BIG on Bloor Festival - Call for Artists Submissions

Last year's BIG on Bloor Festival was a BIG success (pardon the pun). Preparations are well underway for this year's festival on Saturday June 20, 2009.

One of the best parts of this festival is that it is entirely run by and for members of the community, so anyone can participate. This morning, the BIG festival coordinator Dougal Bichan sent out the following email to call for artists who may wish to participate:

The BIG on Bloor Festival is coming! Again this year, we are planning to close 2 1/2 km of Bloor Street from Christie to Lansdowne for a day of festivities.

Are you an artists with ideas looking for a space? Bring your ideas to the table! We are looking for artists to get involved with their ideas now! If you are interested, email me your ideas and a short bio as soon as possible.

We are looking for all kinds of art - visual, conceptual, performance, music, dance, drama, storytelling - whatever you do.

We are looking for art that could be site-specific, large-in-scale, participatory or collaborative, activity-based, engaging the topic of "people, place and public space" and/or address social issues specific to the neighbourhood. Make it hands-on, engage the audience. The more creative the better.

Contact me as soon as possible, by this weekend, if you can. Pass this message on to others who may be interested.


BIG on Bloor Programming Coordinator

2009 Blackout Followup Meeting #2

Note: The date for this meeting has changed since it was first posted.

Donna Cowan, the chair of DIGIN, has informed us of a second followup meeting about the January 15-16th power blackout. This meeting is being organized by our local MPP Tony Ruprecht.

When: Tuesday March 31, 2009 at 7:15pm
Where: Casa de Alentejo, 1130 Dupont Street (map)

Here is the email from Tony Ruprecht:

Dear Ms. Cowan,

Thank you for your well written letter regarding the hydro power cut-off on January 15th and January 16th, 2009.

I have discussed improvement / preventative measures with David O’Brian, CEO of Toronto Hydro and yes, I will call for a follow-up meeting to the one held last Thursday in Parkdale.

A number of issues should be discussed at this meeting among them:

  1. Improvements by Hydro to the Bloor / Dufferin automated transformer station.
  2. Improvements to the Emergency response communication system

The meeting date will be March 31st 2009 at 7:15 pm at Casa de Alentejo, located at 1130 Dupont Street.

Please accept my warmest personal regards.

Tony Ruprecht, M.P.P.

Last night's robbery, shooting, and train crash

A troubling series of events occurred last night in our neighbourhood: The Beer Store on Symington Ave. was robbed, which led to a police chase, an officer being shot (grazed on the head) and a police car being hit by a train at the Wallace Ave. crossing.

Here are some details from the Toronto Police news release:

Police officer shot during robbery investigation,
Two men face a total of 26 charges, shotgun seized

Broadcast time: 11:12
Sunday, January 25, 2009

Hold Up Squad

On Saturday, January 24, 2009, just after 7:30 p.m., police responded to an armed robbery call at The Beer Store, 323 Symington Avenue.

It is alleged that:

  • police responded and located two suspects in the area of Wallace Avenue,
  • as police approached, one of the suspects began to shoot at the officers, and gunfire was exchanged,
  • one officer was struck in the forehead by a shotgun pellet.

The officer was taken to hospital with minor injuries. He was treated and released.

Two suspects were arrested shortly thereafter.

Jeron Powell, 32, of Toronto, is charged with:

  1. Five counts of Robbery While Armed with a Firearm,
  2. two counts of Disguise with Intent,
  3. Conspiracy to Commit and Indictable Offence,
  4. three counts of Attempted Murder While Using a Firearm,
  5. two counts of Possession of a Firearm Knowing its Possession is Unauthorized,
  6. Unauthorized Presence of a Firearm in a Motor Vehicle,
  7. Possession of a Firearm Contrary to Prohibition Order,
  8. Possession of Property Obtained by Crime (under),
  9. Possession of a Prohibited Firearm with Ammunition.

Craig Buckle, 29, of Toronto, is charged with:

  1. Conspiracy to Commit Indictable Offence,
  2. Three counts of Robbery While Armed with a Firearm,
  3. Disguise with Intent,
  4. Possession of a Firearm with Ammunition,
  5. Possession of a Firearm Knowing its Possession is Unauthorized,
  6. Unauthorized Presence of a Firearm in a Motor Vehicle,
  7. Possession of a Firearm Contrary to Prohibition Order.

Both accused are scheduled to appear in court at Old City Hall, on Sunday, January 25, 2009, room 101, 1 p.m.

The Toronto Police Service would like to thank the public for their support and concern during this investigation. The Service would also like to thank officers from 11, 12, and 13 Divisions, the Gun and Gang Task Force, TAVIS, ETF, PDS, the Hold Up Squad, as well as the York Regional Police Air Support, for their assistance.

The investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information is asked to contact police at 416−808−1100, Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416−222−TIPS (8477), online at, or text TOR and your message to CRIMES (274637).

Constable Wendy Drummond, Public Information, for Detective Peter Hans, Hold Up Squad

Jack Fava has been in touch with Adam Giambrone's office, and they are working along with Tony Ruprecht and Mario Silva to organize a community safety meeting as a followup to this incident.

We will post more information here as it comes in.

Open House: GO Transit Georgetown and Airport Rail Link

GO Train at Bloor StationGO Train at Bloor Station

Metrolix has announced a series of public open house meetings regarding changes on the GO Transit Georgetown South corridor and Pearson Airport rail link. These proposed changes will have a direct impact on our neighbourhood as there will be increased frequency of trains servicing the Bloor station on GO Transit's Georgetown line, in addition to the new airport rail service.

Please feel free to discuss these developments by posting comments below. You can also contact us if you would like the SJTRA to pass any comments on to Metrolinx for you.

Details for our local meeting:

When: Tuesday February 3 2009, 11:00am to 8:30pm
Where: Lithuanian House, 1573 Bloor St. W. (map)

More information can be found at the Metrolinx website here:

See below for the Metrolinx press release from January 21, 2009:

2009 Blackout Followup Meeting

Various members of Toronto's west-end communities have asked government officials and Toronto Hydro representatives for a public information meeting as a followup to the January 15-16 2009 blackout. A public meeting has been scheduled for Thursday January 22 at 7:00pm. Here are the details:

When: Thursday January 22 at 7:00pm
Where: Parkdale Public Library, 1303 Queen St. West (map)
More info: The CELOS website has a Power Blackout information page

See below for an email sent by Jutta Mason regarding the Blackout followup meeting and other related information.

Issues with Winter Parking

 February 2, 2008.Snowy Symington Ave.: February 2, 2008.

Today we received an email from a Symington Ave. resident who is looking for a solution to on-street parking problems caused by snow piles on the road. Please read the email below, as well as the response from Councillor Giambrone's office with some helpful suggestions and links.

What are your own experiences and opinions on snow removal issues in our neighbourhood? Feel free to discuss it here.


I am a resident of the South Junction Triangle and Ward 18, and I'm looking for a workable solution to the winter parking problem in the area. I park on the street, primarily on Symington Avenue, and during the winter months snow piles (a) cause logistical issues (it is difficult to enter and exit spots, and vehicles are damaged by large ice banks); and (b) run a safety risk (vehicles are parked far from the curb making it difficult to drive down narrow streets). In fact, a corner of my front bumper has been torn off as a result of parking between large piles of ice & snow on my street.

In addition to any solutions you can offer, I am interested in the following:

  1. Is it possible to periodically change the side of the street for permit parking, and to have a snow cleaner remove snow and ice from the parking areas?
  2. Will individuals actually be ticketed for shoveling snow onto the road and in between cars (understanding that the sidewalk is considered "public property")?
  3. Can an awareness campaign be started, including flyers and other promotional material, and distributed throughout the area to increase awareness about where snow should go? Both from a legal and practical perspective (i.e. sidewalks can legally be shoveled into the street but it makes parking and driving very difficult).

In particular, I would like to understand why ticketing is not more prominent for those homes that repeatedly shovel their personal property (e.g. private driveways and walk ways) into the road and in between cars. Can this not be better enforced?

Thanks in advance for your time.

(Name deleted)
Home Owner – Symington Avenue

The following response from Amanda O'Brien at Councillor Adam Giambrone's office came shortly after:

Community Meeting - Bloor Dundas 'Avenue' Study

The following meeting announcement was sent to us from the City of Toronto's Planning Department, regarding the ongoing Bloor Dundas Avenue Study.

Bloor Dundas Avenue StudyBloor Dundas Avenue Study

Community Meeting
Bloor Dundas ‘Avenue’ Study

Monday, January 26, 2009
6:30 p.m. - Open House
7:15 p.m. - Presentation

High Park Baptist Church – Lower Auditorium
9 Hewitt Avenue (at Roncesvalles Avenue) (map)

City staff and the City’s consultants have been working with the community to create a framework for new development and to identify needed service, transportation and streetscape improvements for the Bloor Dundas ‘Avenue’ Study area (see map).

In response to feedback at the November 18, 2008 community meeting, this meeting will provide additional information on land uses and related matters, and examples of built form scenarios for sites and sub-areas.

The meeting will start with an open house at 6:30 p.m. providing an opportunity to review display boards, ask questions and provide feedback. A presentation will follow at 7:15 p.m. To facilitate community feedback, material will be available on the Bloor Dundas ‘Avenue’ Study’s web page - - on Wednesday, January 21.

Please join us on Monday, January 26. Your input will help to improve and refine the draft
framework for the study area. The draft framework will result in a final study report, and subsequent new urban design and zoning by-law provisions for the Bloor Dundas ‘Avenue’ Study area.

If you cannot attend the meeting, you can still make your views known by emailing or by sending a fax to 416-397-4080 or by writing Corwin Cambray, Senior Planner, Policy and Research, 55 John Street, 23rd Floor, Toronto, Ontario, M5V 3C6.

You may also contact Councillor Gord Perks, Ward 14, Parkdale-High Park, at 416-392-7919 or by emailing

Dupont St. Underpass Murals

The the fall of 2008, Toronto artist Joel Richardson completed a new mural on the Dupont St. railway underpass between Campbell Ave. and Lansdowne Ave. The mural is on the north side of the street, but is probably best viewed from the south, so that you can see the whole mural as one big piece.

This week, BlogTO posted a series of photos of the mural.

Talk a walk by here sometimes and have a look. What do you think of these murals, and others in the area?

Toy Drive for Terrance Bascombe

On Saturday December 13, there was a shooting on Pelham Ave., near Osler St. and Davenport Rd. (map). 12 year-old Terrance Bascombe was hit in the leg with a bullet as he walked home with a friend. You can read more about what happened in the extensive media coverage (links down below).

Some area residents have organized a toy drive for Terrance and other children of the Pelham Park area. Here are the details:

“He’s only Twelve years old”

Residents, Politicians and Police have joined together to make this Holiday Season special for one very brave and lucky boy.

On Saturday Night December 13, 2008 Terrance Bascombe, for no apparent reason was shot in the leg as he was on his way home with his friend. Even with tough economic times, we ask that you please help and support the family, friends and neighbours deal with this very unfortunate situation.

If you wish to make a donation of toys for Terrance Bascombe and the other children in the complex, you can drop them off you at Toronto Police 12 Division by Monday, December 22, 2008. Or you can call or email the contact person below for more information.

Upon receiving the donations, residents and police will deliver the toys to Terrance and the children of Pelham Park on Monday, December 22, 2008

Campbell Park Skating - Season Opening

The Campbell Park skating rink opens this Saturday, December 6th for the 2008-2009 winter season. The rink is open for different levels of shinny/hockey, as well as pleasure skating.

More more details about the rink, including complete schedules, please check the website.

Saturday Schedule:

  • 10:00am – 11:00am All Ages
  • 11:00am - 12:00pm Pleasure
  • 12:00pm - 4:00pm All Ages
  • 4:00pm – 6:00pm Pleasure
  • 6:00pm - 7:00pm All Ages
  • 7:00pm - 8:00pm Level 3
  • 8:00pm - 9:00pm PERMIT
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