Riverdale-East York Daily Updates: March–April 2020

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One male shot, one in custody, another sought by police

A shooting near O’Connor Drive and Wakunda Place this evening has left one male in hospital injuries and one being held by police. Meanwhile police are looking for for another male and a white SUV that fled the scene. Read the full, updated story.

Danforth child care for essential workers still open after another centre hit by COVID

Jesse Ketchum Early Learning and Child Care Centre in the Yorkville area has closed for 14 days, after three staff tested positive for COVID-19 and more staff and children await results. But the city’s six other centres for children of essential workers, including the Danforth Learning and Child Care Centre, remain open. See the story.

East York long-term care home reports eighth death, while others suffer worse

COVID-19 has struck many long-term care homes across Toronto with varying consequences, according to a city report today. The St. Clair O’Connor Community Care facility in East York now tallies eight deaths while centres in suburban Toronto have been hit worse. See the full story.

Virtual cycling fundraiser to support Michael Garron workers

Beaches-East York councillor Brad Bradford and about 300 other volunteers will be cycling for 24 hours on Friday to Crush COVID, but the immediate health beneficiaries may be the frontline workers at Michael Garron Hospital. Funds raised from the virtual event will go towards providing protective equipment for the hospital staff. Read the full story.

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Neighbourhood Voice bites the dust

Beaches-East York Neighbourhood Voice is among the latest newspapers to cease printing and move online for good. Publisher Torstar announced the shutdown on April 16. See the full story.

Put out your yard waste at least one more time

The city has extended its yard waste collection for another two weeks. It had been suspended as part of Toronto’s COVID-19 response but the city resumed it for a period from April 6 to 17. Yesterday it was announced the service would be continued to May 1. For more details see our report.

Body found in Taylor Drive fire

A body was found inside a Taylor Drive bungalow yesterday after firefighters extinguished a blaze that had engulfed the house, reports Toronto Fire Services.

Emergency responders were alerted to the fire by a caller on the street who reported black smoke pouring from the house but discovered someone was in the house only after the fire had been put out.

Read the whole story in Streeter news.

Donations for local shops collected by new site

Shops in Riverdale and East York are among businesses hit by the shutdown that you can support from a distance, thanks to a new website. Mayor John Tory is lauding distantly.ca, which has been set up to accept community donations for registered local businesses to help alleviate some of their expenses and help them survive the crisis.

Read all about it here.

Who is masked man robbing pharmacy, attacking woman?

A man wearing a medical mask — a great disguise these days when masks are common — allegedly robbed a pharmacy and attacked a women, trying to get her purse, near Danforth and Coxwell avenues on Saturday. Now police investigating the incidents have released images of a man they would like to identify. See the story and pictures in Streeter news.

Danforth child care centre set up for essential workers

Mayor John Tory announced this morning that the latest city-run day care site to be used as a child care centre for essential and critical workers’ families is to be located on Danforth Avenue, near Greenwood Avenue. The centre will be at 1125 Danforth Avenue, a facility usually used by the Danforth Early Learning and Child Care Centre, which has been closed during the coronavirus pandemic. Read the full story.

Better behaviour found in parks by enforcement officers

Have you noticed it in Stan Wadlow, Withrow or other local parks? Fewer people flouting the city’s social distancing rules and gathering in groups, or using closed park facilities, like playgrounds and fitness stations?

That’s what enforcement officers have discovered on the first two days of their four-day holiday weekend blitz of the city’s parks. This comes as they move from issuing warnings to issuing tickets — up to $1,000 — for infractions of the public health measures. Read more about it.

You’re invited to join the Beaches Easter Parade online

The  Beaches Easter Parade on Queen Street East may have been cancelled due to the COVID-19 scare, but it’s just starting online. The Beaches Lions Club, which presents the popular event each year, is accepting submissions from all Toronto residents for its first virtual Beaches Easter Parade.

See the story for all the details on how to join or enjoy the parade.

Skateboarders in Stan Wadlow Park among groups hit by distancing police

The city set a record for the number of tickets issued and people talked to for using shutdown facilities and congregating too closely in parks on Monday. This includes a 40-member group caught using the Stan Wadlow skateboarding park.

For more, see the story.

Fatal shooting investigated in East York’s Thorncliffe Park

Police found one person with very serious injuries in a car crashed into the swimming pool in Leaside Park near Overlea Boulevard and Thorncliffe Park Drive last night. The unidentified person had apparently been shot and was pronounced dead on the scene after failed CPR efforts.

Local highrise residents heard multiple shots and watched the drama unfold from their apartments. See the full story.

Danforth’s Bach Festival and other local cancellations

The Toronto Bach Festival, originally scheduled for May 29–31, is among the local events that have been shut down in the latest wave of cancellations due to the coronavirus pandemic. Now the cancellations, postponements, and moves to the internet extend right into summer. See our updated guide to the changes.

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Local cancellations now extend into mid-May

Live performance is dead on the Danforth as two of the area’s usually busiest venues, the Danforth Music Hall and the Linsmore Tavern, are among those that have shut down. Local concerts, shows and meetings scheduled over the next two months have been cancelled, postponed and — in rare circumstances — moved online. See our full list of closures in midtown, central Toronto and the east end.

Local business shutdowns to spread after premier’s announcement

A lot more local businesses will be shut down tomorrow — temporarily, it is hoped — as Premier Doug Ford has announced only “essential workplaces” can stay open in the province.

This latest move to combat the spread of the coronavirus will leave our local grocery stores, pharmacies, hardware stores, pet shops and several dozen other types of businesses operating from their storefronts and offices, while many more others are forced to close their doors. The closed shops, however, can still offer their products and services online and by phone, and eateries can still provide takeout and delivery service.

Here’s what we know so far about how it will affect the businesses in our communities. We’ll have much more about the local business scene later.

Local coffee shops still for takeout

Most of Riverdale and East York’s popular cafés are — so far — sticking out the coronavirus crisis. The coffee shops on and around Danforth Avenue are staying open for takeout business at least, with a few exceptions. Here’s our summary of 18 shops (and counting) and the conditions under which they are open — or not.

Now we have to avoid extreme weather too

It’s bad enough our streets are already almost empty with people avoiding the coronavirus, but now we have another reason to stay home. Toronto Public Health is asking residents to avoid non-essential travel today, according to a media release this morning.

This comes after Environment and Climate Change Canada issued a weather statement warning of possible extreme weather today. See the story in Streeter news.

Local shutdowns and cancellations prompted by coronavirus crisis

Ontario’s and Toronto’s chief medical officers have issued their warnings and recommendations about combating COVID-19 through local distancing. And now the speed of local shows being cancelled, venues shut down and programs postponed has accelerated.

We’re trying to stay on top of it with an updated tips list in Streeter news. If you’ve learned of any other schedule changes in our communities due to coronavirus concerns, let us know.

Local events cancelled across our neighbourhoods

We’re starting a running list of events that have been cancelled or postponed and venues that have shut down or reduced hours in the local areas due to the growing coronavirus crisis. See the list in Streeter news.

Coronavirus testing centre set up in East York

Michael Garron Hospital has opened a coronavirus assessment centre with an entrance separate from the rest of the hospital, MGH announced today. It’s to meet the expected growing demand for testing in the community.

But before you rush down there, be aware the centre is taking only patients exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 — and only by telephone appointment. Read the full story with photos of the new centre.

Man arrested for Gamble Ave. car break-ins

Police have arrested a 34-year-old man for the break-ins that affected more than 20 vehicles in a Gamble Avenue apartment building overnight on March 3–4. See the updated story.

Garbage deal ratified by city and union

We should be getting garbage pickup and other services in this area for quite a while longer after union members and city councillors ratified a five-year deal with the city’s outside workers. Read the latest news.

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22 cars broken into, items stolen in East York underground garage

Police are investigating after 22 vehicles in an East York underground parking lot were broken into and items stolen late Tuesday night.

Residents at 100 Gamble Ave. discovered the alleged vandalism and thefts Wednesday morning and called police. See the full story so far.

Two-alarm fire in Dawes Road apartment

Evacuated residents feared for the safety of children they thought might be stranded in the Dawes Road building where a fire broke out on Sunday. But in the end there were no serious injuries, according to fire officials. More about the fire in Streeter news.

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