The Front Page

Thursday May 23, 2024

Group Bike Ride for a Safer Danforth Ave. & Kingston Rd

Scarborough Deserves Safer Streets Now!

SCARBOROUGH – Local residents will join together this Sunday May 26 in a family friendly group bike ride to show Mayor Chow and City Council it’s crucial Toronto moves forward with the Danforth Kingston Complete Street Extension now.

Group Bike Ride for a Safer Danforth Ave. & Kingston Rd.
Date: Sunday, May 26, 2024
Time: 10:30 AM
Start: East Lynn Park (on Danforth Ave., west of Woodbine Ave.) End: Scotia Parkette (on Danforth Ave., east of Warden Ave.)

Supporters say this project will make Danforth Ave. & Kingston Rd. safer for everyone, better for local businesses, and make our community healthier and more sustainable. The ride itself will highlight the contrast between the existing complete street along Danforth Ave. west of Victoria Park Ave. that immediately transforms into a hostile, uninviting, and dangerous highway in Scarborough.

Approved by City Council back in 2021 and originally scheduled for completion by 2024, yesterday’s Cycling Network Plan staff report confirms that this much-delayed project faces an even more delayed installation timeline, possibly 2027 or even later. That report will be discussed at Toronto’s Infrastructure and Environment Committee on Tuesday, May 28.

“I live in Oakridge with my partner. We walk, bike and take transit in the area, and it’s obvious how much more dangerous Danforth Ave is once you cross Victoria Park on the east side. Those of us that live here in Scarborough deserve safe and complete streets, too.” – Laura Klamot

“Living in Cliffside, this street is my connection to the Danforth and the rest of Toronto. We walk this route, but it’s a bit far on foot, especially with kids. If we had bike lanes like the rest of Danforth we would visit far more often. It would make me feel much more connected to the city. Right now I feel like it’s too dangerous for me, never mind the kids.” – Tristan Ridley

“I live in Oakridge, less than 1500 metres from the closest grocery store. I don’t feel safe visiting that store on foot or by bike so I usually end up driving. How is Toronto supposed to meet its TransformTO climate goal of 75% of short trips completed without a car when our outdated street designs are so hostile to walking and cycling? Scarborough needs complete streets, like the one proposed for Danforth and Kingston, so people have the choice to safely walk or bike for short journeys like my regular trips to the grocery store.” – Dan M

“I walked on Kingston Rd everyday when I was in high school and it was always a frightening experience. Now, as a university student biking on Danforth, I still have a terrifying feeling until I pass west of Victoria Park. Everyone in Scarborough should be able to use our roads without fear for their safety. We deserve a community that is connected by safe and accessible streets.” – Francesca Policarpio 

Tuesday May 21, 2024

Housing Industry Titans Gather In Scarborough To Tackle Affordable Housing

Toronto May 17th, 2024 – Thousands will gather in Scarborough starting Friday May 24th for the 3 day  Affordable Housing Summit, Supply Chain Expo and Skilled Trades Career Fair, at The University of Toronto, Scarborough campus (UTSC) 1265 Military Trail, Scarborough, ON M1C 1A4 from May 24th – 26th, 2024. 

The summit will showcase housing innovations in areas such as mass timber, construction robotics, advanced building materials, AI, modular and 3D printing. Key community stakeholders such as Home Depot, The United Way, CMHC, Rescon, EllisDon Community Builders, the Altus Group, HousingNowTO, Centennial College, City of Toronto, Toronto Transit Commission, and the University of Toronto – EaRTH District and more will convene in an effort to demystify Canada’s housing challenges and foster innovative solutions. 

“We’re here to engage in dialogue aimed at finding solutions to the housing crisis. With over 2000 registered participants it’s clear housing is a hot topic in this country ” says Shawn Allen, President of the Scarborough Business Association and Founder of Matrix Cares Community Projects, the event organizer.

“There are many opportunities for affordable rental apartment developments on government-owned lands in Scarborough – and we are grateful to be able to show these sites to local leaders who can help to deliver solutions within Scarborough’s growing transit-oriented communities.”, says Mark Richardson, Technical Lead at HousingNowTO.

“The housing crisis is a shared problem amongst the whole community, we need to ensure we share in the solutions”, says Pickering Mayor Kevin Ashe. 

Schedule: 

Friday, May 24 5:30pm: VIP Launch  Keynote with Mayor Olivia Chow – Scarborough Golf and Country Club, 321 Scarborough Golf Club Rd

Saturday, May 25 11:00am: Supply Chain Expo Over 70 vendors will showcase sustainable and innovative products shaping the future of housing, UTSC

Sunday, May 26 7:30am; Affordable Housing Bus Tourpresented by HousingNowTO sponsored by the TTC will visit 4 affordable housing sites in Scarborough, UTSC

Sunday, May 26 12:00pm: Skilled Trades Career Fair presented by the Scarborough Business Association will showcase several local employers looking to fill hundreds of positions, UTSC

Session and keynotes featuring: MP Gary Anandasangaree, MPP Michael Tibbolo, MPP Charmaine Williams, Richard Lyall, Anthony Furey, Ian Jones, Nick Gefucia, Kayla Andrade, Rosemarie Powell, Mike Yorke, Manny Sousa, Dave Hardy, Marlon Bray, Alex Ab lorwerth, Larry Whatmore, Neel Joshi, Mark Richardson, Utcha Sawyers, John Stapleton. 

About Matrix Cares

Matrix Cares creates awareness and drives change in the community by hosting staple events such as the Toronto Business Summit and the Affordable Housing Summit to address local needs and support anchor institutions. These events provide a platform for networking, collaboration, and fundraising to benefit the community. Additionally, Matrix Cares is involved in community development, education, health, and other philanthropic efforts to create a positive impact on communities. Through these initiatives, Matrix Cares aims to support various causes and contribute to the betterment of the community.

Friday May 17, 2024

Summer McIntosh shatters world record on Day 4 of Olympic Trials

Leg 1 Butterfly                                                                                                                                                      Leg 2 Back Stroke

Leg 3 Breast Stroke                                                                                                                                                     Leg 4 Free

  • TORONTO – Summer McIntosh put an exclamation point on the midway mark of the Olympic & Paralympic Swimming Trials, Presented by Bell, annihilating her own world record in the women’s 400-m individual medley Thursday.   

    It was already the third qualifying time of the week for the 17-year-old phenom, who opened the meet with a win in the 400 freestyle Monday before triumphing in the 200 free on Day 2. 

    The competition runs through Sunday at the Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre, with the Canadian teams for Paris 2024 set to be announced officially at the end of the final evening. 

    The two-time world champion in the 400 IM, McIntosh was just under world-record pace at mid-race and picked it up in the breaststroke to open a two-second gap with 100 metres to go.  

    She touched the wall in 4:24.38, almost a second and a half under the previous world standard of 4:25.87 she had set at last year’s world championships trials, also at the TPASC. 

    Finishing in second place was 18-year-old Ella Jansen from the High Performance Centre – Ontario, who missed the Olympic qualifying time of 4:38.53 by 35 hundredths of a second. 

    “I was really just focusing on having fun with the race and kind of taking it 100 metres at a time because it’s a pretty mentally challenging race,” said McIntosh, a Torontonian who trains with the Sarasota Sharks in Florida.  

    “I wasn’t really focused on the time. I mean, obviously, I’m very grateful that I was able to break my world record,” she said. “Overall I’m really happy.” 

    McIntosh said the support from the home crowd helped push her towards the finish line. 

    “With so many Canadians in the stands, I can feel their support and I can hear them cheering during my race and it really keeps me going. I mean, if they weren’t there, I don’t think I would have the 4:25 world record in the first place, let alone this one tonight.  

    “Whenever I get to race in front of a big crowd, I think it really gives me a lift. Just that complete adrenaline rush is awesome.” 

    Four other athletes qualified under Priority 1 to be nominated to the Olympic Team as first and second-place swimmers achieving the qualifying time on Thursday, including Toronto’s Josh Liendo and Yuri Kisil of Calgary’s Cascade Swim Club in the men’s 100 free, as well as Kylie Masse of La Salle, Ont., and Regan Rathwell from Greater Ottawa Kingfish in the women’s 200 backstroke.  

    For his part, as the third-place finisher in the men’s 100 free, HPC-Vancouver’s Finlay Knox qualified to be considered for nomination as a relay-only swimmer for the second time this week. 

    Fourth-place finisher Javier Acevedo from HPC-Ontario, who posted an individual qualifying time in the 100 back on Day 2, will also be considered for nomination for the 4×100 free.  

    Up to 12 relay-only positions will be filled based on the combined times of the Top 4 in each potential relay event. While Swimming Canada has qualified all seven Olympic relays, relay-only swimmers will be nominated in priority order based on this ranking. 

    Liendo won the 100 free in 47.55 to tie his personal best that earned him a bronze medal at the 2022 worlds. It is the second fastest time in Canadian history, trailing only Brent Hayden’s mark of 47.27, which has stood since 2009. 

    Kisil clocked 48.19, Knox followed in 48.29 – also under the qualifying time – and Acevedo rounded out the Top 4 in 48.58. 

    “Just execute. I was more focused on execution,” said Liendo, who, along with Kisil, was part of the Canadian relay that finished fourth and missed bronze by 0.60 seconds at Tokyo 2020. “I can usually just go and like, swim it out, but I really wanted to make sure I executed my details.  

    “I wasn’t kind of over-swimming it, just kind of want to stay calm, be in that moment, so I think I handled that pretty well.” 

    Kisil, a 28-year-old from Calgary who made his Olympic debut at Rio 2016, was thrilled to get another shot after coming so close to the podium in the Japanese capital. Thursday’s final was the second-best performance ever for the veteran, who has battled injuries since Tokyo and took a long break away from training.  

    “We’ve been hungry for this. Ever since we got fourth in the last Olympics, we weren’t happy with that. We want more. We want better,” Kisil said.  

    In the women’s 200 back final, Masse, already qualified with Wednesday’s 100 back win, cruised to victory in 2:06.24. It was her best performance in the event since she claimed Olympic silver in a Canadian record time of 2:05.42 in Tokyo. 

    Rathwell, a 20-year-old from Ashton, Ont., who has overcome a string of injuries in recent years, followed in a personal best 2:09.38. 

    “We’ll have to take a technical look at it with the coaches and the video and check my splits and everything, but I really can’t complain with the last two days,” said Masse, a two-time Olympian and four-time Olympic medallist. 

    “It’s a massive step forward from where I was last year and I know I still have work to do. And I know my competitors around the world are putting in the work and they still have trials to come, but I’m just focusing on myself and looking to build off the last two days.” 

    “Every swim I do now is a bonus after being out of the water for so long. I’m really appreciating the sport more and more and just doing it for the enjoyment,” said Rathwell. “Halfway through the race I was kind of like, OK, you know what, I feel good, let’s give this a real go.” 

    In the last Olympic program final of the evening, Timothé Barbeau from Neptune Natation in Montreal won the men’s 800 free in a personal best 8:00.61, over the qualifying time. 

    In Para swimming, veteran Aurélie Rivard from Club de Natation Région de Québec and newcomer Sebastian Massabie from the Pacific Sea Wolves Swim Club posted “A” qualifying times to put themselves in position to be nominated to the Paralympic Team (subject to slot allocations of 15 women and seven men).  

    Rivard, who had already swum a qualifying time in the 400 freestyle the night before, won Thursday’s women’s 100 free multiclass final in 1:00.19. 

    The 28-year-old from Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Que., is the reigning two-time Paralympic champion in the S10 class and set the world record of 58.14 in Tokyo. 

    “I’m a little disappointed with the time tonight because I was hoping to go faster,” said Rivard, who is also the reigning three-time world champion in the event. “But, honestly, it was still a great experience. I’m looking forward to working on the details that I missed tonight to do better this summer.” 

    Also in the women’s 100 free multiclass final, while they fell short of the qualifying time, two athletes set national marks, including Tess Routliffe of Montreal’s HPC-Quebec in the S7 category (1:12.95) and Shelby Newkirk of the Saskatoon Lasers in the S6 class (1:13.68).   

    In the men’s 100 free, Massabie, a 19-year-old from Surrey, B.C., triumphed in 1:25.07, after setting a Canadian S4 record of 1:23.88 in the morning preliminaries. 

    Reid Maxwell from the Edmonton Keyano Swim Club was over the S8 qualifying time despite setting a national standard of 1:00.23. 

    A total of 857 athletes from 151 clubs across the country are competing to represent Canada at the Olympic Games (July 26-Aug. 11) and Paralympic Games (Aug. 28-Sept. 8) in Paris. Teams for the Junior Pan Pacific Championships (Aug. 21-24) in Canberra, Australia, and Open Water Junior World Championships (Sept. 6-8) in Alghero, Italy, are also being selected. 

    Preliminary heats are at 9:30 a.m. ET each day, with finals sessions set for 6 p.m.  

Thursday May 16,, 2024

Celebrate the Victoria Day long weekend with family friendly activities

The City of Toronto is once again offering a wide range of fun activities and attractions for residents and visitors to enjoy during the Victoria Day long weekend.

Victoria Day Fireworks at Ashbridges Bay Park

The City’s fireworks display will be held at Ashbridges Bay Park on Monday, May 20, at 10 p.m. The show will feature beautiful fireworks and a spectacular finale. Ashbridges Bay Park is located on Lake Shore Boulevard East at the foot of Coxwell Avenue and is accessible by public transit. Attendees are encouraged to use public transit and leave personal vehicles at home. Information about TTC schedules, routes and expanded long weekend service is available on the TTC’s webpage: www.ttc.ca/.

Important reminder about fireworks

Fireworks on Victoria Day and Canada Day are allowed until 11 p.m. without a permit for residents on private property. Fireworks are not permitted in City parks or on beaches, balconies, streets, parking lots or property that is not owned by the person setting off the fireworks.

Fireworks should be handled and supervised by adults 18 years of age or older. People under 18 years old are not permitted to discharge fireworks. Those setting off fireworks must be mindful of their surroundings and not discharge fireworks where they may be a nuisance or pose a risk of fire, injury or damage to any person or property.

The City’s bylaw enforcement officers and Toronto Police Services will be patrolling various parks and waterfront areas to ensure compliance with the Fireworks Bylaw. The misuse or illegal sale of fireworks can be reported to 311 by phone or by submitting a service request at www.toronto.ca/311. In the event of a fire, call 9-1-1.

Safe fireworks disposal

Those choosing to set off fireworks on their own private property must also safely dispose the fireworks as improper disposal can cause fires in waste collection vehicles and at facilities.

To dispose of used or unused fireworks, completely submerge the fireworks in water and soak them overnight. Put the soaked fireworks in a plastic bag to keep them from drying out and dispose of them in your Garbage Bin. Never put used or unused fireworks in the Blue Bin.

More information about fireworks rules, safety tips and proper disposal is available on the City’s fireworks webpage: www.toronto.ca/fireworks.

Tuesday May 14, 2024

City of Toronto launches online listing of summer recreation programs

To help residents plan and prepare to register next month, the City of Toronto has published a full list of its summer recreation programming.

The City’s summer programming begins on Tuesday, July 2 and runs until Friday, August 30. Residents can learn more about registration dates in their area and find program and registration information on the City’s Summer Recreation Program webpage: https://www.toronto.ca/explore-enjoy/recreation/summer-recreation-programs/

The City is Toronto’s largest provider of recreation programs for people of all ages, skill levels and interests. Approximately 9,300 registered courses with close to 75,000 spaces will be offered including arts and crafts, yoga and fitness, general interests, sports, and swimming.

Registration for summer recreation programs starts at 7 a.m. on the following dates:

• June 5 – North York and Scarborough

Residents who need help preparing for registration can call 416-396-7378, Monday to Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The call centre will be open for extended hours on Monday, June 3, from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. and from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. on both registration days. Registration for After-School Recreation Care programs for the 2024/2025 school year will begin on June 7, at 7 a.m. Call centre support will be available from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Summer day camp spaces still available

Spaces are still available at many locations for in-person Summer CampTO programs, which includes programs at the Toronto District School Board’s Forest Valley Outdoor Education Centre, home to Environmental Adventure for more than 65 years.

Set on 55 acres of conservation land, this summer day camp allows attendees to learn about and appreciate the natural environment. The camp features workshops, themed days and activities that may include hiking, archery, nature exploration, ecology, outdoor cooking, swimming, sports and the arts. In addition to in-person programming, the City also offers Virtual Adapted CampTO programming that Torontonians can take part in from home with family and friends. Creative and active fun activities are led by qualified staff with a wide range of options including science, storytelling, crafts, games, dance, cooking and music activities.  

For information on these programs as well as others with spaces available this summer, visit the City’s Camps webpage: https://www.toronto.ca/explore-enjoy/recreation/campto/

 

Friday May 10, 2024

Annual Chinese Radiothon surpasses goal, raising $220,340 for Scarborough Health Network

Scarborough, ON, May 10, 2024 – Scarborough Health Network Foundation (SHN Foundation) is thrilled to announce that the 2024 Chinese Radiothon raised $220,340, exceeding its fundraising goal of $200,000. This event held on April 18 was presented by Scarborough Area No Frills and broadcast live on Sing Tao A1 Chinese Radio AM 1540.

The Radiothon supports various priority projects within Scarborough hospitals including the development of a world-class diagnostic imaging department opening this year and the ongoing Love, Scarborough campaign.

“We are profoundly grateful to the Chinese community and all our donors, volunteers, and sponsors for their overwhelming support,” says Linda Tse, Director of Development, SHN Foundation. “This event not only brought our community together but also significantly pushed us closer to our goal of equitable healthcare for all residents of Scarborough.”

The Radiothon featured special guest appearances by best-selling author Dr. Jason Fung, who shared insights into diabetes management and weight loss, Dr. Raymond Ng, who discussed his pioneering work in early detection of nasal cancer, and Dr. Paul Tam, who highlighted advancements in dialysis treatment. Mayor Olivia Chow shared a special welcome video message in English and Cantonese.


Richard Rivera, Franchise Owner, and spokesperson for the Scarborough Area No Frills, emphasized the importance of community support healthcare close to home, “Being part of this community and contributing to its wellbeing through events like the Radiothon is a core value of ours. We are proud to help enhance access to healthcare for everyone in Scarborough.

 

SHN Foundation’s Chinese Radiothon has become a signature event within the Chinese community in Scarborough. Thanks to the incredible support of the community, this annual event has raised nearly $2 million for Scarborough hospitals – Birchmount, Centenary, and General. Learn more at SHNFoundation.ca/Radiothon

Friday May 10, 2024

13 Years of Arts, Culture and Community! Afro-Carib Fest – Celebrating Our Diversity

  • Toronto, Ontario  –  May 20, 2024 –  The award-winning Afro-Carib Fest (ACF) announces its exciting return to Scarborough’s Thomson Memorial Park on August 24th and 25th, 2024, from 12 pm to 9 pm.
     
    The 13th annual Afro-Carib Fest promises to engage attendees with an unforgettable experience; including exciting live performances from over 80 local and international artists, a cultural parade, a kids and family zone, a Mr & Mrs Afro-Carib Fest showcase, show-stopping dance competitions with cash prizes, raffle draws with amazing prizes. The event will also feature an interactive drum and dance circle, a busting Afro-Caribbean marketplace with over 70 diverse vendors, as well as an exciting opening ceremony featuring Ontario MPs, MPPs, Councilors, Ministers, and local community leaders.

    More Than Just a Festival:

    ACF is a free, community-building event that welcomes over 30,000 people through a celebration of cultural diversity, fostering unity and inclusivity for national and international tourists, families, and individuals of all ages, ethnicities, genders and abilities.

    Throughout its 13-year history, Afro-Carib Fest has become vital in bringing together hundreds of thousands of individuals to experience diverse cultures. It has showcased over 2,000 local and international artists and contributed to the economic vitality of Ontario through partnerships with over 450 local businesses, corporations, and community organizations over the years. 

    Afro Carib Fest is the first festival of its kind to join African and Caribbean cultures together, in celebration of the heritage, arts, culture and food of the African and Caribbean communities in Canada. This year promises an exciting lineup of cultural, traditional and award-winning artists ( to be announced soon) and amazing activities for the entire family.
    For more information about us, please visit afrocaribfestival.com

    To Participate as a Sponsor or Vendor, please visit our website or contact us at: info@afrocaribfestival.com
     

  • We look forward to welcoming you to capture and experience the magic of Afro-Carib Fest 2024!

    About Heritage Skills Development Centre (HSDC)

    This dynamic festival is a critical outreach tool for Heritage Skills Development Centre (HSDC), a non-profit organization founded in 1993 to help bridge the gap in the integration services available to new immigrants, refugees, low-income, racialized, and marginalized groups in the Greater Toronto Area. HSDC assists families in building stronger foundations through integrative capacity building and empowering social programs and services. For more information about us, please visit: www.hsdconline.org 

Wednesday May 8, 2024

RCL Branch 13 Fundraiser

Written by Gerard Arbor

  • Royal Canadian Legion Scarboro Branch #13 is located at 1577 Kingston Road in Toronto. In 2022, R.CL. #13’s building celebrated 100 years. In 2024, the branch has been challenged with many expensive maintenance bills that come due with having a century old building. Approximately $3000 was required for exterior wall repairs, $3000 for fire safety upgrades, $5000 will be required for new flooring, and over $14,000 for roof repairs. The hall’s antiquated furnace is also in its final year of service, and in need of replacement.

    R.C.L. Scarboro #13 has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars over the years with its annual Poppy Funds and internally driven Lottery Funds. These funds, as mandated, go directly to needy organizations that serve our Veterans and local Community, and are not used in any way for Legion benefit.

    Throughout the pandemic, the R.C.L. Branch #13 asked for help and were thankful to receive Community support with many successful Bottle Drive fund raiser events. It is at this time the branch asks for Community help in raising $30,000 that will be directed towards the pressing needs of our building maintenance. This will help us to remain a vital Community hub (hopefully for another 100 years!) for local gatherings and to be a continuing source of fund raising support for charitable causes that benefit our veterans as well as local Community.

    This GoFundMe campaign is registered on behalf of the Executive of R.C.L. Scarboro Branch #13, submitted by Gerard T. Arbour, Membership Chair.

    Thank you for consideration.

Tuesday May 7, 2024

Coyotes - Cats and Puppies.

Written by M. Rose Everatt

A serious of frightening photos recently appeared on the Birchcliff Facebook group. It showed night vision camera’s capturing coyotes praying on our pets. This is a serious issue for pet owners. What is the cause of this new predator suddenly appearing on the scene, and killing our beloved pets.

One possible answer, is that as more and more of our green spaces, fields and thickets are being demolished by developers, the wildlife is being displaced. This is forcing coyotes to move into urban areas. As the number of coyotes in the city increases, pet owners are becoming concerned for the safety of their animals.

According to the City of Toronto statistic, sightings of coyotes is increasing in number every year.

The Canadian Press, announced that in January 2023, that there were 252 reported sittings in the GTA in just one month. So, what does this mean for pet owners?

Research has indicated that the diet of coyotes is changing. The natural diet of the coyote is rabbit, racoon, rats, mice and if they can catch them, birds. Unfortunately, as coyotes are adapting to unban living, and with the easy accessibility of cats in urban areas has led coyotes to add cats to their diet. The various studies on urban coyotes done throughout North America has shown, that when coyotes migrated from the forests and fields, into unban cities, cats became part of their diet. This is because there are more coyotes that need food, and cats are readily available and easy to catch pray (Gammon K. April 2019 Los Angeles, Grubbs and krausman 2009). This is a concern for cat owners, however, small dogs are also in danger.

Over the past few years there have been eye witness and photographic reports of coyotes attacking small dogs. Researches have summed this up to a case of mistaken identity. They suggest that the small furry pets may be mistaken by young coyotes, who are just learning to hunt, as a squirrels or a rabbits. Many pet owners don’t buy into that because clearly the dog was on a leash. Research has proven without a doubt why a coyote would attack a dog on a leash.

Firstly, coyotes have been separated from humans for thousands of years. Because of this, they have no natural fear of humans, nor are they interested in us as pray. Secondly, research have found that all canines, this includes dogs, wolves and coyotes have a “poor spacial sense” (Yvette Van Veen, November 23, 2013). This means, that the way a canine’s brains developed, they cannot comprehend the leash. For example, that’s why a dog will wrap its leash around the owner on walks, or will not move out of the way when on walks and a pole comes in between the owner, and the dog. Canines simply don’t have the brain capacity to “see” the leash. This includes the coyote. All it sees is a small tasty morsel beside a human, the coyote doesn’t “see” the leash or understand it’s your pet. This situation is further exacerbated when people feed coyotes. If a coyote is used to getting handouts from humans, they may perceive that the dog is another food offering given by a human. The coyote simply doesn’t understand it’s your beloved pet, it’s not a malicious attack, it’s following its instincts or has gotten into the habit of being hand fed. Given these complexities, how can we keep our pets safe?

We can accomplish this by increasing our knowledge of coyotes. When are coyotes most active? When are the young hunting on their own, and likely to make mistakes like chase a child or dog? Do they really need us to feed them, and what are the consequences when we do? Most importantly, how can we secure our pets? What are the ideas for building outdoor enclosures, or fences?

If we know when out walking our pets, small dogs are more vulnerable, and we need to be vigilant. This includes carrying deterrents such as loud whistles. Teaching our children to never approach or provoke a coyote. Although they look like big dogs, they are essentially wild animals, and thus unpredictable.

The coyote will be a non-issue, if we humans can heed the words of the Toronto Wildlife Centre, has stated “Human behaviour needs to change, because wild animals fall victim as a result” (P.Tsekouras Aug, 23, 2021). As humans and coyotes, become accustomed to each other, researchers are discovering that coyotes are helping humans with our urban issues. They are keeping down the rodent infestations. The question is, can we change our human behaviours, and do the things to keep our pets safe, while embracing the wonder of living side by side with majestic wildlife.

Coyotes are shy and timid animals. According to Dr. S Rodriguez at Clemson University. coyotes have lived without our help for thousands of years. They need our absence, not our presences.

I am personally grateful to the Bluffs Monitor, when my cat Jaxon disappeared for 12 days and I was filled with anxiety he might be eaten by a coyote. After the add was posted in the newspaper, Jaxon was returned home the next day. Since that day, he has been kept indoors, and I am working on building an outdoor enclosure.

  • They have no natural fear of humans (may stand their ground and not run off like a wolf or fox).
  • Can pose a danger for pets (cats, and small dogs)
  • Are active during the day and at night, particularly dusk and dawn (when we walk our dogs).
  • May be seen more often during winter months as they are not hidden by foliage.
  • Cut the bushes and tall grasses where coyotes can hide on your building property.
  • Keep your dog on a leash (know that coyotes cannot see/understand leashes).
  • Smaller dogs are seen as prey more often than bigger dogs.
  • If you see a coyote DO NOT RUN (instruct children how to respond if they see a coyote).
  • When walking your dog bring a deterrent to make a loud noise to scare the coyote away.
  • Raise your arms to appear bigger and shout loudly.
  • Coyotes are most hungry during the winter and when pups are born (March to May).
  • Young coyotes are the ones most likely to chase children (May to November)
  • Never feed coyotes, leave them your food scraps, or approach them.
  • City of Toronto Website has free tutorials on Coyote and keeping safe.

 

Monday April 22, 2024

Action from The Borough FC 's Inaugural Game at L'Amoreaux Sports Complex vs Pickering FC

Monday April 22, 2024

Alumnae Theatre New Ideas Festival from April 24- May 5.

By Isabelle Bullock

The Alumnae Theatre is creating a new production called “New Ideas” from April 24 to May 5. This is an annual festival that has been going on for 36 years and is a way for the theatre to experiment with different ideas, techniques, and stories for everyone to come and enjoy. The two weeks consist of eight one-act plays using emerging and established theatre artists. These plays and the entire theatre are fully run by women as well! The Alumnae Theatre is a historical element of Toronto and it is known for being North America’s longest-running women-run theatre and Canada’s second-longest theatre group, almost 106 years. The most recent building for this group takes place at Old Fire Hall number 4 on Berkeley Street (70 Berkeley Street, King Street East and Parliament Street). There are also multiple parking options in the vicinity of the theatre. In 1972, the building was renovated by the acting group giving themselves the space for two theatres, a rehearsal space, a workshop, and a large wardrobe department. They also made it completely accessible for those in need. They made the main entrance and the washrooms on the main floor wheelchair accessible. The group strives to engage their audience in any way possible. The Alumnae Theatre Company is committed to providing their audience with a safe and welcoming place to come and enjoy your time with the art of theatre. They created a Safe and Respectful Environment Policy where each individual is guaranteed to be treated with respect. This goes for the people working at the theatre and those coming to watch a production. Volunteering helps run the theatre, you can help out with the production or directing. You can also become an Alumnae Theatre member! After one fee per year, this comes with a variety of responsibilities that you can pick from such as costume design, set design, or props sourcing. You can find out more about them and how to purchase tickets on their website. So don’t miss out on this amazing experience to see a diverse theatre.

The Alumnae Theatre’s information

Phone number – 416-364-4170

Website- alumnaetheatre.com

Festival Link – alumnaetheatre.com/new-ideas-festival-2024.html

 

April 16, 2024

Action from Boys HS Rugby. O'Connor Defeated Newman 12-5

April 12-13, 2024

Action from Canadian Open Swimming Championships at TPASC

March 19, 2024

Reflections on Spring Clean-Up

By Dorte Windmuller

Don’t you feel the itch to get on your mark, get set and go?! To run into your garden and CLEAN UP! 

It’s so satisfying to start with a clean slate and a visually organized environment.

But nature’s signature is biodiversity. Biodiversity is her expression of unsurpassed intelligence. The more biodiversity, the healthier an ecosystem, with billions of interactions taking place simultaneously—symbiotic or predatory—to keep the whole system in a very fine balance. This law of nature is equally valid on a planetary scale, in agricultural fields, rainforests, prairies, city landscapes, and our gardens—even in our own bodies, as they are complex microbial ecosystems.

We all know that a garden devoid of food and shelter cannot be a host for abundant life. That’s why we keep the seed heads for the birds so they get fresh, nutritious seeds throughout the winter, and we leave the hollow stem stubbles of our flowers so the stems can fulfil their function as nurseries for wild bees. We rake the leaves onto our flower beds because those leaves contain the butterflies we want to see in summer.

So when are we “allowed” to clean up? 

To answer this question, observe nature throughout the seasons. How does she clean up? And why so? The miraculous realization is – there is no waste in nature, period.

But, of course, a garden is a small space that needs to accommodate some functions and delight us with its beauty apart from being an ecosystem. So, we must balance our ideas and interests with nature’s needs. By learning about the habitat requirements of insects, birds, and microbes, we can be good stewards and not too detrimental to this intelligent, highly complex natural system while keeping the garden beautiful. 

Here are the cornerstones:

  1. Avoid Soil compaction at all costs:
  • Never step on wet soil; it will compact immediately.
  • Always only step onto stepping stones or designated areas.
  • We might collapse bee tunnels in the flowerbeds because 70% of wild bees nest underground.
  • Compacted soil will call in the weeds so the tough weeds can start building and repairing the soil structure so that more demanding plants can grow in it after this work is done.
  1. Stems are bee hotels:
  • Intact flower stems can be cut anytime after the birds eat the seeds since bees most likely didn’t use them as a nursery.
  • Cut the intact stems to various heights between one and two feet to create natural bee hotels with these stubbles.
  • If possible, keep the cut stems somewhere in your garden, in case insects were nesting in them after all. You can bundle them together and keep them in a location with conditions similar to where they grew, or you can just chop and drop them right in place to additionally feed your workforce in the soil. 
  • Be aware that butterflies like swallowtails will attach their chrysalis to stems and might not emerge until nighttime temperature lows are at least 7 consecutive days above 10ºC.
  • To achieve an even more diverse habitat and to introduce ourselves to a new look, experiment with keeping some stems up in an area where they fit.
  • Stems you cut last year or that broke naturally provide easy access and make it very likely that wild bees, native beneficial wasps that prey on pests or other insects have made the stems their home and laid eggs inside. To support our 360 diverse wild bees in their reproductive efforts, all stem stubbles must stay up until they break down naturally because different species of bees will occupy the stem-stubble hotels throughout the entire year. 
  • New growth will hide these stem stubbles, and they will never be unsightly.
  1. Leaves are life’s magic elixir
  • Leaves are food and shelter par excellence. The leaf layer is more biodiverse than any other layer above ground. It brings forth all good things, like nature’s essential workforce that makes nutrients available for your plants and keeps the plants healthy and, therefore, resistant to the clean-up crews — pests and fungi. 
  • The existence of many charismatic beings, such as fireflies, the luna moth, and ovenbirds, is so tightly interwoven with a leaf layer that they have become rare in our landscapes.
  • So – when can we take off the leave layer? Never is the simple answer 🙂 It is like the principle of continuous bloom throughout the seasons to provide nectar at any time, with early blooming shrubs in spring to an abundance of flowers in summer and asters and goldenrods in fall. A leaf layer is only a habitat if it is present year-round! It is a habitat for many insects in their different life stages, feeding birds, amphibians, reptiles and mammals.
  • If you must remove some leaves in spring, the safest time is to wait until the apple, cherry, and plum trees are no longer in bloom and nighttime lows are at least 7 consecutive days above 10ºC. Most butterflies and bees will have emerged and no longer need a blanket against frost, but you will still eliminate the food that the soil microbes and your plants depend on and the home for many insects. 
  • Because it is best to keep all leaves in place in spring, learn over the years through your observations how thick your leaf layer can be to strike the perfect balance between nature’s and your preferences. 
  • If you end up with too many leaves in fall for your garden beds, a straightforward solution is to replace some lawn with beautiful flowers, grasses and shrubs to create habitat and space for leaves.
  • Another solution is to keep the extra leaves in a pile underneath some trees or somewhere out of the way. Making a pile is also a good solution if you remove some leaves in spring. Use the resulting compost as a spa treatment for your garden in the following years. 
  •  A leaf layer will also protect your soil microbes, who make the soil a living, intelligent ecosystem that locks down carbon, builds structure, increases water holding capacity and cools the surface temperature, but only if it is present year-round. Have you ever seen naked soil in nature? Yes, in a mudslide or a volcanic eruption. After those disasters, nature will come in with her first responders, the weeds, to start healing, repairing and building the soil up for life to start over again. Do we want to be the disaster every year (and inadvertently call in the weeds), or can we be part of nature’s thrive to create a more complex, biodiverse, beautiful, inclusive and healthy environment for all? 
  • We acknowledged that a garden must strike a balance between a healthy ecosystem and our need for beauty. We explored how we can accommodate the needs of wildlife, representing the action side of the coin. But the flip side of the coin is our mindset. Everything will fall into place when we experience that we are an integral part of this system. Our ideas of beauty will shift as we allow our minds to gradually free ourselves from societal norms and our education, founded in consumerist values. We will ask ourselves how we can contribute today instead of what we need to kill, and we will discover that we are truly loved by all the trees and creatures around us, who provide us with air, water, food, shelter, and joy, and we want to reciprocate. 

    Let’s fully embrace nature’s intelligence and become part of this exquisite dance once again. As an observer, learner, and active participant, realigned with nature’s biology, our physical and mental health will improve, and our urge to control will evaporate. 

    Welcome to living life to the fullest! 

April 10, 2024

Scarborough Walk of Fame Ceremonies

April 1, 2024

Toronto Beaches Lions Club Easter Parade

March 14, 2024

Dynasty Home Builders Inc. tied to builder with history of non-compliance

TORONTO March 6, 2024 – The Home Construction Regulatory Authority (HCRA) has refused to grant a licence to Dynasty Home Builders Inc. after discovering the owner had ties to a former licensee convicted of illegal building.

In 2023, Dynasty applied to the HCRA for a licence with Zamila Hossain named as the applicant and the company’s sole owner. The applicant had no financial history and, as part of the application, listed Zamal Hossain and Farida Haque as Dynasty’s financial backers. The pair were the principals of Albion Building Consultant Inc. which had its licence revoked by the HCRA due to numerous conduct issues, including knowingly building and selling homes without a licence which is illegal. In addition to being the principals of Albion Building Consultant Inc., Zamal Hossain and Farida Haque were also found to be the applicant’s parents.

“The HCRA looks at all interested persons associated with an application for this exact reason,” says Wendy Moir, the HCRA’s Chief Executive Officer and Registrar. “Understanding who is involved in an applicant’s business is a strong indicator of how that business may be run. By refusing Dynasty’s application, the HCRA is limiting the resurgence of bad actors who have demonstrated they cannot conduct their business responsibly and ethically.”

As a result of Zamal Hossain and Farida Haque’s past conduct in managing Albion, the HCRA determined that Dynasty was a ploy for Albion to stay in business using another name and refused to grant a licence. In addition, the applicant had no credit history and listed a past Albion employee on its application to meet all the HCRA’s competency requirements.

“Applicants must demonstrate their business will be conducted in accordance with the law and with integrity and honesty. This shows our licensing process works and is an essential tool to protect the public,” Moir adds.

About the HCRA

The Home Construction Regulatory Authority is responsible for regulating and licensing the people and companies who build and sell new homes in Ontario. The HCRA enforces high professional standards for competence and conduct in the homebuilding industry, giving new home buyers confidence in one of the biggest purchases of their lives. The HCRA also maintains consistency across the sector, curtailing unethical and illegal builders.

In addition to licensing, the HCRA provides educational information for consumers on their home buying journey and hosts the Ontario Builder Directory (OBD) – the authoritative source of background information about each of Ontario’s more than 6,500 new home builders and vendors

March 11, 2024

Great jobs available! Apply before March 31 for part-time summer recreation, aquatic and museum jobs with the City of Toronto

Mayor Olivia Chow reminded residents that the City of Toronto is hiring for part-time summer recreation jobs. Warmer days are ahead, and the City offers good-paying jobs that provide strong work and community-building experience for students and residents. Candidates should apply now with a specific focus on recreation, aquatic and museum employment opportunities.

The mayor said, “As the largest employer of youth and students, I am proud that the City of Toronto can offer thousands of good jobs at fair wages for anyone seeking part-time employment. These jobs are instrumental to the youth in our city. These jobs give our youth the opportunity to gain employment experience, create community connections and serve our city and its residents. These important employment opportunities connect people to a pathway to success.”

The search is on for a wide range of skilled applicants ranging from lifeguards to aquatics and fitness instructors to camp leaders and aquatic assistants – with an application deadline of March 31. The City is actively hiring with applications accepted on the City’s Recreation Jobs webpage: https://jobs.toronto.ca/recreation/. The City is Toronto’s largest recreation program provider and employs approximately 9,000 recreation workers annually, 5,000 of whom work primarily during the summer season. Additionally, more than 800 seasonal gardeners and parks workers are hired each year.

March 7, 2024

Scarborough Bluffs, Canada – Local Dry Cleaner Making an International Impact!

©Muir-Image-Photography

©Muir-Image-Photography

Style & Grace Cleaners, a local Scarborough Bluffs business of over 50+ years in the dry cleaning and garment care industry, is proud to announce that its owner, Nadine Rana, is the distinguished recipient of the 2024 Association of Wedding Gown Specialists’ Jack Barth Award of Excellence. This award is in recognition of Rana’s significant contributions towards the advancement, promotion, and development of industry standards for wedding gown cleaning and preservation.

Rana has taken the helm as a proud second-generation owner and has continued to elevate Style & Grace Cleaners as a beacon of excellence in the specialised field of wedding and ceremonial garment cleaning and preservation. Rana has set out on the path laid by her parents, Grace and Neville Mungal, who started their family dry cleaning business after immigrating to the Scarborough Bluffs community from Trinidad & Tobago in 1967. 

The Jack Barth Award of Excellence is presented by the Association of Wedding Gown Specialists, an international organisation dedicated to promoting the highest quality wedding gown care. This award acknowledges Rana’s outstanding contributions and service to the Association and its members, highlighting her commitment to excellence in the dry cleaning and garment care industry.

As members of the Association of Wedding Gown Specialists, Style & Grace Cleaners has become synonymous with exceptional care for wedding gowns, offering customised treatment plans for couture, bespoke, and one-of-a-kind custom-designed garments. Style & Grace Cleaners offers expertise and dedication to ensure that every item receives meticulous attention, preserving the beauty and integrity of garments and gowns for generations to come.

“This award is not only a recognition of our team’s relentless pursuit of excellence but also a testament to the trust our clients place in us to care for their most precious garments,” said Rana. “We are honoured to be recognized by the Association and remain committed to setting the gold standard in wedding gown care.”

Style & Grace Cleaners invites our clients, both new and returning to experience the award-winning service that is defining their reputation in the international industry. For more information about their services or to schedule a wedding gown consultation, please visit www.styleandgracecleaners.ca or contact us today at (416) 261-2204 to begin maintaining your style, with grace!

March 4, 2024

Concern for Scarborough Business re:Hotel Shelter Lease Extensions in Scarborough

Toronto City Council on Tuesday, February 7, 2024 passed a Motion under EC9.4 – Homelessness Services Capital Infrastructure Strategy: Real Estate Strategy and Lease Extensions to extend seventeen hotel leases for the purpose of housing unhoused people.

In sixteen of the hotels across Toronto many of which are in Scarborough, the lease extensions are for up to five years. The Delta Hotel at Kennedy/401 which has the highest number of clients (almost 400) will have a lease extension until December 31, 2025 as outlined in the EC9.4 Motion Amendment.

The Delta Hotel prior to COVID was a central meeting place for many businesses, tourists and residents of Scarborough and beyond. Lack of Scarborough business opportunities remain concerning to us as Scarborough does not presently have tourist, convention or sports tournament accommodation for anyone. As a result, this business is taken outside the Scarborough boundaries and more than likely outside of Toronto to hotels in York and Durham regions.

Continuation of The Delta Hotel Shelter lease until the end of 2025 and the remaining Scarborough hotels and motels as shelters for five years is not supportive of Scarborough’s small businesses. The economics that will accompany the FIFA World Cup in 2026 hosted in Toronto will not benefit Scarborough. Tourists who may visit Toronto will have no place to stay in Scarborough. Restaurants and shops will not reap any benefit.

Let’s hope Scarborough’s economy can be prioritized as we move to improved housing options throughout Toronto.

Rhoda Potter

Member Scarborough United Neighbourhoods

President Agincourt Village Community Association

March 4, 2024

Registration for City of Toronto spring recreation programs for Scarborough begins Wed. March 6

The quickest and easiest way to register is on the City’s Spring Recreation Programs webpage: www.toronto.ca/SpringRec.

With approximately 13,500 registered courses and more than 127,000 spaces offered, the City is Toronto is the largest provider of recreation programs for people of all ages, skill levels and interests.. Programs include gardening, arts, fitness and wellness, sports and more.

Registration for spring recreation programs starts at 7 a.m. on the following dates: • March 5 – Etobicoke York (including York South-Weston), Toronto and East York • March 6 – North York and Scarborough

In-person registration

Five community centre locations will be open on the following dates from 7 a.m. to noon for in-person registration support: • Tuesday, March 5 o Driftwood Community Recreation Centre, 4401 Jane St. o Masaryk-Cowan Community Recreation Centre, 220 Cowan Ave. o Wellesley Community Centre, 495 Sherbourne St. • Wednesday, March 6 o Centennial Recreation Centre, 1967 Ellesmere Rd. o Dennis R. Timbrell Resource Centre, 29 St. Denis Dr.

Those who need help preparing for registration or want to register by phone can call 416-396-7378, Monday to Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The call centre will be open for extended hours on Monday, March 4, from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., and on registration days from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Residents will need their family and client numbers to sign up for spring recreation programs and are encouraged to have this information ready before registration day. Residents can set up a new account or retrieve their existing client or family numbers by phone or online.

The City’s recreation programs are popular and many have waiting lists. If registrants are unable to 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 the spot can be offered to someone else.

Spaces are also still available for Summer CampTO, which begins July 2. More information is available on the City’s CampTO webpage: https://www.toronto.ca/explore-enjoy/recreation/campto/.

Welcome Policy yearly credit

The Welcome Policy credit can be used to register for City recreation programs. Those who receive social assistance (Ontario Works or Disability Support) and are living in Toronto are pre-approved to receive this credit and should speak to their caseworker or apply online. Toronto residents with family income that meets the criteria may also apply. More information on the criteria and how to apply can be found on the City’s Welcome Policy webpage: https://www.toronto.ca/community-people/employment-social-support/child-family-support/welcome-policy-recreation-fee-subsidy/.

Discounts for older adults

Participants 60 years old and older receive a 50 per cent discount on the regular price of adult recreation programs excluding private, semi-private and small group lessons. For more information about free programs and other subsidies for recreation programs, please visit the City’s Free & Lower-Cost Recreation Options webpage: https://www.toronto.ca/explore-enjoy/recreation/free-lower-cost-recreation-options/.

Come work for the City The City is hiring for all recreation positions including camp counsellors, lifeguards, wading pool attendants, gatekeepers, specialty camp instructors and special needs program staff.

More information about positions is available on the City’s Recreation Jobs webpage: https://jobs.toronto.ca/recreation/.

March 2, 2024

Honey & Barry Sherman Legacy Foundation donates $1 million to Scarborough Health Network to innovate diagnostic imaging

Scarborough Health Network (SHN) Foundation is thrilled to announce a generous donation of $1 million from the Honey & Barry Sherman Legacy Foundation to support exceptional healthcare for Scarborough.

“For over 40 years, my parents, Honey and Barry were committed philanthropists. They believed that they had a duty to help others by focusing on organizations that improve the lives of people. I am honoured to continue their legacy with this gift to support equitable, accessible healthcare for people living in Scarborough and the surrounding communities,” said daughter Alexandra Krawczyk, who leads the Honey & Barry Legacy Foundation.

This gift will enable SHN to create the new Honey & Barry Sherman Legacy Foundation Interventional Radiology Suite within the state-of-the-art Diagnostic Imaging Department at SHN’s General Hospital, which is scheduled to open in late 2024.

“We are so grateful to the Honey & Barry Sherman Legacy Foundation for their transformational gift,” said Alicia Vandermeer, President & CEO of SHN Foundation. “The philanthropy of Honey & Barry Sherman is profound, and we’re honoured to be part of their ongoing legacy. This donation will help our talented healthcare teams diagnose and treat various medical conditions in the Honey & Barry Sherman Legacy Foundation Interventional Radiology Suite, including cancer, heart disease, and stroke.”

Today, not every procedure needs to be performed in a full operating room under general anesthesia. Interventional radiology uses imaging technology, like X-rays and ultrasounds, to guide small instruments through the body to treat diseases without major surgery. Interventional radiology can be used to perform biopsies to diagnose cancer and what stage it is in, remove tumours, prevent kidney failure, and provide life-saving diagnoses in minimally invasive ways.

For patients, the benefits are significant. By avoiding surgery under anesthesia, they have less pain, fewer complications and can return to their normal lives faster. Plus, it frees the operating room for patients who need more complex operations.

The Honey & Barry Sherman Interventional Radiology Suite will be a critical part of SHN’s new Diagnostic Imaging Department to help ensure equitable, accessible care for Scarborough and the surrounding areas. Currently, diagnostic imaging is scattered around five locations at SHN’s General Hospital, impacting the patient experience. However, the new Diagnostic Imaging Department will combine all imaging modalities into one central location at the General Hospital, expanding to over 36,000 square feet and reducing wait times for critical interventional radiology by 50%.

SHN Foundation is inspired by the generosity of the Honey & Barry Sherman Legacy Foundation and their support of the Love, Scarborough campaign, which is raising critical funds and awareness for Scarborough’s hospitals.

May 19, 2023

Fireworks Need to Know from City of Toronto

No Display at Birchmount Park this Year.

2022 Display at Birchmount Park

TORONTO, May 17, 2023

For members of the Birch Cliff & Bluffs communities (and beyond) there will be no fireworks at Birchmount Park this long weekend. Event organizer Mathieu Yuill told Bluffs Monitor that 2023 has been overwhelming with business and personal commitments and he just didn’t have the time to put the show together.   

This upcoming long weekend, the City of Toronto is offering a wide range of fun, free activities and attractions for residents and visitors to enjoy including the annual Victoria Day fireworks display at Ashbridges Bay Park, city-wide exhibitions and outdoor activities. Fireworks at Ashbridges Bay Park The City will present Victoria Day fireworks at Ashbridges Bay Park (www.toronto.ca/data/parks/prd/facilities/complex/1/index.html) starting at 10 p.m. on Monday, May 22. The show will feature beautiful fireworks and a spectacular finale. Ashbridges Bay Park is located on Lake Shore Boulevard East at the foot of Coxwell Avenue and is accessible by public transit. Attendees are encouraged to use public transit and leave personal vehicles at home. Information about TTC schedules, routes and expanded long weekend service is available at www.ttc.ca.

Important safety reminder about fireworks. Fireworks are allowed without a permit only on Victoria Day and Canada Day until 11 p.m. on residents’ private property. Fireworks are not permitted in City parks or on beaches, balconies, streets, parking lots or a property that is not owned by the person setting off the fireworks.

 

April 20, 2023

Cherry Blossom Season in High Park

City of Toronto expects peak cherry blossom bloom to begin today across Toronto.

The City of Toronto is predicting that Toronto cherry blossom (Sakura) trees will reach peak bloom this week. Torontonians and visitors can enjoy this annual rite of spring in person at 15 park locations across the city where cherry blossom trees are present.

Tens of thousands of people come to see the blossoming Sakura in High Park annually. To help manage the volume of visitors to the park, vehicle access and parking inside High Park will be restricted starting Thursday, April 20 for the duration of peak bloom, with the exception of TTC Wheel-Trans vehicles.

“Cherry blossom season is back and I look forward to seeing residents and visitors enjoying the blossoms in High Park and in locations across Toronto. Thank you to City staff for the work they have done to prepare for blossom season and the work they will do throughout this spring and summer,” said Deputy Mayor Jennifer McKelvie.

Cherry blossoms typically last between four to 10 days, depending on weather conditions. More information, including a map of locations and accessibility information, is available on the City’s Cherry Blossoms webpage: www.toronto.ca/cherryblossoms.

City parks contain ecologically sensitive areas. Visitors are asked to stay on paved trails, avoid climbing the cherry trees or removing blossoms or branches and use designated bins for litter and recycling.

Many of the Sakura trees in High Park are roughly 60 years old. In 1959, the Japanese ambassador to Canada presented Sakura trees to the people of Toronto on behalf of the people of Tokyo. The trees were planted in appreciation of Toronto accepting relocated Japanese Canadians following the Second World War. Many of these trees were planted on the hillside overlooking Grenadier Pond.

Continuing this symbol of friendship since this original presentation, the City, the Consul-General of Japan in Toronto, the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre and private donors have continued to plant Sakura trees in Toronto.

Residents and visitors can also support Toronto’s Sakura cherry trees through the DonateTO portal at www.toronto.ca/sakuradonations. Contributions support planting new trees and maintaining existing trees (complementing existing City budgets and operations in this area) and enhanced landscaping at cherry tree locations. Donations also support interpretation and education around cherry trees.