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She wants a litter-free Leaside


Cheryl Vanderburg

CHERYL VANDERBURG had a brain wave after reading Leaside Life. Photo: Will Ashworth

Whether it’s on Bayview, Laird, along Eglinton or into the Leaside Business Park, cleaner surroundings both inside and outside a business help improve the image that the particular business is trying to project.

The same holds true for a neighbourhood or community.

Rumsey Rd. resident Cheryl Vanderburg recently started working on a litter abatement program with the Leaside Library at the Trace Manes Park children’s playground and wading pool adjacent to the library. Library staff pick up litter on Monday, Wednesday and Friday and she does the same on Tuesday, Thursday, and the weekend. The improvement was immediately noticeable to everyone involved.

Then she got a brain wave. [click to continue…]

The Free Little Library in Leaside

Free Little Library

Photo: Ian Nicholl

The Free Little Library idea started in Wisconsin in 2009 spread to Toronto a couple of years ago, and is now in Leaside. It is on Southvale Dr. just west of Hanna Rd.

Leasider Mary Nicholl got the idea when her boss’s wife put one up in Rosedale. She inveigled her dad, Ian Nicholl, to make the box, and the library was up and running in August.

You can take any book that appeals to you. You can also leave books. There is no charge, no card needed, and no need to return the book you borrowed, although that would be fine too. The Free Little Library will have children’s as well as adult books.

Four candidates: two slamming incumbent

There are four candidates for Ward 26 councillor in the municipal election in October: the incumbent, one candidate who lost to the incumbent in the last election and is slamming him, a new municipal candidate who is also slamming him, and a newcomer who used to work for him.

John Parker is running for a third term.

Jon Burnside was a close second in the last election. In filing as a candidate he said, “Our ward deserves better. We need a champion for our communities, someone who will listen to us and work with us, not against us. We need better results for our community.” [click to continue…]

Letters – September 2014

Two Gurkha films in the archives

Lorna Krawchuk reports (July) that Gurkha Welfare Appeal (Canada) archives have been housed in the Tanager Ave. home of the late Major Michael Burke and his widow, Carol.

Two items in that archive may be videos of films that I blocked out and scripted, following conversations with Major Burke.

The producer and cameraman, Vic Sarin, was born in northern India and had a Gurkhali amah (nanny) in his childhood. Sarin, whose film credits must cover several thousand items for CBC, as well as features for independents, shot 1,120 minutes of 16 mm film at his own expense to make those Gurkha-related films.

I hope the archives house them. Few prints were made, so copies are rare.

Robert Fripp,
Southvale Dr. [click to continue…]

Proposals for Traffic

Councillor John Parker introduced five motions August 12 and 13 at North York Community Council that address escalating traffic in Leaside.

The following outlines what he would like to see.

– The implementation of a 30-kilometre per hour speed limit throughout most of Leaside with the exception of major arteries such as Bayview  and Laird south of Eglinton;

– Toronto Police Services stepping up speed enforcement in Leaside, taking particular care at Millwood & McRae; [click to continue…]

We are one step closer to a BIA

The proposed Business Improvement Area on Bayview took another big step forward earlier in the summer towards joining the 77 existing Toronto BIAs by the end of the year.

On July 3, 77 eligible landlords and business owners showed up at St. Cuthbert’s Church to vote on whether the city should undertake a formal 60-day polling period to approve the creation of a BIA by the city. To move forward at least 40 yes votes were needed. There were 52 yeses.

The report recommending balloting was to be considered by the city’s Economic Development Committee on August 19. The committee was to make a recommendation at the August 26-27 council meeting. [click to continue…]

73 Donegall: a big success at the OMB


Recall this column in July which bemoaned the unfair treatment of neighbours and the Leaside Property Owners’ Association at the hands of an Ontario Municipal Board chair. The case of 28 Rumsey Rd. involved an appeal of the demolition and replacement of a traditional Leaside detached home on a street with a virtually unaltered streetscape.

I am delighted that our recent experience in the case of 73 Donegall Dr. was  different. The chair was attentive, bright, efficient and polite to all. But best of all was his decision!   [click to continue…]

Second Sports Hall of Fame induction on Nov. 21

The second annual Leaside Sports Hall of Fame induction ceremony and reception will be held on Friday, Nov. 21 at 7 p.m. in the William Lea Room at Leaside Gardens, the organizing committee has announced.

The evening will honour this year’s inductees and the Leaside Athlete of the Year, whose names will be announced later in the fall.

“We hope that the Hall of Fame reception will become an annual celebration of sport in Leaside and that the whole community will want to be a part of it,” said Allan Williams, chair of the committee.

Tickets for the event will be available for sale at the arena and through any of Leaside’s main sports associations, such as curling, hockey, lawn bowling, soccer and tennis. Additional details  at www.leasidesports.com

Check out our new What’s On listing page – events will be updated monthly. Note: expired events will be automatically removed. To have events listed, please contact us by the 10th of the month preceding the month of your event. Missed the deadline? Send it to us anyway and we’ll do our best – we do list some events of wide community interest in our “After the deadline” section.

It was a great summer, with a 3.89% rise


Leaside stock indexLeaside Life took a hiatus in July for some much needed R&R. We do it every year in the middle of the summer.

Apparently, the Leaside Stock Index didn’t get the memo. In the two months since our last issue the index really took care of business, gaining 3.89 percent, its best result yet, pushing it into positive territory year-to-date for the first time since its creation in February. Mind you, it’s still getting trounced by the SPY and XIC, its ETF benchmarks, but in this two-month period, at least, the LSI prevailed by 74 basis points.  [click to continue…]

We need more data about our traffic

Leaside is caught in a perfect traffic storm: LRT construction and Eglinton Ave. lane closures, the lure of big box retail along Laird, road repairs everywhere. And now the tragic death of a child, which shocked our community and reminded us all of the fragility of life. It also reminded us that our streets, busy or quiet, everywhere in Leaside, need to be made safer.

Our traffic-related problems fall into two categories: long term but temporary (related to the construction of the Eglinton rapid transit line and stations), and more permanent (our traditional flow-through patterns, which have steadily worsened over the years).  [click to continue…]

In our Hood – September 2014

Numerous new shops popped up on Bayview over the summer.

Included should be the newly named McDowell’s valu-mart, owned by Chad McDowell. Jumping immediately into the community spirit, McDowell was one of the sponsors for the Leaside Wildcat’s annual banquet.

New eateries include Leaside’s first tapas bar, Tinto Bar de Tapas. Owner Otta Zapotocky, also owns L’Avenue Bistro. Zapotocky figured the bite-size, sharing tapas tradition was perfect for Leaside, given the number of people who wander over to “the strip” in the evening to dine with friends and family.

Tokyo Sushi was to reopen this summer following renovations necessary after a fire last winter.  [click to continue…]

Awards for the great gardens of Leaside

1 Kenrae Rd.

1 Kenrae Rd.
Picture 1 of 6

The myth information at Leaside High

In September I will be a presenter at the Leaside High Class of ‘59 reunion. The time of Margaret Atwood, then known as Peggy.

The cultural myth of that era told us that there was a straight string tying together your education and your career success. Boys knew their list of acceptable careers and girls could select jobs that prepared them for marriage (nursing or typing that you could always fall back on).

Peggy shocked her schoolmates by stating that she wanted to be a writer. When the dream persisted her parents asked a family friend in journalism to explain to her that  newspapers would only let her write obituaries. The myth was that fitting in was security. [click to continue…]

Leaside sales by street 2013 vs. 2014 year to date (end August)

Leaside sales by street 2013 vs. 2014 year to date (end August)

For a while, the falling number of semi-detached homes for sale in Leaside and Bennington Heights was raising prices faster than those of detached homes.

But the tide may be turning.

The MLS year-to-year figures for semi-detached homes, from July last year to the end of July this year, show 41 sales, a 2.4 percent decrease in sales volume, and a 10.5 percent increase in average value over the same previous 12 months.

And the figures for the first seven months this year, to the end of July, show a big change, from 26 sales, a 27.8 percent decrease in volume, compared to the same seven months in 2013, and a 13.5 percent gain in average value, up to $814,435. [click to continue…]

A crucial meeting for our community

On July 8 the Toronto City Council officially implemented the Development Permit System by amending the city’s Official Plan to read:

“The entire City of Toronto is identified by this policy as a development permit area. However,   development permit by-laws will only be prepared for those areas within the City identified by Council, following at least one community meeting in the affected area, in addition to any requirements under the Planning Act.”

This means that Leaside is now a development permit area but a by-law necessary to implement the system for Leaside will not be put in place until at least one community meeting has been held. That meeting will not be a decision making meeting but will only give input to our councillor who will not be bound by opinions expressed at that meeting. [click to continue…]

The man behind those traffic signs

Roger CattellOne April day when Roger Cattell was walking his kids to Bessborough Public School, he noticed cars not stopping properly at four-way stops and racing to make a light. He wrote to his councillor, got a reply saying his concerns would be raised with the appropriate city staff, and forgot about it.

That is, until the traffic death of a neighbour’s child in July, hit by a car at McRae and Millwood. (The driver has been charged with failing to stop at a stoplight and careless driving.) Cattell felt pangs of accountability and responsibility. Sending the earlier email made it someone else’s problem. Now was a time to do something. [click to continue…]