Survey on Lawrence underpass art

The city would like your input into the art that should be painted on the Lawrence Avenue underpass. Clearly, however, you should vote for Alexander Lazich, whose bird-themed mural is really something.

Alexander Lazich

I say that in jest, of course. Most of proposed murals, which will be painted in 2019, are really something.

I’m not partial to Christiano De Araujo’s proposal this time, though I do quite like “The Windows of Time” on Perfect Blend.

Christiano De Araujo

A Shop’s work will have local themes emerging from the bold geometric background.

A Shop

Regular readers will know that I love to bike, and I should love Charlie Johnston’s series. But I have a pet peeve: I hate it when artists don’t know bikes. Johnston’s mural has the gears (bottom) all wrong. The front cog is on backwards–the large chainring should be most visible not least visible.

Charlie Johnston

Jill Stanton’s art is, I think, the most interesting. Rather than a collage, she proposes a comic strip. I love it.

Jill Stanton

 

Upcoming events

UrbanArts Shockweek continues until August 11. The duo Faarrow look really great–they’ll be performing on Saturday.

Here’s something you don’t see every day in Weston: modern dance. Shotgun Juliet will be performing “The Forest for the Trees” in Memorial Park (on Little Ave) on August 16 at sundown.

12 Division police rescue two men drowning in elevator

It sounds like a B movie: a flood shorts out the elevator while it’s at the parking level; the water rises, ever upward, ever faster. There’s no cell signal, no way to call for help. The brown, roiling water lifts two passengers until there is just enough space at the top of their tomb to snatch breaths.

It’s a true story.

Klever Freire and his colleague Gabriel Otrin were working at a startup on Alliance Avenue when the flooding started. They went into the basement to save Friere’s car–and got trapped in the elevator.

With the water rising, Otrin was able to push the elevator hatch open just enough to get his cellphone through and get a signal. He called for help, and constables Ryan Barnett and Josh McSweeney, two of Weston’s finest, rushed to the scene.

With the water rising Barnett and McSweeney struggled to open the elevator doors, first trying their hands and then crowbars. The water was at Otrin and Freire’s necks when the police were able to get the doors open.

 

Constable Barnett said,

“The way I look at it is, every police officer would have done the same thing. On the radio we heard 12 Division officers going into the water to check vehicles for people in flood waters. We were in the right place at the right time to help them.”

Toronto.com on gangs and guns meeting

While I was sitting on my duff enjoying Neighbour’s Night Out, a real reporter, Lisa Rainford, attended the meeting to debrief residents after the recent arrests and gun seizures in Weston:

Six weeks after police seized 80 guns off the streets of Toronto as part of operation ‘Project Patton’ — which targets the infamous Five Point Generalz gang with ties to Weston —  officers spoke to the community about its after effects.

The seizure was one of the largest in Canadian history, Toronto police told the dozens of residents who attended a public meeting

The police outlined the many risk factors for gang involvement—and revealed a sad fact. Most gang members are children.

“Fifty per cent of gang members are under the age of 18,” Chhinzer said. “Education is our best bet.”

 

Sinkhole eats car

A car was swallowed by a sinkhole at the former Weston bakery outlet earlier this week. The sinkhole was caused by a water-main break (not recent flooding) and the car seems to have driven into it, rather than having had the sinkhole open up underneath it.

There were no injuries.

Car in sinkhole
From CTV news

Update: the sinkhole opened up underneath the car.

Possible flooding solution rejected in 2017.

A man walks under Weston’s Lawrence Avenue bridge the day after the floods of July 2013 (file).

One of the problems of living in a big city is that much of the surface is paved over. When it rains, water drains quickly and can raise river and stream levels as well as create flooding in low lying areas. The solution is well known. Plant trees, build green roofs and where possible create temporary holding tanks for sudden water flows. To pay for this, staff last year proposed charging homeowners for the amount of non-absorbing roof and parking surface on their property. These are the people creating the problem so it’s fair that they should help pay for the solution. When Toronto’s Executive Committee considered the matter, following the Mayor’s direction, they recommended voting against the charges.

Councillor Nunziata voted with the mayor when the matter came to a full meeting of council but today has issued a helpful email itemizing what to do if your basement floods. That will be of small comfort to the many people whose lives have been disrupted yet again.

Running a big city costs money. Without a mayor and council with the courage to do the right thing, ordinary people are left to suffer the consequences. Charging people for the runoff they create would encourage a reduction in stormwater runoff and help pay for larger-scale flood prevention measures.

Instead of following staff recommendations, Mayor Tory and Councillors Mammoliti, Nunziata and others seemed place their trust in the short memory of voters, believing their re-election chances are more important than flooded basements. Kindred spirit Giorgio Mammoliti framed the charge as a ‘roof tax’ that would not play well in the suburbs.

Are voters really that stupid?

Rail path may one day come to Weston. One day.

Last week, City Council asked Metrolinx to make sure that there is enough space along the rail corridor to have “multi-use trails like the West Toronto Railpath” as Metrolinx works on its electrification plans.

Frances Nunziata told council that “residents and community groups of Ward 11 have long advocated for a bicycle path along the Kitchener Corridor”—and when she says “long”, she means it. She asked Metrolinx for a rail path back in 2010.

From Toronto.ca

This new ask comes from the Pedestrian Safety and Cycling Committee, which met with Metrolinx. Metrolinx said, bless them, that they should know whether a bike path will fit sometime in 2022.

No, that’s not a typo.