Tim, a frontline worker, is part of the hidden homeless

Toronto Life has the story of Tim MacFarlane, who lives and works in the Weston and Mount Dennis area. He’s a frontline worker, and he has to live in his car.

Image from GoFundMe

I have been a registered pharmacy technician since 2013, working at a health care centre in the northwest corner of Toronto. Several of our units treat Covid-19 patients, which means that I was among the fortunate few to get vaccinated back in January. I work in the pharmacy in the basement. A doctor writes a prescription and sends it via computer to a pharmacist on the main floor, who reviews the order and transmits it to us. We fill IV bags, count tablets, package orders and take them up to the unit. The job was always a relay race; during the pandemic, it’s become way harder….

After my shift ends, I want nothing more than to drive home and crash on my couch. But I can’t. I’ve been homeless since February of 2020, just before the pandemic really touched down in Ontario. So after I clock out, I drive my 2017 Dodge Caravan—with its cracked windshield and wonky transmission—to the parking lot of a nearby retirement home.

The story is terrifying, saddening, and angering. It is required reading.

Tim’s friends are raising money for him. You can donate though GoFundMe.

GO and UPX services cut

UPX and GO service will be temporarily reduced as a result of the pandemic. Trains will run twice-hourly at peak periods and hourly in off-peak periods.


The last train to Weston will also leave downtown earlier—at 10 pm. The cuts begin today.

GO Train service to Weston will also be cut. There will be no weekday evening service. The last train will leave downtown at 6:34 pm.

GO ridership is less than 10% of what it was before the pandemic.

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.

Crime this year: down

Weston has long had a reputation as a bad neighbourhood. (I’ve long disagreed, but numbers only get you so far.)

As the year ends, we can compare crime rates to 2019. And they are good.

Crime rates, which were already low, fell considerably in 12 Division. Robberies, assaults, thefts, break-ins, sexual assaults and murders were less frequent. Only auto thefts were up.

Crime rates in 12 Division, image from the city

There could be many reasons for this, but it’s noteworthy that rime rates were down across the city. Doubtless, the pandemic paid a role.

Clearance in 12 Division, image from the city

The police also solved more crimes this year. The clearance rate jumped quite dramatically, to 78%.