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Guthrie Insurance Brokers 416-487-5200 or 1-888-310-SAVE (7283) TRANSIT City seeking federal funds to help with new subway line / 11

Breast Cancer Centre opens at Sunnybrook/3

BUSINESS North York technology outfit secures federal funding / 5


Model Railroad open house in North York/13



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Third annual event in memory of Don Mills teen Alistair Hoy LISA QUEEN If Alistair Hoy had lived, he would have turned 17 tomorrow. Old enough to donate blood for the first time, his mother, Cynthia Hoy, said. She knows her son would have rolled up his sleeve if he knew someone needed blood. “He was a faithful and loyal friend. He always came to someone in need,” she said. Alistair died on Jan. 6, 2011 at the age of 14 after being diagnosed with leukemia 17 days earlier. In just more than two weeks over the Christmas holidays, when Alistair went from being a typical 14-year-old boy until he lost his battle, he went through 162 units of blood. Just weeks after Alistair died, his parents, Cynthia and Gary, organized the first Project 162 - Pay it Forward blood donor clinic in their son’s memory. >>>GOAL, page 4

ALL SMILES: Micah Robertson, left, is among the 102 York University students who helped in a bid to set a new Guinness World Record at the Student Centre on Saturday. Eight university campuses across Canada participated in the event at the same time, bidding to set a new record for the largest remote dance class in multiple locations.



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CNIB pedestrian bridge gets federal funding boost FANNIE SUNSHINE The rehabilitation and reopening of the Canadian National

Institute for the Blind’s (CNIB) pedestrian bridge is one step closer to reality thanks to a federal grant of close to $1 million.

The funding, made possible under the Community Infrastructure Improvement Fund (CIIF), is for $822,000, it was announced Wednesday,

April 3. The 59-year-old bridge, which crosses over Bayview Avenue at Kilgour Road, was >>>AIMING, page 4



North York in brief

NORTH YORK MIRROR | Tuesday, April 9, 2013 |


plan new community centre wHelp You can learn about the planned community centre behind the Bessarion subway station tonight. Willowdale Councillor David Shiner is holding a community meeting to discuss the project, on the Concord Adex site on Sheppard Avenue west of Leslie Street. He wants residents to share their thoughts and ideas about the community centre while it is in the planning and design process. City parks and recreation staff will also give a presentation. The meeting will be held April 9 from 7 to 9 p.m. in the Hillcrest meeting room of the Cummer Park Community Centre at 6000 Leslie St. at Cummer Avenue. how to prevent crime in community wLearn North York residents are invited to meet with the Crime Prevention Association of Toronto to learn how to prevent crime locally. The community-based crime prevention organization is holding two upcoming meetings to help residents address

issues facing their neighbourhoods. All meetings take place from 6 to 8 p.m. North York meetings will be held Thursday, April 11, at Cassandra Public School, 45 Cassandra Blvd., and Tuesday, May 28, at Fenside Public School, 131 Fenside Dr. At the meetings, participants can ask questions or voice concerns about local issues, and take in presentations on crime prevention. For more information, contact or visit funding public wArts consultation April 18

A public consultation regarding new city arts funding will be held in North York Thursday, April 18 at Toronto Centre for the Arts, 5040 Yonge St., from 6 to 9 p.m. The consultation will focus on the $6 million in new arts funding recently released by the city, which will be in place this summer.

housing meeting in York Centre wAffordable You can learn about Toronto’s affordable housing strategy, hear residents share their experiences with the system and ask questions at a community meeting. The special guest will be Eugene Jones, the president of Toronto Community Housing. Hosted by York Centre Councillor James Pasternak, the meeting will be held Wednesday, April 10 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Bernard Betel Centre at 1003 Steeles Ave. one block west of Bathurst Street. All-girls’ Catholic school planned for wCummer and Bayview An all-girls’ secondary school in North York is a step closer to reality after the Toronto Catholic District School Board bought a property at 500 Cummer Ave. at Bayview Avenue from the Toronto District School Board in a deal that closed March 28. Catholic board staff are developing options for the planned St. Joseph Morrow Park Catholic Secondary School. The province will pay

$18.7 million for the construction of the school, expected to be completed in September. Nearby Tyndale College has extended a lease until 2015 so the school can continue to operate at its current location until construction is finished. Sensational Spaghetti wSupper

A Sensational Spaghetti Supper will be held Fr iday, Apr il 26 at Church of St. Andrew Scarborough, 2333 Victoria Park Ave. The supper is being organized by the 584th and 692nd Toronto Pathfinders. The night will include a silent auction and raffle. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. and dinner will begin at 7 p.m. Tickets cost $15 for adults and $8 for children aged 10 and under. All proceeds will go towards the Toronto Pathfinders upcoming visit to the Guiding World Centre Pax Lodge in London,

England. To purchase tickets or reserve tables, email House Garden wMilne Club show May 28

The Milne House Garden Club’s annual show will take place Tuesday, May 28 at Toronto Botanical Garden, 777 Lawrence Ave. E., from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. The show will feature more than 50 categories of horticulture and design, along with a demonstration on how to incorporate rocks into floral design, with Linda Lee Pervis. Admission and parking are free. For information, email gardenclubmh@

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Sunnybrook opens Canada’s largest breast cancer centre

Third arrest made in Salvation Army thefts A third person has been arrested in connection with an investigation into a massive theft at the Salvation Army. Police had said items donated to the Salvation Army were diverted and sold for profit. On Nov. 23, the 33 Division major crime unit executed a search warrant at a commercial warehouse in Brampton and seized 146 skids containing toys, baby cribs, strollers, food and personal care products. Three tractor-trailers were needed to remove the property from the warehouse. On Nov. 26, police arrested 51-year-old David Rennie. He faces 40 charges.

LISA QUEEN The stories were personal, the gratitude evident. Last Thursday, at the official opening of the Louise Temerty Breast Cancer Centre at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Health Minister Deb Matthews shared that her mother had been treated at the hospital for breast cancer. Next came Premier Kathleen Wynne, whose partner, Jane Rounthwaite, had also been treated at Sunnybrook for breast cancer. Finally, there was Susan Conacher, who shared her journey with breast cancer at Sunnybrook. She was diagnosed in 2009 in a trailer that used to stand in a field where the state-ofthe-art new cancer centre, the largest in Canada, now stands. Because of a family history with the disease, Conacher was seen every year at the high-risk clinic. Despite getting a clean bill of health in June 2009, she found a lump in her breast just before Labour Day that year. Diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer, Conacher learned she had two tumours and began her treatment, including chemotherapy, surgery and radiation. “They say ‘If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else’s, we’d grab ours back.’ But I wasn’t sure that day,” Conacher told the crowd. “I’m lucky my DNA doesn’t have the ‘Why me’ gene. But make no mistake, I wasn’t nervous like I am making this speech. I was terrified.” Fortunately, Conacher’s


Staff photo/Lisa Queen

Premier Kathleen Wynne speaks with Susan Conacher during the official opening of the Louise Temerty Breast Cancer Centre on Thursday.

treatment was successful. “In all my many, many appointments at Sunnybrook, no matter how long the wait, no matter how busy they were, my team never, ever made me feel they were in a hurry. They always gave me their undivided attention – what a gift and much appreciated,” she said. “At Sunnybrook, I had the luxury of feeling safe with all of the caregivers. Not safe in terms of life and death but safe as a trusted friend, safe that they would do all it took and safe that they would help me do all they asked.” Conacher wished present and future patients the best as they are treated at the new centre, which she believes will come to be known as Louise’s Palace. The centre offers women specialized breast care and access to the latest detection

procedures and treatments. During a tour that included looking at images of breast tissue and hearing how innovations at Sunnybrook are changing breast cancer care, Wynne said the hospital’s research will impact cancer care at home and abroad. “I’m just so enormously proud of the work you do here,” she said. Patients who discover suspicious lumps in their breasts will receive a diagnosis within 24 hours. Patients with breast cancer will benefit from industryleading breast imaging and advanced clinical care at the centre. The centre will be “a beacon of hope” for women during the terrifying and confusing time they are waiting for a diagnosis and as a plan is developed for their treatment and recovery, said Sunnybrook president Dr.

Barry McLellan. The facility also includes Sunnybrook’s PYNK program, the first of its kind in Canada for younger women diagnosed with breast cancer. Louise Temerty did not attend the official opening because she was out of the country due to a family matter. But her husband, Jim Temerty, said his wife was moved to create the centre after accompanying friends with breast cancer when they visited Sunnybrook for treatment. “Her personal experience through friends made it a nobrainer for our family,” said Temerty, a North York resident. “We’re very proud to be associated with this program.”


For more information on these and other stories in North York, visit us online at

A second man, 61-yearold Umaish Ramrattan, was arrested two days later. He too faces 40 charges. Also on Nov. 28, police executed a search warrant and seized an additional 26 skids of property that was allegedly donated to the Salvation Army. The property included toys, school supplies, cleaning products and food. On Thursday, a woman was arrested in connection with the investigation. Xiao (Diane) Wang, 43, has been charged with conspiracy to commit an indictable offence and possessing proceeds of crime. She is scheduled to appear in court on May 20.

Security images released in York U cell phone robberies ANDREW PALAMARCHUK

Police have released security camera images of two persons of interest in a pair of robberies at York University. At 11:23 p.m. April 1, a 24-year-old man was approached from behind by two men while walking on Pond Road. One suspect produced a large knife and demanded the victim’s wallet and cellphone. The robbers took them and fled. At 2 a.m. April 2, another 24-year-old man was walking on Campus Walk when a man asked him for a cigarette. When the victim stopped, he was put into a headlock. Three other men then assaulted the victim and searched his pockets. The suspects made off with the victim’s cellphone. Two suspects are black, 18

Police have released security camera images of persons of interest in a pair of robberies at York University.

to 26 years old, 5’10” to six-feet tall with short black hair. Police believe they were involved in both robberies. There are vague descriptions of the other suspects in the second robbery.


Anyone with information is asked to call 31 Division at 416-808-3100 or Crime Stoppers at 416-222-TIPS.






| NORTH YORK MIRROR | Tuesday, April 9, 2013



Goal surpassed in each of first two years and women, although she admitted it’s difficult knowing her son will never hit the same milestones. “I always see Alistair as he was at 14,” she said. Alistair began suffering flu-like symptoms in December 2010 but they didn’t raise any alarm bells. When he didn’t get better, his parents made an appointment with his pediatrician on the afternoon of Dec. 20 to be on the safe side. But when Alistair got two nosebleeds and began coughing up blood earlier that day, they rushed him in. When the pediatrician noticed red speckles on Alistair’s feet, a symptom of a blood disorder, and felt his enlarged spleen, he instructed the Hoys to rush Alistair to the Hospital for Sick Children. Up to then a healthy boy, Alistair was diagnosed within hours with Acute Lymphomic Leukemia.

Fourteen-year-old Alistair Hoy died in January 2011.

Although the diagnosis was initially positive and Alistair appeared on the mend, he developed a massive infection and died 17 days later. This year’s Project 162 campaign will include two blood donor clinics. The first will be held April 25 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Don Mills

Collegiate Institute at 15 The Donway Thursday East, southeast of Don Mills Road and Lawrence Avenue, where Alistair and his older brother Spencer attended school. The second clinic will be held April 26 from noon to 7:30 p.m. at Jubilee United Church at 40 Underhill Dr., northeast of Friday Lawrence and the Don Valley Parkway and will feature a barbecue, performances by the Don Mills Collegiate Jazz Band and the Howling Heretics, a silent auction and more. Register to donate at the Jubilee clinic by calling 1-888-2DONATE (1-888236-6283) or by visiting


>>>from page 1 The campaign aims to collect 162 units of blood for others in need. It has surpassed that goal each of the last two years. “I think a lot of it is the community spirit. I think a lot of it is the caring community we live in,” said Cynthia, who lives in the area of Lawrence Avenue and the Don Valley Parkway. Later this month, the third annual Project 162 clinics will be held and the Hoys are hoping new and former donors will roll up their sleeves. Some may even include Alistair’s friends with birthdays early in the year who have now turned 17, Cynthia said. “It will be so wonderful if we see his friends donate. I know (Alistair) would be so proud and impressed,” she said. Cynthia said she loves seeing Alistair’s friends growing into young men



NORTH YORK MIRROR | Tuesday, April 9, 2013 |



For more information about Project 162, visit www. or search project162 on Facebook.


Aiming for March 2014 bridge reopening >>>from page 1 closed in December 2011 after its deteriorated state was deemed unsafe for pedestrians. Work on the rehabilitation involves replacing the bridge structure, the overpass walking surface, the roof and the stair towers. Work will also include the installation of an accessibility ramp and a new elevator, as well as the complete rebuild of north and southbound shelters for vehicle drop-off and pickup. John Rafferty, CNIB president and CEO, said the organization is now looking to raise the roughly $1 million needed to complete the $1.8 million project. “It’s been 14 months since we had to close it,” he said. “The bridge allowed access over Bayview Avenue without having to cross a dangerous intersection. The bridge is a landmark and now we will set out to find new funding partners. We needed one of the

stakeholders to come through first and we are very pleased the federal government came through. It’s a great talking point with the community. The bridge is used by thousands of people and is a good connector to the parks in the area.” If all goes according to plan, the bridge could be open by March 2014, Rafferty said. The bridge, which is listed as a heritage property, poses no threat to cars or pedestrians passing underneath. About 4,800 pedestrians a month use the bridge, which has carried about three million pedestrians since it opened in 1954. The CIIF supports, on a cost-shared basis, repairs and improvements to existing community infrastructure that is accessible for use by the public. To see a list of approved projects from the Community Infrastructure Improvement Fund, visit




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Tech outfit secures funds FANNIE SUNSHINE Colibri Technologies Inc. will receive up to $900,000 from the federal government to develop and commercialize its specialized medical catheter imaging systems. Don Valley East MP Joe Daniel made the announcement last Friday at Colibri’s headquarters on Lesmill Road. The money has been earmarked through the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario’s (FedDev Ontario) Investing in Business Innovation initiative With the introduction of 3D imaging, Colibri’s imaging systems will result in significant improvements to patient outcomes with shorter procedure times and reduced costs. Colibri was established in 2007 with technology licensed from Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre. The company is developing specialized catheter imaging systems used in a broad range of cardiovascular

procedures. These imaging systems will allow diagnostic procedures (such as pressure measurement and sample collection) and surgical treatments (such as heart valve replacement) to be performed inside the heart and blood vessels using minimally invasive methods. This emerging technique is commonly referred to as the ‘keyhole’ method because of the small openings needed to accommodate the instruments. Colibri’s catheter imaging systems will provide high quality, real time images otherwise not available. Brian Courtney, CEO of Colibri, said the goal is to have the catheters in every major cardiac centre and aims to have the first sales completed in 2014, adding the repayable funding will be returned as the initiative succeeds. “Our mission is to be a leader in manufacturing high quality devices for minimally invasive procedures,” he said. Colibri is currently devel-

oping two catheter imaging systems. One system offers 3D ultrasound imaging capabilities in real time. The other imaging system combines two previously separate imaging technologies in one catheter tube. The company, which currently has 15 full-time employees, expects to create up to 17 full-time jobs and an additional 130 jobs by 2016. Investing in Business Innovation is designed to boost private sector investment in start-up businesses to accelerate the development of new products, processes and practices and help bring them to market. The FedDev Ontario funding has allowed the company to attract up to $1.8 million of investment from Omega Star, an angel investor group registered with the Network of Angel Organizations Ontario.


For more information on Colibri Technologies, visit

Fundamentals of Business Negotiation for Women workshop in North York The North Toronto Business & Professional Women’s Club is hosting a workshop titled Fundamentals of Business Negotiation for Women at the Latvian Canadian Cultural Centre on April 13. Led by facilitator Kathryn Munn of Munn Conflict Resolution Services the workshop covers topics such as salary negotiation, impasse resolution and ‘Getting from No to Yes’. Cost is $60 for club members, $70 for members of the public. The workshop is at the Latvian Canadian Cultural Centre, 4 Credit Union Dr. (just off of Eglinton Avenue East). Register at new home builders wAward-winning

A pair of North York new home builders were announced recently as finalists for customer service excellence awards.



Monarch Corporation, with two nominations, and Menkes Developments Ltd., with one, are finalists in the 2013 Tarion Awards of Excellence, billed as the only awards in the province that recognize new home builders based on their customer service delivery. Finalists were determined based on a survey sent to more than 40,000 homeowners. Award winners will be announced April 23. Toronto Together partner wClean

Pizza Pizza has announced it will be distributing garbage and recycling bags at several of its participating restaurant locations in anticipation of a pair of cleanup days in the city later this month. Residents can pick up garbage or recycling bags at one of 110 participating locations in the Greater Toronto Area, including North York, up until April 19 and 20, the days designated by the city as Corporate and School Cleanup

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Day and Community Cleanup Day, respectively. For details, visit www. Business Arts Forum April 23 wSmall

Enterprise Toronto’s seventh annual Small Business Arts Forum is scheduled to take place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday, April 23 at the North York Civic Centre, 5100 Yonge St. This free event will focus on empowering artists with the information and tools they need to succeed with the business of their art. There will also be a panel discussion on Crowdfunding and whether it is a viable funding option. Keynote speaker at the event is Juno-nominated rapper and actress Michie Mee. For details and to register, visit Business in Brief appears every two weeks. Have an item for submission? Email


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NORTH YORK MIRROR | Tuesday, April 9, 2013 |



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Casino: Care and foresight needed


hether Toronto councillors vote for a downtown casino or not, it’s critical they make that decision with accurate information and understanding of the long-term implications. The report released Monday by Toronto city manager Joe Pennachetti lays out some of the terms Toronto councillors must demand if we are to enter into such an agreement with the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp. What the report does not do is come out for or against a Toronto casino. It leaves that decision to our elected councillors. What the report does do is give all involved some facts to work with. Pennachetti said the report paid particular attention to economic development associated with a casino. For instance, a casino downtown along with expanded gaming at Woodbine in our view Etobicoke would provide construction investment of $3.3 to $3.6 billion and create more than 11,000 Casino not construction jobs and some 12,000 an economic casino-related jobs once the facilities are built to their full capacity. cure-all The report also sets terms for the city to negotiate hosting fees from OLG. Given the desirability of a downtown location, Toronto should not settle for less than between $111 to $148 million annually, the report says. Property taxes from a new downtown casino and an expanded Woodbine are also estimated at $19 million a year, according to the report. Those are big numbers, but we urge care and foresight before going all in. A downtown casino is not the cure-all for all of Toronto’s financial woes, as some seem to believe. Linking city infrastructure projects to casino revenues is a dangerous game as that money cannot be guaranteed to flow endlessly and generously. Look at Windsor, which for years made big money from its casino but is now seeing its facility downsized as competition from Michigan keeps American gamblers and their money at home. There is only so much money available to be circulated and we need to be aware that money being spent in a casino, is money not being spent elsewhere in our economy. Yes, there is a lot of money to come the city’s way if we agree to a downtown casino. What we must be careful of is unrealistic expectations and linking that money to city-building projects that will end in failure if the casino tap starts running dry.

Write us The North 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@, or mailed to The North York Mirror, 175 Gordon Baker Rd. Toronto, ON, M2H 0A2.


Getting in shape not for everybody W

ith the weather warming up and more and more sunlight in the evenings in which to work out, everybody seems to be talking about getting back in shape. If you’re feeling the urge, but still haven’t made up your mind what to pursue to try and get fit, I have a recommendation. Don’t ask my buddy Hoyle Killjoy for advice. According to Hoyle, everything is bad for you. Take jogging, for example. “All that pounding is murder on the joints,” he warns. And cycling “Hunched over like that will do a number on your spine,” he snarls. Tennis, anyone? “Surely, you’ve heard of tennis elbow,” he scowls. “And don’t tell me to not to call you, Shirley.” Moving, right along.

jamie wayne BUT SERIOUSLY

Oops, bad choice of words. That Killjoy is very much against moving right along, too. Or left along for that matter. What about swimming though? “What rock have you been living under, pal? Haven’t you been reading about the quality of the water supply? You’re liable to come down with something right after you dive in.” How about inline skating, then? “If fractured wrists are your idea of a good time.” And so it goes. Hockey? “A concussion just waiting to happen.” Basketball? “You can kiss goodbye to your ankles.” “Weightlifting, maybe? “Hernia city, baby,” he

scolds, waving his index finger for dramatic effect. Heck, that Killjoy doesn’t want you playing sports video games either. “Anything involving a mouse and you’re a candidate for carpal tunnel syndrome.” So there are no activities out there that get your good seal of approval then? “That’s not true. Don’t try and put words in my mouth. You left out lawn bowling,” he beams with a twinkle in his eye. “You can’t beat it for my money.” Lawn bowling the safest way to get in shape? “As long as you don’t get carried away of course,” he warns. How the heck do you get carried away lawn bowling? “If you crouch too deeply when you throw the ball, that’s how, knowit-all.”

But how can you get any accuracy if you don’t crouch before your delivery? “Hey, that’s your headache, not mine. All I know is if you bend down too far you could end up scraping the ground making it riskier than all those other sports you mentioned combined.” How so? “And you say you know all about sports. Think of what a mess it will make out of your uniform, man. Talk about strenuous workouts. Have you ever tried to get green grass stains out of white pants? It ain’t possible. Meanwhile, you’ll end up throwing out your shoulder. Trust me, I’ve got the scars to prove it.” Jamie Wayne is a lifelong columnist, who takes writing very seriously. The topics? Not so much. His column appears every Tuesday. Contact him at


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Toronto, and its Senior relies on city sidewalk plows transit, is still great to ease challenge of day-to-day duties To the editor: Re: ‘Toronto has fallen behind,’ Letters, March 19. We are being inundated by similar comments in the local media painting Toronto as an inefficient and failing city. We are compared frequently to cities such as London, Paris, Chicago and Singapore, none of which appear in respected world rankings of successful cities whereas Toronto is listed every year as one of the best cities in the world in which to live and/or do business. Our transit system, for all its problems, still ranks as one of the best in the world and certainly among the Top 2 or 3 in North America, far outperforming most major cities for dependability and volume of travellers. Unlike all the other major world cities, this is done with little or no federal funding and much reduced

provincial funding. Our subways were built when the province paid most of the capital costs of the TTC; other cities, including Montreal, Vancouver and Calgary, received massive support from their federal governments. Visitors to our city laugh at what self-serving groups such as the board of trade and CivicAction Alliance describe as gridlock when they can drive most days with relative ease anywhere in the city outside of the predictable morning and afternoon rush hours. The loss of billions of dollars due to traffic should be taken with the same degree of credibility as the cost of cancelling power plants in Mississauga or the large projected surpluses promised by the Prime Minister Stephen Harper government if it is re-elected. Denis McKee

To the editor: Re: ‘Save money and aggravation; stop sidewalk plows’, Letters, March 19. I would like to voice my complete opposition to the idea of stopping sidewalk plows as advocated by A. Welch. Just because A. Welch has no need for a sidewalk plow doesn’t mean others have no need. Just because A. Welch’s neighbours assist with cleaning

driveways doesn’t mean everybody’s neighbours are available to help. The picture of annual widespread devastation that’s painted (gouged grass, destroyed driveways and shredded shrubbery) has to be an exaggeration. In the 34 winters I have spent at my current location, I can count half a dozen such incidents. A small price to pay for the service provided.

To the editor: There is lot of chatter regarding transit funding. The City of Toronto definitely is a part of the problem, but cannot provide the whole of the solution as a major amount of traffic originates from outside the city using our transporta-

tion infrastructure. We need to create a GTA-wide transportation commission, which has the responsibility to oversee the resolution of the gridlock with the ability to negotiate with the two levels of governments that are currently broke and

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Personally, as a senior, I rely on and welcome the sidewalk plow as it does its job. Without it there is no

way I could get to the bus stop, the local convenience store or the supermarket. F. J. Flower

We must look beyond city borders for transit funding

Find your

• • • •

Fri Aug 24, 2012

| NORTH YORK MIRROR | Tuesday, April 9, 2013



living beyond their means. The TTC should be given the powers to impose taxes to all municipalities that make up the GTA. It is only then we might see a resolution. The City of Toronto should not pretend to be the sole provider of the

transportation solution for the GTA by turning a blind eye to other municipalities as if they don’t exist. Toronto might be considered the centre of the universe, but it does not have the ability to solve its transportation issues alone. Keshav Chandra

NORTH YORK MIRROR | Tuesday, April 9, 2013 |


the mirror examines the challenge of congestion in the yonge-sheppard-401 area

our exclusive look

a crowded stretch of yonge

Transportation Services has named the 900-metre section of Yonge Street between Hwy. 401 and Sheppard Avenue the second-worst location for congestion in the city. Reporter Lisa Queen spent Wednesday observing the area from morning to evening rush hour, walking the round-trip route eight times. Staff photo by Dan Pearce

8:04 a.m. Despite a delivery truck parked in the right westbound Sheppard Avenue lane just west of Yonge Street creating a minor bottleneck, traffic is moving well through the intersection of Yonge and Sheppard.

struck by a car at Yonge and Florence. Signs telling pedestrians to cross only on the north side of Florence and Yonge are confusing, McCreith said. 2:20 p.m. A southbound car racing through the traffic light as it turns red at Sheppard is almost hit by a car turning left to westbound Sheppard.

8:18 a.m. Construction sounds are well underway at the Hullmark Corporate Centre at the southeast corner of Yonge and Sheppard and at the Emerald Park condos on the west side of Yonge at Bogert Avenue.

2:51 p.m. An OPP vehicle with lights on and siren going comes off the westbound 401 heading north on Yonge, does a U-turn near Florence and heads south on Yonge.

8:20 a.m. A car honks at a car failing to take advantage of the advanced green light turning from northbound Yonge to westbound Sheppard.

4:11 p.m. Afternoon rush hour traffic is beginning to pick up. The lane to turn from southbound Yonge to the eastbound 401 is backed up almost 400 metres from the south side of the highway to just south of Cameron.

8:24 a.m. Two city street cleaning trucks travelling north on Yonge through the intersection create a slight bottleneck of traffic. 8:31 a.m. The line up of vehicles in the lane to turn from southbound Yonge to the eastbound 401 stretches about 500 metres from the intersection just south of the 401, underneath the bridge and north to Avondale Avenue. 8:35 a.m. The 401 is moving well in both directions but there is a very long lineup of cars on the off-ramp from the westbound 401 to Yonge that backs up on to the highway. 8:40 a.m. A cyclist travelling south on Yonge under the 401 bridge has to keep his wits about him as traffic whizzes by. The section of Yonge from just south of the 401 north to Cameron Avenue is a very unfriendly place for pedestrians and cyclists. Using the sidewalk to cross just before the westbound ramp to the 401 from southbound Yonge means waiting for quite a while for a break in traffic. Walking under the 401 bridge is extremely noisy, with vehicles stirring up sand and debris. 8:50 a.m. Cyclist Alex Verba emerges from under the bridge on the sidewalk. Now in his second year of riding his bike to work, weather permitting, he is too nervous to pedal on the road under the bridge. Still, he doesn’t find cycling on the part of Yonge bad. “It’s better than having to come by car and it’s not bad in my eyes,” he said. 9:05 a.m. Pedestrian James Das has tears streaming down his face from the cold wind as he strolls south on Yonge south of Florence Avenue.

He enjoys walking but is sometimes worried about the volumes of traffic coming in and out of three gas stations along Yonge. He’s also concerned about the awkward intersection at Yonge and Florence/Avondale for pedestrians and cyclists. 9:25 a.m. A taxi does a U-turn around the island on Yonge on the north side of the intersection at Sheppard. 9:27 a.m. Although the sun has long been seen hitting the tops of buildings, it is having trouble hitting the ground. Blocked by tall buildings, the sun is just starting to hit the road at the Yonge-Sheppard intersection. 9:50 a.m. A police car with sirens on and lights flashing drives south through the intersection of Yonge and Sheppard but has to stop for a pedestrian who decides to walk eastbound through the intersection directly in front of the police car. 10:03 a.m. The ramp off the westbound 401 is now moving well. Where the vehicles at 8:35 a.m. had been backed up on to the highway, now there is a GO bus, a dump truck and nine cars that easily make the light to southbound Yonge when it turns green. 10:35 a.m. A construction crew is drilling on the east side of Yonge at Glendora Avenue. They have parked

two trucks on Yonge just north of Glendora, which is causing a minor bottleneck of vehicles heading north on Yonge. 10:43 a.m. A man in a pickup truck honks at a woman in a car who just randomly comes to a dead stop in the northbound lanes of Yonge north of the highway. 11:35 a.m. On my third trip from Sheppard to the 401, I walk for the first time on the east side of Yonge. Although it takes longer to walk under the highway because the sidewalk bends to the east rather than running straight as it does on the west side, I feel significantly safer walking on the raised sidewalk behind a chain link fence. There is a sign north of the highway advising pedestrians to choose this route over the west side of Yonge. 11:56 a.m. Two cars get caught in the middle of the intersection of northbound Yonge at Avondale when the light turns red, blocking vehicles trying to turn from westbound Avondale to southbound Yonge. The offending cars have to wait while a woman pushing a stroller eastbound across Yonge gets through the intersection before they can proceed. 12:10 p.m. A man puts a partially full coffee cup on a concrete barrier post at the northeast corner of Yonge and Sheppard rather than finding a

garbage can. He picks up a toddler and walks south through the intersection. 12:14 p.m. I look over and the coffee cup has blown away and is nowhere to be seen. There is coffee on the sidewalk beside the post. 12:23 p.m. While most of the YongeSheppard intersection is in sunlight, there is still a sliver of shade on the southernmost part of the intersection because it is blocked by tall buildings. 1:25 p.m. A young man at the northwest corner of Yonge and Sheppard is swaying on his feet with his eyes closed and looks like he’s going to pass out. When I ask if he’s OK, he tells me he has only had one and a half hour’s sleep in 48 hours because a lot of stuff has been going on and he has “smoked some joints.” 1:47 p.m. I stop into L & G General Auto Body Ltd. at 4656 Yonge just south of Florence, a family business since 1947. Manager Tracey McCreith, who has worked at the shop for 12 years, says traffic has gotten much worse over the years. “It’s horrendous,” she said. She shows me a photo on her computer of a recent collision of a small car that she said ran a yellow light at Florence, was struck by a northbound vehicle making a left turn and landed on its side. She recently saw a pedestrian who suffered a broken leg after being

4:24 p.m. Again, drivers who should have waited going northbound on Yonge for the intersection to clear at Avondale get caught in the intersection when the light turns red, blocking cars trying to turn from westbound Avondale to southbound Yonge. 5:18 p.m. A man trying to cross at the bottom of the westbound ramp to the 401 from southbound Yonge has to wait a full minute before there is enough of a break in the traffic for him to dash across the road. 5:25 p.m. I spot a rat on the sidewalk on the east side of Yonge south of Avondale. It doesn’t seem disturbed by traffic just a few feet away and eventually slowly ambles into a bush. 5:40 p.m. An eastbound ambulance with its lights on and siren blaring turns from eastbound Sheppard to northbound Yonge. Cars heading south on Yonge initially enter the intersection but come to a stop to make way for the emergency vehicle. 5:44 p.m. A long car horn is sounded for a vehicle not turning quickly enough on the advanced green light from southbound Yonge to eastbound Sheppard. 5:55 p.m. An ambulance travelling southbound on Yonge makes a left hand turn on to eastbound Sheppard. All vehicles pull over and stop to let it through. What do you think needs to be done to alleviate the congestion in this area of North York? Email us at nym@


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NORTH YORK MIRROR | Tuesday, April 9, 2013 |


sports schedule TDCAA BOYS VOLLEYBALL JUNIOR TUESDAY, APRIL 9 w Marshall McLuhan Catholic Secondary School vs. St. Basil-the-Great College School, West Division (Marshall McLuhan Catholic Secondary School, 1107 Avenue Rd.) w James Cardinal McGuigan Catholic High School vs. Father John Redmond Catholic Secondary School, West Division (James Cardinal McGuigan Catholic High School, 1440 Finch Ave. W.) w Community Hebrew Academy of Toronto (CHAT) vs. Father Henry Carr, West Division (Community Hebrew Academy of Toronto, 200 Wilmington Ave.) WEDNESDAY APRIL 10 w Blessed Pope John Paul II Catholic Secondary School vs. Monsignor De Charbonnel High School, East Division (Blessed Pope John Paul II Catholic Secondary School, 685 Military Trail) w Ecole Etienne-Brule vs. Brebeuf College, East Division (Ecole Etienne-Brule, 300 Banbury Rd.) w Y/SC w Senator O’Connor College School vs. Mary Ward Catholic Secondary School, East Division (Senator O’Connor College School, 60 Rowena Dr.) w Community Hebrew Academy of Toronto (CHAT) vs. Chaminade College School, West Division (Community Hebrew Academy of Toronto, 200 Wilmington Ave.) MONDAY, APRIL 15 w Jean Vanier Catholic Secondary School vs.

Action at the net

Monsignor De Charbonnel High School, East Division (Jean Vanier Catholic Secondary School, 959 Midland Ave.) WESTON LAST GASP TOURNAMENT PEEWEE DIVSION

Richmond Hill Stars forward Paul Jacoby (31) gets in close on Willowdale’s Evan Serfaty (35) in the Etobicoke Bulldogs Selects Tournament Saturday at Centennial Arena. Richmond Hill defeated Willowdale 3-0.

TUESDAY, APRIL 9 w Amesbury vs. Hillcrest (Weston Arena, 2125 Lawrence Ave. W., 7:20 p.m.) MINOR MIDGET WEST DIVISION TUESDAY, APRIL 9 w Warren Park vs. Port Credit (Weston Arena, 2125 Lawrence Ave. W., 8:20 p.m.) w Warren Park vs. Port Credit (Weston Arena, 2125 Lawrence Ave. W., 8:20 p.m.)

Photographer/Peter C. McCusker



TUESDAY, APRIL 9 w Victoria Village vs. Humber Valley (Weston Arena, 2125 Lawrence Ave. W., 9:15 p.m.)

Downsview vs. Unionville at Weston Arena, 2125 Lawrence Ave. W., 8:20 p.m. in the Weston Last Gasp Tournament, peewee division on Friday, April 12.

PEEWEE DIVISION WEDNESDAY, APRIL 10 w Hillcrest vs. Unionville (Weston Arena, 2125 Lawrence Ave. W., 7:20 p.m.) MINOR MIDGET WEST DIVISION WEDNESDAY, APRIL 10 w George Bell vs. Warren Park (Weston Arena, 2125 Lawrence Ave. W., 8:20 p.m.) PEEWEE DIVISION FRIDAY, APRIL 12 w Downsview vs. Unionville (Weston Arena, 2125 Lawrence Ave. W., 8:20 p.m.)

MINOR PEEWEE WEST DIVISION SATURDAY, APRIL 13 w Victoria Village vs. Forest Hill (Weston Arena, 2125 Lawrence Ave. W., 11:20 a.m.) PEEWEE DIVISION SATURDAY, APRIL 13 w Hillcrest vs. Downsview (Weston Arena, 2125 Lawrence Ave. W., 12:15 p.m.)

BANTAM EAST DIVISION SATURDAY, APRIL 13 w Scarborough vs. Weston (Weston Arena, 2125 Lawrence Ave. W., 2:10 p.m.) TYKE WEST DIVISION

MINOR ATOM DIVISION SATURDAY, APRIL 13 w Warren Park vs. Faustina (Weston Arena, 2125 Lawrence Ave. W., 7 p.m.) MINOR PEEWEE WEST DIVISION

SATURDAY, APRIL 13 w NY Knights vs Leaside (Weston Arena, 2125 Lawrence Ave. W., 3:10 p.m.)

SATURDAY, APRIL 13 w George Bell White vs. York Mills (Weston Arena, 2125 Lawrence Ave. W., 7:55 p.m.)

PEEWEE DIVISION SATURDAY, APRIL 13 w Unionville vs. Amesbury (Weston Arena, 2125 Lawrence Ave. W., 8:55 p.m.) MINOR ATOM EAST DIVISION SATURDAY, APRIL 13 w Downsview vs. Faustina (Weston Arena, 2125 Lawrence Ave. W., 10 p.m.)

For the complete Last Gasp Tournament schedule, visit

SEEKS FEDERAL FUNDS ◗CITY Toronto took a step closer to securing federal infrastructure money to help pay for a new subway line. Council voted unanimously at its meeting on Thursday to support TTC chair Karen Stintz’s motion to have staff report back on how the city can apply for money from a new $47-billion federal infrastructure fund. Stintz wants a share of that money, expected to become available starting 2014, to fund one third of a proposed $7.4-billion downtown relief subway line and to cover repair costs for the Gardiner Expressway. DOUBLE DECKERS FROM GO TRANSIT ◗NEW

Last week, GO Transit debuted the first of 25 new doubledecker buses to hit the road in the coming months. The Scottish-made Alexander Dennis Enviro500 LHD buses are lower than the existing fleet of doubledeckers which GO says will allow them to operate on 34 more bus routes than their predecessors – without fear of crashing into bridges or

����� ����� TO �� TRANSIT overpasses. The new buses will cost the province nearly $20 million. They are all expected to be in service by May. ASSOCIATION CRITICAL OF PLAN ◗TRUCKING

On the heels of Metrolinx announcing a shortlist of potential user fees and taxes to pay for the Big Move, the Ontario Trucking Association (OTA) has come out against the transportation plan itself. In a press release, OTA president David Bradley said the $50 billion plan “provides only a superficial and rather outdated treatment of goods movement issues”. He also said trucking companies already pay more than their fair share in gas taxes and licence plate fees. EXHIBITION SEEKS SUBMISSIONS ◗POSTER

Jane’s Walk is inviting submissions for a poster exhibition to be held in conjunction with this year’s walking tour

series. The group is inviting poster designers to submit their works highlighting the idea of walkable cities. The top entries will be on display at the 2013 Jane’s Walk launch party May 1 and the grand prize winner will receive $500. Deadline is April 22. To register for the competition visit



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Cycle Toronto joined the chorus of cycling advocates who want more BIXI bike stations. The group is circulating a petition calling for the bikeshare service to substantially increase the number of cycles it offers up for temporary use, which stands at 1,000. Pointing to the success of the program which launched in 2011 and celebrated its millionth ride last fall, the petition wants BIXI to expand past the downtown core. For more, visit Rahul Gupta is the Mirror’s transit reporter. His column runs every Tuesday. Reach him on Twitter: @TOinTRANSIT






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in pictures

Right on the


For more community photos from North York, visit http://


A MODEL COMMUNITY: Clockwise from top left: Blake Mitchell and his son Jaxxon check out the model railway roundhouse during the York Railway Modellers open house on Sunday morning; Bill Dewar gets a train running; A 1950s-era Milton, Ontario train station replica is part of the display; the open house demonstrates the group’s attention to detail in its dioramas; a view of the diorama of the 1950s-era southern Ontario; Steven Moran gets a closer look at a Canadian Pacific engine model. The open house takes place again this Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 5 Oakland Ave., northwest of the Hwy. 401/400 interchange. Photos/Jose Armando Villavona

NORTH YORK MIRROR | Tuesday, April 9, 2013 |


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◗ Wednesday, April 10

North York Seniors Games: Bocce WHEN: 9 a.m. to noon WHERE: Grandravine Community Centre, 23 Grandravine Dr. CONTACT: Brent Ongman, 416-395-6171 COST: Free Seneca’s School of Fashion Show: Redefining Design WHEN: 6 to 10 p.m. WHERE: Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre, 6 Garamond Ct. CONTACT: Seneca Fashion Hotline, 416-491-5050 COST: $20 Loyalty, identity, and the War of 1812 in Upper Canada WHEN: 7 p.m. WHERE: North York Central Library Concourse, 5120 Yonge St. CONTACT: 416-338-1339, COST: Free Dr. Jane Errington (Queen’s University) explores the issue of how the loyalties of Upper Canadians were challenged and shaped by the War of 1812. Call to reserve your seat.

◗ Thursday, April 11

Spring Awakening WHEN: 1 to 2 p.m. WHERE: Downsview Public Library, 2793 Keele St. CONTACT: Diana, 416-395-5720, COST: Free Part of the Ask an Expert: Toronto Master Gardeners speaker series.

Perspective Drawing for Adults WHEN: 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. WHERE: North York Central Library Auditorium, 5120 Yonge St. CONTACT: Elizabeth, 416-395-5639, http:// jsp?Entt=RDM127899 COST: Free Learn from the expert how to keep your drawings in perspective. Call to register. Participants are encouraged to bring their own supplies: paper, pencils, and ruler. Templelicious with Rose Reisman WHEN: 7 p.m. WHERE: Temple Sinai Congregation of Toronto, 210 Wilson Ave. CONTACT: Education Office, 416-487-3281,, COST: $25 Join in for wine and dessert, a silent auction and a cooking demonstration. Call or email to register. What We Talk about when We Talk About Israel WHEN: 7:30 to 9 p.m. WHERE: Beth David B’Nai Israel Beth Am Synagogue, 55 Yeomans Rd. CONTACT: Gerald Levine, 416-633-7594, COST: Free A lecture presented by DJ Schneeweiss, Consul General in Toronto and Western Canada.

◗ Friday, April 12 Kabbalalalat Shabbat

looking ahead ◗ Saturday, April 20

From the Open Hearth to the Open Air WHEN: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. WHERE: Gibson House Museum, 5172 Yonge St. CONTACT: 416-395-7432, gibsonhouse@ COST: $50 including HST A Camper’s Cooking Workshop in the Historic Kitchen. Move your camp ground cooking techniques beyond tinfoil dinners to camp gourmet! Learn the skills 19th century cooks perfected working with fire in open hearth kitchens. 21st century outdoor enthusiasts will rediscover baking in a cast iron pot, known as a Dutch oven, introduced to Canada in the 18th century. This workshop will explore tools, techniques, and recipes from both eras that can be adapted for your use at the modern camp ground. This intensive hands-on workshop will be led by Gibson House staff experienced both as open hearth cooks as well as modern day campers. Pre-registration and pre-payment required. CHECK OUT OUR complete online community calendar by visiting Read weeks of listings from your North York neighbourhoods as well as events from across Toronto.

WHEN: 7:15 p.m. WHERE: Temple Sinai Congregation of Toronto, 210 Wilson Ave. CONTACT: Temple Office, 416-487-4161,, COST: Free An interactive musical event with the Temple Sinai Band.

◗ Saturday, April 13

North York Senior Games: Tennis WHEN: 9 a.m. WHERE: Oriole Park Community Tennis Bubble, 2975 Don

Mills Rd. W. CONTACT: Helen Trainor, COST: $10 Play tennis with other seniors. Matches take place April 13, 14, 19 and 20. Fundamentals of Business Negotiation for Women WHEN: 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. WHERE: Latvian Canadian Cultural Centre, 4 Credit Union Dr. CON-

TACT: Hatice Yazar, 416-522-9564, COST: $60 members, $70 public Presented by North Toronto Business & Professional Women’s Club. All are welcome. Registration at www. Humber Summit Greener Futures Community Consultation WHEN: 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. WHERE: Humber Summit Library, 2990 Islington Ave. CONTACT: Roland Lelaj, 4167471172, roland@ COST: Free An open community consultation with a panel of experts that will discuss topics related to the environment, greener neighbourhoods, food security and citizens engagement in the Humber Summit area. A separate panel addressed to young participants regarding a photography course and photo contest.

get listed! The North York Mirror wants your community listings. Sign up online at northyorkmirror. com to submit your events (click the Sign Up link in the top right corner of the page). We run non-profit, local events in print twice a week in The Mirror.




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Masonry & Concrete BRICK, BLOCK & NATURAL STONEWORK Chimneys, Tuck Pointing, Brick, Concrete Windowsills and Much More! For Free Estimate Call Peter: 647-333-0384 www. stardustconstruction .com

Moving & Storage


LOCAL, long distance Packing service, FREE boxes.

Waste Removal

PETER’S DEPENDABLE JUNK REMOVAL From home or business, including furniture/ appliances, construction waste. Quick & careful!

Flooring & Carpeting

416-677-3818 Rock Bottom Rates!

CHEAPEST Garbage Bin Rental! House hold junk, reno waste, dirt. Fast, Friendly, Reliable. Demolition. Pool fill-ins. www.rapidwasteand



EMERGENCY? Clogged drain, camera inspection Leaky pipes Reasonable price, 25 years experience Licensed/ Insured credit card accepted


NESO FLOORING Carpet installation starting from $1.29/ sq.ft. Hardwood, laminate at low prices. 26 yrs experience. Free Estimates. Best Price! 647-400-8198

your S T OP news with friends and family! and post your

event, sale, business & much more in the classifieds!

Call (416)


to plan your advertising campaign today!

Stuff to get rid of?

Free estimate James Chen

647-519-9506 Decks & Fences 0 ALL DECKS built in 1 day. Highest quality. Spring discount! Free design and estimates. Call Mike 416-738-7752

Anniversary? Graduation? Birthday? Share

Call (416)


Call us at 416 798-7284 and we’ll show you how!


Burton Electric Inc. 416 419-1772

Knob and tube replacement LED Lighting Aluminum wire reconditioning Permits and inspections

Pot lights Service upgrades Breakers/Panels FREE ESTIMATES

Master Electrician * License # 7001220 * Insured





· 24 Hour Emergency Service · Plugged Drain Repair •Backflow Prevention · Service Specialist · Flat Rates · Fully Insured · No Extra Charge for Evening & Weekends

Master Lic.# 20557 SASHA 416-371-7137 ALI 416-828-6611




Roof Repair Experts


Since 1967!

• Beautiful Landscape Designs For Your New Patio or Front Entrance • Amazing Lawn Care Programs • Dormant Oil Tree Spraying • Spring Tree Pruning & Feeding






✓Full roofs ✓Missing Shingles ✓Minor/Major Leaks ✓Raccoon Problems

✓Eaves & Downspout ✓Skylights LIC# L179362 20% Senior Discount




Lic. # B21358

Fully Licensed & Insured


To h i g h l i g h t yo u r

Home I m p rove m e n t Business call

Call us at:

Delivery questions?


Fax: 905-853-1765

Whatever you are looking for...



Phone: 416-798-7284

search, sell, save!


• Shingles • Flat Roofs • Skylights • Chimneys • Eavestroughs Save • Repairs • Free Estimates


Metro License #PH23521



R&Z PLUMBING & HEATING Replacement & Repairs Faucets, Sinks, Pipes, Drains Etc. Furnace, A/C, Water Heater, Gas 28 Years Experience • 24/7


Quick Service!!! • Experts in Removal of Dangerous Trees • Trimming, Pruning • Stump Removal • Ash Borer Treatment • $2 million Liability + WSIB SPRING SAVINGS 10% OFF! Call Bobby 416-828-TREE (8733)


it’s here!

| NORTH YORK MIRROR | Tuesday, April 9, 2013



NORTH YORK MIRROR s | Tuesday, April 9, 2013 |


Interior Designer


Eli Bakhtiari, Sales Representative

Bella Lee, Broker



We SELL Your Home for TOP Dollar!

For Free Consulting You Can Contact Us At: 647.296.6945

#28 in TOP Teams in Canada for the Third Quarter in 2012


#28 in Canada!

Sold by ELI & BELLA Team



is proud to announce the successful transaction of the largest land in deal in NORTH YORK for a combined value of





As the market gains momentum you can trust that we will continue to redefine and lead the way.

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We speak Farsi, Korean, Mandarin, Cantonese and English

April 9 South  

We are a local newspaper reflecting the lives of our readers by covering what’s important to them: The people and events in their own commun...

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