Marijuana talk tonight at the Mount Dennis Library

The Mount Dennis Library will be hosting a talk tonight called “Not Your Grandad’s Weed: The Forensic Science of Cannabis”. The lecture starts at 7 and should last about an hour.

James Wigmore, an internationally recognized forensic toxicologist and published author who has appeared on CBC Radio Ontario Today, will present a one-hour lecture describing the various types of marijuana including edible cannabis, dabs, and their psychoactive effects and risks including Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome.

 

Writing workshop

For the third year running, Westonian Maureen Lennon—a dear friend of the site—will be hosting a writing workshop at the Weston Public Library.

The program begins September 18, and is, I hear from a completely biased source, a ton of fun. Each session is for two hours, and free.

All are invited.

 

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.

Vacant storefront rebate program finally ends in June.

A vacant Weston Road store in 2013. (file)

At Weston Web, we occasionally run across things that were once a good idea but now no longer work. One of them was a generous property tax rebate given to landlords of empty stores. We wrote about it back in 2013 and were pleasantly surprised when about a year ago, Mayor John Tory pledged that he would eliminate the break that had ended up doing more harm than good.

The 30% tax discount began during an economic downturn in 1998 when the Province thought it would help Ontario landlords struggling with vacant storefronts. Although times changed, Toronto continued to reward owners after a qualifying 90 day vacancy. The generous plan backfired somewhat as it reduced property tax revenues by about $22 million annually and encouraged longer store vacancies since owners are rewarded only when they hit the 90-day qualifying mark. This lower pressure to find a tenant also encouraged landlords to hold out for higher rents.

In a corner of the city struggling to keep a viable retail sector, ending the rebates may help reduce the number of empty storefronts that plague Weston and Mount Dennis. Property owners have been given notice that as of June 2018, the rebates will end after a phase-out period that began last January. The Province passed the necessary legislation on May 17, allowing the city to come up with the timeline. Well done Mayor Tory and the Provincial Government.

Incidentally, this year, claiming a shortage of money, the city kept Toronto Public Library’s budget increase to a mere 0.9% and Ontario then piled on by reducing the TPL allocation by $700,000 for the next two years.

Let’s hope that with the additional revenue, the library’s budget can now be brought up to where it should be.

Upcoming events

Lots to do this month in Weston and Mount Dennis:

On Monday, October 9, the library will be having a Youth Advisory Group from 4:30–5:30 p.m.

Join the Weston Youth Advisory Group and EARN VOLUNTEER HOURS alongside other students! New members are always welcome.


Every Friday, there is Mommy and Child Yoga at the Library from 10:30– 11:00 a.m.


On Wednesday, October 11, 2017, Metrolinx will update the community on construction of the Eglinton LRT at an open house. It will be at York Memorial Collegiate Institute, 2690 Eglinton Ave. West from 6:30–8:00 p.m.


On Wednesday, October 18, the library will have an Adult Colouring Club from 2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Relieve stress, make friends, and work on your motor skills at our biweekly adult colouring sessions. Join us and find out for yourself why adult colouring has become so popular in recent years!

 

 

Upcoming events

UrbanArts, the LEF, and Foodshare invite young people to the Youth Foodposium, on September 29. It sounds like a lot of fun.


Dr. Maureen Lennon is leading an 8-week writing workshop at the Weston Library, starting October 3. Maureen is an old friend, super woman, and the only person to have read my book. If she can be kind about my work, you have nothing to fear. You’ll have a blast.

 

New library programs

The Weston Public Library has a bunch of great new programs to celebrate Canada’s 150th.

The Made in Canada program is for kids 6 and up. Children will be building Canadian-themed Lego creations.

For Good Morning Canada!, your rugrats will be working on a Canadian mural.

Finally, you and yours can take part in the Learn to Camp program with hosts from Parks Canada.

All the programs are, of course, free.