The Curious Idler

Potential layout of Leaside in 2022

Big, BIG buildings

The almost $7 billion Eglinton Crosstown project, the 19 km light rail line running from Mount Dennis in the west to Kennedy station in the east, is now well underway. With an expected completion date of 2022, the project has started to change the face of Eglinton Ave. In Leaside, developers are rushing to start projects from Bayview to Brentcliffe. As Councillor Jon Burnside keeps telling us, the billions of dollars being invested in public transit that runs rights through the middle of Leaside ensures that development will continue to come to our neighbourhood. So it’s absolutely imperative to find a way for developers and the community to work together.


The LPOA held a spirited AGM

The Leaside Property Owners Association (LPOA) held its Annual General Meeting on Nov. 22 at Trace Manes Community Centre. In addition to the normal LPOA business, a packed house heard a presentation from Gene Chartier, VP of Paradigm Transportation Solutions, the firm commissioned by LPOA to conduct a traffic study and provide suggestions for improving the “crazy” traffic situation in Leaside. Preliminary ideas included creating gateway features at the entrances to the neighbourhood, speed bumps and speed cushions, raised crosswalks, and even red light cameras and photo radar. But the issue, as one attendee brought up? How long is this all going to take and who is going to pay for it? Councillor Jon Burnside, also in attendance, reminded the audience that yes, traffic is a problem in Leaside, and since the City has not identified Leaside as a high-accident area, funding to improve the traffic situation will take time. Councillor Burnside is continuing to work with both the North Leaside Traffic Committee (NLTC) and the South Leaside Traffic Committee (SLTC) to find ways to make our neighbourhood streets safer.

Canada Post vans barrelling through Leaside

canadapost_webHave you noticed the since the opening of the new Canada Post distribution centre on Wicksteed that Canada Post vans have been barrelling full-speed through Leaside, in particular on McRae Comments from the Leaside Facebook community suggest that these vans may be speeding and not always making proper full stops. Says one Facebook poster, “…I have continuously watched drivers run stop signs– today was outside Rolph Road School at 3:35 pm. They speed back through our neighbourhood with no regard for safety. Our neighbourhood is progressively becoming a cut-through for traffic, but Canada Post drivers, I have noticed, are particularly aggressive.” C’mon – we want our mail fast, but not that fast.

Shane Baghai contributes $250,000 to Georgia Walsh Memorial Fund

Shane Baghai, the developer and builder whose project in Leaside at 3-5 Southvale is now underway, has made a voluntary Section 37 contribution to the Remembering Georgia Walsh project.

When I contacted Mr. Baghai’s office he told me that he believes that when he arrives in a new neighbourhood, he becomes part of the community and all the happy and sad occasions along with it. “Georgia Walsh was an innocent victim who in all likelihood would have been a great member of society,” he said in an email, “and her premature demise was grieved by not just the neighbourhood but many of the extending communities and maybe even nationally. I feel that the least I could do in this new community with my first project was to acknowledge this tragedy and have Georgia remembered for many generations to come.”

Many people have been donating to the fundraising campaign since six-year-old Georgia Walsh was killed by a car near the park in 2014.

Leaside Life’s columnist, Leaside Litterati’s very own Cheryl Vanderburg, has been quietly donating her monthly writer’s fee to the cause.

The Trace Manes Playground Rejuvenation Fundraising project has announced that donations will be accepted until the end of this year. The generous Baghai contribution brings the total amount raised to $850,000 toward the $1.2 million target.

From Leaside’s hockey moms to Sioux Lookout with love

hockeymom_webLeaside resident and self-proclaimed hockey mom Christine Baunemann recently arranged to ship a near mountain’s worth of hockey gear to the Northern Ontario community of Sioux Lookout. Along with Keven Berube, the pair initiated and coordinated the drive to collect gently used hockey gear to support a program led by Steve Dumonski, a teacher at Sioux Mountain Public School. This amazing program reaches over 500 kids, and make hockey accessible to primarily First Nations children, helping them stay connected to school and out of trouble. The program has dramatically improved school attendance and engagement. Following a notice on social media, Leaside resident Tabitha Bull jumped on board and was able to help further the drive and arranged for a second large shipment of gear to be collected. Both shipments have arrived in Sioux Lookout and the gear is already being used. Tabitha was so inspired by the program that she is planning a trip to Sioux Lookout in mid-December. Well done, Leasiders!

If you have an item for this column,

please write to