It’s the annual trafficathon in Leaside

Carol Burtin Fripp Co-president, LPOA

Traffic in Leaside. Staff photo.
Traffic in Leaside. Staff photo.

Every year, once March Break comes to an end, the traditional annual increase of through-traffic using Leaside streets begins. No matter where you live in our community you’ve likely noticed it, an unwelcome pattern that reminds us all to keep looking for ways to improve the situation.

The LPOA’s traffic committee continues to work on a traffic-calming plan for all of Leaside. We’ve met with traffic consultant Gene Chartier to update and fine-tune a design that will be effective without being too restrictive. We’re asking Councillor Jon Burnside to arrange a meeting for us with City Traffic staff to get their comments and ideas on potential measures.

Then we can hold a public meeting to solicit your opinions and suggestions. We are keen to make real progress and will keep you informed every step of the way.

This autumn’s municipal elections will have an impact on how rapidly we can progress: once summer comes, much of Council’s (and councillors’) attention will be taken up with campaigning matters. I suspect that regardless of our desire to move ahead sooner rather than later, the election may delay our ability to hold a public meeting on traffic issues for a while.

However, elections provide an excellent chance to make your voice heard. The City’s process for installing neighbourhood traffic control is complicated and, as many say, in need of streamlining. I am encouraged that Mayor John Tory has said he would support measures to make the process more flexible and rapidly responsive to neighbourhoods’ needs and situations. Let’s help Leaside by ensuring this is a clear election issue as we go forward! Make this point at All Candidates’ meetings and ask candidates for their opinions on the doorstep.

We have experienced major traffic problems for years, made more horrendous by what seems like an eternal LRT construction process. Our traffic issues need to be effectively addressed as soon as possible.

At time of writing, Costco was planning to open its new Overlea Blvd. store in late June. It will not have a gas bar…yet. Before Costco gets the City’s permission to install multiple gas pumps, a study assessing their potential impact must be made. (The consultant is to be chosen by the City but paid for by Costco). It shouldn’t take a study to predict what is all too obvious: that a Costco gas station will create massive congestion along Overlea, as well as at neighbouring intersections, including in Leaside. Resultant air pollution, created by idling cars in lengthy queues for Costco’s bargain-priced fuel, is also a major concern. The LPOA’s position is that setting strict terms of reference for this study is crucial, to ensure the City does not give the go-ahead to something that creates major environmental damage and traffic gridlock.

The next monthly LPOA Board meeting is on WEDNESDAY, MAY 2nd, at 7:30 p.m. at the Trace Manes building. These meetings are always open to the public. We invite you to attend, whether for help on local matters, to share your opinion or give advice, or just to hear more about what is happening in our community.  Contact us anytime via our website,

As the June provincial election approaches,the LPOA has reserved the William Lea Room at
Leaside Gardens for an
All Candidates’ meeting on Wednesday, May 23rd. 

Be sure to attend, and hear what your Don Valley West candidates have to say! 

Doors open at 7 p.m., and the meeting begins at 7:30 p.m.

About Carol Burtin Fripp 138 Articles
Carol Burtin Fripp is Co-President of the Leaside Residents Association, and is Chair of the LRA's Traffic Committee. Over the years, she has served on numerous East York and City task forces. Now a retired television producer (TVO and CBC), she writes Leaside Life's monthly LRA column, and has created a daily international current affairs newsletter read from Newfoundland to New Zealand.