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The latest news about Woodbine Park

The Fight to Reclaim Our Beaches Waterfront is On

October 3, 2016 in Latest Community News Blog

As many of you “Beachers” may or may not know a new group has formed in the upper & lower Beach neighbourhoods to challenge the  reopening of the  City of Toronto Lease that was issued to Tugg’s  Restaurant for a period of 19 years in the Beach Waterfront Parks.  The Lease in question caused a lot of confusion and by all rights should have gone to tender.

The lease given to Tugg’s for 19 years will be reopened for discussion on Oct. 5th, 2016 in City of Toronto Council. The Lease in question never went out to Tender and was negotiated by our then Councillor in Ward 32 Councillor Sandra Bussin.

While I admire the new group that has formed to set out a challenge ( and encourages neighbourhood residents to weigh in on the challenge by signing a petition, there are a few inaccuracies on their web page and I would encourage you to go to the website to review it.

I have spoken to a couple of the members of “free the beaches” and found them to be overly aggressive and a little rude, not the attitude you would expect from a fellow Beacher asking for all of us to support their group!

What the website doesn’t offer up is any suggestion of an alternative to Tugg’s’ 19 year lease.

Is there a hidden motive? What are the alternatives to Tuggs, other than fairness to the residents of the Beach neighbourhoods?

Should the lease be renegotiated so it isn’t an exclusive all-encompassing lease in favor of Tugg’s, I personally think it should be in all fairness. One person should not be in the position to be  able to dictate what Events should or should not be held within the waterfront Beach Parks, and should not have the right to dictate what exclusive food services and miscellaneous services are offered to event holders or the general public at large, on all accounts this is wrong. The City and the then Councillor in Ward 32 did not have the best interest of the constituents of the GTA in mind when they agreed to  this Lease. Even our past Mayor agreed this Lease was wrong for the City of Toronto .


Ward 32 constituent

Stay Alert: Garage Break-ins and Thefts Reported #beachto

June 22, 2016 in Latest Community News Blog, Neighbourhood Alerts Blog, Neighbourhood Watch Blog

The following incidents were reported to police by Woodbine Park Neighbourhood Watch Street Captains:

Report from Sarah Ashbridge NW Captain Friday June 17, 2016 – Garage Break-in & Home Entry

Prior to going to bed at 1230am the residents heard voices in their back garden and went out on our third floor balcony and saw three people near the back door.  They screamed “Get off my property the police are coming”  then saw 3 people running to the side gate and run to the street.   They discovered their back door (to the house) was wide open and perpetrators had also entered the garage and stole from their garage fridge a $100 filet mignon and two cases of imported beer and some other food and pop.  911 was immediately called and the police came by around 1 am.  They looked around and made a report.  A second pair of police came by around 3 am and took some pictures.  It was unfortunate that their garage door and back door to the home were unlocked as they are typically very diligent about locking up but each one thought the other had locked up.


Report from Winners NW Captain Friday June 17, 2016 – Garage Break-in

Garage was broken into but they decided not to take a damaged bicycle.


Report from Joseph Duggan/Boardwalk Captain Tuesday, June 14, 2016 – Garage Break-in & Bicycle Thefts

Garage break-in.  The perpetrator(s) came into the backyard via the side gate.  The homeowners, who had left their children with an adult family member and had gone away on vacation, did not report whether their sitter had unknowingly left the door leading from the backyard to the garage door unlocked, or whether the thief had broken a window pane and reached in to unlock the door from the inside.  Taken were the two parents’ bikes and their son’s Spiderman bike.


Report from Sarah Ashbridge NW Captain Thursday, June 9, 2016 – Garage Break-in & Bicycle Theft

Garage break-in.  The glass of the garage door was broken and the pull cord used to gain access to the garage.  A girls bike was stolen.  Police report made.

Keep doors locked.  Report ALL incidents to Police (416) 808-2222.  Remember, graffiti is also a crime – report it!


Living With Festivals in Woodbine Park #beachto

June 21, 2016 in Latest Community News Blog, Real Estate Blog

The festivals in Woodbine Park are in full swing.  Almost every weekend in the summer has an event in the park.  My family, along with many of our neighbours, enjoy living so close to the park and being able to walk across the street to watch and participate in events such as the Beaches Jazz Festival, Woofstock, Afrofest,  and one of my favourites,  Ribfest .  These events are free and welcoming to not just us as neighbours, but to all Torontonians.  Although the organizers of events pay for permits, somehow the City isn’t satisfied with its monetary return and has now deemed our neighbourhood park a saviour to its mismanagement of our tax dollars. That’s why they allowed Bestival, with its approximately $100 a day admission for each patron.

Our councillor was quoted in one of our local publications as saying that the revenue from renting the park to commercial event operators is a positive thing as the money would be reinvested in city parks.  Well, if you walked through Woodbine Park after Bestival, you’ll see that any profit the City made will have to be re-invested in the park just to bring it back to standard.  The heavy trucks, booths and other equipment have killed a lot of the grass and damaged the grounds. I wonder why we even have an irrigation system in the park now.  The whole area where concerts are held may as well be paved over.

Fences were also erected to keep us (and the wildlife) out days before the actual event.  Including the time it took to strike or tear down everything that made up Bestival, taxpayers weren’t allowed access to half the park for almost two weeks.  To top it off, City Parks employees were seen cleaning up and removing garbage from an event that was “commercial”.

Bestival organizers and those who attended, say it was amazing and hugely successful. But, is a large commercial event such as Bestival good for our neighbourhood?

About 15,000 people attended the event on each day.  The music was the loudest I have ever experienced in the 14 years I’ve lived in the neighbourhood and was non-stop from around Noon to 11:00pm on Saturday and from Noon to 10:00pm on Sunday.   It was so loud that my house shook.  I’m not exaggerating. The walls vibrated, we couldn’t hear the audio from our tv and were forced to close all of our windows during a beautiful weekend, just to have a conversation in our own home.

I called 311 to file a noise complaint. After being put on hold for about 5 minutes, I was told that the festival’s permit allowed them an exemption under the noise bylaw.  Why weren’t the residents of our neighbourhood informed about this? If we had known, we would have left town for the weekend.

When I moved into Woodbine Park, I knew the neighbourhood would be busy every weekend because of its close proximity to the beach. I knew it would attract tens of thousands of people on Victoria Day and Canada Day for the fireworks. As the park started being used each weekend for the different events, my family and most of my neighbours attended and participated in them. However, nothing prepared us for Bestival.

I want to congratulate the organizers and the city on the success of Bestival, but it’s too big and loud for our neighbourhood.  Please don’t come back next year. Go back to Toronto Island, or take it to a venue like Downsview Park, or Exhibition Place that can handle it.

You may or may not agree with me. In any case contact Councillor Mary-Margaret McMahon 416-392-1376 or and give her your feedback on Bestival and any other events that are staged in the park.  If we don’t commend or complain, she’ll never know.

Neighbourhood Watch Update – House and Garage Break-ins

December 2, 2015 in Latest Community News Blog, Neighbourhood Alerts Blog

Hi everyone,

Please find below a report from Division 55 Community Response Unit below of a recent house break-in at the corner of Boardwalk and Northern Dancer in addition to a report from the Winner’s Circle Captain about a garage break-in on the east side of Winner’s Circle.

Please see tips from Division 55 in their report about home security when out of town and please remember to lock all of your doors and keep valuables locked up in your garage.  Lookout for any suspicious activity in the neighbourhood and, if found, please report it to the police.

Please stay safe!

Susan Poutanen
Northern Dancer Blvd South Neighbourhood Watch Street Captain


Report from Division 55 Police Community Response Unit Monday Nov 30, 2015 – House Break-in

Another break-in to be shared to your captains.

-Occurred at corner of Boardwalk & Northern Dancer
-Nov 24th – 29th (Residents were out of town)
-Suspects broke glass window
-House had alarm system but only on doors.
Please let people be aware, but also provide tips such as:
-When away from home have someone check on your property
-Limit & control who you let know when away
-If you know your neighbours are away, keep an extra look out for the property and take some sort of action if something is not right (check the property yourself, contact the owner if possible, call police etc.) 
Report from Winners Circle NW Captain Monday Nov 30, 2015 –Garage Break-in

We live on the east side of winners circle . At some point between 5:30-6:30 tonight , Monday November 30th- someone entered our garage and attempted to steal bikes- fortunately two were locked and one had a flat and I suspect they could not ride off with it. We could tell of foul play as cushions thrown everywhere and bikes tossed around.

So, it appears thieves are merely waiting for dark to begin their search. We need to be watching and alert our neighbours if they see a garage door left open. I suspect they may have opened it with a remote as no evidence of breaking plexi-glass in the door of our garage.

Neighbourhood Watch Meeting Notes

November 22, 2015 in Latest Community News Blog, Neighbourhood Alerts Blog

Dear Neighbours,

For those of you who were not able to attend this meeting, here is a summary of what Constable Jon Morrice from 55 Division Crime Prevention said.

While we live in a police district that has a relatively low crime rate[1] , and in a city that is safe, there are steps we can take to increase safety and reduce property-loss crimes.

1.  Home and Garage Break-ins:

Most break-ins in District 55 occur in the daytime when no one is at home. Most times the criminal will enter the back yard from the laneway, and gain access through a basement window or by kicking in a door or by forcing open a basement window.  It doesn’t take much to kick in doors The thieves prefer a yard with garbage bins, which they can stand on to enter a first-floor window, or bushes they can hide behind while trying to open a basement window. He suggested we could remove these aids and limit access to our sliding basement windows by bracing them with a length of wood, such a piece of a hockey stick handle. “Criminals don’t want to make noise or expend a lot of effort: They want it easy,” Morrice added. “Alarms don’t help much because of the time it takes the police to get there…(The thieves) are in and out in under five minutes.”

2. Stolen Packages:

Last year numerous packages were stolen when delivered to front porches. Thieves will sometimes follow couriers to grab the items as they are delivered. So Morrice urges us to choose the option to sign for deliveries; or, if away, to arrange for a neighbour to accept delivery.

3.  Stolen Mail:

Some crooks have stolen credit card bills, magazines, notices from the Ministry of Transportation from mail boxes to commit identity theft. Morrice suggests installing a lockable mailbox.

4. Theft from Cars:

“Theft from cars is endemic,” said Morrice. “(But) we don’t get a lot of broken windows.” So always check that your doors are locked, and don’t tempt thieves with valuable items like expensive sunglasses, hockey equipment, skis – even garage door openers. If you keep identification in the car a thief who finds your car in parking lot could use the information to find your home, and use your garage door opener.  You could lose bicycles if they are not locked to the building, power tools, coins and CDs.

5. Theft from Persons:

Teenagers are more vulnerable to those rare thefts that occur out in public areas. The victims tend to be shuffling along after dark, hoods up, daydreaming to the sound of their earphones. Their electronic devices are attractive to thieves. So encourage them to stick to well-lit areas, to walk with a companion, to pay attention to what’s ahead and behind them.

6.  Watch out for your Neighbours:

Be neighbourly. Keep an eye out for suspicious and potentially dangerous conditions, and report them. Watch out for elderly neighbours who may be shut in by a winter storm or at risk if walkways are left icy. Residents at the meeting with Morrice urge us all not to speed on the laneways or streets.

7.  Vacation Safety:

Make arrangements before you leave on vacation, or turn over your home to tradespersons. When away, don’t signal your absence: Arrange to have your mail and other deliveries picked up and your sidewalk and walkways cleared. Ask a neighbour who is home during the day to keep an eye out for those who might pose as a tradesperson to enter your home to steal. If your key to the house, or the security code for your garage door opener, is passed around to multiple workers, change the locks and code after the project is complete.


[1] District 55 (Danforth to the lake, Don Valley to Victoria Park) had zero murders, and fewer break-ins and car thefts during the first nine months of 2015 than in the much-larger District 53 (Lawrence to Bloor, Bathurst to the Don Valley). Other crimes increased but the totals did not exceed those in 53 by much: Assaults 566 to 506, robberies 124 to 86, sexual assaults 79 to 73. (Source:

Please stay safe!

Susan Poutanen

Northern Dancer Blvd South Neighbourhood Watch Street Captain


Leslie Barns – New Streetcars on Leslie

November 10, 2015 in Latest Community News Blog

We are pleased to announce that testing of the new streetcars on Leslie Street and inside of the new Leslie Barns facility has been successful. TTC will now begin running new streetcars out of the Leslie Barns as early as Sunday, November 22.

There are currently 10 new streetcars in operation on the 510 Spadina and 509 Harbourfront lines.


Elizabeth Garkowski & Niki Angelis
Community Liaisons
Toronto Transit Commission
1258 Queen Street East, Toronto ON M4L 1C3
Community Office Hours: Weekdays 9a.m.-5p.m., evenings by appointment

Jazz Legend Archie Alleyne Passes Away at 82

June 9, 2015 in Latest Community News Blog

To whom this may concern,

With heavy hearts, we are deeply saddened to announce the passing of Canadian jazz pioneer Archie Alleyne, whose battle with prostate cancer ended on Monday, 8th June at 7:53 am.

The legendary self-taught drummer, who broke colour barriers in Toronto clubs in the 1940s, was 82. Alleyne, who has made a significant contribution throughout his 60-year career in music, business and philanthropy, had planned to host the launch of his memoir Colour Me Jazz on June 14 at the Paintbox Bistro. The event has been postponed until further notice, and a celebration of his life will be scheduled later this month.

Viewings for Archie Alleyne will be held tomorrow Wednesday, 10th June and Thursday June 11th between the hours of 2:00 pm and 4:00 pm and 6:00 pm and 9:00 pm at The Cardinal Funeral Home, 366 Bathurst Street, Toronto, ON.

In lieu of flowers, the Alleyne family has requested that donations be made to the Archie Alleyne Scholarship Fund. There is also a social media campaign to commemorate Archie’s memory, with the official hashtag tribute #withoutthepastthereisnofuture

On behalf of the Archie Alleyne family, we thank you for your continued support at this difficult time.


Leilah Dhoré
Executive Assistant to Archie Alleyne, C.M.



Should the Gardiner be torn down?

June 1, 2015 in Latest Community News Blog, Real Estate Blog

The majority of Torontonians say yes to a proposal to tear down the Gardiner east of Jarvis. Those in favour of demolishing the Gardiner include former mayor, David Crombie, the city’s Medical Officer of Health Dr. David McKeown,  and Jennifer Keesmaat,, the City’s Chief Planner.
However,  those of us who live in the east and have put up with what seems like 100 years of construction of the new streetcar yard and the traffic chaos at Lakeshore and Leslie, are skeptical. It’s not even safe to walk or ride your bicycle through that intersection.
The “experts’ say tearing it down will lead to a more “car or commuter-friendly option.” What am I missing here? Rip down the expressway and load up the Lakeshore with the traffic that would have been on that expressway and it’s more car or commuter-friendly?
There’s no doubt that the Gardiner is crumbling, it’s an eyesore and probably outdated.  But please don’t try to tell me that the commute time will be just a few minutes more.  Past planners and politicians have failed the city by not planning for the growth we’re seeing today.
I, like most Torontonians would love to see a solution to the gridlock. Unfortunately, people will continue to drive their cars until a sensible and efficient public transit system is in place. The rate the city and TTC are moving, it will be at least another 100 years. So don’t insult my intelligence by saying that the removal of the Gardiner will lead to a more car or commuter-friendly environment. Crombie, McKeown and Keeesmaat, take a drive east along the Lakeshore and try to get into Leslieville or the Beach.  I recommend that you pack a lunch or overnight bag.
Here’s the latest Star article:

Benefit Evening for Bob Acton

March 30, 2015 in Latest Community News Blog, Neighbourhood Alerts Blog

Let’s support Bob Acton! #beachto Bobby’s Night is set for Thursday April 30th at the Balmy Beach Club. Bobby was diagnosed with ALS last June. This is a terrible disease with no known cure. Bob is a lifetime Beacher and has probably coached your children in hockey or lacrosse. This benefit will help Bob and his family with his care and medications. Tickets are $50 or $25 donations are welcome too. contact or

Bob Acton

Saving The Small Shops in the Beach

January 28, 2015 in Latest Community News Blog, Neighbourhood Alerts Blog


The small retail outlets in the Beach are faced with many challenges for survival.

Join local councillor Mary Margaret McMahon for a workshop on saving our small shops on Wednesday Feb. 4th at Beach United Church, 140 Wineva Ave.

saving queen