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June update

Please see our June e-update (https://mailchi.mp/a7c341b613a6/earlyjune) for more information about:

  1. Committee of Adjustment resumption
  2. Bellwood grounds closure
  3. Holland Bloorview expansion
  4. ActiveTO
  5. Vanderhoof sidewalk
  6. Membership matters

You can subscribe to our e-updates here.


COVID-19: Making Masks (updated)

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 DevinsDale GardinerSarah Hendriks, Lynn Holt, Betty Isbister, Jacqueline Jordan, Patricia Keith, Barb Leyton, Christina PinelliReh 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.


Jane’s Walks and COVID-19

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.

Map of walking tour of west-central Leaside. Image first published in Leaside Life (May 2020).

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Infrastructure changes?

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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Join our email list

Please subscribe to our email list so that you don’t miss out on our latest news! Our recent messages:

  • May 1, 2020: infrastructure changes; Jane’s Walk; Northlea photos 1955-1960; benches and COVID-19; litter; billboards.
  • April 21, 2020: Eglinton clear-cutting; yard waste; COVID-19 rules; Margaret Atwood yearbook photo.
  • April 13, 2020: Crosstown virtual open house; COVID-19 matters; links to Leaside history readings.
  • April 7, 2020: COVID-19 matters, including yard waste pickup, protecting yourselves and others, and call for donations of sewing machines and fabric to make masks; and planning matters.
  • March 30, 2020: COVID-19; community cheer; planning updates.
  • March 18, 2020: COVID-19; 211; household energy use survey.
  • February 2020: membership renewals; planning; traffic and transit; crime and safety; climate action.
  • December 2019: Millwood Rd development; police liaison.
  • November 2019: Annual General Meeting reminder.
  • October 2019: notice of Annual General Meeting.
  • September 2019: federal election debate; planning open house.
  • May 2019: provincial Bill 108.


Northlea school photos

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.

Northlea school - class photo 1955
Northlea school class photo (1955). From the collection of Elizabeth (“Betty”) Duck, c/o Mary Jane Backer and Kelly Nicol.
Northlea school - graduation photo 1960
Northlea Grade 8 graduation (c. 1960). From the collection of Elizabeth (“Betty”) Duck, c/o Mary Jane Backer and Kelly Nicol.



Update on Eglinton clear-cutting

By Geoff Kettel, Co-President, LRA

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).

What’s happening?

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.


COVID-19 and Yard Waste – this week only

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.

Thank you to Leasider Roger Steer for bringing this to our attention.


Sunnybrook Hospital – visiting protocol

Please see the following news article from Toronto.com about Sunnybrook Hospital’s new visiting protocol. Note that you have the option of subscribing to local newsletters on this website.


Sunnybrook no longer allowing visitors during coronavirus pandemic
Hospitals tightening visitor policy per ministry request
March 21, 2020
Aaron D’Andrea (toronto.com)

Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in North York will no longer allow visitors during the COVID-19 pandemic.

On Saturday morning, the hospital, which cared for the first coronavirus patient in Canada, made the announcement that as of 7 p.m. on March 21, no visitors would be permitted on site.

“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 change in policy follows a memo issued by Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. David Williams, on March 19 advising all hospitals “only allow essential visitors until further notice.”

“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.

In TorontoSickKids is only allowing one adult caregiver per patient. No siblings or other visitors are permitted.

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.


COVID-19 scams

Please see below from the Government of Canada and Toronto Police:


As COVID-19 continues to spread globally, watch out for associated scams. Fraudsters want to profit from consumers’ fears, uncertainties and misinformation. Please read the below information.

Protect yourself, beware of:

  • Spoofed government, healthcare or research information
  • Unsolicited calls, emails and texts giving medical advice or requesting urgent action or payment – If you didn’t initiate contact, you don’t know who you’re communicating to
  • Never respond or click on suspicious links and attachments
  • Never give out your personal or financial details
  • Unauthorized or fraudulent charities requesting money for victims, products or research – Don’t be pressured into making a donation – Verify that a charity is registered
  • High-priced or low-quality products purchased in bulk by consumers and resold for profit
  • These items may be expired and/or dangerous to your health
  • Questionable offers, such as miracle cures, herbal remedies, vaccinations, faster testing
  • Fake and deceptive online ads, including cleaning products, hand sanitizers, and other items in high demand

Reported scams

Fraudsters are posing as:

  • Cleaning or heating companies offering duct cleaning services or air filters to protect from COVID-19
  • Local and provincial hydro/electrical power companies threatening to disconnect your power for non-payment
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the World Health Organization offering fake lists for sale of COVID-19 infected people in your neighbourhood
  • Public Health Agency of Canada giving false results saying you have been tested positive for COVID-19 tricking you into confirming your health card and credit card numbers for a prescription
  • Red Cross and other known charities offering free medical products (e.g. masks) for a donation
  • Government departments sending out coronavirus-themed phishing emails tricking you into opening malicious attachments, tricking you to reveal sensitive personal and financial details
  • Financial advisors pressuring people to invest in hot new stocks related to the disease, offering financial aid and/or loans to help you get through the shut downs
  • Door-to-door sales people selling household decontamination services
  • Private companies offering fast COVID-19 tests for sale – Only hospitals can perform the tests – No other tests are genuine or guaranteed to provide accurate results
  • Selling fraudulent products that claim to treat or prevent the disease – Unapproved drugs threaten public health and violate federal laws

Trusted resources and advice

Reference the latest health information from these legitimate sources:
Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) (Public Health Agency of Canada)
Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak (World Health Organization)

Contact your insurance provider to answer any health insurance questions

Make sure you have anti-virus software installed and keep your operating system up to date.

For further information visit

Please kindly forward this information to your community members so that they are aware of this and let’s help prevent them becoming victims to these scams.

Kind Regards

Kulvinder Mann
Police Constable #10609
Toronto Police Service
Phone: (416)-808-0115
Email: Kulvinder.Mann@torontopolice.on.ca