More upcoming events

The Weston Historical Society will be hosting a discussion tonight on “The Story of York Township”. All are welcome.

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Laura Albanese will be hosting budget consultations on February 25th at the Learning Enrichment Foundation (LEF) at 116 Industry Street.

She is holding two sessions “the first is scheduled from 3pm to 5pm; the second from 5pm to 7pm.” You are invited to air your feelings.

UP Express compared

The Star has a comparison of the UPX and airport express trains around the world. The UP Express, which will open this spring, will cost about $30 each way.

In short, the Star finds that the UPX compares favourably with the trains that Metrolinx would like it compared to (in Tokyo, Oslo, and London), but unfavourably to other trains in Vancouver, Chicago, New York, and Madrid.

The comments are (for a change) worth reading. My favourite:

What these comparisons show is that UP Express is the worst of both worlds. It’s not especially fast, thanks to the two intermediate stops and the fact that diesel trains accelerate much more slowly than electrics. But the fares are being set at a premium level, as if it were a genuine express like the trains at Heathrow or Arlanda.

No humps for Dennis Ave?

City staff have recommended against installing humps on Dennis Avenue, in Mount Dennis. The staff say that there are too few cars and that they go too slowly to warrant the installation of humps.

That said, the street runs by Dennis Avenue Community School, an elementary school, and looks (from the maps) to be a great shortcut for drivers trying to skirt the intersection of Weston and Eglinton.

The Etobicoke-York Community Council will consider the decision on February 18. City staff can be overruled by the community council.

Police seeking man

Joseph Dawkins is wanted by 12 Division police.Joseph Dawkins

 

Dawkins, who has been in and out of jail, was recently found to not be the leader of the city’s least successful gang, the Five Point Generalz, which were based in the Weston area. The 5PG were likely involved in several shootings five years ago, but by the time they were brought to trial in 2013,

“None of them could afford a car,” [a defense lawyer] said. “They were on the wires a number of times talking about what bus they were on and what stop they were getting off. They were living in conditions of poverty.”

Dawkins was alleged to be the leader of the gang, but he was acquitted because he was in prison during the time in question. The four remaining members were convicted.

Upcoming events

Mike Mclean reminds us that tonight there will be a meeting at Weston CI about the proposed developments at the hardwood flooring factory at 8 Oak Street. Send in a report if you go–YHCs are shirking their duties and getting beer instead.

Next Monday, councillors Nunziata and DiGiorgio will be asking for residents’ input on the 2015 city budget. City staff will make a presentation, and questions will be endured afterwards. The meeting will begin at 7 pm at the York Civic Centre (2700 Eglinton Avenue West).

Weston schools will not be closed

The TDSB released a list of under-enrolled schools this week under pressure from Liz Sandals, the provincial Minister of Education. Politicians will now be forced to consider closing some of them. The good news: Weston schools are not threatened. The bad news: several in Mount Dennis are, as are schools that host recreation programs attended by Weston families.

About 1 in 5 Toronto elementary schools has low enrolment, and about 1 in 3 high schools, does, according to the Globe. Not all of these schools will be closed, of course; the TDSB will consider—and try to punt on—each one.

All five Weston schools (Pelmo, Memo, CR, CI, and HJ) have high-enough enrolment to miss the cut. Other area schools, though, are in danger.

  • Dennis Ave: 59%
  • Amesbury MS: 56%
  • York Humber SS: 56%
  • Maple Leaf PS: 64% enrolment
  • Nelson Boylen: 13% enrolment
  • The Elms: 49%

Boylen, Amesbury, and the Elms all host community recreation programs such as swimming.

Weston public schools may have another kind of problem: over-enrolment. HJ Alexander is currently at 121% of its capacity. Pelmo is at 109%.

 

Best Place To Live in the World? Toronto – we have proof!

Most of us believe we live in a great city but now we have corroborating evidence. Influential British magazine The Economist has proclaimed Toronto the world’s best place to live based on a number of factors covering things such as personal safety, infrastructure, democracy and food security. While Toronto isn’t number one in any of these indexes, because it ranks consistently high on most of them, it is considered to be the best overall. For example it ranks #70 in cost of living but #4 in both liveability and business environment. As for personal safety, Toronto at #7 is safer than anywhere in North America or Europe except for Stockholm.

OK, Toronto, don’t let it go to your head; now go clean your room. Read the full survey here.