The latest news, views and things to do in Leaside neighbourhoods
Attempted murder hunt after incidents in underground garage
Toronto Police are looking for a 22-year-old man on several possible charges — including attempted murder — after a family was threatened in an underground garage and police cars rammed in the Eglinton-Mt. Pleasant area yesterday.
The name, image and description of the suspect were released by police today.
Pickleball taking over our surfaces
City staff are scrambling to set up courts for pickleball — Toronto’s fastest growing sport and social activity.
Unused parking lots, ice rinks, tennis courts and other flat surfaces are all fair game for being converted to accommodate the growing numbers of pickleball players across Toronto.
‘Magical gardens’ tour planned for June 24
You can buy tickets now for the Leaside Garden Society’s Magical Gardens Tour and flower show to be held on June 24 this year.
Passport tickets are available at various local shops.
See the Streeter Things To Do listing for details.
Summer food fest returning
Summerlicious is back on July 7 to 23, the city has announced, but you’ll have to wait until June 29 to make reservations for the prix fixe lunch and dinner event.
In the Leaside area, only three eateries are registered for the event — Amsterdam Barrel House on Laird Drive, Indian Street Food Co. on Bayview Avenue, and Smokeshow BBQ and Brew on Mount Pleasant Road — according to our reading of the map on the Summerlicious webpage.
More than 200 restaurants across Toronto are taking part this year, offering three-course lunch menus from $20 to $55, and dinners from $25 to $75, the city says.
Jump in raccoon sickness, bites and scratches
A “significant increase” in reports of sick or injured raccoons and the number of people bitten or scratched has led Toronto Public Health to issue warnings against contact with wild animals in the city.
Eighty per cent of those people suffering bites and scratches have had to suffer further through the uncomfortable anti-rabies treatment, involving multiple vaccine doses, to fend off the potentially fatal infection.
See the full Streeter story, including tips on avoiding raccoon attacks.
Registration for summer programs begins June 6
Registration for the city’s summer recreation programs in this area begins tomorrow at 7 a.m.
Summer programs run from July 4 to Sept. 1.
You can register in three ways:
- By phone by calling 416-396-7378 from 7 a.m. until 5 p.m.
- In person at one of five community centre locations (the closest is Dennis R. Timbrell Resource Centre, 29 St. Dennis Dr.) on June 6 and 7 from 7 a.m. to noon.
- Online through e-Fun (the easiest way).
Find more information on the city’s summer recreation programs page.
Indigenous-led housing plans proceeding
The Indigenous-led housing project on Merton Street is ready to start building this fall, the builders say.
The 15-storey building, announced last summer, is designed to provide affordable homes for Indigenous elders and other seniors.
Night time is the right time for cookies
Ever get a craving for cookies late at night? Alon Steinbach and Emily Banks did — and they turned that into a business.
Midnight Cookie operated out of their home, then out of a shared kitchen in Leaside, and recently opened on Manor Road East, specializing in late-night delivery of those sweet treats.
See the full story in Streeter news.
Register for Spring Into Action run/walk
You can register now for the annual run/walk — the Spring Into Action Move for Youth Mental Health — scheduled to take place at Sunnybrook Park on June 10. You can also mark your calendar to attend the associated Spring Into Action festivities, starting and finishing at Inside Out Studio on Laird Drive.
See the Streeter Things To Do listing for more details.
Ticketing rules relaxed for holiday
Parking enforcement officers will not be enforcing all on-street parking bylaws on Victoria Day, police say.
In particular they’ll be turning a blind eye on Monday to parking on rush-hour routes and in areas with Monday-to-Friday regulations.
Pothole-fixing blitz on tomorrow
If you’re out driving Saturday, watch for crews working on the roads. The city says it is launching a blitz to repair as many potholes as possible between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m.
It’s probably too late to get your favourite local pothole on the list for repair tomorrow, but call 311 or go to www.toronto.ca/311 to report it for future filling.
New mid-rise condo buildings planned for Laird
Emblem Developments has announced plans to build a “new luxury condominium community” at 126 and 134 Laird Dr., which it has named The Leaside, no less.
The project is to include two “opulent” mid-rise buildings of 109 and 132 suites, as well as townhouses, according to a news release today.
“The Leaside makes an eloquent statement of style and glamour,” the release says.
The location is praised as being one of the city’s most desirable neighbourhoods and close to some of the most expensive real estate in the city.
“Leaside feels special when you’re there and this building will make it even more special,” Emblem CEO Kash Pashootan says in the statement.
Will next Ontario Liberal leader come from Don Valley?
Now that Beaches-East York MP Nathaniel Erskine-Smith has become the first candidate to announce for the Ontario Liberal leadership race, eyes may turn to Don Valley East and West for additional contenders.
At least three political figures from these two ridings are thought to be considering runs: Don Valley West MPP Stephanie Bowman, Don Valley East MPP Adil Shamji, and Don Valley East MP (and formerly MPP) Michael Coteau.
Coteau ran for Ontario leader in 2020, coming second to Steven Del Duca.
Parks washrooms opened—splash pads, fountains and pools next
The city has finished opening park washrooms today, its earliest date ever, the city has announced. Only six seasonal washrooms are still closed for repairs or construction.
Splash and spray pads are due to open by May 20, followed by fountains and bottle-filling stations by May 26.
Ten city-run outdoor pools are to open on partial schedules by June 17 with the rest of them by June 24. All outdoor pools and wading pools are to be open on a full schedule by June 30.
Discover Leaside’s ‘layers’ on Jane’s Walk
Jane’s Walks are returning Friday, taking place from May 5 to 7, with at least two of the walks focusing on this community.
The Layers of Leaside walking tour is being held on both May 5 and May 6, starting each day at 1 p.m. at the Leaside Public Library, McRae Drive and Rumsey Road, and finishing at 2:30 p.m. at the same location.
As Leaside celebrates its 110th anniversary, the tour aims to help walkers experience Leaside’s landmarks and streetscapes in the context of the six layers of human settlement into which its cultural history may be divided. The walk is led by Geoff Kettel and Mitch Bubulj of the Leaside 110 Committee,
Before or after the walk, you can also visit the special archival exhibition at the Leaside Library.
You can find more information on this and other walks at the Jane’s Walks website.
Electronics collected for recycling
Take a few days to gather together your old or discarded electronics. Then bring them to the East York Town Centre on Overlea Boulevard on May 6 and 7.
The Toronto-Leaside Rotary Club is holding an electronics recycling event over the weekend there. More details in the Streeter Things To Do listing.
This year’s East York Hall of Famers named
The East York Hall of Fame announced yesterday five inductees to be named to the hall this year on June 22.
Heading the list is the former East York mayor, MP and cabinet minister Alan Redway. Eighty-eight now, Redway has also won East York’s Agnes Macphail Award.,
Also to be honoured are award-winning journalist Peter Silverman, community volunteer Kam Babulal, Michael Garron Hospital’s manager Phillip Anthony, and Bob “Bottle Bob” MacDonald, known for his fundraising in Topham Park and across East York.
This is only the second year for the award—the first since the pandemic.
See the East York Hall of Fame website for more information and to buy tickets for the event.
Assault reported near Laird and Eglinton
A 24-year-old man is suspected of threatening death and assaulting a woman near a parked vehicle in the area of Eglinton Avenue East and Laird Drive on April 20 at about 8:30 p.m., police reported today.
Police also released the identity, description and image of the suspect.
See the police news release for details.
A wet cleanup
Yesterday’s rain didn’t keep Leasiders from cleaning up our local parks on Earth Day 2023.
The South Bayview Bulldog has a report and pictures.
Mt. Pleasant vintage clothing shop listed among best
A Toronto Star article has named Rewind Couture among the top secondhand clothing stores in the city.
The shop at 577 Mount Pleasant Rd. is cited as the “best for for utility wear,” showcasing luxury staples like Louis Vitton bags, Smythe blazers, Christian Louboutin shoes and Moncler puffers.
See the Star article for all the top-named stores.
Garden society offering $2,000 scholarship
Applications for the 2023 Founder’s Scholarship are being accepted by the Leaside Garden Society from May 1 to June 30.
Eligible students are enrolled in their second or later year of a horticulture-related program. Students with a connection to the Leaside community (including Bennington Heights, Thorncliffe Park and Kilgour Estates) will receive extra consideration.
Three affordable housing projects to move ahead
The affordable housing development at 140 Merton St. is one of three proposed projects the city is trying to push ahead with. The development on Merton is planned as the first Indigenous-led housing development for Indigenous seniors under the city’s Housing Now initiative.
City council’s planning and housing committee is considering a progress report on the Housing Now initiative on April 27. If approved by committee and Council, the report will ensure construction begins on three sites this year, creating at least 1,949 affordable and rental units.
See more about the effort in the city’s news release today.
Washrooms are opening early in our parks
With this warmer-than-average spring, city staff are opening public washrooms earlier than usual. A quarter of Toronto’s seasonal washrooms have been opened already by mid-April, though most were originally scheduled for May.
If you’re planning an outing, you can look up the status of washrooms and drinking fountains in the park on a new interactive map from the city.
Local baseball facility advances high-school players to next base
An East York facility that helps develop high-school baseball players is featured in the Toronto Observer today.
National Recruiters for Sports at O’Connor Drive and Bermondsey Road is staffed with current and former professional baseball players with collegiate-level playing experience.
The centre is giving student athletes the chance to train with experienced players while learning what it takes to reach the next level, the Observer reports.
Two-car collision at Leslie and Eglinton
Two cars collided yesterday evening at the intersection of Leslie Street and Eglinton Avenue East, police reported on Twitter at about 10 p.m.
Medics were also on the scene to assess the drivers, but no serious injuries were reported.
Boy, 14, charged with attempted murder after Thorncliffe stabbing
A 14-year-old boy was arrested today and charged with attempted murder, about five days after an alleged stabbing in Thorncliffe Park.
Officers were called to a fight on Thorncliffe Park Drive in the evening of April 1 and found a 16-year-old with life-threatening injuries from an apparent stabbing.
Leaside phenom named college basketball player of year
His team, the Purdue Boilermakers, got knocked out of the March Madness NCAA Tournament in the first round, but Leaside-raised Zach Edey (see March 11 below) was named the Naismith college basketball player of the year. The award is given to the most outstanding men’s and women’s NCAA basketball players of the year.
— NCAA March Madness (@MarchMadnessMBB) April 2, 2023
Edey was also voted the Associated Press men’s college player of the year and Big Ten Player of the Year.
Double the tickets: more speed cameras coming
The number of automated speed enforcement cameras in Don Valley West neighbourhoods is to be doubled from three to six, after city council’s recent approval of the installations.
Council unanimously passed a motion to have city staff look into increasing the ASE devices from the current 75 to 150, shared evenly by each of Toronto’s 25 wards.
This comes just months after a previous increase from 50 across the city.
Clean up our communities together, city urges
Toronto is asking communities to register local litter cleanups to take part in the city’s annual spring cleanup from April 21 to April 23.
We can register three kinds of cleanups:
- The 20-Minute Makeover on April 21 is for local businesses (BIAs, are you listening?) to clean up public spaces, like parks, sidewalks, ravines or beaches (though local residents can take part too).
- Also on April 21, students and staff of schools, colleges and universities can spend 20 minutes cleaning up their schoolyards or neighbourhood parks.
- On April 22 and 23, community groups, families and individuals are encouraged to visit local parks or other public spaces to help pick up litter.
Get more information and register for whichever cleanup works for you on the city’s Clean Toronto Together page.
Thorncliffe autism support group recognized as champions
Not to be forgotten amid the news coverage of Dr. Shakhlo Sharipova being awarded the Agnes Macphail Award (see March 16 item below) is the city’s additional recognition of the doctor in founding the Thorncliffe Park Autism Support Network.
On March 21, TPASN and its volunteers were named among recipients of Toronto’s Champion Award for their work throughout the pandemic to help parents cope with their autistic children. Sharipova accepted the award on behalf of the group.
Read all about it in the Streeter news story.
Feeding any wildlife, anywhere in city to be banned
On April 1 a new city bylaw comes into effect prohibiting the feeding of wildlife anywhere in Toronto.
And for good reason, according to wildlife experts. You may think you’re helping the animals but you’re not.
Even the traditional practice of throwing bread crumbs to birds is not helpful, the experts say.
Read Dennis Hanagan’s full story in Streeter news about the bylaw and the dangers of feeding the animals.
First-degree murder trial begins today
Remember the death of lawyer Scott Rosen, run down at a parking garage on Eglinton Avenue East near Mt. Pleasant Road, more than two years ago?
The trial of his accused killer began today, with prosecutors saying Anh Thu Chiem had planned the attack with a rented U-Haul pickup truck after she was upset over a civil suit in which Rosen represented her son-in-law against her.
Former police chief joins mayor’s race
Former Toronto police chief Mark Saunders, who ran for MPP in this riding last year, confirmed to media yesterday evening he is seeking election as the city’s next mayor.
Saunders contested the 2022 provincial election as Progressive Conservative candidate for Don Valley West, but was defeated by the Liberals’ Stephanie Bowman.
See CP24’s video report on the breaking news.
Tattoo removal brought to midtown
Regret that “True Love Forever” tattoo you got for your ex? Or the facial tat that makes it look like you’re always crying? Or that scary design on your arm you’ve been hiding under long sleeves even in summer?
Now there’s a place in midtown where you can get rid of or fade your unwanted tattoos.
The Removery tattoo removal studio recently opened at Yonge and Eglinton. Read all about it on Streeter.
Winner of Agnes Macphail Award named
The 2023 Agnes Macphail Award is to be presented to East York resident Dr. Shakhlo Sharipova for her many contributions to the East York community.
The public is welcome to attend the award presentation on March 19 at 2 p.m. at the East York Civic Centre, 850 Coxwell Ave.
For more about this year’s award recipient and the awards ceremony, see the Streeter Things To Do listing.
Outdoor skating continues to Sunday — if the ice holds up
The city is encouraging skaters to enjoy the last few days of the official outdoor skating season at our local rinks. However, the weather seems poised to end the season earlier than the scheduled March 19 deadline.
Sunday evening is when the city starts to close its outdoor artificial ice rinks, natural ice rinks and skating trails and begin its annual conversion of spaces into skateboarding parks, tennis courts and pickleball spaces.
Meanwhile the forecast for the next four days calls for rainy and overcast days with temperatures mainly above zero.
Public consultation on Eglinton tower planned
A 32-storey condominium building is proposed to replace the eight-storey medical building at 586 Eglinton Ave. E., west of Bayview Avenue. The development is to be discussed at an online community consultation on the evening of March 21.
For more information and to register for the meeting, see the Streeter Things To Do listing.
Leaside basketball phenom hailed as top U.S. college player
Zach Edey, who grew up in Leaside and attended Leaside High School before moving to the U.S., is continuing to tear up the American college basketball scene, reports HITC today.
The 7-foot-4 Edey has been playing for Purdue in the Big Ten conference since 2020.
At the end of this past season, his junior year, Edey was named the Big Ten Player of the Year.
The HITC article calls him the “the best college basketball player in the country” and delves into his Chinese-Canadian background.
Pruning to be discussed at Zoom meeting
“Proud of my pruning” is the topic to be presented by Master Gardener Sean James at the next meeting of the Leaside Garden Society.
It takes place via Zoom on March 9, starting at 7 p.m.
See the Streeter Things To Do listing for more details.
Metrolinx to move planned layover facility from Don Valley
Metrolinx appears to have given in to demands that a planned layover facility not be built in the Don Valley alongside the parkway north of the Prince Edward Viaduct.
Yesterday the provincial agency overseeing public transport announced it has found a new location in a light industrial area near York Mills Road and Leslie Street.
The proposed 11-acre site in the valley has been the subject of protests and petitions from environmental activists and community members who said building the facility there could damage the valley’s sensitive ecology.
Success! Metrolinx has moved the proposed Don Valley Layover facility out of the Valley. Thank you to all the advocates who’ve spoken up to protect this important natural area. https://t.co/i6sgwF41bc pic.twitter.com/5vNSnHUWh1
— Paula Fletcher (@PaulaFletcherTO) March 1, 2023
Summerlicious applications open
Winterlicious seems barely over and it’s already time for local restaurants to sign up for the summer edition of the fixed-price dining festival.
Applications to participate in the Summerlicious program will be accepted from today to March 22, the city announced.
This year’s Summerlicious runs from July 7 to 23 and there’s good news for participating restaurants: the fees have been cut to less than half the pre-pandemic rates. The new fee is $550. The city says this reduction should “make it easy and affordable for restaurants to participate and will encourage more Toronto residents to dine out and celebrate Toronto’s diverse culinary scene.”
Restaurants can find more information on the City’s Summerlicious 2023 Restaurant Participation webpage.
Pictures posted of downed cement truck
Local resident Rudy Limeback posted photos on Twitter today of that cement truck that fell over on Bayview Avenue today.
slings have been fitted around the cement truck’s mixing drum
must’ve been full pic.twitter.com/muGZ08d862
— Rudy Limeback (@rudydotca) February 27, 2023
High-end nail salon opens on Millwood
Providénce Nail Atelier has opened a new studio at 1515A Bayview Ave, second floor, with the entrance on Millwood Road. But don’t go wandering in to get a quick manicure. Appointments are by reservation only.
And judging by prices on its website, this is a high-end nail salon. Services, most of which take two hours or longer, cost from $90 to $265.
View this post on Instagram
Professional incompetence allowing home-sale scammers, Rocca says
Home-sale scams are happening in Toronto due to agents, lawyers and banks not doing their jobs properly, Leaside realtor Patrick Rocca says in an interview for a Toronto Observer story today.
In the article Rocca goes on to discuss how home buyers and sellers can protect themselves from these scams,
Real estate board figures show drastic local drop
Home prices are down by 17.4 per cent from last year in this area, one of the biggest drops in Toronto, according to figures recently released by the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board.
The report indicates the year-over-year decrease for the real estate “E11” area, including Leaside, Thorncliffe Park and Flemingdon Park.
As of January, the average home here is now about $1.2 million, TRREB reports. Single, detached houses have taken the biggest hit, dropping 21.4 per cent to about $2.4 million.
Parking restrictions eased for Family Day
Police have announced they will not be ticketing vehicles parked on the street on Feb. 20 on rush-hour routes and in areas with posted Monday–Friday regulations.
Family Day fun planned at Todmorden Mills
Todmorden Mills is one of seven Toronto History Museums planning Family Day activities. It’s free to drop in for crafts and games in the Papermill Gallery on Feb. 20 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Todmorden Mills Heritage Site is at 67 Pottery Rd.
For information about the Family Day programming at history museums across Toronto, see the Streeter Things To Do listing.
Report our potholes to be fixed
You may see repair crews out on the roads today as the city launches its first pothole-fixing blitz of the year.
Chances are, though, plenty of Leaside-area potholes will remain unless they are reported. To get those car-wrecking eyesores filled, report them via the 311 Toronto mobile app, online at Toronto.ca/311 or by calling 311.
The city says most repairs are carried out within four days of potholes being reported.
Don Valley West soon to have three cameras to catch speeders
The city is adding 25 automated speed enforcement cameras, one for each ward in Toronto. The most recent ASE site in Don Valley West is on Harrison Road near Vernham Avenue.
The new camera will join two existing speed ameras in the ward.
See the full Streeter story on the new cameras.
Town hall budget meeting for east-end residents
Have your say at the town hall meeting on the city’s 2023 budget, co-hosted by Toronto-Danforth and Beaches East York councillors. The meeting’s on Feb. 3. See more about it in Streeter’s Things To Do listing.
Start making reservations for Winterlicious
Winterlicious is back, set to offer prix fixe lunches and dinners from Jan. 27 to Feb. 9 — including several restaurants in Leaside and the surrounding area.
You find the entire Toronto list on the city’s Winterlicious page.
CampTO registration set to open
It’s time to start planning the kids’ summer camp activities at local parks and centres this summer. The city has announced its CampTO programs are online for your consideration, ready for registration beginning Feb. 11.
Some new programs have been added to the CampTO lineup for the programs that run from July 4 to Sept. 1.
For more information on the program and registration, see the Streeter calendar listing.
Letter to Ford opposes ‘strong mayor’ bill
Don Valley West councillor Paul Fletcher is among 15 city councillors sending a letter today to Premier Doug Ford opposing the province’s Bill 39, the so-called Better Municipal Governance Act.
The act would, under certain conditions, let the mayor of Toronto propose and pass bylaws with support of only one-third of city council, a move that critics have called undemocratic.