Editor’s welcome

Leaside is all about the people. And Leaside Life is all about telling the stories of the people – and businesses – that make up this special place.

This issue of Leaside Life is particularly rich in stories about extraordinary people.

Take 90-year-old Shirley McNaughton, who became a pioneer in promoting the use of Blissymbolics, a semantic language based on pictographs and ideographs, to help teach children with special needs. McNaughton, who lived on Rumsey Road for many years, continues to be an ambassador for the system and has been recognized nationally for her work.

Also, in this issue, North Leasider Debra McGrath invites us to meet her daughter Kinley, who came out as trans five years ago. Kinley’s journey is one that more and more kids are experiencing.

As Debra writes: “One of the best things to come out of this was Leaside itself. The neighbourhood has run the gamut from full acceptance to embracing. Some Leasiders opened up to us about their own experiences with trans people. Our next door neighbours planted a tree for our daughter, others told us how happy they were that we had been open about it, to help inform their knowledge of this ever-widening world of trans people.”

Writer Susan Scandiffio introduces us to the Allman/Gibson family – parents Francesca Allman and Craig Gibson – and their two boys, Joel and Evan. Evan has Down syndrome and autism and also deals with speech apraxia. Evan, says his mother, knows more people than she does, saying hi to passersby wherever they go. He especially enjoys Baskin Robbins on Bayview and hanging out at the Leaside Arena, where he’s a familiar, friendly face.

In this issue you’ll also get to meet Leaside resident Dr. Talvi Maimets, who recently retired from her practice of 30-plus years at 586 Eglinton Ave. E. To say there are countless not-so-happy, now former patients is an understatement.

So, while we all wait for spring and our COVID-19 vaccines, why not enjoy some very good reading?

About Jane Auster 24 Articles
Jane Auster is the editor of Leaside Life. Jane is an award-winning professional editor and writer for print and digital who has covered a variety of industries in Canada for more than 25 years. As a print journalist, Jane has contributed to many of the major consumer magazine markets in Canada, including Maclean’s, Canadian Business, and The Globe and Mail.