Forest Hill Daily Updates

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

Man arrestedMan arrested on bridge in same area

Police aren’t saying it’s the same man, but they’ve arrested someone dressed in camouflage and a bullet-proof vest in the same area where a gunman in combat gear was previously reported. The reports in the Eglinton Avenue West and Allen Road area on Monday led to local schools being put in a “hold and secure” position.

Here’s what we know about it.

school hallway thumbnailSchools on ‘hold and secure’ after gunman spotted in area

Schools in the area of Eglinton Avenue West and Allen Road were locked up and police attended to help students leave after classes yesterday, when a man was reported in the area carrying two guns and dressed for combat.

Police have been unable to find the gunman but are keeping the investigation open, they told worried residents.

Get the whole story so far.

Allen Road to be closed three days

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

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

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

Police look for person who damaged religious statue

Images have been released of a person being sought for mischief after a religious statue was vandalized on St. Clair Avenue West.

The face and hands of the statue of Mother Mary on the grounds of Holy Rosary Parish Church were damaged on Sept. 23, police say. More on this story.

Car on fire at intersection thought to be stolen

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

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

Matlow with Bell box thumbnailMore public art coming in Toronto-St. Paul’s

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

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

COVID germForest Hill among areas hit by latest COVID wave

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

Though not as bad as some other neighbourhoods. Worst hit in midtown have been Englemount-Lawrence and Mount Pleasant West. Get the full picture.

Nuit Blanche thumbnailArts festival moved from the streets to online

Nuit Blanche, which has presented art installations in Toronto streets over the course of one night for the past 14 years, is n0w presenting a week of virtual experiences.

Funded by the city and the Government of Ontario, Nuit Blanche Online is running Oct. 3–10 this year in five online streaming programs. Find out more in Streeter Things To Do.

pumpkinsLocal events cancelled or moved online in city announcement

Heddington Halloween, pumpkin parades and street fests are among the midtown events seeing their live activities shut down by the city this week. Some of them though will carry on as virtual or online happenings.

The city followed public health advice in cancelling all upcoming festivals and other large in-person gatherings held at outdoor sites managed by the city or at public locations, the city said in a news release on Wednesday.

See the story in Streeter news.

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

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

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

Here’s what we know so far.


climate change thumbnail2Are you a champion for climate action in the neighbourhood?

Could you help educate and collaborate with local residents to develop climate action projects reflecting the needs and values of your midtown neighbourhood?

If so, the city wants you. To become a Neighbourhood Climate Action Champion.

Being a local champion will take about four or five hours a month and it won’t pay much — a $500 honorarium. But you’ll get free training and the satisfaction of helping fight climate change. Read all about it.

StrollTO thumbBe a tourist in our own communities

How well do you know the Casa Loma neighbourhood? 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.

BigArtTO thumbnailBigArtTO scheduled for local wards

The George Brown College Casa Loma campus is one of the sites to be used as a canvas 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.

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

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

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

Construction to shut down lanes at St. Clair and Avenue

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

Spence's BakerySix hit by gunfire on Eglinton Avenue West

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

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

Bike Share thumbnailRide a bike for free on Wednesday

Bike Share Toronto, which has stations all over midtown Toronto now, is letting woulds-be cyclists ride for free all day every Wednesday in September.

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

Secret Bench sculpture thumbnailBeloved ‘bench’ sculpture missing

Police say thieves came in the middle of the night to take “The Secret Bench of Knowledge” sculpture from its location in front of a home on Strathearn Boulevard. The sculpture by a renowned Canadian artist weighs 226 kilograms and was embedded in stone.

Police are working to recover “this treasured community piece,” they say in a press release. Get the story.

midtown coronavirus mapFew recent COVID cases in this area

Forest Hill South and Humewood-Cedarvale are free of new cases of COVID-19. And other nearby neighbourhoods are the same or close behind, according to the city’s coronavirus map.

Most neighbourhoods in midtown Toronto as a whole are showing zero to three confirmed or probable new cases for August so far.

See the Streeter article to check how your neighbourhood is faring.

CNE logo thumbCNE starts today — at your home

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.

Condo rental listings up, though leases are down

Thanks to the pandemic, the formerly tight condo rental market has loosened up, with more apartments available and prices dropping, according to a new report. In the Forest Hill area (including Oakwood Village), listings are up somewhat, but rentals are almost half what they were a year ago.

It’s a different story to the north,  in the real estate district encompassing Forest Hill North, Bedford Park-Nortown and Lawrence Park, where  both listings and leases are down.

The good news for tenants though is that the average prices for condo apartments in both areas is pressed downward — at least slightly so far.

Get the full picture in Toronto.

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, Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m..

Transformation of Bell boxes continues

In the 12th year of the Bell Box Mural project, those drab boxes are continuing to be turned into vibrant works of art across the St. Clair Avenue West area.

They hope to bring happiness to local residents during this sad time in Toronto, the artists say. And their musical tableaus and natural scenes — bugs! flowers! animals! — seem to be doing the trick.

More on this engaging project.

Suspects in Forest Hill break-in tracked down by police dog

The Phantom knows. Or in this case the police dog Phantom knew where the suspects in a break-in near Spadina and Kilbarry roads were hiding.

The K-9 officer was brought in last night after a residential alarm was tripped and security guards interrupted the break and enter in progress. The guards called police and in short order two suspects were caught, police say, thanks to Phantom’s nose.

See the whole story.

Tours launched for Toronto’s historical museums

Forest Hill’s Spadina House 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 cut back construction noise

Toronto-St. Paul’s MPP Jill Andrew is 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, on a motion from Toronto-St. Paul’s councillor Josh Matlow, 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.

Arrest for child pornography

A 42-year-old man faces child pornography charges after police executed a search warrant near Christie Street and St. Clair Avenue West on Wednesday. It was part of an investigation into the possession of child sexual abuse material, police reported today.

The man has been charged with two counts each of possession of child pornography and accessing child pornography. He appeared in court on July 22.

Housing prices up in most central and midtown areas despite pandemic

The average price for a single-detached home in midtown and central Toronto for the first six months of 2020 is up over the same period of last year, according to a real estate report released yesterday.

The real estate districts including Forest Hill, Casa Loma, Mount Pleasant and Cabbagetown, for example, have all experienced price increases of 10 to more than 55 per cent over a year ago.

However, a few districts — like those including Rosedale, Moore Park and Bridle Path — have seen prices drop from a year ago.

See the full picture and details in Streeter news.

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 the Forest Hill area, this includes Cedarvale Park, Hillcrest Park, Wells Hill Park, Oriole Park and other local locations.

See the story and get the details in Streeter news.

Lonsdale disrupted for conduit construction

The westbound lane of Lonsdale Road at Dunvegan Road is to be blocked starting today due to a conduit being constructed. The work is expected to take place daily from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. until July 17.

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.

Start signing up for CampTO tomorrow

Registration for the city’s new day camps initiative, CampTO, starts in this area tomorrow. Sign up by phone or online to send kids from age 6 to 12 to the camps that feature physical distancing, regular health checks and other measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19.Find out all about it on Streeter.

Wider reopening finally gets the okay

You can soon take the family out to a local restaurant or hang out in a local bar again. Take the kids to the pool or splash pad. Go shopping for more than groceries. Get a haircut or your nails done. All this and more as Toronto reopens businesses, cultural places and recreational centres in the move to Stage 2 of the province’s reopening plan.

Read more about today’s long-awaited announcement.

Arrest for robbery that began with classified ad

A 25-year-old man has been arrested four months after a knifepoint robbery that allegedly began when two men met to discuss the purchase of an item advertised on an online classified ad. The robbery took place in the Eglinton-Bathurst area in February and the man was arrested after a search warrant was executed on June 9, police reported yesterday. Get the details in Streeter news.

Farmers’ markets coming back?

Farmers’ markets, like those we used to see at midtown locations like Wychwood Barns, Dufferin Grove Park and June Rowlands Park, may make their reappearance this summer, if not earlier.

The city says it is working with the markets it operates to get them back up and running while complying with the new public health requirements. Read more about it.

If you gotta go while in the park….

A few washrooms in North Toronto and other parts of the city are scheduled to reopen this week. But for public facilities in parks closer to the Forest Hill area, well, you’ll just have to hold it till next week. The city is reopening about 50 parks washrooms by June 6, with the rest of the 200 washrooms to open by mid-June, it was announced today. See the story.

Window shot out in Wychwood, police chase suspect vehicle

Reports of gunfire and of a residential window being shot out after midnight this morning led police on a high-speed chase of a vehicle from Christie Street and Lambertlodge Avenue in the Wychwood area to Shaw and College streets.

We’ll have more on this as new information is received. Get the story here.


Pothole-fixing blitz continues today

If you run into traffic delays today, it may be because the city is on a massive project of fixing potholes on expressways, major roads and neighbourhood streets. Sixty-six crews and 162 workers are fanning out across the city today in the final round of pothole repairs for this month, the city has announced.

About 18,000 potholes have already been repaired in May — and 105,000 so far in 2020. But in case those numbers sound impressive, bear in mind they are only slightly ahead of last year’s pothole-fixing pace — and well behind the numbers racked up by May in each of the two previous years.

If your least favourite midtown pothole is not filled in by today’s blitz, you can report it online, by email or by calling 311. It will likely be be repaired within four days, the city says.

Library branches to start accepting book returns

The Forest Hill Library is not on the short list of public library branches to reopen their drop boxes for returned items on Monday, but it should follow on June 1 when other branches join the rollout of reopened library services. And curbside pickup of library materials ordered online is to begin shortly after that.

Read the whole story on Streeter.

Parks reopening further, but keep your distance there

Toronto is following the province’s lead and opening more of the city’s parks facilities. Yesterday, Mayor John Tory announced skateboard parks and other facilities are opening immediately, followed by soccer fields, tennis courts, picnic shelters and other amenities by the weekend.

But no team activities are being allowed and physical distancing rules are still in place. Get all the details.

Where to take your garbage, recycling and yard waste

The Ingram Transfer Station on Ingram Drive is the closest drop-off depot available to Forest Hill-area residents, after the city reopened to the public two of the facilities in Toronto.

But, starting today, the Ingram depot is open to the public only on weekday evenings and nights —from 6 p.m. to midnight and from 12:30 a.m. to 6 a.m. Following public health guidelines, payment must be by debit or credit card and a two-metre distance must be kept from others. A face mask or covering must be used when physical distancing is not possible, as in interactions with transfer station staff.

See more details on the city’s COVID-19: Changes to City Services site.

Salsa on St. Clair among latest coronavirus victims

Salsa on St. Clair and the Toronto Chinatown Festival are among the latest summer events to be cancelled, as the city has extended its cancellation of permits for major festivals to the end of August. Mayor John Tory announced the cancellations in his daily press briefing today.

See the latest news on what’s been cancelled, postponed and moved online.

City program sets up shops online

The city has joined with BIAs and other partners to offer a free program to set up independent businesses and artists with online stores. Up to 3,000 small businesses are expected to take up this offer, allowing consumers to shop online, ordering delivery and arranging pickup at places offering curbside service. Read all about it.

Demand is up at food banks but they’re coping

With so many unemployed during the pandemic, food banks in midtown and east-end wards are facing long lineups and big changes to how they serve those in need. But, so far, most are dealing with it well. See the full story and photos.

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In-store shopping at some garden centres

Getting the go-ahead from Ontario premier Doug Ford, some local garden centres are throwing their doors open to shoppers, while others are sticking to curbside pickup and delivery. But all are promising to observe social distancing and other safety considerations. Here’s the rundown.

Mother’s Day brunch without taking her out

Some local restaurants are offering Mother’s Day brunches on Sunday for pickup or delivery. But you may have to order now. Check them out.

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Garden centres opening with curbside pickup

With the Ontario government’s go-ahead, many garden centres and nurseries are open and operating as online businesses. Here are some local places you can place an order for delivery or pickup.

Canada Day leads latest list of local cancellations

The city has cancelled all in-person Canada Day celebrations — the latest events to fall victim to the COVID-19 pandemic, pushing well into summer — although a virtual celebration is in the works. See the full list of local cancellations, postponements and moves online.

You can continue putting your waste out, city says

With a record amount of yard waste being generated while residents are stuck at home, the city has decided to resume its collection. Yard waste pickup was cancelled early this spring but brought back in April for a four-week trial. The trial must have been a success, because now the city says yard waste is returning for the season. Just when garden centres and landscapers are also reopening their businesses.

See the full story in Streeter news.

Some ideas to support local businesses from local MP

With help from local BIAs, MP Carolyn Bennett urges Toronto=St. Paul’s constituents to support small businesses however we can, in her column sent from her home. She also discusses the programs the federal government has hurriedly launched to help Canadians get through the COVID-19 crisis. See the column and photo.

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Posted: Oct 22 2020 12:52 pm

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