Upcoming events

There are a million great things going on in Weston in the coming weeks.

Tomorrow, to celebrate Family Day, Frances Nunziata is hosting a skating party at Weston Lions Arena.


UrbanArts has a Beats Mind Movement showcase on Friday, February 21.


St Philips presents Juno Award-winning Kirk MacDonald and his quartet next weekend.


The York South–Weston NIA is hosing a celebration of International Women’s Day on Friday, March 6.


Frontlines is hosting a March Break camp from March 16–20. 

Where are our police?

Drivers have seen it for years; the steady decline in courtesy and good driving on our roads. Pedestrians and cyclists have noticed it too – yes, sometimes from our fellow pedestrians and cyclists. We’re at the stage now where drivers routinely blow through stale yellow and even red lights. People who think their time is more important than everyone else’s safety weave in and out, cutting people off and travelling at dangerous speeds. Many vehicle plates are covered with dark plastic to avoid detection and window glass is tinted far beyond legal limits. Police officers on our streets are a rare sight – unless on paid duty at a construction or road work site. There doesn’t seem to be a shortage going on there.

Despite the wild west type driving experiences of recent years and the increasing number of deaths and injuries on our roads, there has been a steep decline in the number of traffic violations in our city. Police issued 140,000 fewer tickets in 2019 than they did in 2009. Careless driving charges dropped by 44%.

Are the police focussing their efforts elsewhere? It doesn’t look like it. The City’s homicide rate rose from 2.1 per 100,000 people in 2014 to 3.1 in 2018. Our murder rate was higher in 2018 than that of New York City.

So what’s going on? We have 5400 uniform and non-uniform police officers in Toronto – where are they all? How do they spend their time? If they’re not on the roads, where else could they be? Since tickets are down, they can’t all be in court or doing paperwork. They also respond to fewer types of complaints. Noise issues for example now go to a city by-law department.

Is it a morale problem? Are police having a giant snit because their numbers are down? Why is Mayor Tory not doing something? The failure of Vision Zero was not properly addressed and a name change to Vision Zero 2.0 was seen as the answer. What about Chief Saunders? The whole point of a police force is to protect lives and property by enforcing the law. Effective policing acts as a deterrent to further criminal behaviour. Visibility is part of that deterrence aspect.

In the U.K. beefed up road policing is seen to be effective in combatting other crimes. After all, criminals use the roads and they’re often driving badly. More enforcement on our roads would uncover more criminal behaviour.

In the meantime, we need answers from Mayor Tory and Chief Saunders. The solution belongs with them but neither one seem to be owning the problem.

Crosswalk coming to to Eglinton, speed humps to John

The city will install a crosswalk on Eglinton where an elderly woman was struck and killed trying to cross. According to Toronto.com

York-South Weston Coun. Frances Nunziata requested the city install the pedestrian crossing on Eglinton Avenue West, 100 metres west of Pearen Street in order to address an 800-metre gap between protected pedestrian crossings on that stretch. Council approved the signalized crossing in a meeting on Jan. 29. No firm date was set for installation.

In related news, Etobicoke York Community Council has overruled city staff and asked the city to install speed humps on John Street between Pine and Elm. When surveyed, 59% of respondents said that they were in favour. To recommend humps, city staff require 60% approval. Four councillors, including Nunziata, voted in favour of the humps. One councillor, Stephen Holyday, voted against them.

Funding for youth spaces proposed for 2020 budget

Frances Nunziata , John Tory, and Councillor Michael Thompson announced yesterday that the proposed budget will include $6 million to curb gun violence by, among other things, “creating new youth hubs [and] opening new youth spaces”—one of which seems likely to be on Falstaff Avenue and one of which may be in Mount Dennis.

Toronto is an extremely safe city, but there was quite a lot of gun violence last year, including in York South–Weston. There were 9 murders in 12 Division in 2019, triple the number in 2018. (12 Division includes many other neighbourhoods)  There were 490 shootings in Toronto last year—and shootings have increased dramatically since 2014.

From The Globe and Mail

The locations for the youth hubs have not been announced, and the funding must be approved by City Council, but that Nunziata and Tory made the announcement at Falstaff is encouraging.

In 2018, library staff also proposed opening a youth hub in Mount Dennis. In 2018, the TPL’s manager of youth services, Lisa Heggum, told The Star

The library has always been a space for youth…. Especially in more disadvantaged neighbourhoods, youth rely on access to computers, WiFi, books and other resources. The hub adds another space to connect with teens, she said.

She stressed their role is facilitation not supervision in a space where teens are encouraged to be loud and librarians aren’t shushing anyone.

 

 

Upcoming events

Tomorrow, the LEF will host a job fair and résumé critique from  11 to 2. The résumé critique might be particularly useful, because…


On Tuesday, February 11, Frances Nunziata is hosting a youth hiring event for job seekers from 16–29. The job fair will be at 50 Falstaff from 3 to 7 pm. Registration is free for youth.


The Artscape Weston Common is really hopping. This weekend, Piece of Mine Arts presents Black Women in Theatre, with an opening show on Friday night.

There are also ongoing drama programs for kids 4–14 and a robotics program. Good grief!


Speaking of Artscape, if you’re looking to get out of the house with your one-true-love on Valentines’, Kachan Quinlan Design Studio at Artscape is hosting a kids’ night with treats and painting.

Not all heroes wear capes: you can help Lola too

On January 25, Linda Iannetta found a pretty little dog near the Crossroads Plaza. She posted on Facebook trying to find the owner. Nothing.

By Linda Iannetta

Iannetta asked at the Pet Valu. No luck there, either.

Lola, as Ianetta now calls the dog, was abandoned, likely because she had a bladder stone more than 4 cm across. The surgery to remove it went well—but cost $3000.

By Linda Iannetta

Linda Iannetta has started a GoFundMe to try to offset those costs. It’s been very successful, but she’s still almost $900 short of the $3000 she spent.

Go on. I dare you to say no to those big brown eyes. You can donate online.

By Linda Iannetta

 

 

 

Daycamp available for kids out due to strike

If you’re in a bit of a pickle because of the teachers’ walkout planned for Thursday and Friday, hustle over to this Google form and sign your little ones up for the “West Toronto Solidarity Camp”. It’s organized by parents and community volunteers “in solidarity with our striking educators”.

The camp will be on Thursday, February 6 and Friday, February 7 at the Canadian Legion at 3591 Dundas St W. They’re asking for a suggested donation of $10 a day, but nobody will be turned away.