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

Pop-up Shop Wrap Up This Thursday


It was just four years ago when a group of us gathered together and made the decision to take matters into our own hands and do something about the high number of vacant storefronts in the area. It’s hard to believe now, but at the time, the commercial vacancy rate on our strip of the Danforth was 17%. That’s almost 1 in 5 shops empty!  While these were private properties, their empty, dreary spaces left the the public space along Danforth feeling bleak, abandoned and often unsafe. Most of us chose to go elsewhere to shop and socialize. The lack of local foot traffic, in turn, made it more difficult for existing shops to thrive.

The idea was simple. Or crazy, depending on whom you asked. Modeled after a similar project in Newcastle, Australia, we would somehow convince landlords to hand us their empty storefronts so we could place temporary tenants in them. These tenants would beautify the space and drive foot traffic to the area, which in turn would attract more businesses to the area.

Remember when many shops looked like this?
Remember when many shops looked like this?
A pop-up shop transforms the feeling on the street.
A pop-up shop transforms the feeling on the street.

The good news is…

It wasn’t so crazy after all! After 4 years of pop-ups, the vacancy rate in the area is now a healthy 6%.  During the life of the project, 32 Pop-up Shops were hosted; 6 of these businesses were incubated to stay on more permanently, and all 15 of the properties associated with the project obtained long-term leases.  And we continue to see more and more new businesses moving in regularly!

This lower vacancy rate means we’ve run out of spaces to pop into, and it’s time to wrap up the pop-up project. But we won’t go quietly. The project was a success because of all of you. So many of you played a role in its success, whether it was by volunteering, by participating in one of the community consultations or by changing your shopping habits to better support our local businesses.

Come raise a glass…

Please join us for a casual gathering on this Thursday, July 14, 7:30-9:30 pm, at The Shore Leave (1775 Danforth), where we will be raising a glass to all the work that went into this project! There will be light snacks, a cash bar and a chance to celebrate with your neighbours. Details and RSVP here.

Thank you all!

The biggest thank you and congratulations goes to all the volunteers that put their time, energy and expertise into this project. The volume of work that went into it was gargantuan, and over 100 of you played an active hand in its success. We can’t name everyone, but to give a sense of the scope of the work, volunteer project teams included:

  • Developing legal agreements and securing insurance
  • Investigating and recruiting property owners
  • Painting, cleaning and beautifying the pop-up spaces
  • Recruiting and interviewing potential pop-up shop tenants
  • Graphic design of a multitude of posters and brochures
  • Blogging and social media
  • Organizing community consultations like Danforth Dreams
  • Working with urban planning & architecture student group, and showcasing their work at Imagine the Danforth
  • Organizing shop local campaigns with both the pop-ups and existing businesses
  • Conceiving and running the popular Danforth Gems competition

Needless to say, it didn’t take us long to realize this project was not sustainable on a zero budget, 100% volunteer basis. In came WoodGreen Community Services, with whom we partnered to jointly apply for funding from the Metcalf Foundation.  The support from both of these organizations was crucial to the success of the project and our neighbourhood is all the more vibrant for it.

Work crew getting a shop ready for a pop-up
Work crew getting a shop ready for a pop-up.


Receiving funding allowed us to hire a much-needed co-ordinator (in fact, two people who job shared). While volunteers came in and out, as life circumstances dictated, Tina Scherz and Gay Stephenson, our 2 Pop-up Shop Project Co-ordinators were the enthusiastic glue that held the project together (and at times, the sanity of lead volunteers). Their energy and dedication were unmatched and made it all possible. Thank you, Tina and Gay.

This project’s success is also due to the many landlords who took a chance on a new idea, the support of our City Councillors Mary-Margaret McMahon and Janet Davis, and the members of our Advisory Committee, who lent us their expertise to help us set the direction of the project.

Thank you all.

It doesn’t end here…

Our strip of the Danforth is undeniably much busier than it was 4 years ago. But it still needs our help. If we want to see it continue to grow and become more walkable and vibrant, we need to each do our part by continuing to choose to shop, eat and play locally. The more we choose to spend our money in our neighbourhood, the more we support our local businesses and attract new ones to the area.

As we have seen, together we can do great things.

Pop-up Shop Alert! The Handwork Department

Meet Our Newest Pop-up Shop: The Handwork Department

The Handwork Dept | 1801 Danforth Avenue | Tues. to Fri. Noon – 7pm, Sat. 11am – 6pm

Have you noticed a fun new window at 1801 Danforth? DECA’s newest pop-up shop, The Handwork Department, opened quietly a few weeks ago and we are overdue in sharing the news. The Handwork Department is Maggie Krawczyk’s pop-up shop and she has completely transformed the drab empty space and filled it with an eclectic mix of vintage and artisan goods.  There is something for everyone, from the vintage furniture, ephemera, 35mm cameras, toys and housewares to Maggie’s own handmade jewelry and art, works by other artists, kitchen items and more.

image007 (1)

Maggie is a self-taught jewelry artist who started out as a full time machine operator in the commercial book bindery trade. While working in the factory, she discovered her love of origami and creating fun items for people to enjoy.  After selling her first few pairs of origami earrings to coworkers, she began to formulate a plan to leave factory work and follow her passion. She is the maker of a few different lines of jewelry including amazing tiny origami creations that she transforms into jewelry called Neogami, and jewlery which is made using text cut from vintage adult novels called XXXLittWear. She is also as an avid photographer of local abandoned buildings, and she’s excited to bring all her creations under one roof, including her experience working in vintage shops. She’s been stockpiling items in her garage in anticipation of opening her own store, and she’s even been spotted toting old ladders on the subway for her new shop, much to the entertainment of fellow riders.


Maggie has named her store The Handwork Department as a homage to her early years spent as a factory worker in the commercial book bindery trade, before discovering her talent for jewelry design and ability to run a home based business. She is looking forward to working with other non-classically trained artists and crafters, to help them sell their products.


Between the imminent opening of Kops Records two doors down, the ever-popular Tool Library and now The Handwork Department, that little stretch of the Danforth is getting livelier and livelier. Please stop by! Not only might you find a great little gift for someone you know, or a fun little treasure to add to your own personal collection, but you will also be supporting DECA’s efforts to revitalize the commercial strip.

New Pop-up Shop Alert! Asiri’s Treasures & Avani Creations

Asiri’s Treasures and Avani Creations Pop-up Open Today!

There’s a new pop-up shop opening in the ‘hood as of today, Wednesday March 3rd, at 698 1/2 Coxwell (just north of Danforth)  beside LEN, Democratic Purveyors of Fine Art and Beautiful Things!

Daisy Ojeda, owner of Asiri’s Treasures (remember her and her beautiful knitwear from last winter’s pop-up shop?) and Jessica D’Silva , owner of Avani Creations have joined forces to bring us a collective of hand-made artisan products including organic cotton dresses and alpaca wool sweaters from Peru and vintage style leather bags, and paper journals, handmade locally. They also carry products such as unique hand painted ceramic knobs for vintage furniture, and printed table cloths and napkins.


Tuesday – Saturday 10am – 7pm

Sunday 10am – 5pm

Monday – closed

Stop by and say hello! Doors open Wednesday March 3rd at 10 am. Watch our Facebook page and Twitter for photos of the storefront.

Avani creations AsirisTreasure-sweater

Merrily, merrily Shop Re-opens Saturday

Merrily, merrily Shop Re-opens Saturday

Handmade whale
Handmade whale ready to take home from Merrily, merrily.

Happy news for the parents and grandparents and aunts and uncles of Danforth East! Merrily, merrily is re-opening their pop-up shop – this Saturday, January 10 at 10am – in their new home: 1854 Danforth Ave (right near Oaks ‘n’ Acorns). They’ll be popping up for 6 months (and if we’re lucky, they might just decide to make this their forever home).

The store hours will be 10 to 6, Tuesday – Saturday, and 11 to 4 on Sundays.

If you haven’t checked them out online yet (merrilymerrily.ca), Moxie and Jane carry gently used and very lovely clothing and goods for children, and they sell unique handmade and upcycled pieces by members of our own community. Isn’t the denim whale totally charming? In the upcycled category, they also have reversible, full-body bibs; cool superhero aprons; and neck-cowls made from hockey socks (does it get more Canadian than that kind of cold-weather, artful ingenuity?!).

They’re a consignment shop so your purchases also help out other parents in the neighbhourhood. Jane and Moxie say they are always looking for wooden toys and puzzles, classic books, Padraig slippers, Toms, Converse, Bogs, designer clothing and any other baby and children’s clothing or linens in pristine, like-new condition — so if you have any of those, you have an extra reason to pop in for a visit!

Merrily, merrily pop-up shop
1854 Danforth Ave
10 to 6, Tuesday – Saturday, and 11 to 4 on Sundays

New Pop-up Shop: Merrily, merrily! Only til Dec. 15

There’s a new pop-up shop on the block! Merrily, merrily is open now until Dec. 15 at 1948 Danforth (across from East Lynn Park). Hours are Monday – Saturday from 9am-6pm, Sunday 11am-4pm.
Merrily, merrily provides the very best in original, upcycled & consignment goods for children. Luckily for us, local mums Moxie Garett and Jane McIver have decided to add a bricks and mortar location to their popular online store, Merrilymerrily.ca (named one of the best online consignment stores in Canada by Today’s Parent magazine), starting with a DECA/Woodgreen holiday Pop-up Shop!
Jane and Moxie are excited to meet you and have set up their store to be a warm and welcoming environment for both adults and kids. They’ve even added a nursing station in a quiet space, at the back of the store.
The shop is committed to providing an upscale shopping experience at affordable prices. We love that Moxie and Jane are also helping give back to the neighbourhood by showcasing kid-inspired crafts from local artisans and providing an outlet for families to sell sell their gently used and new items on consignment.
We’ve also just heard they recently received a box full of designer clothes which will be available soon.
The pop-up shop team is looking for a long-term pop-up shop location for Merrily, merrily. Please contact us if you can help: renew@danfortheastcommunityassociation.com