COVID this week

The past three weeks of the pandemic have been the worst for Weston since I’ve been keeping records.

There were 117 cases of COVID in Weston in the past three weeks, passing our previous high of 105 in November.

In contrast to the first phase of the pandemic, Weston is not a hotspot. Our recent increases have been part of the broader second wave.

FreshCo coming to Weston

Jason Doolan says that the construction at Jane and Denison (Trethewey) will soon be a FreshCo grocery store.

The large, somewhat-paved lot on the southwest corner has been vacant since at least 2009.

Satellite view of the lot

Update: Mike sends the following facts:

The land used to be the Moffat Stove factory. It was supposed to be another grocery store as far back as 2004, but construction was stopped in 2006.

G&M on Weston Park development

The Globe and Mail has an article on the development at the Weston Park Baptist Church.

While many church congregations are shrinking or struggling financially, Weston Park Baptist Church is placing its faith in development plans that aim to revitalize its property in the west-end Toronto neighbourhood.

“Our vision formulated [in] 2005,” says church deacon John Frogley-Rawson. “It’s a nice piece of land, and we have developed [a plan] for the property and the community.”

It’s worth reading, because it shows how a development should be done: with community consultation and assent. It also includes much on the fate of churches, and how they will be reused and redeveloped in a secular age.

Income is related to COVID prevalence

As we’ve discussed, Weston has a large number of COVID cases. It’s not clear why this is the case: it could be density, income, an increased reliance on public transit, or just how diseases work.

I thought that I would try to puzzle out one of these variables. Of course, I’m neither an epidemiologist nor a statistician. But I am pretty handy with a spreadsheet!

And it looks to me like income and COVID prevalence have a loose relationship.

I compared the 2016 neighbourhood median pre-tax income and the COVID rate per 100,000 (to June 4, including public and institutional transmission).

As I suspected, the richest neighbourhoods have very little spread of COVID. This makes sense to me: people there drive, are spread out, and can work from home.

The highest COVID rates are in the poorer neighbourhoods—but not all poorer areas have high rates of transmission.

Income is far from the only explanation. The R² value is .14, suggesing that income explains 14% of the variance in COVID rates. But that’s not nothing, and you read it here first.

Please feel free to check my work.

 

Mati’s coffee is gone

Mati’s Coffee on Weston Road has closed. Mati’s opened in May of 2018, and the owners, Konjet and Derrge Tadewsa, had started their own business after working at Tim Hortons.

In a bitter (pun intended) twist, Tim Hortons opened a franchise earlier this month only steps away from Mati’s.

Konjet Tadewsa and her son receive a City of Toronto congratulatory diploma from Business Improvement Association Chair Masum Hossain on Saturday May, 26. Husband, Derrge and other family members were on hand to lend support.

 

WHCD Study expansion

The city will be looking at part of Weston to determine whether it has a unique character, and whether is should be recommended for conservation and enhancement. The WHCD will be having a meeting on August 21 to discuss the new areas and next steps.

The effort to create heritage districts in Weston has been going on for quite a long time. It started in 2004, and the first phase was completed in 2007, with the creation of a conservation district in two areas around Weston Road.

Phase Two was to include the area between Rosemount, Pine, Church, and MacDonald.

Now, however, the city has taken over planning of conservation districts, instead of leaving it in the hands of community groups.  The WHCD says that the city is “ready to proceed with the study of the Weston Heritage Conservation District, Phase II, with the intention to go by the old boundary to Elm Street.“¹

Heritage conservation districts are “historically or culturally significant and require special care and attention in the planning process to ensure that they are conserved.”

A heritage designation limits what people can do with their properties.  Construction and restoration must be done with neighbourhood guidelines, and demolition is not allowed under most circumstances—including by neglect.

 


¹ My emphasis. Also, full disclosure, I live just past Elm Street.