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Meraki Synchro

Leaside’s Meraki Intermediate Synchro Team. Skate Canada/Stephan Potopnyk

Meraki — Origin: Greek

(v.) To do something with soul, creativity, or love; to put something of yourself into your work

It’s not all about hockey at Leaside Arena. Stop by any Tuesday, and you’ll see a large group of super-athletic young women skating in perfect unison. Like synchronized swimming, synchro skating has taken off as a respected and challenging sport, and we now have some national champions in our midst. This last February the Meraki Intermediate Synchronized Skating team skated to a personal best at the Canadian nationals in Oshawa and earned their place in the world of synchronized skating. 

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Sergey Stefanishin

Sergey Stefanishin. Photo: Roman Konovalov.

Sergey Stefanishin and his family are not only newcomers to Leaside, but also to Canada. I first met him when he lived in my building, but he has since moved, to a house on Millwood. 

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Letters April

LETTERS

Re: Leasiders who chose to go home again

Hello, my name is Anne and I am a newbie on the Leaside strip and very comfortable and happy to be here.

It’s a friendly place: people smile, chat, then go about their business. One such chat in the checkout line in the Valu-mart led to much more. We exchanged pleasantries and her transaction completed, mine started. Unfortunately, when I reached for my card case, all I came up with was my hearing aid case, similar in size and colour, but lacking in cash or card.

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Her Excellency presents the Officer insignia of the Order of Canada to Darleen Bogart, O.C.
 Credit: Sgt Johanie Maheu, Rideau Hall, OSGG.

Her Excellency presents the Officer insignia of the Order of Canada to Darleen Bogart, O.C.
 Credit: Sgt Johanie Maheu, Rideau Hall, OSGG.

Darleen Bogart was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada in June of 2017, and invested into the Order during a ceremony on January 24, 2018.  

This is a long way from Churchbridge, Sask., where Darleen was born – the youngest in a family of seven children.

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You’re resigned to the new build next door. Your neighbour has Committee of Adjustment (CoA) approval, building permit, and demolition permit in hand. But as the workers dig a deep hole, bigger than you expected, right up to your property line, construct forms and fill them with concrete for foundations, the forms project out longer than you thought they were supposed to, and – horror – the wall of the excavation gives way, and your foundation walls and footings are exposed. Is your property at risk? Is the construction taking place according to the approved plans per the building permit? 

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Street signs in Leaside Business Park.

Staff photo.

The Leaside Business Park will be taken over by big box stores and “mixed use” and the industries currently located there will move out any day. True or False? False, for two reasons. 

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Bayview and Eglinton. Photo by Robin Dickie.

Bayview and Eglinton. Photo by Robin Dickie.

Anyone who drives or walks near the Bayview-Eglinton intersection knows it is a mess: lots of cars, hordes of pedestrians, and poor visibility make the intersection not just annoying but hazardous – especially for the residents of the condo at 1750 Bayview Ave.

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Flight or plight?

Children with test homebuilt airplaneAs a kid, I was always fascinated by things that flew — airplanes, gliders, rockets, helicopters, and yes, hovercraft. If you happened to make it through my column in the last issue of Leaside Life, you know far more than you probably wanted to know about the single-seater hovercraft a classmate, Geoff Elmer, and I designed and built when we were both 15. I thought it would be better to start with a column about our pseudo-successful foray into aviation. After all, the hovercraft worked. It flew. 

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Susan Scandiffio interviews our story subjects.

Susan Scandiffio interviews our story subjects.

There’s an old saying: “a problem shared is a problem halved.” In the case of mental health challenges, sharing has two strong benefits. Not only does talk therapy allow those facing struggles to open up about their suffering and find support from listeners, it also shows others who may also be facing their own challenges that they are not alone.  

With May being Mental Health Month, two courageous Leasiders have offered to share their stories of loss and their ongoing journeys to recovery.

Jen’s story [click to continue…]

Jet flies over Leaside. Photo by Russell Sutherland.

Jet flies over Leaside. Photo by Russell Sutherland.

In February of 2012, NAV CANADA (an agency responsible for flight operations in Canada) redesigned the arrival routes at Toronto Pearson Airport, which meant a concentration of airplane traffic over Leaside.

The flight path over Leaside now accounts for 40 per cent of all arrivals at Pearson. I have heard from residents negatively impacted by these changes and understand how this has affected their quality of life. There is an average of 85,000 overflights annually, and without changes, this number is expected to increase as the airport grows.

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PizzaIf there were such a thing as a basic universal language it would surely be based on food, the most common of human experiences.

And in that impossible language the one word most of us would know, no matter where we come from, would be…wait for it… ‘pizza.’

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Spring into action with the LPOA

By the time you receive this issue of Leaside Life it will – officially – be spring, a time of new beginnings. A very fitting time to consider undertaking new activities and ventures.  

One important new activity I’d like you to consider is to help the Leaside Property Owners’ Association on local issues: as a director on the LPOA board, or on a project which interests you or affects your street. If you look at our website (lpoa.ca), or have attended community meetings, you will have an idea of the variety of matters we deal with. We know that Leasiders show their interest in these issues, both in principle and in action, by participating, or writing letters, or in conversations with friends and neighbours. We also know that Leasiders have many talents.

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When I first became a Trustee on the Toronto District School Board you couldn’t find a school’s phone number without looking up the local government section of the phone book. (Remember those ancient books?) 

It’s a different story now – never before have there been so many communication tools readily available to us. Nevertheless, Leaside parents hunger for even more and better communication.

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Mark your calendars! Toronto’s 15th spring cleanup is taking place April 20-22 in harmony with Earth Day. Most years this event has felt like me cleaning up Trace Manes Park, alone. Inspired by Davida Vineberg, who contacted me about issuing a ‘two-bag litter challenge,’ I decided to reach out to the community to discover what activities were being planned and hopefully encourage new ones.  [click to continue…]

Georgian Revival House example.As part of the colonial expansionism, Leaside was keen to embrace a series of revival house styles, representing the unique character of the neighbourhood. We are going to start this guide with the most prominent types. 

The Georgian Revival style appeared in the 1910s in Canada, becoming one of the most popular domestic styles to date. 

Georgian: Main characteristics and identifiable features [click to continue…]

PAINTINGS: BRANDON STEENIn the 1980s, Leaside High School kids would skip classes and hang out in one of three places: the AV room, the “butt hut,” or the art room. For Brandon Steen, it was the art room where he would head to hone his creative skills. During these breaks and in art class under the tutelage of his favourite teacher, Gail Fularski, Steen’s talents developed and flourished. Now an award-winning artist whose work has been showcased around the world, Steen has returned to Leaside.

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Fleming Crescent THE STREETS OF LEASIDE

Fleming picture.Like many other streets in this area, Fleming Crescent was named for an associate of William Mackenzie and Donald Mann, who laid out the Town of Leaside in 1912.  

Born in Cabbagetown to poor Irish parents, Robert John Fleming (1854-1925) served as a Toronto alderman and mayor for four terms. He also operated the Toronto Street Railway.  [click to continue…]

LawnmowerBeauty is not in the eye of the beholder, it’s in the mind and heart, and when thoughts and feelings change, so do the visions of beauty. 

For more than 60 years the garden aesthetic of Leaside has been that of manicured lawns edged with tree-lined boulevards. Most saw this image as simply beautiful. 

But…the times they are a-changin’, as Bob Dylan sang.

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The rebirth of St. Anselm’s playground

Principal Donato DiPaolo with committee members Michelle Raino, Tom Teahen, Chris Burkett and Nicole Watts.

Principal Donato DiPaolo with committee members Michelle Raino, Tom Teahen, Chris Burkett and Nicole Watts.

“Experts on children agree that they need safe, functional play areas since outdoor activity plays a vital role not only in their physical development, but in their social and cognitive development as well.” 

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Carol Burtin Fripp.In 1965, when Robert Fripp and Carol Burtin Fripp were in the throes of deciding to leave New York City, they first considered England, Robert’s home. But the economic situation there was less than ideal. Luckily, Canada beckoned.   [click to continue…]