The Curious Idler – April 2022

A baseball player gets ready for the pitch.
Photo by Robin Dickie.

With spring definitely in the air, the Idler finds a wealth of happenings to write about in and around Leaside.

St. Cuthbert’s brings back its bake & book sale

A sure sign that a more normal spring in upon us – the St. Cuthbert’s Church Bake & Book Sale is scheduled for Sun., April 24th from 1 to 4 p.m. (Please be masked). This active congregation has managed through the past couple of years with many virtual online events and now looks forward to welcoming parishioners and the community back for in-person events. St. Cuthbert’s Church is located at 1399 Bayview Ave. Don’t forget to check out the exterior renovations while you’re there.

Leaside hairdressing duo to retire after 25 years.

Sisters Azniv & Armineh Chouldjian of Leaside Hair Design on Millwood will be retiring this month after 25 years of business in Leaside. When asked what’s next, Azniv says she is looking forward to “doing all the things I couldn’t do all these years of working long hours, especially the simple things, like long walks and finally reading all those novels I’ve put off for so long.” We hope you enjoy your well-earned retirement. Our locks will certainly miss you.

Journey of the Bliss i-Band to premiere in April

In March 2021, Leaside Life columnist Janis Fertuck shared the inspiring story of Shirley McNaughton and her lifelong work with Blissymbolics, the graphic communication system for children with severe speech and physical challenges.

Recently, the Blissymbolics Communications Institute was awarded a $46,500 Resilient Communities Fund grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation to help with its Bliss i-Band program. The music group was founded by psychologist Audrey King and educator Shirley McNaughton in 2013 with seed funding from the Lillian Meighen and Don Wright Foundation. The goal was to enable persons with disabilities to participate in making music together, often for the first time, playing a wide range of instruments in the Garage Band app on iPads. “The long arc of the project, dreamed of by Shirley, that each member would develop their own individual recognizable playing style, has been accomplished,” said music director Aaron Lightstone.

But there are truly no words to fully describe the joy created through the accomplishments of these committed volunteers and band members. The Idler encourages you to visit their website to listen for yourself. Look for a fourth narrative video – “Journey of the Bliss i-Band,” set for release on YouTube later this month.

Baseball swings back at Trace Manes Park

Founded in 1953, The Leaside Atom Baseball Association (LABA) is a shining example of what makes Leaside such a great community to raise kids. This house league baseball (hardball) organization is the perfect way to introduce boys aged 9-11 to the game. After two years on pause because of Covid, they are back. One of the great things about this league is that games are played in May and June and then off for the summer with playoffs resuming in September. This is a perfect option for cottage goers to play ball and still enjoy the summer. The backbone of this organization has been the volunteers, whose countless hours and commitment have kept the association strong for almost 70 years. The group has some extraordinary long-time volunteers: Pete Dudley, who has been involved since 1965, Ray Edamura, who has been involved for 40 years, and Norm (Charlie) Ahier, who has been active since the 1970s. They are always looking for new volunteers to join and refresh the group. Many of the current volunteers started as players and then returned later in life to give back their time to the program in various roles as executives, coaches and senior umpires. Interested in registering or volunteering – check out the new website: or email: . See you at Trace Manes Park this spring. Play ball!

Leaside Garden Society Monthly meeting

On April 14th at 7 p.m. the Leaside Garden Society will be featuring guest speaker Anna Leggatt sharing her expertise on container gardening. Anna Leggatt, a Toronto Master Gardener for more than 30 years, is a former high school teacher of botany and chemistry. She also worked for 30 years at the Kortright Centre for Conservation and is the past chair of the Ontario Rock Garden Society. Monthly meetings will continue to be hosted on Zoom, and new members and guests are welcome. Interested? Visit or email: .

Leaside’s collaborative practice and mediation expert Deborah Graham co-authors new book

Long-time Leaside resident and collaborative family lawyer and family mediator Deborah Graham has released her latest book, A Guide to A Sensible Divorce. Graham, along with Stella Kavoukian and Alison Anderson, has written a comprehensive guide to help parents as they navigate the stresses of separation and divorce. Deborah provides a legal overview as well as negotiation tips and guidance on how and when to settle. Anderson, a financial professional, provides insight into the financial decisions surrounding divorce, while Kavoukian, a social worker, provides guidance on how to support your children. The book is available on Amazon. To learn more about Deborah’s practice, visit: