DECA’s New Drivers, Final Scene

Over the past few weeks, we’ve been introducing you to DECA’s new board members. These are people who volunteer their time and energy to help build our neighborhood. You should buy them a beer if you see them in the bar!

Or, if it’s DAVID DEL GRANDE, perhaps carry the beer to his porch.

David is our sixth and last installment. But, it seems the not-so-new board members would like you to meet them too. So, in the coming weeks, we’ll be reintroducing them, in the same style.

David Del Grande in front of his childhood dentist's office on the Danforth.

David Del Grande in front of his childhood dentist’s office on the Danforth.

My name and age is….

David Del Grande, 32

One thing people don’t know about me is….

Though my wife and I moved into this area around 6 years ago, I’ve been connected to this stretch of the Danforth my entire life.

I was born at our local hospital, Toronto East General, and briefly lived on a nearby street before my family moved out to northern Scarborough. But, throughout my childhood I frequently came back here to visit my grandparents (who live just beside the hospital) and for checkups with our family dentist located beside East Lynn Park. As a child, those car rides to the dentist seems like we were heading to the ends of the Earth!

I moved to Danforth East because… 

My wife and I are committed city-folk who wanted to find an affordable neighbourhood, with good bones (i.e., public amenities, mix of housing stock, a retail strip), but most importantly we also don’t own a car, so we needed a place with a variety of transit options. We take the subway to work, the bus to grocery shop and to head down to the Beach, and the streetcars from Broadview when we want to have a leisurely Sunday brunch in Leslieville. Of course, we also walk to the local shops, and ride our bikes in the warmer months if we’re heading somewhere a little further away.

I was dying to join the DECA board because… 

I don’t want to be a passenger in life, I want to enact positive change and being a part of a local, already successful, and widely admired neighbourhood board is a great place to step up.

The thing I love most about the neighborhood is… 

The convenience! I walk out my door and within a few minutes I can be picking up food, browsing books at the library, seated for brunch, or relaxing in a local park. What’s not to love?

My biggest local pet peeve is… 

The McDonalds parking lot. Prime real estate just going to waste!

My neighborhood secret is…  Often in the summer my wife and I enjoy sitting on our porch with the paper as the sidewalk traffic go by. There’s no shortage of pedestrians on our street – the constant stream (and kids running around) make for a good backdrop with a cold beverage in hand.

The place I go to on the Danforth that you’ve likely never frequented is…. Retro Burger (1684 Danforth Ave). Avoid the big name across the street and treat yourself to a juicy burger (try the Greek Feta) and crispy fries. It has a distinctive character and decoration, friendly staff, and it’s a great place to grab a bite before or after a trip to the nearby library.

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

to find one big project to execute that engages and excites the community!