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oRONTO oday June 2012

IS IT TIME

Beating bank card

fraudsters

Walkin’ midtown

Football champs

50 years ON Our war houses (of 1812)

Toronto got rid of patio smoking too?

Special supplement on our central community

NORTH TORONTO TODAY

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Another

MulticomMedia Publication

Diversity Publishers & Printers

Lori Abittan Publisher

Joe Mastrogiacomo

Contents

Vice President of Finance

Doreen Iannuzzi

Vice President of New Media

EDITORIAL Eric McMillan EDITOR-in-chief

Rodger Burnside MANAGING EDITOR

Shadi Raoufi

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Karolyn Coorsh Gordon Cameron Shawn Star Associate EDITORS

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THE DOCTOR IS IN THE HOOD Star of new medical TV series tours his favourite local food haunts

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6 BANK CARD CRACKDOWN Police are making progress against fraudsters but we’re not safe yet

I

Beyond St. Clair

’m happy to report there’s nothing about the St. Clair right-of-way in this issue of Toronto Today. We took a little heat from what some people saw as us reviving the dispute over that controversial project last month — with our cover story, streeters, historical recap and financial analysis — two years after the line was completed. Our intentions were, however, to provide facts and context to help clear away some of the political rhetoric that has continued to rage as the project has been held up as an example to support or damn future transit proposals. In this we think we were successful. One regret I have however is that we couldn’t fit everything we had about St. Clair into that issue. Yes, we had more. A notable omission was an article that compared the line to transit projects in other parts of Toronto. The piece pointed out that your like or dislike of the midtown right-of-way should be only partly relevant to your support of lines elsewhere. For one thing, streets in suburban areas, such as in North York and Scarborough, are wider than St. Clair and have different traffic pat-

30 THAT’S AMORE ON YONGE Italian restaurant surprises food critic with the perfect brunch 33 THE WAR OF 1812 AND US The fight 200 years ago had a bigger role in forming midtown Toronto than you realize

terns, not to mention vastly different business and residential neighbourhoods lining them. Moreover, the surface projects proposed for those areas — namely, light rail transit — are far different from the St. Clair line, which is really just a dedicated streetcar line. Most importantly, we have learned from any mistakes made planning and building St. Clair, so that we may avoid them in planning and building future lines. With practice we can get good at this sort of thing. TT

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On the cover: Smoking is allowed on patios without roofs — for now. Page 4 Photo by Francis Crescia/Toronto Today

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Time to get our butts off the patio? But how far are we willing to go for a smoke-free city?

U

By Sarah Taguiam

nder the Smoke-Free Ontario Act, the province has snuffed out smoking in roofed patios on 2006 but some Torontonians feel that their city has a long way to go before becoming fully “smoke-free.” Some municipalities like Kingston and Ottawa have taken a further step, banning smoking from all patios, with or without roofs. But will Toronto follow suit? There’s strong support for a similar bylaw in Toronto, says Michael Perley, director for Ontario Campaign for Action on Tobacco. “Last May, an Ipsos-Reid study found that 80 percent of female non-smokers, and 76 percent of male non-smokers want smoke-free patios,” Perley says. “This comes as no surprise as smoking causes extreme discomfort and health risks for workers and patrons.” Austin Akhai, a waiter from the Sunnyside Grill on St. Clair Avenue W. agrees. “The pub beside us [A.C. Ranch Caffe] has smoking privileges and, when we open our door and it’s really hot, there’s all this smoke coming and in the morning we have to

 TORONTO TODAY June 2012

clean up all the butts,” says Akhai, who’s been working at Sunnyside since it first opened two months ago. “We’re trying to make our business seem appealing to people but it’s hard when there are guys smoking darts outside.” According to the study, even 44 percent of smokers voted for a smoke-free environment in patios across the city. Black Bull Pub patron Frank Veltri is one of them. “I’m the type of smoker who understands that it’s nice to sit somewhere as a non-smoker and not smell smoke. Even if I’m a smoker, I don’t necessarily like smoke around me especially when I’m eating,” he says. Veltri adds that though it would probably inconvenience him, he doesn’t mind stepping out of a restaurant to smoke. However, many restaurant owners seem to disagree. Claudio Alaimo, co-owner of Sunnyside Grill neighbour A.C. Ranch Caffe and a nonsmoker himself, says banning smoking inside is understandable but prohibiting patio smoking infringes on Torontonians’ freedoms. “If you want to smoke outside, why not? If you were to ban smoking from patios, I feel like you’re taking away freedom of right. “What’s next? You can’t swear outside?” Alaimo asks. York University student Ninah Lucila has taken a more neutral stance. Though she sees Alaimo’s point, she says that it’s a small price to pay. “As much as I’m concerned that it’s taking one of the few places where smokers can congregate, other people’s health should be a higher priority. “Besides, a lot of smokers want to quit so

this is just one more reason for them to try harder,” she adds. Toronto Public Health inspector Jim Chan says this is precisely the reasoning behind laws like Smoke-Free Ontario. “Smokers say that it’s taking away their freedom but preventing exposure to secondhand smoke should take precedence,” says Chan. “There’s enough scientific evidence saying it’s hazardous.” According to the Toronto Public Health, two thirds of smoke from cigarettes enters the air around a smoker and may be inhaled by passersby. If a person regularly breathes in second-hand smoke, the risk of contracting


lung disease surges by 25 percent and heart disease by 10 percent, the department says. Even exposure to second-hand smoke by eight to 20 minutes is said to cause physical reactions linked to heart and stroke diseases. A lot of restaurants recognize the health implications of smoking to their patrons that even some have designated their unroofed patios as non-smoking areas, Chan says. Toronto has approximately 6,000 food establishments and about 200–300 of them have patios. If a patron is caught smoking in a closed roof patio, the owners are fined from $300 to several thousands of dollars. “Last year, we laid approximately 200 charges, but a lot of establishments have generally been very good at complying with the rules,” Chan says. Toronto Public Health is looking at other municipalities like Kingston to see if it’s a step that Toronto should take, but Ward 23 councillor and Board of Health chair John Filion says there have been no talks of new smoking bylaws at city council. “I’m not aware of the large number of public complaints,” he says. “The issue hasn’t come up.” While there’s been no talk of a new provincial anti-smoking law, Chan says the bestcase scenario would be for the province to adopt provincial regulations and apply it to all municipalities. Meanwhile, Kingston has taken matters into its own hands and declared restaurant patios smoke-free in 2003. Now a decade after, the bylaw has had great results, according to Kingston public health inspector Dave McWilliam. “The bylaw provided an environment for all food establishment owners to compete in an equal way. Before, you sometimes market to 80 percent or 20 percent of the population. Now you can market to the whole 100 percent.” McWilliam adds it also encourages some smokers to modify their behavior. “I have a friend who used to smoke three to four cigarettes during lunch pre-bylaw. But now, he smokes only one,” he says. “A lot of residents are recognizing that this is an opportunity to quit. “The smoke-free environment in Kingston also helps those who are trying to end their addiction by not exposing them to places where there’s temptation,” McWilliam says. The only criticism that residents have against Kingston’s bylaw is that some people smoke right besdie the set boundaries and patrons still smell it. Because of this, the city is considering expanding the boundaries where people can’t smoke. “Our goal is to take care of the health of our residents, but the best way to do so is not doing it just city by city,” McWilliam says. “Ontario should set up one provincial law that protects all Ontarians from second-hand smoke.” TT

‘What’s next? You can’t swear outside?’ says one bar owner

Midtown resident and smoker Alex Rado agrees smoking should be banned from all patios. He doesn’t mind stepping out of a restaurant for a cigarette, if it means preserving the health of other patrons, he says. SARAH TAGUIAM/TORONTO TODAY

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Royal LePage on Yonge is pleased to recognize the following Realtors for their continuing support of the Royal LePage Shelter Foundation through commission donations: Ellie Amasya*, Sam Amid*, Louisa Baumander*, Taylor Cameron*, Alain Cohen*, Alina Cornea*, Matt Dabiri-Kashkouli*, Frank DeLuca*, Claudette Dubois*, Patrice Gale*, Joanna Gorka*, Ellen Hanbidge*, Anna Kostic*, Belinda Lelli*, Valerie Lennard*, Julia Lorenzetti* , Paul MacMillan*, Sandy MacMillan*, Brenda Meikle*, Cia Moazzam*, Honey Moore*, Mihaela Nitescu*, Maz Parto*, Bosko Scepanovic**, Evan Schwartz*, Shirley-Ann Silvertown*, Lorraine Smith*, Peter Szummer*, Elizabeth Taylor*, Lynne Upper *

A special acknowledgment of Patrice Gale and Liz Taylor for organizing community participation in their own neighbourhoods for the “National Garage Sale for Shelter” held May 12th. “I have chosen the Royal LePage Shelter Foundation as my preferred local charity because it is just that.... LOCAL. The residents of Bedford and Wanless Park are really helping this shelter - one of the women and the children could well be a neighbour! With over 20 Garage Sale for Shelter participants this year, I was happy to match any donations given.” Top 10% Donor Nationally

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The Royal LePage Shelter Foundation is dedicated to helping women and children in crisis. The administrative costs are underwritten by Royal LePage meaning 100% of all proceeds raised go directly to our nearest local shelter, Interval House. For more information visit www.royallepage.ca/Shelter !JXc\jI\gi\j\ekXk`m\j!!9ifb\i

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Business

Getting tough on bank card crime But it’s still costing us millions of dollars Karolyn coorsh/toronto today

B

TERMINAL CASE: Toronto police inspector Bryce Evans of the Financial Crimes Unity Staff shows an ATM terminal overlay seized by police.

Ask the experts Please write to our experts: If you would like to take advantage of their years of experience, send your questions to “Ask the Experts” and they will be happy to reply to you in this space. By E-mail: adsales@mytowncrier.ca, by Fax: 416-488-3671 or write: Ask the Experts, c/o Town Crier, 101 Wingold Ave., Toronto, ON, M6B 1P8. Kathleen Timmis, a partner in the personal injury law firm of Linett & Timmis, has been practicing accident and insurance litigation in Toronto for over 20 years. Her firm has established a solid reputation, representing thousands of injured victims and their families throughout Ontario.

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Q

: My 8 year old child was injured in her gymnastics class at school. She fell off the pommel horse in the middle of an exercise and fractured her arm in two places. The gym teacher did not have any spotters in place. Is it possible to sue the school for my daughter’s injuries?

A

: The school may be responsible for your child’s damages if the physical education instructor was negligent in his or her supervision of class activities. As your child is a minor, an action could be brought by you on her behalf. You may also be entitled to damages personally under the Family Law Act if you have provided nursing or other services to your daughter or have experienced a loss of her companionship. You should obtain the names of any witnesses to the incident, including staff and students, and should ensure that a proper report has been made to the school board. You should consult a lawyer promptly if you intend to pursue a claim on your daughter's behalf.

 TORONTO TODAY June 2012

efore Gail Regan pays at a gas pump she gives the pinpad a quick once-over and a slight poke before beginning her transaction. It may seem like an odd ritual, but the financial crimes detective wants to ensure the pay machine isn’t rigged. If anything is slightly suspicious, Regan backs away. For example, if the card kicks out prematurely, “that’s a sign they’ve got a reader on it.” “They” are fraudsters, and the reader is a mould placed on a point-of-sale or teller machine. It’s designed to skim your personal banking information for counterfeit use. It’s a scam rarely on our radar until the bank calls to say your card has been “compromised.” Although this has been happening less often in recent years, it’s still taking millions from Canadian consumers and banks. In 2010, the RCMP attributed a loss of $119 million to debit card fraud, with 205,100 Canadian cardholders having to be reimbursed. In the same year, money lost from counterfeit credit cards in Canada was pegged at nearly $136 million. The good news is that both numbers are down significantly from the previous year, due in part to the introduction of chip technology, an emerging industry standard for banking security. In February, police slapped seven people with hundreds of charges after uncovering an international operation involving the manufacturing of ATM tamper devices and stolen card data. Police allege the culprits targeted ATM locations in Toronto and the rest of the GTA, and trafficked card data to locations in the United States, Europe, South America, the Caribbean and South Africa where counterfeit cards were used at various ATM locations. Police estimated nearly 1,500 cards were compromised in the operation. In April, police alerted the public after they

By Karolyn Coorsh

discovered skimming devices on ATMs at several Toronto-area hospitals, including North York General and Toronto East General.

How they do it

Typically, two things are happening when a debit or credit card is used at a banking machine: a moulded reader affixed to the terminal is copying your bank number from the card’s magnetic stripe, and a pinhole camera is recording the transaction. “So when the person goes to use their bankcard, it still works because it’s actually still going into the machine,” says Karen Chapman, a Toronto fraud detective. “That overlay is registering your bank card number that’s going in, and you put in your pin and that pinhole camera is registering your number.” A bank machine is typically rigged for about an hour and during a high-traffic time of day, when they have the most chance of capturing a lot of data, Chapman says. The data is then downloaded, and copied to replicate your card.

Police say nearly 1,500 cards were affected in one operation.

How we fight it

In an effort to outsmart skimmers and fraudsters, financial institutions have introduced cards with chips technology, which encrypts your personal information so it can’t be copied. “Think of it in terms of having a mini-computer there on your card,” says Carolyn Hubberstey, head of communications for Interac Association. Canada is midway through its chip technology roll-out, with Automated Banking Machines (ABMs) and cards to be converted by the end of 2012. Merchants have a little more time — until


What you can do to protect yourself W

THE INS AND OUTS OF FRAUD: A skimming device found by police at a hospital ATM machine, as seen from outer appearances, left, and from the inside.

the end of 2015 — to convert their point-of-sale terminals. While the chip appears to be slowing down fraudsters, the process of migrating to chip worldwide is creating loopholes for the criminal element. As many foreign countries have not converted to chip technology, our cards are still hybrids — they sport both a chip and a magnetic stripe. Criminals are sometimes able to get around the chip, particularly at point of sale terminals, says Detective Ian Nichol. Some culprits swap the terminals with almost-identical coun-

terfeit machines that have the ability to copy the magnetic stripe data and capture pins as they are entered on the keypad. That’s where merchants are asked to be especially vigilant, Nichol says. “The public has unfettered access to them and if they’re not locked down, and they’re not being checked at the end of the shift, it does provide opportunity for the criminal element to switch them.” Thieves are also getting around the chip by taking data and exporting it out of the country where they haven’t migrated to chip and

pin yet. But, it’s good to point out that Canada’s jumpstart on chip technology is hindering criminals. Nichol said the reason counterfeit cards are trafficked to foreign countries is because the new chip technology can’t be compromised in Canada, which limits the utility of the card. This in turn deters enterprising criminals. “In order to make the same amount of money now, that they used to be able to make seven or eight years ago, you obviously have to do more work,” Nichol says. TT

hile financial institutions generally reimburse a cardholder for lost money, often times we’re left paying higher bank service fees. Do your part to avoid debit and credit card fraud when you pull out your wallet. • Shield your pin, even with a chip card: “It’s a double layer of security — it’s what you have and what you know, and only you know your pin,” says Hubberstey. Never share your pin or write it down. • The RCMP recommends making it habit of inserting the card rather than swiping at a payment terminal. If the terminal isn’t chip enabled, you will be prompted to swipe the card. • Ensure there is nothing suspicious on or near the machines. • Always check bank statements for any unusual transactions. If you suspect anything, contact your financial institution.

SUMMERDAD

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______

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june 2012 TORONTO TODAY 


A spring stroll across Pathway

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Ability can take you to the top

Character keeps you there

Men of Character from Boys of Promise

crescentschool.org

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 TORONTO TODAY June 2012


midtown

Extoggery

Our latest walking tour hits the highlights around Eglinton West

F

By Paula Sanderson

or many Torontonians, walking is a means to an end. We are trying to get from point A to point B without stopping to observe the beauty of the walk itself. This spring weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve devised a Saturday Stroll for you to take at your leisure to just enjoy the journey. This walk will take you take you around midtown, showcasing nature, historical sites and great local businesses. The full six-kilometre hike will take you about two and a half hours without stop. It is designed for multiple entry points, can go in either direction and can also be broken down into smaller walks if the big one is too much. Get Walking

1

There are many starting points but weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll recommend starting at the former Dominion Cool and Wood plant on Mount Pleasant Road, just south of Davisville Avenue. Today this plant is a couple of residential towers, but for over 70 years the landmark silos stood tall. Founded by William H. Smith in 1912, the company opened on Mount Pleasant Road in 1929. Coal and wood were transported to the site by the Beltline Railway. The plant closed in 1999 and the silos were demolished in 2001. Right next to the plaque for this site is the opening to the Mud Creek path. Down the stairs we go.

2

At this point many may choose to go into the famous Mount Pleasant Cemetery but we will stay on Mud Creek. Stretching along the north side of the cemetery, this paved path is a fast way to get to Yonge Street by foot or bike. This path even includes drinking fountains for the dogs.

3

At the end of the Mud Creek, cross the bridge over Yonge Street to link up to the Kay Gardner Beltline Path. While on the bridge, look north

to the historic Davisville Subway stop and TTC headquarters. As the trains pass underneath you, sometimes the train drivers will wave back.

4

We will be walking along the Beltline for a while. Be careful as you cross the major streets â&#x20AC;&#x201D; there is no right-of-way for walkers at the crossings. As you walk along, make sure you pay attention to the houses that back onto the Beltline â&#x20AC;&#x201D; many are truly exquisite. Originally, this path was a railway that served the Toronto suburbs of Moore Park and Forest Hill. Passenger services only ran from 1892 to 1894. The freight trains continued to run until the 1960s. In 1990 the City of Toronto bought the land from CN Real Estate and converted it into a 4.5-km park. In 2000 it was named after former city councillor Kay Gardner.

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5

Keep an eye out for the wooden staircase that will take you up to Eglinton. Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve been walking for a while and itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s time to get a snack. Emerging from the foliage, you will be greeted by The Eglinton Way sign. This strip of Eglinton to Avenue Road is full of unique stores, restaurants and businesses.

6

Grab a coffee at the Mad Bean, perhaps get some pizza at Ferraro, or treat yourself to dessert at Hotel Gelato. And check out Phipps Bakery CafĂŠ, a unique place with a citywide reputation.

7

Now that we are rejuvenated, we will turn left and head north on Avenue Road.

8

Walking on the East side of the street we pass Marshal McLuhan Catholic Secondary School before we reach the Eglinton Hunt Club and RCAF Institute Aviation Medicine. Once surrounded by fields, the Eglinton Hunt Club was founded in 1919. The site grew to include stables and an arena for indoor polo. In 1939 CONTINUED Page 10





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at the start of the Second World War, the Royal Canadian Air Force purchased the site. Research was conducted on the physiological effects of combat fighting and the world first anti-gravity flying suit was created here. It remained in the militaryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s possession until 1994.

9

Past The Hunt Club, turn right heading east on Roselawn Avenue. You will find Eglinton Park, a large park that includes baseball diamonds, sports fields and a playground. Walk through the park on the 26 East Bike path. Turn left and reenter the North Toronto community. Head right on Edith and continue walking two blocks to Montgomery Avenue. Turn left and head east to Yonge Street.

V

10

At Yonge and Montgomery is a flagpole with a plaque commemorating the Upper Canada Rebellion of 1837. Montgomeryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Tavern was the headquarters for rebel leader William Lyon Mackenzie. Although the rebellion was squashed, it instigated the 1839 Durham Report. That report recommended the union of Upper and Lower Canada into a singular Canada with a system of responsible government â&#x20AC;&#x201D; a step on the path to Confederation three decades later. Mackenzie was also the grandfather of William Lyon Mackenzie King, Canadaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s longest-serving prime minister, who is buried in Mount Pleasant

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Cemetery. Cross the longest street in the world and Montgomery turns into Broadway Avenue.

11

On your right you will see the new North Toronto Collegiate Institute. Completed in 2010, the new Gold LEED building replaces the 98-yearold building that used to stand where the athletic field now is located. Late last month the school celebrated its 100th anniversary.

12

Walking past the school, continue down Broadway to rival school Northern Secondary at Mount Pleasant Road. Turn right on Mount Pleasant and walk down a truly vibrant street of antique shops, kids stores, restaurants and neighbourhood movie theatres. Once you pass Manor Road start looking for places to eat. Youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve been walking for a while and Mount Pleasant has just the thing for you.

13

Penrose Fish and Chips and The Longest Yard are just two of the stripâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s landmarks eateries.

14

After a bite to eat, continue walking to Davisville Avenue, near where we began several hours ago. If this is the end of your tour, you can catch the number 11 bus to Davisville Station and head home. TT

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Arts&Entertainment

When acting is brain surgery Huse Madhavji plays neurosurgeon on new Toronto-based TV series

T

By Ann Ruppenstein

o prepare for his role as a neurosurgeon on the new CTV original series Saving Hope, Huse Madhavji witnessed brain surgery firsthand at Toronto Western Hospital. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It was unreal,â&#x20AC;? he says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I thought I was going to be squeamish because everyone kind of tells you, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Oh youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve got to have a paper bag around you.â&#x20AC;&#x2122; Even the nurses were like, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;If you get nauseous, Huse, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s okay, you can walk out, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not a big deal,â&#x20AC;&#x2122; but to be honest I was more in awe.â&#x20AC;? Although Madhavji started acting and taking part in musical theatre when he was growing up, he made a compromise with his parents to pursue broadcasting instead and studied Radio and Television Arts at Ryerson University, he says. Even after landing his first on-air gig in Winnipeg and going on to host Star! Daily in Toronto, he acted whenever he could. Eventually, he says, when the station transitioned to E! Canada he decided to follow his first passion, landing roles in films and television shows like Call Me Fitz, The Border and Combat Hospital. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Instead of just going to the next broadcasting gig, I thought Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve always wanted to do this, this is the time,â&#x20AC;? he says. As Dr. Shahir Hamza on Saving Hope, which premieres on June 7 at 9 p.m., Madhavji shares the screen with Erica Durance (Smallville), Michael Shanks (Stargate SG-1) and Daniel Gillies (The Vampire Diaries) as a brilliant neurosurgeon who continually misses certain social cues. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s super smart and heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s very truthful,â&#x20AC;? he says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;He sort of just tells it like it is and because of that he comes across as a little blunt and a little rough around the edges.â&#x20AC;? Set in Toronto, the show follows doctors at Hope-Zion Hospital after chief of surgery Charlie Harris, played by Shanks, winds up comatose after an accident with his fiancĂŠe, fellow surgeon Alex Reid, played by Durance. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I think the show really is about the thing that goes right after whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s factual,â&#x20AC;? he says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;You can have all the studies and all the research right in front of you but sometimes even that can be proved wrong and itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s that little bit of faith and a little bit of hope â&#x20AC;&#x201D; not to sound hokey because the show is called Saving Hope â&#x20AC;&#x201D; but itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s that little bit of hope that is so important to hold onto.â&#x20AC;? While most of the show is taped on set in Mississauga, he says the pilot episode was also shot around Toronto and Richmond Hill. The cast is really supportive and he enjoys the atmosphere on set so much he never wants to leave, Madhavji says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s great,â&#x20AC;? he says â&#x20AC;&#x153;Everyone gets along, everyone hangs out and everyone compliments you at the end of each scene.â&#x20AC;? TT

The doctor is in the hood O

ver Persian tea and almond cookies, Madhavji revealed some of his favourite local hangout spots. Long & McQuade, 925 Bloor St. W. Describing himself as a closet

musician, Madhavji says one of his most prized possessions is a guitar from Long & McQuade, which Ben Harper signed during his **Star! Daily** days. He says the staff is made up of CONTINUED Page 12



     

              

                          

               

                   

       

june 2012 TORONTO TODAY 11


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PHOTOS ANN RUPPENSTEIN/TORONTO TODAY

HAPPY ACTOR: Huse Madhavji, who plays a doctor on a coming TV series, shows his favourite local food haunts, including Happy Bagel Bakery at 4949 Bathurst St. He’s always drawn into the shop by the scent of fresh-baked bagels and the thought of great sandwiches to go, he says. Cont. from Page 11

music whizzes and he enjoys taking part in their music clinics with industry professionals. “Bryan Adams came in and did a lecture on songwriting and I like writing music so he came in and did this free clinic and I just sat there qeeking out,” he says. “It was so, so incredible and I love the fact that they offer that.” Moroco, 99 Yorkville Avenue. To satisfy his sweet tooth, he frequents Moroco in Yorkville since they have a large assortment of dessert. In addition to their chocolate fondue and sticky pudding, the coolest thing on the menu is the dessert platter, which is made to look like spring rolls, mini burgers and French fries, he says. “The ketchup is like a strawberry dipping sauce and the spring rolls are a pastry with Nutella and banana inside but it looks like a spring roll, and the mini burgers are a white cake and the patty is chocolate and the cheese that’s supposed to go on the burger is mango,” he says. “It’s just so cool.” Short and Sweet Cupcakes, 1945 Avenue Road. Another dessert staple in his family is Short and Sweet Cupcakes, where his sister often picks up some treats for takeout. “The cupcakes are very, very delicious,” he says. “They’re so moist and melt in your mouth. They’re probably bad for you and I’m probably less of a healthy person for eating it but I’m

much happier.” Gratzie, 2373 Yonge Street, Sotto Sotto, 116A Avenue Road and Echo Sushi, 2036 Yonge Street. For Italian food, he likes Gratzie and Sotto Sotto for the heavy tomatobased dishes. While he says some allyou-can-eat sushi joints are lackluster, he enjoys eating at Echo Sushi. Capital A1 Cleaners, 3036 Bathurst Street. For his dry-cleaning needs, Madhavji likes the family run business for their Sunday discounts and personal service, he says. “They watch any show that I’m on. They’re cool because they remember things about me and I remember things about them, I like that feeling about some of the local joints that I go to.” Red Rose Patisserie, 6184 Yonge Street. Ever since a friend introduced him to the Persian bakery where our interview takes place, he’s been frequenting the neighbourhood café because he likes the atmosphere, the friendly staff and most of all their sweet treats, he says. “The tea here is great and I don’t even drink Persian tea,” he says. “The desserts are fantastic and the fact they’ve got these huge baskets full of different types of nuts all lined up — it’s better than a bulk-type kind of place.” TT TT


NORTH TORONTO Today A century celebration

North Toronto alumni mark school’s 100 years

Breaking through

Olympian Alexandra Orlando shares her inspiring story

Trusted in Real Estate since 1928 276 Merton Street 416 481 6137 • 290 Merton Street 416 322 8000 • 169 Danforth Avenue 416 465 7527 • 1108 Queen Street West 416 530 1100

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june 2012 NORTH TORONTO TODAY 13


Contents

Another

MulticomMedia Publication

Diversity Publishers & Printers

Lori Abittan Publisher

Joe Mastrogiacomo Vice President of Finance

Doreen Iannuzzi Vice President of New Media

EDITORIAL ARD W

BEST I

N

TOWN A

Eric McMillan

20

2010

EDITOR-in-chief

Gordon Cameron

16

MUSICAL NEIGHBOURS: Three jazz greats who call North Toronto home.

20

PEOPLE IN OUR NEIGHBOURHOOD: You may not know them now, but these folks make our community run.

MANAGING EDITOR

22

SWIMMING WITH SHARKS: Local filmmaker Rob Stewart readies his new eco-doc.

Ann Ruppenstein

26

EDITORIAL ART DIRECTOR

Special projects

Shadi Raoufi

OUR HOUSE: The cool story behind one of our oldest homes.

Plus lots more...

On the cover: North Toronto Collegiate grads Sheila Morrow, left, and Anne Mercer catchup at the school’s 100th anniversary gala. PAULA SANDERSON/NORTH TORONTO TODAY

Advertising & Sales Jennifer Gardiner Director, Corporate Sales

Kathy Kerluke Business Manager

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14 NORTH TORONTO TODAY June 2012

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Oh hail, North Toronto

One hundred years young North Toronto Collegiate celebrates its first century

omar mosleh/north toronto today

DO YOU REMEMBER WHEN... Alumni of North Toronto Collegiate Institute, like class of 1942 grads Robert Lightfoot, left, and Don Hamilton, came back to campus to reminisce, swap stories and celebrate their alma mater’s 100th anniversary. Over 1,500 former students and staff from all over the world made the pilgrimage.

O

ne hundred years after the cornerstone of North Toronto Collegiate Institute was laid, 1,500 alumni celebrated the anniversary by going back to school. They played field hockey on the new field reminiscing about championships won together. They sat in the auditorium for the opening ceremony that included choirs and strings, speeches, and the school song. They weaved around each other to go from classroom to classroom, visiting each of the decade rooms. They peered over old yearbooks and laughed at photos of themselves from years ago. They mocked rival Northern Secondary School, just as they did when they were students. On the fourth floor the photo exhibit of the old school brought back the memories of duck-taped auditorium seats, the old pool and the stairway to nowhere. The school that 98 graduating classes attended is no longer there. The old red brick building was abandoned after the 2009–2010 school year and torn down in 2011. “I remember [when I was a student] thinking what an old school this was. It started in 1912 that’s a long time ago,” says 1949 graduate David Mur-

• BY Paula Sanderson and Omar Mosleh

rary. “Now in the perspective of time, I look back and realize I was one of the early graduates!” While the building may be new, the school’s spirit has endured. “The school is ultimately about the teachers and students,” says Frances Capon Irvin, who drove six hours from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to attend. “As long as the space is conducive to that, the school will strive and go on.” Alumni who wanted to see their school just had to walk into the Heritage Court which preserved the old red bricks and arched windows that were the signatures of the old building for generations to come. “I’m glad that they maintained some aspects of the old school,” says Janice Fairweather. However, the new school’s modern look received mixed reviews from alumni. “It’s a bit sterile,” class of 1983’s Judy Barbeau says. “It needs to get lived in for a while.” “I actually love it,” says Mark Jamieson, class of 1984. “I think they did a good job retaining some of the building but at the end of the day it’s about the people and the culture and the spirit.” North Toronto prides itself on traditions. Talk-

ing to alumni, one realizes that those traditions go beyond the school song and Red and Grey day. Looking at photos and trophies from past years, it is clear North Toronto students loved their sports and many, like alumna Betty Sanderson, cites Norseman football games as their favourite memory. “Especially when the team was winning and your boyfriend was on the team,” she says with a laugh. Surveying the brand new artificial turf football field, alumnus Don Hamilton recalls the field in 1942 to be a little bit smaller but that didn’t stop students from attending the games. “When we had a football game, the turnout was fantastic,” he recalled. The pages in Hail North Toronto: Celebrating a Century show school socials are clearly an integral part of what made it a special place. The only obvious differences over the years seemed to be the music and the wardrobes. Alumni from across generations told stories about the parties that accompany high school. Nicki Wong, class 1984, remembers the dances PEOPLE Page 25

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Come blow your horn

Jazz it up The swingin’ sounds of our community • BY Ann Ruppenstein

A

lthough artists come from all over the world to take part in the TD Toronto Jazz Festival, many already reside in our community. As the annual event, which takes place across 40 venues around town from June 22 to July 1, draws near we profile three local jazz musicians who call North Toronto home. Fern Lindzon

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When jazz pianist and vocalist Fern Lindzon was growing up, she looked forward to bedtime. “When I was seven or eight years old, my parents bought a piano and my mom started taking piano lessons,” Lindzon says. “She practised when I went to bed — I actually looked forward to going to bed just so I could hear her play.” Around a year later, she started taking lessons of her own and already knew a lot of the early repertoire from having heard the songs nightly as she fell photo courtesy td toronto jazz festival SWEET DREAMS: Fern Lindzon asleep. “My mom tells me that the only thing used to fall asleep to the sounds that would get me to stop being a chatter- of her mom playing piano. box and behave myself was plunking me down in front of the stereo and putting on Bach or Beethoven,” she says. Although she’s been singing her whole life, Lindzon says she decided to take music more seriously because of her piano teacher Mrs. Poole, who would never entertain the idea of letting her quit, and her friend Joanne Ezrin, whose brother Bob has produced the likes of Alice Cooper, Kiss and Pink Floyd. “She came from a crazy musical family and they had two grand pianos in their living room,” Lindzon says. “Joanne and I hacked our way through piano concertos. What we missed note-wise, we could hear in our minds. We loved Rachmaninoff.” Lindzon, whose latest release Two Kites was nominated for a 2012 Juno Award for Vocal Jazz Album of the Year, says she feels lucky to work with musicians like her bass player George Koller, who produced the album, sax player Mike Murley and drummer Nick Fraser. “I love being completely in the moment,” she says. “I love being in a place where anything is possible and where the music can just go anywhere — that’s why I play jazz.” Having spent part of her childhood in North Toronto, she says she decided to return to the area to raise her own children. “I remember the playground outside the Locke Library at Lawrence and Avenue Road,” she says. “My dad used to take us to the library every week. I loved the boys and girls section but I think I loved the long twisty slide in the playground even more.” In addition to all the nearby parks and trees, she says she likes the fact that it’s a family-friendly community. “I enjoy seeing street hockey and street-run garage sales and lemonade stands in the summer,” she says. “There are a lot of fabulous restaurants and new ones all the time.” Andrew Scott

• 103 Miranda Ave. • 416.787.1707 • www.allanrug.com •

16 NORTH TORONTO TODAY June 2012

Musician Andrew Scott first developed an interest in music through his mother, who taught him to play piano at a young age and whose collection of Oscar Peterson, Junior Mance and Dave Brubeck records exposed him to jazz. “I like communicating with an audience with my music,” he says. “Music,


in that way, is a sort of universal language that can really transcend the differences between people and speak to lots of individuals.â&#x20AC;? Over the years the award winning guitarist, arranger and composer has garnered attention for his releases, including This Oneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s for Barney, Blue Mercer and Nostalgia, as well as his collaborations and discography as a side musician. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I also love to perform with other musicians and to musically communicate with other musicians on the band stand,â&#x20AC;? he says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;When it goes well, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a thrilling experience.â&#x20AC;? Scott has also composed for film and TV shows like Pop Switch, Mothers and Daughters, The Border and Douglas Couplandâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Everythingâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Gone Green and earned a PhD in Musiphoto courtesy td toronto jazz festival cology/Ethnomusicology from York University. These days, when heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not teaching in the MUSICAL COMMUNICATOR: music department at Humber College or per- Andrew Scott loves the univerforming, Sack can be found in and around his sal language of music. home at Lawrence Avenue W. and Avenue Road. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I have three young children who continuously inspire me,â&#x20AC;? he says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;There is a strong sense of family and community around here, which makes it a great place in which to grow up and live today.â&#x20AC;? Among his favourite places in the neighbourhood are The Bagel House, Videoflicks, Pusateriâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s, Woburn Park and â&#x20AC;&#x201D; his kidsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; favourite â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Orange Dot. â&#x20AC;&#x153;My wife and I enjoy taking part in the exercise classes at the Fairlawn Community Centre,â&#x20AC;? he says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I used to love to play hockey when I was a kid and had some great experiences playing around North Toronto.â&#x20AC;?

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Alex Dean One of jazz saxophonist Alex Deanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s favourite childhood experiences was watching his father dance around to gospel music on Sunday mornings to a radio station from the States. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Music was always in the house and my dad used to have players over a lot when I was younger,â&#x20AC;? he says, adding his aunt June taught all the kids in his family to play piano at a young age. photo courtesy td toronto jazz festival After learning drums in junior school, Dean took up tenor saxophone SAX MAN: Alex Dean would skip in high school because his father, who class just so he could practise his was also a lawyer, played and took the instrument. instrument very seriously. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I practised a lot â&#x20AC;&#x201D; in fact I used to skip class just to practise and play,â&#x20AC;? he says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;At the time my parents were worried about my choice but when I started to play around town they realized it was what I wanted to do and started to encourage me a lot. I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t think it would have happened without the strong support I got from my parents.â&#x20AC;? Since then heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s gone on to play and record with the likes of Gil Evans, Aretha Franklin, Natalie Cole, Harry Connick Jr., Kenny Wheeler, the Dave McMurdo Jazz Orchestra, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra and he has been described as one of the countryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s foremost jazz saxophonists. Dean says one of the things he enjoys most about creating jazz music is the freedom to play with anyone. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve toured places where I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t speak the language but we can always play together,â&#x20AC;? he says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Good things come out of relating to people on that level. I like what it teaches me about myself and how to relate to people.â&#x20AC;? The North Toronto resident says he moved to the Mt. Pleasant and Lawrence area because of the quality of education available at nearby schools. He says his kids currently attend Lawrence Park Collegiate Institute and describes their music department as incredible. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We were at their May Lyrics concert the other day and it was outstanding,â&#x20AC;? he says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The level is so high there.â&#x20AC;? Another thing he likes about the neighourhood is the strong sense of community and says he has great neighbours. As for hanging out, he says he likes The Granite Brewery on Eglinton Avenue East. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I really like the beer and the staff are great,â&#x20AC;? he says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I used to go there and have a beer with my father when he was alive. My wife is from P.E.I. and we both like the east coast atmosphere.â&#x20AC;?

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Cool indie shops

Shop local Trio of businesses bring fun to the Yonge Street strip

T

• BY Leigh Cavanaugh

oday’s economic tempest has seen many independent business owners run aground. Despite this, Yonge Street is still home to a bounty of one-of-akind stores that have managed to stay afloat. Paradise Comics — Having fun making kids happy There aren’t many jobs where you can act like a 15-year-old boy for a living. But Doug Simpson is fortunate enough to have found one as manager at Paradise Comics. The goal of the store is to bring comics to every one, he says. “Comics aren’t just for kids,” says Simpson. “There is more than Marmaduke and Peanuts, it’s [also] a great business to be in. There’s so much diversity. There are so many opportunities to look at different art styles and writing styles and genres.” The store specializes in old and rare comic books, but newer titles can also be found lining the shop’s packed shelves.

Leigh Cavanaugh/north toronto today

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www. ashfordcleaners.com 18 NORTH TORONTO TODAY June 2012

HEAVENLY JOB: Doug Simpson gets to combine his love of comics and working with kids as manager of Paradise Comics.

Prior to joining the staff at Paradise, Simpson studied to be a teacher. After 17 years at the store he is no longer on an educational career path and says he loves the store because he still gets to combine his passions for comics and working with children. “This neighbourhood is full of kids and they always have questions, they always want help, and they even do book reports [on comics],” he says. With the new Marvel blockbuster The Avengers in theatres, business continues steadily. Narnia — Opening Narnia’s wardrobe Narnia owner Sharon Crawford describes her clothing store as a treasure chest. “I have tops in here that are $49. I have tops in here that are $200,” she says. “It’s not about any kind of formula or demographic.” Her store is small, but crammed with patterned garments on racks and brightly coloured accessories line the walls. Crawford was 20 when she opened Narnia 30 years ago, and is now partner with daughter Lois. Before opening the shop, Crawford worked at Ms. Emma Designs, where she learned to make clothes. She continued to make clothes for sale when she first opened the shop, but put down the needle and thread as the store grew. Aside from creating, Crawford loves people and she loves solving problems, she says. Luckily for her, Narnia provides the perfect combination.


Leigh Cavanaugh/north toronto today

RELATIONSHIP BUILDER: Narnia owner Sharon Crawford says clothing is a great way to understand women and to help them discover themselves.

She believes clothing is a great way to understand women and help them grow and discover themselves. “[It’s a] combination of art, psychology and independence.” For her, the store is about putting things together that not only look right but also express what the wearer wants. “I’m in it for the relationship,” she says. “I’m in it for [customers] to think of me the next time they need something.”

Three letters say a lot at

Bayview Glen

Bayview Glen embraces all faiths and cultures, both genders and any interest your child might want to explore – seamlessly, from age 2 to university entrance. A co-educational, multicultural, university preparatory day school, Bayview Glen has lived its message since 1962. Let us tell you more about BVG.

Ardith One — Canadian-crafted heart and soul A bell on the door handle signals the arrival of a customer for owners Bev and Bill Don. The store’s atmosphere is soothing and tranquil. The products line wooden shelves giving the shop a rustic feel.

Whole Child. Whole Life. Whole World. 416.443.1030 bayviewglen.ca

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Leigh Cavanaugh/north toronto today

CANADIAN MADE: Bill Don’s Ardith One focuses on selling pottery from our home and native land.

Their independent pottery shop, Ardith One, specializes in Canadian pottery and other handcrafted goods, like porcelain and blown glass. The husband and wife duo have been in business for 41 years, but have been at their current location for 36. Back in 1971 they carried all manner of crafted goods, but in the 1980s the pair decided to focus exclusively on pottery. “Being independent is very nice, we like dealing with artists and crafts people,” says Bill. The decision to focus on selling only Canadian goods was one they made from a personal and business related standpoint. They had wanted a unique and specialized business and with friends in the crafts field it seemed like the perfect fit. When customers ask whether he and his wife have any plans for retirement, he says they want to retire and start a little pottery shop. “Then I say, ‘oh wait, we already have one’,” he says with a laugh.

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Award winning Early Childhood Education Specialists Yes I Can! specializes in Early Childhood Education with Enriched Preschool and Kindergarten programs. This award winning school is highly respected in the Community for exceptional personalized attention and an outstanding curriculum. The Yes I Can! team is led by a proud recipient of a Prime Minister’s Award for Excellence in Early Childhood Education. Celebrating 21 years, Yes I Can is moving back to the neighbourhood at 3335 Yonge at Fairlawn. The preschoolers at Yes I Can! are presented with hands-on discovery through cooking, science and creative arts. The developmental curriculum nurtures the wonders of exploration and social skill building in a warm, welcoming atmosphere of acceptance and respect. Multi-media art explorations, new-age science and math adventures, creative cooking, small reading / story circles, big block building & music galore enhance the children’s day with one dedicated teacher to every six learners. Laughing and hugs are plentiful! The small Kindergarten classes offer individual and concentrated group work enhancing independence while encouraging critical thinking and positive social interactive experiences. Cooperation & teamwork combined with progressive teaching frame the science / discovery component as the children investigate the wonders of experiments. Embarking on global adventures in geography, exploring customs and cultures, the children also enjoy the beginnings of conversational Spanish.

Please call 416-486-4911 and do visit... www.yesicannurseryschool.com june 2012 NORTH TORONTO TODAY 19


Familiar faces

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HOUSE LEAGUE AND REP GIRLS AND BOYS BORN 1995 - 2004

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 :(4$2.-#.++%'%#! 20 NORTH TORONTO TODAY June 2012

Hidden gems You may see them on the streets, but do you know what they do for our community?

N

â&#x20AC;˘ BY Paula Sanderson

orth Toronto is known for its passionate people from all walks of life. And while we all know neighbours who fit that bill, here are three more who help make our community special. Historian Lynda Moon: Lynda Moon wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t born in North Toronto but she likely knows it better than those who were. Moon has been an avid member of the North Toronto Historical Society since 1975 and in 1994 co-authored a book about Lawrence Park. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I grew to love the community, although I am from Ottawa.â&#x20AC;? she says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I have lived most of my adult life here now and I almost feel like I was born here. I really paula sanderson/north toronto today feel that it has become THE WAY WE WERE: North Toronto Historical my home.â&#x20AC;? She loves North Society member Lynda Moon shows off an archival Toronto for two reasons: image of what the intersection of Yonge Street and its history and its people. Montgomery Avenue looked like in days of yore. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I am quite aware of early history and it intrigues me that there are still a number of really old buildings,â&#x20AC;? she explains. â&#x20AC;&#x153;For example, at Davisville and Yonge, the Starbucks was the original Davis family post office and general store.â&#x20AC;? From 1890 to 1912 North Toronto was an independent town, and that feel is still present on Yonge Street today. â&#x20AC;&#x153;When my mother used to come and visit me, she couldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t get over how you could walk up and down Yonge Street and there would be everything that you needed,â&#x20AC;? Moon says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;From watch repair to shoes to you name it.â&#x20AC;? Similarly, there are all types of people in North Toronto. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The diversity is amazing,â&#x20AC;? she says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;At one time Yonge and Eglinton used to be nicknamed Young and Eligible.â&#x20AC;? Although the areaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s reputation may be a young one, there are also many families and seniors in the area. Over the years, Moon has met people from many different walks of life. She says it is the people that make North Toronto. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I think what touches me the most are the contacts I have had with people that grew up in North Toronto,â&#x20AC;? she says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The people I have met over the years made it come alive for me.â&#x20AC;? Lifeguard Anna Morrell Everyone looking to beat the heat this summer by shooting down the waterslides at North Toronto Memorial Community and Recreation Centre has Anna Morrell to thank. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Morrellâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s job to coordinate the programs offered at the centre and to work

paula sanderson/north toronto today

SPLISH, SPLASH: Anna Morrell, left, runs programing at North Toronto Memorialâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s pools.


with the community to ensure that its needs are being met. “It’s an eclectic group of people here using the facility. And it’s always interesting,” she says. “Everybody has a different view and a different idea which is all very valuable to us.” Morrell got interested in aquatics at a young age. “Many years ago I was a young girl swimming at the pool and one of the lifeguards approached me and suggested I get into their swim team,” she says. “That sort of started it all because three of the other girls on the swim team were also training to be lifeguards. So I just followed along with the rest of the crowd.” Morrell remains very passionate about aquatics. Her supervisor Minnie Fisher notes that Morrell sits on numerous committees, including one dedicated to adaptive aquatics, as well as teaching lifeguarding and first aid classes. “She’s always offering up her time and she doesn’t have to,” says Fisher. “She’s always the first to put her hand up to benefit aquatics” Morrell says the community is unique due to the wide range of people that come into swim or participate in the pool’s many different programs for swimmers from babies to seniors. Morell has worked in the North Toronto area for five years and loves it. “It’s a fantastic part of the city to be involved with.” Bartender Andrea Pachla North Toronto residents drink Guinness and lots of Steamwhistle, says Duke of Kent manager Amber Pachla. But when it comes to quenching her own thirst, she reaches for a pint of Fuller’s London Pride. While Pachla has worked at the Duke of Kent for six years, she got her start in the restaurant industry working at a golf course. “I just really, really loved it,” Pachla says. “I just fell in love with this industry and decided it was probably for paula sanderson/north toronto today me and went into manWHAT CAN I GET YOU? Duke of Kent manager agement.” Andrea Pachla helps keep North Toronto’s whistles Pachla not only wetted. works in the area, she lives here too. “I call it the bubble,” she says. “I think a lot of people call it the bubble. The Yonge and Eglinton bubble. “If you really don’t want to leave the area you don’t have to. You have groceries, movies, good restaurants and bars, hair, nails, everything is a stone throw away.” She adds that the area is often very safe for someone like her who leaves work late at night. “It’s a $5 cab ride,” she says. “And you’re pretty safe to walk home, which I like as well.” Pachla also says the area has traditionally had a great reputation. “There are lots of little areas in Toronto that are very trendy which is nice,” she says. “But Yonge and Eglinton is still holding its own and staying the same as it did 10 years ago.” She attributes that to the people who live in the area. “It’s not snobby or uppity which I really like,” says Pachla. “I think people are very real and very friendly.” Pachla says the area is eclectic. “It’s not just hipsters or old people or Italians,” she says with a laugh. “It’s a bit of everything, which I think makes it unique.” That diversity is reflected in her customers who range from young corporate types to families. She even has a 96-year-old regular. “I like to think that we are the neighbourhood pub at Yonge and Eglinton,” she says. Pachla is proud of the pub. “I travel quite a bit and, if I go anywhere, I tell them I run the Duke of Kent in Toronto,” she says. “If they’ve been to Toronto, most people have been here which I think is amazing.”

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june 2012 NORTH TORONTO TODAY 21


Hometown heros

A

Saving more than sharks Filmmaker Rob Stewart • BY Sarah Taguiam

s a child, North Toronto filmmaker Rob Stewart devoured stories about the underwater world. Two decades later, he’s telling the stories himself through critically acclaimed ecoawareness film Sharkwater. Zooming in on the plight of sharks hunted to near extinction, the 2007 documentary follows Stewart and his crew as they confront shark poachers across the globe to expose finning, whereby a shark’s fins are removed and the often living creature is dumped back into the sea. Sharkwater has won 33 international awards and made more money on its opening weekend in Canada than any Canadian documentary in history. Despite his movie’s success, Stewart says he didn’t always have his heart set on ecoactivism. “I had every pet possible growing up — reptiles, amphibians, fishes — and would bring them to show and tell. But

photo courtesy richard sibbald

22 NORTH TORONTO TODAY June 2012

I never thought it will be a career,” says Stewart, who attended Crescent School and Lawrence Park Collegiate Institute. At 18, he picked up a camera and avidly shot marine life, eventually leading him to become the Canadian Wildlife Federation’s chief photographer for four years. While travelling as a photojournalist to the Galapagos Island, Stewart’s eyes were opened to illegal shark fishing. “I quickly realized that a lot of the animals I was photographing — the sharks specifically — were dying, getting eaten, or being killed,” says the 32-year-old. The event marked a juncture for Stewart. “[Seeing] this happen made me want to turn my passion into purpose,” he says. “I thought I had the power to educate the public and do something about it…. That’s what Sharkwater’s all about.” Five years after its release, Stewart is pleased with the impact his NEXT Page 23

photo courtesy Alexandra Orlando

Still inspiring Olympian Alexandra Orlando

A

• BY Ann Ruppenstein fter trying unsuccessfully to follow in her sister Victoria’s footsteps in ballet, Alexandra Orlando was advised by her instructor to try rhythmic gymnastics instead. “I actually just loved it from the second I tried it,” she says. “I started doing Saturday morning classes and then all of a sudden it was three times a week, then six times a week, and then competing. And the rest is kind of history.” After dedicating herself to the sport for 17 years, competing at Olympic and Pan American games, receiving nearly 200 medals and setting a world record by winning gold in all six events at the 2006 Commonwealth Games, Orlando retired from the competitive sporting world in 2009. “You’re travelling the world, you’re by yourself most of the time or with your coach and that’s an experience that I don’t think a lot of young people face,” says Orlando. “When people ask me how I dealt with that kind of stress and that kind of pressure to be the best and to constantly have people watching every single move you make I always say: I wrote.” Even after she stopped competing at the age of 21, she says she continued to write, and although she didn’t realize it at the time, was penning material for her first motivational book called Breaking Through My Limits: An Olympian Uncovered. “I always loved to speak to young people and I realized that if I can inspire as many people as possible or if I can use my experience to help one other person then I want to put it out there on paper and help people,” she says. “I think that keeping it inside is almost a waste if you can motivate someone to do something great in their lives.” In addition to being on the marketing team for the Toronto 2015 Pan/Parapan Am Games, Orlando now coaches and judges rhythmic gymnastics internationally CONNECTION Page 23


Hometown heros

Icing on the cake

Culinary school owner Bonnie Gordon

W

• BY Karolyn Coorsh

hen Bonnie Gordon decided to pursue wedding cake design, she travelled internationally to study with the best in the field. Fifteen years later, aspiring cake decorators come to her. One of Canada’s top wedding cake experts, Gordon is passing the torch to up and coming designers all within the confines of the Eglinton Avenue W. boutique school that bears her name. The Bonnie Gordon College of Confectionary Arts is a local and international draw best known for its artisanal approach to cake couture. “We’re an arts school,” she says. “We really do encourage individual creativity.” It’s a philosophy — and career — the married mother of two comes by honestly. With a fine arts degree and a master’s degree in education, Gordon had years of experience working in art galleries and museums when she decided she needed a change. “You could say it was my mid-life crisis,” she says. Gordon quit her art gallery job and enrolled in various culinary courses, soon discovering a true

photo courtesy bonnie Gordon

ART GOOD ENOUGH TO EAT: When Bonnie Gordon, centre, was looking for a career change, she took her artistic skills and applied them to cake decoration.

passion for cake design. “I was instantly hooked because with a background in fine arts, I realized that the potential was limitless with cake decorating,” she says. “And because I’d done a lot of painting and sculpture, it’s essentially just changing the medium.” Gordon pursued the niche intensively for years, travelling for study, experimenting and honing her craft. By the early 2000s, Gordon had developed a reputation for creating spectacularly tall, elaborate masterpieces for high-end affairs.

Next doc in production Cont. from Page 22

documentary has had. After watching Sharkwater, several activists, celebrities, and students have joined Stewart’s cause. Several big cities around the world have also banned sharp fin soup — the reason driving the voracious shark finning — from their kitchens. Stewart’s especially proud his native Toronto is also on that list. “It’s [proof] that

Torontonians really do care about the environment,” he says. This local eco-consciousness helped shape him as a child. “I got to play in the parks, run after snakes, and other animals,” he says. “Growing up around nature really allows you to identify with it. ” However, Stewart thinks Toronto still has a lot of room for improvement in terms of taking care of the environ-

ment including greater reliance on renewable energy and reducing the city’s carbon footprint. Stewart is currently editing his next documentary Revolution, which looks at our overuse of our natural resources and the impact it will have on the survival of the human race. “It’s not just about saving sharks or pandas anymore,” he says. “It’s about saving humanity.”

It wasn’t long before requests for informal cake decorating lessons started streaming in. Going back to her education roots, Gordon was happy to oblige. She began teaching in a makeshift kitchen studio (one of her first students was her chiropractor). After two years of juggling clients and students, Gordon decided to step away from creating cakes and instruct full-time. Already living in North Toronto, Gordon found space on the second floor of a storefront building. She soon took over both floors, including the basement. SCHOOL Page 24

Connection to home strong Cont. from Page 22

and has a passion for athlete advocacy. She was recently elected president of the Pan American Sport Organization’s Athletes Commission and also sits on the Canadian Olympic Committee. “Now to really try and make a difference and to provide some influence on decision makers that shape the sporting community not only in Canada but in the world is pretty amazing for me,” she says. Reflecting on her childhood growing up in North Toronto, Orlando, who was a senior Canadian national champion by the age of 16, says she relished the rare moments of free time from school or training. “I would love to be outside because

I was always in the gym all day or in school and to be outside and to feel like I was part of the community especially in summer,” she says. “I’d walk down and get Baskin Robbins even though I wasn’t supposed to.” Although she’s constantly travelling, Orlando says her parents still live in the house she grew up in near Avenue Road and Lawrence Avenue W. and enjoys coming back to visit. “I absolutely love that area,” she says. “It’s where I grew up and what I call my home … I have the biggest smile on my face when I’m driving up Avenue Road near Havergal where I went to school. When I’m halfway around the world I can shut my eyes and see my family there.” june 2012 NORTH TORONTO TODAY 23


torontonewschool.com

School came naturally Cont. from Page 23

Paralleling the hot designer baked goods market, the college has expanded its courses from strictly baking and cake decorating to high-quality pastries and other sweet treats like macaroons, croquembouches and cake pops â&#x20AC;&#x201D; creations that are all intended to be edible works of art. The college offers diploma and certificate programs as well as continuing education and part-time courses. â&#x20AC;&#x153;More and more people are interested in doing this professionally,â&#x20AC;? Gordon says, noting the long list of alumni who have gone on to open their own

photo courtesy bonnie Gordon

FEARLESS: After receiving requests for her to teach cake decoration, Bonnie Gordon obliged opening her eponymous school.

successful businesses. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s been an ongoing adventure, and a career

that ended up being a perfect fit for this artist and educator. â&#x20AC;&#x153;When youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re trained in fine arts, youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re fearless with cake decorating â&#x20AC;&#x201D; youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re not afraid to make mistakes,â&#x20AC;? she says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;You just jump right into it and play with the materials and have a great time. â&#x20AC;&#x153;You take risks because you know if it doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t work youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll try something else.â&#x20AC;? Her plans for the college constantly evolving, Gordon says sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll continue to set trends in the industry. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re constantly trying to be one step ahead of the game.â&#x20AC;?

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24 NORTH TORONTO TODAY June 2012


People, not building special Cont. from Page 15

always selling out. “The whole school went,” she says. “A lot of them played ‘Stairway to Heaven’ at the end of the dance,” remembers Tracy Glynn also class 1984. While many memories from the school are about extracurriculars, the school also prides itself on its academic achievements. The Fraser Institute’s high school rankings for 2010–2011 rate North Toronto as the sixth best school in the province and tops in the Toronto District School Board. Remembrance Day ceremonies at North Toronto are also very important to the students. Retired history teacher Kathy McConnachie remembers Remembrance Day as a highlight of her time at the school. “You didn’t have to cue the students,” she says. “I remember at the end they would stand up and cheer the vets. It still makes me emotional.” Although most of the alumni present were from the 1960s–1980s, there were alumni from as far back as the 1930s and all the way up to current students at the open house. Unsurprisingly, the talk among many old friends turned to their favourite teachers and those teachers were included in their favourite memories. Hamilton fondly remembers principal

and military man Lt. Col. F. H. Wood. “Back in ’42, he used to have the boiler room, which was this funny little enclave that he had and he would invite us down periodically,” Hamilton says. “It was his little den, I guess.” “I remember we had a pool table in there,” former teacher Robert Lightfoot interjects, followed by a chuckle. Gym teacher and football coach Danny Russell was on the lips of many grads and colleagues from the 1970s to the present for the role he played in their lives. “He’s entertained students and teachers over his four-plus decades,” says former teacher and fellow coach Brian Johnston. “Danny Russell has never hesitated to share his passion about sports, music or politics.” Even at 101 years old, former math and phys-ed teacher Bruce MacLean made a point of coming out to the reunion. MacLean taught at North Toronto for two years starting in 1934 and coached the city championship bantam football team. Although the new building is very different from the one that MacLean taught in, he sums up what everyone is thinking. “School buildings don’t really make the school,” he says. “The school is made by the people in it. “The people I met here are quite special to me.”

omar mosleh/north toronto today

THOSE WERE THE DAYS: North Toronto alumni toured through the school’s new building but were surrounded by familiar faces and memories.

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june 2012 NORTH TORONTO TODAY 25


Historical home offers charming quirks

H

â&#x20AC;˘ BY Shawn Star

ome sweet home. For some, this is a clichĂŠ, but for others, it takes on a much broader meaning. Take for example a house just northwest of Bathurst Street and Eglinton Avenue W. Few people are aware itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s one of the oldest houses still used as a residence in the city. The white-walled 1830s era home is easy to miss. Lined among multi-million dollar homes, it blends in well with the community, without looking like its neighbours. But if you stop to examine each home, something about 171 Old Forest Hill Rd. stands out. Whether itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the old-style double stack chimneys piping from the roof, the rare double lot, or the fact there is no door facing the street, you will know there is a story here. The story is this: In 1815, a War of 1812 veteran named William Moore, who is believed to have been severely wounded while fighting alongside General Isaac Brock at the Battle of Queenston Heights, purchased a 80-hectare property spanning west from Bathurst Street to Dufferin Street. This was the standard at the time: all original lots north of the old City of York, now downtown Toronto, were 80 hectares in size. The property known as Lot 1 in the Second Concession west of Yonge Street in York Township. (An interesting aside: it is believed there is only one remaining 80-hectare lot today â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Mount Pleasant Cemetery. This gives a good idea of how large the original

shawn star/north toronto today

TUCKED AWAY: The home at 171 Old Forest Hill Rd. may not seem remarkable but was built around 1835 and is one of the oldest homes in North Toronto. The original bread oven, right, is still used by the owners to bake pizza.

property sizes were.) Moore built the house with the front facing Bathurst. Today, there are four houses between what was the front of the home and Bathurst. The current homeowner explains some of the more recent history. Mary Chiesa, who with her husband purchased the home in 2007, says itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s believed a man who owned the property in the 1960s began selling various lots around the home to develop the area. The story goes that he was not well-liked by a few neighbours and so, when he was off in Europe, the people who purchased the lot directly west of him built their home with the side of their house blocking his front entrance. During a tour of the one-and-a-half-storey home â&#x20AC;&#x201D; a style known as an Ontario Cottage or Regency Cottage â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Chiesa points out aspects of interest. Notably, all the floors on both the main and upper levels are original. She says what was once the original structure

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in its entirety is now the familyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s formal dining room. The original fireplace and bread oven still remain. The bread oven, Chiesa quips, can take a while, but her family still uses it to make pizza. But donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t go thinking Chiesa made any drastic changes to the homeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s original interior. Quite the opposite. She says they knew the place was a heritage home when they purchased it. It was in need of a lot of work. For example, the electrical output available was not ready to support modern usages, and there were no lights in the ceilings. So they hired a heritage architect to ensure everything was done in accordance with what is allowed for a heritage home. Though the place was in need of a complete renovation, they preferred to do a complete restoration. This work included details like crown mouldings, which they put throughout much of the main floor in the style of the time when the home was built. According to city documents, the home was given heritage designation in 2000, after already being listed on Torontoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s inventory of heritage properties as early as 1973. The document outlines reports by architects who believe the home to have been built around 1835, after some other homes also in the northern part of Toronto â&#x20AC;&#x201D; namely the two Snider family homes described on page 33 of Toronto Today. However, those homes had later additions. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The William Moore House remains the most complete example of the style identified in the former City of Toronto,â&#x20AC;? the document states. For Chiesa, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a joy to own a heritage home, especially one bearing such significance. And since she put such an effort into the William Moore House and â&#x20AC;&#x153;restored it to its original splendour,â&#x20AC;? thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s only one thing you can say about it. Home sweet home.

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june 2012 NORTH TORONTO TODAY 27


Home&Garden

Gardening with little ones How to help your kids plant memories

O

By Mary Fran McQuade

ne of my earliest outdoor memories is the sky-blue morning glories that twined up the old wire fence around our home. I was probably three or four years old. My father’s job often took us to California in the spring, and there I learned to love the scent of dwarf myrtle (Myrtus communis) — even though I didn’t know what it was at the time. When I was a little older, I marvelled at my dad’s lovingly tended roses and played with the scent-leafed geraniums my mom grew. I even had my own little patch of colourful, old-fashioned balsam, whose fat seed pods exploded with a satisfying “pop” when you touched them. And then there was the time a little friend and I planted six or so corn seeds in a shallow coffee can. She must have lost interest, because the tiny plants ended up along the fence at our house, where they grew tall and sprouted fat, tender ears. (My dad helped me a bit, there.) Gardening with kids can be magic. Little eyes see the world differently than we do. Small fingers are sometimes awkward, but their tender skin is way more sensitive to the texture of flowers and leaves. Add colour and taste — and mom and dad’s company — and the

New Homes • Additions • Renovations • Kitchen & Baths 28 TORONTO TODAY June 2012

garden becomes, well, magic. Right now is a fine time to start a garden with your kids. It doesn’t have to be large or fancy. In fact, it’s more fun if it’s not. The one thing it should be is a welcoming place.

the fairies prefer? Teach them that seedlings or tiny started plants are babies that need water and attention to help them grow up. • Learn to tolerate dirt. Even grown-ups have grubby gardening clothes they set aside for yard work.

Tips for a child-friendly garden Number one on the list is: No poisons. Weed and bug sprays, even “natural” ones, could be unsafe for small humans. Pick weeds by hand; maybe offer a bounty of a nickel for every one they pull. The same goes for bugs. (Drop creepy-crawlies in salted water to kill.) • No poisonous plants, either. Do your homework. There’s a ton of websites that list poisonous plants. • Let the garden be theirs. You’re the guide; they’re the owners. Help them decide what to plant (for example, yes to tomatoes, no to watermelons). Be sure to explain why some of their choices won’t work out. • Guide, rather than supervise. Show them how to plant a seed or starter plant. Keep it simple by sticking with large seeds (green beans and sunflowers, for example) and sturdy plants (marigolds and geraniums are toughies). • Make gardening fun, not work. Tell stories about the plants you grow, like the princess and the pea. Which plants do they think

Please pick the flowers Bright, colourful flowers draw kids like honeybees. Skip fusspot perennials that bloom for only a week or two. Go for instant-gratification annuals like snapdragons (the ones with “jaws” are the most fun), geraniums, zinnias and verbenas. Most annuals bloom more if you cut off the flowers, so they’re perfect for tiny bouquets or impromptu hair and hat decorations. Even veggies come in child sizes these days. Cherry tomatoes are classic, but you can also get itsybitsy carrots, funny horn-shaped sweet red peppers and little round zucchinis. (Regular zucchini, too, are best eaten when they’re finger size.) And don’t miss out on the chance to introduce the little ones to herbs. Mint is a sure thing, marjoram smells incredibly sweet and kids have been known to graze basil to the ground. Lots better than store-bought snacks, eh? TT

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Gardens on tour City Gardening

Lorraine Flanigan

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ho started the first garden tour, anyway? Should we go back to Victorian times and imagine a young Queen Victoria and her ladiesin-waiting crossing the moat of a neighbouring castle to peer at the towering delphiniums? Or even earlier to the occasional get-together of horticultural monks wondering how their herb garden stacks up against the conventâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s next door? Or perhaps some enterprising ancient started selling tickets for a gander at the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. Whenever the genesis, the idea of visiting other peopleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s gardens endures, as evidenced by the number of tantalizing garden tours in and around town and further a field. Here are some of the best. Hidden Gardens and Private Spaces of Cabbagetown, June 3 As if strolling the leafy streets of this historic neighbourhood isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t enough of a delight, the temptation of peering beyond the eclectic frontyard gardens of these homes to their hidden and private spaces is just too much to resist. Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s sure to be lots of ideas for space-stressed city gardeners on this unique tour. Tickets available at select local vendors or online at www.cabbagetownpa.ca/ events/hidden-gardens-and-privatespaces-tour-2012 . Through the Garden Gate: Resplendent Rosedale, June 9â&#x20AC;&#x201C;10 Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s no mystery about when the Toronto Botanical Gardenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s popular and prestigious fundraising tour first started. In 1988, the gates of select gardens of Rosedale, Yorkville and Cabbagetown were opened for the first Through the Garden Gate tour. And this year, to celebrate its 25th anniversary, the tour returns to Rosedale for a glimpse at Torontoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s best-dressed landscapes. And, oohla-la, are you in for a treat. Pace

yourself, because each of the 21 green-thumb-endorsed gardens is very special, so you wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t want to miss even one of them. Bring cameras and notebooks to record all the great design ideas youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll see from some of the cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s best landscape architects â&#x20AC;&#x201D; and from the most gentile hands-on gardeners in town. Tickets are selling fast, so order yours online at torontobotanicalgarden.ca/news/ttgg3 or call 416-3971341. 23

Magical Gardens of Leaside, June

The first garden society I joined in my quest to understand the difference between an annual and a perennial, the Leaside Garden Society hosts one of the friendliest neighbourhood tours in the city. The owners of the nine gardens featured on this yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s tour will be on hand to answer your questions and just generally gab about gardening. What more could you want? Tickets are available at designated local merchants or by calling 416-481-8919. 24

Northumberland in Bloom, June

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das and four more are in the nearby town of Waterdown. Youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll see roses, clematis, veggies, water features and even a shade garden that grows in the challenging area under a black walnut tree. For tickets (and free poster), call 905-627-4265 or email carnegie@carnegiegallery.org. Checking her calendar, Lorraine Flanigan writes from her garden in the South Eglinton neighbourhood of Toronto. TT

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Another terrific tour with a long history, the Northumberland Big Sisters and Big Brothers has been showcasing the town and country gardens of Northumberland County for 12 years. On this yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s tour, spend a day in the country exploring eight very different Cobourg area gardens, from a secluded estate and a historic For a limited time only weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re offering a truckload of Stickley furniture at incredible prices. century garden to wildflower meadThe Largest Selection of Stickley in Canadian History ows and enchanted woodlands. And donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t miss the popular Birdhouse Boutique, which features avian abodes handcrafted and decorated If you love Stickley, this is the sale for you. by local artists. For information and Once the truckload is1SJWBUF1SFWJFX4BMF8FEOFTEBZ %FDFNCFSUIQN gone, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s gone. Shop early for the best selection. tickets, call 905-885-6422, 1-8881SJWBUF1SFWJFX4BMF8FEOFTEBZ %FDFNCFSUIQN 4BMF%BUFT5IVSTEBZ %FDFNCFSUI4VOEBZ %FDFNCFSUI 278-2484 or 905-373-4427 and 905Sale Location: William Lea Room, 1073 Millwood Ave., Toronto (Laird & Millwood) 4BMF%BUFT5IVSTEBZ %FDFNCFSUI4VOEBZ %FDFNCFSUI 342-3888 evenings and weekends. 4BMF-PDBUJPO"MM$BOBEJBO4FMG4UPSBHF -BJSE%S -BJSE.JMMXPPE

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Dining&Food

Falling in love on Yonge Street Liz Campbell

I

t’s Sunday morning and much like half the population of Toronto, we’re out seeking somewhere to grab a spot of brunch. We decide to stroll along Yonge Street north of Eglinton Avenue and see what strikes our fancy. As expected, quite a number of eateries in the area offer brunch but, lucky us, we stumble across Amore. Over cups of fresh, really robust coffee which we both appreciate, we examine the menu. Brunch wouldn’t be my first thought in this Italian restaurant, with its stone oven pizza and extensive list of pasta. But, from a menu that includes frittata, the “Benedicts,” crepes, waffles, French toast, and the traditional bacon and egg breakfast, we decide to get adventurous. My guest orders frittata with smoked salmon, red onions, capers and dill ($10.95). He asks the waiter to hold the dill. It comes exactly as requested but the surprise is in the salmon: large pieces of real smoked salmon, not the slivers of lox he expected. There are enough capers to fill a small jar as well. The frittata is beautiful browned on both sides and the combination is delicious. It comes with home fries which — wonder of wonders — appear to be made from fresh potatoes. And the toast wedges are fat slices of Italian loaf, still soft in the centre. My guest is very impressed. So am I. I want to try a crepe but I’m hesitant about one filled with brie and asparagus, which comes with raspberry coulis ($9.95). I ask the waiter if the coulis can be served on the side — I’m not sure how raspberry and

30 TORONTO TODAY June 2012

Liz Campbell/Toronto Today

THAT’S AMORE: Highlight of surprisingly good brunch at this Italian Restaurant on Yonge Street is the smoked salmon frittata and — wonder of wonders — fresh home fries.

asparagus will work together. No problem. But he smiles when he returns to refill my coffee cup. The coulis bowl is empty and my crepe amply covered with raspberry. “I guess it worked after all,” he grins. It really does. It may sound counter-intuitive but it’s a wonderful combination. The asparagus is fresh, so it still has a nice al dente bite and there’s lots of brie in every mouthful. The crowning glory is the tart sweetness of the raspberry, a perfect complement. Fresh fruit — watermelon, cantaloupe, an orange slice, fresh strawberry halves — accompany the crepe. At the next table, I watch two children polish off a waffle, served with peaches, strawberries and more raspberry coulis. The waffle looks light as a feather and there’s plenty of fruit. Indeed, all around the busy restaurant I see plates being cleared of their contents with great gusto.

And our waiter is a master of anticipating the needs of the guests. Water appears immediately we’ve ordered. He removes my side plate and empties it of empty cream and sugar packets. And the bill arrives at precisely the right moment. Next time, we think we might try the stone oven pizza which looks mighty appealing. Amore Trattoria, 2425 Yonge St., Toronto. 416322-6184. Outdoor patio in the warm months. The restaurant is accessible but washrooms are downstairs. Website: www.amoretrattoria.ca. TT

‘All around the restaurant I see plates being cleared of their contents with great gusto.’


What’s that?

It’s asparagus — and you could use some

E

By Liz Campbell

gyptians valued it — it can be seen as an offering on a 3000-year-old frieze. The Greeks, Romans and Syrians have all used it for centuries, both as a vegetable and a medicine. Louis XIV of France had greenhouses built especially to grow it. And in Canada today, the appearance of the first tender spears of asparagus in the market is a sure sign of spring. Winter asparagus that travels thousands of miles from South America doesn’t begin to compare to that grown locally. Because they are fresh and recently harvested, they are still packed with goodness. Asparagus is really good for you. It contains two nutrients that prevent disease and promote a healthy body: folacin and glutathione. And it’s a good source of protein and B vitamins. Most importantly, asparagus is delicious. One pound of fresh asparagus will make four to five servings. Look for bright green stalks with tightly closed, compact tips. Some local varieties may be slightly purple in colour. The spears may be thick or slender but the stalks should be straight, firm, and about six to eight inches in length. Try to select spears that are all the same thickness so they cook evenly. The white butt of the stalk is too tough to eat. On the other hand, when you cut these off the stems, use them to flavour stock and soup. When you get them home, wrap the bottom of the stalks in a damp paper towel. Put them in a plastic bag and refrigerate. Use within two days and, before using, always wash spears well to remove any sand in the heads, then pat them dry. Roasted Asparagus Asparagus has traditionally been steamed but I’m a fan of roasted asparagus; the bonus with these is that you don’t even need butter. Use fat spears for roasting. Arrange them in a single layer in a large shallow baking dish or rimmed cookie sheet. Drizzle with 1 to 2 tbsp. olive oil, and sprinkle with large grained sea salt and fresh ground pepper. Bake at 500F (260C) for 8 to 10 minutes, or until tender but still slightly firm. They will brown slightly. Serve immediately. Asparagus Frittata Frittatas are the easy way to make an omelette — no flipping required. This one features lovely fresh asparagus paired with red peppers and tangy cheese. This recipe usually calls for chevre but I like to use Monforte Belle, a soft sheep’s milk cheese. 1 tbsp (15 mL) butter 1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil 2 green onions, finely chopped 2 cups (500 mL) asparagus spears, cut into 1” lengths 1 sweet red pepper, diced 1/4 tsp (1 mL) sea salt A grinding of fresh pepper 8 eggs 1/4 cup (60 mL) milk 1/3 cup Belle or your favourite chevre, crumbled In a nine- or 10-inch (23 or 25 cm) ovenproof skillet (cast iron works best), melt butter and olive oil over medium heat. Cook the green onions, asparagus, red pepper, salt and pepper, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes or until the asparagus and peppers are tender but still crisp. In a bowl, whisk the eggs and milk. Stir this into pepper/asparagus mixture and top with the crumbled cheese. Cover and lower the heat to mediumlow. Cook 6-8 minutes until the edges are starting to brown but interior is still slightly runny. Place the pan under the broiler until the eggs are set and turning golden. Watch carefully, this only takes a minute or two. Serve immediately. TT

liz campbell/vaughan today

AND GOOD FOR YOU, TOO: An asparagus frittata, left, or plain old roasted asparagus are both great ways to enjoy this health nut of a vegetable.

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Travel

Ever been?

I

A traveller finds many reasons to be feelin’ fine in Fredericton

By Liz Campbell

t’s been named one of the top 10 cities in which to live in Canada, but Fredericton, New Brunswick should also be named one of the top 10 to visit. And I have 10 reasons why. Number one is an eco-friendly network of 85 kilometres of walking and cycling paths extending along the St. John and Nashwaak Rivers. I’m walking along the South Riverfront Trail and the St. John River is as still as a millpond, the reflected clouds creating an otherworldly atmosphere. I might be only 2 km from the centre of town, but the waterside peace is broken only by the occasional cyclist who pedals swiftly past. Half of me wishes I’d brought my bicycle, but the other half recognizes that my experience here would be very different at 15 km per hour. What a joy to be in a city where peace is so easily accessible. The trail winds along the river, bringing me to reason two: the Historic Garrison District, a National Historic Site on the waterfront edge of downtown Fredericton. Here, British troops were garrisoned from 1784 until 1869. On the sward where British troops once exercised, there’s a twice-daily changing of the guard during the summer months. The marching columns of scarlet coats and smart white helmets, led by a kilted piper and drummer, make an impressive pageant. And despite their youth, the guards here stand as statue still as those at Buckingham Palace. I can’t resist trying an old trick. “Are you supposed to stand still and say nothing at all?” I ask one guard. It works. “Yes, ma’am,” he responds, then blushes as he realizes his mistake. It was mean of me. While the military buildings in the Garrison District still remain, today their lower levels house local artisans. Inside the cool stone arches, pottery, needlecraft, jewellery and photography make tempting displays that I’m finding it hard to resist. And so, here is reason three. A few steps away, downtown Fredericton repays an hour’s browsing with some wonderful and even unusual shops; my favourite rejoices in the name, The Geek Chic Boutique. It’s got to be reason four. Sheldon Cooper and Captain America bobble head dolls share shelf space with memorabilia from Star Wars, Dr. Who, and many more. What’s scary is that I find myself tempted by a T-shirt emblazoned with the word “Bazinga!” And if you understand that, be very afraid! It’s time to reprogram my brain with a different kind of culture, so I head for the Beaverbook Art Gallery. My reason five for visiting Fredericton is just a five minute walk away. Actually, nothing is far away in this little city.

32 TORONTO TODAY June 2012

liz campbell/ToRonto today

CRACKING GOOD FUN: As long as you’re on the east coast, don’t miss out on the lobster.

Presented in 1958 by Lord Beaverbrook, a.k.a. press baron, Max Aitken who spent his childhood in Fredericton, this gallery includes famous works by world-renowned artists such as Gainsborough, Turner, Krieghoff, Constable and Reynolds. In the front hall hangs Salvador Dali’s remarkable Santiago el Grande. The docent tells us to lie on the floor in order to get the best view of this massive painting. “You really need to see it from below to get the full effect,” she explains, adding with a laugh, “I’ve seen elegantly dressed women lying down there.” So I dutifully lie down for my own worm’s eye view, and gasp at the effect. This painting is worthy of a reason of its own — number six. While an exhibition room features different depictions of Lord Beaverbook himself, the eponymous gallery apparently boasts another, somewhat more sinister version of the late lord. His ghost has been seen wandering its halls. Perhaps he simply couldn’t bear to part with these wonderful treasures for eternity? And speaking of ghosts, reason seven to visit is one of the most impressive churches in the region, Christ Church Cathedral. Queen Victoria was prevailed upon by Bishop John Medley to designate Fredericton a city, simply in order that he might construct this magnificent, soaring cathedral. It repays some browsing inside and must be the only church in Christendom with a clock above the altar; do the congregants time the sermon, I wonder? But it’s not the bishop’s ghost but that of his dutiful wife, Margaret, who wanders

its precincts. “She used to bring the bishop his dinner when he worked late here,” says the verger, Hank Williams, who encountered Margaret late one night. “There is nowhere in the building where one could cook food, but I could smell tomato soup.” Have I made you hungry? Downtown Fredericton has more than its share of great places to get a bowl of soup of your own. And if that’s not enough, you have to visit the Boyce Market on a Saturday morning, my reason eight. A true local market, it’s about much more than buying groceries. Boyce is a gathering place for residents. “It’s where people catch up on what’s been happening,” explains Eric Leclair, barista at Whitney Coffee in the market. And most enjoy a snack or lunch — croissants, a freshly made lobster roll, waffles, freshly baked pastries and, of course, great coffee. Fredericton has one more good reason to entice you to visit. Each September since 1991, the city has played host to the largest music festival in The Maritimes, the Harvest Jazz & Blues Festival. It’s reason nine. David Seabrook has been involved since its inception. “No venue is so large you can’t get up close to the bands and there are so many places to catch the music,” he enthuses. “The festival has introduced dozens of great bands.” Then he adds, “Besides the music, there’s that great Maritime hospitality.” There it is — number 10 and the main reason to visit Fredericton. TT


Midtown glory shawn star/toronto today

The house at 744 Duplex Ave., built around 1828, is not only believed to be the oldest home in midtown still being used as a residence, but it was also built by a member of a family who lived on the original 200-acre lot and have a distinct connection to the War of 1812.

How the War of 1812 affected our neighbourhoods

D

By Shawn Star

efining war in building Canada as its own nation will be remembered in mid-June, as it reaches its 200th anniversary. On June 18, it will be 200 years since America declared war on the British, marking the start to a twoyear campaign known as the War of 1812. The attack at Fort York is well documented, including the massive explosion of the fort’s magazine and torching of the British ship HMS Isaac Brock — both done by the British in defiance of the American attack. But how did the war affect midtown Toronto? Or did it at all? In fact, most of midtown at the time was 200-acre lots of land that were either used for farming or being held for sale at a later date. The lots were listed as concessions in York township, as the area had hardly been settled aside from a few early farming families. One such family were the Sniders.

Seeing more opportunity for his sons to own their own parcels of land in Upper Canada, Martin Snider left New Brunswick after purchasing a 200-acre plot of land in 1811. It ran from what is now Yonge in the east to Bathurst in the west, with a northern border of Glencairn Avenue and a southern border likely around Briar Hill Avenue or even a bit north of there. There was already a log cabin on the site, and in it he resided with his wife and nine children (though they had two more in 1813 and 1815). The Sniders were a Loyalist family who only made it to New Brunswick thanks to a daring campaign by Martin and his three brothers. Descendents of the Pennsylvania Dutch, the Sniders fought in the American Revolution — but not for the Americans. As a result, in September 1777, Martin and his brothers attempted to flee to friendlier land in New Jersey, but were captured en route. CONTINUED Page 34

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Cont. from Page 33

A historical court record of their sentencing says they were captured while “being armed and arrayed in a warlike and hostile manner,” and that the brothers “did wage a publick and cruel war.” More than 100 Loyalists were captured at that time, and though not all were sentenced to death, the four Snider brothers were. They expected to be hanged in December. However, they were spared, as friends and neighbours back home in Pennsylvania essentially vouched for them being upstanding citizens. Among those who vouched were American military men. The brothers were released as long as they joined the Continental Army, which they did. And then deserted. This time they made it to New Jersey, and from there, Martin immigrated to New Brunswick. Following in their Loyalist father’s footsteps, Jacob Snider and Martin Jr. — the two oldest male children — enlisted with the British and were involved in the War of 1812. Jacob, 22 at the outset of the war, fought in a few battles, one of which is believed to have been the Battle of Queenston Heights, where Sir Isaac Brock was killed. There are also accounts of a Jacob Snider being severely wounded in the war, but the family believes he’s likely not the same Jacob Snider because there were various musket wounds documented, including one that was throughand-through in the upper body, and their ancestor lived to be 85. Martin Jr. on the other hand was only 15 years old when the war began, so he stayed at the family farm and ran supplies down to Fort York for the British troops. After the war, Martin Sr. and Jacob were pathmasters for Yonge Street. That is, they checked conditions of the road to see whether or not it was suitable for travel. When Martin Sr. died in 1828, the family land fell into possession of the fourth son, William Snider. He developed the property, tearing down the old log cabin and building a large home. It’s believed he used the logs from the cabin in the basement of the home. That home still stands

The War of 1812 was the catalyst for developing midtown Toronto.

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shawn star/toronto today

DESCENDANT: Pat Armstrong has the original rack from a work shed at 519 Glengrove Ave. W. She delights in the idea that her great-great-grandfather, Thomas Snider, may have hung his coat on it.

today and is found at 744 Duplex Ave. According to a City of Toronto document, it is believed to be the last remaining “Yonge Street Loyalist Farmhouse” in the city. The home is also one of the oldest homes in the entire City of Toronto still being used as a residence. There is another home built around the same time, found at 171 Old Forest Hill Rd., which was also built by a War of 1812 veteran who settled in midtown. That man was named William Moore. Moore owned another of the original 200-acre plots of land, this one spanning from Bathurst over to Dufferin and just north of Glencairn. Moore split that property into two, creating narrow strips still spanning from Bathurst to Duffern, and he sold the north half to a man named Jacob Snider — the same Jacob Snider whose family had the land where the home on Duplex now stands. Jacob also had a farm in the Yonge and Eglinton area, and so he sold this 100acre strip to younger brother Thomas. Thomas then built a home on the land, sometime around 1835 (though the exact date is unknown). That home also still stands today, and is found at 519 Glengrove Ave. W. According to one real estate website, Thomas is listed as the founder of the neighbourhood Caribou Creek. But now for the twist. These three homes — 744 Duplex Ave., 519 Glengrove Ave. W., and 171 Old Forest Hill Rd. — are the three oldest homes remaining in midtown and all are connected to settlement and development of the area by War of 1812 veterans. All three have heritage designation. So what does this all mean? It means while most people remember the War of 1812 for having no decisive victor, midtowners can remember it as being the catalyst for the settlement and development of the area. TT

shawn star/toronto today

BUILDING THE FOUNDATION: William Snider, builder of the home at 744 Duplex Ave., is seen here with his wife Nancy Cummer in an old family photo.


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Keep cool Summer’s near, so let these help you

W

By Liz Campbell

hether you’re headed to the beach, the golf course or the cottage, here’s some hot summer stuff to add a little cool to your summer.

For serious golfers only: GolfBuddy World will help you get a serious edge on your game. An easy-to-navigate GPS rangefinder with a high resolution, colour touch screen, it has the capacity to hold 40,000 courses in its internal memory, and comes preloaded with more than 35,000 courses worldwide. Anti-glare technology allows the image to remain completely visible at all times, even in bright sunlight. And there are no subscription fees. You can score for up to four players and track your stats. It’s $299 at golf pro shops or online at www.golfbuddyglobal.com.

Steel BuildingS A-Z Technical Bldg. Systems Inc.: Pre-Engineered Steel Buildings. Since 1978! Stamp drawings & leasing available. Ask for Wally: Toll-Free at 1-877-743-5888, Fax (416) 626-5512. www.a-ztech. on.ca STEEL BUILDING - BLOWOUT SALE! 20X26 $5,199. 25X28 $5,799. 30X42 $8,390. 32X56 $11,700. 40X50 $14,480. 47X76 $20,325. One End wall included. Pioneer Steel 1-800-668-5422. www.pioneersteel.ca. vacation/travel CANADA’S NEWEST NATIONAL PARK! Join Adventure Canada’s Torngat Mountains Base Camp in beautiful Northern Labrador for hiking, fishing and camping. Heli-hiking also available. July 2012. www. adventurecanada.com, 1-800-3637566. ST. LAWRENCE RIVER CRUISES World class cruising close to home. The hassle free way to travel. 2, 3, 5 or 6 nights in private Staterooms. Included: Shore excursions, great meals & nightly entertainment. TICO#2168740. 253 Ontario St., Kingston, 1-800-267-7868, www. StLawrenceCruiseLines.com.

Summer means trips to the beach. And trips to the beach mean sand. Everyone ends up covered in it, and let’s face it, washing in the water just adds another layer as you try to dry off with a sandy towel. Sand-Off is an all-natural, powder-filled mitt that breaks the bond between skin and sand. Gently rub and the sand is gone. Use this dry body wash at the beach, in the park or even in your own backyard. It’s safe for use on infants, toddlers and the Sand-Off mitt is good for 30 to 40 uses. That’s a lot of trips to the beach. Priced at $7.99 at www.sandoff.com. Sea Squirts look cool and keep kids safe by the water. These life jackets and swim assist vests are created to look like different types of fish and sea mammals. They include a flexible fin on the back of each vest that’s strong enough to be grabbed, to pluck a little one out of the water in an emergency situation. And they come in three different sizes with varying armhole sizes, so the buoyancy of the life jacket is carried under the child’s arms instead of uncomfortably between the legs. The buoyancy can be changed by removing one of three flotation panels. Sea Squirts come in several creative choices including: Clownfish, Great White Shark, Pink Dolphin, Blue Dolphin, and Killa Whale. All are Coast Guard certified as a Type III Personal Flotation Device, ski vest or wake-boarding vest. Prices range from $49.95 for swim assist jackets to $69.95 for Personal Flotation Devices, though they’re cheaper at www.amazon.com. You can also buy them at the company website: www.opacove.com. TT june 2012 TORONTO TODAY 37


Sports

Not your father’s sports Alternative athletes find their places in Toronto

F

By Ann Ruppenstein

orget hockey, baseball and basketball. From pinball to live action role-playing, here is a look at some local players from alternative sport leagues around the city. Matt Wilson The Backyard Axe Throwing League During a cottage getaway in 2006, Matt Wilson and a group of friends started throwing a hatchet at a tree to pass the time. After unsuccessfully explaining how fun the experience was to his roommate upon returning home, he set up some scrap wood in their backyard. “I grabbed a hatchet and was, like, just do it and tell me you don’t like it,” he says. “He threw a few axes and we ended up staying there all night.” Since the Backyard Axe Throwing League was launched later that year, it has grown from 12 to 128 members competing over four weeknights. Instead of in Wilson’s backyard, they now play indoors in the Junction and are planning to add a second east end location.

ANN RUPPENSTEIN/TORONTO TODAY

WATCH OUT: Play ball with Lorne Kurtz and you won’t want to catch the ball from him but avoid it. His dodge ball league is aimed at adult participants.

“I love to compete at it, it’s really addictive as far as being able to throw five or 10 or 15 bullseyes in a row against a competitor, especially somebody who is capable of the same thing,” he says. “It’s just like the thrill of any other sport. To be the best at it is pretty awesome.” During the regular eight-week season, members play against each other in one on one matches and proceed to a double elimination tournament on the last night. “Before every night we chant a little six-line axe man’s oath and blow out of a rams horn to kind of signify the beginning of battle,” he says. In addition to regular league nights from Sunday to Wednesday, the league also offers private events from Thursday to Saturday for parties or team building exercises, says Samir Girdhar, who helps organize the division. “First and foremost, we want people to have a lot of fun,” he says. “I used to be a competitive archer when I was in high school and I played darts. When I heard about this it was a natural fit for me and from the first time I threw an axe I was hooked.”

Adam Becker Toronto Pinball League When Adam Becker joined the Toronto Pinball League eight years ago, members wanting to host event nights were required to own four pinball machines. He now owns 29. Since 1995, the league has been holding weekly meetings at various pinball machine collectors’ homes throughout Toronto, Vaughan and Keswick. “We play year round,” says Becker. “What I like to say is if it’s a Monday night and you want to play pinball, we will be somewhere.” Becker, who also plays professionally and is currently ranked third in the country and 49th in the world, says the league has grown from an average of 10 players a night to between 20 and 30. “We cater to everyone,” he says. “We’re good for the casual player, people who just want to come out and be social. We also cater to the really competitive player, people like me who are trying to compete at an upper level and be really good.” Serving as the scorekeeper, he also keeps tracks of the scores over their 15-week season, which

ANN RUPPENSTEIN/Toronto TODAY

HATCHET MEN AND WOMEN: The 128 competitors in the Backyard Axe Throwing League actually go head to head at an indoor setting now.

38 TORONTO TODAY June 2012


culminates with playoffs and a double-elimination tournament with trophies and prizes. Although Becker doesn’t personally have any pregame rituals, he says players often exhibit quirky traits. “Some people stand really funny, some people jump all around, some people swear and yell,” he says. “You meet all sorts of strange and fun people.” Patrick Klatskin Epoch Live Action Role Playing Set in an apocalyptic time with swords and sorcery, Epoch Toronto is a live action role-playing club founded in 1996. Although the majority of its members come from Toronto, Vaughan, Hamilton and Burlington, some travel from as far as Nashville, Tennessee to take part in eight annual events. Epoch’s president Patrick Klatskin says he enjoys getting away from the city and out of his computer chair to be a part of the weekend long games, which require lots of planning and character development. “It’s that suspension of disbelief,” he says. “Not just reading or talking about a role but actually taking on that fantasy role where I now play a character that can do magic, that can play with alchemy, that can do some of those things that we imagined as children but actually do it hands on in game.” Set in a fictional frontier town, members dress up in costumes as warriors, bandits, mages, alchemists and mystics while they navigate through a plot created by an artistic director. In addition to participating members, people are also cast as evil villains and monsters for players to combat and throw spells against. “You can play a plethora of different characters from a rodent of unusual size to a powerful sorcerer that’s out to destroy the town,” says Klatskin. “For summer events I think we’ve gotten up to 70, 80, last year for players, that doesn’t include the people casting.” Above all else, he says his goal for the non-profit organization is for people to have fun. “The whole point of the game or hobby is to come out and have fun,” he says. “To set aside your worries or your cares and just have a blast.”

ANN RUPPENSTEIN/TORONTO TODAY

WIZARDS: Adam Becker, right, plays his 29 pinball machines with other members of the GTA-based league of pinball players and collectors.

Lorne Kurtz Toronto Dodgeball Although it’s often thought of as an elementary school sport, Lorne Kurtz runs a dodgeball league aimed at an older crowd. “Dodgeball I feel sells itself,” says Kurtz. “It’s a sport that 99 percent of Canadians have played throughout their school life. So just to get back into it now as an adult, it’s a lot of fun.” Combining his background playing on an intramural squad while attending university with his brother’s experience launching a local inline hockey league, they started Toronto Dodgeball in 2005. Since 2007, when the league shifted to players 16 and above, it has continued to grow from 12 to 50 teams a season. “From an administrative point of view, to take such a social, joke sport — a sport that we played back in elementary school — and to turn it into an actual grassroots, social, intramural sport for the city of Toronto and getting all of these people out, that is definitely a highlight,” says Kurtz, who continues to play twice a week with his high school friends. Although the matches are inside throughout the year, the summer league, which kicks off in July, is played outdoors in the sand at North Beach Volleyball Academy near Lawrence Avenue E. and Don

ANN RUPPENSTEIN/TORONTO TODAY

‘IT’S NOT FAKE,’ says roller derby athlete Krizsanta Greco, also known as Santa Muerte.

Valley Parkway. “We have all divisions from beginners, people who have never played before to intermediate, those who have played a little and are just kind of honing their skills and we’ve got a competitive division,” he says. “I love to play and one of the best things I would say about it is it’s actually a physical, fullbody workout.” Krizsanta Greco a.k.a. Santa Muerte Toronto Roller Derby After witnessing her first roller derby game,

Krizsanta Greco was hooked. “I knew I wanted to play,” she says. “I was like that looks amazing, it’s full contact, it’s really fast, it looks fun and it looks exciting. I want to hit girls and skate around really fast.” Greco, who is better known on the derby track as Santa Muerte, is now a member of The Toronto Roller Derby League’s Gore-Gore Rollergirls and their all star travel team CN Power. “There’s no cookie cutter roller derby skater, we have everything from dominant large and in-charge skaters to other skaters who look like they’ll break if you breathe on them, but don’t,” she says. The league, which was founded in 2006 and has grown to over 100 skaters, is based out of The Bunker in Downsview Park and features house teams, a farm team and the international travel team. “Our space was large enough to be able to accommodate the first-ever World Cup of Roller Derby, which was last September, which was an amazing experience,” she says. “I think 13 countries from all over the world came. So it was quite awesome to be able to have this space to be able to accommodate that many skaters.” In addition to devoting up to four nights a week training and playing, Greco also volunteers as treasurer and says the league is run entirely by the skaters for the skaters. She says her own alias stems from her nickname, Santa, and the patron saint of drug dealers and criminals, Santa Muerte. “Every derby name is like a snowflake — it’s unique,” she says. “There’s an international roster that you have to register your name in too.” Greco, who previously played soccer and hockey, says roller derby is the most strategic sport she’s ever played and the only one where both teams can score at the same time. “I want to stress that it’s not fake,” she says. “A lot of people do a throwback to the ’70s when it was an entertainment sport.… These girls are athletes.” TT june 2012 TORONTO TODAY 39


Sports

That championship season NTCI’s boys of ’62 reunite to recall their victory 50 years ago

N

By Paula Sanderson

ov. 7, 1962 was dark and dreary but North Toronto Collegiate Institute’s senior boys Norsemen football team took to the field at the old Varsity Stadium in front of 5,000 fans and beat Malvern C.I. for the 1962 city championship. Fifty years later, on another dark and dreary day, 29 players and a coach are back at NTCI celebrating half a century since that glorious win. Milling around the new NT commons, teammates are catching up. When they won, most of the players were in their late teens. Now they are in their late 60s. They are chatting about their wives, their kids and their jobs. But mostly they are reminiscing about the good old days. Trying to remember the game, they

piece together as best they can what happened. Defensive linebacker Ron (Hinze) Hinzel recalls the turning point. “They ran a fake play, and we tackled the guy who didn’t get the ball. The guy who had the ball ran down the field and would have scored a touchdown but the ref blew the whistle because he thought we tackled him.” Fullback Tim Hodgson pipes up: “I don’t remember that.” “I do,” says Hinzel with a smile. “I was the guy that made the tackle on the guy who didn’t have the ball!” But it was the late Cam Grey who made the game-winning touchdown. Tackle Peter Kukk recounts the play. “I never thought he could run that fast, Cam Grey, but he went straight

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Mailing the calendar allows for faster, more accurate delivery and permits us to switch to a 12-month calendar. Please use the June to August condensed pages in your current calendar until September. (FYI – The annual budget for Solid Waste programs and services is approved at the end of the year, leaving no time to produce a collection calendar that starts in January.)

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toronto.ca/recycle

40 TORONTO TODAY June 2012

down the middle. He caught the ball and he outran who ever was chasing him.” A twinkle appears in Kukk’s eye. “I won’t repeat what I said, but I remember the words very clearly,” he says. After the game the players went to a teammate’s cottage for the celebration. “The party was very, very tame,” says quarterback Bill Gibson, smirking. “I don’t remember it being all that tame,” Kukk says, laughing, “I very distinctly remember some guys when they were up on the stage there [at the next day’s school assembly], they weren’t feeling so good.” “I don’t think they got enough sleep that night,” Gibson adds with a wink. As the team gets organized for their picture, current North Toronto principal Joel Gorenkoff stands at the back of the auditorium with phys-ed teacher Lorne Smith. “You can almost see them 50 years ago,” Gorenkoff says. “It reminds you that the kids today 50 years from now are going to be just like them.” Smith agrees. He compares getting the players organized to getting a bunch of grade 10 boys ready for gym class. “These guys are a testament to the importance of loyalty and the things that we teach about teamwork about working together,” he says. “ It’s a joy to see.” North Toronto is a traditional school, Smith says. “Some of the things we do may be hokey, but this is a reminder that those traditions are still strong.” “The school isn’t about the bricks and mortar,” Gorenkoff says. “It’s totally about the people and the experiences that they have.” Football at NTCI is a tradition that seems unlikely to die anytime soon. This year was the first since the 1950s that the Norsemen played at NTCI, since the new field at the rebuilt school is regulation size, unlike the field it replaced. Students no longer have to walk to Northern Secondary to watch home games. “I think the football program has grown a lot recently since the new school and the new facilities have

come in,” says current Boy’s Athletic Association President and football quarterback Jack Hull. “It’s attracting a lot of new football players.” Girl’s Athletic Association president Daisy Burns adds girls’ sports at the school are also seeing that same increase in popularity. “Just compare the old weight room to the new weight room,” she says. “The old equipment basically had blood on it.” The new weight room is a room that many will find at their private fitness gyms. Everything at NTCI is different, yet everything is the same. Danny Russell is no longer teaching at there, but he’s still coaching football after 41 years. He has seen the program evolve over the years. He has coached seven CFLers including current Hamilton Tiger Cat Ryan Hinds. Other notable North Toronto football alumni include Blue Rodeo’s Jim Cuddy and Greg Keeler who were Russell’s quarterback and linebacker. Russell has lost some games but has won others. He understands what the team is feeling. “When you win, you never forget. You were the best,” he says. “One time in your life, you were number one, no one can ever take that away from you.” The 1962 team took tours of the new facility. The general sentiment is that although it is not **their** high school, it is what the kids deserve. “It’s weird coming back, the school’s not here, the field is not a mud bowl,” fullback Tim Hodgson says. “It’s a weird feeling.” Hinzel gazes out at the field longingly. “We didn’t have that kind of a field to play on,” he says. “I’m almost tempted to put the pads on and run around out there a little bit.” TT

‘I was the guy that made the tackle on the guy who didn’t have the ball!’


THEN AND NOW: Returning members of the 1962 Norseman football team, above, that won the city championship regroup for an updated team photo, below, in as close to the same order as possible. They resisted the urge to take to North Toronto Collegiateâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s new field to replay their winning game.

june 2012 TORONTO TODAY 41


Things to Do Festivals for people and pets By Sue Wakefield

Light up your imagination Luminato, Toronto’s festival of arts and creativity celebrates its 5th anniversary this year with a diverse lineup of performances and installations. While some of Luminato’s performances are paid and ticketed, there are a huge selection of free events. David Pecaut Square (formerly Metro Square and renamed in honour of Luminato’s co-founder) will be transformed into a windscape with fans, windsocks and an enormous ribbon weaving around Metro Hall and through the square. Free, live music will fill the square throughout the duration of the festival. A complete list of the free dance, theatre, opera, music, literature and visual arts can be found at Luminato’s website. Don’t miss the return of 1,000 Tastes of Toronto where some of the city’s most creative chefs will re-conceive street food and be challenged to feature a Canadian ingredient. These delicious creations, ready to eat onthe-go will be offered for only $5. Full event details including a downloadable program can be found at the Luminato website. June 8–17, times and locations vary by event. www.luminato. com. Dogs get groovy at Woofstock Why should we humans have all the fun? Every dog in the know will be at the St. Lawrence Market for Woofstock, North America’s largest outdoor festival for dogs on June 9–10. Bring your pooch along for this family outing and make it all about them for the day. Events include a fashion show, Ms. and Mr. Canine Canada pageant and a stupid dog trick contest. A huge variety of exhibitors will be on hand showcasing the latest doggie fashion, accessories, furnishings, gourmet treats and spa services. This popular event began in 2003 at the Distillery District but has grown so large it had to move several years ago. Last year’s event welcomed 300,000 proud owners and their pooches. Plan ahead and visit the event’s website to join the VIP (Very Important Pooch) club. Members will get access to a special lounge, a swag bag and other special discounts. Registration is free but limited to the first 500 dogs. June 9–10, 10 a.m.­–6 p.m. St. Lawrence Market (Front St. will be closed between Jarvis and Yonge streets), 416-234-WOOF (9663), www.woofstock.ca. TT 42 TORONTO TODAY June 2012

Let’s talk summer

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1. Fruct- and gluc- suffixes 5. Average grade 8. Common pasta sauce 12. Gun contents 13. Kids’ sport 15. Mine entrance 16. Spinning toys 17. Artist’s stand 18. Facial appendage 19. He’s not far behind? 22. Like HIV 23. Ajar, poetically 24. Former deputy mayor Case 28. An intense verbal altercation? 33. Snakelike response 34. Crime victim John 35. Fruit juice 36. Lascivious? 41. Consumed 44. Small piece 45. Catch 47. Red herring’s opposite? 53. Beatle Ringo 54. Poem of praise 55. Prescriptions 57. On the spot? 62. Happy

65. Porthole rim 66. ___ Land 67. Latvia capital 68. Swears 69. Reveals 70. Daredevil Knievel 71. Affirmation 72. Show distaste for informally

DOWN 1. Pledges 2. Like a salesman 3. Beer Store returns 4. Average 5. Money 6. General Robert ___ 7. She, in Paris 8. It usually comes shortly after a kidnapping 9. There is much of it about nothing 10. Soldiers 11. Southwest Native 13. Arizona city 14. Howled, like a wolf 20. Untrue 21. Baseball great Gehrig 25. It comes in black, white and green

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26. Conclusion 27. Abbreviated title for a canonized woman 29. Fire residue 30. Spanish cuisine highlight 31. Decompose 32. Berlin’s home, abbr. 37. Dynamite 38. Egyptian king 39. Beginning stage 40. Classroom helpers 41. Ohs’ partners 42. Kid 43. When the plane should land 46. Administration offices 48. Related to the groom’s partner 49. Decorative vase 50. “No way” follower 51. Gods 52. Holds in high regard 56. What one keeps hidden away 58. Serving platter 59. Bee home 60. Ids’ partners 61. Pig food 62. Athens’ home, abbr. 63. 54, in Roman times 64. Grow old

Check www.MyTorontoToday.ca for the answers.


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