Riverdale-East York Daily Updates

Abby Tobias at Sole Power EntertainmentEntertainment company moving its base from east end

Abby Tobias is moving his company Sole Power Entertainment from its headquarters on Sunrise Boulevard to new, three-storey digs on Yonge Street in North Toronto.

The move comes as the company which represents more than 250 deejays, dancers, emcees, musicians and bands emerges from a trying period during the pandemic, Tobias says. See the story.

Sexual assaults at subway stations charged

A 69-year-old man appeared in court Feb. 28 after four sexual assaults earlier in the month at subways stations, police reported today.

On Feb. 22 and Feb. 27, a male allegedly entered Main Street and Warden stations and two victims were attacked on two different days.

A man was arrested Feb. 27 and faces two counts of Sexual Assault.

With Ukraine thumbnail

Support Ukraine at Friday concert

Toronto-based bands and artists are organizing a fundraising concert in support of Ukraine on March 11 at the Opera House, 735 Queen St. E.

All profits go to support humanitarian aid in Ukraine and providing urgently requested medical supplies to volunteer medical units. More info in the Things To Do listing.

Man reportedly spit on subway passenger

spitting assault image
Image released by police.

A man spit twice on a woman riding the subway westbound from Broadview Station on Feb. 25, police reported today.

The attack was unprovoked, police said.

The man got out at Spadina station, fleeing in an unknown direction.

Police are looking for a man described as 25–35 years old, 5-foot-8, unshaven and having a medium build. He was wearing a grey toque, blue jacket, dark-coloured blue jeans, sunglasses, black shoes and carrying a black backpack.

Security camera images have been released.

‘Hundreds of charges’ laid against pair for years of east-end assaults

A man and a woman face “hundreds of charges” after sexual and physical assaults occurring over 17 years, police say.

Alleged offences against men, women and children numbered in the hundreds and took place in the area of Danforth Avenue and Dawes Road and the area of Danforth Road and Eglinton Avenue East.

Many of these assaults were recorded and uploaded to the internet, according to police.

Martin (Mark) Wettlaufer, 37, and Kathleen Wardlaw, 42, both of Toronto, have been arrested and charged with offences relating to 41 victims. Police have a number of unidentified victims and are seeking the public’s assistance in identifying them.

Anyone who believes they were victimized or has information about the accused is asked to contact police by calling 416-808-7521.


Parts of Bayview Avenue closed due to water

Hit by flooding, Bayview Avenue southbound from Moore Avenue and northbound from River Street have been closed by city inspectors this morning.

It is unclear whether Pottery Road is still open, police said on Twitter shortly before 11 a.m.

The first indication of problems came from police online at 9:12 a.m. when they reported rising water levels were leading to dangerous conditions on the Don Valley Parkway.

Inspectors were sent to assess the situation but the DVP ended up being left open while parts of Bayview were shut down.

Female reported stabbed in Woodbine Gardens neighbourhood

Police are looking for a man in his 20s after a female was stabbed near Dawes Road and Gower Street. The female was reported to have suffered non-life threatening injuries and was taken to hospital.

A police tweet described the man being sought as black, six feet tall and with a thin build. He was seen wearing a black hoodie and black pants with “Champion” on the leg.

woman allegedly stealing stroller
Police image shows a woman removing a stroller from a local daycare.

Stroller shown being stolen, woman sought

Images of a woman apparently shown in the act of stealing a stroller from a daycare in the Blake-Jones area have been released by police.

On Jan. 17 at about 3:30 p.m., police received a report a woman attended a daycare near Jones and Boultbee avenues and took a twin Bugaboo stroller.

She is described as wearing a pink toque, a pink sweater, a black jacket, black gloves, blue jeans and brown boots.

Two images of the woman have been released in hopes of identifying her, police say.


Child pornography charges in East York

A man was arrested after the Toronto Police’s child exploitation section executed a search warrant near Cosburn and Logan avenue yesterday.

The 31-year-old Toronto man faces two counts of possessing child pornography, one count of accessing child pornography, and one charge of making child pornography available.

He was to appear in court on Feb. 1.

arson suspect
Arson suspect in image released by police.

Identity of suspected arsonist sought

Police have released three images of a man suspected of starting a fire at the night deposit box of a bank.

On Jan. 25 at 6:54 a.m., officers were called to a fire near Danforth and Woodbine avenues, police said.

The man is described as wearing a white surgical mask, a black toque, a grey hoody, a red winter jacket with a Ferrari symbol on the back, dark blue or black pants, and dark grey and black boots.


Man arrested for alleged crimes in Leslieville

A man wanted for alleged crimes in Leslieville was arrested yesterday and charged, police announced this morning.

Police were looking for the Toronto man after a series of  crimes crimes in the area between Jan. 23 and Jan. 26, according to a news release on Jan. 28.

Today police announced Gerard Silas Purcell, 40, has been arrested and faces eight charges: attempted break and enter, assault, theft not exceeding $5,000, mischief or damage to property not exceeding $5,000, and four counts of breach of probation.

He was to appear in court this morning.

Alter Kakers thumbnailWhere can bands practise around here?

Like other musicians, Beach-based band Alter Kakers is looking for an east-end place to play loud, but is finding rehearsal spaces are drying up.

The city is looking at ways to help them by stopping the hemorrhaging of rehearsal spaces and creating more. See the full story.

Fox Theatre to re-open

The east end’s favourite repertory cinema is re-opening on Feb. 4, although at 50-percent capacity. That will allow 124 masked patrons to attend screenings at a time.

Movie-viewers will also be required to provide proof of being doubly vaccinated against COVID-19.

13-year-old arrested for armed robbery

A boy has been arrested after a pharmacy was robbed at gunpoint about a week earlier.

On Jan. 18, a robbery was carried out a pharmacy near Dawes Road and Chapman Avenue. A firearm was produced and narcotics were stolen, police report.

Police investigation led to the arrest of a 13-year-old Toronto boy on Jan. 24.

He faces charges of robbery with a firearm, disguise with intent and possession of property over $5,000.

He is to appear in court on Jan. 27.

UPDATE: Police have confirmed media reports that the 13-year-old boy arrested for allegedly robbing the pharmacy at gunpoint is the same boy charged with the second-degree murder of a boy, 15, on Gamble Avenue on Jan. 19.

We’re recognized as a top movie-making capital

Toronto-Danforth councillor Paula Fletcher has heralded Toronto being named by MovieMaker magazine one of the top places to live and work in the film industry.

The city reached the number two position (not counting Los Angeles and New York) in 2022, right after Albuquerque, New Mexico in the top spot. This is a leap of 10 spaces since last year’s list, according to a city news release.

“This ranking reinforces the City’s prioritization of inclusive growth and the expansion of studio space,” said Fletcher, who chairs the Film, Television and Digital Media Advisory Board and in whose ward the filmmaking centre of the Studio District is found. “We are committed to working with all levels of government and our industry partners to develop and ensure that Toronto’s screen industry workforce reflects Toronto’s diversity, so that we can continue to attract and tell these stories.”

And—who knows?—we  could reach number one.

MovieMaker editor-in-chief Tim Molloy is quoted in the news release as saying, “With plans to dramatically increase its number of sound stages, the sky’s the limit. And Toronto is, of course, one of the most beloved and livable cities in North America, assuring a great quality of life and work-life balance.”

Jan. 22

backyard hens
URBAN POULTRY: Hens have been allowed in local backyards as part of a pilot project.

Give your views on the backyard hens program

The city is asking for feedback on its pilot program allowing hens to be raised in selected wards, including Toronto-Danforth and Beaches-East York.

As you might have noticed in this area, residents have been allowed to keep up to four hens in their yards for both enjoyment and the eggs.

Now members of the public can share their experiences and thoughts on the UrbanHensTO program, including considerations related to public health, nuisance, food security, veterinary care and animal welfare, the city has announced.

The deadline for feedback is Feb. 11. It is to inform a final report to a committee of the city council in March.

To submit your observations, see the UrbanHensTO Pilot Program website.

Homicide victim thumbnail15-year-old shot dead, 13-year-old charged

A boy, 13, faces a second-degree murder charge after a boy, 15, died of gunshot wounds late Wednesday evening in a Gamble Avenue underground garage.

Both of the families and the community are devastated, police said today. See the full story.


Robbery spree ends with three arrests

Police have arrested two men and one woman after six retail robberies in the East York area over a four-week period.

Between Dec. 15 and Jan. 13, stores were allegedly robbed with at least one person entering the premises and approaching the checkout counter while the others waited nearby, police say. One person would allegedly produce a handgun and demand cash, before they would all flee on foot.

The end came when uniformed officers from 55 Division rushed to the area of the most recent robbery and found all three suspects. A firearm was also found in the the vicinity after the arrest, police say.

A 41-year-old man of no fixed address faces 26 charges, including robbery, robbery with a firearm, and 11 counts of possessing a firearm contrary to a prohibition order.

A 32-year-old man of New Brunswick faces five charges, including robbery with a firearm.

A 41-year-old woman faces 12 charges, including robbery, robbery with a firearm and assault.

They appeared in court Jan. 14.

Highways shut down, residents warned to stay home

The Don Valley Parkway and the Gardiner Expressway have been shut down due to the snowstorm that has dumped more than a foot of snow on our streets as of about 10 a.m. today

Via social media, police were also warning Toronto residents to stay home. “We’d ask people not to travel unless it’s absolutely necessary,” they said. They advised those who had to drive to take their time, have a full tank of gas, wear warm winter clothes and pack emergency supplies.

Not everyone though thought the warnings were timely.

UPDATE: By early afternoon, police reported the eastbound Gardiner was fully open and westbound was open from Jarvis. The DVP remained closed.


“The Witches of East York”

That’s the title of tonight’s episode of the popular Murdock Mysteries on CBC this evening. We’re not sure whether the storyline of this historical drama will be based on anything witchy in East York’s past, but we’ll be watching to find out.

Town hall on new police station planned

A virtual town hall is planned for Jan. 24 to discuss the design of the new 55 Division Station on Danforth Avenue, which is to replace the current station at Coxwell and Dundas avenues and sub-station in the Bermondsey area.

See the Things To Do listing for details.

Nominations open for Agnes Macphail Award

Many consider it the highest award an East Yorker can receive. The Agnes MacPhail Award annually recognizes a member of the East York community who exemplifies the causes that Canada’s first female Member of Parliament championed in her distinguished career.

And nominations are open for this year, to be received by Jan. 28 in time for an award ceremony near Agnes Macphail Day on March 24.

Agnes Macphail - PA-165870
Macphail in 1934 photo by Yousuf Karsh.

Nominees are residents who have made outstanding contributions as a volunteer for women’s rights, fairness to seniors, criminal justice system and penal reform, international peace and disarmament, access to adequate housing, health care and education — all causes close to Macphail’s heart.

The award recipient must be an East York resident who lives by Macphail’s motto, “Think Globally, Act Locally.”

Among the 28 winners since 1994 have been Paula Davies, Raymond White, Karen Fraser, Carol Burtin Fripp, Patrick Rocca, Alan Redway, Bill Pashby, Geoff Kettel, Lorna Krawchuk, Ruth Goldhar and Edna Beange.

Nominations can be sent by email or by mail to Agnes Macphail Recognition Committee, c/o Strategic Protocol & External Relations, City Hall, 100 Queen St. W., 12th Floor, West Tower Toronto, ON M5H 2N2.

For more information, see the City of Toronto site.

Dentonia Park golferCommittee supports keeping 18-hole golf course at Dentonia

The city’s infrastructure and environment committee is urging the existing 18 holes be maintained at the par-3 Dentonia Park Golf Course. This recommendation comes after the committee received a report from city staff suggesting golfers and local residents would be better served by a nine-hole course with improved practice amenities and allowing accessibility to Taylor Massey Creek trail ravine.

Some east-end residents have also been pressing the city to reduce golfing at Dentonia Park to complete the trail through the ravine, currently blocked by the golf course.

But councillor Brad Bradford, whose Beaches-East York ward borders the golf course, was among the deputations supporting 18 holes. See the full story.

Greenwood Station assault suspect
WANTED: Police have released images after spraying incident at Greenwood Station.

Passenger sprayed in face at Greenwood Station

Police are trying to identify a man suspected of spraying a passenger with an unknown substance at the  Greenwood subway station.

On Jan. 4 at about 5:45 p.m. a man approached the passenger and, without provocation, sprayed him in the face, police said.

The man then allegedly travelled to Finch Station and sprayed another passenger on the bus platform.

Security camera images have been released to help identify the man in the assault investigation.

Dawes Road LibraryDawes and Todmorden libraries to close

At least two East York libraries are closing starting next week, three if you count Leaside, as the Toronto Public Library has announced nearly half of its branches are closing temporarily due to staffing shortages. The Dawes Road Library and the Todmorden Room on Pape Avenue are both slated to shut down starting Monday.

Two other libraries in Leslieville are also closing.  But the east end in general is getting off lightly, as numerous local branches are staying open, including Beaches, Danforth/Coxwell, Main Street, Pape/Danforth, Riverdale, S. Walter Stewart and Thorncliffe Park. See the full story.

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