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Sweep the Streets, Oct. 3, 2015

COME JOIN US, say Bayview Leaside BIA board members, from left, Trae Zammit of Smokin’ Cigar, Simon Hanlon of McSorley’s, David Illiatovich-Owen of De La Mer and Grant Allardyce of The Source Menswear. BYOB (Bring Your Own Broom) to the BIA’s Sweep the Streets Campaign on Bayview Oct. 3. Photo: Allan Williams

“It’s a BYOB event,” says newly-elected Bayview Leaside BIA chair Trae Zammit of The Smokin’ Cigar. “That means, Bring Your Own Broom, and help us clean up the community.”

The new Business Improvement Area’s fall Sweep the Streets Campaign takes place on Saturday, Oct. 3 at 9 a.m. Anyone willing to help should meet at the northwest corner of Millwood and Bayview. “This is our first official event,” says Zammit. “We’re walking before we can run. Then our priority this fall will be developing a marketing plan to put in place for the Christmas season.” [click to continue…]

‘I found Metrolinx duplicitous’

In my last column I mentioned my concern about Metrolinx’s involvement in development of the McDonald’s site and south on Bayview Ave.

My understanding of prior meetings between Metrolinx and city officials was that Metrolinx had agreed not to profit from development at this intersection. One could infer that this being the case, their sole motivation would be to build the LRT station.

On Aug. 20 I held a meeting with Metrolinx officials including people from their communications, real estate and legal departments.

At this time they admitted that while they only need the McDonald’s site for the LRT station,  they had purchased the adjacent property to save “time and money” and they would indeed receive profit at a rate “per buildable square foot” for any development. [click to continue…]

Letters – October 2015

A split Leaside ‘not effective representation’

Open letter to Councillor Jon Burnside:

Dear Councillor Burnside,

I write with reference to the Toronto Ward Boundary Review, and the ward redesigns provided in its

The Leaside Property Owners’ Association, Inc. (LPOA) is concerned about the five options provided. Four of the five divide our community in half, with each half reporting to a different community council. The fifth option shifts Leaside into a much larger ward quite unlike us in policies and priorities.

This is not “effective representation,” nor does it acknowledge and respect historical geographic and social connections. [click to continue…]

Georgia WalshThe Georgia Walsh Memorial All-Star Baseball Games and Fun Fair, held at Trace Manes Park Aug. 29, raised $72,500 for re-juvenating the park’s playground.

The project is a partnership with the Toronto Parks and Trees Foundation (TPTF), a charitable foundation that attracts corporate and philanthropic support. Since the city cannot fund all park improve-
ment proposals, TPTF steps in for selected projects, ensuring that all donations go to the specific initiative. Completion could take up to three years. [click to continue…]

The Curious Idler October 2015

“Lots of Leaside people tell me they are downsizing,” says Madison  (no last name given) of Elegant Garage Sale, on Bayview. “We’re getting many people come in with silver, good china, crystal and furniture. They’ve no room for it. Downsizing is big business these days.”

An old uniform in Pagnello’s Antiques on Bayview is intriguing militaria devotees. “It is a time capsule of a Canadian soldier returning from World War I,”  says Michael Pagnello, who owns the store with brother Frank. An impressed buff who viewed the uniform thought it worth about $2,000. Boots were not included.

Steve Litowitz is proud of his beautiful garden at the corner of Parkhurst and Hanna. Unhappily, thieves are stealing plants. A sign now reads: “On Aug. 18 an oriental lily and a mature bunch of yellow lilies were taken from the ground. Only a root ball remains. I started work on this garden over 25 years ago. The visual pleasure was to be shared by all. If you need plants I’ll give you $.” [click to continue…]

Shane Baghai has a problem

The Shane Baghai development beside the Leaside arena is running into a problem with parking.

Baghai wants to use the new arena driveway from Southvale as a main entrance to get to the eight-storey condo he’s proposing. It would be for above ground and underground parking.

No way say arena board members, which includes Councillor Jon Burnside.

Traffic for the 98-unit residence could swamp arena traffic, they say, especially during the long red light time at the entrance.

Baghai says the arena driveway is public and had previously been used as an entrance to the former use of the current building.

He could build a new driveway off Southvale, but it could make him lower the number of units he proposes to build.

George Armstrong joins our Sports Hall of Fame

Left to right: George Armstrong, Arthur (Laurie) Irwin, Pat (Watt) Friesen, Norm (Charlie) Ahier and Annie Fahlenbock

Left to right: George Armstrong, Arthur (Laurie) Irwin, Pat (Watt) Friesen, Norm (Charlie) Ahier and Annie Fahlenbock

George Armstrong, captain of the 1967 Stanley Cup-winning Maple Leafs, is one of five 2015 inductees into the Leaside Sports Hall of Fame.

Armstrong, who has lived in Leaside since 1960, will be honoured at a ceremony and reception at Leaside Arena on Nov. 20 along with Charlie Ahier, Annie Fahlenboch, Pat (Watt) Friesen, and Arthur (Laurie) Irwin.

Tickets for the third annual Hall of Fame event go on sale Oct. 1 and will be available from any of Leaside’s sports associations or at the arena. Leaside’s Athlete of the Year, to be announced in October, will also be recognized that night. [click to continue…]

It was a good thing that Cheryl French’s husband drove the three ladies only to dinner at L’Avenue, 1568 Bayview.

On a balmy evening early in September the three neighbours on Rutherglen Rd., she said, “…needed a walk home after what we knew would be a full dining experience”.

When they got there at 7:30 p.m. the restaurant was full. When they left it was empty and “We were all aching from over-indulging in the dishes that were too good to stop ourselves from eating,” said Alanna Wilson.

They decided to share dishes.

The hit of the night was Helena Lazar’s duck dish. “It was outstanding. It was crisp on the outside and tender moist meat on the inside,” she said. [click to continue…]

Fictional stories can be truer than real life

1955:  Joe and Cheryl

Joe works a regular shift at Canada Wire & Cable, brings home $5,000 a year, is a shop steward for the union. Cheryl makes his lunch, gets the kids to school, does the housework, does the shopping.

Joe bowls on Tuesday nights, has a few beers at the Legion on Saturdays, coaches hockey at the arena. On Tuesdays Cheryl becomes Brown Owl; on weekends she helps with Welcome Wagon.

Their three children are in Leaside schools. Two will attend university and become public school teachers; one will drop out of LHS and become an electrician. [click to continue…]

There are Leaside questions for the feds

Do you feel as if the federal election campaign has been going on forever? By the time this issue of Leaside Life arrives at your home, the politicking will have been going on for almost two months. But here we are, with only three weeks to go until Election Day.

Before you vote, I urge you to attend the LPOA’s Candidates’ Debate on Wednesday, Oct. 7, at 7:30 p.m. in the William Lea Room at Leaside Gardens. Conservative John Carmichael, Liberal Rob Oliphant, and NDP Syeda Riaz have confirmed that they will participate.

Most people pay attention to the parties’ national platforms, but don’t realize that we in Leaside and Bennington Heights also have local concerns which need to be addressed. Quite a few federal policies (and actions) will have major local impacts. [click to continue…]

‘It’s all about what appellants want’

Leaside’s getting known at the Ontario Municipal Board, and will soon be better known because there are several Leaside appeals involving applications for minor variances being adjudicated in the next several months. These are mainly appeals by the owner following Committee of Adjustment rejection of variance requests.

One case coming up again is 73 Donegall Dr., on Oct. 5.

At a hearing on Aug. 25 OMB Chair Reid Rossi remembered when we won last year.

“That was amazing,” he said to me. “How did they expect to get a car down that driveway?”

We remember him as being extraordinarily efficient in his management of the hearing, and a quick study in his comprehension of the information presented to him.  [click to continue…]

LRT condos would help Bayview survive

Geoff Kettel made a compelling case in his September Saving Old Leaside column about why the quadraplexes running along the east side of Bayview south of Eglinton to Parkhurst deserve to be designated heritage  properties by the city.

This wasn’t the first time he’s made an argument for saving the apartments built by onetime Leaside mayor Henry Howard Talbot.

Kettel’s own presentation in 2011 to the City of Toronto noted that a property could be designated heritage according to the Ontario Heritage Act if it possessed one of three criteria: design value, historic value or contextual value. And you only need one, not all three. [click to continue…]

The Leaside Business Park Association is looking for a new logo that is “more consistent with the changing times”. They will award $300 to the winning designer, says Bernie Rasch of the LBPA. “Our old logo showed smoke stacks and industrial building forms in silhouette. The new reality is that these older traditional forms are metamorphosing into uses that include knowledge-based industries along with contemporary manufacturing processes that are more environmentally sustainable. And Laird Dr., our western boundary, is destined to become a commercial and mid-rise residential neighbourhood.”  zoomeranger@gmail.com

Looking for pyjamas

Kilgour Rd. resident Elizabeth Barry started the Christmas Pyjama Project in 2009 to collect new pyjamas and brighten the season for residents of a women’s shelter. About 25 pairs were collected that first year. Last year 150 pairs were collected and donated to three Toronto shelters. She’s looking for help from fellow Leasiders: pjproject@bell.net.

2 churches, 2 ministers, 2 goodbyes

John Smith and Beth Benson

John Smith and Beth Benson

What are the odds that the ministers of two of our local churches would arrive within months of each other, and leave, eight plus years later, within a month of each other?

Rev. John Smith is the Leaside United minister and Rev. Beth Benson is the St. Cuthbert’s Church priest.

Their trajectories to arrive here were quite different. Smith had been an ordained minister for 24 or so years, going straight from university into theology school. Relatively recently, though, he had decided to see if there might be another career for him and obtained his diploma in financial planning. Benson comes with science degrees and a career in environmental agencies. Her most recent stop before ordination was at the Waterfront Regeneration Trust. Her formal ministry career came later in her life, and St. Cuthbert’s is her second posting. [click to continue…]