Melodies under the mistletoe

While the snow fell down in buckets, Weston Colligate institute held their annual winter concert. The frightful weather didn’t hold any of the talents back, however. With performances from the school’s concert band, jazz band, choir, strings orchestra and countless solo acts; everyone in the audience had the time of their lives seeing the students perform. Parents, friends, students and community members braved the frigid temperatures to come see the show.

The choir kicked the night off, singing songs from hit musicals, and the classic Can’t Help Falling in Love by Elvis. As the night drew on the strings orchestra, Jazz and concert band played amazing instrumentals, that left the crowd speechless. The solo acts included piano duets, guitar ensembles, and even a beautiful singing solo. Every student involved in music at Weston brings their own unique sound and life to the school and music at Weston would not be the same if even just one of them was not there.

“I’ve been in the band for three years, and the winter concert is my favourite event. It really shows you how hard we’ve worked and really gets you in the holiday mood”, was what Italia Santoyo, a grade 11 student at Weston, had to say about the annual event.

The music department at Weston is run by Mr. Nadalin and is one of Weston’s most popular groups. He works tirelessly year-round to make sure that all the students involved in the music program are able to nurture their talents and showcase them to the world. Whether it be through encouraging them, teaching them and putting together two yearly concerts, Mr. Nadalin never fails to do an amazing job with his musicians. In a time where careers in the arts and music are looked down upon, Mr. Nadalin always makes sure his students know that they are extremely talented and never fails to make sure their talent is being appreciated.

“I’m really excited to perform but I don’t want to mess up. I’ve never played in front of a big crowd so I’m nervous and excited” –Isabella Truong, grade 9.

The bands and music council have been putting this concert together since the beginning of the school year, and their hard work was truly shown that night. Although the turnout was not as large as years previous, due to extreme weather; the enthusiasm of the musicians never faltered as they played and sang their hearts out. From heartwarming songs to classic holiday favourites, the band’s passion seemed to radiate off them and warmed the hearts of the guests.

While the weather outside was very frightful, the show was oh so delightful!

This article was sponsored by:Luisa Bada: Living in Weston, and Loving it!

Another murder.

There’s no nice way to put this: another man has been killed in Weston.

Kareem Hastings, 22, was killed at 2089 Lawrence Avenue. He was shot around midnight on Saturday, but he was not discovered in a stairwell until Saturday afternoon. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Nobody, it seems, called the police until 15 hours later.

Fight brewing over Satin Finish development.

The city is gearing up for a fight over the Satin Finish development on Oak Street.

The original plan had called for 99 townhomes; the developers now want about 500 units, including two 8-storey apartment buildings and a retirement home—and only two entrances off Knob Hill.

New development map

The developers are appealing to the OMB, and City Council approved sending a lawyer to oppose the appeal and insist that:

  • The plan meets the bylaws (1, 2) about lot size, setback, and maximum height
  • That traffic flows have been studied and accepted by the city
  • Stormwater will be managed
  • There are community benefits, and that “the required warning clauses from the Toronto District School Board and the Toronto Green Standard requirements” are given.



The fight for 12 Division

Mount Dennis and Weston residents are fighting to keep the police station in the community, according to InsideToronto.

“We think we have something good going with policing,” Mount Dennis Community Association president Mike Mattos said.

“We are talking. We are having the conversation. We would take a step backwards if they close it.”

The police station at Trethewey faces closure as part of money-saving measures. The new headquarters will be at St Clair and Old Weston Road–quite far away.

Visit InsideToronto to see how you can pick up a sign and help the cause.

Nunziata votes for tolls

Nobody has ever accused Frances Nunziata of lacking guts. Yesterday she took a principled–and unpopular–position, and voted in favour of road tolls.

Your correspondent, being rational, is pro-toll (and anti-car). Tolls are a tax on congestion and pollution. Further, at least some of their burden will fall on people not from the 416. We bear the costs of commuters driving here; I feel quite entitled to discourage them.

The other options to close a funding gap were a 10% increase in property taxes or selling off Toronto Hydro.

Tolls are divisive: the NDP, bizarrely, is against them, preferring unnamed “better funding options”. The Conservatives, predictably, oppose them, saying “families, commuters, everyone is really feeling the pinch… life is just becoming harder and more unaffordable”–even though this is simply not true: the inflation rate was a virtually undetectable 1.1 percent last year.

Ferreira quits NDP

Paul Ferreira from Wikipedia.

Paul Ferreira is a well known local political operative. He’s been a progressive political activist since 1990 covering all three levels of government. His work has been mainly behind the scenes serving under Howard Hampton, Mike Sullivan and Andrea Horwath. He won a by-election in 2007 to briefly become MPP for York South-Weston but was defeated by the present incumbent Laura Albanese in the general election held that same year.

It is rare that someone of his status quits the NDP and the reason seems to be that the party has lost its way. Socialism no longer seems to be a guiding principle and has been replaced by opposition for its own sake and policies based on winning power rather than on core beliefs. Both Mulcair and Horwath shifted sharply to the right in recent elections and voters punished them accordingly.

According to the Toronto Star, the last straw triggering Mr. Ferreira’s move was the provincial NDP’s opposition to tolls on the Don and Gardiner expressways.

People like Paul Ferreira live and breathe politics so it’s unlikely that we have heard the last of him politically. Currently the provincial Liberals seem to entertain more progressive ideas than the NDP. Perhaps Paul will find a welcome there. In the meantime, look for more dismal news from the provincial and federal NDP parties until new leadership takes over.

ACORN may win one on landlords

ACORN Canada, the Weston-born anti-poverty group will likely score a win this week as landlords are not-quite-licensed, but close.

City Council is considering a motion that will create higher standards for landlords, who will no be required to

  • Register buildings
  • Track repairs
  • Manage pests, waste, and cleaning,
  • Use certified contractors for plumbing and HVAC

The city considered licensing landlords, but rejected the idea because regulation was simpler and just as effective.

Toronto’s inner suburbs, such as Weston, have some poor-quality rental stock; about a quarter of it is in poor condition, according to a survey conducted by the city and Ipsos Reid.

ACORN is a  started in Weston-Mount Dennis in 2004, and has championed tenant’s rights and anti-poverty measures, such as payday loan regulation.