As we sidle into May, three big Leaside 100 events have just occurred: the official commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the incorporation of the Town of Leaside, the Archival Exhibit at the Leaside Public Library and the Leaside 100 Gala.
The official opening at the Leaside Library on April 23 started us off. How fortunate can you feel when your local MPP is also the premier of the province, and wants to be present for the occasion? If there were no hitches (this is being written on deadline, which is before any of these events took place) Premier Kathleen Wynne was joined by MP John Carmichael and other notables past and present to mark our centenary.
A beautiful quilted wall hanging, created by Margaret Carscadden was unveiled. It features the crests of the Town of Leaside, the Borough of East York and the City of Toronto to show our municipal history. Visit the Leaside Library to see it still on display.
Also, during the week, if you took the time to look carefully in the Community Room at the library you would have seen the story of Leaside from prehistory to the present, in maps, photographs and text. The committee putting this together was comprised of volunteer curator Elaine Fujiwara, Geoff Kettel (chair), John Naulls, Jennifer Peattie, Jane Pitfield and Roger Steer with the able assistance of Ryerson University staff and students and the Toronto Public Library.
The Toronto District School Board, with Trustee Gerri Gershon, Superintendent Rauda Dickinson and Bessborough School Principal Sarah Frost were to host the celebration co-ordinated by Kaitlin Wainwright of Heritage Toronto. The two historical plaques, for Leaside – the Railway Town, were shownoff to students and other visitors at Bessborough Public School before being moved to their permanent location at Leaside Village, east of Laird Dr.
The Gala would likely have been held at Leaside Memorial Community Gardens, if the William Lea Room hadn’t been out of commission because of the in-progress arena twinning. To the rescue came Hal Spradling, owner of All Canadian Self Storage, with the offer of his space for the event.
A lucky 200+ of you will have seen the startling results of the transformation of a storage facility with its huge, wide corridors and bright red locker doors into a magical party space. Virginia Gallop Evoy, special assistant to Councillor John Parker, has been the able overseer of this whole project and has done an excellent job of obtaining sponsors and suppliers to make this a truly memorable evening. The vintage Durant car suitably displayed inside didn’t hurt either.
And if this isn’t enough – the Heritage Toronto Walking Tour, with the route assembled by Geoff Kettel, and narrated by Geoff and Jane Pitfield, was to be a follow-up to the Gala on Sunday afternoon, the 28th. Starting at 1:30 at the Leaside Library, the route gives a walking history lesson in a circle to arrive back at the library – with time to look at the Archival Exhibit before its dismantling.
There is another chance to participate in the Walk one week later – on May 5, starting at the library at 1:30 p.m. under the Jane’s Walk umbrella (but without the opportunity to see the exhibit afterwards).
Our website is now up and running. Now is your chance to add your photos, stories and check on events. www.leaside100.ca.
The Leaside 100 committee, convened by Councillor John Parker, has been meeting weekly at Trace Manes to shepherd these events along, as well as to work on other upcoming initiatives. The committee is comprised of John Piper, chair, and Virginia Gallop Evoy, Elaine Fujiwara, Charlene Kalia, Geoff Kettel, Lorna Krawchuk, Nick Lewis, Roger Steer and Muhammad Wani.