Humber River Hospital Death Rate Improving

The Canadian Institute for Health Information measures hospital mortality rates in Canada and according to their latest statistics, Humber River Regional Hospital has steadily improved–to the point where this year, it has a lower than average death rate. The institute uses a benchmark of 100 to rate hospital mortality rates, and this year HRHH scored 96, having scored 106 and 117 in 2009 and 2008  respectively. This statistic is the average of all three locations of the hospital.

Having recently been a patient at the Church Street site I can attest that although the building is overcrowded and out of date, the personnel seem caring and competent. In fact our local version of HRRH is a community gem which provides employment and a valuable service to Weston residents.

Unfortunately, the Church St site will soon be closed. HRRH is amalgamating its three campuses into one facility at Keele and Wilson, at Downsview Park. Construction will probably start in late 2011. Little information is available about what will happen to the Church St site.

Broome building demolition to be reconsidered

Toronto City Council has referred the demolition application for the Ward Broome Building back to Etobicoke York Community Council, at Frances Nunziata’s request.

City staff had previously recommended that the demolition of the building be allowed to proceed, and the Etobicoke York Community Council gave its go-ahead on December 10. City Council usually rubber-stamps applications like this, once they have been given the imprimatur of the lower levels. This time, however, Nunziata asked to have the issue sent back to community council to be reconsidered.

According to Jennifer Cicchelli, Nunziata’s office was “contacted by several residents in Weston who expressed concern that the building in question has heritage value.” In the re-evaluation period, the Weston Historical Society will have a look at the building to see if it has any preservation value. They will report to Community Council with their findings.

The Ward Broome building is across from the lot that Metrolinx bought as a staging area, leading to speculation that it might also be used for that purpose. Frances Nunziata’s staff has no information, however, about what is planned for the site.

Weston kids to share a cup with soldiers

Weston Memorial grade 4 and 5 students will be visiting Toronto Emergency Medical Services today to pass along Tim Horton’s gift cards they collected. The cards will be sent to Canadian soldiers serving in Afghanistan.

The “Share A Cup with a Brave Canuck” program was started two years ago. It aims to give every soldier, sailor and airperson a thank-you card from someone back home in Canada. The program is led by Toronto EMS, and school children from Weston Memorial, Montogomery Village School, and St Jane Frances school will attend the event.

Weston Memorial traffic headaches

Toronto Traffic officers will be ticketing scofflaws who park and stop outside Weston Memorial. The streets around the school have become a warzone around the beginning and end of school, especially now that there is snow on the ground and more parents are dropping their children off.

According to the school, the problem is worst on John, but Queens Drive is becoming bad as well. The principal, Vince Baglione, said in a newsletter that he is “extremely fearful for the safety and security of our children, as the tempers escalate and the gridlock expands.”

This morning, your man in Weston saw quite a bit of honking and fist shaking and witnessed a parking officer circling in his car, but not yet issuing fines.

Baglione asks parents to walk, and, if that’s not possible, park a block away.

No condos at Weston and Oak

The vacant lot at Weston Rd and Oak St will remain vacant for the next five years, according to InsideToronto. This lot is directly across for the Ward Broome Building, which will likely soon be demolished. Your humble reporter does not know if the two issues are related.

The vacant land had been zoned for condominiums, but the article says Metrolinx has since purchased it, and will use as a staging area for the construction on the Georgetown line

A sidebar to the article lists some of the other vacant properties in Weston.

Ford Says Eglinton Subway Next Priority after Sheppard

Rob Ford has personally responded to a WestonWeb editorial by saying that Transit City is not dead but is being refocussed underground. According to the Mayor, his first priority is to build a subway on Sheppard Avenue. His second is the Eglinton line, and it will open by 2020.  Ford says that he has asked the TTC to present plans that will achieve these goals.

This appears to be the first time that Mayor Ford has commented on specific Transit City priorities and on the Eglinton line in particular.

Mayor Ford’s correspondence finally brings some good news for Weston residents. We will have to see whether or not the line will reach Weston and where stations will be located, but at least we are included in transportation planning.

Weston gangster acquitted

Akiel Eubank has been acquitted of the murder of Ephraim Brown, an 11-year-old boy, who was shot at a party in 2007.

Eubank was a member of the Five Point Generals, a Weston-area gang. At the time of his arrest, he was well known to police for weapons offenses and violence. He had been previously arrested for assaulting a police officer at Mario Bros, a now-defunct Weston bar.

The trial of Eubank hung on the testimony of  a witness, Kishauna Thomas. No other witnesses came forward, and the jury, apparently, did not find her believable–though she had been threatened for testifying.

The Five Point Generals have likely been disbanded in the interim. Toronto Police claim to have broken up the gang.