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Fri Aug 24, 2012


fri feb 15, 2013

Fancy fashions for teens sought by Prom Boutique

Under the hood

FANNIE SUNSHINE With prom back on this year at Toronto schools, New Circles is calling upon residents to dig through closets to donate appropriate attire for the end of high school party for those who can’t afford costs associated with the night. Since 2008, New Circles has been helping low-income families with free new or gently used clothing for prom. From now until June, prom apparel – dresses, shoes, purses, jewelry, suits, dress shirts and ties – are needed for New Circles’ Prom Boutique, along with new makeup (for hygienic reasons, used makeup won’t be accepted). April 27 marks the official launch of the Prom Boutique and it will run until June, with donations urged before opening day, said Nita Saini, New Circles’ volunteer program manager. “We served 682 last year,” she said. “We try to create a Say Yes to the Dress atmosphere. We make it really feel like a store.” >>>DONATIONS, page 6

Staff photo/Dan Pearce

AUTO SHOW: Marc Garneau Collegiate automotive students Syed Ibrahim, right, and Baber Bakali try to diagnose and repair a vehicle rigged with identical operating problems at the 14th annual Toronto Automotive Technology Competition sponsored by Centennial College Thursday at the Canadian International Auto Show.

Palliative care gets funding boost LISA QUEEN When Sharon Delaney’s husband, Bob, was diagnosed with cancer in 2008, the North York couple was thrown into an often incompre-

hensible and uncaring health care system. They found doctors primarily concerned with their own speciality rather than treating Bob as a person. Trying to get answers about Bob’s

care often led to frustrating efforts to find the right person to ask or seemingly never-ending games of telephone tag Bob eventually poured out his disappointment to his physician. “We came to our family doctor

and Bob said he felt abandoned,” Delaney said. The doctor referred him to the Freeman Centre for the Advancement of Palliative Care at North York General Hospital. >>>FELLOWSHIP, page 6


NORTH YORK MIRROR | Friday, February 15, 2013 |




Pennies are gift from heaven for little Mia North York parents seek help getting treatment for daughter with severe disabilities LISA QUEEN

‘She’s such an angel. She’s such a good girl. She loves everybody. People who meet her say Mia has changed their life and their perspective.’


ittle Mia Somogyi’s smile is heartwarming, the kind that lights up a room when a visitor drops in or her mom promises a ride on her pink tricycle in the corridor outside their apartment. Her story is heartbreaking, the result of a devastating birth that left her with severe disabilities and her desperate parents scrambling to give her the best possible care. Now, with the demise of the Canadian penny, Mia’s mom and dad, Andrea Toth and Janos Somogyi, are asking people to donate them to Mia so the threeyear-old North York girl can continue receiving physical therapy in Chile. For more than two years, Mia received therapy, including physio, speech and feeding therapies, in Toronto at different hospitals and rehabilitation centres and in the family’s apartment in Flemingdon Park southeast of Eglinton Avenue and Don Mills Road. physiotherapy not covered by the government Because physiotherapy is not covered by the government, the treatments were covered by a now-exhausted donation from President’s Choice Children’s Charity and by selling off family possessions. While the therapy gave Mia some benefit, it was only after Toth took Mia to Chile last fall for five weeks that the little girl began to flourish, her parents said. Mia was treated by physiotherapist Ramon Cuevas, who 40 years ago developed Cuevas Medek Exercise (CME), a treatment used to develop gross motor skills in babies and children at risk of delay through, for example, premature birth, Down syndrome, cerebral palsy or brain injuries. Mia had had CME treatment here but after just

– Andrea Toth, Mia’s mother

Staff photo/Nick Perry

Mia Somogyi, 3, suffers from cystic fibrosis and severe brain damage. Her family is trying to raise money to fund medical treatments.

five weeks with Cuevas, her progress was remarkable, Toth said. Before, she could sit if positioned perfectly but even the slightest imbalance would cause her to topple over. Now, she can sit by herself, better move her arms and legs, roll over, chew and swallow small amounts of food although she still requires a feeding tube, and perform some other skills. “He (Cuevas) is the master” in CME, Toth said. “The second day I was there, I had a meltdown. I finally had hope. Up to then, I felt I was choking under water.” normal pregnancy, nightmare delivery Mia was born on Jan. 29, 2010. Andrea’s pregnancy had been normal but her delivery became a nightmare. Mia didn’t get oxygen

properly for the last 45 minutes of the birth. “When Mia was born, she came out flat. She wasn’t crying, she wasn’t breathing,” said Toth, who required 16 litres of blood herself during a marathon surgery and was admitted to the intensive care unit. “They said she would never make it to the next morning.” Toth was even given a day-pass to visit Mia, who had been taken to a different hospital, because doctors were convinced her daughter would die. When asked about the birth and the fact he nearly lost his wife and daughter, Janos Somogyi, who carries on the housecleaning service he and his wife started now that Toth cares for Mia full-time, can only wipe tears from his eyes and explain it’s too painful to talk about. Mia has severe irreversible damage to many important parts of her brain, cerebral palsy,

developmental and physical disabilities and requires a feeding tube. When she was discharged from hospital, Mia’s parents were warned she would be in a vegetative state. But the little girl continues to defy the odds. Mia is a fighter who’s beating the odds “She is a fighter. She is proving everyone wrong,” Toth said. Despite her severe limitations, Mia understands English and her parents’ native Hungarian, beaming a smile when her mom says she’s a good girl or a visitor asks to be her friend. “Everybody compliments her smile. She has a great smile. She’s very friendly,” Toth said. “She’s such an angel. She’s such a good girl. She loves everybody. People who meet her say Mia has changed their life and their

perspective.” The trip to Chile costs $14,000, including $8,000 for the therapy and the rest for travel, accommodation and related expenses. While Toth and Somogyi have no family in Canada to rely on, they raised the money last fall through donations, help from friends and a vacation allowance from an association for people with cerebral palsy. Ideally, Toth would like to take Mia twice a year to visit Cuevas until she is

able to walk, because critical development occurs in children before the age of seven. “People say, ‘Why are you going literally to the other side of the world and it costs so much?’ but I’m a mother. I want to do the best for my child,” she said. “She keeps showing us ‘I’m here, don’t give up on me.’” Pennies can be dropped off at the lower level of Flemingdon Park Ministry at 10 Gateway Blvd. southeast of Eglinton and Don Mills, and at any Anglican Church in Toronto. Donations should be marked Attn: Flemingdon Park Ministry For Mia. Donations can also be made at any BMO Bank of Montreal deposited to account number 03173991-379. For people who can’t make donations due to health concerns, call Rev. Helena-Rose Houldcroft at 647-388-1841 to arrange for pick up. For more information about Mia, CME therapy or to make an online donation, visit www.helpmia. com

How can you help? n Pennies can be dropped off at the lower level of Flemingdon Park Ministry at 10 Gateway Blvd. southeast of Eglinton and Don Mills, and at any Anglican Church in Toronto. Donations should be marked Attn: Flemingdon Park Ministry For Mia. n Donations can also be made at any BMO Bank of Montreal deposited to account number 0317-3991-379. n For people who can’t make donations due to health concerns, call Rev. Helena-Rose Houldcroft at 647-388-1841 to arrange for pick up.

| NORTH YORK MIRROR | Friday, February 15, 2013


NORTH YORK MIRROR | Friday, February 15, 2013 |


Opinion The North York Mirror is published every Thursday and Friday at 175 Gordon Baker Rd., Toronto, ON, M2H 0A2, by Toronto Community News, a Division of Metroland Media Group Ltd. Ian Proudfoot Marg Middleton Peter Haggert Paul Futhey Warren Elder Angela Carruthers Debra Weller Mike Banville

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Family Day: a good chance to celebrate your community


ince 2008, Ontarians have been encouraged to celebrate Family Day on the third Monday of February and spend time with their loved ones. “Ontarians work very hard and they deserve more time to spend with the people they love,” states the provincial government’s website. Certainly, many Torontonians will take advantage of this relatively new statutory holiday this coming Monday our view to do just that. But consider extending that time to spend with the community in which you live. Like an extended family member, the community at large should be nurtured and supported by investing more time and resources into it. In return, a healthy and vibrant community plays a key role in the well-being of each individual living within its boundaries. A good first step is to be an active member of the community by taking part in the various activities available, which promotes increased neighbourly interaction. There’s plenty of opportunities to do so on the holiday Monday across the city. In Etobicoke, make your way to The Fantasy Fair at Woodbine Shopping Centre on Monday where there will be free shows from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Go to or call 416-674-5437 for more information. North Yorkers can attend Family Fun Fest, an annual event taking place all Family Day weekend at Downsview Park featuring attractions, rides and entertainment for children of all ages. Visit www. to get more details. In Scarborough, support the Rouge Valley Health System Foundation and join the Scarborough Muslim Community and the Save Family Values groups for the Family Day Walkathon starting at 10:30 a.m. at the Scarborough Civic Centre. Funds raised will go toward the campaign to bring new echocardiogram machines to Rouge Valley Centenary, to help advance the hospital’s Cardiac Care Program. Of course, the time spent together as a family should not be limited to just one holiday. Make an effort to celebrate the spirit of Family Day with both your family and community throughout the year.

Community needs to be nurtured


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.

To the editor: The mayor is correct when it comes to his choice between the underground subway train or the light-rail transit (LRT). I do not know why TTC chair Karen Stintz and those on her bandwagon think the LRT is best. It appears every time it snows, this means of transport becomes stagnant. That was the case with the Scarborough RT line during last Friday’s storm. Riders are forced to stand for hours in the cold awaiting other means of transportation to take them to their destinations. This is unfair to those riders and also their relatives who are picking them up at different stations. I think Stintz and her backers should be embarrassed of themselves for voting in support of an LRT. Kenneth Singh

Other options possible for council instead of term limits A proposal for term limits, in this instance to prevent members of council from seeking a fourth consecutive term of office, is back in the news. This time, two new councillors convinced Toronto’s executive committee to bring their idea to council. Even if council approves the measure, this decision is outside of its responsibility, and requires new legislation from Queen’s Park. Those who presented the concept did so with a mixture of naiveté, idealism and perhaps self-interest. It is touching that they believe council’s anger, divisiveness and lack of productivity is due to those who bring “old feuds and stale approaches” to Toronto City Hall. They hope that elections with fewer incumbents will inspire more names on the ballot and greater turnout. Also they must have noticed that most of council’s key positions go to

Beyond the headlines

david soknacki

veterans. Support for term limits is popular: pollsters report that about three-quarters of respondents think they are a good idea. Advocates justify limits as an antidote to the “poison” of the careerist politicians who conspire with bureaucrats, the media and interest groups to increase the reach of government. Advocates argue term limits moderate the advantage of incumbents at election time. Citizens, seeing a greater ability to effect change, will vote in larger numbers. There is a different view. We can start with the basic principle that restrictions on voting are undemocratic. From there, every argu-

ment on one side has a counter view. Against the need to stop careerist politicians, one can see politicians, in our system and others, continuing their vocation by hopping from one level to another. Experience shows voter participation rates are as likely to decline as increase after term limits are put in place. Dysfunctionality and polarization may be found in jurisdictions with and without term limits. In summary, term limits may not have the desired effects of creating more productive legislatures, better policy or higher voter turnout. They seem to have little impact other than to force incumbents to seek another political office. On the other hand, each of the original outcomes is achievable, through different methods. Take the example of council’s polarization. It is the result of a weak, and

weakening, administration with principles not shared by council’s majority, and without the skills to manage agendas or people. Or take the point that incumbency makes challenges difficult. That could be countered by measures such as reducing councillors’ allowance for taxfunded newsletters, and loosening tight limits on election signs. Or if the goal is to enhance turnout, consider more voting on weekends or evenings. Making changes in every one each of these areas is within the ability of council. If the real goal of the measure for term limits is to improve our political process, council can make other practical changes on its own. n David Soknacki is a former City of Toronto councillor and budget chief. He can be reached at www.

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it’s happening n Friday, Feb. 15

Kabbalalalat Shabbat WHEN: 7:15 p.m. WHERE: Temple Sinai Congregation of Toronto, 210 Wilson Ave. CONTACT: 416-487-4161, www., COST: Free TCDSB Dance Festival WHEN: 7:30 to 10 p.m. WHERE: Cardinal Carter Academy for the Arts, 36 Greenfield Ave. CONTACT: Mireya Martin, 416222-8282, mireya.martin@tcdsb. org COST: $10 Performances by 300 secondary students from 11 schools in the Toronto Catholic District School Board.

n Saturday, Feb. 16

Toronto Cat Rescue Adoptathon WHEN: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. WHERE: Pet Valu, 486 Lawrence Ave. W. CONTACT: Alison F., 416-538-8592, COST: Adoption fee Fee is $175 for kittens under six months, $100 for cats over six months, and $250 if adopting two kittens; cash only.

n Sunday, Feb. 17

End-of-Life Decisions WHEN: 10:15 a.m. WHERE: Temple Sinai Congregation of Toronto, 210 Wilson Ave. CONTACT: 416-487-3281, www., education@ COST: $2

looking ahead

n Saturday, March 2

Book Signing and Talk: Local Author Bruno LoGreco WHEN: 1to 5 p.m. WHERE: Chapters, 2901 Bayview Ave. CONTACT: Ivana Pejakovic, 289-242-6219,, COST: Free Join master life coach Bruno LoGreco from the television series ‘Style by Jury’ as he signs his new book, ‘Stop Sabotaging Your Life, 3 Steps To Your Full Potential.’ 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. Help Group WHEN: 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. WHERE: Bathurst/Lawrence area CONTACT: Lynn Laccohee, 416-967-3032, , lynn.laccohee@ COST: Free Family and friends of persons with multiple sclerosis get together for support, encouragement and information. Registration is required. Group meets the first and third Monday of every month. Meeting location will be provided after registration.

n Tuesday, Feb. 19

Modern Designs with African Violets WHEN: 7:30 to 10 p.m. WHERE: Toronto Botanical Garden, 777 Lawrence Ave. E. CONTACT: Sayeh Beheshti,, COST: Free Learn about creating modern floral designs using African Violets from two leading designers, Ursula Eley and Judy Zinni.

Congregation Darchei Noam Celebrates Black History Month WHEN: 7 to 9 p.m. WHERE: 864 Sheppard Ave. W. CONTACT: Jennifer Badani, 647-216-1627,, COST: $5

Rabbi Jordan Pearlson Interfaith Lecture WHEN: 7 p.m. WHERE: Temple Sinai Congregation of Toronto, 210 Wilson Ave. CONTACT: Education Office, 416-487-3281,, COST: Free

n Monday, Feb. 18

n Wednesday, Feb. 20

Family and Friends MS Self-

Seniors’ Moments: Health

Care Options for Canadians WHEN: 10 a.m. to noon WHERE: St. George on Yonge Anglican, 5350 Yonge St. CONTACT: Anne Wynter, 416-2251922, COST: Free Learn about options in terms of access, advanced technology, pricing and dealing with OHIP. Villains and Vixens WHEN: 8 to 10 p.m. WHERE: Toronto Centre for the Arts, Studio Theatre, 5040 Yonge St. CONTACT: 416-872-1111, www., COST: $25 to $30 Featuring Broadway’s most infamous villains that we love to hate and provocative vixens that we dare to love, take a journey into the darker and sexier side of many musical works of the last 100 years.

n Thursday, Feb. 21

A Day In Hollywood: The MGM Revue WHEN: 8 p.m. WHERE: York Woods Library Theatre, 1785 Finch Ave. W. CONTACT: Box office, 416-755-1717, COST: $28 Broadway musical presented by The Civic Light-Opera Company. Runs until March 2. Ask an Expert: Retirement Planning WHEN: 1 to 2 p.m. WHERE: Downsview Library, 2793 Keele St. CONTACT: Diana, 416-3955720, COST: Free Certified financial planners from the Financial Planning Standards Council answer questions. Call or email to register. Temple Sinai Social Club: Book Review with Sylvia Goldenblatt WHEN: 1:30 p.m. WHERE: Temple Sinai Congregation of Toronto, 210 Wilson Ave. CONTACT: 416-487-3281, www., education@ COST: $9 A discussion of ‘The Imposter Bride’ by Nancy Richler. Call or email to reserve. Christopher Leadership Course WHEN: 7 to 10 p.m. WHERE: St. Timothy School Library, 25 Rochelle Cr. CONTACT: Frisca Ozorio, 416-410-7776, www., COST: Adults: $185, students/seniors $175 This 11-week course will help develop skills in public speaking, communication and leadership. The Music of New Orleans Jazz Masters WHEN: 7 to 8 p.m. WHERE: North York Central Library Auditorium, 5120 Yonge St. CONTACT: 416-395-5639 COST: Free Pianist Mboya Nicholson from the TorontoJazzBuzz Company demonstrates the diversity of this music in the Big Easy jazz scene. Call to register.

n Saturday, Feb. 23

Shabbat Morning Family Service WHEN: 10:30 a.m. WHERE: Temple Sinai Congregation of Toronto, 210 Wilson Ave. CONTACT: 416-487-4161, www., COST: Free Writer in Residence Alissa York presents Surrounded By Stories: A Guide To Getting Inspired WHEN: 2 to 4 p.m. WHERE: North York Central Library Auditorium, 5120 Yonge St. CONTACT: 416-395-5639 COST: Free Participants explore the nature of literary inspiration via a multimedia presentation of writing prompts, including photographs, paintings, YouTube videos, music and other audio clips. Call to register. iPurim WHEN: 7 p.m. WHERE: Temple Sinai Congregation of Toronto, 210 Wilson Ave. CONTACT: 416487-3281, www.templesinai. net, COST: Free Come out for stories from the book of Esther with comedy sketches and a modern twist. Download a digital noisemaker and get ready to use it all night. JPEC Jazz Gala WHEN: 8 to 10:30 p.m. WHERE: Toronto Centre for the Arts, George Weston Recital Hall, 5040 Yonge St. CONTACT: Adrienne Cohen, gala.html, adriennec88@aol. com COST: VIP $250, general admission $100, groups of 10 plus $75, students $20 Celebrate Black History Month with a tribute to Honourable Justice Michael H. Tulloch, Ontario Court of Appeal, the first African Canadian to serve on any provincial court of appeal.

n Sunday, Feb. 24

Toronto Postcard Club Sale WHEN: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. WHERE: Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre, 6 Garamond Ct CONTACT: Win Boyd, www., info@ COST: $7 Orchestra Toronto Concert: Pathos & Power WHEN: 3 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. WHERE: Toronto Centre for the Arts, George Weston Recital Hall, 5040 Yonge St. CONTACT: Judy Mann, 416-467-7142, www., info@ COST: $14, $34, $39 Experience Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4 in F minor, Grieg’s Peer Gynt Suite No. 1 and John Burge’s salute to The Canadian Shield.


Bridge and Euchre WHEN: Noon to 3:30 p.m. Fridays WHERE: Parkwoods United Church, 85 Parkwoods Village Dr. CONTACT: John, 416-447-2928; 416-496-8705 COST: Free Bridge and euchre for those aged 50 and older. Weekly Bridge WHEN: Noon to 3 p.m. Mondays WHERE: Willowdale United Church, 349 Kenneth Ave. CONTACT: Betty Jacobs, 416223-0568, bettyjeanne.jacobs@ COST: $2, includes refreshments New players welcome. All levels of play accepted.

get listed!

The North York Mirror wants your community listings. Whether it’s a church knitting group or 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 to submit your events (click the Sign Up link in the top right corner of the page).

Lead the Pursuit of Excellence Invitation to Apply to North York General Volunteer Board of Governors North York General (NYGH) is currently recruiting volunteers to serve as Governors on our Board, and also Community Members to serve on our Board Standing Committees.

How are we doing? Your feedback matters to us! Customer Support:

416-774-2284 The North York Mirror is dedicated to delivering a positive experience to our customers!

Our patients come first in everything we do and we are committed to providing safe, high-quality, compassionate care to each individual we serve. Our Board is a reflection of our diverse community and we encourage applicants from a broad range of backgrounds. NYGH is an award-winning three-site facility which offers a wide range of acute care, ambulatory and long-term care services. Affiliated with the University of Toronto, NYGH is one of Canada’s leading community academic hospitals. If you are interested in adding your dynamic leadership qualities to our Board of Governors and helping to shape the future of our hospital, please refer to for further information. Applications must be submitted by March 15, 2013.

5 | NORTH YORK MIRROR | Friday, February 15, 2013


NORTH YORK MIRROR | Friday, February 15, 2013 |



Donations of dresses and suits needed for prom-bound students Details >>>from page 1

Catering to low-income families throughout the city, the prom program targets students through agencies located within the 13 priority neighbourhoods, along with schools, Saini said. Students set up appointments to pick out a dress/ suit, shoes, purse, jewelry and makeup. Leggings, cardigans and scarves, for those who wear the hijab, are also needed, Saini said. Dress pants with waist sizes between 28 and 34 are greatly needed, she said, along with plus-size dresses, ties and men’s shoes. If prom clothing drives are held by the public, New Circles will arrange for pick-

Donations can be dropped off at 10 Gateway Blvd., near Don Mills Road and Finch Avenue. For drop-off hours and information, visit www. up, otherwise donations can be dropped off at 10 Gateway Blvd., near Don Mills Road and Finch Avenue. “(Prom Boutique) has really taken off as the years have gone by,” Saini said, adding 50 clients sought the service in 2008. Donations should be addressed to either Nita or Poppy. For drop-off hours and information, visit www.

Fellowship announced at North York General >>>from page 1 Unfortunately, Bob, an electrician, died in 2009 of mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer caused by his exposure to asbestos four decades earlier. “It’s a ticking time bomb,” Delaney said. Although he died, the time Bob spent under the care of the centre and advanced palliative care nurse Virginia Clark-Wier made all the difference. Finally, the couple could call one person and get the answers they needed about Bob’s symptoms, dietary needs and medication. They had the treatments and support they needed to let Bob die with dignity at home. “You just don’t find (that care) anywhere else,” Delaney said. She was at North York General Thursday, Feb. 7 for the announcement of a



new fellowship for advanced practice nursing in palliative care. Six-month fellowships beginning in July will allow nurses interested in providing end-of-life care to patients in hospital and at home learn how to deliver comprehensive palliative care tailored to the unique needs of every patient and their family. “This is the first of its kind in Ontario,” hospital president Dr. Tim Rutledge said. “One of our core values is patient care first in everything we do.” Philanthropists Zoltan and Yetta Freeman and the hospital foundation each contributed $1 million to establishing the fellowship, with expertise to its development coming from York University, the de Souza Institute, Cancer Care Ontario, the University of Toronto, the University of Windsor, Ryerson University and Beth Israel Medical Centre in New York City. Ninety per cent of Canadians who are dying could benefit from the type of care offered by the Freeman Centre, but only one in four

have access to comprehensive palliative care services, the centre’s medical director, Dr. Nina Horvath, said. The need will grow as the population grows and ages, she said. Integrated and palliative care is so important to patients because, without it, patients and family members like the Delaneys often encounter patchy community services and “siloed” hospital care that fails to meet their medical and emotional needs, said North York General oncologist Dr. Daryl Roitman, and Anna Tupis, the hospital’s program director of palliative care. “The (health care) system is in treatment mode. We are going to keep fixing you and fixing you,” Tupis said. “We all die, one way or another. You (should) have a choice how you want to go about that.” Palliative care is focused on managing the pain and emotional needs of the patient and the family so the person can concentrate on living with the time they have left, Tupis said.

Staff photo/Lisa Queen

Sharon Delaney joins the announcement ceremony Feb. 7 at North York General Hospital regarding a new fellowship for advanced practical nurses in palliative care. Delaney’s late husband Bob was treated at the hospital’s Freeman Centre for Palliative Care in 2009.

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GALATI MARKET FRESH CELEBRATES SHROVE TUESDAY WITH PANKCAKE BREAKFAST FOR THE COMMUNITY On Tuesday, Galati Market Fresh at 5845 Leslie Street celebrated Shrove Tuesday by having their 15th annual pancake breakfast. The market made pancakes in-store for 800 students from local schools, including Cresthaven, Crestview and Pineway Public Schools. Principal Lee-Ann Poole from Cresthaven Public School, the local firefighters from station #113, the police from 32 division and Metroland Media Toronto were on hand to help make the event a success.

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| NORTH YORK MIRROR | Friday, February 15, 2013

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NORTH YORK MIRROR | Friday, February 15, 2013 |



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Scott Mission opens childcare centre


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The Scott Mission is excited to announce the opening of their new O’Connor Family Centre that will house a brand new childcare centre for infants all the way to pre-schoolers (3-48 months). Located on O’Connor Drive, just north of St. Clair, the centre has three brightly lit rooms and a large outdoor play area for children of all ages. The Scott Mission is dedicated to a wholistic, family-centred approach to child care that uses the most current early education practices and creates a warm, caring atmosphere in which your child can grow, play and learn. The Scott Mission’s Childcare Centre values an inclusive approach to care that embraces the entire family and promotes your child’s physical, social,


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■ Northern Spirit Games come to Brebeuf

Downsview Park will celebrate Family Day with its annual Family Fun Fest Feb. 16 to 18. The event will feature rides, interactive stage shows and performances by Doo Doo the Clown and The Trevor Show. For ticket information, visit events/family-fun-fest Downsview Park is at 35 Carl Hall Rd., near Sheppard Avenue and Keele Street.

The Toronto Catholic District School Board is hosting its Northern Spirit Games this month. The games consist of 10 indoor and outdoor activities based on traditional First Nations, Métis and Inuit games, including snow shoeing, rope skipping and spear throw. The activities focus on

St. Antoine Daniel Catholic School’s Julian Lalicon tries the seal crawl during the 2011 TCDSB Northern Spirit Games held at Monsignor Percy Johnson Catholic Secondary School. The 2013 version of the games get going next week.

■ Parenting seminar hosted at Bloorview If you find yourself getting into the same old fights and parenting challenges with your kids day after day, then North York’s Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital has the seminar for you. Psychotherapist Alison Shafer, one of Canada’s leading parenting experts, will deliver a talk called “Why do my kids keep doing that?” on April 3 from 7 to 9 p.m. at 150 Kilgour Rd., northeast of Eglinton and Bayview avenues. Tickets are $20 per person or $35 per couple and can be ordered at site/kindercirclefundraising/ home or by calling 416-424-3818.

agility, strength, and endurance, and are run by trained secondary student leaders from the hosting school. The games will happen at five TCDSB sites, including Brebeuf College School in North York on Feb. 26. More than 1,400 students from grades 4 to 6 will be participating across the city. The first day of the games, now in their eighth year, is Feb. 21 at Monsignor Percy Johnson.

Staff file photo/IAN KELSO

■ Official plan meeting on Tuesday in North York

■ Toronto getting new 437 area code

You can help shape Toronto’s financial future. The city is holding a series of public meetings on proposed changes to its official plan’s economic policies and employment lands designations. The North York meeting will be held Tuesday, Feb. 19 from 6:30 to 9 p.m. in the members’ lounge of the North York Civic Centre at 5100 Yonge St., north of Sheppard Avenue.

Come Monday, March 25, Toronto will have three area codes. The 437 area code will be added to the 647 and 416 area codes for the city. The 365 area code will be added to the 905 and 289 area code region. Increasing demand for telephone numbers, particularly for wireless devices, has created the need for additional numbers to serve customers in these regions.

The new area codes will provide additional telephone numbers with no impact on existing telephone numbers. The new area codes will coexist with the current ones and will come into effect as new telephone numbers are introduced. Numbers with the current area codes will continue to be assigned for the next few months until none remain. A new area code in a region does not affect the local calling areas or the way local or long distance calls are dialed.

■ Caring to the Core gala helps children with chronic illnesses A fundraiser to help families pay for medical costs for chronically ill children will be held Saturday, March 2 at The Warehouse at Downsview Park, 35 Carl Hall Rd., at 8:15 p.m. The Caring to the Core Gala is being held to raise money for Aaron’s Apple, a charity that has collected more than $220,000 to help families in need. After being diagnosed with Crohn’s disease at age seven, Aaron, from Thornhill, depended on $40,000 worth of annual medication to help ease his pain. Fortunately his parents had insurance to pay the bills, but Aaron realized not everyone is as fortunate. Every time he went to the hospital, he would give a donation in an effort to make another child feel better. From there, Aaron’s Apple was born. The charity is run solely by volunteers and works alongside the Hospital for Sick Children to benefit as many children and families as possible. Tickets cost $118 per person and $180 for patrons. For tickets, visit or call 1-866-3163987.

| NORTH YORK MIRROR w | Friday, February 15, 2013

■ Family Day fun awaits at Downsview Park

NORTH YORK MIRROR | Friday, February 15, 2013 |



North York teams do well in Leaside select tourney T h e L e a s i d e Mi n o r Ho c k e y Association held its 23rd annual Leaside Select Tournament from Feb. 7 to 10 with several North York teams participating. The tourney included 11 age groups from 19 divisions. Games were held at Leaside Memorial Gardens, Canlan Ice Sports, De La Salle, Angela James, Victoria Village, Oriole and Pleasantview Arenas. Winners are: • Tyke A: Humber Valley Sharks Black (1st); North Toronto Red (2nd) • Tyke B: George Bell White (1st); North York Knights White (2nd) • Tyke C: West Hill Golden Hawks Gold (1st); Leaside Flames White (2nd) • Minor novice A: Goulding Park (1st); Leaside Flames (Red, 2nd) • Minor novice B: Leaside Flames (Gold, 1st); Scarborough Ice Raiders (2nd) • Minor novice C: North Toronto White (1st); Willowdale (2nd)

• Novice A: North Toronto Red (1st); Don Mills (2nd) • Novice B: Leaside Flames (1st); Willowdale Red (2nd) • Novice C: Humber Valley Sharks White (1st); Leaside Flames (White, 2nd) • Minor atom A: Leaside Flames (Red, 1st); Ted Reeve Tornados (2nd) • Minor atom B: Willowdale (1st); Unionville Jets (2nd) • Atom A: North Toronto (1st); Willowdale Blackhawks (2nd) • Atom B: Scarborough Ice Raiders (1st); Thornhill Raiders (2nd) • Minor peewee: Leaside Flames (1st); Ted Reeve Tornados (2nd) • Peewee: East York (1st); Leaside Flames (2nd) • Minor bantam: Forest Hill (1st); Goulding Park (2nd) • Bantam: North Toronto (1st); Unionville Jets (2nd) • Minor midget: Oakville Panthers (1st); North Toronto (2nd) • Midget senior: Russell Warriors (1st); Victoria Village (2nd)

Staff file photo/PETER C MCCUSKER

North York Rangers players, seen celebrating during a recent victory over the Toronto Jr. Canadiens, have a stretch of three games in three days starting Saturday in Burlington.

Rangers hit home stretch looking for top spot The next three days are pivotal for the North York Rangers’ playoff positioning. The Rangers, currently tied for first in the OPJHL’s South Division with St. Mike’s (the Buzzers have two games in hand), have a stretch

of three games in three days starting Saturday in Burlington against the Cougars. The Rangers then return home Sunday with a game against St. Mike’s, and then travel to Hamilton for a Family Day tilt against the

Hamilton Red Wings. As for North York’s other Junior A team, the Toronto Junior Canadiens are in Milton Friday, before hosting Oakville Sunday evening at Chesswood. The Canadiens play on the road at St. Mike’s on Monday.


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NORTH YORK MIRROR | Friday, February 15, 2013 |


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City ombudsman calls challenges to office ‘business as usual’ DAVID NICKLE Last fall’s fight on the floor of council over a scathing report on political interference in the public appointment process was just “business as usual,� according to Toronto ombudsman Fiona Crean. “Every ombudsman I’ve ever met has had challenges around independence and reporting relationships,� Crean told reporters Thursday morning as she released the 2012 annual report for the office. “It tends to happen around budgets and around controversial investigations. I have put the fall behind me in the sense that I saw that all as a part of the learning curve. It’s business as usual for us.� The debate last fall saw Mayor Rob Ford and his allies attempt to cut Crean’s tenure short with the city. They were angered at a critical report from Crean, which indicated the mayor’s office and his allies had interfered with the supposedly arms-

length process of appointing members of the public to city agencies, boards and commissions in 2011. Ford backed off on the plan, but the contretemps was enough for Crean to make a note of the matter in the introduction to her annual report. She said last year marked “increasing resistance to the presence of our office from some councillors and public servants.� Crean pointed out the report on public appointments and another on botched public consultation by the TTC in attempting to build a second exit to Donlands Station triggered “accusations that the investigation was politically motivated,� and the suggestion the ombudsman should no longer report to council but a committee on her investigations. “This would undermine the office’s ability to report to the legislative body as a whole and through council to the public at large,� she wrote.

Crean also observed that in some cases, members of the public service have been showing resistance to the office’s investigations. “At times, employees have demonstrated resistance by shirking their responsibilities and saying they could do nothing because the ombudsman was involved,� she wrote. “In some instances, there have been challenges to our jurisdiction and attempts to curtail our inquiries. Where these situations have arisen, dialogue and information have overcome the resistance.� In 2012, the office of the ombudsman was able to address 1,430 complaints. The most common of the complaints had to do with poor communications, followed by delays in service and inadequate service, unfair decisions and unpredictable enforcement. The annual report, which cost $8,700 to produce, will be going to Toronto council when it meets Wednesday.

Toronto subway funding to come after provincial waste rooted out: Hudak DAVID NICKLE Ontario Progressive Conservative leader Tim Hudak told members of the Toronto Board of Trade that if elected, he would support funding for subway expansion — but not until his government was able to “root out waste� at the provincial level. “Before we can go ask taxpayers for one more dollar, we need to demonstrate we have fixed the current system and are just as responsible with their money as they are,� said Hudak at the lunchtime meeting of the board of trade. “The first step in financing these projects is to root out the waste and strive to find efficiencies and savings in every facet of government.� Hudak made the com-

‘The first step in financing these projects is to root out the waste and strive to find efficiencies and savings in every facet of government.’ – Tim Hudak ments after speaking about a massive plan for improving and expanding public transit infrastructure in Toronto. He said, first, he would upload control of subways and the LRT to GO Transit and Metrolinx, and also bring regional highways under Metrolinx’s control. And he said his government would support build-

ing subways, notably, a Yonge subway extension into York Region, and an east-west corridor “treating Scarborough as a full citizen of Toronto.� In his speech, Hudak described Toronto as a city on the verge of decline. He said the city has become less attractive to business, and less attractive to immigrants. “The jobs aren’t here the way they once were, the promise isn’t here as it once was,� said Hudak. “Toronto can no longer provide the future they hope for.� He said that government must also promote the financial sector in Toronto. Hudak said we must “champion more free trade – open up new markets for our financial sector – and let no obstacle stand in the way of a single national securities regulator that is housed here.�

City News


DAVID NICKLE Veteran city politicians will be asked to consider pulling the trigger on their own careers at the next council meeting, as two rookie councillors bring forward a notice of motion asking for a report on a three-term limit for all city politicians. The motion, by BeachesEast York Councillor MaryMargaret McMahon and Don Valley West Councillor Jaye Robinson, came forward earlier this month as the city’s executive committee looked at creating term limits for councillors serving on city agencies, boards and commissions. The executive committee stopped short of absolute term limits. But Robinson, who sits on the executive committee, and McMahon argue term limits might just be the cure for what ails an increasingly angry and dysfunctional council. “I’ve only been around two years but along with a lot of the newbies, what we

have observed is a very divisive and polarized council,” said Robinson. “We have been able to get a few things done in two years, but imagine how council could be.” Robinson said she believed councillors who have made a career of politics have brought old feuds and stale approaches to the floor of council, and in so doing, gummed up the works. “There are trenches that are deep – deep trenches at city hall,” she said. “We had a fairly healthy turnover this last election and I think that’s had a positive impact on council. The hope would be that (a term limit) might inspire higher voter turnout and more engagement if there was more opportunity to participate in the process for more people.” Robinson said three fouryear terms should be enough for anyone with ambitions to reform city government or mark achievements for their community.

‘We had a fairly healthy turnover this last election and I think that’s had a positive impact on council.’ –Coun. Jaye Robinson

called the idea simplistic. “I don’t think you can use that broad a brush,” said Minnan-Wong, who has been on council since the early 1990s. “I think there are a number of veteran councillors who still have a significant contribution to make. And in the last election we had a 25 per cent turnover at coun-

cil, so the public and the voter is surprisingly adept at identifying a councillor’s best-before date.” Don Valley East Councillor Shelley Carroll said term limits for councillors would do nothing so much as create a pressure to bring political parties into municipal government. “If you put in place term

limits, a party system follows close behind because party-aligned people start thinking, if you’re leaving after every second term how do we maintain the work that we’re doing in a certain way?” said Carroll. “Pretty soon you have a grass roots movement saying, ‘Let’s have political parties.’”

“There are too many councillors who stay here for a long time,” she said. “This is a calling, not a career. I think city hall could benefit from fresh faces and more diversity on council.” Robinson admitted that with more than half of councillors already having served three terms, the policy change could be a tough sell at council. Councillors from both sides of the political spectrum bore that out. Don Valley East Councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong, who sits on the executive committee alongside Robinson,

Police warn North Yorkers after rash of home break-ins Police are warning residents to be vigilant following a number of break and enters in North York’s 32 Division. Police say entr y was gained through the back of the homes and jewelry, laptops and tablets have been stolen. The targeted area is bounded by Hwy. 401, Bayview Avenue, Lawrence

Avenue and Bathurst Street. Police are reminding residents to report suspicious activity and ensure doors and windows are properly secured at all times and valuables kept out of sight. Anyone with information is asked to call police at 416808-3200 or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-2228477.

■ Police release name of shooting victim Police have identified a 15-year-old shooting victim who was gunned down Monday in North York St. Aubyn Rodney, 15, of Toronto, was found at a Turf Grassway home around 10:30 p.m. A 17-year-old boy has been charged with manslaughter.


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| NORTH YORK MIRROR | Friday, February 15, 2013

Council to explore term limits on city politicians

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ERIN HATFIELD Another Story Bookshop is known as the little local shop with a focus on equity and social justice, so having the store be accessible is of particular importance to owner Sheila Koffman. “We have a whole section of books about kids with different abilities,” Koffman said. “The idea of having a ramp to make it accessible was really important to us.” But about two months ago the lime green ramp, provided by an organization called StopGap, disappeared one mid-weeknight from the shop at 315 Roncesvalles Ave. Since then Koffman said she has thought about her missing ramp and why someone may have wanted it. “It was really colourful and small and long,” she said. “The best I can figure is that someone thought of it as a game thing... I don’t think there was any malicious intent. It was really narrow and lime green, so I think it just caught someone’s fancy.” Colourful StopGap ramps can be seen complementing shop fronts along Roncesvalles. They have been making the stores more accessible since the fall of 2011.


Shelia Koffman, owner of Another Story Bookshop, had her accessibility ramp stolen from in front of the shop. She holds up a copy of ‘The Ramp Man,’ written about the man who founded StopGap, a company that makes ramps. The book is illustrated by Grade 6 students at Summit Heights Public School in North York

During the 2012 Polish Festival on Roncesvalles Avenue, StopGap, using material donations from community hardware stores and volunteer labour, facilitated the construction, painting and delivery of

43 ramps through a program called The Community Ramp Project. According to StopGap’s creator, Luke Anderson, it is a program that aims to create a world where every person can access every space

through fun and engaging community projects that raise awareness and remove barriers. “A lot of people told us they really loved having the ramp there,” Koffman said. “People who come in with strollers, certainly delivery people have said that and we do get some customers in wheelchairs who have said it is really helpful.” When the ramp was stolen the staff at Another Story Bookshop decided to use the incident as a learning tool. “We are actually looking to set up an event with Luke in the store,” Koffman said. Coincidently, there was a book called The Ramp Man produced about Anderson last spring by his sister Logan Anderson, a teacher at Summit Heights Public School in North York, in collaboration with the school’s Grade 6 students and principal Thelma Sambrook. Inspired by a presentation Luke gave at their school, Grade 6 students helped illustrate the book while Logan Anderson and Sambrook collaborated on the story. “We do equity nights with teachers so we are looking to do an event where teachers can come in and talk to (Anderson) about his experiences,” said Koffman, who thinks

it is important to emphasize the need for the ramps and increased accessibility across the city. “This city needs to be more accessible, we have to look at accessibility on our public transportation, in all our buildings,” she said. Anderson has been mobile with the assistance of a wheelchair since sustaining a spinal cord injury while mountain biking when he was 24 years old. Koffman said once the store gets a new rampshe intends to bring it in at night. “If somebody wanted to bring it back to us that would be great,” she said, adding she suspects it is unlikely. “But if not we are going to buy one.” Koffman said they might also plan a community night where people can come in and meet Anderson and hear where the ramp project came from. The missing ramp, Anderson said, has allowed a conversation to begin about other StopGap initiatives. “It could have been a variety store that it was stolen from and this opportunity wouldn’t have presented itself,” Anderson said. “But it was a book store and one that I have come to learn is they are the bookstore people go to to search for publications on empathy.”


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| NORTH YORK MIRROR | Friday, February 15, 2013

Bookshop’s stolen ramp leads to educational opportunity

NORTH YORK MIRROR w | Friday, February 15, 2013 |



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