I really liked the grocery my kids grew up calling “the stinky store”. It had a crazy mix of wildly different foods from all around the world, and it was cheap. I eventually changed my kids’ minds with Pocky and other gooey Japanese snacks.
Yesterday several residents wrote to our councillor and the TTC board, asking that cuts to the Weston Road 89 bus be restored. In October of last year, with much fanfare, TTC introduced express service along Weston Road. The 989 stops at only the major intersections and only runs during rush hour. However, to do this, TTC brass decided to take buses OFF the 89. This means that the wait between buses, for those who live between major roadways, is almost 50% longer. And Weston buses are subject to major bunching problems, where a group (what’s the collective noun for buses, a bevy?) comes along and half an hour or longer passes before the next group.
Residents can walk on icy, snowy, sometimes hilly sidewalks to the next major street, but that’s not always possible for someone with mobility issues.
Residents have no objection to ADDING express service, but not at the expense of local service. Waiting longer in the cold is not improved service. We deserve better.
A couple of posts ago, I asked if anyone had data on the poverty in Weston. You can all put your calculating machines away. I think I’ve done it.
I’d heard for ages that Weston is the second-poorest postal code in Ontario. I confess, I was sceptical, since I heard this very same second-poorest thing when I lived in a bad part of Vancouver. That struck me as too odd a coincidence. I know I like neighbourhoods that are a little rough around the edges, but really.
And, it turns out, I was right. We don’t live in the second poorest. We live in the 40th poorest.
Don’t get smug, though. That’s still really bad. Weston is poorer than 92% of the rest of Ontario. The average Westonian makes $33,422, while the average Ontarian makes $54,000.
To make the comparison, I downloaded 2015 tax data (the most recent year available) from Revenue Canada. Obviously, we don’t all live in a single postal code, but we live in a single FSA—a Forward Sortation Area: M9N. (Mount Dennis shares M6M with a few other communities.) I eliminated all the FSAs that didn’t start with L, M, N, K, or P, the postal codes for Ontario.
With a bit of Excelling, I came up with the following:
Mount Dennis is in the 21st-poorest region in Ontario, poorer than 95% of all postal codes.
Weston is the 40th poorest region, poorer than 92%.
The poorest area is Thorncliffe Park, Toronto, and part of Jane and Finch is the second-poorest. Residents there make less than $25,000 per person per year.
Lawrence Park has the highest-income residents. They make $212,000 a year, per person.
In other library news, the Pop-Up Learning Lab has arrived in Weston. The PULL has more acronyms and leet-speak than you can shake an Atari controller at: 3D, HD, VR, Arduino, Sphero Sprk+, Mindstorms, and on and on!
Ask your kids. It’s really cool.
The Weston Library will be hosting many classes through March to for people new to programming, robotics, 3D printing, digital art, and film making.
Faisal Hassan, our usually-quiet MPP, had a busy week. He tabled a motion that aims to create 27,000 paid internships for young Ontarians—and, surprisingly, the conservatives said they’d support it.
The goal is to help people get experience and move into paid employment:
The issue is particularly pressing in my riding of York South–Weston, where high rates of youth unemployment create a skills gap, resulting in epidemic rates of adult unemployment and underemployment.¹
The internships will be for students, but also for recent graduates and the unemployed—Hassan said the placements would be “awarded based on need and merit, not merely a further privilege afforded only to those who have already led privileged lives.”
Five other MPPs, including three Progressive Conservatives, spoke to support the motion.
Hassan also presented a petition to support parents of children with autism, and asked the PCs why they are “abandoning” and “making life harder for” children with autism.
Hassan was responding to the recent changes in autism programming announced by the PC government. The changes will increase funding but spread it out over more children, to reduce waitlists. Hassan hosted a meeting two weeks ago on the subject.
¹ I’ve heard this, and variations on this, for years (for instance, that we have the second-poorest postal code in Ontario. Does anybody have any actual data to prove this?
Ah, March Break, the worst holiday. It’s too cold to send the little monsters out to terrorize the neighbourhood. It’s too long to guiltlessly let them square their brains. It’s too short to have a proper vacation.
Fear not! It’s not too late to find things to do with your little wretches. Herewith, some last-minute, free-or-cheap, things to do:
All five days: The Weston Public Library has a whole week of STEM programming offered from 1:00 to 2:3o. Registration is now open.
On Monday, Wednesday and Friday: York Rec has leisure swims from 1:30 to 3:30.
On Tuesday: Bob the Magician will be at the Mount Dennis library from 2 to 3.
On Thursday: from 12:30 until 1:30, and again from 1:30 until 2:30, Maya-waasige will share traditional indigenous stories at the Mount Dennis Library.
On Friday: The Weston Public Library will have Lego Mania from 3 until 4.
Good for a trip: By then, god willing, maple sap will be running, and the Kortright Centre is always good. They have a maple syrup festival all week long. Black Creek Pioneer Village will also be having a maple syrup festival. Kids enter free!