Monthly Archives: July 2013

Maple Leaf Forever tree lives on through offspring

Great story in today’s Star (July 21) by Jessica McDiarmid:

Toronto ‘Maple Leaf Forever’ tree lives on through offspring

Bill Wrigley and Carolyn Swadron grew a sapling from famous historic tree and planted it in Maple Leaf Forever Park nearby.

The Maple Leaf is forever, after all.

Friday night’s storm felled the storied silver maple said to have inspired Alexander Muir’s “The Maple Leaf Forever.” But the tree will live on, not only in history and fond memory, but in the small park behind Maple Cottage on Laing St. in the east Toronto neighbourhood of Leslieville.

That’s where its 13-year-old offspring grows. How it got there is quite the tale.

Engineer Bill Wrigley retired at 63. By 65, he was bored. So he went to the University of Toronto and did an undergraduate degree in aboriginal studies and anthropology. And then a masters in archeology (he says he “ran out of steam” halfway through a doctorate).

On a dig at the Ashbridge Estate, a nearby historical property once owned by one of Toronto’s founding families, Wrigley’s fellow students told him they hadn’t heard the song that was so iconic to earlier generations.

So he took them to see the tree. Wrigley does talks on a wide array of subjects such as Canadiana, aboriginal history and the history of Muir’s poem that became an unofficial anthem.

See the full story:
Toronto ‘Maple Leaf Forever’ tree lives on through offspring

Photo gallery in Toronto Star:
Maple Leaf, not forever

Maple Leaf Forever - descendant tree

The “Maple Leaf Forever” tree goes down in last night’s storm

From the Toronto Star:

‘The Maple Leaf Forever’ no more: Storm knocks down tree tied to Canadian history

The aged silver maple thought to have inspired “The Maple Leaf Forever” falls victim to Friday’s storm and neighbours mark its passing.

A crowd gathered in front of a tree felled during Friday night’s thunderstorm to take pictures and collect a leaf or two as a memento and even mourn, for this was no ordinary tree.

Perhaps 150 years old or more, the silver maple tucked away on Laing Street in Leslieville, is famous for being the inspiration of what used to be Canada’s unofficial anthem. Historians are dubious, but as the story goes, a persistent leaf from the tree stuck itself to poet Alexander Muir’s sleeve in the fall of 1867, serving as the inspiration for “The Maple Leaf Forever,” a poem-turned-song-turned-unofficial-anthem.

But, “it’s not forever anymore,” said Julie Ritchie, watching the tree lying sprawled across the road from her front porch. “There was something really special about the tree, even though it was quite old and in bad shape.”

See full article on Toronto Star site:
‘The Maple Leaf Forever’ no more: Storm knocks down tree tied to Canadian history

This was the lead story on the the Star’s homepage this morning (July 20, 2013).


Beaches Jazz Festival starts July 19 at Woodbine Park – 2013

woodbine-park-1The Beaches International Jazz Festival gets under way Friday July 19 at Woodbine Park, Eastern and Coxwell.
See the schedule.
As well as the main stage at Woodbine Park, there’s a Trinidad and Tobago stage.

July 23 – 24 : Taste Of Jazz / Gourmet Food Truck Extravaganza
5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Woodbine Park, Eastern and Coxwell.
Live music, food trucks.

Naturalization plans for the mouth of the Don River – open house at the Fire Academy, Eastern Avenue – July 24, 2013

On July 24th at the Fire Academy (895 Eastern), Waterfront Toronto will be holding consultations on the naturalization plans for the mouth of the Don and flood protection for the Port Lands.

Given the experience of Monday’s storm, this is a timely meeting to hear about how this area of the city will be protected in the future. The open house will being at 6:00pm followed by presentations at 7:00pm.

– from Councillor Paula Fletcher’s newsletter

“Best patios” on Queen East, Gerrard East and Eastern Avenue – from NOW magazine

Local patios highlighted in Now Magazine’s Toronto’s best patios 2013 – East Side. Excerpts:

Eastern Avenue

Le Papillon on the Park
1001 Eastern, at Woodfield, 416-649-1001, Other than Boardwalk Place – né the Boardwalk Pub – the Beach has no patios remotely near the water. The exception: this tree-veiled deck atop the roof of a relocated French creperie on the edge of Woodbine Park. Closed Monday, Tuesday, holidays.

Queen St. East

Ceili Cottage
1301 Queen E, at Alton, 416-406-1301. Starfish oyster shucker Patrick McMurray converts a Leslieville garage into a Celtic pub with step-dancers, fiddlers and all-day weekend Irish breakfasts. Sunday roast dinners and matchmaking services, too.

Rakia Bar
1402 Queen E, at Greenwood, 416-778-8800. Serbian cocktail ‘n’ tapas bar expands onto a raised wooden deck across from the Ashbridges streetcar yard.

Murphy’s Law
1702 Queen East, at Kingston, 416-690-5516. Irish pub in a converted bank with three patios, including a fourth-floor rooftop deck that overlooks Ashbridge’s Bay Park and Lake Ontario beyond.

Gerrard St. East

Lahore Tikka House
1365 Gerrard E, at Highfield, 416-406-1668. Under billowing tents made from sari silk, more than 400 diners feast al fresco on a fiery card of tandoor-fired kebabs while sipping plastic tumblers of frothy sugar cane juice at family-style picnic tables lit by twinkling Christmas lights. Unlicensed.

1416 Gerrard E. Post-fire, the former Siddhartha resurfaces a few blocks west with an almost identical AYCE lunch and dinner buffet. The only licensed patio in the nabe!

Coming events updated July 5, 2013 – outdoor pools, swim in Lake Ontario, Applegrove, S.H. Armstrong, Feast in the East, Festival of South Asia, Afrofest, etc.

Lots going on in the Ashbridge’s Neighbourhood and nearby:

Outdoor pools
Greenwood Park Pool (click on “Drop-in programs”), Jonathan Ashbridge Park wading pool.
Also see schedules for: Monarch Park Pool and D.D.Summerville (Olympic) Pool.

Swimming in Lake Ontario
Check the Toronto beaches water quality map

Applegrove summer camp for ages 6 to 15 – inquire 416-461-8143 about space available

S.H. Armstrong summer schedule

Sat. July 6:
Rise Up Family Day and Basketball Tournament, 445 Coxwell. S.H. Armstrong is one of the sponsors.

Sat. July 6: Feast in the East, 8 p.m., Gerrard Art Space, 1390 Gerrard Street East

Weekend of July 6-7:
Festival of South Asia, Gerrard Street


Heatwave Beach Volleyball, Ashbridge’s Bay

Afrofest 1 to 10 p.m., Woodbine Park, Lakeshore Boulevard East and Coxwell Avenue.


Every Sunday until October 27:
Farmer’s Market, J. Ashbridge Park
9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Tuesdays: Seniors Jazz
Canadian Legion, Baron Byng Beaches Branch 1/42, 243 Coxwell Ave., 1-3 p.m.
Info: 416-465-0120 – call for summer schedule.

Wed. July 10:
Summer Reading Club Kick-off Party, Gerrard-Ashdale Library

2 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Gerrard East at Ashdale
See other events at the library.

July 19-28:
Beaches International Jazz Festival
Music at Woodbine Park, Kew Gardens, Streetfest (July 25-27) and along the Boardwalk.

Sunday, August 25:
Movie Under the Stars: “Life of Pi”
8 p.m.
Jonathan Ashbridge Park
Queen East at Woodward

Ashbridge’s Bay – Rental business ordered off Lions clubhouse property

By Andrew Hudson • June 25, 2013 • Beach Metro News
City staff have told the Beaches Lions Club to scrap plans to sublease dock space at Ashbridge’s Bay to a company that rents WaveRunners, small powered watercraft similar to Jet Skis or Sea Doos.

Also at issue is a concrete pad that the company, Toronto WaveRunners, built along the docks beside the Lions Club boathouse so it could put up a storage shed.

Ryan Glenn, business services manager for Toronto Parks, Forestry and Recreation, says the WaveRunner plan doesn’t fit the intended use of the Lions’ facility at Ashbridge’s Bay as a not-for-profit sailing club.

Full article:
Rental business ordered off of Lions clubhouse property