Humber Trail Likely Stuck for this Year.



The trail ends between buildings and leads up a steep slope to busy Weston Road.

Although plans are in place to continue the Humber Trail beyond its current abrupt ending in Cruickshank Park, it’s unlikely we’ll see any progress on the ‘Weston Gap’ this year. According to Transportation Planner Jennifer Hyland, City Transportation Services are involved with negotiations on property transfers with the Ontario Ministry of Transportation. This would take the trail to Mallaby Park.  In addition, there are plans to incorporate a 4m wide path on the west side of the railway bridge by 2014.

Where the trail is set to continue.

Ms Hyland also says that progress has been slow because of the ‘varying property interests’.

Let’s hope that planners and politicians can redouble their efforts on this important project so that cyclists and trail walkers can appreciate the stunning beauty of the Weston section of the Humber Valley. This will also allow Weston to capitalize on its bicycle connection.


Police want your input at community meeting

The Toronto Police are inviting the public to meet with Chief Blair about the TAVIS program that will be run this summer and the change in boundaries for the officers who patrol Weston.

The meeting will be Wednesday, June 1st, from 7  to 9 pm at the Weston Collegiate Auditorium at 100 Pine Street.

TAVIS is “an intensive, violence reduction and community mobilization strategy intended to reduce crime and increase safety in our neighbourhoods”. It rolls out every summer to neighbourhoods experiencing a disproportionate amount of violent crime

The boundary changes to 12 and 31 Division will also be discussed. 12 Division, headquartered at Trethewey and Black Creek, will be taking over supervision of Weston from 31 Division, which is located around Jane and Finch.

Weston Fun Fair Announced

The annual Weston Memorial Fun Fair will be held on Thursday, June 2, from 6–8 pm.

Every year, Weston Memorial public school has a party to raise money for school equipment and supplies. Last year’s fair raised about $5000 for school computers, despite the rain.

This year, the theme of the fair is “Go Wild”. There will be snakes and spiders for the kids to look at and touch. There will also be a bouncy castle, a bake sale, games and events.

The raffle and silent auction look particularly good; there is a package to the Weston Golf Course up for grabs, and tickets to many events around town, including zoos, a climbing centre, and the theatre.



Alan Tonks’ son responds to election loss

A reader has sent in an interesting, sad, and bitter letter to the Toronto Star by Alan Tonks’ son, Matthew Tonks. Alan Tonks was, of course, defeated in the recent election by the NDP candidate, Mike Sullivan. In the letter, Matthew Tonks says,

… First off, I am baffled at the way the federal “orange wave” was able to triumph over strong experienced leadership. I have worked hard every single day throughout this campaign and so has my father to outline that he is the best candidate to represent York South-Weston amidst the chaos that gripped our country for the past six years. I am baffled at how our electorate has chosen a candidate in York South-Weston that would use such a negative campaign to win. Even when his back was against the wall, our Liberal candidate would never use that kind of politics because, to him, it has no place in politics. Simply put, the electorate got what it wanted tonight and it defeated an individual that wanted to continue to contribute to his community. … We will give the NDP the next four years to demonstrate its ability to contribute to this community. In four years, I will still be here … to take them to account. That is our democratic process … I just hope the people understand what they have voted for.

That Tonks is doubly baffled reflects quite poorly on him; it shows that Tonks and his campaign were out of touch with the people of his riding. That alone was a good reason to not re-elect him.

It is more disappointing, though, that Tonks maligns the electorate, insinuating that they are stupid by saying the people do not ‘understand’ what they have voted for. Those very same people, after all, voted for Tonks in the last elections. Were they as stupid then?

Doors closed in Weston

Almost 150 buildings around Toronto will open to the public next weekend as part of the Doors Open festival. Some are spectacular, like the Architects’ Headquarters. Some are quiet, like the Fischer Rare Book Library. Some are holy, like St James Cathedral; and some appear pretty banal—like the potting shed at Casa Loma.

But none are in Weston. Not even one.

By way of contrast: the Junction has three sites, Parkdale has five. Four sites are within walking distance of High Park.

This, in your humble correspondent’s opinion, is a let down. Weston has many interesting buildings worth a look-see, and which are not normally open to the public. I would love to see what goes on in the Masonic Lodge and post office on Weston Road. I’m sure I’m only one of a dozen people to have been in the Plank Road building in the past 50 years. There are many old, beautiful churches I wouldn’t normally go into, given my faith (or lack thereof). I’m sure I’m not the only one.

More importantly, not having Doors Open means we miss a chance to build a bridge between the two Westons. I’ve never been in the public and low-rent housing around town, even though I write about it. I’ve never been to the Weston King Neighbourhood Drop In, to my shame. And even if I don’t always physically stay on my side of the tracks, I emotionally do. I would have welcomed an open door—and opened mine as well, of course.

And you, dear reader, what would you like to see, if the doors were open to you? Leave a comment.

Photo by w3$t0ñ_0ñt4r!0

Weston students win business competition

InsideToronto has an article about four skilled Weston Collegiate students who won first prize in a business competition put on by Junior Achievement of Central Ontario.

Prasanna Patel, Krishna Shah, Poojan Parikh and Shagana Uthaykumar each won $1,000 scholarships towards post-secondary education, plus gift cards from Future Shop for taking first place in the Titan Challenge, organized by business education group Junior Achievement of Central Ontario.

Another shot in the train wars

The Clean Train Coalition just keeps saying  “I think I can; I think I can”, even when the odds look long.

Metrolinx has said many times and for months that the Air Rail Link cutting through Weston will be diesel, at least until it (maybe) gets the money to electrify (sometime) in the future. That’s not good enough for the Clean Train Coalition, which has been hounding Metrolinx for years, and which recently sent its chair, Mike Sullivan, to the House of Commons as our MP.

The Clean Train Coalition co-sponsored research completed by the group Transport Action Canada. The result is an enormous report, released this week, covering world-wide transit solutions and the history of transit in Ontario. But it comes to a simple conclusion:

Now, the opportunity has arisen to recommit to GO and fully embrace its ability to bring about decisive change to the community habits and land development patterns of the GTHA…. More trains, on more lines, operating on quicker schedules, seven days a week….

The time for accelerated GO Transit electrification is now.

The report can be downloaded here.