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thurs june 27, 2013 inside David Nickle weighs in on Toronto’s funding spat with the province/ 16

Don’t miss a beat: read our weekly calendar / 6

Canada Day ®

Cause for Celebration


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George Harvey C.I. teacher a finalist for award of excellence HILARY CATON

Play starts on Smythe Park’s refurbished baseball diamond / 5

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York teacher inspires fun with history

Canada Day across the city is full of opportunities to get together to celebrate our nation’s birthday. We‘ve prepared a package of city-wide and local events to guide you.

See our exclusive look on page 8

History is just one of those subjects: students often see it as boring and outdated, and it’s tricky to get kids excited about it. But a York history teacher is hoping to change that. Sue Novak teaches grade 10 and 12 history at George Harvey C.I. and she is one of the 25 finalists in the 2013 Governor General’s History Award for Excellence in Teaching. “It really is quite an honour,” Novak said. “It’s just starting to sink in right now.” The project that got the attention of her colleagues who nominated her was replacing the traditional final essay with students creating their own virtual museum. “As a teacher I’ve come to realize that the way the kids are learning today is not the way that I learned, so I have to reflect on my teaching and find a way for them to learn,” Novak said. This is how the virtual museum idea came to life and the students loved it, according >>>virtual, page 7


Do-it-yourself Tuesdays at Maria. A. Shchuka library writing workshop with author Mariko Tamaki. July 9: Just Dye It, make a galaxy printed scarf July 16: Just Plant It, make a mini herb garden July 23: Just Button It, make adorable buttons Each workshop is free and runs from 2 to 4 p.m. Maria A. Shchuka Library is located at 1745 Eglinton Ave. W. Call 416-394-1000.

meeting on cultural spaces wPublic The city is hosting a public meeting Tuesday, July 9 focusing on cultural space in Ward 17. The goal of the consultations Tuesday is to give councillors a ward-specific priority list for cultural infrastructure


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as defined by their constituents and community cultural stakeholders. The meeting will be held at Dufferin/St. Clair Library, 1625 Dufferin St., from 6 to 8 p.m. The city held 20 ward consultation sessions last year.


For information on this or other ward meetings, email


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one of them. The first of the three consultation will be on July 4 in Mount Dennis at the Artist to Artist Foundation located at 1 Victoria Ave. W. near Weston Road from 7 to 9 p.m. The other two communities include Malvern and St. James Town; these meetings will take place July 11 and 27 respectively.

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Ever wanted to make your own buttons? Or learn how to make your own galaxy printed scarf? Well now you can. Just in time for summer vacation, Maria. A Shchuka Library is hosting a series of do-it-yourself workshops. The sessions will run Tuesdays from July 2 to July 23 for youths aged 12 to 19. First up on July 2 is a


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Cultural Extravaganza Fairbank Village hosted a weekend of music, food and arts Clockwise from top left: Sophie Ouckama, 10, receives a balloon flower on Sunday at the Fairbank Village Multicultural Summerfest Sunday; a guest enjoys a cool treat; Erin McCallum sings the blues outside during the festival; Gregg McGivern, an artist from Arts Market, sets up his paintings; Taso Kremizis grills pork souvlaki, a Greek speciality; Brazillian Samba players perform. Staff photos/ADAM DIETRICH

Visit the Fairbank Village BIA website for more news on the area:


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


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

York Guardian City of Toronto

The Guardian is a member of the Ontario Press Council. Visit Proudly serving the communities of Briar Hill-Belgravia • BeechboroughGreenbrook • Caledonia-Fairbank Forest Hill North • Humewood-Cedarvale Keelesdale-Eglinton West Mount Dennis • Oakwood-Vaughan Rockcliffe-Smythe • Weston Weston-Pellam Park

Engage with your community this Canada Day

Write us The York Guardian 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 York Guardian, 175 Gordon Baker Rd., Toronto, ON, M2H 0A2.


his Monday, Canada will celebrate its 146th birthday. In honour of that special day, The York Guardian has compiled a list of ways to celebrate the founding of this great nation. The list, which you can find on page 8, is more of a launching pad for community engagement – a way to connect with your neighbours, your immediate community and in some way Torontonians as a whole. It’s a chance to get out and enjoy the city: Perhaps you’re interested in one of the bigger celebrations such as the Scarborough Canada Day Parade or the events taking place in the Beach. If you’re the kind of person who likes to stay home, why not call up a few friends and neighbours and host a barbecue. We have tons of great recipes you can try. Neighbourhoods across the city from Parkdale to North York, Etobicoke to Scarborough, East York to York have started community events, street parties and neighbourhood clean-ups and garage sales all in an attempt to bring people together. The same energy that goes into these communitybuilding events can easily be focused on Canada Day. In this issue, we take the idea of celebrating Canadiana with a few things you may have not even considered - although very Canadian: Learn about Canada’s history and the War of 1812 - did you know Canada Day was once called Dominion Day; watch the annual Robbie Soccer Tournament, which happens every Canada Day weekend; enjoy some ribs at any of the three ribfests taking place in the city; say cheers with Canadian drinks while eating Canadian food. Really, what Canada Day is all about is being Canadian and all the great things this country has to offer. People from around the world immigrate here to enjoy a multicultural society focused on equality. So in whatever way you decide to celebrate Canada Day, keep your fellow Canadians in mind and enjoy the nation’s birthday. Happy Canada Day.

our view

Get out and enjoy this great country


OK, Blue Jay novices, let’s talk ball A

fter a sluggish start, the Toronto Blue Jays have been the hottest team in major league baseball during the month of June and you can feel the excitement building all over town. It’s standing-andscreaming-room only on the Jays bandwagon. Census takers have been working around the clock chronicling the growth in Jays Nation whose numbers are escalating by the second. And the Rogers Centre is sure to be a sellout for the team’s next home game, which is on Canada Day against the mighty Detroit Tigers. It’s not all fun and games for the fans in Toronto who are discovering the sport for the first time, mind you. Getting up to speed on the decidedly voluminous vernacular of baseball is one tall order for newbies. So, in an effort to help ease the understanding of the lingo, here are some of

jamie wayne BUT SERIOUSLY

the most commonly asked questions. Q. I’m going to my first ever game next week. My friends who follow baseball all say the most exciting thing they experience at the ballpark is a stand-up triple. What is that anyhow? A. Jamoca almond fudge, on top of pralines and cream, which is on top of banana-strawberry cheesecake. The best stand-up triples I’ve found are on Level 2. Make sure to ask for a sugar cone. And tell ’em Jamie sent you. Q. What’s a squeeze play? A. If you get stuck in a row seated in between a couple of guys the size of Peter Griffin of Family Guy and Fat Albert. Q. What’s a sacrifice? A. Having the courage to order the happy meal even after the server told

you they’ve run out of your favourite toy. Q. What’s the infield fly rule? A. Always make sure it’s done up. Q. What does it mean when they say the shortstop has pair of really soft hands? A. I’ll defer to the best expert on that one, the well-known Madge. According to Madge, “It’s probably the Palmolive. You know he’s soaking in it right now.” Q. What does it mean when a hitter is caught looking? A. Likely that Beyonce is at the game and is sitting right behind home plate. Q. What’s the sweet part of a bat? A. If you tickle those little rascals right under one of their wings. They really can’t resist that. But please, let’s stick to baseball questions, OK? Vampire Q & A Week is not until Halloween.

Q. I heard the announcer say this last night when I was listening to the New York Yankees game on radio: “It’s the bottom of the fifth, the bags are loaded and two are out.” What was he referring to exactly? A. The activity in the top row of the nosebleed section, no doubt. It can get pretty rowdy up there from what I hear. Q. Last and certainly not least, this is one I’ve always wondered about. What is the exact definition of a perfect game? A. That’s easy. When your boss asks you to join him and the rest of the company’s movers and shakers in the corporate luxury box on the firm’s prestigious, invitation-only, all-youcan-gorge night.

Jamie Wayne is a lifelong columnist, who takes writing very seriously. The topics? Not so much. His column appears every Thursday. Contact him at


newsroom ph: 416-493-4400 fax: 416-774-2070 | circulation ph: 416-493-4400 fax: 416-675-3470 | distribution ph: 416-493-4400 fax: 416-675-3066 | display advertising ph: 416-493-4400 fax: 416-774-2067 | classifieds ph: 416-798-7284 | administration ph: 416-493-4400


Celebrate Canada Day Monday, July 1st, 2013 5-10:30pm Weston Lions Park (Weston Rd. & Lawrence Ave.) Brought to you by Councillor Frances Nunziata and the Weston Village Residents’ Association.

Special thanks to our Community Partners:

diamond shines in smythe park

Access Alliance Frontlines Humber Community Seniors’ Services Spice Isle/Grenada Day Cultural Association Urban Arts Weston King Neighbourhood Centre York Youth Coalition Syme 55+

Above, Shawn Catena, left, and his son, Baron, 10 months, greet former Toronto Blue Jay star and Hall of Famer Roberto Alomar on opening day at the newly refurbished Smythe Park baseball diamond Thursday. Below left, Blue Jays Baseball Academy players take part in drills. Below right, Jeffery Gouveia, right, plays catch with his nephew Jacob Gouveia, 10, before the official opening ceremony. Bottom, Former Team Canada baseball player and current national team assistant coach Sam Magalas talks to players from the Blue Jays Baseball Academy and rookie leagues before conducting a skills clinic. Staff photos/Adam DIETRICH

Free children’s activities and live entertainment, featuring: DJ Dominic, Jack Squat, Elvis and Danny B Spectacular Fireworks Display starting @ 10pm

We would like to thank our sponsors: i

For more community photos from York, visit york_galleries


BGS Houses Inc. Captain Cone Canadian Heritage David M Catering Dublin Auto Repairs Ltd. Formula Developments Inc.


Ken Shaw Lexus Toyota Ontario Falconry Centre Weston Village BIA World of Cake Decorating Sparkleen Mobile Wash

- Michael J. McDonald

For more information, please visit

| YORK GUARDIAN | Thursday, June 27, 2013


community calendar

happening in


YORK GUARDIAN | Thursday, June 27, 2013 |


it’s happening

offering delicacies, games, rides, live entertainment, shopping, contests and more. Fun for all ages.

looking ahead

w Friday, June 28

w Saturday, July 20

Canada Day Barbecue WHEN: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. WHERE: York West Active Living Centre, 1901 Weston Rd. CONTACT: Rita, 416245-4395, COST: $10 Hamburgers, coleslaw, potato salad, potato chips, punch, tea and coffee, vanilla ice cream and strawberries. Raffle prizes.

w Tuesday, July 9

Panman Pat: Master of the Steelpan WHEN: 2 to 3 p.m. WHERE: Maria A. Shchuka Library, 1745 Eglinton Ave. W. CONTACT: 416394-1000 COST: Free Solo performance of traditional Caribana songs by Panman Pat, as well as a discussion on this instrument. Call to register.

w Saturday, June 29

Weston Farmers’ Market WHEN: 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. WHERE: Weston GO station parking lot, 14 John St. CONTACT: 416-249-0691, COST: Free The weekly market runs to Saturday, Oct. 26. Enjoy some of the best home-grown produce, baked goods and flowers – don’t forget Grandpa Ken’s back bacon sandwiches.

w Monday, July 1

Canada Day party at Silverthorn Legion WHEN: 2 to 8 p.m. WHERE: Silverthorn Legion Branch 57, 605 Rogers Rd. CONTACT: Silverthorn Legion, 416-653-6757, branch57@gmail. com COST: Free Come out and celebrate Canada’s birthday at the Silverthorn Legion. Music, barbecue of hamburgers and

Check out our complete online community calendar by visiting Read weeks of listings from your York neighbourhoods as well as events from across Toronto. WHEN: 5:30 to 11 p.m. WHERE: York West Active Living Centre, 1901 Weston Rd. CONTACT: Rita, 416245-4395, COST: $10 Transportation is $10 for members, $12 for non-mnembers plus paywhat-you-can at the entrance. Book by Friday, June 28.

hotdogs at 57 cents each. Meat toss darts game (nominal fee), shuffleboard and euchre. Everyone welcome. Canada Day Party WHEN: 2 to 8 p.m. WHERE: Mount Dennis Legion, 1050 Weston Rd. CONTACT: 416-767-0231, COST: Free Lots of Canadian fun, a Canadian trivia quiz, door prize every half hour, barbecue from 4 to 5 p.m., free birthday cake, DJ Tom O’Rourke from 4 to 8 p.m. All 19 and older welcome.

w Friday, July 5

Corso Italia Street Festival WHEN: 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. WHERE: Corso Italia, 1287 St. Clair Ave W CONTACT: Jason Lambert, 647-7875526, , jasonl@theteamworkgroup. com, http://corsoitaliafestivaltoronto. com COST: Free The merchants of Corso Italia host a three-day celebration July 5 to 7. Enjoy streets lined with vendors

w Tuesday, July 2

Van Trip to Shakespeare in the Park

Building Connections: Tuesday Morning Friendship, Fun & Learning WHEN: 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. WHERE: North York Women’s Centre, 2446 Dufferin St. CONTACT: 416-781-0479,, COST: Free Van Trip to Villa Restaurant WHEN: 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. WHERE: York West Active Living Centre, 1901 Weston Rd. CONTACT: Rita, 416-245-4395, COST: $7 Transportation costsa $7 for members, $9 for non-members, plus cost of food. Book by Friday, July 5.

w Friday, July 12

Summerlicious: Vibo Restaurant WHEN: 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. WHERE: York West Active Living Centre, 1901 Weston Rd. CONTACT: Rita, 416-245-4395, COST: $7 Transportation is &7 for members, $9 for non-members plus $20 for cost of food. Book by Monday July, 10. Karaoke WHEN: 6 p.m. to 1 a.m. WHERE:

Mount Dennis Legion, 1050 Weston Rd. CONTACT: 416-767-0231, www., COST: Free Karaoke begins at 8:30 p.m. following our weekly Friday barbecue at 6 p.m.. All 19 and older are welcome.

ongoing Walking Club WHEN: 9:30 a.m. to noon Tuesdays WHERE: Jane Park Plaza, 853 Jane St. CONTACT: Karima, health promoter at Unison Health and Community Services, 416-653-5400, ext. 1227 COST: Free Free walking club meets weekly at the bus stop benches at Alliance Avenue and Jane Street. Open to all adults. Bring a water bottle, wear walking shoes, sun hat and comfortable clothing. Discover new parks and meet new people in your neighbourhood.

get listed! The York Guardian wants your community listings. Sign up online at 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 Guardian.









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>>>from page 1 to Novak, who said her students were convinced they were doing less work. “But the reality of it is, it’s the same amount of work that they’d put into an essay, but because it’s in a medium they like using, it didn’t seem like as much work.” Students were able to choose from a list of essay topics that included profiles of prime ministers, Aboriginal heroes, the War of 1812, and the role of women in war. Students also came up with their own history topics. “The kids were extremely proud of what they were doing and were able to show it off. With an essay, they write it, they hand it in, I hand it back and it ends up in the recycling bin,” Novak said. “But with this I’ve had parents email me saying they’ve seen the website, they’ve been displayed at staff meetings, we take them to the board to show what we’re doing inside the school.” Being a tech savvy school has always been a part of George Harvey’s reputation. Novak said it was the first school in the Toronto District School Board to go wireless, a move some teachers were apprehensive about. “I find that when I do a traditional lesson in class they’re on their phones, which is something that teachers fight all the time,” she said. “But what I find is that they’re looking up the places I’m talking about. It hasn’t been a detriment at all, but a benefit to my teaching.” Deborah Morrison, CEO of Canada’s History Society, which organized the award,


Virtual museum project earns teacher nomination for national award


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George Harvey Collegiate Institute grades 10 and 12 history teacher Sue Novak is one of the 25 finalists for the 2013 Governor General History Award for Excellence in Teaching.

said the panel of judges is looking for teachers going beyond the textbook approach. “Over the years I’ve come to know that what they’re really looking for is teachers that go beyond the norm and find really interesting or innovative ways of engaging kids,” Morrison said. The society’s website, www., has a database where teachers can pull lesson plans from past award winners. “There’s hundreds of lesson plans there,” Morrison said. “They’re there to inspire teachers to do more, to do better and have more fun with the course.”

Now that the Top 25 have been selected, a national panel of judges will select six award recipients who will be invited to Ottawa to accept their award at Rideau Hall from Gov.-Gen. David Johnston. Winning teachers will also receive $2,500, while their schools will receive $1,000. Novak knows what she’d like to do with her portion, should she be chosen as one of the recipients: a year-end trip for her Grade 12 students. The finalists will be announced the week of Nov. 19.


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| YORK GUARDIAN | Thursday, June 27, 2013


YORK GUARDIAN | Thursday, June 27, 2013 |


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Celebrating Canada

Here are 20 suggestions to celebrate Canada’s 146th birthday Host a BBQ: Have your friends over for a Canadathemed barbecue. Decorate the patio with red and white and serve food purchased locally. Visit for a new recipe blog post featuring a variety of dishes.

Support youth sports: The Robbie International Soccer Tournament is set for June 29 to July 1. Visit Read about it at http://bit. ly/14VssWt

Go to a citizenship ceremony: Watch at Black Creek Pioneer Village or at 7:30 a.m. at the East York Civic Centre on July 1. Read about one at - http://

Eat ribs. Ribfests are scheduled for Friday through Monday in both Etobicoke ( and Scarborough ( There’s also a ribfest July 1 in East York ( For photos from ribfests past, visit

Learn our history: Download a War of 1812 app at www. View Fort York photos at http://bit. ly/14uWBd4

Go camping: Pitch a tent at Glen Rouge Campground in Scarborough or take the Park Bus to a provincial park. Visit http://bit. ly/136IcbB to read about Rouge Park.

Grab your swimwear: Toronto has 11 beaches, several with Blue Flag status. Visit for city info.

Catch a fireworks display: Harbourfront Centre hosts Canada Eve fireworks. Ashbridges Bay Park, Downsview Park, Centennial Park, Mel Lastman Square, Stan Wadlow Park and Amesbury Park have displays, too. Photos at

Attend a picnic: Take part in the CHIN International Picnic or the Q107 Canada Day Picnic – Visit for photos from the CHIN picnic

Eat Canadian food: Poutine, peameal or buttertarts. Read about Dorothy Duncan and Canadian heritage food –

Hang out on the lake: Watch the Canada Day Regatta at Centre Island –

Discover local events: Find events across the city at

Listen to music: Take part in the Digital Dreams Music Festival at Ontario Place.

Pick strawberries: Visit

Catch a fish: Head out to a Toronto fishing site – http:// Support farmers: Visit www. markets.cfm for a location. Visit for photos.

HILARY CATON July 1 marks the 146th birthday of this diverse nation and what better way to celebrate than with your community? Here’s a selection:

Make a toast: Say cheers to Canada’s birthday with some uniquely Canadian drinks. Make a Caesar – http://bit. ly/15cudLE; enjoy a Canadian beer or some ice wine.

Attend a parade: There are Canada Day parades set for East York – – and Scarborough on Monday, July 1.

Canada Day in York

Participate in a community celebration: North York’s Amesbury Park and Mel Lastman Square; East York’s Stan Wadlow Park; Scarborough’s Thomson Park; downtown’s YongeDundas Square and Queen’s Park offer Canada Day events. Visit http://bit. ly/1ab37M9 for photos.

Visit a city park: Toss a ball around or enjoy a walk at one of Toronto’s parks. Visit www. for a list.

Read a Canadian book: Pick up a book by a Canadian author and spend the day reading. For a list of Canadian authors, visit

◗ The Weston Village Residents’ Association will host this year’s Ward 11 Canada Day Celebration at Weston Lions Park from 5 to 10:30 p.m. Expect performances by Jack Squat, Elvis, Urban Arts Dancers, DJ Domenic and Danny B. This year will also have a children’s play zone complete with a stilt walker, face painting, bouncy castles and games. Food and drinks will be provided and a fireworks display at nigh. Weston Lions Park is at 2125 Lawrence Ave. W. ◗ The Royal Canadian Legion Mount Dennis Branch, located at 1050 Weston Rd., is hosting a birthday party for Canada with cake. Festivities begin at 2 p.m. and will run until 8 p.m. with one door prize being given away every half hour. The first two hours will have a Canadian trivia quiz with the barbecue and music by DJ Tom O’Rourke beginning at 4 p.m. Guests will have a choice of back bacon on a bun, or porchetta on a bun, served with a choice of salads for $2 and a free slice of cake for dessert. You must be 19 years of age or older to attend this event. ◗ The Silverthorn Legion is celebrating Canada Day with their tradition of selling hamburgers and hotdogs for 57 cents. There’ll be a meat toss darts game for a nominal fee, shuffleboard and euchre. A water balloon toss will take place in the parking lot for guests who aren’t afraid to get a little wet. There’ll also be a contest for the best dressed red and white guy and girl, a 50/50 draw, and find the joker boards. Red and white balloons will be on sale for $1 and inside some balloons are free drink tickets or tickets for prizes that include gift cards from Tim Hortons, Canadian flag capes and Canada cooler bags. Budweiser has also stepped up and donated hats and T-shirts that will be up for grabs. This event is for people of all ages and goes from 2 to 8 p.m. with music house DJ Rob Martine. Silverthorn Legion is located at 605 Rogers Rd.


For more York events, visit us online at

councillor says Put underground wLRT The province should back up recent comments by the provincial transportation minister and build a new light rail line completely underground, says a Scarborough councillor. Taking issue with Minister of Transportation Glen Murray’s contention in early June that the Eglinton Crosstown light rail transit line (LRT) is a subway – since the majority of its planned route runs underground below Eglinton Avenue West – ScarboroughAgincourt Councillor Mike Del Grande said the entire 19-kilometre line should be built below street-level. At last Tuesday’s meeting of Scarborough Community Council, Del Grande introduced a motion calling for all of the Crosstown, in light of Murray’s remarks, to run underground. Currently, the line is slated to emerge from a tunnel east of Don Mills Road before continuing at street-level to its eastern terminus at Kennedy station. The motion was adopted by a majority of the 10-member council.

rahul gupta TO in TRANSIT support transit funding wPoliticians One-third of all elected officials in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA) have signed a pledge in support of better transit funding, says CivicAction. Officially known as the Greater Toronto CivicAction Alliance, the group announced last week that 116 politicians – 31 of them from Toronto including Premier Kathleen Wynne – have signed the pledge calling on the province to adopt Metrolinx’s recent recommendations for new taxes and user fees. Metrolinx says it needs $2 billion in new funding annually to pay for $34 billion in transit improvements planned for the next 15 years in the GTHA. To view the pledge, visit TTC seeks photo submissions The TTC is calling on amateur photographers to send in their


best transit shots to hopefully grace the cover of an upcoming edition of its Ride Guide. Along with Spacing magazine, the transit commission is holding a contest seeking the best shots of TTC vehicles, stations and facilities. The deadline for submissions is Thursday, July 4. For full contest rules, visit www.


Kingston road track begins wwork

TTC service along Kingston Road between Victoria Park Avenue and Queen Street has been altered for streetcar track reconstruction. The work is expected to continue until the first week of August. A number of changes are required to TTC service in the area to accommodate the construction including the 502 Downtowner and 503 Kingston Road streetcar routes ending at Queen Street East and Kingston Road; and no westbound bus service on Kingston between Victoria Park and Queen Street East.


Rahul Gupta is The Guardian’s transit reporter. His column runs every Thursday.



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9 | YORK GUARDIAN | Thursday, June 27, 2013


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Staff urges caution on Land Transfer Tax Proposed development Executive Committee to meet July 3 DAVID NICKLE To r o n t o ’s E x e c u t i v e Committee will be dipping its collective toe into the question of what to do about the land transfer tax next week, but in all likelihood, will just send a staff report on the implications of cutting the tax off to the city’s budget committee. That’s the recommendation from Toronto’s top bureaucrat Joe Pennachetti, contained in his report to the July 3 Executive Committee meeting. “Staff are hesitant to amend the MLTT tax rates before any consideration of the potential expenditure and program aspects,” wrote Pennachetti in the report. Mayor Rob Ford had signalled his intention to pursue a 10 per cent reduction in the Land Transfer Tax in the

spring, when he asked staff to report back on ways to do so and what the implications might be. Ford has maintained that as a key element to the 2014 budget – even earlier this week as it became clear that the city would be losing a total of $150 million in provincial grants. “We’ve committed to a 10 per cent reduction in the land transfer tax and a oneand-three-quarter per cent

Staff are hesitant to amend the MLTT tax rates before any consideration of the potential expenditure and program aspects. – Joe Pennachetti report to July 3 executive committee meeting

property tax increase,” Ford confirmed, even as he said the cuts in housing grants would result in program cuts.

In his report, Pennachetti urged caution. He said the revenue impacts of any cut would depend on how the cut was delivered, and whether the rebate to first-time home buyers was amended. But based on 2012 net revenues equalling $344.5 million, a 10 per cent cut would be $34.5 million. Pennachetti pointed out that the land transfer tax, which is levied from the purchasers of property in the city, has not had the effect of cooling the real estate market that was predicted by real estate industry lobbyists in 2008 when the tax was first levied. And he said the tax has been a boon to the city. “The growth in MLTT revenue has helped allow property tax increases to stay low,

and has supported key fiscal strategies such as mitigating debt issuance through contributions to budget surpluses dedicated to capital,” Pennachetti writes. He also cautioned that any signal that the MLTT was slated for reduction or elimination could have serious short-term impacts on the Toronto real estate market. “Announcement of a pending tax rate decrease could delay purchase decisions and transaction closings until after the implementation date, resulting in delays of hundreds of millions of transactions and related tax revenue, to the detriment of market participants and city revenues,” wrote Pennachetti. “Therefore, any future decisions for a significant policy change should be made effective avoid potential market distortion and revenue impacts.”


David Nickle is the Guardian’s City Hall reporter. Follow him on Twitter: @DavidNickle

charge increase targets condominiums DAVID NICKLE Buying a condominium apartment could get significantly more expensive next summer if Toronto Council goes along with staff recommendations to nearly double residential development charges. The proposed increases are part of a scheduled revision to Toronto’s Development Charges bylaws that will be going to the July 3 Executive Committee meeting. If finally approved, it would mean the current charge of $12,412 for a two-bedroom apartment would rise to $23,036 by July 1, 2014, and a bachelor unit would jump from $8,356 to $16,027 over the same time period. Overall city staff estimates it will bring in $2.4 billion over 10 years. That money will go

towards infrastructure that will be required to service the new population. And it will be a bigger take than last time, in 2009, when council approved the current, more conservative development charge bylaw. This time, Toronto’s real estate market is sufficiently bullish that staff has decided to ask for a more aggressive increase. If the increases go through, Toronto will remain below the average of development charges in the Greater Toronto Area, exceeding only Durham Region’s. If approved, the report will move to public consultations through the summer and come back to council in November. If council sticks with the staff recommendations, then half the new charges will be implemented in February 2014 and the remainder in July 2014.

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Generous Torontonians give boost to United Way agencies ANDREW PALAMARCHUK

Two hundred agencies across Toronto will receive a two per cent boost in funding from the United Way this year, the charity announced. The money comes from last year’s United Way Toronto campaign, which raised $116 million. “That enables us to maintain the support that we have always given to our agencies as well as provide them with this one time incremental two per cent,” United Way Toronto president and CEO Susan McIsaac said at a press conference to announce the funding hike last Friday. “I’m excited we’ve completed another good year.

We had strong financial results.” The 200 agencies will receive a total of $77 million. The remainder of the money raised in last year’s campaign was designated to specific charities by donors and also went toward operating costs. “I’m really grateful to Torontonians for all of their support,” McIsaac said. Hundreds turned out for United Way’s annual meeting morning at the King Edward Hotel which featured a panel discussion on city issues and the unveiling of a campaign video. McIsaac said United Way Toronto will focus on four priorities over the next five

years: youth employment, providing services in the city’s 13 priority neighbourhoods, building a strong stable community sector and “identifying emerging trends and issues and creating a response to that so that as issues arise we have the capacity to respond to them.” United Way Toronto will launch its annual campaign and announce its new fundraising goal in early September. The campaign will go until the end of January. United Way Toronto has raised $1.5 billion to help the community since it was established in 1956.


Learn more about United Way Toronto at

Staff photo/Andrew Palamarchuk

United Way Toronto president and CEO Susan McIsaac, left, makes her address as United Way Toronto board of trustees chair Yezdi Pavri and treasurer and vice-chair for finance Vince Timpano look on during the organization’s annual general meeting Friday.


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15 | YORK GUARDIAN | Thursday, June 27, 2013


a weston welcome Residents were invited to a Neighbours’ Night Out barbecue to meet new people, get involved and find out what’s happening in their neighbourhood

At left, Mike Linsky cooks hot dogs for guests at the ninth annual Weston Village Neighbours’ Night Out last Tuesday evening. Above right, Steffi Mensah makes cotton candy. At right, residents gather on Elm Street. The event was sponsored by the Weston Community C o a l i t i o n , t h e We s t o n Heritage Conservation District and the Weston Village Residents’ Association. Staff photos/Nick Perry For more news from the Weston Village Residents’ Association, visit


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Mayor’s bluster costly in negotiations with province T

his past Monday might have been a good day for Mayor Rob Ford. At noon, our mayor screwed up his courage, ventured onto the roof of Toronto City Hall, where for the first time he attended a flag raising for Pride Week. It was a mayoral duty he’d shirked until now, and it was a good sign for the city’s leadership.

david nickle the city

If only he hadn’t just hours later dropped the ball so thoroughly on a more vital mayoral duty: negotiating a crucially important financial deal with the provincial government. These things come up from time to time. The province

makes a financial shift that’s not to the city’s advantage on transit or housing or Ontario Works, and city officials sit down with their provincial counterparts to work out some details in such a way as to balance the books. That didn’t happen this time, when the provincial government set out to realign the city’s finances in such a way as to immediately cost the city

$50 million in 2014, and a total of $150 million by 2016. By Monday afternoon, after a meeting with Ontario Finance Minister Charles Sousa, the mayor had branded the provincial government as a profligate enemy of the city, unmindful of the plight of Toronto’s “most vulnerable,” and worst of all, jealous of Mayor Ford’s fiscal record. “I’m getting punished for running an efficient government,” he wailed. “They found out Mayor Ford can turn the city around and these people can’t.” Then he threatened to continue with a modest tax increase, a 10 per cent cut to the land transfer tax, and simply cut homeless shelters

and other social services, and pin it on the province. Minister Sousa was thus enabled to carry himself with an air of bemused frustration. The city is well run and its books are in order? Splendid. It shouldn’t be necessary to continue to prop up the city’s social housing with provincial funding, then. The city should end up ahead, no longer having to repay an old $200-plus million loan from the province – never mind that the city had been considering it off the books since 2005. And even if it’s not... council need not hold “hostage” its poorest residents. The minister needn’t have said anything; Ford had tan-

gled himself up well enough on his own. He and his brother have spent the past year boasting about real and imagined savings that they’ve found the taxpayers, while city finance staff continue to find dramatic, seven-figure surpluses each year. To buttress his re-election bid, the mayor has promised to keep taxes low and take a chunk out of one of the city’s main revenue sources, the land transfer tax. Any Ontario voter casually acquainted with city hall would be forgiven for concluding that the city doesn’t need their tax dollars like it used to.


David Nickle is The Guardian’s city hall reporter. His column runs every Thursday.



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Toronto EMS: 40 new graduates join ranks Superintendent says love of people common denominator among class ANDREW PALAMARCHUK

First he played one on TV. Now he’s doing it in real life. Ryan Richardson is one of 40 paramedic graduates who became new employees of Toronto Emergency Medical Services last week. T h e 2 9 - ye a r- o l d h a s appeared as a paramedic on several TV series including Flashpoint, Cracked and Warehouse 13. “I can’t just say I play one on TV,” Richardson said following the graduation ceremony at EMS headquarters in North York last Thursday. Richardson, who was born

Staff photo/Andrew Palamarchulk

Ryan Richardson, left, stands with his father and fellow paramedic of 37 years, Bruce, after graduating.

in Etobicoke, has wanted to be a paramedic for as long as he could remember. “I had the opportunity to visit stations and sit in ambulances when I was younger, visiting my dad at work, and it always gave me a rush,” he said. “My earliest memories have me looking forward to

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working as a paramedic, and today I’m able to fulfill that.” Richardson’s dad, Bruce, has been a paramedic for 37 years and plans to retire by the end of the year. “Hopefully I get a chance to work with him before he goes,” the new paramedic said about his dad, adding “maybe

I can convince him to stick around.” Bruce joined the city’s ambulance service in 1976, the same year CPR was approved for use in the service. “Most people weren’t aware of it. They didn’t know what we were doing. They were afraid.” For the most part back then, said Bruce, ambulance attendants kept patients warm, gave them oxygen and drove fast. “No defibrillators, no monitors, not even blood pressure cuffs or stethoscopes,” he said, noting “these days there are medications, intravenous therapies; it’s more like a mobile hospital.” Bruce said he’s honoured his son has chosen the same career path. “I hope he finds it as rewarding as I have,” he said. “It’s one of very few professions where you have instant return on your efforts. You find out right away how successful you’ve been, and it’s very satisfying at the end of the day to know that you’ve been able to help

someone.” Also in this graduating class is former trapeze artist Violetta Krantsevich. Born in Minsk, Belarus, Krantsevich immigrated to Canada with her parents at age 11 in 2001. “I grew up in what I like to call Little Russia: Bathurst and Steeles.” Krantsevich said her parents thought she needed some extracurricular activities so they enrolled her in circus school where she was trained in trapeze and aerial hoop. “I progressed to freelance circus acts for lots of weddings, corporate events. Loved the heights, loved the excitement, loved the nonnine-to-five job.” Now Krantsevich has to give up her love for heights for her passion for paramedicine. But she says there are similarities in the professions. “It’s physical, but it’s exciting, and you never know what’s going to happen one minute to the next.” Krantsevich suggested she

may continue to perform trapeze acts as a hobby. “It’s a nice way to de-stress. Flying through the air, nothing is like that.” The 40 paramedic graduates have diverse backgrounds. They include professional dancer, hydraulics company owner, pet store worker and ski patroller. Toronto EMS Supt. Kim McKinnon said the common denominator is a love of people. City council approved the hiring of 51 paramedics in January. “These 40 were the first group of paramedics to graduate from that group,” McKinnon said. The remainder will graduate from the Toronto EMS fourweek training and orientation program on July 19, bringing the number of paramedics in the city to 901. Toronto EMS receives nearly 800 calls for service daily.


For more information about Toronto EMS, visit www.

Toronto’s Transit Challenge: Where should it go? Who should pay? Toronto is grinding to a halt due to traffic congestion. Years of neglect and false starts have led to an inadequate transportation and transit system incapable of serving the 6.6 million people in the Greater Toronto-Hamilton Area (GTHA). The Toronto Board of Trade estimates that $6 billion a year is lost in economic productivity due to congestion. Metrolinx, the provincial agency responsible for transit planning in the GTHA, has produced an ambitious $50 billion plan to build needed transit (including subways, light rail transit (LRT), and bus rapid transit (BRT)) over the next 17 years. Already 10 projects—the First Wave, worth $16 billion—are funded and underway (including The Union Pearson Express, formerly known as the Air Rail Link, for diesel trains running through our community) but $34 billion is needed to build the next 11 projects—the Next Wave (including electrifying the Union Pearson Express). I have received The Provincial Liberal Government asked Metrolinx to propose measures to fund the Next Wave many complaints projects. Metrolinx responded by tabling a report on how to generate the $34 billion needed to build from residents these projects. Included are proposals to hike the HST by 1%, levy a 5 cents a litre surtax on about the gasoline in the GTHA, charge a business parking levy in the GTHA, add development charges M e t r o l i n x on new buildings in the GTHA, tax cars using High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes on GTHA construction in highways, charge for parking at transit stations, and charge more for development near transit the rail corridor— routes. However, it will be up to the Provincial Liberal Government to decide which of these new noise, dirt, road taxes and fees it will implement. Other revenue sources could include income taxes, corporate taxes, closures, etc. I property taxes, transit fares, vehicle and drivers fees (!). can assure you New Democrats like Mike Sullivan don’t support regressive taxes or user fees to pay for that pay for public as your MP I transit. New Democrats believe that the Federal Government should play a role in helping GTHA a m pursuing residents deal with this transit funding crisis. It was the NDP who pushed for the Gas Tax Rebate t h e s e with which has helped reduce property taxes and supported needed infrastructure investment. The NDP, Metrolinx! first under Jack Layton and now under Tom Mulcair, has been pushing for a National Transit Mike Sullivan, MP Strategy to set goals and priorities and use some of the Federal Government’s infrastructure money to assist major transit projects like Toronto’s. It’s time to speak up for a National Transit Strategy!

Mike Sullivan

MP York South-Weston

36 South Station St., Weston ON M9N 2B3 P: 416 656-2526 E:

| YORK GUARDIAN | Thursday, June 27, 2013


YORK GUARDIAN | Thursday, June 27, 2013 |



Farmer’s market brings community together HILARY CATON


askets of ripe ruby red tomatoes, fresh blueberries, juicy apricots and delectable yellow peppers stretch across the parking lot of 14 John St. as vendors at the Weston Farmers’ Market cheerily greeted customers and dozens of residents leisurely peruse the rows of fresh fruit vendors. June 15 marked the official opening of the market’s 34th year in Weston. Joe Gaeta of Gaeta Farms and Greenhouses has been coming to this market since its inception. “We’ve been here so long, they’re no longer customers – they’re friends,” Gaeta said. “It’s been a really great place for us to do business for so many years.” Gaeta’s Farms sells greenhouse goods during the first half of the market’s season. Set up on the ground near the end of the parking lot, Gaeta arranged his flowers in such a way it’s hard not to stop and smell the sun parasols.

He’s got everything from large, beautiful hanging flower baskets to large tomato plants and pansies ready to be planted. One Etobicoke couple has been coming to the

We bump into neighbours, people we haven’t seen in a long time...It’s a meeting place. – Tony Di Zio

Weston Farmer’s Market for 11 straight years. “It’s like a community centre,” said Tony Di Zio, as his wife, Carmela, chooses plants and places them at her husband’s feet for purchase. “We bump into neighbours, people we haven’t seen for a long time. For example I bump into my Grade 10 history teacher here from time to time. It’s a meeting place.” A friend of the Di Zios, Linda Wallach comes to Toronto every year from Connecticut to visit Di Zio


NEWSPAPER RETRACTION FOR THE FUTURE SHOP JUNE 21 CORPORATE FLYER We regret to inform customers that certain pages in the June 21 flyer show incorrect effective dates. Please be advised that the promotional flyer period is in fact from June 21 - June 27, 2013. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused our valued customers.

and his wife and the market has become an traditional stop in her visits. “I love this market,” Wallach said. “We don’t have anything like this (in Connecticut). If we do it’s on a small scale, it’s not like this with so many vendors. It’s just wonderful.” For Di Zio, he said he enjoys coming to the market because he said you can’t beat the quality of the fruits and vegetables available. “It’s better than what you get a grocery store and you’re buying what’s been grown from the community,” Di Zio said. “And you’re helping the local economy, also.” The Gaeta family has three farms with both his son and daughter owning their own and he agrees that when it comes to freshness and quality, he’s not worried about the big box store competitors. “When we bring some of our produce here sometimes they’re three, four hours old. And you cannot get that in a store. I don’t care what they do or what

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they say,” Gaeta said. “Like when we bring broccoli here, it’s not even 10 hours old. In store it comes from Florida, it takes three days to get here and before they harvest and bring it on the truck it’s another two days. People know the quality and people come back and come early so they get what they want.” But the farmer’s market sells more than fruits, vegetables and flowers. Marketgoers can get antiques and homemade products such as maple syrup, cake pops and even lip and body balm. Michelle Hamer sells the latter. It’s called Feel the Bee and all her products, including the soap, are handmade with natural fragrances. Hamer is one of the newer vendors at the market, having joined this year. “It’s been a really good experience, the community’s been so sweet and so supportive,” Hamer said. “I have regulars already that come back to make sure I’m doing OK.” Hamer, who recently moved her business from Thunder Bay to Toronto, said she couldn’t be happier about the move and is grateful for the direct contact she’s gotten from customers. “Every Saturday I’ve come down it has been worth it,” Hamer said. “There are some really wonderful people here in Weston.” As the afternoon sun settled in over Weston, community members can be seen leaving the lot, some with carts exploding with


Justin Overbeeke packages garlic scapes for a customer at the Weston Farmer’s Market on Saturday. Overbeeke works on a family-run farm with his dad, and he rents a small plot of land where he grows his own produce. The market officially opened for the season the previous Saturday.

fresh produce and bargain finds dragged sluggishly behind them, others with a handful of flowers in each hand, all with a satisfied smile on their face and the intent to come back again next Saturday. The most important thing though, is the community, Gaeta said.

“Weston is a unique place, the community always supports the market.”

To book a table or to get more information on the market, call the Weston BIA office at 416-249-0691 or email admin@


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

On Now at The Brick! For more details go instore or online

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


City, province disagree on impact of funding cut Ford calls move ‘disgusting’ after meeting with finance minister DAVID NICKLE Mayor Rob Ford and Ontario Finance Minister Charles Sousa met Monday afternoon to talk about the province’s plans to cancel a total of $150 million in funding for public housing. By Ford’s account, the meeting did not go well. “He basically told me to increase taxes. It was a complete waste of everyone’s time today,” said Ford on the steps of the Frost Building across from Queen’s Park.

Ford, along with senior finance officials, had attended a meeting with the provincial government over the decision to cut $150 million from a public housing pooling fund that supports the city’s roster of shelters and public housing. The money was to have been eventually phased out, but the province informed the mayor earlier this month it would be accelerating the process to 2016, in return forgiving a $200-million loan outstanding to the province to cover amalgamation costs back in the 1990s. Ford and city officials maintain the cut will still mean $50 million a year to the city. But according to both Ford and Sousa after the meeting, that argument was rebuffed. “It’s very disappointing – I tried to give an olive branch,” said Ford.

I’m getting punished for running an efficient government. They found out Mayor Ford can turn the city around and these people can’t. – Mayor Rob Ford

“We can discuss it, think about it a few days. Nope. All he had was this hard line comparing us to other municipalities. But Toronto’s unique. We produce more revenue for the province than other municipalities.” Ford maintained the cuts would be on the backs of Toronto’s “most vulnerable.” And he said the funding cut would mean the city would “have to shut down some programs. I have to go back to find $150 million – that means shutting down hostels, and not pro-

viding the programs.” Ford maintained he would continue to try and hold taxes down to a 1.75 per cent increase next year, and also cut 10 per cent from the land transfer tax. He added he believed the province was punishing him for doing his job too well. “I’m getting punished for running an efficient government,” he said. “They found out Mayor Ford can turn the city around and these people

We have not changed our position on the phase-out of the pooling because we’re compensating Toronto in other ways and they’re benefitting. – Finance Minister Charles Sousa

can’t. It’s disgusting.” $110 million between 2014 Sousa spoke with and 2016 as a net result.” the media a short time The city has disputed later. He those figures, Also in this edition: See City described pointing out the Hall columnist David Nickle’s city had considthe meettake on page 16. ing as ered the loan “frank” but forgiven in 2005, maintained that Toronto and city finances remain will wind up ahead of the in a hole as a result. game financially. Sousa also maintained “We listened, but I’m the city has other options not sure the mayor heard for balancing the books us,” he said. than raising taxes or cut“We have not changed ting vital services. our position on the phase “The city has choices,” out of the pooling because he said. we’re compensating “Council has a number Toronto in other ways of initiatives before them. and they’re benefitting. I They have tremendous stressed that we are going amounts of surpluses to forgive the $200 million year after year. They know loan...We recognize the what they should do, that importance of Toronto, those most vulnerable can that’s why we’ve invested continue to be supported. $10.6 billion in infrastrucThere’s no need for them ture. Overall the city is to be held hostage.” going to benefit from the We want to hear from you on Toronto pooling phase this issue. What do you think out, the loan forgiveness. of this disagreement between the city and the province? Email us That will increase the city’s at revenue by more than




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| YORK GUARDIAN | Thursday, June 27, 2013

city news

YORK GUARDIAN | Thursday, June 27, 2013 |


city news

Unique bike meeting tours Toronto downtown DAVID NICKLE Usually, city planning hosts public consultation meetings in school assembly halls, community centres or city hall committee rooms. On Sunday, Toronto’s chief planner Jennifer Keesmaat teamed up with Cycle Toronto to take their consultation to the road – leading more than 50 urban cyclists on a roundabout tour of the downtown to talk about the shape of cycling infrastructure in Toronto’s updated Official Plan. “We want to go to where people are and draw new people into the process,” said Keesmaat, as participants were lining up to sign up for the process in the shade of Toronto City Hall just before noon. “This is the best way to understand and learn and plan for the city – getting out in the city. We spend a lot of time at City Hall in windowless rooms.” The rolling meeting was

actually one of three city planning is holding. On Sunday there was also a walking tour and on Monday evening, there was a transit tour. But on Sunday afternoon, the question was two-wheeled. City planning is intending to incorporate a conceptual grid of bicycle infrastructure so no one would be more than one kilometre away from a bike path. The tour took cyclists along a range of cycling surfaces in the course of one loop of the downtown core: along Queen Street West from City Hall to University Avenue, north to the Royal Ontario Museum, then east along Bloor Street, south along the separated bike lanes on Sherbourne Street, back across Gerrard Street and down Bay Street. “It was absolutely deliberate,” said Jared Kolb of Cycle Toronto, which helped facilitate the meeting. The participants in the ride were, not surprisingly, heavily weighted toward cycling advocates. Questions and com-

Staff photo/DAVID NICKLE

Toronto’s chief planner Jennifer Keesmaat, left, addresses cyclists on Sunday during a bike consultation tour.

ments were almost entirely on how quickly cycling infrastructure can be constructed. Keesmaat was fine with that.

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“Most of you cycle on a regular basis,” she said. “You are going to cycle whether the infrastructure exists or not and have a

vested interest in whether it improves. The risk to our city is that if we don’t build good infrastructure, that cycling never becomes a legitimate

form of transportation. You have to be a little bit aggressive, bold and nuts to get on your bike and doing it. This is about normalizing cycling as a legitimate form and part of our transportation infrastructure.” Keesmaat said the biggest growth area will be not in the downtown core, but in the old suburbs of North York and Scarborough and Etobicoke. And she said once a plan is in place, it will become possible to engage private sector partners in helping build more infrastructure. Yvonne Bambrick, a former spokesperson for Cycle Toronto, asked about engaging the other partners, including those “who have traditionally been non-supportive of bike infrastructure.” Keesmaat responded: “I’m hoping you’ll help me. That’s why we’re here today. Sometimes people do change their minds.”


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| YORK GUARDIAN | Thursday, June 27, 2013

Masonry & Concrete

YORK GUARDIAN | Thursday, June 27, 2013 |


June 27  
June 27