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]

TTC Meeting to Discuss Proposed Cuts

On Wednesday, February 2, 2011, the TTC will be holding a meeting to determine whether or not they will proceed with their proposed service cuts.

As previously reported on WestonWeb, some of the 59 Maple Leaf Bus Route services are in jeopardy. It has been proposed that service after 10:00 p.m. on weekdays and after 7:00 p.m. on weekends and holidays be cut.

If you rely on these services or you do not agree with these cuts and you would like to voice your concern, Councilor Nunziata is encouraging you to attend the meeting. This meeting is open to the public and residents are allowed to speak. The meeting takes place at Toronto City Hall, 100 Queen St. West, in Committee Room 2. Please notify Councillor Nunziata’s office if you plan to attend so that she can have your name added to the list of speakers. Councillor Nunziata can be reached at (416) 392-4091 or [email protected]

In addition, Councillor Nunziata is also encouraging residents who are not able to attend the meeting but would like to voice their concerns to do so. Comments can be sent to the TTC Secretariat at [email protected] and to the Chair and Vice-Chair of the TTC:

Comissioner Karen Stintz
Chair, TTC Board
100 Queen St. W., Suite B32
Toronto, ON M5H 2N2
[email protected]

Comissioner Peter Milczyn
Vice-Chair, TTC Board
100 Queen St. W., Suite B32
Toronto, ON M5H 2N2
[email protected]

Two thumbs-ups for electric trains

The Government of Ontario and Metrolinx both gave their approval yesterday to electrifying the trains to the airport.

Metrolinx’s board approved the staff report that recommended electrifying the Lakeshore, Georgetown, and Airport Rail Link lines. I don’t think this came as any suprise.

Delightful, though, was the speed with which the province ratified the decision. Kathleen Wynne, the Transportation Minister, gave the go-ahead to electrifying the ARL. The province also said it would pick up the tab for the environmental assessment.

The province only gave the nod to the ARL, however. According to The Star, “Facing an $18.7 billion provincial deficit, Transportation Minister Kathleen Wynne said it would be ‘irresponsible’ for her government to commit to the entire $1.8 billion project.”

The Globe says that the province is giving a cautious approval because the Liberals fear losing the York South–Weston seat.

In the short term, endorsing any electrification could help the Liberals hang on to two vulnerable Toronto seats in this fall’s election…

Although pleased that Metrolinx supports electrification, the Clean Train Coalition is vowing to unseat two local Liberals if electric trains aren’t on the tracks by 2015.

“They didn’t win by very much last time,” Mike Sullivan, co-chair of the Clean Train Coalition, said of Tony Ruprecht, MPP for Davenport, and Laura Albanese, MPP for York South-Weston. “They’ve got to be shaking in their boots.”

Metrolinx did not say that it would be using electric trains right away. The plan is still to start with diesel trains, then convert them to electric some time in the future. Karen Pitre made a remarkable confession to The Globe, however: she “acknowledged the agency couldn’t find any transit authorities that had converted diesel locomotives to electric.”

Weston pharmacy robbed; drugs missing

Toronto Police are warning Westonians to be on the lookout for missing medications.

A pharmacy near Weston Rd and Lawrence Ave was robbed at gunpoint early this week; the thieves took codeine, oxycodone, and hydromorphone (more commonly known as Dilaudid).

The police warn that the medications could be harmful or fatal if taken, especially by children. Your humble correspondent thinks it very unlikely that  thieves skilled enough to identify three powerful opioids in a room full of stool softeners and fungus cream would have dropped them accidentally near a playground.

Man mugged in apartment on Woodward

According to 31 Division police, a man was mugged as he entered his apartment building on Woodward Avenue, in Weston.

On Monday, January 24 at about 5 pm, two men followed the victim into his building. One grabbed him in a headlock, while the other demanded his phone. The victim resisted, they struggled, and the muggers ran off with the victim’s backpack.

Oddly, while the blotter says that the mugging happened on Woodward, I cannot find an apartment building on that street.