≡ Menu

Now there’s a weed!

Giant Weed

This giant weed was removed from the juniper beds at Leaside Gardens, behind the arena near the pool, by some of the volunteer grounds clean-up crew organized by Cate Woodward. From left, Dede Sinclair, Cate Woodward, Babs Ritchie and Dina MacPhail. Photo: Nathalie Gysel

“It was an afterthought,” admits Leaside Gardens arena board chair Paul Burns. That’s why the plantings installed around the building had become overrun with weeds. And that’s why a group of volunteers who tried to clean up earlier this year were initially turned away.

But the problem has been solved and the volunteers are back, hard at work.
Burns explains:

“We were focused on getting the new arena built and opened in time for the start of hockey season two years ago and we never nailed down who would look after the plantings, but our expectation was that Parks and Recreation would be responsible. And we simply don’t have the resources to do it.” [click to continue…]

Continuing Pashby’s good work

Dr. Nick Reed

Dr. Nick Reed

It was in 1958 when Leasider Dr. Tom Pashby’s 13-year-old son Bill was knocked out cold on the ice at Leaside Gardens. No helmet.

Result #1: Concussion. A serious one.

Result #2: For 57 years Leaside has been a prominent part of the effort to prevent concussions and to understand how best to treat them.

Pashby became Canada’s best-known and most passionate sports safety pioneer throughout the 1960s and ’70s. Mandatory helmets for all minor hockey players, penalties for hits from behind, and better safety standards for children’s sports equipment are among the changes that can be traced to his advocacy. [click to continue…]

Can Leaside handle 40% more residents?

Kettel Chart

(Click to Enlarge)

We know that Leaside is facing major growth, but do we know how much? We need to know what the implications of growth are likely to be and whether the community is going to be able to address those implications.

If we compare the number of existing residential units in the Leaside residential area and the industrial park to the number recently approved and proposed, we can get a sense of the magnitude of the changes we face.

As set out in the chart at right, the number of residential units would increase by 40 percent from 6,727 to 9,437 units (and presumably the population would increase as well), but the nature of the growth is important also. [click to continue…]

Top 10 for the long run

Longtime readers of Leaside Life might feel familiar with my philosophy when it comes to the business of Leaside. To say I’ve been ruthlessly critical of the business leadership in the neighbourhood, especially those on Bayview, would be an understatement.

However, changes are coming throughout the M4G postal code and I for one am very excited about a future that includes mixed-use developments, new restaurants, entertainment and shopping facilities and an LRT capable of bringing people to and from Leaside in a much more expedient manner.

Business in Leaside is only getting started. To celebrate the coming renaissance I’ve created a top 10 list of businesses I see carrying the flag well into the future. They’re listed in no particular order of preference. [click to continue…]

There may be relief for Leaside from aircraft noise: Changes to flight paths for planes landing at Pearson Airport can no longer be made without consulting the affected communities, federal Transport Minister Lisa Raitt announced on June 17.

Don Valley West MP John Carmichael pushed hard for the change and was with Raitt for the announcement. “This is a great start,” he said. “Flight path changes and the resulting aircraft noise have been a big source of frustration to many people, particularly in Leaside. From now on there will be a place at the table to resolve these issues.”

Leaside resident Renee Jacoby of TANG (Toronto Aviation Noise Group) said, “For the very first time I feel that there is significant hope that relief from our aircraft noise problem will be found.”

The Amaya Indian Room has been at 1701 Bayview since 2007, but our three reviewers had never been there, even though two say they’re fans of Indian food.

“I must have passed Amaya dozens of times and didn’t give a thought to having a meal there,” said Kathy Oriotis, of Randolph Rd. “I’m glad we got the opportunity to try this restaurant.”

“Although I have visited many of the restaurants on the Bayview strip (including Amaya Express, down the street) I had yet to try Amaya,” said Kathryn Champion, Rutherglen Rd.

“I only eat Indian food occasionally,” said Anthony Regan, Parklea Dr. “I must say that I wasn’t exactly keen on the idea, but am glad I went through with it. Luckily for me my two other reviewers were well versed with Indian food, and led the way. [click to continue…]


The TTC “dead zone” on Bayview between Moore and Millwood will be killed the middle of next year. The service that now runs on weekends will become seven days a week with the 28 Bayview bus, the first full-time service there since the Yonge subway was built in the 1950s. There’s a delay because the TTC is waiting for additional buses that are needed.


LRT construction has slowed business for the stores on Eglinton at Laird, but not charity collection. Mt. Everest Restaurant raised $6,500 earlier this year at a fundraiser for Nepal’s earthquake victims. [click to continue…]

Neighbours must sound the alarm MONSTER HOMES

Do you ever walk or drive by a demolition/new build in Leaside and wonder, “How did that get built? I wonder if it’s legal?” And you continue on with your business.

But what if you are the neighbour and fear that you will have to live with the consequences of a builder’s non-compliance, like extra high side walls and building length, high overhanging decks, for as long as you live there?

In at least three cases the neighbours did something about it. They contacted the city and asked the building department to come out and check. [click to continue…]

Memorial ball game

Georgia Walsh, the seven-year-old girl killed in the car accident at McRae and Millwood last year, will have a memorial all-star baseball game held in her honour annually, organized by the Leaside baseball community. The first will be August 29 with all-star GTA teams, of eight- and nine-year-olds, at Trace Manes Park and will last all day.

Stickney builds on family baseball tradition


Eric Stickney with some of the AA Minor Peewee 2014 OBA Champs. Front row from left: Max Merovitz, Sam Brown, Jack McMillan, Will Nenadovic and Aidan Shepard; second row Ben Khan.

Anyone who knew David Stickney, who died in May (Mr. Leaside 1943-2015, Leaside Life, June 2015), could tell you that two things he was passionate about were teaching math and coaching baseball.

Eric Stickney, 29, like many sons, contrasts sharply with his father.

“David was always a relatively conservative and disciplined school teacher,” says Howard Birnie, president of the Leaside Baseball Association and lifelong friend of the elder Stickney, “while Eric was the complete opposite. But both share a passion and enthusiasm for teaching and baseball.” [click to continue…]

Letters – July 2015

‘Oblivious to hypocrisy’

Save our Leaside? What Leaside? Let’s have a look.

A traditional Leaside home comes up for sale. It is scooped up by a developer, torn down, and a large, $1 million+ house built in its place, which looks nothing like a traditional Leaside home.

The house is bought by a wealthy young couple, likely with two cars, one being a largish SUV. Already there is more traffic. The couple shops at the malls on Laird, and do not walk up to Bayview to patronize the traditional Leaside merchants.

This same couple go to local meetings and decry development and traffic, and shout to “Save our Leaside”, all the while oblivious to the hypocrisy of their situation. [click to continue…]

Now semis are the big deal

Leaside Sales by Street

Leaside Sales by Street 2014 vs. 2015 (Click to Enlarge)

Semi-detached homes are showing the most interesting figures for the past 12 months in Leaside and Bennington Heights, compared to the previous 12 months.

Their sales dropped 32.7 percent to 33 homes, from May 2014 to the end of May 2015, compared to the previous 12 months, but the average price rose 9 percent to $850,072.

The year to date figures show the same trend: a 25 percent decrease in sales and a 6.4 percent gain in average value. [click to continue…]

LSI chart May 2015May saw the Leaside Stock Index deliver less than stellar performances from both its Canadian and American stocks, leaving very little momentum entering the slower summer months.

The cause wasn’t helped by the newly purchased Whole Foods stock, which lost 4.54 percent in just half a month’s trading. It was purchased at $43.20 on May 15. Its move into smaller stores and lower prices will hopefully do the trick as we move through the second half of 2015.

Excluding currency the LSI gained just 0.20 percent in May with its 10 Canadian stocks losing 0.15 percent while its American stocks saw a 0.53 percent increase. Including currency the LSI gained 2.13 percent on the month with its American stocks up 3.94 percent due to the appreciating U.S. dollar. [click to continue…]

Broken main slows work at SmartCentre

Many residents have asked me the status of the SmartCentre North development and why it appears to have stalled.

Most of us have speculated that the anchor tenant will be Walmart. However, with the demise of Target the question was raised on whether Walmart would move into the East York Town Centre in Thorncliffe Park instead. This appears not to be the case.

The delay at the site is the result of water main issues. There are two mains supplying the area, one of which burst this past winter and has yet to be fixed. The second cuts through the SmartCentre property and needs to be moved before construction can commence. [click to continue…]

Why we work with the Business Park

The LPOA has a long history of working with the businesses and industries in the Leaside Business Park. My LPOA co-president Geoff Kettel and I have attended some recent meetings of their association, and the LPOA board is interested in the thoughts of our industrial neighbours. Our interests are mutual. Our futures are connected.

Here’s why:

When Leaside was created about a century ago, it was as a planned community.

The founders designed an industrial section east of Laird, which supplied a strong tax base for residential, recreational and commercial Leaside, and ample housing for the industries’ workers The Town of Leaside flourished, supported by the Leaside Industrial Area (LIA). [click to continue…]

Got a dead body to ship? Come to Leaside

The sparkling white building with the black trim on Wicksteed, opposite Lincoln Electric, announces itself as MacKinnon & Bowes. That’s all. What is the business being run from this building?

It’s a funeral-related business, and Allan Cole, the president and owner of the company, stresses that they do not serve the general public.

It’s a behind-the-scenes business, he says, serving funeral professionals with extra staffing, vehicles and other resources as needed. The company also makes various items needed in the funeral business, and is proud that the materials are all Canadian. There is also pride in being a local company, supporting other local businesses wherever possible, and participating in events to support charities. [click to continue…]