Central Toronto Daily Updates: July–August 2020

Bike Share thumbnailRide a bike for free on Wednesday

Bike Share Toronto, which has stations all over Central Toronto, is letting would-be cyclists ride for free all day every Wednesday in September.

Check Streeter’s Things To Do for how to do it.

women in police robbery investigationImages of women released in robbery investigation

Police have released images of three women in connection with an investigation of an alleged theft four weeks ago. One of the women pictured is said to have surrendered to police on Aug. 24.

The robbery allegedly occurred early on July 31 near Yonge Street and Bloor Street East. It was reported a man had responded to an online website offering erotic massage and arranged to meet a woman at an address in the area. A short time after they met, the woman allegedly stole the man’s valuable watch.

A 22-year-old woman from Ottawa has been arrested and charged with conspiracy to commit an indictable offence. She appeared in court on Aug. 24.

Police said there may be other victims. Security camera images have been released showing women all dressed in tight-fitting black clothing.

condo being built thumbnailThis is the best place to rent a condo in Toronto

If you’re looking for a condo in the Rosedale area to move into, your economically best option may be to lease one. The real estate district encompassing Rosedale and Moore Park ranks lowest in the latest report by Zoocasa, which looked at purchase prices versus rental costs.

Get the full story in Streeter News.

NDP leader here to talk about school

New Democratic Party leader Jagmeet Singh is appearing in front of Dewson Street Junior Public School tomorrow. He’ll be talking to media at the Concord Avenue school at 10 a.m. to discuss a “safe return to school for our kids,” according to an NDP press release today.

Sexual assault of male reported in Rosedale Valley

Police reported yesterday the sexual assault of a young man in the area of Park and Rosedale Valley roads on Saturday. It is alleged the 18-year-old was approached by another man and led to a secluded wooded area where he was assaulted, before escaping.

Police are looking for a man described as in his 20s, white, 5-foot-11 to 6-foot-1, and having a fair complexion, an average build, shaved or bald head, short beard, and light eyes. He was reportedly wearing a grey long-sleeved shirt.

Bay Street narrows for repairs

Expect daily traffic delays along Bay Street starting tomorrow until Aug. 29. Sidewalk repairs will be closing curb lanes in both directions from Scollard Street in the north (in the Yorkville area) to Dundas Street West in the south, the city advises.

Fragment of coronavirus map.

Few recent COVID cases in this part of city

Cabbagetown and South St. James Town are free of new cases of COVID-19. And other nearby neighbourhoods are the same or close behind, according to the city’s coronavirus map.

It shows zero to four confirmed or probable new cases recently for neighbourhoods in Central Toronto, as well as in midtown and the east end, for August so far.

Check how your neighbourhood is faring in the Streeter article.

CNE logo thumbGo to the Ex without leaving home

Toronto’s traditional end-of-summer show and exhibition is back in 2020, though in anything but traditional form. The CNE continues online starting today until Sept. 7.

Without leaving home now, you can go to the Ex via the new CNE portal, where you can take in shows and performances, share food recipes, learn how to be a busker, take virtual rides, enjoy trips through history, and even enjoy a virtual air show.

More information in the Things To Do listing.

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Police seek identity of car used in alleged multiple shootings

car sought by police

Police have released a photo of a car in an investigation into multiple shootings in the Cabbagetown and Regent Park area more than a week ago.

On Aug. 10 shortly before 10 p.m., police responded to a shooting near River and Oak streets.

It was reported three men had arrived in the area in a dark sport utility vehicle, the vehicle stopped in the vicinity of River and Dundas Street East, and firearms were discharged at a group of people. The vehicle then left westbound on Dundas, police said.

Anyone with information is asked to contact police.


Central Toronto MPPs condemn attacks on mosques

Toronto Centre MPP Suze Morrison and University-Rosedale MPP Jessica Bell today released a statement condemning the sixth attack on Masjid Toronto in three months.

“It is deeply concerning to hear about the racist graffiti and damage inflicted on Masjid Toronto’s locations, and the frightening rate with which these incidents have occurred,” the statement says.

“As a community, we must call out these hate crimes and threats against the Muslim community.”

They called for police to provide protection to Masjid Toronto Mosques and  to thoroughly investigate “thgese acts of hate.”

37-year-old charged with July 9 murder

Police reported today a man, 37, was arrested shortly after the alleged murder of a man, 42, at 291 George St., north of Dundas Street West.

On July 9, a man was found at the address complaining of pain to his torso but was pronounced dead at the hospital. The cause of death was blunt force trauma, police said. The victim was identified as Daniel Carmichael of Toronto.

Alan Smith was charged with second-degree murder and appeared in court on July 10, according to police.

Tavern staffer tests positive, patrons being tracked

Toronto Public Health is tracking down about 550 people thought to have visited the Brass Rail Tavern on Yonge Street over four evenings, after an employee tested positive for COVID-19.

They are seeking to notify anyone present on the evenings of Aug. 4 from 7 p.m. to 2:30 a.m., Aug. 5 from 8 p.m. to 3 a.m., Aug. 7 from 9 p.m. to 3 a.m. and Aug. 8 from 7 p.m. to 2:30 a.m.

No one attending the Brass Rail outside of these dates and times is at risk, according to a city press release today. Anyone who attended and known close contacts are being asked to monitor themselves for symptoms for 14 days after their last visit.

The  Brass Rail is a bar and strip club at 701 Yonge St. that had its reopening on July 31.

Here’s the city’s complete news release.


Permit parking enforcement begins tonight

Permit parking enforcement on residential streets is resuming at midnight tonight. It had been paused due to COVID-19 but the period to purchase or renew permits began on July 2 and ran to Aug. 7.

In case you missed the window, temporary daily and weekly parking permits can be purchased online anytime.

The parking permit office remains closed but can be accessed by phone at 416-392-7873 or email at permit.parking@toronto.ca, Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.

DVP shut down for coming weekend

The Don Valley Parkway from Highway 401 to the Gardiner Expressway is being closed this weekend from Aug. 14 at 11 p.m. to Monday, Aug. 17 at 5 a.m., provided it doesn’t rain.

The closure is for annual maintenance and improvement work that usually takes place in spring or fall, but has been moved to August this year to take advantage of both warmer summer weather and lower traffic volumes due to the pandemic, the city says in a press release today.

In case of inclement weather, the rain dates for the work are Aug. 22–24.


Transformation of Bell boxes continues

In the 12th year of the Bell Box Mural project, those drab boxes are continuing to be turned into vibrant works of art across central and midtown Toronto.

They hope to bring happiness to local residents during this sad time in Toronto, the artists say. And their musical tableaus and natural scenes — bugs! flowers! animals! — seem to be doing the trick.

More on this engaging project.

Gas leak shuts down part of Spadina

Spadina Road north of Bloor Street was closed this morning after construction crews hit a gas line, police are saying on Twitter. Police reported at 8:29 a.m. the “smell of gas in the air” near the the Spadina subway station.

An hour later, police reported the gas line was fixed and the road would soon reopen. No injuries have been reported.

Subway line east of St. George shutting down over weekend

Subway service on Line 2 between St. George and Woodbine stations will be closed on Saturday and Sunday this weekend for track work, the TTC has announced.

Bay, Sherbourne and Chester stations are to be completely shut down, while other stations are to remain open only for the purchase of PRESTO fares and for connection to surface routes.

Shuttle buses will operate along the line, the TTC says.

museums thumbnail

Tours launched for Toronto’s historical museums

Central Toronto’s Mackenzie House and Forest Hill’s Spadina House are among the 10 Toronto history museums you can tour — with all the public health precautions in place — in the city’s newly launched HistoricTO program.

Tickets go on sale starting tomorrow on a pay-what-you-can basis for the tours that run from July 30 to Sept. 4.

Find out all about it.


Two fled from Cabbagetown collision, one arrested, one being sought

A female has been arrested and a man is being sought after a two-vehicle collision near Carlton Street and Berkeley this afternoon, police said on Twitter.

Police received reports at 3:35 p.m. that two vehicles collided and two people got out of a vehicle and ran away. Shortly afterwards one female was arrested. A man being sought was described as having a medium build and medium-brown curly hair, and wearing a blue mask, white t-shirt, and black pants. He was possibly limping, according to police.

No injuries were reported from the collision.

Beaches-LeslievilleDon ValleyForest HillLeasideNorth TorontoRiverdale-East York

NDPers back Toronto call to cut back construction noise

Twelve opposition MPPs, including  central Toronto representatives Jessica Bell and Suze Morrison, are asking Premier Doug Ford to give Toronto back the power to limit construction noise. This comes after city council made a similar request, and after residents and residents’ associations have complained about noise keeping them awake.

In April the province issued orders allowing “essential” construction projects to generate noise earlier and later than the city had previously allowed. Get the whole story.

Dramatic video of robbery in alleyway released

Police are seeking three men who robbed a couple at gunpoint early Monday morning. They released video showing a man with a rifle and two others apparently robbing a man in an alleyway near Gerrard Street East and Pembroke Street.

See the full story and video.

Housing prices up in most central and midtown areas despite pandemic

The average price for a single-detached home in central and midtown Toronto for the first six months of 2020 is up over the same period of last year, according to a real estate report released yesterday.

The real estate districts including Cabbagetown, the Annex, Forest Hill and Yonge-St. Clair, for example, have all experienced price increases of 10 to more than 55 per cent over a year ago.

However, a few of the wealthiest districts — like those including Rosedale, Moore Park and Bridle Path — have seen prices drop from a year ago.

See the full picture and details in Streeter news.

Free outdoor programs for kids start Monday

The city announced today it is launching its ParksPlayTO initiative for kids up to age 12 and the Summer in the 6ix program for young people age 13 to 24 on July 20.

No registration is required for these drop-in programs in spaces across the city. In Central Toronto, this includes Rosedale Park, Riverdale Park West, Winchester Park, Ramsden Park and other local locations.

See the story and get the details in Streeter news.

Cabbagetown murder leads to arrest of Kitchener man

Seven months after 55-year-old Dalibor Dolic was killed on Sherbourne Street, a 52-year-old man from Kitchener, Ont. has been arrested, police say. Here’s what we know so far.

Overdosing woman missing after man claimed to take her to hospital, police allege

A woman is still missing, despite the man last seen with her being arrested for kidnapping today, police report. Witnesses said the woman suffered an apparent overdose in the Sherbourne Street and Dundas Street East area at about 8:30 a.m. and was placed in a car by a man who said he was taking her to hospital.

The woman never arrived at hospital, however. Police found the car and arrested the 51-year-old man, charging him with kidnapping and failing to comply with parole. He is to appear in court tomorrow.

Meanwhile, Amber Johnson, 33, is still missing. She is described as 5-foot-11, 160 lbs., with an average build, and short brown hair. She was last seen wearing a blue hoodie, blue cut-off jean shorts, and black and white running shoes.

UPDATE: Police announced Johnson has been found at about 7:15 p.m.

Reported robbery of convenience store leads to arrest

The Toronto Police holdup squad arrested a man yesterday shortly after a convenience store near Bay and Wellesley streets was reported robbed.

Police say a man entered the store and was recognized by the owners for allegedly shoplifting before. Asked to leave, the man allegedly threatened the owners and grabbed items from the shelves and walked to the exit. The owners confronted the man and he allegedly threatened them aggressively and fled on foot with the merchandise.

Investigators identified a man and located him within hours. A 25-year-old man has been charged with robbery, two counts of threatening bodily harm, and failing to failing to comply with recognizance. He is scheduled to appear in court today.

Cooling centres near you

In this hot, hot, hot weather, if you desperately need a place to cool off, head to one of the city’s emergency cooling centres in Central Toronto:

  • Alex Duff Memorial Pool, 779 Crawford St. — call 416-392-0910 first.
  • Ramsden Park, 1020 Yonge St. — call 311 first.
  • Rosedale Park, 20 Scholfield Ave. — call 311 first.
  • Riverdale Park West, 375 Sumach St. — call 311 first.


Time to resume your parking permit

If you’re parking on the street, you should be aware the free period due to coronavirus has come to an end. Beginning today the city is restarting its permit parking program. The office remains closed but it can be accessed by phone at 416-392-7873 or by email Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.

You can also renew an existing permit holders using the online renewal system or by mail, though you should call first before mailing in an application.

The parking permit renewal window will be open until Aug. 3, and enforcement is expected to begin again starting Aug. 14 at midnight. More information on applying for a parking permit on the city website.

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