Central Toronto Daily Updates: September 2020–February 2021

NDP selects candidate for University-Rosedale in 2022

…and one guess who it is? No surprise, it’s Jessica Bell, the incumbent MPP who in 2018 swept the new riding of University-Rosedale, made from parts of previously Liberal-held seats in central Toronto.

Bell has also just taken on the position of opposition critic for housing, tenants rights and urban planning.

arson suspect policeWoman charged after arson suspect identified as male

A woman faces arson charges after multiple fires were set on College Street in the Palmerston area.

An initial police report said they were looking for a man wearing a red jacket, black and white toque, and dark jeans. Several images of a “suspect” were released. See the story.

 Church Street kitchen tumbnailChurch Street apartment building opens for homeless women

Mayor John Tory, Toronto Centre councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam and other officials opened this morning an affordable rental building at 389 Church St. for women who face homelessness.

The 13 storeys of the building offer 120 self-contained units where diverse woman can find shelter and restart their lives. See the full story.


NDP off to quick start in Toronto Centre

The next provincial election is still more than a year and a half away but the NDP members in Toronto Centre already know who they want to run: Suze Morrison, naturally. She’s the incumbent MPP who in 2018 took the previously Liberal riding with a clear majority. Morrison is currently the opposition critic for Urban Indigenous issues and for the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls Response.

Gun and drug charges after vehicle stopped in Bloor-Sherbourne area

A 23-year-old man faces multiple charges after a handgun, drugs, cash and stolen licence plates were recovered by police.

The investigation by major crime officers began after a vehicle stop near Bloor and Sherbourne streets, police said today. The Toronto man appeared in court on Feb. 1.

Starbucks thumbnailCoffee chain withdrawing from local neighbourhoods

Starbucks closures currently taking affect in Toronto are concentrated in central areas, including locations such as 686 Bay St. at Elm Street, 37 Grosvenor St. at Bay Street, 494 Bloor St. West at Bathurst Street and 66 Gerrard St. East at Church St.

It’s part of a Canada-wide cutback by the U.S.-based coffee chain as it moves to alternative, digital means of delivering all those Tall, Grande and Venti beverages. See the whole story.


COVID-19 reported at local drug mart

The Shoppers Drug Mart at 728 Yonge St. (at Charles Street) joins the list of stores in the area reporting employees testing positive for COVID-19. Today a team member, whose last day worked was Jan. 30, tested positive.

More details of deadly shooting released

More information about Friday’s shooting, including the identity of the homicide victim, has been added by police. A description of a vehicle that sped away from the scene is also included in a statement released late yesterday afternoon. See the updated story.

Mathersfield shooting thumbnailShooting leaves man dead, woman wounded in Rosedale-Summerhill laneway

One person is dead and one critically injured after a shooting yesterday evening in a neighbourhood variously described as being in North Rosedale or in Summerhill.

After calls reporting gunshots, police found the two suffering from wounds near Mathersfield Drive at about 8 p.m.

The shooting is thought to have taken place in a laneway running between houses on Mathersfield and the railway tracks barrier. Here’s what we know so far.

COVID cases at local food and drug chains

Grocery stores and drug marts in this area have announced a slew of positive tests for COVID-19 among their employees over the past week.

The Metro store at 735 College Street leads with three recent cases, reported on Jan. 14, 17 and 23. This store has also reported previous cases (see Jan. 12 and other items below).

On Jan. 21 Loblaw Companies reported single cases at Loblaws, 60 Carlton St., and Shoppers Drug Mart, 970 Queen St. E. This follows a report on Jan. 18 of a positive test at Loblaws, 650 Dupont St.

Sobeys reported a single case at its 840 Dupont St. store on Jan. 19.

Central Toronto drivers drew few ASE speeding tickets

More than 800 speeding tickets were issued by four photo radar stations in University-Rosedale and Toronto Centre wards over five months last year, according to figures released today.

ASE device
TRAFFIC COP: ASE devices issued more than 53,000 speeding tickets over five months last year.

This may sound like a fair number but it’s far lower than in other parts of Toronto. Across the city, 50 ASE devices issued 53,090 tickets during the first round — an average of nearly 1,062 per location.

These tickets were from the first round of automated speed enforcement (ASE) devices from July 6 to Nov. 30, 2020. The devices, placed mainly near schools, were moved to new locations beginning in late November.

Tickets issued in Toronto Centre were especially low — the lowest numbers in the city. Results from the four first-round locations in the two wards, from highest to lowest, were:

  • Huron Street south of Bernard Avenue (University-Rosedale): 658
  • Lippincott Street south of Vankoughnet Street (University-Rosedale): 135
  • Spruce Street near Gifford Street (Toronto Centre): 13
  • Prospect Street east of Ontario Street (Toronto Centre): 10

We’ll see how if our drivers can keep up the good record at at the four new ASE locations. In University-Rosedale ward, they’re at Orde Street, west of Murray Street, and at Essex Street, west of Christie Street. In Toronto Centre, they’re on Sherbourne Street, south of Wellesley Street East, and on Berkeley Street, south of Gerrard Street East.

St. George home facing humanitarian crisis, MPP says

Conditions at St. George Care Community in the Annex are reaching the level of a humanitarian crisis, says University-Rosedale MPP Jessica Bell, who joined NDP Leader Andrea Horwath, as well as a personal support worker and a paramedic at a virtual press conference yesterday.

They castigated the provincial government for letting the situation in long-term care homes get so bad.

“Frontline workers, families and experts have laid out the solutions needed to give people hope in long-term care — and it’s unconscionable that [Premier] Doug Ford keeps choosing to ignore those desperate pleas,” Bell said.

“People are suffering and dying, and families are losing their cherished parents and grandparents,” Horwath said. “Frontline workers report a complete lack of infection protections, and staffing levels so low that seniors are left to wither and suffer, whether they have COVID-19 or not.”

They called for at least 10,000 personal support workers to be hired urgently for all LTC homes, including St. George, and infection prevention and control professionals put into every single home, as well as for paid sick days for all workers, including PSWs.

Local libraries open for pickup and drop-off

Branches of the Toronto Public Library will remain open during the lockdown beginning tomorrow — but for pickup and drop-off of library materials only.

Current operational hours are being maintained. A previous communication that branches will close at 8 p.m. were mistaken, the TPL says.
January 11, 2021 Metro, 735 College St, Toronto ON M6G 1C5 Positive COVID-19 test of two employees. The employees’ last day of work was January 8

Protests outside Annex long-term care home

Four protests in eight days have been held outside St. George Care Community. The long-term care home at 225 St. George St. in the Annex has experienced 156 infections, including 14 deaths, from COVID-19 among residents over the past month. Twenty-eight staff members are currently infected, according to provincial figures.

The protests have numbered from a handful to more than two dozen people. NDP leader Jagmeet Singh and Green Party leader Annamie Paul have also made appearances at the St. George demonstrations.


COVID cases reported at Metro stores

Metro grocery stores reported two positive COVID-19 tests of employees in the area today and yesterday.

On Jan. 12, the store at 444 Yonge St. store reported a positive test of an employee who was last on the job in November.

On Jan. 11, 2021
Metro, 735 College St, Toronto ON M6G 1C5
Positive COVID-19 test of two employees. The employees’ last day of work was January 8

Arrest after one women died, another sent to hospital from apparent overdoses

A 23-year-old man has been arrested on drug charges after two women were found unconscious in an apartment near Yonge and Bloor streets on Dec. 31 at about 11 p.m. One of the women was pronounced dead at the scene and the other was rushed to hospital for treatment.

Investigators believe the women had ingested unknown substances purchased in the Square One area of Mississauga.

Tahir Ul-haq of Mississauga has been charged with trafficking cocaine and criminal negligence causing death. He appeared in court Jan. 4.

Police say they are concerned other people may be in possession of the unknown substance.

Local child care free for essential workers

The YMCA Child Development Centre at 15 Breadalbane St. (Yonge and Wellesley Streets) is one of 35 child care programs approved to provide emergency care for the children of essential workers in Toronto communities during the current lockdown of elementary schools.

Families that meet Ontario’s definition of essential workers can apply directly to the approved centres for this free service funded by the province.

Get the full story.

Stay home for New Year’s

There’s nothing planned in Toronto for New Year’s eve tonight — so stay home. Celebrate in person only with people living under your roof or celebrate with others virtually. That’s the city’s message for residents during the strangest New Year’s most of us have ever faced.

red violin suspect police‘Stolen’ violin recovered, suspect sought

A violin that was missing since Dec. 18 (see item below) has been recovered, though police say a man suspected of having stolen it is still at large.

Images have been released showing a man apparently carrying the red violin case while exiting the Dufferin subway station on the day the instrument went missing.

The violin is being returned to the owner, police say, though the suspect, described as being in his 50s, is still outstanding.

Arrest after store robbed of backpack at lighter-point

Police arrested a man yesterday morning shortly after a store near Jarvis Street and Gerrard Street East was allegedly robbed of merchandise and an employee was bitten and threatened with a lighter.

It was reported a man selected a new backpack at the store and began filling it with his personal items, when he was challenged by an employee for not wearing a mask. He allegedly tried to set the employee on fire with a lighter and left the store, where he was again confronted by an employee. He bit the employee on the arm and again tried to light the employee on fire before fleeing on foot, police say.

Responding officers quickly found a man nearby and arrested him after a struggle. The stolen backpack was recovered, police say.

A 24-year-old man of no fixed address faces eight charges, including robbery with an offensive weapon, assaulting a peace officer, and failing to comply with a release order.

He appeared in court the same day.

Child reported injured in collision

Two vehicles were involved in a collision at Jarvis Street and Wellesley Street East today at about 10:30 a.m. Police, paramedics and firefighters were on the scene and the intersection was closed in all directions.

Injuries were reported, including to a seven-year-old passenger who received medical attention at the site. The child has been taken to hospital as a precaution, police say.

violin and caseHave you see this violin?

A TTC patron reportedly noticed his concert violin was missing after he left a subway station early yesterday evening.

The owner of the Lorenzo-Carcassi 1757 Concert violin had travelled on the subway at about 6:30 p.m. from College Street station north to Bloor-Yonge, west to St. George and north to St. Clair West where he got off, police say.

The violin was in a bright red BAM case. Images have been released.

13 Division investigators want to speak to anyone who has the violin, has seen it, or knows where it can be found.

CampTO and winter instruction programs cancelled

City-run holiday camps and skiing or skating lessons have been shut down by Toronto’s rising COVID-19 numbers.

The cancellations were announced today, following recommendations from Toronto Public Health and the city’s medical health officer, Dr. Eileen de Villa.

Read more about this.

Second COVID case at Metro store

A Metro grocery store has had its second case of a positive test for COVID-19 within a few days. The latest at the College and Shaw street location was reported yesterday by Metro. The last day at work of the employee who tested positive was Dec. 11, the store said.

On Dec. 12, the store at 735 College St. also reported a case, with the employee’s last day listed as Dec. 10.

Bayview closed by falling pipe

A 10-foot piece of pipe fell onto Bayview Avenue under the Prince Edward Viaduct — also known as the Bloor Viaduct — today at about 3:50 p.m., police reported. Bayview was closed and Rosedale Valley Road traffic diverted southbound only on Bayview, police reported.

The bridge was examined and determined to be safe, police said. Traffic on Bayview was reopened, they reported at about 8 p.m.

Alleged victim of manslaughterManslaughter charged in tale of two hospitals

Two people have been arrested after an investigation of an incident May 11 when two security guards at Toronto General Hospital allegedly had a “physical interaction” with a patient.

The 43-year-old female patient was pronounced dead at Toronto Western Hospital on May 27. She has been identified as Danielle Stephanie Warriner of Toronto.

Amanda Rojas-Silva, 42, of Stouffville, and Shane Hutley, 35, of Brougham, were arrested Nov. 30 and charged with manslaughter and criminal negligence causing death. Here’s what we know so far.

I Shop Local signFree ‘I Shop Local’ signs offered by MPP

University-Rosedale MPP Jessica Bell has launched a shop local campaign to encourage Torontonians to safely shop at local stores during the holiday season and help small businesses survive the pandemic.

She and her staff are delivering “I Shop Local” signs free of charge to anyone in the riding to put in windows or in other highly visible locations.

Businesses and residents can request the signs online.

Petrowska-Quilico-thumbnailPianist named member of the Order of Canada

Pianist Christina Petrowska Quilico, who has been profiled several times in Streeter dating back at least 15 years (including here and here), has been appointed to the Order of Canada.

Today’s announcement from the Governor General noted Petrowska Quilico is being awarded “for her celebrated career as a classical and contemporary pianist, and for championing Canadian music.”

Trained at Juilliard, the classical pianist is a leading performer of Canadian compositions. She also has many recordings of her solo work, as well as chamber works and concertos and in a duo with the late violinist Jacques Israelievitch, who received the Order of Canada in 2015.

She has been a professor of performance and musicology at York University since 1987.

We’ll have more in-depth coverage of the honour shortly. (Here it is.)

River Tai and Ring Music on Google

Ring Music follows Harbord Village neighbour into closure

Just days after the closing of Chinese eatery River Tai (see Nov. 21 below) comes word that its neighbour in the 90-92 Harbord St. building is also shutting its doors for good.

Ring Music has been in the area even longer, having sold and repaired guitars at the shop since 1969 and having had famous musicians, such as Gordon Lightfoot and members of Blue Rodeo, as patrons.

“We are so very sorry to see them close,” says the Harbord Street BIA on its website.

The three-storey building the two businesses shared for so many years has reportedly been sold.

tobogganing hill at RiverdaleLocal parks ready for tobogganing and other winter activities

Hills in Bickford and Riverdale parks are among the 23 sites where the city is encouraging tobogganing this winter in its Welcome T.O. Winter parks plan (though you likely know several other great hills to slide down on sleds and toboggans).

The city is also pushing other outdoor activities during the pandemic this winter, including skating, snowshoeing in city golf courses, playing disc-golf and exploring recreational trails.

See the story and where to go for the best tobogganing.

Affordable Chinese eatery closes in Harbord Village

The River Tai Chinese Restaurant is reported by patrons to have closed after 27 years. Since 1993 the modest-looking eatery at 92 Harbord St., near the University of Toronto campus, has been a favourite of budget-minded students and Harbord Village regulars for its “insanely cheap” but tasty fare, as online reviewers have noted over the years.

Been coming here for years. And just like Wal-Mart, Great value!

Posted by Emmanuel Ochoa on Saturday, March 7, 2020


fentanyl distribution siteFive drug deaths in past week linked to distribution site in St. James Town

An 18-year-old man, 18, found near near Bleecker Street and St. James Avenue died of a suspected drug overdose, police say.

Four other deaths from suspected drug overdoses in the past week have been linked to fentanyl being distributed in the area where the latest victim was found, police are warning. Here’s the story so far.

Wounded man found at Church and Wellesley

A wounded and bleeding man was found on Wellesley Street East at Church Street this morning, an apparent victim of assault, police say.

The injured man was transported to hospital.

Here’s what we know so far, with pictures of the crime scene.


Where to go when you have to go

If you’re a person who plans your outings around available washrooms, here’s welcome news for you. The city is refitting and reopening washrooms in parks — like at Dovercourt Park or Riverdale Farm — this winter.

It’s also adding portable toilets to new locations, along with keeping washrooms going in the usual places like libraries and recreation centres.

Get the full story here.

Woman dead, man arrested after alleged stabbing

A man has been charged with first-degree murder after a woman died of stabbing wounds in the area of Bloor Street West and Shaw Street on Wednesday.

Two people were reported to be having a verbal altercation, possibly in a bar and restaurant where the woman worked, when the alleged stabbing occurred. Here’s what we know so far.

Kensington house suffers ‘extensive damage’ in fire—again?

About $400,000 worth of damage was created by a fire in the Kensington Market area this morning, district fire chief Joe Bennett estimates.

Firefighters were called to the two-alarm blaze on Oxford Street at about 2:15 a.m. The two-storey, detached home was vacant, so no residents were injured in the fire, although the building suffered “extensive damage,” Bennett said.

However, an image from more than a year ago shows some similar — though not identical — damage, suggesting the house had previously been hit by fire as well. Here’s what we know so far.


MPP’s bill would crack down on landlords’ eviction tactics

University-Rosedale MPP Jessica Bell’s private member’s bill, Protecting Renters from Illegal Evictions Act, has gone to second reading in the Ontario legislature. The bill cracks down on landlords who use renovations or falsely claim a relative is moving in order to evict tenants and hike rents, according to an NDP press release today.

“Toronto has an affordable housing crisis and landlords are increasingly using renoviction tactics to kick existing tenants out and charge new tenants a much higher rent,” Bell said. “Bad faith evictions like these are throwing renters into a housing market ripe with low vacancy rates and skyrocketing rents.”

The news release cites the case of Walmer Road resident Lynn Gordon, a single mother, who recently faced a no-fault eviction from her apartment.

“It was extremely challenging to find a new affordable apartment that allowed my son to be able to attend his local school. High rent prices forced us to take a much smaller, more expensive unit,” Gordon is quoted as saying. “My new unit does not have enough bedrooms, so I am sleeping in the living room. As a teacher working during the pandemic, these close quarters have been particularly challenging.”

Private members’ bills rarely receive third reading or go on to become law. However, they can draw attention and raise support for their causes, and thereby indirectly affect government policy.

Arrest made in home invasion case

The Toronto police holdup squad arrested a man on Nov. 5 in relation to a home invasion robbery that occurred a week earlier near Dupont Street and Davenport Road area.

On Oct. 28, a man allegedly knocked on the door of a sex trade worker, forced his way inside and made a demand for cash while holding a knife.

Police say they identified the man and Oral Carver Lewis, 45, of Toronto, was arrested.,

Carver faces charges of robbery with an offensive weapon and breaking and entering to commit a crime.

Seaton HouseGeorge Street Revitalization project kicked off

Seaton House men’s shelter and its adjoining properties are to be transformed to launch the revitalization of George Street south of Allan Gardens, a project that has been in the works since at least 2013.

Mayor John Tory and Toronto Centre councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam both welcomed the project as creating a safer and more vibrant community with services for those in need. See the story.


Photo radar units being moved around

After three months of issuing tickets, the city’s photo radar units are being moved. All 50 automated speed enforcement (ASE) devices will be moved to new locations starting this week “to address a greater number of areas with safety concerns and to encourage a wide-ranging deterrent effect,” the city said in a news release today.

In University-Rosedale ward, the two new ASE sites are Orde Street, west of Murray Street, and Essex Street, west of Christie Street. Both are near elementary schools.

In Toronto Centre, the cameras will be set up on Sherbourne Street, south of Wellesley Street East, and on Berkeley Street, south of Gerrard Street East, also near schools.

The city reports 47,195 speeders were caught by ASE devices in the old locations, but the number of tickets issued fell in each of the second and third months.

Church-Wellesley stabbing, man charged with attempted murder

A 20-year-old man faces attempted murder and other charges after a 40-year-old man was stabbed multiple times in the area of Church Street and Wellesley Street East at about 3:30 a.m. today. See the story.

Poppy donation box taken, arrest made

A poppy donation box was stolen from a grocery store near Yonge Street and Rowanwood Avenue yesterday morning, police report. A 32-year-old man was arrested the same day and charged with theft and failure to comply with the terms of probation.

Police say a man entered the store at about 7:30 a.m. and stuffed the donation box down the front of his pants. But he was apprehended by store employees, police were contacted and the money was recovered.

Neil Wycik fire thumbnailFire shuts down Neil Wycik residence

The Neil Wycik student co-op residence was evacuated late last night when a fire took out the building’s electrical network.

Heavy smoke filled the 23-storey high rise on Gerrard Street East after a fire began in an electrical room, fire officials said. Get the whole story.


Shots fired at youths sitting on porch

Police have revealed today they are still investigating a shooting incident near Dundas and River streets on Aug. 10. At about 9:54 p.m. that day, a black SUV reportedly stopped in front of a home in the area and two passengers with firearms fired at five youths sitting on a porch, police say.

No injuries were reported.

The vehicle is described as similar to an Infinity QX70. Security camera images have been released in the police news release.

Police car in collision, but who struck whom?

On Twitter this morning a collision was reported at 7:53 a.m. involving the police, noting “Police car struck” and offering an image of the accident scene. However, one Twitter correspondent disputed the report, saying the police car had struck another vehicle — and presenting a photo from a “better angle.”

In a followup message the tweeter expanded on his description of the incident: “Police car made an abrupt left turn onto Howard and struck the car of an elderly couple pushing them into the street light. Let’s tell the truth now….”

Non-life threatening injuries have been reported from the collision, although we do not yet know who was injured.

Medication stolen in Annex

A backpack containing a quantity of drugs was stolen near Walmer Road and Kendal Avenue on Oct. 30, police are warning today.

The 14–35 pills include Suboxone, Xanax, Temazepan and morphine and could be harmful, even fatal, if ingested, especially by children, police say.

Residents association running Halloween contest

The North Rosedale Residents’ Association is holding its annual Halloween photo contest, sponsored by Rosedale’s Finest and The Ten Spot. Awards are to be given for best boy and girl costumes, best adult costume, best pet costume and best group costume, as well as for best carved pumpkin and decorated house or yard.

Photos have to be emailed by Nov. 1. More information on the NRRA’s website.

Women arrested 3 months after Yonge-Bloor robbery

Two women have been charged in relation to an alleged theft in the Yonge Street and Bloor Street East area on July 31. One was arrested yesterday at Toronto Pearson International Airport, police reported. Claudia Mayorga Coreas, 23, is being charged with robbery.

The other had turned herself into police on Aug. 17, police say. Alexis Lafond, 22, faces a charge of conspiracy to commit an indictable offence.

Both are scheduled to appear in court on Nov. 4.

Increased crime reported by Cabbagetown residents groups

The Cabbagetown Residents Association says it has received emails from residents across Cabbagetown of safety and security issues in its neighbourhood, as well as reports an uptick in crime in nearby areas in Winchester Park and Cabbagetown South.

In an Oct. 22 post on its “Spotlight on Safety and Security” page, the CRA said incidents it has heard about recently include people following delivery trucks around Cabbagetown and stealing boxes from porches.

There has also been an increase in home invasions, assaults, bicycle thefts, and  break-ins, though mostly in its neighbouring areas, the group says. The CRA covers the neighbourhood bounded by St James Cemetery, Gerrard Street, Parliament Street and the Don River.

Machete-swinging man on Yonge

A man was taken into custody today after being reported walking southbound near Yonge Street and Gerard Street East swinging a machete. Police received the report shortly after 4 p.m., according to their Twitter posts. The man was found quickly and the blade recovered without injuries, police said.

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break-and-enter thumbnailMan sought for string of break-ins

Images of a man considered a suspect in break-ins over the past six weeks have been released by police who are trying to identify him.

Five break-and-enters have taken place in the Yorkville and Annex areas from Sept. 8 to Oct. 14, police say.

In three cases the alleged culprit is said to have fled after being confronted by homeowners. Here’s more about it.


Knife-flashing man taken into custody on Church Street

No one was injured in an incident that ended with a man being taken into custody last night, police say.

A man was reported walking southbound on Church Street near Wellesley Avenue shortly after 10:30 p.m., yelling and showing people a knife.

Police responded and within minutes found the man described as a white male, 45, about six feet tall, and wearing a red bandana with a mask.

Roads closed again for ActiveTO

Two roads will be shut down to vehicular traffic again this weekend as part of the city’s ActiveTO initiative. Runners, walkers and cyclists will have these stretches of road open for their exclusive use:

  • Lake Shore Boulevard West from Stadium Road to Windemere Avenue
  • Bayview Avenue from Front Street East to Rosedale Valley Road, as well as River Street from Gerrard Street East to Bayview Avenue

However, Lake Shore Boulevard East will be closed this time, as it is needed to provide alternative routes for drivers due to Gardiner Expressway closures, the city says.

Parliament Street projectVirtual meeting on rooming house project

Local residents can get an update on the renovation of the heritage buildings 502-508 Parliament St. this afternoon.

The virtual community meeting is set for 3 to 5 p.m. to discuss the plans to create affordable, rooming house units at those properties and have their questions answered.

More on the meeting.

Gas leak reported

Police and firefighters responded to a gas leak at Ossington Avenue and Pendrith Street shortly after noon today. Traffic in the Christie Pits area was slowed for awhile but fire crews managed to resolve the issue, police reported.

Henry Dundas thumbnailPublic consultations coming on renaming Dundas

The “problematic” history of Henry Dundas, the 18th-century Scottish statesman, is about to come under public scrutiny as the city considers renaming the street named for him. City council approved a staff report on the man who allegedly kept the slave trade going in his time.

Council gave the go-ahead to holding public consultations with businesses and residents near Dundas Street and with diverse Black communities. Get the whole story.

Beaches-LeslievilleDon ValleyForest HillLeasideNorth TorontoRiverdale-East York

Cabbagetown South house hit by gunfire

No injuries were reported when a house was hit with gunfire near Dundas Street East and Parliament Street, police said Tuesday night. Police responded around 11 p.m. after receiving reports of gunshots. Vehicles were reported fleeing the area and a male was reported running south on Arnold Avenue.

Multiple shell cases were found in the area and a local residence had damage from gunfire, as bullets had been fired into the house, police said. They are investigating.

Nuit Blanche thumbnailArts festival moved from the streets to online

Nuit Blanche, which has presented art installations in Toronto streets over the course of one night for the past 14 years, is now presenting a week of virtual experiences for its 15th presentation.

Funded by the city and the Government of Ontario, Nuit Blanche Online is running Oct. 3–10 this year in five online streaming programs. Find out more in Streeter Things To Do.

Yonge Street Warehouse thumbnailCOVID-19 breakout at Yonge Street bar

Toronto Public Health is notifying staff and patrons who have visited the Yonge Street Warehouse, 336 Yonge St., that seven people linked to the establishment have tested positive for COVID-19.

Close contacts have been asked to self-isolate for 14 days and to go for testing. But as many as 1,700 others who were in the bar during the exposure period are viewed as low risk and have been asked to self-monitor. Get the whole story.

medals thumbnailOwner of war medals sought

Toronto police are looking for the owner of Second World War medals, discovered during a drug investigation by 51 Division officers.

A photo of the six medals has been released to get the public help in locating the rightful owner.

See the story.

One more weekend of ActiveTO road closures

Saturday and Sunday will be your last chance this year to walk, jog or cycle selected major streets that have been closed to traffic.

Closed from Sept. 26 at 6 a.m. to Sept. 27 at 11 p.m. will be:

  • Lake Shore Boulevard West eastbound lanes from Windermere Avenue to Stadium Road.
  • Bayview Avenue from Front Street East to Rosedale Valley Road, and River Street from Gerrard Street East to Bayview Avenue.

Note, the usual closure on Lake Shore Boulevard East between Leslie Street and Woodbine Avenue is not taking place this time because, the city advises, due to Saturday’s planned construction on the eastbound Gardiner Expressway from Yonge Street to Cherry Street.


Nuit BlancheLocal events cancelled or moved online in city announcement

Toronto’s Santa Claus Parade, Nuit Blanche, and Halloween on Church are among the  Central Toronto events seeing their live activities shut down by the city this week. Some of them though will carry on as virtual or online happenings.

The city followed public health advice in cancelling all upcoming festivals and other large in-person gatherings held at outdoor sites managed by the city or at public locations, the city said in a news release on Wednesday.

See the story in Streeter news.

Alleged knife-wielding robber escaped store security, man arrested

A 31-year-old man was arrested by the holdup squad Sept. 20 after a robbery attempt at a store near Parliament and Dundas streets, police reported today.

A man allegedly tried to leave the store with a gym bag full of merchandise but was stopped by store security, at which point he took out a knife.

Police say security disarmed the man and held him on the ground but a gathering crowd caused the security guard, fearing for his safety, to release the man, who left the gym bag and fled.

Police later arrested a man. Jared Shmagola of no fixed address faces charges of robbery, having a dangerous weapon, and failing to comply with probation. He appeared in court Sept. 22.

climate change thumbnail2Are you a champion for climate action in the neighbourhood?

Could you help educate and collaborate with local residents to develop climate action projects reflecting the needs and values of your central Toronto neighbourhood?

If so, the city wants you. To become a Neighbourhood Climate Action Champion.

Being a local champion will take about four or five hours a month and it won’t pay much — a $500 honorarium. But you’ll get free training and the satisfaction of helping fight climate change. Read all about it.

Man wielding knife eludes police

Police failed to find a knife-wielding person in the Bloor Street East and Sherbourne Street area Sunday afternoon. Someone was reported threatening to hurt customers with a knife at a local business at about 2:26 p.m., police said online. But after searching the area, they reported at 3:33 p.m. the man had not been located.

The alleged knife-wielder was described as bald, 5-foot-8 and having a slim build. He was said to be wearing a black jacket, a white t-shirt saying “Game Over,” and camouflage shoes, and he was apparently carrying luggage.

Chinatown StrollTO thumbBe a tourist in our own communities

How well do you know the Kensington-Chinatown neighbourhood? A walking tour of the area is part of Toronto’s StrollTO program, announced today. Self-guided tours are presented in all 25 wards, with self-guided tours pointing out culturally and historically significant local sites.

It’s part of an overall ShowLoveTO initiative to encourage residents to discover shops, stops, places and spaces on local streets, the city says. Get the whole story and links to local tours.

Projects completed ahead of schedule, city says

Here’s something you don’t hear often. A major road work project was finished early.

Watermain replacement, road resurfacing and laneway reconstruction on Yonge Street from St. Clair Avenue to Woodlawn Avenue was completed four weeks early — just one of many construction projects completed on time or ahead of time this summer, the City of Toronto says.

The city accelerated work on as many important construction projects as possible during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a news release today. Crews were reportedly able to take advantage of lower traffic volumes during the shutdown to work on infrastructure projects at a faster pace. More infrastructure projects are planned for fall.

Resurfacing work on more than 170 local roads roads has also been completed in the summer, with work on 323 more on track to be completed this fall, the city says. Plus, sewer upgrades on more than 100 streets to protect basements from flooding are proceeding on schedule.

BigArtTO thumbnailBigArtTO scheduled for local neighbourhoods

The Alex Duff Memorial Pool in Christie Pits Park and the Equinix Data Centre in the Distillery District are two of the sites to be used as canvases for art projection in Toronto’s just-announced BigArtTO initiative.

BigArtTO features free access to more than 200 hours of temporary public artworks created by Toronto artists, projected and illuminated on buildings and landmarks across Toronto’s 25 wards.

Get the schedule and see the full story.

Public meetings on renaming ‘racist’ Dundas Street proposed

City staff is recommending the city hold public consultations on its response to the petition to rename Dundas Street and other sites bearing the Dundas name.

The petition objected to the street being named after Scottish politician Henry Dundas “who was involved in delaying the abolition of the transatlantic slave trade, causing more than half a million more Black people to be enslaved in the British Empire,” according to a city press release today.

Mayor John Tory and several councillors signed a letter on June 12 calling for the street to be renamed, referring to “signs of historic racism on streets, buildings and monuments all across Toronto.”

Some historians argue Dundas strongly favoured abolition of slavery and added “gradual” to the 1792 motion to abolish the slave trade in order to pass the motion, which would otherwise have failed.

The staff report is going to city council’s executive committee on Sept. 23.

Arrest for yesterday’s hit and run

A man has been charged with failing to stop after an accident causing bodily harm. A 52-year-old male was struck by a vehicle while crossing Dundas Street East at Parliament Street with a group before 3 a.m., police reported yesterday.

The pedestrian received life-threatening injuries and the vehicle, a grey Honda Civic, fled the scene eastbound on Dundas, police said.

A 25-year-old man was arrested today and is to appear in court on Nov. 3.

Alex Duff pool to stay open an extra week

City outdoor pools have been set to close on Sept. 6, but the summer season for at least 10 of them, including Alex Duff pool in Christie Pits, has been extended to Sept. 13. Mayor John Tory announced the extension today “recognizes the new start of the school year for many Toronto children.” Most kids are returning to school on Sept. 14, a week later than in previous years.


Woman stabbed and hit with bat in park

A woman was attacked in Barbara Hall Park around midnight last night. Police report the woman was walking in the park in the Church and Wellesley area when two men approached her and demanded her property. The men allegedly stabbed her and struck her with a bat.

The woman was taken to hospital with non-life threatening injuries, police say. Officers are searching for suspects.

Pedestrian injured by collision with vehicle

A female pedestrian was reported struck by a vehicle at Gerrard Street East and River Street at 11:23 a.m. today. Police describe the woman as in her 40s and say she suffered injuries. The vehicle remained on the scene, police said. No other information has been released at this point.

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