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theBLOORDALE press Community News from Ward 18 DECEMBER/JANUARY 2013 VOLUME 2 ISSUE 11
CASINO PLANS NOW UP FOR DEBATE Councillor Bailão hosts first casino meeting open to the public BY MELISSA MILLERSON
While not the first of its kind, the Toronto casino debate of 2012 is definitely the first of this time. A hotly contested issue in the late nineties, which was ultimately put to bed by a city-wide referendum in 1997, was brought back to life earlier this year when the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) announced that a new casino construction was planned for somewhere within the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). Over the past months, a city executive committee was formed, and the process of conducting public consultations throughout the City of Toronto has been approved and is currently in the early stages. The consultations are expected to run until March 2013, after which an official decision is expected to be declared not long after.
URANIUM IN YOUR NEIGHBOURHOOD
see CASINO page 2
INSIDE BROCK PS CELEBRATES 125th ANNIVERSARY School staff and students take part in the awaited celebration
See page 6 & 7
Every donation of reusable clothing or household items, will help support the Ontario Federation for Cerebral Palsy ORDER ONLINE!
COLLECTING ALL YOUR HOLIDAY NEEDS Bloordale is a one-stop “shop” for your holiday necessities
NEIGHBOURHOOD SKATING SCHEDULE Three neighbourhood rinks now open for your blades
See page 6 for details...
02 The Bloordale Press DEC/JAN 2013
BROCK PUBLIC SCHOOL CELEBRATES LONG PLANNED 125th BIRTHDAY Brock Public School Principal, Victor Tran leads a much anticipated celebration which saw its framework being built ten years ago by school alumni members BY KHRIS REARDON
Brock Junior Public School rings in 125 years of history getting the public, staff and students to look at the past not just as a time to reflect but as a chance to build upon a legacy. “One of the first things I told my staff, students and community is that I want to build a safe, caring and inclusive environment,” said Victor Tran, Brock Public School principal about his future legacy. “For me, a student needs to be safe, they need be able to express their
ideas and they need to be able to take risks. I think that’s what I’d like to leave behind for them to continue that.” The public gathered at the school Nov. 24 to help Brock PS blow out the candles at it’s most recent birthday. Celebrations were marked with the opening of a time capsule planted 25 years ago and the burial of a new one for 25 years from now, speeches from former alumni and performances by current students. “We had a tribute to Doctor Martin who was the principal here back in the 1940s. He was one of the first principals to start libraries
CASINO from page 1 Ward 18 Councillor Ana Bailão was first out of the gate to take the debate to the public by hosting a town hall meeting on Nov. 22, focusing solely on the proposed city casino. The meeting held at the New Horizons facility at 1140 Bloor St. W. was at near capacity, with well over a hundred people in attendance, along with three panelists, who included Michael Williams, General Manager Economic Development Culture & Tourism for The City of Toronto, Taylor Brydges, Research Assistant with the Martin Prosperity Institute, and Rod Phillips, President and CEO of OLG. Facts and opinions to favour both sides of the debate were presented, as well as a general overview of what the City and the executive committee are doing in response. The City is doing its due diligence and taking the matter of public consultation seriously. “[We] have no idea what is good or bad [for Toronto]”, says Michael Williams, who publically remains neutral throughout the early stages of consultation. Though not the only GTA option, the City of Toronto, most notably the downtown or Exhibition area, were presented as favourable choices by OLG. Proposed sites in Mississauga and Markham are also on the table,
in schools,” said Tran. “We honoured a lot of our alumni’s who have made an impact in society.” Staff at the school have shown their commitment to continuing to innovate the learning environment when they partnered with the Food Share program which brings food and environmental education through a co-opted garden rooftop work space. The program gets students to understand where their food comes from and how to maintain sustainable food sources. “It’s a celebration of past, present and future and for us what does the future look like. For us we have our
but a Toronto casino would greatly impact the bottom line in ways the suburban facilities may not be able to achieve. Not just a casino, OLG is proposing a full convention and entertainment complex, which is forecasted to attract over 800,000 new convention visitors annually and $400 million in tourism revenue. “Toronto would become a premier North American convention destination,” OLG’s Phillips said. A complex like this could bring twelve thousand new full and part time jobs to Toronto, as well as six thousand construction jobs for three years. Not to mention a nice return to the City, including an estimated $27 million dollars in property taxes. However, the expected dark clouds of casino operation were the hot buttons for the town hall crowd, many of whom are opposed to such a facility. “A casino is not a viable tool for sustainable local development”, said Taylor Brydges, who presented some of the most notable proposed negatives impacts, which includes issues of increased crime, cannibalization of adjacent businesses, and lost productivity as a result of problem gambling. “For every 54 dollars in benefit [for the City], there is 166 dollars in social cost”, Brydges quoted from historical casino studies. A Q&A session capped off the meeting,
rooftop garden with some of the environmental issues were trying to promote,” says Tran. “And how learning is not just in the classroom anymore, learning can take place on the rooftop, learning can take place outside.” The school had an outpouring of support from staff, students and community to put the entire event together, a process which has been in the making as early as 10 years ago says Tran. “I started back in September 2010 and I think after the second month even before I was warm in the seat that someone called me
and all attendees were encouraged to fill out a comprehensive questionnaire that Councillor Bailao will review before she casts her vote in the spring. In response to the last question of the evening, how would she vote today, Bailão is currently undecided on the matter. “[At this time] I cannot support a casino, I do not have enough information”, Bailao said, citing that more evidence of the social impact is required. Subsequent public meetings regarding
about the one hundred and twenty fifth anniversary, I said ‘okay let me investigate’ because the school board has an archive and so hat’s where I started my search. Soon I established a committee,” says Tran. “We actually had an alumni who had been working on it for ten years.” Though the celebration comes on the perceptible eve of a possible teacher strike, Tran says he is glad that the stormy going for embattled teachers and provincial politicians haven’t overshadowed the celebration as the school etches another line in the tree bark.
the proposed gaming facility will follow in the near future, as well as the development of an informative website hosted by the City of Toronto, which is expected to be up and running as early as this month. Ana Bailão invites everyone in the community to voice their opinion by completing the questionnaire online by visiting http://www.anabailao.ca/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/21.11.2012.Casino-Townhall-Consultation-questions-English.docx
Councillor Ana Bailão, along with a hand selected panel, stands in front of a number of eagar community members. Photo by Melissa Millerson
The Bloordale Press DEC/JAN 2013 03
New In Business
NEW CAFE RESTAURANT LOOKS TO SET TREND ON DUNDAS ST W STRIP BIVY owner and Bloordale resident, Pascal Vernhes looks to fill a need for gourmet food in the neighbourhood by offering his very own dishes all of which cooked from scratch BY JUSTIN MILLERSON
The most recent café to open on the DuWest strip prides itself with its warm environment and gourmet food. BIVY, since opening up just a few months ago, is growing to be a popular spot in the area. BIVY (1600 Dundas St. W.) is an abbreviation of the word BIVOUAC, which is a temporary shelter for people who enjoy mountain trekking, or camping. These cabinlike structures are known to a rustic and warm environment that offers its guests an opportunity to rest and recharge. The term originated in the military, but Vernhes has brought the term to life on Dundas St. W., roughly 100 km from the nearest military base in Ontario. “I love the outdoors, I love mountainary,” said Pascal Vernhes, owner of the café. “I tried to keep the place very simple.” “This is a place where people can recharge and rest before they move on to somewhere else,” he said. Having lived in the neighbourhood for roughly ten years on St. Clarens Ave., Vernhes noticed, on Dundas St. W., there was something missing. Nowhere could someone enjoy a hot beverage
BIVY offers a warm chalet-type atmosphere for its customers. Photos by Justin Millerson
with a gourmet meal to compliment. “I realized there was not so much around for a quick and fresh [gourmet meal], you have to go north, or further east,” said Vernhes. “There is kind of a need here in the neighbourhood.” Vernhes is no stranger to the restaurant business. He owned a restaurant downtown called Midi, but he eventually sold the business to take on a new project and so far, he couldn’t be happier about his
choice. “It was really a fluke. I knew the real estate agent, that I met just two weeks before, he called and said ‘Pascal, I’m going to lease this place, I think it would be right for you’, so I came it was in good shape, it was a good size,” said Verhes. Not too long after, Vernhes purchased the lease and quickly got to work. BIVY opened less than a week later, first selling hot beverages.
CAFE CON LECHE HITS DUPONT STREET BY KATE MCCULLOUGH
If it’s not the delicate floating lights in the window, the authentic plywood floorboards or the three clocks ticking different time zones that draw people to Café Con Leche Espresso Bar, it must be the Nutella latte. “We brought it in for fun and didn’t think it would be a big deal, but we have people stopping saying, ‘I saw your Nutella latte,’” says Sandra DaSilva, co-owner of the café. “The Nutella latte’s really picking up, so it’s almost like our signature drink.” It’s not surprising that it’s been a hit – the Costco-sized tub of the chocolate hazelnut spread behind the counter is hard to miss. DaSilva and Carlos Flores opened the café near the quiet intersection of Dupont Street and Perth Avenue a little over six weeks
ago, and business is already steady. “We’re having a lot of repeat visits, a lot of regulars coming in and then those regulars telling other people. Others are just driving by and discovering the place,” DaSilva said. She and Flores spent a year scouring the city for the perfect spot for the café, and ended up in Bloordale. Their desire is not only to do what they love, but to fill a hole in a neighbourhood – which is exactly what residents of the tight-knit community are saying the café has done. “One lady said, ‘it feels so cool to see people walking down the street with your cups,’” Flores said. “It’s like, ‘oh yeah, that’s our café of the ‘hood.’” Flores and DaSilva are partowners of CocoaLatte on St. Clair West, but said they were looking for something smaller that would be essential to an up-and-coming
neighbourhood like Bloordale. The café, which is a refurbished Laundromat, is open 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sundays. Unlike CocoaLatte, which has a full lunch and dessert menu, Café Con Leche offers nothing but good coffee – and a few vegan, gluten-free sweets to go with it. It was important to the pair that nothing else detract from the quality of the coffee. “It all starts with the bean, the grinder and the temperature of the water. You don’t just pop it in and press the button,” Flores said. “And love. You have to make it with love.” The espresso bar was inspired by the abundance of cafes in San Francisco, where Flores grew up. One of the three clocks lined up on the wall is set to San Francisco time and the other lets customers know what time it is in Portugal, which is
The menu has since expanded offering an assortment of pastries and brunch and lunch meals (some are vegetarian). Vernhes said he hopes by mid-spring to top off his menu with a variety of dinner options as well as expanding BIVY’s business hours. “We plan to have more food choices once it get’s busier,” said Vernhes. where DaSilva was born. The third, of course, is on Toronto time. Interestingly enough, though, DaSilva said “Toronto time” is something they’re trying to avoid. She said the fact that the café isn’t on the subway line seems to be helping them achieve their goal of creating a community hub with a slower pace. “When people are in and out of the subways, unless they desperately need something or whatever, they’re usually with their goal and
For now, BIVY is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends. The cost for a large-portioned gourmet meal averages at roughly ten dollars. Some options include, hot open face sandwiches - served with mixed greens and potato salad, Croque Monsieur - with mixed greens, baked French toast and much more. focused on where they’re going,” she said. “They won’t stop.” She said their clientele is varied, but most are business professionals and neighbours of all ages. The couple said their goal is that each customer leaves happy with both their experience and their drink. “The one thing we want is the customer to come in and feel like they are important,” Flores said. “Like they are a customer, not just another transaction.”
Carlos Flores and Sandra DaSilva stand behind their espresso bar. Photo by Kate McCullough
04 The Bloordale Press DEC/JAN 2013
New In Business
DESIGN-ORIENTED GIFT SHOP OPENS UP ON BLOOR STREET BY AMBER DAUGHERTY
When you walk into TOWN at 1187 Bloor St. W., it’s evident someone has put a lot of thought into what you’re seeing. Shelves are carefully colour blocked, the postcard wall is arranged just so, and the centrepiece to the store – the checkout counter – is creamy white and topped with a giant,
citrus-lime slab. On this day, Shelley Town, owner and manager of the tiny store, is wearing a black scarf tipped with the same fresh lime; she fits perfectly – another piece in the organized, crisp atmosphere. Daughter of Canadian artist Harold Town, Shelley Town grew up loving art. She developed a sense of what is aesthetically pleasing and has long been pulled
Shelley Town stands behind the checkout counter in her brand new store with her trademark smile and energy. Photo by Amber Daugherty
to the attraction of design. TOWN reflects that 100 per cent with its bright colours, magnet boards and rolls of beautiful wrapping paper. It’s a smart mix of old graphic images like typewriters and classicinspired Penguin notebooks, as well as ultra-modern Moleskine coloured-notebooks and magnets and buttons from Spacing magazine. “TOWN is a card and paper and design-oriented gift store,” Town said. “I would love for it to become one of the centres of the community. Cards are really a bread and butter item.”
The store may appeal to the design-loving Torontonian more than anyone else, though cards and postcards, as Town pointed out, are intended for everyone. Customers will quickly appreciate the atmosphere – Town keeps up a steady stream of conversation and her warm laugh and seemingly everlasting smile will make anyone feel comfortable in seconds. Town learned all these subtle tricks of being a good businessperson after years of practice. It was 25 years ago when she opened her first store, Pulp, after working a stint in a card store. She owned Pulp for 11 years before selling it. Shortly after, she caught the bug again. She opened her next store, Butterfield 8 on the Danforth in 2000, and ran it for six years. One of Town’s favourite aspects of running her own store is something other people might not even know how to approach – buying. A store needs merchandise to sell, and with so much available and something called a budget, there has to be a smart plan in place. Town has always known what she wanted – and a big portion of her inventory is local. There’s even an in-store-only line of collectibles
based on Town’s father’s work. “This is something I know well,” Town said. “I love merchandising and displays so whenever I’m buying something or thinking of a space, I’m thinking ‘I can put that there or these could go with that.’” TOWN was officially opened on Oct. 27 and hosted a party the last week of November to celebrate her new business. “We’ll start banging the drums and getting the word out then,” Town said in anticipation of the event. Town is a retail consultant as well as a store-owner. She was consulted for the opening of the shop at the TIFF Bell Lightbox, and continues to make herself available to share her knowledge on the retail industry. But right now, she’s focused on making TOWN a community go-to. “We have some higher-end design pieces but most of the products are really accessible pricewise so I’d love it to become a place where people can come in and buy presents for their friends, their kids, their mother, or their father,” she said. The store is open Tuesday to Friday 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday noon to 5 p.m. It’s closed on Mondays. “People in the neighbourhood have just been wonderfully supportive and happy that we’re here because there are a lot of great bars, a lot of great restaurants, coffee stores, and the art galleries are here but there aren’t a lot of new shops so it was nice to be welcomed,” Town said. “They’ve been lovely.”
The Bloordale Press DEC/JAN 2013 05
Letters from your political representatives
COUNCILLOR ANA BAILÃO
We are very fortunate in Ward 18 to have vibrant streetscapes and a very active retail community. Much of this energy is the result of work by Business Improvement Areas (BIA), which are located on nearly every
commercial strip in Ward 18, from Queen Street West to Bloor Street West. BIAs are associations of commercial property owners and tenants within a defined area who work in partnership with the City to create thriving, competitive, and safe business areas that attract shoppers, diners, tourists, and new businesses. Given this fact, I welcome you to shop locally this holiday season. Get to know the shops in your BIA through their websites or, better yet, stroll along our main streets and enjoy the holiday atmosphere. In November and December, City of Toronto BIAs typically host their Annual General Meetings (AGMs). These meetings are an opportunity to discuss concerns and celebrate successes. To date, the Bloorcourt, Bloordale, Dundas West, Dovercourt Village and West Queen West BIAs have each hosted their respective AGMs. College Promenade and Little Portugal BIAs will be hosting their AGMs in mid-December - here are some highlights: Bloorcourt and Bloordale BIAs: streetscape improvement plans will be a part of the 2013 Bloor Street road and sidewalk resurfacing.
Anybody walking along Bloor Street will soon benefit from mini-parkettes, trees, improvements to both the north and northwest corners of Bloor Street and Dufferin Street, and public art. Despite the construction, the Bloordale BIA Board is still committed to organizing the BIG on Bloor Festival. The Bloorcourt BIA also deserves recognition for having recently been granted permission by Toronto Hydro to install beautiful holiday lighting. This lighting will add more light, colour and holiday spirit to the area during the long December and January winter nights. Dundas West BIA and the Little Portugal BIA: will be working together to host a street festival in June 2013. Dundas West BIA also deserves special mention for winning the Toronto Association of BIAs 2012 outstanding capital improvements award for the new parkettes which were put in place along Dundas. The West Queen West BIA: hosted its well attended AGM in mid-November. MasterCard had spent over $250,000 marketing the West Queen West area through initiatives such as StyliCity. The program runs twice
MP ANDREW CASH 416-654-8048 Over the past month I have heard from many residents who are concerned about the operation of the GE-Hitachi facility at 1025 Lansdowne Ave. They, as I, were shocked and frustrated over the fact that we had never been made aware that this facility was operating in our community despite regulations requiring transparency and consultation. Given that this facility is located in a a heavily populated area at 1025 Lansdowne Ave, and processes powdered uranium for nuclear reactors you’d think residents would have known it was there and had been there since 1965. We didn’t. In 2010 the company went through a license renewal process which was to include a public engagement process. The public disclosure requirements for this facility were so low that the company was able to claim that a brochure available at their front desk and online, and a one day notice in the Toronto Star fulfilled its responsibility to inform the community. This is unacceptable and the Harper Government needs to explain how this was allowed to happen. Residents deserve to have their questions answered, and voice their concerns and opinions directly to GE-Hitachi, the CNSC and to the Minister of Natural Resources, who has ultimate responsibility for overseeing the nuclear sector. People have a right to know what is going on in their community and it is clear that little has been done to communicate with residents over the 50 years the plant has been at this location. I held a public meeting on Saturday, December 8 at 2pm at the New Horizons Auditorium at Bloor and Dufferin, to provide an opportunity for the community to ask direct questions and get some answers. Invited guests included representatives from GE-Hitachi, CNSC and impartial nuclear scientists on the safety of the activities at the plant, a local environmental group and the Minister of Natural Resources, Joe Oliver. I will take the concerns of the community and continue to pressure the Conservative Government on its level of regulation and oversight of the nuclear sector. If you were unable to attend the meeting and have concerns or questions about the GE-Hitachi facility, or any other issue, please do not hesitate to contact my offices.
MPP JONAH SCHEIN 416-535-3158 We all know that cycling in Toronto can be dangerous. As cyclists and drivers we take personal responsibility for our safety, but we also need our municipal and provincial governments to take action to keep our roads safe and encourage active transportation. As your MPP I continue to ask the provincial government to step up and take responsibility for cyclists’ safety in Ontario. Earlier this year, I called on the provincial government to publish their long-awaited cycling strategy, and they finally have released a draft for consultation. This will be the first update of Ontario’s cycling strategy in over 20 years. It is good to see the government take first steps towards protecting cyclists. Disappointingly, the government’s draft strategy does not provide timelines or targets to increase ridership, safety, or to reduce emissions; nor does it make any funding commit-
a year and coincides with Fashion Week. I also congratulate the West Queen West BIA for being named the #1 BIA in Toronto by Toronto Association of Business Improvement BIAs (TABIA) in 2011. The Dovercourt Village BIA: held its AGM in mid-November. The BIA board reported a very successful art studio tour this year. Due to the success of the 2012 tour, the BIA board plans on organizing another one in 2013. Dovercourt Village is among the smallest BIAs in Toronto in terms of size and budget. Nevertheless they continue to show tremendous results and were the recipient of TABIA’s Environment Award for its solar lighting fixtures. I would also like to acknowledge a group of College Street West business and commercial property owners who are currently in the process of creating a new BIA, by summer 2013. Congratulations to all our Ward 18 businesses, for their commitment to improving the look and feel of our community and to all Ward 18 residents for supporting local business connected to our community. I wish you all a wonderful holiday season. ments. It is clear that there is still a lot of work that needs to be done. I encourage you to give your feedback on the cycling strategy to the Ministry of Transportation. Links to the strategy and feedback form can be found on my website at jonahscheinmpp.ca, or you can call my office at 416 535 3158 for more information. But even as the cycling community provides feedback on the strategy, the provincial government can take immediate action to improve cycling by giving Toronto the green light to move forward with our city bike plan and install contraflow bike lanes. Contraflow lanes are bike lanes that allow cyclists to legally travel in both directions on one way streets. They are cost effective, safe, and provide more options for cyclists to avoid busy arterial roads that lack proper cycling infrastructure. Thirteen contraflow lanes were approved by City Council almost 5 years ago, but their installation has been delayed because the provincial government won’t clarify whether contraflow lanes are currently allowed. In May 2012, I wrote to the Minister of Transportation to request that he clarify that the Highway Traffic Act allows contraflow lanes in our cities. This November, Councillor Mike Layton helped pass a motion at Toronto City Council also requesting clarity from the Ministry. The Ontario could quickly and easily clarify this matter without any legislative changes but the Minister of Transportation has still not responded to our call. It’s time for action. Please visit my website and sign our petition to tell the Minister that we need our province to support, not prevent, the development of cycling infrastructure and allow contraflow lanes in our city. Visit my website to sign the petition and share the word with your friends on our Go Contraflow Facebook page.
06 The Bloordale Press DEC/JAN 2013
Uranium In Your Neighbourhood
GE-HITACHI: THE GREA DIG IN MEET MARKS FIRST RESPONSE BY GE With the recent influx of attention firstname.lastname@example.org swirling around General Electric (GE)-Hitachi’s rather dull looking uranium processing plant at 1025 Lansdowne Ave., it’s hard to remember it’s been in the neighbourhood for over 100 years. In 1905, GE-Hitachi nestled itself where Lansdowne and Brandon Avenues meet today and in the beginning stages of the company, several different types of leases, both commercial and industrial, were coming in and out of Toronto’s west end. In the early 1960s, the plant started to manufacture ceramic pellets which include “regular non-enriched uranium” according to GE-Hitachi’s safety department. These pellets are used in fuel rods to help power nuclear reactors across Canada. In mid-October, Now Magazine published an article explaining, or some would say “uncovering” the plant’s controversial operations. The article, written by Saul Chernos, had a residual effect on the community prompting several community meetings which included not only the community’s local politicians, but also representatives from the very company in question – GE-Hitachi. The first of those meetings was organized by local residents group, DIG IN (Dupont Improvement Group). The meeting was held on Nov. 14 in the Bloor/Gladstone Library’s community meeting space. Roughly 175 community members sat in front of a panel of guests which included anti-nuclear activist Zach Ruiter, Federal MP Andrew Cash, Provincial MPP Jonah Schein, Executive Assistant to Ward 17 Councillor Cesar Palacio, Mike Makrigiorgos, GE-Hitachi’s vice president of communications and public affairs Kim Warburton and GE-Hitachi’s safety manager Paul Desiri. The panelists were given the opportunity to introduce themselves and share their stance on the plant’s operations. First to speak was Ruiter, an anti-nuclear activist who became known after voicing an opposition to another GE plant in Peterborough several years ago (see page 7). He stood and spoke loudly of the dangers of Toronto’s GE-Hitachi plant to the people living close by. “[Toronto’s GE-Hitachi] plant is three times more radioactive than the one in Peterborough,” he said. Behind Ruiter was a homemade sign; on it was the GE-Hitachi logo with the devil’s horns attached. Following Ruiter, each of the local politicians (Cash, Schein and Makrigiorgos, in place for Palacio) voiced their displeasure about the plant’s existence and were appalled that something like this has been in the
BY JUSTIN MILLERSON
community for half a century. “I, like much of the community, was shocked that we have a plant like this in our neighbourhood. It’s surprising and concerning,” said Cash. “The lack of transparency is unacceptable,” added Schein. Warburton along with Desiri – the lone voices from GEHitachi at the meeting– assured they have met the application requirements to continue operations in the neighbourhood, but acknowledged they could have done more. “We have followed all the application guidelines,” said Warburton. “But we can do better.” Those guidelines are set by a federal regulator, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) which enforces a series of regulations upon Canada’s many nuclear and uranium facilities. As of 2010, GE-Hitachi has met all requirements and thus were granted a ten-year operations renewal according to GE-Hitachi’s web site: http://www.ge-energy.com Also on the website, in regards to public information, a statement reads as follows: “GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy Canada Inc. (GEH-C) maintains a public information program as required by the Toronto fuel facility operating licence issued by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission. This program provides information about operations to interested members of the public, particularly those living in the vicinity of the site. Several information products produced under the public information program are available on this web site through the links below. Contact information is also provided for any questions or comments.” Though there was much to be said and heard during the meeting, the community had one pressing concern. Is the plant really safe? “This is a safe plant. There has been no incident since we started manufacturing these pellets in the 1960s,” said Warburton.
The uranium processing plant sits at 1025 Lansdowne Ave., neighbouring dozens of residential homes. Photo by Justin Millerson
Environmentalist, Zac Neighbourhood and C
May the Joy and Peace of Christmas be with you now and throughout the New Year
AFFORDABLE SENIOR LIVING IN THE HEART OF BLOORDALE VILLAGE
CALL 416-536-6111 TODAY 1140 Bloor Street West
The Bloordale Press DEC/JAN 2013 07
Uranium In Your Neighbourhood
AT URANIUM DEBATE ANTI-NUCLEAR PROTEST WELL ATTENDED BY COMMUNITY Shock and curios-
BY AMBER DAUGHERTY ity have followed the
recent discovery of a General Electric (GE)Hitachi uranium processing plant at 1025 Lansdowne Ave. in Toronto’s west end. Community members showed up to a meeting on Nov. 15 at the Davenport-Perth Neighbourhood and Community Health Centre to get information many felt they should have had a long time ago. The meeting was attended by MPP Jonah Schein, MP Andrew Cash, MPP Cheri DiNovo and Councillor Cesar Palacio, who all expressed outrage at the discovery. They said they were unaware of what was happening inside the plant, and that they would work to find out more information. “I’m absolutely appalled and horrified that it exists,” DiNovo said of the plant, which processes uranium powder ch Ruiter stands in front of a capacity crowd at the Davenport-Perth Community Health Centre. Photo by Amber Daugherty into pellets that end up feeding Ontario’s nuclear power plants. “There is no level of nuclear radiation that is safe. Period.” Speakers at the meeting included Roy Brady from Safe and Green Energy Peterborough, Kyra Bell-Pasht from the Canadian Environmental Law Association, Heather Marshall from Toronto Environmental Alliance, and the anti-nuclear activist Zach Ruiter. Open for Lunch & Dinner *Holiday Meal Deal* It was Ruiter who sparked this moveMonday - Sunday Monday to Friday ment in Toronto. Though the GE-Hitachi Closed on TUESDAYS Enjoy our festive deal for only $20.00 Try plant has been in operation for over 50 something different every day of the week years, people in the surrounding neighLIVE MUSIC FRIDAY & SATURDAY NIGHTS - Soup of the day or house salad For Reservations call (416) 538-3197 bourhood were unaware of what was reOr visit us online www.bloorvillagegrill.com ally happening there. - Main course of meat or fish (specified on our daily specials) Or on facebook “Bloor Village Grill” “Some of it was disbelief,” Ruiter said - Dessert - flan pudding or coffee about the reaction he got knocking doorWe offer a variety of Daily specials cracker cake to-door. “People thought they were makCheck them out on facebook. - Glass of house wine - red or white (6 ing air conditioners there.” Great Food, Friendly Staff! ounce) or draft beer (10 ounce) Even the politicians who live in the area Special offer available for lunch & dinner from didn’t know what the plant was being used Monday - Friday - Dec. & Jan. (AKA - Churrasqueira Aveirense) for. Davenport MP Andrew Cash likewise 1184 Bloor Street West said he wasn’t aware of what the plant was. We also have a STUDENT menu! We can accommodate big or small “It said GE-Hitachi, it could have been - Soup of the day .........................................$3.00 gatherings. Come in and enjoy a great - Quarter chicken meal with fries and rice .$7.50 anything, ” he said. “I think most people asmeal with friends, family or colleagues.. - Small fries ..................................................$3.00 sociate GE with refrigerators, which is the Come Celebrate With Us!! - Large fries .................................................$4.00 kind I have in my house. I think for most - Gravy ..........................................................$1.00 DINE-IN OR TAKE-OUT - Pop (Sprite, Coke, Ginger Ale) .................$1.00 Call now to book your get together!! of us the association with the nuclear secAnd much...much...much more. See for yourself! tor just didn’t enter into the picture.” And it’s possible it wouldn’t have for a while, if it wasn’t for Ruiter. But he had just spent time battling Toronto’s sister plant – in Peterborough. It was a shock for Ruiter when he found out the Peterborough plant existed a block away from where he was living, and right across the street from a public school. When he discovered it, it had been granted a ten-year license renewal, but was trying to get a license to process low-enriched uranium. It normally processes natural uranium.
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“We went to the safety commission and surprised them by saying, ‘Hey, we see that you were supposed to consult the public and you haven’t,’” Ruiter said. “That was the only way that we had the license amendment revoked.” Once that battle was won, Ruiter turned his attention to the plant the uranium was at before it came to Peterborough – in Toronto’s west end. He asked people if they knew what was happening in the plant, and practically no one was aware. Most were shocked to discover the truth. Many of those people turned up to the community meeting to find out more. At a different meeting only one week after the community one, the plant’s representatives made themselves available to answer people’s questions. Peter Mason, President and CEO of GE-Hitachi Nuclear Energy Canada Inc., was there to share his reaction to the community blow up. “I don’t think that’s correct that nobody knew about it,” he said. “We’re a public company; our name plate is on the gate. You just have to Google ‘GE-Hitachi’ and … you go to our website and you can see all the products and services we provide.” Mason said when the plant was applying for its license renewal in 2010, they advertised the hearings as required, and people did show up, though Mason said more made the trek to the hearing in Ottawa from Peterborough than from Toronto. He said the company has done as much as possible to keep residents informed of the plant’s operations. “We had a resident’s liaison committee when we first started getting residents into the area,” Mason said. “In fact, when we had meetings, no one would turn up because people gradually lost interest.” Mason said he thinks it’s because of a recent influx of condos in the area, and the hundreds of residents that come with them, that the community has reacted so strongly. “In the last 12 months a lot of people have purchased new homes in the area; they weren’t there when we were applying for our license renewal so obviously they were not familiar with us,” he said. The community’s response has been concern – not only for themselves and their property values, but also for long term effects they don’t know about and the danger of raising children near a uranium processing plant. Councillor Cesar Palacio has brought the issue up at City Council, asking for a review of the plant’s operations and to get the plant to stop its production of pellets in five years’ time. Paul Desiri, health and safety manager at GE-Hitachi, said the plant is absolutely safe. He said in 50 years, regulations have changed and the plant has changed right along with them. “It’s all a process of continuous improvement,” he said. “We haven’t had any major incidents – the regulations that were changed significantly in 2000 have certain criteria for what’s reportable and what’s not and we haven’t had reportable incidents that affect the safety of the plant.” So now it’s a waiting game. Ruiter is anxiously following all of the plant’s moves, and community members continue looking for guidance. Ruiter’s advice is for everyone to try to find out as much as possible on their own. “The community has a right to know and the community has to stand up and find out for itself and educate itself, not just accept what the company tells them and also not think that the politicians are just going to do this for them,” he said.
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Feature/Health & Wellness
BLOORDALE A GREAT DESTINATION FOR ALL YOUR HOLIDAY NEEDS BY MARY B. VALENCIA
With the countdown well underway email@example.com for one of the busiest holidays of the year for those celebrating Christmas or Hanukkah, getting ready seems like an insurmountable task. Rest assured. No need to hop on the TTC or deal with the crowds at the mall, or stay another few hours glued to the computer for online shopping. Step outside for a leisurely shop and get to know your neighbourhood merchants while you’re at it. Bloordale can take care of most all your needs. For those in the neighbourhood hosting family holiday dinners, Portuguese butcher shop Nosso Talho (1042 Bloor St. W. and 1326 Dundas St. W.) provides second to none pricing and has a great range of beef (with freshly made sausages daily), poultry and game, including rabbit, duck and quail. The neighbouring Nuthouse (1256A Bloor St. W., just west of Brock) isn’t just a stop for quality holiday baking ingredients. “Many people stop in here to buy gifts,” says co-owner Liza Lukashevsky. “We have the Dom Pérignon of honey.” Leatherwood Tasmanian honey from Australia is packaged in a beautifully detailed tin for $26.99. “As a thank you for my kid’s teachers I’ll be giving them specialty Italian jams (nine dollars a jar) that come in unique flavours such as apple and licorice,” says Lukashevsky. Nuthouse also offers gift certificates for the undecided shopper. Gift certificates can also be purchased at local area restaurants this season including the 26 seater French / Italian fusion restaurant Ortolan
at 1211 Bloor St. W. Shopping at the Salvation Army at Bloor and Margueretta also means supporting a charity that ensures the less fortunate in our community celebrate the holidays. The Salvation Army has a great stock of Christmas decorations, serving platters, dishes (including gold-rimmed holiday plates from Johnson Brothers, made in England, for 99 cents a piece). Boxes of eight holiday cards and envelopes also save you dollars at 50 cents a set. To take advantage of daily sales, visit their website http://www. thriftstore.ca for updates. Wrapping your presents and picking out a speciality card for a holiday party requires a stop at Town (see page 4) whose experi-
ASK YOUR BLOORDALE NUTRITIONIST AND NATUROPATH DR. JENNIFER BAER BY DR. JENNIFER BAER
Maksim asks: How can I make the holiday season a healthy one for my family? As the holiday season approaches, it’s time to take stock of what the holidays mean to us, and how we can stay on track with our health and wellness goals. ‘Tis the season to party! That usually means a lot of temptations in the form of sweets, alcohol and over-eating in general. There’s no reason you shouldn’t embrace the holidays, but bringing mindfulness to it can make the difference between enjoyment and indulgence. Consider offering to bring a healthy food option, or host your own event. Eat a light but healthy snack or meal before a party, so you don’t arrive ravenous. And seek out
vegetable offerings to fill at least half your plate with. Enjoy your favourites in moderation, and avoid going back for seconds. Above all, remember that the holidays are about celebrating with your community – so make connecting with others your priority; rather than the food! (Recipe ideas: drjenniferbaer.com/ recipes-and-blog) The holidays can be a stressful time – busy schedules, conflicting family engagements, gift shopping, stretched budgets, travel arrangements, weather disruptions. Take a step back now, before the chaotic season is upon us, and consciously decide how you or your family will spend your time – and your money! Keep it simple. Don’t overload your schedule. Leave space for downtime, to just “be” together. Think about engaging somehow with those in need (volunteer at a
shelter, help a neighbour, invite a single person to your table). Consider sticking to a single gift, homemade items, or make donations instead. The holidays aren’t about the gifts. And teaching children this is perhaps the best gift you can give them. Avoid the pitfall of slothfulness over the holidays! We tend to lead such busy lives that when our time frees up we choose to spend it on the couch. Instead, use the time to recommit to fitness as a fundamental health goal. Be a proud Canadian! Put on your layers, strap on some skis or snowshoes or skates or boots – and get out there! Embrace your inner child: build a giant snowman, make snow angels, start a snowball fight (neck down), go for a moonlit walk with friends as gentle snowflakes fall silently beneath a starry sky! I wish each of you a joyful,
enced owner (first owner of Pulp on the Danforth) has a great card and paper printed selection. Finally, on your way out the door, or hosting in your home, Starling vintage clothing shop at 1132 College St. (west of Dufferin St.) has the perfect little black dress options for those Christmas cocktail soirées. “As well as luxurious velvets in jewel tones, silk with sequins and fringe,” says owner Robin Brulé. A variety of hats and ties is also worth a stop for those men looking to “dress” themselves up.
healthy, mindful holiday season! Jennifer Baer, is your local Naturopathic Doctor, trained chef and Registered Holistic Nutritionist. She enthusiastically promotes wellness and prevention
through a nutritious diet, positive attitude and active lifestyle. For more recipes and information about her training, programs and services, please visit: http://www.drjenniferbaer.com
Dr. Jennifer Baer, licensed nutritionist and naturopath.
10 The Bloordale Press DEC/JAN 2013
HAT MITT DRIVE CONSIDERED A SUCCESS BY KATE MCCULLOUGH
Over the last few days, nonprofit organizations in west Toronto warmed up with hats, mitts, socks and hoodies collected by the 11 Division Community Police Liaison Committee, a group whose mandate is to create conversation between the community and the Toronto Police Service. “We gave the idea and the foundation and everyone sort of added to it,” said Jack Fava, founder of the drive and a long-serving member of the CPLC. “People love it.” The drive was launched in 2009, but has grown dramatically since then. “First it was winter toques, basically,” Fava said. “Then we added socks.” This year’s drive accepted many clothing items including hats, mitts, scarves, socks and hoodies, which
Fava said are popular among the recipients. In its first year, the drive brought in just over 700 items, but this year Fava said he wouldn’t be surprised if more than 2,500 items were distributed among shelters, group homes and other social programming organizations in the neighbourhood. The drive kicked off with a launch party Nov. 16 and ended with a roundup Dec. 8 – those who helped sort clothes at the roundup were promised a hug from Fava, along with a complimentary lunch. John Dixon was this year’s drive manager and 11 Division CPLC stalwart. He said groups of women from Swansea and The Junction are knitting their donations. McGregor Socks also pitched in, donating about 450 pairs to the cause. “That’s going to fill a cop car,” he said. Dixon said each year the drive has grown to include more do-
nors and more recipients and he hopes that it will continue to keep residents in need warm during the winter months. Some of the recipients are new immigrants who aren’t necessarily prepared for Canada’s chilly win-
ters. “We could be the first people to give them stuff,” he said. Part of the goal of the drive was to re-establish partnership between members of the community and the police. “The mandate of the community liaison committee is to get cops and people talking,” Dixon.
Though it’s been a successful four years, Dixon said the challenge will be to keep it going in the future. “We now have 13 collection sites and 11 recipient agencies doing social good, which makes for a lot of collection material delivery, pickup, sorting and distribution for a small number of CPLC volunteers,” he said.
(Left to right) Drive manager, John Dixon, Ward 13 Cllr. Sarah Doucette, Supt. Peter Lennox, PC Quincy Mason, longtime CPLC stalwart and drive founder, Jack Fava, current 11 CPLC Co-chair, Linda Martin. Photo by Kate McCullough
CAMPBELL PARK Located at 255 Campbell Ave., Campbell park has one rink in which time is split between pleasure skating and hockey. Supervised pleasure skating hours Saturdays from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., Sundays from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. and Wednesdays from 4 pm to 6 p.m. Hockey is played during all other hours. The rinkhouse offers a snack menu which includes items such as warm chili, mini pizzas and fresh baked cookies.
‘Future Draft Pick’ by D’Arcy Norman. Maps courtesy GOOGLE.
DUFFERIN PARK Located at 875 Dufferin St., just south of Dufferin and Bloor St., Dufferin Grove Park offers two rinks- one for pleasure skating and one for hockey. Pleasure skates run Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. and Sundays from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. The rinkhouse offers an assortment of hot foods such as mini pizzas, soups, pancakes, cookies, hot chocolate, coffee and tea, all at very reasonable prices.
WALLACE EMERSON Despite it’s name, Wallace Emerson’s rink is not located at Wallace and Emerson Avenues. Instead, its two rinks can be found at 1260 Dufferin St., which is just a few steps south of Dupont and Dufferin Streets. Pleasure skates run Monday to Thursday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Shinny runs Monday to Wednesday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Thursday to Saturday from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.
The Bloordale Press DEC/JAN 2013 11
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