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A P R I L 2018

Leaside Life

Darleen Bogart, Order of Canada Page 3

leasidelifenews.com

SKATE CANADA/STEPHAN POTOPNYK

No. 71

Leaside’s Meraki Synchro Skating Team takes gold at the 2018 Canadian Championships (full story on page 15)

INSIDE THIS ISSUE:

HANNELORE MOHRING DISHES ON HER LEASIDE • PG. 4

FACING MENTAL HEALTH CHALLENGES • PG. 27

LEASIDE ARTIST BRANDON STEEN • PG. 8

TERRY FALLIS’ LATEST CHILDHOOD ESCAPADE PG. 16 VOLUNTEER ENGLISH TEACHERS IN THORNCLIFFE PARK PG. 20 TAKE THE TWO-BAG LITTER CHALLENGE! PG. 22 THE ARGUMENT AGAINST LAWNS PG. 28 AND MUCH MORE!!


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Leaside Life to launch new website on May 1st, 2018 “Leadership is about connecting a community’s history with present reality and then adapting so that a community can move into the future successfully.” So says Penelope Muse Abernathy, author of Saving Community Journalism: The Path to Profitability. In a December 2017 interview for the Ryerson Review of Journalism with Zoe Melnyk, when asked how local newspapers should deal with the generation gap, Abernathy said “it is not just a matter of making the content relevant to [the readers], but also how you deliver it to them in a manner that they’ll most likely read it. When you look for people who subscribe to print only, they are 60 years old and older. If you look at people who read both the print edition and online, it drops down to around 45. If you look at people who read the paper only online, it’s 35 years old and under.”

It is in this vein that we are thrilled to let our readers know that as of May 1st, Leaside Life is launching a new and much-improved website. Optimized for both desktop and mobile viewing, the new site will be your community hub for all things Leaside. We will, of course, continue to publish and deliver 10,000 printed copies to every home and business in Leaside. We are also active on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and invite you to follow us. Stay up to date on what’s happening in our vibrant community! ■

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Leaside Life • April 2018

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Darleen Bogart, braille champion – Order of Canada

Patrick Rocca bro ke r

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Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette, Governor General of Canada presents the Order of Canada to Leasider Darleen Bogart, O.C. at Rideau Hall. than half a century as well. Darleen’s philosophy is “to find something you love to do, and if it also does good for somebody else, that is nirvana.” ■

Leaside Life • April 2018

Darleen Bogart was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada in June of 2017, and invested into the Order during a ceremony on January 24, 2018. This is a long way from Churchbridge, Sask., where Darleen was born – the youngest in a family of seven children. The citation with Darleen’s award highlights that she was a key figure in the adoption of Unified English Braille (UEB) in 2004. Until then there were separate codes for mathematics, chemistry, computers, literature, and often differences from country to country. Darleen was the chair of the Braille Authority of North America in 1991 when she brought a letter to the board from two American braille-reading code developers explaining this problem. Her skills were such that the organization proposed that the International Council on English Braille take over the project, and that she become its chair. “I thought it would take five years,” said Darleen, but the complexities turned that into more than 10, but now the braille

codes for everything are unified in the English-speaking world. Darleen’s route to the CNIB started when she and her husband Peter bought their house on Broadway in 1961. Her mother-in-law had been involved with the CNIB for many years and wanted daughtersin-law to be involved too. Since the CNIB was just up Bayview from Broadway, it seemed like an excellent volunteer opportunity when her son Christopher was born, and she stopped teaching at Danforth Tech. This also happened to be the time when children with vision problems were being integrated into regular classrooms, so there was a need for more resources in braille. Darleen learned braille – she was “bitten by the braille bug” – and has been involved with the CNIB ever since. Now, more than 50 years later, she teaches correspondence courses across the country, and teaches a braille course every year at the CNIB for the sighted to learn to transcribe braille. As if this weren’t enough volunteer involvement, she has also been with Women’s College Hospital for more

SGT JOHANIE MAHEU, RIDEAU HALL OSGG, 2018

By LORNA KRAWCHUK


LEASIDE PEOPLE • MEET YOUR NEIGHBOURS

Leaside’s legendary Hannelore Mohring It is very fitting that Hannelore Mohring, one of the Bayview Pixies, now helps to beautify the street where she was a restaurateur at the popular Deli-Café from 1961 to 1974, and again from 1982 to 1985. Hannelore and her husband, Reimer, immigrated to Canada from Germany in 1952 and, after spending some time in Western Canada, settled in Toronto in 1958 with their two children, Reimer and Susanna. They were attracted to Leaside by the trees, the elegant homes and the “touch of Europe” they found in the shops and restaurants on Bayview. They especially enjoyed the cheesecake and coffee at the Deli-Café, so much so that when the owner decided to sell, she convinced the couple to buy it, despite Hannelore’s reluctance caused by her own experience of growing up in the hotel business and “being raised by nannies and maids.” In March 1961, Hannelore took over the 12-seat restaurant at 1581 Bayview, which specialized in wiener schnitzel, cabbage rolls, sausages,

Janis Fertuck Columnist

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and deli sandwiches – exotic fare at that time. She hired a chef named Maria Mülhans and soon expanded into the empty store next door. But Hannelore, who describes herself as someone “who can’t stay in one place for very long,” grew restless, sold the café, and ventured into

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real estate, selling farms in Ontario and Quebec to European investors. The couple even tried dairy farming themselves for a while and ended up keeping the farm in Quebec as a holiday retreat. Back in Leaside, Hannelore discovered that her old restaurant was for rent again. When she reopened in 1982, the sign said “Under Old Management” and beer and wine were added to the menu. She and her son shared the cooking duties this time. But after three years of grueling 16-hour days, the couple sold the café and embarked on a series of travel adventures and visits to the farm. Many restaurant patrons in the earlier decades were drawn to the area by the Bayview Playhouse, and Hannelore herself served such performers as Victor Garber, Andrea Martin, Rowan Atkinson and Geraint Wyn Davies. At 88, Hannelore remains an inspiration to everyone on Bayview, walking two hours a day, taking aquafit and aerobics, fulfilling her Pixie duties and acting as a wheelchair escort at Sunnybrook once a week. Her recent travels have included Dubai, Abu Dhabi, the Far East and sailing in the Azores. She also remains connected with old Bayview friends, including the Badalis and Pagnellos, and says that “going down Bayview feels like going home.” ■

PHOTOS OF HANNELORE BY JANIS FERTUCK

Leaside Life • April 2018

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Leaside Life

Thorncliffe Park Tennis Club

Published once a month in Leaside,Toronto ON, by FH Publishing Inc., 1444 Dupont St., Unit 11A, M6P 4H3 416-504-8047

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Leaside Life • April 2018

April 23 - June 18


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LEASIDE PEOPLE • MEET YOUR NEIGHBOURS

Carol Burtin Fripp: First we take Manhattan, then we take...Toronto In 1965, when Robert Fripp and Carol Burtin Fripp were in the throes of deciding to leave New York City, they first considered England, Robert’s home. But the economic situation there was less than ideal. Luckily, Canada beckoned. As Carol says, “In Canada, you didn’t have to have a party label to run for office, and we found that encouraging – that any individual could participate and run.” So north they came – a winter in Montreal, then to Toronto. Robert’s first job here was winding film at the CBC. Ironic, since he went on to produce the prestigious show “The Fifth Estate” for many years. After a few rentals in Moore Park and The Annex, where the rentals all said “one child only,” they decided perhaps it would be a good time to buy, since child #2 was on the way. The house they were shown was on

ROBERT FRIPP

Leaside Life • April 2018

By LORNA KRAWCHUK

Southvale, which in June 1969 cost $34,500. The agent assured them it was “a wonderful house – but it will never be worth more than $40,000.” Hah! Before the children – Eric and Will – were in school, Carol would often bring them to daytime East York Council meetings with her when she couldn’t find a babysitter. They would sit or lie on the floor quietly

colouring or drawing. Some of her community involvement must have rubbed off on them. Eric now lives in the UK where he is a barrister specializing in refugee and asylum law. Will lives in Canada but has a Masters from the UK in intelligence and international relations. Stop sign activism Interest in a particular local issue turned Carol into an activist. The Fripps lived on the south side of Southvale, while Rolph Road School (which her sons attended) was a block to the north. Carol's persuasiveness resulted in the first four-way stop sign in Leaside at the corner of Rolph and Southvale, and a second soon after at Hanna and Southvale. The Rolph Road Home & School Association was her next cause. She reminded me that when she was appointed to the executive, the president was Jean Burnside, mother of Councillor Jon Burnside. Carol and Sally White, as vice-presidents, were in charge of organizing the annual Fun Fair – which included collecting prizes for the auction on Bayview. To everyone’s surprise, the “take” rose from half a dozen prizes to more than 70! From that Home & School position, Carol proposed a school lunch program for children who either wanted to stay at school for lunch or whose parents were at work and needed them to be provided for. Carol was accused of being “a bad mother.” Opponents said “my children need me.” Fortunately, the lunch program won out, and has run successfully ever since. Carol did return to work, starting at TVO in 1976 as a part-time story editor, then associate producer and finally producer for “Speaking Out” with host Harry Brown. In 2000, producers and performers at TVO felt the need for a union. Carol became the “founding mother” of the TVO branch of the Canadian Media Guild, working on winning union certification, collective bargaining and mediation. Today she continues her community involvement as co-chair of the Leaside Property Owners' Association. She was recently honoured for her work by being named the 2018 recipient of the Agnes Macphail Award. ■


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Re: Leasiders who chose to go home again Hello, my name is Anne and I am a newbie on the Leaside strip and very comfortable and happy to be here. It’s a friendly place: people smile, chat, then go about their business. One such chat in the checkout line in the Valu-mart led to much more. We exchanged pleasantries and her transaction completed, mine started. Unfortunately, when I reached for my card case, all I came up with was my hearing aid case, similar in size and colour, but lacking in cash or card. The cashier and I agreed on storing my goods until I returned with payment. My chat companion opened her wallet to lend me the funds. I declined, saying I would just go home, get the card and return. We, she and I, put everything back into the cart. She insisted on driving me home, retrieving the card case, returning to the store, paying, and finally, driving me back home again. She is Leaside. I keep looking for her, not for another ride, but another Thank You. While in the car, we exchanged names. Then, finally, in the February issue of Leaside Life, Page 24, there you are, Kristie. Thank you. Anne Branson Re: Leaside Literati I am a (renting) resident in Leaside. August 2018 will mark my fourth year in a neighbourhood that I love. I have been travelling on foot more than usual since December, using transit, walking to Bayview and Laird to do my errands, and have noticed how trash is lying on the ground while people walk past. I was one of those people until recently. I started collecting beer and other alcohol cans and bottles, as I knew that I could cash in on them, but I have since mustered up the courage to take an initiative at bus stops while I wait. When one talks of getting out of their comfort zone... this is a perfect example. I mean, who picks up garbage from the ground that they didn’t place there in the first place? This attitude is what I’m aiming to change this coming April 22, Earth Day. I would like to build awareness that the trash is there, and that

it’s an eyesore. I’d also like the attitudes to shift from “I’m not cleaning up someone else’s mess” to “for the good of the environment, I’m going to pick up garbage, AND not contribute to any more.” My challenge is the two bag challenge: individuals will fill two shopping bags with garbage on April 22. I call it Public Displays of Collection, and I will be (hopefully) drumming up the excitement using my Instagram account, and informing my followers of what I’m doing to get the ball rolling. I’ll be using hashtags such as #leaside, #trashcleanup, #earthday, #environment, #publicdisplaysofcollection, #2bagchallenge, #earthdayiseveryday, and whatever else is relevant. I am writing to you because through Leaside Life, you too can reach so many people about this issue. Thanks for your attention and for reading. Davida Vineberg, MAT Specialist Re: Leaside’s growing volunteer problem I am writing in regards to your excellent article in the February issue entitled “Leaside’s Growing volunteer problem: A dwindling number of stalwarts.” It is interesting to see that many of our neighbourhood churches are dealing with the same issue of aging volunteers, mostly women. Perhaps though, where a door closes, a window opens and we find new, creative ways for our churches to raise the greatly needed funds for churches and the outreach programs they provide. For example, innovative ideas requiring fewer volunteers may be an opportunity to get the community more involved as St. Anselm’s is doing with opening up space to local artisans and vendors to sell their wares at their fall fair. Thank you again for highlighting this issue as we think it matters. For now there is a shortage of volunteers as you correctly highlight with the good news being this is driving innovation within churches which should help in the near term. Looking a little further out, there are encouraging signs of growing interest in returning to places of worship as people gravitate to constructive values like kindness, tolerance and forgiveness and being social rather than just being on social media. Muriel Wissell (Bennington Heights resident) Coordinator, Spring Fair, St. Cuthbert’s Church PS: come to this year’s Spring Fair at St. Cuthbert’s on April 28 and other spring fairs in the neighbourhood. Let us all support each other. ■

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Leaside Life • April 2018

leasidelife@gmail.com

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LETTERS


LEASIDE PEOPLE • MEET YOUR NEIGHBOURS

Artist Brandon Steen feels the muse in Leaside In the 1980s, Leaside High School kids would skip classes and hang out in one of three places: the AV room, the “butt hut,” or the art room. For Brandon Steen, it was the art room where he would head to hone his creative skills. During these breaks and in art class under the tutelage of his favourite teacher, Gail Fularski, Steen’s talents developed and flourished. Now an award-winning artist whose work has been showcased around the world, Steen has returned to Leaside. In 2017, Steen, along with his wife Jane Holden, came home to care for Holden’s mother at Jane’s childhood home on Richlea Circle. In the months leading up to Jane’s mother’s death, the couple rediscovered the generosity and caring spirit of the community. While they could have moved back to their Mississauga home or elsewhere, they couldn’t imagine any better place than Leaside to call home. It is a neighbourhood, Steen says, where he and Holden have felt “tremendous support.” While Steen has painted in numerous styles including pop surrealism, he is now a contemporary realist painter working with acrylic on custom-made birch panels. Citing Canadian artist Alex Colville as an inspiration, Steen focuses on the historic qualities of Toronto. His recent series, entitled “Vanished,” contrasts the environment of the city today with that of the land of the Indigenous peoples thousands of years ago. Depicting the flora and fauna that once existed in the city, Steen takes viewers back to a time when Toronto was home to moose and bears. The artist has also worked on and continues to paint Leaside buildings that speak to the neighbourhood’s contributions during World Wars I and II. His paintings document buildings which are still standing but slated to be demolished,

for instance Research Enterprises Limited (REL) on Research Road, which housed the production of electronics and optical instruments during World War II and which will soon be razed and replaced by yet another storage facility. While Steen is not necessarily anti-development, he does want to capture the neighbourhood’s military history before all signs are erased. He is passion-

ing more and more praise and commissions. His art has been shown in galleries around the world and can be found in private home collections globally. He is now a gallery artist at the Elaine Fleck Gallery on Queen St. West, where his work will be featured in a show opening on June 2nd from 7-9 pm. While skipping classes may not be a behaviour to encourage, in the case of Brandon Steen, it was these moments of unfettered creativity, along with great mentoring and pure talent, that produced an artist Leaside is proud to have living in its midst. For any enquiries about Steen’s work or his June 2nd show, contact the Elaine Fleck Gallery at: elainefleckgallery.com or 416 469 8005. ■

ate about preserving Leaside’s character in any and all future projects. As he points out, “the neighbourhood’s aesthetics need to be honoured. Developers have only got one shot and they need to do it right.” With the support of his wife, his community, and his three English bull terriers, who keep him company in his home studio, Steen is receiv-

Top right: The artist in front of his painting “Look Out Not In,” which depicts the Research Enterprises Limited building on Research Road. Left is a larger view of the complete painting. Above is a painting of a building at Laird and Parkhurst entitled “The Hunt.”

Susan Scandiffio Columnist

PAINTINGS: BRANDON STEEN PHOTO OF THE ARTIST: SUSAN SCANDIFFIO

Leaside Life • April 2018

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LEASIDE PEOPLE • MEET YOUR NEIGHBOURS

Sergey Stefanishin: Moscow’s loss, Leaside’s gain Sergey Stefanishin and his family are not only newcomers to Leaside, but also to Canada. I first met him when he lived in my building, but he has since moved, to a house on Millwood. Living in Moscow with his family, Sergey and his wife, Julia, were troubled by the escalating difficulties between Russia and Ukraine in 2014, especially since Julia is from Ukraine and her parents still live in Kyiv, and Sergey’s father is also from Ukraine. They started seriously considering a move out of Russia, but where? He had attended a specialized English language school in Moscow starting in Grade 2, so his English was fluent. In the 1990s, he had been on a student exchange and spent a month with a family in Boston. Later on, after getting his PhD in law, he had also graduated from the Northwestern University School of Law in Chicago, so he was acquainted with North America.

ROMAN KONOVALOV

Leaside Life • April 2018

By LORNA KRAWCHUK

Canada’s climate (similar to Moscow's) and our immigration policies on skilled workers convinced them to make this country and Toronto their home nearly two years ago. We have their real estate agent to thank for their choosing Leaside. Sergey and Julia were looking for

good schools for their now 9-yearold twins, and they liked Leaside’s “unique atmosphere” and immediately wished to become a part of it. As a lawyer working in English for international law firms, Sergey worked on a number of fascinating files. He drafted the contract for SERGEY, Page 31

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The rebirth of St. Anselm’s playground By JANIS FERTUCK “Experts on children agree that they need safe, functional play areas since outdoor activity plays a vital role not only in their physical development, but in their social and cognitive development as well.” So said Chris Burkett, one of the co-chairs of the St. Anselm Playground Revitalization Committee, at a community meeting held on Feb. 27 to launch an ambitious fundraising campaign and present designs to create a rejuvenated playground. The revitalization is necessary because the current playground has very little green space, the play structures are outdated, and the asphalt is cracked and uneven – a hazardous situation resulting in several accidents. Since this parent committee was formed in October 2015, they have liaised with the Toronto Catholic District School Board to obtain approval for the project and to develop a plan after gaining input from the students, staff, parents and parish through a series of surveys. While the TCDSB appreciates the need for an improved playground, their renewal funding is required to keep the school buildings themselves in a good state of repair. The board is, however, very engaged in the project as it is in charge of obtaining proposals for the design and construction and has committed to the maintenance of the new playground. After raising $30,000 to cover the first stage of the project, the committee received submissions from six firms and chose SerdiKa Consulting,

L-R: Principal Donato DiPaolo with committee members Michelle Raino, Tom Teahen, Chris Burkett and Nicole Watts. which worked on a similar project at Blessed Sacrament School. Architect Zori Petrova presented her proposed layout and several options for play structures at the meeting. Once completed, the rejuvenated playground will include a number of new features: a soft-surface turfed play area, new play structure, outdoor teaching space with benches, designated basketball courts and games areas, as well as green and shaded areas

Proposed plans for the new playground, model structures and examples of possible play sets from SerdiKa Landscape Design.

— all designed to meet the recreational needs of the students, Leaside Daycare, which also uses the space, and the wider community. The Revitalization Committee currently comprises co-chairs Chris Burkett and Tom Teahen, Michelle Raino and Nicole Watts, who are spearheading the fundraising efforts, and other members, Ariel Burkett, Cathy Ferguson, Mark Palmer and Andrei Sherwin. Their goal is to raise $300,000 by March 2019 so that construction can be completed during the summer months. They are seeking both corporate and individual donors, and are encouraging families to consider ECHOAGE birthday parties featuring donations rather than gifts, with St. Anselm as the charity of choice at echoage. com. There will be donor recognition opportunities including plaque placement and a donor wall. More information is available at www.youcaring.com/stanselm. A number of fundraising events have already attracted donations, with more events planned. To learn more, contact Michelle Raino at mraino@gmail.com. ■

JANIS FERTUCK

Leaside Life • April 2018

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Get out and explore everything Bayview and Eglinton has to offer this spring.

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Opening the channels of communication with the TDSB By GERRI GERSHON When I first became a Trustee on the Toronto District School Board you couldn’t find a school’s phone number without looking up the local government section of the phone book. (Remember those ancient books?) It’s a different story now – never before have there been so many communication tools readily available to us. Nevertheless, Leaside parents hunger for even more and better communication. All our schools send out newsletters electronically and maintain websites. Some principals and individual teachers also tweet about their programs. For example, teachers such as Rachel Standing at Bessborough Drive EMS (@rachelstanding), Laura Plum at Rolph Road ES (@MsPlumsClass) TDSB, Page 35

Notice of Community Consultation Toronto Pearson is fast becoming one of the world’s leading airports. As we meet the demand for air travel, the Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA) and NAV CANADA are working to identify measures that address the issue of aircraft noise for local neighbourhoods. Starting March 2018, the GTAA and NAV CANADA are conducting public consultations on proposals that are aimed at reducing noise impacts for residents around the Greater Toronto Area. The proposals include: new flight paths for overnight flights, changes to the preferential runway system and a summer weekend runway alternation program.

Community Briefings

Community Open Houses

The final community briefing will include an hour of technical review and analysis led by an industry expert. Discussion with GTAA and NAV CANADA representatives to follow.

Drop-in style evening events will be held in communities across the GTA and include the same information as the briefings. GTAA and NAV CANADA representatives will be available to answer questions one-on-one and speak to the impact and benefits of the proposed changes on your community.

April 7, 2018 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Open houses will be hosted from 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. on select dates between March 3 and April 12, 2018.

Four Points by Sheraton, Windsor Ballroom 6257 Airport Rd., Mississauga, ON

To find the Open House in your community, please visit torontopearson.com/conversations

To register, or for more information, visit torontopearson.com/conversations, call 416-776-5739 or email community.engagement@gtaa.com


Meraki Synchro: Leaside’s new champion skaters

It’s not all about hockey at Leaside Arena. Stop by any Tuesday, and you’ll see a large group of super-athletic young women skating in perfect unison. Like synchronized swimming, synchro skating has taken off as a respected and challenging sport, and we now have some national champions in our midst. This last February the Meraki Intermediate Synchronized Skating team skated to a personal best at the Canadian nationals in Oshawa and earned their place in the world of synchronized skating. On Friday, February 23rd, the 19 skaters, aged 13-18, performed their free program with a personal best score for the season against 13 other teams. The field was competitive with teams from across the country positioning for the podium. On the Saturday, the team skated their second performance and finished the event with a gold medal

and a total score of 111.32. Their routine is skated to Cuban music and based on the movie The Mask with Jim Carrey and Cameron Diaz. According to Coach M.K. MacDougall, “Meraki Intermediate was ranked 11th last year at their first Canadian Championship which makes this an incredible accomplishment and a testament to all their hard work and determination.” Asked about the win, Leasider and Meraki skater Leah Aspden said, “It felt really great. We put in so much effort. It’s also a huge time commitment since we practise several times a week from the end of August until February. This year, it really paid off and we were all so happy. It was one of the best feelings ever.” The team also won third at the Ontario Regionals, hovering near the top until their big national win. What’s next for the Intermediate team? Leah says, “As of Nationals, we are finished for this season, but

DANIELLE EARL

By ROBIN DICKIE

we do have auditions for next year starting soon. Our current team has several skaters going off to university next year, so we will have some new faces. Practice begins right after auditions, we break for the summer and start up again at the end of August.” Not much rest for these accomplished young champions. Although Meraki skate out of Leaside Arena, the skaters come from all over the greater Toronto area. There are varying levels; next season will include beginner, elementary, pre-juvenile, novice and intermediate. Overall, there are close to 80 skaters who take part. If you know an avid synchro skater, auditions for 2018-2019 are coming up! See merakisynchro.ca. ■

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July 3rd - August 24th, 2018 • • • •

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Leaside Life • April 2018

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Meraki — Origin: Greek (v.) To do something with soul, creativity, or love; to put something of yourself into your work


Flight or plight?

Leaside Life • April 2018

16 As a kid, I was always fascinated by things that flew — airplanes, gliders, rockets, helicopters, and yes, hovercraft. If you happened to make it through my column in the last issue of Leaside Life, you know far more than you probably wanted to know about the single-seater hovercraft a classmate, Geoff Elmer, and I designed and built when we were both 15. I thought it would be better to start with a column about our pseudo-successful foray into aviation. After all, the hovercraft worked. It flew. But long before the hovercraft, Geoff and I had our share of epic flight-fails. You see, the early 1970s marked the rise of hang gliding as a sport. Recent advances in flexible wing design ushered in a new era of personal flight. For a couple thousand dollars, you too could run down a hill shouldering a simple

Terry Fallis Columnist

gull-winged contraption of aluminum tubes and nylon, and soar with the birds. At the tender age of 12, I wanted some of that, and so did my co-conspirator, Geoff. Naturally, we were not satisfied

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with the popular design of conventional hang gliders as developed by the respected aeronautical engineer, Francis Rogallo. I mean what did a respected aeronautical engineer know about hang gliding anyway? Geoff and I decided a smaller, heavier, and chunkier design constructed out of wood and fabric would fly much better. Falcon 1 was constructed in our backyard under cover of darkness on a Friday night in December. It had a 12 ft. wingspan and measured 10 ft. from nose to tail (though it may not have been obvious to the casual observer which end was which). Bed sheets pilfered from our linen closet were cut and stapled to the airframe (I use the word “airframe” as we truly believed it would soon be in the air.). It was too heavy for the two of us to carry down to Talbot Park at the end of our street, so we dragged it on a toboggan. As usual, I drew the short straw and was our designated test pilot for the first “flight” of Falcon 1. To launch it, I sat on the toboggan, just barely supporting the glider on my back as visions of spinal damage danced in my head. Then Geoff pushed the toboggan down the hill. About half way down, when I think we were travelling about 450 miles per hour, the glider did in fact lift off my back nearly wrenching my arms from their sockets. Yet, through it all, my rump remained steadfastly planted to the seat of the toboggan. Undaunted, we spent a few months designing and building Falcon 2, a much more elaborate biplane configuration that looked much cooler. We were so confident that we installed ailerons that I could control through strings, pulleys and eyelets. If that weren’t enough, we actually fashioned a sling seat. Simply put, I feared that after soaring for 15 or 20 minutes high above the park, I might become fatigued from hanging beneath the glider. Right. Such was the unbridled optimism of youth. Even my mother got into the act. She kindly sewed the sky blue rayon to fit the wings, nose, and tail. I know what you’re thinking. How could my mother aid and abet this dangerously daredevilish madness? Well, in consultation with my father, I assume they both agreed that Falcon 2 was only marginally more aerodynamic than Falcon 1, meaning that it was only slightly more airworthy than a FALLIS, Page 23


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An architectural guide to Leaside house styles | Part I

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Leaside Life • April 2018

By ALEX PINO, BROKER As part of the colonial expansionism, Leaside was keen to embrace a series of revival house styles, representing the unique character of the neighbourhood. We are going to start this guide with the most prominent types. The Georgian Revival style appeared in the 1910s in Canada, becoming one of the most popular domestic styles to date.

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Georgian: Main characteristics and identifiable features 1 Symmetrical design, classic proportions with distinctive window placement. The side door version is called two thirds. Material: 2 Brick is the norm in Leaside 3 Horizontal belt between first and second floors Roof: 4 Hipped roof (slopes upwards from all sides) or side gabled (upwards from the side) Windows: 5 Double hung sash windows with small multi-panes 6 Decorative brick headers above windows Entrance: 7 Pediments, flanking pilasters 8 Transom window over front door 9 Hooded front door Decorative pieces 10 Cornice with dentils 11 Belt course 12 Corner quoins or blocks

The Tudor Revival style was inspired by rural vernacular architecture of Tudor England.

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Tudor: Main characteristics and identifiable features 1 Asymmetrical assemblage of elements. 2 Decorative half-timbering on windows 3 Exposed wood framework filled with stucco or masonry Material: 4 Patterned stonework exterior Roof: 5 Steeply pitched roof 6 Cross gables 7 Overhanging gables Windows: 8 Casement windows grouped in rows of three or more with leaded glass. Entrance: 9 Rounded doorways, arched openings and tops. 10 Thick masonry Decorative pieces 11 Elaborate masonry chimneys for larger houses 12 Parapeted or Flemish gable.

We will explore other styles in the next issues. If you want to know more about your own house style, please feel free to drop us a line! Alex Pino, Arch FRI Broker, is Senior Vice President, Sales for Sotheby’s International Realty Canada. You can reach him at apino@sothebysrealty.ca. ■


OF LEASIDE THE STREETS

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FLEMING CRES. 150

By JEANNE HOPKINS Like many other streets in this area, Fleming Crescent was named for an associate of William Mackenzie and Donald Mann, who laid out the Town of Leaside in 1912. Born in Cabbagetown to poor Irish parents, Robert John Fleming (1854-1925) served as a Toronto alderman and mayor for four terms. He also operated the Toronto Street Railway. Fleming was a devout Methodist, active member of Timothy Eaton Memorial Church, and staunch supporter of the temperance movement, so it’s no surprise that one of Fleming’s first measures as mayor was to reduce the number of liquor licences issued in the city. In 1904, Fleming was hired by William Mackenzie as general manager of the Toronto Railway Company until it became part of the Toronto Transportation

ized her passion for local history in the Canadiana department of the North York Public Library, where she worked for 27 years. She is the author of many articles and five books of local history. ■

ab

Correction: As reader Mike Minnich pointed out to us in our article on Carol Burtin Fripp, Richard Nixon was not the President of the United States in 1965. In fact, it was Lyndon Johnson. We regret the error.

Leaside Life • April 2018

Commission in 1921. He was later put in charge of all of Mackenzie and Mann’s holdings, which included the Toronto Electric Light Company and the Toronto and Niagara Power Company. Fleming loved his Jersey cattle, which he kept at his Toronto city home until the city forced him to move twice to what was then the country. In 1899, after complaints that his cows were too close to his house on Parliament Street, he bought land on the northeast corner of St. Clair Avenue and Bathurst Street. After another bylaw was passed in 1824, forbidding the keeping of farm animals in the city, the Fleming family bought William Findlay Maclean’s 955-acre farm, “Donlands,” just north of the city, south of Eglinton Avenue and Leslie Street. It’s here that Robert John Fleming died on October 26, 1925 from pleurisy. You can find his grave in Mount Pleasant Cemetery. Jeanne Hopkins spent most of her life in the historic Henry Farm community of North York. She real-


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Leaside Life • April 2018

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The universal language of food Leaside United Church volunteers are reaching out to neighbouring Thorncliffe Park by teaching conversational English to immigrants By KEN MALLETT “It is a happy mix of generaIf there were such a thing as a tions and cultures as many of the basic universal language it would younger women have left mothers surely be based on food, the most and grandmothers behind and they common of human experiences. enjoy the interaction.” And in that impossible language The students are of all ages, from the one word most of us would young mothers (child care is proknow, no matter where we come vided) to older women, some from from, would be...wait for it... the seniors’ building at Thorncliffe. ‘pizza.’ “We help with English, and they “All the volunteers are surprised help us understand that similarities to find that pizza is a favourite in ‘trump’ differences,” says Miller. almost all parts of the world,” says Lynda Miller, leader of a group of volunteers from Leaside United Church who are teaching English to immigrants in neighbouring Thorncliffe Park. “We now have about a dozen volunteers who teach basic conversational English and interest is rising. They are all members of our congregation,” she adds. The classes are held at Thorncliffe Park on a drop-in basis on Monday and Tuesday evenings from 7 to 9 p.m. There are 15 to 25 participants each night. “Many of the students bring their home-made pizza to share — all delicious and “All the volunteers are surprised to find all just a bit different but that pizza is a favourite in almost all starting with flat bread parts of the world,” says Lynda Miller, that is served in so many leader of a group of volunteers from Leaside countries. United Church who are teaching English to “Salma is from Pakistan immigrants in neighbouring Thorncliffe Park. and she brought a delicious warm chickpea salad, familiar to all of us, with just a Tehreem Nathaniel-Niamat, bit of a ‘different’ spice in it,” she the LINC teacher who leads the continues. program, says: “It has provided Bringing food is a way for the a safe place to explore Canadian students to share their skills and culture and to break down the barculture — and show their gratitude. riers of language, ethnicity and The students come from around religion.” the world — Afghanistan, Pakistan, “We have been doing this work India, Sri Lanka, China, Vietnam, for over four years and find it very Cameroon, Iran, and Eritrea, to rewarding,” Ms. Miller adds. name a few. And so do the treats “These are our neighbours and we they bring to class. are all learning from one another.” “We also receive foods not as Want to help? familiar — pakoras, sweet vermiContact Marwa Ibrahim at mibracelli, and lichees, among others. him@tno-toronto.org. ■

SHUTTERSTOCK

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Take the two-bag litter challenge! Mark your calendars! Toronto’s 15th spring cleanup is taking place April 20-22 in harmony with Earth Day. Most years this event has felt like me cleaning up Trace Manes Park, alone. Inspired by Davida Vineberg, who contacted me about issuing a ‘two-bag litter challenge,’ I decided to reach out to the community to discover what activities were being planned and hopefully encourage new ones. The first to jump in was Leaside Life’s Suzanne Park. “Zhen and I will register for Trace Manes' clean-up crew and recruit neighbours.” Thank you, Suzanne – I am no longer alone! Davida shared, “I collect trash that is of value including beer and liquor bottles and cans. When I’m waiting at a bus stop, I pick up litter. People must think I’m strange, but I push that aside and remind myself that I’m standing out for the reason that I’m choosing to do what’s right for the environment. I call this act ‘Public Displays of Collection’. I’ve also made contact with Trae (Zammit), owner of The Smokin’ Cigar, and have been invited to join the BIA ‘Spring Sweep the Streets’ panel. I

Cheryl Vanderburg Leaside Litterati

couldn’t be more excited!” Barbara Sandler, Principal at Northlea, told me about their ‘Generation Innovation’. “Our school is exploring issues and developing solutions that positively impact the environment. We are redoing our outdoor space to accommodate children of all ages and abilities; participating in the Toronto Leaside Rotary Club Tree Planting Project; and investigating an Earth Day Canada ‘Outdoor Play and Learning Program for Schools’ that aims to make outdoor play an integral

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part of the school day”. Grade 5 teacher Barbara Robson told me, “My students are passionate about ‘greening our community’. Our focus is on ‘Changing Our Relationship with Plastic’. We are exploring the harm caused through single-use plastic and black materials such as straws, sushi and Styrofoam trays that cannot be recycled. We are asking ourselves: how can we reduce or eliminate the amount of plastic we use only once, encourage others to do the same, and encourage the City of Toronto to recycle black plastic?” Cleanup activities will be in full swing Friday afternoon at Rolph Road School. Diane Brown, who runs the Eco Club, told me that “all classes will be involved in cleaning the entire school yard, around the block and Sandy Bruce Park.” Inspiring, and thank you! Howard Birnie confirmed that the Leaside Baseball Association is stepping up to the plate. “We will definitely be doing a cleanup at Talbot and are working on a plan to get many of our players involved.” St. Cuthbert’s Church will again be removing debris from the top end of the Bayview Extension south to Nesbitt Drive on Saturday, April 21, 10 a.m.-noon. Nancy Wahlroth calls it “a great inter-generational multi-faith activity.” Last year they were joined by members of Leaside Presbyterian and Leaside United as well as Councillors Burnside and Matlow. “This year we’re hoping for even more people to join us. Be sure to wear protective gloves, waterproof boots and bring a bottle of water.” And the Bayview-Leaside BIA is hosting its third annual ‘Spring Sweep the Streets’ event on Saturday, April 21, 9 a.m. to noon. Cheryl Sims wrote to say that “business owners, community members and the hardworking Pixies will be there with broom in hand and we invite all residents to join in. Meet us at the corner of Bayview and Millwood at 9 to pick up gloves, garbage bags and brooms. Snacks and refreshments will be provided and we’re planning a ‘sweepstakes’ for volunteers.” Let’s all take the ‘two-bag litter challenge’ and clean up Leaside together. Don’t just complain about litter…do something about it! ■

CHERYL VANDERBURG

Leaside Life • April 2018

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From Page 16 microwave oven. It was June by the time of the test flight. Rumours had spread throughout Bessborough Public School and a small gaggle of neighbours, students, and the morbidly curious gathered at the hill in the park, including the official Board of Education photographer. I was a little nervous about taking to the skies, but felt we couldn’t disappoint the crowd. So I strapped on my Cooper hockey helmet and mouth guard, hoisted the glider above me, set the ailerons in the takeoff position (all true), and ran down the hill. The photographer was not able to get any shots of the glider and me in the air. But he did snap a few of me trapped underneath Falcon 2 after my face dug a trench in the grass and I finally came to rest. Three months later, the test flight of Falcon 3 was just as successful as the earlier two attempts. That was when Geoff and I decided to abandon homemade hang gliders and build a hovercraft instead. And yes, it all happened in Leaside. ■

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Leaside Life • April 2018

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Singing the Crosstown blues at Bayview “It was a problem in 2015. It’s a problem now.” —Norma Fisher, condo president

Leaside Life • April 2018

By KEN MALLETT

Bayview & Eglinton

Anyone who drives or walks near the Bayview-Eglinton intersection knows it is a mess: lots of cars, hordes of pedestrians, and poor visibility make the intersection not just annoying but hazardous – especially for the residents of the condo at 1750 Bayview Ave. The disruption at the intersection is due to construction for the Metrolinx LRT and the Leaside station for the new rapid transit line, which has been underway since 2015. And for all that time the construction zone at Bayview and Eglinton has created an ‘unsafe situation’ for pedestrians and residents of 1750 Bayview Ave., according to condo staff. Lyndsey McNally, condo property manager, says: “Our key point is that Metrolinx is the constructor of the subway and that they must be the professional organization managing safety. “Instead, our residents, who are

ROBIN DICKIE

24

not safety experts, have had to routinely ask Metrolinx to address safety hazards after they are already in place. Metrolinx needs to take a proactive role and prevent safety and quality of life concerns before they begin.” Metrolinx, through a spokesperson, says they are trying. Jamie Robinson, director of community

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relations and communications, says Metrolinx does take a proactive role on safety and residents' concerns. “We realize the impact of this project has been particularly acute for the residents of 1750 Bayview due to the building’s proximity to all the work required to first tunnel the Crosstown and now to build Leaside Station. “We have had very regular communication with the residents and property management of 1750 Bayview. Our east community office is kitty-corner to 1750 and Crosstown staff are over there frequently. In addition, representatives of 1750 sit on our Leaside Station Construction Liaison Committee, a forum for the Crosstown construction project team to provide information and receive feedback for area residents and business representatives to proactively and regularly discuss construction activities, scheduling and community impacts. “Representatives from the local councillor’s office, local businesses, business property managers, residential property managers, and resident groups, civic groups and organizations, such as schools, and project teams attend monthly meetings.” But the problems persist says Norma Fisher, president of the condo board. “The three-way pedestrian crossing at the intersection is of concern for those with mobility restrictions and creates an additional safety hazard for pedestrians crossing illegally at our driveway, which already has reduced visibility,” she adds. “We do have a higher population of elderly residents, and some of them have disabilities,” she said, CROSSTOWN BLUES, Page 26


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noting that those residents now have a more difficult, extended walk just to get to the grocery store across the street. “Our concern is that the current configuration restricts access to basic services and does not preserve the dignity and independence of persons with disabilities. There are also potentially dangerous situations with cars entering and exiting the condo parking garage. The area is full of 'danger' signs, pylons and hoarding. You really can only see the cars just as they're coming to our driveway. We have exchanged over 2,000 emails related to these issues with Metrolinx and other parties in an effort to resolve our concerns.”

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Leaside Life • April 2018

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Ward 22 Councillor Josh Matlow said residents in his area, including those at 1750 Bayview Avenue, are living on the "front lines" of the new subway construction. “Our community supports the Eglinton Crosstown LRT,” he added. “But we also expect that Metrolinx, their contractors and the City do everything possible to ensure the safety of pedestrians during construction. This cannot be negotiable.” Robinson says, “Metrolinx works closely with local councillors, city staff, Toronto Police Services, traffic and parking enforcement, local residents to monitor and understand the impacts of construction and to mitigate the impacts, where practical. And, we make every effort to ensure that everyone receives up-todate information on construction activities and timing and where they are directly impacted, they are supported. This involves significant outreach and public communication.” Norma Fisher, the president of the condo board, just wants a solution. ■


By SUSAN SCANDIFFIO

early 50s and working long hours in the foodservice industry, David was overwhelmed with handling his own grief and that of his young son and taking on a new and demanding role as single father. As David says, he was “dealing with the everything.” David, like Jen, had a hard time initially finding help for Cooper. Both David and Cooper now have mental health professionals assisting them on their journey, and David has leaned on his colleagues, friends, and community to support them both. He has also learned the value of coping techniques such as talk therapy and exercise. Dad and his son can often be found together skiing. As David explains, “I want to be there for Cooper. I want to be active with him.” Both Jen and David were clients of Leaside’s InsideOut trainer, Barry Samuel, before the loss of their spouses. Samuel has long stressed the importance of wellness from the inside out, and through his work in mindfulness and wellness

David’s story

David Hershenhorn and Janine Zimmermann met in 1988, married in 2002, and in 2009, welcomed a son, Cooper Charlie Hershenhorn. Leaving her job in real estate to be a full-time mom, Janine loved her new role. But on December 14, 2016, just one day before Cooper’s seventh birthday, Janine died in hospital after a short, unexpected illness. For David, the pain of the loss was, and still is, devastating. Now in his

MENTAL HEALTH, Page 31

BARRY SAMUEL

There’s an old saying: “a problem shared is a problem halved.” In the case of mental health challenges, sharing has two strong benefits. Not only does talk therapy allow those facing struggles to open up about their suffering and find support from listeners, it also shows others who may also be facing their own challenges that they are not alone. With May being Mental Health Month, two courageous Leasiders have offered to share their stories of loss and their ongoing journeys to recovery.

but also, obviously, on her two sons. Finding help for herself as well as for her sons has often proven challenging with OHIP-covered longterm services, especially for children, often unavailable for many months. Jen says that “fitness and outside activities are amazing outlets” and that “community is incredibly important” in dealing with mental health recovery and maintenance. She also stresses that mental health challenges are, “issues that affect everyone regardless of status, race, colour, or creed.”

Top: Susan Scandiffio interviews our story subjects. Bottom: David and Cooper.

Jen’s story

Jen (last name withheld at her request) is a second-generation Leasider and an extremely driven and successful businesswoman who has won awards for her professional accomplishments. After living in Leslieville with her husband and two sons, Jen returned to Leaside after the loss of her spouse, with whom she had been together for over 16 years. Jen lost her husband not to death, but to drugs. Within a very short period, Jen’s husband went from a successful contractor to an addict with volatile behaviour who resorted to stealing to support his addiction. This huge loss and extremely stressful experience had a severe emotional impact on Jen

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Leaside Life • April 2018

Two Leasiders with the courage to face mental health challenges


Gardens for the future: More Leasiders are going lawn-less Beauty is not in the eye of the beholder, it’s in the mind and heart, and when thoughts and feelings change, so do the visions of beauty. For more than 60 years the garden aesthetic of Leaside has been that of manicured lawns edged with treelined boulevards. Most saw this image as simply beautiful. But...the times they are a-changin’, as Bob Dylan sang. Dylan released that prophetic folk song in 1964, the year Rachel Carson died. Not everyone knows her name, but everyone should because in 1962 she wrote the book “Silent Spring,” which alerted the public to the rising use of pesticides and other chemicals harming the environment. She brought to our attention to the human impact on both the preservation and destruction of the natural world. She ignited the environmental movement of the ’60s and sparked the creation of a new discipline known as environmental science. Different from ecology, this studies the human interaction with the natural world and our role in climate change.

The Leaside Gardener: Debora Kuchme Columnist

But slowly, one by one, the lawns of Leaside are being transformed into gardens, true gardens with deep rooted trees, shrubs and evergreens proving their worth through both droughts and flash floods. Twenty years ago, there was only a handful of these lawn-less gardens, but today

SHUTTERSTOCK

Leaside Life • April 2018

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For many years, environmental scientists told us that lawns were both unsuitable and unsustainable for our environment, but lawns fuel a multi-billion-dollar industry. Does this remind you of the tobacco industry?

RECYCLE YOUR ELECTRONICS DAY! Saturday, April 21, 2018 Help the environment and support a charity! East York Town Centre, 45 Overlea Boulevard 9 am to 4 pm Accepting: Radios, TV sets, amplifiers, computers, printers, cell phones, extension cords, wire and cable, batteries — ANYTHING ELECTRONIC.* We can help unload your car at the site. If you are unable to attend, e-mail us and we will try to arrange a pickup.

The Rotary Club of Toronto–Leaside For more info, contact Peter Bennett at hearthstone1560@gmail.com * Sorry – no large appliances or light fixtures.

there are many as each one seems to inspire another. (Ed’s note: a big shout-out to one of my favourites, at 34 Parkhurst Blvd.) For some, converting their lawn into a garden is one way to reconnect to the natural biome and allow it to evolve with the new climate changes. Most are concerned about the abuse of our water supply and the ultimate true cost. For others it’s as simple as wanting less maintenance. Whatever the reasons, these gardens are making a positive contribution to Leaside.

“...one by one, the lawns of Leaside are being transformed into... true gardens with deep-rooted trees, shrubs and evergreens...” Embracing biodiversity is one of the “garden city principles” that Frederick Todd valued, and I have no doubt that this is how he envisioned Leaside when he designed it. Landscape season is upon us and I’m eagerly anticipating the new gardens that will soon grace our streets and add some more diversity to the others. I’m hoping to see pollinator gardens with an emphasis on native plants. We will soon see. This Native American proverb sums things up perfectly for me: “We don’t inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.” Here’s to making gardens for the future! ■


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EVENTS

Seven Last Words of Christ. Easter Sunday: April 1, 10:30am.

Leaside Life • April 2018

ST. AUGUSTINE’S ANGLICAN CHURCH

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Listen to great live music by local artists and have a coffee and dessert with friends. The Groove Room Coffee House, Friday, Apr. 13th, 7-8:30pm. $5: all proceeds to the Flemingdon Park Food Bank. We are looking for performers. Contact Augustine@bellnet.ca.

ADULT & TEEN PROGRAMMING: Adult Colouring Party. Colouring sheets, crayons, markers and relaxing music supplied. Tues., 7-8:15pm. April 3, 10, 17, 24. Drop in.

LEASIDE PRESBYTERIAN 670 Eglinton Ave. E., 416-422-0510 March 29: Maundy Thursday Join us at 6:30pm for a simple Seder meal commemorating the Passover Meal and Jesus’ Last Supper. Call the office at 416-422-0510 by March 25 to rsvp. Good Friday: join us at 10:30 for Holy Communion and Tenebrae. Sunday, April 1: Easter Sunday worship at 10:30am. Sunday, April 15: Pancake Brunch Enjoy pancakes, sausages, and fruit, following our 10:30 service. Proceeds to Presbyterians Sharing.

ST. CUTHBERT’S CHURCH 1399 Bayview Avenue, 416-485-0329 www.stcuthbertsleaside.com Spring Fair, Saturday, April 28, 11am-2 pm. Art gallery, home baking, books, cheese, crafts, electrical, jewellery, kitchenware, knitting, odds and ends, toys, treasures. BBQ and free children’s activities on the Green. Environmental movie series: Tapped Sunday, April 15 at noon.

Games Night! Enjoy an evening of Cribbage. Other board games and puzzles also available. Tues., 7-8:15pm. April 3, 10, 17, 24. Drop in. Leaside Needleworx Group (Knitting and Crocheting) Bring your own projects or start something new. Fridays, 1011:45am. April 6, 13, 20, 27. Drop in. Leaside Writers Group Are you looking for a creative place to meet with other like-minded individuals? Join us. Sat., 10-11:45am. April 14, 28. Drop in. Art Exhibit “Fathoming the Unfathomable” Paintings by Deborah Sears. Ongoing throughout April. Transformations: Stories of Partnership, Resilience & Positive Change Learn about the work of Canadian Feed The Children with Aki Foods and three First Nations communities in addressing food sovereignty challenges, supporting community-led initiatives and holistic community health. Engage in a new narrative on partnerships, solidarity and sustainable change. Photojournalist exhibit on display. Presented by the Ontario Council for International Cooperation. Wed., April 11, 5:30-7pm. Drop in. Canadian National Film Day Join us for a screening of “The Breadwinner” from the National Film Board of Canada. Wednesday, April 18, 6:00pm. Drop in.

LEASIDE UNITED CHURCH 1822 Millwood Rd. 416-425-1253 www.leasideunited.org Easter services: Good Friday: 10:30am. The Chancel Choir presents Théodore Dubois’

CHILDREN’S PROGRAMMING Ready for Reading Baby Time (Ages 0-18 months) Bouncing and tickling

rhymes, songs and stories for babies with their parents or caregivers. Wed., April 11, 18, 25, 9:30–10am. Drop in. Ready for Reading Family Time (Ages 19 months-5 years) Stories, songs, and rhymes for children with their parents or caregivers. Wednesdays, April 11, 18, 25, 10:30–11am. Drop in. LEGO Club For children 5-12 years. Create something fabulous each week with our wonderful LEGO collection! Wed., April 4, 11, 18, 25, 3:45-4:45pm. Registration opens March 21. OUTSIDE GROUPS Discover Your Heritage Explore Ontario of yesterday and today with Barry Penhale and special guests. For more info, please contact Marjorie McLeod at 416-425-1392. Tuesdays, 2pm–4pm. April 3, 10, 17, 24.

LEASIDE GARDEN SOCIETY April Meeting Thursday April 12 at 7:30 pm in the Leaside Public Library, 165 McRae Drive. Paul Oliver will speak about Attracting Summer Birds to your Garden.

CANADIAN FEDERATION OF UNIVERSITY WOMEN LEASIDE-EAST YORK Monthly meeting: 7:30pm, Thurs., April 19, at Northlea United Church, 125 Brentcliffe Ave. Speaker: Lisa Faria, Coordinator of Sign Language Services at the Bob Rumball Canadian Centre Excellence for the Deaf and first person to sign the Canadian National Anthem for the Toronto Maple Leafs and Toronto Raptors. Her topic is Journey Into My World. Visitors and new members are welcome. Visit www.cfuwleasideeastyork.ca or email joincfuw@gmail.com. ■ Send us your free listing for May by April 10th – leasidelife@gmail.com

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Mental Health... therapies knows the benefits of talk therapy and exercise for mental health. Throughout their struggles, Samuel has taken both David and Jen on nature walks to allow them to chat, to act as a friendly shoulder to lean on, and to use walking as a restorative physical activity. He has, they both agree, been a completely non-judgmental and strong support in their journey. There is no one fix-all for the myriad of mental health struggles one in five Canadians faces. Mental illnesses can be caused by a number of factors and can be treated effectively with various therapies. But to receive help, individuals must be willing to acknowledge they need help. David and Jen have bravely come forward with their stories and in doing so, hope that others will be inspired to ask for help and begin on their own journey to good mental health. ■

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Sergey... From Page 10 Dennis Tito, the first space tourist, who paid $20 million to go to the International Space Station on a 10-day trip. Now he is back at school again as a law student at the U of T in preparation for taking the bar exam this fall, articling, and practising here. In the meantime, Sergey combines studies with his hobbies, including a deep love of motorcycles. He didn’t own one in Russia, because he said it would be like “committing suicide to ride a bike in Moscow.” When he came here, though, he bought a bike and now rides to the university. “I wish I could have had it 25 years ago when I was a student for the first time,” he laughs. Photography is another hobby, and especially outdoor photography. This past summer, while their children were visiting their grandparents in Ukraine, Sergey explored Eastern Canada – up to Blue Mountain, Montreal, Ottawa and Quebec City, along the St. Lawrence where he captured pictures of whales in the Saguenay fjord. Even in Toronto, he found an unusual photo shoot setting when he stumbled across Cirque du Soleil performers at the Scarborough Bluffs and took a few shots which were then posted on the performers’ Instagram accounts. ■

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Leaside Life • April 2018

From Page 27


32

Jon Burnside

Leaside Life • April 2018

Councillor, Toronto Ward 26 Don Valley West

Jazz? Join Us! Sunday, April 29th 4:30 pm – 5:30 pm at

Northlea United Church

125 Brentcliffe Road, Toronto 416-425-5252 www.northleaunited.ca Featuring: Pianist Rob Rowe & Friends & Juno Nominee Vocalist Heather Bambrick Refreshments served at 4:00 pm Free will offering Northlea United Church is a 5-minute walk north on Brentcliffe Road from Eglinton Avenue

Pearson Airport, flight paths and aircraft noise in Leaside In February of 2012, NAV CANADA (an agency responsible for flight operations in Canada) redesigned the arrival routes at Toronto Pearson Airport, which meant a concentration of airplane traffic over Leaside. The flight path over Leaside now accounts for 40 per cent of all arrivals at Pearson. I have heard from residents negatively impacted by these changes and understand how this has affected their quality of life. There is an average of 85,000 overflights annually, and without changes, this number is expected to increase as the airport grows. The Toronto Aviation Noise Group

(TANG), whose roots originate in Leaside, has been strongly advocating on behalf of our community at official GTAA (Greater Toronto Airport Authority) and NAV CANADA meetings and consultations. I supported their efforts by forming a seven-member Councillor Coalition at City Hall in 2015 and personally engaged the Mayor, who reached out to the Federal Minister of Transportation. I have learned that many “technical” improvements have been recommended. While both TANG and I welcome these mitigation initiatives, the issue of disproportionate runway utilization remains unresolved. If changes aren’t made, it is estimated that arrivals flying over Leaside will increase to 120,000 by 2037. I recognize that Pearson Airport is integral to our regional economy, and demand for growing airport services is inevitable. Like every other community in the GTA, Leaside enjoys the benefits of the airport, and we should therefore expect to share the burden of flight traffic. So, what’s fair and balanced? With 10 possible runway options, should Leaside be overburdened with 40 per cent of all arrivals? To discuss this and other aircraft noise issues, please join me on April 12, 2018 when the GTAA will be hosting a Community Open House at Leaside Memorial Gardens. Please see the link below for noise mitigation information and a link to register for the event.

Leaside Gate

RR St.John

torontopearson.com/conversations councillor_burnside@toronto.ca ■

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Spring into action with the LPOA By the time you receive this issue of Leaside Life it will – officially – be spring, a time of new beginnings. A very fitting time to consider undertaking new activities and ventures. One important new activity I’d like you to consider is to help the Leaside Property Owners’ Association on local issues: as a director on the LPOA board, or on a project which interests you or affects your street. If you look at our website (lpoa.ca), or have attended community meetings, you will have an idea of the variety of matters we deal with. We know that Leasiders show their interest in these issues, both in principle and in action, by participating, or writing letters, or in conversations with friends and neighbours. We also know that Leasiders have many talents. Have you considered getting more involved with the LPOA? This need not mean a major time commitment. As a director on the LPOA board you’d be spending only one evening

Carol Burtin Fripp Co-president, LPOA

monthly at our regular meetings. It is certainly not a full-time job to be on a special committee, for instance, related to a specific traffic matter, development or zoning concern. Sharing your professional and personal skills and advice, not to mention opinions, as occasional or frequent local resources (your choice!) would benefit all of Leaside. It’s also a great way to meet other residents, find out what the issues are, learn what’s happening (or could be happening) – in short, to be connected. All of us have busy lives. None of us has much extra time, but why not put some of that extra time to good use? Let’s talk. Drop us a line, or come to a board meeting, and discover how we can all work, in many ways, together.

ab

Thank you to those who contacted me to express their shock and sadness about the passing of Tom Rae, late of the LPOA’s board and traffic committee. We are committed to continuing our aim to produce an effective neighbourhood-wide traffic calming system, and are meeting with our traffic consultant to that end. I hope to have more specific details in my next column. I’d also like to thank those of you who have sent good wishes and congratulations on my being awarded the Agnes Macphail Award for 2018. The award is a great honour, as is being able to work for the benefit of our excellent community of Leaside!

ab

Our next LPOA Board meeting is on WEDNESDAY, APRIL 4th, at 7:30 p.m. at Trace Manes. These meetings are always open to the public and take place on the first Wednesday of each month. We invite you to attend, whether for help on local matters, to share your opinion or give advice, or just to hear more about what is happening in our community. Contact us anytime via our website, lpoa.ca. ■


From Page 14 and Jennifer Capes at Northlea EMS (@ms_capes) regularly use Twitter. They give us great insight into everyday life inside our classrooms. The report card is still the primary source of communication about student achievement; however, I strongly recommend that parents also have face-to-face interaction with their children’s teachers. That personal connection can capture important information the restricted confines of the report card cannot. Some news: next year new report cards will showcase skills such as creativity and critical thinking. Sophia Danish, principal of Bennington Heights, says, “Parents volunteering in the school communicate the importance of working together with teachers. Parents not only invigorate the school by undertaking concrete tasks such as the Fun Fair, and graduations, but also share that positive experience with other parents, thus promoting and strengthening collaboration and communication between home and school.” As to sharing information between the central TDSB and community members – that can be a challenge. Mindful of delivery cost of reports sent to homes, I no longer send paper reports. Instead, I send electronic newsletters and bulletins. If you wish to receive them, contact me at Gerri. gershon@tdsb.on.ca or sign up on my webpage www.tdsb.on.ca/Ward13. Along with informal encounters when I visit schools, I meet formally with parents on a regular basis, in the evenings at ward forums at various schools and during the daytime at Longo’s on Laird in the community room. The TDSB issues information through local schools and the director hosts teleconferences – all are welcome to join in. We also live stream our board meetings. Community Advisory Committees have been established to improve community input on policy and program issues and provide an advocacy role for parents and the community. Check out Community - How Do I Get Involved (www.tdsb.on.ca/ Community/How-to-Get-Involved). Also check out the TDSB website, www.tdsb.on.ca. The TDSB uses Twitter regularly (@tdsb) as I do (@ gerrigershon). Gerri Gershon is the Trustee, Don Valley West, for the Toronto District School Board. ■

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Leaside Life • April 2018

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Neighbour beware – construction next door You’re resigned to the new build next door. Your neighbour has Committee of Adjustment (CoA) approval, building permit, and demolition permit in hand. But as the workers dig a deep hole, bigger than you expected, right up to your property line, construct forms and fill them with concrete for foundations, the forms project out longer than you thought they were supposed to, and – horror – the wall of the excavation gives way, and your foundation walls and footings are exposed. Is your property at risk? Is the construction taking place according to the approved plans per the building permit? Concerns and, yes, problems with new construction next door are not uncommon. In the past month neighbours next to a couple of sites, one in north Leaside, one in south Leaside, have contacted the LPOA about exactly these sorts of situations. What to do? Obviously, call the building inspector: the general enquiry line for Toronto Buildings is (416) 397-5330. In both of the Leaside cases the building inspector was able to resolve matters in a few days. In one case shoring was installed; in another it was determined that the approved plan was in fact being followed. One of the keys is to be informed about the project. Neighbours who participate in CoA hearings will be aware of the approved “minor variances.” Sometimes the CoA (and if it has been the subject of an appeal, the Toronto Local Appeal Body) stipulates that construction must be “substantially the same as the plans submitted to and approved” by the

Geoff Kettel

Saving old Leaside CoA (or TLAB). What does “substantially the same” really mean? To understand what the City has approved you need to obtain a copy of the building permit (and plan). The so-called Routine Disclosure process applies for viewing or obtaining copies of plans for issued permits. Find out more here: www. toronto.ca/services-payments/ building-construction/preliminary-zoning-reviews-information/ request-building-records/ You are permitted to view or obtain copies of permit plans once the permit has been issued, provided the owner has not requested that the plans be kept private. There is a fee for the disclosure plus any applicable copying fees. Once the permit is issued you can make your request for Routine Disclosure. Check permit status here: www.toronto.ca/services-payments/building-construction/searchthe-status-of-a-building-permit-application/ Calling the building inspector when things are going awry is necessary but is not preventive. If you are concerned about potential problems related to future construction next door you might consider getting a development construction agreement and monitoring by an engineer. But this is a private, not a City matter. ■

A construction site in Leaside.

GEOFF KETTEL

Leaside Life • April 2018

36


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Leaside Life • April 2018

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Leaside Life • April 2018

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Leaside Business Park defends its industrial core The Leaside Business Park will be taken over by big box stores and “mixed use” and the industries currently located there will move out any day. True or False? False, for two reasons. First, the big box stores are situated on properties fronting on the east side of Laird but are not allowed in the “core” of the Park, and certain lands fronting on Eglinton north of the Park were redesignated to mixed use in 2014; remaining lands are designated “Employment Lands”. Second, industries in the Park are working together to maintain its industrial character. A recent example of both planning laws and business cooperation factors at work is an application for minor variances to permit construction of a total of 13 “industrial condominium units” in two blocks in an area zoned for “General Industrial” use. The application for 43 Industrial Street was refused by the North York Committee of Adjustment (CoA) following strong objections by the Leaside Business Park Association (LBPA) at the hearing on November 21, 2017. The CoA ruled that “the

“If the industrial park is to remain a stable place for the incumbent industries within the park to operate, as intended in the Official Plan, vigilance against such encroachment must be maintained.” — Kendall Fullerton, president, LBPA

variances requested are not minor in nature, are not desirable for the appropriate development and use of the subject property and do not maintain the general intent and purpose of the zoning bylaw and the Official Plan.” However,

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Geoff Kettel

Saving old Leaside the applicant appealed to the Toronto Local Appeal Body (TLAB) and the hearing is scheduled for May 8, 2018. The LBPA believes that the proposed business is incompatible with the neighbouring heavy industries such as Kreitmaker (concrete), St Mary’s Cement (concrete), APCO Industries (chemicals), and Unicell (truck bodies). These particular neighbouring companies are concerned that the applicant’s proposal will pose a threat to their continuing ability to conduct business. As well, they argue that the City has invested heavily in infrastructure to promote industrial use within the Leaside Business Park. Allowing uses within the Park that make no use of this infrastructure is inefficient at best. Worse still is the introduction of sensitive or incompatible uses that would force incumbent industries that rely on such infrastructure to abandon their operations – and more than likely the City – altogether. The applicant’s proposal is described as “industrial condominiums,” but is it really? The design, the request for standalone office use, and their list of potential tenants suggest a commercial/retail facility, which would be an introduction of a sensitive land use. In addition, the buildings, as designed with their high ceilings, balconies, and private garages could be put to residential use without a single alteration. The development even appears to be marketed as such, despite being plopped squarely in the middle of an industrial park. (The street sign at 43 Industrial Street presently advertising the property to potential tenants trumpets “private garages, 12-23 ft. high ceilings, [and] rooftop terraces.”) As Kendall Fullerton, president, LBPA, says, “Pressures from developers to appropriate lands within the business park for residential or commercial use are constant. If the industrial park is to remain a stable place for the incumbent industries within the park to operate, as intended in the Official Plan, vigilance against such encroachment must be maintained.” ■


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Leaside Life Issue 71 April 2018  
Leaside Life Issue 71 April 2018