Where is the art in Weston?

The headline is a trick question. There isn’t any.

The city does an amazing job of putting data online. This week, they released a map of all the public art.

And it shows exactly what you’d expect: the wealthy core has lots of art. The poorer corners, including Weston and Mount Dennis, have almost none.

The map shows only one piece in Weston: the Little Avenue cenotaph, dedicated in 1950. Mount Dennis has only one, as well: Nyctophilia.

Make of this what you will.

Go skate!

Laurie Mace says that the volunteer-run Denison Park skating rink is in fine shape:

The weather and neighbours have cooperated and the rink is now about 75’ x 100’. 

Families are coming by to shovel the snow, and the core neighbourhood team keeps the rink watered in the dead of night.

Wooden benches have been made and donated; shovels are left. 

Tomorrow promises to be a perfect afternoon for outdoor skating.  At 2:00 a neighbour and former professional skater (who knew?!) is offering free skating lessons to kids and grown-ups who have pre-registered via Facebook.  

Two Toronto Police Community Neighbourhood officers are also showing up out of uniform but in skates.  

Video by Laurie Mace

Petition to keep “York Memorial”

In 2019, a fire destroyed York Memorial. It also made drew attention to a bit of a tricky situation: George Harvey Collegiate, just down the street, is underused. Memorial students moved in temporarily, but it wasn’t a huge success.

The TDSB is now considering four options for the two schools, three of which involve consolidation. That, of course, brings up a number of questions—one of which is what to call the new school.

Now, petitioners are asking that, if the school is consolidated, it be named York Memorial to honour the students killed in the two world wars.

The school was built in 1929 in memory of young men from York Township who fought and died for Canada in the First World War. The school is a monument to their sacrifice and was therefore named in their honour: York Memorial. Following the Second World War, the school was rededicated to those “Memo” students who lost their lives serving Canada in this war.  Two plaques bearing the names of these York Memorial students and their photos are part of the historical legacy of the school.

For 90 years, YMCI has proudly served the community as an institute of higher learning and as a War Memorial. The school was designated as a heritage building in 1985 by the former City of York and again in 2015 by the City of Toronto.

The history of this school deserves to be respected and preserved for future generations.

COVID this week

The second wave may have peaked in Weston over the past 14 days.

In the past three weeks, there were 105 cases of COVID in Weston, down from 117 two weeks ago (there was no data reported last week).

Weston has consistently been one of the worst-affected parts of the city. To date, 6.8% of Westonians have contracted COVID. Our neighbourhood is 9th out of 140.

What happened to SmartTrack?

Remember SmartTrack? It was the election platform of John Tory in 2014, and it was supposed to have been completed by now.

You might be forgiven for not following along with recent developments since the 2014 election, because, as far as I can tell, there haven’t really been any. Not one new line was laid, nor even one new station built. And for that, perhaps, we should be grateful, since the plan was to have a roller-coaster in the Mount Dennis area. .

And you might also be forgiven, faithful reader, for thinking that Tory allowed SmartTrack to die quietly and out of sight, as befits an embarrassing broken promise.

Not so. SmartTrack is back. It’s not 22 stations. It’s five. And it’s not going to be finished by this year—but perhaps by 2026. Ans no, it’s not going to be a subway; it’s going to be GO Train stations. Yet the city has been working on it, and there is now some money from the province.

So it’s not dead. But it’s not really SmartTrack, either. It’s slow, small, and late.

And there will be no extension west of Mount Dennis. All the proposed stations are east of here—but maybe that is actually good news. Because instead, Metrolinx is planning to push the Eglinton LRT, not GO trains, out to Renforth. (If I knew this when it was announced in 2018, I’d since forgotten it.)

Of late, Metrolinx has been making a bit of a to-do about their plans. They started drilling exploratory holes, blogging about the tunnels, and putting out cacky promo videos with royalty-free music.

The western extension would be largely underground, except between Jane and Scartlett, where it will be elevated.

And when it will be completed? 2031, they say.