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Curious Idler – May 2016

Storm sends St. Anselm steeple flapping

Powerful winds badly damaged St. Anselm’s towering church steeple – a Leaside landmark – on Easter Monday. Copper plates ominously sprang loose on the 52-year-old spire, and noisily flapped like a ship’s sail. One big plate vanished.

A 911 call brought police; passersby were diverted; neighbours moved cars out of danger; and the principal of the (empty) St. Anselm’s School was alerted. Two days later, in calmer weather, a crane hoisted workers 140 feet to the steeple’s peak, and they began to make cladding safe. A next step may be to rebuild the whole steeple, reduce its size – or remove it.

This is a second notable roof event at St. Anselm’s. In August, a 110-pound lantern – originally in St. Michael’s Cathedral – plunged and shattered days after being installed. Fortunately, the church was empty and no one was hurt. The remaining heavy lights were quickly re-installed, with safety cables added.

PLEASE Slow Down signs in yellow and black have sprouted on streets around Bessborough school. Clearly, sensible advice from Toronto’s transportation service.

Question: If other areas are now 30 km/h zones, when will Leaside’s 40 km/h speed limit be lowered to protect our children? (For example, nearby Maurice Cody School – just west of Bayview – is a 30 km/h zone.)

Answer: As soon as possible when Councillor Jon Burnside gets the support he needs from households on streets around Bessborough.

Recent speed tests requested by Burnside showed worrisome results on Bessborough between Sharron and Field. In a day-long survey, 85 per cent of drivers on the school stretch reached 46-50 km/h. Between 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. – school hours – one driver hit 65 km/h, other speeders 55 km/h. Most drivers overall were in the 20-50 km/h range – the later speeds being still dangerously high.

“I want to get a 30 km/h limit on that Bessborough stretch – but it is up to the community to help me do it,” Burnside said.

When Burnside gets 25 percent of households to respond to a poll he planned to mail mid April, with at least 51 percent of respondents expressing a desire for a slower speed limit around Bessborough, the councillor feels “it should be easy” to get the far-safer 30 km/h limit at the school, with other Leaside schools to follow.

“I want all our children to be safe. That’s utmost in my mind,” he told The Idler.

Until that happens, drivers are urged to PLEASE Slow Down – and that means driving far slower than the still-posted 40 km/h signs!

Spotted on Bayview during recent sub-zero weather: Several infants and toddlers without mittens or hats.

A proud Leaside dad reports his computer code-writing daughter – a former Leaside high student and now at U of T – is working with a team of whizkids to build a robotic submarine that works entirely on its own.

Such underwater “drones”. with intelligence built in, may be used in future to discover wrecks and sunken archeological sites. The students are studying science, technology, engineering and math. They hope their self-guided sub will make a splash at the global RoBoSub Competition in California.

The dad asked the family name be withheld.

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