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At 13 he’s already winning many awards

WolfChris Graham
Chris Graham, of Airdrie Rd., was 11 when he attended a GTA Photography Teen Summer Camp.

Since then he has been winning international nature photo awards, one resulting in his shot of a howling wolf at the Toronto Zoo among the 12 featured in Nature Canada’s 75th anniversary 2015 calendar.

The photo will be on display at the Canadian Museum of Nature in Ottawa until early January.

The latest award was for Kissing Kestrals for the 2014 Get to Know Contest for the City of Toronto Gallery.

And he has been named as a finalist in the 2014 Travel Photographer of the Year contest. The winner, chosen by photographers from entries from all kinds of photographers around the world, amateur and professional, will be announced Dec. 4. [click to continue…]

The champion needs a rest

HefnerJetstream Forgetmenot Playboy-Hefner, of Leaside, needs a rest. He just came back from a long coursing and racing season. Hefner, who won an American field coursing champion title last year, won the Canadian field champion title this season. The Canadian Sighthound Field Association named him second nationally in this summer’s ranking for lure coursing. In Florida he won four seconds and a first in oval racing and coursing, including in an international invitational meet. Hefner coursed in four U.S. states and in Ontario from March to October and is now just relaxing with long walks, light runs and a high protein raw diet getting ready for the winter season in Georgia and Florida. – John Henry, Bessborough Dr.

The oldest retail store on Bayview is closing

Photis PhilosThe oldest surviving retail store on our stretch of Bayview Ave. will probably close this year, unless someone buys Bell Jewellers.

That now seems unlikely.

A sale of up to 80 percent off every item there has already started and will continue to the end of the year. No one has made an offer to Photis Philos, who has owned the store since Dec. 31, 1979.

According to the book Leaside, edited by Jane Pitfield, the store was first opened at Christmas 1936, beside the popcorn concession booth outside the Bayview Moving Picture Theatre, now Shoppers Drug Mart.

Badali’s Fruit Market opened the following year.

Philos says Mr. Bell, a Scot, sold the store for $670 in 1947 to a Mr. Fine, who needed to get official permission to buy it two years after World War II because he was Jewish.

Fine sold it to Israel Erlich, who was shot to death in the store in November, 1979 by two youths looking for drug money. Erlich refused to give them what they wanted. [click to continue…]

Another casualty of the new Leaside

Another casualty of modern Leaside: Van Nes Flowers, which moved to Bayview Ave. in 1987 and then five years ago to Parkhurst, is leaving because the building is coming down.

The company will now become part of Tidy’s Flowers in Etobicoke.

Richard Van Nes says he found it hard to tell his father, who is still alive and started the business in 1953 at Yonge and Broadway.

The store left there because of rising rents, and then the same happened on Bayview. Van Nes was hoping to renew a five-year lease on Parkhurst. But now, he says, he couldn’t see himself starting over again at his age.

The business has now become a luxury, he adds, doing well at times like Christmas and Valentine’s Day, but the public does not buy flowers the way they used to.

The Van Nes name and phone number remain: 416-481-1641.

Fed up with mess at the Gardens

Hal Spradling didn’t like what was happening to the gardens at the Leaside Community Gardens arena.

“It was an eyesore to the neighbourhood,” he says, “and I was offended by the weeds and neglect.”

Spradling is the owner of All Canadian Self-Storage, on Laird across from the arena, which was honoured this year by the Leaside Garden Society for landscaping.

A group of volunteers had previously volunteered to clear up the mess, but ran into union and budget problems at the arena and nothing happened.

But Spradling is a Texan, and tenacious.

He got a go-ahead from a member of the Gardens board, whom he won’t name, and went to work.

When the work is finally done, five-person crews, including Spradling, will have spent 100-man hours cleaning up plantings in the parking lot.

“I was on my hands and knees for half the day,” he says. “I urge people to volunteer in the spring to get the plantings ready for the next sesason.”

Two underground chicken farmers in Leaside have been “outed” publicly by the Toronto Star’s free Metro newspaper because they won big at this year’s Royal Agricultural Winter Fair at the CNE.

Twins Andrew and Matthew Patel, 17, of Sutherland Dr., were not really being secretive about the illegal activities. They have been before city council asking that the law be changed (they failed) and they’ve been advocating for urban farming since their parents let them use their backyard two years ago. [click to continue…]

Letters – December 2014

We are not the paper roll company

Thank you for the article on St. Anselm’s 75th anniversary. I have many fond memories of my days there.

However, I want to point out that my surname is misspelled — there is no X at the end of Rouleau. You may see Rouleau with an X on packages of paper rolls, but that’s not me.

Also, want to say how much I enjoy Leaside Life.

Shirley Rouleau,
Bayview Ave.

There might be legal consequences

The published three letters (last month) from Tony Koch, Brian Sinclair and Ted Ward contain many factual errors. They have negative social consequence in Leaside. Mr. Sinclair’s letter might have legal consequences also. Referring to them as opinion pieces does not allow you to disclaim all responsibility. [click to continue…]

Remembrance at St. Anselm for 160 soldiers

st.-anselmThere were 160 photographs of Canadian soldiers killed while on duty mounted on small posts on Bessborough Dr. in front of St. Anselm Church after the Remembrance Day service at St. Anselm school.

All but two of the soldiers were killed in Afghanistan. The two were Corporal Nathan Cirillo and Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent, who died in Ottawa and Quebec in October.

A photograph of each soldier was carried into the church one at a time by grade 6, 7 and 8 students. Afterwards, the students carried them in a procession on streets around the school. The photographs were planted in front of the flagpole where they were to remain as a memorial for several days.

Grade six teacher David Nespolo, who is also a corporal in the Governor-General’s Horse Guard, organized the church service. At the end local singer-songwriter Bob Reid performed his song Highway of Heroes.

Part of one of world’s biggest companies

KENDALL FULLERTON at work at Lincoln Electric. He recognized a 1,600 lb. machine while biking to work in Leaside.Beth Parker

KENDALL FULLERTON at work at Lincoln Electric. He recognized a 1,600 lb. machine while biking to work in Leaside.

When Kendall Fullerton rides his bike to work, he stops at the Whole Foods building site on Bayview north of Eglinton to give the construction crew a cheer.

“They’re using Lincoln Electric welding equipment built right here in Leaside at our Lincoln Electric plant on Wicksteed,” he says. “I recognize the 1,600-pound machine mounted on the back a truck four stories down at the bottom of the construction site. “

This Canadian subsidiary of a U.S. firm is not only one of Leaside’s first industrial companies, it is the largest welding equipment company in the world today.

“And out of 40 plus global manufacturing locations, Lincoln Canada is the most profitable outside of the U.S.A,” adds Fullerton, operations manager since 2006, who started his career at Lincoln out of engineering school in 1987. [click to continue…]

When a teacher spanked you over her knee

Last October Rolph Road school celebrated its 75th anniversary. It brought back a lot of memories.

The school opened in 1939. I startedthere in 1940. At that time the school was both an elementary school and the embryo of Leaside High School. The high school kids took classes on the top floor of the school, in two portables which they called Joe’s house named after the school janitor, and also in St. Cuthbert’s Anglican Church and Leaside United Church basements.

I attended Rolph Road Public School from kindergarten to grade 8. In later years Rolph ended at grade 6 with its students attending Bessborough School for grades 7 and 8.

While these days I sometimes have a problem remembering the names of my friends and neighbours, I can still remember the names of every one of my teachers at Rolph. [click to continue…]

Amsterdam will be very, very busy Dec. 6

Owner Jeff Carefoote

Owner Jeff Carefoote

Amsterdam Brewing Company, which moved to Leaside in 2012, expects to be very, very busy Saturday, Dec. 6.

It will release the latest of its increasingly popular brews, this one at a whopping 14 percent alcohol by volume, and every Saturday there are free tours and tastings from 1 to 5 p.m. You might find a long line-up.

This is part of the company’s annual late-fall release and if you like beer you need to know the details.

This year’s brew is called Double Tempest, a follow-up of Tempest Imperial Stout, which started as a pilot batch in 2009 and has evolved over the past five years so much that, as of last month, it is available in the LCBO. [click to continue…]

Little Krol the star of award night

Joe Krol & Preston KrolLogan Allmendinger
Little Preston Krol was a big help during the induction ceremonies Nov. 21 for the Leaside Sports Hall of Fame, helping distribute awards, especially for his grandfather, Peter Krol, who accepted for his father, Joe Krol, the star jack of all positions for the 20th century Toronto Argonauts.

Also honoured were Jack Caffery, first home-grown Leasider to play in the NHL, Christine Pellerin, a major contributor to women’s hockey in Canada, and Sidney Soanes, a major figure in Canadian figure skating.

A large crowd filled the William Lea Room at the Leaside Gardens to also induct Ayanna Badali as this year’s Leaside Athlete of the Year.

October home prices lower than last October

Leaside Home Prices October 2014Here’s how the world works in the microcosm of Leaside-Bennington Heights real estate.

Last year there were fewer homes for sale so costs climbed all year long.

This past October there were many more homes for sale, maybe by homeowners enticed to sell by the big bucks in Leaside.

Prices have dropped compared to last October.

In October this year there were 27 homes sold, which is 42.1 percent more than the 19 sold last October. [click to continue…]

Leaside beats China

  • The Leaside Junior Wildcats beat Team China 3-0 in an International Women’s Hockey exhibition game last month at Don Mills Arena. Leaside goals were scored by Cynthia Cavanagh, Emma Pye and Katriona McNeilly.
  • Rumsey Rd.’s Will Reilly, 17, who led all rookie defencemen in the Ontario Junior Hockey League this year with 15 points in 19 games, helped his team win its second title in three years in the Central Canada Cup All-Star Challenge. Reilly played for the North York Rangers during the regular season.
Leaside Stock Index Oct. 2014

For the first time since the LSI was created in February of this year, the index has overtaken its two benchmarks — S&P/TSX Capped Composite Index Fund and SPDR S&P 500 ETF — delivering another standout month up 3.9 percent in October, excluding currency, compared to 0.34 percent for the two benchmarks.

The LSI has now beaten its benchmarks for five consecutive months and sits up 10.5 percent year-to-date, excluding currency, compared to 9.7 percent for the benchmarks.

Interestingly, the LSI’s advantage when you include currency is just 0.13 percent, far less than without.

You couldn’t have asked for a more balanced attack in October.

The 10 Canadian stocks and the 10 American stocks, when currency is factored in, both delivered monthly returns of 4.1 percent, a statistical dead heat. [click to continue…]

Challenges facing our churches

Several Leaside churches are facing costly capital renovations to upgrade and “rightsize” their sanctuaries and other buildings. They are looking at their future and considering their options, asking whether they should amalgamate with another church, or sell land for development, or fundraise so they can continue to go it alone.

In other communities options have included shared use of the site, with a hospice or social housing that would continue to fulfill a social outreach and mission, which is lacking in a market sale.

Leaside Presbyterian Church has already amalgamated with Glebe Presbyterian Church, west of Bayview (that site has now been sold), Leaside United Church has been holding a conversation with its congregation and is looking at various options including selling lots for development. And across Bayview in Davisville Village, Manor Road United Church is considering selling land, perhaps to include a public park. [click to continue…]

The main issues I will tackle

Just before I discuss the future, I want to thank everyone for their encouragement and support. I am honoured to be your councillor.

Although I have been busy meeting constituents, other councillors and city staff, the last few weeks being a period of transition, I’m ready to hit the ground running with my team in place.

What are my priorities in the ward — and specifically in Leaside — for the next four years? First and foremost, I am committed to being personally responsive to your needs and running an office whose priority is you.

As I set out to hire my staff my key criterion was the understanding that our job is to serve you. To that end, I will be putting in the necessary procedures and protocols to ensure a 24-hour callback. While we may not be able to solve your issue that quickly, we can certainly let you know that we’re on it! [click to continue…]

When Leasiders were locked out

On Oct. 7 the LPOA held an important public meeting.

Meant to be a debate among the three leading candidates for mayor, we sent out flyers throughout Leaside, announcing the event. Needless to say, we expected a lot of attendees. The campaign had been eventful, and interest was high.

The event was primarily intended to give Leaside residents an opportunity to question and to hear John Tory, Olivia Chow and Doug Ford.

When we booked them, we received a commitment from their campaign managers that, because the William Lea Room at the Leaside Gardens does not have infinite capacity, and we wanted Leasiders to be assured of space, no more than three or four campaign workers would accompany each candidate. [click to continue…]

Looking for happiest people in Leaside

Who are the happiest people you’ll see on the streets of Leaside?

Right away we can rule out certain groups — everyone going to work, everyone coming home from work, and almost everyone at work in the neighbourhood. They all look grim and focussed, or grim and tired.

The tradesmen who are tearing down and rebuilding our community, and often seem to outnumber the residents, seem to exist in a world of their own, and are mostly oblivious to all other street life.

Too many joggers are the same. They may well be happy, indeed high on endorphins, but their faces don’t show it. They’re maybe looking inwards, maybe hurting outwards, maybe mentally bopping to whatever is blasting in their headphones. [click to continue…]

In our Hood – December 2014

After three years of repairs the CNIB pedestrian bridge arcoss Bayview was officially reopened last month by Don Valley West MP John Carmichael. The bridge was 60 years old. The work was paid for by the federal government and CNIB donors Ron Sidon and Joseph Salek.

Sidon is a nearby neighbour of the CNIB, who approached Salek to help. Both were excited about helping to maintain the safety of the bridge for CNIB clients and others who wanted to cross busy Bayview Ave. A well deserved award: Roger Cattell, McRae Dr., founder of the Slow Down/Kids at Play sign campaign, has been named this year’s Honorary Member of the Leaside Property Owners’ Association. He was presented with it at the LPOA’s annual general meeting Nov. 25. [click to continue…]

Seniors beware: I don’t understand this either

Technology in our local schools has come a long way since the 1970s. The East York Board of Education, which encompassed Leaside then, was advanced with PETs and Commodore 64s. The programs were loaded into tapedecks and were clunky. And there still were blackboards, chalk and erasers.

Now, there are SMARTboards, laptops and iPads galore.

At Bessborough, for instance, under the leadership of new-to-the-school principal Patricia Broderick and vice-principal Caroline Rosenbloom, there are Arduino workshops for senior students.

Don’t know what that’s all about? Neither did some of the teachers, who were provided with assistance to get them up to speed. [click to continue…]