Weston Common “20 years in the making”

Toronto.com has an article on the Weston Common and the activists who helped make it happen. It’s well worth the read.

“Art can change a life; it can change a path; it can change a destiny, a perspective, and open up opportunities,” Weinberg-Linsky said.

Weston Common seeking tenants

Yesterday, Artscape Weston Common opened its application process for artists seeking a live-work space.

When it is complete, the development will house 26 artists in below-market-rate homes (rents will be 80% of a comparable private home). Residents must be professional artists with an an income less than about $50,000. They must also participate in a community “value exchange”–donating their time to projects in Weston or the building.

The application closes April 11.

CBC on local pot shops

The CBC has an interesting story on the recent police raid of a Weston pot shop.

Last week, police raided the California Cannabis dispensary at 1608 Weston Road for the fifth time in less than three months. Each time they seized a number of items inside, including computers, cash and, of course, all of the pot.

But as police step up their campaign to shut down illegal storefront cannabis operations, last week’s raid underscores a frustrating reality for law enforcement. They’ve been able to close the dispensaries and charge hundreds of employees. But the businesses seldom stay closed and the majority of charges are dropped.

The province will have legal stores set up by July, but the locations have not yet been announced.

1985 Weston wish list

Cycle YorkSouth-Weston has tweeted this fascinating wish list for Weston drawn up by residents back in 1985. Some very forward looking ideas were proposed and some have actually come to pass (the Humber footbridge). Would the people who created this list 33 years ago be pleased or disappointed with the progress made since then?


Why do people get hit by cars in Weston?

After the most recent accident at Weston and Lawrence, in which a woman was seriously injured, your correspondent started thinking about the reasons why people keep getting hurt—and what might be done to prevent future injuries and deaths.

Is it road design? Poor lighting? Poor intersection control? Enforcement failures? Or is it something else?

The cause of death and injury is likely banal and sad: mix many people and many cars, and some will come into conflict.

The city and police publish much data on road use and accidents. I mapped the number accidents in which pedestrians were killed or seriously injured and the data on the number of pedestrians.

Pins show the busiest pedestrian intersections (top quintile). Crossbones show intersections with more than one accident.

After quite a bit of fiddling, the answer is pretty clear:  the more pedestrians there are, the more likely it is that someone will be hurt. All of the intersections in which there has been more than one accident are among the busiest intersections in York South–Weston.

I took all the data the city gathers on pedestrian use, and removed the bottom fourth-fifths, leaving only the most frequently crossed roads. I also removed the intersections where there had been only one collision with a pedestrian. We are left with the busiest pedestrian intersections and the deadliest intersections. These overlap to a great extent: the four most dangerous intersections are the four busiest.

The intersection of Weston and Lawrence is deadly: three people have been hit there, and another six have been hit nearby. Jane and Lawrence is quite dangerous too: four have been hit, with another two nearby.

In Mount Dennis, Weston and Jane, and the intersections of Eglinton with Weston Road and Jane Street have had multiple accidents over the past decade.

But of the five deadliest intersections, four are also the most frequently foot-travelled intersections, and the fifth is in the top ten.

Of course, this does not mean that injuries and deaths are inevitable. Far from it. Many things can be done to make our intersections safe—particularly at Weston and Lawrence. We could

  • Reshape the intersection to make the crossing shorter. Three of the dangerous intersections are longer than necessary because of their oblique angle.
  • Prohibit right turns on red
  • Give pedestrians a five-second advanced walk
  • Extend the cross signal
  • Move the bus stops to discourage people from running for their ride
  • Install red-light cameras
  • Narrow the roadways
  • Brightly mark the crosswalks and move the stop line back



Weston bike group

Weston has a new group for cyclists, the “Weston Velo Club“.

Weston Velo Club pays homage to our cycling heritage by bringing organized cycling back to the neighbourhood. 2018 is our inaugural season. Join us for group rides geared towards having fun and getting fit by participating in one of the most popular sports in Canada and around the world!

Photo by James Tworow

Abdoul Abdi has to wait

Abdoul Abdi, who faces deportation because the province of Nova Scotia didn’t apply for his citizenship while he was a ward, will have to wait a little longer to see if he will have to be forced to leave Canada. Abdi is the son Asha Ali, a York South–Weston woman.

A Halifax judge reserved his decision this week on an emergency stay of deportation. He will rule before March 7, when the Immigration and Refugee Board will consider Abdi’s case.

Abdi was convicted of aggravated assault and assaulting a police officer, and served four and half years in prison. His mother was unable to apply for his citizenship because she lost custody of him; the province of Nova Scotia, which was his legal guardian, did not get him his citizenship.

Abdi had planned to move to York South–Weston to live with his mother when he was released from prison. He is now living in a halfway house in Toronto. His case has received national attention.