Photography exhibit just down the street!

There is an art gallery on Danforth between Woodbine and Coxwell. Did you know it was there? The Dylan Ellis Exhibition Space is located at 1840 Danforth Avenue, and for one more week we can all go and see Philip Jessup’s exhibit called Imperiled Landscapes, which is part of the Scotiabank Contact Photography Festival.

Two special events this week include:

Gallery talk – Thursday, June 11 from 6:30-8:00pm
Closing party – Sunday, June 14 from 2:00-4:oopm

Admission is free!

Gallery talk 2

Gallery is open: Mon–Wed, 9am–5pm, Thu–Fri, 9am–8pm, Sat–Sun, 10am–4pm
The photographer is in the gallery on weekends, noon – 4 PM for Q and A.
The exhibit closes on Sunday, June 14 at 5 PM.

Here’s a description of the exhibit:

Over the past eight years, Jessup has been photographing the potential effects of climate change on wilderness during travel related to his environmental career. As the earth warms up, wilderness areas will be especially at risk. In the Arctic, sea ice is disappearing while Inuit villages sink into muddy ground. Along coastlines, rising seas are inundating wetlands essential to bird migrations and seashore protection. Meanwhile, large rural watersheds are afflicted by recurrent droughts, threatening urban water supplies. Imperiled Landscapes surveys conditions in Pond Inlet on Baffin Island, Mai Po mangrove wetland in Hong Kong, and the Sugarloaf water supply catchment area in wilderness north of Melbourne. All are endangered by global warming. The exhibit offers a window into the wild beauty that we can save if we take action. 
For more info:
CONTACT Photo Info about the exhibit:

DECA’s Veteran Drivers, Scene 6

If optimism could be bottled and sold, Amanda Olsen would be a very wealthy woman, except she’d likely give it away for free. Her optimism is matched only by her generosity, and we all benefit.

Days after giving birth to her second son, when most of us would spend any spare second sleeping, Amanda was at the mic at our AGM convincing people to volunteer for the pop-up shop team (which she was leading at the time). She puts her hand up over and over and inspires others to follow.

We’re so grateful for Amanda, and, dear neighbours, you should be too. Read for yourself in her own words.

Amanda Olson takes her two sons to Grumbles (XX) as a reward for surviving swimming lessons each week. Here is Amanda (middle, brown jacket) with her family and Grumble's owners Denise and Franzi.
Amanda Olson takes her two sons to Grumbles Deli (290 Main St.) as a reward for surviving swimming lessons each week. Here is Amanda (middle, brown jacket) with her husband Lauris, sons Janis and Aksels,  and Grumble’s owners Denise and Franzi.
My name and age is… 

Amanda Olson, aged 37 and 1/4 (Adrian Mole is one of my fave literary characters).

One thing people don’t know about me is… 

By day, I help put books on your shelves. I work for a publisher, but sadly, I can in no way whatsoever help get your novel published.
I moved to Danforth East ….

Four years ago this summer. I was determined to buy a house in Leslieville because I liked the restaurants and shops. On a whim, we decided to check out a place further east than I thought acceptable. We can’t get over our luck of landing in such an amazing neighbourhood.

One change I’ve seen over the years….  

Everyone will say the more vibrant retail strip, so I’ll point out the increase in community involvement. We have a Visioning group the size of a small army; we see more people come out to the DECA meetings; the board is at full capacity. It’s a great time to live in Danforth East. And of course those gains on the retail strip have been a big part of the increases in the overall community cohesion!

My advice to new neighbors is.…

Get on the DECA Diaries blog mailing list. Sign up and you’ve just become part of a community in a single click. I’m forever grateful to my friend Janina for passing on this advice when I first moved here.
The thing I love most about Danforth East is… 

The local retailers. I love being able to go to the butcher to pick up dinner from Carmen, then wave hello to Houman, the owner of Bella Lite (1989 Danforth Ave, just east of East Lynn Park), and his daughter on my way home. Houman just installed the perfect chandelier in my dining room and now that he knows my style he’s on the look out for something for my hallway. If you haven’t been in yet, you really need to check it out next time you need lighting fixtures.

My biggest local pet peeve is.…

Storefronts that aren’t accessible. The places being used for non-commercial purposes drives me bananas. They make their neighbours’ attempts to attract customers that much harder.

My neighborhood secret is.…  

Lunch at Grumbles Deli (290 Main St, south of Danforth) after an hour of torturing my boys with swimming lessons. Mother and daughter, Franzi and Denise, are lovely and the sauerkraut passes muster with my husband–he comes from Latvian stock and knows his pickled foods. Remember to go to the bank machine across the street, though, as it’s cash only.
The thing I’ve done as a DECA board member that makes me most proud is…. 

I dabble in a bit of everything, but I do love being a @DECAdiaries tweeter and helping share the news about the hood. I’m also particularly proud of the Danforth East Dreams event I helped put together last spring. 400 neighbours came together to talk about what they wanted the neighbourhood to be and we could make those changes happen. Everyone was engaged and excited. The atmosphere was electric. And the map of the giant map of the hood plastered with hundreds (Yes, we recorded them all!) was the tangible proof.

This year, I hope to finally ….  

Help our fearless Volunteer & Membership leader, Jane, get organized about emailing volunteers on a regular basis when people need help on projects, big or small. By year end, if the same 5 people don’t have to put up posters for every event, then I’ll bust out the good sparkling wine.

My final word….

Sign up for the #DanforthEast Garage Sale, June 13! It’s a blast and will just get better the more people participate. Last year I teamed up with a neighbour since neither of us had enough stuff to do a sale on our own. We played music, got to see our neighbours, spelled each other off to do some shopping. You can even donate your leftovers to charity. Email Bruce,, if you want to help out. The more, the merrier (see Goals answer). Sign up here:

DECA’s latest podcast

Did you miss the DECA Gems party and crowning of Gerrard Spaghetti and Pizza a couple of Thursdays ago?

Don’t worry, Damon and Emily have come to your rescue.

They put together DECA’s third podcast, all about the night which started with a judges’ tour of the final four, interviews with the finalists, and finally, clips from the night.

Damon Scheffer is the traffic announcer on a couple radio stations.

Emily Anastassiadis is a fourth-grade teacher who loves journalism. Together, they’ve perfectly captured the evening. Listen here.

Also, you can catch some photos of the night you missed here, snapped by Snap magazine’s Frank McKinney.


#DanforthEast community mural – Saturday morning (June 6) 9:30-12:30

Thanks to the East End Pioneer for this guest post, and for teaming up with us for this exciting initiative!

100in1 day

This Saturday, June 6, we will be stretching 30 feet of canvas down the sidewalk in front of Coxwell parkette (south-west corner of Danforth and Coxwell) from 9:30 am to 12:30 pm. You are all invited to come and paint, draw or write what makes living here so special.  Is it the parks? How about your favourite local shop? Maybe it’s your awesome neighbours? What keeps you loving our little neck of the woods?

Sometimes events in life can happen that although minor on their own, end up solidifying humanity around a cause. Malcolm Gladwell calls it the ‘tipping point’ and it celebrates the small things adding up to something bigger. This Saturday is 100in1Day around Toronto, a collection of 100+ community-led urban interventions or ‘small actions’ aimed at improving the city. Things like asking cars to slow down on Jane Street, or a midnight dance party under the Gardiner ramps.

In our neighbourhood, some people are saying that we’ve also reached a tipping point.  But despite a number of violent crimes in our area recently, the community continues to come together to make positive change happen – we want a safer, walkable, vibrant Danforth East and so many of us are actively working to make this a reality.  Our ‘hood is awesome and people want to celebrate all the awesomeness and show why we love living here.

That’s where the idea for our very own #danfortheast 100in1day intervention came from. DECA and community partner East End Pioneer are inviting community members (residents, business owners, politicians) to help us create a community mural about what Danforth East means to all of us.

So come out on Saturday. All supplies will be on site (thanks to generous donations from Dulux Paints at 2031 Danforth for donating paint and to DeSerres at 2056 Danforth for supplying the canvas) so all you need to bring is you your kids, families, the dog, your friends and your imaginations –  let’s all get our paint on!  See you there!

(Afterward, the plan is for the mural to be mounted along Danforth East as a symbol of neighbourhood support and community pride.)

More information here:

First Week of the 2015 East Lynn Park Farmers’ Market Season!

Come Say Hello!

It’s finally here. Yes, the East Lynn Park Farmers’ Market starts this week. Come by and say hello to returning friends like the Short family form Sun-Ray Orchards, Lina from Lucifero Loaves, the students from School Grown and of course, Alison at the DECA table. There are new people you have to meet too, like Mel from Meadow Sweet Farms, Richard from The Borough and Nick from Pizza Rovente (who will be making made-to-order pizza).

And I’m sure your children will want to say hello to the smiling faces at the face-painting tent. They’ll be there from 4:00-6:30 p.m. all season long.

This year you can introduce yourself to great people from a few new Ontario wineries in addition to the three who came last year. Check out the schedule below and mark your calendars for… every single week!

For the full list of farmers, ready-made food vendors and wineries, check out our website.

Market 2015 Wineries

Bring Your Bikes

Ditch the car and bring your bikes to the market this week.  The lovely riders from Ward 32 Spokes will be at the market providing light tune-ups. And  Peddleheads cycle-experts will provide bikers of all ages with tips for staying safe while on two (or three) wheels starting at 4:30 p.m.


Another reason to bring your bike is because it’s often difficult to find parking around the park on Thursday afternoons.  Just a little reminder to please be respectful of your neighbours and do not block driveways or block the road with your car while shopping at the market.

Local Food Week


What separates East Lynn Park Farmers’ Market out from other farmers markets in the city is that all of our farmers are verified local farmers, with farmers selling only what they produce (no resellers or middlemen).  To the farmers who sell at our market, Local Food Week is a way to showcase the diversity, freshness and taste of the food they cultivate themselves and bring directly to our neighbourhood.

To celebrate Local Food Week our partners, Farmers Markets’ Ontario, will be giving away a copy of The Ontario Table cookbook to someone who shops at East Lynn Park Farmers’ Market this week.  All you have to do is (1) come to the market, (2) take a picture and (3) share the picture on social media with the hashtag #LoveONFood and @MyMarketToronto.

Stay tuned for more info about our “Grand Opening Celebration” on June 11th.

Looking forward to saying hello to you all on Thursday.

The East Lynn Farmers’ Market runs every Thursday from 3-7:00 p.m. between June 4 – October 15 at East Lynn Park, located on the south side of Danforth Ave, just west of Woodbine Ave. Stay up to date by visiting the East Lynn Market Facebook page or by following us on Twitter.