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N O V E M B E R 201 7

Leaside Life leasidelifenews.com

Take time to remember... See pages 3, 9 and 29.

No. 66

Lots of charge left in Helena and Lauren’s “Batteries Saves Lives” campaign By KARLI VEZINA


Last February we told you about Helena Giamos of Branksome Hall and Lauren Essaye of Northlea, two girls who rallied Leasiders to donate their used batteries to save lives. When we last spoke, they were more than halfway to their goal of 15,000 batteries and optimistic about hitting their target. We caught up with both young ladies, now in Grade 7, to find out how the rest These avid runners hit the trails in Leaside every week.

Put down those smartphones and turn off that Netflix. Step away from your homework. (Studies show that exercise increases brain function.) It’s time to run, bike, hike, and walk your way into the hidden gems of Leaside’s own outdoor playgrounds. Ten out of 10 doctors agree that exercise is important for your health and wellbeing. But exercising on the streets of Leaside has become a little harrowing. (Unless, of course, one enjoys the thrill of dodging construction trucks or manoeuvring around traffic cones.) But fear not, couch potatoes (or those using Metrolinx construction as an excuse for avoiding exercise), there are plenty of safe, FREE options in Leaside for jogging, biking, hiking, or walking! Get active outside and experience the joys of moving in nature. Leaside is fortunate to have access to Toronto’s extensive park and trail network. From our very own doorstep, Leasiders can enter Sunnybrook, Serena

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Put down that smartphone and run, bike, hike or walk Leaside

Sunnybrook Park is accessible by foot or bike from Sutherland Ave. north of

of the campaign went. Their WE Day-inspired campaign Helena and Lauren’s Batteries Saves Lives wrapped up at the end of August as planned, with a whopping 34,000 used batteries! With some help from their parents, the girls spread the word at school and in town. Helena is proud of their accomplishments. “I know in my heart that I’m helping someone survive and that makes me really happy,” she said. (Zinc deficiency affects two billion people globally, and nearly 450,000 children die annually due to complications from lack of zinc.)

RUN, BIKE, HIKE, Page 18



Gundy, and Wilket Creek parks at the north end of the neigbourhood. All are stunning locations with an impressive array of trees and animal species. The three parks in the Don Valley are excellent spots for physical activity of all levels. Each boasts a variety of trail surfaces and offers options for the beginner to intermediate athlete. But each also has its own distinctive features.

Sunnybrook Park

Leaside Life • November 2017


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The crisp, sunny, early fall morning offered the ideal conditions, and the trails of Sunnybrook Park the perfect setting for the first annual “Run for Recovery,” a charity 5K run/ walk hosted by North Leaside’s Bellwood Institute in support of the True Patriot Love Foundation. “We had 156 runners or walkers registered and over 200 in attendance,” said Kristen Cleary, clinical director of Bellwood Health Services, who organized the Sept. 30th event. “For our first year we had a strong turnout, and helped bring the community together and raise awareness of mental health and addiction issues. I want to thank our sponsors and local businesses who donated so generously to our silent auction.” Participants raised $5,900 for True Patriot Love, a national charity dedicated to providing essential support and resources to Canadian military members, veterans and their families. “Bellwood facilitates two programs for individuals who have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), most of whom are in the military or are veterans,” said Cleary. “These individuals have served

L-r, Joe Manget, CEO, and Cara Vaccarino, COO, of Edgewood Health Network; Kristen Cleary, Clinical Director of Bellwood Health Services, Bronwen Evans, CEO of True Patriot Love and Councillor Jon Burnside (Ward 26) at the Run for Recovery. our country and deserve our support to lead healthy and meaningful lives.” Laura Hearn, spokesperson for True Patriot Love, says the organization “funds more than 100 community-based programs across the country that address the unique challenges resulting from service, including mental health,

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physical rehabilitation, transitioning to civilian life, and the special needs of children.” The route began on the Bellwood grounds in North Leaside, headed down Lyndhurst Hill into the valley, passed beside the dog park, crossed the bridge, climbed the trail behind the horse stables and followed the woodchip trail around the perimeter of the playing fields before heading back to the hill behind the stables, and retracing the route to Bellwood. Both Joe Manget, CEO of Edgewood Health Network (the parent company of Bellwood), and Bronwen Evans, CEO of True Patriot Love, were on hand and ran or walked the route. “I would like to thank Bellwood and the Leaside community for coming out and supporting True Patriot Love Foundation,” said Evans. “With your help TPL is able to show these military families that they are not alone but are passionately supported by the nation that they have volunteered to serve.” Bellwood’s Kristen Cleary says she hopes next year’s run/walk will be bigger and better. The date is set for Sat. morning, Sept. 29.—Allan WIlliams

3 Leaside Life • November 2017



Shortly after Mariah Hinds was given her first pair of skates, even before she was two years old, her mother found her wearing them while walking around the living room. “It wasn’t good for the hardwood floor,” laughs Zelda Sadler, “but it shows how much she loved skating right from the beginning. A few months later our family was at Nathan Phillips Square on New Year’s Eve and she wouldn’t hold my hand, she was so excited to be skating around the rink on her own – at age two!” That natural skater was playing organized hockey at age three and has just been named, at age 18 and after four years with the Leaside Wildcats, as Leaside’s 2017 Athlete of the Year. Mariah is the third of four children of Moulton Hinds and Zelda Sadler. Her older brother Marcus (23) plays hockey for the Ryerson Rams, and her younger brother Malaki (11) also plays hockey. Rounding out the family is a sister, Monique, who is 22.

Allan Williams Columnist

Mariah played soccer too, when she was younger. “I used to like soccer better,” she recalls, “but one June I was playing football in the schoolyard with the boys, I got tackled and broke my arm – the cast went all the way up, so I couldn’t play soccer that summer. Since then it’s been pretty much all hockey.” She played in boys’ leagues at first, in Toronto and Markham, and then was recruited to the girls’ AA Aurora Panthers Bantams. “Playing with the boys AAA teams for the first few years was helpful,” says Mariah, “because they were at a higher skill level than the girls, so when I moved to a girls’ team in bantam, I was used to that higher

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Leaside Life • November 2017


MARIAH HINDS Leaside’s 2017 Athlete of the Year

level of play.” Her teammates were two or even three years older. Soon after, she was also recruited to Premier Elite Athletes’ Collegiate (PEAC), a private school for sports stars with a focus on hockey – Edmonton Oiler great Connor McDavid is their most famous alumnus. She was entering Grade 6 at the time and it was the first year the school offered Grade 6. There were just four in her class that first year; the other three were boys. At PEAC she played on the boys’ hockey team against other GTA private schools. There she was coached by Kim McCullough, now head coach of the Leaside Junior Wildcats, who was instrumental in Mariah’s decision to join the Leaside Girls’ Hockey Association four years ago. “I’ve coached Mariah for seven years now,” says McCullough, “three at PEAC and four at Leaside. In all these years she’s had the ability to take over a game at will. She had the hardest shot in the league, by far, and has the highest hockey IQ of any player I’ve ever coached. She has a magnetic personality, her teammates love her, and she leads by dominating on the ice.” Mariah plays defence but is an offensive threat too, in the tradition of Bobby Orr. HINDS, Page 18

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Shoppers Home Health Care has chosen Leaside as a site to test a new format/concept personal health and wellness store called Wellwise. The idea behind the store is to create a positive, interactive shopping experience based on wellness rather than illness. “About a year ago we did a strategic review of our business and found that there was a shift going on out there,” explains Scott Wilks, vice president of Shoppers Home Health Care. “What we found was that people increasingly want to take control of how they age. They want to be a lot more proactive and involved in the aging process and how they search for and buy products. It got us thinking about how we could change our service base.” At 3,500 sq. ft., the store, which opened in September in the SmartCentre complex off Laird Drive, is small compared to most Shoppers stores. Product categories such as active living, wellness and MENT - LEASIDE LIFE mobility are easily identified by dif-

ferent colours in the store. Products range from mobility aids and sleep therapy options to braces and joint supports, personal care products, vitamins, yoga mats and pilates weights.

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The store has two private consultation rooms, interactive kiosks where customers can find information about products and23 issues such August 2017 as compression stockings and blood

Many of the products are displayed out of their packages so customers can see and experience them first-hand and you even can book walking tours in the community through Urban Poling, a supplier of Nordic walking equipment. Leaside, it appears, is an ideal neighbourhood to test the new concept store. “There are a lot of single and multi-family households, boomers, older seniors and caregivers, which are the exact demographic groups that we are trying to appeal to with this new concept,” says Wilks. “There are lots of products for ‘weekend warriors’ who have hurt their shoulders playing hockey or construction workers who suffer from back problems as well as lots of walking aids and personal products for the elderly.” Wilks says Shoppers ultimately hopes to roll out as many as 23 bricks and mortar Wellwise stores in the future. An e-commerce site was expected to be up and running by the end of October. Depending on how well this prototype store in Leaside does, future stores may be larger in size, but all will be targeted to neighbourhoods with the right demographic mix. “Leaside will prove to be a very valuable neighbourhood in this project,” Wilks says. “We’ll review the information we get and monitor feedback and make any changes that are necessary. We want to get this right.” ■


Leaside Life • November 2017


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By COLLEEN ATKINSON The Leaside Memorial Community Gardens had quite a lively October! The ice pads were never busier, with Leaside Hockey Association (LHA), Toronto Leaside Girls Hockey League (TLGHL), and the Leaside Skating Club all back in full swing of their regularly scheduled programming. The Gardens celebrated its 65th anniversary with a collaborative event with Leaside-based philanthropists, the Jordan family, founders of Sarah & Claire’s Food Drive. The Gardens successfully collected close to 8,000 pounds of food for the Daily Bread Food Bank, with the Leaside Wildcats nabbing first place in the Hunger Games food drive competition. The board, as well as Sarah & Claire’s Food Drive, were overwhelmed and so thankful for the hard work and active participation from all user groups (LHA, TLGHL, LSC, and the Leaside Curling Club) in the Games – especially during an incredibly busy time of year. A quick note to our neighbours as we enter November, a month that sees all activities in the Gardens thriving: Many have likely noticed an increase in traffic at Laird Dr. and Millwood Rd. due to a recent road construction project. The creation of a T-intersection where Laird Drive turns into Millwood Road has not only become a headache for local motorists, but has also turned into a significant safety concern for the users of Leaside Memorial Community Gardens, as well as the Leaside swimming pool and the Leaside curling club. In a presumed attempt by motorists to beat the traffic jam backed up from Laird and Millwood, drivers have taken to cutting through the Gardens’ parking lot. Aside from the annoyance caused by the increased traffic in the lot, a real danger arises from the high speed at which a lot of these drivers are travelling. LEASIDE GARDENS, Page 23

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Teacher Nespolo helps St. Anselm students remember St. Anselm Catholic School teacher David Nespolo has a special feeling for Remembrance Day. The Grade 6 teacher, who has taught for eight years, the last four at St. Anselm’s, is the coordinator of the school’s annual ceremony. When he was 16, his uncle, a captain in the Governor General’s Horse Guards Reserve Unit and director of music with the Regimental Band, recruited him for the unit and to play his clarinet in the band. This original summer job has become an ongoing commitment. Having an uncle in the military has been a major influence in Mr. Nespolo’s life and helped to shape his attitudes. Being in the military himself has given him “the opportunity to provide students with the real-life connection to everyday people who are serving in the military for us.” They thus become people with jobs and families rather than “robots in uniforms.” With his connection to the Horse Guards Band, Mr. Nespolo has been able to add an extra dimension to special events at the school.

For example, he and some of his fellow band members will appear in uniform and provide music for the school’s Remembrance Day ceremony on Friday, November 10. In addition, parents, students, staff, veterans and active soldiers will lay wreaths to honour those who have served Canada. Students take part in the ceremony by singing in the choir or doing readings. There is often a PowerPoint presentation with visuals and personal stories of soldiers who are no longer with us. Mr. Nespolo believes that “this type of ceremony connects with the students in a meaningful way and focuses on the sacrifices of veterans to safeguard our freedoms and lifestyle, sacrifices that are easy to take for granted.” In addition, he likes to focus more on members of the military who are currently serving on peace missions in various locations even though we are not officially at war. He feels this “resonates more with the children since this affects them more directly than events from the past.” It is no surprise that student response to the Remembrance Day


David Nespolo (right) and his best friend Michael are decorated in recognition of 12 years of military service. ceremony is very positive, with many students thanking Mr. Nespolo for the experience, and for enabling them to feel a personal connection with members of the military. And for his part, he feels honoured to give the students this opportunity. He is proud of the accomplishments of those who have served Canada and of the fact that he himself is part of the tradition of representing our country. ■


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Leaside Life • November 2017


Orange-flagging traffic issues in North Leaside By JANIS FERTUCK In the last few months, a crop of neon orange flags has sprouted at two North Leaside intersections, Rumsey Rd. and Donlea Dr., and Hanna Rd. and Broadway Ave. This burst of colour is the work of three Grade 6 students at Northlea Elementary and Middle School who came up with a simple, ingenious plan to increase awareness in both drivers and pedestrians. Arnav Shah and Oliver Wong, both 11, attended a business camp at the University of Toronto this past summer which concluded with a project requiring the participants to apply their business skills to a real-life situation. Inspired by the problem of the increased volume of traffic in Leaside from the construction on Eglinton, and by the death of Georgia Walsh in 2014, they hit upon the idea of young pedestrians using orange flags to increase their visibility at busy intersections. Their 11-year-old friend Quinlan Birmingham became involved, invented their name “The Crosswalk Company,” and started gathering and organizing data about vehicu-

Arnav, Oliver and Quinlan with their orange flags. lar and pedestrian habits at intersections. Next, instructions and flags were installed at the corner of Donlea and Rumsey because it is close to the school but not serviced by a crossing guard. The basic concept is that pedestrians take an orange flag from the

container on one side of the street, hold it out as they cross the street, and then deposit it on the other side before proceeding on their way. “Our goal is to help all pedestrians by making drivers aware of them,” says Arnav. “Making pedestrians pay more attention to traffic is almost as important as making them more visible,” adds Oliver. They also remind walkers to look both ways and make eye contact with drivers. The boys, who were featured on the CBC’s “Toronto at 6” news on Sept. 19, are proud of their achievement, as are their parents and school. They point out that only 16 per cent of pedestrians used the flags during the summer, but the number has risen to 67 per cent since Labour Day. In the coming months, they hope to expand the use of the flags to more intersections with the help of sponsors. (See www.crosswalkcompany. org for details.) Northlea’s safety-first initiatives These enterprising “NorthLeaders” were asked to make presentations about their initiative at two school assemblies on Oct. 3, organized to honour teacher Peter Marteinson, who died earlier this year. As he was an avid cyclist and active lifestyle advocate, the assemblies were used to focus on road safety and unveil a new cycle-shaped bike rack dedicated to him.


Leaside Life • November 2017


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Valerie Cooke and her Kiss ‘n’ Ride banner. Also in attendance were police officers from 53 Division who discussed bicycle and pedestrian safety. They staged a “Bike Rodeo” in the schoolyard after the assemblies to focus on cycling skills and provide tips on biking in the city. Principal Barbara Sandler comNORTHLEA SAFETY, Page 23

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Leaside Life • November 2017


The Leaside Gardener: A step in the light direction – in search of the stars! Leaside Life • November 2017


Leasiders take gardening seriously and know it’s about more than just growing plants. Gardening is about connecting to nature, understanding the environment and working with it. Soil, water, air, temperature and light are essential to life, and each one has a distinct and important role to play. But how many of us think about the need for darkness? Suddenly it’s November with shorter days and long nights. It sure seems dark – really dark – but the truth is, most of us haven’t experienced natural darkness in a very long time and that’s all due to skyglow. Such a lovely name for a menacing mass of illuminating haze caused by artificial light entering the night sky. Personally, I would rather call it light smog or glowing nightmare because this skyglow changes the circadian rhythm in humans, animals and plants. By shielding a view of the stars, it disrupts the navigation of birds, plays havoc with all nocturnal life and alters ecosystems. Skyglow is simply the result of light pollution and it’s getting worse. All artificial light that enters the night sky create skyglow, but some lights are worse than others and at

Debora Kuchme Columnist

this time of year Christmas lights intensify it the most. Images from space show that holiday lights add an average of 30% to an already light-polluted sky. We must ask ourselves. Is this really necessary? Oh, I can feel some of those eyes rolling and a few of you calling me

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Ms. Scrooge now, but please read on. Day and night form a natural cycle and rhythm that has guided life on our planet for millions and millions of years, yet in the last hundred we altered it by creating brighter and brighter nights. In many cases, we’ve made areas unnecessarily bright and for no good reason because natural darkness isn’t really dark at all. The illumination from the moon and stars provide a different kind of light and a light our eyes can easily adjust to. So what do we do? Learn more about light pollution because awareness can bring about changes that can actually reverse this problem. A good place to start is www.darksky.org. The International Dark-Sky Association (IDA), around since the 1980s, offers everything you need to know about light pollution. According to IDA, there are things we can all do to minimize the harmful effects of light pollution. They recommend lighting should: • Only be on when needed • Only light the area that needs it • Minimize blue light emissions • Be fully shielded (pointing downwards) These are four simple steps that would take very little away from our need for night lights yet would make an enormous difference in reducing light pollution. Here are just a few ways to light up your holiday life in a responsible way: • Recycle your old Christmas lights and switch to LEDs. Choose warm white and stay away from white and blue lights because they produce the most glare. • Position your lights under your eaves and away from the snow. Snow reflects light and magnifies it. • Timing is everything so don’t put lights on too early and don’t leave them on too late. Better yet, put them on a timer. • Consider solar lights, especially if you face south. The Bayview Leaside BIA has been using these lights on their winter planters for the last two years. They don’t shine as brightly, they don’t stay on as long and they’re completely off the grid. No light pollution, no need for a timer and no energy cost. For what it’s worth, I happen to think Christmas lights are pretty too. Can we have them without doing harm? Here’s to starry nights! ■

LETTERS leasidelife@gmail.com





Leaside Life • November 2017




Re: Laird in Focus Phase 2 Alternative Development Options, This is a “collective nudge” to encourage the Leaside community to offer your views on the Alternative Development Options currently proposed by the Laird in Focus (LIF) Planning Study and presented at a public meeting on Oct. 17 at Leaside United Church. The LIF Study is intended to “guide future development by providing direction on building heights, massing, transition.” While the study got off to a positive start with thoughtful community input and constructive dialogue, unfortunately, it now appears it is failing to provide the type of analysis and range of appropriate development options the community needs. (We will focus here only on Study Area A and leave Study Area B and the transportation portion for comments another time.) The options presented for Study Area A (the block from Laird to Aerodrome, and Eglinton to Vanderhoof) are three similar mid-rise/tall building scenarios with key elements largely the same as those presented conceptually in the Eglinton Connects background material over two years ago. Uniformly high densities (FSIs of 3.67, 3.69 and 3.7), as well as a high proportion of residential uses compared with employment (industrial) uses are proposed. Is it a coincidence that the final density approved for 939 Eglinton Ave. (Diamondcorp) happened to be 3.67, resulting from three towers of 9, 14 and 31 storeys? Given the scenarios presented by the study consultants, it would appear only the mid-rise/tall building model is open for discussion, and the densities are to be in line with the one parcel for which approval has already been given. Following lengthy community involvement in the 939 Eglinton proposal, City planning staff led the community to believe that the Laird in Focus Study would be the thorough planning study envisioned by the Official Plan for this newly emerging neighbourhood. Most residents understand that intensification along Eglinton is to be expected given the public dollars being put into the Crosstown LRT and the province’s policy support for such intensification. This does not mean the tall building portion of the proposed model is appropriate for all the parcels fronting on Eglinton within the study area. As one gets farther away

LETTERS, Page 17


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Industrial Arts and slow dancing at Bessborough Leaside Life • November 2017


I spent eight years at Bessborough School in the late ’60s and early ’70s. I have very fond memories of life at Bessborough. I well remember entering Grade 7 and being introduced to the nether world of Industrial Arts, colloquially known as “shop class.” I was never what would you call “handy.” Whenever I would try to build something in my father’s workshop in the basement, it would end with split wood, too much glue, and a little bit of blood. One of our early shop class projects was making a small wooden toothpick holder on the lathe. I was quite fascinated by the lathe and how it could turn a squared-off block wood into a perfect cylinder. I started off just fine and had successfully “turned” my piece of pine 2x2 into a cylinder that seemed to me to be just about the perfect size for a toothpick receptacle. But then I somehow became fixated on the sight of the turning wood as my chisel nudged into it, shaving off layers of pine. I was somewhere between mesmerized and hypnotized. I just kept working that chisel as the wood shavings flew. By the time I regained my faculties, my

Terry Fallis

Guest Columnist

toothpick holder had become a toothpick. I thought it was a pretty good trick. My teacher didn’t agree and I had to start all over again. The second time around, I stopped at the appropriate time and managed to hollow out my masterpiece using the drill press and a very big bit. So far, so good. The final touch was the burnt finish, which as the name implies,

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involved lightly toasting the pine with a blowtorch to give it a lovely shaded finish. Well, mine wasn’t so lovely. Let’s just say I was a little heavy on the blowtorch. When I was done, my toothpick holder looked more like a briquette, and disintegrated into ash when I picked it up. Okay, so a master carpenter I was not. Another very strong memory of those years was the excitement of school dances. I simply could not believe that we’d be permitted to “slow dance” with girls in our class under the watchful gaze of our teachers. But it was all true. If my memory serves, the dances started at 4 and wrapped up at 6. The gym windows were papered over to dim the afternoon light. The overhead fluorescents were turned off. The only real light came from the pair of overhead projectors purring on the mezzanine level of the gym. Sitting on each was a bowl of dyed water. A couple of students spent the entire dance blowing bubbles through a straw submerged in the coloured water, casting rather psychedelic images onto the walls of the gym, in time with the DJ’s songs. To me, it was what Woodstock must have been like. Of course, the girls flocked to one side of the gym while the boys stuck to the opposite wall. Eventually a few brave souls ventured across the frontier and the dancing began. Soon we were all on the dance floor. Slow dancing was easy, and much more enjoyable if you managed to be with the right partner. You needed no sense of rhythm to “dance” to Chicago’s Colour Your World. You just latched on to each other and swayed and turned until the last note. It was dancing to the fast songs that clearly exposed the rhythmically challenged among us. I fear I looked more like I was having some kind of a seizure. So I generally waited for slow dances. In my era at Bessborough, the last song of each dance was usually Stairway to Heaven. It had the added benefit of being just over eight minutes long. That was a long time to be locked in a slowly rotating embrace with a classmate. The next day, school life returned to normal and the idea of moving slowly in circles clinging to a member of the opposite sex just seemed so surreal. 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, published by McClelland & Stewart. ■

From Page 1 Lauren was amazed to learn that six kids could be helped with the zinc of just one battery and now when she thinks of the 204,000 children they’ve helped, she feels inspired to do more. “I learned more about what the real world is like,” Helena added. One skill Lauren didn’t expect to gain was the knack for public speaking. She said it was hard at first when parents and students would ask her about the battery campaign, as she felt she couldn’t explain herself well. After some research and practice refining her talking points, she became more proficient in answering questions. “After a while you get used to it and you’re really proud to say you know a lot about the topic.” The girls are still feeling charged up and inspired to help, so the campaign will be back; they’re just taking a break to regroup. To learn more, visit their Facebook page, HelenaLaurenSaveLives for updates on where to donate. The girls said they hope to collect an additional 16,000 batteries with the new campaign to make it an even 50k for Teck Resources. ■

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15 Leaside Life • November 2017



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From Page 13 from the Laird station, one would expect densities to drop off significantly. There are also those who feel the development context is changing – there is increasing realization that it is irresponsible to load up Eglinton with density (especially with no TTC “relief line” in sight) when there simply isn’t the transit capacity in the Yonge corridor to handle the additional riders coming from the Eglinton Crosstown LRT. Little thought seems to have been given to creating a cohesive new vision for Study Area A so it can become a major new “core” for the community. What is being presented is a series of similar blocks with little planning basis, other than open space links and roads, of how they might form a cohesive and vibrant new community. The community currently experiences traffic congestion, lack of school space, pressures on public infrastructure and on community services (libraries, parks, recreational facilities, etc.), and needs to see how such matters will be addressed in any emerging development scenario. Who will occupy the proposed residential buildings within the study areas? Policies should ensure a wide variety of

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units will be provided to meet the needs of various age groups and income levels. It’s difficult, if not impossible, to properly plan for schools, parks, community facilities, etc. until it’s determined who the likely occupants of these proposed residential buildings are. Similarly, what employment opportunities beyond retail should be included within the mixed use areas, envisioned as providing employment and not just residential accommodation. Recent development approvals in the area will actually reduce the amount of office space. Thought needs to be given to emerging trends and opportunities in office and similar employment and how these might mesh with trends and planning intentions in the neighbouring Leaside Business Park. You can learn more and comment by visiting www.toronto.ca/lairdinfocus or contacting the City’s study consultants and staff planner. Geoff Kettel, LPOA co-president with Carol Burtin-Fripp

Re: Will Ashworth’s column on Parkhurst/Bayview Really appreciate Will Ashworth’s campaign for a stoplight at Bayview and Parhkurst. He thinks Parkhurst residents are an impediment, but it’s not like we voted on the matter. I’m a Parkhurst res-

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ident near Bayview and vigorously in favour of a stoplight. It’s inevitable. Just a matter of how many twisted wreckages we want to see first.—Greg Eckler It’s pretty sad that Will has to use such poor expression to try and get his self-serving point across on the Parkhurst street light issue. Having a traffic “professional” on the street in question doesn’t make that professional any less credible, and the accusatory tone is ironically what diminishes Will’s. Then you add statements like ‘No longer do I feel the Councillor’s solution to impose one-way restrictions at the mouths of both Parkhurst and Soudan will stop drivers from breaking the law.” Why? Because you said so? If he challenges the Councillor to an experiment, he may want to first attempt it himself. There are four street lights between Eglinton and the Husky station alone. Getting caught at any lights and dealing with traffic and construction are exactly why ‘smart’ motorists use side streets as thoroughfares while consistently exceeding speed limits and blowing through stop signs. THESE are safety issues!—Steve Kanellakis ■

We welcome all Letters to the Editor and/or feedback from readers…leasidelife@gmail.com

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17 Leaside Life • November 2017


Leaside Life • November 2017


From Page 1

Sports Fields. (And yes, this intrepid writer did her full research by trekking up and down to count!) Local mom and marathoner Sue Pribaz has been running in Serena Gundy and Sunnybrook for more than 30 years, but now that her family lives in North Leaside, she’s thrilled to have the trails right at her doorstep. Says Pribaz, "Over the past few years, I have discovered trails that I had no idea were even there. Amazing that living in the middle of the city, you can run for over two hours with barely hitting pavement, and yet remain in Leaside! And this past year I have truly enjoyed sharing my love of running and the trails with an amazing group of kids weekly as we hit the trails for half-hour runs." If you plan to enjoy all the options that these beautiful parks offer yearround, Sunnybrook Park and Wilket Creek have washrooms that are open even in the winter (from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m.). While the trails themselves aren’t maintained year-round, they’re still more than manageable with a good pair of boots and a great Canadian attitude. Stay tuned for a spring piece on additional Leaside spots for physical activity. Crothers Woods, here we come! ■

Hinds... From Page 4

Wilket Creek

McCullough adds that Mariah is the first ever Junior Wildcat to win a National Championship, playing for the “Ontario Red” team in the competition held in Regina in November, 2016. Mariah admits she didn’t know much about Leaside hockey when she arrived four years ago, but says practising at Leaside Arena twice a week and being part of the Wildcats for one year as a Midget and then three years on the Jr. team was a very positive experience. “We were like a family. Our team was really close and it was a fun environment.” Her mother too has good things to say about her daughter’s experience here: “The association backed up Mariah and Kim on every decision on the team, and Jennifer [TLGHL president Jennifer Smith] is excellent – she comes to all the games, helps out with fundraising and is very involved. And the Leaside community is supportive too – people come out to watch even who don’t have any connection with the team.” This year Mariah accepted a hockey scholarship to attend Lindenwood University, in Saint Charles, Missouri, an NCAA Division One school, where she is studying law and playing for Lindenwood Lions Women’s hockey team.

Wilket Creek’s 108 acres, accessible from Serena Gundy and Sunnybrook parks, are often the setting for organized charity walks and runs. The park features kilometres of wide, spacious paved trails perfect for all levels of activity as well as wooded space for more off-the-beaten track challenges. One of the most challenging is the 115 steps up to the Sunnybrook

Mariah Hinds will be honoured as Leaside’s 2017 Athlete of the Year at the Leaside Sports Hall of Fame’s annual Induction Ceremony at Leaside Arena on Friday, November 17th, where four new Hall of Fame members will also be inducted, (see Leaside Life’s October issue). Tickets are available at the arena or at www. LeasideSports.org. ■

Glenvale Blvd. through the grounds of the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute. Its 147 acres of grass, woodchips, road, and dirt trails offer lots of great possibilities for beginner and intermediate hikers, walkers, runners, and mountain, as well as road, bike riders. For a power workout, run the hill back up to the entrance, or the steep road up to the park’s sports fields, a great spot for organized and recreational sports or just letting your kids run off some steam.

Serena Gundy This gem can be accessed from Sunnybrook Park or Rykert Cres. just south of Broadway Ave. (Editor’s note: I access Serena Gundy by heading north on Rumsey and onto the trails behind Bellwood Health Services.) You can descend the path from Rykert by foot or bike down a paved walkway or hike or mountain-bike down a fairly challenging off-road trail of dirt, roots, rocks, and bumps. There are multiple flat grassy areas throughout the park as well as paved trails for walkers and road bikes. And as an added attraction, Serena Gundy is home to a beautiful steel suspension bridge perfect for a bumpy bike ride.

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Leaside Life • November 2017


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What’s the latest with RioCan? Although new development applications have slowed recently, work on the yet to be approved RioCan site at Laird and Eglinton has intensified. Since their original submission in 2016, RioCan has further consulted with my office, City planning and the community at large. In mid-October, they presented a Phase 2 plan to my Leaside Development Committee with the expressed intent of further refinements and subsequently a submission of a Phase 3 plan. I was disappointed to hear that even though RioCan promised to continue to work with the community, they filed an appeal to the OMB. I am hopeful that this is merely an attempt to keep that option open ahead of proposed changes to the provincial oversight body. On a somewhat positive note, the tall residential buildings are planned for the southeast corner where there will be no adverse shadow impact to existing homes. However, the 30and 36-storey towers – alongside a 24-storey tower – are, in my opinion, still too tall for the neighbourhood. It is a concern which has been made clear to RioCan. The proposed 1,400 units result in a site density that is slightly higher than that at 939 Eglinton Ave. E., so we’ll be focused on getting that reduced as well. I was encouraged to see that RioCan listened to earlier feedback and increased the size of the community centre from 7,000 to 20,000 sq. feet, which would allow for a gymnasium and other amenities. I believe this is crucial for Leaside as we not only strive to better serve existing residents but new ones as well. Our transportation department has asked for a new north/south road which would align with the existing mall exit onto Eglinton. The community and I expect changes so this road doesn’t become an access point for further traffic infiltration into North Leaside. It is my understanding that an existing challenge is the long-term lease held by Canadian Tire. I will continue to express my opinion that should they wish to relocate, the perfect fit would be the Smart Centre site next door – replacing the rumoured Walmart.■ councillor_burnside@toronto.ca

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Leaside Life • November 2017

Established 1961

Leaside Life • November 2017


If you happen to have walked or driven down Millwood lately, you may have noticed some changes between Rumsey and Airdrie. One of the biggest has been the move that Today’s Menu made several months ago from the corner shop to a bigger space right next door. I sat down with Lisa Barton, retail operations for Today’s Menu and also wife of owner Paul Hickey, to talk about the need for expansion and the greater community’s need for tasty quick, classic meals. Paul Hickey started Today’s Menu back in 2002 as a very small business when he felt there was a need to feed his own family better food. If he felt this, certainly other busy families felt the same way, too. With no prior experience in the food or foodservice business, Paul left his career in telecommunications and started the new venture with a giant leap of faith in a small storefront on Gerrard St. East. While this store no longer offers retail (sorry Beaches folks) it does act as the main kitchen for Today’s Menu, housing three cooks and three sous chefs who prepare each of the dishes in small batches as if they were cooking for their own families.

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They strive to use local ingredients wherever possible, so your food (while flash frozen) is as fresh as possible. The new Millwood location has given Today’s Menu the opportunity to house a larger walk-in freezer with a broader selection of meal choices (nearly 87) and consistently maintain stock levels. Thanks to Lisa, the front-end of the business is now a sort of “urban market” where you can buy a selection of gourmet foods, such as Neal Brother’s favourites, Martelli pasta, as well as gluten-free choices and a collection of home goods suitable for hostess gifts, packaged and ready. If you can’t personally walk into Today’s Menu, the niche of the business has always been and continues to be the online operation. Deliveries are made Monday through Friday using thermal bags, so selections remain frozen if you’re not home to receive them. Packages such as meals for two, meals for four and single servings are also available. Some of the most popular menu choices at the shop are the chicken pot pie, beef bolognaise sauce for pasta, beef bourguignon, lasagna and shepherd’s pie as well as a number of vegetarian choices. Popular items for kids are the three cheese macaroni and Sicilian chicken meatballs. Back for fall/winter are comfort food favourites Beef Wellington and pot roast. And soon to arrive will be ski packages to take to the chalet so you can spend more time on the slopes. Today’s Menu is located at 852 Millwood Rd. and online at todaysmenu.ca. ■

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From Page 7 The Leaside Memorial Community Gardens Board of Management is urging drivers to take an alternative route rather than cut through the lot. The surrounding facilities see about 6,000 people each week enter their doors, a vast majority of whom are young people. The Gardens’ general manager has been proactive in addressing the matter with the City and placing signs throughout the lot to remind motorists of their speeds and why they need to slow down. For those people needing to use the lot for its intended purpose, the board asks you to drive with extra caution, mind your speed, and keep a watchful eye for children coming and going from their games and practices. Here’s to a safe and wonderful November! Colleen Atkinson writes on behalf of the Leaside Memorial Community Gardens. ■

Northlea Safety... From Page 10 mented that the safety initiatives discussed in the assemblies were “intended to raise awareness and increase student safety.” In addition, she hoped the students would enjoy being active and become “ecologically responsible by biking and walking to school”. Northlea also has a program for those who drive their children to school. The Kiss‘n’Ride program has been in place for the last few years, and it seeks to minimize the amount of traffic congestion near the school. Valerie Cooke, who organizes the program, explained that it covers three car-lengths on the Sutherland side of the school. The program runs from 8:30 to 8:45 every morning when two volunteer parents from a roster of about 25 open car doors and ensure that children are safe getting into the schoolyard. The students are warned to be ready with their goodbyes done and backpacks on their laps, so they can exit as quickly as possible from the lineup of cars. The program is wellused and has helped to encourage carpooling. All of these Northlea initiatives are more examples of the creative ways in which Leasiders are rising to the challenge of dealing with the growing traffic congestion and its resulting threat to safety on our streets. ■

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23 Leaside Life • November 2017

Leaside Gardens...

Leaside Life • November 2017


It’s time for the LPOA annual general meeting Please mark Wednesday, November 29th in your calendar, and join the Leaside Property Owners’ Association for our Annual General Meeting. This is an opportunity to catch up on all the latest issues and developments in our community, ask questions, offer opinions, and get together with your neighbours. We have reserved the William Lea Room at Leaside Gardens, there’s lots of parking, and we can promise you an interesting and informative event. The room opens at 7 p.m., and the AGM will begin at 7:30 p.m. Details on topics and speakers will be posted at lpoa. ca as we get closer to the date. And now a cautionary tale, since the real estate market has slowed in recent weeks. The LPOA is hearing reports that some buyers of Leaside houses, who bought when the market was hot and prices were higher, are reneging on their agreed purchase price. They are trying to pressure sellers to accept a lower amount for their property. To add insult to injury, this likely happens literally at the very last minute, on

Carol Burtin Fripp Co-president, LPOA

the date the property was due to change hands. Many sellers will already have purchased another home and made arrangements to move. Suddenly the seller is being pressured to settle for a lower price or face the hassle of relisting the property, with the possibility of getting less on the new sale price, as well as taking the wouldhave-been buyer to court to reclaim at least part of the previously agreed deposit. This is happening even in cases where the buyer’s deposit had been unconditional. We’re also hearing that some buyers are assuring sellers that they plan to live in Leaside, and even say they have children who will be attending Leaside schools, but, once the house is theirs, immediately list the house on Airbnb instead. Later

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in the fall, City Council will be deciding new regulations on bnb practices, which cannot come soon enough if we want to protect the nature of our neighbourhood. I’m pleased the subject of property tax is once again in the news. Specifically, how property taxes are assessed. Under the current system, Market Value Assessment (MVA), your home is taxed based on its potential value, not its actual value. Back in the late 1990s, I was co-chair of a province-wide group attempting to convince the then Mike Harris provincial government to implement a fairer method of property tax assessment in Ontario. We did not succeed, but perhaps this should be an issue in next year’s provincial election? Under MVA, if your house is on a lot which is potentially large enough for more than one house, it will be assigned a higher tax bill even if there is just one small house there. The system is based not so much on what is, but on what could be. It’s totally unrelated to the income of the inhabitant, number of residents, or the amount of city services used (like water, sewage, etc.). The result is neighbourhoods, like Leaside, where many homeowners are “house rich but cash poor.” Seniors on fixed pension incomes, young families with high mortgage costs, and many others face unaffordable property tax bills. I’d like to see more effort spent on devising a fairer property tax system to replace MVA. Other municipalities, in Canada and internationally, use a wide variety of other methods of assessment, some elements of which could apply here. For instance, in some approaches residential tax rates only change when the property itself changes hands, so the current owner has the certainty of knowing what the tax will be long term. In others, rates are based on a combination of elements such as municipal services used plus family income. What do you think? Our next LPOA board meeting is on WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 1st at 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 is happening in our community. ■

LHS works to make the transition to Grade 9 easier

Transitions can be difficult and stressful. Do you remember how you felt when you began a new job or moved to a new home? Leaside students, moving from middle school to high school, can also experience anxieties. After all, not only do they face greater academic expectations but also expectations of being more independent and self-directed. To succeed, our students need to absorb a lot of new information and develop many new skills quickly. Leaside staff recognize their role in encouraging this to happen. To this end, they offered a new improved orientation program to provide information to Grade 9 students and to help ensure a smooth transition to secondary school life. Orientation was not to be just one event – but a series that continues throughout the term. In September Leaside Grade 9s attended an introductory assembly. This was followed by visiting a carousel of booths organized with staff members and student ambassadors sharing their knowledge about various clubs, councils and teams. There are so many different groups for them to choose from – at least one should

nication skills, team building, goal setting, critical thinking and problem solving. The activities required that teams work together to succeed and complete each element. According to Grade 12 student Shams Medhi, “The day was awesome; we had so much fun!” In December, Leaside High will hold an After Grade 8 open house. Motivational speaker Nick Foley will address our Grade 9 students and Grade 8 students from our feeder schools. Nick motivates and empowers young people to make a difference by propagating good through action. He speaks of integrity, good citizenship, self-esteem and inclusion. He spoke to students last year and his presentation was spectacular. Following Nick’s presentation, our Grade 9s will become the leaders for the Grade 8s and the planned transition activities for the next year. New leaders in the making! I would like to commend the planning committee for their sensitivity and creativity to this important part of the lives of our 13 and 14 year olds. As these young teens transition to Leaside High I know that they will be well served. Gerri Gershon is the Trustee, Don Valley West, for the Toronto District School Board ■

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25 Leaside Life • November 2017


spark an interest. Here is a sample: Anime club, Environmental club, Gender Sexuality Alliance, Reach for the Top, Dragon Boat, Drama club, school newspaper, downhill skiing, golf, computer programming, and many more. The next event was a Grade 9 scavenger hunt. Students were divided into teams, comprising teachers, student leaders from higher grades, and, of course new, students. These teams travelled to 17 stations located throughout the school, providing different information. Each student carried a “passport” featuring a series of questions that could be answered at each station. A successful visit to a station earned a passport stamp. Here are some examples. Do you know the answers? • What department offices are located on the first floor? • What is the purpose of the Resource Room? • How many major sports can you compete in each year? • Which teachers are teaching civics this term, and which are teaching geography? • Where would you go if you missed the announcements? At the end of the scavenger hunt the teachers accompanied the students to the auditorium where Leaside students presented a series of skits focusing on learning skills important for success. On October 11, all 300 Grade 9 students, student leaders and 20 staff participated in a full day outing at Green Acres. Throughout the day, students took part in a series of activities that encouraged a sense of community, school spirit, and opportunities to get to know other students. The day helped develop commu-

Laird is giving Bayview a run for its money It’s been a long time since I’ve written about the businesses operating on or near Laird Dr. I’ve been a little preoccupied with Bayview Ave.’s accident-prone intersection at Parkhurst Ave. Time to turn the page and do a little catching up. If Bayview Ave. is the Fifth Ave. of Leaside, Laird Dr. is the Meatpacking District. Once home to one of Toronto’s prime manufacturing hubs, it’s quickly transforming into a place to live, work and play. I can remember in 2012 when Grilltime Gourmet Meat Shop owner Andy Elder was so concerned about Longo’s moving in right across the street that he went as far as appearing in a Globe and Mail article about small businesses where three experts weighed in on his situation and what he should do. Elder’s primary concern was how he would compete with Longo’s on price. The experts said forget about price and focus on quality. Well, at the end of September, Grilltime celebrated nine years in business at 67 Laird. The good news looks to continue once Upper House condo buyers start moving in later

Will Ashworth The business of Leaside

this year followed by Shane Baghai’s development adjacent to Leaside Gardens sometime in 2019. But the good news doesn’t end there. In the Sept. issue of Leaside Life, Lorna Krawchuk profiled Ian Morton, who operates Summerhill, an energy efficiency consultant that helps energy providers from coast to coast better engage their customers. Operating its Toronto office from 30 Commercial Rd. in the Leaside Business Park, Morton is spearheading a push to get a BIA that could run from Eglinton Ave. and Sutherland Dr., south on Laird past the arena to Overlea Blvd. and west ending at East York Shopping Centre. It’s a huge stretch. Laird businesses should be ecstatic about this development because

The Amsterdam Barrel House opened for business October 2 in the old Against the Grain spot in Leaside Village. Since Amsterdam has operated its brewery in Leaside for four years, it only made sense to take the vacated restaurant space and add an uptown spot to showcase its beers along with the Brew House down on the lake. Urban Dining Group, which got its start with a single Gabby’s location at Yonge St. and Lawrence Ave. in 1989, manages both restaurant locations. An initial peek at the opening day menu convinced my wife and me to give it a try on the first weekend it was open. With several vegan and vegetarian options available, we both ordered the veggie meatloaf sandwich. Unfortunately, a food mishap made our sandwiches too salty and inedible. However, Urban Dining Group President Todd Sherman handled the situation like a total pro, offering to have something else cooked for us right away at no cost. Impressed by his accountability, we decided to return the following Saturday to watch the Leafs-Canadiens game The new Barrel House on Laird.


Leaside Life • November 2017


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they’ve proven to be successful almost everywhere in the city of Toronto where they’ve been adopted. With the leadership of Morton and others on the steering committee pushing for a Laird BIA, along with the fact they’ve been very successful, I can’t see the city opposing its creation. Laird’s transformation continues, and nowhere is that more evident than in the hospitality industry where the Local opened in 2015 with a splashy renovation of the old CIBC branch at 180 Laird, and now Leaside’s very own craft brewery has stepped in to improve Leaside’s nightlife.

with friends. This time the veggie meatloaf sandwich was a home run as were our cocktails. We left thrilled knowing that there now was a good alternative on Laird to the Local. I hope that the northeast corner of Laird and Wicksteed Ave. soon provides a third upscale option for Leasiders in search of a nice sitdown meal with friends, coworkers, and family that’s not the same-old standard stuff found on Bayview. I see a very bright future for the businesses operating along the Laird BIA corridor. Time to up your game, Bayview, or risk losing sales to your friends to the east. ■

Leaside: how the former town is faring under The Fair Housing Plan Leaside is one of the most attractive neighbourhoods for families who want to raise kids in a safe and tight-knit community. The moment you get off Bayview, Eglinton or Laird you feel a sense of tranquility called home.

My family has been in Leaside for over 13 years. We were first attracted by the garden city urban design (speaking to my past life as a foreign-trained architect), great family living with kids playing on the streets, good schools, proximity to parks, and easy access to downtown. Over these years, I have seen how little by little the former town is changing in character with prices in the multi-millions. Statistics are a good indicator of how the market is performing in different segments, so here is an evaluation of the home prices in Leaside with special emphasis on how the neighbourhood is performing this year following the introduction of the Fair Housing Plan Act on April 20, 2017 that included a 15% tax for foreign buyers and expanding rent control to all properties rented in the province. The real estate market in the city has traditionally shown two cycles with an increase in the number of listings, sales and price appreciation during the peak months of April-May and September-October. This year has been extraordinary as there was a huge spike in the prices fueled by a low inventory of new listings and external capital pouring into the real estate market. Though there have not been concrete figures for the percentage of foreign or out-of-province buyers, it is not mere coincidence that Toronto and the GTA saw a huge surge in prices after Vancouver imposed a foreign buyers’ tax at the end of 2016.

My focus here is on the freehold detached and semi-detached houses in the neighbourhood, as they comprise the highest number of dwellings in Leaside. Condos are a norm in the city, and Leaside is no exception, so we will have to get used to intensification. Comparing the September figures from 2016 to 2017, the total number of houses sold is down by 19%. The decrease has been after the measures were implemented, which may indicate that both sellers and buyers were on the sidelines waiting to see the effect of the government changes on their particular market. Prices tell a different story: • Detached new and renovated houses have responded strongly to the imposed measures and have not shown any sign of price adjustment. New house prices have shown an increase of 4.81% and renovated houses a 3.85% increase. • Detached original or partially renovated houses have come down in price by approximately 13.45%. • Semi-detached renovated homes

have fallen in price by 7.36%, and original or partially renovated are down by 8.91%. • Bungalows have been the most affected by the government measures with prices decreasing by 25.42%. The days on the market (DOM) are just about the same, rising from 11 to 14 days average. The sales to listing ratio (S/L) is really shocking, as before the government measures it went from 99% all the way to 127%, and has since gone down to 95% to 101%. This is a clear indicator of the extra-heated market we all experienced in the first months of the year that was the catalyst for the government to take action and try to cool down the market. Leaside has a bright future ahead with some key factors that will put extra pressure on prices, including the new Crosstown stations, lack of inventory, low interest rates, unavailability of low-rise development land, massive immigration numbers, low unemployment and a safe and stable city. Alex Pino is Broker Arch FRI, Sr. VP Sales, Sotheby’s International Realty Canada. You can reach him at apino@sothebysrealty.ca. ■


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Leaside Life • November 2017


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

ST. AUGUSTINE’S CHURCH 1847 Bayview Ave. 416 485 2656 Listen to great live music by local artists and have a coffee and dessert with friends. The Groove Room Coffee House, Fri. Nov. 10th, 7-8:30pm. $5 with proceeds to the Food Bank. We are looking for performers. Contact Augustine@bellnet.ca. Canterbury Autumn Sale Sat. Nov. 18th 10am-1pm. Luncheon Available *Baked Goods*Knitted Items *Pottery*Christmas Table Treasures*Hasty Notes* Books & more.

LEASIDE PRESBYTERIAN 670 Eglinton Ave East, 416-422-0510 Avoid the malls and shop local at our Christmas Bazaar. Sat. Nov. 4th, 10am2pm. The Merry Market features a bake and craft sale, silent auction, accessories room, family photo booth, vendor market. Free entrance/parking.


with England, from the Ogdensburg Agreement, which moved C a n a d a closer to the United States, to the disastrous Dieppe Raid in 1942, where Canada lost 60 per cent of the 5,000 soldiers who stormed ashore. As the number of living Second World War veterans diminishes each year, Larry Rose’s work reminds us that decisions made so many years ago still have an impact on our lives today. When asked how he feels about the waning importance of Remembrance Day celebrations to some of our young people, Rose commented that it remains vital to honour our veterans because “freedom is not free.” Those who served so honourably have made the ultimate sacrifice. Interested in reading more? Ten Decisions can be purchased through Dundurn Press (www.dundurn.com/ books/Ten-Decisions) for $28.99. ■ Kid’s Club Fri., Nov. 17, 9am-4pm. $30/ child, $50/family. Activities: baking, crafts and music. Snacks, drinks and a hot lunch provided! To register or to learn more, contact Rev. Angela at 416-422-0510 Ext 25. Special Assistance is available for families in need! Strictly confidential.

ST. CUTHBERT’S CHURCH 1399 Bayview Avenue, 416 485 0329 Christmas Fair, Sat., Nov. 11, 11:302:30pm. An early start on Christmas shopping. Wonderful buys including artsy items, books, cheese, church calendars, crafts, small appliances, gift baskets, home baking, preserves, candy, jewellery, kitchen ware, knitting and sewing, silent auction, toys, and treasures, as well as a raffle and the best lunch in town. Lots of fun for everyone. Free admission. 11:30am is a change in our start time. As it is Remembrance Day, a service will be held outside the St. Cuthbert’s Road entrance starting at 10:45 am. Please come early and join us. St. Cuthbert’s Fundraising Dinner: A Taste of India followed by the 3rd in our series, Concerts at St. Cuthbert’s. Sat., Nov. 25. Tickets available at the church (Tues-Fri 9-1) or by calling 416-485-0329. Dinner 5:30, Concert, 7:30. Seniors: $25, or $10 for concert alone. Regular: $40 or $15 for concert alone.

Leaside Life • November 2017

In his newest book, Ten Decisions, long-time Leaside resident and author Larry Rose explores why after entering the Second World War “totally unprepared” in 1939, Canada emerged “a nation transformed” in 1945. Born and raised in British Columbia, Rose has been a Leasider for the past 25 years. He worked in broadcasting for more than 45 years, as a television news writer, a producer of CTV’s National News with Lloyd Robertson and an educator teaching broadcast journalism. A graduate of the COTC program, Larry was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the RCAC in 1966. His military background coupled with his keen interest in telling human stories makes Ten Decisions a compelling and informative read. Rose has identified 10 crucial military and political decisions (the good, bad and the far-reaching) made by Canada during the Second World War. Starting with Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King’s decision to declare war in 1939, Rose takes the reader through Canada’s changing relationship

COMMUNITY FOOD DRIVE St. Cuthbert’s will again be home base for the food drive. Volunteers are needed for distribution of flyers on Sat. Nov. 18 and food collection on Sat. Nov. 25 starting at 9:30 am. Volunteer hours can be earned by students. Everyone can help by leaving a bag of canned food on their doorstep on Sat. 25. Further info: Ted at 416-425-4431.

CANADIAN FEDERATION OF UNIVERSITY WOMEN — LEASIDE-EAST YORK Monthly meeting at 7:30pm. Thurs., Nov. 16 at Northlea United, 125 Brentcliffe Ave. Speaker: Sandra Bea Harries, Author, speaking on “Famous Canadian Women in the Last 150 Years.” Visitors and new members welcome. For more info visit www.cfuwleasideeastyork.ca or email us at joincfuw@gmail.com.

LEASIDE LIBRARY 165 McRae Drive, 416-396-3835. Answering the Call to Action: An investigation into WWII history in Asia, Sat., Nov. 4, 10am-12pm. Participants will learn about key social actors during the AsiaPacific War. For more info call the number above. No registration required. For a full list of library activities this month see www.torontopubliclibrary.ca or our web site at leasidelifenews.com.



ward26.ca 416.392.0215 councillor_burnside@toronto.ca

Geoff Kettel

Saving old Leaside

Issues update

Talbot Quads ment would not rise to the level of unacceptable impacts. City solicitor Matthew Schuman also argued that the application fails to meet the four Planning Act tests, will not respect or reinforce the neighbourhood character, and constitutes an overall inappropriate development. The decision, though disappointing, is not a surprise. It continues precisely the same pattern of weight being given to the planner’s “expert testimony” as the OMB that it replaces for minor variances and severances. The TLAB is proving to be even unfriendlier to residents than the OMB for minor variances! 1755 -1757 Bayview Ave. (Talbot Quads) You will recall from the Sept. Leaside Life that the Committee of Adjustment (at its August 3rd hearing) deferred sine die consideration of severance and minor variance applications to construct a new three-storey semi-detached dwelling on two undersized lots. The existing double duplex dwelling would be demolished. The committee’s deferral decision was intended to allow time for the City to conduct heritage assessment and other planning studies necessary to establish a City position with respect to the applications. However, in an unexpected turn of events, the applicant appealed the decision. (Actually, there was no decision on the application, but deferral!). The TLAB process with its interim deadlines starts right away, leading to a hearing in February 2018. As explained in Leaside Life, the applications would remove one of the 10 highly esteemed “Talbot quadraplexes,” intimately associated with the development of the Town

of Leaside, which have existed in a prominent location on the east side of Bayview, just south of Eglinton, since the mid-1930s. We will be working hard to ensure this important ensemble of Leaside character does not have one (or rather two) of its front teeth removed. 34 Cameron Cres. The Committee of Adjustment decision for 34 Cameron Cres. approved the application (with some minor modifications) to construct a new two-storey detached house. The LPOA has appealed the Committee’s Sept. 14 decision to the TLAB in an effort to prevent the “erosion of Leaside character, one dwelling at a time.” 34 Cameron Cres. is an original house in Tudor Revival style, located on a block of intact original homes located on the inside of the curve (crescent) that extends from the intersection with Parkhurst Blvd. at the north end to Donegall Drive at the southwest end. Though the architect is unknown, 34 Cameron Cres. stands out as a rare centre hall plan design located in a prominent location on one of landscape architect Frederick Todd’s curvilinear streets, near the intersection with Sharron Drive and close to one of Todd’s small “pocket parks.” The existing original two-storey detached house, the largest on the widest lot on the street and the only one with an original integral garage, would be demolished. It is also the house with the most refined level of individuality and decoration. The LPOA believes the existing building has significant heritage interest which would be eliminated by this project. We supported Heritage Preservation Services’ request that the item be deferred by the Committee pending a heritage assessment. A heritage nomination was submitted to Heritage Preservation Services before the hearing. This request was denied. Batch listing of Bayview commercial properties And finally, some good news! The 43 commercial properties on Bayview Ave., including 31 on the east (Leaside) side and 12 on the west (Davisville Village) side were approved by City Council on October 2, 3 and 4 for listing under the Ontario Heritage Act. Councillor Burnside voted in support. And to address the problem of unfair assessments of heritage properties (similar to, but less severe than the problems at 401 Richmond St.) City Council passed a motion for staff to meet with the provincial assessment agency (MPAC). ■


Leaside Life • November 2017


195 Glenvale Blvd. The Toronto Local Appeal Body (TLAB) decision in this case (heard on Sept. 13 and released Oct. 6) was to allow the appeal against the Committee of Adjustment’s refusal in May 2017 of the minor variance application to construct a two-storey dwelling with an integral garage and a flat roof. As reported in the Aug. Leaside Life, this was our first hearing by the Toronto Local Appeal Body (TLAB). In her decision, chair Gillian Burton agreed with the (applicant’s) planner’s expert testimony and found that the dwelling would be contextually appropriate and compatible with the existing “diverse neighbourhood character.” This despite the evidence provided by the Leaside Property Owners Association (I was the representative) and neighbours Andrew Alberti, Paul Byrne and Kendra Dunlop, who all attended the hearing in opposition to the appeal. We argued that the proposal amounted to overdevelopment of the lot, the flat roof would be out of character with the neighbourhood, and the height of the home would produce shadowing and overlook. The chair disagreed, stating in her decision that any privacy or overlook impacts stemming from the develop-

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Profile for Leaside Life

Leaside life issue 66 November 2017  

Leaside life issue 66 November 2017