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Curious Idler – March 2016

Hollywood stars and a dog dispute

Hollywood actor Matt Damon will likely be strolling about Leaside this summer. The movie star – along with Reese Witherspoon and Alec Baldwin – will be shooting a satirical movie entitled Downsizing. Paramount Films says it is about a man who “realizes he would have a better life if he were to shrink himself” – a notion that, coincidentally, many Leasiders are themselves mulling over.

“The setting is ‘working class,’ so we are looking for houses that have not had extensive renovations,” says location scout Philip Spurvey. Shooting of interior and exterior scenes is scheduled for May and June. Owners of the house chosen for the movie would stay in a hotel during shooting and, of course, will receive a cheque!


Hot words were exchanged when a rescue dog called Sam was left outside Starbucks recently in -13 °C weather.

Five Bayview coffee shop  patrons berated the  dog owner, threatened to call police, and aggressively challenged him to “try standing outside in your bare feet” in the intense cold. The manager had to intercede after a particularly nasty outburst of potty mouth language, and when fisticuffs threatened – an amazing scene witnessed by The Idler.

The dog owner said the half-Rottweiller he’d left tied up and shivering for 30 minutes or so was a rescue animal “who lives a pampered life with me. And, yes, sometimes we go outside when it’s cold.”  The owner, called Dave, added “that while I can appreciate people’s concern up to a point, the mob of indignation this morning  . . . was just plain shabby”.

Upset at the lack of civility, Dave later complained about the “swearing and ranting at a responsible and experienced dog owner,” and said he knows Sam well. “While he does have short hair, the undercoat and muscle of a Rottweiler does just fine outside in cold weather. Perhaps not Yukon cold, but here in Leaside he and I are managing just fine.

Fuming patrons who featured in the ugly “dogfight “ over Sam loudly disagreed.


Leaside United Church (LUC) once again has a team of volunteers headed to Honduras March 15 for a seven-day trip to participate in the El Hogar Projects, an undertaking that provides loving homes and education for abandoned, orphaned and hopelessly poor children in Honduras.

LUC has had a connection to El Hogar for more than 20 years through the generosity and dedication of many volunteers and supporters. The church provides annual sponsorship of three children and every two years sends a team to the Central American country.

There are nine members on the current team, including two teenagers.