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D E C E M B E R 201 7

Leaside Life


Stephen and Aniko in front of Millwood Melt.


No. 67


Leaside’s grilled cheese guru sweeps away cares By JANIS FERTUCK Most mornings Stephen D’Amico can be spotted sweeping in front of Millwood Melt, the grilled cheese restaurant he runs with his wife Aniko at 902 Millwood Rd. This is more than an act of tidiness, however; it is a meditative act which he picked up while working with some Mennonites on a farm near Waterloo. When he asked how they deal with stress, they said that Mennonites “take care of that with sweeping.” Stephen was

so taken with this concept that now he sweeps his external surroundings while doing the same with his “inner house,” as he calls it. This is an apt metaphor for the two different aspects of Stephen’s life: his work in the restaurant and his real vocation of being a spiritual teacher. Millwood Melt is a popular lunch spot known for its delicious comfort food. After spending several years in education and publishing, Aniko MILLWOOD MELT, Page 26






Leaside Life 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: Karli Vezina ph. 647-978-4487 or 416-504-8047

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SAVE THE DATE! Laugh Out Loud In Leaside #9 A Community Fundraiser March 2nd, 2018

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Leaside Life • December 2017




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HAPPY HOLIDAYS! What better time of year to pause, give thanks and celebrate the spirit of giving. Neighbours and friends, I am proud to be part of this kind-hearted community and I would like to express my appreciation, both professionally and personally, for your ongoing support. Together in 2017, we made a significant contribution to The Maddie Project through Laugh Out Loud in Leaside. I am excited to continue these efforts to give back in the coming year, focusing on initiatives that serve our larger community. From my family to yours, warmest wishes for a joyful season and a happy and prosperous New Year!


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Leaside Life • December 2017

What makes Leaside great? Certainly, our schools, community centres, and places of worship all contribute. But the local economy is the fuel powering our neighbourhood. And that’s why we at Leaside Life encourage readers to shop locally this holiday season. When you spend your money at home, the money generated usually stays in the community and that means more local jobs, stronger businesses and a more vibrant community for everyone. The survival and success of local economy depend on our patronage. So this December, rather than automatically jumping in your car and driving to a mall, consider a walk over to Bayview, Laird, Millwood or Eglinton to explore and support the amazing retailers and businesses that have chosen to operate in Leaside. For our part, Leaside Life is thrilled to be partnering with the Leaside-Bayview BIA to sponsor the 1st Annual Bayview Holiday Window Display Contest. We are encouraging as many local merchants and businesses as possible to create fun and creative holiday window displays for Leasiders to enjoy while shopping on Bayview. Prizes will be awarded to the top entries, and Leasiders will be able to participate as well. Ballots will be handed out in December, so you can vote for your favourite window. Now it’s time to go shopping – at home, in Leaside! ■



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Leaside teens, don’t get into a Jam For generations, kids have attended outdoor parties. Field, ravine, “bush,” and park parties are nothing new and have been popular activities for Leaside kids looking to let off a little steam. But for this generation of teens, what’s new is the size of these parties and how kids learn about them. With the proliferation of social media sites, word about parties now spreads like wildfire. While police used to see “large” parties consisting of 50 or so teens, they note that outdoor parties have recently drawn crowds of up to 400. And with massive crowds come incidents uncommon in smaller gatherings. On September 16th, at a party in Rosedale Park referred to as a “Rosedale Jam,” a crowd of several hundred youths gathered to party-hearty. Eight to 10 kids in their late teens wearing hoodies and bandanas over their faces also gathered – but with very different intentions. As kids came and went, this gang of teens swarmed small groups, demanding phones, cash, and other valuables. One of the partygoers was not only robbed, but also stabbed. According to a police media release, “the boys and

Susan Scandiffio Columnist

girls appear(ed) to be attending… for the sole purpose of carrying out robberies and other forms of criminal activity.” Concerned neighbours who ventured into the park also reported numerous teens passed out from drug or alcohol overdoses. We spoke to a number of Leaside teens, who know all about these parties and asked that we not use their names.

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Not all are Rosedale Jams One Leaside student commented that while the term “Rosedale Jam” has been commonly used in the media, teens “refer to park parties according to where they are being held” (i.e. a Forest Hill Jam or a Leaside Jam). Another Leasider who attended the September 16th Rosedale Jam said they had attended several Leaside Jams with some 50 kids in attendance. The student indicated that the Rosedale party was “like a zoo.” While leaving the party, their group was pursued by a gang of older teens. Several students acknowledged that even though they have been to such parties in the past, their friend groups now avoid not just jams, but even venturing into parks after dark. In Leaside, parties have occurred in parks as well as at the high school field for many years. While there haven’t been reported stabbings at Leaside Jams, there have been incidents of robbery, and alcohol and drug use. As the use of social media to publicize unmonitored Leaside events continues, the potential for more serious incidents to occur is definitely of growing concern. Like parents in neighbouring communities, Leasiders are becoming more educated and empowered to prevent park parties from becoming unruly, seeking tips to help guide their teens, and learning what tools teens should have for partying safely. The police are well aware of this growing problem. I spoke with Staff Sergeant James Hogan, PC Alex Li, and PC Tim Somers, all officers from 53 Division, about what Leasiders can do to be more aware: Tips for the community • If you see a party forming, make your presence known. “There is nothing more uncool at a teen party than a group of adults,” they said. • Use the power of community, share any rumours and news of large gatherings. • Call 911 immediately at the first hint of unruliness. Tips for parents • Establish where your kids are going and whom they’re going with. • If you’re dropping your child at a party that appears out of control, don’t leave them there. • Check in with your teen and ensure you have the cell number of at least one of their friends. • Speak with your kids about the dangers of alcohol and drugs. JAMS, Page 7


Leaside Life • December 2017


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Leaside Life • December 2017




Tickling the ivories at Robert Lowrey Piano Experts

Leaside Life • December 2017

By LORNA KRAWCHUK Even if you haven’t been inside, you probably know Robert Lowrey Piano Experts at the west corner of the strip just south of Eglinton, east of Brentcliffe. This well-known piano emporium is well worth a visit. Here you’ll find a number of “affordable” pianos, made by Pearl River, Knabe and Heintzman. Pearl River, the largest manufacturer in the world, makes pianos in Indochina and China, Knabe is European, and those of us of a certain age will recognize the Heintzman name as Canadian. You can also dream of owning “hand-made” pianos made by Bösendorfer and Fazioli – costing up to $300,000. It was a Bösendorfer in the news recently as a gift to Tapestry Opera, where the Robert Lowrey company arranged for the move through a third-storey window into the Balmer Studio. You might also be drawn to the digital pianos made by Rolland and Yamaha.

They have the advantage of staying in tune, not being as hard to move, and not nearly as expensive. Full disclosure: My parents bought a reconditioned Gerhard Heintzman

A young Robert Lowrey (far left) in front of the first location of Robert Lowrey Piano Experts at 322 Sutherland Drive.


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piano in the 1940s, which moved with me into our Leaside house in 1970. And who kept it in tune? Someone from Robert Lowrey, of course. Growth of the company It was when the Heintzman company moved to Hanover, Ont., that Robert Lowrey acquired four of their top technicians who didn’t want to leave the city, including Harry Hagman, who was Anton Kuerti’s personal technician, among his many other jobs. One of the current piano technicians at the company, Paul Hansen, spends a lot of his time installing piano disk systems in grand pianos as custom orders. This is a modern, more elegant variation on the old “player pianos,” and many purchasers want this feature. Is there a Robert Lowrey? Of course, and he grew up on Airdrie Rd. in Leaside. His father, also Robert, was from the Isle of Man, who after fighting in the First World War moved to America – first Alaska and then California – and became a member of the Shell Orchestra. One of the stops for this touring orchestra was Toronto, where Robert met his wife-to-be. After their marriage, he became a piano tuner, since being a musician was precarious employment for a family man at that time. Today Robert has fond memories of going to the movies on Bayview where the entrance fee was 15 cents, and the popcorn cost a dime. He also remembers climbing the barbed wire fence at what was then the end of Eglinton Ave., very near his property, to swim in the Don River – where you had to watch for water rats and “bad guys with BB guns.” Young Robert attended the University of Western Ontario and got a degree in English, hoping to be a musician or writer, but he also had piano tuning skills, which proved more lucrative. Lowrey started his company in the family garage on Airdrie, moved briefly to the old post office building at 322 Sutherland, and then on to his present location in the mid-’70s. “There were a number of difficult years,” he told me, but in 1985, he installed a $40,000 elevator to the second floor, enabling the company to expand. Now there are customers from Ottawa, North Bay and many places in between, since the number of companies selling pianos has decreased. As Robert says, “It is not a business for sissies.” ■


By LORNA KRAWCHUK Leaside Garden Society members know Alice Carriman well. Any time there’s a call to help plant a garden, especially one where local schoolchildren are involved, Alice is sure to be on hand. This is all the more interesting since Alice does not actually live in Leaside. She has lived in the same apartment in Thorncliffe Park for the last 40 years. She is originally from Carriacou, an island in the Grenadines, where she gardened under her mother’s tutelage, and was taught by both her parents to be a caring individual. Alice worked as an operating room nurse, mostly at Sunnybrook. The bus service between Sunnybrook and Thorncliffe was time-consuming, so most of the time she walked the route – and recalls Laird as being such a peaceful street that she could walk along and crochet as she walked. Alice raised her three children while working full-time and also found time to volunteer. She first showed up at Thorncliffe Public School to help with a little garden when her son was a year old. She continued at the school, helping the children understand how plants grow, but at the same time, caring deeply for how the children were growing too. She feels strongly that people need to live in community, and they need to understand where they are. She wants to “make sure kids get a good footing.” She talks to politicians at all levels while advocating for services and programs for children and

Jams... From Page 4 Tips for teens • Keep your head up in crowds, be aware of your surroundings. • Travel in large groups. • Don’t travel with expensive items – that being said, there is no property in the world that is worth more than your life. • Keep in regular touch with friends and parents. • Make sure your phone is charged. • Don’t engage, walk away. • Don’t be lured to parties advertised with promises of “things you’ll appreciate.” • If you witness any criminal incidents, you can provide tips to the police anonymously by contacting Crime Stoppers (416-222-8477 or • Call 911 immediately if you encounter criminal activity or when someone is unconscious or injured. • Keep an eye on your drinks and do not accept drinks from strangers. • Walk in well lit, well-travelled areas. ■





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Leaside Life • December 2017


Alice Carriman helps kids – and gardens – grow

youth. As she says, she “stands up for the kids.” In the early years, she was part of a group of 11 who solicited companies, asking them to allow local youths to volunteer with their companies to gain experience. The afterschool program at Thorncliffe, now run by Moorelands Community Services, is something she had her hand in founding. She has been recognized by WoodGreen Community Services and its predecessor, Community Care East York, for her many years of teaching crafts to children as part of an inter-generational program. She does not just teach a craft or skill – she actively listens to them and passes on valuable life skills. She was the 2012 recipient of the Agnes Macphail Award, given to someone who shows exemplary volunteer leadership in social justice issues. What’s her connection to the Leaside Garden Society? Her gardens at Thorncliffe Public School were in need of compost – and she needed compost bins for the compost. John Parker, the councillor at the time, told her about the Leaside Garden Society. She approached them, they helped her, and ever since, she has been helping them. Symbiotic indeed. ■

Leaside Life • December 2017


Winter was more fun when we were kids I’m a believer in the science and the reality of global warming. That’s the engineering graduate talking. But I don’t actually need reams of data, scientific symposia, and time-lapse photographs of diminished glaciers to be convinced. My own memories of Leaside winters suffice to confirm that temperatures are rising. When I was growing up in Leaside in the late ’60s and early ’70s, we actually had winter, we had snow – lots of it – and it was a blast. Now, my memory may not be as good as it once was but it seems to me that snow came much earlier and stayed much longer back then than it does now. I think we used have snow on the ground in early November. Not so much anymore. My twin bro and I loved it. Three winter pastimes in particular kept us happy and outside – which, I think, made our mother happy. In every other season but winter, the lunchtime walk from Bessborough School to our house at the corner of Parkhurst and Donegall took us about 10 minutes, provided we weren’t stopping to throw mud balls at the inviting front doors of homes

Terry Fallis Columnist

along the way. But in winter, my mother would often be ready to send out a search party until we’d finally roll in about 20 minutes past our typical ETA. The difference? Starting in November, the snow banks grew along the edge of the sidewalks thanks to quite prompt snowplowing of our neighbourhood. And when you have four or five blocks of four-foot high snow banks along your route home, it was standard operating procedure to walk along the top ridge of this seasonal mountain range. Every winter lunch hour I felt like Sir Edmund Hillary on the Everest ascent. By extension, I felt like Tim was my trusty second, Tenzing Norgay. I don’t think he always appreciated being relegated to the number two position. This conflict added more time to our voyage

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home. Now I’m not saying walking along the tops of snow banks right next to Parkhurst Blvd. was the safest way to get home. But we were careful and it was fun. Speaking of unsafe winter activities, we also loved tobogganing down the famed and feared double hill in Talbot Park across the football field from Leaside High School. We’d head there Saturday morning after a fresh snowfall and spend a good part of the day alternating between flying down the hill and flying above the hill. You see, Tim and I were big jump builders. We’d bring a shovel and build up as high a jump as we could about halfway down the second hill. We strategically placed the jump at the point on the hill where our aluminum toboggan would hit maximum velocity (just shy of Warp 7). We would soar off the jump and land just before the bottom. My tailbone aches just thinking about it, now. Saturday dinner was usually enjoyed standing up. If the snow was fluffy and not conducive to jump-making, we’d attempt the world tobogganing distance record. One day when the conditions were perfect, Tim and I hurtled down the double hill, streaked – and I use “streaked” in the traditional sense of the word, as temperatures were below zero – across the football field, up the small rise at the far side, and crashed into the wall of the school. Well, crashed is slightly overstating our speed, but it was at least a modest bump. We had a very fast toboggan. Finally, in that era of a real winter, there was always an outdoor hockey pad and pleasure skating rink in the middle of Talbot Park, underneath the bright lights of the baseball diamond. If the rink had been flooded on a Friday night, Saturday morning hockey took precedence over tobogganing. We’d get up at what we thought was a reasonable hour – a view seldom shared by our parents – tie up our skates in the basement, and then tip-toe down to the park to preserve the sharp edges on our skate blades. We’d actually skate down the hill at the foot of Donegall and clump our way through the snow to the hockey rink. The sound of our blades on the pristine ice and the dull thump of our pucks against the boards remain vivid audio memories. Sometimes we’d head home at lunch, but only to refuel before returning to the rink until the streetlights came on. Those were real Leaside winters. We’re lucky to have survived them. But I miss them. ■

By ALLAN WILLIAMS Members of Leaside’s various sports communities joined the family and friends of the inductees and athlete of the year in the William Lea Room at the arena on Friday evening, Nov. 17, for the fifth annual induction ceremony of the Leaside Sports Hall of Fame.

The honourees or their representatives are, from left to right: Graham Stein, son of inductee Phil Stein, who was the Town of Leaside’s first recreation director and also the first manager of Leaside Gardens; Zelda Sadler, mother of hockey player Mariah Hinds, Leaside’s 2017 Athlete of the Year; inductee Shawn O’Sullivan, who grew up in Leaside,

playing baseball and hockey here, and flourished in an outstanding amateur and professional boxing career, including winning a silver medal at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles; inductee Dave Gardner, whose NHL hockey career included 350 games for the Montreal Canadiens and four other teams; and inductee Robert Moore, a distance runner with four top-10 finishes at the Boston Marathon, among many other notable accomplishments. Several former inductees were on hand for the evening: Teri BlackCalleri, Howard Birnie, Terry Caffery, Tom Kalweit, Cathy Lansdowne, Christine Pellerin, Dr. Sidney Soanes and Dr. Ron Taylor. Speakers included Councillor Jon Burnside and MP Rob Oliphant, who presented a special citizenship citation to Leaside Sports Hall of Fame chair Kathleen Mackenzie. Leaside sports personality Anthony Regan acted as emcee for the evening and produced the video tributes to each of the five honourees. Guest speaker was former boxer and journalist Charles “Spider” Jones. ■


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Leaside Life • December 2017


LEASIDE SPORTS HALL OF FAME: Congratulations to this year’s winners


Ghazal Rug Gallery: where every rug tells a story

Leaside Life • December 2017

By KARLI VEZINA Sitting atop a stack of rugs, I had a conversation with Sam Tehrani, one of Bayview’s latest merchants to join the strip. Sam is a carpet dealer and enthusiast who runs Ghazal Rug Gallery at 1693B Bayview. As a fourth generation carpet dealer, he says almost every picture of him as a kid has a rug in it somewhere. When he turned 7, he was truly introduced to the world of rugs. He remembers traveling around Persia, visiting villages and smaller cities with his dad, uncle and grandfather, buying from rug makers to sell to Europe. Sam came to visit almost every city in Persia by the time he was 14 years old. Growing up in Tehran and surrounded by role models, he learned to recognize how different weave patterns reflect each community’s lifestyle. “It’s all related,” he said. Every city and village has a particular technique of weaving and a vision it wants to portray. “Bakhtiar, Tabriz, Isfahan, Kashan, all these

Sam Tehrani in his gallery cities have their own technique and to me it was very fascinating.” Sam says Persian universities offer 50 different majors related to rugs, and his was the study of weaving patterns and the relationship between lifestyle and weaving

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style. He showed me some pieces to explain. One rug had a long, brassy rectangle in the middle with indented edges and greenery all around. Sam explained the rectangle represents the heart of the village, while the outer area is spotted with flowers, trees, stars and dogs (a symbol of protection). The outer border represents distance, lush jungles and pointy mountain tops. This kind of piece is considered a representation of one’s village to another. Other rugs symbolize a friendship or relationship between two villages. For example, if the children of two different tribes got married, they would need a rug to symbolize the bond between two families. After finishing studies in Persia, Sam moved to Toronto and York University at the age of 19 to study business and society. He then worked with his mother in real estate, but the desire to work with rugs remained strong. He decided to import five rugs and sold them within a month. The next month he bought 10, then 15, and he was hooked. When he realized he could make a living doing what he loved most, he decided to launch his own import and distribution business. Inside Ghazal, Sam points to a beautiful golden carpet filled with tiny flowers. It was made in a desert city that no longer exists. The weavers of this city patterned the rug with flowers, birds and animals, things they revered because they were so rare in the region. Although the city is gone, the rug remains and people like Sam are here to tell their story. History in your hands. Sam’s last store was at Davenport and Dupont. When it came time to move, his first thought was “Leaside.” He says he’s always felt that the Leaside community had a passion for supporting small business and that’s part of what drew him here. “It’s nice to be part of the community.” ■

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Leaside Life • December 2017


Leaside Life • December 2017

Jon Burnside Councillor, Toronto Ward 26 Don Valley West

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MacKenzie Bier’s extraordinary shoe drive Christmas, seen as a time for giving, often brings out the best in us. In MacKenize Bier’s case, I’m reminded of the Mary Ellen Chase quote: “Christmas is not a date. It is a state of mind.” MacKenzie Bier and her quest to provide running shoes for neighbouring kids is an inspiring story of a young person’s generous spirit, creativity and true belief in helping others. It’s an ongoing commitment that has spanned four years – her entire time at Leaside High School. When I first met MacKenzie, I was struck by her deep knowledge of the needs of our neighbours in Thorncliffe Park as well as her


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ability to turn advocacy into action. Pointing out that child poverty rates in Thorncliffe are 10 times those in Leaside (over 50% to approximately 5%), she decided to help in her area of expertise – running shoes. MacKenzie’s passion for running began at five years old and continues to this day as a competitive runner on the LHS Cross Country team. Knowing of the fun and opportunity she experienced through physical activity, MacKenzie decided to take action when she learned that many of the 1,500 students at Thorncliffe Park Public School were unable to truly participate in gym class. The reason? Their only pair of shoes wasn’t running shoes. Mackenize started collecting gently used track shoes from Rolph Road School by first posting flyers, then

leaving a collection box at the front entrance. Spurred on by that success, she expanded her efforts by engaging merchants such as Tajo Shoes on Bayview Ave. and Sporting Life. This is no ordinary shoe drive. Concerned that the shoes didn’t appear new enough, Mackenize washed and reconditioned each pair until she knew anyone would be proud to wear them. To date, over 300 pairs of running shoes have been distributed to Thorncliffe students. Next year MacKenzie will be going to university and will no longer be able to manage her program. She is desperately looking for someone to take over this worthy endeavour. If you’re interested, please let me know so that we can continue MacKenzie’s incredible efforts and keep kids running! I’m looking forward to the Leaside Toy Drive & Guys Night Out Thurs., Dec. 7, 730 p.m. at the Leaside Pub. It’s a fun time that last year resulted in 3,200 gifts being delivered to primary students in Thorncliffe & Flemingdon Park. This year’s lofty goal is a gift for every child in primary school in those two communities. Only $20 at the door…and don’t forget to bring a friend! ■

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Leaside Life • December 2017




Leaside Life • December 2017

The main event:

Fresh turkeys from Dashwood and St. Ann’s, ON $4.49/lb. Four varieties of stuffing (heat and serve) $4.99/lb. • traditional • sage & celery • cranberry & cashew • bacon herb provençal Turkey gravy – 500 ml $4.50 or 1 litre $9.00 Stanley from White House suggests ordering one pound of turkey per person, or one and a half if you want leftovers. And who doesn’t want leftovers?


You might also consider:

As an alternative to turkey, White House Meats offers fresh capons (8-10 lbs.) for smaller groups, Muscovy duck or a traditional Christmas goose.

For Christmas Eve:

Consider popular choices like prime rib or beef tenderloin.


Since the holidays are just around the corner, it’s time to start thinking about what you will feed the loved ones around your table this year. If you’re anything like me, you’ll need all the help you can get. Luckily, we have amazing retailers in Leaside who can help you make holidays easy, delicious and stress free. Who uses the words “stress free” and holidays in the same sentence? Grilltime, White House Meats and Today’s Menu – that’s who. Here you will find a handy guide to three of the most important components of your holiday dinner – turkey, stuffing, and gravy (no whisking required) (or a complete vegetarian option) – sure to please even your fussiest family and friends while making your holiday dinner a memorable one, from some of Leaside’s independent food purveyors.

TODAY’S MENU If you’re travelling this holiday season to a chalet or cottage, Today’s Menu has the perfect festive package for you. Frozen, air chilled and pre-cooked Ontario turkey from The Butcher Shop (75 per cent white meat and 25 per cent dark), plus soup, dessert and three side dishes feed up to four people. A cooking guide for is included with each package.

The main event: FESTIVE TURKEY DINNER - $145.00

Roasted turkey with cranberry sauce Turkey gravy Rustic apple herbed stuffing + roasted butternut squash soup, three sides and apple crumble for dessert. Turkey ($34.95) and all sides are also available à la carte.

You might also consider: FESTIVE VEGETARIAN DINNER - $111.00 Cauliflower curry soup Rustic apple herbed stuffing Whole grain squash risotto Cauliflower gratin Sweet potato mash Home baked apple crumble

GRILLTIME The main event:

Traditional fresh turkey from Hayter’s Farms, ON 13-25 lbs. - $4.50/lb. Sun-dried cranberry & sage stuffing (heat and serve) 2lbs. - $14.95 Turkey gravy (24 oz.) - $10.95

You might also consider:

Stuffed skin-on turkey breast for smaller groups or ham from the Honey Glazed Ham Company. Grilltime also offers ready to serve mashed potatoes with roasted garlic, roasted root vegetables with fresh thyme garlic, and honey and fresh cranberry sauce to complete your meal.

After the holidays:

Once the turkey coma has let up, let the crew at Grilltime prepare you some of their bacon-wrapped tenderloin or perhaps a few racks of their fall-off-the bone ribs. If cooking isn’t your thing, Grilltime has you covered, and they won’t tell your guests that you’re not the maestro ofthe meal!

Before/after the holidays:

Today’s Menu has recently introduced dinner packages to make entertaining before and after the holidays easier than ever. The “Impress Your Guest” packages include: appetizer, soup, main course (lamb, chicken or beef) side dishes and dessert. Packages for four start at $104.00.



Wildcats: “You can’t be what you can’t see” While this might not be the official motto of the Toronto Leaside Girls Hockey Association (TLGHA), it’s an objective the league aspires to meet in all aspects of their organization. With more than 1,600 girls playing hockey at the learn-to-play, house league, and competitive levels, the Leaside Wildcats’ mission is twofold. The league focuses on both growing the love of the sport, as well as empowering girls through female leadership mentors. TLGHA’s president Jennifer Smith says that while registration in girls’ hockey in Ontario continues to grow, the Wildcats program has seen an annual growth far higher than the provincial rates. The growth, she feels, is due in part to the league’s attention to providing unique opportunities and strong role models. Girls have the opportunity to play from the age of 3 in Learn to Play programs, and from age 7 through Grade 12 in House League and competitive teams. There are also “seniors” leagues (as in, anyone over 18). In the past two years, the league has also offered programs for girls aged 7 to 14 with no previous exposure to hockey so they can move on to play with House League teams. That way, as Smith points out, “no one gets left behind.” Wildcats also have the opportunity to play with, and against, international players. With the growth of female hockey worldwide, Canada has become a destination for individuals and teams wanting to improve their skills. For several years, the Wildcats have hosted players from New Zealand who have spent part of the season playing with Leaside teams at the competitive level. The Wildcats have also, on four occasions, hosted the Women’s National Team of China. This past year, a team of 20 Wildcats were invited to Spain to play against the Spanish National Team, who wanted to face solid competition before competing in the IIHF Division II Championships. And now that New Zealand has established such close ties with the league, they will be sending a team to train with the Wildcats and play in their annual tournament in March. Thirteen-year-old Olivia Walsh, who has played with the Wildcats for seven years, is excited to be able to participate in the international arena. While she has played various sports over the years, hockey is by far her favourite and if all works out she’d love to play beyond high school. She

has been inspired over the years by the fact that so many of the coaches, trainers, instructors, scorekeepers, and referees have been female. In fact, when she was 9, Olivia’s coaching team included three female coaches and one male trainer. She has also been mentored by young female instructors from teams such as the Toronto Furies of the CWHL. While the Ontario Women’s Hockey Association mandates that at least one leader on each team’s bench be

female, Smith says that the Wildcats follow the credo: “It is their intense responsibility to develop female leaders.” It is a goal that the league has met, and far exceeded, with multiple enthusiastic and devoted female role models who work and volunteer as coaches, mentors, referees, scorekeepers, and league directors. The league also fosters the growth of WILDCATS, Page 30 Wildcat winners!

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Leaside Life • December 2017


Reading up on Leaside’s lawn libraries By SUZANNE PARK

Glenvale Glenvale Blvd Glenvale Blvd

D 429 Broadway Ave.

Ave Broadway Broadway Ave

D 117 Divadale Dr. D 36 Donlea Dr.

D 129 Donlea Dr.

Av E Ave Eglinton Ave eE Eglinton

D 57 Parkhurst Blvd. D 14 Fleming Cres. D 45 Sharon Dr. D 214 Airdire Rd. Mcc M rraaee Drr D

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Sometimes the simplest ideas create the biggest ripples. Who’d have thought a free, mini lawn library would have our Mayor weighing in on its value? Yet that’s exactly what happened this fall when John Tory tweeted his support of the Little Free Libraries after an overzealous Toronto bylaw officer ticketed an owner whose structure was closer than 3.5 metres from the sidewalk. The lawn library movement got its start in 2009 when Todd Bol of Wisconsin built a model of a oneroom schoolhouse as a tribute to his mother, a teacher who loved to read. He filled it with books and put it on a post in his front yard. His neighbours loved it, so he built more and gave them away. The movement took root in Leaside in 2013 and today the Little Frees number 11 on streets in both North and South Leaside. We took a read of some of them: 36 DONLEA DR. This Swiss-inspired lawn library was “modelled after a birdhouse my now adult son Blair made when he was in Grade 3 at Northlea PS,” Barbara Mason told me. “It was a family project with three generations contributing. We wanted a homey whimsical feel so it would appeal to kids, so initially we stocked it with many children’s classics such as Stuart Little. When we noticed many adults visiting, we broadened our offerings and now the library visitors keep it well stocked with a wide variety of books.” 214 AIRDRIE RD. When just 16, Shannon Broughton’s parents gifted her with a lawn library. “I love that my library encourages others to read,” she said. “This year I’m finishing high school and plan become a library technician and maybe continue my studies to become a head librarian, which requires a Master’s degree.” 57 SOUTHVALE DR. A staunch advocate for lawn libraries, Mary Nicholl said, “I live on a busy street and all kinds of people, like nannies, taxi drivers, and neighbours young to elderly, stop and visit my library. It is also a conversation starter. I’ll meet people and mention my street and that I have a mini library out front. Immediately, the person knows the location and we chat for a few minutes about the libraries and we discover that many have visited my library.” 921 MILLWOOD RD. Across the street from the Millwood Melt, with its unique indoor “ladder” library is a seniors’ residence, The Millwood. “I enlisted

Bayview Ave Bayview Bayv iew Ave

Leaside Life • December 2017


902 Millwood Rd.

D 921 Millwood Rd. D

D 57 Southvale Dr. r D D Drr aallleee v v v h tthh ouutth S Soo S



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Leaside Life • December 2017

my family to build the library and restore a cozy bench for visitors to sit on and read while waiting for the bus,” manager Gail Alexis told me. “People are stopping and enjoying a neighbourly visit with the residents as they peruse the library’s books. And we’re planning a few special events to encourage even more visitors to the library.” 14 FLEMING CRES. “Leaside recycles and this is one more way I can contribute,” said Sarah Crane. In addition to “encouraging kids to look up from their screens” she loves that “my Little Free Library keeps me in touch with friends who are always bringing over books from their book clubs. This makes restocking easy.” She added, “This fall our lawn library was a Pokémon Go stop so we had groups of kids arriving, hovering at the stop for a moment, then abruptly departing. We’re hoping they’ll make a return visit and take or leave a book.” 57 PARKHURST BLVD. Situated on the corner of Parkhurst & Cameron, this Little Free Library is among the biggest in Leaside, which in November was hosting several pristine hardcover biographies. Someone is adding quality to the street! 429 BROADWAY AVE. In the fall, this mini library is surrounded by colourful trees with leaves in hues of brilliant yellows, reds and greens. The covers of many of the books inside this Little Free are equally colourful: coffee table photo books, novels, short story collections, and recipe books. 117 DIVADALE DR. From the right angle, a young child looking up at this large Little Free from the street might believe it is almost as large as the two-story house behind it. On the day I visited, it was well stocked with a wide array of reading material mostly for adults. 129 DONLEA DR. The colours of this mini library mirror those of the home on the property. Stocked with young adult fiction, biographies, novels and a “Dark Matter” science book, there is something for everyone here. 45 SHARRON DR. A jogger with headphones paused for a quick peek inside this mini library and then the next moment looked up at the house behind it before racing off. Perhaps it had just hit him that this Little Free is a mini replica of the house at 45 Sharron. Clearly the owners are house-proud. “Only a few minutes a week are needed to tidy up and you spread the joy of reading,” they told me. Not to mention the joy of showing off their beautiful home and Little Free. ■

Leaside Life • December 2017


Come bring joy to the season with special services and other holiday-themed events at Leaside's churches. Make your Christmas be truly bright.


Sun. Dec. 10 10:30 a.m. Church School Christmas Pageant & Happy Birthday Jesus Party Sun. Dec. 17 10:30 a.m. Service of Lessons and Carols Sun. Dec. 24 10:30 a.m. So This Is Christmas! 7:30 p.m. Christmas Eve Communion and Candlelight Service Sun. Dec 31 10:30 a.m. New Year’s Eve Worship Leaside Presbyterian Church 670 Eglinton Ave. E. Toronto ON M4G 2K4



Advent & Christmas at St. Cuthbert’s Leaside Christmas Memorial Service

Saturday, December 16 at 4 pm Carols with Friends

Monday, December 18 at 7 pm Christmas service with pageant with communion

where all children can join in Sunday, December 24 at 4 pm

Northlea United Church In the community. For the community. 125 Brentcliffe Road, Toronto 416.425.5252 • Northlea United Church is a 5 minute walk north on Brentcliffe Road from Eglinton Avenue. Over the Christmas season, we invite you to explore your neighbourhood church!

Candlelight Communion services

with choir Sunday, December 24 at 8 pm and at 10:30 pm Christmas Communion Service with Carols

Monday, December 25 at 9 am

Carolling in the Pines Sunday, December 10th, 7:00 p.m.

Sing with friends and neighbours at this annual event! The Metropolitan Silver Band leads the carolling; a special visitor (Ho, Ho, Ho!) will be dropping in, and there will be lots of hot chocolate! It’s an outside event, lasting about 45 minutes, so dress warmly and bring a flashlight! (Bad weather location –inside the church!) We are fundraising for Youth Without Shelter - donations are appreciated!

Candlelight Carol Service ~ Sunday, December 17th, 7:00 p.m.

Hear the Christmas story with music and scripture, and join in singing Christmas carols. Following the service, enjoy homemade Christmas goodies with friends and neighbours.

Christmas Eve Services ~ December 24th Family Service ~ 7:00 p.m. Candles and Communion Service ~ 11:00 p.m.

St. Cuthbert’s Leaside

1399 Bayview Avenue Toronto South of Davisville For info call 416-485-0329



Leaside Life • December 2017

Join us at Leaside United Church on December 24th 10:30 am

Fourth Sunday of Advent Children’s Program: Birthday Party for Jesus

4:00 pm

Travelling to Bethlehem with Mary & Joseph (A Christmas Eve Service for all ages)

8:00 pm

Carols, Candlelight, and Communion 822 Millwood Road (at McRae) Toronto, ON M4G 1W4 Tel: 416-425-1253 Web:

For information about other Advent Services and events, please see our website.

The Anglican Church of St Augustine of Canterbury

Enjoy the Christmas Season at St. Augustine’s DECEMBER 24TH • Last Sunday in Advent at 10:30am • Christmas Eve at 4:00pm for young children • Christmas Eve at 7:00pm DECEMBER 25TH • Christmas Day at 10:30am DECEMBER 31ST • New Year’s Eve at 10:30am

1847 Bayview Avenue Toronto, ON M4G 3E4 416.485.2656 NE corner of Bayview and Broadway



Welcoming the holiday season at our schools

Leaside Life • December 2017

By GERRI GERSHON In December, Toronto stores are filled with music, bright lights decorate homes, and our schools welcome the holiday season… Christmas, Kwanzaa, and Hanukkah. We get ready to bid goodbye to 2017 and greet 2018. The TDSB embraces children from around the world, and although our school board is a secular system, it is open to teaching about different religions and ways of life. When I went to school we didn’t recognize the customs and beliefs of new immigrants; we primarily celebrated Christian holidays. Today is a different world. We want to prepare our youth for their reality. According to the 2016 census, 7.5 million foreign-born people came to Canada through the immigration process. They represent more than

one in five persons in Canada. They have brought their hopes and dreams along with great food, tremendous optimism, interesting customs and energy to build a good life for their families. They come as Muslims, Catholics, Buddhists, Sikhs, Protestants, Hindus, Jews, Mormons, and members of the Baha’i faith, to name a few. Every student, regardless of faith – including those who do not adhere to any specific religion – should enjoy a sense of belonging. Our schools attempt to honour holidays in December and throughout the year, such as Diwali, Chinese New Year and Eid. For example, Bennington Heights and Northlea will feature holiday concerts with songs from around the world, and as many faiths encourage, children will learn the concept of charity. At Bennington there will

be a bazaar where donated items are recycled and sold as family gifts by student purchasers. Money raised will go to the Flemingdon Community Food Bank. Classes at Northlea will prepare hampers for families in partnership with the YWCA and the YWCA Arise women’s shelter. One thing is certain. The past is not the present and we will not be returning to a system where only one religion is glorified and celebrated. Does that mean there will be no mention of Christmas in our schools? Of course not. It does mean, however, that we no longer treat that wonderful holiday as if it’s the only occasion to be celebrated. That’s not political correctness but rather part of the concept of preparing our young people to be global citizens. Happy Hanukkah, Healthy Kwanzaa and Merry Christmas, everyone! Gerri Gershon is the Trustee, Don Valley West, for the Toronto District School Board. ■

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Leaside Life • December 2017

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Leaside Life • December 2017



Why are so many Leaside High students down on college vs. university? careers, but that doesn’t mean that important that the courses help if you go to college that won’t be move toward what the student envitrue for you as well. At a young age I had my future sions for his or her future. I advise My guidance counsellor, Mary Du planned out. I was going to become graduates to keep their options shocked me when she told me last a professional ballerina and dance open. They might start in one direcyear only 12 out of 260 Leaside the coveting role of the sugar plum tion and end up in another.” High graduates chose to attend fairy with the amazing National Both university and college are college. That’s less than Ballet of Canada. I did great options for post-secondary. five per cent! This is an end up dancing in the In general, colleges tend to be more alarming statistic since Nutcracker but as years directly career-oriented and offer as Ms. Du told me, passed the reality of diploma and certificate programs, “Colleges have great becoming a ballerina while universities offer undergradprograms.” started to fade. I then uate degrees and professional proIn her email to me, moved onto my backup grams, such as medicine, dentistry Trustee Gershon offered career of marine biologist, and law. Decisions on which to a balanced view. “I think inspired by the plight of choose should be made by career that students should the many endangered sea and program preference, not stereoattend the institution that animals. types or peer/parental pressure. In has courses that interest I got busy doing my fact, whatever decision you do make them,” she said. “Most research and planning doesn’t have to be final. In life you likely the direction that courses until I realized never know what will happen, and that working in the hot Zhen is in Grade 11 people take after secondyou might end up going to both. My at Leaside High. ary school could lead to sun surrounded by salt advice to my fellow Leaside High their life’s work so it’s water wasn’t great for students? Keep your options open. ■ my extremely dry skin. Another career choice that became more and more unlikely. For a while I continued without a School’s in for career in mind until a visit to George Brown College, downtown campus and bookstore made me aware that I could put my organization skills to good work as an event planner. As most teens do, I mentioned my new career choice to my friends and that I was considering going to college. It was then that I got a reaction that I wasn’t expectLeaside High School will mark its 75th anniversary in the third week ing. Instead of “wow that’s a great of October, 2020. To make plans for the momentous occasion, a idea, I would have never thought group of LHS alumni gathered at the Leaside Pub recently to reesof that” I got “you’re not going to tablish the alumni association and brainstorm ideas for celebrating. university?” This left me to wonder, why is it that people see college as a The newly constituted reunion executive hopes to model events on less admirable option for post-secthe highly successful 50th anniversary, which included activities at ondary education. So I decided to the school, Massey Hall and the Metro Convention Centre. do some research and asked my Communications coordinator Elaine LeBlanc is enthusiastic about friends, guidance counsellor and #75 even though it seems far off. “We hope to involve many our school trustee, Gerri Gershon, LHS alumni who will volunteer their time and energy to ensure a their opinions on different post-secsuccessful anniversary,” she said. The group plans to meet monthly. ondary options. When asked which post-secondAlumni association president Larry Hurd is encouraging interested ary institution they were thinking graduates to join him on the popular Leaside Chit Chat Facebook of attending most of my friends page where updates will be posted regularly. said, without hesitation, university The alumni website will launch soon at, (read: Queen’s or Western). Their and a link to the alumni website is also at reasons included “There is a higher leasidehigh. In the meantime, those who wish to get involved or join success rate” (Claudia); “it’s for the reunion list should contact: smarter kids” (Abina); and “it’s for more extensive careers” (Jackson). Stay tuned for more updates. Although these opinions are valid, I think they’re also very old fashioned and stereotypical. Yes, people who graduate from university may have high marks and rewarding By ZHEN PARK-VANDAL

Leaside High School’s 75th reunion

Mark your calendars!



Leaside Life • December 2017















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Leaside Life • December 2017


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Leaside Life • December 2017


Millwood Melt...

Leaside Life • December 2017


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and Stephen opened it in 2012 as a place where, according to their website, people can “hang out, enjoy good, honest food and always feel welcome.” But it also provides the time and space for Stephen to pursue his work as a spiritual guide and writer. Stephen explains that he felt a spiritual force within him even as a child, but experienced a full awakening at age 22 when he underwent “a profound spiritual transformation.” He spent the next 11 years “integrating this realization of enlightenment and deepening his understanding of it” while involving himself in activities such as community mediation, a peace initiative in Colombia, and teaching. Along the way, Stephen started writing his first book, Heaven on Earth, and holding gatherings at his brother’s mattress store and at the Multi-Faith Centre at the University of Toronto. While he is not aligned with any particular religion, he explains that his work “celebrates the core truths and teachings common to all the world’s religions, with the attainment of enlightenment forming a central feature.” Stephen holds monthly transformational gatherings at the restaurant with 15 people of all ages and from across the city taking part in guided meditation followed by a dialogue, during which Stephen offers teachings and guidance in his role as an enlightened leader who transmits what is known as “awakening energy.” Stephen also offers enlightened guidance sessions in person or via Skype to help participants “awaken and integrate their true nature.” In addition, on Sunday mornings, he broadcasts an online show on Facebook Live called “Walk with Me,” during which he goes for a walk in nearby Crothers Woods and shares his insights. Viewers are able to ask questions and receive his answers in real time. Aniko explains her husband’s popularity in admiration of the way he can relate to so many people and help them using “his spirituality in action, his integrity and sound advice.” For his part, Stephen concludes that he is happiest when he is teaching and guiding, and that while his work has its challenges, it is his “greatest joy in life.” Not bad for this couple, who provide comfort food for both body and soul at Millwood Melt. ■

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Leaside Life • December 2017




Leaside Life • December 2017







Planning decisions should be made locally According to Geoff Kettel’s article in last month’s Leaside Life, the recently established Toronto Local Appeal Body (TLAB), which now hears appeals from decisions of the Committee of Adjustment, is proving to be just as unfriendly to residents as the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) it replaced. While Committee of Adjustment decisions are now appealed to this new TLAB, appeals from all other planning decisions continue to be heard, for the present at least, by the OMB. However, fear not. According to Premier Kathleen Wynne, that will soon change as well. “Planning decisions have to be made locally,” she wrote to us recently. To accomplish that, the Ontario government plans to give the new TLAB the authority

to hear all other planning appeals now heard by the OMB. This change, the province says, will provide a faster, fairer, more affordable and friendly process for residents who want to appeal planning decisions. For Leasiders, “planning decisions made locally” has always meant the local community decides where higher density housing is to be built. In Leaside that used to mean Thorncliffe, which was planned from the beginning to be a high density community within Leaside. But apparently, “planning decisions made locally” doesn’t mean the same to the province as it does to Leasiders because when you or I appeal to the TLAB, no matter what we may want, our appeal will fail if it doesn’t comply with the Provincial Smart Growth Act because that’s what the legislation creating the new powers for the TLAB says. The Smart Growth Act has been in place for almost 15 years. It requires the city of Toronto to increase housing densities. Recently, a provincial committee headed by former Toronto Mayor David Crombie recommended even greater densities for our megacity. The Toronto Official Plan (OP) is on all fours with the Smart Growth Act,

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and can be and often is amended to meet that required TLAB test when the Toronto planners decide that a community should have increased housing density. Because of amalgamation the Province defines “local” as meaning the city of Toronto rather than the Leaside community. This is fine if you want higher housing density in your community, but in times past, with the exception of Thorncliffe, that was the last thing Leasiders wanted elsewhere in the community. If you live in Leaside or Bennington Heights, you should be aware of the fight waged by your neighbours to stop Cadillac Developments and Belmont Construction from replacing 46 detached homes on Mallory Crescent with three 22-storey and two 29-storey apartment buildings containing a total of 1,382 suites. Your neighbours understood that decisions made locally mean made in in your own community, not at Queen’s Park and City Hall. The new TLAB would have approved that development because the 1,382 apartment suites replacing the 46 detached homes would have conformed to the Provincial Smart Growth Act. Alan Redway is a former MP and East York Mayor. City must act on Bayview Quads Midtown in Focus – what’s that? It’s a study similar to Laird in Focus but for the area west of Bayview to Avenue Rd. Because it stopped at the centre line of Bayview it wasn’t considered to be of much interest or concern to Leaside. But with the recent release of the Midtown in Focus Proposals Report, that’s changed, it’s now relevant to Leaside. That’s because Midtown in Focus (otherwise known as the Yonge Eglinton Secondary Plan) includes proposed policies that would encourage mid-rise (three to seven storeys) development, similar to the recently approved 1674 Bayview Ave. (between Hillsdale and Soudan), but on the east side of Bayview from Broadway Ave. to McRae Dr. Here’s why it is relevant to Leaside. We think the City needs to take immediate action to list and designate the row of 10 quadraplexes at 1747-1749 to 1783-1785 Bayview. The LPOA submitted heritage nominations for these properties in 2011, and Metrolinx identified the one it owns (1783-1785 Bayview) as a “provincial heritage property” in 2015, and the heritage cred of Henry Howard Talbot projects was decided with the Talbot apartments in south Bayview in 2009. Why has the City LETTERS, Page 31

By ALEX PINO Little did we know the Eglinton LRT was going to have such a big impact in Leaside. We should prepare ourselves to see the highest population growth since the incorporation of the town back in 1913. The development of the town of Leaside took over 40 years, as there were many different circumstances that negatively affected it. Now, the single LRT under construction is set to catapult Leaside’s growth to records never seen before. With the addition of just seven projects, the number of new condos in midLEASIDE NEW CONDO DEVELOPMENTS Address

# buildings



3 Southvale Dr




939 Eglinton E


16, 20, 28


660 Eglinton E


13, 19


815-845 Eglinton E


6, 34


146-150 Laird Ave




25 Malcolm Rd




35 Briar Peck Cres


12, 16, 18


TOTAL 4,021

rise buildings will reach 4,021 units, surpassing the number of detached houses in the Leaside-Bennington area of 3,625 dwellings. The shocking aspect is that this could only take a couple of years as typically the lifecycle of a condo project is five years from launch; by 2022 we will see the first large projects reach completion. The perimeter of the neighbourhood has given up to the pressure of the City of Toronto intensification plan, and Southvale now has two 7-storey boutique buildings, Leaside Manors with 67 units and Upper House with 74 condos on the go, this last one slated for completion in 2018. An interesting project comprising a historical Neo Gothic building built in 1928 will be part of the mixed use at 146-150 Laird Dr. that will have 179 rental retirement suites and 109 seniors condos. Because of the height restrictions in this area, these three buildings will have a lower impact to the surroundings, though shadows to the west and north side will affect the houses nearby. With two new subway stations under construction on the Eglinton LRT at Laird and Bayview, developers have been actively seeking approvals and have already started marketing the first stages of their projects. These three major players

are going to change the LEASIDE NUMBER OF DWELLINGS GROWTH shape and lifestyle of Leaside Bennington Dwellings Dwellings 2025 % % Change our low-rise neighbourDwellings 2011 (Projected) hood. Fortunately, they Detached 3,625 56% 3,625 35% -21% will be concentrated Semidetached 805 12% 805 8% -5% on the Eglinton corri- Row 75 1% 75 1% 0% dor, most of them on Apartment 5+ storeys 525 8% 4,546 43% 35% the south side whose 1,445 22% 1,445 14% -9% shadows will not affect Apartment 5- storeys TOTAL 6,475 10,496 62% the single-family homes: Source: City of Toronto Leaside Centre by RioCan REIT with 7 surroundings are not yet available buildings from 6 to 34 floors and for comment. The biggest impact of 1,435 units. these developments will be to the Brentcliffe Eglinton by Diamond local traffic and community infraGroup with 3 buildings from 16 to structure, as the number of dwell28 floors and 985 units. ings will be increased by 62%. Sunnybrook Plaza by RioCan We can all participate in the town REIT with 2 buildings of 13 and 19 hall meetings to provide feedback storeys and 426 units. and challenge what we feel will affect Architecturally, most of these develour daily lives but bear in mind, opments are following the same these condos are here to stay and are scheme with a lower podium serving required to support taxpayers’ huge as a base for retail and smaller investment in transit infrastructure. suites that will support the towers Condo living will offer entry level above. As the projects are still in access to those who have been priced the design and approval stages, the out of the area’s single family homes. details of the urban components and the way they will interact with the CONDO BOOM, Page 31


Leaside Life • December 2017

Leaside’s condo boom: The LRT is reshaping our mid-section

Leaside Life • December 2017


Bitcoin scam snags Leasiders

Patrick Rocca and Andy Elder Two prominent Leaside residents and businesspeople, Patrick Rocca of Bosley Real Estate & Andy Elder, owner of Grilltime on Laird, have recently been the target of an internet extortion attack. Both men have received numerous threatening emails from an unknown source, identified only as Anonymous. The emails demand a payment of $250,000 in the form of bitcoins. (Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency used primarily as a digital payment system.) The scammers suggest that if their demands are not met, they will use a number of means to damage the reputations of both men and their families. Both men, although greatly concerned about the attack, were even more deeply troubled when the reputation of their family was also threatened. Neither has complied with the demands of the extortionist. Rocca and Elder are both widely known within Leaside and beyond to be generous community supporters. They are encouraging any others who may be victims of the same scheme to come forward and contact police at 53 Division. ■

Wildcats... From Page 15 female role models by offering their players as young as 12 the opportunity to learn and to work as scorekeepers. Players as young as 14 can also participate in clinics to certify as referees. It’s this kind of inspiration that has seen a large number of Wildcats go on to play in both Canadian (CIS) and US (NCAA) university hockey. If they can’t see, they can’t be. And Wildcats are certainly witness to strong female role models who inspire them both to love the game and continue as participants off the ice as role models themselves. ■

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From Page 28 not conducted the heritage assessment and made a decision? Until this happens, the Midtown in Focus proposal to permit mid-rise development on the quadraplex strip on the east side of Bayview appears premature and in conflict with the provincial heritage property status on the most northern quadraplex. The proposed policies will be the subject of public consultation beginning in January, 2018. In the meantime, planners are seeking to have the policies used to assess development proposals as they are submitted to City Planning, even before the plan goes before City Council, in time for the 2018 municipal elections. The LPOA and residents are currently opposing a development proposal at the Toronto Local Appeal Body that would demolish and replace one of the quads (1755-1757 Bayview) with two semi-detached dwellings. The number of units would decrease from four to two – the complete opposite of the intensification policy intended by the Midtown in Focus plan – and also result in the loss of rental accommodation. Unfortunately, the LPOA is having to fighting this alone as the City has withdrawn from the TLAB case. ■ Geoff Kettel, with Carol Burtin Fripp, Co-President, LPOA

Condo boom... From Page 29 Leasiders should take this opportunity to invest in their own neighbourhood. There will be larger suites catering to the right-sizers who will transition from single-family homes to condo living with building amenities to appeal to baby boomers and the aging population. There will be more peace of mind for snow birds flying south when living in a condo since they’ll be able to simply close the door and allow the property manager to take care of the asset while they are away. Small suites are also a good starting option to help our kids getting into the real estate market and living close to family and friends. Finally, investing in pre-construction condos is a great opportunity to create wealth, as the price appreciation has been constant over the past years. Alex Pino, Arch FRI Broker, is Senior VP, Sales for Sotheby’s International Realty Canada. You can reach him at ■

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Leaside Life • December 2017


Leaside Life • December 2017


LPOA news: Leaside’s newest hotspot The sounds of screeching brakes, car horns, and occasional ambulance sirens during rush hours are the all-too frequent scene these days at the intersection of Bayview Ave. and Parkhurst Blvd., Leaside’s newest accident hot spot. This been an increasingly fraught intersection for some time, and it’s getting worse. Drivers try to avoid the LRT construction along Eglinton by using Parkhurst. They cut straight across or block Bayview’s north- and southbound traffic lanes to drive westward into Soudan (or, vice-versa, eastward along Soudan onto Parkhurst). Other drivers attempt left turns despite limited visibility of oncoming Bayview traffic; still others try to jockey into the only northbound lane on Bayview, around parked cars. To add to the chaos, a badly-located pedestrian-crossing at the Bayview and Parkhurst/Soudan intersection further complicates the scene. Trying to negotiate your way on foot or bicycle is not for the faint-hearted. In recent months, the City installed traffic signs at Parkhurst to try to

Carol Burtin Fripp Co-president, LPOA

limit some of the more dangerous turning movements, but signage relies on frequent – and regular – enforcement to be effective, and the police cannot be on the scene all the time. Those signs are routinely ignored.

Are traffic lights the answer? Traffic lights may seem like a simple solution, but there may be downsides. And other safety measures could be more effective. If we think we’re seeing problems now, consider this: traffic light locations encourage drivers to accelerate to reach the corner before the light changes. This leads to more sudden braking and rear-enders. (Interestingly, the City of Toronto website offers statistics showing

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that the majority of accidents at cross streets occur at signalized intersections.) Since the Leaside-area section of LRT construction began, safety at this location has worsened. Car volumes have increased on both Parkhurst and Soudan. Drivers seek alternatives to Eglinton. This trend will continue once the RioCan construction at Sunnybrook Plaza begins. It will increase if turning movements north from Eglinton onto Bayview are restricted. Also, remember that the Eglinton Connects plan will permanently reduce the width of Eglinton by one lane. The ‘natural alternative’ to Eglinton is already Parkhurst and Soudan. Installing traffic lights where those streets meet Bayview will encourage and facilitate more turns and straight-through traffic, but formalizing these local collector roads as a quasi-arterial substitute for Eglinton, thus attracting even more cars. Soudan and Parkhurst could become the route of choice from Yonge to Laird. Recently there’s been much debate within Leaside and Davisville Village (and in Leaside Life) arguing the pros and cons of signalizing this intersection. Petitions in opposition are being widely circulated. Those favouring a traffic light generally rely on the traffic study done in 2014 by engineering consultants for The Brown Group, the developer behind a seven-storey mixed use building planned on the west side of Bayview between Hillsdale and Soudan. While that report confirms increased and smoother future traffic flow along Parkhurst and Soudan, it does not deal with the key issue, which is traffic safety. Nor does it address adverse and serious longer-term effects on the immediate area and the community as a whole. This winter we’ll present our traffic consultant’s neighbourhood-wide recommendations for a traffic-calming plan which increases safety not only at the Parkhurst-Bayview intersection but throughout Leaside. Stay tuned. Our Annual General Meeting is on Wed., Nov. 29th (7:30 p.m. in the William Lea Room, Leaside Gardens). You are welcome to attend our regular monthly board meetings, on the first Wed. of each month (7:30 p.m. in the Trace Manes Building; the next meeting will be on Wed., Dec. 6th). ■

Leasider’s debut novel is a page-turner In his first crime mystery novel, “Her Dark Path,” published by UK-based Joffe Books, Ogilvie introduces the reader to Rebecca Bradley, a young policewoman who dreams of becoming a homicide detective. Set in the fictitious, forgotten remote town of Conroy, near the shores of Georgian Bay, the thriller has Bradley meeting an interesting (and secretive) cast of characters as she works to uncover the mystery around an unsolved murder. “Her Dark Path” is a page turner that Ogilvie hopes will be the first in a trilogy. Available locally at Sleuth of Baker Street, 907 Millwood Rd. or online at ■

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Leaside Life • December 2017

rati Leaside Lite “She knew she was being unfair, and she felt guilty. What kind of person was she turning into? Until today she had never imposed on anyone’s goodwill in this way, and she was horrified at herself. But she

had to have the McBride case, so similar to her mother’s tragic murder sixteen years ago. Cartwright should know this. She’d told him about her mission in life, her vow to someday catch the perp. But she also feared that he might demand a price she wasn’t willing to pay.” What does a person do after retiring from a life-long career focused on protecting the environment? How about write a mystery novel? That’s exactly what Leasider Ken Ogilvie decided to do following a successful 30-year career in the environmental field. Ogilvie’s career included almost 15 years as the executive director of Pollution Probe.

My love letter to Bayview As we enter the holiday homestretch, I thought it would be nice to finish the year identifying things I love about Bayview from a business perspective. Here, in no particular order, are 10 things I love about Bayview: Boutique La Muse I first wrote about Sarah Barr’s new women’s clothing store in July. At the time she was working 15 hours a day hopeful business would remain brisk so she could hire additional staff and cut back on her draining schedule. Since then, I’ve been in several times with my wife and each time the store’s been filled with shoppers and staff, a sign that Leasiders are supporting one of the newest entrants to the Bayview fashion scene. The Bagel House What would the weekend be without a trip to the local bagel shop? While I hate waiting in line for anything, The Bagel House’s bagels are worth it and I’m pretty sure all the people waiting with me in line Saturday morning feel the same.

Will Ashworth The business of Leaside

Lit Espresso Bar Although I’m a Starbucks guy and have been since I lived in Vancouver in the mid-’90s, the street is stronger because it has an independent coffee shop providing competition and a good alternative to the corporate behemoth. Owners Nicole Stone and Joe Angellotti celebrated their second anniversary this past summer. Here’s hoping the duo have plenty more and their cash registers continue to get lit up. COBS Bread If you want excellent bread, COBS is the place. A franchise operation originally from Australia, the company opened its first Canadian store in 2003, and the Bayview location in 2005. It was originally a corporate store until bought by current franchisee Fiona Boylan in 2010. Pretty tasty. De La Mer Fresh Fish Market It’s hard to believe our local fish market’s been open seven years. But when you have a good idea like the one owners Blake and Dave had back in 2010, combined with a love of food, it’s easy to see why they’ve now got additional stores on the Danforth and in Roncesvalles. Seven years on, it’s hard to imagine Bayview without a fishmonger on the street. Starbucks My home away from home, come rain or shine, I’m there twice a day, sometimes more. Adam, Melissa, Martin, Karen and the rest of the staff are always smiling and having fun behind the counter. It’s great to see from a corporate chain. Big doesn’t necessarily have to be bad. Refuel Juicery If you haven’t been to the coldpressed juice store wedged between Hero Burger and Pagnello Antiques, you should go, if only to say hi to Nadeem and Mohamed, the uncleand-nephew team behind the operation. Two of the nicest people you will ever meet, they’re moving south in December to the spot formerly occupied by Tinto. With a bigger space and a patio for customers in the summer, Refuel’s success should continue to percolate.

Cumbrae’s While I could do without the carcasses of beef hanging in the front window – my wife’s a vegetarian and I’m a pescatarian – there’s no denying the butcher’s created a beautiful store, arguably the finest renovation on Bayview I’ve seen since moving to Leaside in 2009. The size of the lines on the weekend suggests they won’t be disappointed in the return on investment. BIA The Bayview-Leaside BIA has come a long way in just two years. It’s got a very professional website, is running events like the recent second annual Apple Festival. And of course, who can forget the job the Bayview Pixies are doing to keep the street beautiful? Two requests: First, keep your directory up to date. A number of businesses listed no longer exist, like the longgone Elegant Garage. Second, how about setting up a Bayview-Leaside BIA e-commerce site where people can buy products online from all the different stores in one shipment? Obviously, large items like BBQs have to be shipped separately, but if


Leaside Life • December 2017


it can fit in a box, it can be part of an integrated e-commerce product. Bayview traffic (yes, traffic) This Christmas, as I walk out my door each day and see all the traffic backed up on Bayview, I’ll remind myself it’s the price a city pays to get with the times. Leaside, like so many communities along the Crosstown LRT, is experiencing short-term pain for long-term gain. Once the crosstown is built, we’ll have a quick and easy route to the Yonge and Spadina subway lines. Happy holidays to everyone who makes Leaside such an interesting place to live! ■

Leaside Life • December 2017



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Leaside Life • December 2017





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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, Friday December 8th, 7-8:30 pm. Cost is $5 with proceeds to the Flemingdon Park Food Bank. We are looking for performers. Contact

LEASIDE PRESBYTERIAN 670 Eglinton Ave East, 416-422-0510 Kid’s Club Friday, December 1 from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Cost: $30 per child or $50 for families. Activities include: baking, crafts and music. Snacks, drinks and a hot lunch are provided! To register your children or to learn more, contact Rev. Angela at 416-422-0510 Ext 25. Special Assistance is available for families in need! Strict confidentiality is being kept. Christmas Services Sun. Dec. 10, 10:30am Church School Christmas Pageant & Happy Birthday Jesus Party Sun. Dec. 17, 10:30am Service of Lessons and Carols Christmas Eve: 10:30am So This Is Christmas! 7:30pm Christmas Eve Communion and Candlelight Service Sun. Dec. 31, 10:30am New Year’s Eve Worship

ST. CUTHBERT’S CHURCH 1399 Bayview Avenue, 416 485 0329 Community Potluck Dinner Sat., January 20, 6pm. Bring your family and friends and if you can, some food to share. All Welcome! Reach out, Connect and Share! Advent and Christmas Services Advent Adventure: Sat. Dec. 2 from 5-7pm Family dinner, crafts, stories, worship and making an advent wreath! Book with Maureen, Pastor to Children, Youth and Families or ext 3. $20 per family for dinner and wreath.

Christmas Memorial Service Sat. Dec 16 at 4pm: A time of reflection and remembrance when Christmas is a difficult time.

meet with other like-minded individuals? Join us. Saturdays: 10-11:45am. Dec. 9, 23 Drop in. Everyone welcome.

Carols with Friends Mon. Dec. 18 at 7 pm A neighbourhood tradition! An evening of carol singing followed by mulled cider and cookies. Donations of non-perishable food for the Flemingdon Park Community Food Bank are gratefully received. All welcome!

Leaside Needleworx Group (Knitting and Crocheting at the Library) Bring your own projects or start something new. Recurring Fridays: 10-11:45am. Dec. 1, 08, 15, 22, 29 Everyone welcome.

Christmas Eve Services 4pm: Communion service with choir geared to families with children – and a Christmas pageant where all children can join in! 8 pm and at 10:30pm: Candlelight communion with choir Christmas Day 9 am: Christmas communion service with carols

Law at the Library Series: Seniors’ Issues Talks: Decisional Capacity. Decisional capacity as it relates to powers of attorney, guardianship, late-life “predatory” marriages and potential financial abuse can be very confusing and an issue of great concern. Kimberly A. Whaley, CS, TEP, LLM; Amanda Bettencourt, JD and Alex Sawbuck, JD, legal experts in these areas will present and address your concerns. Wednesday, Dec. 6, 7-8:15pm. Drop in.



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LEGO Express Club Open to All Ages. Come to the Library during opening hours and play on your own time. Ongoing throughout December.

Lessons and Carols Sunday, December 10, 7:30pm Offering in support of the Out of the Cold Program. Featuring Carols and Readings for Christmas: Arranged by Cynda Fleming. Chancel Choir directed by Sharon L. Beckstead. Junior Choir directed by Nancy Stewart. C Flats Jazz Band directed by Cynda Fleming.


Adult Colouring Party Experience the latest trend in relaxation! Colouring sheets, crayons, markers and relaxing music supplied. Tuesdays: 7-8:15pm. Dec. 5, 12, 19. For all teens/adults.

Christmas Movie Matinée Join us for a screening of “Mickey’s Christmas Carol” plus other holiday favourites. Tuesday: 4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Dec. 19 Drop in. Everyone welcome. Ready for Reading Christmas Family Time (Ages 19 mos - 5 years) Christmas stories, songs, and rhymes for children with their parents or caregivers. Wednesday: 10-10:30am. Dec. 20. Drop in. Library Closed: Monday/Tuesday December 25/26. Send us your free listing for January by December 10th –

Face Paintings Exhibit in the Community Room by Parastoo Mahmoudi. Dec 1-Dec 30. Games Night! Enjoy solving/completing jigsaw puzzles or playing games. Tuesdays: 6:30- 8:15pm. Dec. 5, 12, 19 Drop in. Leaside Writer’s Group Are you looking for a creative place to

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Leaside Life • December 2017


Leaside Life • December 2017


Revisiting Leaside’s tree protection Just over one year ago (November 2016) this column addressed street trees, and whether existing protections are adequate, based on experience of a demolition and redevelopment on Airdrie Rd. But interior (private) trees on the same or adjacent lots may need protection as well. Has the City increased tree protection efforts? A recent case is 35 Donegall Dr., where the owner of the property behind the dwelling being demolished (on MacNaughton) has a large black walnut tree that falls under tree protection bylaws. After demolition of the house and garage at 35 Donegall the contractor piled materials in the tree protection zone, and the tree protection fence was knocked down. A few phone calls later and an inspector arrived to have the protection zone reinstated. End of story? The November 2016 article mentioned a motion by Councillor Jaye Robinson at Parks and Environment Committee calling for increased enforcement of tree protection bylaws. I checked into this and it turns out that this motion, after following a meandering course involv-



Geoff Kettel

Saving old Leaside ing staff reports and more council committees, ended up with City Council approving six temporary positions in 2017, hopefully becoming seven permanent positions in 2018, subject to the 2018 budget process. The staff report from Urban Forestry states that: “Between 2011 and 2016, the number of complaints reported under the tree bylaws increased

Tree Protection? by 71% city-wide. In 2016, complaints intensified such that Urban Forestry did not have the resources to respond to the increasing demand for investigations or the increasing amount of applications (62% permit application increase between 2011 and 2016). As a result, only 52% of alleged contraventions were being investigated with an average staff response time of 43 days. The report ends by saying: “It is hoped that enhanced enforcement of the tree bylaws would in time foster increased voluntary compliance.” Let’s make sure the positions are made permanent. The 2018 budget process is just beginning. Ask Councillor Burnside to support the increased enforcement staff for tree protection. By the way, this should not affect your property taxes. The staff report states that (the new positions) “are expected to be funded by contravention inspection fees generated under the bylaws for this purpose.”

34 Cameron Crescent: renovation or demolition? This was all about preventing the loss of a key part of the Cameron Cres. streetscape, and unfortunately it’s a fail. Recall that the LPOA appealed to the Toronto Local Appeal Body (TLAB) after the Committee of Adjustment approved the owner’s “minor variance” application, with

minor modifications, which involved demolition and new building. Hearing that the owner Nima Zarbakhsh was open to considering a renovation/addition option that would retain, as a minimum, the building façade, we reached out to him and met on October 27th, together with Councillor Burnside and Connor Turnbull of Leaside Matters. Nima confirmed he was willing to consider this option, but not with a legal agreement to bind the process. We presented interested neighbours with both options and sought their advice. Their responses generally sorted into two camps: strong support for demolition/replacement from the two abutting neighbours, and strong or nuanced support for renovation/addition from others on both sides of the street. The existing house sits virtually on the neighbours’ property lines, so a demolition replacement option would require pulling the house back from the line. As the immediate neighbour said, “We will not get the additional space and light on the south side of our home that the setbacks for a new house would have given us.” On October 31, the LPOA notified the owner that we were withdrawing our request that he consider a renovation/addition option, and would proceed to withdraw the TLAB appeal of the Committee of Adjustment decision. The learning from this experience is that Leasiders are often reluctant to preserve the unique Leaside architectural character if their neighbours disagree, even if the proposed new home with its high ceilings will loom over its neighbours. What we’ve learned is that the Committee of Adjustment (and appeal to the TLAB) is an ineffective process for maintaining neighbourhood character. So where do we go from here? We need help and support from the City to require the Committee of Adjustment to uphold the existing bylaws. And we need the City to stop delaying designation of parts of the community for heritage protection, accelerate the completion of its neighbourhood design guidelines template, and take steps to make such guidelines legally enforceable. ■

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Leaside Life Issue 67 December 2017  
Leaside Life Issue 67 December 2017