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News And Notices 2009
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News And Notices 2009

Click on poster to enlage it.

Author Visit - Martha Baillie

Wednesday, December 9, 7:00 p.m.

Join us as Martha Baillie reads from her latest novel, The Incident Report. Free.

1101 Bloor St. West, Toronto

Click on poster for more information.


LAF Nightlight Party

Invitation to collaborate in
LED lights, batteries, magnets and materials will be available to make small light sculptures for Bloordale streetlights. Nov. 21, 2009, 4:30pm to 7:30pm at 1211 Bloor (the empty Shawarmama restaurant)

For more information about Nightlight contact Dyan at

Bloor Street LAF | Light, Art and Food Event Nov. 21, 2009, 4pm to 8pm, Walk Bloor Street from Lansdowne Ave. to Dufferin Street

  • 22 restaurants, many with taster menus
  • 3 art galleries
  • 1 commissioned light sculpture by Orest Tataryn
  • 100 artist-made nightlights
  • Special store window displays, events and art projects

See for a complete listing

Click on poster to enlarge it.

PD-Day Art and Music Workshop

Festive Art and Songs

Friday, Dec. 4/ 2009 1 – 4 pm (4 – 9 years)
Make holiday gifts, cards, wrappings and sing the season
With music guest Leah Salomaa! $48.00 includes a snack

See poster for more information.


From the November 2009 Newsletter:


MacGregor Park users found out by chance that about $100,000 in federal stimulus funds have been earmarked to make repairs to the fine old (1930’s?) field house at MacGregor Park before it falls apart. After a quick audit by a team of consultants in August, it seems that most of the funds are planned to be used for new windows and doors that would seal better. However, since the building is unheated, that might be a lower priority than other urgent repairs, which didn’t make it onto the list. (Yet.)

The neighbourhood, adjacent to Brockton Village, is rich in carpenters, electricians, builders, architects, home inspectors, and do-it-yourselfers. Time to share your expert advice! Suggestions, so far, are posted on the neighbourhood section of To join a building tour and contribute your ideas:, or post on the neighborhood e-lists.

Kids face painting

Ms. Dress-up providing free kids face painting (Moma and Dads too) at our shop on October 31st (Halloween day) from 2 to 4 pm. I will have two artists available so the kids can get ready for trick or treating. 1363 Dundas Street West, Lower level (below Carry Cleaners) halfway between Dufferin and Dovercourt: Call Heidi Loney at 416-532-3337 for more information.


Click on poster to enlarge it.

Costume Party, Children's Theatrical Performance and Cooking Fire at MacGregor Park Sunday October 25, 2 to 5 pm

Let's get warm over the fire in MacGregor Park!

Lansdowne Avenue north of College Street

Come to MacGregor Park this Sunday October 25. Wear a costume and make Apple Sauce the Old Fashioned way over the Cooking Fire!

4 pm

Children's Theatrical performance 'The All Hallows Train', a children's fantasy based on the history of our neighbourhood.

All Aboard!!


Click on poster to enlarge it.

Thrilling Tales program

Tea and Books

Tuesday, October 27, 2:00-3:00 pm
Enjoy tea and cookies while you learn about great new library titles! Free.
Bloor/Gladstone Library, 1101 Bloor St. West. 416-393-7674

Thrilling Tales

Friday, October 30, 7:00-7:45 pm
A storytime for grownups! Bring your ears and your imagination, and sit back and enjoy these classic, thrilling tales read aloud: The Monkey's Paw, by W.W. Jacobs, and The Lottery, by Shirley Jackson. Free.
Bloor/Gladstone Library, 1101 Bloor St. West. 416-393-7674

Click on poster for more information.


Click on poster to enlarge it.

Family Jamboree, Sunday afternoon, October 18th between 2pm & 5pm.

The Fall Family Jamboree: to bring awareness The Grove School but mostly to give back to the community that supports it. At Dufferin Groove Park near the playground. Musical guests: John Borra & Sam Ferrara from Rattlesnake Choir, Julian Taylor, Steve Singh and Michael Louis Johnson with Rambunctious.

Plus a corn roast & fire and kid's interactive activities including fall leaves crafts, a yoga workshop with Heather Elson from Yoga Queen, and a dramatic workshop with Michelle Polak from FIXT POINT.


Dufferin Grove Street Fair 2009

Click on poster
to enlarge it

Saturday September 12: the 21st annual Dufferin Grove Street Fair

Lawn sale in the morning alongside the park on Havelock St., kids games in the park at 4:30 (to be confirmed), our wonderful potluck dinner (+ $2 pizza-making for kids) near the bake ovens at 6:00, CAKEWALK, and then dancing on the rink to follow.


From the September 2009 Newsletter:


This event is put on by some of the summer recreation staff from both MacGregor and Dufferin Grove wading pools. Between 1 and 5 pm there will be face-painting, banner-making, games, candied popcorn and other tasty food, a séance with a fortune teller, and a make-your-own hula-hoop workshop with Ava. The (free) movie night will start at dusk, and then in the intermission (around 7.30) there will be a fire-spinning performance. Everyone welcome!

MacGregor Park is on Lansdowne Avenue just north of West Toronto Collegiate (i.e. north of College, on the west side). That park has one of the city’s biggest wading pools, which will be open too.

From the September 2009 Newsletter:

NEIGHBOURHOOD NEWS: The HUMAN TRAIN FOR CLEAN AIR will roll through communities along the tracks on Saturday, September 26, 2009.

From the organizers at the Clean Train Coalition: Plan now to hop on board the Human Train to send a message to Premier McGuinty that he must act now to scrap plans to run hundreds of polluting diesel trains a day through our neighbourhoods, and direct Metrolinx to use only clean, quiet electric trains for any expansion of rail traffic along the Georgetown corridor.

The Route of the Human Train: The Human Train will get rolling in Weston at 8:30 am with “Whistle Stops” in a number of communities along the way. The Human Train will arrive in Sorauren Park at 1:00 pm for the Main Rally of the day! At 2:30, the Human Train will leave Sorauren Park for a parade through Queen West. To find out more:

From the June 2009 Newsletter:



The street will be for pedestrians only, from Lansdowne to Christie. Last year it was filled with vendors, interesting information tables, outdoor eating-places, impromptu performers, and strolling people. To find out more:

Metrolinx GO Rail Open House, Lithuanian Hall, 1573 Bloor Street West Tuesday June 9, 3- 8 pm.

This should be lively. The people living around the Junction area, where the pile drivers constructing the high-speed rail underpass have been firing off diesel explosions many time a day for months, are now seeking an injunction. The website collects all local e-list comments on the rail construction. Some samples: “Our house was shaking all day and my nerves feel like someone put them through a juicer…. I served for 3 years in the Israeli army- back in the 80's in south Lebanon and the West Bank. The current noise feels to me like a war zone, with constant shelling going on….I was just informed by a grocer on Osler Avenue that the GO construction workers get physical checkups every few weeks due to the stress of the shocks. GO Rail obviously knows that there is the potential for long term injury…. I work from home full-time because like many major corporations, my company decided to shut down its expensive Toronto office and force its staff to work from home. Our home is not even that close to the tracks and my water glass started moving across my partner’s desk from the vibrations…. Currently, the sound right at source (i.e. the pile drivers) is ~ 115 dB. That is 8X more sound pressure than is considered non-harmful, the safe level being < 85 dB. ….OK, now part of my ceiling has fallen down! I have big craters throughout my house in the ceilings and walls. That high pitch vibrator shook my house so badly a huge piece of plaster has fallen down in my living room. …My dog, whose canine hearing is far more acute and sensitive then my own, started frantically barking outside to come in and is now pacing around my feet with his tail between his legs…The company is giving out free yellow industrial ear-muffs, do they make them for pets and my infant baby?…. “

To find out more, and also about the 350 “dirty diesel” trains planned to pass through the neighbourhood daily, and the cleaner electric alternative, go to

From the June 2009 Newsletter:


This is a very good time to get local carpenters, electricians, plumbers, stonemasons seamstresses, shoemakers, upholsterers and other trades to fix things and make them work better. The website has a section called “neighbourhoods.” It has a lot of local neighbourhood news, but right near the top it also has a red link called “Local Service Providers.” This is a long indexed list of various local trades and skills. The list is made by posting every recommendation (and a few warnings) from the five neighbourhood e-lists. Every once in a while, there’s also a plausible self-recommendation, such as this one from local contractor Winston Abernethy
“I honestly am confident that I can facilitate the careful and professional reroofing of any shingle or flat roof. I actually believe there is a niche here for me as there is a shortage of sober, clean and responsible roofers in the core. If you know me well you know I will stand behind my work to an unreasonable degree...if you don't I would appreciate it if you could let me speak to you regarding any needs you have regarding your roof.” To get in touch with Winston:

The local service list doesn’t take ads, only local recommendations. We’ll be looking for a corroboration backing up Winston’s testimonial, but since he knows half the neighbourhood, that probably won’t be hard.

From the May 2009 Newsletter:


During the last week of April, there was at least one community meeting every evening, about the Metrolinx plan to increase the rail corridor traffic from 60 to 350 diesel trains a day. Neighbourhoods all up and down the rail corridor joined the Clean Train Coalition (go to, and began to map out their course. The first step was to send many letters to the provincial politicians on May 4 and 5. At Dufferin Grove Park, over the course of four days, 1109 letters were collected, put in individually addressed envelopes, sealed, and then hand-delivered to the Ontario Legislature. Letters were collected at the farmers market, Friday Night Supper, and the playground, aided by volunteers Genie Davis, Robert F. Kennedy, Michael Edwards, Danyelle Boily, Percy, Davey and Nick White, Belinda Cole, Gretel Meyer Odell, Lea Ambros and Kate Cayley.

The “mailmen” were Percy, Davey and Nick White, using a second-hand Canada Post canvas bag lent by Michelle and Geoff Webb.

Letters reiterating the government’s position were sent out in return, to those who wrote. Meantime the meetings continue. From the community volunteers who met with GO officials about the West Toronto Diamond Grade Separation Project: “We were informed that vibratory hammers would not be replacing the diesel explosion pile drivers, as originally suggested in GO's May 6 update. As well, there has been a decision not to replace diesel explosion pile drivers with augers for the centre line of piles to be driven beginning in September.

There is no schedule for other noise-reducing measures that may or may not be implemented. As a result of this, we have asked the Canadian Transportation Agency to initiate mediation right away and to issue an injunction to stop construction until the matter is resolved. We have also asked the CTA to help the community by providing an independent expert to advise us.”


From Gretel Meyer Odell: “Join us for our 3rd annual yard sale day! An opportunity for socializing, meeting your neighbours, browsing for bargains and recycling of treasures. This year the yard sale ‘catchment’ area has expanded East towards Dufferin Street. Residents of streets south of Dundas between Lansdowne and Dufferin (to the railroad tracks) are encouraged to seize this opportunity to hold a yard sale on your property.

Eighteen Participating Streets: Brock, Lansdowne, St. Clarens & Sheridan (between Dundas & the tracks) Wyndham Street, Delaney Crescent, Mechanic Street, Shirley Street, Northern Place, Hickson Street, Norfolk Street, Florence Street, Gordon Street, Bank Street, Middleton Street, Frankish Avenue, Marshall Street, Brockton Avenue.

Whether you choose to sell, raise money for charity, give your treasures away or swap with your neighbours, is up to you. The goal of the day is participation! If you don’t feel like holding a sale, it’s a great chance to stroll the neighbourhood and enjoy the spring day with your neighbours.

Kids are encouraged to try their hand at small enterprise – lemonade stands, cookie stands, toy sales, games of skill – whatever they can devise to interest and engage the passersby. Yard Sale day is a great opportunity for kids to find a special gift for Mother’s Day, while shopping ‘locally’ and within their budget.

Embrace the spirit of recycling by keeping your trash out of landfill and allowing it to transform into someone else’s treasure. Clean out your basement. Get rid of that clutter that’s driving you crazy. Artists, craftspeople, musicians, bakers, local businesses – use this opportunity to share your offerings with the neighbourhood and promote yourself.

If you are holding a sale on your lawn and would like to have a charity pick up your leftover goods after the sale, please call Farzana (416) 682-8974 and she will add your address to the list.”


From Colin Coates, a parent at Ossington Old Orchard (OOOPS) School:

“Calling all Ossiington Old Orchard School alumni (as well as the earlier Ossington and Old Orchard schools)....

We invite alumni, alumni parents, former teachers and staff to the OOOPS 50th Reunion on Friday 19 June 2009 at 5.00 pm - 7.30 pm. Come see old friends and see how the school (or you) have changed... (Yes, the water fountains really are that low!)

Visit old friends, view the school, check out the retro races at the famous OOOPS Fun Fair, dance at the 1960s sock hop and, of course, eat cake!

Please spread the word to other alumni, and confirm your presence at Please also send by email or bring in to the school a picture of you during your time at OOOPS. If we have your photo by 1st June, we will make you a button with your picture on it -- so your old classmates will recognise you!”

Clean Train Coalition

too many diesel trains

From Peter Fleming:
"A number of folks in the neighbourhood have come together under the name Clean Train Coalition, which involves community groups all up and down the line. One of our main issues is the rejection by Metrolinx of immediate electrification of the line, and the omission of this option in the scope of the Environmental Assessment currently underway.

We are trying to get a large number of people out to the open house from 5:30-7:30 so that Metrolinx can understand the scope of the opposition. Please try to come then if you can, or earlier in the day, and tell your neighbours, bring your kids, ask questions, be heard!"

Read more >> on CELOS website

For the most comprehensive neighbourhood-based rail corridor information site: Weston Community Coalition

Condo strip on Dovercourt?? meeting, Wednesday April 22 6.30 pm, at SISTERING, 962 Bloor St.West (beside Shoppers' Drug Mart)

too many condos

From Delaware resident Jane LowBeer: "Are You Ready To Have Your Neighbourhood BUSTED?

A 15-STOREY 280 UNIT HI-RISE on the west side of Dovercourt, An 8 STOREY 83 UNIT CONDO on the east side of Dovercourt, what's coming next to your street?

Come to the community meeting with Deputy Mayor Joe Pantalone."

Click on poster for more information.

From the April 2009 Newsletter:



The fast approach of this big project has now caught a great deal of neighbourhood attention. Here are some of the many upcoming meetings in the neighbourhood:

Tuesday April 14 DigIn (Dupont Improvement Group): 7:00 - 9:00 pm Wallace Emerson Community Centre, Ambrico Room, 1260 Dufferin Street (Dufferin Street just south of Dupont). From DigIn chair Donna Cowan: “Find out more about METROLINX and how it will affect our community. Special Guest is Mike Sullivan, Chair, Weston Community Coalition.

Wednesday April 15, The Brockton Triangle Group: Information Session, 7 – 9 pm, Mary McCormick Community Centre (66 Sheridan Ave, south of Dundas) From the poster: “Come and listen to Councillor Adam Giambrone’s perspective on the Train Corridor Expansion. As City Councillor, TTC Chair, and Board Member of Metrolinx, Councillor Giambrone will give a presentation surrounding this hot button issue…Community Concerns: How will the trains be powered – diesel or electric? What are the amounts of pollution expected from this expansion? What kind of disruption can be expected during construction? How frequently will trains be running and how loud will they be? How will this affect the planned bike path through the corridor?”
Refreshments and child care provided.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009, 3:00pm – 8:00pm. Metrolinx Open House, at the Lithuanian House, Hall B, 1573 Bloor Street West (just west of Dundas West subway station). A government display of what’s planned, as part of the abbreviated Environmental Assessment.

Tuesday, April 21, 7:00pm-9:00pm, at Mary McCormick Recreation Centre, 66 Sheridan Avenue (Dufferin/Dundas area). From organizer Eli Malinsky: “The purpose of this meeting is to begin coordinating our efforts under a shared banner. We imagine about 30-45 people in the room, representing communities and groups with concerns about the Metrolinx project. We’re not looking for “as many people as possible” from each group – we’ll need numbers in later stages. Right now we need a few (1-6?) representatives from each group so we can work with a manageable number on the 21st to start pushing things forward.

In terms of meeting design, there will be 6-10 tables with different themes and a facilitator at each table. The themes could include: Media Strategy; Legal Strategy; Website/Information Management; Brand/Logo; Key Messages etc. The facilitators will stay put for the evening, taking notes and guiding the conversations. Others will rotate through a couple of the tables depending on their interests. Then the facilitators will report back on the discussions and we can begin to consider next steps. Hopefully this will be a collaborative process that allows people to focus on their key concerns.”

Thursday April 23, 7 p.m. Davenport Perth Neighbourhood Centre, 1900 Davenport Road (between Symington and Old Weston) EAST OF THE TRACKS: NEIGHBOURHOOD ACTION

From organizer Karen Williams: “If the pile drivers are driving you crazy, come to a community meeting. There will be information about the project, and reports about what steps have been taken so far to stand up for the residents of our neighbourhood. Come and add your written experience of the impact of this project on your daily life – so that we can present the extent of the negative effects on our communities.

In addition, there will be information about the future Metrolinx project that will also seriously affect this neighbourhood.”

Arts and Crafts Table for the children, interpreters in various languages. For more information call Karen at (416) 657-1558

DEWSON STREET PUBLIC SCHOOL'S 125TH ANNIVERSARY, Saturday May 2, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

From organizer Tori Smith: “Dewson Street Public School invites its former students, parents, teachers and neighbours to celebrate its 125th anniversary. The school will hold an open house with historical displays, old-fashioned games, refreshments, decade reunions, a video memory booth and more. At 1:00 pm there’s a concert and celebration in the gym with South Asian dance, steel band, Dewson "Jeopardy", special guests, and the school choirs singing songs form Dewson's history. Afterwards, there will be cake and a tree dedication in the playground. All are welcome to celebrate this milestone in the continuing story of our school and our community.”


There are quite a few neighbourhood e-lists in the neighborhood. Often they have advice about good (or occasionally bad) experiences with local trades – roofers, plumbers, handypeople, car garages, shoe repair, dressmakers, and many more. Or there are descriptions of good places to eat, good locally-run stores, announcements of performances, and so on. Aseel Al Najim collects all these postings for the website and sorts them into categories for easy access. The trades-and-service postings are NOT ADS – they have to come by recommendation, with the recommender’s name and a contact address. There is a wealth of helpful information in the listings, growing every day. It’s a win-win: a help to people who need work done, and a way of keeping people in the community working. Go to, click on “neighbourhood” .

Click on poster to enlarge it.


Mount Dennis-Weston Earth Hour Vigil, Saturday March 28, 7.30 p.m.

A different kind of Earth Hour event: to help inform the decision makers at the Province (and people across the planet) that our community wants public rail transit that’s clean, green, electric and built right from the start to kick-start Ontario’s Green economy. This is a local-global community action event. There will be music, speakers, kids' activities, food, candlelight, and a really good view of trains. Starts at 7.30, near Eglinton and Black Creek (see poster).

Mike Sullivan, chair of the Weston Community Coalition, will be a Friday Night Supper speaker at Dufferin Grove Park on April 3, about the environmental effects of the Georgetown Rail Corridor expansion.


Click on poster to enlarge it.

Book program in the neighbourhood

On the last Tuesday of March, April, May and June, a librarian from the Toronto Public Library will come to the New Horizons Tower at Bloor and Dufferin for a one-hour book discussion. The library itself will be re-opening sometime in late spring or summer, no date is yet determined.



Bike Ticket
D.L. wrote:

Hey All,

Just wanted to give cyclists a reminder to please come to a full stop at stop signs. Jason got a $110 dollar ticket for not coming to a full stop on his bike on Brock this morning. The officer also told him that he should have given him additional tickets for not having his light on the front (bright sun this morning, he did have his rear one on) and not having a bell!

I'm not trying to start a debate here about whether he needed to come to a full-stop at 7:30 AM on Brock at Shirley Street, I just wanted to remind others who are taking their bikes out again, like J. did first time this morning:-(

Read more about this issue on CELOS

From the March 2009 Newsletter:

West End Bikeway Improvements - Open House

Tuesday, March 10, 6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. Parkdale Public Library, Auditorium 1303 Queen Street West (between Cowan and Brock). This announcement was forwarded to on the Brockton Neighbourhood e-list by Farzana Doctor:
”As you may know, last fall the Toronto Cyclists Union and the City of Toronto invited cyclists in the downtown west end to submit their ideas for ways to improve cycling conditions in the area south of Bloor Street bounded by the Gardiner Expressway, Bathurst Street, and Parkside Drive. The deadline for submissions was November 5th, and nearly 70 responses were received. On November 27th, we hosted a follow-up meeting with those who submitted ideas to review the submissions and help prioritize bikeway projects that can be implemented in 2009 and 2010. An on-site cycling workshop to "ground proof" the suggestions was also held the following Saturday.

The input gathered through this collaborative process has been reviewed by City staff over the past few months. We invite you to attend a follow-up open house to learn more about the proposed projects and share your thoughts with us.”


From Dewson School parent Tori Smith: “Did you go to Dewson Street Public School? Were you a Dewson teacher or a Dewson parent? This year is the 125th anniversary of the school and we’re looking for all former Dewson folk to help mark the event. If you have any stories, photos or memories of the school contact me at or phone the school at (416)393-9120. On May 2nd (from 11-3) the school will be holding a open house and party with entertainment, historical displays, old-fashioned games, and, of course, birthday cake. There will be a chance to meet old friends and even record your memories on video. Everyone is welcome to come and celebrate the history of our school and our community!”


March 31st 2009 at 7:15 pm, Casa de Alentejo, 1130 Dupont Street (at Gladstone)
After the 23-hour hydro outage January 15-16, there was a follow-up public meeting at the Parkdale Library, to talk to Hydro One and Toronto Hydro representatives about what happened. Some people described the costly damage to their houses, mainly from frozen pipes and cracked boilers (for people who have radiators). Hydro’s investigation into the Dufferin transformer was not finished then, so M.P.P. Tony Ruprecht has scheduled a follow-up public meeting on March 31. Hydro One and Toronto Hydro staff will attend to talk about what their investigation showed and what they intend to do to prevent a recurrence (the blackout was caused by a sprinkler malfunction at the Dufferin Transformer Station, just north of the east-side Dufferin subway entrance). In the meantime, CELOS has posted meeting minutes and lots of other blackout-related materials on the website. There are some helpful “sadder-but-wiser” accounts from homeowners on what they would do next time, to avoid the broken-pipes damage. There are diagrams and blackout maps from the City and from Hydro. There are stories from elsewhere that put our local blackout in context – two weeks later, 1.3 million homes in the U.S. lost their hydro after an ice-storm that put both Kentucky and Arkansas into a state of emergency – some homes were out for longer than a week.

But just because we were luckier than others doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be prepared for the next time. Any contributions to the CELOS material are very welcome: send them to An example: who knows an electrician who can convert gas furnaces so that they can run during a hydro blackout? How many people in the neighborhood have generators, and what can they tell us?

Parking Ticket

February 23, 2009
J. M. wrote:

A friend got a parking ticket while parked in a proper overnight parking spot on Concord. She has a sticker. She was told that she has to fight it in the regular way (line up, go to court, etc.), but that's kind of strange. Has anyone else on this list received a parking ticket while properly parked overnight?

One wonders about new-staff errors or even -- fraud, if ticket officers are putting tickets on cars when there is no violation. Because there seems to be no channel for questioning errors -- only court. And the courts are rather clogged. Suggestions?

S. wrote:

I've gotten a few of those on St Clarens. Mostly when there was snow on the windshields, but a one or two when it's been clear. Just chalked it up to human error.

A.M. wrote:

I haven't had one like this but i find going down to Metro Hall John St, 2nd Floor usually clears the matter up

You might want to call first though..this may have changed

K. R. wrote:

Yes, we saw our car being ticketed for parking in the area in front of st mary's school, but it was before 8a when it is legal to park there, sticker or no sticker; we called to the guy to stop writing up the ticket and he acknowledged his error with a wave and didn't put the ticket on our car and drove away. We soon noticed that he had already ticketed 3-4 other cars that were also parked their legally; tho he stopped writing up our ticket, he did not then remove the tickets from those other cars. so it seemed like he must have been writing the tickets knowing that the cars were not illegally parked.

R. S. wrote:

Yes, I have. I got a ticket on my street with a valid permit in the window in December. I went downtown and they (she) would not rescind the ticket even although she could see on her computor that I had a valid permit ("if he didn't see a permit in the window then neither do I!"). I had to set a court date so I did. I then went home and waited for the parking guy to come around. He refused to do anything. It wasn't his ticket. He suggested I had received the ticket because the permit was (he crooked his finger)"curling a bit". I got on the phone and called the number on the ticket . They were polite, but basicly I must be a liar. I was put on ext. lines to people that never got answered. I didn't want to let it go because if I agreed I was illegal what would I do if another one came? So, my wife got on the phone on my behalf. She can be very tenacious and eventually came up with a number for the West Side Parking Supervisor. It worked like a charm. "Why didn't you call me earlier" he demands. I got a call from him a day or so later to say a policeman (in a fully marked cruiser) will pull up to my door and I must hand him the ticket to be rescinded. I hung the ticket from the front door with tape but Clancy happened to be home when he arrived. And that was the end of that. The number that I dialed was (I believe) 416 - 808 - 6600 (West Side Parking Authority) to summon the genie from the bottle. I have that number written down here but I was also dialing many numbers so I really hope that's the magic one. A month later I saw a white chalk mark on my front tire, same place on my street, so I rubbed it out as I was fed up with being called a liar so politely so many times. I guess I shouldn't have done that because my neighbour up the street came to tell me that he saw the parking guy entering my licence plate number into his computor. But no more tickets so far. (turns out they were giving out $30 tickets to vehicles that appeared not to have moved in a seven day period. I guess a special tax for those that can afford to go South for a week or two in Febuary. Not me.) Good luck.

K. wrote:

I have occasionally gotten a ticket for the reason 'parked within 9 meters of intersection'. Most times when I take these tickets to a parking tag office they are torn up in front of me. Its a bit of a bogus reason on these side streets, some of which are barely even 9 meters long. The ticket will have some reason stated on it. Consider the reason, and if it is something that didn't appy, go to parking tag office and explain that to the clerk. They will either invalidate the ticket in front of you, or you will have to request a court date to state your case.

C. M. wrote:

I get them all the time in my neighbourhood of Queen and Bathurst. It is incredibly frustrating and sometimes you have to pay them because you don't have time to go to John St AND to court.


Suri Weinberg-Linsky, from the Weston Community Coalition, recently wrote to the “dufferingrovefriends” neighbourhood e-list about the huge expansion planned for the rail corridor near here: '' “I wanted to introduce myself and touch base with regards to the Air Rail Link and GO Transit upgrade that will be taking place along the Georgetown Corridor which is just west of your location. As you may or may not be aware, the announcement of the link to Pearson from Union Station was made back in 2003 and in 2005 was scheduled to go forward and be built along with the GO upgrade''.

Our community of Weston, one of the oldest villages in Toronto, found out how it would devastate our neighbourhood: closing all our level crossings, effectively cutting the residential side off from the business main street including our Farmers' Market and increasing the train traffic from the current 65 or so trains per day to over 200. Based on the announcement and potential devastation, we formed a community group called the Weston Community Coalition.

We made some inroads into the Environmental Assessment process back in 2005 but that all changed last year with the new EA's for all transportation projects which will fast track these two projects and not allow for full assessment. Now, in 2009, we have found out that it won't just be the 140 diesel trains (which we object to) plus a few extra GO trains but will end up being over 350 trains per day by the time they do the Air Rail Link and the full upgrade to the GO service. It will effectively become the most heavily used corridor in all of North America and we believe the world! All trains will use diesel locomotives, not electric. We have been told that electrification is not possible and to move on. We keep pressing to find out why.

''Which leads me to why I am e-mailing you. While Dufferin Grove is not directly adjacent to the track line as we are, your neighbourhood will suffer during the season due to the extra diesel fumes and particulate matter hanging in the air. With over 200 diesel trains per day as an immediate projection, we can only imagine what our air will look like and smell like on a daily basis and what effect it will have on our 30 year old market not to mention our daily lives. The Georgetown Corridor is heavily populated by people from all walks of life, rich and poor and all deserve to know what kind of environment they will be living in in the years to come. By 2014, 5 short years from now, if Metrolinx has built the 2 systems they are insistent on proceeding on, we will have somewhere between 364 to 414 trains per day all running on diesel -- currently, we have under 70 trains daily.''

Why diesel, you might ask? Because they are cheaper than installing electrification and having to purchase new rolling stock. So our provincial government, which claims to be 'green' and 'environmental' would have all of us believe that by adding more diesel trains to service the GO Transit community, we are taking cars off the road and therefore are 'greening' our public transit. The Air Rail Link (ARL) is not public transit, however, and will be run by a private consortium similar to that of the 407 highway and in fact is the same company. They will charge whatever they wish and only a few stops will be made along the route -- not as public transit but as a private, for-profit elitist rail link for business class travellers…..……..

Please visit our website and get the details on this situation. We are asking all the communities, the ones that surround you, to also get involved and on board, so to speak. We have met with a variety of people in Brockton Village, Roncy, Parkdale and Liberty Village.

Our website is and our Chair can be reached via this website. We would be very happy to meet with your group at any time or send you information that you could send out if that is better for you. We are hoping to get more people especially from your catchment area to become involved as we are concerned that they are unaware of the situation. The Councillors and MPP's in your ridings are aware of what is happening but have been silent because their constituents have.”

A sample from the website:

This is a key issue for the city of Toronto. When completed, this project will have 368 diesel trains along the corridor, and if ViaFast service is built it will climb to 414. Even at 368 it is the busiest heavy rail corridor on the planet, so far as we can find. It is unconscionable that in this day and age, we are not electrifying this corridor which goes through some of the most densely populated parts of a major metropolitan area. Just the air rail link diesel trains will produce 6 times more particulate matter pollution than the cars they take off the road, and provide only a small decrease in Greenhouse Gases over cars. So far as we know, no studies have been done to examine the effects of this level of heavy diesel traffic on human health, or on wildlife at the various river crossings.

Metrolinx has told us that they have tight deadlines to complete this project, (2014, we think so it can be in time for the Pan Am Games). No work has been done on electrification, so this project undergoing this Environmental Assessment cannot be electrified, they have told us

The message from the Weston Coalition started a long thread of very interesting and thoughtful responses on both the dufferinparkfriends list and the brocktonneighbours list. All the responses are posted on the website, click on the “neighbourhood” tab. They’ll soon be invited to do a speakers’ series presentation at Dufferin Grove. The childcare area will include some toy train setups….

Lead Pipes

Anne Odell wrote(1/14/09):

It's a problem if (a) your house was built before 1955, and (b) you do not have copper pipes bringing water into your home.

That's what they say at,, however, at]] <> they say that the source of the lead is either lead pipes or lead solder and fixtures on copper pipes, so I don't know how safe having copper pipes is. At the Toronto City website they say they are posting info about pipe replacement in the fall of 2008, but apparently they are "behind" on that.

The pipes from the water main into your house could be a problem. I wasn't here three years ago, but unless they dug up everyone's front yard I doubt they replaced all those pipes.

For safety sake, flush the toilet and wash your hands before breakfast, and run the cold water tap till it actually runs cold. That should be enough to flush out any lead in your pipes. Lead is especially an issue in households with small children.

I don't think this is an issue for us. Our pipes were all replaced in the neighbourhood about three years ago I believe. I remember the summer the city did it because for weeks, I had to gingerly drive my car over a substitute pipe across my driveway that was running water above ground while they fixed the infrastructure below. LOL

Kindergarten Registration for Dovercourt Public School 2009 - 2010

Cheryl Huber wrote (February 9, 2009):

Dear Friends and Neighbours,

I am passing on this message on behalf of Pam Kaur, Principal of Dovercourt Public School, announcing the beginning of Kindergarten Registration for the 2009 - 2010 school year. Children turning four or five on or before December 31st 2009 are eligible to attend Jr. or Sr. Kindergarten respectively, beginning in September 2009.

Classroom Tours will be conducted on the following dates: Monday February 9th at 9:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. and Monday February 23rd at 9:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.

Registration by appointment only beginning Tuesday February 10th. Please call 416-393-9220 for more information and to schedule an appointment. Please see the announcement for further details.

Dovercourt Public School is located at 228 Bartlett Avenue, near Dufferin and Hallam. The school supports an onsite daycare as well as a Co-operative Nursery School to meet community childcare needs. As a parent with two children attending Dovercourt, I encourage parents with school aged children to consider enrolling at Dovercourt Public School.

From the February 2009 Newsletter:

Neighbourhood announcement: THE GROVE COMMUNITY SCHOOL open house

Friday Feb.20, 7- 9 pm, and Wednesday Feb.25 7- 9 p.m. At Alexander Muir/Gladstone Ave. Public School (108 Gladstone Ave.)

From Max Wallace: “Join us to learn about the West End’s exciting new alternative elementary school focussed on social justice, environmentalism and community activism. This innovative new school, committed to equity and diversity, will provide students with a rich and unique experiential education. Opening in September 2009 JK to Grade 3. Attendance at one of the Open Houses is mandatory for those wishing to register a child at the Grove. Registration forms will be available at the meeting and will soon be available at”

National Post published a related article on February 27, 2009 Enrollment dropping, Toronto schools think outside the box

posted on February 03, 2009

OMB rejects developer's $3.2 million claim against residents

Published: January 31, 2009
Source: Toronto Star

The Ontario Municipal Board has dismissed an unprecedented $3.2 million cost claim against Innisfil residents and their lawyers who lost their fight against a developer's billion-dollar resort on Lake Simcoe.

It was a case closely watched by environmental and citizens groups across Canada, who saw it as a so-called "SLAPP suit" (strategic lawsuit against public participation).

While disagreeing that that was the developer's intent, the board did agree the amount demanded could create a chilling effect.

"It feels like total vindication," said David Donnelly, a lawyer for the Innisfil District Association who was himself being sued.

What is Freecycle about?

Nancy Winsor wrote (January 25, 2009):

I recently disposed of several large items by giving them to people who need them through I'm so impressed with Freecycle I'm sending information for those who wish to join. To sign up for the Toronto freecycle group (there are more tightly focused groups in Cabbagetown and the Annex), click here: Be sure to select the digest format for receving postings or your inbox will be inundated with freecycle emails.



First, what Freecycle is NOT about.
Freecycle is NOT about giving only to the poor.
It is NOT about getting as much free stuff as we can.
It is NOT about getting things to earn money on the side.
It is NOT about getting rid of junk that would be better off in the landfill.
It is NOT about posting a "wish list" for expensive items and expecting a fairy godmother to fulfill it for us.
It is NOT a community bulletin board for finding rentals, dentists, mechanics, or advertising our businesses and services or special events.

What Freecycle IS about

Freecycle IS about keeping things out of the landfill.

Be nice, clear your ice!

Stephan Jokisch wrote (January 19, 2009):

As Ben Wick's said "Be nice, clear your ice"!

I've noticed a preponderance of homes and businesses in our neighbourhoods that are not doing an adequate job of clearing their sidewalks of snow and ice.

By law we must clear our sidewalks of snow and ice within 12 hours of a snowfall or face a $105.00 fine (by-law 530-1999). In my opinion this does not mean waiting for five days of constant snowfall to clear your walk. Or just clearing a 12 inch path making it impossible to pass other pedestrians.

I believe as neighbours sometimes we have to take the initiative and confront the people in our neighbourhoods to step up and do things the right way. If you have a neighbour that does not clear their sidewalks ask them to do so. Failing that perhaps it's time to start calling the City of Toronto and having people and businesses fined.

I know that there are elderly and disabled people as well. The City has a program for this.

You can download the application form here:

Or call 416-392-7768

The Grove Community School Open House

Opening in September 2009
JK to Grade 3

Join us to learn about the West End’s exciting new alternative elementary school focussed on social justice, environmentalism and community activism.

This innovative new school, committed to equity and diversity, will provide students with a rich and unique experiential education.

Find out more:

Friday Feb 20, 7-9 pm
Wednesday Feb 25, 7-9 pm
Alexander Gladstone/Muir Ave. Public School (108 Gladstone Ave.)

Attendance at one of the Open Houses is mandatory for those wishing to register a child at the Grove.

Registration forms will be available at the meeting and will soon be available at

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