Re: Traffic and speed limits in Leaside

While admirable, the battle to reduce speed limits in Leaside makes NO sense in 2019 with the construction of the Eglinton LRT line – traffic is already at a crawl. Drivers are forced to use Leaside side-streets as shortcuts on roads not designed to handle THAT increased amount of traffic.

For 17 years I served the area as school crossing guard (14 years at Rumsey Rd. and McRae Dr.; 2½ years at Davisville Ave. and Cleveland). 

Odd that safety is of such concern now…school crossing guards (now privatized, formerly attached to the Toronto Police Service) were to be cut entirely in 2011 by (now deceased) Toronto Mayor Rob Ford. Cuts to ALL services prompted the large community protest that lasted over 30 hours. 

Three school crossing guards – Mrs. Mona Piper (deceased, S.C.G.A. President 30+ years), Mr. Christopher Salmond, guard 20+ years, and I (guard 17 years and S.C.G.A. Secretary 10 years) sat for 11 hours to do an eight-minute deputation in order to (successfully) save the school guards.

Parents then were oddly silent and absent from that protest, however. Some media (the Toronto Star, for example) went to great lengths to support school crossing guards, printing our letter regarding cuts. The wonderful political cartoonists drew great cartoons of Mayor Ford sitting in crumpled van, cellphone in hand. In one, surrounded by four City councillors, facing him at that protest were the three school crossing guards – one whispers to other guard, “He’s not listening to us, is he?”

It is time Leaside shook off its small-town mentality and realized that the community is part of something much larger: the City of Toronto. And drivers MUST take responsibility for traffic safety (put away that blasted cellphone while driving) – their kids and ALL pedestrian/traffic safety depend on it! 

Ida Fedor-Baan,
retired school crossing guard
and secretary, School Crossing Guard Association

Another great issue

Thanks for another great issue. With updates on the traffic problems, I’m starting to understand how it was that our new councillor, Ms. Robinson, edged out the very capable Mr. Burnside in the past election. But, I was most interested in the note on the new MRI installation at Holland-Bloorview. Even today a new installation within Canada is news of a sort, but I’d argue that the pendulum should be swinging from the hardware to the people who use it. I’d been aware for some time of the researcher at Bloorview, Dr. Anagnostou, who has been making waves in autism research. At the same time, I would never have thought such a small institution as the Bloorview could ever fund such a hardware investment. However, top research talent will get surprising things done, and this is just telling me, again, that there is an unusual talent there. Perhaps a future article could highlight Dr. Anagnostou rather than just a bunch of hardware.

Jonathan Bishop