Laneway hon­ours gro­cers’ 80 years in Lea­side

Annex Post - - NEWS -

Thanks to the ef­forts of a local res­i­dent, a name­less Lea­side laneway will soon be known as “Badali Fam­ily Lane,” in hon­our of the Bayview Av­enue gro­cers who have been serv­ing their com­mu­nity since 1938.

Joan Stephens, who lives in a condo abut­ting the Bayview and Eglin­ton Av­enue East area lane, first thought of nam­ing the road­way for prac­ti­cal rea­sons.

“A few years ago an emer­gency ve­hi­cle couldn’t find the laneway be­cause it was not named,” Stephens said. After con­sult­ing the com­mu­nity about pos­si­ble monikers, Stephens se­lected “Badali Fam­ily” as an homage to the mer­chants she said are an im­mi­grant suc­cess story.

Gus Badali came to Canada from Si­cily in 1896 and sold pro­duce from a horse-drawn buggy. His sons, Leo and Sam, opened Badali’s Fruit Mar­ket at 1587 Bayview Ave. in 1938, where it re­mains to this day, un­der the man­age­ment of co-own­ers Dom, Sal and Steven Badali.

The Badalis are thrilled that the lane will give them a per­ma­nent pres­ence in the neigh­bour­hood where they have lived and worked for gen­er­a­tions.

“I was shocked when Joan ap­proached us in the shop,” said Steven. “It’s al­most un­be­liev­able to think that some­one who is not a Badali is going out of their way to rec­og­nize us.”

Stephens con­tacted coun­cil­lor Josh Mat­low’s of­fice to pur­sue the ap­pli­ca­tion process. The Toronto and East York Com­mu­nity Coun­cil ap­proved it on Sept. 6, and a ded­i­ca­tion cer­e­mony is planned for the spring.

“I know the Badalis and their store well,” Mat­low said. “I like the idea of ac­knowl­edg­ing peo­ple who have been part of the fab­ric and char­ac­ter of the com­mu­nity for so long.” — Ju­dith Muster

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