Weston to get a media centre

Weston is one step closer to having a digital arts and computer skills centre. The centre will let youth explore “digital arts (animation, web design, digital photography, audio and video editing) and Microsoft curricula”.

In the last City Council meeting, UrbanArts, a neighbourhood arts and development organization, was given a green light to top-up the finding for the  “Pro Tech Media Centre and Youth Arts Hub”. The city was responsible for the bulk of the funding, but the program required that partners make contributions. Microsoft contributed $1 million citywide for the ProTech projects; UrbanArts contributed $95,000.

There are several ProTech Media Centres elsewhere in Toronto. Rexdale, Malvern, and the Eglintion East-Kennedy Park neighbourhoods have them already; the Weston-Mount Dennis centre is the last of the planned locations. The city says that the centres will “introduce youth to potential careers in new media while providing computer literacy skills and creating opportunities for self-expression.”

The first phase of construction will begin this fall.

West Park Healthcare Centre to offer primary healthcare

Are you struggling to find a family doctor? Do you have to go to another location for appointments with other health care professionals or to fill a prescription? Good news may come soon from West Park Healthcare Centre, which has announced that a team of health care professionals will be set up in the near future to cover ‘primary health care’. Details at the moment are sketchy, but the announcement can only be good news to people in the Weston community.

In addition to doctors, the team will include other professionals such as a dietician, nurse practitioner, social worker, patient educator, pharmacist, and chiropodist. Presumably patient records and referrals would be shared so that many needs could be met by a single team. One drawback is the lack of TTC service to the main buildings— currently it’s quite a walk along Buttonwood Avenue from the nearest stop at Weston and Jane, especially if you’re fighting a cold.

West Park’s Director of Public Relations, Vince Rice, says that more details will be available once written confirmation of the announcement is received from the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. He also says that West Park continues to lobby the TTC for a closer drop-off location, but has so far been unsuccessful.

WestonWeb will bring you further details as soon as they are announced.

John Tory to moderate Weston mayoral debate

John Tory will be the moderator for the Weston-area mayoral debate.

The debate will include the five most prominent candidates: Rob Ford, Joe Pantalone, Rocco Rossi, George Smitherman, and Sarah Thomson.  Rocco Achampong, who has not been prominent in this year’s contest, will join them, as he grew up in the area.

John Tory is, of course, the former leader of the Conservative Party, former mayoral candidate, and an all-round go-getter. He was widely rumoured to have been considering a run for the mayorship himself.

The debate has been organized by the residents’ associations of Weston, Silverthorn, Mount Dennis, and Greenhills. It will be held at 7:30 on September 9 at York Memorial Collegiate, 2690 Eglinton Avenue West, at the corner of Keele St. and Eglinton Ave.

Toronto Crime Down Year-Over-Year; Some Concerns For Weston

In spite of media giving the impression that crime is on the rise in the city, official statistics are painting an interesting picture of crime in the two police divisions that Weston sits astride.

12 Division Neighbourhoods
31 Division Neighbourhoods

Weston south of Lawrence falls into 12 Division; above Lawrence, Weston sits in 31 Division.

Looking at crime indicators year to date, crime is down overall throughout the city of Toronto. Robberies and assaults are down slightly while auto theft and theft over $5000 are down by about 16% compared to last year at this time.

In 12 and 31 divisions, the numbers are slightly different. Because Weston sits in two large police divisions it is difficult to  know the specific crimes that happen in our neighbourhood.

12 Division Crime Indicators
31 Division Crime Indicators

Assault and Break and Enter

The charts show that in 12 Division, assault and break and enter are higher while everything else is lower. Conversely, Break and enter crimes are considerably lower in 31 Division while robberies have increased.

What we can learn from this is unclear. While we can take comfort from a lowering of crime across the city, we should be alert to any upward tendencies such as can be seen here.

The perception and the reality of crime are two different things. These figures from Toronto Police help us understand that.

All charts from http://www.torontopolice.on.ca

4 arrested for auto break-ins

Toronto Police have some good news for a change.

Four people have been arrested for breaking into cars in the Weston area. Police charged them with “hundreds of offenses”.

If you live in Weston, you’ve probably had your car burgled. I have, several times. The thieves worked the neighbourhood at night, checking cars for unlocked doors. They generally took only small things, and were completely indiscriminate. I had a wallet and an iPod stolen, but I also lost nine cans of beans and a handful of loose change stuck to the console with spilled pop. My $600 stroller was left behind.

Graciously, the crooks never broke windows or jimmied locks; I often speculated that they felt just differently about private space—but perhaps I am too generous. I know my neighbours and I chalked our losses up to our own stupidity and seldom reported them, so maybe the burglars thought they could shear we sheep many times, but only skin us once.

There is no guarantee, of course, that these were the same crooks as worked Weston. The announcement was made by 12 Division, which includes only the southernmost part of Weston.

Lions Park Field Update

FIFA head Sepp Blatter has stated that artificial turf may play a large part in the future of soccer. It will certainly play a large part in Weston’s soccer future.

As previously noted in WestonWeb, the soccer field in Lions Park has been under construction since June and is about 40% complete. The two-million-dollar project will see the field covered with Domo Turf, a FIFA approved brand of synthetic turf. The playing surface will be painted with regulation white markings and will be used exclusively for soccer.

Improvements to the site have already been made to provide drainage as the old field was notoriously muddy. Water drained from the pitch will flow directly into the Humber. Players’ benches and goal posts will be added, as well as fencing to separate the softball fields from the soccer field (to stop stray balls). There are no plans as yet to cover the field with a dome in winter.

The turf holds the promise of an extended season for soccer players. There is a similar installation in Cherry Beach that operates right through November although end of season dates are determined by local Parks Staff.

Looking towards Lions' Pool
Lots of heavy equipment
Improved drainage

Mayoral Debate to be held in Weston

The mayoral candidates are coming to Weston.

The residents’ associations of Weston, Mount Dennis, Silverthorn and Greenhills have organized a mayoral debate to be held on Thursday, September 9, at 7:30. It will be in the York-Memorial Collegiate Auditorium.