Danforth Gems

Two little local gems to pass along – the first from our favourite local shopper – Pat Chartier.

RHD Appliances

I’ve taken shopping local to new spending heights: we bought a “scratch and dent” Kitchenaid Gas Range from the new store near Woodbine, RHD Appliances.  No scratches, no dents but it was missing one small part, which the RHD owner ordered in for us, as he promised. What a great deal: $700, delivered and the same stove would otherwise go for about $2400.

Sandy’s (Chinese Canadian) Restaurant

Thanks to Nancy for sending along a thumbs up for Sandy’s on the south side of the Danforth, just east of Woodbine.

Sandy’s is owned by Jimmy and Sandy along with their adult son and daughter.  It is clean, friendly and they have a tasty, specially priced menu where a family can eat a meal for under $30, taxes included.

I also noticed two new shops the other day on the north side of Danforth, west side of Coxwell, toward Greenwood: a card and gift shop (how many of you have told me how you yearn for a local card shop?!) and a crepe shop.

Beautifying Bioswale

Bioswale: Noun – landscape elements designed to remove silt and pollution from surface runoff water. It’s a swaled drainage course with gently sloped sides (less than six per cent) and filled with vegetation, compost and/or stones. The water’s flow path, along with the wide and shallow ditch, is designed to maximize the time water spends in the swale, helping trap pollutants and silt.

I asked Mary-Margaret McMahon to write a little post about the bioswale project that she’s been working on with co-DECA-ite Lillian Salmon.  This pilot project is going in at Danforth and Cedarvale.

I was sick of the top of Cedarvale south looking ugly.  Our awesome pharmacist at ERA pharmacy has a lovely tree and we have planted some native species under it – especially sage.

Across the road is Joe’s Automotive and there are some hideous cement poles.  So Lillian and I met with Robert Mays from Public Realm at the City of Toronto (which includes the Clean and Beautiful program) and proposed a few bioswale ideas.  Robert thought this one was the most viable and our proposal passed with flying colours. Each city ward can receive $80,000 per year for Clean and Beautiful projects.

We are planning for two trees on either side, asphalt removal, native plants and shrubs, beautification and storm water management (we need to be concerned with the latter because we have combine sewers).

The City of Toronto is paying the bill.  Construction will start late summer.  The community will maintain it.  We want some rain barrels to harvest the rainwater from the buildings for irrigation.

I contacted neighbourhood dynamo Sara Heinonen – she and her husband own Zone 6 landscaping.  Sara and her teenaged nephew from Amroth Ave. offered to help with the design – he did the sketch.

It was easy.

Beautification + Greenery + Storm Water Management + Community Engagement + Youth empowerment + Uplifting Neighbours’ Spirits + No Cost + Expediency & Efficiency = WIN WIN WIN!

Who Brings You The Funnest People In Town?

This week at the East Lynn Farmers’ Market, our 4:30 fun includes Trevor Rogers, the coolest unicycler you’ve never met.  Trevor learned to ride a unicycle in St. John’s Newfoundland after he saw someone riding off-road in the York Regional Forest.  Amazed, he tried it and discovered an incredible passion.  Trevor says the focus and physical stamina required for uber-unicycling sends him into a state of bliss.  What can he do on a unicycle? Get around the city, wrestle, throw knives and snowballs, sword fight, knit, spin fire, play a flute, race streetcars, juggle and rollerblade while unicycling and juggling.

Trevor lives at Pape and Cosburn and is a handyman/house painter.  He also teaches people, by donation, to rollerblade, unicycle, juggle and many other things that help create fitness and mind and body spirit.  But the most important thing that you should know about Trevor Rogers is that he absolutely loves coconut cream pie.

Not Far From The Tree

We’ve talked about this group before in these pages, but t’is the season to mention it again suggests Kim from the East York Rotary Club. Not Far From The Tree will pick your fruit tree and divide the bounty between you the tree owner, the volunteer pickers and community groups who can make use of the fruit.  It’s genius.  This year they’re also tapping city maple trees for syrup.  Double genius.

Sweet Summer Stuff

DECA Learns – Canning Cherries and Peaches

DECA’s next Bernadin canning workshop is tomorrow – July 21st with the delightful master of all things preserve – Emerie!  This week, peaches and cherries.  The workshop is at 7:30 p.m. at the Danforth Mennonite Church at 2174 Danforth.  RSVP to Mary-Margaret McMahon at spargy@rogers.com or 416-693-9276.  Suggested donation $5.00.

East Lynn Farmers’ Market

Oh we’re in the thick of it now.  My fridge overflows with local produce.  The bounty is rich and the atmosphere at the market is absolute delight.  At least that’s how it looks from the vantage point of my little boys…peaches, cheese curds, face painting, wading pool.  Does it get any better than that?

This week at 4:30 – unicycle tricks that will wow you.

Big Hole Update

Thanks to DECA member (and volunteer) Jon Isaak for sending along this update on the condodevelopment at Danforth and Woodbine from Tine Major at the City of Toronto Planning Office:

The rezoning application is almost ready to be reported on and the final report recommending approval may go forward to the August Toronto and East York Community Council meeting.

If you would like to know more or comment on this, contact Councillor Sandra Bussin at councillor_bussin@toronto.ca or and/or her executive assistant, David McCully at dmccull@toronto.ca.

Toronto Police Services and You

Whenever we speak with the community policing officers at 55 Division (south of the Danforth) and 54 Division (north of the Danforth) they always tell us the same thing: if you see something untoward, call us.  Even if they don’t come that time, it gets filed and the more calls they get, the more likely they will be to pay attention to this particular area.  If you’re like me, however, you might not always call because you don’t want to deal with the hassle or you don’t have the time.  When DECA met with other residents’ associations in the east end last month, we learned that you can also e-mail these sorts of non-urgent complaints.  Genius.

For 54 Division (north) – use this form or call 416-808-5400

For 55 Division (south) – use this form or call 416-808-5500

Hot Enough For Ya?

Photo courtesy of Zoe Theysmeyer

The Market This Week

Last Thursday market-goers listened to stories by storyteller Dan Yashinsky.  This week we’re continuing the theme with a visit from Christine Hiller, the children’s librarian at the Danforth/Coxwell library.  Christine was at the market twice last  year with stories and song and we’re excited to have her back for more.  Look for her by the face-painting tent this Thursday at 4:30 p.m. (The East Lynn Farmers’ Market runs every Thursday from 3 – 7 p.m. at East Lynn Park, south of Danforth, west of Woodbine)

Market Bucks

Don’t forget to fill out your ballot to win ‘Market Bucks’ at the DECA table.  Each week we draw for $20 in Market Bucks to be used at the market from our wonderful partners at Farmers Markets Ontario.

PS – The East Lynn Park Farmers’ Market is on facebook, here.

Jazz In The Park

The Danforth Mosaic BIA hosts a weekly jazz performance every Wednesday from 6 – 9 p.m. (rain or shine).  This week it is Autorickshaw, an “Indo- jazz-funk fusion ensemble.  The band is nominated for a Juno award for  world music album of the year.  Bring your blanket or lawn chair to the Coxwell Parkette on the south side of the Danforth, just west of Coxwell.

Family Health Centre Update

As you may know the former funeral home at Aldridge and Danforth is being turned into a medical centre that will house the South East Toronto Family Health Team. This group of family doctors, residents and health care professionals will see about 12,000 patients.  They expect to open in Spring 2011 and doctors there will be accepting new patients.

Some of the fencing is already up.  The demolition will start inside the building disconnecting and removing the more delicate connections.  Then they’ll bring in an excavator to tear down the building.  Then they’ll shore up the building next door and dig a big hole.  Then, they build.  They’re hoping to be moving along with construction by the end of the summer.

Toastmasters Youth Leadership Program

If you (or someone you know) is aged 11-18, they are invited to join a special summer session of the Toastmasters Youth Leadership Program.  This free program will help participants overcome a fear of public speaking and help them become an effective speaker and leader.  This is an eight-week session starting Saturday, July 17th from noon – 2 p.m. at the Royal Canadian Legion at 9 Dawes Road (near Danforth).  For more information contact Helen Pearce at branch11rcl@rogers.com or 416-699-1353.

How are the raspberries?   Should I be getting ready to make raspberry jam?

Too Hot To Cook!

Uber local shopper, Pat Chartier, posted this on the blog this morning and I thought it was so timely, I wanted to make sure you all saw it in time for dinner tonight. – Thanks Pat!

Here are a few Danforth dinner suggestions for those nights when it’s too hot to cook indoors…or at all:

–Grill hamburgers made with the outstanding ground beef sold at the Plank Road, where Roger grinds it himself. All you need is a little salt and pepper to get incredibly juicy and flavourful burgers. And wrap them in hamburger buns from Celena’s or Cozy Cafe.

–Serve up tomato-basil sandwiches on Celena’s wonderful Sourdough White bread. THE perfect summer meal!

–get some of the terrific spanikopita from Cozy Cafe and serve with a salad for another delicious light meal that won’t heat up the kitchen.

Other great meat treats from our neighbourhood:
The strip loin steaks from Plank Road
Tri-Tip Sirloin from Royal Beef.
Organic lamb from the East Lynn Market–that’s become our Summer Thursday dinner tradition.
Buffalo/bison burgers and sausages, also from the Market.