Restore our bus service, say residents

Yesterday several residents wrote to our councillor and the TTC board, asking that cuts to the Weston Road 89 bus be restored. In October of last year, with much fanfare, TTC introduced express service along Weston Road. The 989 stops at only the major intersections and only runs during rush hour. However, to do this, TTC brass decided to take buses OFF the 89. This means that the wait between buses, for those who live between major roadways, is almost 50% longer. And Weston buses are subject to major bunching problems, where a group (what’s the collective noun for buses, a bevy?) comes along and half an hour or longer passes before the next group.
Residents can walk on icy, snowy, sometimes hilly sidewalks to the next major street, but that’s not always possible for someone with mobility issues.
Residents have no objection to ADDING express service, but not at the expense of local service. Waiting longer in the cold is not improved service. We deserve better.

Get your Free Money

The government of Canada has announced that it will be providing all tax filers in Ontario with Climate Action Incentive Payments (Climate Payments)

But, in order to get the payment, which itself is tax-free and doesn’t affect other payments such as Old Age Security, you must file a tax return.

The amounts are not staggering but they are something. The first individual gets $154. The second gets $77 and the third and subsequent gets $38. So a single mom with two kids will get $269. There are no strings attached.

Many Weston residents are living on Ontario Works or Ontario Disability Support Program. Some of those people do not file taxes, as they think it doesn’t matter. It does. Each will get the Climate payment so long as they file taxes.

Filing taxes is lots easier than it used to be. Besides filling in the paper form available at the Post Office, you can file online using E-File software, there are free tax clinics, such as at Weston Library, which you can find out about by dialing 211, and some low-income individuals can file by phone (File Taxes by Phone) .

Tax season starts on Feb 18, so many of these services will not be available yet. But make sure you get your free money!

Mount Dennis family loses “everything” in 3 alarm fire

A Mount Dennis family has lost “everything” in a three-alarm fire, according to CTV News.

The house at 43 Lambton Avenue was completely destroyed, though everyone in the 14-member extended family escaped without injury.

“First my mom opened the basement door and then the fire started to come up, so they ran outside,” Patricia Dinai said, translating for her Hungarian-speaking father.

The family was able to escape without injury but lost everything in the fire.

From Erin Ronningen

“We lost every paper, every ID,” Dinai said. “Everything…

Erin Ronningen, of the Black Creek Alliance, has started a fundraising campaign for the family. It has raised about $4100 of a $10,000 goal. The BCA is also accepting donations of winter clothing at St Mary and St Martha Anglican Church, at 1149 Weston Rd.

Marc Dunn, from the Fire Investigation department, is looking for photographs of the fire. “Any information that may aid in our investigation to determine the origin and cause of the fire would be much appreciated”, he wrote. If you have any information, you can call him at (416) 803-9143.

Christmas Tradition in Weston

For 26 years now, 5 families in Weston have had a tradition of a ‘walk around dinner’.  The families are neighbours, living within a few paces of one another. In early December, each family prepares one course: Appetizers, Soup, Salad, Main and Dessert.  Then, starting in the early evening, the adults all walk to the home serving the Appetizers, and spend an hour or so over that course, talking and catching up.  The couple serving the soup walks to their house to finish the prep, and a few minutes later everyone else moves to the soup course. The conversations continue. And so on through the evening, until finally, dessert.  There’s always some Christmas music in the background, and Christmas decorations are mostly up.

Because each couple only prepares one course, it is usually something special.  This year’s menu featured shrimp, seafood, brie and cranberry tarts, squash and pear soup, radicchio salad, spicy and mild chicken wings, a fruit pavlova, butter and mince tarts and a cheese board.

In the beginning, the children were all fed and looked after by each other in the basement of one of the houses over a movie or games while their parents walked from course to course.  As the night wore on, various ages of kids fell asleep and had to be moved home at the end of the evening.  As the years went by, the kids grew up, moved out and had families of their own.

Though the tradition continues, the conversations change.  Early on, it was home renovations, or children’s schoolwork, or decorating the house for Christmas.  As the couples age, it becomes catching up on children and grandchildren, with the requisite photos shown around.  The more recent conversations tend to revolve around bodily ailments, who’s back is acting up, who just went for an MRI, who had cataract replacements.

Alcohol is served with each course, though the quantities have diminished greatly over the years. But being a walk around event, no one needs to be a designated driver. And the timing changes, too.  What used to start at 7 and go until 2 am, now starts at 6 and the yawning starts at 1030.  All are in bed by 11.

Arranging the date can be laborious.  One of the participants keeps track of who serves what course over time, so there isn’t a repeat, and sends out the reminder in November.  Invariably, someone has a conflict, so emails and phone calls go back and forth until a date is set.

One of the couples moved away from Weston, but comes back with food in tow, just for this event each year.  It is a lovely tradition.