Kindergarten Registration Has Started

Kindergarten registration is underway at most elementary schools. Many area schools will continue to offer full-day kindergarten next year (Weston Memorial, H.J. Alexander, Portage Trail, Bala Avenue & Dennis Avenue). Pelmo Park and St. John the Evangelist continue to offer half-day programs.

Children born in 2007 are eligible for Junior Kindergarten and those born in 2006 for Senior Kindergarten (if your child is currently in JK you do not need to re-register for SK). Be sure to call ahead as some schools require appointments and others are operating on a drop-in basis.

Min-A-Mart robbed

Toronto Police report that the Min-a-Mart on Weston Rd at Church was robbed on January 28, at about 1 pm.

A male wearing a disguise entered the store, brandished a handgun, and demanded money. When the owner did not comply, the robber went behind the counter and grabbed cash and a pack of cigarettes. According to the police blotter, he fled northbound on Weston.

Nobody was hurt in the robbery.

minamart on Weston Rd

Alan Tonks tables motion for e-trains. In 2011.

Alan Tonks, the MP for York South–Weston, has tabled a private member’s bill that would call the federal government to look into the benefits of electric commuter trains.

When he spoke in the House to table Bill C-614, Tonks said,

This particular issue is with respect to a transportation strategy that has evolved, which has resulted in huge concerns in York South—Weston and throughout the Georgetown corridor with the Weston subdivision. Its development is so close to those railway lines that issues of safety, noise, environmental pollution and quality of health has now stood in the way of it moving ahead in a progressive way with respect to using rail corridors to relieve the congestion that exists in urban areas. This is not just in southern Ontario, this is a situation that exists right across the country.

This initiative calls upon the Minister of Transport to meet with his provincial counterparts and look at the potential that exists for the electrification of urban commuter rail operations.

Tonks has come to love electric trains rather late. While he has apparently had a change of heart, Tonks supported the diesel Air Rail Link between at least 2002 and 2006.

While today’s motion was adopted, private member’s bills rarely become law.

Toronto Police want to know what Westonians think

The police of 12 Division are asking for input from the community. They have posted an online survey, which asks about the crimes of most concern to people who live and work in the area. The southernmost part of Weston, the area below Lawrence, is included in the boundaries of the survey, and 12 division will soon be taking responsibility for all of Weston.

The results hitherto are also posted on the police site. Residents are most concerned with drugs, murders, guns and aggressive driving: more than half of all respondents said they were “very concerned” about these issues. Prostitution and street vendors are the issues of least concern.

Of course, the survey results are far from scientific, as only people interested in crime (or reporting it) browse the police website, and the survey is open to anyone on the internet so long as they say they are from 12 Division’s purview. Finally, it appears that only 9 people have answered the survey at the time of writing–all the percentages are a multiple of 11.1%.

Caveats aside, the comments on the site are well-informed, and the writers obviously know their communities and have valuable suggestions. If you live or work in 12 Division (south of Lawrence, north of Dupont, west of Caledonia, and east of the Humber), you can complete the survey here.

Talking about trees

The Weston Historical Society is inviting all Westonians to a discussion of our natural heritage on Wednesday night, at the Westminster United Church on William St.

Edith George will be discussing  the beautiful trees in Weston and how we can preserve them. The presentation is free, and refreshments will be served.

Heritage Trees

With Guest Speaker

Edith George

Wednesday 2nd February 2011 at 7:30 p.m.

at Westminster United Church Hall, 69 William Street, Weston

59 Maple Leaf bus (mostly) spared

The 59 Maple Leaf bus route, which runs through Weston, will have a much gentler pruning than had initially been planned. The bus will continue to run as scheduled, with the exception of Sundays and holidays. On these days, service will cease at 10 pm.

The TTC’s original cutbacks were much more serious. The 59 would have stopped running on 7 pm on weekends and after 10 pm on weekends. These service cuts were reflective of cuts throughout the city on many lesser-used routes.

The citywide cutbacks generated a vigorous protest from riders and the public, and the TTC was forced to backtrack.

Maple Leaf bus

Politicians, What Have You Done For Weston Lately?

Weston has had a raw deal in the past few decades. Our ‘village’ has lost nearly all of its industry, historic properties have been demolished to make way for unattractive developments, and the area has become depressed. The once attractive main street has been infiltrated by payday loan/cheque cashing companies, dollar stores, and other detritus of hard times.

Weston gets no respect. The airport link as originally proposed was never intended to stop in Weston. When the TTC wants to save money, Weston services are cut. When Metrolinx needed to expropriate properties as part of the airport link, the way they dealt with homeowners was reprehensible and high handed. Drug related gangs of criminals seem to operate freely without much fear of capture. There is apprehension on the part of many people about being a victim of crime. While there are many beautiful homes in Weston, there is a large amount of ugly low-income housing both public and private.

Throughout all of this process, federal, provincial and municipal politicians have collected their generous salaries and tut-tutted about the sad state of affairs: “What a shame and we’re doing all we can; by the way, don’t forget to re-elect me as I’m really concerned about unemployment—mine.”

With one election under our belts and two more on the way, perhaps it’s time that the citizens of Weston asked our politicians: what have you done for Weston lately? Sitting on committees and attending conferences in glamorous places doesn’t count. What really counts are results bringing prosperity and hope back to Weston and eliminating the conditions that encourage crime, namely unemployment and lack of opportunity.

Here are some of the things that Weston could benefit from:

  • Improved education and workforce training
  • Decent housing
  • Help for struggling retailers and small businesses
  • Doing something about empty commercial properties
  • Police on the ground, not in cars
  • Politicians actively working on our behalf.
  • Encouragement and support for local initiatives such as the Farmers’ Market
  • Community facilities such as an indoor pool
  • Better communication by politicians about what they are doing for the community

There is no desire to malign individual politicians by lumping them together as a group. Perhaps everyone is doing the best they can. It would certainly be appreciated if our individual representatives would take the time to outline plans for Weston to their employers, the people.

You may wish to contact them individually, here are their contact details:

Federal MP Alan Tonks,
2534 Keele St
Toronto ON  M6L 2N8
Phone: (416) 656-2526
Fax: (416) 656-9908
Email: [email protected]

Provincial MPP Laura Albanese
Unit 102
2301 Keele Street
Toronto, Ontario M6M 3Z9
Tel: (416) 243-7984
Fax: (416) 243-0327
Email: [email protected]

Councillor Frances Nunziata
Toronto City Hall
100 Queen Street West, Suite C49
Toronto, ON  M5H 2N2
Phone: (416) 392-4091
Fax: (416) 392-4118
Email: [email protected]