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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 [...]

Bits and bites about our Leaside schools

Principals Mike Kennedy at Rolph PS and David Ehrlich at Northlea EMS are moving to new schools in the TDSB. Thank you Mike and David for your contributions to our schools. I would like to introduce the new principals: Sandra LaRosa at Rolph and Barbara Sandler at Northlea. Both are outstanding educators who will continue [...]

Lorna Krawchuk remembers…

My earliest memories of July 1 may not even be for that specific day. Since I grew up in a company gold-mining town in northern Ontario, with a population of 2,167, a highlight of the beginning of summer was the mine picnic – which I think was held on what was then called Dominion Day. [...]

Does the name Barbara Leaman ring a bell? What about the name Barbara McDougall? In fact, they are one and the same person. You may remember Barbara from school or from the Leaside neighbourhood or as Canada’s Secretary of State for External Affairs (now called the Minister of Global Affairs). Barbara Leaman grew up in [...]

Meet DAVID BRYANT, Leaside’s master of flash

Leasiders have had wonderful local opportunities to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday in the first six months of 2017. With the beautiful red and white tulips outside the Leaside Library, commemorative programming inside the library, special events at the curling club, school art displays and carnivals, to name but a few, the neighbourhood has being showing [...]

150 years of noise in South Leaside

Leaside, like much of 19th century York, began as rich farmland. But what had once been the Lea family’s quiet oasis within a growing and teeming metropolis quickly became the centre of industrial activity. Some 150 years ago, Leaside was making its name as a hub of railway and other industrial activity. Now, a century [...]

The Norway maples were specifically chosen by our street planners because of their ability to thrive. These trees could take compacted soil, pollution, and produce a quick canopy for our streets. That must have seemed like a great idea at the time. Some 80 years later, the Norway maples have taken over 60 per cent [...]

A woman other than Queen Elizabeth is now gracing the new Canada 150 commemorative $10 bank note. Leaside’s own Agnes Macphail is sharing space on the latest paper note. Macphail represented the riding of Grey Southeast as the first female MP from 1921 (the first year in which women could vote) until 1940. Then, in [...]

Leaside High’s graduating superstars

This is a banner year for exciting news about university acceptances and scholarships at Leaside High. Three students – Sahar Abdalla, Cindy Chen and William Chinnery – won the prestigious TD Canada Trust Scholarship for Community Leadership, granted to only 20 students across Canada. Denise Wilson, curriculum leader for guidance, says it is the first [...]

Happy 100th, Leaside Aerodrome

In the middle of the First World War, the British Royal Flying Corps was in need of additional pilots, mechanics, and maintenance crews so Canada stepped up. Construction of several training stations, including ones in Armour Heights, Long Branch, and here, in Leaside, were approved. Canadian Wire and Cable, the neighbourhood’s first industry, provided 220 [...]

How many people can say they attended their 60th high school reunion? According to Peter White, one of the principal organizers of Leaside High’s 60th, 20 members of the class of 1957 can make that boast after attending a luncheon at Fantasy Farm in June. Sandwiches and cake were just a small part of the [...]

When Sandy Bruce was hired for the Leaside police force in 1929, his main job was traffic control: the town’s population was only 605, but there were 15 industries and thousands of workers arriving by car, bus, and train. When he left the Leaside police department 17 years later, the job was different and he [...]

Paul Robert: The accidental Leasider

Unlike some of our neighbours who choose Leaside to make their home, Paul Robert falls more into the accidental category of Leasider. He and his wife, Sally Spofforth, were shopping at the Bayview & Moore Loblaws when they were renting in Deer Park. They drove around the block after they left, and noticed a house [...]

Working together to find solutions to traffic woes in Leaside

This being Leaside Life’s Canada 150 edition, I thought I’d contribute a bit of history to this month’s column. Once upon a time, there was no through traffic along Southvale Drive. In fact, there was no Southvale Drive. You may have noticed that, unlike most other east/west streets in the city, house numbers on Southvale [...]