The lady behind those Leaside websites

Paddy DuncanShe’s the lady behind the Leaside Property Owners’ Association website. Also the Leaside Life website. And websites in Vermont and the Bahamas. And lots of others.

Pretty good for a graduate of landscape architecture.

But she had moved to the U.S. because her husband, Richard Schreier, found at job at Oregon State University and she didn’t have a work permit.

So Paddy Duncan, of Broadway Ave. in North Leaside, taught herself everything about internet technology and became the volunteer web master for North Andover School Department in North Andover, Massachusetts after they moved there. She also did layout, editing and some writing for the Eagle Tribune.

And she was busy as a mother of two sons.

In 2007, when her husband by then was a design engineer for Analog Devices and   decided to relocate back to Toronto, the family settled in Leaside because she liked it.

She was brought up in Moore Park but knew about Leaside because her father worked at Honeywell when it was in the industrial park here. The family always drove along Southvale and past Canada Wire and Cable on the way to their cottage in Newcastle.

She also wanted the best schooling after being disappointed with underfunding and cuts to programs in schools in North Andover. She became a community activist there and brought the same concerns here. She’s now a board member with the LPOA.

Some answers to questions about Leaside:

What do you like most about Leaside?

I love the neighbourhood feel – like a village within the big city. After growing up in Toronto and then living in small towns in the U.S. for 16 years, I grew to really enjoy the small-town life, and Leaside has some of that. I like running into my neighbours and friends when I’m out doing errands!

What would you change about Leaside?

I wish that the Leaside Design Guidelines had legal teeth; we’re fast losing the look and feel of Leaside as more and more overly large stucco and fake stone houses are built. It’s the “graying” of Leaside.

I also wish we’d paid more attention to our trees. They’re all the same age and we’re losing them now in vast numbers as they reach the end of their lifespans. We should have been planting a wider variety and had a more aggressive planting campaign.

Favourite places in Leaside?

I love some of the older, more original bits of Leaside – mostly in South Leaside these days. I also love the proximity to Sunnybrook Park – it’s a great place to walk and absorb a bit of nature.

Favourite places to eat out?

Kintako Japanese Restaurant on Laird – for the sushi. And there are a couple of sushi restaurants on Bayview I like too (on the west side, so not technically in Leaside).

Is there something that people might not know about you?

I was on the University of Toronto Archery women’s team during university and continued shooting competitively for a while after graduation. I hope to take it up again soon – it’s a sport that you can do at any age.