Pearen Park skating doing great work

When I sell this dot-com of mine for a quarter billion, I know where I’m going to put it. In the meantime, if you should find a fiver (or a twenty) in a laundry pocket, might I make a suggestion? The good people at the Mount Dennis outdoor skating rink could use a few bucks.

I spoke to Simon Chamberlain; he told me how they are lending out skates–and even gloves and socks–to people in the neighbourhood to help them learn to skate and to give them something to do after school.  All the money is coming out of the volunteers’ own pockets, yet they have somehow cobbled together 80 pairs of skates and done a bang-up job of running a shoestring operation. Despite (or even because) of their unofficial, low-rent, under-the-radar status, I trust them.

While I was there, I saw a dozen or so people skating, some of whom were obviously not people of substantial means. One young man borrowed a pair of skates and a shovel and set about cleaning his own area of the rink of snow so that he could practice hockey. This is the sort of thing that makes a difference.

If you can spare a buck or a few hours of your time, you can get in touch with the good people in charge of this at skates (circle-a)

Before watching the video, turn down your speakers. The wind played havoc with my little camera.

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Crime this week

A crime-free streak was broken this week, when an attempted mugging took place near Weston and Oak.

At around 7:30 pm on January 23, a 21-year-old man was approached by a young man who threatened him with a handgun and demanded his cash. The victim refused to give it, and the suspect fled empty-handed. Nobody was injured.

Report on Recipe for Community

InsideToronto has a report on the goings-on at the Recipe for Community meeting that UrbanArts hosted this week.

Community food festivals, a food action team and entrepreneurial workshops are just some of the ideas put forth at the Recipe for Community meeting Monday, Jan. 21 at UrbanArts at 19 John St.

UrbanArts has approximately $67,500 to work with so far this year and members of the community, as well as a handful of local organizations, were eager to pitch program ideas to help youth in the area.

There’s no Y in YSW

Sometimes no news is bad news. The non-news event of non-insignificance  was the passing-over of York South–Weston by the YMCA. Last week The Y announced five new locations, but none near here.

Much was made in the Toronto Star of the organization’s ability to transform neighbourhoods; one of the Y’s staff said, “We’re definitely thinking about the determinants of social health — such as targeting poverty and increasing social inclusion, but it’s really about bringing change to the whole community”

Alas, though we could certainly do with less poverty and more inclusion, the nearest Y will be built at Kipling and Bloor. In response to an email, Frances Nunziata’s staff said, “the Councillor continues to work with the YMCA to see that they establish a location within in the Ward.  This would be a great opportunity for the community.”

Thanks to Connie for the tip.

From “Infographic: Bold New Five”, The Toronto Star.

Community safety survey online

The 12 Division Police would like to know how safe you feel in your community. In the past, they’ve put a survey online. This time, you’ll need to fill out a form and send it in by snail mail or as an emailed attachment.¹


¹ I know I spend too much time in front of my computer, but man, sometimes the unpixelated masses drive me a bit nuts. This form is sent out as a pdf—a bad choice. It should be an online survey, because, you know, surveys are for statistics, and computers are really good at collecting statistics. Worse, though, it’s not an editable pdf. That means you’ll have to print it out and fill it out, then scan it or post it. If I were conspiratorially-minded, I’d say that 12D is making it hard because they don’t want to know what you think.


Nunziata still votes like Weston is Rosedale

Blogger Matt Elliott’s column in Metro regularly posts a report card on the voting behaviour of Toronto city councillors. In his latest column, Elliott writes that while Councillor Nunziata’s ‘Ford Nation’ voting record has recently dropped, she is still one of the most loyal followers of a very right-wing agenda. Consider that this month Ms Nunziata:

  • voted YES to a motion to reject Provincial funding for 264 new daycare spaces – luckily the majority of councillors voted the other way (fail)
  • voted YES to continue to charge admission for youth to indoor pools (pass)
  • voted YES to reduce funding for AIDS initiatives by $104,000 (pass)
  • voted YES to not consider allocating $6.8 million from the surplus going to the Social Housing Reserve (fail)
  • voted YES to withhold $75,000 from the Tenant Defence Fund (pass)
  • voted YES to block $894,000 going to community partnership programs (fail)

The one thing she did get right was to vote NO in a motion to not use $1.163 million in investment earnings to support student nutrition (fail).

In Ward 11, the majority rent their homes and half earn household incomes of less than $45,000. They struggle to make ends meet and could do with more support from their councillor. They are clearly not getting it. How the councillor can justify voting against daycare spaces that would have come at no cost to the city is a mystery. To vote to withhold money from the Tenant Defence Fund is particularly egregious when there have been many incidents involving notoriously bad landlords in Weston.

Councillor Nunziata, you appear to work hard and care for your constituents but your voting behaviour is a mystery. Is being a member of ‘Ford Nation’ more important than helping the less fortunate members of your Ward? Perhaps it’s time to choose where your loyalties lie.

Events this week

The Toronto Community Foundation is hosting a meeting this week, uninformatively titled “Recipe for Community”. The TCF is a heavy-hitting organization, not some paper-hatted pimply-come-lately, so my guess is that this will be worth attending.