#NOWreaderschoice voting is open 

As our neighbourhood gets better and better, the list of Danforth East nominees for NOW Magazine‘s Readers Choice “Best of Toronto” gets longer and longer. 

So we’ve compiled a list for you of all the Danforth East nominees. Let us know if we’ve missed anyone. 

Note: There are lots of other east end favourites on the roster but we stuck with only those in our immediate area.

Huge thanks to our hardworking local business owners who make this neighbourhood a more walkable and vibrant place to live. 

Here are the nominees. Click here to get to the voting

Best Park – East Lynn Park

Best blogger – Danforth East Online

Best Car Service – Sunny’s Auto

Best consignment – Merrily Merrily

Best City Councillor – Janet Davis, Mary-Margaret McMahon, Paula Fletcher

Best library – S Walter Stewart

Best dentist – Dr Christina Binert & Associates

Best doctor – Dr Sian Wong

Best gym/fitness – Bomb, Legacy 

Best pet store – Wag, Canine Social

Best toy store – Silly Goose Kids

Best unique gift store – Len

Best vitamin store – Moberly

Best workout studio – Bomb, Legacy 

Best record store – Kops

Best African restaurant – Hirut, Rendez-vous

Best Bar – Sauce, Wren, Only

Best bulk food – Moberly

Best butcher – Royal Beef, Stock n Trade

Best caterer – East of York

Best cocktail bar – The Shore Leave, Sauce

Best delivery – Gerrard Pizza

Best farmers market – East Lynn Farmers Market

Best gastro-pub – The Borough, Local 1794

Best new restaurant – Forth Ave

Best organic food – Moberly

Best prix fixe – Melanie’s Bistro, The Borough

Best tapas – Relish

Best Thai – Thai Room

Best small theatre company – Coal Mine Theatre

Canada Day in the ‘hood

A few Canada Day events to tell you about, but first thing’s first. You need to know what’s happening at wonderful Stephenson Park.

DECA is proud to help sponsor the Friends of Stephenson Park (FOSP) 3rd Annual Canada Day Celebration! If you want to know why you should attend, keep reading.

We asked FOSP founder, Peter Woodcock about his work to bring people together around Stephenson Park. Here is what he told us:

When we moved here 6 years ago, Stephenson Park seemed kind of sad and forgotten, and a bit of a hot spot for some undesirable behaviour. Just over 3 years ago, I decided to organize a park group in an attempt to get the neighbours to start coming out and using the park. A group of us brainstormed for ideas of what we could do with no budget.

Our first event was a picnic in the park in 2014. It was Canada Day and Pride weekend, so we decided to celebrate both with donated watermelons from Sobey’s, a huge slab cake from Costco and little Canada & Rainbow flags adorning the entire fence around the park. Kids played in the pool and we had music by neighbour and artist extraordinaire Tak Bui. What more could we want?

The park is slowly becoming more vibrant and more loved. We have music nights, yoga most Saturdays, an amazing ice rink, community clean ups, new trees and organized tree watering.

And here we are, 3 years later, getting ready for our 3rd Annual Canada Day Celebration, which is getting bigger and better each year. This year we will be having more food and music, and an early evening bonfire with marshmallows. We will be selling corn on the cob and having an old-timey lemonade stand to raise funds for permits and other activities throughout the year. And of course, we’ll still have the Costco slab cake!

Stephenson Park is a pretty darn amazing park, and I am so happy when I hear someone say how much it has changed. Kids laughing and playing is an amazing return on investment. No man is an island or a park. All the success comes down to all the people in our neighbourhood that come to Stephenson Park.

Peter and Joey after Saturday morning yoga in the park. Photo credit: Mary-Margaret McMahon

Other Free Canada Day events

East York Canada Day Parade & Festival at Stan Wadlow, including fireworks! 
Note: they are also looking for volunteers.

Danforth Mosaic BIA – The Danny Loves Music Canada Day concert at East Lynn Park from 6-9pm, Julian Taylor Band (beer, wine & food can be purchased on site)

danny loves music

Danforth East (Community) Arts Fair – THANK YOU! #DECAF

In case you missed it, the Danforth East Art Fair ran for its 7th year a couple of weekends ago. (Here’s the wonderful poster to remind you!)

DECAF 2015 mailer

This is one of the larger events that DECA organizes in East Lynn Park each year, and it takes an entire team to bring 65 of your neighbourhood artists together for the weekend.  Our volunteers spend countless hours of their own time to pull off this extraordinary community event.

DECA would like to thank Melanie Ramsay, Melissa Peretti, Julie Glick and Shauna Rempel who continue to take on the challenge of the Arts Fair year after year, and who do it so successfully.

Thanks also to returning volunteers Corinne McCabe, Fernand Ciraco and Dana McCullough (of local Ciraco Framers fame), Dan and Jane Davis-Munro, Jodi Shanoff, Anita Schretlen, Sheri Hebdon, Alison McMurray and Linda Ballantyne.

This year we had a few stand out NEW volunteers. A big shout out to Caroline Starr, Janice Peters, Erica Schaub and our two student volunteers, Sydney Burns and Julian Morris. All of these volunteers came out just to see what was going on, they didn’t know each other, they didn’t know DECA, they just wanted to meet their neighbours and help make our community better. And it was fun!

If you have any interest in volunteering for next year, please send an email to volunteer@deca.to

Thanks also the Arts Fair sponsors:
Bosley Real Estate
Canine Social Company
Toronto Honda/Kia

Here are some great pics from this year’s fair from snapd beach/danforth

#DanforthEast Garage Sale: Save the Date!

Save the date for the 3rd Annual #DanforthEast Garage Sale!

Saturday June 13th (rain or shine)

Do you want to clean out a basement, sell those old skis or go bargain shopping while meeting up with your neighbours?  Then save June 13th when DECA will be hosting its third annual neighbourhood wide garage sale.  Last year we had over 160 individual sales all across the Danforth East and this year we are hoping to be bigger and better.
Stay tuned to the blog for info on how to sign-up and other details.

18Blocks: Virtual Noticeboard for the ‘hood

Cool New Virtual Community Board

Lose your keys? Want to borrow a neighbour’s ladder? Or how about wanting to pay-it-forward by sharing a great recipe an employee at Moberly Natural Foods passed on? All these things and more are what you can do with a new program a few locals created recently, called 18Blocks.com.

Why are we blogging about this? It’s a not-for-profit with the aim of bringing neighbours together and helping each other. Which is basically what DECA is all about. How could we not get behind this thing and share? And the more people who register, the more useful it will be. We’ve set up a Halloween costume swap for this week. (You can also check out that excellent Sweet Potato-Squash-Coconut Soup recipe from Moberly.)

Here’s some further info and tips from the folks at 18Blocks.com:

Social media platforms connect us with people around the world. But how do we start a conversation with our neighbour? Or discover that someone living two streets over shares the same interests or concerns. We see familiar faces around the neighbourhood all the time. Putting names to those faces? That’s a different story.

We created 18Blocks to make ground zero – your neighbourhood – well, a little more familiar. Simply put, we’re a neighbourhood notice board – just like the one in your grocery store or public library – but with some 21st Century differences. Unlike conventional notice boards:

1. You can access us any time – on your coffee break or in your pajamas;
2. You can create beautiful notes, with colourful templates and multiple photos;
3. You can receive an instantaneous response, publically or privately.
4. You can keep your contact details private until you are ready to share them.
5. You don’t need to paper the poles of the neighbourhood to get your note read.
6. People don’t need to walk past to notice your note.

18Blocks was founded on a simple insight: that neighbours share more than a postal code. Now, neighbours can easily uncover common interests – like gardening, running, or books; resources –like used bikes, tools, or babysitters; and special talents – like tutoring, baking, or dog training.

It’s true. Sharing your time, resources and interests with those that live around you helps build stronger connections. The neighbourhood becomes more than a postal code; it becomes a community. And community is at the heart of 18Blocks, the neighbourhood notice board. You can visit the site at 18blocks.com to see how it works.

A couple of things to know:

Residents of Danforth East should be automatically placed on the Danforth East page when you come onto the site. If this doesn’t happen, select Danforth East from the Neighbourhood Map by typing Danforth East, Toronto, and then clicking the Danforth East button on the right of the may screen. You must be registered on the site to post notes.

Have Fun!

Sign up for the #DanforthEast Garage Sale!

Our 2nd annual community-wide sale, the #DanforthEast Garage Sale, returns Saturday, June 7! Sign up by sending us an email at: events(at)DanforthEastCommunityAssociation.com.

We had over 140 garage sales and seven street sales across the whole neighborhood last year and we’re hoping this year will be even bigger and better. We’ll be arranging pick up of unsold items for charity again this year. The sale runs 8am – 2 pm, rain or shine.

Be sure to tweet the treasures you’re buying or selling on June 7 using #DanforthEast.
Happy de-cluttering!