Ready Set Eat!

Thanks to Sarah K. for this 2011 inaugural farmers market post!

Although most readers could sympathize with the groans and moans about the recent wet and rainy month of May, our East Lynn Farmers’ Market

farmers were probably jumping for joy watching their spring produce get some much needed moisture to grow another crop of exceptional food

for Toronto’s markets.

Another season of our Ontario farmers providing great local food to Danforth East starts this Thursday (June 2) at 3:00 with the first

farmers’ market of the season at East Lynn Park. Spring veggies to look forward to: asparagus, radishes, rhubarb (mmmmmm, pie….) and more!

This year, we want to know what you’re cooking at your house with this bounty of fresh Ontario produce, so stay tuned for information on our

ultimate East Lynn Farmers Market recipe contest.

Be sure to take part in the special events and  children’s activities at 4:30 every Thursday and a lot more family fun festivals to enjoy

including a corn roast, movie night and more.

Best of all, hungry market visitors can now purchase a selection of food ready to eat, right on the spot, from local restaurants.  See you there!

But if a local farm is not quite local enough for you, you may want to learn more about, where those seeking some gardening space can hook up with those with real estate to spare.

DECA Gem – Amathyst Spa

Susan S. is great for sending over little tidbits here and there.  She recently sent over a profile of Amethyst Spa (on the north side of Danforth, west of Coxwell) as a DECA Gem.  Today, as luck would have it, Amethyst is offering a fabulous Groupon. So act now, there are only a few hours left.

“I’ve been going there for facials for a couple years now.  Never knew she was there if it weren’t for a trusted friend.  She’s had this location for over 10 years (but has also practised in the States and Europe too) and she lives in the neighbourhood.  She is a miracle worker, who takes her gifts very seriously.  She uses only top spa cosmetic brands (ie Dermatelogica) and really treats every body like a queen and a friend.  She greats you warmly with pristine slippers, robes,etc…  literally bundles you up like a baby and spends at least an hour and a half gently but thoroughly cleaning, exfoliating and hydrating your face, and in my case, decollete.  At the end she gives a strong arm, neck and shoulder massage that turns you too a pool of jelly (my favourite part).  I’ve sent my 18 year old son to her for an acne breakout.  Even my husband has had a few man facials with Yvonne (went kicking and screaming, but came home looking young,  rested and clean as a whistle!)  She also does waxing, full body exfoliation, massage and nails etc… ( as a certified podologist, she cured my friends’ serious toenail condition!).

I was in for a facial to-day and she gave me a tour of her newly expanded service of a combo T-zone vibration machine, full table massager, infrared sauna, and la piece de resistance, a new room which is a halotherapy salt cave.  These are well known in Europe for treatment of overall health (respitory conditions, fatigue, immune system, and skin issues).  The room is literally 360 degrees of this specific salt, and does in fact feel like being in a salt cave. (There was a story on this treatment on CNN last week).  I haven’t tried these new services,  meant to be used in tandem, but I think it would be fun to come with a couple of friends and make a spa morning of it  (you are served beverages and there is a relaxing lounge with fireplace involved and robes etc…).  Just wanted you and everyone else to know about my decadent pleasures on the Danny.”

Short and Long

O.k. I’ve got a long list of items and an awareness of short attention spans so I’m going to try to make these as short and sweet as a melty mint.

The final deadline to apply to be a vendor in the hugely popular and incredibly cool Danforth East Arts Fair is June 15th so act now to avoid disappointment!

Speaking of art and how freakin’ cool we are…The Art of the Danforth crew is well into organizing for spring 2012 and they need some volunteers…some now and some next May.  Right now Cindy needs a couple people to do 2-4 hours of internet research and/or 2-4 hours of walking the street to introduce ourselves to new stores.  In May 2012, they’re wondering if there are any adventurous souls/families who live close to Danforth who would offer up their front yards for art installations.  They would love to be able to offer curators a private residence as a potential installation site – dunno if they’d use it, but it potentially could be interesting.  If you are interested in either or both or none of those things, but want to talk to Cindy, contact her at info(at)eastdanforthcreative

Tomorrow is DECA’s Container Gardening Workshop from 2-4 p.m.  Don’t miss it. Don’t forget.  And don’t give me some lame excuse about your in-laws dropping over unexpectedly.  We’re also planning another full season of DECA Learns from canning to bicycles with some gardening thrown in for good measure. More on that in a future post.

Beatty Buddies daycare is a delightful little place in the basement of Earl Beatty Public School north of Danforth, east of Coxwell.  Earl Beatty is slated for full day kindergarten in 2012 and that is just one of the reasons why the daycare has formed a strategic planning committee.  The first thing it’s doing is a survey of you – the community.  So whether your kids are in university or in utero, please take a few moments to fill out the short survey.

Yes, the photo above is of a new place on the Danforth, east of Woodbine.

Yes, Target has announced one of its first Toronto stores will open at Shoppers World at Danforth and Victoria Park.

Yes, Goodlife is once again offering free memberships to teenagers for the summer.

Notes from the Community Police Liaison Committee

  • You can register your bike for free with 55 Division so in case it gets stolen, you could possibly, maybe, have a chance at, perhaps getting it back?
  • Bugaboo baby strollers are magnets for thieves and are being stolen all the time.  Lock them up.
  • Graffiti cleaners are heading out June 15 and 16 to remove graffiti in alleys, garages, mailboxes etc.  Contact Community Centre 55 at 416-691-1113 to suggest your unwanted graffiti location and they’ll try to send over a clean team
Rock On
Because your kids are lovin’ the rock and roll, you need to mark Wednesday, June 29th on your calendar and make your way to St. Brigid’s school yard for the Last Day Music Festival.  This year, featuring the pop sensation that is sweeping the pre-teen scene (seriously) Done With Dolls.  Also Chasing Sam, Colour Connection, Sugar Rush, Checkmate Sergei, Running From Jane, Marissa Dattoli and not just another cliche.  What are you going to do on the last day of school that’s cooler than that.  More details coming soon.
Thanks for sticking with me for the whole post.  Last but not least, DECA’s terrific Parks Team has scoured the neighbourhood for all things recreational and not so recreational and has come back with an amenities list that will amaze you.  The schools, the churches, the swimming pools, the services, the classes.  It’s fabulous.  Behind every one of those links was someone who walked the streets, make the notes, found the links and posted it.  Thanks to the Parks Team for a great piece of work.  Enjoy.

Environment Days!

This Thursday, May 26th is Councillor Mary Margaret McMahon’s Environment Day.  She’s promised to make it the best one in the city.  That seems a tall order for an event that is punctuated by a huge pile of reformulated poop, but if anyone can make poop fun it’s her.  There will be music (Lost Boys), refreshments, environment groups, games and other fun.  Bring your old batteries and other such toxins.  It’s at Ted Reeve Arena (Gerrard and Main) from 4-8 p.m.

If want to actually compare the environment days, you could check out Councillor Janet Davis’ Environment Day on Saturday, June 4th at Stan Wadlow Clubhouse (373 Cedarvale).  Councillor Davis also plans to have local entertainment and will accept your batteries and old electronics as well.

To find out exactly what you can drop off at the environment days or what you can pick up (composters, rain barrels etc), check out this link as well as the dates of other environment days around the city.

Don’t forget DECA’s container gardening workshop next Saturday at Kimbourne United Church.  Contact Melissa at decagardens(at) to register or learn more.

The Big Hole & The Big Court Case

Below is the story on the court case about the Big Hole from today’s Toronto Sun….  And in case you missed it, here is yesterday’s story about how three jurors were excused for researching the story on the internet.

Businessman torched his store: Crown

Businessman John Magno masterminded a plot to burn his Woodbine Building Supplies store on Christmas Day 2001 to solve his financial problems, a Superior Court jury heard Tuesday.

In his opening to the jury, Crown attorney Derek Ishak alleged that Magno,  fraud artist Sam Paskalis and Adrian Roks ochestrated a arson that would enable Magno to collect a $3 million insurance claim and help him build condos on his 2055 Danforth Ave. site.  The plot backfired when the gas fumes prematurely ignited. It resulted in a devastating blaze that killed Tony Jarcevic, 22, and left Paskalis clinging to life in a medically-induced coma. He is now permanently disfigured, said Ishak.  The inferno required 170 firefighters and 40 fire trucks and prompted the evacuation of more than 50 families.

Magno, 51, has pleaded not guilty to conspiracy, arson and second-degree murder charges.  Ishak and co-counsel Anna Tenhouse alleged that Magno and his brothers bought the Woodbine Building Supplies (WBS) building and land in 1998.  Financial problems dogged the Magnos, court heard.

WBS owed its parent company more than $500,000 and a former employee $40,000. In September 2001, Magno decided to demolish WBS and build condos. Inventory was hauled to the Magnos’ warehouse at 111 Sunrise Ave. and prior to Christmas, the bulk of that inventory had already been moved.  The mounting financial pressures forced Magno to concoct a plan to torch his property, alleged Ishak.  In July 2001, Magno had befriended Sam Paskalis, a fraud artist, whom Magno had bailed out of jail.

Magno, Paskalis and his close friend Adrian Roks created a plan to burn down WSB so that Magno could collect a $3 million insurance policy, alleged Ishak.  Paskalis and Roks recruited some friends to execute the arson scheme. They picked Christmas Eve since the store closed early that day, court heard.  Magno was the last to leave the store with Paskalis behind to send the plot into motion, said Ishak.  In the early evening, the remaining conspirators hauled away leftover merchandise as their reward for their participation.  Both the sprinkler and alarm systems were disabled. A half hour after midnight, the fire was lit but it roared uncontrollably. Tony Jarcevic — who had taken courses in fire protection — was killed.  The trial continues Wednesday.

Small Business Workshops

Elizabeth Verway is offering a business training series of workshops for small business owners.  Elizabeth has been mentoring small business owners in this community for 14 years through the Office Mentors.  There are four workshops in the series:

  •  Business Communications (June 6)
  •  Cash Flow & Money Matters (June 13)
  • Networking and Sales Strategies (June 20)
  • Planning for Business Growth (June 27)

Workshops will take place near Coxwell and Danforth.  The full series is $100 to community members and free to BIA members.  Call Elizabeth Verwey to register 416-463-1713

The Danforth East Arts Fair

The Danforth East Arts Fair will be held at East Lynn Park on September 17 and 18, 2011. The application deadline is June 15th.  If that’s your bag, baby, you might want to think about being an exhibitor at the Beach Studio Tour in October.  If you would like to open your home to visitors or just want to know more, contact or 416- 691-5195

“If you think it’s going to rain, it will.” – Clint Eastwood

Police BBQ – Wednesday, May 25th 

I try to keep this blog uber local because if you don’t draw the line somewhere, where do you draw the line? (Puzzle on that for a moment why don’t you.) However, I make an exception for the 55 Division police and community BBQ because it’s so darn fun.  There are bouncy fire trucks and other kids rides and slides, bingo, raffles, prizes, music and other cool police/emergency vehicles.  The event is May 25th at New Woodbine Park (Kingston Rd. & Queen) from 4 – 8 p.m.  And guess what?  It goes on rain or shine!

Steve Wickens: Local Celebrity

DECA’s very own Stephen Wickens was featured, not once, but twice in last week’s edition of the East York Mirror.  In addition to leading a Jane’s Walk through ‘the other Danforth’ he was also interviewed as the intrepid leader of our DECA Parks team.  You can read that story here, but you need to flip to page 10.

Parks & Rec Survey

While we’re on the topic of DECA Parks and the inventory that group is doing of recreation facilities, let me point you to the Parks & Rec survey that is asking you what you think about your local Parks & Rec programs, services and facilities.

Toronto Service Review

If you still feel you have more to say, then say it to another bunch of folks at City Hall through this Toronto Service Review.  And you thought nobody cared what you think, tsk, tsk.  This survey is looking for feedback on what services the city provides and how those services can best be delivered.  Pass the gravy.

School Fairs

T’is the season for school fun fairs.  I mentioned last time that the Earl Beatty Fun Fair includes a ball hockey tournament.  This is a very fun, much-anticipated event for the ball hockey set.  But this year there is also a division for the preschool/K ball hockey players in your life.  For more information about putting together a team, contact or pick up your registration form in the community centre office.

Earl Haig 7th Annual Community Festival

On June 2nd, 2011 Earl Haig Public School students, staff and community will celebrate the annual Community Festival.   Entrance is FREE and includes participation in exciting “retro” games such as the ever-popular three-legged race, and live entertainment.  Other events include a BBQ, an arcade and many crafts.  A craft wristband can be purchased for $5.00 per child or $10.00 per family.  A new event this year is a “purse” table where gently-used, stylish  purses can be purchased.

The Community Festival is a loved event for students, staff, parents and the local community.  It will run from approximately 3:30 p.m. on the 2nd of June until 7 p.m. rain or shine.

15 Earl Haig Avenue, south of the Danforth and on the east side of Coxwell Avenue.  All are welcome. Funds raised by the event will contribute to student resources and on-going school improvement.

Cedar Garden Benches

If you have signed up for our DECA Learns Container Gardening Workshop (and if not, why not?) then you are going to have a beautiful garden.  You’ll want to sit in it.  If you want to sit, you’ll need a bench.  Hayden is an east-end university student who makes cedar benches for the garden. The benches are 48”X15”X17”, very sturdy and beautiful in their simplicity. Each one is handcrafted to perfection and left untreated so that it will weather naturally. The total cost, including free local delivery, is $140. Consider ordering one for Father’s Day or just treating yourself.

Call 416-466-9785 or email:

Last But Not Least

On Wednesday, May 25th, friends of Erika Marquis are hosting a live music and silent auction to help Erika fight sclerosing cholangitis, a degenerative liver disease.  Before she got sick, Erika was an ESL teacher at the Danforth LINC (Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada).  Erika taught many new Canadians and her enthusiasm and spirit made her a loved teacher.  Erika was immediately put on the transplant list when she was diagnosed, but she still waits and she has become very sick.  As she can’t work, she’s struggling financially and that’s why her friends are organizing this event at Ten Feet Tall (1381 Danforth – East of Greenwood) on Wednesday, May 25th from 7 – 10 p.m.