DECA Drivers, Scene 4

We’ve been introducing you to our new board members, one by precious one.

Remember? You’ve met Mark Rullo, Linda Ballantyne, Corinne McCabe….

Next up: JODI SHANOFF.

DECA board member Jodi Shanoff before her favorite "hidden gem" on the Danforth -- Brand Name Shoes & Clearance at 2000 Danforth Ave.

DECA board member Jodi Shanoff before her favorite “hidden gem” on the Danforth — Brand Name Shoes & Clearance at 2000 Danforth Ave.

My name and age is…

Jodi Shanoff and I am barely in my 40’s. (I’m just getting comfortable with the concept.)

One thing people don’t know about me is…

My husband used to pitch in the minor leagues for the Jays.  Despite the now-decades that have passed since that experience, I still find it effective to use sports metaphors when trying to convince him of something.

I moved to Danforth East because… 

It was the only affordable place for a newly-wed couple to buy a home in Toronto 9 years ago. I grew up in the west end (St. Clair & Dufferin) and had spent very little time in the East, but quickly fell in love with our strip of the Danforth when I needed somewhere to walk babies.

I was dying to join the DECA board because… 

My family’s recent decision to renovate our current home rather than move to a new neighbourhood crystallized for me the need to put roots down in my community.  I’m going to be here for a while, so I might as well help to make it a great place.  My professional life has also nudged me into the field of public participation, and grassroots groups like DECA are vital to ensuring meaningful public engagement.

The thing I love most about the neighborhood is… 

I can walk from my home to get anything I need — groceries, kids’ shoes, a cheeseburger, a good bourbon cocktail… and I always feel welcomed by each of the stores and purveyors.

My biggest local pet peeve is… 

The vacant “Crossroads Tavern” that’s been empty and decrepit since we moved into the neighbourhood.

My neighborhood secret is… 

Paul’s Spaghetti for mother’s day. It is one of the finest east end family establishments EVER, up on Cosburn, east of Greenwood. (Sorry, it’s not in DECA territory.) I defy you to find a finer grilled calamari.  I think about it all year round.  Now that I’m in my 40’s, I can’t eat pasta like I used to.

The place I go to on the Danforth that you’ve likely never frequented is…. 

The discount shoe store just west of Woodbine.  I never leave there empty handed.

My dream plan for this year as a DECA board member is….

To leverage the group to mobilize a few more episodes of public engagement with residents.  DECA is a credible local group and has a lot to offer in terms of bringing neighbours together to form views and positions on some of the important municipal issues facing our part of the Danforth.  Recent visioning exercises and charettes are evidence that when DECA puts out the call for residents to come together to talk and plan, people listen.

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