WVRA AGM

The Weston Village Residents’ Association would like to invite you, all Weston residents and community leaders, to join us for our online Annual General Meeting on November 8th, 2021. 

You may use the link below to learn more about the event and register. The AGM is an excellent way to find out what’s happened, what will happen, and how you can help shape our community! We look forward to seeing you. 

https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/weston-village-residents-association-agm-2021-tickets-204613282837

Weston shows Canada how to host an inclusive Hallowe’en

Weston is celebrating Halloween early, and it will be the first ever for many children and families with special needs. 400,000 children in Canada identify with having a disability that may prevent them from trick-or-treating with their siblings and other kids because of something as simple as stairs. So on Saturday afternoon, thirty households along a portion of Queens Drive decorated their homes, donned costumes, and created an accessible trick-or-treat experience. Simple lessons in accommodation were incorporated, like handing out candy curbside instead of atop the stairs.

The whole thing was filmed and promoted to neighbourhoods across Canada, just in time for Halloween. 

 How did this happen? 

The Padulo Family created the Accessible Trick or Treat movement in 2017. With the help of their event sponsors, they approached the Weston Village Residents’ Association looking for a willing group of neighbours. “Finding neighbours was super easy in Weston, Queens Drive residents were enthusiastic from the start,” says Dave Bennett of the WVRA. Then, Councillor Nunziata helped arrange a street permit in just five days, record time! And Toronto Police Service was quick to lend a hand.  

“It’s more like a street party this way, and it’s so obvious, we’ll always be curbside now,” said Jen and Dani – with Max ready for the SWAT team. Another couple, Margaret and Pauline, recounted how an 18-year-old boy had just come by with his family; it was his first-ever Halloween. He was thrilled! And new neighbours Elliott and Emily (who moved in 1 month ago) are thrilled to see what Weston neighbours are all about. They are excited to participate. 

 How to get involved this Halloween? Visit www.treataccessibly.com There you can order signs to promote a group of neighbours committed to a more accessible Hallowe’en. The site outlines various simple measures any homeowner can take to create a more inclusive and fun Halloween for all.  Way to go, Weston! 

Weston POPS!

A new and unique event has been announced for our community – ‘Weston Youth POPS!’ on Saturday, Aug 14th, 11 am to 4 pm (FREE).

What is a ‘POPS’?  

It’s a privately owned public space configured for the community to create, celebrate, and play. And Weston now has two of them, located just south of Lawrence Ave at The Pink Alley (1804 Weston Rd) and the old Frontlines location (1844 Weston Rd). Weston Youth POPS is an event that introduces these locations to the community and celebrates what Weston is all about.  

There are over a dozen food, artists, stage, and interactive activities within the two locations. Including games and programming for kids 6-12 yrs, a DJ for teens, a ‘Cook-Off’ and inspiring art installations.

This event is brought to us by Frontlines in partnership with a host of community organizations and Castlepoint Numa (the developer partner of the Weston Park Baptist project planned for Weston and Lawrence).

Highlights of the day include Frontlines’ new social enterprise catering facility, Culinary Creations, serving up FREE Caribbean/Jerk-inspired chicken skewers, beef patties, chicken tacos and samosas.  They’ll host a ‘Cook-Off’ among Frontburners Youth Kitchen students to be judged by award-winning writer and Food Editor from the Toronto Sun, Rita DeMontis, Toronto Police Services Interim Chief of Police James Ramer, and Celebrity Chef and Frontlines Ambassador Roger Mooking.

The event entrance is at 1804 Weston (Pink Alley), which continues its transformation with a mural by acclaimed Jamaican-born and Weston resident artist Krystal Ball. Krystal will also be on hand as she works on the alley’s participatory mural called ‘Weston Now’ (working title). Ultimately, it will be a giant photo mural consisting of portraits of Westonians. Have your photo taken; it will be sorted/selected and screened onto canvas and configured into a huge photo mural on site later in the month. Partners in realizing Krystal’s vision are UrbanArts and Community Place Hub.

Krystal Ball (used with permission)

The other POPS location is at 1844 Weston and will feature Shakespeare in Action performers on stage with bite-size spotlight performances all afternoon. UrbanArts will also be at 1844 with an interactive painting workshop with another Weston artist, Star Nahwegahbo, a multi-media artist and a skilled art facilitator. You can paint and take your creation home. The walls of the former Frontlines building will be an outdoor gallery of Weston area murals and art panels, including the first time revealing art created for West Park Health Center. 

See you at the POPS!

Pink Alley opens

It was a colourful and lively celebration at The Pink Alley on Wednesday, when Frontlines opened their new outdoor space at 1804 Weston Rd.

I was excited to see this new public space come alive. There were activities for kids out back, and I had a chance to meet some of the impressive youth outreach staff and tour the new restaurant space and the teen lounge. I also enjoyed the free tropical ice cream.

Well done Noami Frederick, Harley Valentine of Castlepoint Numa, and your teams! 

Pink Alley coming to Weston

An overlooked and forgotten alley at 1804 Weston Rd is getting a makeover this month. It will transform into an inclusive, innovative, and fun space called PINK ALLEY.

All of Weston is invited to the kick-off event, the Weston Ice Cream Party, on Wednesday, June 30th, 4-6 pm. There will be free tropical ice creams and samples of baked goods for everyone! The latter will be served by ‘Culinary Creations’—the new social enterprise catering facility operated by Frontlines (donations are welcome). Be sure to tour the new Frontlines Centre that day; it’s immediately next door.

“The launch will coincide with Frontlines’ Youth Summer Camp starting in July. They’ll make great use of the space,” says Harley Valentine of Castlepoint Numa Developments, funding the PINK ALLEY initiative. Harley added that Urban Arts and Weston’s Community Place Hub are supporters and will continue the transformation of the PINK ALLEY in the days to come. Visual artist Krystal Ball is working with the team to add eye-catching graphic design. The finishing touch will be the energy and laughter of the young people of Weston.

Mid-Humber Gap meeting

There’s been a lot of exciting news in Weston lately, and here’s one project I’m particularly thrilled about: The Mid-Humber Gap multi-use recreational trail project.

As a cyclist, in a community with rich cycling history (Weston was the home of CCM Bicycles), and with growing cycling enthusiasm among neighbours, this project can’t come soon enough. And this project isn’t just for cyclists… it’s for everyone who walks, jogs, wheels their way along the banks of the Humber River.

The first public consultation event will be held virtually on June 10th from 6:30-8:30pm, registration required. Participants should visit the project web page or this link to register.

Fixing the gap ought to create a seamless journey from the current north end staircase of the trail (near Weston & St Phillips) to Jane Crawford Memorial Park (about 1 block west of the Real Canadian Superstore). And it could be a lasting legacy to this community and everyone who lives near the Humber River trails. It will make our green spaces more accessible and provide affordable transportation options for generations.

Alley 1804?

Can this forgotten alley be transformed into a vital and thriving space for Weston?

That’s the goal of Harley Valentine, a renowned sculpture artist familiar with re-imagining public spaces.

Harley is also a managing partner at Castlepoint Numa, the developer working with the Weston Park Baptist Church to re-imagine the corner at Weston and Lawrence Ave.

When I heard he was all excited about an alley at 1804 Weston Rd, next to the new Frontlines location, I had to find out why. Harley explained, “I want to deliver maximum community benefit from Weston’s unexpected and forgotten spaces.” He went on to say that he hopes to inspire others to see potential in the smallest opportunities.

So, what could happen at the Alley 1804? (That’s my name for it, let’s see if it sticks)

He’s working with community leaders, youth, and neighbourhood officers from Division 12 to create a space where Frontline’s youth programs could expand.

And, it could also be a performance space, an outdoor patio for local food outlets, or a gallery for Weston’s artists. Harley’s list of ideas is endless. Safety will be paramount; the location would be gated after-hours. But imagine a space filled with energy, creativity, engaging art, twinkle lights and laughter?

I’m looking forward to seeing Harley Valentine’s magic at work! His enthusiasm for Weston is enough to inspire any community. I’m happy to hear he’s fallen in love with Weston.