In our Hood

Strange goings-on in Leaside in November – four adults were spotted squished inside a photo booth at the corner of Moore and Bayview having their photo taken; other groups were washing windshields at the opposite corner, some were singing Ring of Fire in front of Leaside’s firehall. It was all part of the car rally fundraiser to support El Hogar Projects Canada. Over 160 people participated, raising an estimated $20,000.

And various cartoon characters roamed the streets Halloween week, sent from Leaside High School as part of the school’s annual Halloween fundraiser. Tigger, Piglet (aka Emmalyn Hohner) and friends were collecting donations to support Amici, a charity that sends boys and girls from low-income families to overnight summer camps.

Congratulations to the winners of Charlene Kalia’s annual pumpkin carving contest, Pam, Amanda, Jason and Rachel. Their creative efforts won from a record number of 70 entries! This was the fifth year for Kalia’s Goulish Giveaway at Tremblett’s valu-mart. Attendees were treated to family portraits, free pumpkins, face painting, cotton candy and a BBQ lunch compliments of Tremblett’s. Added this year was a spooktacular visit with Pawsitively Pets.

St. Cuthbert’s annual fair attracted hundreds of happy shoppers and raised (at last count) over $12,000. The fair was packed with great treasures and treats, but for the first time almost three decades there was no Christmas pudding for sale. Betty Crichton and friends, who had lovingly made the traditional treat, decided it was time for a change. “It got to the point that most people didn’t seem to know what it was,” she said, “so after 29 years, I’m taking a break!” Thank you, Betty, for all those great puddings.

Welcome Tori & Cate’s Cupcakes, opening their new store at 1592 Bayview.  All goodies are made from scratch and if you want a bigger bite, there are cakes too. Other new arrivals on “the strip” include Q Living, full of healthy vitamins and food, and an orthodontic practice (opening soon) at the former home of Sleuth of Baker Street.

Speaking of cake, Leaside Tennis Club turned 65 this year. Members celebrated and honoured Leaside’s 100th year at their year-end party with a large tennis court cake! Tennis courts were first set up at Trace Manes Park in 1944, when neighbours, Matt Syliss, Norm Lamport, Al Ogg and Norm Ramsey laid out two courts so they could play and teach kids about tennis. The club was founded four years later.

A young piano prodigy living in Leaside, Coco Ma, was awarded a coveted spot at the renowned Lang Lang International Music Foundation camp in Munich in early November. Only 12 music scholars from around the world are chosen each year. Ma currently studies at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto and lives with her family in Leaside. See Ma perform on YouTube at