5 buildings to be ashamed of in Weston

You don’t have to go to New Orleans or Detroit to see urban decay. Weston has some appalling rot right on our main street.

Buildings need people like people need buildings: just as we die without housing, they die without inhabitants. Decay and mould soon ruin empty properties, so abandoned buildings show deep despair in a community—nobody would abandon a building that had a future.

But in Weston, there are several buildings that have been left empty and decaying for years. One building in particular, one of Canada’s oldest, has been abandoned for at least 10 years.

The Plank Road building at 2375 (or 2371) Weston Road was built in 1841, 25 years before Canada existed. Though it is beautiful and historic, it has been empty for at least ten years; photographs from the Ontario Heritage Properties Database show that it was certainly abandoned in June of 2000, and judging from its condition, it looks to have been abandoned years before that.

Plank buildingPlank building

It’s not the only abandoned building on Weston Road, merely the oldest. An old liquor store has been abandoned since at least 2007, when I moved to Weston. It was likely abandoned before that. There is a bright side: behind the store, a very large parcel has returned to nature–it’s completely inaccessible and probably a lovely refuge for wildlife.

The most decrepit buildings are certainly two houses on the west side of the street. While the Plank house has had a new roof put on and the LCBO looks like it could be salvaged, these two houses are completely ruined. Nobody will live in them again, yet nobody will tear them down.

Finally, a burned-out Donut shop at 2562 Weston Rd has the highest visibility. It is right near the highway off-ramp and across from the gigantic grocery store. Its owner has not repaired the store since it was gutted by fire. It, too, has been in this state for many years.

All of these properties are on Weston Road, and all are within a kilometer. They exist because businesspeople, politicians, and residents feel our community is a dump. They would not stand anywhere else in Toronto.

Metrolinx to report progress of electrification study

Metrolinx will soon tell us how much progress they have made studying electric trains.

Metrolinx and GO Transit have been studying the possibility of electrifying their part of the transit system since January. The final report should be finished by the end of the year, and the progress report will be delivered on Thursday, May 27th from 7:00 pm until 9:30 p.m. at the Lithuanian House, 1573 Bloor Street West. Everyone is welcome.

Electrifying would eliminate the diesel pollution from the forthcoming Blue 22 and  increased Georgetown GO service. These services are set to put as many as several hundred more daily trains through Weston. Lobbying from concerned residents and the Weston Community Coalition has already forced the provincial government and Metrolinx to make several concessions, but they have resisted full electrification.

The Farmers’ Market is Open!

Weston’s wonderful Farmers’ Market opened for the season today. Several old favourites were back–Ken’s Back Bacon Sandwiches, Thames River Melons and The Egg Man put in appearances–and there was at least one promising new addition: The Pie Man from Pie Land.

The Pie Man has fantastic Trinidadian beef, chicken and potato pies and wonderful desserts–highly recommended by my entire family. Ken’s sandwiches smelled as wonderful as usual, but he didn’t bring his usual entourage of sous-chefs and assistants this weekend. The Egg Man has an excellent new trailer, larger and better than the one he had last year.

Saturday was a quiet start to what is sure to be another fantastic season.

the egg man

Nunziata votes against bike lanes

Frances Nunziata, the city councillor for Weston, voted against putting bike lanes on University Avenue.

The bike lane project almost passed on Wednesday night; an accidental misvote by Paula Fletcher nixed the project.

Two local businesses named as gang hangouts

The Toronto Star claims that a local gang (the “Five Point Generalz”) could be found at two local establishments, Mario Bros Restaurant and The Central Bar and Grill.

The Five Point Generalz were swept up in a recent police bust, Project Corral. The gang was also recently involved in a violent turf war,  the murder of a child (Efraim Brown), and the shooting of Shaquan Cadougan, 4.

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Mike Sullivan to run again?

Mike Sullivan, the former NDP candidate for Ward 11 and anti-diesel airport train campaigner, may be taking another run at the federal seat for York South-Weston.

On Tuesday, Sullivan appeared with Peggy Nash and Andrew Cash in a video that identified them all as NDP candidates. Cash and Nash had previously made their intentions to run clear, but Sullivan’s website had not announced his candidacy.

Three candidates for councillor

Three candidates are running for the position of councillor for Ward 11, with the municipal election still months away.

Incumbent Frances Nunziatta, who has served for three terms, is up against underdogs Leo Marshall and Abdi Hashised. Marshall has recently started a website, while Hashised appears to have no online presence.