Man arrested for retail robberies

On December 15, Toronto Police arrested Andrea Franco Sestito, 34, for a series of robberies, including at least one in Weston.

Sestito is alleged to filled a backpack with stolen goods while wearing a mask, and to have threatened employees with a folding knife.

He has been charged with robbery, disguise, possession of a weapon, carrying a concealed weapon, and failing to comply with probation.

An AMAZING new market has arrived in Weston Village.

This week I was invited to the opening of Amazing Mart – a family-run African/Canadian produce and grocery mart in the heart of Weston.
It was a pleasure to welcome the owners, Stewart, Mabel and their four children, who recently settled here from Nigeria. I was delighted to learn that the store has a namesake, their youngest daughter, ‘Amazing.’

They have experience in food retail/wholesale back home, specializing in various organic ingredients and delicacies. They are proud to be importing a selection of these and offering them in their store. You will find organic whole wheat flour, plantain flour, yam powder, specialty rice, nuts, spices, and the more exotic African-fare—abchi, ugbo, obgono, egusi, and more in the organic section. Mabel hopes people will be curious and ask about their African organic line.

There is fresh produce, much needed in Weston, and it will grow four-fold as new shelving arrives in the coming month. And there are Canadian breakfast cereals, beverages, and baking ingredients. It is early days, so know that there will be much more available in the coming months.

Stewart was enormously proud of the value they are offering; he has done a lot of comparison shopping since arriving in Canada and is excited to provide quality ingredients at low prices.

He and Mabel are so excited to be in Weston. “We want to be a blessing to the community,” says Stewart. “Weston is a place we are all equal. We want to help make this community great!”

As new Weston takes shape, this Amazing little Mart will be growing before our very eyes. I do hope you will stop in to say hi to Stewart, Mabel and family.

Jason Doolan, Mabel, their 4 kids, Stewart, and Harley Valentine (Castlepoint Numa – owner of the former TD Bank building).

Crime this year: down

Weston has long had a reputation as a bad neighbourhood. (I’ve long disagreed, but numbers only get you so far.)

As the year ends, we can compare crime rates to 2019. And they are good.

Crime rates, which were already low, fell considerably in 12 Division. Robberies, assaults, thefts, break-ins, sexual assaults and murders were less frequent. Only auto thefts were up.

Crime rates in 12 Division, image from the city

There could be many reasons for this, but it’s noteworthy that rime rates were down across the city. Doubtless, the pandemic paid a role.

Clearance in 12 Division, image from the city

The police also solved more crimes this year. The clearance rate jumped quite dramatically, to 78%.

Stream Messiah starring Weston’s Elliot Madore

Weston’s own Elliot Madore will be performing in an online Messiah, which is streamable until January 7.

The show is produced by Against The Grain Theatre, and it looks great. The producers say it is a “truly cross-Canada performance — in Arabic, Dene, English, French, Inuktitut, and Southern Tutchone, and accompanied by the Toronto Symphony Orchestra”.

Tickets are pay-what-you can (including free).

And I could be mistaken, but I think I see the Weston Lions Arena in the trailer.

Thanks to L for the tip!