No. 60 / May 2017
Leaside Life leasidelifenews.com
Guest columnist: Mr. Goody Two-Shoes Terry Fallis pg 10
Celebrating the big, bold and boisterous George Turrell of Leaside Arena
Robert Moore leading the pack at an Ontario Masters Athletics race.
A free meal led to a life of running By ALLAN WILLIAMS Have you spotted a runner in Leaside wearing a bright yellow singlet, often with a briefcase or a bag of groceries in his hand? It’s been a familiar sighting on our local streets and trails for more than four decades. This is Robert Moore of Sutherland Dr., once one of Canada’s top distance runners and still racing competitively at age 77. Moore was born in England in 1940 and grew up near the village of Huddersfield in Yorkshire. “Our hill farm was a 3K walk from my school and there was always work to be done on the farm – so as a boy I had no time for games.” Only when he went away to university – to Leeds, where he earned a doctorate in biochemistry – did Moore begin running seriously. “I saw an ad on campus offering a free meal in exchange for writing down bib numbers and times at the finish line of cross-country races. Eventually I started training too and within a year I was on the first team.”
He also joined the local track club, the Longwood Harriers. “Cross-country running then was a working class sport – on Sunday you had the day off, guys would meet at the local pub and run to the next town.” Running is also a social sport, Moore believes. “What turns an average runner into a great runner is the peer group – we worked harder for the team; we wanted to be the best. It mattered to us!” After finishing his doctorate Moore came to Canada in 1967 to continue his research at Sunnybrook Hospital, where he worked until 2000. He met Jane McVicar, a speech pathologist, in 1970. “To be honest, I was set up,” says Moore. “Friends made sure we were seated together at a dinner. Our first date was in February 1971 and we married in September.” Bob and Jane bought the North Leaside home where they still live for $55,000 in 1972. Daughters Fiona and Bronwen followed in 1975 and ’77. On his first full day in Canada Moore joined the Toronto Olympic MOORE, Page 26
George Turrell has never been one to keep things quiet. For more than 50 years, he has stalked the halls of Leaside Memorial Gardens Arena, his voice a commanding presence to thousands of hockey players and skaters – and their parents – who learn from the first time they walk through the doors who runs the place. His cantankerous façade initially masking an enormous heart and an affection for kids whom he welcomes with a patented “here comes trouble!” So, it’s only fitting that when it was decided George – as everyone refers to him – should be given his due, it wouldn’t be done quietly. Instead, the event was big, bold and boisterous, just like him.
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By DANIEL GIRARD
George and the Premier “George has been an important part of this community for many, many years and it’s nice to be able to take an opportunity to say that,” Premier Kathleen Wynne, whose Don Valley West riding includes the arena, told about 200 people who gathered in the William Lea Room to tell stories and pay respects. Wynne, who presented George with TURRELL, Page 22
Traffic woes at Rolph Road School
Leaside Life, May 2017
By JANIS FERTUCK Most mornings between 8:25 and 8:45, parents dropping off their children at Rolph Road Elementary School will see a man dressed in an orange safety vest directing the busy traffic in front of the school. This man is the principal of the school, Michael Kennedy, and he is there to monitor the morning traffic situation. Over the years, a problem has developed at drop-off and pickup times with parents anxious to get as close to the school as possible before dropping off their children. This has led to a situation where parents park illegally on the side of the road in front of the school, double-park or even stop in the middle of the street. While many do use the opposite side of the street where parking is legal, they sometimes park for a few minutes to chat with other parents, further limiting available drop-off spots and adding to traffic woes. All of this congestion creates what Mr. Kennedy calls “an unsafe drop-off area and a concern about potential injuries.” The principal believes the main reason for this situation is the convenience for the parents in dropping off their children on the way to
work, or when the family is running late. Understandably, the situation is worse on cold or wet days and better at lunch or after school when the pickups are spread over a longer period of time.
Principal Michael Kennedy One of Mr. Kennedy’s main strategies for improving the traffic congestion is positive reinforcement of the practice of walking to school, and getting the message out to both the children and parents. He pointed out that the catchment area for the school is only about a kilometre in area, and several years ago, the school started a program called “I Walk Wednesdays” to encourage walking, cycling or riding a scooter on those
days. The Green Communities organization, which promotes green initiatives, has supported the program by gathering data, donating prize money to encourage participation, and organizing events such as one about cycling safety. Today the program is popular year-round with the students enjoying both the exercise and the community spirit of walking together in small groups. The school also awards ribbons to classes with the highest percentage of walkers. These ribbons are proudly displayed on classroom doors, and it is not unusual to have 100 per cent of students walking in some classes. Another strategy to ameliorate the situation is educating the parents about the safety issues involved in the morning traffic. To that end, there has been lots of brainstorming at Parent Council meetings. Mr. Kennedy himself frequently reminds parents about the issue in his weekly bulletins, and stresses the parking rules with kindergarten parents so they will develop good habits early. He emphasizes as well two viable alternatives: dropping children on the Hanna Rd. side of the property or dropping them off a block away on Rolph, both to encourage walking and decrease the congestion. ROLPH ROAD, Page 5
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Leaside’s mailboxes – missing by moonlight Lorna Krawchuk Publisher Leaside Life
letter boxes on a regular basis. • Tries to configure the network of boxes to maximize access, reach and usage for customers. • Strives to ensure that customers in urban areas have access to a street letter box within a distance of 500 metres. Would you think that a box in front of Hyundai on Laird Drive gets more letters dropped in than any of the three that were taken away? Or how about the one in front of St. John’s Music on Brentcliffe? I personally did well in this situation. We now have a Canada Post box inside the entry door to our condo building, with individual lockers for parcel delivery AND a mail slot for outgoing mail. So, if any of our neighbours thought to open our front door, there is this lovely
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red mail slot. I just assumed that buildings such as 955 Millwood, Leaside Gate, would have acquired one too, but so far they haven’t. People who live there now have to go along Millwood to Rumsey or up the hill to Southvale and Hanna. The other strange thing that has happened is that now the red mailboxes have different pickup times – 8:00 a.m., 9:00 a.m., 2 :00 pm. Maybe a better use of Canada Post time than the old “everything picked up at 5:00 p.m.” version, but now you have to look carefully if you are actually trying to get something into the system quickly. And good luck finding any of these mailboxes using the Canada Post website. They do list local postal outlets, but not the location of these boxes. Are mailboxes going the way of the once ubiquitous phone box? ■
Leaside Life, May 2017
Very odd. You go to Mac’s Milk at Millwood and Randolph, with the intention of buying milk and posting a letter at one stop. But where is the mailbox? Gone. As is the one in front of The Leaside Pub on Laird – so too the one at the corner of Hanna and Sutherland by the #88 bus stop. And others, too, possibly? Hard to say when there is nothing there anymore. Here is Robert Fripp’s letter to Canada Post: “Remember this? It used to be called a mailbox. There were quite a few around in the olden days. That was before they went missing by moonlight. One local witness states that he was taking a breath of fresh air after dark on a recent evening when a truck pulled up, two pixies jumped out and carried off the mailbox on his corner. Leaside has been relieved of its mailboxes, by night. Not a word was whispered about this to the wisest among us, apparently. They, the mailboxes, just disappeared.” The response to a query from MP Rob Oliphant’s office, of Canada Post was that Canada Post: • Does volume monitoring on street
Changes coming to venerable Trace Manes Park
Leaside Life, May 2017
By JANIS FERTUCK The City of Toronto Parks, Forestry and Recreation Department held a public information session at Trace Manes Community Centre on Monday, March 27, to discuss their plans for improving Trace Manes Park, and, as their announcement stated, to develop “a shared vision for park enhancement” with the community. Neighbourhood residents were able to examine several conceptual drawings of the proposed changes to the playground area of the park, and to discuss them with Jillian Walsh, Georgia’s mother; Rich McAvan, a landscape architect from Harrington McAvan Ltd., and Councillor Jon Burnside. Several members of the Parks Department were also on hand to discuss the project, answer questions and hear feedback from the residents in an informal discussion format. The driving force behind the project is Jillian Walsh, whose goal is to find a way to unite the community in memory of her daughter, Georgia, who always enjoyed spending time in the park. Jillian explained that her family wants “to give back to the community for their
support, and to enhance Leaside.” To that end, she has worked tirelessly for two years to raise funds for the project, mostly from private individual and corporate donors. The two Georgia Walsh Memorial All-Star Baseball Games in August 2015 and 2016 served as fundraisers as well. To date, the total raised is $1.1 million. The proposed changes focus on modernizing and upgrading the narrow strip of land between the Leaside Library and the Tennis Club that now includes a playground and wading pool. The old playground equipment will be replaced with a series of modern swings, seesaws, disks and spinners, all designed to develop motor skills as well as be fun to use. There will be equipment for special needs children, and the base will be rubberized to make it wheelchair accessible. In addition, the wading pool will make way for a splash pad filled
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with a number of different water features that spray water when activated by a button. Because they are set on timers and have to be acti-
vated, they are an improvement over a wading pool because there is no standing water, no lifeguard is required and electrical costs are kept to a minimum. The splash pad can, therefore, function all day long without an operator, and it appeals to children of all ages. The playground and splash pad will be surrounded by a low ornamental fence to reduce the risk of children running into the street, and there will be increased seating areas including shaded options. Other proposed improvements include wider pathways, better materials and lighting, additional site furniture and bike racks, as well as a small floral or herbal garden, according to Senior Project Manager Tony Nagy. Overall three different design styles were presented: modern, natural and a hybrid of the two. It is hoped that construction will begin in the spring of 2018 and take about four months to complete. Comments from residents at the meeting included concerns about parking, noise, and electricity and water use. But these worries were, by and large, allayed by city staff, and by Mrs. Walsh’s comment that their objective is “to integrate as much opportunity as possible for a variety of equipment to maximize the space, to cater to a broader age range and to serve the whole community.” There is no decision yet as to how Georgia Walsh will be commemorated in the parkette, but as Councillor Burnside stated, “This is a wonderful way to honour her.” Mari Caravaggio, business development officer for the city, said that there are many benefits for the community in this project. “Updating a facility is very rewarding and will create a legacy for years to come.” ■
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Leaside Life, May 2017
In addition, he has consulted with Councillor Jon Burnside, Trustee Gerri Gershon and the police in his quest to find a solution to the traffic problem. With his background as a police officer, Councillor Burnside is in a good position to liaise with the police and community, making helpful connections and suggestions. Mr. Kennedy’s plan for the future is to have the police step up enforcement at key times such as the first week of school or the week after a break. He is hopeful that such a program can be put into practice next year, and that it will encourage better habits. Robin Dickie, former school council chair (and current Leaside Life graphic designer), has high praise for Mr. Kennedy and stated that parents are “very happy with his efforts in controlling traffic, establishing clear guidelines and encouraging walking.” They have great respect for his morning patrol work, which he occasionally enlivens with a humourous costume. After all, he feels a special calling to serve Rolph Road School to the best of his abilities because it happens to be the school his father attended. ■
Leaside Life, May 2017
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Leaside Sports: These teams will need a bigger trophy case! There are many ties that bind a community such as Leaside together and one of the strongest is most certainly hockey. There are also many ways to measure success for any team – the lifelong friendships and memories created, the poise with which a team represent themselves and their community, the unique joy one gains from shared experience of winning and losing together. By any measure the Leaside Flames 2005 Minor Peewee (MPW) A and the 2001 Minor Midget (MM) A teams exemplify this and so much more. This past season, these two exceptional teams have, as they say “won it all,” with both teams capturing the GTHL Kraft Cup, the East Division Championship, the GTHL City Championship and the “A” GTA Championships.
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The Minor Midget Flames The Minor Midget A team is led by long-time head coach Scott Bryan and his coaching staff Rob Thomson and Allan Maclean-Howard, trainer Gord Wade, and team manager Shannon O’Brien. This group is arguably the most successful modern day Leaside Flames team. Since starting seven years ago at the Minor Atom division, the 2001 Flames have won four Kraft Cups, four GTHL East Playoff Championships, three GTHL City Championships and four GTA Playdown Championships. When asked about the team’s success, team manager Shannon O’Brien shared that the team has never named a captain as every player’s contributions are valued as much as the next one’s. This team’s philosophy has always been about working hard, having fun, and helping to create respectful, considerate, and responsible young men. This philosophy has paid off, as evidenced not only in the on-ice success but the positive feedback and comments from the other coaches. This is truly an impressive group of young men, both on and off the ice. ■
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Leaside Life, May 2017
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The Leaside Gardener: Springtime’s for garden gabbing!
Leaside Life, May 2017
By DEBORA KUCHME “I did then what I knew how to do. Now that I know better, I do better.” — Maya Angelou Ah springtime! No other season stirs my imagination with such hope and anticipation. Each day brings fresh sights and sounds as one after another, plants wake up from their long deep sleep to greet us. From the early bursts of tiny bulbs to the explosion of flowering trees and shrubs, spring can open your heart and make you smile. With so many stars, it’s hard to pick a favourite and with so many to mention, it’s pointless because a spring awakening is a celebration of blooms…all the blooms, when every colour appears cleaner and brighter with the new angle of the sun. This is what spring is in Leaside, a spectacular time of awakening and a time to witness rebirth and renewal at its very best. Mother Nature puts on this big performance for us every year and every year the storyline is a little different. If you garden, then you’ve been paying close attention because the
reviews will depend upon what made it through the winter and what didn’t. Did you happen to see those iris leaves poking out of the ground in February? They weren’t alone; with little snow cover, you could find other early risers during our strange and lengthy warmup. Plants that break dormancy too early (as they did here in Leaside) and then shut down because the temperature suddenly drops back to below freezing, can put our plants under enormous stress. Some bounce back, some barely make it through and others will just give up completely. We need to notice this activity because these wild weather swings are making it difficult for us to understand our plant hardiness zone. That old saying, “You know what you grow,” is a great one, but like all gardeners, I’ve made my share of mistakes. I chose many plants because I was intrigued by their beauty instead of their compatibility or contribution. Planted a few invasive species too that I will always regret and wasted tons of money trying to change my ecosystem rather than working with it. When I started, I knew exactly how
I wanted my gardens to look. I had everything removed to begin afresh with a blank slate. I consciously chose every single plant in my little paradise. Or so I thought. Some 30 years later, I still have no idea where that lily of the valley came from. It just showed up one day and now it’s a glorious mass that I adore. The same goes for the violets, the periwinkle and so many more surprise additions…all compliments of the universe. Let’s not forget about GARDENER, Page 17
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Leaside Life, May 2017
Leaside Life, May 2017
By TERRY FALLIS When I grew up in Leaside in the ’60s and ’70s, I was never what you would describe as a “bad kid.” In fact, the rougher boys in our Bessborough School class would have put my twin brother Tim and me squarely in the goody-goodytwo-shoes category. But one day on our morning walk to school, we busted out and took a walk on the wild side. Here’s how it all went down. As we often did, Tim and I were walking with our good friend from down the street, Mathew Zaleski. We all lived around Parkhurst and Donegall, so our route to school took us along Parkhurst, down Cameron, and then left on Sharon to the school. Halfway down Cameron, I picked up a Macintosh apple with a bite out of it that was lying in the gutter. I don’t know why I picked up a partly-eaten mushy apple. I wasn’t hungry. My brother pointed and said, “I dare you to throw it at that door.” Nicky Nicky Nine Doors — and yes, that’s apparently how it’s spelled — was all the rage back then. The
house was ideally suited to receive a speeding projectile apple. There was no glass outer-door (I wasn’t ready to venture quite that far on to the dark side), and there was a hedge along the driveway that would obscure our hasty post-throw escape. There was also a large tree on the front lawn, but I thought I could still reach the door given my supreme arm and pinpoint aim. Mathew and Tim were relentless in their encouragement. I’ve always tried to please people. So I reared back and hurled this Macintosh apple with terrible velocity towards the very inviting wooden door. What else was I to do? Given my aforementioned throwing prowess, the apple hit the door dead-centre, exploding into a fragrant cloud of apple-sauce and making a louder noise than I ever thought possible. By their gaping yaps, I don’t think Mathew and Tim ever expected I would do it. Frankly, I never thought I’d do it either. Rather than taking frantic flight, the three of us just stood there on the sidewalk, transfixed by the apple entrails still settling over the area. We were just regaining our facul-
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Author Terry Fallis ties and preparing to flee when the front door began to open. The older woman who lived there must have been standing just inside her front hall, primed and ready. There was nowhere to go and no time anyway. All three of us acted on instinct. Mercifully we all had the same idea at the same instant. It was the only possible option. All these years later, I still can’t believe it, but the woman never saw us. While she surveyed the entire area from her elevated front porch, what she didn’t know was that the three culprits — okay, one culprit and two abettors — were stacked up against one another in perfect single file behind the trunk of the tree right on her own front lawn. We were so close to her I swear I could hear breathing. It had to be her respiration, because I certainly wasn’t breathing. Tim and I were very skinny back then and that may well have been what saved our bacon that morning. We waited a good five minutes behind that tree after we heard the homeowner go back inside. Then we sprinted the rest of the way to school. On the way, I renewed my membership vows in the goodygoody-two-shoes society and didn’t play Nicky Nicky Nine Doors for, well, at least for two weeks. That’s what passed for bad behaviour in the Leaside of my childhood. A two-time winner of the Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour, Terry Fallis is the award-winning author of five national bestsellers, including his most recent, Poles Apart, all published by McClelland & Stewart (M&S). His sixth novel, One Brother Shy, will be published by M&S in May, 2017. ■
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Leaside Life, May 2017
Consider three things
I’LL TRY ANYTHING ONCE! 12
Vezina runs away to the circus You never know what people get up to in their free time. Your quiet, geeky co-worker could be in a neopunk-grunge band; your auntie could be mixing it up with whizzes in a chess club…or your Facebook friend could be training for the circus. Aerial aerobics to be exact, which has become something of a trend in The Six. My free time usually involves kickboxing classes or tucking into a good book, but this time, I traded my wraps and gloves for trapeze bars and silks at the Toronto Circus Centre in Leaside. I never studied gymnastics before, so acrobatics under the big top was going to be interesting. Founder of the Toronto Circus Centre, Jen Georgopoulos, is a former competitive gymnast and a professional circus artist with decades of children’s programming in her back pocket. Jen owned and operated another Toronto circus school for a decade before opening a new school here in January 2017. “I wanted to be in a neighbourhood, and Leaside seemed like a really great neighbourhood,” she said. To ensure my greatest chance of survival, I figured I should start with the Adult Beginner class. Many of Jen’s students have gone on to become professionals over the years, so I knew I was in good hands. I signed up for the Saturday morning class and ate my Wheaties all week in preparation. My classmate for the hour was Maria Karam, founder and president of Tactile Audio Display, who just started her second semester of the Adult Beginner program. The best part was that Maria was able to show me what I could accomplish if I kept up attendance. We started with a warmup to get limber, then hit the aerial trapeze (the swinging bar that looks like a bird swing), where I learned how to hang properly without bunching my shoulders under my ears. Once we acquired some basic skills, we moved to rope climbing, which wasn’t as successful for me as the trapeze, but I got the general idea. Rope climbing is clearly not in my future and I’m okay with that. We can’t be good at everything, right? Our final feat looked like the holy grail of circus apparatus. Two giant strips of red cloth hung down in columns in the far corner of the gym, anchored by ropes that ran across the ceiling and down the
wall. These drapes of the gods are called aerial silks (or ribbons) and are used by performers doing aerial acrobatics while entwining themselves in the fabric. It was absolutely stunning to watch a professional like instructor Natalie Fullerton use the silks, and afterwards, we tried our best to emulate her. I learned how to sit, stand and lean back on the silks and after 10 minutes, I was trembling, but proud to report all bones and muscles remained intact.
Leaside Life, May 2017
By KARLI VEZINA
Karli learns the ropes from instructor Natalie To get back on solid ground, we did some hula hoop action (also not in my future) and learned about the performing art of poi. Poi consists of swinging hand-held tethered weights in a rhythmic motion, usually to music and often while dancing. Traditionally, poi dancing comes from the Maori tribe of New Zealand, but in circuses around the world, you may know it as fire dancing. “There’s so much variety in circus... there will be something that you’re really good at and something that you’re really challenged by,” Jen said. She cautioned not to worry that you’re not in shape enough to join a class. “Just come in and use this space to make yourself stronger and more flexible.” I can’t say if I’m more flexible after flying high at Jen’s new school, but I do recommend the experience to anyone of any age who wants to try something a little bit out of the ordinary. Classes, including for kids 2 to 16+, take place Wednesdays and Saturdays at Leaside United Church (822 Millwood Rd). There will be summer camp for kids 5-13, and circus birthday parties are available nearly every weekend. Until next time, for science! ■
Flying high at Toronto Circus Centre If you’ve always wanted to run away and join the circus, it’s just become a little easier for M4Gers now that the Toronto Circus Centre has taken up residence in Leaside United Church’s beautiful gym. I attended a few toddler concerts back in the day in that space, so with images of Cirque du Soleil running through my head, I went to check out what the new circus school in the neighbourhood was all about. Toronto Circus Centre is owned and operated by the super charming Jen Georgopoulos. Jen is a professional gymnast, stunt acrobat and circus artist whose career spans more than 25 years. When I asked Jen what drew her to the Leaside neighbourhood, her reply was quick: “My chiropractor is on Bayview and I’ve always loved the look of the church…I knew it would be the perfect spot for my new business. The large stained glass windows give beautiful natural light to the space.” She approached the church rental coordinator John Bell about renting the space. He had a good feeling about the venture and thought the new business would be a perfect fit for Leaside United. Since all of Jen’s circus equipment is portable and “low interference,” it can easily be moved and stored while not in use. The gym can then still be utilized by other community organizations, including Mrs. Park’s School, Leaside Badminton, and of course the Awesome Sale that the church holds twice a year. To confirm the gym of the church was structurally sound to install the rigging for the circus equipment, Jen obtained the original blueprint drawings and hired an engineer to inspect the space. The good news was that Leaside United is in good structural condition. Rigging the equipment could begin. A cable and pulley system suspended from original beams in the ceiling allowed for all the most popular circus equipment to be installed, like a trapeze, an aerial hoop, a rope or chord line, and my favourite, the aerial silks. Large mats designed by Jen line the gym floor for ground acrobatic work and of course to catch you if you fall. All of the equipment is for use by children and adults. ■ For more info, visit www.torontocircuscentre.com —Vicki Hall
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Leaside Life, May 2017
Leaside army officer commands honour guard at Vimy 100th
Leaside Life, May 2017
By KATHLEEN LLEWELLYN-THOMAS Our Leaside family made the pilgrimage to France to be part of the historic Vimy 100th anniversary commemoration honouring the sacrifices of Canadians in our most significant military victory. For us, it was also to honour our intimate family connection with modern-day service. Our son, Captain Roland LlewellynThomas, a member of The Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada and 2006 Leaside High School graduate, served as an Honour Guard Commander during the ceremonies. As a member of The Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada, a militia unit which helped form the Canadian Expeditionary Force of 1914, Roland feels a deep connection to the young men who went over the top at Vimy Ridge; the majority of them were not professional soldiers at the outbreak of the war in 1914. A long-time Leaside Flames Hockey team defenceman and member of the 2006 Roland Llewellyn-Thomas Leaside High grad- on guard at Vimy. uating class, Roland joined the Royal Canadian Regiment as a private soldier soon after graduation, deploying to Afghanistan in 2008, thereby carrying on the Leaside tradition of service that began more than 100 years ago with men like Wilfrid Heighington and Alex Adamson. Unlike most of the soldiers who attended the Vimy commemoration, Roland transferred to the Primary Reserve after his three years of regular service as a member of the Queen’s Own Rifles, and has completed Canadian Armed Forces courses and training while working full-time at RBC Capital Markets. Roland stands ready to defend Canada as a Primary Reserve member as he prepares for his full-time MBA at the Rotman School of Business and a career in the financial services industry. I travelled to France with my husband, Roland’s stepfather, LCol (ret’d) Martin Kenneally. Our commemoration began on April 8th at the sombre and moving Sunset Ceremony with a small group of invited guests. The ceremony featured Roland’s Honour Guard leading the feu de joie – a running fire of rifles in rapid succession – a 21-gun salute with four Canadian guns, the
Military Hymn, the Last Post, the Piper’s Lament, national anthems, and lowering the Canadian and French flags as the sun went down and darkness crept over our gathering. On Saturday morning we left at 10 a.m. for the 3 p.m. ceremony, knowing the logistics of entering the site would be time-consuming with a larger crowd of 25,000 people. The cloudless blue sky and temperatures of 25 ° C were a far cry from the high winds, snow and sleet that Canadian soldiers faced 100 years ago. As the soldiers on parade stood motionless for hours in their wool uniforms while the blistering sun beat down on them I was reminded of the discipline demanded by the Canadian Armed Forces and the pride of those on parade at being selected to represent their respective units at such an historic event. When the dignitaries arrived and the young people around us cheered at the sight of Prime Minister Trudeau, the three princes, the Governor General and president of France, the Honour Guard stalwartly kept eyes forward and passed the inspection carried out by Prince Charles and His Excellency David Johnston. As the wife and mother of Canadian soldiers who have deployed to Afghanistan, the opportunity to honour the contribution of our veterans was particularly meaningful. Having managed the homefront for six months on a few different occasions with loved ones deployed into conflict zones, I can only imagine how difficult it must have been for Canadian families to send their sons to war a century ago on a different continent for years at a time with nothing more than the occasional letter. To modern veterans, like Roland and Martin, who may never have the opportunity to walk their battlefields with future Canadians, the physical memorial and spiritual symbol that Vimy has become is extremely important. It represents all the times Canadians have stood shoulder to shoulder with our allies to defend liberal democracy from military aggression, terrorism, communism, or fascism. Roland’s modern military service and his service as an Honour Guard Commander on April 9th carry on a century of Leaside service at Vimy Ridge. “In Pace Paratus” ■ VIMY STORIES, cont’d on page 16
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Leaside High school history teacher Caralin Fleet accompanied some of her students to the Vimy 100th memorial celebration on April 9. Here are some of their thoughts:
Leaside Life, May 2017
Weadee Mombo Since there are no remaining soldiers from the First World War, it so important that Canadian youth remember what took place at Vimy. The men who fought that day, both anglophone and francophone alike, came together with pride and united a nation. If we could all come together as they did 100 years ago, we would accomplish things we never could divided. Victoria Whalen Even the thought of being at Vimy was special in and of itself, however the actual experience I can’t really put into words! Just being there as a Canadian remembering our fallen sol-
diers on the 100th anniversary was once in a lifetime. It’s so important that kids travel and get out there to be more aware of their surroundings, as that’s definitely what happened to us during our trip to Vimy Ridge! James Le Noury What an experience, to be there with my 25,000 fellow Canadians to witness the 100th anniversary of Canada’s coming of age. What a patriotic feeling it was to hear everyone shouting out the lyrics to “Oh Canada” and to hear the roar of our jets over the crowd. Overall it was a very moving and inspirational experience. Harley Smyth My experience at Vimy was incredible and it was a once in a lifetime opportunity. My favourite moment was when the Canadian national anthem was playing and all 25,000 Canadians were singing. It was an incredible experience. I felt very lucky to be able to attend and very proud to be Canadian. It was unforgettable.
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Leaside High students at Vimy
Grace Landry When we learned about WW1 and specifically Vimy Ridge in class, it never felt real; it was just a bunch of words on pages. Actually being there and standing in the same spot where thousands of Canadian soldiers stood was life-changing. There are no living soldiers who fought at Vimy Ridge remaining. It is so important that future generations continue to remember their sacrifice to ensure events like WW1 never happen again. Just being there with thousands of Canadians made me realize how lucky we are that we’re here and if it weren’t for those soldiers Canada wouldn’t be the same. It was an experience of a lifetime. Lauryn Watters Vimy Ridge was an experience like I’ve never had before. Being there with Canadians from all over the country celebrating different elements of our culture at such an important moment in our history made me feel so proud to be Canadian. It also made the history so much more real. Seeing the names of all the fallen soldiers on the monument and all the cemeteries in the surrounding area really helped show how devastating this event was. I think it’s important that youth see this to help better understand the consequences of war so that we can work to prevent similar events in the future. Weajue Mombo Living in Canada, we tend to feel distant from the horrors of war, but that is definitely not the case in France. Here, especially in the Vimy region, the war continues to be present everywhere. We can see the craters left from the bombs, walk through the trenches, and visit the graves of Canadian soldiers. Standing at the Vimy memorial service along with thousands of Canadians made me remember how proud we should all be of the history we have. ■
Happy Mother’s Day! Mitch Bubulj’s grandfather in France
The Magic of the Vimy Memorial Read Leasider Mitch Bubulj’s account of his visit to the Vimy 100th anniversary commemoration on our web site at
Gardener... From Page 8 those squirrels. I know they’re responsible for transplanting more than a few of my things without permission. What’s most upsetting is that some of the spots they pick are better than mine. My point is, we may think these are our gardens, but they are simply pieces of the planet, constantly changing and evolving. That’s the good news, but here comes the other. Changes can occur that are not so positive. Extreme weather can bring down a favourite tree, scorch evergreens, waterlog soil or dry it up like sand. All of that can happen in a single season now. Last summer was the hottest and driest on record. February 2016 was the coldest and this February the warmest. Our climate is changing, and out of necessity, so will our gardens. We may need to embrace different kinds of plants in our landscape – tougher ones that can tolerate these rollercoaster extremes and prolonged periods of drought. Fear not, my garden lovers, my friends of green, my stewards of nature, this is a time to experience the love and need of gardens in a new and important way. Let’s make this a healthy, green place for all living things, right here in Leaside. ■
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More density at our doorstep What may have seemed like a good idea to some and benign to others has, in my opinion, brought undesirable consequences to the community. I’m talking about the lobbying effort that resulted in Metrolinx adding a stop at Leslie St. on the Eglinton Crosstown LRT. Metrolinx’s original plan had the LRT running underground to just east of Don Mills Rd. with a station at Leslie St., but in 2013 the plan was revised and the station eliminated due to the projected cost of $80 to $100 million. Residents at the Inn on the Park condos as well as others in the surrounding neighbourhoods lobbied both Metrolinx and the Ontario government to retain it. The agreed compromise was to have the LRT exit to street level just east of Brentcliffe Rd. so that an at-grade stop – at the lower cost of about $10 million – could be built at Leslie St. The most immediate impact of that decision is horrendous traffic in North Leaside due to lane reductions on Eglinton Ave. Fortunately, there is an end date. The long-term consequence is maximum density development at the Inn on the Park. Unlike Steve Diamond (the developer of 939 Eglinton Ave. East, who participated in a community working group), Tridel opted for OMB mediation. Given that City Planning wants maximum density near transit stops – the unwritten rule is often within 400 metres – the site qualified for maximum development and that’s exactly what the developer got. While the local Councillor (Jaye Robinson) and I voted against the settlement, it passed at Council 31-5. What does this mean? It means three towers of 45, 39 and 29 storeys and an FSI (which is a measurement of density) of 4.56. As a comparison, the development at 939 Eglinton consists of three towers of 28, 20 and 16 storeys and an FSI of 3.67. Residents may have the convenience of an additional stop, but we will all have additional traffic – and a further strain on local services. ■ firstname.lastname@example.org
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Leaside Life, May 2017
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Leaside Life, May 2017
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Leaside, how does your traffic flow? Thank you to the almost 600 of you who returned the LPOA’s traffic survey questionnaires, many accompanied by lengthy and detailed additional comments and suggestions. Here are some key findings: Everyone agreed that police enforcement of signage and speed limits is rare, where it happens at all. Drivers know this. Secure in the knowledge that there isn’t a police cruiser lurking around the corner waiting to ticket them, they ignore stop signs and turn restrictions. The measures which the LPOA plan put forward are therefore physical in nature, which do not require frequent police monitoring. #1 Heavy traffic volumes are clearly your number one concern. Every street, traditionally quiet or busy, is now sharing the pain from exponentially increased through traffic. Leasiders realize that it’s not just LRT construction causing high car volumes and congestion; it’s also a byproduct of increased condominium and retail development in the city. #2 Speeding was your second greatest concern, particularly on certain streets, with 75% of respondents favouring a 30 kph neighbourhood-wide safety zone. A constant speed throughout is easier to enforce than different speed limits on different streets. Lower speeds create a safer environment for pedestrians. The only criticism of safety zones was that a 30 kph limit could frustrate drivers and increase road rage. #3 More than 80% of survey respondents favoured improved crosswalk markings. Over 70% approved raised crosswalks, and almost 60% liked speed cushions. #4 The proposed ‘gateways’ meant to clearly identify that drivers are entering Leaside were welcomed by more than half of respondents, although costs and sight-lines
The next monthly LPOA Board meeting is at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 3rd, at the Trace Manes building. These meetings are always open to the public, and take place on the first Wednesday of each month. We invite you to attend, whether for help or advice on local matters, or just to listen. ■
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Leaside Life, May 2017
warrant further consideration. #5 Photo radar and red light cameras are not yet legally available, but Leasiders showed interest in how (once the legislation is passed) these measures might be useful here. #6 Meanwhile, residents have noticed that parking on both sides of their street can be a do-it-yourself and particularly effective way of discouraging through traffic and speed. More and more of you are adopting this practice. #7 Finally, building Redway Rd. as a Leaside bypass was mentioned by many of you, both at the LPOA’s two public meetings and in your subsequent comments. There are a number of (dare I use the term?) roadblocks to this option. For one thing, the City of Toronto has lost interest in road-building, as the city diverts any funds it may have into transit instead. There are other issues as well, regarding the railways’ land ownership and political opposition from North and South Rosedale, whose residents fear traffic incursion from Redway Rd. into their neighbourhoods. Suffice to say, extending Redway Rd. is not likely to be approved in the current fiscal and political situation. So, what happens next? We will be adjusting our LPOA proposals based on your survey responses and comments and putting together a costing of these measures. The LPOA Traffic committee has met informally with Councillor Burnside’s North and South Leaside traffic committees to get some sense of their own approaches. We expect their proposals will be made public in the near future. At that point, we will work with them to create a single Leaside-wide plan for presentation at another public meeting to get community buy-in. We will work with City staff to move forward with polling residents. Two things are key: first, we need to work together to promote a single plan, not competing plans, if we are to have any success in getting Community Council and City Council support. Second, now is the time to deal with our traffic problems, before further development creates even worse congestion and speed issues than we are currently experiencing.
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Leaside Life, May 2017
Leaside kids visiting with George and saying thanks.
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a certificate of appreciation for “the commitment and dedication you’ve shown,” recalled meeting him about 25 years ago when her daughters played hockey and softball, and “you were very firm in your organization of them.” “This community has a big heart and George is very much a big part of that,” she said. Raymond White, the chair of the board of Leaside Gardens, announced that there will soon be a commemorative plaque and picture of George placed on the wall outside the old equipment room in the original arena, where he first started volunteering in the early 1960s. “He made sure we stayed in line,” said White, who first encountered George while playing Leaside hockey in the mid-’60s. “We always knew where our dressing room was and when it was time to go on the ice. “He kept on with the dressing room assignments and being the custodian of the equipment room for so long that even my son and daughter were fortunate enough to have George holler at them, too.” Current members of the Leaside Flames and Wildcats, clad in their jerseys, came to say thanks. “I just wanted to support George because he’s always done a lot for us,” Santana Chew, 14, a member of the Bantam Red Select team, said when asked why he came out to the event on a weeknight. Marlo Campbell of the Wildcats Midget AA team said George has been there throughout her career. “My teammates and coaches change every year, but George always remains,” she told the crowd. Kathy Mackenzie of Leaside Skating Club said as an immigrant from England she walked into the arena with her kids for the first time in 1983 and quickly understood George was “a fount of all knowledge. You’ve been an integral part of all of us for so many years,” she said. For his part, George, who turns 78
THE SCHOOLS OF LEASIDE There’s more Leaside Life! Read Trustee Gershon’s article on Special Education in our online version of Leaside Life.
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Leaside Life, May 2017
TURRELL, cont’d in May, seemed about as uncomfortable with all the compliments as he did in a suit and tie, occasionally heckling and correcting speakers but otherwise remaining uncharacteristically quiet. He seemed somewhat embarrassed by all the fuss. Grant Krisman has known George for more than 35 years, dating back to his playing days, then as a coach, hockey parent and now as the longtime owner of the Leaside Hockey Shop. “He is the keeper of the keys and runs a tight ship down there,” he says. “And, that has not changed.” Krisman’s son, Tyler, 28, admits that when he first met George as a young hockey player, “I was scared by him, like pretty much all the kids.” But by the time Tyler was at Northern Secondary School, George would regularly show up for his school hockey games. “It just showed me the size of the heart on the guy,” Tyler Krisman says. George’s younger sister, Pat Boyko, and her husband, Roy Gauthier, say while they were thrilled to see the large turnout at the event, they weren’t surprised. Routinely when they’re out with George, including up north in the summer fishing on the lake, people recognize him and say hello. “This is his life,” Boyko says. “He loves it.” And, on this night, the people of Leaside showed him the feeling is mutual. ■
Leaside Life, May 2017
“In Leaside when you look down the street you see driveway entrances of consistent grade, and when you stand in front of the house the dominant feature is the front entrance and the living room, not the garage. We wanted to retain this character.” This was how Jane Pitfield explained her reasons for championing a new bylaw in 2000 to prohibit below finished grade garages in Leaside, when she was Leaside’s councillor in the recently amalgamated City of Toronto. She was testifying at a recent Ontario Municipal Board hearing on an LPOA appeal of the Committee of Adjustment’s decision to approve a below finished grade garage at 314 Rumsey Rd. (despite the staff report that recommended against). So what is a “below finished grade”1 garage? What it is not is a reverse (negatively) sloped driveway. These driveways, widely considered to represent a safety hazard, a flooding hazard, and a haven for litter, were outlawed under the consolidated zoning bylaw in 2013. However, this provision, while universally accepted, has led to a rise in “jumped up” houses that attempt to, in effect, add a third storey, while minimizing height variances and abiding by the prohibition on reverse slope garages. The consolidated bylaw addresses negative slope driveways but does not prevent the flattening of the
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driveway (minimal positive slope) and creation of driveway pits/walls caused by excavation of materials. So why is this an issue? It’s all about Toronto’s topography, which generally slopes towards the rivers running into Lake Ontario, and to its tributaries. Leaside slopes towards the Don River valley to the east, and to Don River tributaries, Burke’s Brook in north Leaside and Walmsley Brook in central and north Leaside. Therefore, on north-south streets the
slope condition (facing uphill) tends to present on the west side of the street and either the north or south depending on location. By regulating finished grade the Leaside No. 1916 bylaw maintains unimpaired views, both along the street relative to the height of driveways entering the street, and face-on to individual lots. So where does this stand? The LPOA was at the OMB on April 5th to appeal a case where the Committee of Adjustment failed to uphold the specific prohibition in the Leaside bylaw. But the longer term issue is that the consolidated City-wide bylaw does not include the finished grade provision, but at some point it will come into force and the Leaside bylaw will no longer apply. The consolidated bylaw is currently under appeal at the OMB, and so the LPOA will join the appeal in an effort to maintain Leaside Bylaw No. 1916. If the LPOA fails, we will likely see a lot more of those three-storey homes with trenching from the garage door to the street, and a lot fewer streets like Rumsey from Broadway to Glenvale with its lovely view along the street. Remember, Leaside is a “designed landscape”2 and holds an important position in the history of planning in this country. It is one of the first three model new towns in Canada based on the garden city principles of Ebenezer Howard (and the first in Ontario). It’s evident that Leaside’s builders worked with the form of the land, and did not obliterate it. Preservation of the elements which characterize the streetscape is essential to maintaining its historic value. Continuation of this bylaw (or similar provision) is clearly vital to maintaining Leaside’s distinct character. ■ See our web site for footnote references.
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: Robyn Israel firstname.lastname@example.org ph. 416-276-0937 or 416-504-8047
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Moore... From Page 1 26
Leaside Life, May 2017
Club, but for the next year he was troubled by a persistent foot injury. “Tait McPhedran [the well-known Toronto orthopaedic surgeon] told me, ‘Your running career is over.’” But Moore worked hard to recover and applied to run in the 1969 Boston Marathon. Because he had no recent competitive times to show, he had to start near the back of the pack. Despite this, Moore finished fifth. Moore placed seventh at Boston three times and second at Hamilton’s Around the Bay race a remarkable six times, though he never won it. He also competed for Canada at the 1970 Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh, Scotland. “In his prime, Bob was one of the best distance runners in the world,
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says Toronto Olympic Club president Larry Longo. “Top-10 finishes at the Boston Marathon, and sub four-minute miles are huge achievements.” “Almost as amazing,” adds Longo, “is the fact that he has stats on every race he’s been in.” Moore meticulously recorded race data, plus blood pressure, weight and weather, by hand in his racing log books. “Bob’s world-class,” agrees Leasider Dave Christiani, head coach of the Central Toronto Athletic Club. “And he remains an elite athlete today.” OMA president Doug “Shaggy” Smith emphasizes all that Moore has given back to his sport over the years in certifying courses, officiating, and mentoring others. “He helped found the Metro Toronto Road Runners Association. Until very recently he would mark courses himself carrying the flags, markers and rope with him from his nearby home.” There’s even a hill named for him, says Smith. “In the 4K loop in Sunnybrook Park that Bob originally laid out 30 years ago, the big hill leading up to the playing fields is now known as the Bob Moore Hill.” Moore has so far run more than 1,760 races, from the mile to the marathon. And he’s not finished yet. He competed in 31 races in 2016 and has a full schedule planned for this year, too. “I’m doing what I like,” says Moore. “I run for me.” ■
Leaside Life, May 2017
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TAO – Chinese cuisine comes to Leaside
Leaside Life, May 2017
By JUNE CHIU Noodles and rice with fragrant sauces, Chinese style…my ‘go to’ comfort foods. Must have something to do with my Chinese heritage. So imagine my excitement when the marquee, ‘Tao, northern Chinese cuisine’, went up at the former Leonard’s location at Parklea and Laird. Eager to try Tao’s food, I could not wait for my friends. I invited members of my multi-generational household. My son and daughter-in-law, whose tastes have been influenced by the multi-eth- The Chiu family. nic diversity of our city, were quick to accept. Their two pre-school daughters, familiar with a healthy mix of diverse foods, would test for ‘family-friendliness’. A Sunday family dinner was planned, a great way to try a new eatery! A friendly server helped us to settle in comfortably. The server explained the items on the temporary, but comfortable-sized menu. Right away we were taken aback by the signature Peking duck dish, served in fusion style options, with sauces including green curry, General Tao, ginger-lemongrass, black bean or sweet and sour. Such presentations of a traditional dish were very foreign to us. However, to our delight – and great relief – the server explained that a whole duck could be prepared in the traditional way, with the skin and breast meat served with thin flour, mandarin pancakes and bean sauce, followed by a secondary dish of the shredded dark duck meat, sautéed with vegetables. The server patiently answered all our questions, and sug-
gested minor changes in the level of spiciness of different dishes, ensuring that each dish would be suitable for everyone. We were pleasantly surprised when a complimentary plate of edamame ($7), seasoned with soya and a fragrant spice blend, was brought to our table. This appetizer of tender, garlicky beans, lightly salted, helped, indeed, to ease the wait for the Peking duck. Our order of a traditional Peking duck ($55) was served. So ready were we to dig in that we overlooked the fact that the skin of the duck, the most sought after part of the dish, was not as crispy as we expected. Nevertheless, this dish was tasty. The soft mandarin pancakes, for wrapping duck skin, meat, scallions, carrots, cucumber and thick sweet bean sauce in little packages, kept their shape, not getting soggy or tearing. These were so good that we got an extra order of six pancakes. In the secondary
duck dish, fresh lettuce cups added a crispy crunch to the flavourful, shredded duck meat, onions and deep fried vermicelli noodles. Crispy Tofu ($7) with a sweet dipping sauce was specifically for the children, but, it turned out that the deep fried tofu was too crusty and dry for everyone’s taste. We decided that mixed vegetables and tofu might be more suitable. The server suggested, that, since we had ordered Snow Peas and Broccoli ($14), she would ask the chef to just add tofu to that dish. Now, that’s accommodation. As it turned out, this alternative was a hit. The Drunken Shrimp ($16), with a savoury beer sauce, proved to be an excellent choice for all, particularly the two-year-old. The aromatic, caramelized onion and crispy garlic added complexity to the flavour and velvety texture of the dish…so good with the jasmine rice. A generous plateful of Hakka Noodles ($13) with cabbage, chicken and shrimp, prepared with mild flavouring, as we requested, paired well with the main course dishes we shared. Some of us would have preferred the noodles with the original spicy chili. As content as we were, no one passed on dessert. The youngest diners were quick to make their selections… Molten Chocolate Cake and Coconut Sorbet. One of each was enough for sharing. Although such desserts are not typical of Chinese cuisine, these sweets offered a light finish to a satisfying meal. My older granddaughter’s comment tells all…“Ooh, so, so delicious!” ■
Leaside Life, May 2017
Leaside Life, May 2017 30
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