Ring in 2014 on Danforth East

Lots of Options for a Local NYE

Melanie’s Bistro, 1840 Danforth Avenue (east of Coxwell Ave)

Melanie’s Bistro will be offering a fabulous prix fixe dinner this New Year’s Eve for an early seating at 5 or 5.30 PM or later at 7.30 or 8 PM.  That includes three courses with a glass of sparkling wine.  Psssst – Melanie’s is now offering free corkage every Wednesday, so if more eating out with great wine is on your new year’s resolution list, then make note of this great offer! (Corkage is $20 on other nights, so still very affordable if you want a great meal to pair with that special bottle of vino.)

The Signature Kitchen, 1524 Danforth Ave (west of Coxwell Ave)

The Signature Kitchen has advised us that they are planning to be open late on New Year’s Eve and will give a free cocktail out all guests who order over $15 who are there for the countdown. Sounds like a great way to bring in 2014!

The Wren, 1382 Danforth (west of Coxwell Ave) 

The folks at The Wren are planning for some understated fun for their New Year’s celebrations.  Sounds perfect for a t-shift and jeans kind of night:

Trying to make our New Year’s celebration as fun as possible, we decided we wanted as little pressure and expectation as possible, as they tend to put the suck into that night of nights. There will be no cover, no set menus, no dress code, and hopefully no one wondering if someone’s having more fun somewhere else. Have a pint with some friends or meet some new ones here. DJ Chicken N Waffles will be playing fun music after 10 or 11. Some people (Diego) may or may not dance (he probably will, you don’t have to) once it gets late but we’ll see how it goes. We’ll have fun for sure though.


Relish Bar & Grill, 2152 Danforth Ave (east of Woodbine Ave) 

If you’re looking for live music then you should  make a reservation and celebrate with the band at Relish Bar & Grill.


How about some local post-Christmas plans?

Truth be told, I started drafting this post last week before the ice storm.  For some of us (my family included), the impact of the storm continues.  Many of our homes and cars are damaged, some of our homes still have no power, some of us are simply mourning the loss of so many of our magnificent trees.  In any event, if you are in the fortunate category of being through the worst of it, and if you have some time, consider dropping by one of the city’s warming centres that are providing shelter to people without power.  Here is a list of where they are that the CBC provided. Bring some fruit, coffee, crayons (or other kid activities) and/or non-perishable food.

As we are all attempting to carry on as well as we can, here are a few local events over the next couple of days.

Hirut Hoot Presents: The True Meaning of Christmas 

A benefit for the Joanna Downey Fund

(For more info, please visit http://joannadowney.com/

With: Darren Frost, Anna Gustafson, JJ Liberman, Jim McAleese, Winston Spear, Scott McCrickard, Todd Van Allen. Hosted by Carolyn Bennett

Friday, December 27, starting at 9:00pm

Hirut Fine Ethiopian Cuisine
2050 Danforth Avenue

Boxing Day Indoor Farmers’ Market

If you have not yet been able to check out the indoor farmers’ market at Artisans at Work (2071 Danforth Ave @ Woodbine) that runs every Thursday from 2:00-7:00pm, then this might be your chance!

Tomorrow (December 26) they will have a smaller market running from 1:00-6:00pm.

It should also be noted that Artisans at Work was one of the many businesses on the Danforth that opened their doors to people without power who needed warmth and electricity.  This is why we should support local businesses – because they support us right back.

Ice Storm Aftermath – Info and Updates

Stay connected…

While we are all in various stages of dealing with the aftermath of the ice storm, this post is to provide information to people who need it.  If you need info not provided below, please contact your local City Councillor directly (contact info for the four DECA Councillors can be found here) or call 3-1-1.  If you see a downed power line, call 9-1-1.

Our side of town was hit hard by this storm, and the damage is obvious as soon as you attempt to navigate our streets, which  are littered with branches, down wires and police tape.  For those of you without power, consider visiting one of the many warming stations set up around the City (see below for details), or reach out to friends and neighbours with power.  Local businesses have been offering use of plugs for charging phones and general warmth and shelter, so if you need a place to go, you needn’t go far.

Below is some helpful information from Janet Davis, and thanks to her and all of our City Councillors who are tirelessly working to keep information and help coming where it is needed.  And let’s all give a collective thanks to the Toronto Hydro staff and first responders, who have given up vacation and worked in treacherous conditions to restore power and address the most urgent issues.

Hopefully the worst of this storm is behind us, and I hope that I’m not alone in saying that the worst of the storm brought out the best in this community. Stay safe, and here’s hoping that the lights are on for everyone soon.

In addition to the information listed below, we have also learned via Twitter that two warming centres have been added in the east end:

  • East York Civic Centre, 850 Coxwell Ave.
  • East York Collegiate, 650 Cosburn Ave.
  • Food, water, supplies all night.

From Ward 31 Councillor Janet Davis:

Staff from Toronto Hydro, Police, TTC, Forestry, and other City divisions have been working throughout the day and night to restore power but I know the needs are still great.

I have requested that additional warming centres be opened to serve the East York community, particularly the Dawes Road and Secord neighbourhoods that have so many high-rise buildings. We are working to secure food, warm clothing and other emergency supplies through local charities and the emergency response team. I am also trying to locate a place for donations to be dropped off that is accessible to our communities. In the meantime, here is some information that I hope will be helpful.

The City of Toronto website is providing regular updates at www.toronto.ca/oem . You can also call 311.

Warming Centres

The city has opened multiple warming centres across the City where residents can access food, water, warmth, and rest. Pets are welcome too. The closest centres are:

Matty Eckler Community Centre, on 953 Gerrard Street East, near Pape Avenue

Dennis Timbrell Community Centre, at 29 St. Denis Dr, near Don Mills and Eglinton Avenues

A full list of warming centres, road closures, transit updates, and other information to help you cope with the storm is available online.


Toronto Hydro is currently reporting that approximately 219,000 customers are without power across the City, down from 300,000 at the height of the storm. Toronto East General Hospital and the East York Civic Centre both have power restored. Due to the severity of the damage, Toronto Hydro does not expect to power restored to everyone today. Restoration efforts will continue until there is full hydro recovery, likely for the remainder of the week. City Forestry crews are assisting Hydro to clear damaged trees off hydro wires. All southern Ontario utilities have been asked to assist with restoration across the province. Aid has been requested from the USA as well. Toronto Hydro is not able to provide detailed restoration information however they are providing some info on their website.

To report dangerous situations you can call The Toronto Hydro’s Lights Out number, 416-542-8000 or report situations online. Both the phone line and the website are experiencing some delays due to the high number of concerns.

Stay away from all hydro lines and any electrical equipment that is in standing water, like a flooded basement. If the outage lasted less than four hours, allow your electrical system a chance to stabilize. Turn on the most essential appliances one by one and wait 30 minutes before reconnecting others.

Dangerous Trees

Stay away from trees that are touching hydro lines or in danger of falling. To report dangerous tree situations call the Forestry Services at 416.338.TREE (416.338.8733). If the tree knocked down a power line, then please also call 416.542.8000.

TTC and GO Transit

Service has been restored. Please check www.ttc.ca for updates and service alerts.

GO Transit is operating an Adjusted Winter Schedule today. Check schedule details at http://gotransit.com/public/en/schedules/winterstorm.aspx.

Emergency Services

The City’s emergency services (Fire, Emergency Medical Services and Police) are operating and managing increased call volumes. Residents are reminded to only call 911 in the event of an emergency. The non-emergency number for Toronto Police Service is 416-808-2222. Residents who use home oxygen and have concerns can call 416-310-2222 for assistance.

Fire Prevention & Safety Information

Many of us have needed to find creative means to stay warm. Please remember to take these safety precautions.


  • use a sturdy holder
  • make sure glass shade higher than flame to protect against loose clothing becoming ignited
  • position candle away from anything flamable
  • blow out the flame when you leave the room
  • keep lighters, matches and candles away from children
  • use a flashlight rather than a candle for light


  • ensure the fireplace screen is in place
  • avoid burning trash or paper as flaming paper can travel up the chimney and land on your roof
  • do not use stove, barbecue or camping gear for heating your home, as they create a CO and burn hazard


  • do not operate generators inside home, garage, or near windows or vents where exhaust could migrate indoors
  • refuel generators outside and after generator has cooled down


  • avoid operating propane, natural gas or charcoal barbecues indoors – if not properly vented, using them will create a carbon monoxide (CO) hazard
  • ensure that your stove is clear of combustibles and is turned off or unplugged to avoid a fire when the power comes back on
  • leave kettles and other small appliances unplugged


Once your refrigerator and freezer are operating, carefully check food for spoilage. Generally, food will keep for 24 to 48 hours, as long you keep the door closed.

Information about when to keep and when to throw out foods that may not have been adequately refrigerated is available on this online food guide.

Space Heaters

Keep space heaters at least one metre away from cloth or anything that could catch fire

Smoke Detectors

  • ensure Carbon monoxide and smoke detectors have working batteries

If you have power:

Reach out to your neighbours, especially vulnerable or elderly neighbours who may require more help. Please don’t hesitate to knock on your neighbour’s door to make sure they are safe and well, or to swap phone numbers with those in the area for more updates. Many of you have contacted our office wondering when power will be restored, and we will continue to provide the most up-to-date information we can.


For updates during an emergency event and other City of Toronto information, follow @TorontoComms on Twitter. The City will be using #citystorm when providing updates on the storm. For more information and advice about emergency preparedness visit http://www.toronto.ca/oem.

New Pop-up Shop & Unique Gift Ideas

New Pop-up Shop: Veritus Pictures Inc.

We’re excited to announce a new pop-up shop is opening at 1801 Danforth this Saturday, Dec. 21! If you’re still searching for that perfect gift for the amateur photographer or filmmaker on your list, Veritus Pictures is opening just in the nick of time.

Workshops offered by Veritus Pictures Inc. cover camera, editing and audio and are open for beginners, intermediate and advanced participants. Empowerment is proprietor James Buffin’s approach, leaving people with practical information that lasts longer than your camera.
Buffin is a filmmaker with 25 years experience, working on movies, tv shows, commercials, music videos and documentaries shooting across North America, South America, Asia and the South Pacific. Having taught for many years with organizations like Planet In Focus, LIFT Toronto and Workman Arts, he is now bringing video workshops to the East End. He brings a passion and joy to sharing how to get amazing results using small, affordable tools.
The space is also an active studio, both in and outside of regular hours. The public is welcome to come in and observe.
Public hours are Tuesday-Saturday 1:00-5:30pm, plus workshop hours posted here:
Buffin’s photography from around the planet fills the space.

Other Local Gift Ideas

Mama’s Mittens: Local artist, Bonnie Gaztambide’s wool mittens made out of repurposed wool sweaters are both super cute and super warm. Get them exclusively Ages & Stages.
1450983_775333652483837_1050473967_nKid’s Yoga: Brand new yoga studio, Ankh Yoga, is adding yoga classes for kids in January, with an early bird special of 15% off if you register before Jan 1, 2013. Ankh’s full class schedule and hours are now up on their website.
Happy Sweaters: The aptly named kids’ sweaters are available Asiri’s Treasures pop-up shop until Dec. 24. Bright, colourful, fun, happy!
Canuck Bling: Zilberschmuck pop-up shop is brimming with gorgeous jewellery from Canadian designers that is guaranteed to win big points with the lady in your life (or perhaps yourself?).

4-6 PM Tonight! Danforth East Holiday Festival at East Lynn Park

Just a friendly reminder that the Danforth East Holiday Festival is about to begin at East Lynn Park.  Break out the sleds and sorels and join us for the most fun one can pack into two hours of  beautiful winter weather.

See you soon!


1 More Sleep Until Holiday Fest: all the info you need

The Holiday Festival weekend is almost here!

Friday December 13th: Danforth East retailers will be staying open until 10 pm to help you power through your gift list. Plus, they’re making it a party with all sorts of festive fun going on while you browse. Grab some dinner from Carter’s; have a cider at Zilberschmuck and listen to your holiday favourites being played on a steel drum at Silly Goose. Participating retailers and extras are listed below. Don’t forget your coupon book!

We’ll also be raising money for our local Salvation Army during the night with a gift wrapping station at Artisans at Work. It’s win-win: you save yourself time while doing good.

Saturday, December 14th: This is going to be, hands down, the best lighting ceremony in the city. Who else is going to have fire-eaters alongside jolly old Santa, huh?

We’ll hit the switch at East Lynn at 5:30, but you’ll want to get to the park at 4:00 to meet Santa (a.k.a. Canine Social Company‘s Sharon Hogg), check out those fire-eaters from Zero Gravity Circus, get a hot chocolate from Melanie’s Bistro‘s and Woodgreen and a treat from Celena‘s. There will also be gift bags and dog treats courtesy of Wag on the Danforth, plus live music courtesy of Elite Music (thanks to Show Pro for providing the equipment).

Please bring a non-perishable food item (or several) to help fill up our donation bin for the Salvation Army. All this is free, but we’d love a few extra hands at the end of the night to help clean up.

Send any pictures of either event you’d like to share to decadiaries (at) gmail.com. We’d love to see them!

Big thanks to our sponsors, the Danforth Mosaic BIA, greenwood community association and BMO.

celebrate with us on danforth