon Hall neighbourhood two weeks earlier.

Police say they searched two residences in the Don Valley area yesterday and found at one site a semi-automatic handgun with ammunition and a laser attachment, fully loaded and readily accessible to a child. Get the full story.

Victoria Park Collegiate thumbnailBoy dead after falling through gymnasium skylight

An 11-year-old boy died yesterday afternoon after falling through a skylight in the roof of Victoria Park Collegiate and landing on the gym floor 10 metres below.

Police say a group of youths were climbing on the school roof when the incident happened. They are calling it misadventure. See the story.

Threadgold fire thumbnailNew home in Parkwoods razed by fire

Fire this morning gutted a house being built on Treadgold Crescent in the Parkwoods area. The flames were so intense that firefighters were unable to enter the building and had to fight the fire “defensively,” they said.

It took about two hours to get the fire under control. No injuries were reported. Get the full story.

Yasmin Ratansi thumbnail

MP Ratansi dropped from Liberals over hiring scandal

Yasmin Ratansi has resigned from the Liberal caucus but will stay on as Don Valley East MP after it was revealed she has employed her sister as a constituency assistant for several years, a violation of parliamentary rules.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he is “disappointed” in her and she will be dealt with by the House of Commons administration. Get the full story.

New locations for photo radar units

After three months of issuing tickets, the city’s photo radar units are being moved. All 50 automated speed enforcement (ASE) devices are to be moved to new locations starting this week “to address a greater number of areas with safety concerns and to encourage a wide-ranging deterrent effect,” the city said in a news release yesterday.

In Don Valley East ward, the two new ASE sites are on Fenside Drive, by a public school south of Roywood Drive, and on Underhill Drive, by a middle school near Beveridge Drive.

In Don Valley West ward, the two new ASE sites are on Erskine Avenue, west of Redpath Avenue, and on Thorncliffe Park Drive, near 79 Thorncliffe Park Dr. Both are near elementary schools.

The city reports 47,195 speeders were caught by ASE devices in the old locations, but the number of tickets dropped in the second and third months.

“The Automated Speed Enforcement program is working,” Mayor John Tory said. “Each month, fewer drivers were caught speeding in school and community safety zones where they’ve been placed, and they are helping to keep vulnerable people, especially school

Local street accounts for one in 10 photo radar tickets

Speeders on Gateway Boulevard in Flemingdon Park were caught by cameras 955 times in a recent one-month period, according to figures released by the city today. That’s nearly 10 per cent of all 9,719 tickets issued by Toronto’s 50 automated speed enforcement (ASE) devices over that period.

After three months of issuing tickets, the ASE devices are being moved to new locations to encourage a wider-ranging deterrent effect, the city say. Hopefully Flemingdon drivers have learned their lesson but, beware, four of the new locations are also in Don Valley East and West, including one in the nearby Thorncliffe Park area.

Qais NooriMan’s body discovered in parked car

Toronto police are investigating a “suspicious death” after a body was found in the back seat of a car behind a building on St. Dennis Drive. Residents called police on Oct. 31 after noticing a car that had been parked there for 10 days.

Police have identified the deceased and released his picture. Here’s the story so far.

Seven popup testing sites in east end

Seven COVID-19 testing sites are popping up in East Toronto, Michael Garron Hospital is announcing.

Operated by East Toronto Health Partners, the temporary testing centres offer drop-in and same-day appointments for residents of priority neighbourhoods in East Toronto, as well as for the homeless and those without internet access.

Five new testing locations open this week and join the two sites that were launched and recently extended in Thorncliffe Park and Taylor-Massey (Crescent Town). The five new sites are at:

East York Community Centre, 1081 Pape Ave.
Nov. 2 to 30: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Sunday from 1 to 7 p.m.

Warden Woods Community Centre, 76 Firvalley Ct.
Nov. 5 to 30: Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 1 to 7 p.m.

Dennis R. Timbrell Resource Centre, 29 St Dennis Dr.
Nov. 3 to 30: Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday from 1 to 7 p.m.

Angela James Arena, 165 Grenoble Dr.)
Nov. 9 to 30: Monday, Wednesday and Saturday from 1 to 7 p.m.

South Riverdale Community Health Centre, 955 Queen St. E.
Nov. 7: Saturday, 7 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Nov. 10: Tuesday, 2 to 4 p.m.
Nov. 16: Monday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Nov. 17: Tuesday, 5 to 7 p.m.

Fourth TPH clinic to get your flu shot

The only community flu vaccine clinic east of the Don Valley is to open on Oct. 31, the city announced today. It’s to be located at Scarborough Town Centre, Exterior Unit D3, 410 Progress Ave. and is operated by appointment only.

It’s the fourth clinic launched by Toronto Public Health across the city, the other three launching Oct. 22. It will run until Dec. 31. The clinic next closest to the Don Valley area is at the North York Memorial Hall, Burgundy Room, 5110 Yonge St.

For more information on locations and to make an appointment, see the TPH appointment booking system online.

The flu shot is also available at many other locations in Toronto, including pharmacies, doctors’ offices and clinics. Find a location near you at MyFluShot.ca. [Link no longer available]

Four adults, four youths arrested after police fired at

Four youths were among eight people arrested early this morning after police were fired upon in Don Mills. The shots came while the emergency task force was executing a search warrant, police say.

The investigation has been turned over to Ontario’s Special Investigations Unit, which usually looks at cases involving police with death, serious injury or allegations of sexual assault. Read all about it.

Story continues after ad

Public alert after Don Mills assault

Police are looking for a man in his 30s as part of an investigation into an alleged assault near Don Mills Road and Lawrence Avenue East.

It was reported on Oct. 13 at about 8:15 p.m. a woman was in a laneway when she was approached and assaulted by an unknown man who then fled.

A public alert has been issued. The man is described as in his 30s, 5-foot-10 to 6 feet tall, with a tanned complexion and a light brown scruffy beard. He was last seen wearing a dark baseball cap, grey sweater, dark blue jeans, and a grey t-shirt with a black vest.

Police seek canine victim of carjacking

Police are asking for help finding Sammy, a large, white dog. Sammy was in a vehicle carjacked near Victoria Park and Ellesmere early this morning.

Police recovered the car and arrested a man near Victoria Park and Eglinton later this morning but Sammy was not in the car. See the story.

UPDATE: Sammy’s been found 

SEE DAILY UPDATES FOR OTHER COMMUNITIES:
Beaches-LeslievilleCentral TorontoForest HillLeasideNorth TorontoRiverdale-East York

assault over maskAssault alleged in confrontation over not wearing mask in store

A man in a convenience store in the Flemingdon Park area was punched in the face and had teeth broken when he challenged another man over not wearing a mask.

Police released security camera images today of a man they call a suspect 12 days after launching an investigation into the alleged assault. See the story.

COVID germDon Valley neighbourhoods hit by latest COVID wave

A month ago it looked like Don Valley communities 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.

Though still not as badly as some other Toronto areas. Get the full picture.

Searches lead to multiple drug and firearm charges

A man who had been the subject of a drug and firearm investigation since August has been arrested. The arrest came after police executed search warrants on Sept. 22 at two addresses — near York Mills Road and Silverdale Crescent and near Sheppard Avenue and Beecroft Road — as well as in two vehicles.

Among the items found were two semi-automatic handguns, a fully automatic sub-machine gun, about $40,000 in Canadian currency, and quantities of crystal methamphetamine, MDMA and cocaine, worth more than $128,000, police said today.

Salim Slammy, 27, faces 15 charges including possession for the purpose of trafficking, possession of the proceeds of crime, and unauthorized possession of firearms.

He was scheduled to appear in court on Sept. 23.

 

Research Road thumbnail18-year-old charged with east Leaside murder

An 18-year-old male has been arrested for the shooting death of a 20-year-old near Leonard Linton Park three months ago. Police reported this morning Maviya Tahir of Toronto has been charged with first-degree murder.

The alleged murder victim was one of two men, both 20, shot while sitting in a vehicle in Leaside’s east end on June 9. Get the whole story.

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 Don Valley 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.

StrollTO thumbBe a tourist in our own communities

How well do you know the Don Mills-Banbury neighbourhoods? A walking tour of the area is 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

The rehabilitation of the Don Mills Bridge over the Don Valley Parkway was completed five 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

The Don Mills Library is one 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.


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Posted: Apr 6 2021 6:55 pm
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