The latest news, views and things to do in Riverdale neighbourhoods
Danforth assault now a homicide case
The 73-year-old victim of an alleged assault on Danforth Avenue (see Jan. 28 item below) has died and police are now seeking a man for manslaughter.
The deceased has been identified as Douglas (Michael) Finlay, a former CBC journalist and producer.
The man being sought has been identified as Robert Robin Cropearedwolf, 43. His photo has been released.
Toronto-Danforth soon to have three cameras to catch speeders
The city is adding 25 automated speed enforcement cameras, one for each ward in Toronto. The most recent ASE site in Toronto-Danforth is on Logan Avenue north of Wolfrey Avenue.
The new camera will join two existing cameras in the ward, currently located on Dundas Street East, west of Boulton Avenue, and on Carlaw Avenue, south of Queen St. E..
See the full Streeter story on the new cameras.
Councillor seeking rethink on CafeTO charges
Toronto-Danforth councillor Paula Fletcher says the proposed changes to the CafeTO program, which created curbside patios on streets like Danforth Avenue and Queen Street East, are “too big and too fast” for many businesses that are still reeling from the impact of the pandemic.
She has sent a letter to city council’s executive committee asking that the proposed re-introduction of charges for the program be replaced by a more modest participation fee.
Restaurants Canada representatives have also told Mayor John Tory and the executive committee that 60 per cent of restaurants would be unable to participate at the higher rate. The plan goes to city council on Feb. 7.
RiverdaleMac closing after 27 years on Danforth
RiverdaleMac has announced it is closing its Danforth Avenue location as of Dec. 31.
The longtime Apple sales and service centre has moved its RiverdaleMac staff to BeachMac on Queen Street E. and its Roncesvalles Apple Specialist at Bloor and Dundas streets west, according to its website.
View this post on Instagram
Man sought after woman punched in face
Police are looking for a 40-year-old man after a woman was allegedly punched in the face early afternoon Friday near Queen Street East and Booth Avenue.
See the police news release for more information and an image of the suspect.
Town hall budget meeting for east-end residents
Have your say at the town hall meeting on the city’s 2023 budget, co-hosted by Toronto-Danforth and Beaches East York councillors. The meeting’s on Feb. 3. See more about it in Streeter’s Things To Do listing.
Identity sought in assault investigation
Police are looking for a man shown on security cameras after an alleged assault near Danforth and Jones avenues at about 3:30 p.m. on Jan. 24.
The victim fell to the ground and sustained serious injuries, police say.
The police news release provides an image and more information.
Arrest made in Broadview purse-snatching case
Police are thanking the public for helping them find a man wanted in robbery after a purse was taken at Broadview station. (See Jan. 25 item below.)
A 44-year-old man has been arrested and faces charges of robbery, failing to comply with judicial release and failing to comply with probation, according to a police news release today.
New CafeTO fees to hurt local eateries: Fragedakis
Local restaurants may be hit hard by the changes to the city’s CafeTO program this year, says Mary Fragedakis, executive director of the GreekTown on the Danforth BIA. She was talking to John Moore on Newstalk 1010’s Moore in the Morning program today.
City council is considering a staff report that proposes charging new fees for restaurants participating in CafeTO.
“Many small businesses are struggling terribly right now … and this is another stressor,” Fragedakis said. She predicted the new fees would put CafeTO out of reach for many of them.
Hear the interview on iHeart radio, including Mayor John Tory’s defence of the fees.
Purse snatching reported at Broadview Station
Police are seeking the identification of a suspect in a robbery investigation after a man was reported to have snatched a purse in Broadview Station.
The victim’s purse was grabbed, causing her to fall down the stairs, on Monday at about 7 p.m., police say.
The suspect was then seen fleeing with the purse.
See the police news release for more information and video.
Gas leak shuts down part of Main Street
Hope United Church and nearby at Danforth Avenue and Main Street have been evacuated after discovery of a gas leak, according to a Toronto police tweet shortly after noon today.
No injuries were reported but Main north of Danforth was temporarily closed and subway stops at Main Station cancelled.
Start making reservations for Winterlicious
Winterlicious is back, set to offer prix fixe lunches and dinners from Jan. 27 to Feb. 9.
Riverdale-area restaurants participating in Winterlicious Toronto include Papyrus, 7 Numbers, Megas, Soula’s, Tapas at Embrujo, Rodeo Brazilian Steakhouse, and Il Fornello — all on Danforth Avenue — as well as The Real Jerk on Gerrard Street East.
You find the entire Toronto list on the city’s Winterlicious page.
CampTO registration set to open
It’s time to start planning the kids’ summer camp activities at local parks and centres this summer. The city has announced its CampTO programs are online for your consideration, ready for registration beginning Feb. 11.
Some new programs have been added to the CampTO lineup for the programs that run from July 4 to Sept. 1.
Camp locations in and around the Riverdale area include:
- Earl Beatty Community Centre, 455 Glebeholme Blvd.
- Main Square Community Centre, 245 Main St.
- Todmorden Mills Heritage Museum and Arts Centre, 67 Pottery Rd.
- Withrow Park and Clubhouse, 725 Logan Ave.
For more information on the program and registration, see the Streeter calendar listing.
Letter to Ford opposes ‘strong mayor’ bill
Toronto-Danforth councillor Paul Fletcher is among 15 city councillors sending a letter today to Premier Doug Ford opposing the province’s Bill 39, the so-called Better Municipal Governance Act.
The Act would, under certain conditions, let the mayor of Toronto propose and pass bylaws with support of only one-third of city council, a move that critics have called undemocratic.
Abby Tobias is moving his company Sole Power Entertainment from its headquarters on Sunrise Boulevard to new, three-storey digs on Yonge Street in North Toronto.
The move comes as the company which represents more than 250 deejays, dancers, emcees, musicians and bands emerges from a trying period during the pandemic, Tobias says. See the story.
Sexual assaults at subway stations charged
A 69-year-old man appeared in court Feb. 28 after four sexual assaults earlier in the month at subways stations, police reported today.
On Feb. 22 and Feb. 27, a male allegedly entered Main Street and Warden stations and two victims were attacked on two different days.
A man was arrested Feb. 27 and faces two counts of Sexual Assault.
Support Ukraine at Friday concert
Toronto-based bands and artists are organizing a fundraising concert in support of Ukraine on March 11 at the Opera House, 735 Queen St. E.
All profits go to support humanitarian aid in Ukraine and providing urgently requested medical supplies to volunteer medical units. More info in the Things To Do listing.
Man reportedly spit on subway passenger
A man spit twice on a woman riding the subway westbound from Broadview Station on Feb. 25, police reported today.
The attack was unprovoked, police said.
The man got out at Spadina station, fleeing in an unknown direction.
Police are looking for a man described as 25–35 years old, 5-foot-8, unshaven and having a medium build. He was wearing a grey toque, blue jacket, dark-coloured blue jeans, sunglasses, black shoes and carrying a black backpack.
Security camera images have been released.
‘Hundreds of charges’ laid against pair for years of east-end assaults
A man and a woman face “hundreds of charges” after sexual and physical assaults occurring over 17 years, police say.
Alleged offences against men, women and children numbered in the hundreds and took place in the area of Danforth Avenue and Dawes Road and the area of Danforth Road and Eglinton Avenue East.
Many of these assaults were recorded and uploaded to the internet, according to police.
Martin (Mark) Wettlaufer, 37, and Kathleen Wardlaw, 42, both of Toronto, have been arrested and charged with offences relating to 41 victims. Police have a number of unidentified victims and are seeking the public’s assistance in identifying them.
Anyone who believes they were victimized or has information about the accused is asked to contact police by calling 416-808-7521.
Parts of Bayview Avenue closed due to water
Hit by flooding, Bayview Avenue southbound from Moore Avenue and northbound from River Street have been closed by city inspectors this morning.
It is unclear whether Pottery Road is still open, police said on Twitter shortly before 11 a.m.
The first indication of problems came from police online at 9:12 a.m. when they reported rising water levels were leading to dangerous conditions on the Don Valley Parkway.
Inspectors were sent to assess the situation but the DVP ended up being left open while parts of Bayview were shut down.
Female reported stabbed in Woodbine Gardens neighbourhood
Police are looking for a man in his 20s after a female was stabbed near Dawes Road and Gower Street. The female was reported to have suffered non-life threatening injuries and was taken to hospital.
A police tweet described the man being sought as black, six feet tall and with a thin build. He was seen wearing a black hoodie and black pants with “Champion” on the leg.
Stroller shown being stolen, woman sought
Images of a woman apparently shown in the act of stealing a stroller from a daycare in the Blake-Jones area have been released by police.
On Jan. 17 at about 3:30 p.m., police received a report a woman attended a daycare near Jones and Boultbee avenues and took a twin Bugaboo stroller.
She is described as wearing a pink toque, a pink sweater, a black jacket, black gloves, blue jeans and brown boots.
Two images of the woman have been released in hopes of identifying her, police say.
Child pornography charges in East York
A man was arrested after the Toronto Police’s child exploitation section executed a search warrant near Cosburn and Logan avenue yesterday.
The 31-year-old Toronto man faces two counts of possessing child pornography, one count of accessing child pornography, and one charge of making child pornography available.
He was to appear in court on Feb. 1.
Identity of suspected arsonist sought
Police have released three images of a man suspected of starting a fire at the night deposit box of a bank.
On Jan. 25 at 6:54 a.m., officers were called to a fire near Danforth and Woodbine avenues, police said.
The man is described as wearing a white surgical mask, a black toque, a grey hoody, a red winter jacket with a Ferrari symbol on the back, dark blue or black pants, and dark grey and black boots.
Man arrested for alleged crimes in Leslieville
A man wanted for alleged crimes in Leslieville was arrested yesterday and charged, police announced this morning.
Police were looking for the Toronto man after a series of crimes crimes in the area between Jan. 23 and Jan. 26, according to a news release on Jan. 28.
Today police announced Gerard Silas Purcell, 40, has been arrested and faces eight charges: attempted break and enter, assault, theft not exceeding $5,000, mischief or damage to property not exceeding $5,000, and four counts of breach of probation.
He was to appear in court this morning.
Like other musicians, Beach-based band Alter Kakers is looking for an east-end place to play loud, but is finding rehearsal spaces are drying up.
The city is looking at ways to help them by stopping the hemorrhaging of rehearsal spaces and creating more. See the full story.
Fox Theatre to re-open
The east end’s favourite repertory cinema is re-opening on Feb. 4, although at 50-percent capacity. That will allow 124 masked patrons to attend screenings at a time.
Movie-viewers will also be required to provide proof of being doubly vaccinated against COVID-19.
It’s official! We’ll be opening our doors for movies once again on Friday, February 4!
Per Provincial regulations, we’ll be operating at 50% capacity and our concession stand will have to remain closed.
Programming announcements coming soon! pic.twitter.com/cDqCcYakPw
— Fox Theatre (@Fox_Theatre) January 20, 2022
13-year-old arrested for armed robbery
A boy has been arrested after a pharmacy was robbed at gunpoint about a week earlier.
On Jan. 18, a robbery was carried out a pharmacy near Dawes Road and Chapman Avenue. A firearm was produced and narcotics were stolen, police report.
Police investigation led to the arrest of a 13-year-old Toronto boy on Jan. 24.
He faces charges of robbery with a firearm, disguise with intent and possession of property over $5,000.
He is to appear in court on Jan. 27.
UPDATE: Police have confirmed media reports that the 13-year-old boy arrested for allegedly robbing the pharmacy at gunpoint is the same boy charged with the second-degree murder of a boy, 15, on Gamble Avenue on Jan. 19.
We’re recognized as a top movie-making capital
Toronto-Danforth councillor Paula Fletcher has heralded Toronto being named by MovieMaker magazine one of the top places to live and work in the film industry.
The city reached the number two position (not counting Los Angeles and New York) in 2022, right after Albuquerque, New Mexico in the top spot. This is a leap of 10 spaces since last year’s list, according to a city news release.
“This ranking reinforces the City’s prioritization of inclusive growth and the expansion of studio space,” said Fletcher, who chairs the Film, Television and Digital Media Advisory Board and in whose ward the filmmaking centre of the Studio District is found. “We are committed to working with all levels of government and our industry partners to develop and ensure that Toronto’s screen industry workforce reflects Toronto’s diversity, so that we can continue to attract and tell these stories.”
And—who knows?—we could reach number one.
MovieMaker editor-in-chief Tim Molloy is quoted in the news release as saying, “With plans to dramatically increase its number of sound stages, the sky’s the limit. And Toronto is, of course, one of the most beloved and livable cities in North America, assuring a great quality of life and work-life balance.”
Give your views on the backyard hens program
The city is asking for feedback on its pilot program allowing hens to be raised in selected wards, including Toronto-Danforth and Beaches-East York.
As you might have noticed in this area, residents have been allowed to keep up to four hens in their yards for both enjoyment and the eggs.
Now members of the public can share their experiences and thoughts on the UrbanHensTO program, including considerations related to public health, nuisance, food security, veterinary care and animal welfare, the city has announced.
The deadline for feedback is Feb. 11. It is to inform a final report to a committee of the city council in March.
To submit your observations, see the UrbanHensTO Pilot Program website.
A boy, 13, faces a second-degree murder charge after a boy, 15, died of gunshot wounds late Wednesday evening in a Gamble Avenue underground garage.
Both of the families and the community are devastated, police said today. See the full story.
Robbery spree ends with three arrests
Police have arrested two men and one woman after six retail robberies in the East York area over a four-week period.
Between Dec. 15 and Jan. 13, stores were allegedly robbed with at least one person entering the premises and approaching the checkout counter while the others waited nearby, police say. One person would allegedly produce a handgun and demand cash, before they would all flee on foot.
The end came when uniformed officers from 55 Division rushed to the area of the most recent robbery and found all three suspects. A firearm was also found in the the vicinity after the arrest, police say.
A 41-year-old man of no fixed address faces 26 charges, including robbery, robbery with a firearm, and 11 counts of possessing a firearm contrary to a prohibition order.
A 32-year-old man of New Brunswick faces five charges, including robbery with a firearm.
A 41-year-old woman faces 12 charges, including robbery, robbery with a firearm and assault.
They appeared in court Jan. 14.
Highways shut down, residents warned to stay home
The Don Valley Parkway and the Gardiner Expressway have been shut down due to the snowstorm that has dumped more than a foot of snow on our streets as of about 10 a.m. today
HIGHWAY CLOSURES: Due to extreme weather and for the safety of drivers, the @TorontoPolice is temporarily closing the DVP and Gardiner. All ramps will be closed. This is to help move any existing vehicles that are stuck and allow snow plows to clear the routes. ^CdK
— Toronto Police Operations (@TPSOperations) January 17, 2022
Via social media, police were also warning Toronto residents to stay home. “We’d ask people not to travel unless it’s absolutely necessary,” they said. They advised those who had to drive to take their time, have a full tank of gas, wear warm winter clothes and pack emergency supplies.
Not everyone though thought the warnings were timely.
A little late, no?
Due to extreme weather or:
>roads not salted/plowed
>idiots that can’t drive
>idiots in SUV’s/PickUps that believed the commercials
>snow tires lack of
>Pple driving like it is August – staring at the sky saying “what TF is this white stuff”
— JD (@FranlinVice) January 17, 2022
UPDATE: By early afternoon, police reported the eastbound Gardiner was fully open and westbound was open from Jarvis. The DVP remained closed.
“The Witches of East York”
That’s the title of tonight’s episode of the popular Murdock Mysteries on CBC this evening. We’re not sure whether the storyline of this historical drama will be based on anything witchy in East York’s past, but we’ll be watching to find out.
Town hall on new police station planned
A virtual town hall is planned for Jan. 24 to discuss the design of the new 55 Division Station on Danforth Avenue, which is to replace the current station at Coxwell and Dundas avenues and sub-station in the Bermondsey area.
See the Things To Do listing for details.
Nominations open for Agnes Macphail Award
Many consider it the highest award an East Yorker can receive. The Agnes MacPhail Award annually recognizes a member of the East York community who exemplifies the causes that Canada’s first female Member of Parliament championed in her distinguished career.
And nominations are open for this year, to be received by Jan. 28 in time for an award ceremony near Agnes Macphail Day on March 24.
Nominees are residents who have made outstanding contributions as a volunteer for women’s rights, fairness to seniors, criminal justice system and penal reform, international peace and disarmament, access to adequate housing, health care and education — all causes close to Macphail’s heart.
The award recipient must be an East York resident who lives by Macphail’s motto, “Think Globally, Act Locally.”
Among the 28 winners since 1994 have been Paula Davies, Raymond White, Karen Fraser, Carol Burtin Fripp, Patrick Rocca, Alan Redway, Bill Pashby, Geoff Kettel, Lorna Krawchuk, Ruth Goldhar and Edna Beange.
Nominations can be sent by email or by mail to Agnes Macphail Recognition Committee, c/o Strategic Protocol & External Relations, City Hall, 100 Queen St. W., 12th Floor, West Tower Toronto, ON M5H 2N2.
For more information, see the City of Toronto site.
The city’s infrastructure and environment committee is urging the existing 18 holes be maintained at the par-3 Dentonia Park Golf Course. This recommendation comes after the committee received a report from city staff suggesting golfers and local residents would be better served by a nine-hole course with improved practice amenities and allowing accessibility to Taylor Massey Creek trail ravine.
Some east-end residents have also been pressing the city to reduce golfing at Dentonia Park to complete the trail through the ravine, currently blocked by the golf course.
But councillor Brad Bradford, whose Beaches-East York ward borders the golf course, was among the deputations supporting 18 holes. See the full story.
Passenger sprayed in face at Greenwood Station
Police are trying to identify a man suspected of spraying a passenger with an unknown substance at the Greenwood subway station.
On Jan. 4 at about 5:45 p.m. a man approached the passenger and, without provocation, sprayed him in the face, police said.
The man then allegedly travelled to Finch Station and sprayed another passenger on the bus platform.
Security camera images have been released to help identify the man in the assault investigation.
At least two East York libraries are closing starting next week, three if you count Leaside, as the Toronto Public Library has announced nearly half of its branches are closing temporarily due to staffing shortages. The Dawes Road Library and the Todmorden Room on Pape Avenue are both slated to shut down starting Monday.
Two other libraries in Leslieville are also closing. But the east end in general is getting off lightly, as numerous local branches are staying open, including Beaches, Danforth/Coxwell, Main Street, Pape/Danforth, Riverdale, S. Walter Stewart and Thorncliffe Park. See the full story.
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