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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 [...]

As I sit down to write this, I’ve just finished a wonderful Friday night dinner of delicious rainbow trout. It’s one of my favourite types of fish, which I picked up at de la mer on Bayview. I also happen to be a big fan of their king crab, which is a New Year’s Eve [...]

North Leaside traffic calming – driving forward

Early in 2015, I formed traffic committees in both North and South Leaside, each with a mandate to assess Leaside’s traffic situation and offer potential solutions to community concerns of volume, safety and quality-of-life issues. In selecting committee members, I sought to have a wide scope of representation: people residing on both “quiet” and “busy” [...]

Writing profiles of each of Leaside’s six main churches over the past year was both a pleasure and an eye-opener. [The series began with Leaside United in June 2016 and concluded with St. Augustine’s Anglican in February 2017; all six profiles are posted at www.leasidelifenews.com.] It was a pleasure meeting and talking with so many [...]

STEM Day at Bessborough

If you haven’t heard of STEM, you should know it’s one of the biggest trends in education and a new way of engaging students, especially female students, in learning more about science and math. STEM is an acronym referring to science, technology, engineering and mathematics, and Leaside is not immune to its influence. Recently, Bessborough [...]


Leasider David Sparrow was elected National President of ACTRA (the Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists) at the union’s Council meeting in Toronto on May 13th and 14th. ACTRA represents the work-life interests of more than 23,000 professional unionized performers working in recorded media to tell great Canadian stories to the world. Sparrow [...]

When I first learned that my request to spend a day at 53 Division had been approved, I was excited. Shortly after, my mood shifted to nervous and then to dread. What unit would I work with? Would there be danger lurking at every corner? Police Constable and Community Response Unit member Brenda Dolenc suggested [...]

Get ready for construction woes at Laird and Millwood

Leasiders no doubt will recall the massive delays and congestion of a year or so ago, when the Bayview Extension was being repaved between Rosedale Valley Rd. and Moore Ave. Southbound traffic along Bayview Ave. was clogged, as were all access streets (Moore, McRae and Merton among them). On one otherwise lovely evening it took [...]

In praise of the zipper merge on Bayview

A couple of years ago my brother and I were having a discussion about the proper way to enter a highway when there is stop-and-go traffic. The two of us rarely agree on anything, so it wasn’t surprising that we disagreed on the appropriate course of action in this situation. He thought you’re better to [...]

Nightmare on Donegall Drive — will it ever end?

For the unhappy neighbours of 73 Donegall Drive, the four-year nightmare goes on and on and on. They live beside, or look at, an unfortunate building, slim but towering over the neighbours and lacking street fit. Exactly the same issues that resulted in the prior partially reconstructed house’s demolition? Similar, but with two differences – [...]

A free meal led to a life of running

Have you spotted a runner in Leaside wearing a bright yellow singlet, often with a briefcase or a bag of groceries in his hand? It’s been a familiar sighting on our local streets and trails for more than four decades. This is Robert Moore of Sutherland Dr., once one of Canada’s top distance runners and [...]

George Turrell has never been one to keep things quiet. For more than 50 years, he has stalked the halls of Leaside Memorial Gardens Arena, his voice a commanding presence to thousands of hockey players and skaters – and their parents – who learn from the first time they walk through the doors who runs [...]

Leaside’s mailboxes – missing by moonlight

Very odd. You go to Mac’s Milk at Millwood and Randolph, with the intention of buying milk and posting a letter at one stop. But where is the mailbox? Gone. As is the one in front of The Leaside Pub on Laird – so too the one at the corner of Hanna and Sutherland by [...]

You never know what people get up to in their free time. Your quiet, geeky co-worker could be in a neo-punk-grunge band; your auntie could be mixing it up with whizzes in a chess club…or your Facebook friend could be training for the circus. Aerial aerobics to be exact, which has become something of a [...]