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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 [...]

Bayview’s got a new creative muse

A funny thing happened on the way to this month’s column. My editor Jane Auster knew I wanted to write an entire article tearing a strip off Bayview shop owners for having terribly inconsistent hours of operation. Although she was prepared to let me do so, Jane suggested that before I get in front of [...]

Laird in Focus hits its stride

By now you have heard about Laird in Focus, City Planning’s omnibus study and plan for: the Laird Focus Area – the large block of former industrial lands from Laird east to Aerodrome (east of Brentcliffe) and south to Vanderhoof; the west side of Laird down to Millwood; and a transportation planning study of the [...]

It started with a simple enough goal – two buddies looking to fit exercise into their busy lives. Fraser Chapman and Chris Ferron, who had spent a couple of years riding their road bicycles most evenings after work, had to find another time to meet after the arrival of Chapman’s first child, Sadie. They switched [...]

Kate Macdonald Butler: Leaside’s Canada 150 Ambassador

One of Canada’s most enduring literary icons is Lucy Maud Montgomery, known for her Anne of Green Gables series of novels as well as a myriad of other works. Interest in Anne never seems to wane as is evidenced by the most recent CBC series. Leaside has its own connection to Montgomery in the person [...]

The rich history of Serena Gundy THE PARKS OF LEASIDE

As the weather warms up and the outdoors beckon, activities at Leaside’s Serena Gundy Park are heating up too. The park – named after the first wife of the late James H. Gundy, head of the Wood Gundy securities firm – is located in North Leaside in the West Don River Valley, north of Eglinton [...]

What would TRACE MANES say?

Trace Manes Park is named in honour of a popular Leaside mayor of the late 1940s. It comprises a baseball diamond – the home of Leaside Atom Baseball (LAB) – a sports field, the summer home of Pedalheads Bike Camp. It’s also the home of the Leaside Tennis Club with its six tennis courts, the [...]

Leaside’s boxing great SHAWN O’SULLIVAN

Do you remember when Leasider Shawn O’Sullivan won the gold medal at the World Amateur Boxing Championships in 1981 and again in 1983? At the time he was the toast of the town and the Borough of East York. Shawn grew up on Donlea Drive along with his twin sister Maureen and his younger brother [...]

WANTED: individual for part-time work. Must be in top-notch physical condition, willing to work early mornings and late nights, and able to withstand verbal abuse and a constant questioning of your skills. This may be a job application many would avoid. But under the tutelage of the Toronto Leaside Girls Hockey Association (TLGHA)'s long-time referee-in-chief [...]

The Leaside Gardener: Embracing our roots!

Leaside has been fortunate to have in its history a series of events where each change of hands made a positive difference in embracing our rich nature. John Lea knew it with his farmland in 1819 and so did his son William, the poet and nature lover who expanded the farm. Fredrick Todd knew it [...]

Long-time Leaside resident and CNIB employee Millie Umehara became a centenarian on April 10. A party was held in her honour at the CNIB on Bayview Ave. Millie grew up on a farm in Oak Ridges, but gradually lost her sight in her 20s as a result of retinitis pigmentosa. A home teacher from the [...]

Golfers are well known for being so devoted to their sport they will get out on their favourite course as soon as it opens in the spring regardless of the weather, and continue to play well into the fall with frost on the ground. But there is one group who take their enthusiasm to an [...]

The Reverend Veronica Roynon is not the Queen of England!

Not everyone is willing to step up for a challenge, even when it sounds interesting. But the Rev. Veronica Roynon has stepped up for many challenges over her life. Her latest is to be screened to work as a spiritual care professional at Sunnybrook conducting a Sunday church service in H Wing three Sundays a [...]