Local couple raising money for infant research

Toronto.com has an excellent article on a local couple raising money for research into infantile spasms. Their daughter, Emma, was diagnosed with the disorder, and her story is remarkable: a great doctor and a short video saved their daughter from what may have been a lifetime of suffering.

Photo from emmais.ca

Emma’s parents happened to catch her on video looking startled  and jerking her body when she was waking up from a nap. When it happened again, they became concerned.

After a thorough examination, Emma’s pediatrician told us that she was in good health and did not examine like a child with Infantile Spasms, but if we wanted, she could refer us to a specialist for some further testing.  We then presented her with the video of the “spasms”; it was at that moment that she entered her office [and] called SickKids directly.

It was a marvel that she did, because children who aren’t diagnosed early can suffer severe and irreparable developmental delay.

There’s not a day we don’t think about how badly things could have ended up for Emma had we continued to think her spasms were an innocent jerky movement, had her pediatrician not taken our concerns seriously, had the team at SickKids not been as amazing and as involved as they were and continue to be, had she not had the EEG. 

Daniel and Monica Greco are now hoping to raise money for SickKids to spread knowledge of infantile spasms and to fund research into the disease.

They are hosting an “evening of fun, friendship and fundraising” at the Science Centre. They are also accepting donations online.

Missing young man

12 Division police are asking for your help finding Nate Daley, 18, from Calgary. He was last seen on Tuesday, August 28, 2018, at 2 p.m., near Lawrence and Weston. He is from Calgary, and is n

He is described as wearing a black T-shirt with white T-shirt underneath, blue jeans, black baseball hat with white logo.

Police are concerned for his safety.

Anyone with information is asked to contact police at 416-808-1200, Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-TIPS (8477), online at www.222tips.com, online on our Facebook Leave a Tip page, or text TOR and your message to CRIMES (274637). Download the free Crime Stoppers Mobile App on iTunes, Google Play or Blackberry App World.

Two arrested for murder

Kafi Abshir, 30, of Toronto, was murdered near Weston and Lawrence. He was stabbed to death early Friday morning.

The alleged murderer, a 17-year old, had been arrested.

I believe that this is the first murder in Weston this year.

The alleged murderer was waiting at Abshir’s bus station, and was apprehended a short time later after robbing a gas station.

In other crime news, police have arrested the man who is alleged to have committed the drive-by murder earlier this week in Mount Dennis. Shamoi Palmer, 23, was arrested shortly after a Canada-wide warrant was issued.

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.


Man murdered at Jane and Weston

“Brazen” doesn’t begin to cover the shooting yesterday morning at Jane and Weston. A gunman put his pistol out of the driver’s side window and killed a 32-year-old driver travelling in the opposite direction. The shooting happened at about 10 in the morning.

From CP24. The shooter is on the right. The victim is on the left.

The driver fired several shots across the dividing line, from his car into the oncoming traffic. It was murderous and reckless, and the video is chilling.

The police are looking for a light-coloured SUV (perhaps an Acura RDX?), and are asking for anyone with video or information to call.


Bike non-news

Mayor Tory announced 1000 new, tax-payer- and Metrolinx-subsidized shared bikes this week, bringing the total to 3750. Alas, not one is in York South–Weston.

Users can rent a bike for $7 a day, or $99 a year, with extra fees for long trips. The bikes can be picked up and dropped off at any station.

The new bikes

will be near TTC subway stations and stops, to enhance Toronto’s public transit and transportation network. Bike Share Toronto stations will be located as far north as Yonge Street at Eglinton Avenue, and as far east as the Beaches and East York.

Given the focus on TTC stations, it would have been very nice to see bikes at the Mount Dennis transit hub. Though there will be 200 bike parking spaces at the hub, we’ll have to bring our own wheels.

Your correspondent knows that Italians have it way better. Florence, for instance, is flooded with Mobikes, over-engineered commuter bikes anyone can rent for a pittance, subsidized by internet billionaires clutching for ‘scale’. They beat Toronto’s bikes in two ways: they do not require stations, and they are cheap. It seems to me that investing in public bike shares right now is a bit like investing in taxis pre-Uber, but what do I know?

In other bike non-news, nobody stole my son’s brand-new bike. Stupidly, we left it at Elm Park for a few hours unlocked and unattended. When my boy belatedly remembered, he ran back, and it was still standing there on its kick stand.  What a great neighbourhood we live in.

That got me thinking about bike thefts in Weston. I’m glad to say there are relatively few of them. The Toronto Police keep track, and, unsurprisingly, most of the thefts are downtown.

I was surprised to see that only one local theft was reported at the GO Station. A surprising number of bikes, though, were stolen from sheds and garages—I would have figured that bikes are generally stolen from public spaces. Not so.

Crime in Weston: a review

A Mount Dennis minor was arrested in connection to at least one shooting on Tuesday. The police say that shots were fired near Weston and Black Creek, and then, 40 minutes later, near Woolner and Jane. It’s not clear if the incidents were related, but the youth was arrested on Craydon Avenue shortly after the second shooting.

The police were also called to Jane and Wright avenue Tuesday afternoon; two men were seen fighting, one of whom had a gun. He may have fled the scene in a white car.

These incidents made me wonder whether Project Patton, which saw the Weston-area Five Point Generalz decimated (and 75 guns taken off the streets) was successful. Notwithstanding this lousy week, it seems to have been.

Following Project Patton, gun crime took a steep dive, both city-wide and in 12 Division. In May, shootings were was twice as bad as last year. After the raids, they fell below last year’s levels.

Year-to-year, gun crime is basically unchanged: incidents are up 3%, but victims are down 3%. Nor is 12 Division much worse than average: Of the 17 police divisions in Toronto, we are the 12th safest. Not great, but not bad.

I’ll say it again and again: Toronto is a super safe city, and York South–Weston is a very safe neighbourhood—made even safer by the efforts of the police.