Report on police meeting

InsideToronto has the scoop on this week’s visit by Chief Mark Saunders. In short, it sounds like everything is generally okay. RupenYTDMCI2_Combined_18299_image004

Break and enters and domestic violence are up. Auto thefts, contrary to anecdote, are down. After-school phone robberies continue to be a problem. Shootings are way down, especially compared to the city as a whole.


Man shot in Mount Dennis.

An 18-year-old man was shot around 4:30 in the morning Saturday, near Weston and Ray Ave.  He was taken to hospital with serious injuries, but will recover. Another 18-year-old man was also taken to the hospital, but he had not been shot.

The police do not have any suspects.


WCI home to the youngest recipient of Volunteer Toronto’s 2016 Legacy Award

Tirthesha Pandya, a grade twelve International Baccalaureate student at Weston Collegiate Institute and recipient of Volunteer Toronto’s 2016 Legacy Award.

The Legacy Award, presented annually by Volunteer Toronto during National Volunteer Week, is a highly competitive award bestowed upon 25 individuals of any age who have demonstrated a high calibre of community involvement, leadership, and philanthropic passion within Toronto.  Thus, it is no surprise that Weston Collegiate Institute’s Tirthesha Pandya would be one of the few recipients from a plethora of over 200 nominations.

Chosen by a selection committee of various community leaders, past recipients, and Volunteer Toronto board members, Pandya, a grade twelve student at Weston Collegiate Institute, was given the Toronto Legacy Award this past April.

Though successfully navigating through high school is often a feat in itself, Pandya makes balancing copious amounts of extracurriculars and volunteering hours with the daunting syllabus of the International Baccalaureate program look nearly effortless.  This commitment to a busy schedule of altruism and academics did not go overlooked as she now carries the title of one of Toronto’s many ‘secret superheroes‘.

Pandya first began her notable volunteer work upon joining the Ontario Lung Association in the eighth grade.  Driven by a personal and cultural attachment to anti-smoking, she participated in numerous protests and presentations advocating for restrictive laws on the tobacco industry and the negative influence of smoking on youth.  Her dynamic participation within the organization eventually allowed Pandya to write and present her own deputation to Members of Parliament at Queen’s Park in support of Bill 45, a bill that bans nearly all flavours of tobacco products while strictly monitoring the sale and supply of e-cigarettes, thus eliminating the appeal of tobacco products to youth.  Her efforts proved fruitful; Bill 45 was passed January 2016.

Additionally, Pandya joined the City Youth Council of Toronto (CYCTO), where she was elected as Vice Chair for two consecutive years and now stands as a Youth Councillor for Ward 11, and the Youth Advocacy Training Institute (YATI), an interactive youth program branching from the Ontario Lung Association.  Equipped with her knowledge from YATI and CYCTO’s networking opportunities in tandem, Pandya currently works to design an effective presentation on the tobacco industry’s impact on youth to be easily distributed and reiterated at schools across the TDSB.

When not attending summits at Parliament Hill, Pandya finds herself in basketball shorts and cross trainers, stomping the Weston Collegiate Institute sports scene.  Whilst being a solid member of the girls basketball and volleyball team for four years, she dabbles to-and-fro ultimate frisbee, rugby, badminton, and soccer, and collects shiny mementos at every athletic banquet to immortalize her natural athleticism, including Rookie to Senior Athlete of the Year, the West Region Optimist Award, and the OFSAA Colin Hood Award.

She is an active member of the SAGE Business Club, Future Aces, and Weston Ambassadors, and a second-year International Baccalaureate student.

However, this mélange of academic, athletic, and extracurricular success did not spontaneously manifest itself within Pandya.  She describes her unexpected placement in the senior girls basketball team, despite being a freshmen, as her initial confidence-building moment that would allow her to transform into an active WCI student.

“I was the only Indian girl on the team,” Pandya recalls. “And the only grade nine player on a senior basketball team.”

This sudden immersion into foreign territory at the hands of her coach, Chris Reid, forced Pandya to embrace a sense of confidence that would accompany her throughout high school.  Though initially dwarfed with sporadic playtime among a well-established group of senior girls, Reid called her to court for the most crucial game of the season — city championships.  Her juvenile status was immediately forgotten as her playtime allowed the girls to return home boasting the title of city wide champions.

“[Mr. Reid] has supported me so much through everything,” she recalls.  “I’ve always wanted to be as confident, optimistic, and energetic as he is.”

Pandya also attributes much of her support to her sister, Kartiki Pandya, Jessica Diener of YATI, and her parents who been always there to remind her to ‘eat and do homework’ throughout her hectic agenda.

“[Jessica has given] me so many opportunities … like the deputation.  She chose me to make it.  It really opened my eyes about myself and how much I could do to help the community,” she says fondly.

A determined, well-rounded, and ambitious changemaker with the ability to manipulate her many talents to enhance the quality, rather than quantity, of her volunteer work; Tirthesha Pandya undoubtedly fits the mould for a Legacy Award recipient albeit young.  Adept with time management, she skillfully allocates her priorities in order to balance a lifestyle of countless essays, chats with MP’s, and rugby tournaments.  Her contagious positivity trails behind her wherever she goes, be it Parliament Hill or WCI hallways.

Rather than marking the end of a chapter, receiving Volunteer Toronto’s 2016 Legacy Award among a party of middle-aged recipients only further inspires Pandya to continue her public-spirited endeavors, particularly with the City Youth Council of Toronto as she enters her first year at Schulich.

On her volunteering experience, Pandya remarks, “… When you do something you’re so passionate about, no matter how many hours, it just never feels like it’s enough.”

5 Fantastic places to eat for under $10

Who doesn’t love trying foods from all over the world? While trying amazing dishes from all over the world is great, we can’t exactly hop on a plane whenever we want some piping hot juicy jerk chicken.

But, you can take a spin through Weston, and Mount Dennis, to find an array of amazing, and authentic restaurants, without breaking the bank!

Here’s a list of my personal favorite places to eat, in no particular order, in the Weston and Mount Dennis area!

Sun Crisp Fish and Chips: 2047 Weston Road

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I have never been the biggest fan of seafood until I tried the fish and chips here. Sun Crisp serves up an array of fish and seafood, served with the fluffiest French fries I’ve ever tried. With options of halibut, cod, haddock and more, cooked up in a soft batter, it’s hard to not like fish after trying a plate from this amazing joint! Throw on some vinegar, and you have the perfect meal! Not a fan of fish? No worries! Sun crisp also serves up shrimp, scallop, and chicken! Plus, everything tastes good with a side of fries, so you can’t go wrong with whatever you order from this friendly little restaurant

Brioni’s: 169: Gary Drive







I’ve mentioned before how much I adore this place. But I cannot stress how amazing everything here is! If you’ve got a taste for veal, veggies, pasta, or anything in-between, you will fall in love with Brioni’s! With friendly owners and a life changing tomato sauce, Brioni’s will be loved by your entire family. On top of all that, the portion sizes are huge! If you head to Brioni’s for lunch and get a serving of $5.50 lasagna, it’ll be enough for lunch and dinner! You can taste the love in this food, and will fall in love with it as well.

Golden Star: 1690 Jane Street

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Need a great lunch? Only have $5? Golden Star will be your savior! This Asian noodle house has some amazing food, for dirt cheap! A small, which is more so large, lunch special will get you an order of either spicy chicken or chicken wings and fried rice or noodles (and it’ll only cost you $3.80)! Golden Star is run by some of the nicest people you’ll ever meet and their food is mind boggling! They also serve up delectable entrees such as beef and broccoli, hot and sour soup, sesame chicken and countless others

Kings Delight: 1658 Jane Street

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Close your eyes after having one bite from King’s and you’ll question if you’re in Toronto or somewhere under the palm trees in the luscious Caribbean. Spicy pull apart chicken, mouth watering rice, beef patties and any other Caribbean dishes you can think of are severed here. After one bite, you wouldn’t be able to stop eating! Kings serves up some amazing food and drinks from all over the Caribbean for prices that will blow your mind! It’s no wonder this adorable restaurant is called Kings, it’s built for one!

Papino’s Pizza: 1788 Jane Street

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This place is more than just the name. Not only do they serve some amazing pizza, but they also specialize in amazing fries, wings, and wedges! Amazing pizza with a huge variety of toppings, and wing flavors, Papino’s will make you forget about your one true love, pizza. This joint serves up some great fast food, for great prices. If the cheesy pizza doesn’t win you over, the crispy wings and fries will. Dipped in cool garlic sauce, Papino’s Pizza will transport you to an Italian villa. (or maybe just be the best fast food fix you

This post was brought to you by: Patricia, who thinks that you should get out and enjoy the Humber River.