Metrolinx Update

Here’s a couple of new videos from Metrolinx regarding the Crosstown Line that will speed up public transit along Eglinton and connect to GO and the UP Express lines at Mount Dennis. The first shows some nice drone footage of the new maintenance buildings as well as the Kodak #9 building that will serve as the station entrance.


The second video shows a station mock-up that apparently is a full-size example of a typical station on the Crosstown Line. I asked Metrolinx’s community relations people about the station, if visits could be arranged, where it is and so on. I began my inquiries last Friday but as yet, have yet to get an answer. I had to send their CR people a link to the video as they hadn’t heard of the station’s existence.

Look for an update once details are provided.

Fuel Cell Technology Turn Around?

Readers may remember a couple of  WestonWeb articles here and here  skewering the fuel-cell technology proposal championed by former Minister of Transportation, Steven Del Duca. Mr. Del Duca for some reason had fallen in love with fuel cell technology and wanted to see if it could be used instead of catenary (overhead) power lines when diesel trains such a GO and UP Express are replaced. A trial budget to check feasibility was originally set at $200,000, now it’s expanded to $3 million.

Now that the Liberal government has been given its marching orders, (precisely for stupidity like this) it will be interesting to see the reaction of Doug Ford to  spending millions on this complete waste of money. Already, one Metrolinx Board member and CEO Phil Verster are publicly distancing themselves from the boondoggle. Look for more people at Metrolinx to claim they always thought it was a very bad idea.

Here’s a flow chart comparison of the two technologies. (Click to enlarge)

It would be far better for Metrolinx to investigate battery technology for powering trains as Bombardier is doing in the U.K.. The cost savings could be considerable in the long run. It would also eliminate the need to build an extensive catenary wiring network which is expensive to build and maintain.

Letters of the week – Weston Farmers Market

A quick promo of Saturday’s Weston Farmers Market official opening generated a flurry of correspondence. It seems that CBC Marketplace’s investigative piece on 11 Ontario farmers markets found that while produce re-selling takes place at most markets, misrepresentation about the source of produce was found at several. A clip from the show focussed on a Peterborough Farmers Market trader picking up produce from the Ontario Food Terminal and disguising it as farmed by himself or ‘someone across the road’.

Incidentally, Weston Farmers Market was not mentioned in the CBC article or the TV show that was broadcast last year. Here’s the letter of the week from ‘ANNON’ and the response.

Hi Adam,

I am a concerned customer… reaching out to you for the third time. Hoping someone with a bigger voice than me can help the market grow into a respected farmers market. Help the area Ive lived in for decades grow. Lets start change.

A “FARMERS MARKET” requires 51% farmers. Selling 65% of their own produce. Its more like a flea market. Do your research people deserve to know the truth. In Ontario FARMERS must state where the produce is grown in. If you are a farmer selling produce, honey, maple syrup or eggs even smoke meats and claim to be a farmer or your product comes from a farm… your product must have be displayed where the product is grown or harvested in.

Customers should know the truth. Lets talk about the truth behind the scam of farmers markets. Lets not let sonority of old vendors have the rights to sell fake local produce. Lets start a market where customers can truly buy local produce. The whole point of a farmers market is to support local business and farmers and support the Canadian economy. Give a chance to farmers from our GTA to sell their produce not for fake farmers to refill their trucks at the Ontario Food terminal and resell it to customers passing it off as fresh local produce. The market turns 39 years old and the longest running farmers market there is… Don’t you feel like its time for change, the customers deserve to know the truth.

The company I use to work for CBC has broken the ice. I would hate for my area to go down just like Peterborough is right now.

Here’s the reply from Suri Weinberg-Linsky who has close links to the market and is a Weston business owner (Squibbs).

Just a clarification: vendors like brothers Sam and Joe, who are considered ‘resellers’, also have contracts with actual farmers who they meet up with at the Terminal where the farmers are bringing their produce to sell. Not all their product is ‘stickered’ – I know because I asked Sam last year. Farmers cannot always go out to Markets and rely on vendors like Sam and Joe to sell the product for them. So it is from the farm, just not sold by the actual farmer. And the Gaetas don’t grow their own corn but buy from another farmer who cannot attend the market – a win-win for both Joe and his farmer friend.

And our Market never really gets into full gear until the local crops come in which is later in June and early July. We have vendors/farmers who will bring their produce once it’s available. Also remember the season is late this year because of the weather. Peaches, etc. won’t be available until that time. Our apple guy is the farmer and his kids work with him – very nice family. The bakers do their own product. Honey person has their own hives (as far as I am aware). Thames Valley Farms are farmers. Ted Vos with eggs from his hens. Asha from Wiff (across from the Market) makes all the samosas. Perfect Blend with their coffee.

So right now, other than the Tupperware and Grandpa Ken, most of the people there produce their product like the apples, eggs, flowers & plants, pastries, coffee, fresh strawberries today along with the onions, scapes and fresh jams, etc. Even the popcorn guy was making it fresh. And we have always had antique vendors, information booths, etc. So not sure why people are complaining. Other than the signs with the wrong spelling. We should be more concerned with why people aren’t coming to support the market. The busier it is, the more vendors will want to come… don’t you think?

Sadly, the CBC show may have caused more harm than good by making people suspicious of all traders. The bottom line seems to be that until legislators tighten up reselling rules (unlikely under President Ford™), market visitors should get to know vendors and talk about the origins of what they sell.

The bottom line: the vast majority of Weston’s farmers market traders are honest about what they sell. Supporting genuine producers will ensure that they stick around.

Weston Village underpass mural ideas needed.

May I suggest a fantasy theme? How about a picture of a Ward 11 cycle lane? That’s probably as close as we’ll get to a real one under the current regime. There will be a booth at the Weston Farmers Market tomorrow where residents can provide suggestions. Be kind.

To save readers the trouble, I entered the link provided (https://s.cotsurvey/chkmkt.com/westonvillageunderpass) but it doesn’t work so send your ideas here and we will forward them to Councillor Nunziata.

Documentary, ‘Some Sort of Judas’ explores hidden underworld.

Readers may remember that Scarborough-based thug and aspiring rapper Mark Moore killed two young men in Weston in late 2010 causing a great deal of anxiety. TVO is showing a powerful documentary first broadcast in 2017. Entitled, ‘Some Sort of Judas‘, it explores gun and gang culture while referencing the killing spree perpetrated by Mark Moore. The focus is also on Kevin Williams, the man whose testimony brought Moore to justice. It’s told largely from his point of view and judging by the scenery, Williams seems to be living a new life away from Toronto, fearing retribution after his role as an informant.

The documentary explores the cultural conditions that create violent psychopaths like Moore and equally grotesque hangers-on like Williams.

Williams, an allegedly talented rapper; rap name, ‘Mayhem Morearty’, hung around with the violent and unpredictable Moore (both were from the Lawrence Heights area, aka ‘The Jungle’). In an effort to get street cred for his rap efforts, he accompanied Moore on criminal ventures including a jewellery store heist and two killings. In the perverted world of Moore and Williams, killing someone enhances your reputation.

Event timeline:

August 9, 2010: Moore and Williams hold up Arax Jewellers and take $250,000 – $500,000 worth of items (estimates vary). A clerk was shot when hit by a ricocheting bullet. In the documentary, Williams claims that Moore stiffed him when the loot was divided and that’s why he became an informant. So much for honour amongst thieves.

September 10, 2010: Jahmeel Spence 27 shot in Scarborough. Mother Beverly Spence (this was the second of her sons to be murdered) calls Moore a vampire for spilling innocent blood and the excessive number of shots used. In one scene she is shown beside the grave of her two boys, the joint headstone missing Jahmeel’s inscription because of the $3500 cost.

After the Spence murder, Moore is unapologetic and texts Williams, ‘Watch CP24’ Williams does and replies, ‘LOL you’re funny ‘, but in the documentary, claims he was desensitized to violence thanks to his ‘lifestyle’.

September 29, 2010: Courthney Facey 18 and Mike James 23 (not known to police or Moore) are killed here in a Weston laneway on Sept. 29, 2010. Williams is present for the killings but claims he thought he and Moore were only going to the liquor store. He knew something bad was going to happen. The shooting occurs opposite the building where Moore was shot in the face in 2001. Facey’s mother working nearby, hears the commotion and sees her son placed in the ambulance. Ambulance workers tell her not to look at her son as he is disfigured by the shooting.

November 24, 2010: Carl Cole, 45 is standing in the parking lot at the rear of 65 Greenbrae Circuit, Scarborough. Moore and Cole are acquainted. Moore fires 22 shots at him. Cole dies of his injuries.

October 2011: Williams and Moore are arrested. Moore denies everything but Williams agrees to cooperate with police after 45 minutes of questioning.

April 30, 2013: Williams is inexplicably placed in a courthouse cell with Moore while waiting to give evidence against him. Williams leaves on a stretcher instead of testifying.

March 26, 2014: Mark Moore is sentenced to 12 years for the robbery of Arax Jewellers. Williams testifies against Moore and receives a reduced sentence of 10 years.

May 30, 2015: Mark Moore found guilty of four counts of murder based on Williams’ testimony. He was later sentenced to life in prison.

Williams comes from a fatherless background and seems determined to continue the cycle. He participated in a bank robbery at 15 and bought a gun with his share of the proceeds, using it for solo robberies. He talks of leading a Jeckyl and Hyde lifestyle and needed street ‘cred’ for his music so he hung around with Moore. Williams claims he almost felt responsible for the murders and says if he’d known what was about to happen, he wouldn’t have been in the vehicle with Moore. Later in the documentary Williams’ sentence is reduced as a result of testimony against Moore. Williams is asked if he has killed anyone and declines to comment. He now says he regrets his role as an informant.

Some other characters featured during the documentary:

Detective Hank Idsinga talks about the police viewpoint. Williams didn’t want to be considered a snitch but after 45 minutes of questioning tells police it was ‘Sparky’ – Mark Moore.

Boogz is an 18 year-old orphan living a feral lifestyle in Lawrence Heights and says if he goes to jail, he’ll have nothing to worry about because he’s never snitched.

Phil Dixon, community coach in Lawrence Heights knew both Moore and Williams as children and found them to be good kids with talent. Disturbingly, Dixon admits to possessing a gun, ‘for protection’ in his younger years.

Mike James’ mother who after the verdict says, “Kevin Williams is just as guilty as Moore because he didn’t come forward after the first killing”.

Williams’ naive girlfriend is shown pregnant with his child but she neglected to perform the due diligence that would have uncovered Williams’ more salient criminal background details and also three children with three other women. She unsurprisingly finds herself abandoned by him.

Cindy Bonnick mother of Courthney Facey talks of the fear of having a male child in the black community and the worry of raising a son in such an environment, being harassed by police, other males or killed randomly.

Moore is now serving life in prison for the four counts of murder plus an additional six years for the jailhouse assault on Williams.

The documentary is a depressing, disturbing and compelling look at lives that many children and adults lead here in Toronto. Making connections with children who are abandoned by their parent(s) would be the urgent takeaway from this powerful documentary and one that should be a top priority. How those connections are made depends on the determination of our politicians and community leaders.

We need to remember that these violent and psychopathic criminals begin their lives as innocent children.

Everyone should see this compelling  documentary. It was first shown last year but there are two more chances to see it this month on TVO:

Sunday June 17, 11:00 pm and Monday June 18, 4:00 am

It’s also available online here.

Farmers Market officially opens Saturday

Grandpa Ken checks on a couple of customers at last year’s market.

Weston’s 39 year-old farmers market will officially open its 2018 season this Saturday and there will be a few extras to the usual vendor displays. Toronto Police and Fire will be on hand as well as live music and drummers. This is the last year that the market will be operating at the UP Express parking lot on Weston Road as it will move to its new home on John Street next year.

The market’s hours are 7 am until 2 pm but this Saturday’s ‘extras’ will happen between 9 am and 1:30 pm.