Leaside Daily Updates

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

COVID germLeaside among communities 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 Leaside and Bennington have been newly infected in the recent upsurge.

However, Thorncliffe Park has reported no new cases in the past 21 days . Get the full picture.

Secondhand Sunday on today

Today’s the day you can give away or get reusable items — to or from your neighbours. It’s Secondhand Sunday, a city-supported event that runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Here’s more about it.

Research Road thumbnail18-year-old charged with 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. Get the whole story.


UPDATE: Arrest in case of syringes left at school

A 44-year-old man has been charged with mischief following the investigation of a package of syringes and other drug paraphernalia left by a midtown school at Eglinton Avenue East and Mt. Pleasant Road reported on Sept. 22.

Read the latest news.

climate change thumbnailAre 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 Leaside-area 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.

police photo syringes suspectSyringes left at Eglinton Ave. East school

Police have reported a package of syringes and other drug paraphernalia was dropped off this morning near Eglinton Junior Public School at Eglinton Avenue East and Mt. Pleasant Road.

Yes, just a few doors down from the Roehampton Residence for the homeless on Mt. Pleasant, which some local people have charged with drug materials being found in the area, though police have drawn no connection with this incident.

Police have released an image of a man on a bicycle seen leaving the area. Here’s what we know so far.

Chinatown StrollTO thumbBe a tourist in our own communities

How well do you know the Mount Pleasant East 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 Leaside Memorial Gardens Arena 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.

Thorncliffe busts disrupting gangs, police say

Eleven people have been arrested on 95 charges related to guns, drugs and conspiracy to murder. The arrests came on Sept. 3 after the Gun and Gang Task Force and other police teams investigated shooting incidents in the Thorncliffe Park area from late 2019 through 2020, police reported today.

The busts significantly disrupt gun and gang activity that has been jeopardizing community safety in Thorncliffe  and other parts of the city, police said.

Get the full story in Streeter news.

Bike Share thumbnailRide a bike for free on Wednesday

Bike Share Toronto, which has a station on Bayview Avenue at Fleming  Crescent, is letting would-be cyclists ride for free all day every Wednesday in September.

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

condo being built thumbnailShould you buy or rent a condo here?

If you’re looking for a condo in the Leaside area, there may be no clear choice between buying or renting. The real estate district encompassing Leaside, Thorncliffe and Flemingdon ranks right in the middle of Toronto neighbourhoods in the latest report by Zoocasa, which looked at purchase prices versus rental costs.

The best area to buy in may be East York and Danforth Village, while the best area to lease in may be Rosedale and Moore Park, the study suggests. Get the full story.

Outbreak of COVID-19 at Sunnybrook Hospital

The hospital that treated Canada’s first two COVID-19 cases back in January is now reporting the latest outbreak. Four confirmed new cases of coronavirus were found in one hospital unit, the Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre announced yesterday.

Affected patients have been isolated and additional precautions taken, but otherwise the hospital is open and operating normally — and safely — the hospital assures. Get the full story.


Two caught, one sought in Roehampton stabbing

Police have arrested two of three men allegedly involved in the assault and stabbing of a client of Roehampton Residence on Saturday. The third man remains at large. Here’s the latest.

stabbing suspectClient stabbed outside Mt. Pleasant homeless shelter

Three men are being sought by police after the latest violence related to temporary homeless housing in the Mt. Pleasant area. Yesterday police released images of the three, apparently taken from Roehampton Residence security video when the assault and stabbing took place outside the shelter at about 10 p.m. on Saturday.

The city says the victim was a client at the residence on Mt. Pleasant Road but the three wanted men were not. Get the full story.

midtown coronavirus map

Midtown nearly free of recent COVID cases

Leaside and Bennington Heights are free of new cases of COVID-19. And other midtown neighbourhoods are the same or close behind, according to the city’s coronavirus map.

It shows zero to three confirmed or probable new cases recently for most neighbourhoods in midtown, as well as in the east end and central Toronto, for the past 21 days — for all of August actually.

Check out how the neighbourhood compares to others in the Streeter article.

CNE logo thumbGo to the Ex without leaving the comforts of Leaside

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.

Leaside leads city in condo rental growth

The condo market in the Leaside area has experienced a growth in both rented units and available rental units during the pandemic, according to a new real estate report. In fact, Leaside leads all Toronto neighbourhoods in both categories.

The best news though — at least for tenants — is that average prices for condo apartments in the area has fallen.

Across Toronto the formerly tight condo rental market has loosened up dramatically. Read all about it here.

Leasider reports Lexus stolen from home

A member of the Leaside Community page on Facebook reported this morning her Lexus RX 350 was stolen last night. The keys were inside the house in a metal box, as she heard other Lexuses were recently stolen, the owner said in the post. “Obviously these criminals are pros.”

Other members sympathized and told of similar incidents in the area.

Thorncliffe teacher receives anti-racist and equity award

The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario has presented Thorncliffe Park Public School teacher Diana Hernandez an award for her work with refugee students suffering trauma and PTSD.

The award recognizes teachers who have demonstrated outstanding commitment to anti-racist and equity activism in the classroom or community.

Hernandez implemented practices such as classroom calming corners and an outdoor Zen space to address the mental health needs of newcomers and children from war-torn countries, among many other innovations, said a statement from EFTO today.

“Diana has shared her amazing and deep understanding of the mental health needs of refugee and other newcomer students with educators and service providers to make a real difference for these students,” ETFO president Sam Hammond said. Read the full statement here.

Demonstrators clash over homeless shelters

Community anger over homeless housing drew about 100 protesters to Mt. Pleasant Road yesterday — but the issue also drew nearly an equal number of demonstrators supporting the shelters.

The two groups shouted at each other across the street in front of Northern Secondary School. Meanwhile local politicians indicated support for the shelters but lamented how the city has implemented them without consultation.

Get the full story in Streeter news.

Child porn charges after search in Bayview-Moore area

A 51-year-old man faces child pornography charges after the Toronto Police Service Child Exploitation Section searched a property in the area of Bayview and Moore avenues on Aug. 12, police reported yesterday.

The man is alleged to have recorded images of children while he worked as a security supervisor at the Eaton Centre. Child sexual abuse material was found during the search.

Craig McCourt was arrested and charged with two counts of possessing child pornography and two counts of accessing child pornography. He is scheduled to appear in court on Oct. 23.

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 permit.parking@toronto.ca, Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m..

Roehampton HotelConcern over Roehampton Hotel as a homeless shelter

Local businesses and residents have expressed concern over crime and drug paraphernalia seemingly on the rise in the community since the Mt. Pleasant Road hotel has been used as a physical distancing shelter for the homeless. The hotel joins housing for the homeless also recently opened on Broadway Avenue.

Locals and a city councillor are careful to say they are not NIMBYists and care for the most vulnerable during the pandemic, but are getting the city to address the public safety issue.

Read all about it and the mayor’s reply in Streeter news.

NDPers back Toronto call to cut back construction noise

Twelve opposition MPPs are 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 councillors Josh Matlow and Mike Colle, 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.

Four evenings of slow traffic on Mt. Pleasant

Mt. Pleasant Avenue drivers may be used to delays due to Eglinton Crosstown construction, but they’ll be facing even worse north of Eglinton Avenue East over the next several days. From July 27 to 30, the northbound and southbound lanes of Mt. Pleasant will be partially occupied due to testing for roadway structural assessment, the city says. The work is to be carried out daily from 7 to 11 p.m. between Roehampton and Dawlish avenues.

Leaside house prices up over last year despite shutdown

The average single-detached house in the real estate district that includes Leaside is priced at about $2.4 million in the first six months of this year — a nearly 11-per cent increase over the same period last year — according to a real estate report released yesterday.

The nearby Mount Pleasant area has experienced a comparable rise, while the Rosedale and Moore Park district has seen prices actually drop by an even greater amount.

Get the full story on how we compare to other neighbourhoods.

Child struck by vehicle in Thorncliffe

A child was sent to hospital with a serious leg injury after a collision with a vehicle, police advised on Twitter at about 8:30 this evening. The child had apparently been struck by a vehicle at Leaside Park Drive and Overlea Boulevard.

The vehicle driver remained on the scene and Traffic Services is investigating, police said.

More gunfire in east Leaside

Police reported a shooting early this morning at Vanderhoof Avenue and Glassworks Drive, about a block from the shooting at Vanderhoof and Research Road that left one young man dead more than a month ago. This time, however, only minor injuries appear to have been caused.

Officers were alerted to gunfire in the area at about 5:30 a.m. They found shell casings and holes in buildings at the scene, according to police. Two black males carrying a black backpack are being sought in the ongoing investigation.

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 Leaside area, this includes Leaside Memorial Gardens Pool, Leaside Outdoor Pool and other local locations.

See the story and get the details in Streeter news.

Training on local sports fields gets the go-ahead

You should start to see teams and coaches practising, as the city has reopened outdoor sports facilities as of today. But you won’t be seeing soccer, baseball or other games taking place. The reopening comes with strict rules about physical distancing and the number of people on a field at any given moment — which severely restricts the kind of activities players can get involved in.

See the whole story about parks and fields reopening.

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.

Bicycles needed for women to learn to ride

Women in Thorncliffe Park and Flemingdon Park need bicycles to gain the empowerment of being able to ride. The Women’s Cycling Network and Cycle Don Valley Midtown are seeking donations of bikes for 50 women to learn on. See the Things To Do item to find out more about making a contact-free donation.

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.

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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.

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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.

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Posted: Sep 29 2020 9:29 am

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