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You Could Even Say it Glows; A very enthusiastic Kingston waits in line to get the required photo with Santa at the Variety Village, World’s Greatest Christmas Party, Dec. 11.

January20, 2023

Kung Hei Fat Choi ... Lunar New Year Begins

The 2023 Lunar New Year is occurring a bit earlier than in recent years, and with it will come the next Zodiac animal in the cycle: the Rabbit. However, the Rabbit isn’t the only animal that will preside over this year. Depending on one’s heritage and location, Lunar New Year festivities and traditions can vary quite a lot.

In China, the order of animals in the Zodiac calendar mirrors a folktale often called The Great Race. The story goes, generally speaking, that the Jade Emperor invited all the animals to his palace to become his royal guards. However, the order in which they passed through his Heavenly Gate would dictate their rank. The order in which the animals passed through the gate in the tale also corresponds to the order of the Zodiac calendar: Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Pig.

Since the Lunar New Year traditions vary from place to place, however, so too do the animals. In Vietnam, the Cat is fourth in the Zodiac instead of the Rabbit. The Vietnamese community will therefore be ringing in the year of the Cat instead of the Rabbit, in 2023 . In Thailand, the place of the Dragon is occupied by the Naga, a multi-headed great serpent. In Japan, the Boar takes the place of the Pig. Horoscopes for those born under each Zodiac animal sign are common across the board, but also somewhat differ regionally.

Unlike the western Zodiac, which changes from month-to-month, the Lunar Zodiac changes yearly. The Lunar Zodiac also includes five elements that are supposed to affect the personality, luck, and fate of the people born under them: Metal, Water, Wood, Fire, and Earth. People born this year, for example, will fall under the sign of the Water Rabbit. However, people born in 1999 are Earth Rabbits, and in 1987, Fire Rabbits. The last year of the Water Rabbit was in 1963. To determine the element of any given year, look at the last number of that year:

Metal: Years ending in 0 or 1.

Water: Years ending in 2 or 3.

Wood: Years ending in 4 or 5.

Fire: Years ending in 6 or 7.

Earth: Years ending in 8 or 9.

Some people still refer to the whole of the Lunar New Year as “Chinese New Year”. Since the Lunar New Year is celebrated worldwide and traditions vary from place to place, the former may be a more accurate reflection of the holiday in a general sense. If specifically referring to a Lunar New Year event where Chinese traditions and culture are celebrated, Chinese New Year is still widely acceptable. The same goes for Thai, Japanese, Vietnamese, and Korean New Years Celebrations.

However you celebrate this Lunar New Year, may it bring luck, health, wealth, and happiness to your family and loved ones.

January20, 2023

The Toronto Repair Café - Throw it Away - No Way

The Toronto Repair Café popped up at the Port Union Recreation Centre on December 17 to help community members fix-up and learn how to repair their favourite items. The very first Repair Café opened in Amsterdam in 2009, and has since become a worldwide phenomenon called the Repair Café Foundation.

Co-founders of the Toronto Repair Café, Fern Mosoff, Paul Magder, and Wai Chu Cheng, launched their first café in May 2013. Today, Toronto Repair Café hosts a variety of pop-up and re-occurring cafés across the GTA in community centres, Toronto Public Library locations, and small community organizations.

According to their website, Toronto Repair Café has three core values that drive them forward:

(1) create a free, safe and welcoming atmosphere accessible to the community where visitors may engage with fellow community members and learn about repair;

(2) come together with volunteers and visitors in an open, generous and kind manner, where everyone is valued; and

(3) work collaboratively and partner with a diverse range of community groups to promote sustainability in a fun and inclusive manner.

The Repair Café at Port Union Recreation Centre is open (approximately) every six weeks and is always on a Saturday from 10am to 3pm. Toronto Repair Cafés have experts on repairing all kinds of household items including appliances, clothes, jewelry, watches, electronics, phones, computers, bone china, eyeglasses, and more!

While the services at the Repair Café are free-of-charge, donations to the foundation are always appreciated. All of the fixers are volunteers, donating their time to help others learn practical life skills and sustainable practices. By repairing or re-using parts of one’s household items, one saves the emissions produced by the manufacturing, shipping, and processing of a new item and the emissions produced by the disposal of the old one. It also allows people with rare or discontinued items to extend their life and love them a while longer.

The next Toronto Repair Café pop-up will be held at the St. Lawrence Market on January 26. To volunteer as a fixer, visit https://repaircafetoronto.ca/volunteer/. Cash donations are accepted at Repair Cafés year-round.

December 27, 2022

Community - the greatest gift this holiday season

By Domenic Primucci, President Pizza Nova

The holiday period is a time of joy—a cherished season that beckons spending time with loved ones, surrounded by food and, more often than not, gifts. But ask anyone who has lost a loved one, the season can also be a time that highlights the scarcity or personal losses and setbacks that we face in our present day. A look at the news, today, it’s clear we’re also facing challenging economic times. Many of us are choosing to tone things down this year when it comes to our festivities. This year, more than ever, will be a hard year for most Canadians, but for different reasons than we saw during the pandemic. As food prices soar, and inflation continues to increase, many people must make the hard decision to cut back. It is no surprise that food banks cannot keep up with demand, and that families are turning to charitable organizations to ensure there are gifts under the tree.

In the weeks leading up to the holiday period, I’m asking my team, and own family, to consider the real meaning of community: the coming together of people and the importance of this. I believe a strong community is the answer to getting through this season. We simply do not know the impact the current environment may be having on our families, loved ones, friends, acquaintances—and strangers. We know cutting back is a must for everyone—but cutting out community support is not the answer.

As a young boy, I saw firsthand how community helped build businesses, feed families and, ultimately, improve or even save lives. Christmas time was about being together—because that’s what we had. Being part of a supportive community made all the difference, especially when everyone pitched in. Maybe this is where we can showcase the charities that the Primucci Family and Pizza Nova have partnered with throughout the years or can we just generic?

Time and time again we see how in uncertain times, it’s because of community that people in need have pulled through. Indeed, the community has helped people survive tough periods like the one we are living through right now. 

Being grounded in my community gave me purpose growing up, and that’s why doing the same with those around me and our brand’s franchisees has become an essential element of our business and Pizza Nova culture. This year we continue our partnership with SickKids on a new initiative from which funds will help build a new state-of-the-art hospital and patient support buildings, continue breakthrough research, and build partnerships across the country.

We all watch the news and understand the need to be budget conscious, but there are many gestures beyond an outlay of cash that can build up members within a community. The first step is to check in with your local hospital, school, shelter, community, or faith-based organization to see if they can direct your energy or interests —to participate in food drives, volunteer, donate clothes or toys you are no longer using. But even beyond that, let’s all take a few moments in silence, away from the noise and clutter of our everyday lives, to see whom in our close circles and networks, is suffering and in need of a sign that someone cares for them. You never know, perhaps even the smallest act will make the greatest difference.

January 19, 2023

City announces more than $5.4 million in grants for Toronto small businesses

Mayor John Tory announced that the City of Toronto and funding partners FedDev Ontario and Metrolinx are making more than $5.4 million in funding available this winter to help eligible local small businesses.

Mayor Tory was onsite at Berkeley Castle, 264 The Esplanade, alongside Jean Yip, Member of Parliament for Scarborough–Agincourt, Councillor Shelley Carroll (Don Valley North), Chair of the Economic and Community Development Committee, and local Councillor Chris Moise (Toronto Centre).

The City continues to support small businesses and main street vitality and is inviting eligible businesses and organizations to immediately apply for the new Transit Expansion Construction Mitigation Grant Program, the Main Street Innovation Fund and the Commercial Space Rehabilitation Grant program.

The City continues to support small businesses in Toronto including in the 2023 tabled Budget which continues to include a 15 per cent property tax rate reduction which has supported more than 29,000 small businesses.

Main Street Innovation Fund Funding from $25,000 to $100,000 Applications open today: www.toronto.ca/business-economy/business-operation-growth/business-incentives/main-street-innovation-fund The

Main Street Innovation Fund has opened a new stream of applications to support streetscape animation and local businesses through innovative activations, creative place-making and community capacity-building initiatives. The program offers funding for BIAs and not-for-profit organizations to test innovative and creative solutions to local challenges and share their findings and results with others. Approved standard-scale projects may receive up to $25,000. Approved larger-scale projects may receive up to $50,000. Approved legacy-scale projects may receive up to $100,000. Applications are being accepted beginning today until March 16.

Commercial Space Rehabilitation Grant Program Grants of up to $24,000 Applications now open: www.toronto.ca/business-economy/business-operation-growth/business-incentives/commercial-space-rehabilitation-grant-program

The Commercial Space Rehabilitation Grant Program offers matching funding of 50 per cent to commercial business operators and owners of vacant storefronts (or, in certain limited circumstances, at risk of becoming vacant) to undertake interior improvements, assisting businesses to re-lease space impacted by COVID-19. Improvements to meet health regulations and Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) (www.aoda.ca) compliance are also included.

The maximum grant available is $20,000. Further funding of up to $4,000, for a maximum grant of $24,000, is available for upgrades to meet accessibility standards. Applications will be accepted until Tuesday, February 28, or until funds are fully expended, whichever comes first.

Transit Expansion Construction Mitigation Grant Program Grants of up to $50,000 Applications now open: www.toronto.ca/business-economy/business-operation-growth/business-incentives/construction-mitigation-grant-program

In partnership with FedDev Ontario and Metrolinx, the City has launched a new Transit Expansion Construction Mitigation Grant Program for Business Improvement Areas (BIAs) (www.toronto.ca/business-economy/business-operation-growth/business-improvement-areas), non-profit organizations and charities demonstrating a strong local business involvement. This grant will provide funding for community-driven projects that address the unintended effects that transit construction can have on local businesses.

Organizations are eligible for grants of up to $50,000 for various initiatives, such as business engagement, area marketing and branding, creative event activations, research and needs assessment and beautification. Applications are being accepted until Thursday, March 2 or until funds are fully expended, whichever comes first.

Metrolinx’s contribution is dedicated specifically to supporting BIAs and businesses impacted by the Eglinton Crosstown Light Rail Transit (LRT) construction. To assist small businesses in Toronto in recovering from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government of Canada, through the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (www.feddevontario.gc.ca/eic/site/723.nsf/eng/home), is providing up to $18 million for seven inclusive and sustainable economic recovery projects. To date, the Toronto Main Street Recovery and Rebuild Initiative (MRRI) has committed funding to support 270 entrepreneurs, more than 360 businesses and 64 community organizations. More information about MRRI is available on the program webpage: www.toronto.ca/business-economy/business-operation-growth/business-incentives/toronto-main-street-recovery-and-rebuild-initiative.

The City and its partners offer free year-round learning opportunities for entrepreneurs, small business operators and staff. The City’s business webinars will improve your business knowledge and skills. More information is available on the City’s Business Webinar webpage: www.toronto.ca/business-economy/new-businesses-startups/training-support-for-business-start-ups/business-webinars/.

More information about the City’s wider small business supports is available at www.toronto.ca/BusinessSupport.

January 13, 2023

City of Toronto reminds homeowners to submit declaration of property occupancy status by February 2

The City of Toronto is reminding all homeowners to submit a declaration of their property’s 2022 occupancy status by Thursday, February 2 to determine if the property is subject to the new Vacant Home Tax.
Declarations of occupancy status should be made through the City’s secure online declaration portal at www.toronto.ca/VacantHomeTax.
Those who do not have access to a computer can authorize someone to act on their behalf to make the online submission. If required, homeowners can request a paper declaration form to complete and submit by mail by calling 311 (Tax & Utilities Inquiry Line).

The vast majority of Toronto property owners will not pay this tax. Homeowners who live in their own home, live in their own home but go to a vacation home during parts of the year snowbirds or work abroad, and those who rent out their property are not subject to the Vacant Home Tax. The City mailed notices of the declaration requirement to homeowners in December. The notices included the property owner’s assessment roll number and customer number – two pieces of information needed to make a declaration of occupancy status – as well as instructions on how to quickly and easily submit the declaration online. Homeowners can also find their assessment roll number and customer service number on their most recent property tax bill.

The goal of the Vacant Home Tax is not to drive revenue but to help address the housing shortage in Toronto by encouraging property owners to make their residential properties available for occupation or rent. Any revenues collected from the Vacant Home Tax will be allocated towards affordable housing initiatives.

A property is considered vacant if it was not used as the principal residence by the owner(s) or any permitted occupant(s) or was unoccupied for a total of six months or more during the previous calendar year. Properties may also be deemed vacant if an owner fails to make a declaration of occupancy status. There are a number of exemptions from the Vacant Home Tax, including properties undergoing renovations, homes where the principal resident is in long-term care and death of the registered owner.
Toronto City Council approved the Vacant Home Tax at its December 2021 meeting to address the housing crisis: https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/bylaws/2022/law0097.pdf.

In addition to the notice issued in December, the City sent information about the Vacant Home Tax to homeowners in multiple property tax bill and utility bill mailings. Another reminder notice will also be included in the interim property tax bill that will be mailed out this month.

Full details about the Vacant Home Tax, the available exemptions and how to make a submission is available on the City’s Vacant Home Tax webpage:
www.toronto.ca/VacantHomeTax.

December 21, 2022

Early Morning Robbery at Stok'd Cannabis Retail Store

Early Morning Robbery at Stok’d Cannabis Retail Store Scarborough, ON – This morning at 5 AM, Stok’d Cannabis Retail Store, a legal cannabis dispensary located at 2408 Kingston Road in Scarborough, was the victim of a smash-and-grab robbery.

Police arrived on the scene shortly after the robbery occurred and are currently investigating the incident. No one was injured during the robbery and the police are actively looking for the suspects. The store’s Director of Retail, Francesco, said the two suspects were wearing face coverings and stole a number of cannabis products while causing significant damage to the store. The incident was captured on video by the many cameras mounted in and outside the store. The front window was smashed, and the area in front of the store was covered with shattered glass.

The police are asking anyone who may have witnessed the robbery or has any information to contact them at Toronto Crime Stoppers (416) 222-8477.Stok’d Cannabis Retail Store is committed to providing a safe and secure shopping experience for our customers and staff. Stok’d is cooperating fully with the police investigation and hope the suspects are apprehended soon

November 13, 2022

WWII Commemorative Coin Youth Writing Contest

November 12, 2022

Remembrance Day at scarborough Cenetaph

November 10, 2022

Remembrance Day Activities at St. John Henry Newman

Students in the Leadership & Empowerment team at St. John Henry Newman contributed to community acknowledgement of “the fallen” this week by creating and displaying at Brimley Ave. and Kingston Rd. over 600 poppies that students made. The CSPC Leadership and Empowerment team was newly formed this year at Newman and is currently headed up by Gina Katounas. The L&E team provides opportunities to get students more involved in the school and in our community. To give students an opportunity to engage, influence, and inspire within the school, community, and parish. To empower students with their creativity and innovation. Events will be planned and executed by students but overseen by CSPC and staff. At the first meeting over 50 students showed interest in being involved with the L&E Team. The first team project called the Poppy Project was headed up by Keegan Baksh (Grade 11), Jenessa Katounas, and Maya Baksh (Grade 9). During a few lunch hours leading up to Remembrance Day the students volunteered to paint the Poppy plates. Over 20 students participated in placing the poppies on the school property in honour of Remembrance Day. This is a continuation of a tribute that was started at St. Agatha a few years ago. So proud of our students for their efforts and looking forward to their upcoming events!

November 9, 2022

City of Toronto releases 2023 winter program listings

Starting today, the City of Toronto’s 2023 winter recreation programs listings are available to view online to help Toronto residents prepare for registration on Tuesday, December 6.

Winter recreation programs begin on Monday, January 9 and run for nine weeks. This will be the first time the City has offered a full suite of winter recreation programs since 2020. This past winter, under provincial guidelines, in-person recreation programs were suspended to limit the transmission of COVID-19.

Registration for winter recreation programs starts at 7 a.m. on: Wednesday, December 7 – North York and Scarborough

The City will offer approximately 11,200 winter recreation programs with 112,000 spaces for programming in arts and sports such as skating, swimming, basketball, ballet, piano and yoga. The City is the largest provider of recreation programs for people of all ages, skill levels and interests.

Spaces are still available for Holiday CampTO, with camps set to run during the winter school break. More information is available on the City’s CampTO webpage: www.toronto.ca/explore-enjoy/recreation/campto/?accordion=holiday-campto.

Residents can visit the City’s Winter Recreation Programs webpage for the winter programming and registration information: www.toronto.ca/explore-enjoy/recreation/winter-recreation-programs.

The quickest and easiest way to register is online when registration opens on December 6. For in-person registration support, five community centre locations will be open on the following dates, 

Masaryk-Cowan Community Recreation Centre, 220 Cowan Ave.

Wednesday, December 7  Centennial Recreation Centre, 1967 Ellesmere Rd. 

Residents who need help preparing for registration can call 416-396-7378, Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The call centre will be open for extended hours on Monday, December 5, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Residents need a family and client number to sign up for recreation programs and are encouraged to have them ready before registration day. To get a client and family number, residents can set up a new account or retrieve their existing numbers by phone or online.

The City’s recreation programs are popular, and many have waiting lists. If registrants cannot attend their program, they are asked to contact their local community centre or call the customer service line at 416-396-7378 to cancel their registration so that a spot can be offered to someone else.

Discounts and free recreation programs Many community centres offer free recreation programs, including leisure swimming and drop-in programs for children, youth and older adults. Participants 60 years and older receive a 50 per cent discount on the regular price of adult recreation programs, excluding private, semi-private and small group lessons. More information about free programs and other subsidies for recreation programs is available on the City’s Free and Lower-Cost Recreation Options webpage: www.toronto.ca/explore-enjoy/recreation/free-lower-cost-recreation-options.

October 31, 2022

Halloween Events in the Community This Weekend

Variety Village Food Truck Festival

Guild Park & Gardens Halloween Haunt

West Rouge Community Centre Halloween Party

October 27, 2022

Young woman’s TikTok goes viral, warning others of Toronto-area taxi scam

When Saja Kilani posted her first TikTok video, she didn’t expect it to reach so many people.

But more than a million views later, the 24-year-old Toronto woman has managed to raise awareness of taxi scams after sharing her experience.

Last week, Kilani was approached in the city’s Yorkville neighbourhood by a young boy looking desperate and flushed. He asked her, “Could you help me? I just took this taxi but he only takes cards and I only have cash on me,” Kilani told Canada’s National Observer.

When Saja Kilani posted her first TikTok video, she didn’t expect it to reach so many people.

But more than a million views later, the 24-year-old Toronto woman has managed to raise awareness of taxi scams after sharing her experience.

Last week, Kilani was approached in the city’s Yorkville neighbourhood by a young boy looking desperate and flushed. He asked her, “Could you help me? I just took this taxi but he only takes cards and I only have cash on me,” Kilani told Canada’s National Observer.

What she did not expect was that her TikTok post would garner 1.2 million views, with thousands of people sharing similar stories and experiences in the comments. “I received a lot of comments from people thanking me for the awareness,” she said.

The majority of people who viewed her TikTok video are youth aged 16 to 25, Kilani said. “I think people my age are more inclined to react because we are not familiar with using cabs. Social media is a tool we can (use to) educate and look out for each other,” she said.

COVID-19 protocols and prepaid automated car services like Uber and Lyft make paying with a card easier, which is one of the reasons why Kilani said she didn’t think twice about helping. While the first thing an older crowd of people told Kilani was that cabs always take cash, she said: “Youth were more interested in commenting that they didn’t know that and were more thankful for sharing; that’s where the difference shows.”

Toronto police Const. Marco Ricciardi told CBC the service has seen a “pretty significant” increase in taxi scams. The force is reminding the public to be vigilant when using any type of public transport that results in debit or credit card transactions.

Since posting her video, Kilani is thankful the police have found the vehicle involved.

“I thought I was helping one young man, but I ended up helping a lot of people avoid this, which is the greatest takeaway from it,” she said.

“If you’re the driver and you’re seeing this, I bet you regret stopping me,” Kilani said in a second TikTok video.

Anyone who has information or believes they have been a victim of a taxi scam is urged to contact police at 416-808-4300 or reach out to Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-TIPS (8477) or at www.222tips.com.

Nairah Ahmed / Local Journalism Initiative / Canada’s National Observer

October 26, 2022

It's All Treats and No Tricks - Variety's Second Annual Food Truck Festival Is Back

Calling all witches and goblins! Variety Ontario, in partnership with Canadian Food Truck Festivals, is excited to announce the return of its 2nd annual Halloween Food Truck Festival. Join us from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday, October 29 and from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. on Sunday, October 30, at Variety Village, 3701 Danforth Avenue, Scarborough, Ontario, for some Halloween-themed fun!

Last year, the festival featured over 10 food trucks, 2,500 visitors and live musical entertainment throughout the two-day event.
The family-friendly, accessible 2-day Halloween event will once again be filled with food trucks, a craft vendor market, activities for children, and live entertainment. Attendees can enjoy the music while eating and enjoying a cold one thanks to the support of two local craft breweries: Saulter Street Brewing and Great Lakes Brewing.

Guests are encouraged to get creative for this community celebration and come in costume! The Variety costume contest will be returning once again. Offering various prizes for guests of every age. Don’t forget to include your fur family members; pet prizes will also be given away throughout the weekend.

Entrance to the festival is a minimum donation of $5 per person, and proceeds support Variety’s inclusive programming for individuals with disabilities across Ontario.

“Last year’s Food Truck Festival had a great turnout,” says President and CEO of Variety Ontario, Karen Stintz. “We loved seeing our local community dressed up in their costumes and enjoying themselves as a community again. This year we’ve got some new great additions, and we are hoping to see an even bigger turnout!”

In addition to the festival, Variety Village will host a FREE Open House inviting guests to use the 168,000 sq. ft. facility, take tours, and learn about our programming and services. Special membership discounts will be available over the two days of the festival.

When: Saturday, October 29: 11am – 8pm and Sunday, October 30: 11am – 5pm

October 26, 2022

Toronto Public Health's free flu vaccination campaign begins November 1

Today, Toronto Public Health (TPH) opened 4,000 new appointments for anyone age six months or older to get their free influenza (flu) vaccination. The thousands of appointments are the first batch open to all Toronto residents, with earlier influenza vaccination efforts focused on people living in high-risk congregate settings.

Free flu vaccines will be administered by appointment only starting on Tuesday, November 1 at all six TPH fixed-site immunization clinics. Additional appointments will be added weekly into November. Identification or a health card are not required. Appointments can be made using the TPH Appointment Booking System: www.tphbookings.ca.

Anyone five years of age or older will be offered both the COVID-19 vaccine and the flu vaccine at their appointment.

Flu activity has already started in Toronto. Cases are expected to increase as the weather gets colder and people spend more time indoors. TPH encourages everyone to get their free flu vaccine now to prevent infection and protect Toronto’s communities.

Toronto residents six months of age and older can also receive their flu vaccine through their primary care provider starting in November. Those older than two years of age are eligible to receive it at one of more than 700 participating pharmacies.

TPH launched this year’s annual influenza campaign by offering flu vaccinations to some of the city’s most vulnerable residents, such as individuals in retirement settings and to people experiencing homelessness and under-housed individuals (www.toronto.ca/news/toronto-public-health-launches-annual-influenza-vaccination-campaign-beginning-with-people-living-in-highest-risk-settings/).

Between the weeks of September 1 and October 15, TPH received reports of 119 laboratory-confirmed influenza cases and one influenza outbreak in a Toronto health care institution. This is higher than the pre-COVID-19 pandemic five-year average (2014/15 to 2018/19) of 14.4 influenza cases (range of five to 23 cases) and 0.4 institutional influenza outbreaks (range of zero to one outbreak) for the same time period. Updates on flu activity in Toronto are posted every Friday by 3 p.m. on the City of Toronto’s Information for Health Professionals webpage: www.toronto.ca/community-people/health-wellness-care/information-for-healthcare-professionals/communicable-disease-info-for-health-professionals/influenza-info-for-health-professionals/.

Tips for preventing the spread of influenza According to the Public Health Agency of Canada, flu, COVID-19 and other respiratory viruses spread very easily from person to person by droplets produced by coughing, sneezing or talking. A person may also get infected by touching a surface or object that has these viruses on it and then touching their own mouth, nose or eyes. The flu vaccine and a fall booster COVID-19 vaccine can protect against severe infection. Other ways to protect against the spread of respiratory viruses include the following:

• Clean your hands often

• Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unclean hands

• Wear a mask especially in indoor public settings or crowded places

• Socialize outdoors when possible

• Keep physical distance

• Cover your cough or sneeze

• Stay home if you are sick More actions to protect oneself, family and community can be found on the City’s Reduce Virus Spread Guide: www.toronto.ca/home/covid-19/covid-19-reduce-virus-spread/.

Influenza can spread to others before symptoms even appear. Typical flu symptoms can be similar to COVID-19 and other respiratory infections. Flu symptoms include the sudden onset of high fever, chills, sore throat, cough and muscle aches. Other common symptoms include headache, loss of appetite and feeling tired. Recovering from the flu usually takes seven to 10 days. For some people, the flu can worsen pre-existing medical conditions such as asthma or heart disease, or develop into more serious health problems such as pneumonia. In rare circumstances, influenza can be fatal.

People who are most vulnerable to severe effects of the flu include adults 65 years of age and older, individuals with chronic health conditions, those with neurologic or neurodevelopment conditions, residents of nursing homes and chronic care facilities, children six months to five years of age, pregnant individuals and Indigenous Peoples. More information about the flu is available on the City’s Flu Prevention webpage: www.toronto.ca/community-people/health-wellness-care/health-programs-advice/immunization/flu-influenza/.

September 28, 2022

SHN and U of T receive $75 million to enhance health care in Eastern GTA

Scarborough Health Network (SHN) and University of Toronto will announce at 2 p.m. ET today a transformational gift from Orlando Corporation to usher in a new era for equitable healthcare in the Eastern GTA, strengthen health training and clinical care and have long term widespread positive impact for communities across the region.

The $75 million donation supports capital redevelopment, mental health needs, and urgent priorities at SHN, as well as the construction of a state-of-the-art building for the new Scarborough Academy of Medicine and Integrated Health (SAMIH) at University of Toronto Scarborough.

WHAT THE GIFT SUPPORTS

The investment from Orlando Corporation will address the acute health care needs of Scarborough and the Eastern GTA by enhancing medical education, health infrastructure and clinical programs in the region, through:

$50 million to SHN

• The largest donation in SHN’s history will support the redevelopment of the Birchmount Hospital by supporting major renovations to the existing facility and building new infrastructure. Specifically:
o $25M will support the new Birchmount Hospital
o The Birchmount redevelopment will double its current patient bed capacity and build a new patient tower for critical care, which will put it at the forefront of equitable, leading-edge patient care for the growing community
o $10M will establish the Orlando Corporation Mental Health Centre of Excellence across SHN, removing barriers to mental health care and positioning SHN as a leader in compassionate and culturally-sensitive mental health care.
o $15M will support the areas of greatest needs across all 3 of SHN’s hospitals

$25 million to U of T

• The gift will support construction of a new academy of medicine and integrated health at U of T Scarborough.
• SAMIH will bring together U of T Scarborough, Temerty Faculty of Medicine, Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing and five hospital partners in Scarborough and the Eastern GTA to train health care professionals in the region.
o Scarborough Health Network is a leading hospital partner for SAMIH along with:
▪ Lakeridge Health
▪ Ontario Shores Centre of Mental Health Sciences

▪ Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
▪ Michael Garron Hospital

• SAMIH will:

Train 1,520 students per year, including physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, physical therapists and life sciences students
o Provide learners with local professional clinical experience through partnerships with hospitals and community-based health care organizations in Scarborough and the Eastern GTA
o Leverage expertise across multiple health professions, the humanities and social sciences.
o Work to understand the impacts of health and cultures and develop new ways to influence/evaluate health.

ABOUT THE LOVE, SCARBOROUGH CAMPAIGN
• The gift from Orlando Corporation contributes to the Love, Scarborough campaign, which highlights healthcare inequities in Scarborough
• More information: lovescarborough.ca

ABOUT THE DEFY GRAVITY CAMPAIGN
• This investment is a significant donation to Defy Gravity: The Campaign for the University of Toronto, which is harnessing the power of U of T’s global community to address some of the most urgent issues of our time.
• More information: defygravitycampaign.utoronto.ca

September 28, 2022

Nuit Blanche returns for 2022

Navigating the art by neighbourhood Nuit Blanche 2022 will be the most expansive version to date, with exhibition areas city-wide. Art projects will be clustered in easy-to-navigate exhibition areas making exploring the event more convenient for audiences. Art projects will also be presented in various neighbourhoods, including Don Mills, East Danforth, Bloor-Yorkville, Sterling Road and Fort York.

Downtown The heart of Nuit Blanche will take over Yonge Street for one night. From Dundas Street down to the lake and across to Harbourfront, art enthusiasts will experience over 35 new artworks.

Downtown sites include Yonge-Dundas Square, the ArtworxTO South Hub at Union Station and Harbourfront Centre. Featured projects include a massive installation on the side of the Deloitte building on 8 Adelaide St. W., a 60-foot-wide water screen at the foot of Yonge Street and a 200-foot high light tipi on Nathan Phillips Square.

Event goers can collect a map at Event Centres located at 160 Yonge St., 88 Queens Quay W., 11 Colonel Samuel Smith Park Dr., Mel Lastman Square and Albert Campbell Square or from other information centres where volunteers can help.

Outside of the downtown core Other exhibition areas include: • Scarborough: 15 new art projects are located in and around the Scarborough Civic Centre and Scarborough Town Centre • North York: 10 new art projects are located in and around the North York City Centre, Mel Lastman Square and the Meridian Centre for the Performing Arts • Etobicoke: 14 new projects are located in and around the Humber College Lakeshore Campus and Samuel Smith Park

Dawn art experience People who want to avoid the crowds or are more of an early bird than a night owl can choose a more intimate Nuit Blanche experience by attending from 4 to 7 a.m. on Sunday, October 2. 

More information about participating artists, Nuit Podcasts and the complete event programming is available on the City’s Nuit Blanche webpage: www.toronto.ca/nuitblanche. The Nuit Blanche webpage offers an interactive location-based event map for enhanced event navigation and details on exhibition locations, project descriptions, road closures, TTC information, and more.

TTC

In addition to the regular all-night Blue Night Network service, the TTC will run subway service all night on Line 1 Yonge-University, Line 2 Bloor-Danforth, Line 3 Scarborough and Line 4 Sheppard. Day passes purchased on October 1 will be valid until 7 a.m. on October 2. Free entry is available at North York Centre Station and Scarborough Centre Station from 7 p.m. October 1 to 7 a.m. October 2. Customers will need to pick up a paper transfer from these stations as proof of payment.

GO Transit GO

Transit will operate regularly scheduled service during Nuit Blanche this year. While there will not be any additional late-night rail service available, those wishing to experience art all night may still take advantage of the $10 or $15 GO Transit Weekend Passes. For more information on weekend passes, visit the GO Transit website: www.gotransit.com/en/travelling-with-us/promotions-and-events/weekend-passes-with-go.

Parking

A list of Green P parking lots available during Nuit Blanche can be found at https://parking.greenp.com/.

Event road closures

Partial and full road closures will be in effect all weekend. Major downtown roads impacted will include parts of Bay Street, Queen Street, Yonge Street and the eastbound Yonge Street off-ramp from the Gardiner Expressway. This is due to expected event attendance and to improve free-flowing access to the art projects, giving pedestrians safe and easy access. Those planning to attend Nuit Blanche are encouraged to ride public Transit or use alternative options such as cycling and Bike Share. If you need to drive, check the road restrictions map and plan to avoid areas with road closures or high traffic volumes. The following road restrictions will be in place: Thursday, September 29 at 9 p.m. to Sunday, October 2 at 2 p.m.: • Temperance Street between Yonge Street and Bay Street and Colborne Street between Yonge Street and Scott Street will have local traffic only along a portion of the roadways. Friday, September 30 at 9 p.m. to Sunday, October 2 at 11 a.m.: • Yonge Street will be closed between Dundas Street and Queens Quay. East-west traffic will be maintained at major intersections along the stretch • Queen Street will be closed between York Street and Bay Street and between Bay Street and Victoria Street Friday, September 30 at 6 p.m. to Sunday, October 2 at 11 a.m.: • Westbound Gardiner Expressway exit 154 to Yonge Street will be closed • Esplanade Street will be closed between Yonge Street and Scott Street, with local traffic only along a portion of the road Saturday, October 1 at 10 a.m. to Sunday, October 2 at 10 a.m.: • Road closures and restrictions will be in place on Bay Street between Dundas Street West and Richmond Street West, including Albert Street and James Street. Hagerman Street will also be closed • Queens Quay West will be closed between York Street and Bay Street, with local traffic only along a portion of the road A complete list of road closures and restrictions is available on the City’s road restrictions webpage: https://www.toronto.ca/services-payments/streets-parking-transportation/road-restrictions-closures/restrictions-map.

Tree Ribbon Campaign Part 2

September 19, 2022

Memorial for HRH Queen Elizabeth II

September 18, 2022

Terry Fox Run Cedarbrooke Park

September 18, 2022

Mayor Tory in Scarborough South West

September 17, 2022

Scarborough Village Community Garden Harvest

September 16, 2022

Sunnypoint Nature Stewards

September 15, 2022

Scarborough Walk of Fame

September 3, 2022

BuskerFest

August 31, 2022

Extend the Bloor/Danforth Bike Lanes

By: Steven Glassman

It was odd being on a subway car that was going in reverse, but there was an emergency on the tracks ahead of us. Since I had my bike with me, upon return to Victoria Park station, I figured that I could avoid the chaos associated with shuttle buses, and cycle to the next station that was functioning down the # 2 line.

After negotiating my way down to the Danforth, I was delighted to see the bike lane extended another half a kilometer from Dawes, to Vic Park. Heading west on a nice day at the end of June, I passed sections that were still being worked on. Still, I cycled with a sense of safety to the subway station open at Greenwood. Really it was more than a sense of safety, it felt like paradise to be able to cycle without the nagging fear of death on the street.

This short extension of the Bloor/Danforth bike lane has been anticipated for a couple of years now. It happens to terminate at the end of one of our city wards. It makes no sense to end abruptly just past the busy intersection of Danforth and Victoria Park. The benefits to the community, including residents and businesses in the area that starts at Victoria Park, the “Crossroads”, are well known. Extending the bike path through to Kingston Road is the next logical step we must take. There are students, residents, and commuters who are at risk in cycling this stretch of Kingston Road- it’s a known speedway with dangerous intersections. Bike lanes and other road reengineering steps will bring down speeds in ways that reducing posted limits have failed to accomplish. Let’s continue to build complete streets and complete neighbourhoods.

Happily, I am not alone in my sentiments. Road safety is one of the top concerns in our area and will be an important factor in the October election. And an ad hoc group has assembled to gain support for extending the bike lanes, improving safety for all road users, and beautifying Kingston Road. The group “Bells on Kingston” has organized several rides to build awareness in the community- with more continuing into September and the fall. Follow Bells on Kingston’s Twitter for events, and https://bellsonkingston.ca/ Let them know your thoughts.

(On September 18th there will be a group ride along with a talk about the history of cycling in Toronto. U of T Scarborough campus was a leader in the renaissance of cycling in the early 70s.)

August 21, 2022

Man wanted in kidnapping investigation, Guildwood Parkway and Kingston Road Update, Photograph of the victim released

The Toronto Police Service requests the public’s assistance locating a man wanted in a kidnapping investigation.

On Thursday, August 18, 2022, at 12:02 p.m., officers responded to calls for a suspicious incident in the Guildwood Parkway and Kingston Road area.

It is reported that:

– a woman was walking along the sidewalk

– she was approached by a man in a car

– he blocked the sidewalk off with his car

– he grabbed the woman and forced her into the car

– he fled the area with the woman in the car

He is described as 20-30, with a light complexion, black hair, and a beard or goatee. He was wearing a light coloured shirt, and an off white cap. He was believed to be driving a white two or four door car with a blue emblem on the rear.

The woman is described as 20-30, with long dark hair. She was carrying a bag.

Police are concerned for the woman’s safety.  Anyone with information, or dashcam or security camera video of the incident, is asked to contact police.

Anyone with information is asked to contact police at 416-808-4300, Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-TIPS (8477), or at www.222tips.com.

The Toronto Police Service requests the public’s assistance locating a woman believed to have been kidnapped.

On Thursday, August 18, 2022, at 12:02 p.m., officers responded to calls about a suspicious incident in the Guildwood Parkway and Kingston Road area.

Investigators have released a photograph of the woman who may have been kidnapped. Anyone who can identify her or has information about this incident is asked to contact investigators.

Anyone with information is asked to contact police at 416-808-4300, Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-TIPS (8477), or at www.222tips.com.

Aug 16, 2022

GOing Places Camp Members

Camp Evolve Members

By: Saadia Khan

The West Rouge Soccer Club is a non-profit organization in Scarborough dedicated to providing any person regardless of ability, the opportunity to participate in organized soccer activities at recreational and competitive levels.

The WRSC promotes technical and tactical soccer skills, physical and mental development, self-confidence, teamwork and respect of self and others, all within the spirit of the game of soccer in order to facilitate all individuals to reach their potential.

This summer, the WRSC conducted two unique summer programs; GOing Places and Camp Evolve. GOing Places is a girls-only soccer camp developed by and delivered by girls, for girls. It aims to bridge the gaps between gender stereotypes in sports and provide an equitable, safe, and fun opportunity to increase the participation of girls in physical activity settings. GOing Places is grounded in a gender-equity approach and is a tailored opportunity for girls to gain confidence and competence in social and sports settings. The philosophy at GOing Places is to create space for girls to engage with and share positive sport experiences, and to inspire them to pursue existing and emerging sport opportunities with confidence and passion. GOing Places offers both half-day and full-day camps for its participants and is led by Camp Director Anika.

Camp Evolve is an activity-based development camp presented by the WRSC that fosters an environment for participants growth using a health and physical activity framework. This helps participants develop essential fundamental movement, social, and creative thinking skills, with a focus on cooperative games and community building. The philosophy at Camp Evolve is to focus on the individuality of each participant and provide an engaging, fun, and inclusive environment for their development. Camp Evolve offers both half-day and full-day camps for its participants and is led by Camp Director Dylan.

The WRSC values child safety above everything else, and hopes to create an engaging, positive, and fun-filled environment for all of its participants. We look forward to having more children participate in these camps, and we hope to create a memorable experience for them.

Visit https://www.westrougesoccer.ca/ for more information.

Follow us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, TikTok: @westrougesoccer

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