Juno award winner at Farmers’ Market

It’s not every day a Juno award winner graces us at the Weston Farmers’ Market, but Tich Maredza did just that last week.

Marezda is a “Zimbabwean singer, multi-instrumentalist, composer, and member of the Okavango African Orchestra, winner of the Juno World Music Album, 2017!”

What’s new at the YWALC/Canada Day Lunch

Have you ever wanted to try clogging?  How about belly dancing or even tap dancing?  At the York West Active Living Centre, you can try these and so much more!

The York West Active Living Centre offers a variety of classes and social outings for people 55 years old and up.  The fully accessible, air-conditioned facility is located at the corner of Weston Road and Lawrence Avenue.

In addition to dance classes, the centre provides fitness and educational classes including Zumba, Pilates, computer courses, Spanish and Italian language courses and a watercolour painting class.                               

I spoke to Suzanne Teixeira, Executive Director of the York West Active Living Centre about the centres’ commitment to promote, encourage and support healthy, independent living. “Some members are very involved at the center; participating in different fitness classes and trips.  For others, knowing they belong to the Centre is enough,” she said.

Dancing with Parkinson’s is easily one of the most inspiring programs offered at the centre.  Instructors guide individuals with Parkinson’s and other neurological ailments through a specialized dance that empowers them and encourages them to explore movement and music in ways that are stimulating and creative.

A non-profit organization, the centre uses money it receives from the small membership fee it charges and grants to fund the programs and pay for equipment including its two vans which play a vital role in bringing people to the centre.  “A lot of our members are no longer driving, so we have two minivans that are used to bring members to and from the Centre.  We also use these vans for social outings,” said Ms. Teixeira.

This Friday, June 29th, the York West Active Living Centre will be holding a Canada Day Lunch from 12 PM to 1:30 PM.

The event is open to both members and non-members who are 55 years young and older.  Both vegetarian and non-vegetarian options will be available along with coffee, tea, and dessert.  The cost is $10.00.

Fireworks this Sunday

Last year’s fireworks. From Toronto.com

Weston’s Canada Day fireworks display is one of our more spectacular annual events, little known outside our community. This Sunday, beginning at 10:00 pm sharp, Weston’s annual firework display will be launched from the southernmost baseball diamond in Lions Park as part of the July 1 activities.

The old fairgrounds at Lions Park (next to the arena) will see action from 5 pm with food trucks, bouncy castles and a bubble show involving the creation of gigantic bubbles up to 50 feet long.

Sunday’s forecast predicts a scorching high of 36° with a chance of showers in the evening so prepare to be warm and thirsty.

Two new entrants in race for councillor

To nobody’s surprise, incumbent Frances Nunziata has  entered the race to Frances Nunziatabe Ward 11’s city councillor. Nunziata has been a politician for more than 30 years, and our councillor since the ward was created. She is also City Hall’s speaker.

Another candidate, whom I have had not had the pleasure of meeting, has also thrown his hat into the ring. Luis Portillo used to work for Seaton House, a homeless shelter, as a client services worker.

Police display seized guns

Yesterday, Toronto Police displayed the 60 handguns seized in this week’s raids on the Five Point Generalz, a Weston-area (but GTA-wide) gang.

The guns are remarkable because many of them have brightly-coloured lowers. They were purchased new, in Florida “to be used, and sold, by the Five Point Generalz”.

Image from The Star

The guns cost about $400 (Canadian) in Florida, and could be sold in Toronto for about $4000. The Deputy Chief said colours were “a first for me. The one in orange looked like a water pistol my grand daughter has.” Drugs, cash, and ammunition were also seized.

75 people were arrested in Project Patton, and about 1000 charges will be laid for weapons, drugs, smuggling, among other crimes. Two of those arrested were minors, nine were women, and “a significant number” had been arrested before. 13 people arrested in Project Corral, in 2010, were rearrested this week, and 68 of the 70 arrested have prior criminal records.

The police recognized that the arrests would not end gang violence in the city, but Deputy Chief Jim Ramer said that those arrested, and any member of the community, would find help leaving the gang lifestyle.

Still capture from the press conference
Still capture from the press conference

Hussen faces “Toy pile of shame” at office

Ahmed Hussen, our MP and the Minister of Immigration, had a ‘toy pile of shame’ outside his office this week. The toys were left there to protest the Canada’s policies against refugee claimants, and children in particular.

Critics, including Amnesty International, are calling on the federal government to rescind the Safe Third Country Agreement, which requires  claimants to seek refugee protection in the first country they land in. They say that the United States is no longer a safe country for refugees, especially in light of the separation of children and parents.

Because the agreement applies only at regular border crossings, tens of thousands of refugee claimants have crossed on foot.