About Us

Land Acknowledgement

We acknowledge that we are on the treaty lands and territories of Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishinaabe and the Haudenosaunee and now home to many diverse Inuit and Metis peoples.   By acknowledging the land we stand on, we are all reminding ourselves of our human connection and responsibility to care for the land and its people.  We reflect on the history of colonialism and its impact in our community and firmly commit ourselves to listen, learn and speak the truth on a path to reconciliation.

Constitution and Board Member Election Policy

DECA Revised Constitution

Our Board Member Election Policy can be viewed here:

Board Member Election Policy

Board Members
Your DECA Board 2024
Alexander Marsolais

My family and I have lived in the Danforth East neighbourhood since 2015. I have been volunteering for DECA for the past couple of years, and have really enjoyed the opportunity to get involved in various DECA events and initiatives. It has been a great way to be reminded of everything that makes our neighbourhood great, and the ways that an organization like DECA can contribute to a community. I am a big believer in being involved with your community, and also believe the work DECA does has a positive impact on our neighbourhood. I am keen to help continue and support DECA’s work in the Danforth East neighbourhood, and I would be really excited to join the board.

Alisa Metcalfe

Having had the privilege of living in this neighbourhood for almost thirty years, I have always been drawn to the sense of community that connects us – as neighbours, as friends, as fellow east enders. I grew up in small town Windsor, Ontario, and remember feeling very lost when I first moved to the “big city” of Toronto for grad school. While I came to love the sights and sounds of Toronto, it was not until I moved into this neighbourhood that I felt as though I had finally found home. There has always been something very unique about this little east end hub of ours that makes it a special place to live. Based on my experiences, DECA has played such an instrumental role in creating, building and fostering this sense of community – that sense of belonging. The efforts of this committed group of volunteers have, over the years, done so much to create a vibrant, connected and beautifully diverse community where people want to put down roots and where you feel like you are part of something bigger than yourself. For so many years, I have benefitted from what DECA has contributed to this neighbourhood. Volunteering for the Board will hopefully allow me to play a more active role in continuing to build this community of ours and an opportunity to give back in whatever way I can to this place that I have made my home.

Andrea Oratzi

I love our Danforth community and I want to help contribute to the wonderful job DECA does at increasing community vibrancy. I am also passionate about food, food access and farmers’ markets, and I would be very keen to share this passion with the DECA Farmers’ Market – we’ve been coming to this market as a family since 2015 and it’s one of the highlights of the summer. I enjoyed the work I did with DECA this summer on the Story Trail and I would love the opportunity to carry on supporting such a great organization in our community.

Andrea Nichols Egan (returning)

I have lived in the neighbourhood since 2001 and have also owned a business on the Danforth for 4 years now. I started volunteering with DECA about 7 years ago doing some of the social media for the East Lynn Park Farmers’ Market and have been an active volunteer since then – including being on the Board and the Treasurer for the past 4 years. I love working with such an enthusiastic, community minded group of people. I would be happy to continue my work on the board for the next year.

Jennifer Scott (returning)

My family and I moved to the Danforth East neighbourhood nearly 10 years ago, just before I had my son. During my parental leave I spent time learning about the Danforth East area and was introduced to DECA, a group of fabulous volunteers and community members who had been working since 2007 to build a vibrant community.
In 2015, DECA’s “Pop-Up Shop” program supported myself and a group of local volunteers to run a Hub on the Danforth that provided household necessities to newly arrived Syrian refugees; a truly life-changing experience. Once the Hub wrapped up operations, I joined the DECA Board, eventually serving as Co-Chair. After taking a break from volunteering for a few years, I returned to serve as Chair of the Board last year.
I deeply believe that community involvement provides a sense of belonging and social connectedness, can foster and support inclusion, and creates space for empathy and accountability. This belief, and the joy I’ve received from being involved with DECA, is why I hope to continue to serve on the Board. In the coming year — DECA’s 17th (!) — I hope to work with the incoming Board and community to help build awareness around DECA’s activities, and refine its mandate to meet the needs of our neighbourhood.

Raktim Mitra (returning)

I have proudly contributed to DECA as a board member since 2022. In addition to contributing to the farmer’s market, arts fair, and city council candidates’ debate, I have co-led the DECA Yard Sale event for the past two years. As first-generation immigrants from Bangladesh, my wife and I started our family in Toronto’s East-end, and have always called this part of the City our home away from home. Our two children are growing up in this neighbourhood, and we are excited with what this community has to offer. With an intention to more actively contribute to the community, I joined the DECA Board two years ago, and it has been a privilege to work with great colleagues and volunteers who are selflessly working toward making this community more vibrant and welcoming to all.
In my professional life, I am an Urban Planning professor. I study and promote neighbourhood livability and active lifestyles. Through my research and teaching, I continue to engage with the Danforth East residents, the City, advocacy organizations such as Cycle Toronto and TCAT, and TDSB elementary schools. My personal and professional values, which focus on creating vibrant, livable communities that are walkable, bikable, safe and happy, align really well with the visions of this association, and because of this, I am hoping to continue my work as a DECA Board member toward these shared goals.

Rebecca Green (returning)

I’ve been a part of DECA in a variety of roles since the beginning. My particular joy is the farmers’ market, where I have painted faces, co-ordinated volunteers, planned kids’ activities, and made a general nuisance of myself. This past year, I worked on the Danforth East Yard Sale and co-ordinated the clothing and home goods donations to New Circles and Kennedy House Youth Shelter. This project combined a lot of my favourite things – textile reuse, mutual aid, thrifting and chatting!
I also have been writing the blog and updating website and social media with Jenn and Andrea N-E this year. If I’m elected to the board again this year, I look forward to whatever we come up with next!

DECA Committees

DECA committees lead and support different DECA events and initiatives, with each committee being responsible for work and projects in their respective areas.  Each committee has at least one DECA Board Member and the committees meet separately from the DECA Board.  DECA’s activities depend on both the needs in our community, as well as the skills and interests of our members. Our committees strive to:

  • Promote an inclusive, diverse and vibrant community in which all of our members feel safe;
  • Support environmental initiatives, including the Farmers’ Market; and
  • Ensure that our neighbourhood’s voice is considered by elected officials in relation to important social and government issues.

Currently, there are five DECA subcommittees that support DECA’s work:

DECA Visioning is city planning at a grassroots level, responsible for meeting with developers, city staff and other stakeholders in our community. Find out more from Audrey at visioning@deca.to

DECA Green is the home of the East Lynn Farmers’ Market committee, as well as other initiatives check out our Couch-side Climate Action campaign and workshops from April 2021! Find out more from Rebecca at green@deca.to

DECA Connects organizes and runs community events focused on social issues and advocacy.  Some of the key events and initiatives of this subcommittee include DECA Discussions (started in 2020), the DECA Young Leaders Scholarship and DECA Pride.  DECA Connects is currently on hiatus and looking for our next leader.

DECA Events organizes some of DECA’s most popular events, including the Danforth East Arts Fair, Pumpkin Parade, Festival of Lights and DECA Dance Party. Find out more at info@deca.to

DECA Social helps ensure that DECA members and the community generally are informed of DECA events and projects.  The work of this subcommittee includes monitoring and updating the DECA website and social media accounts, as well as leading initiatives to attract new DECA members.  Find out more from Rebecca or Andrea at info@deca.to 

We encourage DECA members and other individuals in our community to reach out with ideas and feedback.  We also welcome anyone who is interested in volunteering with the committees to express their interest.  You can connect with the committee lead as set out above or email us at info@deca.to.