February 26, 2020 – Fourth Annual AGM – Canterbury Place 7:00 – 8:30 PM
Thank you to our members and friends who came out to our event kindly hosted by Canterbury Place Retirement Residence. We had an exciting speaker. Didi Cameron (Yonge and Lawrence), who shared her very successful neighbourhood watch program with us. We recapped our past year’s accomplishments, shared some projects going forward and voted in our current board of eight.
Upon adjourning, we enjoyed some refreshments courtesy of Canterbury Place and had a lovely mix ‘n mingle with a few neighbours.
Family Game Night -January 18, 2020 Generously Hosted by York Cemetery
Thank you to Antonietta and her fabulous team at York Cemetery for hosting our first ever family game night! A few brave souls braved the winter storm for some laughter and fun and enjoyed hot chocolate and cookies kindly donated by Empress Loblaws.
Our evening ran from 6:30-9:00 PM and we were sad to say good-bye to Shutes and Ladders, Quirkle and the Reindeer Game :(.
October 17 – Emergency Preparedness hosted at the Willowdale Lawn Bowling Club
Last Thursday October 17th, 18 members/neighbours joined us as Donna Clark, Co-ordinator, Emergency Management with the City of Toronto provided a fun, interactive informative session. During the evening we learned that we need to plan for the “first 72 hours” as that is how long it may take first responders to get to us unless we are immediate peril.
We learned the necessity of having a 3 day supply of food/drink stockpiled (along with a can opener, and a kit bag of supplies at the ready/in your car – we hope we never need them but it is best to be prepared.
For more information on how to BE PREPARED: https://www.toronto.ca/community-people/public-safety-alerts/emergency-preparedness/before-an-emergency/
On Sunday September 29th, some WWNA neighbours participated in Second Hand Sunday
Secondhand Sunday (SHS) is a community reuse day held the last Sunday of April and September. Across the City. It’s your chance to get rid of unwanted, reusable items laying around your home. Simply leave them on your property next to the sidewalk or curb for your neighbours to take for free. Then, get in on the action and hunt for what you may need. A win win for all.
The next tentative date is Sunday April 26th, 2020
For more details check out http://www.secondhandsunday.ca/
Sunday, September 22nd – York Cemetery Historical Tour
It was a glorious summer (fall) day on Sunday, the 22nd as Nicole, Lisa and Sydney from York Cemetery led us on our First Annual York Cemetery History Tour. We had over 70 friends and neighbours walk as we learned about flora and fauna as well as a few of the many interesting people buried in our neighbourhood including Tim Horton and Olga Alexandrovna Romanov (the last Grand Duchess of Russia). We also took a stroll down the newly constructed walkway which leads to Cenotaph and learned about the Victoria Cross Memorial, constructed recognition of Canada’s 150th anniversary since Confederation, the one and only location in Canada dedicated to our soldiers who have received the Victoria Cross. Cheryl and Maurice (both staff and WWNA neighbours) generously served us water and cookies at the end of the walk. Thank you to the York Cemetery and your amazing staff!
Saturday, September 7th – Our Third Annual Community Garage Sale
Thank you to all the Sellers and Buyers who participated in our Annual Neighbourhood Garage Sale this past Saturday. It was another successful event. Mark your calendar for the next Neighbourhood Garage Sale on September 5th, the first Saturday after Labour day. It’s a great way declutter unwanted belongings, to score great deals and to meet your neighbours.
Wednesday, August 14th – Member Appreciation Mix ‘n Mingle
It was one of those gorgeous summer days when the warmth of the setting sun interspersed with the whiff of a breeze. A perfect backdrop for the gathering of neighbours at the West Willowdale Mix and Mingle, second year running, at Anna and Chris’ beautiful backyard on Betty Ann Drive. The Board contributed desserts, nibbles and drinks for all who attended. Meanwhile, the bubbling fountain, the twinkling lights of the gazebo and an assortment of shrubs and trees encircling an oval seating area, provided the ideal backdrop to clinking glasses and eager conversations. Approximately thirty past and present members attended and offered the Board their thoughts, compliments and ideas about current and future events. By the time the stars appeared, and people were reluctantly ready to bid goodbye, yet another successful event had concluded, with promises to convene again around the same time next year.
July 1st – Fourth Annual Canada Day BBQ
Thank you to all who attended our Fourth Annual Canada Day BBQ held in Dempsey Park on July 1st. The perfect weather brought out a larger than usual crowd who enjoyed the good food, company and games for all. The crowds certainly kept our board members hopping with the issuing of wrist bands, membership renewals and signing up of new members. We secured a new sponsor this year with Loblaws and Northtown Dental and are again thankful for the continued support from Canterbury Place, York Cemetery and the Toronto Centre for the Arts.
We had our best turn-out ever with 125 people in attendance who enjoyed food, drink and games and we are proud to say we welcomed 35 new memberships with eight renewals from past members.
Our small but mighty team of seven board members ran a stellar event. Congratulations go out to Michael and Eugene for their sterling work on the BBQ, to Mary Lynn and Suranjita for their work on the Membership table and Anna, Steve and Dave for their efforts to keep supplies moving to the BBQ’s and replenishing the condiments and cold drinks. Children of board members also assisted with the preparation of signs and the organization of games for the many children of members that attended this memorable Canada Day in the park.
Towards the end of the day, we had a visit from Federal MP for Willowdale, Ali Ehsassi who dropped by to see how we were faring and congratulated us on our turn out. He had held his annual Canada Day event at Earl Haig School in East Willowdale on Sunday, June 30th.
It was heartening to see the support which was taken to indicate a greater awareness of the activities of our group and to see us not only improving last years performance comments from members indicated appreciation of our efforts.
May 26th – Plant and Book Swap at Churchill Fun Fair
The Churchill and Yorkview School Fun Fair was held at Churchill school on Sunday, May 26th. The event was fortunate in terms of weather, the Sunday was bracketed both days with heavy rain before and after the event and a pleasantly warm day resulted in what looked to be a record attendance. People arrived at the Fun Fair well before the official time of opening (11.00 am) and there were still crowds on closing at 3.00 pm.
The West Willowdale Neighbourhood Association supported the event again this year with our annual Plant and Book swap. We raised a total of $110 that will be donated equally to each School’s Eco Club with the aim of purchasing supplies for their activities again this year.
The booth was manned by Steven Biggs and Dave Chapman who answered questions on Plants and the activities of the WWNA.
May 25-26th -TO Live invites WWNA to host a table at Doors Open Toronto at the Toronto Centre for the Performing Arts
Thank you to our sponsors at TOLive for the invitation to host a table at Doors Open TO this year – we had a blast and met many people from our neighbourhood and beyond. Great conversations were had and alot of interest generated for our York Cemetery History Tour coming on September 22nd at 2:00 PM. We also have many North Yorkers walk away with a great publication called “North York Culture Loop Guide” which although printed in 2016 is still a gem!
May 11th – Willowdale Bird Migration Meet-Up at Edithvale Community Centre
The West Willowdale Neighbourhood Association, in conjunction with the Edithvale-Yonge Community Association, Bird Watch Canada and F.L.A.P. (Fatal Light Awareness Program), arranged a gathering of interested bird enthusiasts to meet at the Edithvale Community Center on Finch Avenue West on Saturday May 11th. The weather, although rather brisk for spring was clear and sunny.
The objective of the gathering was to promote interest in the preservation of Birds and their habitat in Willowdale. It also tied in with Bird Studies Canada’s Bird Celebration month and is aimed to take advantage of the influx of birds through our neighbourhood on their way North for the summer season. The group was welcomed by Anne McConnell of the Edithvale-Yonge community group who introduced the other organizers in attendance and Steven Price, President of Bird Studies Canada.
The response to posters and emails from both community groups was heartening and a total of 23 adults and several children attended the Saturday morning gathering. A party of 20 interested birders led by Norma Van der Zon (FLAP Canada) for a short walk through a wooded area south of Edithvale on a path that follows the original course of Wilket Creek.
The walk took almost one hour and spotted or identified 14 different species both by sight and by listening to their birdsong. The group returned to the room at Edithvale for a recap discussion on what birds had been seen with coffee and cookies to round off the event. The general consensus of the day was that it was a resounding success for a first attempt and that this should become an annual event. It also represented the first joint community effort between our West Willowdale Association and our Edithvale neighbours and may lead to further joint community efforts in the future.
April 28th – Second Hand Sunday
WWNA participated in Second Hand Sunday for the first time Sunday April 28th, 2019. Secondhand Sunday (SHS) is a community reuse day held the last Sunday of April and September.
Homeowners are encouraged to get rid of unwanted, reusable items laying around their home. Simply leave them on your property next to the sidewalk or curb for your neighbours to take for free. Then, get in on the action and hunt for what you may need. By sharing reusable goods with one another we reduce our collective ecological footprint.
The event provides a fun opportunity for neighbours to meet each other face-to-face.
Secondhand Sunday takes place the last Sunday of April and September every year. The next one is Sunday September 29th.
April 27th – Dempsey Park Clean TO
Thank you to everyone who came out to the WWNA Clean TO @ Dempsey Park. While the weather was a little cool, it was dry. Overall the park was in good shape other than the dead racoon in the bushes which we reported to 311 for them to pick up!!
April 1st – Town Hall
In the recent past, Toronto neighbourhooods, including ours, have seen an increasing propensity of safety related incidents, a cause of concern for the residents. With this in mind, the Councillor’s office has organized a Town Hall on April 1st. This will be led by officers from Toronto Police who will be addressing topics such as preventing break-ins, road safety, etc. It’s scheduled from 6:00-8:00 pm at the People’s Church, 374 Sheppard Ave East. We are happy to co-host.
March 30th – Earth Hour Walk at 8:00 pm
It was a dark and stormy night!! A small but intrepid WWNA group were not discouraged and braved the cold, wind and rain to recognize Earth Hour 2019.
We met at the Willowdale Lawn Bowling Club (150 Beecroft Road) between 8:00 – 8:30 pm where we enjoyed a nice cup of hot chocolate with marshmallows, and of course, cookies.
Due to the inclement weather we did decide to alter our plans a little – enjoying the candlelit ambiance of the clubhouse a little while longer, before heading out on our walk. As we walked along our neighbourhood it was encouraging to see many of our neighbours participating in Earth Hour.
Save the Date for Earth Hour 2020 – MARCH 28TH, 2020
November 19th – Third Annual AGM – Newly Renovated North York Central Library
We enjoyed hosting our Third Annual AGM at the newly renovated and stunning North York Central Library.
With 24 neighbours in attendance, our board spoke about past successes and our 2019 plans. We enjoyed hearing from three library staff about the renovation and the new children’s section, the history as well as the science section.
We recapped our 2018 accomplishments, which included:
• Annual Canada Day BBQ
• Incorporation as a not-for-profit corporation
• Website update
• Ongoing e-mail communication to members
• Member appreciation event
• Co-hosted a fireside chat with Councillor John Filion
• Plant and book swap
• Community garage sale
• Advocating for reduction of speed limits on some streets
• Tree walk at York Cemetery
As well as re-elected the four board members whose terms were up: A motion to motion to acclaim Steven Biggs, Anna Baranowsky, Eugene Terenzio, and Suranjita Khaund was made by Murray Steward and seconded by Linda Karageorgos.
We also discussed our revamped website, 2019 tentative events, the treasurer’s report, constitution changes, elected the 2019 Board of Directors and shared committee reports (Community Safety, Development, Social, Beautification), new business and opened the floor for discussion.
October 10th – Members Appreciation Mix and Mingle
We had a lovely evening, with record high temperatures over 20 degrees – thank you Mother Nature. We were happy to see over 15 households attend with a chance to mix ‘n mingle over drinks and desserts and talk about this lovely neighbourhood and also some of our challenges. Two lucky households walked away with door prizes donated by the Toronto Centre for the Performing Arts and the AGO. We look forward to another Members only event in August 2019.
September 8th – WWNA Community Garage Sale
The second annual West Willowdale Neighbourhood Garage Sale was a great success. There was increased buyer traffic this year thanks in part to our ad in the North York Mirror. If you didn’t get a chance to participate this year, you can always take part in next year’s event the first weekend after labour day.
July 1st – Third Annual Canada Day Barbeque
Heat warning for the GTA, record-setting temperatures. Stay hydrated, check on your neighbours, don’t leave children and pets unattended.
Newspapers headlines and the radio screeched warnings going into the July long weekend as people braced themselves, stocked up on ice and sunscreen and made plans to stay cool. Meanwhile in a small square area of West Willowdale tucked away between Yonge and Senlac and Churchill and Park Home, a group of people were busy with frantic preparations: shopping for burgers, buns and hot dogs, discussing the placement of tents and the adequacy of garbage bins and checking off items in their to-do list.
It was, of course, a big, event-filled weekend but more importantly, it was the Canada Day barbecue hosted every year since 2016 at Dempsey Park. The barbecue is sponsored by member donations and generously subsidized by organizations such as Metro and Canterbuy Place and York Cemetary. It is one of, and perhaps the most prominent event organized by the association heralding the start of summer. It offers an opportunity for folks from the area to get together, learn of recent improvements and future events in the community and catch up on tidbits like what the neighbourhood foxes have been up to or when the new park at Abbotsford will be completed. In a city as well as an area of the city that is starting to bulge out at the seams, something as familiar and homely as a community barbecue is one of the ways that the association tries to sustain the sense of connectedness and belonging. This year’s event too saw a generous turnout despite or because of the heat, it’s difficult to tell. As volunteer members of the WWNA flipped burgers and grilled hot dogs, children played games of horseshoe, badminton, ball into the hole, etc. and parents and residents caught up with each other. By the time the event wrapped up new friends had been made, phone numbers exchanged and new folks added to the roster, some as associate members because they resided outside the boundaries ear-marked, which is both heartening and suggestive.
In case you missed this year’s barbecue, there are future events in the pipeline and we hope to see you there.
June 5th – Fireside Chat with John Filion – @Edithvale Community Centre, 7 pm
On June 5th Councillor Filion, in conjunction with West Willowdale Neighbourhood Association and Edithvale Yonge Residents Association hosted a “fireside chat” at the Edithvale Community Center.
Councillor Filion and his EA Markus O’Brien- Fehr provided updates on several key areas including Transform Yonge and the Council vote to defer it, the proposed development at Churchill and Beecroft, and an update on various traffic /safety initiatives including community safety zone designations near schools and watch your speed signs.
May 27th – Plant and Book Swap at Churchill/Yorkview Fun Fair – @ Churchill Public School
This year we held our Book and Plant swap at the Churchill / Yorkview School Funfair. We met neighbours and raised money for the Churchill and Yorkview Eco Clubs. With brilliant weather and support from parents of both schools, there was a great turnout.
The Yorkview Eco-club garden has been established for a number of years now and is very active, while the Churchill club is planning to start a garden this year. The funds generated by their plant sale, along with our plant/book swap donations contribution, help the clubs get gardening supplies to provide a grounding in gardening and ecology. Steven Biggs arranged a plant donation from a Niagara nursery again this year for the Eco-clubs and they did a brisk trade in the sale of Tomato plants and herbs.
Our Book and Plant swap generated a good deal of interest from the public and visits from several association members. The booth was manned by Emma Biggs, Lesley Chapman, Steven Biggs and David Chapman, with some help from Churchill and Yorkview parent volunteers.
We raised $168.75, which we donated to the Churchill/Yorkview Eco clubs.
May 24th – Cemetery and Tree walk led by York Cemetery and June 9th – Weekend Cemetery/Tree Walk led by WWNA
The May 24th walk was led by Jeff McMann , the chief arborist for the Mount Pleasant Group of Cemeteries. While we only walked around one section we saw a multitude of different trees, however, these were only a small portion of the variety of trees located on the property. Jeff provided lots of description and tidbits about the trees and even some of the history of the cemetery. Apparently, there used to be an airstrip just north of the main laneway that was used during the war!!
The cemetery is beginning the arduous task of identifying and cataloguing all the trees on the property to create a database that everyone can access to easily identify the various trees and data related to them. It is anticipated this project may take a couple of years to complete given the number of trees.
On June 9th, two of our WWNA Board members – Steven Biggs and Mary Lynn Simpson – did another walk through of the trees identifies on the earlier walk for members/neighbours who were not able to attend the earlier event.
Emergency Preparedness – January 25th at the Ontario Historical Society
We wish to thank Donna Clark, from the City of Toronto’s Office of Emergency Management for a great presentation, hosted at the John Mackenzie House with the Ontario Historical Society, on January 25th. We welcomed both members and non-members and the feedback was that people walked away with some very helpful information. More information about being ready and prepared for emergency situations can be found here: https://www.toronto.ca/community-people/public-safety-alerts/emergency-preparedness/
WWNA Second Annual AGM – October 17, 2017, York Cemetary
Michael Koor, President, welcomed everyone to WWNA’s Second Annual General Meeting on October 17 th ,2017 at the York Cemetery Centre in their “Willowdale” room.
At the meeting members were provided with an update on the WWNA’s past year including growing membership, treasurer’s report, the various events/activities held during the year, and accomplishments in our key areas of development, safety, neighbourhood beautification and social activities.
Marcus O’Brien-Fehr (Executive Assistant to Councillor Filion) and Councillor Filion provided updates on neighbourhood issues: speed limits, OMB changes, development in the area and an update on Re-imaging Yonge. In addition, Councillor Filion announced the planned enhancement to Abbotsford Park including an additional entrance off Ellerslie Avenue.
The meeting was capped off by an engaging presentation by Scott Kennedy author of “Willowdale”, who spoke on the history of the area, and shared numerous photos of many historical buildings and landmarks in the area.
WWNA Garage Sale – September 2017
Canada Day BBQ – July 1
Thanks to everyone who joined us for our Annual Canada Day BBQ in Dempsey Park.
The rain even held off this year till after all the festivities!! We had over 65 people who came out to join us to celebrate the day and enjoy hamburgers, veggie burgers, hot dogs and snacks. From all accounts everyone had a good time hanging out with neighbours and enjoying some of the games.
We will be doing it again next year so mark your calendars now!!!!
Plant and book swap – June 3 9-12 in Dempsey Park
We had lots of neighbours come out to share plants and books at our first annual plant and book swap at Dempsey Park on Saturday, June 3. Plants included annuals, perennials, fruit bushes, and even tomato plants. In the book department, people brought mysteries, novels, gardening books, cookbooks…we had a bit of everything. We donated all leftover books to charity.
Earth Hour Community Walk – Saturday, March 25th, 8:30-9:30 pm
A few families walked and chatted for the hour and counted how many houses were in darkness. We counted about 30% – something we can hope will increase over the years!
Fireside Chat with John Filion – March 1, 2017
Our fireside chat with John Filion, held on March 1st was a huge success. Thank you to over 35 neighbours who submitted questions and came out to talk to John
Our 2016 Annual General Meeting was held on October 18, 2016 from 7-8:30 pm at Canterbury Place.
Annual Canada Day BBQ in Dempsey Park
Our annual Canada Day BBQ in Dempsey Park was an overwhelming success – we even ran out of food, having to raid a few home freezers!! Thank you to all our members who came out to support the Association and help us celebrate Canada Day. The rain co-operated and held off for most of the festivities. We had lots of good food, games and opportunities to meet fellow neighbours.
Thank you to our local supporters and sponsors – Canterbury Place, Metro, and York Cemetery
WWNA Launch Meeting – October 2015 from 7-8:30 pm
WWNA Launch Meeting – October 2015 from 7-8:30 pm in Committee Room #3 at the North York Centre, 5100 Yonge Street. At this time, we will be collecting $20 membership fee (one year) to cover our admin. costs. One membership covers the whole household. Thank you in advance for joining!!
- Councillor John Filion will provide introductory remarks.
- Frank Bruni, past President of the West Lansing Homeowners Association will tell us how they got started and the value in being an association.
- Taking nominations for the WWNA Board, until Oct 9th. At our meeting we will elect a slate of officers for the association. If you would like to be considered for office please submit your name by email to firstname.lastname@example.org by October 9th, 2015. We will not be taking candidates on the day of meeting.
NOTE: Parking has been arranged at the underground entrance off of North York Blvd. but we need names in advance by Oct 20th – please email us at email@example.com to reserve a spot and put “Parking’ in the subject line.
We held our Inaugural Picnic in the Park on May 31st
Despite the rain we had a good time. Thank you to those who braved the wet weather to join us. Also, thank you to our sponsors: Metro, Maplehern Cooking School and the Bus Kitchen for all the delicious goodies they supplied. Please remember our sponsors when shopping, as they were generous to us.