In our Hood

Welcome to Leaf Shack: Big shout out to Doug and Elizabeth Radford on Hanna Rd. for their playoff Leaf parties. The couple set up a big screen in their backyard, hosting 30 plus neighbours each game at what they affectionately called “Leaf Shack”. Even in the rain and cold of game six, Leafs faithful gathered under a tarp awning. “We’re amazed at how many show up,” commented Doug, a paramedic. “We’ve meet different neighbours every game!”

Leaf mania elsewhere in the neighbourhood: A quick survey of local bars confirmed that having the Toronto Maple Leafs in the playoffs was a win for everyone (well, maybe not always for the Leafs). 

“There’s been a lot of Leaf mania here for sure – or Leaf sobbing –  during the games,” reported Originals Bar on Bayview. “The bars and restaurants in the area have benefited from the increased business…. it’s been a real boom.”

Param, manager at the Fox and Fiddle, agrees. In fact, he’s been one of the cheering fans. And just opened a month, Against the Grain Urban Tavern in Leaside Village says that on Leaf nights they were “super busy,” with TVs inside as well as one large projector on the upstairs patio.

Avery at McSorley’s noted that during away games in Boston, the bar was packed, “with folks lining up and kids dressed in full Leaf regalia who  hadn’t even been born when the team was last in the play-offs”. But home games showed a different pattern. Although still very busy, local residents were close enough to downtown that many headed to Maple Leaf Square to watch.

Now that’s community service! At a recent East York Kiwanis 70th Charter night, two men were honoured for a total of 104 years of service. One was former Leaside resident of more than 50 years, Colin McMechan, who joined his local Kiwanis Club in 1949.  Colin lived on Fleming and at one time in his career was a school board member and a local councillor. Today he’s regarded as one of the club’s most esteemed members.

Before embarking on his career in the dairy industry, Colin served in World War II, first in Great Britain, and following the D-Day invasion as a member of the Kangaroos, soldiers in tanks that supported the Allied drive from Holland into Germany.

Bouquets to Northlea school Junior Choir, selected to perform at the Toronto school board’s 127th Annual Spring Festival Concert at Massey Hall in May, and then a few days later at Roy Thompson Hall. Great job, kids and conductors, Mitch Bondi and Sanela Konjhodzic, both teachers at the school.

Former Leaside High grad and musician, Sarah Parker, was named artistic director of a new children’s choir in the city this spring. Affiliated with Toronto Choral Society, the TCC Children’s Chorus presented its first concert this May as a musical tribute to Riverdale Farms.

Speaking of music, seven choirs from all the churches in Leaside joined together in a Heritage Hymn Festival to celebrate Leaside100. Can you count up all seven?

[Note: most people forget Leaside Bible Chapel in addition to Leaside United, Leaside Presbyterian, St. Cuthbert’s, St. Augustine of Canterbury, St. Anselm’s, and  Northlea United).

Congratulations to long time Leaside resident Dr. Geordie Fallis, whose audio book has now been published in print, with additional stories, illustrations and a foreword  by Don Harron (aka Charlie Farquarson). From Testicles to Timbuktu chronicles the good doctor’s adventures—with humour— from early years in med school through his long-time association with Flemingdon Health Centre and Toronto East General Hospital.

2013 marks the 60th anniversary of the Leaside Lawn Bowling Club. The season was officially launched in May, with over 50 members and guests gathering for opening day. Premier Kathleen Wynne, local MP John Carmichael and Councillor John Parker were all on hand to bring greetings and even try out a few bowls.

We’re now heavily into the season of garage sales, including Leaside United spring’s Awesome sale. Now in its 20th year, this spring’s sale broke a record once again, raising over $28,000. Co-organizer Bob Lister says, “People were lined up around the block, even though it was pouring rain.”