In our Hood

Congratulations to Bessborough Public School on it’s first ever Winter Wonders Holiday Market this December. Over 30 vendors, local as well as merchants from around the city, set up tables, selling everything from oysters to jewellery. The event also collected toys for the New Circles Holiday Angel Program. Big thanks to local businesses, Charlene Kalia, Chestnut Park Real Estate, and All Canada Self-Storage – Platinum sponsors. Still waiting to hear about funds raised…

At long last, the pedestrian bridge over Bayview Ave. leading into the CNIB is getting fixed so it’s safe to cross!  Opened in 1956, the entire structure was closed in December 2011 when it was declared unsafe. The new bridge will feature an elevator with Braille buttons and audio accompaniment. According to the CNIB  almost 5,000 people a month used the bridge before it closed. Construction is expected to be completed next spring.

Long-time Leaside resident and community volunteer Barry Schneider was awarded a Life Membership at the annual meeting of the Leaside Garden Society in December. Noting Scheider’s work in the neighbourhood keeping gardens beautiful, club president Nora Campbell remarked, “The entire community of Leaside is indebted to Barry.”

Campbell also presented this year’s president’s award to two other hard-working volunteers, Carolynn Beange (yes, daughter-in-law of Edna Beange) and Brooke Weslak. Both live on Broadway Ave. – there’s something about volunteers from that street. Carolynn has diligently kept track of the books as treasurer for several years. Brooke has been the genius at work on the annual Magical Gardens of Leaside Tour.

Lots of reasons to celebrate in Leaside these days. The community’s Sports Hall of Fame was officially opened at the Leaside Gardens William Lea Room, hors d’oeuvres catered by local vendor, Andy Elder’s Grilltime. In early December, Leaside held it’s first “community trade showcase” for its many  groups and clubs. A highlight of the event was a juggling act where a talented (and risk-driven) juggler selected three representative items from Leaside to juggle—a curling broom, lawn bowling boule and an ice skate — and successfully kept them in the air for several juggles.

Basketball fans may want to rush over to Hero Burgers to fill out a ballet to win one of two pairs of Raptor tickets. Draw takes place Jan. 9. Store manager Nazni  A. is also trying to line up a live NHL hockey player for a customer appreciation event (not yet finalized). It appears the hockey players are kind of busy these days.

The Fox & Fiddle may be a bar (and restaurant), but toys kept arriving for kids even after the end of the 10th annual Leaside Christmas Toy Drive and Guys Night Out last month. The drive raised about $2,600 and a couple vans full of toys.

The Chicks with Sticks, mentioned last month, the women’s hockey team called RODS Hockey, has openings this month. /

Leaside rodents take heed. At least one large falcon has been spotted in the area, sometimes circling with an unfortunate squirrel in its talons. Extremely fast, these birds can reach speeds of 250 mph. (Maybe we can get it to carry off some of the raccoons?)