North Toronto Daily Updates: July–August 2020

Bike Share thumbnailRide a bike for free on Wednesday

Bike Share Toronto, which has stations all over midtown Toronto now, is letting would-be cyclists ride for free all day every Wednesday in September.

Check Streeter’s Things To Do for how to do it.

Subway service cut Sunday north of St. Clair

Work related to the Eglinton Crosstown Light Rail Transit project is shutting down subway service on Line 1 between Sheppard-Yonge and St. Clair stations on Sunday until 1 p.m. After that for the rest of the day the closure will continue for the line only between Lawrence and St. Clair stations.

Shuttle buses will operate and all stations will remain open for the purchase of PRESTO fares and connection to surface routes, although some entrances may be closed, the TTC says.

UPDATE: Cyclist found on Yonge Street remains unconscious

A 37-year-old man remains in serious condition in hospital after being found on the ground alongside a bicycle on Yonge Street south of Merton Street on Aug. 24.

Original reports earlier today referred to a collision in the Yonge Street and Davisville Avenue area.

“There is no evidence, at this time, that this was a collision but officers from Traffic Services continue to investigate and urge witnesses to come forward,” police say in press release this afternoon.

Police say they found the man on the ground unconscious at about 7:15 p.m. He was taken to Sunnybrook Hospital in serious condition and remains unconscious at this time, police say.

This item has been revised to reflect the latest information from police.

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Outbreak of COVID-19 at Sunnybrook Hospital

The hospital that treated Canada’s first two COVID-19 cases back in January is now reporting the latest outbreak. Four confirmed new cases of coronavirus were found in one hospital unit, the Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre announced yesterday.

Affected patients have been isolated and additional precautions taken, but otherwise the hospital is open and operating normally — and safely — the hospital assures. Get the full story.


Two caught, one sought in Roehampton stabbing

Police have arrested two of three men allegedly involved in the assault and stabbing of a client of Roehampton Residence on Saturday. The third man remains at large. Here’s the latest.

stabbing suspectClient stabbed outside Roehampton homeless shelter

Three men are being sought by police after the latest violence related to temporary homeless housing in the Yonge-Eglinton and Mt. Pleasant area. Yesterday police released images of the three, apparently taken from Roehampton Residence security video when the assault and stabbing took place outside the shelter at about 10 p.m. on Saturday.

The city says the victim was a client at the residence on Mt. Pleasant Road but the three wanted men were not. Get the full story.

Fragment of coronavirus map

Few recent COVID cases in North Toronto

Lawrence Park North and South are free of new cases of COVID-19. And other nearby North Toronto neighbourhoods are the same or close behind, according to the city’s coronavirus map.

Most neighbourhoods in midtown Toronto are showing zero to three confirmed or probable new cases for August so far.

See the Streeter article to check how your neighbourhood is faring.

CNE logo thumbStarting today the CNE is on — online, that is

The traditional end-of-summer show and exhibition is back in 2020, though in anything but traditional form. The CNE continues online starting today until Sept. 7.

Without leaving your home, you can access the new CNE portal, where you can take in shows and performances, share food recipes, learn how to be a busker, take virtual rides, enjoy trips through history, and even enjoy a virtual air show.

More information in the Things To Do listing.

condo rental building

Pandemic has loosened up formerly tight condo rental market

The condo market in the Leaside area has experienced a growth in both rented units and available rental units during the pandemic, according to a new real estate report. In fact, Leaside leads all Toronto neighbourhoods in both categories.

Most other midtown areas are also experiencing growth in the condo rental market, though they trail Leaside by a wide margin. The pricey real estate district of York Mills, Bridle Path, Hoggs Hollow, for example, and the more affordable area of Mount Pleasant East are both up, though the latter is also showing a crop in the number of leases. The area of Bedford Park-Nortown, Lawrence Park and Forest Hill North kicks the trend by being down in both the number of units being listed and the number of leases.

The best news though — at least for tenants — is that average prices for condo apartments have fallen across Toronto.

Read all about it.

COVID case revealed at Yonge-Eglinton grocery store

The Metro grocery store at 2300 Yonge St. has reported the positive test of an employee for COVID-19. The employee’s last day of work was Aug. 14, according to Metro. It’s the first example of the coronavirus found at that location since Metro started reporting cases at all its stores in March.

Protest over shelters

Demonstrators clash over homeless shelters

Community anger over homeless housing in midtown drew about 100 protesters to Mt. Pleasant Road yesterday — but the issue also drew nearly an equal number of demonstrators supporting the shelters.

The two groups shouted at each other across the street in front of Northern Secondary School. Meanwhile local politicians indicated support for the shelters but criticized how the city has implemented them without consultation.

Get the full story in Streeter news.

Permit parking enforcement begins tonight

Permit parking enforcement on residential streets is resuming at midnight tonight. It had been paused due to COVID-19 but the period to purchase or renew permits began on July 2 and ran to Aug. 7.

In case you missed the window, temporary daily and weekly parking permits can be purchased online anytime.

The parking permit office remains closed but can be accessed by phone at 416-392-7873 or email at permit.parking@toronto.ca, Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m..

Camps shut down temporarily after COVID-19 case found

CampTO programs at the Barbara Frum Community Centre and the Glen Long Community Centre are closing for the rest of of this week, after a participant at the Barbara Frum program tested positive for COVID-19, the city announced yesterday.

The camper had been sent home from camp with symptoms last week and has been self-isolating since that time, according to a city press release.

Each centre will undergo a deep cleaning before CampTO resumes on Monday. The city says it is notifying families of children attending the two CampTO location as well as camp staff.

Gun dropped in midtown led to arrest

A man residing in midtown homeless housing faces multiple charges after officers responded to a gun call yesterday at 2:47 a.m.

Police say a man was reported in possession of a handgun that fell to the ground near Broadway and Redpath avenues. He was arrested at the scene and a search of the area turned up a modified pellet gun and ammunition.

Police did not release the exact location of the incident. But the City of Toronto in a press release yesterday thanked the police “for their swift action in an arrest early this morning relating to weapons charges of a resident at 55/65 Broadway Ave.,” the site of a controversial temporary homeless shelter.

Get the whole story in Streeter news.


Transformation of Bell boxes continues

In the 12th year of the Bell Box Mural project, those drab boxes are continuing to be turned into vibrant works of art across central and midtown Toronto.

They hope to bring happiness to local residents during this sad time in Toronto, the artists say. And their musical tableaus and natural scenes — bugs! flowers! animals! — seem to be doing the trick.

More on this engaging project.

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Fire reported at Broadway Avenue temporary shelter

Firefighters contained a fire at the city’s interim housing project at 65 Broadway Ave. today. Police reported shortly after 3 p.m. a fire on the first floor of the building at Broadway and Yonge Street. The building was evacuated and roads closed, including Yonge, Broadview and Redpath Avenue.

No injuries were reported at the time. Toronto Fire Services is investigating  the cause of the fire.

The housing program at 55–65 Broadway houses about 150 formerly homeless persons, the city says.

It is one of two shelters that have been opened in the area during the pandemic and have raised concerns from local residents. A stabbing was reported at the building two days ago. (See Aug. 4 below.)


Suspects in break-in tracked down by police dog

The Phantom knows. Or in this case the police dog Phantom knew where the suspects in a break-in near Spadina and Kilbarry roads were hiding.

The K-9 officer was brought in last night after a residential alarm was tripped and security guards interrupted the break and enter in progress. The guards called police and in short order two suspects were caught, police say, thanks to Phantom’s nose.

See the whole story.

Stabbing investigated at midtown homeless housing

Police have arrested a 55-year-old man in a stabbing investigation at a temporary homeless housing in the Yonge Street and Broadway Avenue area. Police responded to the stabbing call today at about 7 p.m. They allege a man stabbed a woman staff member at the shelter and brandished a knife at other staff. Security held the man until officers arrived, police reported in a news release.

The stabbing was carried out by a client of the shelter at 55–65 Broadway Ave., according to a statement released by the city late this evening.

The woman was transported to a local trauma centre with serious injuries, police said. The man faces several charges including assault with a dangerous weapon.

Two homeless shelters have been opened in the area by the city during the pandemic and have been the source of concerns from local residents over perceived crime and drug use.

Roehampton HotelConcern over Roehampton Hotel as a homeless shelter

Local businesses and residents have expressed concern over crime and drug paraphernalia seemingly on the rise in the community since the Mt. Pleasant Road hotel has been used as a physical distancing shelter for the homeless. The hotel joins housing for the homeless also recently opened on Broadway Avenue.

Locals and a city councillor are careful to say they are not NIMBYists and care for the most vulnerable during the pandemic, but are getting the city to address the public safety issue.

Read all about it and the mayor’s reply in Streeter news.


Two alleged gunmen arrested for car jacking near Yorkdale

Two men in custody and two others are being sought after a vehicle was hijacked shortly after midnight this morning. Police tweeted at 12:11 a.m. that two men car jacked a dark-coloured Range Rover at gunpoint and fled area, while two alleged accomplices fled in a black Kia.

Police and canines pursued the suspects on foot.

Minutes later they reported they had two men in custody and had recovered the Range Rover, to the delight of police Twitter followers. The police investigation is continuing.

Beaches-LeslievilleCentral TorontoForest HillDon ValleyLeasideRiverdale-East York

NDPers back Toronto call to cut back construction noise

Toronto-St. Paul’s MPP Jill Andrew is among 12 opposition MPPs asking Premier Doug Ford to give Toronto back the power to limit construction noise. This comes after city council made a similar request, on a motion from councillors Josh Matlow and Mike Colle, and after residents and residents’ associations have complained about noise keeping them awake.

In April the province issued orders allowing “essential” construction projects to generate noise earlier and later than the city had previously allowed. Get the whole story.

Four evenings of slow traffic on Mt. Pleasant

Mt. Pleasant Avenue drivers may be used to delays due to Eglinton Crosstown construction, but they’ll be facing even worse north of Eglinton Avenue East over the next several days. From July 27 to 30, the northbound and southbound lanes of Mt. Pleasant will be partially occupied due to testing for roadway structural assessment, the city says. The work is to be carried out daily from 7 to 11 p.m. between Roehampton and Dawlish avenues.

Housing prices up in most central and midtown areas despite pandemic

The average price for a single-detached home in midtown and central Toronto for the first six months of 2020 is up over the same period of last year, according to a real estate report released yesterday.

The real estate districts including Cabbagetown, Forest Hill, Mount Pleasant and Lawrence Park, for example, have all experienced price increases of 10 to more than 55 per cent over a year ago.

However, a few districts — like those including Rosedale, Moore Park and Bridle Path — have seen prices drop from a year ago.

See the full picture and details in Streeter news.

Free outdoor programs for kids start Monday

The city announced today it is launching its ParksPlayTO initiative for kids up to age 12 and the Summer in the 6ix program for young people age 13 to 24 on July 20.

No registration is required for these drop-in programs in spaces across the city. In North Toronto, this includes Eglinton Park, Sherwood Park, Wanless Park, Ledbury Park and other local locations.

See the story and get the details in Streeter news.

Training on local sports fields gets the go-ahead

You should start to see teams and coaches practising, as the city has reopened outdoor sports facilities as of today. But you won’t be seeing soccer, baseball or other games taking place. The reopening comes with strict rules about physical distancing and the number of people on a field at any given moment — which severely restricts the kind of activities players can get involved in.

See the whole story about parks and fields reopening.

Crane hoisting to shut down Mt. Pleasant tomorrow

Mt. Pleasant Road between Erskine and Keewatin avenues is expected to be closed July 7 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The closure is to allow a crane to be hoisted by Superior Crane for local construction work.

UPDATE: Man struck by bus in Deer Park area

Police have released more information on yesterday evening’s accident at Yonge and Heath streets that involved a man hit by a TTC vehicle. (See previous item.)

At about 6:35 p.m., the bus was being operated by a 29-year-old man, travelling north on Yonge Street approaching Heath Street East, in the curb lane, police say in a press release. A 41-year-old man, who had been standing on the east sidewalk of Yonge at a crosswalk north of Heath Street East, “for reasons being investigated” entered the road as the bus passed. He was struck near the rear tire area of the bus.

The man suffered life-threatening injuries and was taken to hospital, police report.

Man struck by bus in Deer Park area

Emergency responders found a man with unspecified injuries near Yonge and Heath streets yesterday evening, after responding to reports of a man being struck by a TTC bus. Police reported the incident at 7:27 p.m. and closed roads in the immediate area for about three hours. No other information is available at this time.

Time to resume your parking permit

If you’re parking on the street, you should be aware the free period due to coronavirus has come to an end. Beginning today the city is restarting its permit parking program. The office remains closed but it can be accessed by phone at 416-392-7873 or by email Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.

You can also renew an existing permit holders using the online renewal system or by mail, though you should call first before mailing in an application.

The parking permit renewal window will be open until Aug. 3, and enforcement is expected to begin again starting Aug. 14 at midnight. More information on applying for a parking permit on the city website.


67-year-old injured in three-way collision

A car, a TTC bus and a transport trailer were involved in a collision at a North Toronto intersection this morning. Police tweeted it at 10:10 a.m. and said a driver was reported to be trapped in the three-way accident at Bathurst Street and Glengrove Avenue. Toronto Fire and Toronto Medics assisted at the scene.

It was shortly afterwards reported that a 67-year-old man sustained non-life threatening injuries and was taken to hospital.

The transport truck had reportedly overturned during the collision and fluid was leaking from the vehicle. Police closed the area for an investigation.

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