352 Lawrence bus route to be extended

The 352 Lawrence West night bus route will be extended, starting July 29. It will no longer turn around on South Station Street; instead, it will continue to Royal York Ave, then will loop around on Dixon. The TTC has extended the route on a trial basis to serve the Humber Heights community.

The 52 Lawrence West bus, which runs through the day, already goes past Royal York. No changes will be made to that route.

Sullivan to host town hall meeting to discuss insurance rates in Weston

It’s a fact: drivers in Weston get gouged. I have a perfect record, and I pay $200 a month to insure my completely unremarkable car—more than $50 more than I would pay if I lived where my parents do.

Mike Sullivan will be hosting a town hall meeting to discuss why we pay so much, and why gas prices are so high. His guest will be Jagmeet Singh, Provincial NDP consumer affairs critic.

This meeting continues the NDP’s criticism of the insurance industry. In December of last year, the Ontario NDP launched a campaign to end the “12 per cent guaranteed profit rate for insurance companies [which] is based on a formula that hasn’t been updated since 1996.”

The meeting will be tomorrow, Thursday May 31 at 7:30 pm at Upwood Park/Salvador del Mundo Co-op, 298 Queens Drive (just east of Jane).

Police seeking help in assault case

Toronto Police are asking for your help with an assault that occurred last Friday, at around 4 pm. A 41 year old man was stabbed from behind while walking in the area of Jane and Lawrence.

The suspect had taken a northbound bus from the Jane St subway station and disembarked around Jane and Lawrence. He is described as “black, 6′, skinny build, with short hair and wearing glasses. He was wearing a light-colored short-sleeve shirt and jeans.”

The victim was taken to hospital and treated for his injuries.

If you have any tips, you can call police at 416-808-1204 or 416-222-TIPS.

One more big push for St John

It’s a make-or-break day for St John the Evangelist elementary school. Tonight the Catholic School Board trustees will decide whether St John gets a new school as the train line gets built.

St John is terribly over crowded—there is so little space that classes are held in a nearby church basement. Construction of the ARL will also force the students to move next school year.

Dave Bennett, Chair of the Parent Council, is pleading for people to come out and show their support. If you make it to the school before 5:45 pm, you can catch a ride. If you plan on going directly, the board meeting will be at 80 Sheppard Ave E, and will start at 7 pm.

Albanese will introduce bill to combat booze cans

Laura Albanese, our MP, will introduced a private member’s bill that will increase punishments for operators of ‘booze can’s—illegal after-hours clubs. The bill passed first reading last week.

Weston has had a problem with booze cans in the past. Sketchy CD shops and late-night hair salons have been fronts for this kind of business. Illegal, of course, booze cans are also dangerous. Several shootings have occured outside them, both in Weston and around the city.

If passed, Albanese’s bill will make bail for a first offense tougher. Offenders will not be allowed to possess more alcohol that is “reasonable for personal use” and will not be able to enter illegal after-hours clubs. Her bill will add a minimum 7 day liquor license suspension, in addition to the stiff fines and imprisonment that already exist.

In her press release, Albanese said,

The Liquor Licence Amendment Act seeks to curb the illegal sale and service of alcohol and the operation of ‘booze cans’ by giving police the tools needed to deter offenders. Our neighbours want to feel safe on their streets, on their property, and in their homes. We need fewer people under the influence of alcohol selling drugs or stolen property. We don’t want bar patrons discharging firearms after they stagger out of a bar. Bar owners need to know they share the responsibility if their patrons take away a climate of peace and trust from our community

New Weston Station opening in mid July

The new station taking shape on Weston Road south of Lawrence. The platform is behind the vehicles on the right.
The new Weston Station platform - viewed from the end of the old platform.

Four inquiring minds gathered to take the Weston Tunnel tour on Thursday May 17. The tour was ably led by GO Community Relations Supervisor, Kathryn Hanford. While there is no actual tunnel yet, preparations are well under way. The Weston Tunnel is being built to lower GO and VIA tracks so that the increased number of trains anticipated by 2015 will not split Weston in two at Church and King Streets. Because of grading issues, trains cannot be completely underground at John Street, so John will be split in two but will have its two sections connected by a footbridge. At the same time, storm sewers and water mains are being upgraded in conjunction with the City of Toronto.

Passengers leaving the GO Train at old Weston Station - the new tracks will be a couple of metres lower here at John Street and completely underground between King and Church in 2015.

Hanford spent some of her formative years in Weston and has worked on similar projects in the U.S., South Africa and most recently the Diamond Grade Separation Project near the stockyards. She says she is proud of the way in which the community has been consulted in shaping the changes needed for the Air Rail Link. She also mentioned a couple of other points; Weston GO Station will move to its new location on Weston Road just south of Lawrence in mid-july. The station itself will be housed in a temporary portable structure until the ARL opens in 2015. She also said that developers have been snapping up real estate in anticipation of higher property values once the ARL is in place and also when GO becomes an all-day service (although GO seems to be quickly backing away from this promise).

A VIA train moves north-west along the future Weston Tunnel (at King Street). The metal structures are forms for a large patterned concrete retaining wall.