Leaside Daily Updates

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

Time to resume your parking permit

If you’re parking on the street with an expired permit, 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.

New facility opens in Leaside’s growing self-storage area

SmartStop Self-Storage and SmartCentres have opened a new, three-storey storage facility in Leaside at 145 Wicksteed Ave. The facility is intended to serve the high-rise communities of Leaside, Thorncliffe, Midtown, and Don Mills, according to an announcement on UrbanToronto.

The new place is located across the street from the existing StorageMart facility at 120 Wicksteed Ave., and just down the street from two other self-storage sites, My Storage and Safe and Sound Storage.

18-year-old wanted for Leaside shootings

Yesterday Toronto police identified a male, 18, who is wanted for first-degree murder and attempted murder in the shootings of two men near Leonard Linton Park in east Leaside on June 9. Get the details here.

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 for the camps that feature physical distancing, regular health checks and other measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Camp locations include several sites in the Leaside and East York areas. 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.

Road closures popular with cyclists, pedestrians, to continue this weekend

You can walk, jog or cycle the lower end of Bayview Avenue again this weekend if you want. The weekend road closures that are turning over sections of Lake Shore Boulevard and Bayview Avenue to people not driving vehicles have proven popular, according to figures released by the city. So the closures will continue this Saturday and Sunday. Get the whole story.

Farmers’ markets coming back?

City-run farmers’ markets, like those we used to see at June Rowlands Park and Thorncliffe 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.

Victim identified in Leaside shooting

Late yesterday afternoon, police released new information about the double shooting near Linton Park on June 9, including the identity of the 20-year-old who was killed and a description of the SUV in which the alleged shooters fled. Get the latest details.

Double shooting leaves one dead in east Leaside

Leonard Linton Park in east Leaside appears to be the scene of gunfire yesterday evening that sent local residents screaming and fleeing, and left one male dead and another seriously injured. Police have few details about how the shooting began or even where exactly it happened. Here’s what we know so far.

Millwood lane to be blocked

Expect the eastbound lane on Millwood Road between Airdre Road and Sutherland Drive to be blocked from June 10 to 19, as the city says construction is being carried out on a bell cable pit.

South end of Bayview closed to vehicles for weekend again

Vehicle access is again banned from the south end of Bayview Avenue on June 6 and 7. Walkers, joggers and cyclists will have the run of Bayview from Rosedale Valley Road to Front Street East, as well as River Street from Gerrard Street East to Bayview.

Also closed to traffic for the weekend in the east end will be the eastbound lanes of Lake Shore Boulevard East from Leslie Street to Kew Beach Avenue near Woodbine park, the city has announced.

If you gotta go while in the park….

The washrooms in Edwards Gardens, Wilket Creek and Sunnybrook Park are scheduled to reopen this week. But for other public facilities in local parks, 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.

South end of Bayview to be shut down to cars for another weekend

Vehicle access is again closed on the south end of Bayview Avenue this weekend to give space to walkers, runners and cyclists. Bayview will be closed to vehicular traffic from Rosedale Valley Road to Mill Street, along with River Street from Gerrard Street East to Bayview. More about it.

Thorncliffe woundings among citywide shooting wave

Two teenage males are in hospital after gunshots were exchanged Saturday afternoon on Thorncliffe Park Drive. It was one of at least six shootings across Toronto over the weekend, including two along Danforth Avenue. Get the whole story.

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 local 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.

Leaside music studio forgoes 30th birthday bash

Yellow Dog Music thought it would be celebrating its three decades teaching music in its non-traditional fashion. But the pandemic shut down those plans. However, the studio has moved its lessons online — where they may stay, says Yellow Dog’s founder. See the full story.


Library branches to start accepting book returns

No Leaside-area libraries are on the short list of public library branches to reopen their drop boxes for returned items on Monday, but they should follow on June 1 when other branches join the rollout of reopened library services. And curbside pickup of materials ordered online is to begin shortly after that.

Read the whole story on Streeter.

Head for the parks, but keep your distance

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.

South end of Bayview shut down to cars for weekend

If you drive the Bayview extension to get downtown, be aware the city is closing the bottom end of Bayview Avenue this weekend. Bayview south of Rosedale Valley Road is among the routes being closed to vehicular traffic on May 23 and 24 to give Toronto residents more space to walk, run and cycle while maintaining physical distance, Mayor John Tory announced today. The closures will take place from Saturday 6 a.m. to Sunday 11 p.m.

Where to drop off your garbage, recycling and yard waste now

For Leasiders, the Bermondsey Transfer Station on Bermondsey Road is the closest of the two drop-off depots that the city has reopened to the public, starting today.

But the hours for getting rid of your garbage, recycling and yard waste are limited mainly to evenings and nights. And you have to follow public health guidelines to use the depots.

Get all the details in the Streeter story.

Arrest made in Balliol homicide case

A 27-year-old man has been arrested after the homicide investigation that arose from the fire in the Balliol Street apartment building. See the latest story.

Taste of Danforth among latest coronavirus victims

Taste of the Danforth is among the latest local 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 across town.


Balliol homicide victim identity released

The apparent homicide victim whose body was found as firefighters put out a laundry room fire on Balliol Street yesterday has been identified and his picture released by police. See the story in Streeter news.

Woman arrested yesterday in saliva-spreading investigation

A 32-year-old woman faces a charge of mischief about two weeks after East York bank staff reported surveillance cameras showed someone coughing, spitting and spreading saliva around an ATM machine. See the update on this case.

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.

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.

Woman identified from images of saliva-spreading at East York bank machine

Police have identified a 32-year-old woman after security camera images of a coughing, spitting and saliva-spreading incident at an ATM were released a few days ago. She is being sought by police. We’ll have the full story shortly.

Update: Here’s the story with images.

East York festivities cancelled for Canada Day

East Yorkers will miss their parade, festival and fireworks on July 1 as the city has cancelled all in-person Canada Day celebrations. They’re the latest events to fall victim to the COVID-19 pandemic, pushing well into summer. Read about them and see the entire list of local cancellations.


Transformer fire on Millwood

At 11:48 a.m. today, Toronto Fire Services responded to a fire on a transformer pole at Millwood Road at the Hydro-Electric Power Commission substation near Overlea Boulevard. No injuries were reported, police say. No other information has been released.


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.

The lake is back in Leaside

If you’ve been cooped up in your this spring so far, you may not have noticed Lake Leaside is back. And the ducks and geese seem happy the annual flooding of the excavation between Vanderhoof and Wicksteed avenues has returned. See the story and photos.

Local long-term care homes hit more lightly than in other parts of city

COVID-19 has struck many long-term care homes in midtown and east-end Toronto but with less dire consequences than in other parts of the city, judging by a city report today. The St. Clair O’Connor Community Care facility in East York now tallies eight deaths while centres in suburban Toronto have been hit worse. See the full story.

Bayview-Davisville gets lights despite some Leaside opposition

Two years ago the communities around Bayview and Davisville avenues were split over the proposal to install traffic lights at the busy T-intersection. Some residents and businesses said signals would make the intersection safer for pedestrians, while others argued traffic would be jammed up, causing drivers to veer off into residential streets.

But the city has now gone ahead with the installation of lights for cars and pedestrians at the corner. Read the full story.

Put out your yard waste at least one more time

The city has extended its yard waste collection for another two weeks. It had been suspended as part of Toronto’s COVID-19 response but the city resumed it for a period from April 6 to 17. Yesterday it was announced the service would be continued to May 1. For more details see our report.

Donations for local shops collected by new site

Mabel’s Fables Bookstore on Mt. Pleasant Road is among shops hit by the shutdown that you can support from a distance, thanks to a new website. Mayor John Tory is lauding distantly.ca, which has been set up to accept community donations for registered local businesses to help alleviate some of their expenses and help them survive the crisis.

Read all about it here.

Better behaviour found in parks by enforcement officers

Have you noticed it in local parks? Fewer people flouting the city’s social distancing rules and hanging in groups, or using closed park facilities, like playgrounds and fitness stations?

That’s what enforcement officers have discovered on the first two days of their four-day holiday weekend blitz of the city’s parks. They’ve also had fewer people calling 311 to complain about it.

This comes as they move from issuing warnings to issuing tickets — up to $1,000 — for infractions of the public health measures. Read more about it.

Four-day police crackdown on park gatherings

Sunnybrook Park is among areas to be blitzed by police and enforcement officers from April 10 to 13 to crack down on groups congregating and people using closed parks facilities, like playgrounds.

Three hundred and sixty officers will be talking to people and issuing tickets up to $1,000 to those found not complying with the city’s measures to counter the spread of coronavirus. The 10 parks targeted by officers have been the subject of public complaints or feedback from previous enforcement efforts, police say.

Read more in Streeter news.

Fatal shooting investigated in Thorncliffe’s Leaside Park

Police found one person with very serious injuries in a car crashed into the swimming pool in Leaside Park near Overlea Boulevard and Thorncliffe Park Drive last night. The unidentified person had apparently been shot and was pronounced dead on the scene after failed CPR efforts.

Local highrise residents heard multiple shots and watched the drama unfold from their apartments. See the full story.

Doors closed and other local cancellations

Doors Open Toronto, originally scheduled for May 23 and 24, is among the local events that have been shut down in the latest wave of cancellations due to the coronavirus pandemic. Now the cancellations, postponements, and moves to the internet extend right into summer. See our updated guide to the changes.

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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.

UPDATE: Here’s the full story.

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 on 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.

We’re trying to stay on top of it with an updated tips list in Streeter news. If you’ve learned of any other schedule changes in our communities due to coronavirus concerns, let us know.

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.

Read the full story.

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.

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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.

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Posted: Jul 2 2020 9:52 am

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