Called two well-recommended masonry companies, one of whom got back to me same day- amazing- the other of whom said he'd call Monday to arrange a viewing. I hate having people 'going to call', which I suppose is part of what I now know as social anxiety. But at least there's hope for the front step.
Not to jinx anything, but the playground at work has been remarkably wasp free this year. Usually by now we've knocked down three incipient nests from the roof over the sandbox. We'll see what the next three weeksbrings. Raccoons still come and poo on the fire escape, but that's a chronic Toronto problem. Next door was so pleased about its bright lights keeping the raccoons off their balcony, until they went and looked at the balcony, and then it was hey ho for the rubber gloves and bleach and cayenne pepper solutions.