What’s On This Week?

I’ve talked about my son’s interest in Ontario produce here before.  This week he suggested we go forth and get ourselves some Ontario strawberries for dessert.  “Oh sure, we can go get some strawberries,” I innocently reply.  “No, mummy, I said ONTARIO strawberries!”  Seriously – I’ve got to get this kid on the payroll at Foodland Ontario.

Strawberry Canning Workshop Tomorrow 

It’s all about strawberries this week.  If you love local strawberries, then you need to attend the Strawberry Canning Workshop.  It’s tomorrow – Wednesday, June 29th.  Register at melaniej.thompson(at)yahoo.ca or just show up.  The workshops start at 7 p.m. and run about 90 minutes in the basement of the Mennonite Church (north side of Danforth, just east of Woodbine).  Cost is $10/session to cover our costs.  Come one, come all!

World Famous -East Lynn-Canada Day-Farmers’ Market-Square Dance-Strawberry Festival   

It’s the Strawberry Festival!!!  It only happens once a year so we are going to dance about it with a real down-home urban square dance at 5 p.m.  This is our second annual square dance and it is the most fun you can have with your boots on.

At the Kid’s Korner this week we’ve got Melissa doing the up cycling tee shirt Craft at 3:30. There is still space so register at decacrafts@gmail.com.  There is also storytelling and face painting starting at 4 p.m.  And The SPACE dance studio is getting the dancing started at 4:30 p.m.

Stop by the community tent and visit the nurses from Toronto East General Hospital as they dole out advice on how to beat the summer heat.

And when you are finally pooped from doing all this awesome stuff, buy some food, nourish thy selves and stock up for the long weekend.

Friday Canada Day Parade

The East York Canada Day parade is a long-standing tradition and why not?  Shriners, fire trucks and marching bands spell the start of a great weekend if you ask me.  The parade starts at 9 a.m. at Overlea and Thorncliffe Park Dr. and makes its way to Stan Wadlow Park by noon.

In The News

You may have seen DECA quoted in the Toronto Star story about the big hole today, if not, here it is.  Also, this is a link to a good Open File story on Little Ethiopia from a while back.

The Big Hole & The Big Court Case

Below is the story on the court case about the Big Hole from today’s Toronto Sun….  And in case you missed it, here is yesterday’s story about how three jurors were excused for researching the story on the internet.

Businessman torched his store: Crown

Businessman John Magno masterminded a plot to burn his Woodbine Building Supplies store on Christmas Day 2001 to solve his financial problems, a Superior Court jury heard Tuesday.

In his opening to the jury, Crown attorney Derek Ishak alleged that Magno,  fraud artist Sam Paskalis and Adrian Roks ochestrated a arson that would enable Magno to collect a $3 million insurance claim and help him build condos on his 2055 Danforth Ave. site.  The plot backfired when the gas fumes prematurely ignited. It resulted in a devastating blaze that killed Tony Jarcevic, 22, and left Paskalis clinging to life in a medically-induced coma. He is now permanently disfigured, said Ishak.  The inferno required 170 firefighters and 40 fire trucks and prompted the evacuation of more than 50 families.

Magno, 51, has pleaded not guilty to conspiracy, arson and second-degree murder charges.  Ishak and co-counsel Anna Tenhouse alleged that Magno and his brothers bought the Woodbine Building Supplies (WBS) building and land in 1998.  Financial problems dogged the Magnos, court heard.

WBS owed its parent company more than $500,000 and a former employee $40,000. In September 2001, Magno decided to demolish WBS and build condos. Inventory was hauled to the Magnos’ warehouse at 111 Sunrise Ave. and prior to Christmas, the bulk of that inventory had already been moved.  The mounting financial pressures forced Magno to concoct a plan to torch his property, alleged Ishak.  In July 2001, Magno had befriended Sam Paskalis, a fraud artist, whom Magno had bailed out of jail.

Magno, Paskalis and his close friend Adrian Roks created a plan to burn down WSB so that Magno could collect a $3 million insurance policy, alleged Ishak.  Paskalis and Roks recruited some friends to execute the arson scheme. They picked Christmas Eve since the store closed early that day, court heard.  Magno was the last to leave the store with Paskalis behind to send the plot into motion, said Ishak.  In the early evening, the remaining conspirators hauled away leftover merchandise as their reward for their participation.  Both the sprinkler and alarm systems were disabled. A half hour after midnight, the fire was lit but it roared uncontrollably. Tony Jarcevic — who had taken courses in fire protection — was killed.  The trial continues Wednesday.

Small Business Workshops

Elizabeth Verway is offering a business training series of workshops for small business owners.  Elizabeth has been mentoring small business owners in this community for 14 years through the Office Mentors.  There are four workshops in the series:

  •  Business Communications (June 6)
  •  Cash Flow & Money Matters (June 13)
  • Networking and Sales Strategies (June 20)
  • Planning for Business Growth (June 27)

Workshops will take place near Coxwell and Danforth.  The full series is $100 to community members and free to BIA members.  Call Elizabeth Verwey to register 416-463-1713

The Danforth East Arts Fair

The Danforth East Arts Fair will be held at East Lynn Park on September 17 and 18, 2011. The application deadline is June 15th.  If that’s your bag, baby, you might want to think about being an exhibitor at the Beach Studio Tour in October.  If you would like to open your home to visitors or just want to know more, contact info@beachstudiotour.ca or 416- 691-5195

All In A Day’s Work

Received at 3:38 p.m. on Thursday afternoon…

Dear Residents,

I am pleased to announce that $100,000 will be dedicated to East Lynn Park from Section 37 monies received in relation to the Woodbine Building Supplies redevelopment application. In addition, monies will be directed toward the Stephenson and Moncur Parks in our ward.

Members of the community, in concert with Sandra Bussin, City Councillor, and the Parks Department will develop a plan for the funds provided. Further notice will be given, if and when this proposal is adopted by City Council.

Best regards,


What Can You Do?

DECA has been in contact with Sandra Bussin’s office on this issue.  When I see something in writing, I’ll let you know.  Until then, ff you want to have your voice heard on this subject.  Here are a few suggestions.

1. Call Councillor Sandra Bussin’s office  416-392-1376 or her executive assistant, David McCully 416-392-1376 and then follow up with an e-mail to councillor_bussin@toronto.ca or dmccull@toronto.ca

2. If you live in another ward (or even if you don’t) you can also let your councillor know how you feel:

Janet Davis 416-397-4870 councillor_davis@toronto.ca

Paula Fletcher  416-392-4060 councillor_fletcher@toronto.ca

Case Ootes 416–392-4032 councillor_ootes@toronto.ca

3. Let the City of Toronto local planner know how you feel: Leontine Major at lmajor@toronto.ca

4. Make your views known about this in writing or in person during the public meeting at Toronto and East York Community Council on August 17th at City Hall (100 Queen W.).   In writing (before Aug. 16th) to:

City Clerk – Attention Rosalind Dyers

Toronto and East York Community Council

City Hall, 2nd Floor West

100 Queen St. West, Toronto, ON, M5H 2N2

or to teycc@toronto.ca or fax 416-397-0111

Community Benefit?

So, how do you feel about the fact that the City Parks and Planning departments and Councillor Sandra Bussin decided to turn the popular East Lynn Park wading pool into a spray pad without so much as a phone call to either DECA or the Friends of East Lynn Park?  They decided to use the Section 37 ‘community benefit’ money that will result from the rezoning of the ‘big hole’ building to turn the wading pool, which is guarded and maintained, into a splash pad, which is not.

This decision was made by the councillor and City even after DECA made it very clear that as an engaged community, we wanted to be involved in the conversation about how this money would be spent.  When we asked Sandra Bussin to be involved in this conversation when DECA held a community meeting about this development, she agreed, although not enthusiastically.  The information was in a document, apparently written in June, that was not available to us until this week.

Section 37 community benefit funding from this development is also going toward Stephenson Park near Westlake and Moncur park at Coxwell and Dundas.