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Votes to be tallied for new Waterfront street name

Voting closed May 1/14  for the "Help Name a Waterfront Street" contest. The contest was launched on March 12 by Waterfront Toronto. Over a two-week period, the public was asked to submit street name suggestions via Facebook, Twitter and from their online poll. Submissions had to follow the City of Toronto’s Honourific and Street Naming Policy. The street being named is “Main Street” for the new Bayside Toronto development. It connects to Queens Quay Boulevard and runs along the water’s edge. It provides access to homes, shops, restaurants, offices – and the lake. 700 submissions were reviewed by a Selection Committee which included Councillor Pamela McConnell, Waterfront Toronto, Hines and Tridel as well as two neighbourhood representatives and a member of the Waterfront BIA. The winning name must be formally approved by the City of Toronto.The shortlisted names – which were selected from the almost seven hundred suggestions they received were: Aquaview Crescen, Azure Drive, Edgewater Drive, Kanadario Way (from the Iroquois word meaning “sparkling” or “beautiful” water), Merchants’ Wharf (for the wharf which was once located in this area), Water Street, Wendat Way (refrences the Wendat people, also called Huron). The votes for the short listed street names will be tallied and the winning name will be announced on May 5, 2014. The winning name will then be submitted to the City of Toronto for official approval.
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Liona Boyd is back in town

By Lorie Murdoch • April 30, 2014 • Beach Metro Community News Liona Boyd is as friendly, modest and dynamic as she was when we talked more than 25 years ago. In the spring of 1987, she was enjoying the Beach neighbourhood close to her recently purchased digs on Fallingbrook Drive, and frequenting Loons for dinner. ‘The First Lady of the Guitar’ had started writing her own music and combining various styles to create original pieces. Her album Persona was about to turn gold. But her fame and success at home and abroad in ’87 would pale against what was to come.During the past 27 years, she has performed in countries around the world, including France, NeAdd new categorypal, Egypt, Russia, Portugal, the US and Brazil. She has entertained the King and Queen of Spain and played at the Kremlin on New Year’s Eve when the Soviet Union officially broke up.She dined and spent time with some of the most commanding powers on the planet, including Buzz Aldrin, Fidel Castro, Henry Kissinger, former Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau and US President Ronald Reagan. Prince Philip, her pen-pal now for more than 30 years, flew her to London after she performed at a fundraiser for his Duke of Edinburgh Awards in 1995. A year later, she gave a private concert for the royals at Windsor Castle.She has survived a Tokyo earthquake, Malibu wildfire, a concert hall fire in Rio de Janeiro, and high altitude traumas such as the Concorde

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Driven to unconventional theatre

By Andrew Hudson • April 29, 2014Beach Metro Community News Your job is life and death.” Given six words, that’s how Rosamund Small gets at the heart of her new play, Vitals. Given two more words, Small might have added “and traffic.”Set in Toronto, Vitals dispatches the audience into a real house where a fictional paramedic, Anna, is on a 911 call.The one-woman play is based on interviews with Kaleigh O’Brien, a long-time paramedic who told Small what it’s like to work emergencies in this city.“She’s driving an ambulance with the siren on, and people are jaywalking,” said Small with a wry laugh.“It was kind of like she was just complaining about traffic, but she is trying to get to someone who’s having a heart attack.”Even before it opened yesterday, Vitals extended its run by a week and that was before the Globe and Mail ran a preview calling the 23 year-old Upper Beaches resident the next big thing in Toronto theatre. That morning, she woke to a proud voicemail from Marguerite Campbell, her Grade 2 teacher at Beaches Alternative School. But Small credits a lot of the buzz to the play’s director, Mitchell Cushman. “He’s really good at turning everyday objects into magical things,” she said, noting how he timed musical kids’ toys to run on stage in a recent show. Cushman also co-founded Outside the March, the site-specific company that is staging the play with support from Theatre Passe Muraille.“They do theatre in unexpected ways and unexpected

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Block Ness teaches Neil McNeil robotics team

By Andrew Hudson • April 29, 2014Beach Metro Community News Three days before a city-wide robotics contest, a freak radio problem had the Neil McNeil team re-thinking fast.The club robot, a.k.a. Block Ness Monster, was mostly behaving – it could carry a hockey puck, slide it on a giant crokinole board, and shoot it with an air-powered piston.(For the uninitiated, crokinole is a parlour game, invented in 1870s Ontario, where rivals flick small wood disks across a circular board, either to land them in a target or knock each other’s disks out, curling style. One robotics coach called it “the great Canadian game that apparently no one has ever played.”)But a radio hiccup from the robot’s remote control caused the piston to fire every time someone hit the ‘on’ button.And the team still had to re-design the robot’s aiming arm so it could scoop new pucks from a loader.“It’s been like this since Grade 9,” said Adam Cyprus, now in his senior year.Watching the team puzzle over ways to shield the robot from radio interference, Cyprus said the week before a competition is always haywire – the robot has so many ways to fail. Just then came a shout from Martin Zielinski, a physics teacher with an engineering background who has coached the after-school club for a decade. “Plan B is now Plan A!” Zielinski said. “We have a plan, and it’s executable.”While they kept the drive and steering systems from last year’s robot (it played Connect Four), Zielinski said

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Paralympian’s story inspires Balmy Beach students

By Andrew Hudson • April 29, 2014Beach Metro Community News When Paralympian Jeff Tiessen arrived at Balmy Beach Public School to give a speech for Spirit Day, he found the gym full of kids wearing white and blue – it was also the Blue Jays’ home opener. Never mind that he grew up near Detroit and cheers for the Tigers, Tiessen is a big baseball fan. As a double-arm amputee, people have asked him what he would do if he could get his hands back, just for one day. “I would play baseball, maybe all day,” he said. “And I would feel the stitches on the ball.” Being able to pack a snowball would be nice too, he said, adding that he owes his kids some payback after the super snowy winter this year. Another question Tiessen gets is whether he would get transplants if he could. His answer is yes, so long as he can keep all the good things that have happened because he’s an amputee. After joining amateur and university track teams in his teens and twenties, Tiessen competed in three Paralympic Games: New York, Seoul and Barcelona. He won silver in high jump, plus a bronze and a gold in his best event  – the 400 metre. His 54.89-second run at the 1988 Seoul Games remains the fastest ever for a double-arm amputee. Back when Tiessen was putting in six- and seven-hour training days for Seoul, he was also taking journalism classes at the University of

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