It is time to put all of the negativity, bad news and the past aside for once in our lives… Because the neighborhood called jane and woolner, is not all that bad. Sure in the past it was, I recall hearing shootings from across woolner park almost every day, or every second day, or week, depending on the number of conflicts, turf wars between gang members of any age (didn’t matter if you were 11 or older), drug deals gone wrong/bad, allot of people got killed before 2004.
Then the police started cracking down… When I say that, I mean it! Gang leaders got arrested, weapon/drug caches got confiscated, drug dealers busted, you name it. It eventually ended with a slow, steady and slow grinding halt by the time 2006 hit. Two years of action that turned the community into a peaceful place once again. In between 2006-2009, there was the odd shooting and robbery, including one drive-by shooting, but besides that, it has been peaceful since then.
As far as I am concerned, I haven’t heard of any more shootings, stabbings or violence on the streets since then. Only a few stabbings (broken liquor, beer bottles), one shooting happened in 190 woolner on the 15th floor during a small house party, that was resolved rather quickly with prompt action from paramedics and the police. The shooter likely did get away though, probably didn’t get caught.
It makes me feel allot better to be honest, for the community, the residents, and the youth, despite the chaos that happens in dense neighborhoods in tough times, with poverty and low income being a major thing and concern. I am thankful for the youth mentoring programs that are in place too, in order to keep them out of trouble if you know what I mean. We don’t need any youth having dangerous weapons murdering people. That just isn’t right at all.
Another thing I might add, is the sheer amount of false alarms. This is causing a major disturbance at 220, 230 and 190 woolner ave. People are pulling the fire alarms for fun and games, costing the superintendents, and landlords, allot of money via hefty fines. I wonder if that is going to stop soon, if cameras were put in place in the hallways looking towards the end of the hallways (where pull stations usually are), it would pretty much stop in it’s tracks and those caught doing it, would then either be charged, fined or imprisoned, or worse, evicted.
Looking forward, there has been a very nice wall mural that was painted on the mini plaza building on the south-east side of jane and woolner, giving it more of a beautification. Woolner Park got enhanced with a renewed and extra basketball court, besides a brand new playground for the youngsters to enjoy too, same for 190 woolner.
The rest of the buildings, they haven’t even had a playscape done in years. 777 and 767 jane street has a rusted swing set, slide in dire need of repair, or complete replacement altogether. 230, 220, 210 woolner ave doesn’t even have a single playscape either, not even swings. I think that needs to change, even if it’s to be a smaller set, let it be done. It would add more life to the community to be honest.
I recall the stairway that I used to take going down to the old pathway beyond the school as a teenager, to walk all the way to jane street. I used to take walks around that way all the time, after crossing woolner park, crossing woolner ave, walking through 190 woolner’s property to the gated fenced entrance of course. I just wish they didn’t take out the stairway just because of the number of people trespassing on the property, or hanging out behind the fence while drinking, dealing drugs, or anything else that broke the law/caused disturbances.
It was a shortcut to school, baseball and soccer/football fields. The gated entrance could have been enhanced with a fob access system just like the building entrances are, but the owners of Toronto community housing corporation didn’t seem to give it much thought at all. Oh well, there isn’t much we can do about that.
Some more history in case people didn’t know about this little tidbit, there was a tunnel connecting ALL FIVE buildings together via the sub/basement level of each buildings underground parking space. It went from 190 woolner, all the way to 230 woolner ave. It was hard to imagine a walkway was even existing, but it was. The shameful part was, it wasn’t long before it was closed off and quite possibly filled in (or could it have been just walled off instead? So many questions…) because of people using it to get away from the police when they were called. It was vary much humorous to think about it, almost like a game of cat and mouse.
However, let’s think about that for a moment. What if they didn’t close it down and instead, enhanced the walkway with better lighting, security cameras and actually extended it all the way to Rockcliffe middle school to the south-west (behind woolner, next to rockcliffe), and north to 801 Jane street? Now that would have been much better to be honest. Communities would be linked easily and (thinking for the future) there would have been a link to the Jane LRT station right of way too, as an underpass. But sadly, yes, it was closed down in the late 70’s or early 80’s (around or after Metro toronto housing agency, now toronto community housing corporation, sold all but one of the buildings to independent owners/companies), never to be heard of again or walked through again. But there are still sections that once housed the entrances of it, but they’re either filled in or paved over entirely as of late 2000.
So basically that’s my post. Thank you for taking the time to read it. Do share this via any social networks, e-mail, instant messaging, link to it on websites, share it with the media (if they even give a crap) and include it with anything you might also write/blog about that relates the area. If you have anything to contribute to this publication, please do feel free to leave a comment, and I will be sure to include it and will send you a “thank you” reply to your e-mail address (if it’s not fake) so you will know it did get included.
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