What does Leaside’s future hold?

Did you attend the archival exhibit at Leaside Library in early May, celebrating Leaside’s 110th birthday? Full of fascinating displays, maps and artifacts, it showed how Leaside grew from a railway and industrial hub into the Leaside we know and inhabit today. The fact that our community is 110 years old gives us much to think about. As we contemplate the past we also look forward to the future, and wonder what lies ahead.

Will Leaside still exist in coming years as we know it today, given the amount of ever taller high-rise development taking place on our main streets, and the constant pressure to intensify housing throughout the area? Given that the province has unilaterally rewritten Toronto’s zoning bylaws and taken away legal protections of neighbourhood character and heritage? 

The exhibit’s guest book contained many entries. One visitor wrote, “This exhibit should be in a museum,” and indeed it should be, to keep alive the public’s awareness of our community’s beginnings. But we also want Leaside to continue to be the livable place it still is.

Local ratepayer groups like the Leaside Residents Association (LRA) are sometimes accused of being NIMBY, accused of forever opposing change. In fact, we embrace “good” change, change which adds to our quality of life and landscape. By choosing to live in Leaside, you have a big stake in protecting it.

We cannot afford to be complacent. If you aren’t already a member of the LRA we urge you to join us, because in union (as the saying goes) there is strength. Your $30 annual membership helps us help our community. Please go to the LRA website www.leasideresidents.ca and join or renew your membership!

What’s the plan?

Another month has gone by without any news on the Leaside Neighbourhood Transportation Plan. I can only assume that the city’s LNTP team is not yet ready to present their proposals in a public meeting. When there is information to pass along to Leasiders – we hope before the summer – we promise to pass it on.

Who will be our mayor?

Meanwhile, the mayoral by-election moves along, with numerous candidates trying to imprint their platforms (and names) on our memories. A city-wide debate is planned, organized by the Federation of North Toronto Residents Associations (FoNTRA) and the Federation of South Toronto Residents Associations (FoSTRA), which together represent more than 60 neighbourhood residents groups. The event is to take place in the OCAD University auditorium at 100 McCaul St. on Thurs., June 1st, with an in-person audience, and stream on several platforms. Invitations to the candidates have been sent out, and we await further details.

The Leaside Residents Association board meets on the first Wednesday of each month at 7:30 p.m. The public is always welcome to attend. We hope you will join us at our upcoming meeting on Wed., June 14th (originally the 7th* see below), at Trace Manes’ spacious Seniors’ Room. To contact us at any time, please go to www.leasideresidents.ca.

*This month’s meeting was originally planned for the 7th; however, it has been moved to the 14th to accommodate the newly announced Webex consultation session on the Leaside Neighbourhood Transportation Plan, on June 7th.

About Carol Burtin Fripp 138 Articles
Carol Burtin Fripp is Co-President of the Leaside Residents Association, and is Chair of the LRA's Traffic Committee. Over the years, she has served on numerous East York and City task forces. Now a retired television producer (TVO and CBC), she writes Leaside Life's monthly LRA column, and has created a daily international current affairs newsletter read from Newfoundland to New Zealand.