Safety Alerts

It’s always tricky to be a proponent for the neighbourhood on one hand, and then have to spread the word about safety concerns on the other.  Is our neighbourhood generally safe and awesome?  I think so.  Having said that, here are a few neighbourly warnings to keep in mind.

Laptops on the Loose

Someone emailed us from south of the Danforth (near Coxwell) to advise that their laptop was stolen out of their house, and the police told them that this has been happening a lot in the area.  Evidently, there is a preference for Apple products, so keep your iPads, iMacs and other expensive playthings out of sight to anyone on the prowl for quick cash.  Oh, and a gentle reminder not to leave your house key under the mat.  The bad guys know about that spot.

Car Break-Ins

Ever had your car broken into?  Yeah, me too.  And I was chatting with my neighbours and connected with other neighbours on Facebook and lo and behold, many, many people have had this unfortunate experience.  Did I leave my doors unlocked when arriving home with two screaming toddlers and a cranky four-year old?  Um, maybe. But this seems to be a problem in our whole area, so take some precautions.  And many thieves are very happy to just smash your widow to get what they want.

People say don’t leave valuables where they can be seen from the outside, but I would suggest that you just don’t leave valuables in the car, period.  The thieves look everywhere.  How do I know? Because whoever broke into my car was bleeding, so it was like a bio-hazardous road map to see where a thief looks for stuff.  Sun visors, every drawer, glove box, on the doors – everywhere.

Be sure to file a report with the police.  No matter how minor you think the crime was, if a crime was committed the police should know.  (Oh, and if a random stranger ever bleeds all over your car, get it detailed.  Lots and lots of chemicals.)

One Idea to Protect Yourself

Another neighbour from west of Coxwell advised that someone was breaking into cars and garages in his back laneway.  He mounted a surveillance camera to keep an eye on things, and sure enough, he caught someone in the act of trying to break into his garage.  He has distributed the photo of the suspect among his neighbours, and to police.  Here are his handy step-by-step directions for how you can mount your own surveillance camera. (Note: if you do this, make sure to indicate on your vehicle/garage that there is surveillance.)

How to mount your own surveillance camera 

This post is meant to be a brief primer on how to set up and configure a network of IP cameras that can be configured to notify you and record high quality video any time motion is detected.   In this configuration we use D-link hardware.  While D-link is not the cheapest solution, it is very user friendly and can be set up in minutes.  To set up your own reliable network there are three simple steps.

Step One – Install Ethernet over Power (EOP)  – DLink Powerline

While many cameras include Wi-Fi capabilities, I strongly discourage using Wi-Fi to connect your cameras.  If you use Wi-Fi you will still need to connect a power line and with connectivity issues, you run the risk of not recording video when you need it most.  By installing Ethernet over power you use the existing power lines in your home to create a wired network.  To install a dlink Ethernet over power (EOP) connection simply plug one EOP device  (the transmitting end)  into a power outlet near your router and run an Ethernet cable from your router to  the transmitting  EOP device.  Next you can install a receiving EOP device anywhere in your house.  You can then run an Ethernet cable from the receiving EOP device to your IP camera.  You can install as many receiving EOP devices as you like.

Step Two – Install Power over Ethernet (POE) – TP Link POE injector

By choosing cameras that support power over Ethernet (POE) you simplify the installation process and eliminate the need to locate your camera near a power source.  POE cameras allow you to run one Ethernet cable to your camera which provides both internet connectivity and power.  To add power to an Ethernet connection you will need to add a POE injector.  Simply plug an Ethernet cable with internet connectivity into the “in” jack and plug a new Ethernet cable into the “out” jack.  This new Ethernet cable can be up to 100ft long and can be run directly to your camera

Step Three – Install and configure your camera  DCS-7010L , DCS-2310L and DCS-942L

The third and final step is to install and configure your cameras.  Once your camera are mounted and plugged in you will need to run the CD included with your camera or go to the website to run the setup utility.  Once your camera is detected by your network you can use the Dlink mobile app to log on and stream a live view from your camera.  I recommend using this app when fine tuning the viewing angle of your cameras.  Once you are satisfied with the viewing angle you can return to website to continue your con set figuration,  from this site you can configure the motion detections sensitivity and the area you would like to set up for motion detection.   You can even up basic email notification from this site.  However, to configure advanced settings such as recording to a hard drive, networked attached storage (NAS), memory card, and/or sending a video/image by email,  you will need to log on the admin page of your specific camera and configure the events based on your specific needs.

One more idea

The thing deters crime more than anything is having people around.  This is one of the reasons why DECA has always tried to promote local businesses and to make our stretch of the Danforth more walkable and therefore more safe.  To that end, this Friday, December 13 is DECA’s annual late-night shopping event!  Here’s the link to the poster, and for our Holiday Festival on Saturday, December 14, just in case you missed it the first time!

Speaking of the holidays, if you feel like taking a bit of a jaunt to the north of us, Councillor Janet Davis is hosting a Tree Lighting party at the amazing new spot Dawes Crossing at Dawes and Victoria Park at 6:30pm on Tuesday, December 10, 2013. We are told that there will be hot chocolate and singing, along with merriment enough to go around!  If you want to know more about Dawes Crossing, visit its website!

Home Safety Audit & Farmers’ Market

Home Safety Audit this Thursday

Case your own joint! This is a great opportunity to learn how to prevent break-ins at your house.

DECA members are invited to attend a home safety audit on Thursday, October 3rd at 7pm (after the Farmers’ Market). We will visit a home on East Lynn Avenue with Constable Rob McDonald from 55 Division who will offer tips on how to increase  security of your homes both inside and out.

We will meet at the DECA booth at the East Lynn Market at 7pm. Please email Diana Gibbs if you are interested. And stay tuned for news about community safety walks this fall.

Farmers’ Market: Photo Contest Voting & This Week’s Fun 

Fresh from the field
market Pic
Mysterious redhead enjoying her peas

Do you remember these beautiful submissions to the East Lynn Park Farmers’ Market photo contest? Well, it’s time to vote for your favourite.  Click here to go to our Facebook poll and cast your vote for the winner.

This week, our Silly Goose Kids pals will be at the market with Rooster Tales (stories, songs and circle games) with Sally Jaeger and Erica Webster.   Fun starts at 4:30 PM. Naturopathic Doctor Nana Jokura of Accept Wellness will be providing tips on boosting your immune system and breaking the cycle of perpetual colds.  She will also be offering free tongue and pulse diagnosis (3:00-5:00 PM).


The East Lynn Farmers’ Market runs every Thursday from 3-7 p.m. between June 6 – October 17 at East Lynn Park, located on the south side of Danforth Ave, just west of Woodbine Ave. Stay up to date by visiting the new East Lynn Market Facebook page.

Quick Safety Notice: Assault

Here is a safety notice that came out on Tuesday from Toronto Police Service about an assault that took place near Merrill Bridge Road Park.

The Toronto Police Service would like to make the public aware of an assault with a weapon investigation.  It is reported that:

– on Monday, August 12, 2013, at approximately 1:45 p.m., a woman was walking on a pathway in Merrill Bridge Road Park.

– a man approached her from behind, grabbed her, brandished a weapon and threatened her

– after a struggle, the woman was able to break free to call police

– the man fled in an unknown direction

The man is described as black, mid 20s, 5’8″, with a very slim build. He has a distinct flatness to the upper bridge of his nose, and yellow stained, slightly crooked teeth. He was wearing a white, loose fitting T-shirt with a large, light-coloured logo.

Anyone with information is asked to contact police at 416-808-7474, Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-TIPS (8477), online at, text TOR and your message to CRIMES (274637), or Leave A Tip on Facebook. Download the free Crime Stoppers Mobile App on iTunes, Google Play or Blackberry App World.

Safety Update & Tree Workshop

Safety Update

DECA volunteers Diana Gibbs and Laurie Smith met up with Rob McDonald from Division 55 last week at CakeTown for a chat about neighbourhood safety. Here are their tips on keeping our vibrant community safe and welcoming over the summer:

“Active, busy neighbourhoods are the safest.”  That’s the message from Rob McDonald, Crime Prevention Officer at Division 55 and good news for DECA – a beehive of activity over the summer. “DECA is a great example of promoting safety by building community and has made a huge difference along their stretch of the Danforth.”

DECA is served by Division 55 south of the Danforth and Division 54 north of the Danforth. Overall, our area has relatively few incidents but Rob stressed that residents should be sure to report any concerns or minor issues, such as car break-ins or noise complaints, by calling Central Alternative Responseat 416-808-2222.  Depending on the situation, they may send out a patrol car. But more important, these calls are tracked and reviewed weekly by the Division to look for patterns or areas for special focus.  “The community sets the standard and gives us valuable information; it’s not a crime if we don’t know about it.” he said.

This month, Division 55 officers are visiting all our local parks to “set the tone” for the summer and discourage late night private partying.   Rob also offered a few security tips for residents such as:

  • keep your front door and windows locked if you are gardening or entertaining in the backyard
  • ensure your car is locked  and there is nothing of value (even small change) in sight
  • lock up your strollers and bikes
  • driveways and lanes should be brightly lit; avoid dim (mood) lighting on front porches

Want to know more about crime prevention in our community? Check out the Facebook pages for Division 54 and Division 55 and you can also follow Rob on Twitter @tpsofficerrob. Ingrid Hannah is the Crime Prevention Officer for Division 54 and can be reached at (416) 808-5429.

Have a safe and happy summer!

P.C. Rob McDonald, Crime Prevention Officer, Division 55
P.C. Rob McDonald, Crime Prevention Officer, Division 55

Trees, Trees, Trees! Ward 31 Tree Workshop 

Join City of Toronto Forestry staff,  LEAF (Local Enhancement for the Appreciation of Forests) local tree advocates at a Tree Workshop for Ward 31 residents.

 Thursday June 20, 2013 at 7:00 PM
Danforth Mennonite Church
2174 Danforth Avenue
At the workshop, residents will have an opportunity to learn about green initiatives by the city, local groups and organizations to improve our environment. The evening will include presentations on how to preserve and expand the tree canopy in Ward 31. This will be a great opportunity to connect with other neighbours and plan local activities to green our neighbourhood.
Ward 31 Tree Worshop and Seminar Poster June 20 2013


A few updates…

Safety Notice – Update

We have an unconfirmed report that the female female with the gold tooth who was knocking on doors in the area has been caught.  We hope that everyone who had contact with her is safe and sound.  If you have firm info on this, please contact us or leave a comment below.

Len is opening where?

Contrary to what you may have read this afternoon, our friends at LEN are not setting up shop at 698 Danforth Avenue, which is at Pape.  We are quite happy to report that they are opening at 698 Coxwell Avenue, which is just north of Danforth Avenue on the west side.  Yay!  We’ve updated the original post but can’t recall all those emails.

(Big thanks to one of our readers, Alison, who pointed out our error!)

55 Division Town Hall – New Date is May 15

The 55 Division Town Hall has been rescheduled from May 8, 2013 to May 15, 2013.  All other info is the same.  Click here to see our updated post for the details.

Does this nice weather get you outside and talking to your neighbours?  Why don’t you talk to them about DECA! They can sign up for the blog, follow us on Twitter (@DECADiaries), like us on Facebook, and/or pay $10 and officially join DECA!   

Quick Safety Notice – Doorknocking

Here’s a quick safety notice from 54 Division to be aware of:

Residents should be aware that there is a suspicious female conducting doorknocks in the East York community in the area bounded by Danforth/Mortimer Ave and Coxwell/Woodbine Ave.  The incident occurred in the following manner;The female knocked on the resident’s door during the daytime hours.  When the resident answered the door, the female asked for a glass of water.  When the resident returned with the water, the female had partially opened the resident’s door and was seen peering inside the home.  The female is described as a female with olive skin, possibly Eastern European descent, slim build, 5’7″-5’8″ tall, dark black hair and dark eyes, one gold tooth (molar) wearing a long black dress.Residents are advised not to open the door to strangers and to report suspicious activities/persons by calling the Toronto Police Service non-emergency number at 416 808-2222.