A walker’s guide to Weston

An artist’s concept of the Weston Hub showing the outdoor program space.

Beginning early next year, hundreds of people will be moving to Weston as part of the new Weston Hub. A few dozen will move into the 26 artist live / work residences while the vast majority, will rent in the 30 storey, 370 unit tower and podium currently being built by Rockport Group. At the moment, rental prices are unknown but they should be a lot cheaper than renting a condo. Here is a guide for those considering a move to our community and a possible reminder to those already here.

Your new address at 22 John Street has a walk score of 90 which, according to the experts qualifies as “a walker’s paradise; daily errands do not require a car”. Walking is a great exercise and has dramatic effects on longevity. Here are a few of the places that are within a short stroll of your new address.

Cultural Hangouts:

The Artscape Weston Hub: as mentioned, 26 artists will be living and working in your immediate neighbourhood along with 8200 square feet of indoor program space, 12,400 feet of outdoor program space; UrbanArts and Shakespeare in Action will provide programs for young and old.  Read all about it here.

Weston’s beautiful Art Nouveau library built in 1913.

Housed in a beautiful century building, Weston’s public library was built in 1913 and is one of the libraries originally funded by the Carnegie foundation. This branch has a good variety of activities and opportunities to become involved with the community.

Weston’s outdoor theatre.

A few steps from Weston Road towards the river, there is an outdoor theatre in a beautiful setting on Little Avenue that may see more use now that Shakespeare In Action are relocating here.

Weston Historical Society is active, holds regular historical walks and talks and has a base of operations at 1901 Weston Road.

Weston has its own Santa Claus Parade. and Buskerfest organized by the BIA.

Restaurants:

Restaurants abound in Weston: a highly recommended burger joint, fish and chips, pizza, Chinese, Jamaican, Phillipine and Somali food, a chicken chain, family and a breakfast specialty chain. There are several independent coffee shops and even a Timmies. A superb Mexican restaurant is within a fifteen-minute walk but don’t tell anyone; it’s a secret.

Weston Farmers Market, will be outside your front door every Saturday from May to October.

Retail:

We have few major chains in the heart of Weston; Shoppers Drug Mart being a notable exception, but there are lots of small family owned stores selling a variety of items. Squibbs Stationers has been in Weston since 1927 and is a great place to get school supplies and textbooks. Incidentally, Weston Village has one the the oldest of Toronto’s business improvement areas.

There is a large Asian supermarket nearby but it may be closing soon as the site has been purchased by a developer. Shoppers Drug Mart has quite a large grocery section but you’ll need to go elsewhere for produce when the farmers market is not operating.

Greenland Farms produce section.

If you’d like a haircut / style / manicure, there is plenty of choice, including the ‘world famous’ Peter’s Barber Shop on your doorstep.

In spite of recent trends to close branches, we still have banks, BMO and RBC with branches close by and Luminus Financial credit union is a 10 minutes walk.

Medical:

There are several family doctors, walk in clinics, testing facilities, opticians and pharmacies, all within easy reach.

Sports and Nature:

Family and friends watch as children from across the GTA take part in a soccer tournament on Weston’s artificial turf soccer pitch.

Dog owners, fisher folk and photographers will be in their element in Weston as the Humber runs to the west.

The Humber river is a few minutes’ walk away.

A cycle / walking trail along the Humber leads through Cruickshank and Lions parks, the latter having lots of sporting facilities – an open air pool in summer, baseball diamonds, a FIFA standard artificial turf soccer pitch, tennis courts, a skateboard park and one of Toronto’s oldest hockey arenas with outstanding french fries.

Weston’s outdoor pool.

Commuting:

The UP Express and GO stations are 5 minutes away and will whisk you downtown in 14 minutes while airport workers will get to Terminal 1 even quicker. Weston is the city’s second biggest bus hub so there are many routes to pick from.

So there it is; you truly will be living in a walkers’ paradise.

Readers, did I miss anything? Please comment in the section below.

Survey on Lawrence underpass art

The city would like your input into the art that should be painted on the Lawrence Avenue underpass. Clearly, however, you should vote for Alexander Lazich, whose bird-themed mural is really something.

Alexander Lazich

I say that in jest, of course. Most of proposed murals, which will be painted in 2019, are really something.

I’m not partial to Christiano De Araujo’s proposal this time, though I do quite like “The Windows of Time” on Perfect Blend.

Christiano De Araujo

A Shop’s work will have local themes emerging from the bold geometric background.

A Shop

Regular readers will know that I love to bike, and I should love Charlie Johnston’s series. But I have a pet peeve: I hate it when artists don’t know bikes. Johnston’s mural has the gears (bottom) all wrong. The front cog is on backwards–the large chainring should be most visible not least visible.

Charlie Johnston

Jill Stanton’s art is, I think, the most interesting. Rather than a collage, she proposes a comic strip. I love it.

Jill Stanton

 

Weston’s Second Annual Buskerfest – A review

The Weston Village BIA certainly outdid themselves by putting together an incredible Buskerfest 2018.  The event was slated to be a one-time event to celebrate Canada 150, but since it was so well received it is now likely to become an annual event.

Attendees to this years’ event were amazed by a bevy of incredibly talented performers.   As the decadent sounds of pan drums danced through the air, performers captivated onlookers.  Amongst them was a world-renowned fire performer, a Mime and of course Silver Elvis  (photo posted by Roy).

The event was well organized and lots of fun!  It took place Weston Road north and south of Lawrence Avenue from 2 PM – 6 PM on Saturday.

If you missed this year’s event, not to worry, we are hopeful that the Weston Village BIA will host another one next summer.

Nyctophilia artists strike again.

Another community has been left scratching their collective heads after artistic duo, Christian Giroux and Daniel Young have installed another of their creations near St Clair and Bathurst. No doubt there will be some who like it but more likely, most won’t and members of the public who object will be made to feel as if they have no artistic soul (sound familiar?). How this thing ever got approved is beyond me but then, nobody asked me; nor should they. Unfortunately, few in the community where it has been unceremoniously plonked (Ward 21) are likely to have been asked either.

‘Three Points Where Two Lines Meet’. From the Toronto Star.

The above photo is deceptive as the scale of the thing isn’t apparent until you notice the relative size of the stop signs. A better impression of its true size can be gleaned from the artists’ site here.

Unlike Nyctophilia, the money for this didn’t come from Section 37 funds. The source for Three Points is the City’s Public Art Program (nice acronym!). Read more in the Star.

A few spaces available at UrbanArts

Let’s face it: you blew it if you left your summer camp search til now. Still, UrbanArts has your back.  UrbanArts has your back, and there are a few spots available for their SummerArts camp.

I also happen to know, ahem, that they’re not the least bit judgy about being late to apply.

 

Juno award winner at Farmers’ Market

It’s not every day a Juno award winner graces us at the Weston Farmers’ Market, but Tich Maredza did just that last week.

Marezda is a “Zimbabwean singer, multi-instrumentalist, composer, and member of the Okavango African Orchestra, winner of the Juno World Music Album, 2017!”

Help Shakespeare In Action win $10,000

Shakespeare In Action is a theatre group that will be moving to Weston later this year. Here’s their latest fundraising promotion that will help them raise more funds for programs in Weston.

Help Us Win $10,000
with CanadaHelps

As the school year wraps up, we are turning our attention to building our new home in Weston. We’ve already raised over $17,000 with your support.

At the end of 2018, Shakespeare in Action is moving to a permanent studio theatre home in the Artscape Weston Common where we can make a difference by providing professional theatre to the community and theatre-training for youth.

Every dollar donated until June 30th enters us in for a chance to win $10,000 with CanadaHelps. 

Making a charitable donation to Shakespeare in Action will go towards creating an exciting and engaging season of theatre for the Weston community. Your gift will fund the School for Creativity and Storytelling for youth who may otherwise not have access to performance training. Finally, we hope to present summer Shakespeare in Little Avenue Memorial Park and bring Northwest Toronto’s families together in the heart of the community.

We need your support to ensure the success of our first year in our new neighbourhood. 

Donating $25 = 25 chances to win
Donating $100 = 100 chances to win
Donating $200 = 200 chances to win!
Click here to donate.