Beaches-Leslieville Daily Updates: September–October 2020

Native son John Candy would be 70 today

Mayor John Tory has proclaimed today as John Candy Day, on what would have been the comic actor’s 70th birthday.

Candy, as everyone knows around here, lived in East York as a child and attended high school at Neil MacNeil Catholic High School near Victoria Park and Kingston Road.

More about the beloved actor and his day.

Fourth community clinic to get your flu shot

The only community flu vaccine clinic east of the Don Valley is to open on Oct. 31, the city announced today. It’s to be located at Scarborough Town Centre, Exterior Unit D3, 410 Progress Ave. and is operated by appointment only.

It’s the fourth clinic launched by Toronto Public Health across the city, the other three launching Oct. 22. It will run until Dec. 31. For more information on locations and to make an appointment, see the TPH appointment booking system online.

The flu shot is also available at many other locations in Toronto, including pharmacies, doctors’ offices and clinics. Find a location near you at MyFluShot.ca.

Three-car collision at Coxwell and Lake Shore

A driver suffered unspecified injuries in a three-car collision near Coxwell Avenue and Lake Shore Boulevard early this morning, according to police. Officers responded to several reports of a collision and an overturned car at about 1 a.m.

Three tow trucks were called and Toronto Fire assisted the injured party on the scene, police say. Roads were closed at Coxwell and Eastern Avenue for about an hour.

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Arrest made for summer break-in spree

A man has been arrested following investigation of a series of break-ins in apartment buildings and vehicles over several summer months in the area of Woodbine Avenue And Queen Street East. (See Sept. 16 update below.)

Harris Omo, 32, of Toronto, faces charges on 24 counts, including break and enter, assault with a weapon, and failing to comply with a release order. He is to appear in court today.

Gunfire and ‘suspect’ caught on video

Gunshots can be heard one of two videos released by police two days after the incident in Leslieville’s Greenwood-Coxwell neighbourhood.

Also on the video is seen someone whom police call a suspect running to a car parked on Hiawatha Road, shouting “Go go go!” before driving off. Get the whole story.

Man with knife confronted at site of gas leak

Firefighters responding to a gas leak in a building at Gerrard and Main streets were met by a man armed with a knife and behaving erratically, police reported today at about 10:30 a.m.

Police officers had to resolve the issue with the man. “We will get him the help he needs,” police said on Twitter.

Then fire crews were able to enter and evacuate the building which smelled of gas.

The gas leak was capped residents were allowed back in, with no reports of injury, police said.

Fox Theatre thumbnailFox Theatre struggles through pandemic

Government assistance helped and attendance is “okay” since the Fox on Queen Street East re-opened in August with reduced seating.

But the owners of the 106-year-old institution are still concerned over how long they’ll be able to preserve the movie theatre experience in the Beach. Read all about it.


Nooses at construction site not considered hate crime

Two more nooses have been found in the area of Michael Garron Hospital but police say they don’t believe they’re connected with previous incidents.

Police responded to a call about a suspicious incident on Sept. 24 at about 7:12 p.m. at Sammon and Coxwell avenues. Two nooses were located at a construction site there, they reported yesterday.

The hate crime unit has been consulted but it is not being treated as hate-motivated, police said.

Henry Dundas thumbnailPublic consultations coming on renaming Dundas

The “problematic” legacy of 18th-century Scottish statesman Henry Dundas 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.


Arrest for child pornography

A 40-year-old man was arrested today after police searched an address near Greenwood Avenue and Gerrard Street East as part of an investigation into child sexual abuse material.

The man has been charged with possession and accessing child pornography. He is to appear in court today.

COVID germEast-end neighbourhoods hit by latest COVID wave

A month ago it looked like much of this area was free of the coronavirus. But recent figures from the city’s interactive map show we’ve been newly infected in the recent upsurge.

Worst hit in the east end have been the Beaches and Danforth East communities. Get the full picture.

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 — including in the east end last year — is this year presenting a week of virtual experiences.

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.


Dangerous medication lost

A 35-millilitre container of methadone has been lost near Main Street and Stevenson Avenue. Police have issued a public safety alert, saying the medication could be harmful, even fatal, if ingested, especially by children.

Secondhand Sunday on today

Today’s the day you can give away or get reusable items — to or from your neighbours. It’s Secondhand Sunday, a city-supported event that runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Here’s more about it.

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. But this does not include the usual Lake Shore Boulevard East.

The city advises the closure on Lake Shore between Leslie Street and Woodbine Avenue is being forgone this weekend due to Saturday’s planned construction on the eastbound Gardiner Expressway from Yonge Street to Cherry Street.

Roads elsewhere that will be closed for ActiveTO from Sept. 26 at 6 a.m. to Sept. 27 at 11 p.m. are:

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


pumpkinsLocal events cancelled or moved online in city announcement

The Beaches Santa Claus Parade and the Riverside Halloween Fest are among the east-end events seeing their live festivities 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.

climate change thumbnailAre 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 the Beaches or Leslieville?

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.

StrollTO thumbBe a tourist in our own communities

How well do you know the Beaches? 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.

Ashbridges Bay rocksMarkham man charged in fatal boat crash

Charges have been laid in that fatal boat crash beachgoers witnessed two weeks ago.

A Markham man, registered as the vessel owner and alleged to have been driving when it hit rocks near Woodbine Beach, faces criminal negligence charges, police say.

See the full story.

BigArtTO thumbnailBigArtTO scheduled for the east end

The Donald D. Summerville swimming pool is one of the locations to be used as a canvas 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, shown across Toronto’s 25 wards.

The Beaches-East York event is running Oct. 21 to 24. A location in the Toronto-Danforth ward for Nov. 18 to 21 has yet to be determined. 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.


Suspect sought in break-in spree

A series of break-ins in the Woodbine Avenue and Queen Street East area between June 25 and Aug. 1 has led to a search for a 32-year-old man. Police allege a man broke into various apartment buildings and vehicles in the apartment buildings in that time period.

Today they released a photo of Harris Omo of Toronto, who is wanted on numerous charges, including four counts of committing break and enter, theft over $5,000, assault with a weapon, and five counts of failing to comply with a release order.

He is described as 5-foot-5, 146 pounds, and having black hair and brown eyes.

Boat passenger killed in collision with rocks

A man, 47, died after the boat he was in collided with rocks near Woodbine Beach, police reported yesterday.

Police responded to a call about a boat crash about 12:35 p.m. It was reported a 46-year-old man lost control of the boat he was operating with six people aboard.

A 47–year-old man was rushed to a trauma centre with vital signs absent and was declared dead at hospital. The boat operator and remaining passengers received non-life threatening injuries.

Here’s what we know so far.

Summerville 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 Donald D. Summerville at Woodbine Beach, 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.

Construction to shut down lanes on Leslie Street

Leslie Street north of Queen Street East will see a northbound and a southbound lane closed over the next three days due to construction, Toronto’s Traffic Management Centre advises. The two projects of of “permanent resurface reinstatement for Toronto water repairs” are to run from Sept. 2 to 4, daily from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

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