In Our Hood – January, 2013

Well done, once again, to Daryn Everett, Jeff Hohner and Eric Robertson, who organized the 9th Annual Leaside Guys Night Out in support of CP24 Chum Christmas Wish Toy Drive. “Once again we’ve had incredible support from the Leaside community,” report the guys. Held at the Fox & Fiddle, this year’s event generated over $1,700 in donations and a van (instead of a sleigh) full of toys.

Here’s a Leaside “super citizen”! Ava Morris, a grade 3 student at Rolph Road school, wanted to make a difference while her own mom undergoes treatment for cervical cancer. At a special school assembly Ava cut off her hair to donate it to a Children’s Voice Foundation, Angel Hair for Kids, which makes wigs for children who’ve lost their hair undergoing chemo. At least one other staff member and student joined Ava in cutting off their hair. TVO has named Ava “Super Kid of the Month” and filmed the hair cutting assembly Dec. 11. TVO’s award celebrates youngsters aged 6-14 who make positive waves in the community. Principal Jeff Crane expects funds being raised through Ava’s efforts will exceed $2-3,000.

Not sure what’s in the water at the SAHIL building at Bayview and McRae, but the condominium now boasts four residents over 90 years of age. SAHIL is a non-profit Leaside organization dedicated to helping seniors live independently and remain in their neighbourhood.

Here’s a local business that’s truly “smoking”. Anxious to expand into more space, The Smokin’ Cigar 
at 1699 Bayview is moving across the street to 1540 Bayview at the end of January. Renovations are underway at the site where a fire destroyed Leaside Cleaners over a year ago. The new location gives the store almost four times the space, making it the largest tobacconist in Canada.

Since the original Amsterdam Brewery, Toronto’s first brewpub, relocated to Esander off Laird, “More and more people are starting to find us,” says owner Jeff Carefoot. “So far it’s been good and Saturdays, ‘just crazy’.” The new site features a large space for events, samplings, tours and educational events about beer. Carefoot is already on board to help out with Leaside 100 celebrations in 2013.

Members of the Leaside Business Park gathered for the annual meeting late this fall then celebrated the holiday season with a dinner at All Canadian Self-Storage—all cooked and served to fellow business park members and significant others by owner of All Canadian, Hal Spradling.

Local resident and business owner Ghatavi Massey has a passion for quinoa so great that he’s set up his business in Leaside and hopes to expand across Canada and internationally. Working with suppliers in Bolivia, Massey sells Pura Quinoa, fully certified organic and gluten free. Some of Massey’s products can be found in the Valu-Mart on Bayview.

Congratulations Suomi-Koti, the Finnish seniors’ residence and long-term care facility on Eglinton near Laird. Suomi-Koti recently celebrated its 20th anniversary in the community at a special banquet and fundraising event.

Former city councillor Jane Pitfield, is moving back into Leaside to a house on Bessborough.

Celebrity spotting: According to Toronto Life (January), Irish Canadian tenor Colm Wilkinson enjoys a regular swim in the pool at Leaside Gardens. Wilkinson is best known for his role as Jean Valjean in Les Miserables on Broadway. He relocated to Toronto in 1989 to play the title role in Phantom of the Opera.