Back to School, Back to 1998

School is back in session, and these first few weeks have surely been hectic as parents and students get back in the groove of the scholastic year. Teachers have also had to get back in the swing of things with not only new students but a new curriculum, or should I say old. Before this school year started, the Ford government rolled back the sex ed curriculum to that of 1998, scrapping the 2015 version for a “new” version that is to be released in the future, once more consulting is done with parents and teachers. The old curriculum fails to include conversations about cyber bullying and consent, among a few other things. Curriculum nights are coming up for most schools, it may be worth having a chat with your child’s teacher and asking them what they intend to teach. TDSB and TCDSB trustees have made statements that they will be following the 2015 curriculum, but it never hurts to be certain about what is being taught.

Children today are not children from twenty years ago. They are surrounded every day by technology and media, much of which we as adults have a hard time sifting through. Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and other social media sites are easily accessible, especially when it appears every other child has a smart device.  If the Ontario Government feels it is essential to roll back changes, it may be time to have a serious look at what our children are being taught and put in our two cents. You can access both versions of the curriculum on the government of Ontario website or through a simple google search, if you would like to have a look for yourself.

Today in Weston September 19, 2018

A worker on the new St John the Evangelist Catholic School site is silhouetted against the sun this morning. The school on George Street is just a few weeks away from completion.

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.

Daycare at Pelmo PS–coming soonish

Pelmo Park Public School has asked the city for permission to build a  4000-square-foot single-storey daycare attached to the main school building.

According to Chris Tonks, the centre will hold 49 children, from infant through to preschool, and will accept city subsidies. It won’t, however, open until after 2021.

 

Tonks says that Weston Memorial has also been approved for funding for a 49-spot daycare. It, too, is in the early stages of the process, and will not open until at least 2021. Still, this is great news; Weston has not had an institutional daycare since we lost Weston Village Childcare 5 years ago.

 

Unsettling news

The principal of CR Marchant has some unsettling news that accords with some rumblings I’ve heard in the neighbourhood:

Unfortunately, over the last week, two of our students were followed by someone when walking home. Both times, the person was in a vehicle.

According to Ms Caddel, the “police have been called and have been touring the neighbourhood a bit more this week.” Your correspondent has emailed the police, but has not heard back.

If you have any information, please leave a comment.

 

 

Pelmo Park Public School gets Jays Grant

Pelmo Park Junior Public school  recieved a grant this week to refurbish the baseball diamond from the Toronto Blue Jays’ charitable arm

The Jays Care Foundation has a “Field of Dreams program [that] provides funding to design, refurbish and build safe spaces for children and youth to play baseball, develop life skills and learn from positive role models.”

The grants are for up to $150,000 and are given nationwide.

 

Speed limits may be lowered on 4 streets

The Etobicoke York Community Council is considering lowering the speed limits on four streets in Weston and Mount Dennis. The motion will reduce the speed limit to 30 km/hr on the following streets:

  • Wall Avenue
  • Ralph Street (near CR Marchant)
  • Guestville (near Our Lady of Victory Catholic School)
  • Dennis Avenue (near Dennis Avenue School)

A petition had been circulated to ask for speed humps on Wall Avenue, but doing so didn’t meet the technical criteria, so lowered speed limits are being asked for instead.

The motion will be considered April 4.