E-News: Community Updates and Spring Events

ByBrad Bradford

Hi Friend,

With cherry blossoms and magnolia trees blooming across the city, spring feels like it’s truly arriving. 

This is a special time of year for many people in our community, with the Bangladeshi, Nepalese and Tamil communities celebrating the New Year. Last week was also Eid al-Fitr, the celebration of the end of the holy month of Ramadan. It was a privilege to join some events to mark these occasions – I’ve included a few photos below.

Council met this past week, and our major focus was on the Vacant Home Tax fiasco. After hearing concerns from hundreds of you, I asked tough questions to understand how this happened and how it can be avoided in the future. The answers did not inspire confidence that the program could be fixed in a way that avoids the disaster of this year, which is why I supported a motion to end the program. You can read more in my City Hall Updates below.

Read on for more updates from our community, and reach out with any questions or concerns you have.

Celebrating Ramadan with the Bangladeshi Community 

Ramadan is such a special time for Muslims across the City. I was privileged to be able to join community members for an Iftar celebration. 

Special thank you to the Dhaka Club for organizing, and I hope everyone had a wonderful Eid al-Fitr to end this holy month. 

Little Stanley Cup Day

This year marked the 69th annual Little Stanley Cup Day for East York Hockey Association (who are celebrating their 79th year!).

Big thanks to Connie and all the volunteers that make this happen year after year and, of course to all the parents who put in the long hours rink side to support hockey in the city 🏒

Happy Nepali New Year 

Happy 2081! 

It was great to celebrate the Nepali New Year with friends. Thanks to Srijansil Nepali Samaj for organizing another great event with some wonderful performances.

Happy Bengali New Year 

Celebrating Bengali New Year with joy, tradition and new beginnings! 

Wishing everyone a year filled with happiness, prosperity and unity. It was great that so many people turned out on a bright and sunny day at Dentonia Park.


 – Brad

In This Issue

Updates & Announcements from City Hall

Small Business Spotlight 

  • Local Flower Shops in Beaches-East York 🆕

Local Events 

  • Planning Committee Members Needed – 2024 East York Canada Day Festival 🚨
  • April 20: Beaches Bridge Pub Crawl 🆕
  • April 24: Seniors Spring Niagara Trip 
  • April 26: Fish N’ Chips Fundraiser at Centre55 
  • April 27: Spring Fling feat. Juno-nominated Barbra Lica 
  • May 3: Informative Fridays at Centre 55 East End Health 
  • May 4: EcoFair at Beach United Church
  • May 11: Annual Community Police Day 🆕 
  • May 21: May Seniors Trip – Blue Jays Baseball Game 🆕
  • Members of the Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra (TSYO) in Recital 

Community Programs & Employment

  • Annual Toronto Nature Stewards 🆕
  • Green Neighbours Network – Deadline: April 28 🆕
  • Community Centre 55 Seniors Spring Programming 
  • Healthy Child Screening 
  • Jazz Guitar Series at Hirut 
  • SING! 
  • Queer Youth United 
  • WoodGreen Community Services: Need for Volunteers 
  • SCHC – Fall Bereavement Support Groups 
  • The Neighbourhood Group – Job Assistance 
  • Seniors Assistance Home Maintenance (SAHM) Program 
  • Thorncliffe Park Youth Wellness Hub 

Neighbourhood News

  • By-law Enforcement: Dogs Off-Leash Parks 

Work in the Ward

  • TTC Service Update: Line 2 Subway Weekend Closure – Woodbine Ave to Kennedy Rd 🆕
  • Road Repaving Season is back! 🆕
  • O’Connor Construction Update: April 2024 
  • Toronto Hydro Overhead & Underground Civil & Electrical Upgrade; Project Danforth 
  • Toronto Hydro Overhead Electrical Upgrade; Dentonia Park Avenue Overhead Rebuild Phase 1A 
  • Toronto Hydro Overhead & Underground Civil & Electrical Work: Glen Manor Drive 
  • REVISED: Hydro Work – Danforth Overhead Rebuild Phase 2A 

City Wide News/Events

  • Cherry blossom trees expected to bloom across Toronto this weekend! 🆕
  • Clean Toronto Together 
  • April is BeADonor Month 

Thanks for taking the time to read my bi-weekly newsletter! If you have any events, news, or ideas to share for our next one – please reach out to my office. Send me an email at [email protected] and we can get you included in our next issue. 

Updates & Announcements from City Hall

City Hall Updates🆕

City Council came together this week for two long days of discussion. While there were a number of important items on the docket, the meeting was focused most critically on the need for change after the Vacant Home Tax fiasco.

While the Vacant Home Tax has always had administrative challenges, this year’s rollout was orders of magnitude worse with hundreds of thousands of Torontonians wrongfully receiving a hefty bill from the City of Toronto despite living in their homes. That’s why I voted to bring an end to the program until we can design a program that’s easy and automatic for homeowners. Unfortunately, the Mayor and Council decided otherwise, but I will continue fighting to fix the program and ensure it does not cause the problems that happened this year. You can read more of my thoughts on the Vacant Home Tax in my op-ed.

On the housing front, I am happy to report that Council unanimously approved my motion to get more shovels in the ground on much needed housing by encouraging modular and other rapid build housing technologies. These are the type of innovative housing solutions that enabled us to deliver the supportive housing project at 540 Cedarvale that provides a home to 59 vulnerable seniors here in our community. If we’re serious about meeting our housing targets and bringing back affordability, we need to rethink how we build the housing that we need across all our communities. 

Small Business Spotlight 🌷

Spring has sprung! As the weather warms up, I encourage everyone in #BEY to support local flower and garden shops across our community. Here are some of the small businesses that are working hard to brighten up our homes and gardens this season. Take the time to check them out: 

1. Kingston Road Flower Market, 966 Kingston Rd. 🌷

2. Beachwood Flower Shop, 1916 Queen St E. 🌼

3. The Flower Centre, 1012 Kingston Rd. 🥀

4. Prince of Wales Garden Centre, 1846 Danforth Ave. 💐

5. Ontario Plants, 2028 Dundas St E. 🌹

6. St. Clair Flowers, 2781 St Clair Ave E. 🌸

7. Natural Florist, 1852 Danforth Ave. 🌻

8. NaNa Florist, 2424 Danforth Ave. 🌺

If you have local businesses in the ward that you’d like for us to promote in our e-newsletter, please reach out to us at [email protected]. Let’s continue recognizing and supporting the small businesses that make our neighbourhood great. 

Local Events

🚨 We need YOU to help plan the 2024 East York Canada Day Festival 🚨

We need your help organizing the 67th East York Canada Day Parade and Festival for 2024. This event is run entirely by volunteers and requires community members to serve on the organizing committee – we need your help to make sure the event can take place in 2024 and beyond.

If you can provide organizing assistance, or have new ideas to bring to the event, please reach out at [email protected] for more information. 

More information on the event can also be found at www.eycdc.ca

This is a much beloved event and it’s counting on our community to keep this family fun, long standing event going.

Seniors Spring Niagara Trip 

Community Centre 55 will be taking 50 people on a Seniors Spring Niagara Trip on Wednesday, April 24th, 2024! Join them for the day to visit the blooms and butterflies of Niagara! 

Eventbrite link for registration and payment:


For more information, please contact Jennifer at 416-691-1113 x 224 or [email protected].

Fish n’ Chips Fundraiser at Centre 55 

Come on down for a good ol’ fish fry! Join Community Centre55 for a special fundraiser and Fish and Chips dinner on Friday, April 26, 2024. 

Please RSVP by e-mail to [email protected]. There will be 2 seatings for this dinner and sign up will be first come first serve.

Spring Fling feat. Juno-nominated Barbra Lica 

The Beach United Church Choir is excited to present an evening of music, refreshments and community fellowship on Saturday, April 27th, 2024 at 7pm to welcome in the spring season. Tickets are $40/Adult and $15/Child.

Link to purchase tickets:


Informative Fridays at Centre 55 Presented by East End Health 

Join Centre 55 for Seniors Health Presentations presented by East End Health Centre on Friday, April 12, 2024 and Friday, May 3, 2024 from 2 p.m. – 3 p.m.

To register for one or both, please email Jade at [email protected] or call 416-691-1113.

EcoFair at Beach United Church 

This is a call for vendors and volunteers! Beach United Church is looking for vendors with eco-friendly products, as well as non-profit exhibit/participants.

If you are interested in being a vendor or volunteer, please email [email protected].

Entry is free and open to all ages!

Annual Community Police Day 🆕 

Annual Community Police Day is back on Saturday, May 11, 2024 at Jimmie Simpson Park. It is a free event with fun activities and food. Don’t miss out! 

May Seniors Trip – Blue Jays Baseball Game 🆕

Join Centre 55 on Tuesday, May 21, 2024 for a Jays Game at the Rogers Centre!

They will be watching the ballgame on the 100 Level, Section 135 , behind 3rd base. We are also including one hot dog and one beverage as we take you out to the ballgame!

You can ONLY GET YOUR SPOT by responding to Jennifer at [email protected] to register. 

Members of the Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra (TSYO) in Recital 

Kingston Road United Church is hosting a series of monthly recitals featuring Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra musicians in brief, informal recitals. Each recital features different instruments from the orchestra. 

For more information, visit: TSYO Recitals.

Community Programs & Employment Events

Annual Toronto Nature Stewards 🆕

Calling all fellow Beachers 📣, the Ashbridge’s Bay Nature Stewards and the Glen Stewart Park Stewards are working under the Toronto Nature Stewards, which will be starting up soon. Please come and join your neighbours in helping to remove invasive and mostly non-native plants and replanting native plants. This successful program is entering into its fourth year. 

Across Toronto, they have grown from 9 sites with 150 stewards in 2021 to 43 sites with a projected possible 1000 stewards this year. 

Please visit https://torontonaturestewards.org/ for more information. 

Green Neighbours Network – Deadline: April 28 🆕

Beach United is very excited to share a new project launching in partnership with Green Neighbours Network and two other groups in the west end. 

Beach United is planning a Biodiversity Counts 8 week project to see just how biodiverse our neighbourhood parks and green spaces are and are they more biodiverse close to pollinator gardens.

Please visit GoodWork.ca for more information about Biodiversity Counts SummerWorks jobs.

Community Centre 55 Seniors Spring Programming 

Seniors Spring Programs began on Tuesday, April 2, 2024 and will end on Friday, June 21, 2024.

There are still have spots in the classes below with the others having a waitlist.

  • Line Dancing
  • Groove Fit
  • Photography
  • Hatha Yoga
  • Mat Pilates
  • Essentials Mat Pilates

PHOTOGRAPHY: This hands-on photography workshop at Community Centre 55 is for anyone new to photography. Participants are asked to bring their “camera” (cellphone camera, point-&-shoot, mirrorless or DSLR) and a USB stick for their presentations. The photography program is run by Landscape and Travel photographer James.

INFORMATIVE FRIDAYS PRESENTATION SERIES: A variety of engaging topics covering mental, financial, physical and social wellness. Keep an eye out for ongoing emails or check the Centre 55 bulletin board and www.centre55.com for more information. Their first presentation will be on April 12th. Details will be sent out early next week.

If you are interested in registering for any available classes or adding your name to a waitlist, please send an email with the following information:

  • Your full name (first and last name)
  • The name(s) of the classes you would like to register for
  • Your email address, and
  • Your phone number

They will be accepting cash or cheque payments only – credit card payments will not be accepted. Payments will be accepted during the first week of classes.

If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact Jade Maitland at [email protected] or (416) 691-1113 ext. 220.

Access Alliance Presents: Healthy Child Screening 

If you have a child between the ages of 2 to 6 years old, then this event is for you!

Access Alliance is offering screening for children between the ages of 2 to 6 years old at various locations. Health care providers and community workers will screen your child on the spot and provide you with information and referrals as needed. All newcomers and community members are welcome!

For more information, please contact Keisha through email at [email protected] or cell, 416-693-8677 ext. 4234.


SING! is back and they are open for Winter and Spring 2024 sessions. If you’re interested in learning more, visit: https://www.theredwoodtheatre.com/

Queer Youth United  

Queer Youth United (QYU) at Beach United Church, 140 Wineva Ave. every Thursday from 4-7pm.

QYU is is a 2SLGBTQ+ youth group for ages 15-29, where you can come and engage with others in a safe space within the community, while sharing meals, finding support and resources. 

You are welcome to drop-by at any time during the 4pm-7pm time period!

For more info: instagram.com/QueerYouthUnited or beachunitedchurch.com

WoodGreen Community Services: Need for Volunteers 

WoodGreen Community Services runs a free tax clinic and are seeking volunteers to assist them in this meaningful initiative.

Their clinic helps low-income individuals navigate the complexities of tax preparation, ensuring they receive the refunds and benefits they are entitled to. However, the demand for their services has grown considerably each year, and they are struggling to meet this increased demand due to a shortage of volunteer tax preparers. 

If you’re interested in volunteering with WoodGreen, please contact Ansley Dawson at [email protected] or 416-645-6000 ext. 1331.  

SCHC – Fall Bereavement Support Groups 

Scarborough Centre for Healthy Communities is a not-for-profit organization that provides a variety of holistic programs to support the health and well-being of the community. One of the programs offered is the Bereavement Peer – Support Groups. They provide several different types of virtual and in-person options. 

For more information, please visit: SCHC – Bereavement Care.

The Neighbourhood Group – Job Assistance 

The Neighbourhood Group is offering FREE Employment Services to help you prepare for and find work. Whether you’re out of school and looking for a job, new to Canada and want your first Canadian work experience, looking to change your career, or trying to get back into the workforce, they have various training programs, work placements, workshopsonline job board, and resource centres.

For more information, visit The Neighbourhood Group.

Seniors Assistance Home Maintenance (SAHM) Program

The Seniors Assistance Home Maintenance (SAHM) program has been organized to support the seniors community with services ranging from garden and yard work to light housekeeping. 

If you or anyone you know is looking for more assistance around their home, contact Kevin at 416-531-8447 or email [email protected] for more information.

Thorncliffe Park Youth Wellness Hub 

We’re thrilled to share that in-person services are available at the Thorncliffe Park Youth Wellness Hub, a new welcoming space at East York Town Centre that provides health, wellness, employment and other services for youth and young adults! To access services, come by the Thorncliffe Park Youth Wellness Hub during its drop-in hours: Monday to Friday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

It is located at East York Town Centre, 45 Overlea Blvd. (Please use mall Entrance 6; the Youth Wellness Hub is located beside Dollarama). All services are free and open to everyone aged 12 to 25. Youth and young adults do not need a health card, family doctor or medical referral. Services include wellness counselling, peer support, employment services, settlement services, food support, primary care and more. No matter what you might be dealing with, their team can help.

For more information, please visit Thorncliffe Youth Club or follow them on Instagram @ThorncliffeYouthHub.

Neighbourhood News

By-law Enforcement: Dogs Off-Leash Parks 

Bylaw is relying on complaint data to focus higher levels of enforcement on the following dogs off-leash parks where a large number of issues have been raised, with the hope that education and escalated enforcement will encourage responsible dog ownership: 

  • Dentonia Park 
  • Fairmount Park 
  • Woodbine Beach Park 
  • Woodbine Park 

We understand the importance of exercise for your beloved pet. However, it is important to practice Responsible Dog Ownership and keep your dog on leash in areas that are not marked off as official dog off-leash areas. 

Please take the time to visit the following dogs off-leash areas in Beaches-East York by visiting the interactive map.

Be a good neighbour and be mindful of your surroundings! 

Work in the Ward

TTC Service Update: Line 2 Subway Weekend Closure – Woodbine Ave to Kennedy Rd 🆕

Please note that from Saturday, April 20, 2024 to Sunday, April 21, 2024, Line 2 will be shut down for planned track work. Shuttle busses will operate during this period. 

Regular service will resume at 6am on Monday, April 22, 2024. 

Road Repaving Season is back! 🆕

Many local streets within Beaches-East York are slated for repaving and geometric improvements this spring. 

  • If your street is being repaved, you will be receiving a construction notice.
  • If the construction work will impact your parking, be sure to display the construction notice on your dashboard to prevent receiving penalty tickets. 
  • If you have already received a ticket due to construction, use the construction notice in the dispute process. 

Be sure to park in a legal parking spot otherwise your parking ticket will be valid.

O’Connor Construction Update: April 2024 

Phase 1: The majority of the watermain infrastructure work is complete!  The remaining water service connections will be completed by early May 2024.  The asphalt being put down during this phase is TEMPORARY, and the road will be entirely reconstructed in Phase 2 of this project.

Phase 2: Road reconstruction and sidewalk replacements has begun on O’Connor Drive between Glenwood Cres. and St Clair Ave E.

Within the active construction zones, O’Connor Drive will be reduced to one lane in each direction.

Building a great city takes time and we thank you for your ongoing patience during this critical infrastructure work.  

This work is projected to be completed in its entirety by early Fall 2024.

If you have any concerns or suggestions, please reach out to my office.

Toronto Hydro Overhead & Underground Civil & Electrical Upgrade; Project Danforth 

Toronto Hydro is pleased to inform you they will be improving the electricity system in our ward. 

The boundaries for the project include Dentonia Park Avenue (North), Victoria Park Avenue (East), Danforth Avenue (South), and Eldon Avenue (West). Work began in March and will continue through January 2025.

Toronto Hydro Overhead Electrical Upgrade; Project Dentonia Park Avenue Overhead Rebuild Phase 1A 

Toronto Hydro is hard at work to improve the electricity system in Ward 19. Please see the detailed graphic below for more information.

The boundaries for the project include Rosevear Avenue (North), Victoria Park Avenue (East), Dentonia Park Avenue (South), and Dawes Road (West). 

Toronto Hydro Overhead & Underground Civil & Electrical Work: Glen Manor Drive 

Toronto Hydro will be conducting further infrastructure upgrades in our community. Please see the detailed graphic below for more information.

The boundaries for the project include a section of Glen Manor Drive between Duart Park Road (North) and Queen Street East (South). 

REVISED: Hydro Work – Danforth Overhead Rebuild Phase 2A 

Toronto Hydro is currently doing some upgrades on Danforth. The boundaries for the project include Dentonia Park Avenue (North), Thyra Avenue (East), Danforth Avenue (South), and Avonlea Boulevard (West). Staff expects the work to begin in February 2024.

City Wide Events 

Cherry blossom trees expected to bloom across Toronto this weekend! 🌸 🆕

The City of Toronto is expecting cherry blossom (Sakura) trees across the city to reach peak bloom over the next couple of weeks. This annual rite of spring is a popular natural phenomenon Torontonians and visitors will soon be able to enjoy at several locations across the city. There are more than a dozen locations across Toronto where cherry blossoms can be enjoyed, many of which are easily accessible by public transit:  

  • Broadacres Park
  • Cedar Ridge Park
  • Cedarvale Park
  • Edwards Garden
  • Exhibition Place
  • High Park
  • Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre
  • John P. Robarts Research Library
  • Trinity Bellwoods Park 
  • University of Toronto Scarborough Campus
  • Woodbine Park 
  • York University

To help manage the volume of visitors to High Park, vehicle access and parking inside will be restricted starting on April 22, 2024 for the duration of peak bloom, with the exception of TTC Wheel-Trans vehicles.  

For more information on when the High Park cherry blossoms are in bloom, please visit the High Park Nature Centre’s webpage: https://highparknaturecentre.com/cherry-blossom-watch/

Cherry blossoms typically last between four and 10 days depending on weather conditions. More information including a map of locations and accessibility information is available on the City’s Cherry Blossoms webpage: https://www.toronto.ca/explore-enjoy/festivals-events/cherry-blossoms/

Clean Toronto Together! 

Clean Toronto Together, the City’s annual spring cleanup of parks and other public spaces returns from April 19, 2024 to April 22, 2024. Over these four days, thousands of residents, students, businesses, organizations and community groups will pitch in to help keep our city clean and free of litter.   

  • Toronto History Museums will be hosting litter cleanup events that residents can join. 
  • Accepted cleanup locations include: parks, ravines, beaches, sports fields, trails, sidewalks. 
  • Private property cleanups and yard waste collections are not permitted. 
  • Participants are encouraged to bring their own plastic bags to collect litter.  
  • Special litter collection will be available for registered cleanups taking place on April 19 to 22, subject to staff approval.  
  • Registration closes on April 18 
  • Cleanups should proceed rain or shine! 
  • Questions can be sent to [email protected] 

Find more information and events on the City’s Clean Toronto Together webpage

April is BeADonor Month

BeADonor Month occurs every April across Ontario. 

Throughout the month, communities and advocates across the province will unite to encourage Ontarians to register their consent for organ and tissue donation, joining more than four million people across the province who have already registered.

  • One organ donor can save up to eight lives and enhance the lives of up to 75 others through tissue donation.
  • About 1,400 people in Ontario are waiting for a life-saving organ transplant.
  • Every three days, someone will die waiting for an organ transplant.
  • Everyone has the potential to be an organ and/or tissue donor, regardless of age or health.
  • Over 4 million Ontarians have formally registered their consent to organ and tissue donation. Talk to your family about your donation decision and visit www.BeADonor.ca to register or learn more.

Thanks for taking the time to read my bi-weekly newsletter! If you have any events, news, or ideas to share for our next one – please reach out to my office! Send me an email at [email protected] and we can get you included in our next issue.

Have questions, comments or concerns? Just hit reply to this email and get in touch with me.

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