Riverdale Daily Updates

The latest news, views and things to do in Riverdale neighbourhoods

Taste of the Danforth welcomed back

Greektown shops and residents are excited for the return of A Taste of the Danforth this summer, according to a story in the Toronto Observer today.

The article quotes 7 Numbers restaurateur Vito Marinuzzi as saying the street festival, which has been on hiatus for the past three years, promises to be just the boost that businesses have been looking for after a rough period.

Free tax clinic at community centre

The Ralph Thornton Community Centre, 765 Queen St. E., is currently running its income tax clinic to file 2022 returns for eligible residents. Consultations are by phone appointments, virtually by Zoom, or by a limited number of in-person consultations.

Coming in-person dates are Saturdays on March 25, April 22 and April 29.

To book an appointment call 416-392-6810 or send an email.

Tree and shrub giveaway for Pocket residents

If you’re a homeowner in the Riverdale neighbourhood known as the Pocket — between Jones and Greenwood avenues and between the Danforth and the CN lines — you’re eligible to receive free trees and shrubs. It’s part of the Pocket Sustainable Neighbourhood Action Program and an initiative of the Toronto & Region Conservation Authority.

You have until April 1, or until quantities last, to order the plants. Check the Pocket Community Association website for more information and the TRCA’s online form to order.

Taste of the Danforth to return

One of the city’s most popular street festivals, A Taste of the Danforth, is back on (see March 1 item below) — after a three-year hiatus due to the pandemic and a controversial decision by the Greektown BIA last year.

And excitement seems to be building with the hiring of an event planner and local businesses welcoming the return of the festival that draws thousands to the area. See the Toronto Observer story for more about it.

Workshop on self-defence on TTC sells out, second one added

An east-end gym plans a self-defence workshop for transit riders to be held on April 2.

FIIT Co at 1047 Gerrard St. E. is hosting the workshop, run by the Toronto Krav Maga Academy and Kombat Arts Training Academy.

But, according to the website, the April 2 class is full. Another session is now scheduled for April 23.

The cost is $55 for one person, $99 for two people.

Local stores need city help to survive, Pape business says

Many stores have not been able to bounce back after the pandemic, Kiss the Frog owner Karen McNeilly told the Toronto Observer. They need help from the city, she said.

The Pape Avenue shopkeeper is asking Toronto’s next mayor — whoever that may be — to provide economic support for small businesses to keep more of them from closing.

See the Toronto Observer story.

Outdoor skating continues to Sunday — if the ice holds up

The city is encouraging skaters to enjoy the last few days of the official outdoor skating season at our local rinks. However, the weather seems poised to end the season earlier than the scheduled March 19 deadline.

Sunday evening is when the city starts to close its outdoor artificial ice rinks, natural ice rinks and skating trails and begin its annual conversion of spaces into skateboarding parks, tennis courts and pickleball spaces.

Meanwhile the forecast for the next four days calls for rainy and overcast days with temperatures mainly above zero.

Locals upset by cutting down of Don Valley trees

Nearly 2,800 trees in the Don Valley are being cleared to make way for construction of the Ontario Line.

It’s a move that reportedly appalls nearby community members and representatives who say Metrolinx has not communicated adequately about the massive cutting.

See the recent Toronto Observer story about the local reaction.

Arrest for crosstown bank robberies 20 minutes apart

A man was arrested yesterday after a bank robbery near Danforth and Coxwell avenues, police reported today.

It was the second such bank robbery of the day, they said. Twenty minutes before the East Danforth holdup, officers had responded to a holdup call near Bloor and Bathurst streets.

In both cases a man is alleged to have worn a mask and gloves while handing a teller a note saying he had a firearm and demanding cash. The man then fled the areas with the money, police said.

A 24-year-old Toronto man faces six charges, including two counts each of robbery and disguise with intent.

Images released of car in interrupted sexual assault case

Police have released better images of a car thought to have been used in a sexual assault near Felstead and Lamb avenues on Feb. 25. (See March 3 item below.)

The victim is reported to have fled the car when another vehicle approached on a dead end street.

The suspect’s vehicle is described as a four-door, light-coloured sedan, believed to be a 2011–2014 silver Hyundai Sonata with a sunroof.

Grainy photos of the suspected vehicle were released with the first report but clearer images have been released in police news releases on March 8 and March 9.

Identity sought in robbery investigation

Police have released images to identify a man being sought after a robbery near Queen Street East and Carlaw Avenue late on March 2.

It was reported a business owner was closing up near midnight when a man entered and took items off the shelf without paying for them.

When asked to pay, the man punched the face of the business owner who fell, police said.

Police received the call shortly after midnight, but the suspect had fled before their arrival.

See the police news release for more details.

MARCH 7 REMINDER: Registration for the city’s spring recreation programs is set to open tomorrow at 7 a.m. Residents in this area can then sign up for programs that start April 1. (See the Streeter Things To Do listing or today’s news release from the city.)

Driver sought in interrupted sexual assault

Police are trying to identify a male who allegedly sexually assaulted someone in his vehicle in the east end on Feb. 25.

Police reported the incident began at about 3 a.m. when a man, described as in his 20s, offered a ride near Danforth and Greenwood avenues.

The vehicle was driven to a dead end street around Felstead and Lamb avenues where the victim was sexually assaulted, police said.

When another vehicle approached the dead end street, the man was reportedly startled and the victim escaped.

A description of the suspect and murky images of the suspect vehicle have been released. For more,

Metrolinx to move planned layover facility from Don Valley

Metrolinx appears to have given in to demands that a planned layover facility not be built in the Don Valley alongside the parkway north of the Prince Edward Viaduct.

Yesterday the provincial agency overseeing public transport announced it has found a new location in a light industrial area near York Mills Road and Leslie Street.

The proposed 11-acre site in the valley has been the subject of protests and petitions from environmentalists and community members who said building the facility there could damage the valley’s sensitive ecology.

Taste of the Danforth is back on — but different

The Greektown on the Danforth BIA has voted to hire an event planner for the return of Toronto’s biggest street party built around food.

For the first time since pre-pandemic days, A Taste of the Danforth festival will take over Danforth Avenue over three days — this year Aug. 11–13.

But the event may not go quite as we recall it. Organizers are saying A Taste of the Danforth is to be “reimagined.” See yesterday’s CBC report for the breaking story.

Summerlicious applications open

Winterlicious seems barely over and it’s already time for local restaurants to sign up for the summer edition of the fixed-price dining festival.

Applications to participate in the Summerlicious program will be accepted from today to March 22, the city announced today.

This year’s Summerlicious runs from July 7 to 23 and there’s good news for participating restaurants: the fees have been cut to less than half the pre-pandemic rates. The new fee is $550. The city says this reduction should “make it easy and affordable for restaurants to participate and will encourage more Toronto residents to dine out and celebrate Toronto’s diverse culinary scene.”

Restaurants can find more information on the City’s Summerlicious 2023 Restaurant Participation webpage.

Homicide suspect surrenders to 52 Division

A man has been charged with manslaughter after he surrendered to 52 Division police tolday, about a month after the death of Douglas (Michael) Finlay, according to a police news release.

Finlay, 73, was seriously injured in an apparently random attack on Danforth Avenue near Jones Avenue on Jan. 24 and he died a week later.

See the Streeter story for more details.

Councillors pressing Metrolinx about Ontario Line plans

Toronto-Danforth’s Paula Fletcher is among three city councillors pressing for answers from Metrolinx, which they say has been too secretive about building the Ontario Line.

Along with Spadina–Fort York’s Ausma Malik and Toronto Centre’s Chris Moise, Paula Fletcher won the support of Toronto and East York Community Council to create a sub-committee to press Metrolinx for information.

See the CBC story on the issue.

Three humps or four: east-end speed humps get go-ahead

Toronto and East York Community Council today approved speed humps as traffic-calming measures at the following locations in Toronto-Danforth ward:

  • Greenwood Avenue, three humps between O’Connor Drive and Plains Road
  • Langley Avenue, three humps between Carlaw and Pape avenues
  • Sparkhall Avenue, three humps between Hampton and Logan avenues
  • Warland Avenue, four humps between Donlands Avenue and O’Connor Drive

One-star reviews for local eateries called fake

Two east-end restaurants are trying to remove one-star online reviews (the lowest possible reviews allowed by Google) that they say were not posted by customers, according to a recent story in blogTO.

TuckShop Kitchen Leslieville on Queen Street East and Papyrus on Danforth Avenue were each bombed with multiple one-star reviews thought to be the work of a disgruntled delivery driver.

Local home prices dropping, real estate board says

real estate sale signHome prices are down by seven per cent from last year in this area, according to figures recently released by the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board.

The report indicates the year-over-year decrease for the real estate “E01” area, including Riverdale, Blake-Jones and Greenwood-Coxwell.

As of January, the average home here is now about $1.2 million, TRREB reports.

Single-family, detached houses have taken the biggest hit, dropping 9.2 per cent to about $1.5 million.

Flames from fourth-floor apartment

A fire broke out yesterday evening in an apartment building near Pape Avenue and Queen Street East. Police tweeted at about 6:30 p.m. flames could be seen on the fourth floor.

Toronto Fire attended the scene and the blaze was quickly put out, police said.

Get ready to walk on the Coldest Night of the Year

Coldest Night of the Year walkThe Coldest Night of the Year charity walks to serve the hurt, the hungry and the homeless take place on Feb. 25, with the Toronto Danforth edition hosted by Kennedy House Youth Shelter.

The local walk starts at St. Barnabas on the Danforth Anglican Church, 361 Danforth Ave.

To sign up for the walk, to donate or just to find out more, see Toronto Danforth’s Coldest Night page.

Parking restrictions eased for Family Day

Police have announced they will not be ticketing vehicles parked on the street on Feb. 20 on rush-hour routes and in areas with posted Monday–Friday regulations.

FEB. 17 UPDATE: A man has been arrested in the investigation of the stabbing with a broken bottle on the TTC (see Feb. 15 item below). A police news release today reports more details of the incident and the identity of the accused.

Subway rider stabbed in face with broken bottle

A man is sought by police after a subway passenger suffered facial injuries from being stabbed in the face with a broken bottle three days ago, police said in a news release today.

Police were called to Chester Station at about 1 p.m. on Feb. 12 but the suspect had fled the scene, they said.

See the police news release for more details and images.

FEB. 15 REMINDER: Community consultation is being held today on proposed development at Pape and Danforth Avenues. See Feb. 7 update below.

Family Day fun planned at Todmorden Mills

Todmorden Mills is one of seven Toronto History Museums planning Family Day activities. It’s free to drop in for crafts and games in the Papermill Gallery from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Todmorden Mills Heritage Site is at 67 Pottery Rd.

For information about the Family Day programming at history museums across Toronto, see the Streeter Things To Do listing.

Robbery at Broadview-Danforth store

A woman is sought after a robbery at a store near Broadview and Danforth avenues on Jan. 29 at about 2 p.m.

The woman was caught shoplifting but fled with the merchandise after being asked to return it, police say.

See today’s police news release for more information and images.

FEB. 11 REMINDER: CampTO programs for summer camps are open for registration starting today. See Jan. 17 item below.

Report our potholes to be fixed

You may see repair crews out on the roads today as the city launches its first pothole-fixing blitz of the year.

Chances are, though, plenty of Riverdale potholes will remain unless they are reported. To get those car-wrecking eyesores filled, report them via the 311 Toronto mobile app, online at Toronto.ca/311 or by calling 311.

The city says most repairs are carried out within four days of potholes being reported.

Trees to be cut down for Ontario Line kept from two MPPs

The Toronto Star is reporting the provincial government instructed Metrolinx to leave two Toronto MPPs off a notice to politicians about trees in their ridings to be cut down to make way for the Ontario Line subway.

Toronto Centre’s Kristyn Wong-Tam and Toronto-Danforth’s Peter Tabuns, who have both been critical of the Metrolinx plan, sent a letter to Transportation Minister  Caroline Mulroney asking why they were deliberately excluded.

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Local romances

Many restaurants across town are offering special Valentine’s Day menus and romantic atmosphere for Feb. 14, including Riverdale’s The Real Jerk at 842 Gerrard St. E., 7 Numbers at 307 Danforth Ave. and Mocha Mocha at 489 Danforth Ave.

But spaces are filling up everywhere, so get your reservations in as soon as possible.

Community consultation on development scheduled for Feb. 15

A virtual community consultation meeting is to be held Feb. 15 to hear the plans and get feedback for a development at Pape and Danforth avenues.

A proposal has been made for a 49-storey tower, including a five-storey commercial podium, on the northeast corner where several retail and office buildings now stand.

See the Streeter Things To Do listing for more information.

Memorial at pub for Danforth homicide victim

A memorial for Michael Finlay, who died after being attacked on Danforth Avenue near Jones Avenue on Jan. 24 (see Feb. 3 and Jan. 28 items below), is to be held at Gabby’s, 729 Danforth Ave., starting at 4 p.m. on Feb. 21.

Finlay is reported to have lived in the area and frequented the bar. The event is open to anyone who wishes to attend.

For updated information on the fatal assault and the planned memorial, see today’s CP24 story.

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.

See the full story and image on Streeter news.

FEB. 3 REMINDER: The town hall meeting on the city’s 2023 budget is at the East York Civic Centre tonight. See Jan. 29 item below.

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.


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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.

JAN. 27 REMINDER: Winterlicious starts today at restaurants across Toronto and in Riverdale. See Jan. 20 item below.

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.

January 17

Camping header

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.

See full text of letter at Progress Toronto.

Abby Tobias at Sole Power EntertainmentEntertainment company moving its base from east end

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.

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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.

Alter Kakers thumbnailWhere can bands practise around here?

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.

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.”

Jan. 22

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.

Homicide victim thumbnail15-year-old shot dead, 13-year-old charged

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

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.

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.

Dentonia Park golferCommittee supports keeping 18-hole golf course at Dentonia

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.

Dawes Road LibraryDawes and Todmorden libraries to close

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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Posted: Mar 24 2023 8:13 am
Edition: Toronto

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