Big Hole Meeting Tonight

Reminder: tonight is the official community consultation meeting regarding the development at Danforth and Woodbine.  Attending the meeting will be: Councillor Bussin, representatives for the developer and City of Toronto Planner, Tine Major,

Wednesday, March 3, 2010 – 7 – 9 p.m.

Terry Fox Community Centre, 2 Gledhill Ave.

For more information, contact Councillor Sandra Bussin’s office at 416-392-1376 or


Below is the letter that DECA sent to Councillor Bussin regarding this development as a result of DECA’s community meeting and discussions on the blog.

Councillor Bussin,

Thank you for participating in the Danforth East Community Association’s meeting regarding the proposed re-zoning of the site at Woodbine and Danforth.

Residents in this community are intensely interested in developments along the Danforth.  In fact, DECA has taken the unusual step of forming a Business Revitalization Team that provides professional consultation and expertise to help local businesses with everything from graphic and store design to marketing and retailing guidance.  In the case of this development, residents are particularly interested in seeing a viable, beautiful, dynamic building because since the horrific fire in 2001, this address has been a blight on our neighbourhood.

There is no doubt; a building of this size is out of character with the existing streetscape.  As such, DECA respectfully requests that the interests of the wider community be given serious consideration and that DECA be consulted on an ongoing basis throughout the process.

The taller the building the greater the impact on our neighbourhood; notwithstanding any discord there may be about the height of the building, there are a number of areas where the community is wholly in agreement:

  • A quality retail space with high ceilings and extensive windows to attract high end tenants
  • An increased parking ratio especially regarding visitor parking and ensuring new parking for retail shops
  • Building to the City of Toronto’s Green Standards and consultation with DECA’s Green Committee regarding native trees, bicycle parking, a green roof and sustainable energy practices
  • The ability for local artists to use the retail space at no cost until leasing is complete
  • Attention to façade detail in the podium to ensure consistency with the existing three and four floor commercial strip
  • A unique top to the building, perhaps using LED lighting on the Danforth side
  • Consultation with DECA regarding Section 37 funding projects

We look forward to working with your office, the City planning department and the developer on this project.

Danforth Gems

Many thanks to Ciara for these short and sweet Danforth Gems…

Dr. David Jeong (Family Dentist) has moved to 2107 Danforth Road on the south side of Danforth (416-696-1800). The team led by Adele at reception is very welcoming. The decorated office is warm, inviting with wonderful tones of mauve and soft green. Both my children and I have been going to Dr. Jeong for the past year and are thrilled our dentist has stayed in our neighbourhood.

Pavilion Pastries (Main Street just north of Danforth beside Main subway station) is a delight. There is a spectacular interior and exposed brick (which I envy) and a very pleasant environment.  There are homemade soups, great coffee and lukamattis (honey balls) just to name a few of the delicious offerings. The welcome from the staff is superb and the menu is excellent value.

DECA Meeting

The February DECA executive meeting is this Tuesday , February 16th (tomorrow).  If you want to come, drop me a note and I’ll give you the details.

Our Reporter In Haiti

Many of you know that DECA’s vice-chair, Catherine Porter, is a columnist at the Toronto Star.  Last week she returned from Haiti where she spent twelve hours a day talking to those who are left behind after the earthquake.  She wrote about some of those stories for the paper, but there are only so many column inches and many stories were left untold.

Catherine has agreed to share some of her experiences on the ground in Haiti with the rest of us.  I spent some time with her this weekend and  believe me, you won’t want to miss the opportunity to hear her talk about what is happening there right now and what it’s like to cover this story.

When: Wednesday, February 10, 8 p.m.

Where: Danforth Mennonite Church – 2174 Danforth Ave.

Admission: Free (Donations welcome to the Team Canada Healing Hands)

RSVP: Mary Margaret McMahon –

Danforth Gem – The Wool Mill

If you’re new to DECA Diaries, Danforth Gems are the great shops on our stretch of the Danforth that you may not have yet uncovered.  Thanks so much to Gillian Grace for this installment about the The Wool Mill, east of Woodbine on Danforth.

Forget the Leafs—if Toronto wants a pastime at which it can really shine, try knitting. The city is known for its way with wool, even earning a special shout-out from Vogue Knitting for T.O.’s “unusual number of excellent yarn stores.” Danforth East is lucky enough to have one of those shops within walking distance. The oldest wool store in Toronto, the Wool Mill has been on Danforth just east of Woodbine for the past 17 years (current owner Wendy Mortimer used to buy yarn there as a child).

The Wool Mill stocks everything from the classics—Canadian-processed merinos from Mission Falls—and summery cottons to bamboo mixes and super-soft balls made from a mix of possum yarn and wool. As with food, Mortimer says, people are becoming more conscious of how the wool they use is produced; organic yarns with low-impact dyes are increasingly popular, as is fair trade. Buy a skein of Mirasol yarn, and you’ll be helping fund the construction of a centre for the children of alpaca shepherds in the Peruvian Andes.

Mortimer, an expert knitter, can advise on everything from the history of the craft to the best knitting podcasts. Her needlework has appeared in more than 100 movies, including a recreation of Martha Stewart’s get-out-of-jail poncho for Cybill Shepherd; the coat, booties and hat for Nicole Kidman’s dog in To Die For; and Hilary Swank’s high-flying knitwear in Amelia. Her toughest project was a sweater for Simon Birch, which was supposed to look “really bad;” it kept getting returned with instructions to “make it look worse.”

Mortimer—who started knitting for a Brownies badge, and says she’s knit “pretty much everything you can possibly think of” and made “every mistake in the book”—is also a (very) patient teacher. She can quickly decipher patterns that look more like a WWII-era code than a template for a sweater and get even the most tangled, dropped-stitch-laden projects back on track. A beginner’s class, starting in January, will have newbies knitting and purling a hat or an outfit for a baby; other regular week-night classes cater to more experienced knitters.

Most popular, especially around the holidays, are small, quickly completed projects such as socks, mittens, hats and wristers. But it’s not just a way to make impressive gifts—there’s something incredibly soothing about the act of wrapping the yarn, pulling it through, and repeating. “Knitting,” says Mortimer, “is like a meditation. It allows the body to keep itself busy so the mind can become more still.”

The Wool Mill – 2170 Danforth Ave. 416-696-2670

Hours: Mon – Fri 10:30 – 6, Sat 10:30 – 5

Gillian Grace is a freelance writer and editor.