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J A N UA R Y 2018

Leaside Life

No. 68

Moose on the Loose in Bennington





Over 50 Christmas Moose were witnessed on a recent walk through Bennington Heights. Following Moore Park with their inflatable Santas, it seems this ’hood has its own trend. National Champions: For the second consecutive year, the Under 18 girls of Central Toronto Athletic Club, coached by Leaside resident Dave Christiani, won team gold at the National Cross-Country Championships held in Kingston.






Leaside Life • January 2018



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Happy holidays from the Leaside Memorial Community Gardens board! As we call a wrap on the 2017 calendar year, we naturally reflect on the year passed and begin to look forward to the year to come. 2017 was a milestone year for the Memorial Gardens, as it marked its 65th anniversary. The board celebrated this birthday with a collaborative fundraiser and party with the Leaside-based philanthropic initiative, Sarah and Claire’s Food Drive. Attended by Premier Kathleen Wynne, Mayor John Tory, and other local government representatives, the event raised close to 8,000 pounds of food for Toronto’s Daily Bread Food Bank, as well as encouraged the Gardens’ and curling club’s members, most notably the younger generation, to give back. The year also saw the official naming of the Gardens’ new and second ice pad, the Dr. Tom Pashby Play Safely Rink. With a generous donation from the Pashby Foundation, Leaside

Memorial Community Gardens now has the stage set to strive to be a Canadian leader in the promotion of safe play and best practices for the prevention of sports-related injuries. A safety committee also bearing the name of the Canadian Sports Hall of Famer was established as well; LMCG board members Raymond White and Ann Brown currently sit on this committee. As we look to 2018, we envision a matured and nurtured continuation of what the Gardens has always been about – community connectivity through sports and recreation. The Leaside Memorial Community Gardens board will do its best to pursue that vision, and looks to the Leaside business community for their continued support in maintaining and growing our lovely facility. Please check out to find out how your business can be a part of the Gardens’ success story. Here’s to a happy, healthy, and successful 2018. Cheers! ■

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The 14th Annual Leaside Guys Night Out & Toy Drive held at The Leaside Pub on December 7th, was an overwhelming success, with over 120 people in attendance. This amazing community event generated over $20,000 in funds, achieving our goal to provide 4,000 gifts to all the children in four primary schools in Flemingdon and Thorncliffe Park neighborhoods. Many of these children are living in poverty and the participating school principals have indicated how appreciative the children are to receive these very special gifts at Christmas time. On behalf of the organizers, Daryn Everett, Jeff Hohner, Michael Zivot and Edward Wong, we would like to extend a HUGE Thank You to all those who participated and generously contributed cash and prizes.


Leaside Life • January 2018

Leaside Life


Peter Russell, author, political scientist, Leaside native

Allan Williams Columnist

society together allowing us to work out our differences peacefully rather than through violent conflict. Professor Russell was born in 1932, the middle child between older brother Campbell (an Anglican clergyman who died in August, 2017) and younger sister Joan (Knowles). When he was two years old his


Among the many books published last year in time for the 150th anniversary of Confederation was Canada’s Odyssey: A Country Based on Incomplete Conquests, by Peter H. Russell. Now professor emeritus of political science at the University of Toronto, Russell is not only the dean of Canada’s constitutional scholars and a leading authority on the civil and political rights of Indigenous Peoples around the world, but also someone who grew up in Leaside. “An understanding of today’s politics requires an appreciation of formative events of the past,” Russell writes. His book is intended not as a history of Canada but as an argument about the changing relationships among what he calls “Canada’s three foundational pillars – Aboriginal Canada, English-speaking Canada, and French Canada,” and how those relationships inform today’s political landscape. From this perspective the key formative event in Canadian history was not Confederation in 1867 but




Leaside Life • January 2018








Professor Emeritus, Peter Russell, in his home library. rather, for Indigenous peoples, the Royal Proclamation of 1763 and, for French Canadians, the Quebec Act of 1774. The former committed the British Crown to respect Indian Nations’ ownership of their lands and restrict European settlement to lands acquired by treaty; the latter committed to preserving the French language, Catholic Church and distinct Civil Law rather than imposing the English language, church and Common Law. These are the “incomplete conquests” of the book’s subtitle. Canada’s Odyssey follows the evolution of each of Canada’s “three pillars” to the present. The Englishspeaking Loyalists brought with them a civic culture that included parliamentary government, the monarchy and constitutionalism. Russell describes how this culture has been modified over the succeeding two centuries and augmented by ideas of federalism, human rights and fiscal equalization, and how this shared culture still holds our diverse

family moved from Millwood just west of Bayview into Leaside, living successively on Donegall, Parkhurst and Cameron. School, church, the skating rink Reminiscent of Roch Carrier, it seems the young Peter Russell lived in three places – the school, the church, and the skating rink – but his real life was on the skating rink. The rink was the outdoor rink at McRae and Millwood. “In the ’30s there were still vast fields between Cameron Crescent and the Canada Wire houses on Sutherland and Airdrie,” he recalls. “Life for me was getting to the hockey rink as quickly as I could. My friends could get there more quickly – their fathers worked at Canada Wire.” Winters were longer then. “We had good outdoor ice from November on,” says Russell. “There was pleasure skating for the girls and hockey for the boys. The hockey was all ages at once with the ‘anklers’ and RUSSELL, Page 16

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Leaside Life • January 2018




Leaside Life • January 2018

Sue Dutton takes her love of education to the children of India By LORNA KRAWCHUK

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What draws Sue Dutton to the south of India twice a year? The simple answer is an orphanage in what was a small rural village, Podanur, outside of Coimbatore in the province of Tamil Nadu, where she is the director of education. In the 1970s, Sandra Simpson of Montreal saw the plight of children in Vietnam during the Vietnam War and felt that she had to do something. She and several others founded an orphanage in Saigon. At the end of the war, Canada offered to airlift some of these orphans, and Sue’s father, Dr. Michael Allen, a paediatric surgeon at Toronto East General Hospital, volunteered to go to Saigon, assess the children and return to Canada with them. Several years later, when Sandra Simpson decided an orphanage was needed in southern India, she called on her friend, Dr. Allen, to help. She also decided that an orphanage was vital in Dhaka, Bangladesh as well. And so it was, that in 1984, Sue travelled to the orphanage – a trip she says “changed her life.” Sue is a teacher who lives in north Leaside with her husband, Brian, a lifelong north Leasider. The youngest of their three children is just finishing university. For many years, the orphanages were part of the extended Allen family interest, but the time wasn’t right for Sue to become more involved. In 2002, she and her father, who died a year ago, went together to India. The orphanage was evolving from a place for babies waiting for adoption to one where up to 300 small children, not readily adoptable in India because of various birth conditions, were going to remain. Originally, the children could walk down the street to the local school, but this wasn’t always possible for those with disabilities. Four years later, the Allens started with their first classroom, adding a grade a year as the children aged. In 2008, Sue became the director of education for the school – which now has a staff of 12 full-time teachers, five part-time teachers for gym, dance, music, speech therapy and braille, and a number of teaching aides and

nursing staff. Most of the children speak Tamil as their first language, but the school promotes teaching in English. The school is now a proper registered elementary school – a process that took years to negotiate because of the bureaucracy involved. Whenever Sue is there she’s called “Susanmommy.” The children couldn’t believe someone could have such a short name, so they lengthened it. Interested in learning more? This registered charity,, provides information on sponsorship. ■

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A laneway runs through it




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Full disclosure – there’s a laneway named after me. Krawchuk Lane runs parallel to Millwood and Malcolm between Randolph and Millwood. You read the story of its naming in Leaside Life’s August 2017 issue. But mine isn’t the only laneway in Leaside. There are five other laneways crying out for recognition in the form of a name. A City-supported laneway-naming initiative is in place (see and already engaging communities across Toronto. Councillor Jon Burnside is inviting public involvement in Leaside’s laneway-naming process. I’m hoping this article will be the spark to get that started. He did offer one caveat though: since there are already a number of variations of the Lea family name in our community, other surnames would be preferable. Where are these laneways, you might ask? One is in North Leaside, running parallel to Eglinton and Donlea between Laird and Sutherland – the one where the police organized graffiti-covering art. I’m sure many of you know the one parallel to Bayview and Donegall between Millwood and just south of Parkhurst. Two others make a matched set. They both travel north from Lea Ave., one between Randolph and Sutherland and the other between Sutherland and Airdrie. The Randolph laneway stops just beside the fire hall. The Airdrie one comes out at McRae. And the last one? A bit of a wiggle – it comes off Bayview from north of Airdrie, looks like a driveway, and goes past the newish Kelvingrove apartments lining up with the backyards on Heather and ending just south of SAHIL (Stay At Home In Leaside) on McRae. ■

Looking for naming ideas? Here are some tips: 1. Avoid duplication with other names already in use in the City of Toronto. 2. Go for a name that’s meaningful to the neighbouring residents. 3. Engage your neighbours in the discussion. We want to hear your ideas for laneway names. Write to us at

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Leaside Life • January 2018




George Hurst is a community champion While living the life you’ve planned, has someone or something ever thrown a wrench into the works that sent you off in another direction? Leaside is full of people whose lives have been transformed by a new role, relationship, hobby or academic interest. George Hurst is just such a person. He arrived in Leaside with his wife, Alice, 50 years ago. Originally from Northern Ireland, George and Alice met in Canada and married in 1959. They still reside in their first home on McRae Drive, where they raised their three children. George laughingly revealed that they could have bought on Bessborough for another $5,000, but the price was too steep for his budget. Like many early Leasiders, the Hursts stumbled upon Leaside without really knowing anything about the community. It just seemed like a good place to raise a young family, in part because of the schools and park nearby. Plus, a 10-minute drive to work for George and a five-minute stroll to the church,


Leaside Life • January 2018


George Hurst with some of his awards for service.

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where Alice worked for 29 years, cinched the deal. Once he settled in Leaside, George dove wholeheartedly into community service. The list of organizations, positions and years he has served is mindboggling. Many organizations like the Rotary Club, Leaside United Church, badminton and tennis clubs have benefited from his generosity, diverse talents and indefatigable energy. Asked how he found himself so immersed in community service, George confesses with customary humour and modesty that his penchant for chatting regularly resulted in his getting involved, staying involved and usually taking on a leadership role. On a more serious note, he adds that building community and connecting with neighbours, who become lifelong friends and complete important projects together, is its own reward. He appreciates the awards he’s received (like the Agnes Macphail Award, named after Canada’s first female elected to the House of Commons and a former Leasider), but it’s the smiles and the feeling of making a difference that really mean something to him. “It doesn’t hurt that I receive more praise and thanks in a single day of volunteering than I did during my whole accounting career,” he laughs. George is concerned that lives are so busy today, schedules so tight, and with so many digital distractions that it’s difficult for potential volunteers to find time to contribute. Yet he draws encouragement from the increasing number of youth volunteering in Leaside even if their main motivation is the 40-hour community service requirement for high school graduation. He’s hoping more people will step up and make a contribution. “You’ll receive more than you give and be welcomed whether you’re a first timer or a seasoned volunteer,” he advises. “Be generous and welcoming to a fault. You’ll make someone’s day and boost your own enjoyment. They may even pay you a compliment. Fiercely protect your boundaries so you can give your best wherever that matters to you – at home, in the community, at work or with friends. Stop and chat. You’ll strengthen the community, maybe find a new friend or even learn something valuable. ■


By JEANNE HOPKINS Divadale was at one time one of the most luxurious estates in the Bayview area. It was the home of Capt. James Wainwright Flanigan, who worked for Andian Corporation, a subsidiary of the Imperial Oil Company. Capt. Flanigan had visited many countries – France, Italy, England and North and South America – where he bought antique paintings and furniture, guns, and coins that helped to decorate the estate. The street now known as Divadale originally rested on land on the Don River which Flanigan bought from the Kilgour estate. Joseph Kilgour’s widow, Alice, had retained York Lodge (part of the estate) until 1930 when she sold it to David Dunkelman, president of Tip Top Tailors. In 1936, the property with the house, gatehouse and entrance gate was transferred to Flanigan, who renamed the house “Divadale” in 1943 after his daughter, Diva. Divadale stood at the

Ontario Museum and sold others by auction. Divadale estate enjoyed many uses over the years until 1960 when it was demolished. From 1943 until 1953, it was a military hospital, then in 1946 became a military convalescent home for the Royal Canadian Air Force and elderly veterans. After the house was demolished, the gates and

two-storey English baronial music room. More than 500 orchids grew in a nearby conservatory, and South African birds, peacocks and peasants roamed the grounds. Divadale estate hosted a number of garden parties, many of them fundraising events, until October 1942 when Capt. Flanigan left Canada for Washington, D.C. He donated his antiques and paintings to the Royal

gatehouse were retained. Lyndhurst Hospital was constructed on part of the property in 1978. In addition, Northlea School is located on the site of the old Divadale Estate on Rumsey north of Eglinton. It was opened in 1944 and at the time had 15 classrooms. Jeanne Hopkins is the author of many articles and five books of local history. ■



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Leaside Life • January 2018


end of Sutherland Drive; the gates still stand. Flanigan’s estate, Divadale, was later enlarged to 62 rooms that included an indoor swimming pool, bowling alley and shooting gallery, all fairly new concepts for the time. The lavish country home, designed by renowned Toronto architect Gordon Adamson, included a



Leaside Life • January 2018


January 1975 and my first part-time job The turn of the calendar always prompts thoughts and memories of new beginnings, resolutions kept and abandoned—I’m particularly familiar with the abandoned category—and just how breathtakingly cold it can be in January. At this time of year, I spare a few moments to reminisce about my very first part-time job at a Leaside institution, Gyro Motors. It was January 1975 when I stood in front of the founder, the now sadly departed Joe Kovac, for my interview. He eyed this skinny kid up and down and in his heavily accented English asked me a series of questions I cannot recall. I must have given the impression that I was a reasonably stable, polite, and responsible young man (well, two out of three ain’t bad) because he hired me on the spot. What I do remember was Joe’s kindness. He put his hand on my shoulder as he walked me around the 1975 version of Gyro Motors showing me what I’d be doing. Back then, Gyro was an Alfa Romeo dealership and had just become a Mazda dealer as well. I worked five days a week from 4 to 7 p.m. Every day after school I’d zip home, don

Terry Fallis Columnist

my oil-stained working clothes and steel-toed boots, and ride my bike through sleet, slush, snow, and rain down to Gyro to punch my time card. My job had two major components. First, I worked in the Esso gas station that was then part of the business. I pumped gas, squeegeed windshields, and provided all-round courteous and prompt service in my fancy Esso jacket. I also balanced the cash each night and measured how much gas we had left in the underground tanks using a giant dipstick. The second, less appealing and more time-consuming part of my job was straight-up cleaning. I mopped the showroom floor every day, cleaned the bathrooms every day, and then the big enchilada, I swept the entire service garage every day. It was a big garage. Still is. To a young guy

holding a push broom, it seemed the size of a football field. Whenever a little oil would spill onto the floor— and that happened every 30 seconds or so—the mechanics would spread sawdust on it to absorb the oil. Judging by how much sawdust was on the floor every evening, I urged my parents to invest in forestry stocks. My first day, I started at one end of the garage, under the stern scrutiny of the service manager, the other famous Joe at Gyro, Joe Kmet, and began to sweep. I was quite familiar with brooms and had certainly swept before. After all I was 15 years old and thought I knew my way around. I was sure I knew how to sweep. Turns out I didn’t actually know how to sweep, but Joe Kmet schooled me in his own special way that afternoon. Man, did he school me. I made sure I never forgot the technique because I really didn’t relish the prospect of a second remedial garage sweeping class. I’ve met very few people in my life who worked harder than Joe Kmet. He taught me a lot in those years about putting your shoulder to the wheel and getting the work done. I’m glad to know that, while now retired, he still ventures into Gyro now and then, perhaps to inspect the garage floor. Not to dwell on the sweeping odyssey of my job, but it would take me a good 45 minutes to sweep the entire garage. And when I’d finally reach the far end and shovel my oilsoaked sawdust into the garbage bin, I was filled with a sense of accomplishment and utter relief. And then I’d turn and survey the garage floor to find that another layer of sawdust had just been applied to another set of oil spills. Those mechanics worked hard, too. So back I’d go to start all over again while dreaming of a modified Zamboni. At 7 each night, I’d punch out, say goodnight to everyone and then ride my bike through the snow back home, dirty and oily and exhausted. My mother made me come in through the back door and head straight down into the basement, the only part of the house where work boots and oily clothes were permitted, though under protest. I worked at Gyro for a couple of years and have great memories of the people and the experience. It was brought to mind again recently when I took our family Mazda into Gyro for service. That gigantic garage looks a little smaller now that I’m no longer sweeping it. ■

Dear City of Toronto...

One day as I was passing by the trash bin on the Rumsey side of the park, I saw a butt, picked it up and deposited it into the receptacle. As I was walking away I noticed smoke beginning to curl up from inside the bin. Oops. It seems the butt was still lit! I quickly found a pail in the sand pile, filled it with water from the drinking fountain and doused the fire. Interestingly, and to his credit, a Toronto Hydro worker came over, claimed ownership of the butt and apologized for not putting it out and dropping it on the ground. Just as you want Toronto citizens to responsibly dispose of their butts, I ask that you do the same. Second, would you ask the Parks, Forestry & Recreation (PF&R) outdoor maintenance staff to pick up litter before they mow the lawns please? There is nothing more aggravating and dangerous than picking up shredded paper and pop cans after a fresh mow. Third, is it possible to post the pickup schedule for the park and street garbage and recycle bins? They are often overflowing so it would be helpful to know if I need to call 311 to have them emergency-emptied or if the scheduled date will be enforced. Fourth, would you advise us when our streets will be swept?


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Leaside Life • January 2018

I need your assistance to help keep Trace Manes Park a jewel in our community. I’ve been cleaning it up for years. And lately I’ve given this matter a lot of thought. I know my requests may be complicated to implement, but they just make sense. I’m asking now because I won’t be here forever, I don’t know if anyone will pick up my legacy and I want the park and the Leaside community to be in good hands for future generations. Here are my beefs: First, I’m not sure if you know this, but a number of outdoor city workers and contractors smoke on the job and toss their cigarette butts onto our sidewalks and roadways.

whole. Here are some of the activities I handle regularly where I could use help: picking up posters that fall off the two message boards; monitoring the sports fields permit holders and cleaning up after them or notifying them if the fields are not left clean; monitoring and cleaning Cheryl Vanderburg up after community centre groups Leaside Litterati who smoke on the front lawn and drop their butts; keeping the community centre entrance, walkways Many people do not have driveway and flower beds litter free; monitorparking or have multiple cars, so ing overflowing litter bins; arranglarge parts of many streets cannot ing to have assorted large random be swept and the debris builds up. items such as shopping carts and If we knew when the street sweeping construction equipment picked up; was scheduled we could jockey cars and cleaning up the playground. around and make it easier for you to I realize this may be an indoor/ do your job. One year a neighbour outdoor workers union issue. took it into his own hands and shovHowever I’ve been told by maneled everything from his curbside agement that, if asked, they could onto the tree roots in the park. He direct outdoor work to indoor staff. called it “compost.” I suggested that I hope you will consider my request if it was such good compost, why because when the park looks bad it didn’t he put it in his own garden or reflects poorly on the city and comput it out as yard waste. That conmunity centre staff. This attention versation did not go well. would take less than an hour a day And lastly, I am asking that the would make Leasiders feel like T HManes A N K and YCity OU facilities manager for Trace the cares about making a posiCommunity Centre take respontive impact F O R B E I N G in our community. sibility for Trace Manes Park as a Yours respectfully, Cheryl. ■

The virtuous circle: Syrian refugee student tutoring program

Leaside Life • January 2018

By KEN MALLETT Leaside shares a strong sense of community. And a community is a virtuous circle: when you help strengthen the community, a stronger community is there to help you. That lesson-in-life is being learned by Nada Albaradan, a Syrian refugee now in Grade 10 at Marc Garneau Collegiate Institute in Thorncliffe Park. Nada was having trouble at school, because like many refugees she has difficulty with English. “I am having great problems because I don’t have good basic grammar skills required for high school,” she said. Many of her classmates are in the same boat. So she recruited 15 of her fellow students who are having the same difficulties and need assistance with their homework, and started looking for help in the community. She found it through Sadia Zafar, coordinator of the English learning program at TNO-The Neighbourhood Organization.

“When Ms. Zafar realized there are at least 15 of us, a new program was added just for students,” Nada said. The primary English Learning Program at TNO is designed to help adult refugees — including Nada’s father — master the intricacies of everyday English. Nada’s efforts encouraged Ms. Zafar and her colleagues to recognize that their children also need help. So they expanded the program to tutor school kids from elementary to high school living in the Thorncliffe and Flemingdon Park area. Says Ms. Zafar, the Neighborhood Organization coordinator,“The tutoring program focuses strongly

on helping children with their homework in different subjects, such as English, math and French. “It also provides enrichment activities for the children within this neighbourhood with the goal of building skills to support them in their future.” But to do it she needs help from the community: volunteers who can tutor the children. “We need volunteer teachers with diverse experience, knowledge and skills in teaching children from ages 6 up to 18 years,” she says. “The tutoring could be one on one or in a group setting.” And this is how the virtuous circle works: help the children, help the community, help ourselves. The new tutoring program begins January 15 and will operate Mon. to Wed. from 5 to 7 p.m. at 1 Leaside Park Drive, Unit #7 during the school year. If you can help, contact Sadia Zafar, coordinator, language training and employment services, 416-467-0126 ext. 224 or email: ■

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Laird in Focus: it’s still about density

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Geoff Kettel

Saving old Leaside It’s Laird in Focus time again! This is the major development project affecting Leaside’s path, likely over the next 30 years, so we need to get it right. Laird in Focus Public Consultation No. 3 (Draft Emerging Preferred Alternatives), held on Dec. 5, focused on the “10 big moves”. Visit to learn more. But have the planning consultants addressed the concerns we raised about Phase 2 Alternative Development Options, which we wrote about in Leaside Life (Nov. 2017)? #1. “The options presented for Study Area A (the block enclosed by Laird to Aerodrome, and Eglinton to Vanderhoof) are three similar mid-rise/tall building scenarios with key elements largely the same as what was presented conceptually in the Eglinton Connects background material over two years ago...uniformly high densities proposed (FSIs of 3.67, 3.69 and 3.7), and the large amounts and high proportion of residential uses compared with employment (industrial) uses. Phase 3 is big on expansive statements (the “10 big moves”) but short on details. There are no updates of the residential and commercial density charts presented in Phase 2, so we must assume they have not changed. Instead of the “what” we get the “how” i.e. “growth (will be) focused in one area to reduce development pressures in adjacent neighbourhoods” and “sensitive transition (of density) to adjacent neighbourhoods.” #2. “While 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…” However “this does not mean that the tall building portion of the proLAIRD IN FOCUS, Page 18

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Leaside Life • January 2018




Leaside Life • January 2018



Leaside Life and the Bayview Leaside BIA would like to thank all the Bayview merchants who participated in the 1st Annual Holiday Window Decorating Contest. There were over 30 participating merchants. A panel of local judges viewed the holiday displays and we are pleased to announce the following winners: BEST OVERALL WINDOW



Winner: macFABhome, 1685 Bayview Ave. Runner(s) up: Horticultural Design & Epi Breads BEST USE OF MERCHANDISE Winner: Pagnello’s Antiques, 1635 Bayview Ave. Runner up: Butter Studio BEST USE OF A HOLIDAY THEME

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The Leaside Gardener:


Debora Kuchme Leaside Life • January 2018



The Magic of the Bayview Pixies

The Pixies on Bayview Like a tiny seed that blows in the wind and lands on fertile soil, the magic of unseen forces stirs and something new begins. In 2015 a retired teacher and local resident wrote a letter about Bayview Ave. Not only did she identify the problem of weeds, trash and dying trees, she offered a solution. She was willing to spend her time along with a few of her neighbours to help clean it up and make it beautiful. That letter was redirected to me, a board member of the newly formed Bayview Leaside BIA. I was inspired! I contacted Carol, who wrote the letter, and Helen, another local resident and popular advocate for our street trees. Together we brainstormed the possibilities. Other BIAs had volunteer garden groups. Could we have Pixies? On February 16, 2016, the Bayview Leaside BIA voted yes to the Bayview Pixies as our volunteer gardening group. From that day on, the Pixies were official and would be provided with protective aprons, supplies‌ and coffee breaks. It was the coffee breaks that turned this gardening group into a sisterhood. We became close friends as we shared our life stories, creating a deep regard for each other. We learned our strengths and weaknesses and worked them to our advantage. We saw that together we were so much stronger and together we could get things done. This was the kind of energy we needed with Mother Nature being in charge. GARDENER, Page 24

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Leaside Life • January 2018


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the big kids playing two different games on the same rink at the same time! It was chaos and a nightmare getting hit by a puck. “To make the Leaside Lions, that was the dream. I made the Leaside Lions when I was 10. Peter Conacher played for them too, as did Eric Nestorenko (even though he didn’t live in Leaside) and Jack Caffery, who was drafted by the Boston Bruins. Jack was the star of the team – even better than Nesterenko and Conacher – that was my view and a generally shared view: a Gretzkytype player and a nice guy to boot.” The church was St. Cuthbert’s Anglican. “My older brother was in the choir and he got a nickel a week. That looked big to me at age six or seven and I wanted to join him, so one week he took me along. Thais Lamb, the daughter of Canon Lamb, said to me, ‘We’ll put you in the front row, you open your mouth but don’t make any noise.’ A terrible thing to say to a child! But she was engaged to a fighter pilot – they were my heroes and I didn’t mind.” The school was Bessborough until grade seven and then Northlea. “And I was dying to go to Leaside High with my hockey-playing friends, but my brother had gone to UTS and my parents wanted me to do the same. They had me write the entrance exam. I left halfway through and didn’t really try – my mother was not happy! – but then I got a letter saying, ‘Welcome to UTS.’ I was riding on Campbell’s coat tails. Of course my parents were right – kids need to learn that – the heroes at UTS were the kids with the highest marks and it was the ideal setting for me.” Russell went on to study at the University of Toronto and at Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar. His hiring to a permanent faculty position in U of T’s Department of Political Economy in 1958 was remarkably casual: “Governments are throwing money at us, Russell,” the Dean of Arts and Sciences told him, “even for a philosopher! C.B. Macpherson – he’s a Marxist. You’re not a Marxist, are you Russell?” “No, I don’t think so,” replied Russell, and that was that. He hadn’t even completed his MA yet. And when, a few years later, U of T introduced tenure and required professors to have a PhD, he was grandfathered in and exempted from the requirement. RUSSELL, Page 28

THE LEASIDE SCHOOL BEAT By GERRI GERSHON With its winding leafy streets, easy access to the Don Valley Parkway, great library, parks and sport facilities as well as first rate local schools, it’s no wonder people love to live in Leaside… and others aspire to move there. Along Eglinton but particularly between Laird and Brentcliffe new condos will bring hundreds of new people to Leaside. Will we have room in our schools? Right now this is the Ministry-rated capacity of our buildings, the actual students in our local schools and the portables on site. The capacity does not include space in the portables: Capacity of student places

Present # of students






















As you can see, there is little room for growth in our schools. The new condos won’t be built for many years. Will there be more space in the future? The TDSB employs planners/demographers to estimate future enrolments. Without any significant new developments – this is what they forecast: Projected enrolment in 2026

does) offer comments to the local municipalities for their consideration in reviewing development applications and land use changes, but in the end they are expected to provide schooling for those kids: in local schools; by building new schools; adding additions to schools; changing school boundaries; or busing students to schools with space. We have already informed the city there is no room for children in the neighbourhood schools and they may have to be bused to other areas. The TDSB intends to conduct a comprehensive study next year to review the group of schools serving Leaside. The intent of the study is a long-term accommodation plan for the area that would consider recently completed development projects (Aspen Ridge Condos) as well as those in the pipeline. (To see what’s planned for Leaside, visit

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% of utilization rate in 2026
















Where will children in the new developments attend school? Under the Planning Act school boards have no special status to meaningful participation in the land use planning process – the Planning Act does not provide school boards with an opportunity to reserve new school sites nor provide them with any unique protections in relation to proposed neighbourhood developments. The school board can (and

DevelopmentApplications). I’ve had some calls from constituents urging the TDSB to stop such large developments on Eglinton. The board doesn’t have the authority to do that. It may intervene legally only when the new development is incompatible or imposing on neighbouring schools. By the time students from the new developments enter the school system, guaranteeing admission to Leaside schools will be problematic. Bottom line: under present laws city-approved developments, school board space and finances to solve problems are not always mutually amenable. The TDSB cannot levy development charges for additions to existing schools. In the February column I will discuss the school board’s proposed changes to provincial legislation that would have developers pay for land, repairs and additions through Education Development Charges (EDCs). Gerri Gershon is the Trustee, Don Valley West, for the Toronto District School Board. ■

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Leaside Life • January 2018

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Leaside Life • January 2018


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posed model is appropriate for all the parcels fronting on Eglinton within the study area. Obviously as one gets farther away from the Laird station, one would expect densities to drop off significantly.” There is clearly an effort to address this, but within the confines of the assigned growth targets for the Laird Eglinton Transit hub, and the precedent set by the Diamondcorp development approval at 939 Eglinton East. The Laird in Focus presentation chart shows an arcing of the density from west to east, with markedly reduced density at the east end; in addition the density is highest at the centre of the north-south blocks and less fronting on Eglinton and on Vanderhoof. #3. “Little thought seems to have been given to creating a cohesive new vision for Study Area A such that it can become a major new ‘core’ for the community. What is being put forward is a series of similar blocks with little planning basis, other than open space links and roads, of how they might work together to form a cohesive and vibrant new community.” Urban designer and Leaside resident Carlos Moreno addressed this in part in his suggestion at the public consultation to place the community centre and the adjacent open space at the south east corner of Laird and Eglinton to “create a civic node, a community piazza framed by the new transit pavilions, serving as a grand entrance to the new iconic Leaside Community Centre.” #4. “The community currently experiences traffic congestion, lack of school space, pressures on public infrastructure (hydro, water, sewage and stormwater facilities) and on community services (libraries, parks, recreational facilities, etc.), and needs to see how such matters are to be addressed in any emerging development scenario.” These critical impacts are still not being addressed. We still need to know about density. At the LPOA AGM on Nov. 29 Doug Obright, professional planner and LPOA board member, gave a Leaside development update which provides some numbers for anticipated growth in Leaside: The elephant in the room at all these meetings is: how are these density targets developed, and are they appropriate? The answer to that lies with the provincial Growth Plan and its application in Toronto. ■

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Leaside Life • January 2018

By SUSAN SCANDIFFIO Ever made that age-old New Year’s resolution to lose weight? Out of all the New Year’s Resolutions made, an estimated 30 per cent focus on losing weight. But not all make a date to beat the scale. For some, the desire to gain weight is often just as, if not more, challenging. Kenzie Forbes, a 17-year-old Leasider, found herself needing to gain weight when, at the age of 15, an injury forced her out of her 15 to 20 hours per week of synchronized swimming. Hoping to maintain her figure, Kenzie reduced her caloric intake while at the same time increasing her exercise. The young athlete dropped to 85 pounds before she realized that her health was dramatically compromised. Knowing there are a number of health issues and genetic reasons that people want, and need, to gain weight, Kenzie set out to discover how to do just that in the healthiest way possible. Choosing to use her co-op option

Susan Scandiffio Columnist

Kenzie and her business partner, Jolene Kohne.

at Leaside High School in Grade 11 to shadow physical trainers, Kenzie discovered correct and safe ways to gain weight. An extremely driven young woman, Kenzie has worked with multiple trainers and nutritionists to develop a strategy she shares with an astounding 300,000 followers on her Instagram account (kenziefitness). Now at a healthy 140 lbs., Kenzie happily asserts that she has “never felt happier and healthier.” Kenzie’s program comprises eating healthy food as fuel and exercising to build muscle strength correctly. Her messages of striving for fitness and wellness versus perfection have inspired countless numbers. It’s not, as she contends, about being skinny, but rather, being healthy. Kenzie, along with Jolene Kohne, a registered kinesiologist and personal trainer, has put together programs for anyone wishing to work out at home (no equipment necessary) or at the gym. The programs provide pictorial and detailed instructions on exercising in a healthy and safe way. To date, the programs have been

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Kenzie at 90 lbs in January of 2016, Kenzie at 140 lbs in the summer of 2017. sold to hundreds and the business is beginning to take off. While Kenzie did not start out with the intention of growing her own business around her personal journey to good health, she has motivated many to start on their own journey and has truly found her calling. Now hoping to hone her skills in marketing, social media, and business to help impart her knowledge, the young woman is applying to various universities for September. ■

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Leaside Life • January 2018

Jurors: Barbara Reid (Award-winning author-illustrator), Michael Martchenko (Canadian illustrator best known for illustrating many of the stories of Robert Munsch), and Kevin Sylvester (Award-winning writer, illustrator, and broadcaster) Age requirement: ages 4-16 Deadline for Submission: January 26th, 2018. We ask for no more than three submissions. Date of exhibition: March 1-31st, 2018 Opening Night: March 1st, 2018, 4-7pm. The CCSA will host a reception for the participants and invite community members, neighbours, friends and families. Awards Gala: March 3rd: We will announce three winners from each of the three age categories: 4-8, 9-12, and 13-16. There will be nine winners who will receive awards of artistic recognition, complimentary DeSerres gift cards and art-related materials. The Top 50 entries will be published into a collective book of which the nine winners will receive a free copy, and will be sold thereafter among distributors. Each exhibited submission will have a page in the book and a short description of the artist. A great way to remember the event, as well as a first step in artistic recognition for young blossoming artists. All artwork must be mailed to, or delivered in person to: Canadian Contemporary School of Art Unit 6 - 109 Vanderhoof Ave, Toronto, ON M4G 2H7 For more info:

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Leaside Life • January 2018

Do you know a Leasider who is involved in social justice issues – who believes in “thinking globally but acting locally” – and is an outstanding contributor to community life in areas such as women’s rights, fairness to seniors and youth, criminal justice system and penal reform, international peace and disarmament, access to adequate housing, access to adequate health care or access to adequate education? This person could become the 2017 Agnes Macphail Award recipient. Nominations are open. The deadline for submission is midnight on Thursday, January 25, 2018. The award will be presented on Agnes Macphail’s birthday – Saturday, March 24, 2018. The awards ceremony and celebration will be held at the East York Civic Centre starting at 7.00 p.m. Agnes Macphail was the first woman Member of Parliament in Canada in 1921, and represented the riding of York East (which at the time included East York and a large surrounding rural area) as Member of Provincial Parliament in the 1940s. This award honours her name and accomplishments, as well as celebrating citizens for their extraordinary volunteer efforts.

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For more detailed information about the event, visit: macphail_award. Nomination forms are also available at the East York Civic Centre and at libraries and community buildings in East York. ■





Leaside High students on college vs. university? Ms. Zhen Park-Vandal wrote a terrific, well-informed article in the December issue of “Leaside Life.” She compared attending college versus university after graduating from high school. It is awesome that she is thinking about her future work direction, and is investigating where and how to gain the skills to fulfill her interest in event planning. Something for Ms. Park-Vandal to consider: say she graduates from Leaside and starts off at George Brown. By 20 or 21 she will have graduated from college and will be off working, for perhaps 40 years! In the 40 years many things can happen, and especially her interests may change. Hence, a suggestion for Zhen, and all soon-to-be high school graduates to consider: Always keep on learning, and always continue to explore your interests. Who knows, you may find a totally different occupation that appeals to you, that you want to explore. Be prepared to go down that new road! Daniel F. Engels Laird in Focus: Need to address Business Park transportation needs in a comprehensive manner We are proposing that the Laird in Focus Study Transportation Study (which currently includes only the western part of the Business Park, from Laird to the railway tracks) be expanded to include the eastern part from the CP Rail tracks to Overlea Blvd. and the Don Valley. This proposal is endorsed by Kendall Fullerton and Dag Enhorning (president and past president, respectively) of the Leaside Business Park Association (LBPA). It is essential to understand the Business Park’s economic issues and plan for the economic future. The fact is that transportation needs in the Business Park are derived FROM business needs and not the other way around. The scope of the transportation study, currently confined to the western section of the park, is fundamentally flawed. • The railway splits the Business

Park; it does not form an edge. The industrial and commercial uses in the Business Park are similar on both sides of the track. Today the “divide” is more between properties fronting on Laird and the rest of the Park than between different sides of the railway. • With the coming of Costco, the north side of Overlea Blvd. is essentially facing pressures for mixed use/ commercial similar to that of Laird Dr. The LBPA Annual Meeting on Nov. 22nd clearly displayed LPBA members’ growing frustration about the business park portion of the study. Concerns were raised about: • What the (seemingly inevitable) intensification planned particularly for Area A (the Eglinton/Vanderhoof and Laird/Aerodrome block) means for the traffic conditions in the Business Park. • The study’s direction to date of encouraging use of Wicksteed and Laird for truck traffic to exit the park, and the lack of attention to the Beth Nealson/Overlea route. • The apparent lack of consideration for the huge investment in infrastructure (such as electric

power installations) represented by the existing industries in the park, such as Tremco, Siltech and Lincoln Electric. • The lack of attention to developing links to the Leslie LRT station, which for the establishments east of the railway tracks is far closer than the Laird station. The Leaside Business Park is the last remaining industrial area (still largely industrial) closest to downtown. Transportation is key to maintaining the Leaside Business Park as a major employment district in Toronto. Geoff Kettel and Carol BurtinFripp, Co-Chairs, LPOA Update: While the letter (originally sent to various officials on December 1) has not been formally addressed, conversations with City staff at the Dec. 5 Laird in Focus public meeting indicate that while the approved project budget does not permit an increase in scope, the project will consider the Beth Nealson/Overlea intersection along with the intersections on the west side (Brentcliffe and Laird with Eglinton, Commercial with Laird, etc. ■

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Leaside Life • January 2018


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From Page 15 So we baked in the heat, froze in the cold, got drenched and blown around. Sure, we look cute in our garden smocks; even I smile when I see the Pixies. But what you’re really looking at is a CBC executive, an urban planner, a designer, veterinarian, restaurateur, a few journalists and many teachers. All retired professional women using their time and talent for good. That’s who the Bayview Pixies are. We’re all about beauty, but we’re not about making the world pretty. We’re about connecting people to the nature around us and showing them why it matters. We opened a door of communication and invited everyone in. That’s the magic of the Bayview Pixies. I’m happy to say it hasn’t gone unnoticed. In September 2016, Leaside Life gave the Pixies a cover story with “The Pixies work their magic on Bayview.” That was our first big moment and we still feel the joy of that day. 2017 has been great year too. It brought us an award of recognition from the Leaside Garden Society, a federal grant from the New Horizons for Seniors Program, and in September, the Bayview Leaside BIA gave us a garden party thank you luncheon. Not only have been in Leaside Life, but we’ve also been in The Post, The Town Crier and the Bayview Bulldog, which has brought attention to every special Pixie moment. For us, it’s the people walking and shopping on Bayview who mean the most. When we hear “great job, the street looks beautiful, thank you Pixies,” we know we’ve made a connection. I might be the leader of the Bayview Pixies, the one organizing the outings and planning our tasks, but no one can take credit for this amazing crew. I think it’s more the magic of unseen forces at work. Don’t you? ■

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Get involved! The LPOA wants you conjunction with the Federation of North Toronto Ratepayers’ Associations (FoNTRA). LPOA’s Leaside-wide traffic study, still in progress, has required professional traffic consultation and the holding of public meetings. LPOA directors all volunteer our time and efforts, but in the past year we’ve also needed formal legal OMB representation costing more than $16,000, and planning work totalling over $27,000, on a variety of issues. Traffic consultation, research, analysis and running public meetings added up to about $36,000. To keep you up to date, inform and represent you, we incur the costs of renting meeting rooms (about $1,200), rental of the LPOA’s post office box ($400-plus), flyer distribution (about $900 per occasion), and annual computer program charges ($300-plus). It does add up… Which is why we urge you all to become LPOA members ($25 a year, more if possible) and to donate as you can, to permit us to stay effective and active on your behalf. It is important!

Carol Burtin Fripp Co-president, LPOA

What is also important is for more of you to apply to join the LPOA board. Our bylaws and constitution are on the LPOA website (, giving full details. Write us a letter telling us a bit about your interests and experience. You must own a property in Leaside, be an LPOA member, and be endorsed by two other LPOA members. We want to hear from you! We also invite you to attend our regular monthly board meetings. They are open to all, on the first Wednesday of each month in the Trace Manes building. Our next meeting is on Wed., January 10th, at 7:30 p.m. The LPOA sends a special thank you to Patrick Rocca and Bonnie Byford Realtors, Olde Yorke Fish & Chips, Gyro Hyundai, and Mike Tuft’s Valu-mart, who generously sponsored the flyer advertising our AGM. THANK YOU for your support! ■

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Leaside Life • January 2018

Annual General Meetings provide an important opportunity for ratepayer groups to provide accountability to their members, and to the larger community. We were glad to see about 200 of you at the 2017 Leaside Property Owners’ Association AGM on November 29th, so we could fill you in on what the LPOA has been doing over the past year, and take your questions. On the one hand, Leaside is in the lucky position of being a stable, desirable neighbourhood, convenient to good transit and shopping opportunities. On the other hand, these very advantages attract all too much attention from developers with high-density plans, increasing our traffic problems. This is not news to you. What may be news is the kind of expense required to hire professional planners and lawyers to represent Leaside at the Ontario Municipal Board and at the new Toronto Local Appeal Board. Professional assistance has been very helpful when participating in City planning studies such as Midtown in Focus and Laird in Focus, independently and in


“Seek the peace of the city. When the city prospers, everyone prospers.”

Leaside Life • January 2018

By WILL ASHWORTH Anyone who attends Glenview Presbyterian Church in Lawrence Park is probably aware of the City of Toronto sign that overlooks Yonge St. with a painting of the church adorned with these beautiful words. Those familiar with the Bible might know this message originates from Jeremiah, Chapter 29, Verse 7. A layman’s interpretation would be to live your life in as positive a manner as possible because then everyone wins. What’s this got to do with Leaside business? A lot more than you might realize. In recent articles, when I haven’t been sparring with the residents of Parkhurst Ave. over the righteousness of a traffic light at Bayview, I’ve been trying to pump up the morale of Leaside businesses, both on Bayview and Laird Dr. You see, I believe that when the businesses of Leaside prosper, we all prosper. That said, when a business isn’t living up to its potential, I’m not going to paper over the truth. In the past, I’ve been highly critical of the sporadic operating hours of some businesses on Bayview, and will continue to point this out as long as it remains an issue. Recently, it’s come to my attention that a petition supported by the

Leaside Property Owners Association (LPOA) has been making the rounds to ensure a traffic light doesn’t see the light of day at Bayview and Parkhurst. We live in a democracy; that’s their right. Leasiders supporting this petition have taken to calling on doors west of Bayview to gain support from residents of Davisville Village and Councillor Josh Matlow. It’s one thing to take its argument to the residents of Leaside but to cross over into territory capably supported by the South Eglinton Ratepayers’ & Residents’ Association (SERRA) is an incredibly ballsy move that threatens the ability of the two neighbourhoods to work together for their mutual common good. Ironically, the LPOA’s opposition to a traffic light could have unintended negative consequences for Bayview businesses, the same people to whom it gave $25,000 when the BayviewLeaside BIA was formed in 2015. The financial downside to protesting a light The Winnipeg Free Press recently reported that the City of Winnipeg is considering installing temporary traffic lights at an intersection where local businesses have been affected by the construction of an underpass that’s hurting customer access. “I think we need to be looking out


To Light... or not to Light?

? ➘

for small businesses when we’re building major capital projects,” Councillor Marty Morantz told the paper on November 22. “I would consider (similar proposals) for any business in the city. It’s a reasonable accommodation.” Now, consider how many empty stores exist on the east side of Bayview between Fleming Cres. and Parkhurst. There are five at the moment with a sixth to come when Fantasy Lingerie closes its doors. And when it does, there will be four doors in a row sitting empty, hardly the message the BIA wants to put out there. You might think this is a coincidence and chalk it up to the retail industry going through some Amazon reckoning where businesses are being killed off like Walking Dead zombies, but that would ignore the reality staring us in the face. Bayview is getting a reputation for being a no-drive zone where the best solution is to avoid it altogether on the commute to and from work. Once drivers take another route downtown that’s not quite so dangerous, the strip goes from top-of-mind to nonexistent and with it any hope of grabbing some of that business. Don’t think that’s possible? The LCBO used to locate its stores on the east side of Toronto streets to





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Leaside Life • January 2018

670 Eglinton Ave East, 416-422-0510 New Years Kid’s Club, Wed., Jan. 3 and Thursday, January 4. Cost: $30 each day or $50 per family or $50 for 2 days per child or $75 per family for 2 days. Please note: Special assistance is available for families with strict confidentiality kept! Activities include: Bible stories, baking, music, and crafts. 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. Our following Kid’s Club is Friday, January 19th. Leaside Luncheon Jan. 17th: Presentation on a 2008 Eastern European trip with women from the Presbyterian Church in Canada’s Women’s Missionary Society. Please join us. 12:15pm lunch, 1:00pm presentation. Bring a bag lunch – beverage and dessert are provided. Note: A free will offering will be received at each luncheon to support PWS&D and Presbyterians Sharing projects from Gifts of Change.

ST. AUGUSTINE’S CHURCH 1847 Bayview Ave.

latest trend in relaxation! Colouring sheets, crayons, markers and relaxing music supplied. Tuesdays 7pm-8:15pm. January 2, 9, 16, 23, 30. For all teens/adults. Scapegoat Artworks by Margaret Cresswell. Ongoing Event January 1-31. Leaside Needleworx Group (Knitting and Crocheting at the Library). Bring your own projects or start something new. Fridays 10-11:45am. January 5, 12, 19, 26. Leaside Writers Group Are you looking for a creative place to meet with other like-minded individuals? Join us. Saturdays 10-11:45a.m. January 6, 20. Drop in. Games Night! Enjoy an evening of Cribbage. Other board games available. Tuesdays 7-8:15 p.m. January 2, 9, 16, 23, 30. Drop in. Everyone welcome. CHILDREN’S PROGRAMMING: Ready for Reading Baby Time (Ages 0-18 months) Bouncing and tickling rhymes, songs and stories for babies with their parents or caregivers. Wednesdays 9:3010am and 2-2:30pm. Drop in. No registration. January 10, 17, 24, 31.

Listen to great live music by local artists and have a coffee and dessert with friends. The Groove Room Coffee House, Friday Jan 10th, 7-8:30 pm. Cost is $5 with proceeds to the Flemingdon Park Food Bank. We are looking for performers. Contact

Ready for Reading Family Time (Ages 19 months-5 years). Stories, songs, and rhymes for children with their parents or caregivers. Wednesdays 10:30-11:00am and 1pm-1:30pm. Drop in. No registration. January 10, 17, 24, 31.


Leaside: Your History Matters Explore Ontario of yesterday and today with Barry Penhale and special guests. For more info, contact Marjorie McLeod at 416-4251392. Tuesdays 2-4:00pm. Jan. 16, 23, 30.

1399 Bayview Avenue, 416-485-0329 Jan. 14th: The 2018 Environmental Film Festival begins with “More Food, Less Water.” Moderator: Stefan Hostetter of Green Majority. Join us for a light lunch, film and discussion. Noon-2pm. 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!


CANADIAN FEDERATION OF UNIVERSITY WOMEN LEASIDEEAST YORK Meeting: Thurs., Jan. 18 at Northlea United Church, 125 Brentcliffe Avenue. Speaker: Karen Shinn, Downsizing Diva, offering help and speaking about “It’s Not Just Stuff, it’s MY Stuff.”

Dreading a Conversation? Get ready! Get confident! Get relaxed! FAST! ✓ Ace Small Talk ✓ Ask For or Offer Something ✓ Navigate Office Politics ✓ Start to Mend a Relationship References upon request. Lead Coach: Suzanne Park, M.Ed.

From Page 16 Russell went on to a brilliant 40-year career teaching and writing and, during the prolonged constitutional wrangling of the 1980s and ’90s, was frequently consulted by governments and called upon by media as Canada’s foremost authority on the issues. Once he was invited by CBC to tape a conversation for broadcast on The National with Stephen Harper, who was in Calgary, moderated by Wendy Mesley, who was in Ottawa. Peter was in Toronto. “Suddenly there was a glitch and the three of us got talking while the technicians sorted it out. Soon enough we discovered that all three of us had gone to Bessborough!” Though he has been formally retired since 1997, Russell continues to write, teach and lecture. He’s currently working on his memoirs and has been giving talks to community groups about his recent book, Canada’s Odyssey. His next book talk is Friday, Jan. 19th at 7 p.m. at Yorkminster Park Baptist Church (Yonge and Heath), and all are welcome. ■

Visitors and new members are welcome. Visit or email Send us your free listing for February by January 10th –

Happy New Year !


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When there’s a nip in the air and the leaves start to fall, the time is right to visit Leaside’s Father Caulfield Parkette, a tiny parcel of land sometimes called Triangle Park because of its unusual shape, located behind St. Anselm’s Church at MacNaughton Rd. and Cameron Cres. Naming parks after prominent figures in the community is a well-established tradition. But beyond the name there’s often a fascinating tale of a bygone era. That is certainly the case with Father Caulfield, a wellknown and seminal figure in the years when Leaside was growing up. Father Francis Caulfield was St. Anselm’s first pastor and a driving force behind the first Catholic community in Leaside. He led the building of not only the parish but a new church and school as well. It was 1938 and the new Catholic community, like communities everywhere, was facing the hardest of hard times: the grinding poverty of the “dirty ’30s,” when a worldwide economic depression crushed lives and shattered hope. No one had any money. Newspapers of the era wrote that in 1938 the average salary in Toronto had been $17 a week for five years; it took $23.66 a week for a family to live. In Europe, nations were sliding into the frightening prelude to chaos, as Hitler launched a series of invasions that would soon lead the world to the most destructive war ever seen. While the world teetered on the brink, in July 1938, Father Caulfield came to Leaside. He was 47 years old. Before arriving in Leaside, Father Caulfield was a country priest “with twinkling eyes and a disarming manner,” as one parishioner described him in a magazine commemorating the 50th anniversary of the parish in 1988. “He had charisma before we knew what that was.” Leaside was predominantly a Protestant town at that time with only about 100 Catholic families. One of the new priest’s first tasks was a quick tour of the neighbourhood. While striding down Bayview Ave. with his dog Tinker, he spotted a bankrupt meat market. The empty

storefront soon became the site of his first church. The Bayview Ave. “church” met the immediate needs of the congregation, but there was more to be done, so he turned his attention to building a two-room school at a site on Millwood Rd., which opened to 79 pupils in September, 1939. The new parish grew rapidly to the point that a new church was needed by 1941. Some 12 years earlier the Diocese had acquired an ideal parcel of land on Millwood Rd. between MacNaughton Rd. and Bessborough Dr. Father Caulfield began raising money for the new church. The building program would cost $50,000. According to the church magazine, Father Caulfield raised $30,000 from a grant from the Episcopal Corporation and personally donated $20,000 of his own money, no small sum. The new church, designed to seat 400 people, was completed by December 1941. Although the war years slowed down development in Leaside, the Catholic community continued to grow rapidly. By 1959 when Father Merrit Griffin took over as second pastor at St. Anselm’s it was clear to everyone that a much bigger church was needed. The church built by Father Caulfield was demolished in 1965 to make way for a dramatically “new style” church. Seating some 1,000 parishioners, it is considered today one of the most beautiful churches in Toronto. Father Caulfield’s generosity was legendary. He was deeply touched by the plight of the poor, and instead of collecting money he frequently found himself giving it away. According to the parish commemorative magazine, he had inherited some $90,000 – a staggering sum for the times. He made a point of giving it away to those “down on their luck or just poor” – and there were many in those days. To honour this special figure, the Borough of East York officially named the triangle of land at MacNaughton and Cameron the Francis M. Caulfield Parkette as an enduring tribute to the generosity and many contributions to the public good of St. Anselm’s first pastor. ■

Father Caulfield parkette.

Ashworth... From Page 26 ensure it got the commuter crowd driving by on their way home. Once the word gets around that Bayview and Parkhurst is accident hell (it probably already has) Bayview businesses can forget about ever becoming a destination shopping district. Loath to change Did you know that the first traffic light in Toronto was installed in 1924 at Yonge and Bloor? More than 2,300 traffic lights have been installed since, including seven on Bayview from Kilgour Rd. all the way south to Moore Ave. The most recent light (Kilgour) was installed in December, 2003 for the opening of the CNIB. The next most recent light installation was July, 1962, over 55 years ago. The first light was activated at Fleming in September, 1958. So, six lights were added to Bayview over the span of four years and then nothing was done to change the traffic landscape of Bayview until 2003, some four decades later. I counted 101 lights that were added by the city after Kilgour was installed in 2003, going alphabetically from the As to Eglinton, at which time I gave up the count. That’s an awful lot of lights without a single change to Bayview. Leasiders have been lulled to sleep by the City’s inaction in the area, and it likely costs Bayview businesses located near Parkhurst and Bayview the most. If a light doesn’t get installed, my life will go on, but Bayview businesses will suffer the consequences of a selfish movement that fails to consider the bigger picture. Happy New Year! ■



Leaside Life • January 2018


A patch of green at Father Caulfield (Triangle) Park

22 Annesley: sometimes the system works!

Leaside Life • January 2018

By GEOFF KETTEL If you’re a regular reader of this column you know that it’s often complaining about egregious minor variances and the dreadful decisions of the Committee of Adjustment (CoA). Usually, but not this time. At 22 Annesley Avenue I think the system worked. The application for 22 Annesley Avenue proposed to construct a two-storey addition to the rear of the existing dwelling and a new “oversized” detached garage. There was an immediate strong reaction from neighbours who informed the LPOA of their opposition, and penned letters to the Committee of Adjustment for the hearing on December 7. The owner’s architect, getting wind of the opposition, contacted the LPOA and suggested a meeting. He also said they were submitting revised plans with reduced variances and he agreed to send those too. A date for the meeting was hastily arranged and one of the neighbours kindly agreed to host the meeting for December 5, two days before the hearing.

At the December 7th hearing the neighbour’s architect and neighbours made their presentations. The adjacent neighbour on the east side requested that the garage be reduced to a regular single size to lessen the loss of light onto 22 Annesley Ave. their back yard. The owner wanted to retain the extra space for storage The meeting was held with eight and a workshop. households represented, plus the One of the panel members noted, owner and the architect sitting with appreciation, the LPOA’s comaround the table. The owner’s archiments in its letter: “This application tect made it clear that their priorcommendably follows the Leaside ity was to maintain the character of Character Preservation Guidelines the area by extending the existing and, if built, will complement house, maintaining its “storey and the neighbourhood streetscape. a half” Cape Cod design. The issues Additionally positive is the meeting for the neighbours were height (due of December 5, 2017 attended by to the point on the gable, and easily the adjacent and nearby neighbours, resolved) and the “car and a half” the LPOA, and the applicant and detached garage, already reduced architect.” from a double garage. So this The CoA voted to approve the became the one remaining sticking application but to reduce the lot point at the end of the meeting. coverage variance from 39% to 37%, effectively reducing the garage to a single car size. So is everyone happy? Not really, but as in the mediation textbook, everyone lost a little, but can live with the result. And that seems to be about as good as it gets with minor variances at the Committee of Adjustment. ■

Happy New Year! All Don Valley West residents are invited to the 15th Annual

New Year’s Levee Saturday, January 20, 2018 • 1–3 pm Toronto Botanical Gardens, Floral Hall 777 Lawrence Ave E, Toronto

Join me to celebrate the New Year with refreshments and live entertainment! Kathleen Wynne, MPP

Don Valley West


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Leaside Life Issue 68 January 2018  
Leaside Life Issue 68 January 2018