News Briefs

The Beach Hill Neighbourhood Association is holding its annual Spring Fling flower-planting event on Saturday, May 30, in the Gerrard Street East and Woodbine Avenue community. Help brighten the streetscape by planting colourful annuals around 22 trees along Gerrard. Afterward, stop in at the Naval Club, 1910 Gerrard St. E., for a drink, fresh food samplings from Fairmount Farm Market, and an evening of socializing. Pennies for Pegasus and food bank donations are welcome.

A pop-up Garden Shop, organized by the Fairmount Park Farm Market folks, will set up in the park, 1725 Gerrard St. E., on Wednesday, May 20 and the following Wednesday, May 27, rain or shine, from 3 to 7 p.m. Everything needed for the spring garden will be for sale – seeds, seedlings, soil, mulch, planters, organic fertilizers and pollinating plants.

City councillors have voted in favour of installing speed bumps on Kingswood Road between Kingston Road and Gerrard Street East, and reducing the speed limit to 30 km/h from 40 km/h. Paramedics and firefighters opposed the plan, as did city staff after a traffic study showed most drivers travel less than 10 km/h above the current 40 km/h limit on Kingswood, and no speeding collisions have been reported there in three years.

To get final approval, the traffic calming measures require 60 per cent of residents to vote in favour in a street-wide poll.

City council has given park staff a green light to negotiate a lease of Pantry Park to Kew Beach Public School during school hours. In exchange, the Toronto District School Board will give up its option to either build a new school on a parcel of land at nearby Woodbine Park, or transfer that option to another board.

Residents raised several concerns about the lease negotiations before the issue came to a council vote on May 5. Before it passed, the motion was changed to remove the 999-year term of the prospective lease, to protect backyard gates used by some neighbouring residents, to prevent the TDSB from building any fencing, and to require the TDSB to charge after-school park users the same fees they had previously paid the city’s parks department.

Community Centre 55 is offering its Muralist in Training program this summer to aspiring artists aged 14 to 18. Participants are taught the basics of mural administration, project management, how to interact with shareholders, budgeting, installation, painting techniques, and mural maintenance. To qualify, candidates must apply by June 1 and submit two samples of artwork. For more information contact Evonne Hossack, program director, at or call 416-691-1113.

Put pedal power to work on Monday, May 25. It’s Bike to Work Day, marking the beginning of Bike Month, and there are number of starting points in the East End. At 7 a.m., set off from the corner of Danforth and Woodbine Avenues. On Queen Street, the journey begins at Kew Gardens at 7:15 a.m. A third ride will leave from Dundas Street East and Kingston Road at 7:30 a.m. All rides end at Nathan Phillips Square for a pancake breakfast. For more info visit

Kim Thuy, winner of last year’s Canada Reads contest, will speak at the Beaches branch of the Toronto Public Library as part of The eh List Author Series. Thuy’s debut, Ru, won a Governor General’s award for fiction in French and a Giller nomination for the English translation. Her new book, Mãn, is a tale of love, food, and travel. The talk runs from 7 to 8:15 p.m. on Wednesday, May 27.

To celebrate its 60th anniversary, the Balmy Beach Rugby Club will host five back-to-back games at Birchmount Stadium on Saturday, May 23. Game one kicks off at 10:30 a.m., with others following every 90 minutes until 4:30 p.m. Admission is free.

The bells at the Church of St. Aidan will ring out on Sunday, May 31, to mark the release of the final report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada in the days leading up to National Aboriginal Day, June 21. The bells will chime for about 10 minutes following the Sunday morning service.

The TRC has been gathering testimonies from survivors of residential schools as part of the settlement in a class-action lawsuit brought against the government and churches for abuses that took place in those schools between the 1870s and 1996. More than 150,000 First Nations, Metis, and Inuit children were moved away from their families and into government-funded, church-run schools.

Reverend Lucy Reid, incumbent priest of St. Aidan’s, said this symbolic act is a way of saying ‘We care about this.’

“I thought the bell ringing was a way to say to the community ‘Hey wake up, pay attention, this is something significant.’ Church bells have been rung for all kinds of reasons for centuries as a signal to the community,” she said.

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