Police still searching for shooters, information

Toronto Police are still looking for the shooters in Wednesday afternoon’s drive-by shooting, according to Det. Quinn of 31 division.

Police are looking for a newer-model Toyota Camry, and they have a description of the car and its occupants. Police would not tell me what the shooters’ motive might have been, but they did tell Frances Nunziata’s office that they suspect it was gang-related.

According to Jennifer Maccarone-Cicchelli, Nunziata’s executive assistant, the police do not have any suspects, and do not know who the intended victim is. They also do not know if it was connected to the shooting on Humber Blvd the same night.

Nunziata released the following statement:

“It is extremely disturbing that this happened in this quiet, residential neighborhood, and in the daytime with children playing in the park nearby.  This was a brazen act of violence by people who have no regard for public safety and are not welcome on our streets and in our neighborhoods.  This shooting goes to show that more needs to be done to keep handguns off the streets and to get harsher sentencing for people who engage in this type of criminal activity.”

Police are asking anyone with information about the attack to call Detective Rebellato at (416) 808-3104.

More facts on drive-by shooting

According to police, the drive-by shooting yesterday was not random, and they are working hard on finding the shooters.

Toronto Police confirmed the few publicly-known facts about the drive-by shooting on King St: they recovered five casings, and nobody was injured. They also said that they have a description of the car and its occupants, who turned south Jane St after the shooting.

In news that may be related, four people were wounded at a shooting in a backyard near the intersection of Weston Rd and Black Creek Dr. The Globe and Mail is reporting that two groups of young men were involved.

Drive-by shooting in Weston

At around 4:00 pm this afternoon, a man walking on King St was shot at by a person or people driving by. Nobody was hurt.

According to witnesses, police found five bullet casings on King between Elm and Pine. The man being shot at fled through a nearby garage, running north through the garage and yard toward Church Dr. A witness said that he ran while checking his body for wounds.

Parents at the nearby Elm Park quickly packed up their children and fled. King St is a quiet, residential street that runs past Weston Library to Jane St.

Police cordoned off the area for several hours.

Council to consider new bike paths in Weston

This week, City Council will be pushed toward two new bike paths in Weston.

The first part of the motion asks council to direct the city to “work with Metrolinx to explore all opportunities for a bike trail network running adjacent to the tracks along the Georgetown Corridor, beyond the boundaries of the West Toronto Railpath, and if possible, connecting to the West-Toronto Railpath and other existing trails.”

The West Toronto Railpath runs along disused tracks from roughly Dupont to Dundas St. Joining it would make it a cinch to commute downtown from Weston on a bike.

The second part of the motion asks the city to explain what steps are being taken to fix the Weston gap in the Humber River trail. The gap in the trail severs a long path that would otherwise almost join the northern reaches of the city to Lake Ontario. There are other small gaps, but the one in Weston is the nastiest; it forces bicyclists to ride along a very busy section of Weston Road near the Superstore.

The motion does not appear to commit the city to actually building the paths; it asks the city to explore and report. It was proposed by Nunziata and seconded by Ainslie.

The gap in the Humber Trail. Purple shows the route the city recommends. Red shows the most direct route. Past Cruickshank, the path runs almost uninterrupted to the lake. Past the 401, it runs nearly to Finch.
The West Toronto Railpath

George Brown College takes the first steps to Weston campus

George Brown College wants to build a new campus in Weston. The province confirmed this week that the college had submitted an application for funding.

In May Councillor Nunziata wrote to John Milloy, the Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities, to recommend Weston for a campus. This week, Milloy responded, saying, in part, “George Brown College has submitted its capital project template, and … the proposal for a new campus in Weston has been included.”

Paul Bedford, former chief planner for the city of Toronto, had first proposed a Weston campus at a community meeting in May, as one of several other ideas for reinvigorating the town. He said then that “George Brown College has taken interest in expanding a campus to Weston, although talks are in early stages.”

Lately, the status of the talks had not been clear, but Nunziata says “this is no longer just an idea—there is now a plan”. Of course, there are several hurdles yet to be overcome, not the least of which is securing approval and financing from the government. The province is collecting proposals from all colleges this year and will announce its plans in 2011.

College staff have toured the roughly 75,000 square feet of empty retail space at 31–35 King, which has sat vacant for several years. It is not yet clear whether that space is still being considered, but a space of that size would, by your humble correspondent’s rough calculations, be able to hold about 1000 students (George Brown has 15,000 full-time students).

The potential new site for George Brown College's Weston campus

Weston-area McDonalds given a conditional pass

What do you expect when you let a clown do the cooking?

The McDonalds at 1700 Wilson Ave was given a yellow card by Toronto Public Health on August 13.

The ‘restaurant’, which is in Sheridan Mall, was given a warning for “failing to maintain rooms free of animals”, being dirty, and not providing an accurate thermometer.

Public Health revisited the restaurant on Monday and gave it a green card.

Pelmo Park to get some extra money

Pelmo Park and community centre will likely be getting some extra money—though just how big the cheque will be, and when it will be written, is a little hard to say.

The money will come from a strange place: West Park Healthcare Centre. The centre, near the intersection of Jane St and Weston Rd, is starting a redevelopment to add “new mixed-use, senior-focused residential developments to the east portion of the site.” The development will happen over the next 20 years, as funding becomes available. West Park’s plans were approved with amendments by Etobicoke York Community Council on Tuesday.

The city makes all residential developers create park space or pay ‘cash-in-lieu’, and though West Park is exempt from some of the requirement because it is a healthcare institution, it will still be made to pay part of the levy. The bylaw states that some of the cash-in-lieu must go towards creating or improving parks in the vicinity of the new development. And although West Park is within a kilometer of five other parks, city staff recommended the far-distant Pelmo Park.

It is beyond the capabilities of your humble correspondent to figure out just how much money will be involved or why staff chose Pelmo Park when other parks are so near; the staff document does not explain. The payment should come sooner rather than later, though; the developers have to pay before the city will issue them a building permit.