DECA’s New Drivers, Scene 5

The DECA Board is full of new, interesting, smart and fun-loving members. We are introducing you to them, one by one, week by week.

So far, you have met Mark (“I buy my wife flowers”) Rollo, Linda (“I borrow books from a box up the street”) Ballantyne, Corinne (“I used to dance professionally and now I love cheese”) McCabe, Jodi (“Don’t ask me how old I am, damn I miss pasta”) Shanoff.

But are any of them 57 and still playing recreational soccer?

Oh, yes, AUDREY KVEDARAS. It is time we meet you!

Audrey in the ravine near Merrill dog park, with her 11-year-old Golden Doodle, Rory.
Audrey in the ravine near Merrill Park, with her 11-year-old Golden Doodle, Rory.

My name and age is… Audrey Kvedaras, age 57.

One thing people don’t know about me is…. I love to play soccer in the Leaside women’s recreational soccer league.  I play with a great group of women ranging in age from 18 to about 60!  It’s a lot of fun and mothers and daughters play on the same team.

I moved to Danforth East because…  About 25 years ago we were looking for a house in the west end and friends who lived in the east near Coxwell told us about a lovely area of reasonably priced houses north of the beaches, near the Danforth. We loved the old trees and the proximity to the subway…When we moved in there were older residents in the area who remembered when there were still some industrial uses. They told us about a dairy nearby and the removal of the railway spur lines that created some of the unusual lot configurations.

I was dying to join the DECA board because… for a couple of years I was reading the DECA Diaries posts and was so impressed with everything being accomplished!  I wanted to contribute to continuing the positive impact DECA was having on the area.

The thing I love most about the neighborhood is… the sense of community and the people.  The people here spend time with their neighbours on sidewalks, porches, in parks, on car-free days, and at street potluck dinners that bring everyone together.

My biggest local pet peeve is… how difficult it is to cross the Danforth.

My neighborhood secret is… the ravine next to the Merrill Bridge Road Park and the dog park. In this small patch of wilderness you sense the original topography of Toronto before the rail line and the roads and housing developments. A thin stream supports a range of brilliant yellow plants in the spring and irises in the summer under a canopy of mature trees. Rory, our 11-year-old Golden Doodle, enjoys being loose in the dog park with the other dogs and is then willing to take a break to walk with me through the ravine.

The place I go to on the Danforth that you’ve likely never frequented is…. the Danforth Village Quality Fruits and Vegetables (2515 Danforth Ave), east of Sobey’s on the Danforth. A part of my weekly routine for years, I’m often there picking up a good-sized bunch of fresh basil or stocking up on plums and apricots to make into tarts on the weekend. The other place I shop at often is Vincenzo’s Supermarket (2406 Danforth Ave). I try to keep well stocked with their delicious olives, pastas, olive oils, cheeses…

My dream plan for this year as a DECA board member is…. to contribute to the Danforth Planning Study that envisions a vibrant main street where people are accommodated whether they walk, bike or drive, where there are places to sit and chat, find shade and get out of the rain and where you meet your neighbours and people from elsewhere in a range of shops and cafes. It will be a unique place in the city.

0 Replies to “DECA’s New Drivers, Scene 5”

  1. Hi Audrey!

    Regarding your pet peeve being “difficulty crossing Danforth” (I agree!), consider that a simple paint job down the middle of the street would take care of that. Check out the painted line in the middle of the street between pape and broadview. It’s wide with stripes in the middle (slows traffic to one lane: better for businesses and safer for pedestrians). In our hood, it’s a single skinny line. I think that last year the city has widened the line between broadview and donlands (?). Would they consider doing that between greenwood and woodbine?

    Thanks for your dedication to the neighbourhood!


  2. Heidi is bang on. The road painting (extended to Donlands in recent years) created an inexpensive median with left-turn lanes and de facto bike lanes, outside of rush hour. It’s traffic calming with subtle pedestrian safety islands and it came without the complaints to my knowledge. And it certainly hasn’t hurt businesses west of Pape; it probably helps them. We hope to have some of this considered as part of DECA’s input to the city’s Danforth studies that are to be started this year.

  3. I believe that businesses are helped by the restriping. When the traffic is moving more slowly, drivers and passengers can actually glance at the surrounding shops, as opposed to zipping through our stretch to get to somewhere else. Our neighbourhood is worth slowing down for. It’s not a through way.

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