Spaces still available for March Break camps

If, like me, you forgot to plan anything for your kids for March Break, you can take a deep breath. All is not lost. The City of Toronto would like you to know that there are spaces still available in many of the day camps.

Nearby camps with spaces available include at Weston CI, The Elms, Thistledown and Amesbury. You can register online. The camps cost about $80 for the week—quite a steal.

Urban Arts Gallery Opening A Big Hit.

Marlene McKintosh – UrbanArts Executive Director

Marlene McKintosh – UrbanArts Executive Director

A large and respectful crowd was on hand at Urban Arts on John Street Thursday evening for the inauguration of the Youth Gallery Project. Excellent artworks were on display featuring the talents of students from Weston Collegiate and Archbishop Romero High School. While the poetry slam had few entries the audience was appreciative. A guest appearance by talented Mississauga performer John River ended the evening.

Ify Chiwetelu- Program Coordinator managing the Poetry Slam.

Ify Chiwetelu- Program Coordinator consults judges during the poetry slam in the gallery.

Lashawn Arrindell - event photographer.

Lashawn Arrindell – event photographer.

Joan Wilson organized the photo and painting exhibit

Joan Wilson organized the gallery exhibit

John River performing.

John River performing.

Poetry slam competitors.

Two poetry slam competitors perform together.

While the poetry slam entries were low in number, organizer Ify Chiwetelu was confident of more participation in the next event.

Report on Recipe for Community

InsideToronto has a report on the goings-on at the Recipe for Community meeting that UrbanArts hosted this week.

Community food festivals, a food action team and entrepreneurial workshops are just some of the ideas put forth at the Recipe for Community meeting Monday, Jan. 21 at UrbanArts at 19 John St.

UrbanArts has approximately $67,500 to work with so far this year and members of the community, as well as a handful of local organizations, were eager to pitch program ideas to help youth in the area.

Big weekend

This weekend will be a big one in Weston.

The Farmers’ Market will be closing; next year it will re-open in a new location. There will be face-painting, balloons and a bouncy castle.

To celebrate the year end, there will also be a pet and owner parade with awards for the best Halloween costumes. The parade starts at 11, and all are welcome to enter.

At 12, there will be a dedication ceremony for Pantelis Kalamaris Lane and Pantelis Kalamaris Gardens. The streets are being named in honour of Peter the Barber, longtime Weston businessperson.


Residents honoured with Diamond Jubilee Medal

14 York South—Weston residents were given the Diamond Jubilee Medal in honour of Queen Elizabeth’s 60 years of rule. The recipients were given the medal by MP Laura Albanese in Ottawa Queen’s Parklast week. They are among 60,000 Canadians so honoured.

The recipients in York South-Weston are:

  • Fergus James (Fergy) Brown, President of the Learning Enrichment Foundation
  • Major David C. Forster, Instructor Officer for the Air Cadets
  • Denis Hoban for volunteer service with youth and seniors
  • Gioconda (Jackie) Rosati, for her work with Villa Colombo
  • Frank Varacalli for two decades of volunteer service at the Amesbury Sports Club.
  • Mohammed Shahied Shaikh, director of the Masjid-El-Noor Mosque
  • Superintendent Mark Saunders, Unit Commander of 12 Division police
  • Inspector Scott Gilbert for his service as a police officer
  • Barbara Spyropoulos for her years of volunteer service with the Toronto Police
  • Rev. Dr. Michel R. Belzile for founding the Interfaith Community Building Initiative and for volunteer service in the community
  • Father Gianni Carparelli, founder of the Caritas drug treatment program
  • Constable Jim Lambe for four decades of service as a police officer
  • Dr. Vincent Kong for his volunteer efforts in the Sino-Canadian Exchange Society
  • Luisa Giacometti, whose bio was not provided to me

In her press release, Albanese said,

I am proud to have been given this opportunity to recognize 14 outstanding citizens in York South Weston. Their spirit of contribution is fittingly recognized with this Diamond Jubilee medal, and we are lucky to have them in our community.


Photo: Michael Miller

Urban Arts adds more Weston murals

Murals taking shape at Lawrence and Weston.

If you drive along Lawrence at Weston Road, you might notice some murals being added to the large one completed last year outside the York West Seniors Centre. This latest set of three are based on historical photos of Weston over the years. They will be taking shape quickly over the next day or two so if you’re passing by on foot, be sure to talk to the talented group of university students working under the capable guidance of Urban Arts Youth Mentor Jim Bravo. Urban Arts completes murals every year as a way of providing summer employment and to discourage the tagging of blank wall space.

Urban Arts Youth Mentor Jim Bravo

Guelph at Humber Media Studies student Rowena Kizito

The process of transferring an old photograph to a wall involves some digital simplification in Photoshop and the basic outline is transferred at night using a projector. From that point the skills of the team are put to good use in bringing the images to life and interpreting which colours to use.

Ryerson Engineering student Niel Yee (L) and OCAD drawing and painting student Bryan Bermudez.

As a postscript, If you’re not already on Facebook, there’s a very good reason to join. Weston Historical Society has a page and is constantly publishing large numbers of photographs showing Weston and its people over the past century and a half.