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- COVID-19 recovery and rebuild
- Cannabis retail stores on Bayview Ave
- Community policing
- Petition regarding Metrolinx’s clear-cutting of trees on Eglinton Ave E
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Michael Garron Hospital recently asked for 1,000 handmade masks per week to help protect patients and visitors against COVID-19. The Neighbourhood Organization (TNO), a Thorncliffe Park charity, and the Leaside Residents Association recently teamed up to help answer that call.
A big thank-you goes to: TNO, which has the capacity to take on a project like this; Martha Chapman, Erica Cooke, Kathy Devins, Dale Gardiner, Sarah Hendriks, Lynn Holt, Betty Isbister, Jacqueline Jordan, Patricia Keith, Barb Leyton, Christina Pinelli, Reh Rhomberg, Andrea Wentzel, Linda Wright, and one anonymous donor for donating multiple sewing machines, all necessary accessories, and fabric for over 5,000 masks; and Karen Fraser and Scott Russell for their assistance.
TNO made the first donation of 1,236 masks to Michael Garron Hospital on April 15. Well done, everyone.
Fantastic news! Over 1000 masks done & more on the way! Thanks to the amazing sewers from.#Thorncliffe #Flemingdon #Leaside #Donmills, our staff, partners, donors, washers, drivers & to everyone for contributing in so many ways.This is inspiring indeed! @MGHToronto @MGHFoundation pic.twitter.com/I6EmNijGt0
— TNO-THE NEIGHBOURHOOD ORGANIZATION (@TNOtoronto) April 15, 2020
On the first weekend of May, people around the world are encouraged to participate in Jane’s Walks. These are free local walks named after urbanist Jane Jacobs, with the aim of sharing stories, learning about their communities, and connecting with neighbours. (For more information about Jane Jacobs, please check out the TVO documentary.)
Due to COVID-19, there are no organized Jane’s Walks this year: a provincial order prohibits organized public events of more than five people (other than members of a single household).
However, you can still conduct a self-guided walking tour! LRA Co-President Geoff Kettel has put together a Jane’s Walk for the west-central part of Leaside. The introductory article and the map for this walk are available in the May 2020 issue of Leaside Life, page 6. Stop-by-stop historical notes are available on the Leaside Life website. The map and historical notes also appear below.
The LRA wrote to the Mayor and City Councillors on Sunday, April 26, expressing support for making more space available for pedestrian and cycling use. The LRA cited Eglinton Avenue between Bayview Avenue and Laird Drive as a stretch of road where automobile speeds urgently need to be reduced.
The Mayor’s office responded on Tuesday, April 28, regarding recent measures taken citywide and, with respect to lane closures, stated as follows:
The advice the Mayor continues to receive from Medical Officer of Health Dr. Eileen de Villa is that full road closures or multi-block lane closures at this time should not be contemplated. She believes the City has to be focused during this key time on encouraging people to stay home as much as possible to stop the spread of COVID-19.
Notwithstanding this response, the LRA will continue to work for traffic calming efforts throughout Leaside, and supports measures to promote active forms of transportation such as walking and cycling.
For reference, please see below for the full text of the letter and the response from the Mayor’s office. The streets that the City intends to reallocate for pedestrian use in the first instance, as part of its CurbTO initiative, are listed in this Toronto Star article.
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Did you know that Northlea Elementary and Middle School opened in 1944?
Below are some photos from the collection of a parent in the school’s early years. Elizabeth (“Betty”) Duck was an original 1946 homeowner on Divadale Drive, and these photos feature – and are shared with the support of – her daughter, Mary Jane Backer. Thank you to her and also to neighbour Kelly Nicol for scanning and making these photos available for a wider audience.
Do you have Leaside-related photos that you’d like to share? Please email us for more information.
Have you travelled along Eglinton East, in the stretch east of Brentcliffe and west of Leslie lately? You may have been surprised by the view north. What was a treed ravine slope has been transformed into a clearcut. These are “before” (March 30) and “after” (April 17) views (though even the “before” view is not strictly “before” as it was taken after the first trees were removed – when the LRA became involved).
It’s the first stage of constructing a retaining wall to allow room for the travel lanes, bike lanes, and sidewalk in the area of the Portal, where the LRT trains will emerge from/enter into the tunnel for the underground portion of the line.
No question the retaining wall is a valid project needed for the Eglinton LRT, but who knew the project, and in particular the tree removal, was happening?
Well, that’s a good question. The LRA is represented on the Metrolinx Liaison Committee for the Leaside (Bayview) and Laird Stations – and they met on March 9 – and this committee was not advised.
The neighbours above on Thursfield Crescent were provided with little information – a crude diagram and map that did not show their property lines. Work started on March 24, but horrified neighbours intervened and work was shut down, ultimately for over three weeks, until April 16 when the tree removal work re-commenced.
The LRA was contacted by Thursfield neighbours, who in addition to the epidemic-related stress that all of us are dealing with right now, were losing (and have now lost) the treed skyline, a big part of the “peace and enjoyment” of their property.
The LRA worked with the neighbours to get proper information from Metrolinx, and helped to compile “20 Questions” to Metrolinx regarding all aspects of the project. These questions were partially answered but In the end the tree removal was total and occurred without an on-site meeting with Metrolinx and contractors present to interpret and explain the tree removal plan – which in the end involved clear cutting right up to the fence lines.
The LRA and Thursfield neighbours thank Kathleen Wynne MPP for her assistance in arranging and moderating a teleconference meeting with Metrolinx.
The City previously suspended yard waste collection on account of COVID-19. This week only, the City is resuming yard waste collection on the scheduled day (i.e. Wednesday April 8 north of Eglinton; Thursday April 9 south of Eglinton).
Two key differences: (1) please use yard waste bags only, not open-top containers; and (2) please be patient and do not call 311 if the collection is missed on the day, as pickups may slip on account of anticipated volume.
Please also ensure that yard waste bags are not placed on the sidewalk.
More information on the City’s website.
Sunnybrook no longer allowing visitors during coronavirus pandemic
Hospitals tightening visitor policy per ministry request
March 21, 2020
Aaron D’Andrea (toronto.com)
“This includes family members or companions accompanying patients to appointments or procedures,” Sunnybrook said on its website. The policy change is in effect until further notice.
“We understand that this is a difficult change for those with loved ones who need to be in the hospital, but it is an important precaution being put in place to ensure the safety of all those at Sunnybrook, including our sickest and most vulnerable patients.”
“The ministry is identifying essential visitors as those who have a patient who is dying or very ill or a parent/guardian of an ill child or youth, a visitor of a patient undergoing surgery or a woman giving birth,” the memo reads. “These visitors must continue to be actively screened into these settings.”
Hospitals across the province are making the policy change.
Humber River Hospital is no longer allowing visitors at its three sites, including its two Reactivation Care Centres. There will be limited exceptions including patients who are at end-of-life, critically ill, pediatric patients, patients receiving surgery, or women in the birthing suites.
North York General Hospital is also not allowing visitors, saying on its website exceptions will be made on a case-by-case basis.
Those wondering what the changes to the visitor policy are at their local hospital are asked to check their institution’s website.