Teacher situation demands new tactics from Province

In mid-July I represented the Province of Ontario at the Mid-Western States and Provinces Conference held in Cleveland, Ohio.  There were many frank discussions about the state of our respective economies and much angst from American state legislators about the decline in education attainment in the United States.  It was admitted that American education standards […]

A look at the state of public education in the East End

School has begun again and there is enthusiasm and excitement and an anticipation of learning. I am told by those who have had way more experience than I, that the desire to learn is imbedded in a child. They hunger to learn. While there are some who do an interesting job of disguising that longing, […]

Passion and willingness to give drew me back to the Beach

I’ve been asked many times since my tenure began here why I came back to the Beach (well, technically the Danforth in my case – it remains to be officially decided whether that counts as ‘the Beach’) after moving away to British Columbia in 2010. Some have asked whether Smithers turned out to not be […]

Looking for more local legends to take the lead

The Beach has lost one of its anchors. One of its leaders. One of its heroes. Glenn Cochrane, the tireless benevolent advocate for our wonderful community! The list of Glenn’s community crusades is endless: saving the Leuty Lifeguard Station, championing Community Centre 55 initiatives, spearheading the ‘Lord Mayor of the Ward #9’ fundraiser, educating everyone […]

Beach character comes from people, not buildings

Make the entire length of Queen Street a heritage district?!? What have people been smoking (perhaps they were at the marijuana conference this past weekend!)? I imagine a small group of Beachers sitting around in a circle brainstorming, and planning their next initiative: a Declaration of Secession! They’ll dig a moat along the length of […]

Looking past Lick’s to a new era of community input

It’s been a long and difficult haul, but on May 15, the Toronto East York Community Council voted unanimously in favour of approving the development application at 1960-62 Queen East. Community residents were on hand at city hall to share their frustration with the planning and consultation process, a frustration all members of the Community […]

Celebrating Police Week with 55 Division

In 2012 the Toronto Police Service’s 55 Division is committed to improving community safety, crime prevention and customer service. To that end, 55 Division will continue to work closely with our many community partners to enhance our goal of improving the quality of life and safety within our many neighbourhoods. 55 Division is defined by […]

Good things really do grow in Ontario

With climate change upon us, we have yet another reason to support our amazing Ontario farmers. Thanks to the winter that wasn’t this year, maple syrup production has hit an all time low. Without snow cover, there is added stress for overwintering crops like garlic. Ground water levels cannot be replenished to the regular healthy […]

Impact of the federal budget

Where are urban communities reflected in the Federal Budget and whatever happened to that noble and necessary objective of post-carbon cities?  It’s not there. But, more than that, Budget 2012 delays and damages the very possibility. This is a government that makes Kermit the Frog’s anthem It’s Not Easy Being Green a difficult one to […]

Taming Queen developments

It’s fun to see your own community on TV. However, a March 15 segment on Global News about the glass condo blitz on Queen in the Beach was sad to watch (tinyurl.com/6p54fjw). It covered the problems associated with development, such as increased street parking, traffic congestion and TTC short-turns. Local historian Gene Domagala described how […]