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posted July 27, 2007

Street hockey/Malassadas fundraiser, March against drugs/crime

The Toronto Lansdowne Area Residents' Association has a busy day planned for Sunday, July 29/07. We're holding a fundraiser that combines two traditions (one Canadian and one Portuguese traditions) that we think go great together – a street hockey tournament and Malassadas, the popular confection related to the doughnut. We're also holding a march in the Bloor/Lansdowne area to protest government inaction in dealing with drugs, crime and prostitution.

The hockey game, scheduled to start at 2 p.m. on Lansdowne, north of MacGregor Park (north of College), is sure to be the first time anything like this has happened in the history of the street. After all, this is an arterial road that gets 17,000 vehicles a day. With the road closed for reconstruction, many residents thought this would be a rare opportunity for an activity that can't usually occur here. Residents in other areas are invited to come and play or to cheer. Open to kids of all ages, all players will be accommodated. Bring your sticks, but sticks will also be available if you don't have one.

Among the snacks and refreshments available during the game will be Malassadas, a popular Portuguese confection similar to a doughnut, and first made by inhabitants of São Miguel Island, part of the Azores (which is where many of the residents along this stretch of Lansdowne are from or trace their roots to). Since this is the island where the mythical Calypso was supposed to have lived, some people consider the Malassada to be the missing link between Homer the Greek Poet and Homer Simpson. Malassadas cooking demonstrations will be taking place while the hockey game is in process. People can also order their Malassadas in advance by calling Connie ( Conceição) Barbosa at 416-535-7894 .

Then at 4 p.m., we're holding a march to protest government inaction in dealing with the problems of drugs, crime and prostitution that have plagued the Bloor/Lansdowne intersection for years. The march, whose theme is "No More Excuses", is being co-organized with Jack Fava, who on June 16 had organized a march that resulted in some local politicians committing to an "emergency" meeting on this issue. With school scheduled to start in just a few weeks time, a date has yet to be set for this "emergency" meeting. As residents, we believe the time is long overdue for the different levels of government to work together in developing a coordinated, proactive approach to turning the situation around. In addition to a more heightened police presence in the community, residents also believe that stronger support services are needed to enable individuals with problems to move away from addiction, prostitution and crime as lifestyle choices.

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