Costco was high on the agenda at the Ward 26 candidates debate Tuesday night. Chairman Brian Athey asked the four contenders where they stood on the plan to build a Costco store and gas bar on Overlea Blvd. Ishrath Velshi and David Sparrow gave unequivocal answers. Ms. Velshi offered concerns about traffic but in the end she said: "I do support the Costco project." She noted the "poverty level of 40%" in Thorncliffe Park and echoed that community's interest in the good-paying jobs that would be created. Mr. Sparrow spoke from his base when he expressed clear opposition. He cited studies which suggest the store and gas bar would draw some 300,000 vehicles a month to Overlea Blvd. Traffic has become the rallying cry of those opposed to the development. John Parker, the two-term incumbent, said traffic seemed the most critical test the development would face. "I don't see it passing the traffic test," he said. Jon Burnside noted both the poverty in Thorncliffe and the need for development. He said he would like to "sever off the gas bar" from the project as it drew the most vehicles. Nonetheless, he seemed to follow the position of the current council -- to wait until traffic studies are done before deciding to support the project. The expansion of Toronto Island Airport also drew a mix of answers with Ms Velshi leaving the door open. "We do not have the information." John Parker and Dave Sparrow were unlikely island parkland soul mates in firmly opposing an enlarged airport with jets. Mr. Burnside answered briefly by saying that he was "against the position as it stands." He supported Parker and Sparrow. The near standing-room-only crowd at the William Lea Room heard Parker and Burnside spar throughout the evening. Burnside ticked off Parker for his 2010 support of Rob Ford. Burnside noted that he had been endorsed by John Tory. Mr. Parker said he had supported David Soknacki but was prepared to work with John Tory even though he had "paid a price" for telling Tory about concerns with the SmartTrack plan. There was a stand-alone question to Burnside on how he would be a full-time member of council with a business to run. He suggested the ready-made meals business will be sold. Responses to a question about traffic on Laird Drive saw a heated response to Mr. Parker's observation that there was going to be traffic on Laird no matter what was done. There were shouts from the audience and one man was heard to say "insulting." The debate ranged across air traffic noise, conservation and heritage legislation, bicycle lanes and the future of the business park. The debate was sponsored by the Leaside Property Owners Association. Photo l-r Jon Burnside, John Parker, David Sparrow, Ishrath Velshi. (Courtesy Rudy Limeback)
Well-known merchant Cheryl Ingram of Puregress Med Spa (1689 Bayview Ave.) is looking forward to heading to the Rolph Road School anniversary this weekend to meet friends and teachers from the 1970s. Cheryl, like thousands of others worked her way through the forms from Kindergarten to Grade Six at Rolph, which is celebrating 75 years since it opened in 1939. Like school days everywhere, the memories are mixed. Times could be kind or cruel. Sometimes a kid got a swat on the bottom with a ruler. That's over, we're sure. "I'm excited," Cheryl confesses as she readies to meet a lot of schoolmates. She is hoping to see people like Kathy Badali, Ruth Butler, Sarah Fullerton and Nancy White. The event is set for 7 p.m. Friday, October 24, 2014 in the William Lea room at 1073 Millwood Road. Organizer Petra Grantham is urging anyone who might like to go to get a ticket now at email@example.com. Photos l to r: Cheryl in Kindergarten and Grades Five and Six, Cheryl today.
Published 10/21/2014 03:53:00 PM
"The Star is the Star" has been a sad sigh for generations of Torontonians but it's interesting that there are still a lot of Star readers who want to grill the newspaper for it's mostly progressive choices for City Council. The best comment however makes the point that these are, in the end, one person's choice and it would be a greater service to the community to name the editor who chose the Star's recommendations. Toronto Star
Published 10/21/2014 11:31:00 AM
Petra Grantham writes to say there is less than a week to go to Rolph Road Public School's 75th anniversary celebrations. She reminds everyone to buy tickets if they want to join in the re-union fun at the social on Friday, October 24, 2014. If you plan to attend, please purchase your tickets today so that they can make sure to have enough food and beverages. Tickets are $50 and available at this site.
Published 10/21/2014 09:37:00 AM
Published 10/20/2014 10:26:00 PM
It stands for World MasterCard Fashion Week or #WMCFW to fashion cognoscenti everywhere. It is going on tonight at David Pecaut Square. That's a verdant patch of land named after a deceased gentleman of social activity in the 1990s. It sits between Roy Thomson Hall and Metro Hall. We do not have an agenda. But the chitter chatter on Twitter flies broadband wide and in twillions of tweets to top the Toronto Twitter Trend Parade ahead of #Stop the GOP. #TOpoli and a host of other compelling topics. Check the "deliberately inelegant" work of Rani Kim in the Toronto Star CBC Fashion has some very nice paper dolls in the likeness of Drake and David Bowie that you could spend some time clipping to celebrate #WMCFW. There are paper clothes there too. Clip clip. Isn't the First World fun?
Published 10/20/2014 09:58:00 PM
The line between harassment and free speech has apparently been tested in west Moore Park this morning (Monday, October 20, 2014) as residents near Clifton Rd. tangled with a female parking enforcement officer. The parking officer was told, according to the CBC, to get out of the neighborhood. Then a man is said to have driven close enough to the officer to have brushed her with a side view mirror. Police are taking it seriously and it is an unfortunate comment not only on the residents response but the blind determination of the City to squeeze every dime out of homeowners with the parking tax. CBC CP24
Published 10/20/2014 12:39:00 PM
The City of Toronto has seen record advance voting during the six-day period from Tuesday to Sunday. Some 161,147 eligible electors cast ballots during the period. Deduction may suggest this is evidence of a desire to un-elect (or elect) the Ford brothers. Clearly, people feel something is at stake. In this election, the City saw more than double the number of voters compared to the 2010 advance voting turnout of 77, 391. “We are pleased that Toronto saw the highest advance vote since amalgamation,” said Ulli S. Watkiss, Toronto City Clerk. “We hope this trend continues into Election Day, and encourage all eligible electors to come out and vote on October 27.”
Published 10/20/2014 12:06:00 PM
The Bennington Rolph Road Soccer League is a big name for a modest but highly successful neighborhood kids activity. One of the key organizers is Susan Scandiffio who writes to say that this season 128 boys and girls from around the area played in the league's short post-vacation season. The games wrapped up this weekend with a play-off round. Everyone went home happy. It's definitely all done for the fun of it, parents and kids working hard at something they can share. Susan has sent along a few pictures, including one of her daughter Grace who had to sit out her team's last game because of a sprain incurred during a cross country run. Susan reminds parents to join in. Registration begins next April and the league can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Published 10/20/2014 10:08:00 AM
Josh Matlow (Ward 22) has tweeted word that this year's Davisville Village Pumpkin Parade will be at Glebe Manor Park E. on Belsize Drive on Nov 1, 2014 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Bring your family and your pumpkins. This is a great idea for the morning after.
Published 10/19/2014 08:55:00 PM