Brazen thieves at work in Weston

Beware of two brazen thieves in a white pickup, the Artists to Artists Foundation says in an open email.

Last week several items were stolen from our property located at 1 Victoria Avenue West. Also, several homes in the immediate neighbourhood had the same experience. On one occasion the individuals stole a filing cabinet from inside our neighbour’s property in the middle of the day.

The following morning around 8 AM [the two thieves] were seen entering our property and removing items. One of our neighbours chased them away. The intruders are becoming more brazen and even informed our neighbor that the police are not able to do anything….

The individuals are one male and a female of Caucasian background. The male is missing some front teeth and the female has blonde hair sometime pulled back in a pony tail. They are moving around the neighbourhood in a white pickup van.


Mark Moore sentenced

The murderer of four men, two of whom lived in Weston, has been sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 25 years.

Moore killed Mike James and Courthney Facey in 2010 in an alleyway near Weston Road, possibly in an attempt to boost his reputation on the streets. He himself had been shot in the face years before when he lived in the apartment building across the street.

He did not admit any responsibility or regret

The judge said

“The unimaginable triviality of the motive for at least three of the murders, the offender’s determination to show himself to be an authentic gangster who shakes the streets bespeaks a man who is so morally depraved and so utterly lacking in humanity, that the 25-year minimum for parole eligibility is far more than justified,”

Had Moore committed the murders today, he would likely not be ever eligible for parole. The federal government made changes to allow judges to extend the pre-parole period in the case of multiple murders. Moore murdered his victims before the new laws were passed, however.

Annual June Fair is another huge success

Intense potato sack races at Weston Memorial’s annual June Fair. Victors and losers are bound to be immortalized over recess gossip the next school day.

Weston Memorial’s annual June Fair ran beautifully on an equally beautiful Thursday evening. The warm weather allowed perfect conditions for the jumping castles, potato sack races, and laughter to carry through the night without interruption.

Although mainly an opportunity for younger members of the community to enjoy themselves over hamburgers and mini golf, the loud excitement and homely smell of a smoking grill hailed many more to the scene.

Activities this year included potato sack racing, various field activities, and four jumping castles which were perpetually teeming with small children. Booths were stationed throughout the east schoolyard with many multicultural games to play. Samosas, bifanas, Portuguese chicken, and pizza were also available, appropriate to this year’s theme, ‘Weston Around the World’.

Tables towered with delicious baked goods, showy raffle prizes, and baskets to be sold anchored the blacktop. Behind them, a stereo played jaunty songs against a brick of wall of students’ artwork. Some feathered and furry guests paid a visit as well, courtesy of Hands on Exotics.

The money raised from the June Fair will go towards purchasing various new equipment, and funding Weston Memorial’s many school activities, such as paying for school busses on field trips, bringing in technological equipment into classrooms, and inviting educational guest speakers for the students. Other events, like their Skate Night and Welcome Back BBQ will also benefit from the June Fair’s profits.

Ran on the first Thursday of June each year, preparation for the event began January. A committee of parents from the school, commandeered by Christine Ramos, worked collaboratively (and with unfaltering effort) to host another amazingly successful June Fair. Volunteers for the fair included about fifty parent volunteers and thirty student volunteers, namely from Weston Collegiate.

The many months devoted to their intense work were undeniably evident in the evening’s smooth success.

Be sure to come out for next year’s June Fair and support Weston Memorial!

A special thanks to Marjorie Richards for supplying me with details, and for her impressive involvement in organizing the June Fair.

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Weston Farmers’ Market kicks off with official grand opening – for a thirty sixth year

IMG_2745A walk underneath the dainty lights that hang across the flanking John Street buildings will lead you to the Weston Farmers’ Market, a weekly gathering of various venders and local businesses that not only offer a wide range of products, but a warm, contagious sense of community.

To launch their 36th year of running, the market held their grand opening this Saturday.

Nestled in the Green P parking lot at John and Weston, the market has been running annually from May to October, and is a well known tradition in the Weston community. Every Saturday, from 8 A.M. to 2 P.M, the lot flourishes with handmade goods, warm pastries, and endless baskets of fresh produce, often with the accompaniment of live entertainment.

Left to right: Ira Quinsey (mandolin), Jeff Mayville (banjo), and Nathan Rae (guitar).

This week, an ensemble of a mandolin, guitar, violin, upright bass, and two banjos, named Big Monday, offered a live show of bluegrass tunes. Taking impromptu requests between their smooth triple harmonies, their upbeat melodies had shoppers tapping their feet as they browsed products.

The market includes several produce vendors whose fruits and vegetables, grown from Ontario and US farms, stretched across tables in a multitude of bright colours. Businesses specialized in maple syrup and apple-based products can be found selling various ‘apple butter’ spreads and sugary maple goods. Rows of potted flowers, garden plants, and herbs, can also be purchased at incredibly low prices.

Bakeries and dessert businesses, like CC’s Creations, sold homemade pies, cheesecakes, danishes, cinnamon buns, and much more. Huge loaves of bread filled wicker baskets alongside dried meats, for about $5 a loaf. Homemade jewellery and antique knick knacks glittered on the tables, drawing in scattered ‘ooh’s and ‘ahh’s from shoppers.

(I didn’t get the chance to get her name, or the name of her business. Perhaps I was too caught up in my pineapple mango smoothie. If anyone could send her info, I would be glad to credit her properly!)

To curb your hunger pains, Grandpa Ken‘s is your go-to. Scarfing down a legendary back-bacon burger on kaiser buns, sold for $4.50, is mandatory (unless you’re vegetarian). Grab a thick fruit smoothie made, conveniently adjacent to Grandpa Ken’s food cart, to wash down the delicious grease.

Many familiar businesses and organizations were also present. Speakers on behalf of the new Art Hub were present, along with an Urban Arts table. Peter Piper’s Pastry Shoppe, a resident of the Weston area, also made his regular appearance with superb cannolis and biscotti, among other baked goods. Humber Community Senior’s Services came down from Eglinton and Weston, selling an assortment of perennials and annuals (with a shocking two for $1 deal) to fund their programs, namely Meals on Wheels.

The warm smiles and immediate sense of community that comes from the farmer’s market give Weston a unique, lively flair – a nice contrast from the vacant lots and ‘For Lease’ signs that cover empty buildings.

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Community day on UPX

The UP Express, which launched last week, had a community day today, giving free rides to all takers. It was extremely well attended—with standing room only on the ride I took.

The trains are nice; they are designed much like airliners, with overhead luggage bins and a functional, though not beautiful, interior.

Bugs remain, though. I had to wait more than 25 minutes for a train that runs every 15. Worse, there were no announcements about the schedule or of delays. Had I been waiting to catch a flight, I would have worried.

The platforms weren’t very clearly marked: the television screens all say the same thing, whether you are heading to the airport or downtown: “Pearson: Track 2, Bloor & Union: Track 1”.  That’s dumb: it puts the onus on riders to find out whether they’re on the right track rather than telling them. Finally, the platforms are open. Even today, in fairly nice weather, it was pretty cool and damp.




Events this weekend

This is an awesome weekend in Weston. Today was the official opening of the Weston Farmers’ Market and the annual Queens Drive yard sale.

Tomorrow, the UP Express will offer free rides to celebrate their opening. You can get on at the Weston station. 12 Division police will also have their 16th annual Community & Family Fun Day. There will be games, music, face-painting and a barbecue.


Today in Weston – Farmers Market official opening

L to R: M.P. Mike Sullivan, Councillor Frances Nunziata, B.I.A. Chair Masum Hossein, ‘Elvis’ and M.P.P. Laura Albanese.

Weston’s politicians were out in force for the annual official opening of the Weston Farmers Market, now in its 36th year. Elvis was on hand again to serenade the crowd and many of the stallholders have returned with a few new additions. Artscape and Rockport Group have a combined table where patrons can get more information about the new Hub and 30-storey rental apartment coming in the next couple of years. Once construction begins, the market will move temporarily to the GO / UP Express parking lot.

It will be interesting to see if a greater exposure to traffic in the new location will draw more visitors to the market.