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Brotherly love

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Mentoring a child can make a big difference Page 9 BUSINESS 6 HOME & GARDEN 10 CALENDAR 12 SPORTS 14 TOWN FOLK 15

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Principal named one of Canada’s best

Jack’s way

Bowmore Road’s Thelma Sambrook brings positive energy to her school Che Perreira News francis crescia/town crier

To pay tribute to the late Jack Layton the City of Toronto has named a road through the new Bridgepoint Health facility in his honour. During the official ceremony to mark the occasion Layton’s wife, Olivia Chow, centre, was presented with a copy of the sign that will adorn the street by local councillor Paula Fletcher. Layton’s son Mike, at left, also joined in the celebrations. For more photos of the unveiling see page 2.

Bridgepoint takes over jail After years of work and planning the old Don Jail, famous for holding some of Canada’s most famous prisoners, is about to begin its new life as the

administration centre for Bridgepoint Health’s new rehablitiation hospital. On March 6, Bridgepoint president and CEO Marian Walsh was joined by Minister of Health and Long Term Care Deb Matthews to receive the ceremonial key to the new facility.

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Eric Emin Wood

“Bridgepoint’s new facility will provide improved access to health care services for Ontarians, enhancing the quality of life for patients with complex chronic conditions,” Matthews wrote in a statement. The new building includes accessible therapy gyms on every patient floor, increased space for outpatient services and community programming, a CELLS Page 2

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Historic building has found new life as part of health centre

Bowmore Road Junior and Senior Public School’s Thelma Sambrook says she’s honoured to have been named as one of the country’s top principals. “It’s an incredible list of people to be part of,” she said of the award from the Learning Partnership. Teacher Peter Gazzellone says he has enjoyed working with Sambrook. “She has brought a positive energy to the school,” he says. “She always has a silver lining.” Gazzellone says he appreciates Sambrook’s dedication to the students and community and is motivated by her positive outlook. “She makes you want to do better as a teacher,” he says. “We want her to stay forever.” Sambrook, who says her goal is to help students succeed STUDENTS Page 3


photo courtesy Samantha Shantz

NEW LOOK: The old Don Jail has been transformed by its conversion to a Bridgepoint Health building.

Cells still on site Cont. from Page 1

The community came out to celebrate the official naming of Jack Layton Way on a snowy day that included entertainment from the local Chinese community and speeches from Layton’s friends and former colleagues. All photos by francis crescia



Hop Right In!







Street party

ic half-round building that has served as the hospital’s home for the past 50 years — and which is scheduled for demolition, despite protests in 2005. “It was a building that met the health care standards of 50 years ago, but doesn’t do so today,” Walsh said. “This new facility is ... purposebuilt to meet the needs of today’s complex patients.” The history of the former Don Jail has been preserved with four cells remaining to allow visitors to see the cramped 1 x 2.5 metre quarters that once held two inmates at a time. “It’s transforming a corner that was seen as fairly foreboding into a community resource,” Walsh said. “By bringing back what was the old Don Jail to full and vibrant life, changing it from a site of incarceration to a site of innovation, as well as building the new hospital on the same plot of land, Bridgepoint is building on its master plan and reconnecting with the community.”



larger therapeutic pool and a multi-use trail that connects the hospital campus with Riverdale Park and the Lower Don Trail. Patients will start to move in on April 14. Bridgepoint was founded in 1860 as a house of refuge for “incurables and the indigent poor,” according to its website. In 1957 it became Riverdale Hospital, and was renamed Bridgepoint Hospital during the past decade. Construction of the new facility began in September 2009. Bridgepoint specializes in so-called complex patients with multiple health conditions. “You probably come to Bridgepoint because you’ve had an acute episode — you’ve been in a car accident, you’ve had a stroke, you’ve had a heart attack — but you’ve also probably had other underlying conditions that led to that,” Walsh said. As part of the company’s master plan, the new facility was built next to the icon-



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Game over for winter sports Public board won’t send boys b-ball or girls v-ball teams to OFSAA Perry King News

Despite the decision by the public high school teachers union to start supervising extracurriculars again, public high school winter sports have been officially put on ice in Toronto. “The TDSSAA will not run leagues or championships for the 2013 Winter season,” wrote Toronto’s public high school athletic association, in a letter to coaches Feb. 26. Toronto District School Board schools also won’t be participating in Winter OFSAA tournaments, listing 12 sports — including swimming, boys’ basketball and girls’ volleyball — that began league play or were slotted to begin between mid-December and January. “We have our championships set, as far as the dates, and all the arrangements for the winter championships, so they’ll be proceeded as we originally scheduled,” said OFSAA executive director Doug Gellatly. “For the most part, if they’re trying to get going now, they’re not going to get in. It’s just too late.” For OFSAA, this is unprecedented. Administering massive changes due to the boycotts was difficult, and with draws for tournaments already set, delaying tournaments to let public school organizations like the TDSSAA find their OFSAA qualifications would have been costly and logistically impossible as some winter tournaments began during the first week of March. For swimmer Jack Zhang, it’s still worth fighting for a season. Attending Northern Secondary, the member of the school’s 2011-2012 city champion swim team says he’s been rally-

ing the troops. On the same day as the TDSSAA memo, Zhang and others sent letters to OFSAA. Previous letters have also been sent to the National Federation of State High School Associations, of which OFSAA is a member. “People are losing scholarships, this is pretty much a disaster right now,” Zhang said. “I think OFSAA should step it up and come up with a solution to this.” Northern has been getting back to normal, with student government and clubs starting up. Zhang is hoping for an equal chance on the swim team. He has not received a response from OFSAA, as of press time. The Feb. 26 letter also put coaches on notice that spring sports will continue as planned with coach and convenor meetings planned for dates in March. While all students lost three months of extracurriculars, the labour strife — centered on protests about Bill 115 — left competitive student athletes without much option. Many athletes, even those entering grade 9 this fall, plan on transferring or entering a private or independent school to ensure their athletic careers aren’t interrupted. Many public school students have already transferred to Catholic schools, according to documents by the TDCAA, the Toronto Catholic schools’ athletic association. The memo bombshell lands in a complicated high school sports landscape. In Toronto basketball, more Catholic and private schools saw leaps in success, grabbing OFSAA spots. “You look at the field, and you look at [quarterfinals at OFSAA] for example, you don’t see Eastern, you don’t see Oakwood, you don’t see Vaughan,” said Ari Hunter, head coach of the Crescent Coyotes senior boys basketball squad, who grabbed an OFSAA bid this season. While other athletic associations in Ontario incorporate public, private and

francis crescia/town crier

OUT OF BOUNDS: While public high school teachers can now go back to supervising extra curricular activities all winter season sports, including girls volleyball, have been cancelled.

Catholic schools, Toronto is home to three different leagues. For OFSAA AAAA basketball, the CISAA and TDCAA are generally reserved one representative each for the tournament, the TDSSAA has two. With the TDSSAA’s withdrawal, their bids went to the leagues in Hamilton and Southwestern Ontario. “We went back to the previous years’ gold medallist, they get the first shot at

it,” Gellatly said. “Then we go silver, to third, to fourth. That’s the process for filling extra spots. “Not necessarily does CISAA or TDCAA [fill the spot]. It could be any association in the province.” Without Oakwood or Eastern Commerce to compete with the likes of Mother Theresa and Henry Carr in basketball, the competitive balance has changed for OFSAA’s AAAA basket-

ball crown. That tournament began Mar. 4. “You still got Top 10 basketball in the province. It’s just when you don’t have some of the other heavy hitters thrown into the mix, it is a shame,” Hunter said. “On the other hand, look, for us, it allowed us to get a direct autobid in. “So I’ll take it, for an opportunity at history, right?”

Students and staff help to improve wheelchair access Cont. from Page 1

beyond the academic level and to become leaders within their community, helped bring the Me to We program to her school and has done outreach to install wheelchair ramps at local businesses. “There are not enough ramps in the community,” she says. “We want to make the businesses accessible to all.” Students are working with Luke Anderson, a Toronto engineer and wheel chair user who sustained a spinal cord injury while biking in British Columbia, to educate business owners on the need for more ramps and to plan their installation. Sambrook says 30 businesses have

committed to installing ramps. She also helped publish a book called The Ramp Man, which chronicles the struggles Anderson faces and his plans to overcome them, while she was at Summit Heights. “I like to see others shine,” Sambrook says. “A leader is someone who works with others to get things done.” Sambrook says she embraces the opportunity to learn from these leaders at the awards presentation and improve at her job. “I’m looking forward to hearing the ideas [of other recipients],” she says. “I’m looking to get better at what I’m already doing.”

“A leader is someone who works with others to get things done.”

photo courtesy Thelma Sambrook

GOING GOOD THINGS: Bowmore Road Junior and Senior Public School’s principal Thelma Sambrook, centre, sits with teacher Peter Gazzellone and students from the school’s popular and successful Me to We program.


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Toronto-Danforth Trustee

Province needs to step up to fund education Cathy Dandy

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The Toronto District School Board has entered into the annual staffing process and the news is not good. It’s a tired story that we hear every year — the school board is experiencing declining enrolment and this affects our funding and our ability to keep teachers with students. Although our elementary enrolment is starting to trend upward, our secondary schools still have to have the smaller cohort pass through them so numbers in high schools will continue to drop. The problem with this explanation is that it only tells half the story. Half of the reduc-

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ing result is that far too many students feel disconnected from their schools and do not have a supportive adult to turn to when in trouble. If we cut teachers in this next round of staffing, this important finding will be ignored. Pay attention to your child’s high school classes in September. Ask how many students are in them. Find out how connected your son or daughter feels to the school and the work they are doing. The funding formula gets in the way of what students really need which is adults to teach them, support them, counsel them and protect them. If you would like to protest the government’s failure to fix the funding formula, contact me at Tell me how you would like to be involved in making sure we have well staffed schools that connect with students.

Toronto-Danforth MP MP Toronto-Danforth

More work still to be done Craig Scott

Craig Scott

It’s been a great first year as MP, but government still needs to be held to account

It seems like only yesterday that I was bring “dragged” into Parliament by NDP Leader Tom Mulcair and Olivia Chow, a tradition for members elected in byelections. Nearly a year has passed since my election, when I was given the honour and privilege of representing the vibrant community of Toronto-Danforth. It has been my pleasure to spend the past year meeting and engaging with constituents, local organizations and business owners. Many of you have told me about your challenges and about what kind of Canada you want to live in.

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tion in teachers can be attributed to the loss of students but the other half is because we don’t get enough funding from the government to adequately staff schools. The Liberal government made a campaign promise in 2010 that it would review and improve the education funding formula. This has not happened and so the funding of our schools is based on a model that does not look at what is needed in schools. The class cap on core high school subjects can range as high as 35 students. The funding for librarians and school support personnel is so low that smaller schools struggle to have the proper resources for students. And even large schools do not have enough adults to deal with the myriad of challenges that students face. The board just released the preliminary results of a student census. The most strik-

We want to know

I have made it my priority to bring your views to Parliament and to represent our community following the example set by my predecessor, Jack Layton. In Ottawa, I have underscored the need for secure, affordable housing units in Toronto and the need to improve our employment insurance system. I have stood in support of the White Ribbon campaign to end violence against women, made clear the importance of building a clean and sustainable environment, as well as to create a new relationship with First Nations. I have introduced legislation to take action against fraudulent robocalls and to end discrimination against LGBT youth. And I have stood shoulder-toshoulder with NDP Leader Tom Mulcair to defend Canadian unity based on a vision of democratic federalism. Canadians should be able to look to

Ottawa and see a record of integrity and accountability. Instead, we see a Conservative government that would rather defend privilege and party control in the Senate, instead of prioritizing effective economic development, EI and important services that Canadians need. I made the decision to run to be your Member of Parliament because I have faith we can build a more modern, equal and sustainable Canada. One year later, under the capable and energetic leadership of Tom Mulcair, the NDP Official Opposition is making it our mission to earn Canadians’ trust. In 2015 we will invite Canadian voters to make history — by electing their first-ever New Democratic federal government. As Jack used to say, “Don’t let anyone tell you it can’t be done.”

Town Crier is looking for talented and connected community individuals to help us share the news of our neighbourhoods. Tell us what’s going on, what you think of the happenings and personalities within our community. Be it arts, education, business or politics we’d love to hear your stories. Also, do you have a great photograph of your neighbourhood or an event of local interest that you’d like to share with the community? Send it along and it may appear in either the print edition of the Town Crier or on our website at If you’ve got a tip or a pic you’d like to share you can send it to and we’ll help you share your news with the community.


Toronto-Danforth MPP Peter Tabuns

Don’t legislate volunteerism Province should negotiate with teachers to bring extracurriculars back

We all want our schools to get back to normal, whether we’re parents, students, teachers or just interested in education. The best way for that to happen is for the government and teachers to sit down and negotiate. It’s worked in the past, and if it’s done in an open and honest way, it will work again. It was the heavy-handedness of the McGuinty Liberal government that created this particular mess. It’s too easy to believe, like the Progressive Conservatives do, that the government just has to order the teachers to take on extracurricular activities. It would seem to be a simple solution. It is neither simple nor a solution. History shows us that. The Progressive Conservatives tried, and failed, with a similar approach 13 years ago. As a result, students lost years of extracurriculars under Tory premier Mike Harris. We cannot go down that road again. Back then, an advisory group to the government found three obstacles to resuming extracurriculars. The first was a lack of respect for teaching and teachers. This demoralized teachers, caused stress and discouraged them from giving more. The second was the burden of new tasks on the teaching schedule, which

resulted in less time for extracurriculars. The third obstacle was lack of resources. There were no funds for extracurriculars. These three obstacles still exist. The simplistic approach of ordering people to “volunteer” did not work then. In fact, it harmed students by causing the loss of even more extracurriculars. We cannot repeat that mistake. That’s why the legislature defeated the recent Progressive Conservative motion to have the government force teachers to take on extracurricular activities. Over the last few months, I’ve talked with many parents in our neighbourhood and with many teachers who live here, both at their homes and at meetings. I found everyone is concerned about the students and their education. Everyone wants a resolution to the current state of extracurricular activities. Those who teach, those who counsel students, and those who support students with special needs want to agree on their working conditions in an honest give-and-take negotiation. History shows us that when a coercive measure is introduced, more teachers withdraw from extracurricular activities. Now is the time to learn the history lessons, to re-establish the respect, and to negotiate honestly with our teachers and education workers. It’s not a simplistic solution. It is the solution that will work. Our students deserve a real solution, and we can give them one.

Mobile crisis team coming to divisions Cops and nurses partner to respond to mental health related calls Shawn Star News

Police in 54 and 55 Divisions have announced a new partnership with Toronto East General Hospital in order to help people experiencing a mental health crisis. Called a Mobile Crisis Intervention Team, the partnership brings together a mental health nurse and a specially trained police officer to respond to 911 calls, and pro-

vide the person suffering from a mental health crisis with the necessary services. The partnership is contacted only by 911 operators and can not be reached by members of the public, so if someone is experiencing a mental health crisis, they are reminded to contact 911. Police said not all calls will be responded to by the service. Those calls involving thoughts of suicide, self-harm, distorted or psychotic thinking, anxiety, overwhelming depression and a temporary breakdown of coping skills will garner a response, while cases like overdoses, drug and alcohol intoxication, and people who are violent or possessing a weapon won’t. The team also provides fol-

low up services and referrals to those requiring them. While they are equipped with handcuffs, they are used only by the officer and in accordance with Toronto Police Service principles. This also occurs only when the individual involved is posing a safety to risk to others or if that individual is being arrested under the Mental Health Act. If such an arrest occurs, the person is taken to the nearest psychiatric facility, which police said is usually the closest emergency room. The Mobile Crisis Intervention Team operates seven days a week and usually between 11 a.m. and 9 p.m. Partnerships like this already exist for 10 of the Toronto Police’s 17 divisions.

Cops crack down on cannabis substitutes sold at corner stores

Police warn the public that such products are illegal regardless of claims Shawn Star Crime

Toronto Police are warning the public about a smokable cannabis substitute they say is an illegal health hazard, but is being sold in variety stores across the city. In a news release, police said they seized 55 packages of the product on from stores in 54 and 55 divisions on Mar. 4 following an investigation by the Drug Squad that began the previous month. The investigation is continuing. The product was sold under the various names including IZMS Grape Drank and Luau Love and police say they were falsely marked as being legal. Owners of the stores selling the product were not charged, but cautioned and reminded the product is illegal. Toronto Police also cited Health Canada as recently warning the public about smoking herbal incense products, saying they can cause symptoms like seizures, hallucinations and acute psychosis. Police said they are classified as “synthetic cannabinoids”, which makes them illegal under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act. Thanks were extended to the public from the police, who said it was as a result of concerned educators knowing these products were available near schools that allowed for the Drug Squad to make the seizures at various stores. Police also said any business owners who have the products should contact them, as they will continue checking for the products at various locations, as well as investigating the distribution chain. Man killed by van on Victoria Park Avenue A man who was struck by a van while crossing Victoria Park Avenue has died from his injuries. Police announced on Mar. 8 that the man had become the seventh traffic fatality of

2013 after being struck three days earlier. On Mar. 5 just before 9:30 p.m., two men were crossing Victoria Park mid-block from west to the east, with a 35-year-old male friend of theirs several steps behind. At the same time, a 2005 Ford Econoline 250 van driven by a 31-year-old man was going northbound on Victoria Park in the curb lane. The 35-year-old man stepped in front of the van and was struck. He was taken to hospital with life-threatening injuries and succumbed to them on Mar. 7. Homicide victim may have had gang ties The victim of Toronto’s ninth homicide this year had ties to the Woodbine Heights area of East York. Thuan Nguyen, 25, was shot and killed in the early morning hours of Feb. 24 this year outside of Vy Vy Restaurant and Lounge at 425 Signet Dr. in North York. Police responding to the scene discovered Nguyen in the parking lot, where he was pronounced dead. Police have reportedly been looking into Nguyen’s possible ties to organized crime and drug trafficking to see if that has any connection to his death. It has also been reported that Nguyen was under house arrest at the time of his murder stemming from a Nov. 2012 arrest for drug possession. However, the Town Crier also reported back in Sept. 2012 that Nguyen was one of 12 people picked up in a drug bust near Woodbine and Sammon avenues. At the time, police said they had acted on complaints from the community regarding a house in the area possibly being frequented by drug users. Police from 54 Division began an investigation on Sept. 23 and said they learned the house was being used both to consume and traffic drugs. Three days later, they executed a search warrant on the home and seized cocaine, heroin and Canadian currency. A total of 12 people were arrested and charged in connection with the investigation, eight of whom were apprehended during the raid. Nguyen was one of those and was charged with possession of heroin, possession of cocaine for the purpose of trafficking, and possession of proceeds of crime.



Business sprang from homesickness

at Queen and Carlaw. “I Childhood favourite shop would love for people to take Linett away that it’s a quality prodshortbread cookies Marc Linett & Timmis uct made with love.” Personal Injurystudying Lawyers at the After became well loved National Ballet School, Stryg 1867 Yonge St., Suite 1004, Toronto Ann Ruppenstein Business

was in New York City in 1986

416-366-5100 to pursue singing but soon embarked on another career 1-800-363-5100

path. Feeling homesick one night, he whipped up a batch Coach House Company’s owner Carl Stryg of shortbread cookies, which in aretail motor vehicle accident have been part aoffew his family’s refers :toI was his involved bakery and tradition since he shop as his shortbread laboraweeks ago. I injured my neckChristmas and back and right knee. a child he would tory. Describing he’s to was I have not been the abletreat to return my work as a when construction spent over 25 years perfect- steal out of the cookie jar foreman. My doctor has sent me for physiotherapy. I also ing, he quotes the words of a when no one was looking. find food that Iwriter. need help with home maintenance chores.not What “The landlord, knowlocal are legal rights?David said ing I had made it, asked me “I my think Cynthia it best — crisp on the out- where I had bought it and a : You have the right to claim Statutory Accident Benefits side with a meltingly tender little light bulb just started from your says own automobile over with my respect head,” toheyour says. “I heart,” Stryg from his insurer


lost income, physiotherapy and other necessary medical and rehabilitation expenses and for housekeeping or home maintenance expenses. An application to your insurer, including a Doctor’s Certificate and Employer’s Statement should be submitted as quickly as possible. You may also If have youthe would take advantage of person their years of right tolike seektocompensation against the experience, send your questions to “Ask the Experts” responsible for the accident for your pain and suffering and and they will be happy to reply to you in this space. By other losses which are not covered by your own automobile E-mail:, by Fax: 416-488-3671 or insurer.Ask Youthe should consultc/o an experienced injury Ave., write: Experts, Town Crier,personal 101 Wingold Toronto, ON, M6B 1P8. that your rights are fully protected. lawyer promptly to ensure

Ask the experts

Marc Linett, a partner in the personal injury law firm of Linett & Timmis, has been practicing accident and insurance litigation in Toronto for over 37 years. His firm has established a solid reputation representing thousands of injured victims and their families throughout Ontario.

Marc Linett

Linett & Timmis Personal Injury Lawyers 1867 Yonge St., Suite 1004, Toronto

416-366-5100 1-800-363-5100


: I was involved in a motor vehicle accident a few weeks ago. I injured my neck and back and right knee. I have not been able to return to my work as a construction foreman. My doctor has sent me for physiotherapy. I also find that I need help with home maintenance chores. What are my legal rights?


: You have the right to claim Statutory Accident Benefits from your own automobile insurer with respect to your lost income, physiotherapy and other necessary medical and rehabilitation expenses and for housekeeping or home maintenance expenses. An application to your insurer, including a Doctor’s Certificate and Employer’s Statement should be submitted as quickly as possible. You may also have the right to seek compensation against the person responsible for the accident for your pain and suffering and other losses which are not covered by your own automobile insurer. You should consult an experienced personal injury lawyer promptly to ensure that your rights are fully protected. Marc Linett, a partner in the personal injury law firm of Linett & Timmis, has been practicing accident and insurance litigation in

said well I made it and he said you should sell it, one thing led to another and he took them into his store in Trump Tower.” Although Stryg successfully got the cookies into several stores in the Big Apple, once he moved back to Toronto he had to devise a different game plan. His sister took some of his shortbread to a party catered by Dinah’s Cupboard, whose owner Dinah Koo tasted them and decided to sell them in her store, marking his first client in Canada. After working out of his mom’s tiny kitchen and renting a pastry kitchen at night to bake from 11:00 p.m. to 5 a.m. whenever needed, Stryg eventually found a base in an old coach house. The building, combined with the move to focus on savoury shortbread in addition to sweet flavours led him to change the company’s name from La Zecca Specialty Foods to Coach House Shortbread Company. “Somewhere along the way it was suggested to me that I try and sell the cookies at the One of a Kind Show and that absolutely turned into the most amazing pairing of brands,” he says. “Something really magic happens there for me and as soon as the clients at that show started to find me in my booth, it just blew up really I was not ready and it’s just really grown.” In addition to taking part in several other shows through-

ann ruppenstein/town crier

FAMILY TRADITION: Carl Stryg used to steal homemade shortbread cookies from the jar as a kid and now his Coach House Shortbread Company treats have struck a chord with others.

out the year, the cookies are also available in select retailers (especially around Christmas time), through his website and by appointment in shop when he’s not open for extended hours in March and for the festive buzz in fall and winter. “The business is intensely seasonal,” he says. “There’s really very little demand this time of year until just before Easter when there’s a little burst and then it’s just me and the crickets again until I start baking for my fall inventory in mid to late August, and then honestly all hell breaks loose. It’s crazy busy and it’s not unusual for me to work 16 hour days for three months in a row.”

While the biggest seller is the original, Stryg’s personal favourites are the almond and sugared rose in the sweet flavours and the walnut and BellaVitano for savoury. In December his shortbread was named the top choice in a blind taste test of six other shortbread cookie varieties in the Globe and Mail. “It was thrilling, totally out of the blue,” says Stryg. “There are lots of great products in this country, I was thrilled and then I was particular happy to find out that it had been a blind taste test because they were really just judging it on the product itself.” Although the cookies have grown in popularity, he’s maintained a small batch pro-

duction despite requests from large wholesalers. Recalling a card he received 15 years ago from a family that wrote the message: “Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without your cookies,” he says he still has the card and the family continues to shop from him even though the kids are now grown-up. “That’s really why I stay small,” he says, adding it also allows him to have quality control. “It’s those stories. You couldn’t have that if it was a conveyer belt cooking them out somewhere and they were all just arriving at wholesalers and giant Costco bins. That’s a viable way to do business but it’s really not how I choose to be.”

Best friend predicted career path Sarma Malins came late to hair design, but her passion for her craft shows Ann Ruppenstein Business

Sarma Malins started her career as an apprentice at a well-known salon when she was forced to choose between cutting and colouring. “It was so hard for me to decide,” she says. “I just realized it wasn’t the right road for me because I believe if you love doing hair, you love doing everything.” With six years of industry experience, Malins recently opened her own salon called SM Beauty on Carlaw Avenue near Dundas Street E., where she does cut-

ting, colouring and styling. In addition to working full time on site, she also works creatively on photo-shoots, fashion shows and music videos. “Later in life I decided that I needed to find something that I loved to do,” she says. “My best friend predicted years and years before that I should get into hair because I always loved making people look good so I went to hair school and the rest was history. I graduated when I was like 30 years old.” Although most of the shop fits into a black and white colour scheme, it wasn’t on purpose, she says, adding she first noticed it when she was setting up the night before her opening. That same day she had a ministry official come in to register her stylists, who had some doubts about whether or not they’d be ready on time for their launch, she says. “She came in and she was like, ‘You’re

opening tomorrow? Are you serious?’ and I said, ‘Mark my words, I will send you pictures that I will be open’ and I sent her pictures,” she says. “We were here probably until four in the morning with 20 of our friends just getting everything together.” In 2012 Malins also started a non-profit organization called Photo-Boost, a selfesteem building workshop for teen girls within the Children’s Aid Society who have previously been living on the streets. Along with a photographer and make up artist, they work together with teenagers to direct a feature in their own photo shoot. “Later on they get to have a disk of all the pictures edited for them and while we’re there each of us talks about what we do, we kind of mentor them,” she says. “I talk about having a salon and all the creative work that I do and my photographer ARTWORK Page 7


Town Crier up for six provincial awards Nominations for news, education writing, columnist and websites Gordon Cameron Managing Editor

Valentine’s Day turned out lovely for the Town Crier as we received word we’re finalists for six provincial newspaper awards. Leading the way is Omar Mosleh whose work took two of the three finalist spots in the best news story category for papers over 10,000 in circulation. Mosleh’s story “Casa to become casino?” from our June 2012 Forest Hill edition looked at various proposals for what should be done with Casa Loma now that the city fully controlled the iconic landmark. The story also looked at both the recent history of the site and the challenges it faces going forward. Writing in Feb. 2012’s Toronto Today, Mosleh’s second story “For rich or poor” takes a frank look at

the city’s housing crisis. It juxtaposes the high price real estate boom that is occurring in much of the city with the fact that Toronto Community Housing’s waiting list for accommodation is over 80,000 names long. Shawn Star continued Town Crier’s history of quality education writing with his story “Beyond rote learning” published in our September 2012 Education Guide. Star looked at new and innovative ways teachers are helping their students learn math by understanding the concepts and encouraging them to use their own methods to discover the right answer. View from the Beach columnist Sandra Bussin is on the short list for Columnist of the Year for her writing on politics. Specifically, Bussin was lauded for her columns decrying Mayor Rob Ford’s handling of the city’s finances, city services and for the lack of civility at city hall. Town Crier and Toronto Today’s websites are once again finalists in the Ontario Community Newspapers Association member chosen Surfer’s Selection category. Winners will be announced at a gala banquet on Mar. 22.

town crier file

WAY TO GO: Continuing their tradition of excellence the Town Crier and its sister publication Toronto Today have been shortlisted for six provincial newspaper awards.

We’re Here to Help You. ann ruppenstein/town crier

My office can assist constituents who are experiencing difficulties with federal government departments and agencies. Contact us to arrange an appointment.

CUT AND COLOUR: Sarma Malins couldn’t narrow down her specialty when she started working with hair, so she decided to do everything. She now runs a new salon called SM Beauty.

Artwork rotates each month at salon Cont. from Page 6

will teach them technicalities with photography, my make up artist will talk to them about skin care … it’s been really well received.” Every month at the salon, which also offers eyelash and hair extensions and aesthetics, a different artist will be featured with a rotating collection of artwork covering the walls. “I like to support the arts and it’s nice to have a change of scenery in here and we have the wall space too,” she says. Throughout their time working at the salon, she hopes her staff learns and becomes bet-

ter stylists. She encourages them to partake in classes for personal growth, she says. Although clients walk into SM Beauty, she’d like them to feel like strutting out, says Malins, who counts motivating people and making them feel good about themselves as a major job perk. “As a stylist it’s great to have people feel good on the outside and we all know that when you sit in your stylist chair, and you talk, it’s almost like being a therapist and it’s really nice to be able to be there for people in that aspect as well,” she says. “We have the best jobs in the world.”

304 - 741 Broadview Ave. Toronto ON M4K 3Y3 (416) 405.8914


Craig Scott M.P. // Toronto-Danforth



A trip for lovers of all sorts Five reasons to love Virginia’s Roanoke Valley Liz Campbell Features

The license plates say: Virginia is for lovers. They could have added: of history, of wine, of nature, and so much more. And nowhere are all these brought together more forcibly than in the Roanoke Valley. In the heart of the spectacular Blue Ridge Mountains, this valley was a hub of travel for trail blazers like Daniel Boone who chopped their way through the wilderness to Kentucky, as well as for the earliest pioneers crossing the wide expanse of America on the Great Wagon Road, in search of a better life. A young George Washington passed this way in 1776 to inspect the frontier forts. Standing on the top of Mill Mountain in the City of Roanoke, one gets a panoramic view of the Blue Ridge Mountains and the calmly flowing Roanoke River. One can almost picture lines of covered wagons slowly making their hopeful way west. At the top of this mountain is a giant star, perhaps in tribute to the stars which guided the early pioneers through this valley. But the star might guide you here for a host of other reasons. Here are five I found most compelling:

NO NEED TO WORRY: At first glance it may seem like the woman on the ledge at the Taubman Museum of Art may be in danger, but in fact, as a sculpture, she’s just where she’s meant to be.


Tabuns MPP Toronto-Danforth

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    • 923 Danforth Ave. • 416-461-0223

Reason 1: The wineries Most wineries offer tours, but in this area, there’s food, music and even star gazing. At Virginia Mountain Vineyards, we sample some lovely wines — my favourite is Trinity, a full-bodied blend of Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Merlot — dine on chili and bagels (where’s the lox?), then head outside to get close-ups of the moon and stars, courtesy of the Roanoke Astronomy Club and their telescopes. A good reason to visit the Blue Ridge Vineyard is a chance to meet its feisty owner and winemaker, Barbara Kolb. Her idea of a wine tour includes generous samplings of laughter along with the wine. In the barn, I sip a glass of their Big Bear Red, a bold Cabernet Franc blend, and devour a big plate of pulled pork and beans, while my toes keep time to bluegrass rhythms of Blinky Moon. Food, wine and music are a regular feature throughout the warm months. At Château Morrisette, take the time to do a proper tasting and tour, then sit under the umbrellas in the warm sunshine for an afternoon of music. Their oak aged Cab Franc is a must try. Reason 2: The Blue Ridge Parkway Running for 750 kilometres through the Southern Appalachian Mountains, this highway meanders its way along, offering dozens of spots along its length that offer spectacular views of mist-shrouded mountains, wildflower strewn pastures and even waterfalls. Hiking trails along its route beckon and we tackle the gentle Roaring Run trail near Eagle Rock, a short distance from Roanoke. Crossing footbridges in easy stages we find ourselves at the splendid waterfall whose torrent gives this area its name. With each season, the trees offer a changing panorama of colour, from the soft greens of spring to the vibrant reds and yellows of the fall.

BLUEGRASS AND RED WINE: Blue Ridge Vineyard’s tour not only includes generous samples of its signature vintages like Big Bear Red, but also pulled pork and traditional mountain music courtesy of Blinky Moon.

But this trail offers history too. Near its start is a furnace built in the mid-1800s to extract iron from hematite. Iron was needed then for the rapidly growing country for everything from farm machinery, tools and wagon wheels to muskets. Long since abandoned, Roaring Run is one of the few remaining furnaces standing on public land.

Reason 4: The Hotel Roanoke The days of the grand hotels are gone. But a few of these elegant ladies remain to remind us of a bygone age. This is one. Built in 1882, it started life as a Queen Anne building but the popularity of all things Tudor in the 1930s saw it remodelled with massive Tudor beams. Today it stands foursquare, at the top of a rise, dominating the landscape of downtown Roanoke. If you can’t manage to stay here, take the time to visit the grounds and the beautiful palm court, another throwback to the early part of the 20th century, when afternoon teas and a palm court orchestra were the order of the day. The Regency Dining Room at the hotel is a must and your meal here must start with their famous peanut soup and spoonbread. For the cautious, chef Billy Raper makes a miniature taster served on a small board. I’m surprised to find I really enjoy this specialty.

Spectacular views and fine wine abound

Reason 3: Roanoke Roanoke started life as Big Lick, named for the large outcropping of salt that drew animals to the area. It was — thankfully — renamed Roanoke in 1882. This pretty, bustling town is small enough to walk around comfortably, though there’s a free shuttle bus that circles the centre should your energy flag. My favourite spot is the central market square and the still thriving farmer’s market. The Saturday market is so large it spills onto the streets in joyful enterprise, and with so many nearby boutiques and restaurants, I find myself wanting to take home too many things that simply won’t fit in my airline bag. In an effort to restrain the shopping gene, I head to the nearby Taubman Museum of Art, a few steps away. An eclectic collection of old and new, the Taubman seems to foster new, young artists by giving them an outlet for their creations. By the way, look up from outside and your heart will stop. It seems as if there’s a young girl, her hair blowing in the wind, perched on the edge of the building. She’s a sculpture! Also near the centre of town is the Virginia Museum of Transportation. One of the earliest American railways, the Norfolk & Western Railway, linked the coast to the city of Roanoke which became a hub. At the museum, a fascinating blend of history and big, big trains capture my attention. And there are little trains too — racing around the biggest, most exciting model railway complex I’ve ever seen. It’s for the kid in all of us. Probably my favourite museum of all time is the O. Winston Link museum which features the photography of this pioneer of the art. Link was a railway aficionado and went to extraordinary lengths to capture his passion in photos. It’s a must-see.

Reason 5: Shopping Now I’m not talking about malls and outlets. And the city market is just the start. An iconic spot in this area that draws people from around the world is Black Dog Salvage. In the charming Town of Grandin, this spot really is a salvage centre with 3,700 square metres of architectural treasures, stained glass, antiques, junk and most importantly, Sally, the black lab for whom the whole operation has been named. I only manage a couple of hours but one could easily spend a contented day exploring this place. Historic Grandin also boasts a great second hand bookstore which rejoices in the name, Too Many Books and two spots for the foodie. Pop’s Ice Cream bar is serving pumpkin ice cream the day we visit — yum — and sports the irreverent sign, “You’ve got a friend in cheeses.� Around the corner, Viva la Cupcake offers us a taste of gorgeously light, airy cupcakes in incredible flavours. There’s even a Guinness stout with a Jamieson glaze for the Irish tippler. Check their website if you don’t believe me. Virginia is definitely for lovers. I have to say, I loved it.



Being a ‘big’ influence Big Brothers and Big Sisters make a huge difference to kids Eric Emin Wood Kids & Families

photo courtesy Big Brothers Big Sisters

FUN ON THE COURT: Big Brother Chike Agdasi, left, tries to dribble past his Little Brother Dalton during a friendly game.

Chike Agdasi learned the value of mentorship at an early age. “I struggled in math when I was young,” says the 28-year-old government employee. “I had one teacher who went above and beyond by taking the time to meet after school and go through some of the harder problems. She helped me get through grade 11 math and a lot of the tough parts of high school.” Agdasi joined Big Brothers Big Sisters of Toronto in 2011 and was soon matched with Dalton, who waited three years for a mentor. Early on, Agdasi remembers booking a day or two off work to visit Dalton’s school. “I talked to the principal, talked to his teachers, because he was always getting


The latest research on helping ADHD Lynda M. Thompson, Ph.D. Stimulant drugs have been used to treat children who have problems with attention, impulsivity and hyperactivity for almost fifty years. For more than twenty-five years there has been clinical research using neurofeedback (Brainwave training) to treat such children, but it is not as well known. In a study published last December it was found that those who received neurofeedback as well as medication were able to maintain their gains when the medication was withdrawn.

100 children and teens were given Ritalin for one year. Half also received training (on average, 40 sessions) in how to produce brain waves that showed they were paying attention. There was also counseling for parents and academic support for the students. Both groups improved. A week after the children stopped taking the drug, however, all the children who had taken the drug “went back to square on” said Dr. Vince Monastra, the author of the study,

Crescent School Summer Program Crescent School extends its reputation for academic excellence into the summer months by offering its 2013 co-ed summer program to all students. Crescent is renowned for rigorous academics and exceptional facilities, and offers a variety of Grade 10, 11 and 12 credits to any student wishing to enrol. A range of high school courses including mathematics, physics, chemistry, history and accounting are offered by energetic, enthusiastic teachers. Class size is limited to 16 (and is typically

smaller) with lessons taught in bright, air-conditioned classrooms. Students have access to state-of-the-art IT; assignments/tests are marked for the following class, and progress reports are issued weekly. Extra help is always available. Classes run from June 24 to July 26 from 8:30 am to 1:05 pm. There are no classes on July 1. We invite students interested in broadening their education to enrol in Crescent’s summer program.

published in the Journal of Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback, December 2002. All the children who had had neurofeedback maintained their gains. Neurofeedback can be used alone or in combination with medication. The advantages of the non-medication approach includes no negative sideeffects and results last after training is complete. For more information, contact The ADD Centre at 416-488-2233 or check our Web site at

in trouble,” Agdasi says. “Now ... he actually called me to say ... ‘I want you to come to my house so you can see my report card. It’s the best report card I’ve ever gotten!’” Dalton, who’s now 12 years old, says he had trouble listening in the classroom, and that Agdasi taught him to focus. “My grades weren’t that bad, but they weren’t good,” he says. Agdasi also helped Dalton to stay out of mischief. “He’s helped me ignore ... friends that get me into trouble,” Dalton says. “If someone tells you to do something, don’t follow them if it’s a bad choice.” In addition to helping with his homework, Agdasi plays sports with Dalton – his favourite is basketball – and takes him to games. He’s even brought Dalton to fancy restaurants, consciously being a positive role model so that Dalton can learn. Thanks to their bond, the pair received the organization’s Big Brother and Little Brother of the Year award in 2012. “It’s been over two years now,” Agdasi says. “And I’ve loved every minute

of it.” Founded in 1913, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Toronto turns 100 this year and as part of its centennial celebrations the organization is looking to reunite former Bigs and Littles and to actively recruit new adult volunteers. In particular, the organization is facing a shortage of mentors for boys living in the Scarborough, Etobicoke and Rexdale areas, says Big Brothers Big Sisters’ outreach coordinator, 26-year-old Max Beaumont. “I don’t think people are aware of what we do,” he says. “Or of the immense impact that it has on our communities.” Beaumont himself was hired by the organization last November, after becoming a big brother. “I got to a place in my life where I was in a stable position,” he says. “I thought, ‘I wouldn’t be where I was if I didn’t have a mentor in my life,’ and I was able to say, ‘this is my chance to give back and mentor someone else.’ ” Like any interested candidate, BeauORGANIZATION Page 11

“He’s helped me ignore ... friends that get me into trouble.”

Three A+ students. For Adults and Children

Achieving below potential? • Attention Span is Short • Distractibility • Difficulty Organizing & Completing Work • Impulsivity • Learning Difficulties • Asperger’s syndrome

Neurofeedback plus coaching in Learning Strategies can

You can't change the wind... provide a lasting improvement in learning. Research but you can adjust the sails. results are available. Director: Dr. Lynda M. Thompson (416) 488-2233

Co-author with pediatrician Wm. Sears of The A.D.D. Book

Which one has ADD?

The latest research on helping ADHD Crescent School Summer Academic Program 2013 Our co-educational Summer Academic Program offers students from all schools a variety of courses from Grades 10 – 12. Monday, June 24—Friday, July 26, 2013 Classes run from 8:30 a.m. to 1:05 p.m. No classes on Monday, July 1. Contact Michael Jansen, Director at 416-449-2556 x 355 or




lorraine Flanigan/Town crier

NO EASY GIG: Ensuring all the plants being shown at Canada Blooms look just like they will in your garden requires a lot of work and a helping hand from technology to fool Mother Nature.

City Gardening

Building Canada Blooms Lorraine Flanigan

How the plants at the iconic garden show look their best

It may look like winter, but the magnolias are already warming up for their dazzling display at Canada Blooms. At about this time, horticultural director Charlie Dobbin begins turning up the heat in the greenhouses where the flowering trees and shrubs that are some of the stars of the Canada Blooms Flower and Garden Festival have spent a coddled winter. “One year, we lost 90 percent of the woody plants during a sudden cold snap,” Dobbin says. Since then, she has perfected the

science — and art — of forcing plants to bloom before their time. Trees that otherwise would grow through the protective plastic roof of their temporary winter greenhouses lie on their sides and are rolled regularly to expose their dormant sides to the sun. Enough fans to form a wind farm circulate the air, evenly distributing it throughout the greenhouse and moderating temperatures. Colour-coded ribbons hang from branches to indicate where they’ll be placed on the show floor. That’s just a fraction of the preparation that goes on before the 10-day show opens at the Direct Energy Centre on Mar. 15. By now, landscapers have decided on their show garden designs, ordered the plants and materials they need and assembled a team to build the more than 25 innovative

gardens at this year’s show. This year, garden designs range from fitness-friendly “Otium”, which incorporates an exercise circuit within a natural setting, and “Body and Soul,” a garden that’s the perfect outdoor yoga space, to gardens that celebrate the freshness of spring with greenery, the sounds and scents of spring and the magic of spring, which is this year’s show theme. The hellebore, this year’s poster plant, is the perfect representative of springtime gardens. Nodding flower buds appear as the snow melts, breaking through icy crusts to show the world that spring is not far away. Although it looks delicate, the hellebore is a tough plant that thrives in shade. The blooms last right through to early summer when the foliage takes over to provide lots of tex-

tural interest. Hellebores make terrific plants for spring containers, too, looking exotic and cheerful by the doorstep. You’ll see plenty of them at the show, along with last year’s “it” plant, the pink-flowered Medinilla, back by popular demand. As always, there’s lots of advice from gardening experts at this year’s Canada Blooms. The Toronto Botanical Garden’s Sandra Pella will be speaking about spring perennials and offering ideas for small gardens. Nova Scotia gardening authority and author Nikki Jabbour talks about the year-round vegetable garden. And Marjorie Mason tempts us with gardens that look and taste great. Master gardeners will be on-hand, too, giving presentations, offering gardening advice and reprising last year’s popular Sit Down Sundays, an

opportunity to talk one-on-one with a knowledgeable master gardener. One of my favourite areas of Canada Blooms is the Garden Club of Toronto’s flower show. And oh my, they’re all set to put on another great display celebrating the magic of spring with floral exhibits in classes such as Abracadabra, Presto and Wizard and Bewitching and Spellbinding. Full details about this year’s show, including speaker schedules, is available online at Don’t wait for spring, find it at Canada Blooms. Donning her hard hat and steeltoed boots for her volunteer stint at Canada Blooms, Lorraine Flanigan writes from her home in the South Eglinton neighbourhood of Toronto.



Touching lives at camp Volunteering very rewarding Hilary Davidson Features

started volunteering for Camp Oochigeas or “Ooch”, as a counsellor, the summer of 2011, after hearing about its magical and positive environment from a friend. I was eager to spend my two-week vacation in the Muskokas at the residential camp with a dynamic group of volunteers and enthusiastic campers. Let me tell you, my experience at Ooch was nothing short of incredible. Ooch is a privately funded, volunteer-based organization that provides kids with cancer, and kids affected by childhood cancer, a chance to experience camp. It provides a unique opportunity for growth

through challenging, fun and enriching experiences. Enjoying the outdoors and having fun are two integral parts of being a child and every child deserves to experience the wonder of camp. Activities like canoeing, archery, swimming and waterskiing allow children with cancer to challenge themselves in a safe environment and get back to what they need most — the chance to just be kids. During the eight weeks of residential camp, Ooch will see nearly 800 campers between the ages of 6–19 and 320 volunteer counselors. There is also team of volunteer oncologists and nurses from Sick Kids Med Shed Team, so the children who need it can receive treatment at camp. In addition to summer residential camp, it provides yearround programs for children and families affected by childhood cancer at Sick Kids at

Photo courtesy Camp OOch

YES, IT IS AS FUN AS IT LOOKS: Every summer hundreds of volunteer counsellors head north to Camp Ooch to give kids dealing with cancer a chance to experience the wonders of camp.

Ooch Downtown, their urban camp facility. Ooch provides a safe place for children, to just be themselves. They’re challenged to learn new skills, and try new activities. All victories are celebrated, whether it be climbing to the top of the rock wall, or getting in a canoe. The camp-

ers’ determination and courage inspire me to try new things, and overcome my fears. It is so encouraging to see campers cheering on their new friends as they tackle a new goal. Everyday after lunch, there is a time where the campers are able to stand up in front of the whole camp and give a friend a Step

in the Right Direction who has met their goal, helped them with their goal or for just being a good friend. I loved seeing the children leave the camp, with more self-esteem and confidence. They had conquered so much by coming to camp, and they knew it. I am so proud to be apart of

such a passionate community of volunteers and staff that are so enthusiastic about bringing fun to these children. Campers, their families and the Ooch staff are always so appreciative of all our efforts, as volunteers. There is always a big smile or hug awaiting me when I walk in the door at Ooch.

Organization builds matches to last Cont. from Page 9

mont submitted a written application, along with a police record check and three or four references, to the organization. He then spoke with staff members, who interview every potential volunteer, child and child’s family. When a potential match is found, it’s discussed with all parties. “We put a lot of time into matching our candidates,” Beaumont says. “We want to make sure that our matches last.” Twenty-four-year-old Rexdale resident and big sister Myanca Rodrigues remembers having wonderful teachers and advisors in high school and says she received a full university scholarship because of their guidance. “I saw a lot of my classmates ... it wasn’t for lack of potential, but sometimes they missed opportunities or their lives ended up in different directions because they didn’t have support or they didn’t seek the resources provided to them at school,” she says. “When I started university, I felt kind of disconnected from the community I grew up in,” says Rodrigues, who now works in research. “I felt that Big Brothers and Big Sisters would enable me to maintain a connection with my community while at the same time helping someone else out.” In 2008 Rodrigues was matched with Priya, an 11year-old who had recently lost her father to cancer, and whose mother was also running a business and caring

for an autistic son. “I would say she’s a lot like me,” says Rodrigues. “She’s very ambitious and driven but takes time to enjoy life and her friends and participate in school activities.” Rodrigues also describes Priya as a “girl’s girl”. The pair will often shop, visit nail and hair salons and work out together. Rodrigues enjoys helping Priya, who’s now in grade 10, with homework and has helped Priya plan for university by walking her through the process. “There’s a saying: ‘he who fails to plan, plans to fail,’ ” Rodrigues says. “When I met Priya ... although she wanted to go to university, there were gaps, like she had an end-goal but didn’t know how to get there.... I feel like I’ve able to fill in those gaps.” Beaumont, who lives near Forest Hill, was matched with his little brother, Eddie, last year. “Since then, my life’s been different,” he says. “I have a new friend in my life, someone who looks up to me and I feel like I’m a kid again.” Rodrigues and Beaumont both see their mentees every two weeks, while Agdasi visits Dalton every weekend. Beaumont says that he and Eddie bonded over a mutual love of sports, though they’re equally likely to simply go out for a hamburger and catch up. “We’ve seen movies, played laser tag, gone to museums, been to Wonderland and Raptor’s games — stuff like that,” Beaumont says. “The time commitment is not a lot ... For as little as four hours a month you can change the life of a young person.”

“I have a new friend in my life, someone who looks up to me.”

photo courtesy Max Beaumont

ICE TIME: Big Brothers and Big Sisters do a variety of activities with their “Littles” from skating, like Max Beaumont, right, and Eddie to help with homework and career planning.




Bulk up your library at book sale Wednesday, March 13 & Friday, Mar. 15 Queen of Versailles, Point of View Doc Series, Brentwood Library, 36 Brentwood Rd. N. Mar. 13 at 6:30 p.m., Mar. 15 at 2 p.m. A character-driven documentary about a billionaire family and their financial challenges in the wake of the economic crisis that reveals the innate virtues and flaws of the American Dream. Register at information desk or call 416-394-5247. Free. Wednesday, Mar. 13–Saturday, Mar. 16 Breakfast With Houdini, Casa Loma, 1 Austin Ter. 8:30 a.m. Delight in an exciting breakfast with the incredible Houdini, in the Casa Loma Conservatory. Children will enjoy performers pancakes, ringmaster sausages, stage of syrup and butter, circus of fruit. Pre-registration is necessary for this event. 647725-0707. $25+ HST. Big Top Cookie Workshop, Casa Loma, 1 Austin Ter. 11 a.m. Children will decorate freshly baked carnival themed cookies and will bring home their collection in a whimsical popcorn box. Pre-registration required. General admission is included. To register, please phone 647-725-1826. Adults $23 + HST, children $18.75 + HST. Thursday, Mar. 14 Restaurant Tour —Churrasco Villa, Central Eglinton Community Centre, 160 Eglinton Ave. E. Noon. Churrasco is a popular Portuguese cooking style that uses a natural wood charcoal that creates a tasty and tantalizing eating experience. Must register by March 7 at 416-392-0511 ext. 228. Members pay for cost of their meal, non-members pay for cost of their meal plus $2. Must be 50+. How an Actress Became a Photographer by Marilyn Lightstone. Toronto Camera Club, 587 Mount Pleasant Rd. 8 p.m. Lightstone is an artist who seeks to create beauty. Often leaving her camera set to automatic, her strength is in her eye and an instinct for what might be meaningful. $10. Thursday, Mar. 14–Friday, Mar. 15 Ghost Tracking, Casa Loma, 1 Austin Ter. 7 p.m. Does Casa Loma have ghosts? Find out with our ghost tracking experts. The evening will start with an introduction of haunted tales and a look at

paranormal equipment followed by a mini-tour. Tickets $26.96 for adults and $15.95 for kids

Thursday, Mar. 14–Saturday, Mar 16 Toronto Mid-Winter Antique Glass Lover’s Show and Sale, 2180 Bayview Ave. 10 a.m. We will offer our entire inventory, including over 600 goblets, hundreds of pieces of tableware, Victorian, Depression, Flint, Early Blown, Heisey and the popular Jadite, Manhattan and Candlewick Glass. Free. Friends of the Toronto Public Library South Annual Clearance Used Book Sale, Toronto Reference Library, 789 Yonge St. Mar. 14 10 a.m.–8 p.m., Mar. 15 9:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m., Mar. 16 9 a.m.–4 p.m. Over 10,000 items including used books, videos, DVDs, records, magazines. Prices from 10 cents to 50 cents. Friday, Mar. 15 Non GMO Healthy Kids, Smart Choices, Brentwood Library, 36 Brentwood Road N. 10 a.m. Join 13-year-old community advocate, Rachel Parent, as she talks about genetically modified organisms and how you can select healthy food for you and your family. For ages 5 and up. Register at Brentwood Library 416-394-5247. Free. Retro Board Games, S. Walter Stewart Library, 170 Memorial Park Ave. 2 p.m. Register to play retro board games such as Parcheesi, Clue, Checkers, Chess, Pictionary and Yatzee. Ages: 11–18. Call the library at 416-396-3975 to register. Free. Friday, Mar. 15–Saturday, Mar. 16 Gymboree Play & Music at Shops at Don Mills, 1090 Don Mills Rd. 10 a.m. Laugh, learn and play with new friends at Shops at Don Mills, courtesy of Gymboree Play and Music. Join in the fun activities including story time, bubbles, parachute games, music, dance and more. Limited to 20 kids. Register at 416-447-6087 x.244. Free. Saturday, Mar. 16 Jazz Masters at The Home Smith Bar, The Old Mill, 21 Old Mill Rd. 7:30 p.m. The illustrious Mike Downes Trio is showcased, starring Mike Downes (bass), Robi Botos (piano) and Ethan

Ardelli (drums). No cover but $20 minimum expenditure. Wednesday, Mar. 20 East York Historical Society Discussion Group, S. Walter Stewart Library, 170 Memorial Park Ave. 2 p.m. Join us for a discussion with the son of one of the first settlers of Bennington Heights before there was a road or any services there. Bring any photos, memorabilia, questions or stories you would like to share with the group. Free. An Evening with Hildegard of Bingen, Revue Cinema, 400 Roncesvalles Ave. 6:45 p.m. Celebrate the Vernal Equinox by honouring the life, music and creativity of a remarkable medieval mystic, Hildegard of Bingen. Schola Magdalena, a six-voice women’s group, sings a selection of Hildegard chants; author Teri Degler introduces the film. $10–13. Thyroid Therapy Health Talk, Main Street Library, 137 Main St. 7 p.m.Free health talk on thyroid therapy by Kate Whimster, ND. Free.

Thursday, Mar. 21 Bowling at Newtonbrook Bowlerama, Central Eglinton Community Centre, 160 Eglinton Ave. E. 1 p.m. Join us for a fun afternoon of friendly competition. This month we will be playing two games of 10 pin bowling. All levels welcomed. Register by March 14 by calling 416-3920511 ext. 228. Must be over 50. $12.50 for members and $14.50 for non-members. Monthly meeting, Canadian Federation University Women Leaside-East York, Northlea United Church 125 Brentcliffe Rd. 7:30 p.m. Visitors and new members welcome. Free. Thursday Night Jazz Party at The Home Smith Bar, The Old Mill, 21 Old Mill Rd. 7:30 p.m. Traditional vocalist, Genie-nominated actress and broadcast personality Terra Hazelton (vocals) welcomes featured guests Richard Whiteman (piano) and Brighan Philips (trumpet, trombone, piano) to keep the party swinging. No cover but $20 minimum expenditure. Image Compositing — Making Imagination Possible with Photoshop by Alice Zilberberg, Toronto Camera Club, 587 Mount Pleasant Rd. 8 p.m. Zilberberg will speak about how she has used the

medium of photography to create image composites in Photoshop. Creating great work is beyond just knowing the tools, but imagination and creativity need to come first. $10. Friday, Mar. 22 Fridays to Sing About at The Home Smith Bar, The Old Mill, 21 Old Mill Rd. 7:30 p.m. Jazz singing star Carol McCartney (vocals) is joined by Brian Dickinson (piano), Chris Robinson (saxophone) and Kierans Overs (bass) in a memorable evening of great music to jazz up your weekend. No cover but $20 minimum expenditure.

Friday, Mar. 22 and Wednesday, Mar. 27 Screening of Vanishing Point, Brentwood Library, 36 Brentwood Rd. N. March 22 at 2 p.m., March 27 at 6:30 p.m. This intriguing National Film Board of Canada documentary looks at how circumpolar peoples of today are facing the greatest social and environmental challenges in their history. Register at the information desk or call 416-3945247. Free. Saturday, Mar. 23 Tune Into Nature – Family Nature Walk, High Park Nature Centre, 440 Parkside Dr. 1 p.m. Come feel the changing seasons in High Park. We will sniff, taste, touch, listen and watch the nature around us on this sensory hike. No registration required. $2 per person or donate-what-you-can. Sense of Place: Creating a Convincing World, North York Central Library, 5120 Yonge St. 2 p.m. This twohour workshop focuses on the art of creating clear, convincing fictional settings. Call 416-395-5639 to register. Free. Quintessential Belly Dance, Brentwood Library, 36 Brentwood Rd. N. 2 p.m. Dancer Evyenia Karmi will be offering a glimpse into the exotic world of belly dance with a free one hour instructional seminar. Participants should wear comfortable clothing. Register at Brentwood Library Information Desk or call 416-394-5247. Jazz Masters at The Home Smith Bar, The Old Mill, 21 Old Mill Rd. 7:30 p.m. The illustrious Mark Ucci Trio is featured, starring Mark Ucci (guitar), Mark Eisenman (piano) and Clark Johnston.

No cover but $20 minimum expenditure.

Saturday, Mar. 23–Sunday, Mar. 24 Easter Egg Painting Family Workshop, Todmorden Mills Heritage Site, 67 Pottery Rd. 10 a.m. Saturday, 1 p.m. Sunday. Learn this ancient art form. Create your own personalized pysanky (Easter eggs) using traditional wax resist techniques. Suitable for children age 6 and up. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Pre-registration is required at 416-396-2819. $10 for adults and $5 for children. Tuesday, Mar. 26 Bus Trip — Maple Syrup Festival, Central Eglinton Community Centre, 160 Eglinton Ave. E. 9 a.m. We will be visiting Kortright Centre for Conservation to enjoy a Canadian tradition. The outing will include a pancake lunch, time in the gift shop, a presentation and a guided adventure into the bush. Call 416-392-0511 ext. 228 for more info. $37 for members, $47 for non-members. Must be over 50 years old. Nutrition and Cancer Screening, S. Walter Stewart Library, 170 Memorial Park Ave. 2 p.m. WoodGreen Community Services presents a workshop on nutrition and current screening tools to prevent cancer. Free. Leaside, It’s History and 100th Anniversary Celebration, S. Walter Stewart Library, 170 Memorial Park Ave. 7:30 p.m. Join us for the East York Historical Society’s talk on the 100th Anniversary of Leaside. East York Historical Society’s President, Jane Pitfield, author of the book Leaside and Geoff Kettel of the Leaside Property Owners Association will speak. Free. Thursday, Mar. 28 Lunch ‘n’ Learn — Resolving Family Caregiver Disputes, Central Eglinton Community Centre, 160 Eglinton Ave. E. Noon. A complimentary lunch will be provided by High 5 Financial. Must be over 50 and register by March 21. $2 for non-members. Film and Fine Dining, Revue Cinema. 400 Roncesvalles Ave. 6:30 p.m. Explore French three-star Michelin cuisine with the documentary Entre les Bras about the family restaurant, called Bras, and its terroir-inspired menu.

Free samples from local restaurants. George Brown professor Christophe Measson introduces the film. Tickets $10-13.

Canadian Opera Company Opera Talk Salome, North York Central Branch, Toronto Public Library, 5120 Yonge St. 7 p.m. This four-part series of talks balances history and guided listening with images and production insights into the operas presented in the Canadian Opera Company’s 2012–2013 season. Thursday Night Jazz Party at The Home Smith Bar, The Old Mill, 21 Old Mill Rd. 7:30 p.m. Multiple industry award winner and internationally honoured piano icon Robi Botos (piano) welcomes featured guests Alana Bridgewater (vocals) and Louis Botos (bass, vocals) to help keep the party swinging. No cover but $20 minimum expenditure. Creative Techniques — Photo Mixed-Media by Sarah Tacoma, Toronto Camera Club, 587 Mount Pleasant Rd. 8 p.m. There are many mixedmedia techniques and finishes used today. From rough vintage-style photo-transfers to high-gloss resin coatings, photography has branched into something new. $10. Friday, Mar. 29 The Good Friday Concert — Music for a Most Holy Day, Nine Sparrows Arts Foundation and Christ Church Deer Park, 1570 Yonge St. 4 p.m. Featuring meditations. Free. Mozart’s Requiem with Salieri’s Te Deum in D Major, Toronto Beach Chorale, 975 Kinston Rd. 7:30 p.m. Conducted by Mervin W. Fick, featuring Soprano Eve Rachel McLeod, Mezzo Soprano Chelsea Säuer, Tenor Ryan Harper and Bass Geoffrey Sirett. Tickets at, adults $25, youth 7–18 $12.50, under 7 Free. Saturday, Mar. 30 Jazz Masters at The Home Smith Bar, The Old Mill, 21 Old Mill Rd. John Sherwood Trio is featured, starring John Sherwood (piano), Pat Collins (bass) and Kevin Dempsey. No cover but $20 minimum expenditure. To place your event in our Community Calendar please visit our website at www.



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Battling back perry king/town crier

COLD START: Wrestler Vincent Sandir, showing wearing his bronze medals from a provincial invitational tournament and the provincial championships, says he was off his game during his first match at OFSAA due to the temperature inside the arena. Fortunately, Sandir got his revenge by besting the wrestler later in the tournament on his way to bronze.

After losing his first match at OFSAA, Neil McNeil wrestler Vincent Sandir fought his way to provincial bronze Perry King Sports

Vincent Sandir’s path to OFSAA bronze came with great satisfaction as it came with the chance to seek revenge for a prior loss. This spring’s OFSAA wrestling tournament in Guelph marked the third time that Sandir competed in one of the more hotly contested wrestling tournaments in Canada. In spite of being first seed in the 57.5 kilo weight class, Sandir lost his first match of the tournament against Taylor Karn — something Sandir blames some rust and a cold arena. “For those hockey arenas, it’s really cold in there all the time, they had the ice and they put platforms and then the mats,” said Neil McNeil student Sandir. “In those environments, it’s really hard to stay warm and be your best. But, that’s what comes with the sport.” Sandir had faced Karn before, beating him at a provincial amateur meet in February, claiming the bronze in that helped him qualify for OFSAA. After his loss, Sandir battled back

into contention. “Bronze is always the hardest to win, because once you get knocked onto the bronze side, you can’t lose a match, and you got to fight everyone who loses on the championship side,” said Sandir, who also trains at the Team Impact Wrestling gym at Broadview and Danforth. “A couple matches later, [Karn] got knocked off to the bronze side and came to my side,” said Sandir. “So then, it was kind of like revenge, here we are again.” This time Sandir wrestled with new tactics against the bigger Karn. Sandir avoided hand fighting, staying on the outside of the mat. It worked. After that, Sandir won every match, including a tough bronze medal match, a physical affair that saw his opponent get his back and almost pin him in the first round. “I felt so tired [by the end of the match], I couldn’t even raise my arm, the ref had to actually raise my arm,” said Sandir, who lost that first round, but rallied back. “Losing the first round of any match gets in your head. Once I saw him get behind, I had to sigh in shame.” The bronze medal was the first wrestling medal for the Neil McNeil Maroons in decades,

an accolade that Sandir is proud of. Yet, Sandir feels like he left something out there, on the mat. “Bronze is proud for [Neil McNeil], but it’s not for me,” said Sandir, the McNeil wrestling captain. “It was gold or nothing for me.” The OFSAA meet brought in some of the best wrestling talent this year, despite the loss of many squads from the public schools. As a result, Toronto only had five representatives appear at the OFSAA meet. However, all five of them attend school in the area, three from McNeil — Sandir, Shane D’Agrella in the 61 kilo class, and Will Felcamp in the 77 kilo class — and two from St. Patrick’s Secondary — Amani Waldron and Dante Beleno. “It felt good representing my school at one of the largest meets in Canada,” wrote D’Agrella, who placed in the Top 8 for his weight class, in an email. “In two matches, I injured my knee but continued to wrestle — won one of them. The other time, it most likely cost me the match, and I wonder had I not got injured at that moment how much higher would I have placed.” The wrestling program at Neil McNeil, spearheaded by wrestling coach Jay Jordan, is

“Bronze is proud for [Neil McNeil], but it’s not for me. It was gold or nothing for me.”

starting to bear fruit in its four years of work. Jordan, who is the president of the Team Impact gym, began coaching at the request of Neil McNeil’s principal, Mike Wallace. “It was an immediate yes [to coach here] because a couple of the guys here, Vincent being one, Shane D’Agrella an other, were wrestling at the club and I thought ‘Jeez, it would be great to re-invigorate the program here at Neil, and get some young athletes involved,’ ” says Jordan, who has been competing and coaching for 30 years. In addition to implementing after school training, at times with their counterparts at St. Patrick’s, Jordan would also bring in Dave Mair, a high-performance coach from the University of Guelph, to help refine the wrestlers’ techniques. “Everyday after practice, you’re not the same wrestler,” Sandir said. “You go in, you’re always improving on something. You never go into practice and come out worse than you did comming in.” For Sandir, he will seek one more chance at OFSAA gold, returning to the squad next year as he prepares for post-secondary education. In the meantime, he is embracing the McNeil environment that has elevated his wrestling profile. “The school environment is actually great because as an all-boys’ school, you stay more focused,” Sandir said. “You don’t have the pressure of trying to impress girls at all.”



Spring’s coming

Clockwise from top right. NOT JUST A SUMMER SPORT: Larry Gould, left, and Bruce Carney have been making use of the Kew Gardens Tennis Club all winter to hit the ball around as long as there was no snow. SNOW FUN: Mibuki Wigg, left, Anna Grey, Deyen Stolte and Joseph Grey played in a large pile of the white stuff scrapped off the Kew Gardens Hockey rink. GOTTA RUN: Teja, left, and Orla get together every week to jog for at least a mile. NICE DOGGIE: Leo, the English Mastiff may be big, but he’s all smiles with Ella. All photos by Francis Crescia





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Beach-Riverdale-East York, Town Crier - March 2013  

The March 2013 Beach-Riverdale-East York Town Crier, Toronto's group of community news publications.