Cheers To The Chefs!

From DECA board member and farmers’ market team member, Catherine Porter…

The East Lynn Farmers Market turned four this year.

Our first season, Alison McMurray — a restaurant owner and Farmerlicious Femme — thought it might be nice gesture to cook for the farmers, who fold up their tables each week at dinner time.

A tradition was started.

For the fourth year in a row, community cooks showed up every Thursday evening with a pot of chili or stew or pasta to feed the farmers who feed us.

It’s a gesture of kindness, a marketing ploy, and a ingredient to cooking up community. For us, the farmers’ market isn’t just about eating healthy, local food. It’s about building a space where neighbours meet every week, twirl their friends in a square dance, settle in for a movie on the hill, and get dragged again by their kids into the face painting tent.

The farmers are part of that. What better way to build community than over a plate of home-baked lasagna?

Since our second year, DECA has paid a small honorarium to community members who cooked for our farmers. Most of the time, it didn’t cover their costs. They are generous souls. A few volunteered for the first time this summer, others are four-year veterans. A few cooked more than once. We want to thank them all individually.

You all helped to make our market a huge success again this year.

You rock.

If you’d like to throw on an apron and join us in cooking a meal next year, please e-mail Shelley at shelleydarling(at)

Our beloved 2011 DECA cooks include:

Robin Forbes, Jessica Schmiedchen, Alisa Haggert, Frances Bartlett, Nicola St. John, Susan Crofts, Diana Gonzalez, Mary Egan, Shelley Pogue, Michael Polanya, Susan Spratley, Kirsten Hurd, Wayne Chee, Anne Conforzi, Sheila Behm, Caryn Thompson, Susan Spratley, Melissa Peretti, Catherine Porter and Alison McMurray.

What You Need To Know TODAY

Opportunities to be an engaged community citizen AND shop locally for fabulousness. All the info you need to be a well-rounded individual!

Sugar Moon Salon is hosting an open house tonight (Thursday, Dec 8th) with sweets and cocktails along with great prizes and one-night-only discounts on gift certificates and many other products throughout the shop. 1509 Danforth 7-10 p.m.

Earl Beatty – Community members fighting the closure the Earl Beatty Community Centre will be at Nathan Phillips Square tomorrow morning (Friday)  at 11 a.m. to let City Hall know how much it means to them. All kids and adults are welcome to bring their sticks for the big ball hockey game or show up in your karate gear or ballet tights. If you can’t make it down, you can write to the Mayor and let him know how you feel. To read more about what others are saying (and there are lots of people saying lots of things, check out the website, here.)

The Earl Beatty Ball Ban has turned into a playground reconfiguration project. If you’re interested in learning more, the school’s superintendent will be at the parent council meeting tonight (Thursday) at 6 p.m. to discuss it further.

Thanks to Diana for this bit of news…

St. Brigid Parish along with St Brigid Catholic School, TCDSB and Special Olympics Ontario will be holding a program for kids with intellectual disabilities on Monday nights from 7 p.m. -8:30 p.m.  Childrens from 4-12 years old with intellectual disabilities are invited to participate. This program is open to all members of the community (not just those who attend the church). Monday nights  7:30 – 8:30.  12 week session $50  All fees used to purchase materials). Registration happens at the school on the night of the program. Please enter via doors beside the NORTH parking lot.

Karen Franzen and Friends 12th Annual Holiday Show

Another opportunity to shop and support local (like down-the-street local) artists. This collection of artists will feature hand-made chocolates, quilts and felted ornaments, ceramics, traditional German cookies, jewellery and baskets and weaving. Refreshments and admission is free. Friday – 6-9 p.m. Saturday/Sunday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. 3 Wembley Drive, Coxwell and Upper Gerrard.

Earl Beatty Community Centre Slated To Close

Consider this my declaration of bias. I live near Earl Beatty Community Centre and use it frequently with my two boys. I’m against its closure and am working with a group of parents to make as much noise as possible to save it.  (P.S. the logo below was designed by 13-year old  Gareth who is on the team to help save the community centre.)
The Earl Beatty Community Centre will be closed outside of school hours if the City of Toronto’s proposed 2012 budget passes. That means no more ball hockey, ballet, karate, kindergym, crafty kids, babysitting courses, T-Ball, yoga, Zumba and more.
This community centre, just north and east of Coxwell runs six days a week and is an important neighbourhood play spot in an area with very little recreation space. Most of the programs are full and have waiting lists. Closing a gymnasium in a city desperate for recreation spaces makes no sense at all. The pool is not slated for closure – yet.Let City Hall know this budget cut is not acceptable. Here’s how to get involved:
  • Come to the PLAY DAY at CITY HALL. This Friday, Dec. 9, Earl Beatty Community Centre is taking over Nathan Phillips Square at 11 a.m. Wear your Earl Beatty shirt, bring your stick, ballet shoes or yoga mat and join us as we take the fight to City Hall!
  • Send a note, letter or video on what the Earl Beatty Community Centre means to you. We’ll share it online and in person. E-mail us at
  • Watch for more details, join the Facebook page and follow us on Twitter at: (click follow at the top right corner to follow along)
  • Tell your neighbours!

Danforth Gems – Circus Coffee

I’ve been meaning to write about Circus Coffee for a while now.  I stopped in the other day and it’s a great little spot.  Lucky for me – and for you – Jordan Whitehouse at The Grid wrote about it for us. It’s at 7 Woodmount, beside Carter’s Ice Cream, kitty corner from East Lynn Park.

Woodmount Avenue is a little side street with young oaks running off the northeast corner of East Lynn Park. Although the sun is already falling over the street on this late fall day, an antique toy circus ring in the window of Circus Coffee House (7 Woodmount) is still lit up with afternoon rays. Inside the month-old espresso bar, owner Ron Duffy stands behind his late-’70s Gaggia coffee machine.  More….


Danforth Gems – Silly Goose Kids

With the abundance of children in Danforth East, it’s a wonder it took until this fall for the strip’s first toy store to open. It’s been a similarly long journey for Silly Goose Kids’ owners — Tracey Jacobs and Shamie Ramgoolam have several decades of experience between them in the Toronto toy world. Opening their own outfit is the culmination of several years of dreaming and and one big reno of a store that had sat empty for several years.




The two know their target market — the space is wide and stroller-friendly and a back-of-store play area aims to be a gathering place for parents and kids, complete with change table and chairs for storytelling. “Everyone who walks in a gets a big smile on their face,” says Shamie. “They’re excited to have a store like this in the ‘hood.”

First-time parents bracing themselves for the plastic-clogged, primary-coloured stores of their youth will be pleasantly surprised — Silly Goose has an eye for quality and design, with an emphasis on classic, non-battery-powered toys.  “We believe in toys and gear that are well made — toys of integrity,” Shamie says.

Stock is a mix of the well-known and the locally-made — “we run from zero to 10-years-old safely,” says Shamie, “and can find things for older kids, plus games for families” — and ranges from shelves filled with books at the back to baby gear, clothing, toys from Playmobil, Plan Toys and enough birthday-party-ready gifts (including science sets) to satisfy even parents with the most hectic, kid-fuelled social calendar. (A loyalty program offers discounts for frequent shoppers.)

After discovering a pocket of French speakers in the neighbourhood, Tracey and Shamie started stocking books and games en Français; a trove of phthalate- and- BPA-free sippy cups and lunch gear that will fuel inter-generational brown-bagging.

For first-time parents, there’s organic cotton onesies that read “I [trike] the Danforth,” $27.99 and locally-made sleep sacks ($49.99) from Wee Urban; for parents of toddlers and beyond, a selection of mouse-eared and felt-adorned caps from Toronto’s Patouche ($36.99) and sturdy shoes from Tom’s; a company that donates one pair of shoes to a child in need for each pair sold.

Coming up to the year’s busiest shopping time, Shamie predicts Fastrack ($24.99) — an addictive blend of Pong and air hockey that’s ideal for holiday family tournaments — will be a best-seller.

And Silly Goose is making it easier to make the annual gift-buying frenzy philanthropic — the store is is participating in a toy drive in support of the Woodgreen community centre; taking donations, keeping a registry of toys and games for the centre’s kids and offering up gift-wrapping at $1 in support of making family’s holiday a little brighter.

2054 Danforth Ave.