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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 [...]

Traffic woes at Rolph Road School

Most mornings between 8:25 and 8:45, parents dropping off their children at Rolph Road Elementary School will see a man dressed in an orange safety vest directing the busy traffic in front of the school. This man is the principal of the school, Michael Kennedy, and he is there to monitor the morning traffic situation. [...]

The City of Toronto Parks, Forestry and Recreation Department held a public information session at Trace Manes Community Centre on Monday, March 27, to discuss their plans for improving Trace Manes Park, and, as their announcement stated, to develop “a shared vision for park enhancement” with the community. Neighbourhood residents were able to examine several [...]

There are many ties that bind a community such as Leaside together and one of the strongest is most certainly hockey. There are also many ways to measure success for any team – the lifelong friendships and memories created, the poise with which a team represent themselves and their community, the unique joy one gains [...]

  “I did then what I knew how to do. Now that I know better, I do better.” — Maya Angelou     Ah springtime! No other season stirs my imagination with such hope and anticipation. Each day brings fresh sights and sounds as one after another, plants wake up from their long deep sleep [...]

When I grew up in Leaside in the ’60s and ’70s, I was never what you would describe as a “bad kid.” In fact, the rougher boys in our Bessborough School class would have put my twin brother Tim and me squarely in the goody-goody-two-shoes category. But one day on our morning walk to school, [...]

Flying high at Toronto Circus Centre

If you’ve always wanted to run away and join the circus, it’s just become a little easier for M4Gers now that the Toronto Circus Centre has taken up residence in Leaside United Church’s beautiful gym. I attended a few toddler concerts back in the day in that space, so with images of Cirque du Soleil [...]

Leaside army officer commands honour guard at Vimy 100th

Our Leaside family made the pilgrimage to France to be part of the historic Vimy 100th anniversary commemoration honouring the sacrifices of Canadians in our most significant military victory. For us, it was also to honour our intimate family connection with modern-day service. Our son, Captain Roland Llewellyn-Thomas, a member of The Queen’s Own Rifles [...]

Experiencing Vimy

Leaside High school history teacher Caralin Fleet accompanied some of her students to the Vimy 100th memorial celebration on April 9. Here are some of their thoughts: Since there are no remaining soldiers from the First World War, it so important that Canadian youth remember what took place at Vimy. The men who fought that [...]

The Magic of the Vimy Memorial

Attending the 100th anniversary ceremony of the Battle of Vimy Ridge on the 9th of April, I felt all of Canada was with me on that wind-swept northern French hill. I was there with my student group of 40 who helped make up the youth contingent of over 25,000. Some were fifth generation Canadians while [...]

Noodles and rice with fragrant sauces, Chinese style…my ‘go to’ comfort foods. Must have something to do with my Chinese heritage. So imagine my excitement when the marquee, ‘Tao, northern Chinese cuisine’, went up at the former Leonard’s location at Parklea and Laird. Eager to try Tao’s food, I could not wait for my friends. [...]

Many paths to education

Not all students follow a similar path in school. Students who have behavioural, communication, intellectual, physical or multiple exceptionalities may require special education programs and/or services to benefit fully from their school experience. Special education programs and services consist primarily of instruction and assessments different from those provided to the general student population. These may [...]

The Spiral Garden: An oasis in Leaside

There are many different kinds of summer camp, but a unique camp experience can be found right in North Leaside at the Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital, the largest children’s rehabilitation hospital in Canada, and a global leader in applied research, teaching and family-centred care. As part of their mission to create “a world of [...]

April 9, 2017 will mark the 100th anniversary of the First World War and the Battle of Vimy Ridge. This battle forged Canada’s path towards true independence and paved the way to an Allied victory in the War. In the March issue of Leaside Life, Allan Williams shared with our readers the very personal connection [...]

Last month, Leaside Life reported on a visit by Premier Kathleen Wynne to three residents of Suomi-Koti, the Finnish-Canadian Seniors Centre on Eglinton, to celebrate their upcoming centenary birthdays. The Premier presented each woman with a framed certificate to mark this milestone, and took time to chat with them about their long and rewarding lives. [...]

She has trouble controlling her bladder. She has trouble sleeping. When she finally sleeps she has trouble waking up. She has flashbacks, about the house that was bombed, about the hunger and weariness as her family travelled on foot from Damascus to Turkey, then on to Canada, a journey that took them two years, moving [...]

For the third year in a row, the Lancebotics Leaside Robotics Team from Leaside High School are on their way to the World Championships after their best finish ever in the Ontario Provincial VEX Robotics Championships on February 24 and 25. Four teams from Leaside and their robots travelled to the Ontario Championships in St. [...]

One of my fondest memories of both Harry and Ruth concerns the last day of a municipal election when my wife Beth and I decided we should finish my campaign by saying hello to all our neighbours. Ruth was a candidate for re-election to the school board at the same time. She was also far [...]

A small ad placed in this very publication about a year ago piqued my interest. It said simply, we’d like to retire and we are selling Leaside Life. It is not that I had a lifelong dream to own a newspaper or magazine, but Leaside Life had always been a cover to cover, must-read for [...]

On Friday, February 17, 2017, Premier Kathleen Wynne paid a visit to three remarkable women who will be turning 100 this year. They all live in Suomi-Koti, the Toronto Finnish-Canadian Seniors Centre on Eglinton near Laird, just steps away from Wynne’s constituency office as MPP for Don Valley West. The three centenarians are Aili Kukkonen, [...]

Home Security Tips

If you happen to be one of the lucky Leasiders jetting off for March break, make sure you take some time before you go to ensure your home and belongings are safe. March break is prime time for break-ins, with so many homes in the area left vacant. Toronto Police Services has some excellent information [...]

Matt Moyer is just the kind of guy most Leaside residents would love to have as a neighbour. He grew up in the community, has worked in it for most of his career, and in his position as Staff Sergeant, Community Response Unit Manager, with 53 Division, he knows virtually everything about it. Plus he [...]

A full-service restaurant inside a grocery store? This sounds like a match made in heaven, with myriad fresh and varied ingredients readily available for a menu. But grocery stores are not exactly known for being places to kick back and relax with a great meal and stimulating conversation. This has certainly not been my experience [...]


One of Leaside’s most interesting streets has to be Laird Drive, a major artery running north and south and incorporating the commercial and industrial streetscape (slowly changing) south of Eglinton to the quiet, residential section north of that major dividing line. As most Leasiders know, Leaside was a thriving railroad community, whose executives seemed to [...]

When Swedish statistician Hans Rosling died recently, the world lost an incredible communicator – someone who brought to life the concept that decisions should not be based on hunch or instinct but on the facts. In this tradition, the TDSB wants to make the best possible decisions for our students so we are about to [...]