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In our Hood – May 2014

Day of Pink was recognized at Leaside High School when students organized the school’s participation in the International Day against Bullying, Discrimination, Homophobia and Transphobia. It was held April 9 in schools and communities across Canada. Our Leaside students created their own video presentations and set up various events for the day. The highlight was a school-wide assembly featuring guest speaker former health minister George Smitherman, who spoke about his own personal experiences. 

Bessborough Public School’s annual Mayfair fundraiser has undergone many changes over the years, from the “electric eel” game (which some of us remember) to what’s in store at this year’s event May 24, 11-3 p.m. (if it pours rain, May 25). Check out the Rock Climbing Wall, a new Skateboard Park where kids can try out the Quarter Pipes, Fun Boxes, Rails, Kickers, Poll Jams, Banks… or a demonstrate by professional skateboarders. A silent auction has gathered great prizes again this year, including a harbour sail, golf, a week at skateboarding camp and dinner for eight at Against the Grain. As usual, many Leaside families, friends and merchants are generous supporters. Chairing the hard-working volunteer committee is Jennifer O’Donnell, whose son started kindergarten at Bessborough last fall. “We really want everyone in the community to come out and support the event and not feel like this is a Bessborough thing,” says O’Donnell. “Mayfair remains a Leaside tradition enjoyed by over 2,500 people from the community and beyond.”

The recently announced Ontario Volunteer Service Awards for 2014 include two Leasiders, one from Donegall Dr., Shelia Whitely, and Joanna Blanchard, of Broadway Ave. The awards recognize individual volunteers for continuous years of commitment and dedicated service to an organization. Both will be honoured at a ceremony this June for 20 years of volunteer service to the Leaside Garden Society.

Leaside Garden Society at Canada BloomsSpeaking of gardeners, our Leaside Garden Society won a first, second and judges’ choice award at Canada Blooms this spring. The large, winning design, Untamed, was assembled in Leaside, taken apart and transported in pieces, and then put together again for the show. Now that’s green thumb dedication.

Bayview window shoppers may wonder what Ten Spot means, a new business coming soon to the strip. Ten Spot (10 fingers and 10 toes) is the brainchild of a young Canadian female entrepreneur who created her idea for an “anti-spa” when she was 24. “We’re the ultimate anti-spa experience,” boasts Kristen Wood, who has been so successful that she’s assembled an-all woman team to lead her expanding franchise (which started on Queen St. West).

Leaside residents will start soon seeing activity at 2 Laird Dr. (site of the old post office). A visitors’ showroom will showcase drawings by the architecture firm of Kearns Macinic of what has been approved as plans for the units. No date has been set for construction.

Wondering about the giant piles of dirt in the lot off Wicksteed? The area is undergoing environmental remediation because the land was formerly an industrial site. Heavy equipment will be digging and hauling for several months.

For those who missed those great pancake breakfasts at the beginning of Lent, you can still have your hot cakes at a Pancake Breakfast Saturday, May 24 at Leaside Presbyterian Church, 9-11 a.m. Proceeds support two children, Mesheck and Tarikwa, two overseas orphans, through the Christian Children’s Fund.

Local business Insideout Health & Fitness presents its 9th annual Spring Into Action! Walk or Run for Diabetes at Sunnybrook Park in support of Sunnybrook Foundation, I Challenge Diabetes, and York University Diabetes Sports Camp. This year’s goal is to raise $15,000.