Man shot on Thorncliffe Park Dr. near Overlea Blvd

A young man was taken to hospital with life-threatening injuries after a shooting in Thorncliffe Park on Saturday. Police say it happened in a parking lot near Thorncliffe Park Drive and Overlea Boulevard.

Saving UK’s red squirrels by sterilizing dominant greys

Prince Charles has backed a government plan to save the native red squirrel by sterilizing grey squirrels with contraceptives of Nutella bait. The process will involve baited boxes in trees that have a weight-operated hinge flap. Smaller creatures will be too light to open it.

Former Celestin to become Birch Bistro under new owner

The well-known former bank building at Mt.Pleasant and Manor Rds. has a new tenant. The large premises will open soon as the Birch Bistro. Not too many details are known but the operator, Laurie, has posted her friendly hello on the door. This location was for many years Celestin and was purchased by the Bailey Brothers, Ivan and James, in 2009. They changed the name to Bar Mar in April in keeping with their Peruvian ancestry but  in December announced they would close the restaurant. The little shop that adjoins it on Mt. Pleasant was a butcher and it is understood that Laurie intends to operate a cheese shop in this space. Hope so.


Shooting incident, Don Mills break-in details released

Police have released a photo of a wanted man in a downtown shooting at a restaurant early Saturday as well as a composite of a man who broke into a Don Mills home while a woman was there on January 15. In the shooting case, the tough-looking person in the photos (left) is alleged to have discharged a firearm outside a place called the Thompson Diner at 550 Wellington West near Bathurst St. The shot hit a man in the hip. The suspect fled in a black Cadillac Escalade. He is described as 6′, large build, 25-35, with a light complexion, shaved head, and trimmed beard. He was wearing a black jacket, with a white shirt underneath and white pants.


The composite on the right is of an unknown man who gained entry to a residence in the Don Mills Road and Finch Avenue East area while lady of the house was home. He fled on being discovered. He is described as having a slim build, short blonde hair, wearing a dark waist-length jacket. Police are asking residents to report any suspicious vehicles or people seen in the area.

Retail soundings in department, grocery and dollar stores

The retail revolution goes on with department store J.C. Penney in the US saying this weekend it will close 130 to 140 stores. That’s said to be nearly 15 percent of its total. Macy’s and Sears are also faltering with the future unknown. Walmart’s boundless ambitions have been dampened by a chaotic in-store atmosphere some shoppers complain about. There is certainly no hurry to build the Walmart in the Wicksteed Ave. extension of the SmartCentre. The site has been still for more than a year. Walmart has recently begun a grocery home-delivery service in Toronto.


For its part, Loblaws seems to have no interest in following Walmart or global merchant Amazon into home delivery of food. Loblaws CEO Galen Weston likes what he sees so far in the so-called click and collect side of grocery sales. You choose items online and then come and  get them. You can do that at the Redway Road store. Click and collect is less costly than home delivery, vital in the low-margin world of food retail. The most buoyant retail scene is the dollar-store phenomenon. It shows no sign of slowing. Dollarama is being joined on the streets and in the shopping malls of Canada by such contenders as Giant Tiger (in Ontario and Quebec) the Great Canadian Dollar Store in Atlantic Canada and the Japanese entry Ichiban, now open in the East York Town Centre.

IT’S 2017: Turkeys, pigs on jetliners for “emotional support”

In the US, travelers can get medical certificates that permit them to fly with Emotional Support Animals. These might include turkeys, pigs and other creatures. Some practitioners are issuing ESA permits like movie tickets. But we must be sensitive. Steward, can I sit next to the dachshund instead of the turkey?

Halifax-Toronto flight blows tire and slides off runway

Air Canada #623 from Halifax blew a tire on landing at Toronto Friday. There was a scary moment or two as the plane slid off the runway. No one was hurt.

No service on TTC Line #1 between St. George, Downsview

Sold out fun for charity at Laugh Out Loud in Leaside

It was a sold-out event again Friday night at Charlene Kalia’s benefit Laugh Out Loud in Leaside. The William Lea Room was full as friends turned out to support the Maddie Project, a charity helping teens struggling with depression.

That yellow glow in sky is grass grow-lights at BMO field

The glow in the west-end Toronto sky last night and early Saturday was caused by yellow grow-lights installed over the grass at BMO Field at Exhibition Place. They are on a lot but the misty skies seemed to accentuate the effect. Now you know.

Sinkhole shuts South Kingsway south of Bloor West Village

A large sinkhole has shut down South Kingsway between Bloor St. West and The Queensway.  The road opened up at South Kingsway and Morningside Avenue, a street with the same name as a thoroughfare on the other side of the City. The sinkhole may be caused by a water main break.

Check opening of Meridian CU — in March not February

Meridian CU at 690 Mt. Pleasant Rd. opens Monday, March 27 not Monday, Feb. 27