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O C TO B E R 2017

Leaside Life

Leaside Sports Hall of Fame Inductees Page 10

leasidelifenews.com

No. 65

INSIDE:

SYRIAN REFUGEE UPDATE • PG. 11

The author, Terry Fallis, front row left, and his brother Tim, front row right, on a Leaside house league team with Stephen Harper, back row, left.

Harper always was a dedicated right-winger!

The summer is behind us and there’s that ever so slight chill in the air. Fall is here. And for hundreds of kids in Leaside, you know what that means. No, not the sugar rush of Halloween, or even the Thanksgiving weekend, which will yield a precious day off school. No, it really means that hockey at Leaside Gardens starts for another season. For my twin brother Tim and me, hockey was the great constant in our young lives growing up in Leaside. I remember so vividly my first practice for our first season of house league when I think we were nine. I wore a Toronto Maple Leafs jersey with the number 16 fashioned with white hockey tape on the back. I had no hockey socks as I’d never played organized hockey. So I wore a pair of my mother’s purple wool leotards again with white hockey tape masquerading as stripes. It looked faintly ridiculous. Most years, Tim and I played on the same team, and on the same line, he

MONSTER DASH CHARITY RUN • PG. 18

Terry Fallis

Guest Columnist

at centre and I on the wing. Neither of us was what you might call offensive juggernauts, but we chipped in. One year Tim and I played on Gulley Construction with a quiet blondehaired kid named Stephen Harper. Yes, that Stephen Harper. In the team photo, you can see Stephen in the back row. I’m in the front row at your far left while Tim is in the front row at the far right. I look at that picture and I get kind of nostalgic for those simpler days when my hair was thicker and I was thinner. Even back then Stephen was a dediHOCKEY, Page 9

ROLPH ROAD TRAILBLAZERS • PG. 28

PLUS: UPDATE ON CAROL & DAVE’S EXCELLENT ADVENTURE • PG. 4 ST. ANSELM’S NEW PRINCIPAL • PG. 13 LOOK OUT! MEN WITH AXES • PG. 14 CURIOUS IDLER • PG. 35 AND MUCH MORE!!!


Leaside Life

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Leaside Life • October 2017

Published once a month in Leaside,Toronto ON, by FH Publishing Inc., 1444 Dupont St., Unit 11A, M6P 4H3 416-504-8047 Circulation 10,000 to every door in M4G PUBLISHER: Lorna Krawchuk EDITOR: Jane W. Auster GRAPHIC DESIGN: Robin Dickie ADVERTISING: Robyn Israel leasidelifepublishing@gmail.com ph. 416-276-0937 or 416-504-8047

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LMCG LAUNCHES LEASIDE’S HUNGER GAMES

On Sunday, September 24th, Leaside Memorial Community Gardens celebrated its 65th anniversary of serving the community. Working with our partner Sarah & Claire’s Food Drive, this celebratory event launched a friendly competition among the Gardens’ three major user groups – Leaside Hockey Association, Toronto Leaside Girls Hockey League, and the Leaside Skating Club – as well as the Leaside Curling Club. Dubbed The Hunger Games, the two-week long compe-

Among other proud features, the drive truly stands as a testament to the giving spirit of the Leaside community. For a decade, Leaside families, schools, and businesses have gotten behind this initiative to help those less fortunate. It’s initiatives like this that really personify the heartbeat of a community as strong, tight-knit, and giving as Leaside. Having only a few days of the competition remaining, we are asking for one final push in donations. Bins marked with each user group’s name are currently placed in the viewing area of the Doc Pashby ice pad in the Gardens. There is also one bin set up at the Curling Club. If you would like to give a monetary donation instead, please do so by visiting www.sarahandclairesfooddrive.com. Colleen Atkinson writes on behalf of the Leaside Memorial Community Gardens. ■

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Leaside Life • October 2017

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tition asks members of the Gardens and the Club (along with their families and friends) to collect as many donations as possible for the Daily Bread Food Bank. On Oct. 6th, the competition will conclude and the user group with the most donations will be crowned winner. Sarah & Claire’s Food Drive is celebrating its 10th year of fundraising for the Daily Bread Food Bank, an initiative that has been bringing food to the tables of Toronto families in need during the Thanksgiving season. Sarah Jordan began the drive when she was in the 1st grade, and since that time, has been joined by her younger sister Claire Jordan to see the initiative really thrive in the Leaside community. To date, Sarah & Claire’s Food Drive has successfully raised 300,000 pounds of food and funds (every $1 raised is considered 1 pound).


Leaside Life • October 2017

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Vicki Hall Columnist

Way back in January of this year, I began a series on health and wellness featuring two Leasiders – Carol Townsley and Dave Sparrow. Since many of us may be noticing the summer indulgences showing up around our waistlines about now, I decided to check in with one of our intrepid “guinea pigs,” Carol, to see how she has been doing since our last interview in April. I was excited to hear that she has stayed the course on her path to weight loss and wellness and is feeling better than ever. The summer months can be a very difficult time to stay on a nutrition and fitness plan. BBQs, vacations, sweet summer cocktails and ice-cold quaffs of chardonnay and beer are temptations that many people just can’t pass up during the hot months. You often have to work twice as

hard to keep the pounds off, and for Carol that was no exception. She knew she had to keep up with her three personal training sessions a week at Inside Out Health & Fitness with Barry Samuel. But because the weather was better and she was feeling lighter and fitter, she added more cardio with two runs a week. Her fitness regimen worked because Carol was able to indulge a little on her week away in London and Brussels with her girlfriends. While on vacay she did make sure she kept up with drinking water and being aware of sugary cocktail consumption. Having her kids away at camp for a few weeks also helped her stay on track. You’re definitely not as likely to partake in summer sweets like ice cream when kids aren’t around. After almost nine months on a fairly strict exercise and diet plan, Carol has reached a weight that she’s very happy with. She has more energy overall and is very positive about the changes she’s made to achieve a healthier lifestyle.

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CAROL’S TOP THREE TIPS FOR HEALTH AND WELLNESS: 1. Make a commitment to yourself to exercise as least three hours a week. Make this a priority and don’t waver from it. 2. Change not just what you eat, but WHEN you eat. Carol started eating a larger, healthy breakfast and cut out late night dinners and unhealthy snacking in the evening. 3. Focus on eating lean proteins and vegetables in reasonable portion sizes.

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In case you’re wondering what happened with our other “guinea pig”....We caught up briefly with Dave Sparrow, who said he thoroughly enjoyed and benefited from his participation in the series, but as president of ACTRA Canada was very busy with TIFF events at the time of this interview. We wish him all the best and hope to catch up with him in the future. ■

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LEASIDE PEOPLE • MEET YOUR NEIGHBOURS

Leaside Life • October 2017

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Barb Gosse’s crusade to end human trafficking

Barb Gosse’s route to becoming CEO of the Canadian Centre to End Human Trafficking was certainly not a straight one. The Airdrie Rd. resident was origi-

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nally an urban planner who moved to Leaside with her husband more than a quarter century ago. When husband Wayne and Barb were house-hunting in 1991, they weren’t even aware of Leaside as a community. They were living in a tiny house on the Danforth and looking at neighbourhoods like the Beach and Playter Estates. Then, their agent showed them a property on Airdrie, where they would be the second owners of a well-loved house. This one felt right, and has been the home where they raised three sons, all of whom attended local schools and are now adults. What Barb finds really special about Airdrie are the connections with the women on this street – community-minded and caring. A lot of the women have lived here for a long time, but newcomers are welcomed too. It is a real community, where connections are valued. A sense of community has become a key to Barb’s interests. While working as a planner, she was also volunteering as part of a team from St. Cuthbert’s Church at the Out of the Cold program at St. Simon’s Church in the 1990s. Her husband remarked that she seemed so energized when she came home from these hard work shifts – why not switch careers to do something in the social justice field? She certainly had role models in her own life. Her Irish grandmother was awarded the Order of the British Empire at age 90 for her extensive volunteer service, and her mother is part of a group assisting to settle Syrian refugees in a small community east of Toronto. And so it was that by 2012, Barb had become the senior director of research policy and innovation at the Canadian Women’s Foundation, which funded a national task force on trafficking of women and girls in Canada. She described her experience with the task force as “eye-opening. I had never heard of the subject before,” she told me. The task force spoke to 250 representatives across the country working in the field and 150 survivors during the 18 months it took to complete their in-depth study across Canada. And now, there is the Canadian Centre to End Human Trafficking, a fledgling not-for-profit, with a

Lorna Krawchuk Publisher Leaside Life

charitable number, a highly motivated and skilled board of directors and funding to allow them to grow. A significant development is the work they’ve started on a national hotline, modelled on the American and Mexican versions, which they hope to have up and running by the fall of 2018. “In order to have the kind of society we want to live in in 20 years, we have to start creating priorities now,” she said. Human trafficking occurs in many sectors. We may initially think of

“In order to have the kind of society we want to live in in 20 years, we have to start creating priorities now,” says Gosse. escort services, pornography and illicit activities, but it happens with domestic workers, commercial cleaning services, peddling and begging (think of those kids at your door, whom you don’t recognize from the neighbourhood, asking for your money for some cause), and many more. Young people are being targeted – in high schools, local malls, online – so awareness of the issue is paramount for young people themselves, their parents and neighbours. All of us. If your child starts dressing in-age inappropriate clothing, suddenly owns expensive clothing, or becomes secretive about friends they are meeting outside your home, these could be signs of trafficking. Barb, along with a law enforcement representative and a survivor of human trafficking, will be giving a presentation at St. Cuthbert’s Church at 1399 Bayview Avenue, on Wed., October 18, starting at 7:30 p.m., with refreshments beforehand. Come, and invite your neighbours too. Let’s help Barb raise awareness of this important issue. For more information, visit The Canadian Centre to End Human Trafficking www.CCTEHT.ca. ■


OF LEASIDE THE STREETS

MACNAUGHTON RD

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Leaside Life • October 2017

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By JEANNE HOPKINS The Town of Leaside was laid out in 1912 as a railway town by entrepreneurs Sir William Mackenzie and Sir Donald Mann, owners of the Canadian Northern Railway. They had purchased 1,000 acres of land between Bayview Ave. and Leslie St. north of the airfield and hired Montreal landscape architect Frederick Gage Todd to lay out and subdivide this area. Not too surprisingly, Mackenzie and Mann named the new streets for friends, relatives, well-known politicians, and others they admired. As a case in point, Macnaughton Rd., running north from Millwood and east of Bayview, was named after Sarah Broom Macnaughton (1864-1916) in payment for her writing services. The Scottish novelist often wrote glowing articles about Sir William Mackenzie and his “puffed” achievements. These “puff” pieces were published in London, England to entice settlers to the new town of Leaside in the hopes they would help build Mackenzie’s and Mann’s railways. Sarah MacNaughton had served as a volunteer with the British Red Cross during the Boer War and, at a young age, was sent to Russia and Armenia. She also travelled to South America, the United States, Palestine, Egypt, India, Burma and many parts of Canada. It was her exposure to illness while in Armenia that ultimately led to her death. Her book, My Canadian Memories was finished posthumously in 1920 by her friend Beatrice Home. Jeanne Hopkins spent most of her life in the historic Henry Farm community of North York. She realized 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. ■

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LEASIDE PEOPLE • MEET YOUR NEIGHBOURS

Curtis Evoy — Meet the man with two green thumbs By LORNA KRAWCHUK For Grade 8 student Curtis Evoy, the class trip from Terrace Bay to Toronto, which included a visit to Allan Gardens, changed his life. When he finished high school, he enrolled at Seneca College in Horticulture, and has now spent 29 years working in the field for the City of Toronto, most recently at Toronto’s famed Allan Gardens. Evoy and his family moved to leafy Leaside 11 years ago. Curtis’s wife, Virginia, had taught at the Children’s Garden School and she thought Leaside would be a good place to raise a family. Their children attended local schools and are now doing post-secondary schooling outside Toronto. Before coming to Allan Gardens, Curtis spent nine years at St. James Park near St. James Cathedral where his mentor was Kew Garden-trained George Hetherington, and then he worked for 11 years at Riverdale Park in Cabbagetown. Now, as the supervisor of conservatories and horticultural displays at Allan Gardens, he is in charge of what happens at the conservatory, and for the past year, also at the outdoor park in the block bounded by Gerrard, Sherbourne, Jarvis and Carlton. At one time, this was an elegant neighbourhood, graced by grand houses on Jarvis and Sherbourne. But in recent years, it has fallen on harder times with many shelters and facilities for homeless people dotting the streets. But the City of Toronto is investing in the neighbourhood, and in this park particularly. Outside, there are benches, a dog-free zone, a children’s playground, all well looked after. The heritage-designated conservatory is in need of some structural work, and City money has been allocated to get this done. There will be technical challenges, in that part of the building contains old growth cypress, which is not easily available anymore. If you haven’t visited Allan Gardens before, you should definitely put it on your list, especially on a frigid, grey winter’s day. The conservatory is open, at no cost, 365 days a year. An added bonus is that there is a limited amount of free parking for visitors tucked in behind the building off Horticultural Lane. If the weather is good, you can also ride

your bike. Curtis says it is exactly 5 km between his house on Southvale and the gardens – a pleasant ride if you choose the route through Rosedale and Moore Park to avoid the Bayview hill. What you will see as you wander the indoor pathways changes with the seasons. For Thanksgiving, there is the Japanese mum show, followed in mid-November by the Christmas show, where there are 3,000 poinsettias with more than 30 varieties, along with cyclamens and azaleas. The doors between the different rooms in the conservatory signify plants with different climate needs – from moist, warm air, to dry and cool – everything from bananas to cacti. There is also a special show of spring flowers, timed for Easter each year. The High Park greenhouses are the

“warehouses” for plants being shuffled in and out, depending on the season. Keeping all these plants healthy is obviously a big part of Curtis’s job. No pesticides here. Instead, there are shipments of “good” bugs several times a month from Niagara to take on the “bad” bugs. In the colder weather, Safer’s soap is the spray of choice, because there isn’t enough light for the imported bugs. One more reason you should pay attention to Allan Gardens. Friends of Allan Gardens is an established not-for-profit group working with the City. It has recently been awarded a Trillium grant to introduce a docent program for the conservatory. As a first step, a volunteer coordinator is now being hired. You might consider joining the already 250 people involved so far to get to know this City’s horticultural gem. ■

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Leaside Life • October 2017

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From Page 1 cated right-winger, but he was also strong on defence. (Forgive me. I couldn’t resist that low hanging fruit.) I sometimes wonder how that Leaside house league team all those years ago might have affected the very course of Canadian history. I mean, what might have happened had our coach that year put Stephen Harper at centre, or even at, perish the thought, left wing? How might this country be different today? Of course, you don’t have a long and storied house league hockey career at Leaside without some injuries along the way. Back in those days, house league was full body contact. I don’t think my brother Tim has ever quite been the same. People sometimes wonder if he was dropped on his head as a baby. I just say, “No, we played house league hockey in the ’70s,” and people nod knowingly. One season, Tim also broke his leg in a game when he was about 15. Our father is a doctor, and of course he really didn’t think Tim’s leg was broken. It’s become legendary family lore that he made Tim lie on the couch in our family room, in the kind of pain one might normally associate with a broken tibia, until after the Super Bowl – fortunately for Tim the Super Bowl was actually that same day – before he finally relented and took Tim to the hospital to have his leg X-rayed and eventually set. I think that injury all those years ago helps to explain why I’ve become the far superior hockey player as we’ve aged. (We still play in a ball hockey league that occasionally uses Leaside for rainout games.) To bring it full circle, Tim and I coached our sons together at Leaside in house league for I guess about six or seven years and helped out for several more years thereafter when our boys played Select until they went off to university. We loved every minute of it. Frankly, Tim and I were more broken up when our son’s Leaside hockey careers ended than they ever were. So with another season of house league hockey upon us, you now know why I look wistfully at the arena every weekend as I drive by on my way to Loblaws. Sometimes I even drop in and watch a game for a while and those great memories come flooding back again. ■ A two-time winner of the Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour, Terry Fallis is the award-winning writer of six national bestsellers, including his most recent, One Brother Shy, all published by McClelland & Stewart.

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Leaside Life • October 2017

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Four new members to join the Leaside Sports Hall of Fame The Leaside Sports Hall of Fame will add four new members at its annual induction ceremony in November. Two of the new inductees were recently profiled in the pages of Leaside Life: distance runner Robert Moore and boxer Shawn O’Sullivan. The other two are NHL hockey player Dave Gardner and former recreation director of the Town of Leaside Phil Stein. The four will be inducted at a community reception on Fri., Nov. 17, in the William Lea Room at Leaside Gardens. More information is available at www. LeasideSports.com and tickets for the event can be purchased at the website or at the arena. In Oct. the committee will announce the name of Leaside’s Athlete of the Year, who will also be honoured at the ceremony in November. Here are this year’s inductees:

Dave Gardner Hockey (1952 – ) Dave Gardner, the son of hockey legend Cal Gardner, grew up playing hockey in Leaside. By the time he was 17 he was playing for the St. Michael’s Buzzers in Junior B and scored 54 goals and 96 points in 36 games. In 1970-71 Dave made

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the move to Major Junior hockey, joining the Toronto Marlboros where he had a spectacular rookie season and finished second in league scoring. He was also awarded the Red Tilson Trophy as the league’s most valuable player. In 1972 in the NHL Amateur Draft he was drafted by the Montreal Canadiens in the first round and eighth overall. Dave played 350 NHL games for Montreal, the St. Louis Blues, California Seals, Cleveland Barons and Philadelphia Flyers. Dave retired from professional hockey after the 1984-85 season.

Robert Moore Distance Running (1940 – ) Robert (Bob) Moore was born in England and following university came to Canada in 1967. He and his wife Jane bought a home in Leaside where they have lived ever since. Bob was introduced to running when he was at university and saw an ad for a free meal in exchange for helping out at track meets. Shortly afterwards he himself started training. Throughout his remarkable career Bob came fifth at his first Boston Marathon in 1969 and followed up with three seventh place finishes. He placed second a remarkable six times at Hamilton’s Around the Bay Road Race and represented Canada at the 1970 Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh. Bob has run more than 1,760 races from the 1,500 metres to marathons. He continues to train regularly and runs in 15 to 20 races a year in his late 70s. Bob has also given back to his sport by organizing races, officiating at events and mentoring many younger runners.

Shawn O’Sullivan Boxing (1962 – ) Shawn O’Sullivan grew up in Leaside playing baseball and hockey here. When he started running in senior public school his endurance and athletic prowess came to the fore and soon after he began training with the

Allan Williams Columnist

Cabbagetown Boxing Club. Shawn’s amateur record of 94-6 was outstanding. As a 16-year-old, he won the Canadian Junior title in Whitehorse. In 1981, at age 19, he defeated Olympic gold medalist Armando Martinez twice, won the gold medal as a light middleweight in the World Amateur Championships, and was named Canada’s Athlete of the Year. In 1984 at the Los Angeles Olympics, Shawn won the Silver medal. Upon returning to Leaside he received a hero’s welcome. He turned pro immediately afterwards. When retiring from boxing, he had recorded 23 wins, 16 of them by knockouts. Shawn carried the 2010 Olympic torch on a stretch through Vancouver. In 2015, he was inducted into the Ontario Sports Hall of Fame.

Phil Stein – Builder (1913 – 1987) Phil Stein played an important role as a builder in local Leaside sports organizations. He had a love of and talent for sports. During World War II he played baseball for Col. Eric Phillips (Research Colonels) and in 1940 played one game as a goalie for the Toronto Maple Leafs. After the war he accepted the position of recreation director for the former Town of Leaside and in 1946 became the first president of Leaside Baseball and secretary of the organization for several subsequent years. Phil was also a charter member of the Leaside Hockey Association and the first manager of Leaside Memorial Community Gardens. He coached Ron Taylor when Ron started playing baseball and it was Phil who made Ron a pitcher. Ron says now that he owed his successful career to Phil Stein. Their team won Leaside’s first Ontario Baseball Championship in 1950. ■


Thanksgiving comes early for the Alhayak family Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and perhaps no one has more to be thankful for than Amjad Alhayak. Amjad is a refugee from Syria, newly settled in our community, and the first thing he mentions is how grateful he is to have made his way with his family to Leaside and the Thorncliffe Neighborhood Office where they found food, clothing and shelter from a generous and caring community. “We are lucky to be living in Canada,” he says. “There are precious rights and freedoms, and people feel safe and secure.” The story of how the Alhayak family are building a new life in Canada is a textbook example of what can be achieved when people work together. When they first arrived, Amjad, his wife Roaa and five-year-old son Ward were living in Thorncliffe Park, but finding a good job was very difficult. It is well documented that one of the greatest challenges facing newcomers is finding work in line with their skill set. In November of last year, Leaside Life asked the TNO to suggest a family whose story would put a ‘human face’ on the government’s Syrian refugee resettlement program. The story was published in December and dealt with the Alhayaks’ first winter in Canada as well as their perilous journey to get here. Amjad said to me at the time: “After what happened in Syria we felt very unsafe. I decided to leave with my family, so the first step I took was to go to Turkey. We lived there for some time, but it was difficult. Then we came to Canada with the help of five sponsors whose efforts we really appreciated.” Facing Canada’s often harsh winter can be tough, but an even tougher issue was finding a good job. Both Amjad and Roaa are qualified professionals with a reasonable command of English. Amjad has a degree in business and economics and he worked as a risk management officer for the Aga Khan Development Network in Damascus. He was forced to work temporarily as a supermarket cashier while searching for something better. Roaa was a chemical engineer who also worked for the water resources directorate in Syria. Fortunately, their story caught the attention of Leasider Dianne Salt,

who was then senior vice-president, communications, for the Royal Bank. She emailed Leaside Life: “I read the article about the Alhayak family with great interest in your December edition. My husband and I have been involved in a private sponsorship of a Syrian family as well, so we are always interested in reading about the experiences of our newest Canadian residents. “I was struck by Mr. Alhayak’s qualifications and his efforts to find work more in line with his qualifications. I don’t personally have a

role to offer him, but I would be happy to help him network either at my current employer (RBC) or my former employer (TD) where I spent 12 years. I know how important networking can be in finding employment, so I am happy to help out as I can. Would you be able to pass this email on to him so that he could reach out to me directly?” The connection was made. After arriving in Leaside just over a year ago, Amjad is now working for RBC as an adjudication officer at RBC Automotive Finance. The family have moved to Etobicoke to be closer to his work. Roaa has also found work that is a better reflection of her skills in the Advanced Center for Detection of Cancer at Mount Sinai Hospital. “Amjad, Roaa and their son Ward are the people who are going to help make Canada better and richer as a nation,” says Ms. Salt. “It just shows the power of networking. It didn’t cost anyone anything to help Amjad and Roaa – just a bit of time!” Editor’s note: Dianne Salt left RBC last spring to pursue a new role in Paris with a multinational organization. ■

Facts and Effects of Human Trafficking in Canada

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Barbara Gosse, CEO of the Canadian Centre to End Human Trafficking will provide an overview of how this human rights abuse is invading young lives and families, within our community and right across this country.

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Barbara will be assisted by a law enforcement representative and a survivor of human trafficking to help make us aware of what we can all do to assist in combatting this abhorrent crime.

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Leaside Life • October 2017

JENNIFER RAJASEKAR

By KEN MALLETT


The Leaside Gardener: A tribute to the Northern Spy Apple Leaside Life • October 2017

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We have a wonderful history of apples here in Leaside thanks to John Lea and his son William, who dedicated most of their farmland to apple orchards. Not just any apple either, but the Northern Spy Apple, also known as King or Northern Pie Apple, and with good reason. There is no better apple for baking than this one. Its firm, juicy flesh holds its shape and texture when heated but does so much more than that. This is a full flavour apple with hints of pear, cherry and spice that come through whether eaten fresh or heated, making it a top choice for juices and exceptional ciders too. When John Lea started his farm in 1819, he must have heard some talk about a new apple variety being cultivated in East Bloomfield, New York. This particular apple was discovered at an orchard there in the 1800s and was being cultivated with great success. It took a number of years, but this apple’s popularity quickly spread throughout New York and the Northeast. This was an extremely hardy variety suited to cold climates, and because of its late bloom, it was protected against late spring cold snaps.

Debora Kuchme Columnist

It also ripened late, often well into October, so it could be stored for up to three months. These were important attributes for a Northern apple, and the Leas embraced it early.

It wasn’t until 1852 that the American Pomological Society listed the Northern Spy Apple as a variety of promise and one worth cultivating…a good quarter century after it was already well-established here.

The Northern Spy is still available today because some believe no other apple has matched its ability to achieve the ultimate apple pie, the perfect cobbler or the most delicious cider. However, the Spy is a biennial bearer, and for this reason it has declined in popularity with commercial orchardists. That makes it a little harder to find, but it’s still grown locally and I’ve been told this should be a very good year for the Northern Spy. They should be available through October and you will find them at Passion Fruits, Badali’s Fruit Market, and Tuft’s Valu-Mart, on Bayview Ave. This Thanksgiving, if you want to make the best apple pie and give a salute to the Lea orchards at the same time, try it with the Northern Spy Apple and who knows, maybe this will become a Leaside tradition along with Apple Fest. Bravo to the Bayview Leaside BIA for giving us Apple Fest, paying homage to the many apple orchards and celebrating this wonderful history of Leaside. Here’s to Apple Fest and the Northern Spy Apple! Crispy, crunchy, perfect. ■

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Leaside has welcomed another new principal. He is Donato Di Paolo of St. Anselm Catholic School, who came from Canadian Martyrs Catholic School in East York, where he was principal for three years. Mr. Di Paolo studied history at York University before earning his teaching degree in Perth, Australia. He also has specialist qualifications in Religious Studies and Special Education, and a Master’s degree in Critical Literacy from Mount St. Vincent University. Mr. Di Paolo’s teaching career began at two Toronto Catholic District schools in the west end, and served for three years as vice-princi-

….ooooops! feeling like this?

Janis Fertuck Columnist

TCDSB this year, a project that was given to them largely because of the dedicated community of parents who are “doing all of the work,” he told me. As an administrator, Mr. Di Paolo especially enjoys the managerial tasks involved in consulting with various stakeholders, such as staff, students and the parish, in order to identify the needs of the school, and to develop an action plan to address those needs and implement improvements. In addition, he is keen to build relationships with community partners and maintain ties and traditions with the merchants on Bayview, local institutions and politicians. “I feel blessed to be joining the Leaside community,” he said. Welcome to Leaside, Mr. Di Paolo. ■

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JANIS FERTUCK

ALPHA 2 OMEGA pal at St. Jane Frances School in the Jane-Sheppard area. This high needs school, for a time, was the largest elementary school in the Catholic board. Over the years, he has served on a number of committees, including those dealing with Twenty-First Century Learning, Special Education, and the Effective Use of Technology. Since he grew up in nearby Riverdale, Mr. Di Paolo is very familiar with Leaside, which he describes as a “great community.” Even before the school year started, he had met many of the members of the parent council and staff, and was impressed by their warm welcome and caring attitude. He is looking forward to the Curriculum Night and Barbecue in late September as an opportunity to make more connections. During the year, Mr. Di Paolo plans to continue with the school’s regular programs, such as the Agnes Macphail speech contest as well as the sports of hockey and swimming. In fact, the school is organizing and hosting a swim meet for the entire

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Leaside Life • October 2017

Meet the principals, Part 2


Leasiders travelling on Esandar Dr. behind Longo’s on the evening of Sat., Oct. 14 might be startled to see a number of men throwing axes in the parking lot of Amsterdam Brewery. They might think they’ve stumbled onto a movie set in the Middle Ages or a lumberjack camp. In fact, it’s the site of a fundraising event held by Bessborough Elementary and Middle School, their second annual “Men with Axes” evening. Axe-throwing tournaments, the latest fad in recreational and team-building activities, are also a popular form of fundraising. Leaside’s upcoming event for swinging dads is run by BATL Axe Throwing Co., which has been in business since 2006 and has several locations across Canada. The evening starts off with expert instruction in the art of axe-throwing, followed by a tournament, and concluding with a prime rib dinner, prizes and auctions. The organizers of the event are Bessborough fathers Tyler Lang, Shane Skillen and Chad Iwata, who are very enthusiastic about their

Shane Skillen and Tyler Lang prepare for the Men with Axes fundraiser. goals for the evening: a chance for dads to bond, raise funds for the school and for a community outreach program, and enable local sponsors to promote themselves in the neighbourhood. Last year’s event had about 100 participants

Kathleen Wynne MPP Don Valley West

Wishing a

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone in Don Valley West!

by JANIS FERTUCK

and raised roughly $15,000. Previous sponsors of the event included Leaside Orthodontic Centre, The Local Public Eatery, Adamson Barbecue, Valu-Mart, Eastern Meat Solutions and M&S Auto Centre, and it is expected these sponsors – and possibly more – will sign on. In addition, there are door and raffle prizes as well as silent and live auctions featuring donated items such as signed sports memorabilia and tickets, vouchers for children’s camps and restaurant gift certificates. Fundraising events like this one help Bessborough purchase sports equipment, musical instruments, library books and technology upgrades. In addition, the funds are used to ensure that all students have access to every school event regardless of their financial situation. This year’s “Men with Axes” event has another purpose behind it: to raise funds to purchase a reading program called Empower Reading from the Hospital for Sick Children for another school, Victoria Village Public School, which has been unable to obtain the $5,000 needed for the program itself. This intense, teacher-centred program has been used at Bessborough for struggling readers for the last three years with great success; in fact, some students who could not read before are now reading stories and novels. Principal Patricia Broderick, who initiated the use of Empower Reading at the school, is so impressed with it that she wants to help disadvantaged schools get it too. As Shane Skillen said, “This attitude of outreach provides a good example for young minds to be exposed to a community-minded value system.” “Tickets are still available,” said Mr. Lang, “and we would love to extend the evening to other men and dads throughout Leaside.” If you have what it takes to wield that axe, contact the dad-organizers at www.menwithaxes.com and savour a new experience. ■

Leaside Life Subscriptions

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Away at the cottage? Moved away but want to stay in touch? Interested in having Leaside Life mailed to you each month? How about an Annual Subscription? Only $12/year Email us at leasidelifepublishing@ gmail.com or call 416-504-8047.

GINNY CLARK HICKS

Leaside Life • October 2017

14

Men with axes invade Leaside!


Apple Fest 2017

September 30th & October 1st  Join us as we celebrate our history and pay homage to the many apple orchards that once graced our area. Embrace that country feeling as we salute the apple with ciders, pies, live music, art and so much more! For More Details Visit www.BayviewLeasideBIA.com

Leaside Life • October 2017

The Bayview Leaside BIA Presents

15


Lynda Gorges Broker

416-486-5588 Lynda.Gorges@gmail.com www.lyndagorges.com

Passionate about helping my Clients

The Staff at Look Hair Studio

LOOK HAIR STUDIO

1818/1820 BAYVIEW AVE (MEZZANINE LEVEL) 416 322 LOOK (5665) Look Hair Studio was originally opened 29 years ago as a family business by Norma (formally of Sula’s Studio) and Michael (formerly of Pierpaolo). Then 22 years ago, Annette Palumbo took over as owner and manager, and has never looked back. “We have been fortunate to have loyal clientele,”Palumbo says, and credits the longevity of the business to determination, dedication and “being of service.”

N

ST

A IN A B

UT

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Leaside Life • October 2017

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R IT IO

N

“Our services are about the health of the hair, skin and nails,” Palumbo says. Look Hair Studio specializes particularly in European hair, which is thick, coarse, curly or fine, limp hair. In addition, their estheticians deal with their services in a holistic fashion, with everything from manicures and pedicures, to massages, reflexology and aromatherapy. When asked what their key to success is, Palumbo answers that it “is built on the fundamentals of loyalty, integrity, flexibility, dedication, passion and the great ability to be of service to our clients and accommodating all their needs.”

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PHOTOS: TOM MOURGAS

Tom Mourgas the “Iron Man” outside his shop on Canvarco. people and eat good food.” After I got a tour of the facility and some safety tips, it was time to work the machines and do things with metal. First I tried the drill press, a machine that carves holes into pieces of steel. Holding the mould in place was difficult since I’m a lefthander, so that didn’t last long. Next I wanted to slice some metal using the cut-off wheel but had to suit up first. In my official leather welding jacket, hair covered and goggles on, I approached the spinning, sharktoothed beast that had been spitting fire at Roula all morning. Now it was my turn to cut a 20-ft. piece of steel bar down to size – to make

I’ll Try Anything Once!

saw the rest of the way. I followed Karli Vezina instructions and kept all fingers attached. I have to admit I was a bit rattled after only one bar, as the noise of the saw and the heat of the sparks are a bit staggering. Tom showed me more toys around the shop, but before we broke for lunch, I had to forge some iron to earn my keep. Tom got out his box of fire called a forge, heated up a bar of steel and showed me how to hammer it into a flattened tip. Using an anvil in a real life situation was awesome, and so was the feeling of the hammer bouncing off red-hot iron. Roula found the path to blacksmithing after many other roads traversed. From working with young offenders, switching to the culinary arts and again switching gears to apprenticing at 45, Roula feels

Karli and Roula using the cut-off wheel to slice metal. As I approached 10 Canvarco, where Tom’s been for 21 years, I saw a large iron bench with two men chatting quietly. One of them was Tom, the other a neighbour passing by. “He’s a veteran,” Tom said later. “He fought for us and now his son is doing the same.” Five minutes later, a car slows down, window rolled low as a man shouts asking if Tom is around, says he’s got a question. Roula Stentsiotes, his diligent apprentice, says he’ll be back soon. These customer drop-ins and “howdo-you-dos” go on all day, showing how deeply this shop and its people are immersed in the community. Tom had cancer a few years back and since being in remission says he’s a different person. “Every day, I try to have a good laugh with good

Above, Karli attempts to forge iron; right: the master at work. railing balustrades. With Roula’s guidance, I handled the machine/beast well enough. Once the blade makes the first cut into the bar, you need to pull down with greater intensity to guide the

she is where she’s supposed to be. Roula and Tom plan to host some welding and blacksmithing classes for women of all ages in the near future, to promote the trades as an option for women. Roula seems excited for the future of the shop and says she can’t wait to share what she’s learned with others. I had a wonderful time learning the art of blacksmithing and would definitely join a workshop once the classroom is ready. After all, I didn’t get a chance to weld! What’s next? Send suggestions to tryanythingleaside@gmail.com. Until next time...for science! ■

17

Leaside Life • October 2017

Blacksmithing always brings to mind a certain era. Ages of old when Black Creek Pioneer Village may have been a bustling downtown core, when horses were hondas, and dragons were the stuff of legends. Back then, it would have been rare to see a female blacksmith, but today, Leaside’s blacksmith Tom Mourgas says women are the way of the future and he couldn’t be happier about it. A third-generation blacksmith, Tom owns Metro Iron Works and says he’s had more women than men come to him to learn the trade and says female interest in blacksmithing is definitely on the rise. Tom’s been in business for 36 years after training under his grandfather and opening his first shop at 15. His company has always been Metro Iron Works, but as his business and reputation grew, Tom became known as the “Ironman” of Leaside.

KARLI VEZINA

Blacksmith for a day with the Ironman of Leaside


Leaside Life • October 2017

18

A wise person once said, “The only way you’ll catch me running is if someone is chasing me!” A wiser person hears about the Monster Dash and can’t wait to run! Or walk. On Sunday, October 29th, batmen, princesses, ninja turtles, and other characters will participate in the sixth annual Monster Dash in Sunnybrook Park. While costumes aren’t mandatory, there are tons of prizes for best get-ups worn by kids, pets, adults, and groups. Kids 12 and under can run or walk the Spooky Mile (which is actually far more fun than it is spooky) on their own or with their parents. And as race director Peter Donato points out, “What’s a Halloween run without candy?” Yep! On the Spooky Mile there are candy stations. But don’t worry, older runners, there are 5K and 10K courses with candy stations too. The event starts with the Spooky Mile at 4:30 (when it’s still light out for the kids’ run), with the 10K and 5K starting at 5:30 and 6:00 respectively. Runners in the longer races are encouraged to bring their own lights to avoid ghouls and zombies along the way. And all runners young and old(er) get a bag of goodies at the end of the race. Kids get a finisher’s ribbon and a goodie bag, while 5 and 10K participants receive monster medals, lots of goodies, and a huge, cozy, fleece blanket. There will also be free face painting and lots of other activities in the Monster Dash room at the Ontario Science Centre (OSC) right up the hill from the race. A post-run party will also be held at the OSC with food, drink (yes, it’s licensed), and a myriad of themed games for all ages. And for those who’d like to take in the fun without participating in the race, organizers encourage spectators to cheer on the pirates and ghosts, and volunteers to assist along the route. High school students are encouraged to earn volunteer hours. Donato expects approximately 1,200 runners to take part in this year’s Dash and says that past runs have seen runners from across Ontario participating. But this event isn’t only about exercise, fun, and candy. Over the years the Monster Dash has supported various charities including the World Wildlife Foundation and Holland Bloorview. This year, 100 per cent of pledges will support the Ontario Science Centre’s Community Access Programs, including the Adopt-aClass program. The program, which

the They did the dash, they did

Monster Dash! has been running since 2009, brings classes of kids from Toronto’s underserved neighbourhoods to the Centre to explore, learn, and discover science in the most interactive, informative, and inspirational venue. Through the program, classes receive transportation to and from the Centre, fullday access to all exhibit halls, and a 45-minute school program. According to Catherine Paisley, OSC’s vice president, science education & science experience, the Centre works hand-in-hand with both the TDSB and TCDSB to “identify schools where the students have an opportunity gap.” Last year alone, the program served approximately 30,000 students. And the impact is great. A Grade 5 teacher from Carleton Public school commented, “I hope that the sponsors understand that their generous assistance enables schools, such as ours, to attend and participate, which would otherwise be unlikely. Such experiences are truly priceless, and will remain long

Sunday, in my students’ October 29 memories, th emotionally Sunnybroo and educak Park tionally.” To get in touch with your inner monster and register for the Dash, visit: www.monsterdash.ca. For more information about the OSC’s Adopt-a-Class program, visit: https://www.ontariosciencecentre.ca/ adopt-a-class. ■

GOOD TIMES RUNNING

By SUSAN SCANDIFFIO


LEASIDE’S RETAILERS Bayview’s buzzing with new retail life on the strip

PHOTOS: ROBIN DICKIE

Leaside Life • October 2017

19

By KARLI VEZINA There is plenty of buzz on Bayview these days. It seems every other shop is new or opening soon. For those of us who pass by daily, it can be hard to keep up. Here’s a quick rundown of some of the new businesses on the strip: 2 BROS CUISINE: Formerly Rosie’s Kitchen, this place offers a taste of the Mediterranean, namely chicken shawarma, gyros, kebab, falafel, Greek or tabouli salad, samosas and more. Oh, and poutine, for good measure. I haven’t tried it yet, but if the Leaside Community Facebook page is any indication, the locals are loving it. Open daily until 10 p.m. (1549 Bayview) ALPHA 2 OMEGA: European fashion for men and women. This little shop is next to the Toronto Hapkido Academy. Their store offers the latest styles in bags, purses and accessories, unique shoes and clothes. (1669 Bayview)

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Leaside Life • October 2017

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Councillor, Toronto Ward 26 Don Valley West

Catching up with the Trace Manes playground revitalization It has been just over two years since Jillian Walsh and a group of her friends approached me to discuss the future of the playground at Trace Manes Park. Much has happened since then with boundless hard work, love and passion. Soon, the entire community will benefit. Although the playground is a favourite spot of many, there is a great deal of room for improvement. The wading pool is over 50 years old, and because of maintenance issues it didn’t open this year until July. The portable playground equipment was originally supposed to be temporary – brought in when the last set was deemed unsafe. And, a major issue is that the playground itself is not fully accessible. Jillian’s vision was to build a playground that was both safe and inclusive for all. Inspired by their memories of Jillian’s daughter, Georgia Walsh, Jillian and her friends began fundraising in the summer of 2015, with a goal of raising $1.2 million. Incredibly, they achieved their goal by December 2016. During those 18 months, they hosted numerous fundraising events, which included two Georgia Walsh All-Star baseball games (summer of 2015 and 2016), a Halloween party and a poker tournament. In part thanks to the generosity of Shane Baghai, the developer of 3-5 Southvale, who voluntarily entered into a Section 37 agreement of $250,000, their goal has been surpassed. Thanks to Jillian’s tireless research and passionate advocacy, construction of a new state-of-the-art playground and splash pad will begin next spring. The design, as well as plans to name the playground area in Georgia’s memory, was unveiled at a recent community meeting. As the hub of the community, the “new” Trace Manes Park will soon be a place for all children to enjoy. What a wonderful and heartfelt tribute to Georgia by her mother and her many friends. ■ councillor_burnside@toronto.ca

21

Leaside Life • October 2017

Jon Burnside


Leaside Life • October 2017

22

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Coming Soon to Leaside

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Leaside Life • October 2017

23


Why are there so many houses for lease in Leaside? Leaside Life • October 2017

24

Recent leases of semi-detached two-storey homes in Leaside ranged from $2,800-$3,500/month while detached homes with three or more bedrooms leased for $3,300-$4,299/ month. Bungalows typically rent for around $2,500/month. Recent leases were for 93-101% of the asking rent and on average were on the market for 24 days. Of course, the rent varies depending on the location and amount of updating. Not surprisingly, homes on busy roads such as Eglinton rent for less than those on more desirable streets. It feels strange to be writing an article about Leaside real estate while sitting in my family room at the cottage overlooking a tranquil lake. However, having recently retired from a 34-year career as a real estate salesperson and manager, it feels pretty good. Hopefully my experience will allow me to provide you with some insight into the market. A question I am often asked these days is why there are so many houses for lease in Leaside. This past summer, there were 17 houses for lease on MLS in Leaside. Six of these were leased in July and three in August.

Craig Homewood Leaside Real Estate

There are several reasons you see so many houses for lease. While studies indicate that only 5-8% of homes in Canada are bought by foreign investors, such buyers are significant in the Leaside market. Many buy planning to build a new home on the site either for resale or as a residence for themselves or a family member. For those building a new home, there can be a long waiting period to obtain the required permits. It is for this period that the house is sometimes rented, providing the owner with some income. Some of those planning to build a new home don’t rent the house while awaiting permits, preferring not to deal with tenants, since they may not vacate the house at the end of their tenancy or may cause other problems. However, when properties are left vacant, sometimes they are not well maintained. Grass is

Rob Oliphant, M.P. Don Valley West

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left uncut and hedges untrimmed, so these properties end up creating an eyesore. You can call the City to report such a situation. In other cases, investors, foreign or domestic, acquire houses for continued rental income. Canada is a safe place to invest, a fact which adds to the appeal for foreign investors. Note that these buyers are not always “foreign” in the eyes of the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). Many are Canadian citizens, but some of the money used to buy the homes may be coming from offshore family members. Almost everyone I know who bought a house as an investment property over the past 10 to 20 years has done very well because of the rapid appreciation in house prices over that period. When the property is sold, some of the profit goes to the CRA as capital gains tax, but the owner has also benefited from the rental income over the years. Leaside has been an easy place for landlords to find good tenants because of its central location in Toronto, proximity to employment centres such as Sunnybrook, excellent retail options, and good schools and community facilities. Another reason a home is leased is a life-change for the owner, such as a job transfer or change in family situation. In such cases, owners may lease the house during the period they cannot occupy it. Also, a house may be offered for lease if a seller cannot achieve the desired selling price. Given all these factors, I think it’s fair to say Leaside will continue to see a number of homes for lease. Craig is a long-time Leaside resident and a graduate of Leaside High School. He is also an alumnus of the University of Waterloo (Urban and Regional Planning) and UBC (Urban Land Economics). He recently retired from a long career in real estate sales and management. You can reach him at LCraigHomewood@gmail.com. ■


New retail... From Page 17

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Leaside Life • October 2017

GHAZAL RUG GALLERY: This place is all things rugs: Persian, Oriental, modern and more. As Leaside residents, they are happy to bring their shop closer to home. A family business of three generations, they sell rugs and carpets, as well as offer appraisals, restorations, rentals and carpet cleaning services. (1693B Bayview) MAYRIK: Meaning “mother” in Armenian, Mayrik replaces Vero Trattoria with some new food for your face. Armenian and EasternMediterranean cuisine gives Leaside some tasty choices like freshly made baba ghanoush, Armenian dumplings, free-range chicken, steak, lamb and fish of the day. Seb and Aram run the restaurant, aiming to provide “an escape to the Mediterranean” while “bringing the downtown to midtown.” (1580 Bayview) THE RITZ MEN’S HAIRCUT: A former barber to the stars in Israel, owner Eli has been in the spotlight working with top clients from London, New York and Paris as well. These days, Eli is shining his light on the Bayview strip. He brings with him the old-school barbershop style with his hot towel grooming and shaving services, as well as haircuts for all ages. (1693A Bayview) We know you’re curious (and probably hungry) now, so grab your walking shoes and stroll by these new shops to say hello. And, if you hear of someone new coming to the strip, send us a note. ■

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Leaside Gate

Leaside Life • October 2017

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As a Leasider I found the recent media controversy about “NIMBY” vs “YIMBY” in Toronto quite disturbing. Much of the media coverage seemed intent on pitting homeowners and established communities against those facing a genuine need for housing. There was more than a whiff of resentment toward people who already own their homes and value their neighbourhoods’ character and amenities, particularly in wealthier areas. There is a larger picture than the development opposed by Margaret Atwood and others in the Annex which provoked the media controversy. In Leaside we have a long history of opposing proposed developments, mainly high rise complexes with potentially heavy impact on our streets, schools, and infrastructure. The planning process looks at each development proposal in isolation, regardless of the combined or overall effect of overdevelopment. Zoning bylaws are there for a reason. But all too often they are treated as “the opening offer in negotiations,” to quote one recent column. It’s not as simple as saying it is residents who want no change (NIMBY), versus those saying “come on in” to developers (YIMBY). There is such a thing as good planning, which considers each individual location, and looks at ways of minimizing or preventing negative impacts. It’s not fair to say that Leaside homeowners only act out of self-interest when they oppose a development which is too dense, high, or close. Leasiders are not opposed to creating more housing stock. We know Toronto’s Official Plan calls for more intensification. But let it be the right amount, in the right locations, where it can benefit the City, not be a blot on the landscape. Now and again the LPOA is criticized for having supported Metrolinx’s installing an LRT stop or station at the intersection of Leslie and Eglinton, during the transit route’s planning stages in 2013. The alternative would have been to build no station or stop at all between Laird Dr. and Don Mills Rd. Criticism centres on an assumption that the decision to build a Leslie/

Carol Burtin Fripp Co-president, LPOA

Eglinton stop has encouraged more development along Leslie, particularly near the old Inn on the Park, with consequent through-traffic increases in Leaside. I noted the argument again in Councillor Jon Burnside’s recent newsletter, and thought I’d comment. Even before the Metrolinx decision, Leslie St. properties were being purchased with development in mind

(and as we know, the Official Plan calls for more density along transit routes in general, not just near stations). So there would have been condo building on Leslie regardless. But the real issue was what would have happened if there were no Leslie stop/station, with the LRT remaining underground all the way between Laird and Don Mills. This is what Metrolinx and the

TTC planned: the Laird/Eglinton intersection was to be turned into what they called a “street-level transportation hub.” TTC bus routes on Leslie would deliver their LRT-bound passengers onto the sidewalks at Laird and Eglinton. Passengers would then enter the Laird station. Southbound buses would continue along Laird to the Danforth, or short-turn to return to Leslie. Northbound routes on Laird would continue north onto Leslie, or short-turn at Laird to return to the Danforth. Officials conceded there would have to be some expropriation of property to allow this. Without a Leslie link to the LRT on Eglinton, there would be constant street-level congestion from transferring riders and bus activity at Laird. In addition, planners projected increases in car traffic from both Don Mills and farther north Leslie commuters, as more people drove (many likely using Leaside streets). Not a desirable outcome. A quick word about the LPOA’s Traffic Study. We are planning a public meeting in the late fall to present a detailed traffic calming design for all Leaside, based on your survey comments and our traffic consultant’s analysis. Stay tuned for details. Our next LPOA board meeting is on Wed. Oct 4th, 7:30 p.m. in the Noble Room 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 or advice on local matters, or just to hear more about what’s happening in our community. ■

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Leaside Life • October 2017

Which one are you: a NIMBY or a YIMBY?


Susan Scandiffio Columnist

Peugeot cyclist in Europe. The Trailblazers are also fortunate to have parent coaches who assist Mr. Bryson. The parents, including Dr. Tim Marshall, a founder of Leaside’s own Morning Glory Club, and Heather Gerson, a certified instructor and member of the Wild Bettys Mountain Biking Club, are expert riders who provide the 25 or so Trailblazers with tips, encour-

the group, monitors spot at challenging sections, and students are required to wear helmets and eye protection. Grade 4 rider Eddie Gerson, a multi-sport athlete who participates at school and extra-curricularly in skiing, soccer, running, and cricket, loves the mountain biking club and points out that the “pump track is the best part!” Meanwhile Grade 2 and 5 siblings Norah and Callum Marshall, who are seasoned riders, enjoy not only being with their friends and working on their biking skills, but also especially “the popsicles at the end of the ride!” Because who doesn’t love a frozen treat after a vigorous trailbike ride? ■

SUSAN SCANDIFFIO

Torontonians are fortunate to have access to a wealth of trails for hiking, walking, running, inline skating…and for the kids of Rolph Road School, mountain biking. Every Monday, when the weather is dry, the Rolph Road Trailblazers head to the Don Valley trails leading down from the Redway Loblaws and experience the thrills of mountain biking. This isn’t your stationary bike-type experience. With the constant variation of terrain and elevation, mountain biking challenges riders to use both upper and lower body muscles to maintain balance and tackle obstacles. Doctors and sports specialists highly recommend that kids participate in multiple athletic activ-

ities rather than focus on just one sport in order to avoid both mental and muscle burnout. Engaging in various sports not only results in the use of multiple muscle groups, but also introduces kids to a wider peer group, and reduces the chances of children becoming bored with one activity. If kids discover the joy of multiple sports, they are more likely to want to remain physically active. At Rolph Road, students are extremely fortunate to have Campbell Bryson as their physical education teacher. Not only is Bryson the coach of the Trailblazers, he also introduces the kids to sports they may never have had a chance to try, including Quidditch, cricket, beach volleyball on scooterboards, and luge on Mt. Rolph. It’s what you might expect from this phys ed teacher, a former two-time Canadian champion biathlete and Team

agement, and a safe ride. The Trailblazers Club is the only mountain biking club in the TDSB – testament to the many opportunities available to the students at Rolph Road. The club members range from Grades 1 to 6 with both boys and girls participating in rides of 90 minutes in the valley. Bryson points out, “The kids love to ride the ’pump track,’ which is nearby. It’s like a rollercoaster. It’s excellent for practising bike control and introducing more advanced skills.” But while some of the riders have had previous experience, most in the club started as beginners who have gained impressive skills. For all riders, regardless of experience, the club focuses not just on fun and skill-development, but also on safety. Bikes are regularly checked, adults ride at the front and back of

Left: Campbell Bryson (centre) and the Trailblazers celebrate a good ride. Above: Callum and Norah Marshall and below Eddie Gerson on the trail.

PHOTOS: HEATHER GERSON

Leaside Life • October 2017

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Two-time Canadian champion leads the Rolph Road School Trailblazers


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Leaside Life • October 2017

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Take your life in your hands at this intersection?

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ROBIN DICKIE

Leaside Life • October 2017

Duck you, witch! If you’re good at anagrams, you shouldn’t have a hard time figuring out the true meaning of these three words. That’s what two guys in their 30s driving a new Acura SUV recently called my wife as we were attempting to cross Parkhurst Blvd., walking north on Bayview to our apartment. We had entered the street ahead of the SUV, but these two hot shots saw an opening in the backed up Sunday traffic and went for it, cutting us off to get across Bayview to Soudan Ave. before the oncoming southbound traffic would arrive. My wife yelled out, “How about a little consideration for pedestrians?” They responded with some “witty” retort, after which my wife responded with some equally “witty” words of her own (not cool, we realize), to which they responded with those three lovely words mentioned at the beginning. Of course, like true men, they said it while driving off west on Soudan, but loud enough for the entire world to hear. Why am I sharing this crude example of bad behaviour?

Will Ashworth The business of Leaside

wrong,” wrote Catherine Bertmount. It’s good to know that the people living on Parkhurst have a “professional” traffic engineer living in their midst. Unfortunately, Bertmount provides no substantive evidence to support her claim that the children of Parkhurst face increased dangers as a result of any increase in traffic that may or may not occur if a traffic light is installed at the intersection. Georgia Walsh died in a tragic traffic accident at the corner of McRae Dr. and Millwood Rd. in July 2014. The telephone pole at the northwest corner of that intersection is a permanent reminder of her unnecessary death. While I am not a parent, I’m certainly capable of understanding the loss felt by everyone close to Georgia. Look, I don’t like the increased traffic that’s hit our neighbourhood in recent years due to the LRT construction and additional condo units

The intersection causing all the discussion. I received a letter to the editor (see opposite page) about my September Business of Leaside column discussing the mistreatment of pedestrians at the intersection of Parkhurst and Bayview. As part of my discussion, I made the case that a traffic light needs to be installed at the intersection to keep children and adults safe from drivers more intent on crossing Bayview illegally than paying attention to the pedestrians around them. “Given that a stoplight at Parkhurst and Bayview would drastically increase the dangers to the many children walking to and from school, Will’s contention is categorically

going up in the area any more than Ms. Bertmount does, but you fight the battles you can win. Admittedly, Toronto’s a big city with plenty of neighbourhoods ill equipped or designed for this level of traffic, but you can’t turn back time or halt the drumbeat of progress. I’m afraid if something isn’t done soon at Parkhurst and Bayview, we’ll have another Georgia Walsh on our hands. To do nothing more than what’s already been done (the turn prohibitions during rush hours) in my opinion is the ultimate act of irresponsibility. Ms. Bertmount sees kids being safer

by reducing traffic on Parkhurst when, in fact, evidence suggests nothing could be further from the truth. A traffic light or no traffic light, children face a greater danger going almost anywhere in the car than they do running around the neighbourhood. For the sake of science, I would like to see Councillor Burnside organize an experiment with 53 Division, in conjunction with the city’s transportation department, that sends one police car driving at the designated speed limits east on Soudan from Yonge St. to Laird Dr. and south to the Husky gas station. A second car would leave at the same time travelling from Yonge east along Eglinton Ave. to Laird and south to the Husky gas station. I would guess that the car travelling along Eglinton would get to the gas station faster most of the time. The point is that smart people understand that driving at speeds 20 kilometres slower and braking every 100 feet for stop signs is not the better way. One of the changes implemented as a result of Walsh’s death was the elimination of right-hand turns on red lights at that fateful intersection. Anything to make pedestrians safer is a good move in my books. The problem at Parkhurst and Bayview is less about increased traffic and more about the mindset of drivers. The sign prohibitions have done little to curb bad behaviour at the intersection. No longer do I feel the Councillor’s solution of imposing one-way restrictions at the mouths of both Parkhurst and Soudan will stop drivers from breaking the law. With only two fulltime traffic officers in 53 Division, the solution must be something that works without police supervision. You could install concrete barriers blocking the entrance to both Parkhurst and Soudan from Bayview. While that might be acceptable to the residents of Parkhurst, it probably wouldn’t make Parkers or Remax very happy. Which leaves us with a traffic light as the only workable solution that protects both pedestrians and drivers. If someone is ultimately killed at the intersection of Parkhurst and Bayview, I’ll know I said and did everything I could to protect the people of Leaside. If you feel, like me, that there should be a traffic light at the intersection, contact Councillor Burnside and tell him so: Councillor_Burnside@toronto.ca or 416-392-0215. ■


Good item on Ian Morton of Summerhill Group in your September issue. Very kind of Ian to mention my action on his request for a sidewalk on Commercial Road when I was city councillor for the area. The fact is, the credit goes to Ian for flagging the issue and bringing the need to my attention. The real hero of the piece, however, is Fiona Chapman – the City Hall public servant who delivered the result. Fiona installed several other sidewalks at my request. They include ones (1) along Bayview Heights

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Given that a stoplight at Parkhurst and Bayview would drastically increase the dangers to the many children walking to and from school, Will’s contention is categorically wrong. Parkhurst has been harder hit than many Leaside streets, as it’s a clear path from Bayview to Laird and an excellent bypass instead of Eglinton. To say that Parkhurst families will see a dramatic increase in traffic should a light be installed, is an understatement. There are other alternatives which are being looked at including moving or eliminating the crosswalk. For the safety of the families who live on Parkhurst, it would be merciful for the City, should they deem it necessary, to delay putting in a set of lights until the Eglinton Crosstown is complete. Catherine Bertmount

Re: Ian Morton

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LETTERS leasidelife@gmail.com

Drive south of Moore, (2) along Bennington Heights Drive leading into Bennington Heights School, and (3) along the south side of Leacrest, virtually end to end. The Leacrest one was actually a big project. Partly because of the tree issues involved. But Fiona’s best work had to do with the unusual traffic island at the complicated McRae/Rumsey/ Sharron Drive intersection. A young mother wrote a note alerting me as to what a struggle it was to manage a stroller across the curb structure of the island. I asked Fiona to follow up. She had a crew on it within days. I think the whole thing was rebuilt in a week or so. Roadways are not just for cars. Residents like Ian and public servants like Fiona are helping make them safer for pedestrians too. ■ John Parker We welcome all Letters to the Editor and/or feedback from readers…leasidelife@gmail.com

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Leaside Life • October 2017

Re: Will Ashworth’s Business of Leaside column, “To hell with pedestrians”


Leaside Viaduct enters its 10th decade On October 29 raise a glass to celebrate the Leaside Viaduct as it enters its 10th decade. Built in 1927, the Leaside Viaduct (aka Millwood or Leaside bridge) over the Don Valley was a game changer for the Town of Leaside. The bridge drastically improved access from the south and east to the community and stimulated a building boom in the 1930s that continued into the ’40s. The impressive structure, which has since been widened to accommodate more vehicles, tends to be overlooked in favour of its more famous cousin to the south, the Prince Edward Viaduct (Bloor St.). The simple, utilitarian superstructure and basic concrete piers were built in record time using construction techniques never before seen in Canada. It took barely 10 months to connect the top of Pape Ave. with the burgeoning community of Leaside and its thrumming racetrack. By comparison, the Bloor Viaduct, featured as the central location for the popular novel In the Skin of a Lion, took almost five times as long to build. The need for a second bridge to span the Don Valley became apparent in the late 1920s as Leaside, the community planned by Frederick Gage Todd for the Canadian Northern Railway, was laid out, but the predicted population growth was slow to materialize. In 1927, more than 15 years after its creation, the Toronto Star was still predicting that Leaside would become “in the near future a thriving town of 25,000 population, not the product of a hysterical real estate boom, but the natural corollary of civic development.” One of the issues holding Leaside back was its location. The town was in a “condition of splendid isolation” on the far side of the Don Valley, largely cut off from major roads. If the fledgling town was to realize its potential, it needed a link to the outside world. Unlike the Prince Edward Viaduct, the Leaside Viaduct didn’t need a series of referendums to gain final approval. A link to the popular Thorncliffe Park Raceway, a mecca for thoroughbred and harness racing and the spiritual home of the Prince of Wales Stakes, was enough. Construction began in earnest on Jan. 2, 1927, a few weeks after the official groundbreaking on Dec. 13, 1926. The earth on the south side of the valley was already frozen in an unyielding mass, so a fire was burned

Geoff Kettel

Saving old Leaside

over the ceremonial first patch of sod, which was turned by Township of East York Reeve Robert Henry McGregor using a miniature silver shovel. In the valley below, amid eight centimetres of snow, workmen were laying the tracks for the temporary railway that would haul concrete and metalwork for the new bridge. It was the first time a major construction project had commenced in Toronto with snow on the ground, and more in the forecast. The construction schedule was ambitious. Designer and lead engineer Frank Barber pledged to deliver the $150,000 concrete and steel structure, substantially different from the one initially approved by the local councils, within a year – an unprecedented time frame. Several new innovations made the goal achievable. Barber and his team would measure the dry ingredients for the concrete supports by weight, reducing waste, while the steel superstructure would be built between the concrete piers without scaffolds or temporary supports, borrowing a system used during construction of the Quebec Bridge.

CITY OF TORONTO ARCHIVES

Leaside Life • October 2017

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KETTEL, cont’d

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Leaside Life • October 2017

Barber’s teams worked 24 hours January to March through bitter cold, wind, and snow. Massive searchlights on the valley floor bathed the gigantic structure in brilliant light after dark. An average four metres of concrete were laid every four hours, contractors Roger Miller and Sons told the papers. The extreme haste had consequences. Three men died while working on the bridge, but Barber believed a few mishaps were to be expected. With few setbacks (apart from the occasional low-profile personal tragedy), the Leaside Viaduct was complete by late October 1927, barely 10 months after the groundbreaking ceremony. The speed of construction set a world record and the final bill came in slightly over budget at $975,000 – about $13 million in today’s money. The Star called the 427-metre long structure “one of the greatest links that has been forged for the development of the Queen City and suburbs in the last score of years.” Leaside and East York decided to name the span, decorated with few architectural flourishes, Confederation Viaduct, 60 years after the founding of Canada. At exactly 3p.m. on Oct. 29, 1927,

Ontario Lieutenant Governor William Donald Ross cut the ribbon strung across the entrance to the south side of the bridge using a pair of specially engraved scissors. The band of the Mississauga Horse played God Save the King and a score of dignitaries gave speeches. The first vehicles to cross the concrete surface were a TTC bus, the

first on the new Pape route, and a bread wagon bound for Leaside. The deck was widened to support six lanes of vehicle traffic in 1969 as the city mulled extending Leslie St. south across the bridge. A major facelift and heritage status arrived in 2004. Acknowledgement: This piece draws on one by Chris Bateman, staff writer at blogTO. ■

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This is why Vanderburg must pick up every piece of garbage Leaside Life • October 2017

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When I took on the personal mission of becoming the litter police in Leaside, I did so for many reasons. I like a clean park for my son, grandchildren and all children to play in, so I pick up random litter at the Trace Manes children’s parkette. I like a clean vista to gaze upon over morning coffee, so I worked with the Leaside Library to put a litter abatement program in place. I like to play tennis, so I worked with the Leaside Tennis Club to keep the courts and grounds clean. I want the Trace Manes sports fields, dugouts and bleachers to be clean for all users and neighbours, so I advise the City and the permit holders when things get a little too messy. I worked with the Boy Scouts to clean up strings and branches after their annual Christmas tree sale. And I continue to clean up on those days I walk around the park. I also like a clean neighbourhood, so I worked with the BIA, Leaside Gardens, Leaside United Church and Gyro Mazda to keep their areas clean. And I hoped other Leasiders would join in to keep their sidewalk and street

Cheryl Vanderburg Leaside Litterati

areas clean or adopt a favourite green space. I hoped I could inspire Leasiders to show they care. Never did I realize I would meet so many like-minded people or have such great conversations on my litter walks. Yes, I’ve had the odd person, who when called on

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their littering, would say things to me like “you’ve got crazy hair” or “litter creates jobs for City workers.” And I have exasperated my husband and son. When my son was younger, he used to ask, “Why do you have to stop and pick up every piece of garbage?” My husband continues to ask, “Are we going for a real walk or are you going to pick up litter?” He likes a fitness walk so my stops and starts annoy him as they slow him down. My solo litter walks are always filled with numerous questions and comments from friendly and curious Leasiders. Here are just a few: From adults: Why don’t you wear protective gloves? Me: I’m too lazy to go to the back shed to get a pair; I don’t want to create more litter by wearing disposable gloves; I’ve changed poopy diapers so what’s a little litter; not to worry; I don’t pick up dog poop with my bare hands; and yes, I do wash my hands when I get home. Them: Do you find a lot of money? Me: A few nickels, dimes, quarters and loonies. I once found a $20 bill. I asked around to see if someone had dropped it and everyone said no, so I kept it. As my husband said, “I would have said it was mine and you never would have known if it was or wasn’t.” My friend George found a $50 bill when cleaning up after the Boy Scouts Christmas tree sale. Big score! I do find a lot of children’s clothing, which I launder and put in the Oasis box; I have accumulated a nice collection of water bottles and food containers; and I have cashed in a number of beer and liquor bottles. Them: You’re doing a great job keeping the park clean. If you see any litter on my front lawn don’t worry about trespassing to pick it up. I can’t bend down any more… bad knees. Me: Happy to help! Them: I often see you out picking up litter. Me: It’s become a bit of an obsession. Once I became committed to the cause, I can’t walk by a discarded something-something without picking it up. From children: Why are you picking up garbage? Me: Because the park looks nicer when it’s clean. Wouldn’t you rather play in a clean park? Them: Are you the garbage lady? Me: I guess I am. ■


Did you receive your copy of Leaside Life this month?

Leaside Life is distributed to every home and business in the M4G area code, so if you are in the area, you should be receiving the magazine at your door every month. Occasionally, we hear from our readers that they have not received the magazine and we are so glad they take the time to let us know. Sometimes things do happen and occasionally we will miss a couple

“Seas Gu Dileas” Calling all former Leaside High School students and staff

Cat? Rat? Opossum! In the September issue of Leaside Life, our own Leaside Litterati, Cheryl Vanderburg, wrote about the many critters, both wild and domesticated, who share our community. But how about the recent sighting of an opossum and her nine babies by Leaside residents Walt and Lenore Pawziuk of Annesley Ave.? So why is this marsupial, known to play dead when threatened, showing up in Leaside? Originating in South America, the opossum has been moving northward since the 1950s thanks to climate change. Seems that with our recent mild winters and abundant food supply, the opossum may be here to stay. Want to find out more about our new, cuddly neighbours? Check out www.opossumsocietyus.org.

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How do you turn 15 litres of lemonade into $1,000? Ask Isaac Khan This past September, 4-year-old Isaac Khan hosted his second (!) annual lemonade stand in support of the Terry Fox charity. The one-day event, a true Khan family affair, raised over $1,000 this year. When asked why he continues to make the effort, Isaac says, “Because some people are sick and we can give them this money to get medicine and feel better.” ■

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Seventy-two years ago, as World War II was drawing to a close, Leaside High School (LHS) was welcoming its first students. In a few short years from now, in 2020, Leaside High School will be celebrating its 75th anniversary. Former student Larry Hurd and others have organized a Leaside High School Alumni General Meeting to strike a new committee to oversee the upcoming event. The committee will be responsible for setting direction for alumni including the website, reunions, and scholarships. All former students and staff – and anyone else interested in getting involved – are invited to the meeting on Sun., Oct. 22nd at 1:30 – Leaside Pub, 190 Laird Dr. For more information or to get involved, email: alumni@leasidehighshool.com.

homes – if this happens to you, please let us know. Call 416-5048047 or email us at leasidelife@ gmail.com and we will be sure to get the issue to you immediately. We would to love to have volunteer street monitors who can help us make sure that everyone in Leaside receives the magazine. If you live on Airdrie, Randolph, Glenvale, Broadway, Bennington or any other street in Leaside, and want to help – contact us and we will email you once a month to let you know the magazine has been delivered. All you have to do is let us know once a month if you have received it. Every month, all delivery street monitors will be entered into a draw to win $50.

Leaside Life • October 2017

The Curious Idler


Leaside Life • October 2017

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EVENTS LEASIDE HIGH SCHOOL 75TH ANNIVERSARY All alumni welcome Sunday, October 22 1:30pm, at the Leaside Pub, 190 Laird Dr. to discuss plans for the 75th in 2020.

BLOOD DONOR CLINIC Wednesday, October 4, 2017, 2-7p.m. Northlea School, 305 Rumsey Rd. Call 1-888-2-Donate (1-888-236-6283)

ST ANSELM’S CHURCH 1 MacNaughton Rd. Christmas Bazaar, Sunday, November 5th. Come and shop from local artisans and crafters, home baking, white elephant sale and much more! 9:30-1pm.

LEASIDE MEN WITH AXES Saturday, October 14th at 6pm. Amsterdam Brewery on Esandar Drive. Axe throwing instruction and tournament, munchies and prime rib roast with all the fixins’, raffle, door prizes and not-so-silent auction with AMAZING PRIZES!! Funds raised towards Bessborough Home & School and their Community Giving Program. Contact www.eventbrite.ca/e/2nd-annual-leaside-men-with-axes-fundraiser-tickets-34452092135 for tickets.

ST. AUGUSTINE’S ANGLICAN CHURCH 1847 Bayview Ave. Listen to great live music by local artists and have a coffee and dessert with friends. The Groove Room Coffee House, Friday, Oct 13th, 7:00-8pm. Cost is $5 with proceeds to the Flemingdon Park Food Bank. We are looking for performers. Contact Augustine@bellnet.ca.

LEASIDE PRESBYTERIAN Kid’s Club: Fri., Oct. 6th, 9-4 pm. Join us for fun, faith and fellowship! Snacks and hot lunch included. Open to children in JK-Grade 7, with youth in Grade 8 and up welcomed as helpers. Community service opportunities are available to high school students. $30/ per child OR $50/per family. We are pleased to offer subsidized funding if needed. To register please call: 416-422-0510.

CANADIAN CHILDREN’S ART COMPETITION Canadian Contemporary School of Art, Unit 6 109. Vanderhoof Ave.

Submission Deadline: Oct 6th. Exhibition and Reception, Nov 4th. Winners announced Nov. 20th. Free to submit and participate! This year we are accepting paintings in all mediums and methods under the theme “My City.” For more info visit www.ccsa.art/toronto2017.

CANADIAN FEDERATION OF UNIVERSITY WOMEN — LEASIDE-EAST YORK Monthly meeting at 7:30pm. October 19th: Speaker Harriet Wolman, Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, “My Experience Protecting Refugees and Canada.” For more info please visit www.cfuwleasideeastyork.ca or email us at joincfuw@gmail.com.

ST. CUTHBERT’S CHURCH 1399 Bayview Avenue, 416 485 0329; Facts and Effects of Human Trafficking in Canada and in Our Own Backyards Presentation by Barbara Gosse of the Canadian Centre to End Human Trafficking, along with a law enforcement representative and a survivor of human trafficking. Wednesday, October 18. 7pm for 7:30 presentation. Free. All welcome. Annual Women’s Dinner Friday, October 20 6:30 for 7:15 pm tickets $25. Be among the 100 women enjoying an evening meal with wine together, served by the men of the parish.

Going Mobile Confused about the difference between a cell phone and a smart phone? Not sure what an “app” is? Join us for a session to learn about these terms and how to use different devices. Monday: 2-3:30p.m. Oct. 16. Drop in. All welcome. Leaside Needleworx Group (Knitting and Crocheting at the Library) Bring your own projects or start something new. Recurring Fridays: 10-11:45 a.m. Oct. 6, 13, 20, 27. Everyone welcome. Play Reading Group Join us in reading a thought-provoking play each month, from comedy to award-winning drama Saturday: 10-12:00 p.m. Oct. 21. Call to Register. Limited Space. Spotlight On Diabetes: Encouraging Healthy Habits A Presentation by L. Caplan and J. Guberman, Diabetes Nurse Educators at Sunnybrook Hospital. Wednesday: 7- 8:15p.m. Oct. 4. Drop in. Everyone welcome. Children’s Programming: LEGO Club, Self-Directed *Registration ONLY. Open to All Ages.* Come to the Library and play on your own time. Compete for your spot on the Lego Wall of Fame and to get a summer prize! Ongoing throughout October.

LEASIDE GARDEN SOCIETY

Ready for Reading Baby Time (Ages: 0-18 months) Bouncing and tickling rhymes, songs and stories for babies with their parents or caregivers. Thursdays: 9:30-10a.m & 10:30-11a.m. Oct. 5, 12, 19, 26. Drop in.

Meeting: October 12 at 7:30 p.m. in the Leaside Library, 165 McRae Drive. Darren Heimbecker will speak about smaller trees and Shrubs and developments at Whistling Gardens.

Ready for Reading Family Time (Ages: 19 months-5 years) Stories, songs, and rhymes for children with their parents or caregivers. Wed.: 9:30-10a.m & 10:3011a.m. Oct. 4, 11, 18, 25. Drop in.

LEASIDE LIBRARY

OUTSIDE GROUPS:

165 McRae Drive, 416-396-3835. Adult/Teen Programming Adult Colouring Party. Experience the latest trend in relaxation! Colouring sheets, crayons, markers and relaxing music supplied. Recurring Tuesdays: 7:00-8:15p.m. Oct. 3, 10, 17, 24, 31. For all teens and adults. Iconic Toronto, Past & Present Paintings Exhibit in the Community Room by Brent Arlitt. Oct. 2-31. Everyone welcome. Games Night! Enjoy solving/completing jigsaw puzzles or playing games. Tuesdays: 6:30-8:15 p.m. Oct. 3, 10, 17, 24, 31. Drop in. Everyone welcome.

Leaside: 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. Tues: 2-4:00p.m. Oct. 3, 10, 17, 24, 31. Send us your free listing for November by October 10th – leasidelife@gmail.com


By GEOFF KETTEL Forty-three Bayview commercial properties, including 31 on the east (Leaside) side and 12 on the west (Davisville) side are recommended for listing under the Ontario Heritage Act. City Council will decide on October 2nd. Really! Accustomed as we are to hearing about heritage losses through “as of right” demolition, such as at Stollery’s (Bloor and Yonge) and the BMO Bank building at 2444 Yonge St., this seems like a breakthrough. But what does “listing” accomplish Will affected property owners lose their right to make changes to their properties? Listing simply means placing the address on the city’s Register of Heritage Properties, so that if a demolition permit is received, the City has 60 days to assess the heritage values and seek approval from City Council for heritage designation if it meets the criteria under the Ontario Heritage Act. The property’s design (architectural), associative (with persons, or events) and contextual values are assessed. Unlike listing, “designation” does have legal implications and notice is placed on title. Generally, properties are not designated until there is a development application, so in practice designation allows the City to have a greater say in how a property is redeveloped, maintaining the look of the street, for example. So what about Bayview’s 43 properties? It appears that about onethird of their footprint (area) on the east side and under one-fifth on the west side is included. So while the first Leaside library (at 1645 Bayview, now The Chocolate Messenger) is included, the former Bayview theatre (now Shoppers Drugmart) is not. How did the City decide which properties to include? With the exception of the east side of Bayview, the properties are all within the area of the Midtown in Focus planning study, which has been going on for about two years. This covers a large area from west of Avenue Road to Bayview, and from Blythwood to Moore Ave. This study for the first time included a heritage assessment. The public meetings held in conjunction with Midtown in Focus confirmed strong public interest and support for preservation of the

character of the main streets (“villages”). As Sharon Mourer of the South Eglinton Ratepayers’ and Residents’ Association (SERRA) said at Planning and Growth Committee, “We kept on asking, where is the heritage?” Batch listing to allow prior assessment in case of demolition is a new way of ensuring this. What are Bayview businesses’ reactions to the listing proposal? I talked to Trae Zammit, chair of the

Bayview-Leaside BIA and owner of The Smokin’ Cigar at 1540 Bayview (which is included in the listing). He felt he could not comment for the BIA at this time, he hadn’t formed an opinion yet, but so far listing has not been a big issue for the BIA. More information is needed at the level of the individual owner, he added. His overall goal for the street is to “work for what is good for business,” and right now the BIA is focused on the new streetscape plan to be released later this fall. Listing does not have dire consequences for businesses, and may actually work in sync with the desire of the BIA to create a place that people love to visit, spend time and money. Streetscape enhancement and heritage protection may in fact be complementary. And importantly, listing may prevent more of the “as of right” demolitions of commercial properties with cultural heritage value and interest that have offended residents across the city. ■

Two examples of Bayview/Leaside buildings in line for heritage listing.

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Leaside Life • October 2017

Bayview properties up for heritage listing


Leaside Life • October 2017

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Noteworthy and disappointing: 30 Parkhurst Blvd. and 34 Cameron Cres.

Two recent decisions, one from the OMB involving an appeal by the LPOA of a Committee of Adjustment decision, and the other involving a Committee of Adjustment decision, are noteworthy – and disappointing. Both cases concerned applications for minor variances involving demolition and replacement of the existing dwellings: original two-storey houses in Tudor Revival style, each part of an ensemble of similar (but individually unique) homes in intact blocks on their respective streets, Parkhurst and Cameron. Both were built in the 1930s: the builder of 30 Parkhurst was Arthur Brockington, who built more than 50 houses in Leaside; the builder of 34 Cameron is not known, but the house is associated with the first owner (and perhaps commissioned by) George Markness, businessman and community leader (chair of the Leaside school board). In each case, before the Committee of Adjustment hearing for the property, heritage nominations were submitted. In

“...the Committee of Adjustment’s lack of technical rigour implicates it most severely in the erosion of Leaside character, one dwelling at a time.” the case of 30 Parkhurst, Heritage Preservation Services did not intervene, but in the case of 34 Cameron they did by sending a letter requesting deferral of the application for minor variances. The OMB decision for 30 Parkhurst from the August 23, 2017 hearing was recently issued, and the decision was to authorize the variances.

The decision states that the Board relied on the opinion of the applicant’s planner, who “finds that the type of change...is first, consistent with and conforms to what is envisioned in the OP (Official Plan) and second is not unlike other approvals within the study area and the

Geoff Kettel

Saving old Leaside

34 Cameron Crescent broader Leaside neighbourhood.” Of course it all depends on the definition of study area. Our study area was the block on which the dwelling was situated and the houses on the opposite side. That part of Parkhurst has seen little change. The Committee of Adjustment decision in the case of 34 Cameron was to approve the application (with some minor modifications) despite a letter from Heritage Preservation Services requesting the Committee to defer the application for six months to allow time for the City to do a heritage assessment. There were three motions made: 1. To defer the application for three months – failed to get a seconder. 2. To refuse the application – failed

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30 Parkhurst Boulevard to get a seconder. 3. To approve the application with modified variances – passed. What was shocking about the hearing was that some members of the Committee apparently accepted the emotional appeal of the applicant claiming financial hardship if the application were deferred. The Planning Act is clear that the Committee’s decisions are to be made on planning grounds only. Once again the Committee of Adjustment’s lack of technical rigour implicates it most severely in the erosion of Leaside character, one dwelling at a time. ■

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Leaside life issue 65 october 2017