No Snow Yet in Mexico

So sorry we have no white stuff on the ground.


Another Murder in Riverdale

Murder in Riverdale for the Toronto Sun

Riverdale residents were feeling more than a little uneasy a day after father of two Hou Chang Mao was killed by a stray bullet at an east Chinatown supermarket.
While it appeared business had returned to normal today, many out and about on Gerrard St. E. were thinking about the grim reality that if a 47-year-old grocer can be gunned down while stacking oranges then nobody is safe.
“It can happen anywhere and at any time of day,” Phillip Chung said as he left the bustling Fu Yao Supermarket, a block east of Broadview Ave.
Chung said he shops at the grocery store a couple of times a week and he couldn’t help but think it could just as easily have been him who was killed Thursday.
“Are you taking a chance now just being out on the street?” the 52-year-old wondered.
Mao, an employee at the supermarket, was working at the produce bins on the crowded sidewalk when Toronto Police say a running gun battle erupted across the street just after 6 p.m. The newcomer to Canada was the only one shot. Mao was hit in the stomach and died soon after.
Those working in the busy neighbourhood watched the horror unfold from their shops and could barely believe what was happening as terrified people ran for their lives.
“I heard bang, bang, bang, bang,” said a young woman who was working at a furniture store and did not want her name used. “I knew right away that it was gun shots.”

When the block along Gerrard St. E. — from Broadview to Boulton Aves. — was re-opened late this morning, Mao’s work gloves still lay on a blood-stained matt at the store entrance. And baskets of groceries lay in the aisles, hastily dropped by shoppers.
The owner of the market and his staff refused to talk about the city’s third murder of the year as they opened the store and customers began to trickle back inside.
Mao lived with his children — his daughter Yun Yam, 18, and son Zuo Xi, 23 — near Gerrard and Pape Aves.
“They’re shattered,” Homicide Det.-Sgt Pauline Gray said, adding the daughter just joined her dad and brother in Canada a couple months ago.
Gray said police have surveillance video from the area and it’s only a matter of time until the gunmen are identified.
“I’ve got you on camera. Somewhere, somehow, in the hundreds of hours (of video) we’re about to look at, we’ll find you,” she said.
Police are looking for two black men seen fleeing in a silver car with a shiny, silver, round grill. They believe the pair are either witnesses or were the targets.
Mao is the second innocent bystander to be slain by a stray bullet in less than a week. John O’Keefe, 42, was killed last Saturday on Yonge St.
Owners of neighbouring businesses remembered Mao as a hard-working man who recently helped hang decorative banners along Gerrard St. E. for the holiday season.
“Everyone knew him, he was a very nice guy,” said bookstore owner William Chiu.
He and other area businessmen are concerned the violence could damage east Chinatown’s reputation.
“I don’t want people to think this is a bad community,” said Chiu. “This is a wonderful community.”
Mayor David Miller and other local politicians visited the neighbourhood and urged others to do the same, pointing out the grocer’s death was an isolated incident and that Riverdale is one of the safest areas of the city.
But at least one longtime area resident disagreed.
“I think they are all in denial,” Deborah Lamb, 53, said. “We have a great neighbourhood. But people shouldn’t keep saying that we should just carry on, that everyone should come to (east) Chinatown and Riverdale, that everything is fine.”
She pointed out Eric Boateng, 21, was gunned down Oct. 21 after visiting a friend at the Don Jail. And an 18-year-old was shot by police in Riverdale Park on Halloween.
“I think it’s time people woke up and realized the extent of what’s happening here,” Lamb said.
— With files by Tom Godfrey and Rob Lamberti


Starting off the new year, Victor Avenue experiences more action. A small alarm fire took place on Sunday afternoon around 1:30 p.m. No injuries and the dog is rescued by Toronto’s fine firefighters!

In addition to that—-witnessed on the street today, SOMEONE WITH A PARKING PERMIT that does not appear to live here. NOPE, he was going to work at Bridgepoint and has a permit to park on our street. 7F

Where have things ended up on this issue? And where is the trusty little parking enforcer when you need them?

Oldest Resident on Victor Avenue Passes Away – Rose Stangel

Rose Stangel who was born in Slovenia and lived since 1940, on Victor Avenue at #40, passed away January 3, 2008.  Her son in law said she moved there in 1940 when his late wife was 2.

Rose was 97 years old and was active up to the last day of her life. The last time I saw her, she tread gingerly but determinedly up the stairs at 38 Victor, before Christmas, to make a delivery. I lived across the street from her for 29 years and while I never spoke much to her, she would wave at me from the front porch. As neighbours do, I would watch her comings and goings. I would watch her water her plants with an old galvanized pail. I would watch her cut her lawn and be most indignant if someone offered to help her. Every Sunday she dressed up and went to church. Every night I could see the light in the front bedroom on the second floor where she would watch TV. Her daughter who lives in Norland would visit regularly and take her shopping. Sometimes her nephew would come and take her for a ride. I often ran into Rose shopping at the No Frills at the end of the street.

Her daughter said she wanted to live in her house and refused to leave. It is wonderful when someone who is 97 can do that to the end. She had a stroke – that was the fire truck on January 3 on the street and died shortly after in the hospital.

I will miss not seeing that light on at night and knowing she was well.

Death Notice from the Toronto Star
STANGEL, Rose (nee Mausser) Peacefully on January 3, 2008 at St. Michael’s Hospital, at the age of 97. Beloved wife of the late August. Loving mother of Lillian and husband Leif Marley. Dear aunt of Dori and Alfred Samide, Elli and Valde Seits, Walter and Ann Samide, Agnes Petschauer, Dora and Albrecht Reitmayer, Sophie and Philip Groblacher, and several great-nieces and nephews. Friends may visit at the Rosar-Morrison Funeral Home and Chapel, 467 Sherbourne Street (south of Wellesley) on Sunday, January 6, 2008 from 2-4 and 7-9 p.m. Parish prayers at 8 p.m. Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Monday at 10 a.m. at St. Ann’s Church (Degrassi and Gerrard). Interment Holy Cross Cemetery

Taunts from Mexico

Hi Victor Avenue from the expats.

View from our terrace.

No snow.

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Victor Avenue experiences BREAK IN

Just a word of warning-on Dec 31st at about 12:43, an Victor Avenue home was broken into. Thanks to our neighbours on Simpson Ave. there was a speedy response from the police, sniffer dogs and other concerned citizens.

Remember to lock your doors, set your alarm and keep an eye out when you know that your neighbours may be out of town.