Tag Archives: Leaside

Jane Pitfield provincial run?

PC party asked Pitfield to run in Ontario election
But she declined offers, focused on other projects
(Written for Town Crier Feb. 22)
Kris Scheuer

Former Don Valley West Councillor Jane Pitfield has declined offers to be a PC candidate in the provincial election. Francis Crescia/Town Crier file photo.

Former Leaside councillor Jane Pitfield is busy with a lot of projects these days, but running a campaign for a seat in the Ontario legislature isn’t one of them.
Pitfield said she was approached to run provincially for this fall’s
election, but declined.
“Three different ridings all looking for Conservative candidates asked me
to think about it,” she said in February. “I said I wasn’t interested.
“The level of government that appeals to me the most is municipal.”
Pitfield ran in a competitive race in Toronto-Danforth Ward 29 during last
fall’s municipal election. She came second to councillor Mary Fragedakis.
Though surely disappointed that she wasn’t able to get back to city hall as
a municipal representative, Pitfield began tackling other projects.
This January, Exchange Solutions contracted her services to help them launch
a new program Give Get that allows shoppers to donate to various charities
just by buying products at participating retails.
It’s free to join Give Get and there will be a list of charities online that
customers can choose to support when they purchase products at participating
businesses. The website is going live this month.
A website associated with a Leaside fundraiser connected to the Give Get program is already online.
Beyond charitable work, Pitfield is also the new owner of Gaultois Inn in
the Coast of Bays region of Newfoundland. She said it is scheduled to open
in May. Continue reading

Agnes Macphail house heritage worthy?

Canada’s first female MP lived in Leaside home
But it has no heritage protection or plaque
Kris Scheuer
(Written for Town Crier Feb. 23)

Agnes Macphail lives at 2 Donegall Ave and efforts are underway to push for a heritage designation and plaque of the property. Photo by Joshua Freeman/Town Crier.

Walking by 2 Donegall Ave in Leaside you wouldn’t know it was once home to politician Agnes Macphail.
The 1937-built home is neither historically listed, designated nor does it have a plaque recognizing it as the former abode of Canada’s first female MP.
Residents and politicians have been pushing for over a decade for some recognition for the Toronto property and while things are currently at a standstill, there is renewing pressure to have something done.
The Simmons family, owners of 2 Donegall Ave/720 Millwood Rd home, agreed to install a plaque in 2001 as a compromise to avoid the building becoming historically designated.
But the plaque never materialized because there was no agreement on the wording and cost involved, said property owner Laura Simmons.
She told the Town Crier Feb. 23 she would be agreeable to erecting a plaque if it cost her $500 maximum, but is still against designating her home.
Mary Macdonald, acting director of Heritage Preservation Services, said city staff had recommended designation in 2001, but council voted for the plaque instead.

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Heated Ward 26 debate

Don Valley West race a hot one and it shows
Debate in Leaside drew laughs, shouting and boos
Kris Scheuer
(Written for Town Crier Oct. 20)

WARD 26 CANDIDATES Salim Nawab Khan, left, Shaukat Malik, Yunus Pandor and John Parker answered questions from a packed house at the Leaside Memorial Gardens. Photo by Kris Scheuer/Town Crier.

Ward 26 all-candidates debate was hot last night and not just because 250 people packed a room inside Leaside Memorial Gardens.
There were questions on job creation, heritage, the arts, transit among others, but things got quite heated when resident Lise Lareau asked who distributed anonymous literature denouncing Mohamed Dhanani’s record.
The one-pager, accuses Dhanani of inflating his resume, being involved in the billion dollar e-health spending scandal when he worked for former health minister George Smitherman. It also questions what Dhanani has promised in exchange for an endorsement of the Toronto York Labour Council.
Lareau asked each candidate to own up or denounce it.
“I had nothing to do with it,” joked Dhanani later adding the info was all lies.

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Talbot apartments headed to court

City and residents win at OMB, but developer appeals
Redevelopment of heritage apartments could end up in court
By Kris Scheuer
(Written for Town Crier April 28.)

Leasiders are celebrating the Ontario Municipal Board’s rejection of a
developer’s plan to tear down the heritage Talbot apartment complex on
Bayview.
However, their victory cries are muted because the site’s owner is seeking
leave to appeal the board’s decision to the Ontario Divisional Court.
Local councillor John Parker is pleased with the board’s rejection of a
redevelopment plan to demolish the apartments and construct an eight-storey
building and 54 townhouses.
“I was pleased with the Ontario Municipal Board result,” he said. “I saw it
as a long shot they’d see latitude for an appeal.”
Before the court rules on anything, a judge or a panel of judges must decide
if there are legal reasons for this appeal, and if so, determine if those
issues are significant enough to warrant an examination of the board ruling,
said Parker, a lawyer by trade. Continue reading

Your Toronto web stories

Website allows you to upload your community memories
Story catchers also capturing Torontonians’ video tales
By Kris Scheuer
(Written Jan. 22 for Town Crier.)

Story Catcher Simon Rabynick captures your T.O tales on video for new website. Photo by Kris Scheuer/Town Crier.

A city comes alive through people’s memories and stories.
That’s the idea behind Leasider Adil Dhalla’s new website www.mycitylives.com that launched Feb. 3.
He describes it as Google maps meets YouTube. Dhalla has trained “story catchers” to videotape people telling personal tales and then link them to an interactive map on the website.
It’s a way to get to know the city, communities, streets and specific landmarks.
“We are trying to encourage people to live and shop local and to support the economy, arts and culture and reinvigorate a sense of pride in the city,” says Dhalla from a French coffee shop on Bayview Avenue. Continue reading

Jane Pitfield runs for Toronto council

Former councillor Jane Pitfield to run for election
She registered as candidate in east end ward
By Kris Scheuer
(Written Jan. 6 for Town Crier.)

Former councillor Jane Pitfield plans to run in Ward 29 after Case Ootes announced he'll retire. Town Crier file photo.

Jane Pitfield wants back into city hall and she’s chosen to run in Toronto-Danforth Ward 29.
Case Ootes the current local rep held a media conference this afternoon announcing he won’t seek re-election in this east end ward.
And at 3 pm today, Pitfield registered as a candidate for the ward she has political roots in.
“I was very surprised when councillor Case Ootes announced his retirement,” she told the media at the city’s election offices.
She met with councillors Ootes, Cliff Jenkins and Michael Walker weeks ago indicating her interest in running if any of them choose not to run.
“All of them said they thought they’d return,” she told the Town Crier today.
Then last night, councillor Ootes called to tell her he would not seek re-election.
“I felt my interest is so strong in coming back. Why wait?” she said in an interview. Continue reading

Talbot Apartment OMB hearing postponed

The Ontario Municipal Board will now consider Leaside buildings’ fate in Nov.
By Kris Scheuer
(Originally published Aug. 17 for
Town Crier.)

Those wanting a swift conclusion to the long battle over preserving Leaside’s Talbot apartments will likely wait until the new year for a decision.
The Ontario Municipal Board has rescheduled the case from Aug. 24 until Nov. 2.
The municipal government sought the adjournment because during the 39-day strike city planning lawyers were redeployed to other duties and witnesses were walking the picket lines.
OMB member Marc Denhez delivered the oral decision to postpone the case at the end of a July 31 conference call with representatives from all three parties, according to Carol Burtin Fripp, a director with the Leaside Property Owners Association, which is participating in the hearings. 
“It’s given us more time to get our statements together from residents who are participants,” she said following the postponement. Continue reading

City strike impacts Leaside court case

Hold off on Talbot development case: city hall
Strike forces a request to postpone OMB hearing

By Kris Scheuer
(Written July 14/09 and published in the Town Crier)
The city’s seeking a postponement of an upcoming court battle over the redevelopment of Leaside’s Talbot Apartments.
A multi-year fight by Context Development to tear down three properties at 1325, 1351, 1365 Bayview Ave. is set to culminate at an Ontario Municipal Board hearing Aug. 24.
But a strike by city workers that began June 22 has meant land use planning lawyers have been redeployed to other duties. As well, some city witnesses are unionized CUPE local 416 and 79 workers marching on the picket lines. 
So the city’s legal department will be formally seeking a postponement in the case the week of July 13, confirms city planning lawyer Gordon Whicher. Continue reading

80-year-old ‘Fry Lady’ retires


Catherine Wilson fries up one more basket
of potatoes. Photo by Kris Scheuer/Town Crier.

By Kris Scheuer
(Originally published March 8/05 for Town Crier.)
Say goodbye to the Fry Lady — the 79-year-old woman is retiring after 25 years of serving up fries to hungry customers at a local McDonald’s.
Catherine Wilson, known affectionately as the Fry Lady and Granny by customers and colleagues alike, started her first shift at the McDonald’s at Bayview and Eglinton Aves. in January of 1979 at $3 an hour. Now she is packing it in.
Over the years, she has cooked and packaged too many French fries to count, but here’s a rough estimate. She served up at least 1,709,400 packages of fries in 25 years — and that’s just during lunch hour.
Ironically, Wilson doesn’t even like fries. This is not a slight against McDonald’s fries, mind you. “I have never eaten the French fries,” she said. “I was just never into French fries my whole life.”

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