Valentine’s Day shopping

Whether you love it, hate it or don’t care about it, Valentine’s Day is coming up on Tuesday. If buying gifts for someone else isn’t on your to-do list, consider this post as ideas for showing a little love to yourself! 

As you can imagine, February isn’t the greatest month for retail. So as you contemplate the pros and cons of Valentine’s Day, consider that it’s a chance to give a little boost to our awesome local businesses. 

Some thoughts and links below:

Off Danforth

Len: Democratic Purveyors of Fine Art & Beautiful Things 
A few doors north of Danforth on Coxwell, this award-winning shop has something for everyone. Witty cards, beautiful art and jewelry, soaps and candles, Toronto-themed artisan gifts, Canadiana, and so much more. Len was one of our first pop-up shops so we love telling you about them again and again. 

Follow their fb page for specific gift ideas and if you are a procrastinator, visit them on Monday until 6pm and they’ll have treats! They also put together this post with lots of ideas.

Old’s Cool General Store – 250 Westlake @ Lumden

Lots of awesomeness at Old’s Cool too but this line of cards is pretty awesome. (You can guess what the Coxwell card might say)

Gotamago – 1231 Woodbine @ Mortimer/Lumsden

Have you been yet? This newish shop is an emerging local gem with lots of handmade things to buy! Their fb page featured this card the other day, for the bearded fellow in your life. 

On Danforth 

There are too many options to go into a lot of detail, but a few have specifically posted for Valentine’s Day so here they are. 

Press coffee books vinyl 2442 Danforth (across from Sobey’s)

If you live east of Woodbine, you have likely spent hours at Press, sipping on a tea or latte and perusing the vast selection of new and used vinyl and used books. Add in a delicious scone to snack on and an eclectic gift selection, and you get the full Press experience. Worth following their fb page even if just for the witty sign boards!

Here are some of their latest gifts on offer (pro tip: you can also by their delicious coffee by the pound)

Moberley Natural Foods, 2044 Danforth

We don’t need to tell you what to buy because they’ve written a blog post to walk you through their best options!

Nooks (multiple locations)

Unless you live under a rock, you know about the Nooks. There are three around East Lynn Park and their Instagram feed is so full of beautiful and delicious looking things, you won’t believe it. Check them out!  @thenookstoronto @nicenookslife @nooksgeneralstore. 

Today they are having a Valentine’s Day market!

Silly Goose Kids, 2054 Danforth 

Because this store is so awesome. And they wrap things for you! If there’s a kid on your list, come here but there are lots so great adult gifts too. 

VII Design & Gifts, 1434 Danforth 

Formerly the Pillow Shoppe, VII has a great selection of pillows, decor and gifts. Look at their beautiful window! Make sure to like their fb page

Broad Lingerie, 1763 Danforth

We are so lucky to have this specialty store in our neighbourhood that caters to “busty” women. Every woman deserves a bra that fits – and there are other things for sale that might help with the Valentine’s Day celebrating.

Merrily, merrily, 1854 Danforth 

Another options for kids stuff, new and used as well as maternity clothes and some handmade gifts.  Also, they are having a grand reopening event today (Saturday) so check that out if you can. The expanded store looks beautiful! And we love telling you that they are another pop-up success!

Other shops

Handwork Dept, 1898 Danforth 

Artisans at Work, 2071 Danforth

Face to Face Games, 2077 Danforth 

Nail House, 2171 Danforth 

Flower Shops
NaNa Florist, 2454 Danforth (east of Woodbine)

Percy Waters Florists, 1360 Danforth

Pretty much all the places along the Danforth will do giftcards so if you don’t want to deal with the crowds this week, buy your special someone a date for another day!
We’ve done lots of local shopping posts in the past so feel free to look through them if this doesn’t do it for you…. 

Construction Update: The home stretch

Thanks to Corrine McCabe for representing DECA at the Danforth Construction update meetings and for providing this update on the work currently being completed between Woodbine and Victoria Park.

As you have likely seen, we are into the home stretch.  According to the City, we are a week or so from completion of construction.

The street grinding on the south side of the Danforth just started last week.  They scheduled two to three days for grinding, then adjustments, then the final paving will be underway.

The date for the street sign re-installations is still TBD as they are looking at newly designed black poles with multiple signs on each so the street is not cluttered with different poles.

Street furniture will go back, with the addition of perhaps more benches on the strip.

ATTENTION BIKE ENTHUSIASTS! Bike rings will be re-installed–look for the spray painted circles with a line on the side walk for where they’ll be placed. There are no plans to increase the number of bike rings at present, but if any resident feels they would like more, they are to contact the City at and request the location.  There’s budget for bike poles every year, so get your request in ASAP.  The City will review the request, and look at the area to see if another bike ring is indeed required.

All the trees have now been planted.  In a previous post we shared that the City planned on planting Norway Maples (among other species of trees).  A few readers questioned this choice given it is an invasive species.  We asked about that choice, however never got a real answer other than those trees have done well in Toronto street plantings.

The one and only existing tree railing on the south side of Danforth just East of Woodbine is just an idea. It will not be the final look.  This one is black, and realistically they will be looking at something that is not painted nor aluminium (paint chips and aluminium rusts).  The ground cover you see planted in that one example is also just an idea… it is often used on green roofs, so it may be used in further plantings. Final dates for the installation are not confirmed.

March Pop-Up Shop News

Did you hear? Two of the February pop-up shops that we fell in love with are sticking around another month!  Now, they are the pop-up shops formerly known as the February pop-ups.  (Thankfully, they have much catchier names:) Fa Real Designz N Prints and Krystle Lee will be gracing our neighbourhood with their awesomeness for the entire month of March. 

Krystle Lee | 1801 Danforth Avenue
Monday 12-6 | Tuesday 10-6 | Wednesday Closed | Thursday 10-6 | Friday & Saturday 11-7 | Sunday  Private Appointments

Fa Real Designz N Prints | 1898 Danforth Avenue
Tuesday-Saturday 12-8
Birthday celebrations are happening.  We hear there will be cake to celebrate owners Allister’s milestone.  And this weekend only you can get custom tee’s for $20 (regular $30) and toddler/baby shirts for $10 (reg $15).  There is also a end-of-winter season sale on FaReal clothing (hoddies, long sleeves and tees) and if you spend over $50 the toque is on them!

Read more about Fa Real owners Tracey and Allister from an interview they did with the Scarborough Mirror and check out what local resident, DECA Board Member and Queen’s Diamond Jubilee recipient Catherine Porter has to say about her experience with the shop below. And if you too would like to be the best gift giver in your family, you should visit Fa Real this weekend.

I am a good gift giver. I pride myself on this. I’d say I have the record in my family as the best gift giver. 

I give thoughtful cool presents.

Allistar and Tracey at Fa Real Designz N Prints have helped me keep my record. I am in love with them. You will be too.

Let me explain.

Seven summers ago my husband’s family built a lop-sided cabin at the cottage. I was up on the roof too. The project ran over time and budget. So, for Christmas that year, my husband and I got everyone in the family (the Burt family — I kept my last name, thank you very much) custom-made shirts for the Burt Building Company. On the back it says: “We may not be smart…. but we’re slow.”

The shirts were a hit.

My sister-in-law just had baby number three. I needed to get little Ollie a gift. An AWESOME gift. So, I took a photo of the T-shirt — both sides — and emailed it to Allistar and Tracey, who specialize in custom-designed shirts. They have one of our pop-up shops on the Danforth, where the old jewellrey place was.

I asked them to approximate the design — use a triangle instead of a house, you know, whatever. It’s the idea that counts.

Tonight, I picked up a dark blue onesie that matches EXACTLY my own T-shirt — except I don’t have clasps at the bum, but you get the idea.

Allistar and Tracey are geniuses.

I got two more — three custom-made shirts for $50.

This place is the BOMB. It’s around for another month, as one of DECA’s pop-up shops. Lucky us. 

We’d like them to stay even longer. 

Don’t you have a gift to give someone? A soccer team to outfit? A street party coming up?


For more information about these pop-up stores, the DECA Pop-Up Shop project and DECA, please visit our website, and follow us on twitter @DECAdiaries.

Share the Love: February Pop-Ups


They have only been open a few days and the twittersphere is already buzzing with love for the newest crop of pop-ups. If you’re not a tweeter or twitter-er or one who tweets, fret not. You can still have a real conversation with your neighbours about the love you have for these new shops by checking them out in person!

Shop names, summaries, locations and hours are posted below. While you’re out shopping this weekend, let us know what you think. Tweet us (@DECADiaries) or leave a comment on this blog or on our Facebook Page. And don’t forget to tell your neighbours too.

Repetitions Fitness | 1803 Danforth Avenue
Monday 10-7 | Tuesday 12-4 | Wednesday 10-7 | Thursday 10-4 | Friday 10-7 | Saturday 9-5 | Sunday 10-3
A full service health & wellness studio offering semi/private personal training, boot camps, nutritional counseling, meal planning and personal shopping services.  Nadia is offering a variety of 35 minute fitness classes happening throughout the week for $17/class in addition to semi/private personal training.

  • Monday: Plyometics (10:30 am), Cardio Conditioning (5 pm), High Intensity Interval Training (6 pm)
  • Wednesday: Strength and Conditioning (10:30 am), High Intensity Interval Training (5 pm), Upper Body Blast (6 pm)
  • Friday: Power Yoga (10:30 am), Metabolic Training (5 pm), High Intensity Interval Training (6 pm)
  • Saturday: Power Yoga (9:45 am) High Intensity Interval Training (11 am), Coregasm (12 pm)
  • Sunday: Lower Body Blast (10 am), Running Clinic – 45 min (12 pm)

Krystle Lee | 1801 Danforth Avenue
Monday 12-6 | Tuesday 10-6 | Wednesday Closed | Thursday 10-6 | Friday & Saturday 11-7 | Sunday  Private Appointments
Personal Shopper * Stylist * Private Sales * Wardrobe.   Krystle Lee’s designer pop-up offers a curated selection of new and gently used high end clothing & accessories.

Fa Real Designz N Prints | 1898 Danforth Avenue
Tuesday-Saturday 12-8
Urban/retro inspired clothing and custom print clothing shop.

For more information about these pop-up stores, the DECA Pop-Up Shop project and DECA, please visit our website.

The Shops & Pops of Danforth East

Are we ever lucky. Not only do we have a new pop-up shop opening this week (Lemon Drop Clothing – with cool custom fit dresses for all shapes ands sizes), we have all the pop-ups AND many existing local businesses participating in a late night shopping experience this Friday evening. So if you still have people yet to be crossed off your nice list I suggest you hit the beat on Friday Night. I hear some of the shops will have in-store specials and warm beverages to go along with their extended hours!


And this week in Pop-Up Events…

Thursday, December 13th

  • LEN: It’s on LEN! – get a free cappuccino at Seb’s with every purchase of $25 or more.

Friday, December 14th

  • CareerFit Mom: Interested in a new career? Beth will be running a Career Transition for Moms session at 1:15 p.m. with a focus on brainstorming new job opportunities and how to market yourself. ($30 + tax)

Saturday, December 15th

  • Pop Goes the Easel: Stories, Songs and Play-Along with Nathalie Vachon and Ross Lynde. 1:00-3:00 ($5 each, $10 family)
  • CareerFit Mom: Shake some wiggles out at the Family Dance Party with kid-friendly music, lots of space to show off dance moves from all ages and stages. 3:00-5:00 p.m. (Free with donation to toy/food drive item)

Sunday, December 16th

  • LEN: Today’s the day to think about Fine Art either as a gift or a treat for your home. With LEN’s democratic prices starting at $100, everyone can afford to buy an original work by a Canadian artist. And on the 16th, 10% of all Fine Art sales will be donated to Sketch: Working Arts for street involved and homeless youth.

Tuesday, December 18th

  • Pop Goes the Easel: Painting/Mixed Media Workshop, 7pm- 9:30pm ($35, please email)

And while you’re out and about this week, don’t forget to stop by the new Artisans at Work store (2071 Danforth Ave). Each week there are about 20 new artisans displaying their wears.

Here’s a peak into two of the pop-ups and some shots of last weekends flashmob.




A Morning Mention for DECA’s Pop-Ups

Renew East Danforth volunteer Cindy Rozeboom spoke with Matt Galloway of CBC’s Metro Morning earlier this week about the reasons and inspiration behind the pop-up initiative.  In case you missed it, have a listen here.

Dance! Dance! Dance!

If we dance… they will come.  At least that’s our theory.  So we’re saying it one more time: FLASHMOB.  We have two flashmobs planned for this Saturday (December 8th) in hopes to bring in more traffic from some not-so-distant locales to our beloved pop-ups.  The first will be in front of the Carrot Common at 2:45 p.m.  The second will be on the sidewalk of  the Kew Gardens Playground at 3:30 p.m.

There’s still time to learn the dance and join in all the fun.  A rehearsal is scheduled for Thursday night at 8:00 p.m. at Pegasus Dance Studio (361 Glebeholme Blvd) and a second rehearsal has been added Friday night at 5:00 p.m. at CareerFit Mom Pop-Up Studio (1872 Danforth Ave).  Check out the Facebook page for more details or rsvp by clicking here.

This Week in Pop-Ups

Many of our pop-ops have exciting events going on this weekend.


  • CareerFit Mom: Friday, December 7th is a PA Day and why not share some fun physical activity with the kiddies at PlayFit. Recess games, imaginative play and silliness with balls, hoops and toys.  Parent & Tot (ages 2-4) at 10:30 a.m. and Parent & Kid (ages 4-7) at 1:30 p.m.
  • POP Goes the Easel: Another option for Friday’s PA day is the Holiday Craft Drop-In.  $5/child, 12-5pm.  


  • Len: The Democratic Purveyors of Fine Art and Beautiful Things will be having their Official Launch party this Saturday, December 8th from 7:30-10:30 p.m.  10% off all Beautiful things (excluding fine art), bubbly refreshments and tasty bites guaranteed.
  • POP Goes the Easel: Saturday will be more crafting with a Holiday Craft session from 1-3 p.m. ($5)
  • CareerFit Mom: There are plenty of options for exercise this Saturday with High Intensity Intervals, Kickbox and Mind/Body Fusions and more PlayFit.  Check out the website for class times.
  • CareerFit Mom: And if a career move is in your cards you’ll want to check out the Resume Resonance session on Saturday at 1:00 p.m.  ($30+tax)


  • POP Goes the Easel: The GRAND OPENING will be celebrated on Sunday December 9th, 12-6:00 p.m, with an Open Studio and Holiday Sale.


  • Len: Join the Eggy Wegg lady, Alysa Golden, for in store tasting of her brilliant new products from Hope Eco Farms.  Gift baskets will be available for purchase and Alysa will also take your custom orders for the most special people on your holiday gift list.  LEN will join in the fun with special pricing on select holiday entertaining items.

And a reminder of where to find them all….

Pop Goes the Easel (1803 Danforth)

Tyke (1938 Danforth)

Patsy Berton Art Gallery (1948 Danforth)

bright-brown vintage+handmade  & VSVSVS (1801 Danforth)

LEN (1936 Danforth)

CareerFit Mom (1872 Danforth)