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RIT Y A PRIO CRIME /9 H 4 T 1 0 U 2 O Y ICE IN L O P R FO

MARY FRAGEDAKIS

Serving LEASIDE-BENNINGTON, DANFORTH VILLAGE, NORTH RIVERDALE and BROADVIEW

City Councillor Ward 29

Committed to making our community vibrant, liveable, green, and prosperous

www.eastyorkmirror.com INSIDE David Nickle on the city hall beat / 5

See our local events listings / 10

PHOTOS Skating fun at Dieppe Park / 3

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East York New Year’s Levee set for Sunday Local residents are invited to welcome 2014 with area politicians and their neighbours this Sunday at the annual New Year’s Levee, from 1 to 3 p.m., at the East York Civic Centre. The event is a traditional gathering meant to let local people meet their political representatives. This year, Ward 31 BeachesEast York councillor Janet Davis, Ward 29 Toronto-Danforth Councillor Mary Fragedakis, Beaches-East York MPP Michael Prue, Toronto-Danforth MPP Peter Tabuns, Beaches-East York public school trustee Sheila Cary-Meagher, TorontoDanforth public school trustee Cathy Dandy, Beaches-East York MP Matthew Kellway and Toronto-Danforth MP Craig Scott are expected to attend. Food bank donations will be appreciated. The East York Civic Centre is located at 850 Coxwell Ave.

www.maryfragedakis.com

thurs jan 2, 2014

416-392-4032

Follow @ mfragedakis

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TOBOGGAN FUN IN RIVERDALE

Staff photo/NICK PERRY

ON THE HILL: Aidan and Sydney Mak slide down the hill at Riverdale Park Saturday afternoon. While the recent weather has given us everything from an ice storm to now frigid temperatures, it certainly has been good for tobogganing.

Fundraising on for Jeffrey Baldwin memorial in Greenwood Park REBECCA FIELD eym@insidetoronto.com Jeffrey Baldwin led a mostly anonymous existence in his short five years of life in Toronto’s East End. It’s there the five-year-old was locked

in a cold, dark bedroom with his six-year-old sister without food, left to drink water from the toilet. He died on Nov. 30, 2002 – just two months shy of his sixth birthday on Jan. 20. He weighed one pound less than he had as

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a one-year-old. He suffered severe abuse and neglect at the hands of his grandparents before dying of starvation, pneumonia and septic shock. One Ottawa-area father wants to make sure people don’t forget that.

Todd Boyce, a father of three, is raising funds to immortalize Jeffrey with a bronze statue of the boy dressed in a superman costume to be put up in Greenwood Park, near where Jeffrey lived. He has raised $9,000 of a $25,000 goal as part

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of an Indiegogo.com campaign that ends on January 21. “It is my hope that we can build something in Jeffrey’s image that will also allow children to play with him,” said Boyce in an email. He used the >>>MEMORIAL, page 8

647-989-5425 www.kickthis.ca

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Enjoying some skating at Dieppe Park FUN SKATE: Skaters enjoy some ice time at Dieppe Park Sunday morning. At right, Ted and Nicole Villemaire take to the ice. At left, Shawn and Logan Redmond enjoy a skate.

Staff photos by Nick Perry

Power finally back on in areas hit hard by ice storm ANDREW PALAMARCHUK apalamarchuk@insidetoronto.com

It took nearly a full week for several hundred homes in the Ferrand Park neighbourhood near Don Mills Road and Eglinton Avenue to get their power back following the Dec. 21 ice storm that crippled the city. “It was one problem in one location that affected the entire community,” Ward 26 Don Valley West Councillor John Parker said. “I know that once they got that fixed the entire community was back on stream.” But that didn’t happen until the night of Dec. 27 or

early Saturday, making the community one of the last to get back on the grid. Challenging week Parker described the week as challenging. “It started off with large swaths without power and with branches down and branches hanging in the Leaside and Bennington Heights communities in particular,” the councillor said. “Crews got to work right away and the restoration began almost immediately, but it took a few days for most of the areas to be restored.” Parker noted homes on

Rumsey Road, Airdrie Road and Astor Avenue didn’t get power until Boxing Day. “They were in the dark for a long stretch, and it turned out their problem was all traced back to a major equipment failure that had to be addressed.” The Thorncliffe Park neighbourhood seemed to have kept its power throughout the week. “They had their turn late last winter when half of Thorncliffe had an outage of their own, but this time around Thorncliffe seems to have managed to dodge the bullet,” Parker said. East York was particularly

hard hit by the ice storm with a large section of the community losing power for well over 24 hours. Residents who were without power were encouraged to go to four area warming centres: the Matty Eckler Community Centre (953 Gerrard St. E.), the East York Civic Centre (850 Coxwell Ave.), East York Collegiate Institute (650 Cosburn Ave.) and the Dennis Timbrell Resource Centre (29 St. Dennis Dr.). The annual East York Christmas Dinner for Seniors also had to be moved to East York Collegiate due to the ice storm, said Toronto-

Danforth Councillor Mary Fragedakis. Parker noted the storm and the power outage that ensued serves as a reminder of “how vulnerable we all are and how much we rely on very sophisticated systems to support the lives that we live.” can fight ice storm tickets wResidents

Residents who got a parking ticket while their home driveways were blocked or ice-covered after the recent ice storm can get consideration – and perhaps their faith in humanity restored – by pleading their case to the City of Toronto.

Overnight street parking is banned in many parts of the city, and requires a permit in others. On Monday, the city advised people to request cancellation of a ticket by describing the special circumstances in an application to dispute the fine at http://bitly. com/1ggfwPJ Completed application forms can be sent by e-mail to parkingmeters@toronto.ca or faxed to 416-696-3652. Parking tickets can also be disputed at the East York Civic Centre.

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For more ice storm coverage, visit us at www.eastyorkmirror.com


THE MIRROR e | Thursday, January 2, 2014 |

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opinion

The East York Mirror is published every Thursday at 175 Gordon Baker Rd., Toronto, ON, M2H 0A2, by Metroland Media Toronto, a Division of Metroland Media Group Ltd.

®

Ian Proudfoot Marg Middleton Peter Haggert Alan Shackleton Warren Elder Angela Carruthers Debra Weller Mike Banville

WHO WE SERVE

Publisher General Manager Editor-in-Chief Managing Editor Regional Dir. of Advertising Retail Sales Manager Regional Dir. of Classified, Real Estate Director of Circulation

East York Mirror City of Toronto

The Mirror is a member of the Ontario Press Council. Visit ontpress.com Proudly serving the communites of Blake-Jones • Broadview North Crescent Town • Danforth VillageEast York • Danforth Village-Toronto East End-Danforth • Greenwood-Coxwell Leaside-Bennington • North Riverdale O’Connor-Parkview • Old East York Playter Estates-Danforth • Thorncliffe Park Woodbine Corridor • Woodbine-Lumsden

Let’s showcase city’s best in 2014

A

new year dawns on our city and many people are considering their goals for 2014. In the spirit of reflection and resolution, we think there are a few goals the City of Toronto and its citizens, as a collective, should work toward. Let’s continue to be a place people want to live, work and play. Based on world ranking surveys in 2013, our city is already sitting comfortably at the top: we were named the most youthful city by the Youthful Cities index; the second most reputable city by the Reputation Institute; and second in the Overall North American Cities of the Future for business investment. Maintaining that high standard requires ongoing commitment by our elected officials, our business and community leaders. So here’s a wish for 2014: to see effective, accountable and dignified leadership from our mayor and city council. When we make headlines internationally, it our view should be for positive reasons help strengthen our repuWork together that tation – not tarnish it. If the to realize ill-conceived behaviour of any proves a detriment to opportunities person the effectiveness of this city, then they need to answer for it. We also hope 2014 is the year Toronto breaks out of its downward spiral on transit planning. No more flip-flopping, cancelled plans, lost investment and wasted time. We need vital transit upgrades and a concrete commitment from all levels of government to find a way to pay for it. Another wish: that this year Toronto gets an engaging municipal election – one where candidates focus on critical issues mentioned here, and one that gets residents invested in municipal affairs and gets them out to the polls. Lastly, we hope to continue to see evidence of the good will of the people of Toronto. Whether it’s offering refuge from a power outage after an ice storm, local police engaged in community building, or school children initiating charity drives for typhoon victims on the other side of the world – that spirit of compassion is our most defining feature. There’s much to celebrate this year, with the World Cup set to spark excitement in our communities only possible in a city as diverse as ours, and the ongoing preparation of hosting the Pan/Parapan Am Games in 2015. This is our chance to showcase our city on the world stage – let’s work together and make the most of that opportunity.

Write us The East York Mirror welcomes letters of 400 words or less. All submissions must include name, address and a daytime telephone number for verification purposes. We reserve the right to edit, condense or reject letters. Copyright in letters remains with the author but the publisher and affiliates may freely reproduce them in print, electronic or other forms. Letters can be sent to letters@insidetoronto.com, or mailed to The East York Mirror, 175 Gordon Baker Rd. Toronto, ON, M2H 0A2.

column

Some Fearless predictions for 2014

M

uch to my delight, I bumped into one of the world’s foremost psychics in the mall over the holidays, the incomparable Frederico Fearless. He was there promoting his best-selling new book, I’m Delighted To Say I Told you So. This guy is good, folks. He was a perfect 100 for 100 last year. What’s more, he was kind enough to give me a signed, laminated copy of his 100 predictions for 2014 and permitted me to reproduce this unsigned, un-laminated portion. 1. By the end of the year it will be possible to lose an argument to your phablet over which movie you should watch on it, after which the phablet will be able to put YOU on pause while it goes out to dinner and a show with another phablet. 7. Due to the escalating saturation and resultant inflation of social media, 15 minutes of fame will be officially reduced to 15 seconds

jamie wayne BUT SERIOUSLY of fame. 19. In 2013 as I predicted there would be an app created for everything but the kitchen sink. In 2014, there will finally be an app for the kitchen sink, too. 25. While the relentless Twitterazzi will be dogging the Twitterati more than ever, the perplexed paparazzi will be obsessed with finding out why there’s no paparati to follow, seeing as how they’ve been around a heck of a lot longer. 38. The Country Music Song of the Year will include the following phrases: 1. “Talking ’bout my pick-up truck.” 2. “A country road.” 3. “A hot summer night.” 4. “A little whiskey.” 5. “And just you and me baby.” 6. “Oh, yeah.” It will be titled, “Talking ’Bout My Pick-Up Truck, A Country Road, A Hot Summer Night, A Little Whiskey And Just You And Me, Baby. Oh Yeah.”

46. William Shatner will shoot down industry rumours there is going to be a sequel to Star Trek 247. The former Captain Kirk will instead gleefully announce that there is, in fact, going be a triloquel to 247, taking the popular Star Trek franchise all the way to an even 250. But who’s counting, right? 55. Every Tuesday at that well-known restaurant chain, The One With The Three-Letter Acronym, somebody in line waiting to be served will ask the person standing next to them why it’s called Toonie Tuesday when the special of the day costs more than a Threenie. 62. Er Shun, the Toronto Zoo’s female giant panda, will have a molar pop out after munching on some bamboo, leave it under her pillow and be visited by the Tooth Fairy. Ironically, the Tooth Fairy will trip over a pile of bamboo while delivering Er Shun her cash and dislodge an incisor in the

process, only to discover, alas, that there is no Tooth Fairy for Tooth Fairies.. 78. The top-selling fastfood item will be inspired by the recently released second Hobbit movie, the Desolation of Smaug. It will be called the Benedict Cucumberbatch – and you can take it home in a recyclable Bilbo Baggins. 87. Miley Cyrus will sing a song on a music awards show in which she is fully clothed and not exhibiting any suggestive behaviour. (Just kidding. I wanted to see if you were still paying attention.) 100. Jamie will wrap this up by wishing all his readers a Happy New Year. “Happy New Year, everyone.” Wow. I told you Fearless was good. I had no idea I was going to end it that way. Jamie Wayne is a lifelong columnist, who takes writing very seriously. The topics? Not so much. Contact him at jamie.wayne@sympatico.ca

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5

Ford front and centre during storm

S

ay one thing about Mayor Rob Ford’s work ethic: it seemed to have grown two sizes over the Christmas holidays. When the power went out for a third of the city, leaving families freezing in the dark, there he was: front and centre. It’s unclear whether the mayor did so out of a sense of civic duty or a fear that if he didn’t step up, Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly and councillors like public works and infrastructure committee chair Denzil Minnan-Wong might soak up all of the credit for helping out during the ice storm. The fact that the mayor refused to declare a state of emergency, turning powers over to the deputy mayor and also perhaps increasing the amount of inter-governmental aid the city could expect, tends to support the latter interpretation. But never mind that. Despite having been

david nickle the city stripped of his powers after having debased the office of mayor like none before him, the mayor took to podiums and neighbourhoods with great zeal – inserting himself as the reassuring voice of the public service in calamitous times. Doing so is a political calculus – if he is to stand a chance in the mayor’s race later this year, Ford must be seen to be doing something beyond brushing off reporters, dreaming of football and returning a handful of constituents’ phone calls. And he must not be seen to be absent during public emergencies, particularly when his other duties and powers as mayor have been so effectively curtailed. Now, it will take a lot of public emergencies over the next 10 months for

Torontonians to forgive his appalling behaviour over the past couple of years. This is the guy who admitted to smoking crack while in office, who consorts with gang-members and alleged drug dealers, makes lewd remarks related to his wife to deny allegations of making even more lewd remarks about former employees. As much as polls indicate that Ford’s base is remaining loyal, the majority of Torontonians are looking elsewhere for their next mayor. And Ford risks giving the impression that his newly-found municipal engagement is nothing but a cynical grab for photo-ops, as sincere as a death-bed conversion. Still, give him this: Rob Ford is finally doing the job he was elected to do. And whatever that does for his re-election chances, Ford seems to be doing the right thing now.

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David Nickle is The Mirror’s city hall reporter. His column appears every Thursday.

City set to start collection of ice storm wood debris The City of Toronto starts clearing away the fallen pieces of street trees on Friday; work it’s thought will continue for around eight weeks. Residents should put the debris on their curb or boulevard by Thursday, Jan. 2, leaving enough space for people to pass safely. City crews, however, won’t go onto private property to clear limbs of privately owned trees there, a release said. Residents can call a contractor to remove a private tree downed or left damaged and hazardous by the storm, the city said, but added “some (damaged) trees can be saved with proper care and maintenance.” Within the quarantine area for the Asian longhorned beetle in Etobicoke, city crews will take special steps to dispose of wood and make sure it does not allow the beetle to move to another

area (authorities assume the emerald ash borer beetle has already spread across the city and much of southern Ontario). The city also cautioned residents on the use of chainsaws, advising they be operated only with proper training, equipment and clothing. gift cards for ice storm victims wGrocery

People in need who lost food after the ice storm can go to an Ontario Works office in Toronto and receive a $50 or $100 gift card for groceries, Ontario’s government announced on Monday. The province said the cards would be available only until Friday, Jan. 3. Hours at the Ontario Works offices will be extended today until 7 p.m. In the announcement, Premier Kathleen Wynne said Loblaw, Shoppers Drug

Mart, Metro and Sobeys have each contributed $25,000 to this “community initiative,” funds she said the province will match. “We want to make sure we are doing everything we can to support people who need the help so that they are safe and cared for during this difficult time,” Wynne said. The Daily Bread Food Bank, which is co-ordinating distribution of the funds, is seeking additional donations, including gift cards. The province said families “in need” would be eligible to get a $100 card, and individuals could get a $50 card. The program is to help those “who have experienced hardship with the loss of perishable food due to prolonged power outages.” Residents must bring proof of their address and declare how many people are in the household.

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THE MIRROR e | Thursday, January 2, 2014 |

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music fest back on The Danforth wWinterfolk

tcdsb Kindergarten upcoming wregistration

Toronto’s Winterfolk music festival is replanting its roots – well, actually its roots music – back on the western end of Danforth Avenue. The 12th annual festival is slated to take place Feb. 14 to 16 in a number of establishments east of Broadview Avenue after spending the last two years at a downtown Toronto hotel. Previous to that it had been held for seven years on the Danforth in a handful of establishments, mostly between Broadview and Chester subway stations. For more information, go to www. winterfolk.com

The Toronto Catholic District School Board invites new families with children born in 2010 to register for full-day kindergarten starting on Wednesday, Jan. 8. To accommodate busy schedules, each of the TCDSB’s 167 elementary schools will host an evening registration session sometime this month. Parents are asked to phone their local Catholic school for specific dates and times.

eastyorkmirror.com

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A Regency Christmas in the Valley continues this week at Todmorden Mills. Visitors can learn about the simple pleasures and décor of a Regency-era Christmas featuring Todmorden’s early 19th-century historic homes. The homes will be decorated traditionally with real evergreen garlands, as well as the “kissing bough” hanging in the Helliwell parlour, apples, candles and mistletoe. Admission for adults is $5.31; for youth/seniors: $3; and for children: $2 (plus tax). Times are Jan. 2 to Jan. 5, noon to 4 p.m. Todmorden Mills is located at 67 Pottery Rd Snow Pass for students to ski The Canadian Ski Council is offering Snow Passes for students in Grades 4 and 5, which will grant them three free lift tickets at each of the more than 150 ski areas across Canada participating in the program. For a full listing of participating Ontario ski hills, go to http://bit.ly/1bZskuw

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Beary Merry Visit at TEGH SPIRIT OF GIVING: Toronto Marlies player Mike Duco, left, and firefighter Chris Casa meet Jaymes Perreault and his daughters Jaylynn and Adalynn at Toronto East General Hospital as they give out toys on behalf of Metroland Media Toronto’s Beary Merry Christmas campaign on Christmas Eve. Below, Duco gives a candy cane to Jonah Holm, 4, as Metroland Media Toronto representatives Deon Malloy, Antonella Barrasso, and Donna Power look on. The annual Beary Merry campaign brings gifts of stuffed bears to bring cheer to patients spending the holidays in hospital.

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THE MIRROR e | Thursday, January 2, 2014 |

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community

Memorial aims to raise awareness about issue of child abuse >>>from page 1 example of a Peter Pan statue that his young kids were able to climb on. “Something Jeffrey didn’t get an opportunity to do during his short, tortured life.” Boyce became aware of Jeffrey’s story after reading about the ongoing inquest into his death that is looking to make sure that this kind of drastic child abuse is prevented in the future.

“There’s something about it that sort of really hit me emotionally,” said Boyce in a recent phone interview. His seven-year-old son was also born on January 20. “I thought about it more and more and thought I needed to do something to try and have something good come out of it, and just to have Jeffrey’s memory honoured.” “To have him remembered because he was essentially

hidden away for his entire life,” said Boyce. Through social media, Boyce has been networking to spread word about the campaign. He has an upcoming meeting with Councillor Paula Fletcher and Friends of Greenwood Park (FROG) in January to discuss options for the statue. “For me, it’s just unthinkable that my own children would be treated that way,”

said Boyce. He said an organization that he didn’t want to name has volunteered to pour the statue for free. “People need to understand that everything they can do counts,” said Boyce, referencing how quickly Toronto came together to raise over $200,000 to help Gawker obtain a video allegedly showing Rob Ford smoking a crack pipe. “A dollar or greater, it’s all

appreciated. It goes a long way to just letting people know that if it’s just a small amount, it shows that people cared about him, cared about his story,” said Boyce who noted the statue will also create awareness around child abuse and the importance of reporting instances before it’s too late. Belinda Blyth from FROG said there are a number of campaigns currently in the

works to create a better memorial for Jeffrey. Just before the anniversary of his death on Nov. 30, a tree that had been planted in his honour was vandalized and FROG and TorontoDanforth Councillor Paula Fletcher worked to quickly replace it.

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To donate to the memorial, visit www.indiegogo.com/ projects/jeffrey-baldwinmemorial/x/5893709


9

Chief Blair concerned with impact of youth crime ANDREW PALAMARCHUK apalamarchuk@insidetoronto.com Shootings were down in Toronto in 2013 though the number of youths involved in gun crime went up, and the overall number of murders was up. “And we’ve lost several young people, 15 and 16 years old, this year to gun violence and that’s a very concerning trend,” Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair said in a year-end interview with The Mirror. “I’m concerned when young people are making bad choices or are victimized at such an early age and quite frankly I think this is something that deepens our resolve to continue to work in communities, to get into our schools, to reach these young kids so that they might make better choices.” The city’s overall crime rate dropped 12 per cent from 2012; the number of murders slightly increased (56 in 2013 as of Monday, Dec. 30, compared to 54 the previous year) though shooting homicides decreased. “There is no other city of this size in North America with such a low homicide rate,” Blair said.

However, the chief admits more work needs to be done. “That gang culture, that culture of getting access to a gun and resolving disputes through extreme violence is something that remains a concern,” he said. The issue of how police deal with the mentally ill was put under the spotlight with the July 27 fatal shooting of 18-year-old Sammy Yatim on an empty streetcar on Dundas Street and the Dec. 13 non-fatal shooting of an 18-year-old man at the Queen subway station. “One of the great challenges in policing is that we are called in first response to people who are suffering emotional disturbance,” Blair said. “We do about 20,000 such calls a year and the overwhelming majority of those are resolved safely and sometimes and tragically they are not resolved safely and then there are quite legitimate questions that the public asks about the police response.” Following Yatim’s death, Blair asked retired Supreme Court of Canada Justice Frank Iacobucci to lead a review of the Toronto Police Service’s use of force options when

Staff photo/ANDREW PALAMARCHUK

Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair talks to The Mirror about the past year, and plans for 2014.

dealing with the emotionally disturbed. The review is ongoing. The constable who shot Yatim was charged with second-degree murder. Blair said it’s important to learn lessons from “those tragedies and then to apply those lessons to see if we could do it better the next time.” There is ongoing discussion within

Join Councillor Janet Davis and other East York politicians at the

East York New Year’s Levee Sunday, January 5, 2014 1-3 p.m. East York Civic Centre, 850 Coxwell Ave

the police force about expanding the use of Tasers for frontline officers. “We’ve had Tasers in our service for over a decade now and they have proven to be invaluable in first response to certain crisis situations,” Blair said. “In the hands of a well-trained, properly supervised and fully accountable cop, they can save lives so I want to make sure that they are available in first response whenever they’re needed.” To save money, Blair said, the size of management was cut by nearly 12 per cent. Police are also looking at some positions such as school crossing guard co-ordinators becoming the responsibility of civilians. “We are concerned about the escalating cost of providing policing services and we’re finding new and better ways to deliver those services,” Blair said. “We’re looking at every job that we do, and if a job requires either the authority of a police officer or the skill of a police officer then a police officer will do it, but not every job requires that.” The past year was also rocked by Mayor Rob Ford’s crack cocaine scandal. Some accused Blair of going

easy on the mayor while others claimed he was out to get him. “I’m neither easy nor out to get anybody. That’s not the way this works,” Blair said. “Our job is to conduct investigations, and when we get information about criminal activity we will do those investigations without fear and without favour...It really doesn’t matter who you are. It doesn’t matter what position you hold.” The fastest growing crime plaguing North American cities is what Blair calls Apple theft: the theft of iPads and iPhones. “It’s created a new level of risk for young people because it’s mostly young people carrying these devices and some of those thefts can be quite violent,” he said. “We’re working closely with the manufacturer of such devices to make them less valuable to steal. So if we can disable them completely after the theft then they have very little resale value and therefore it would discourage people from stealing them.”

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| THE MIRROR e | Thursday, January 2, 2014

police


community calendar

happening in

east york

THE MIRROR e | Thursday, January 2, 2014 |

10

looking ahead

it’s happening w Saturday, Jan. 4

Open Mic at Du Cafe WHEN: 3 to 7 p.m. WHERE: Du Cafe, 885 O’Connor Dr. CONTACT: Crystal Holmes, 416-752-2233, ducafe@ gmail.ca COST: Free Artists, genres, and fans welcome.

w Sunday, Jan. 5

Sunday Afternoon Euchre WHEN: 12:30 p.m. WHERE: Royal Canadian Legion Branch 22, 1240 Woodbine Ave. CONTACT: Jim Farrell, 416-425-1714, jimb.farrell@ yahoo.ca COST: $7 Everyone welcome. East York New Years Levee WHEN: 1 to 3 p.m. WHERE: East York Civic Centre, 850 Coxwell Ave. CONTACT: Councillor Janet Davis, 416-392-4035 COST: Free Welcome in the new year with Janet Davis, Mary Fragedakis, Michael Prue, Peter Tabuns, Matthew Kellway, Craig Scott, Sheila CaryMeagher and Cathy Dandy. Sunday KARAOKE WHEN: 5 to 9 p.m. WHERE: Royal Canadian Legion Branch 22, 1240 Woodbine Ave. CONTACT: Jim Farrell, 416-425-1714 COST: Free Sing, dance or sit back and listen.

w Tuesday, Jan. 14

Knitting and Craft Sale WHEN: 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. WHERE: Toronto East General Hospital, 825 Coxwell Ave. CONTACT: Angela Pappaianni, apapp@tegh.on.ca COST: Free Hand knit sweaters, gloves, hats and blankets for infants to adults. All proceeds are returned to the hospital in support of patient care.

Check out our complete online community calendar by visiting www.east yorkmirror.com. Read weeks of listings from your East York neighbourhoods as well as events from across Toronto.

Twelfth Night on the Twelfth Night WHEN: 7 to 9 p.m. WHERE: Du Cafe, 885 O’Connor Drive CONTACT: Tyler Sequin, info@eastendarts.ca COST: Free Read a part in Shakespeare’s classic. Participants will draw roles randomly and dive into the text.

w Monday, Jan. 6

Cribbage WHEN: 7:15 p.m. WHERE: Royal Canadian Legion Branch 22, 1240 Woodbine Ave. CONTACT: Jim Farrell, 416-425-1714 COST: $6.00

Come out Monday evening and play some cribbage with us Always a fun nught All welcome

w Tuesday, Jan. 7

Toddler Playtime WHEN: 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. WHERE: Monarch Park Stadium, 1 Hanson St. CONTACT: Alicia Lashley, 647-2679904, www.monarchparkstadium. com, alicia@monarchparkstadium. com COST: $3 to $6 per child Games and activities for the kids. Each session includes a structured activity such as parachuting, obstacle races and soccer games.

Resumes and Cover Letters WHEN: 2 to 3:30 p.m. WHERE: S. Walter Stewart Library, 170 Memorial Park Dr. CONTACT: 416-396-3975 COST: Free A representative from WoodGreen Community Services shows how to create effective resumes and cover letters. To register call 416-396-3975.

w Thursday, Jan. 9

Japanese Garden Design WHEN: 7 p.m. WHERE: Leaside Public Library, 165 McRae Dr. CONTACT: bethparker@sympatico.ca COST: Free Wolfegang Bonham speaks on Japanese Garden Design.

w Friday, Jan. 10

Fun at the library: Teen Gaming WHEN: 4 to 5 p.m. WHERE: S. Walter Stewart, 170 Memorial Park Ave. CONTACT: 416-396-3975 COST: Free Play Wii, PS3, or 360 game time. Future dates: Jan. 24 and Feb 14. For ages: 11 to 18.

w Sunday, Jan. 12

East York Community Kitchen WHEN: 3 to 6 p.m. WHERE: East York Community Centre, 1081 1/2 Pape Ave. CONTACT: Jennifer Kim, 416-532-7840, eyckitchen@gmail. com COST: Free

Cook and eat a tasty, nutritious meal. Learn new recipes and skills while socializing with your neighbours. Registration is required.

w Friday, Jan. 17

Visual Artists Show and Share WHEN: 7 to 9 p.m. WHERE: Art Cave, 155 Lamb Ave. CONTACT: Naz Rahbar, info@eastendarts.ca COST: Free Receive and share friendly feedback on your visual artwork. Participants are invited to bring one to three pieces of their work for discussion.

w Friday, Jan. 24

Community Euchres WHEN: 7:15 to 10 p.m. WHERE: Royal Canadian Legion, Branch 11, 9 Dawes Rd. CONTACT: 6thtorontoscouts@gmail.com COST: $6 Prizes, draw and refreshments.

get listed! The East York Mirror wants your community listings. Whether it’s a music night or a non-profit group’s program for kids, The Mirror wants to know about it so others can attend. Sign up online at eastyorkmirror.com to submit your events (click the Sign Up link in the top right corner of the page).

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THE MIRROR e | Thursday, January 2, 2014 |

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transit

Stable funding for Toronto transit a 2014 priority RAHUL GUPTA rgupta@insidetoronto.com

T

he year 2013 did not go down in history as a particularly noteworthy one for transit in the City of Toronto. There was some progress in improving transit, such as the introduction of articulated buses, completed subway station renovations as well as an emphasis on better customer service on the part of the TTC. Meanwhile, Metrolinx introduced all-day trips on GO train lines and proceeded on extensive renovation work at Union Station. Real progress was also made in June of 2013 on the Eglinton Crosstown LRT, with tunnel excavations commencing far below Eglinton Avenue. Also, in the fall Toronto Council voted to extend the Bloor-Danforth subway line to Sheppard Avenue and McCowan Road in Scarborough, to ultimately replace the aging Scarborough RT. By-and-large, however,

Staff file photo/DAN PEARCE

The boring machine at the official launch of the first tunnel for the Eglinton Crosstown LRT, which will travel through Leaside, was unveiled during a ceremony in June.

transit in 2013 was characterized by the endless bickering between politicians about funding, subways, LRTs and revenue tools, even as record levels of transit riders dealt with higher levels of congestion, creakier service, higher fares and plenty of delays. It’s too soon to say whether 2014 will be any different, but the likelihood of two elections, provincially and municipally,

make for an obvious and useful coincidence for transit supporters seeking to drum up support for transit funding, such as TTC CEO Andy Byford. “I’m hoping politicians will recognize we have to continue to expand the network, so I’m looking for a serious, mature debate that will lead to decent and adequate funding,” said Byford of his hopes for 2014.

In the new year, Byford will be part of a delegation of city officials which includes mayoral candidate Karen Stintz set to travel to Queen’s Park and Ottawa in search of better transit funding. He said the TTC couldn’t continue to function without better funding, with annual fare increases no longer acceptable to riders frustrated by higher prices and a declining level of service. “We’ve got to be imaginative in the sources of funding, which is one of the reasons we’ve formed this task force,” he said. “We are doing our damnedest to make the service more reliable, but there comes a point you have to invest.” The Greater Toronto CivicAction Alliance will also call for better transit funding in 2014, said a spokesperson for the advocacy group. L i n d a We i c h e l s a i d CivicAction, which bills itself as a non-partisan regional organization, will resume efforts to convince elected officials to sign its pledge for

better transit funding. But as in the past, the group and its council of transportation “champions” will refrain from offering specific recommendations for funding or endorsements of pro-transit politicians. “From day one, we created a council with a great variety of interests from business to labour to social service agencies,” said Weichel, a vice president with CivicAction who was responsible for leading the group’s Your32 transit awareness campaign. “What everyone agreed on was we need investment.” CivicAction also had to deal with the impromptu departure of its CEO Mitzie Hunter in 2013, who left the group to run for the provincial Liberals in a Scarborough-Guildwood byelection which she won. “I had not anticipated her decision to run for office, and I understood eventually she would run, but that was down the road,” said Weichel who was part of an interim executive committee running the agency upon Hunter’s

departure. “But I think she and we didn’t expect that moment would come so soon.” Sevaun Palvetzian, a longtime civil servant, will officially replace Hunter as CEO of CivicAction as of Jan. 6, but the agency could also face another high-profile departure in 2014 if chair John Tory enters the Toronto mayoral race. Tory has not publicly announced whether he will run. Weichel said CivicAction would focus more on getting residents to endorse the idea of better funding. “The biggest obstacle is the question of trust,” she said. “It’s very clear people want to see something done to deliver a better network and offer more transportation choices, but it’s really a question of whether there’s trust in governments spending that money wisely. There is more work to be done there.”

i

For more transit news, visit us online at www.eastyorkmirror.com


13

STORM PLAYED HAVOC WITH TRANSIT ◗ICE December’s severe ice storm played havoc with transit operations across the city. Both TTC and GO Transit riders experienced major delays as the agencies struggled with power issues. Atthe storm’s height, service on all subway lines was affected as well as streetcar routes, plus the Scarborough RT. Several bus routes were also forced to cancel service or detour around areas where downed hydro wires or trees were reported. It wasn’t until midday on Christmas Eve– with the re-opening of the Sheppard subway – that service was fully restored. HIKES FOR TTC NOW IN EFFECT ◗FARE

Tis the season for transit fare hikes. As of New Year’s Day, TTC riders were faced with a price increase, as the cashstrapped transit agency struggles to cover its 2014 operating budget. Among the hardest hit

����� ����� TO �� TRANSIT are Metropass holders who will now pay $5.25 more per month in 2014. A five cent increase was also approved per token or ticket. With the fare hike, the TTC projects it will raise around $8 million, which still won’t be enough to balance the budget. In January city council will vote on whether to approve an annual operating subsidy for the transit commission. BIDS FOR EGLINTON LRT ◗CONTRACT

Metrolinx announced in December a pair of consortia pre-selected to bid on construction contracts for the Eglinton Crosstown LRT. Some 30 companies make up Crosslinx Transit Solutions and Crosstown Transit Partners, including heavyweights such as EllisDon and Aecon, which will have the opportunity to bid on over $2 billion worth of construction contracts, everything from station

design work to signal and communications system installations. Also available for bids are maintenance contracts to take effect following the Crosstown’s scheduled launch in 2020. The companies were selected by provincial procurement agency Infrastructure Ontario on behalf of Metrolinx. BUSES BACK ON THE STREET ◗ARTICULATED

Elongated TTC buses are back on city streets following a relaunch. Articulated buses are characterized by a pivoting accordion joint separating passenger compartments, which increases capacity by 45 per cent. The buses can hold a maximum of 112 riders, seating 77. On Dec. 19 the first of 15 “artics” were deployed on the 7 Bathurst routemainly during peak travel periods. Rahul Gupta is the Mirror’s transit reporter. His column appears Thursdays. Reach him on Twitter: @TOinTRANSIT

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THE MIRROR e | Thursday, January 2, 2014 |

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How to do it: Fill in the grid so that every row, every column, and every 3 by 3 box contains the digits 1 through 9.

last week’s answers

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15

Sudoku (challenging)

| THE MIRROR e | Thursday, January 2, 2014

YOUR Weekly Crossword

w See answers to this week’s

puzzles in next Thursday’s edition


THE MIRROR e | Thursday, January 2, 2014 |

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January 02