Central Bar and Grill gets a yellow card

The Central Bar and Grill on Weston Rd was given a warning by Toronto Public Health. They were faulted for not maintaining their dishwasher and for not washing non-food-contact surfaces carefully enough.

This is the second time that Central Bar and Grill has been carded. The last time was in June of 2010. Then they were not taking care of garbage.

Ontario NDP calls for lower insurance in Ontario–and Weston in particular

When I moved to Weston, I was stunned by the increase in my car insurance, but I figured I had done something to deserve it.

It turns out, I hadn’t. The Ontario NDP called for an overhaul of the auto insurance system, and they used Weston as an example of outrageous insurance fees. Drivers here spend twice as much as those in tony neighbourhoods, for no obvious reason.

Based on the lowest quotes available, a forty-year old driver with a spotless record, driving a subcompact-car living at Weston and Jane will pay approximately $2,500 premium, while someone at Lawrence Park with the same car and driving record will pay approximately $1,150. According the insurance companies they have the exact same risk of being in an accident.

The New Democrats say they are calling for an end to the guaranteed 12% profit for insurers was negotiated in 1996 and an “all-party committee to look at a complete overhaul of the auto insurance industry in Ontario.”

Mayoral awards for Weston groups

Frontlines Cooks and the Weston King Neighbourhood Drop In have won nice awards from the mayor. They won the Community Safety Award in November, and each received $1000 and a commemorative certificate.

Frontlines Cooks

 is a cooking class that builds on peer mentorship and healthy living. Children learn about menu creation, healthy eating, and how to shop on a budget. Meals are shared together, along with table manners! Full bellies and full hearts.

 

The WKNC Drop In is a safe place for the marginalized to hang out, get warm, do laundry, and meet and network.

Thanks to Frances Nunziata for the tip!

Weston gets nice redevelopment grant

Look out Queen West—John Street is on the rise.

The Urban Land Institute is giving almost $24,000 to kick-start revitalization of John Street in Weston. The money will be matched by other organizations, which will bring the total up to about $80,000.

Competition for the money appears to have been stiff. Ours was one of only two projects in Canada awarded a grant; twenty-eight other projects around the world were given money, but few received as much as Weston.

The money will go towards the regeneration plan that will make the street more attractive for retail, create a permanent space for the farmers’ market, and make a better link from the village to the commercial district.

In the press release, Frances Nunziata said, “This is a positive step toward seeing the community’s vision for a revitalized Weston Village become reality”

The plan and the grant have grown out of the Urban Land Institute’s design conference, which was held in May of this year. That conference was an intense planning session to take advantage of the redevelopment opportunities coming out of the building of the Air Rail Link and the new Weston station.

 

Pelmo Park PS doing just fine

This is part of an ongoing series of reports on the schools in Weston. Every year, the EQAO office reports on every school in Ontario and assesses the students’ language and arithmetic skills.

Pelmo Park Public School didn’t do particularly well in last year’s EQAO assessment. But, in this case, that’s probably just fine. Many of Pelmo’s students are overcoming disadvantages that their peers don’t face.

Only 49% of grade 3 Pelmo students met the provincial standards for reading. 64% of the board did, and 65% of the province did. In math, things were equally bad; 47% of the school passed, but 70% of the board did, and 69% of the province did.

The writing tests were much better, however. Pelmo students were very nearly as good as their provincial and board counterparts; 69% of the school’s kids made the grade, while 74% of the board and 73% of the province’s did.

On the face of it, that’s pretty bad. But here’s the thing: more than half of the kids at Pelmo get special education. Less than 20% of kids province-wide do. That Pelmo did so well, then, could be seen as a bit remarkable. Pelmo has historically always had more children with special-education needs, and has typically done quite well, especially in writing.

 

St John knocked back a square

St John the Evangelist families found out this week that school board staff would like to relocate students to a surplus school quite far away—near Old Weston Road and Davenport—while Metrolinx builds the Air Rail Link.

The present school, which is terribly crowded, has been promised funding for an addition, but it has not received funding for a replacement. Sensibly, the administration would like to have a replacement school built while the tracks are being installed in order to minimize disruption. The administration would also like to relocate all of the students, not just the students currently in portables, which is what Metrolinx would like to do.

Moving the students will cost $2 million, which the board has asked Metrolinx to pay. The temporary school is about 20 minutes away by car when traffic is good, but may take 45 minutes to reach by school bus.

InsideToronto has more on the story.