Danforth pop-up street makeover meeting on Thursday at Hirut!

Do you care about making the Danforth safer, more fun and useful for people of all ages (whether you are age 8 or 80 or anywhere in between)? We do too! That’s why DECA is so excited to be partnering with 8 80 Cities, Better Block, and the Danforth Mosaic BIA to create an exciting Danforth Pop-Up Street Makeover!

We’d love to have your input and ideas! Please join us for a presentation and community discussion on Thursday (tomorrow). You’ll meet some neighbours, the folks from 8 80 Cities and Better Blocks who are coming to make this amazing thing happen – and you won’t have to make dinner because Hirut is cooking for everyone. Drinks will be available for purchase.

Where: Hirut Restaurant, 2050 Danforth Ave.

What: Danforth Pop-up Street Makeover Discussion and Free Dinner!

When: Thursday, September 6 from 6:30 to 8:30pm.

If you can, please RSVP here, or just drop by!


Keen to lend a hand or know someone who might be?

We’ll also be needing some pop-up street makeover volunteers who can roll up their sleeves and lend a hand to re-design the street. We’ll be using temporary paint and materials, building and installing wikiblock furniture, and overseeing program activities for neighbours of all ages. The event and prep will take place October 4th – 6th. If you are unable to attend the meeting but would like to be involved, please email gay@deca.to for more information.

Read more about this exciting project here.

Community Meeting Sept 6

Danforth East Renew Updates Galore

Revitalization Updates

There’s a ton of great info packed into this guest post from the Danforth renewal dynamic duo, Tina & Gay.  Read on for all the exciting changes the team has been working on to improve the ‘hood.

Whether you shop local, work local, eat local or pitch in to lend a hand on renewal projects, you’re supporting the revitalization of our commercial strip. We all get stoked when new businesses open and DECA and WoodGreen are excited to continue renewal efforts on the Danforth! There’s lots going on and we’re grateful for funding support from the Metcalf Foundation as we head into year 2.

Pop-up successes looking fabulous in WoodGreen’s annual report.

Change like this happens through the incredible work and dedication of local volunteers. Thank you!

Danforth Mosaic BIA’s AGM: this TUESDAY

The Danforth Mosaic BIA is the longest BIA in the city. It extends from Westlake to Jones. The BIA aims to stimulate business and improve economic vitality. Local business and property owners volunteer their time and can be elected to the BIA Board of Management. Their Annual General Meeting (AGM) takes place on Tues. Oct. 28th at 7:00 p.m. at 695 Coxwell Ave., on the 6th floor of Tobias House. All business and property owners within the BIA have a vote. For more information email danforthmosaicbia@gmail.com

BIA is Working to Re-brand Shopping on the Danforth

There’s a new BIA marketing committee, and in September local businesses and residents were invited to contribute their vision of the area.

Over 30 people came together during three sessions to participate in a range of activities designed to help define the area. Participants shared their thoughts, used pictures, and tested their artistic skills to envision what the Danforth could be. This was the first step to generate input for the BIA’s new marketing plan to put the area on the map! Keep your eyes peeled in the coming months!

BIA Marketing consult
A BIA marketing consultation session.

DECA’s Business Revitalization Team Strikes Again

In August, DECA’s Business Revitalization Team (BRT) created a splash on the Danforth with another storefront makeover! Helen’s variety store (1781 Danforth Avenue) was transformed from the old shabby, faded blue façade to a clean, bright new look featuring yellow and white stripes.

How does something like this happen?! Needless to say, it’s a lot of work. It takes the passion of a team lead (Pat Young) and the talent of many volunteers to design, research, consult, promote and then implement this brand new look! Why Helen’s Variety? Watch this one minute video to find out.

BEFORE: Helen’s Variety’s awesome make-over team.
AFTER: owner Tom poses with the new & improved Helen’s.

Turning Ideas into Reality:
Reimagining the Laneways

Did you know renovations are planned for Coxwell station? So why not look at ways to improve the adjacent laneways? That thinking led to a DECA/WoodGreen sponsored consultation, during Art of the Danforth last May, facilitated by

architect Michelle Senayah. City Councillor Janet Davis pitched in, connecting DECA/WoodGreen to the TTC and Green P Parking Authority. Over 20 people attended the consultation held adjacent to the laneways, on TKOS’ patio.Fast forward to September and we are delighted to report that everyone’s dreams and ideas to improve the laneways are closer to becoming a reality! Things like murals, better lighting, signage and wayfinding, and more attractive fencing, were on the table at a meeting convened by Councillor Janet Davis. Representatives from the TTC, Transportation Service, the Public Realm at the City, Green P Parking Authority, DECA, WoodGreen and East End Arts are working together to find ways to move forward. Teamwork takes time and there are no guarantees; still it’s awesome to know that improvements are coming. We’ll keep you posted!
The Reimagining Coxwell station laneway session.

Pop-up Shops: Hello & Goodbyes

Hello to Asiri’s Treasures

The Renew Danforth team has been working hard to bring you more pop-up shops for the months of November and December and the first of the holiday shops to open is Asiri’s Treasures. Visit our newest pop-up shop at 1517 Danforth Ave., just west of Coxwell, open now until Dec. 24, 2013! Check out the DECA website for Asiri’s awesome offer of 25% off your first purchase.


Asiri’s Treasures| 1517 Danforth Avenue Monday-Friday 10-6 | Saturday-Sunday 10-7
Asiri’s Treasures specializes in Alpaca wool and organic cotton from Peru. From hats to socks, sweaters to gloves, Asiri’s Treasures has them in traditional and contemporary designs.

Goodbye to Yummy Stuff and E-Closet

Since they opened their doors in June, we’ve come to know and love our pop-up shop friends at Yummy Stuff bakery (1938 Danforth) and E-Closet women’s clothing store (1801 Danforth). So we’re sad to report that both will be closing later this month.

Yummy Stuff’s last day is November 15th, but, happily for fans of delicious baked goods, they are investigating more permanent options in the ‘hood. Morag is also trying to figure out the best way to temporarily service her new east end fans…stay tuned…

E-Closet will be closing after November 30th, but you can keep in touch and continue to shop with Natasha at her online store. And be sure to take advantage of her closing sale: Take an EXTRA 15% OFF E-Closet’s already low prices! Just in time to stock up on Christmas gifts. (Bamboo bottoms not included.)

And don’t forget our other two pop-ups, In This Closet (1765 Danforth) and Cheap Thrills (1811 Danforth). Both are still open and have fantastic new items in stock. We’ve spied lots of winter coats and boots at In This Closet and bargain priced FCUK clothes over at Cheap Thrills.

Please support our community’s efforts to revitalize our commercial strip by taking some time to visit and support these exciting pop-up enterprises.

This September, Show Our Locals Some Love

September Shop Local Campaign

Have you seen those beautiful Shop Local posters in store windows lately? Our fabulous Pop-up Shop Project co-ordinators, Tina and Gay, put together the campaign to celebrate our local businesses and remind you to show them some love this September. Details are up on our website. We’ve also started collecting pics of local September features and specials on Pinterest (excuse the orientation–we’ll figure out how to rotate those suckers soon).

Tina explains what it’s all about and gives some reasons why shopping local is important:

If you’re an avid follower of this blog then chances are you already support the local businesses. But did you know research shows that a dollar spent at a locally owned store is usually spent 6 to 15 before it leaves the community? By contrast, a dollar spent at a national chain store results in 80% of that dollar leaving the neighbourhood immediately (cited from Northwest Earth Institute for Sustainable Living.) It’s gotta feel good to know that your hard-earned money is staying within the community several times over when you shop locally!

Throughout the month of September, keep your eyes open for the Shop Local posters throughout the ‘hood. These posters will highlight new products, services, and maybe even a deal or two from the local businesses. And here’s what you can do: spread the word! Snap a photo of a poster and post it on your preferred social media site (but don’t forget to include the name of the store it’s from!)  Word of mouth really is the best way to share all the great things our neighbourhood has to offer.

And if you needed more reasons to shop locally, read on for 10 benefits of shopping locally.


Locally owned businesses create jobs in the neighbourhood and, in some sectors, provide better wages and benefits than chains do.


A marketplace of many small businesses is the best way to ensure innovation and low prices over the long term.


A multitude of neighbourhood-based small businesses, each selecting products based on their knowledge of the needs of their local customers, not on the decision of some distant executive and a national sales plan, guarantees a much broader range of product choices.


Danforth East offers an eclectic mix of shops — some with a long tradition in the area, some brand new.  By choosing to support locally owned businesses, you help maintain our diversity and distinctive



Dollars spent in locally owned businesses have three times the impact on your community as dollars spent at national chains. When shopping locally, you simultaneously create jobs, fund more city services through property tax, invest in neighbourhood improvement and promote community development.


Locally owned businesses build strong neighbourhoods by sustaining communities, linking neighbours, and by contributing more to local causes.


When the businesses in an area are locally owned, the important decisions are made locally, by people who live in the community and who will feel the impacts of those decisions.


Local stores along main streets require comparatively little infrastructure and make more efficient use of public services relative to big-box stores and strip malls.


Entrepreneurship fuels North America’s economic innovation and prosperity, and serves as a key means for families to move out of lowwage jobs and into the middle class.


Local stores help to sustain vibrant, compact, walkable neighbourhoods, which in turn are essential to reducing sprawl, automobile use, habitat loss, and air and water pollution.

Adapted and reprinted with permission of Stacy Mitchell, The Institute for Local Self-Reliance and StayLocal.org.

September Shop Local PosterEvent Alert: Jim Diers

Speaking of building vibrant communities, make sure you save the date for the evening of September 17. We’ve got an inspiring speaker you won’t want to miss. More details in DECA Diaries to come soon…

Calling all Artists & Crafters in Toronto!

Here’s an update on one of the Pop-Up Shops from Tara S.

We are looking for artists and crafters to participate in our Pop-Up Shop project on the Danforth, between Coxwell and Woodbine.  As discussed previously,  there is an energetic and passionate group of people working on the Renew East Danforth project to fill empty storefronts and find long term tenants for the building owners.

For the holiday shopping month of December, we have 4 or 5 stores taking part, creating a festive, well advertised and celebrated event.  One of the stores will be holding an “indoor craft show“, a place for artists to show & sell their wares during the peak shopping season on the Danforth.

Table space rental: One weekend($75), all 5 weekends($325), weekdays($20/day) or the whole month($525).

Hours open to public:

  • Monday to Friday: 10am to 5pm
  • Saturday & Sunday: 9am to 6pm

If you are interested in renting a table, here are the details:

  • Artists must come one hour before store opening to set up products.
  • Tables are 8ft long. Without a table, the space is approximately 8 x 3 ft.  Cost of table rental is extra, price is dependent on the number of days you rent. Your own set-up is welcome as an alternative.
  • Artists are asked to submit by email:  5 photos of their work, with prices for those in pictures, retail/exhibition history, a short artist biography describing process of creation, price range of work, contact information, and any other relevant information. The submissions will be juried and payment will be required soon after that time.
  • Please email Tara for more details:  Please type “Pop-Up Craft Show” in the subject line.
  • Application deadline : Wednesday November 21!

Following the craft sales in December, we are searching for artists to share the rent one of the spaces as a co-op work and sales space. Any enquiries are welcome!