In our Hood – September 2014

Numerous new shops popped up on Bayview over the summer.

Included should be the newly named McDowell’s valu-mart, owned by Chad McDowell. Jumping immediately into the community spirit, McDowell was one of the sponsors for the Leaside Wildcat’s annual banquet.

New eateries include Leaside’s first tapas bar, Tinto Bar de Tapas. Owner Otta Zapotocky, also owns L’Avenue Bistro. Zapotocky figured the bite-size, sharing tapas tradition was perfect for Leaside, given the number of people who wander over to “the strip” in the evening to dine with friends and family.

Tokyo Sushi was to reopen this summer following renovations necessary after a fire last winter. 

Welcome also to ReFuel Juice and Salad Bar. Must Boutique is now located where Chai used to be, nicely renovated as a women’s clothing boutique. There are two other Must stores in Montreal by the same owner. Icewire Makerspace (Bayview and Belsize) has set up an open working space equipped with computer equipment, exotic software, robotics, and 3D printing for entrepreneurs looking to develop that next great “app”. Look up – they’re on the third floor. Members pay for a day or a monthly pass to use the equipment.

And speaking of the Bayview strip, the special porous asphalt around the new trees turned out to be a bad batch. It has now been dug up and replaced (at the supplier’s expense)—no tax dollars to worry about.

Congratulations to the owners of the newly branded The Leaside Pub. Leasiders Jeff Hohner and Sue Barrett joined Pram Ratna as owners a few years ago when it was the Fox and the Fiddle. This historic public house and restaurant goes back to the days when one of the buildings on the corner was the old Leaside Tea House.

Seven Leaside eateries that make great burgers were participating in August in a Leaside Burger Battle. They were Against The Grain Urban Tavern, Grilltime, McSorley’s Saloon and Grill, Originals Bar, Shoeless Joe’s, South St. Burger Co. and The Leaside Pub. The idea was the brainchild of Andy Elder, owner of Grilltime. For a week customers were to vote for their favourite. A dollar from every Leaside Burger sold is being donated to the Hospital for Sick Child in memory of Georgia Walsh.

Since 2009, over half a million dollars has been raised for cystic fibrosis through Summer Nights lawn bowling events held at venues in Toronto, including our own Leaside Lawn Bowling Club. Sponsored by KPMG, this year’s event in Leaside raised $4,295. One eager supporter wrote, “Just remember team that lawn bowling is a full contact sport just like rugby!”(Now that’s a little hard to believe.)

A Leaside mom of two boys has transformed an idea into a successful venture. Nicole Maunder, frustrated with changing bed sheets when her kids were toilet training, developed a  line of waterproof, environmentally-friendly protectors she named Yippie Sheets. Maunder grew up in St. John’s but moved to Toronto after graduating from Memorial University to pursue a career in marketing. The sheets are 100 percent cotton and made in Canada!  Yippie!

Rolph Road Public School is getting ready for its 100th anniversary celebration this Oct. 24, 25. Anniversary volunteers are still looking for stories, photos and memorabilia. Dig into those attics and basements to look for an old award, a school document, photo or a news clipping. Or send a comment or story. What teacher most influenced you? Do you know a student who’s become famous? Contact Petra Grantham, /.

Leaside’s Morning Glory Cycling Club and our local Gears Bike store are joining forces once again to donate bikes to Thorncliffe Park kids. Any used bicycles dropped off at Gears on Vanderhoof  will be tuned up and made street-worthy. Distribution of the bikes takes place  at the Morning Glory Rally Oct. 5 in the parking lot at the East York Town Centre.

When the second rink opened at Leaside Gardens last fall it was apparent that the lighting system in the old rink needed attention. As of this fall, lights in Bert F. Grant Rink are now new T5s, which are significantly brighter and more energy-efficient. “We’re thrilled that we’ll be bringing the lighting in the Bert F. Grant Rink up to the high standards of the new rink,” said Ray White, chair of the arena board. The ice in the new rink is now in year round and has been open all summer. The Bert F. Grant rink opens to the groups the day after Labour Day, Tuesday, Sept. 2.

Now in its fourth generation of ownership, Humphrey Funeral Home-A.W. Miles Chapel recently amalgamated Murray E. Newbigging Funeral Home into the business. Both family-run businesses have operated in Toronto for a combined 199 years. Originally established on Yonge St. in 1879, Humphrey expanded to various locations in the city before settling in its current Bayview Ave. location in 1955. At one point, the funeral home was forced to move from 466 Church St. when Conn Smythe purchased the location to make room for Maple Leaf Gardens.