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.

Clean Train Coalition Protest

Tomorrow morning at 8:30 a.m. Toronto’s Clean Train Coalition is organizing a protest outside the Central YMCA (20 Grosvenor St. 2 blocks north of College). This is to express opposition to the likelihood of 140 diesel trains running through Weston every day once the Airport Link is built. Currently the line is used only 4 hours daily.

For cynical people such as myself, it seems as if Metrolinx is playing this game both ways and their logic is faulty. On the one hand it has recommended electrification of the route. On the other, it has already purchased the diesel locomotives for the route and so electrification is planned for sometime in the future. According to Metrolinx, electrification takes a long time, is very expensive and besides, they want the line to be ready for the 2015 PanAm games in spite of the fact that athletes and officials will travel by bus on dedicated lanes. Weston Community Coalition has more details in their latest update.

Report from the John St bridge committee

Mark Dos Reis sends the following note along from the John St bridge committee, which is meeting with Metrolinx to help design the pedestrian bridge over the tracks.

John St Pedestrian Bridge Committee Update

As a member of the Community Advisory Committee, we’ve been asked to share the Committee’s work with the Weston community.  The Committee will be meeting on a monthly basis for the rest of this year and have specific milestones throughout the year in relation to the design and final recommendation of the John St. Bridge.

The first meeting took place on Thursday January 20.  The Committee consists of various members of the Weston Community as well as our elected representatives from the municipal, provincial and federal levels of government.  Laura Alabanese and Alan Tonks were in attendance for this meeting, as well as a representative from Frances Nunziatta’s office (she was unable to attend this meeting due to the City’s budget planning meetings, but will be there for the rest of the meetings).  In total there were about 25-30 residents and politicians in attendance representing the neighbourhood.

The mandate of the committee is as follows:

  1. Recommend the content for a design brief for the John St. Bridge
  2. Review of initial design concepts for the bridge (10 in total)
  3. Shortlist the concepts to three which will be shared with the community
  4. Review the results of the community vote
  5. Recommend one design project for Metrolix to implement

Important milestones in 2011 include the finalizing of the design brief in April, the election of the 3 design concepts in July, and the final decision recommendation in October/November.  Its important to note that this committee will only be delivering a recommendation and the final decision on the design of the bridge will ultimately be made by GO and Metrolinx.

Weston streets to get a little tidier

Weston Road can sometimes be a little slummy… and I mean that in a nice way! Slums are the airport terminals of neighbourhoods: they’re where people start new lives and leave behind old ones. They’re full of promise and drama. And like airport terminals, slums are awful places to live.

So while Weston is no slum, Weston Road can be a little slummy. There are a lot of stores selling second-hand goods and doing ‘informal banking’. There are a lot of discount stores and a lot of services and shops catering to the renters who are new to town or to Canada. And many villagers find Weston Rd unattractive in part because the retail norms are quite different. The storefronts are ugly, the merchandise sometimes unappealing (I ate camel meat for the first time in Weston), and some of the stores spill out onto the street.

But that’s likely to change. At the Community Council meeting last week, Frances Nunziata asked (and got) city planners and licencing officers to investigate how the outdoor display of merchandise can be regulated and limited. The proposal, she says, comes from complaints from “residents, business owners, and visitors”.

One store, which all residents will know even if they’ve never set foot in it, is flagrant. There are clothes and sundries hanging from the sign, walls, and even, I believe, the tree beside on occasion. The trouble is, Nunziata says, the store is in a commercial zone, where, oddly, this is allowed.

So while the property is following the letter of the law, Nunziata and the Community Council have asked city staff to come up with ways to get the unsightly storefronts more inline with community norms.

Photo from Nunziata's application to EYCC

Your humble correspondent confesses to feeling a little conflicted, as he did when council undertook a similar program against the cheque cashing establishments in town last year. The businesses in question are not breaking any laws; they’re just distasteful to some members of the community (your correspondent among them).

Bringing the weight of city staff down on legal and unthreatening (if unpopular) establishments seems a little meddlesome.

Weston Memorial needs your help

The Weston Memorial Annual Fun Fair needs volunteers and donations. The fair will be on June 2, and the planning committees are looking for people to help out both in advance and on the day of the fair.

The school needs people to help with

  • Ideas
  • Raffle Donations
  • Lootbag donations
  • The bake sale
  • Setting up, running events, and tidying up

Last year’s event raised about $5000 for new school computers, and it was a total blast. There were sack races, snacks, bouncy castles, music and more.

If you or your company want to contribute, call Cristine Ramos at (416) 614-7177.

Another break in on Queens Dr

A reader says there has been another burglary on Queens Dr.

The break-in happened in the day while the residents were at work, on January 21st. The burglars broke the window in the back door, and unlocked it. They stole valuables and jewelry, and searched the home “from top to bottom”.

The last break-in I have heard about on Queens happened in November, and the burglary was similar. It is hard to know for certain, however, how many burglaries have happened in Weston, because the police are no longer providing the information. I have emailed 31 division about the lack of data and have received no explanation.

An MRI Machine For HRRH Church Street Site

Humber River Regional Hospital‘s Church Street site will be getting a new MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) machine later this year. The machine will operate for 40 hours a week and presumably will operate for longer hours if the need increases. The existing machine operates 24/7 and performs 7900 scans annually at the Finch site while the new machine will perform about 3100 and save Weston residents from travelling to the Finch site. It is assumed that the machine will move to the new 1.6 million square foot site at Keele and the 401 in 2015.

This being a provincial election year, no doubt there will be similar announcements coming from other provincial ministries. The press release for this announcement helpfully contains boilerplate quotes from prominent area Liberal MPPs, the Minister of Health and health care executives.