Danforth Gems Feedback — we’d love to hear from you!

The Pop-up Shop team would love to get some feedback on your local shopping habits, and DECA’s Danforth Gems event. Would you please take a few minutes to fill out our survey? It shouldn’t take more than 5 minutes and the results will help us better understand the impact of running these events.

The link to the survey is here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/DanforthGEMS2015

With huge thanks from the Pop-up Shop team!

—  Tina Scherz, guest blogger


Activities galore!

Fall is that magical time of year when the leaves change, the days darken, and we all have to think about what kinds of activities we are going to undertake for the year. (If you are like me, you were frantically trying to sign up your kids for swimming lessons this morning at 7am!) Here are a few options in the neighbourhood…

East End Music Project
(non-profit music program for kids on Tuesdays)


Miranda from the East End Music Project sent this note along:

I run the East End Music Project (I do this out of LOVE as a volunteer), which is a very cool social purpose music school in the East End.

The project is taught by professional musicians and educators with instruction at a very high level. The social purpose part of it is that all the class fees are geared to income. Our focus is on collaboration and working together in the classes. It is a fabulous opportunity. I have a couple of spots available because I’ve hired more teachers to increase our capacity. We would love to have your families join us.

If you’ve ever thought about music lessons, this is a great way to get involved in a social purpose enterprise, support local musicians, and participate in something really special. Your kids will also get a stellar music experience. All classes are subsidized. No restrictions on who can apply! Check out www.eemp.ca to see what classes still have availability. Thanks!

Are you ready to sing?

Some locals, Sarah and Damaris, are starting a new choir and would like YOU to join! Registration form is here and some additional details are below.

choir poster-01

Pegasus Studios

SO many classes, so little time. What can we say about Pegasus? It’s music, dance, art, choir, yoga – stuff for kids, adults, kids and adults together – if you don’t know about this neighbourhood institution, you should. www.pegasusstudios.com


We have been so lucky to have so many new fitness-related businesses open up in this neighbourhood (coinciding nicely with the bakeries, ice cream shop and restaurants!). Here are some of them:

Fly Girl Fitness

Bomb Fitness

Ankh Yoga

Legacy Indoor Cycling

Counterbalance Studio Pilates

Career Fit Mom

Dragonz Martial Arts (adult and kid classes available)

Bell’s Martial Arts (adult and kid classes available)

Monarch Park Stadium (adult and kid classes/activities, running track)


One more thing….

Our next DECA Board meeting will be next Monday, September 21 starting at 7:30pm. If you’d like to join us, drop us a line here and we can let you know where we’re meeting. Last time we enjoyed an hour at the beginning to meet & greet, but this time we will get right to it a 7:30pm because we have a lot to cover. All are welcome!

7 Reasons to Visit the Danforth East Community Arts Fair (#DECAF15)

7 Reasons to Visit #DECAF15 THIS Weekend

Caption: There are more reasons than ever to head to East Lynn Park on Sept. 19-20 for #DECAF15!
Caption: There are more reasons than ever to head to East Lynn Park on Sept. 19-20 for #DECAF15!

1. 7 Years, And We’re Bigger and Better Than Ever!
With more vendors, covering more artistic mediums than ever before, #DECAF15 is the best yet! Check out our new exhibitors and come by East Lynn Park from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sept. 19-20 and support some old favourites. More info here

2. Enjoy the Benefits of Shopping Local!
Did you know that almost 75 per cent of the money you spend shopping locally stays in your community? The majority of DECAF’s artisans and exhibitors have historically hailed from the east end of Toronto, so while you’re buying something you love, you’re also supporting your neighbours and community!

3. Check Out Unique Gifts!
Looking for that one-of-a-kind wedding gift? Scoping out a baby shower gift that will be a part of the family for years to come? DECAF is a wonderful opportunity to buy something unique and handmade that your friends and family will cherish (the holidays are just around the corner)!

4. Something For Everyone!
With dozens of artisans, working in many different mediums, from fine art to sculpture, to knit pieces and paint, DECAF15 truly has something for everyone to ooh and aww over! Come check out stained glass, custom portraits, photography, jewellery, children’s items, clothing, pottery and much, much more! Check out all the exhibitors here

5. Check Out One of Toronto’s Up-and-Coming Neighbourhoods!
Not from Danforth East? #DECAF15 is a fantastic opportunity to come check out an up-and-coming, lively part of Toronto that’s attracting tons of new residents and businesses every year! Make a morning or afternoon of it, and check out some of the local scenery in addition to the fair!

6. Community Supported!
#DECAF15 is completely planned and run by community volunteers, and supported by DECA. Come by our booth, say hello, and let us know how we can make the 2016 event even better!

7. More Than Art!
Come for the art, and stay for the entertainment! #DECAF15 has a great selection of food vendors, children’s activities, musical performers, hula hoopers, live theatre, dancing, and even a puppet show!


Have we convinced you? How about a chance for some money to spend in East Lynn Park on Sept. 19-20?

CONTEST ALERT:  Keep a watch out for posters advertising #DECAF15. Take a photo of the poster and tag @deca_arts on Twitter or Instagram. You could win a gift certificate to spend at the fair! The posters are on public message boards and inside retailers in LeslievilleBeachesDanforth East and Riverdale neighbourhoods. Two prizes worth $50 each (no cash value) will be drawn at 5 p.m. ET on Wed. Sept. 16.

Spot a #DECAF15 poster, take a photo and tag it on Twitter or Instagram for a chance of win a prize!

The market this week: APPLEMANIA

We’re celebrating the apple this week the market with our APPLEMANIA festival.

For your mouths, there will be a live cooking demo from Brad Long of Cafe Belong. Have you ever tried sautéed apples with honey smothered in Gelato Fresco vanilla ice cream? Me neither. Come to the market and try Brad’s delicious concoction or better yet, learn how to make it yourself!

For your ears, the Wolfgang Brothers will be strumming and singing. This week is definitely a picnic week and the weather forecast looks promising.  

We’d also like to give a special shout out to Hand & Stone (1464 Danforth Ave) for sponsoring this week’s activity. Owner and local resident Wes is thrilled to be coming to the market this week to share more about their massage and waxing services and meet some of his neighbours. They’ll be offering 10-minute massages for $10.

H&S Logo - FINAL PMS 653

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.

Kickin’ it Old’s Cool!

A really, really cool new shop has opened up on our north-east boundary and you all need to know about it, and go and visit them. Old’s Cool General Store is on the north-west corner of Lumsden & Westlake and let me tell you, this is more than your average convenience store.

n/w corner of Lumsden & Westlake | Open Mon-Sat, 9-9, Sun, 11-7

Step inside and you’ll feast your eyes first on a table full of candy. A quaint bistro set sits in the front window and coffee and cookies are available for purchase.  Walk in even further in and you won’t find any dusty containers of expired shortening here – the food on the shelves is high quality and pretty much the opposite of what you’d expect. Lots of organic food (including baby cereal), fancy chips, soda and chocolates, and all sorts of unexpected gems. They even have a wall of their very own branded Sigg water bottles (thanks to a neighbour with connections!) on sale for only $14.99.

So now you’re hungry and loving the store and then comes the decor section, which is like a mini arts fair with a nice selection of locally produced artisan products as well as antiques and other surprises. It’s amazing.

Owners Mariko and Zahra have hopes of running community events in the back area (which they are slowly clearing as part of their phased reno of the shop) and you can see this sincerity in the invite below to their official grand opening, this Saturday, September 12 from 4-5pm.


Come and see for yourself, and let’s give this great new business a proper Danforth East welcome!

If you’re not already convinced, more pics are below (I couldn’t help myself – it felt like finding a secret treasure in there!)


Old timey (and new timey) candy including, bobobats for 35 cents apiece
Cool selection of organic sodas and drinks


Organic baby food? Check.


Local artisans sell their creations in the back of the store




Artisan creations, antiques and other surprises


Old’s Cool Sigg Water Bottles


Mariko in action – these happy customers bought organic maple bacon flavoured chips (which are totally healthy because they’re organic, right?)
Oh, and yes, they have lotto (and milk, eggs and candy bars – usual convenience stuff!)


The market this week: Hamlin’s Honey

Thursday-in-the-life’ of the honey guy

Brain Hamlin (Photo source: http://blog.utsc.utoronto.ca/beeproject/about/ )
Brain Hamlin (Photo source: http://blog.utsc.utoronto.ca/beeproject/about/ )

Meet Brian Hamlin. Brian has been a beekeeper for over 40 years. He knows his stuff and has a serious connection and passion for his work (although, he does not call it work). He does most of his extractions in the fall when it’s cool and the bees become dormant so his Thursdays don’t always include direct interactions with bees. There’s no set schedule to when Brian visits the five apiary sites that are strung across Toronto, including the Portlands, Toronto Island and UofT’s Scarborough.  His visits depends on the weather, the environment and Brian’s instincts.

His Thursday includes things like trips to the hardware store for screws for his tents and the print shop for labels for his honey products. He also spends much of his time raising awareness about the importance of pollinators and threats from pesticide use and habitat. So when you’re picking up your honey this week be sure to also say ‘thank you’ to Brian for all he does to protect this renewable resource.

Some of Brian's products from around Toronto
Some of Brian’s products from around Toronto.

Toronto East General Hospital will also be at the market his week with information on their upcoming redevelopment plans and tips for keeping healthy.

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.