Local business shutdowns to spread after premier’s announcement
A lot more local businesses will be shut down tomorrow — temporarily, it is hoped — as Premier Doug Ford has announced only “essential workplaces” can stay open in the province.
This latest move to combat the spread of the coronavirus will leave our local grocery stores, pharmacies, hardware stores, pet shops and several dozen other types of businesses operating from their storefronts and offices, while many more others are forced to close their doors. The closed shops, however, can still offer their products and services online and by phone, and eateries can still provide takeout and delivery service.
Here’s what we know so far about how it will affect the businesses in our communities. We’ll have much more about the local business scene later.
First-place award for local gardening group
The Canada Blooms show may have been cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic, but that didn’t keep the Leaside Garden Society from winning first place with its Big Bird floral exhibit. The open design category was judged prior to the show and before the event, scheduled to open March 13, was called off altogether.
We’ll have more on this honour shortly.
Now we have to avoid extreme weather too
It’s bad enough our streets are already almost empty with people avoiding the coronavirus, but now we have another reason to stay home. Toronto Public Health is asking residents to avoid non-essential travel today, according to a city media release this morning.
This comes after Environment and Climate Change Canada issued a weather statement warning of possible extreme weather today. See the story in Streeter news.
About that canoe o the library lawn
If you’ve noticed a canoe emerging from a garden on the Leaside Library lawn, you should know that it’s there for a good reason. The Butterfly Canoe, as it’s called, and the surrounding gardens are a local contribution to a national project to project to help save the habitat for disappearing bees and butterflies.
It’s even been recognized by the Canadian Wildlife Federation. Read all about it in Streeter.
Local shutdowns and cancellations prompted by coronavirus crisis
Ontario’s and Toronto’s chief medical officers have issued their warnings and recommendations about combating COVID-19 through local distancing. And now the speed of local shows being cancelled, venues shut down and programs postponed has accelerated across midtown and central Toronto.
It’s more than a kids’ bookstore, columnist says
Brian Baker recalls shopping for books for his young kids at the Mt. Pleasant Road bookstore and discovering how much more the shop, overseen by a cat, means to the community. That’s why he resents the possibility of it being replaced by yet another development. Read the Blast Radius column.
Coronavirus testing centre set up in East York
Michael Garron Hospital has opened a coronavirus assessment centre with an entrance separate from the rest of the hospital, MGH announced today. It’s to meet the expected growing demand for testing in the community.
But before you rush down there, be aware the centre is taking only patients exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 — and only by telephone appointment. Read the full story with photos of the new centre.
Mabel’s Fables facing city-wide problems for retailers, store owner says
Despite the meeting to save Mabel’s Fables being cancelled last night, store owner Eleanor LeFave is still upbeat about its prospects. The community is still strongly supportive — and not only of her business but of businesses across the city facing the same problems, she says. Especially of concern are the Eglinton Street retailers who are most suffering from the continuing LRT construction, LeFave says.
And she doesn’t think much of the latest $3 million gift from the provincial government for business adversely affected by the work. It will all be wasted on media and marketing companies, she claims.
Tonight’s meeting to save Mt. Pleasant bookstore cancelled after councillor exposed to coronavirus
Toronto-St. Paul’s councillor Josh Matlow is in isolation after being being informed he has been exposed to an individual who tested positive for COVID-19. Which means all his public meetings have been cancelled or postponed for two weeks, including tonight’s meeting to “Save Mabel’s Fables Bookstore.”
For more on this story, see the Streeter news account.
Patrick Rocca under cyber-attack again
Leaside realtor Patrick Rocca has been suffering a blitz of emails and social media postings trying to extort him over the past two months. Threats are being made against his son and his reputation if he does not pay up. Rocca however seems to be weathering the attack as well he did a similar extortion attempt more than two years ago. Read the full story.
Rosedale public school students warned of exposure to coronavirus
Toronto’s medical officer Dr. Eileen de Villa has sent a letter to Whitney Junior Public School in Rosedale warning that its community may have been exposed to a confirmed case of the coronavirus, several media are reporting this morning.
An individual who was not symptomatic at the time, was at the school on March 4 and later tested positive for COVID-19, said the letter reportedly sent to members of the Whitney school community on Saturday.
We’ll have more on this story as it develops, as well as news on any other instances of the virus in the local area.
Subway closed north of Eglinton today and tomorrow
If you’re planning a trip by transit north in the city this weekend, you night want to reconsider your route. Yonge Street subway service is being suspended between Eglinton and Sheppard-Yonge stations on Saturday and Sunday for track work, the TTC says.
Shuttle buses are operating and all stations are open for fare sales, access to bus routes and connecting lines. Here’s more details from the TTC.
Garbage deal ratified by city and union
We should be getting garbage pickup and other services in the Leaside area for quite a while longer after union members and city councillors ratified a five-year deal with the city’s outside workers. Read the latest news.
Safe bike lanes on Eglinton pushed by local group
A cycling group that meets in Leaside every month is pushing the city to create safe lanes. Leaside resident Holly Reid, who co-chairs Cycle Don Valley Midtown, says one of the group’s focuses now is getting city funding for protective lanes in the plans for Eglinton Connects.
• Beaches-Leslieville • Central Toronto • Don Valley • Forest Hill • North Toronto • Riverdale-East York
Garbage pickup to continue as tentative deal reached
It looks like garbage will continue to be collected and other public services provided in the Leaside area for at least another week.
Negotiators for the city and union announced late yesterday a tentative deal had been reached to avert a work stoppage. It still has to be ratified by the union members next week though.
Read the full news story.
Will Leaside get garbage pickup (and other services) next week?
Garbage, recycling and green bin pickup are being carried out as scheduled in Toronto communities east of Yonge Street today. But it could be the last pickup for a while if city-union negotiations don’t result in a deal before before midnight tonight.
A strike would mean losing several other public services in our neighbourhoods too. Read the latest news on the possible strike in Streeter.
Midtown subway service down tomorrow
If you’re thinking of travelling by subway on Sunday, Feb. 23, you might want to consider alternative route. Subway service is to be be suspended on Line 1 between St. Clair and Sheppard-Yonge stations for the day to allow work on the tracks, the TCC says.
Shuttle buses will be operating on the stretch of Yonge Street and all stations will remain open for fare sales and access to surface routes, although some of the entrances will be closed.
See the TTC online for more information.
Photo radar praised, criticized and stolen
Residents in Leaside and East York have long called for a crackdown on speeding — but they’re divided on whether the newly installed photo radar units will help. Give us more such cameras, say photo radar supporters. No, give us more police patrols, say their critics.
But love them or hate them, at least midtown and east-end cameras are not being stolen or wrecked, as they have been in other parts of town. See the full story.
His refrigerated rink draws neighbourhood kids and adults
North Leasiders who play hockey on Sven Walker’s backyard rink have not had to worry about the fluctuating weather so far this winter. Walker’s refrigeration system keeps the ice solid even when the temperature rises towards melting temperatures.
No wonder kids and adults have been flocking to the yard for regularly scheduled shinny. See the whole story and pictures in local news.
Winterlicious in Leaside and North Toronto
Winterlicious is well underway across Toronto with 200 restaurants presenting affordable, fixed price menus. Midtown Toronto has about 25 of them going strong — including in Leaside, North Toronto and Forest Hill. Here are the local places to call for reservations before the annual two-week food experience is over.
Sunnybrook isolates country’s first coronavirus victims
Canada’s first coronavirus case is in stable condition and is being kept in isolation in a negative pressure room at Sunnybrook hospital, according to medical authorities. The man’s wife, who also tested positive for the virus, is in isolation at home. Their home address has not be released. See the story in North Toronto’s news on Streeter.
Leaside women out for a good cause
The 2020 edition of Leaside Ladies Night Out is coming up on Thursday. The theme this year is Growing Together, in support of the Thorncliffe Park Urban Farmers who are bringing urban farming to the densely populated, high-rise community of Thorncliffe Park.
“Together we can raise funds, donate tools, supplies and put on a set of gardening gloves and start Growing Together,” is the group’s motto.
Leaside Ladies Night Out is being held at the Leaside Pub, 190 Laird Dr., from 6:30 to 11 p.m.
Tickets are $30 at www.ticketor.com. If sold out online, some may be available at the door.
Untold story of Erie Canal shown at Todmorden exhibit
The exhibit “The Story of Water: The Erie Canal as a Site of Untold Stories” explores through cast clay vessels the marginalized histories that made the canal possible.
It’s free at Todmorden Mills starting today until Jan. 26. See the event listing for details.
Time to make your Winterlicious reservations
Reservations are open for the two weeks of Winterlicious that Toronto diners look forward to every year. Nearly every neighbourhood in the city has local dining rooms, bars and bistros taking part this year, offering fine foods from economical, fixed priced menus.
Starting today, reservations can be made online or by phone for the food extravaganza that runs from Jan. 31 to Feb. 13.
Eateries are presenting three-course prix fixe lunch menus in their choice of $23, $28 or $33 categories and dinner menus priced at $33, $43 or $53.
Watch for our guide to Winterlicious dining in the Leaside area.
Northern’s flag at half mast for girl lost in Iranian tragedy
Northern Secondary School’s community is mourning the loss of Grade 10 student Maya Zibaie. The 15-year-old girl died when Ukrainian Airlines Flight 752 was shot down in Iran on Jan. 8.
Zibaie was known as an ambitious girl who also helped her friends with their schoolwork, according to Northern principal Adam Marshall. See more in the full story on Streeter.
Leaside relatively free of violent crime
Shootings may have increased dramatically in the city last year — especially downtown and in the northwest suburbs — but they are still relatively rare in Leaside and midtown Toronto, judging by year-end data from the police. And while shootings and shooting victims are up across Toronto, the number of fatalities and homicides is actually down. See the full story.
Photo radar installed on local streets
Fifty speed enforcement cameras are ready to take your picture if you’re driving too fast on streets across Toronto — especially near schools or parks where kids play. Drivers have already started getting warnings in the mail. Stiff fines are to follow.
See the main article to find out more about this, including where the cameras have been set up in and around Leaside.
Pedestrian struck by vehicle near Leaside intersection
A pedestrian is in serious, but not life-threatening, condition after being struck by a vehicle near the Bayview-Eglinton Avenue East intersection late Saturday night.
Free wintry fun begins at Brick Works
The family fun begins at Evergreen Brick Works this evening with outdoor skating, food, beverages, and other activities every Friday until Feb. 14. See more in our Things To Do listing.
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