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Allan Williams

Among the many books published last year in time for the 150th anniversary of Confederation was Canada’s Odyssey: A Country Based on Incomplete Conquests, by Peter H. Russell. Now professor emeritus of political science at the University of Toronto, Russell is not only the dean of Canada’s constitutional scholars and a leading authority on the [...]

Members of Leaside’s various sports communities joined the family and friends of the inductees and athlete of the year in the William Lea Room at the arena on Friday evening, Nov. 17, for the fifth annual induction ceremony of the Leaside Sports Hall of Fame. The honourees or their representatives are, from left to right: [...]

Bellwood’s 5K Fun Run Raises Funds For Veterans

The crisp, sunny, early fall morning offered the ideal conditions, and the trails of Sunnybrook Park the perfect setting for the first annual “Run for Recovery,” a charity 5K run/walk hosted by North Leaside’s Bellwood Institute in support of the True Patriot Love Foundation. “We had 156 runners or walkers registered and over 200 in [...]

Mariah Hinds – Leaside’s 2017 Athlete of the Year

Shortly after Mariah Hinds was given her first pair of skates, even before she was two years old, her mother found her wearing them while walking around the living room. “It wasn’t good for the hardwood floor,” laughs Zelda Sadler, “but it shows how much she loved skating right from the beginning. A few months [...]

Four new members to join the Leaside Sports Hall of Fame

The Leaside Sports Hall of Fame will add four new members at its annual induction ceremony in November. Two of the new inductees were recently profiled in the pages of Leaside Life: distance runner Robert Moore and boxer Shawn O’Sullivan. The other two are NHL hockey player Dave Gardner and former recreation director of the [...]

The Leaside Munitions Company, 1916-1918 Historic Leaside

Canada Wire and Cable Company was a major player in Leaside’s industrial history from the birth of the town in 1913 to the 1990s, employing as many as 2,700 people at the peak of its operations in the mid-1970s. But the company’s early years did not go entirely as planned. From its original three-storey building [...]

Writing profiles of each of Leaside’s six main churches over the past year was both a pleasure and an eye-opener. [The series began with Leaside United in June 2016 and concluded with St. Augustine’s Anglican in February 2017; all six profiles are posted at www.leasidelifenews.com.] It was a pleasure meeting and talking with so many [...]


Leasider David Sparrow was elected National President of ACTRA (the Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists) at the union’s Council meeting in Toronto on May 13th and 14th. ACTRA represents the work-life interests of more than 23,000 professional unionized performers working in recorded media to tell great Canadian stories to the world. Sparrow [...]

A free meal led to a life of running

Have you spotted a runner in Leaside wearing a bright yellow singlet, often with a briefcase or a bag of groceries in his hand? It’s been a familiar sighting on our local streets and trails for more than four decades. This is Robert Moore of Sutherland Dr., once one of Canada’s top distance runners and [...]

Harry and Ruth Goldhar are retiring from the community newspaper business, for a second time. After five successful years of operation, the founders of Leaside Life have sold it to new owners. And that means, now that he has given up the editorial reins, Harry, who has always preferred to remain in the background, can [...]

“It was a milestone in Canadian history,” says Drew Hamblin of Sutherland Drive, “the first time the four Canadian divisions fought together as a single unit, and the day Canada stopped being a colony and became a nation in the eyes of the world.” The Battle of Vimy Ridge was fought 100 years ago next [...]

Like Northlea United, profiled in the January issue of Leaside Life, St. Augustine’s Anglican Church is a product of the optimism and post-war boom of the late 1940s. It began as a mission of St. Cuthbert’s to serve the rapidly growing population in North Leaside, with the first service held in the basement of Northlea [...]

Leonard Linton Park The Parks of Leaside

Leaside is home to some of the most interesting – and not just green – parks in Toronto. From the well-loved and well-used Trace Manes and the sprawling Sunnybrook Park to the so-called “Batman Park,” Leaside is brimming with green, recreational spaces. Here’s one that may not be quite as well-known…. Who’s that imposing gentleman [...]

The new rink at Leaside Gardens is now officially the Dr. Tom Pashby Play Safely Rink following a celebration in the William Lea Room January 19 attended by more than 100 invited guests, including Dr. Pashby’s three children, Bill, Bob and Jane Pashby, and past and present board members of the arena, the East York [...]

The post-war period of the late 1940s and ’50s was a time of great optimism and rapid expansion in many areas of Canadian life. Churches were no exception. North Leaside, which had been developed more recently than the older neighbourhood south of Eglinton Ave., was poised and ready to participate in the boom. As we [...]

The return of Bellwood Health Services to the site of the former Donwood Institute (see the December issue of Leaside Life) opens a new chapter in an important Leaside story that deserves to be better known. The name Bellwood recognizes Dr. R. Gordon Bell, a trail-blazing pioneer in addiction treatment. When he opened the Donwood [...]

Stanley Cup dreams lead to Grey Cup ring

“I was never really that interested in football as a kid,” says Mike Bradwell. It’s a surprising admission coming from the former Toronto Argonaut with a 2012 Grey Cup to his name, who was inducted this past month into the Leaside Sports Hall of Fame. “In fact,” he adds, “I didn’t even play football until [...]

It was almost inevitable that Michael Stevenson would one day become a regular volunteer at the Sunnybrook Veterans Centre, once he had retired. “When I chose a military career it was with the aim of serving the community and serving my country,” says the 86-year old Macnaughton Rd. resident. “I was very lucky to get [...]

The people of St. Cuthbert’s Anglican Church have been marking the congregation’s 125th anniversary for the past year, with the festivities culminating in a Homecoming Celebration over the first weekend of October. Why a full year to celebrate an anniversary? “Why not?” asks Heather Conolly, who chaired the 125th anniversary committee at Leaside’s oldest church. [...]

Long before the rise in popularity of the “Tough Mudder” and similar off-road running events, Leaside had its own trail race, the “Mad Dog Scramble,” which marks its 25th annual running on Saturday, October 30th at 11 a.m. Unlike other races that take place in the Serena Gundy and Sunnybrook Park area and stick to [...]

The outpouring of warmth and affection following the news of the sudden death of Leaside crossing guard Boris Cherkassky shows the high regard in which he was held by the children and families he helped to keep safe every morning and afternoon. Boris suffered a heart attack while cycling to his post at Millwood and [...]

It’s back to school time for the 2,000 or so students who attend one of Leaside’s five elementary schools and Anika Brophy has a message for each of them: “Walk or ride your bike to school and stay safe.” The twelve-year-old, who lives on MacNaughton Rd. and is entering grade seven at St. Anselm’s, is [...]

“We wanted to take Georgia’s loss and turn it into something positive to unite the community,” says Jillian Walsh, “something to celebrate play and also celebrate her life.” That something is the planned renovation to the children’s playground at Trace Manes Park. “Our goal is a safe and inclusive park, one that is fully fenced [...]

When Glebe Presbyterian Church amalgamated with Leaside Presbyterian Church three years ago, it wasn’t just a sign of the times – a property-rich but cash-poor congregation with declining membership merging with another congregation in order to survive – although it was that to some extent. It was also a family reunion of sorts, with parent [...]

It was a perfect day for baseball as the 1st annual Leaside Classic was held on Friday, June 17 at Rolph Road School for the boys and at Bennington Heights for the girls. The idea came from St. Anselm’s School principal Richard Walo. “Baseball had been dropped this year from the Catholic board’s inter-school program, [...]

Most Leasiders are probably unaware of one of the most striking parts of St. Anselm’s Church, on Millwood at Bessborough, which has many striking parts. It’s hard to notice the steeple, even though it’s four feet higher than the church itself, which is 50 feet high. The cross on top of the steeple is 12 [...]

June 1 marks the 75th anniversary of the official opening of Leaside United Church at Millwood and McRae. “The building was designed,” says North Leaside resident Doug Brown, “in the Gothic Revival style that was very popular for churches built in the first half of the 20th century, modelled on an English cathedral but on [...]