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June 24th, 2017. National Hockey League Draft Day. As many young hockey players paced the floor nervously or chewed on their fingernails hoping they might hear their names being called by a big league team, Leasiders Jacob Golden and Will Reilly were spending their days somewhat differently. On that Saturday, Golden’s parents had left to [...]

Over the past four decades, Canada has become something of a hotbed of children’s books produced by Canadians. We owe much of this interest to the imaginative works of author Robert Munsch and his long-time illustrator, Michael Martchenko, who resides right here in Leaside and is often inspired by what he sees from his window. [...]

Summerhill’s Ian Morton spearheads a new BIA for Laird MEET YOUR NEIGHBOURS

Leaside Industrial Area. Leaside Business Park. Both the same physical area, but as times change, so do names. And according to Ian Morton, the founder and executive chairman of Summerhill on Commercial Rd., there may be a new name denoting a Business Improvement Area (BIA) in the not-so-distant future. There certainly was a time when [...]

Leaside students, get ready for a revolution in education!

I love the first day of school! It’s a joyous event and full of promise. Yes, there is the occasional tear, but during those first days, the anticipation of the coming year is palpable and so filled with hope. At this time I always ask: are we adequately preparing Bennington, Rolph, Bessborough, Northlea and Leaside [...]

Leaside’s Eco Team Goes Platinum

Leaside High School was awarded platinum certification on its Ecoschools audit this past May. Ecoschools is an Ontario program whose mandate is to certify schools that attain certain benchmarks in institutionalizing the concepts of sustainability and stewardship among their students. After achieving gold status for two years in a row, the Eco Team and Vanessa [...]

Meet the principals

Throughout my 39 years as a high school teacher, the last 30 of which were spent at Leaside High, I experienced many different leadership styles. To me, the most successful at creating a positive school environment, were those who were visible, encouraged collegial involvement, and celebrated student and staff achievements. Two of Leaside’s public elementary [...]

Since my August column in Leaside Life, Container Gardening- Growing up to cool us down!, I asked a few friends with condos in Leaside why so many balconies are empty. Their response? “It’s too windy, hot, dirty, noisy, a lot of work, difficult to dispose of expired plants, and repeating the same process every year [...]

I’m standing outside 176 Wicksteed Ave., looking for Conspiracy Pizza. There is no pizza to be seen. I know it’s next to Adamson Barbecue and I’ve read about the pizzas: the ones with the heavy names and murky pasts. The Grassy Knoll, named after the location of the suspected other shooter in the John F. [...]

Beware Leaside’s critter litter

Leaside has a lot of critters, both wild and domesticated, and they create a lot of unwanted litter! Our house has an underground garage and amazingly enough there is actually room to park a car! As I was pulling out one day I noticed some insulation scattered on the garage floor. A simple fix, I [...]

Although there was very little development in Leaside during WWI, things began to pick up in the early 1920s when Canada Wire resumed building homes for its employees, according to local historian John Naulls. “There was other industrial activity, too, with the Durant Motors factory opening in 1921 and the completion of the CNR yards [...]

To hell with pedestrians!

That’s how I felt about people who don’t travel by car. Then the construction started for the Crosstown LRT at Bayview and Eglinton. It made me reconsider my viewpoint. It’s funny that I would have a problem with pedestrians because anyone who knows me will tell you I’m a big walker. I like to walk [...]

Talbot Quads at risk

On August 3, 2017, the North York Committee of Adjustment deferred sine die consideration of severance and minor variance applications for the property at 1755-1757 Bayview Ave. The applicant wanted to construct a new three-storey semi-detached dwelling on two undersized lots. The existing double duplex dwelling would be demolished. These applications would remove one of [...]

Leaside, the town that never sleeps

New York City used to be called “the city that never sleeps.” That description increasingly describes Toronto, at least in the policy sense. Even in the hazy heat of summer there are always deadlines to meet, new or continuing issues to attend to, something going on. Construction and reconstruction of roads and intersections are either [...]

Anyone driving in North Leaside near the intersection of Hanna Rd. and Glenvale Blvd. in the late afternoon or early evening is likely to encounter a group of children wearing blue and red t-shirts and blowing a whistle. But they are not playing a game. Rather, these local children have taken it upon themselves to [...]

Phyllis Ellis is a great believer in collaboration. She works now as a filmmaker, but in her past collaborated in a different way – as an athlete, playing field hockey at a level that propelled her to the 1984 Olympics.  Those two worlds, sport and arts, have been a part of her life since growing [...]

I love the anticipation of a new store opening in our community. When Today’s Menu vacated the corner shop at Millwood and Rumsey for the bigger space next door, it didn’t take long before the old space rented.  News broke that Danforth Ave. chocolatier Avoca Chocolates was opening a second branch in Leaside in the [...]

If you’ve ever found yourself on Pape Ave. in front of Lippert Music Centre, you might not realize this venerable music emporium’s Leaside connection. Charleen Lippert Beard, daughter of Lippert Music Centre founder Joseph Lippert Jr., and her family have lived on Parkhurst for the past 13 years. But her connections to Leaside go back [...]

Krawchuk Lane and laneway loving

Most streets in Toronto are named for people. Just ask Lorna Krawchuk. Meeting her recently I couldn’t help wondering. Was she proud of Krawchuk Lane? Did she feel responsible for its upkeep? Had she been there lately? Were the residents caring for it? Curious, I asked her if she would like to take a stroll [...]

Of all the gardening I do, I think container gardening is my favourite. The fact that a plant can live in a container above ground means that life and beauty can be almost anywhere. They bring energy and fresh oxygen to sterile spaces and expand nature to where there was none. On a deck, a [...]

The Lee family of Leaside

Most Leaside residents know that William Lea was the founder of Leaside, but how many know of the other Lees of Leaside? I’m talking about James and Katie Lee of North Leaside and their five children. Although the Lees didn’t settle in Leaside in 1913 when it was officially incorporated, this year they are celebrating [...]

It’s a beautiful day in July and I’m sitting with Robyn Hochglaube, the creator and administrator of the Leaside Community Facebook site. We’ve having coffee/tea at Avoca, the newest neighbourhood coffee/chocolates/ice cream shop at the corner of Rumsey and Millwood. Yes, I read good things about it on the Leaside Community Facebook site and was [...]

The Leaside Munitions Company, 1916-1918 Historic Leaside

Canada Wire and Cable Company was a major player in Leaside’s industrial history from the birth of the town in 1913 to the 1990s, employing as many as 2,700 people at the peak of its operations in the mid-1970s. But the company’s early years did not go entirely as planned. From its original three-storey building [...]

CycleBar is an indoor cycling gym with over 100 locations across the U.S., but Leaside holds the first franchise outside America. Naturally, this new “bar” at 1866 Bayview had us all curious so off I went to investigate. What makes CycleBar unique compared to other indoor cycling options (or “spinning,” as it’s often called) is [...]

Welcome to Leaside’s obstacle course

By the time you read this, the reconstruction of the Laird/Millwood intersection, described in my June column, should be well underway, with resultant diversions and lineups. Travelling from A to B has become a bit of an obstacle course, and is certainly a challenge. So I know that traffic issues will continue to be on [...]

“Hazy-crazy but not lazy”

In 1963 Nat King Cole released his “Those lazy-hazy-crazy days of summer” album. A little over 50 years later, summer is still hazy and crazy, but not lazy, at least not for Leaside (and Bennington) residents trying to keep up with the increasing threats to our beloved neighbourhood’s streets and built-form character.    Here’s a [...]