Guess Whose Running For City Council?

I suppose it had to happen eventually.

You get a bunch of community-minded people together and sooner or later one of them is going to try and play in the big leagues.

Mary-Margaret McMahon has been on the DECA executive since we were half a dozen people sitting around a dining room table.  She’s been instrumental in almost everything that DECA has become – from the farmers’ market to the countless environmental initiatives, from DECA Bikes to re-skilling workshops and so much more.  At least half of what you read on this blog comes straight from Mary-Margaret because she’s either organizing it or knows someone who is.

DECA is not a political organization.  It’s in our charter.  So you won’t see us endorsing one candidate over another in October’s municipal election. However, because she’s such an integral part of DECA, I thought you should know that Mary-Margaret is running in Ward 32 (south of the Danforth).  Her campaign launch party is Tuesday, May 18th at the Balmy Beech Club (1 Beech Ave – doors open at 7:30 – remarks at 8 p.m.)  RSVP to lauriesmith1025@gmail.com

Fun Fair and One Less Empty Storefront

The Earl Beatty Fun Fair is Saturday, May 29th from 10-3 p.m.  It promises “fun and games for all ages” so I assume that means there will be canasta.  The Toronto Maple Leafs dressing room will be there along with face painting , games, inflatable fun, silent auction and raffle, vendors and yes, the world famous (yes world famous) ball hockey tournamet.

And – in this space at the beginning of April I passed along a rumour that the former Wind Jammers store just east of Woodbine would be a Rogers store.  As is so often the case, I was wrong.  Susan at True Brew tells me the sign is up for a Mobilicity outlet.  I had the right product, wrong company.

Canada Post Grey Boxes

Honestly, nobody works harder for less money than Mary-Margaret McMahon.  Her latest feat?  She’s convinced Canada Post to let her get local schools to paint five grey graffiti-covered Canada Post relay boxes in a farmers’ market theme this spring.  One can only imagine the high pressure lobbying tactics and number of phone calls and e-mails exchanged with the good people at Canada Post that went into making this happen.

So, do you know of a graffiti-covered box that could use a paint job?  Let her know at spargy@rogers.com.

Poking Around For A New Book?

Book Swap

Summer’s coming… and it’s time to stock up on some fresh summer reading.  If you have books that you are finished with and you want to trade them for some new ones, come to the neighbourhood Book Swap happening on Saturday, May 8 from 11-1 at True Brew cafe (2116 Danforth – on the north side, just east of Woodbine).

We’d love to see books of all kinds — picture books your kids have outgrown, vampire fiction your teenagers might be willing to part with, thoughtful treatises on living the green life, cookbooks, comic books, book club rejects… anything in good shape and ready to be shared.  Grab a coffee, chat with your neighbours, and tread a little more lightly while you’re at it.  Any leftovers will be donated to school libraries or charity.

(P.S. I noticed True Brew is hosting a free coffee day on May 12th – you’re welcome.)

Mad Hatter’s Tea Party To Save The Peace Theatre


You’re invited to the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party in support of the Peace Theatre – an organization committed to transforming the lives of at-risk children and youth in Toronto.  On this, the theater’s 10th anniversary, the Peace Theatre is in danger of closing its doors – for good.  Over the past ten years the Peace Theatre has helped thousands of at-risk youth and it needs our support to help it continue.

On May 12, 2010, join musicians Joe Sealy and Paul Novotny, Monsoon and others while sipping some Mad Hatter spiked tea and yummy bites at Revival on College St.  The goals is to raise $40,000.  Learn more at www.childrenpeacetheatre.org or 416-752-1550.

Business Revitalization Team

Thank you so so much to the wonderful volunteers who came to help out with the Business Revitalization Team last weekend.  Giving up a few hours of a precious Saturday is much appreciated!  Our next project is Thai Basil Kitchen (near the Honda on the north side).

If you have a recommendation for a business that you love, but could use some help from our amazing Business Revitalization Team – let Angela know at amatich@aim.com

Melanie’s Bistro

You know Melanie Ferreira is good friend of DECA.  She and her husband were profiled in the Toronto Star this weekend. Check it out.

55 Division Community Picnic

Mark your calendars for May 26th (4-8 p.m.) for the police community picnic at Woodbine Park (Lakeshore and Woodbine).  DECA will be there promoting the East Lynn Farmers’ Market so stop by and say hello.

Farmers’ Market Opens June 3rd

Help Wanted

We’re looking for help for the Farmers’ Market, both paid and unpaid, but all very much appreciated.

First – we’re looking for a fabulous Market Manager. The Market Manager needs to be at the East Lynn market from 1:30 – 7:30 on Thursdays and the pay is $125/day.  The manager generally works with the farmers and ensures the whole thing runs smoothly.  If you would like more information, contact Diana Gonzalez at dianardo.gonzalez@gmail.com.  (P.S. Diana’s also looking for Market Managers for the markets at Sick Kids (Tuesdays 7:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.) and Liberty Village (Sundays 7:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.)

We also need a few strong guys and gals to help out with barricades (carrying them in and out of the shed and then standing near them and allowing the local cars on to East and West Lynn Ave.)  We’ve got a few students, but we need some help in June and September to help until around 3:30.  There would be some payment for this.

Second – Our Market is pretty darn terrific. Not to toot our own horn, but everybody says so.  Still, we could use a few extra hands to help out.   Think about it: you get to hang out with cool farmers and fun farmers’ market folk; you get to be outside enjoying the oh-so-short summer; you get to run into all your neighbours; and you get to contribute to an amazing community event that is helping to make this a ‘sought after’ neighbourhood.  How can you get involved?  Glad you asked.

DECA Booth Hosts When needed: 1-2 people each week for two shifts (2:30-5:00 and/or 5:00-7:30)What to do: Greet market attendees, provide directions, answer questions about DECA, sell DECA memberships, set up/take  down of small tent and table,  help farmers if needed, help coordinate and serve farmer’s meals.

Farmer Feeders When needed: 1-2 people each week – What to do: Create and deliver fantastic meals to serve our ~30 devoted farmers.   You can use farmers produce but need to scoop it 1 week prior.

Photographers When needed: one person each week at whatever time they are available, particularly around the 4:30 p.m. What to do: People to capture the moments and memories of the farmers market, with your own digital camera.

Public Relations When needed: various times through out the summer. What to do: Champion public relations activity for the Farmers Market, including creating and distributing regular press releases to local papers.

Face Painting When needed: 1-2 people each week for two shifts (2:30-5:00 and/or 5:00-7:30) What to do: Use your talent and artisan eye to paint children’s faces who visit the Farmers Market.  Paint supplies provided.

Market Entertainment When needed: one session each week at 4:30. What to do: People and/or business with some talent in putting on a free demonstration or entertainment session for the Farmers Market crowd, particularly the children.  For example, family-focused yoga session or children’s book reading.

Flyer Distributors When needed: various times through out the summer. What to do: distribute 100-200 flyers to local business and residences to promote the Farmer’s Market.

Contact Shelley at shelleydarling@yahoo.ca or 647-232-8139.

Art Of The Danforth – Past Tense

Way back when Cindy Rozeboom was trying to secure some grant funding for this pie-in-the-sky idea called Art of the Danforth, the good people at the Toronto Arts Council turned her down because they weren’t convinced this neighbourhood would support it.  (An appeal and letters of support from DECA members and others would persuade the Toronto Arts Council to change it’s mind.)

Almost a year later, after a fabulous week of activities, art, community engagement and, yes, fun, it seems unthinkable that the community wouldn’t get behind this amazing initiative.

There is a long list of people who made this happen – from volunteers and artists to organizers and business owners.  And of course there are the people who participated – whether it was as part of community projects throughout the winter or by walking into shops and checking out the art or taking part in the events that happened over the past week.  Thank you to all for helping make this event such a success.

So, what did you think about this project?  Let’s start a little e-discussion about right here.  Post your impressions on the blog or send them to me and I’ll post them for you.

And for goodness sake, check out the photos that local photogs are sharing on the flickr site.