Danforth Gems – Silly Goose Kids

With the abundance of children in Danforth East, it’s a wonder it took until this fall for the strip’s first toy store to open. It’s been a similarly long journey for Silly Goose Kids’ owners — Tracey Jacobs and Shamie Ramgoolam have several decades of experience between them in the Toronto toy world. Opening their own outfit is the culmination of several years of dreaming and and one big reno of a store that had sat empty for several years.




The two know their target market — the space is wide and stroller-friendly and a back-of-store play area aims to be a gathering place for parents and kids, complete with change table and chairs for storytelling. “Everyone who walks in a gets a big smile on their face,” says Shamie. “They’re excited to have a store like this in the ‘hood.”

First-time parents bracing themselves for the plastic-clogged, primary-coloured stores of their youth will be pleasantly surprised — Silly Goose has an eye for quality and design, with an emphasis on classic, non-battery-powered toys.  “We believe in toys and gear that are well made — toys of integrity,” Shamie says.

Stock is a mix of the well-known and the locally-made — “we run from zero to 10-years-old safely,” says Shamie, “and can find things for older kids, plus games for families” — and ranges from shelves filled with books at the back to baby gear, clothing, toys from Playmobil, Plan Toys and enough birthday-party-ready gifts (including science sets) to satisfy even parents with the most hectic, kid-fuelled social calendar. (A loyalty program offers discounts for frequent shoppers.)

After discovering a pocket of French speakers in the neighbourhood, Tracey and Shamie started stocking books and games en Français; a trove of phthalate- and- BPA-free sippy cups and lunch gear that will fuel inter-generational brown-bagging.

For first-time parents, there’s organic cotton onesies that read “I [trike] the Danforth,” $27.99 and locally-made sleep sacks ($49.99) from Wee Urban; for parents of toddlers and beyond, a selection of mouse-eared and felt-adorned caps from Toronto’s Patouche ($36.99) and sturdy shoes from Tom’s; a company that donates one pair of shoes to a child in need for each pair sold.

Coming up to the year’s busiest shopping time, Shamie predicts Fastrack ($24.99) — an addictive blend of Pong and air hockey that’s ideal for holiday family tournaments — will be a best-seller.

And Silly Goose is making it easier to make the annual gift-buying frenzy philanthropic — the store is is participating in a toy drive in support of the Woodgreen community centre; taking donations, keeping a registry of toys and games for the centre’s kids and offering up gift-wrapping at $1 in support of making family’s holiday a little brighter.

2054 Danforth Ave.

Feel The Love Baby

Well, thanks to all of you who joined us at the Community Cocktail Party last night. Melanie of  Melanie’s Bistro was a wonderfully gracious hostess, as always and it was a treat to meet some new people in the neighbourhood.

Sugar Moon

We were extremely pleased to announce a very generous donation from one of our local businesses. Sugar Moon Body Sugaring and Esthetics Boutique has donated $1000 to DECA this year. Owner, Paola Girotti, is incredibly community-minded and an ardent supporter of the work our community association is doing to make our neighbourhood more vibrant, walkable and safe.  Paola was a bit of a pioneer in this neighbourhood by opening her gorgeous little salon first just east of Coxwell and now just west of Coxwell. She’s a big believer in shopping local and supporting local businesses and just as a big a believer in community. Thank you Sugar Moon.

Woodgreen Child Care Centres 

Woodgreen Community Services is one of the largest social service agencies in Toronto -operating almost exclusively out of the east end. It provides service to 37,000 people every year. It runs 10 child care programs in east Toronto serving 820 children and their families. Why am I telling you all this? Because Woodgreen provides a lot of services in our neighbourhood and as the Christmas season starts sneaking up on us, there is a toy drive to support the Woodgreen child care centres.

The fabulous new toy store – Silly Goose Kids – is helping out this year by:

  • selling donation gift cards in $10 denominations
  • giving customers the opportunity to donate their ‘golden egg’ points to the toy drive
  • charging $1 for gift wrapping with all profits going to the toy drive

The event is being sponsored by realtors Duncan Fremlin and Karen Laing.  Local residents supporting local toy store and local real estate agents and all helping local social services agency.  Love it.

Art & Craft Show At LucSculpture

T’is the season to really show your support for your local businesses by shop shop shopping local. It’s getting easier and easier to do it every year. First stop? the LucSculpture sale featuring sculpture, paintings, drawings, photography, post cards, pottery, jewellery and crafts from local artisans. The sale is on now, but the official opening reception day is Saturday, December 3rd from 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. For more info visit www.lucsculpture.com.

And – hey – I want to know what how you are shopping local.  What are you buying and where?  Post it on the blog or e-mail me and I’ll post it! natasha.granatstein(at)gmail.com

Local Arts Services Organization

There is a move afoot to look at the feasibility of starting a local arts service organization in East York. There is a public meeting to discuss it on Tuesday, December 6th from 3 – 5 p.m. at 3079 Danforth (near Victoria Park subway). To find out more, contact Liz Swan at eswan(at)toronto.ca.

What’s News?

First off, I’m sorry to report that the restaurant  Ten Feet Tall has closed its doors, for good, apparently.  Personal reasons.  That’s all I know. Unfortunate because it was a great spot for music and they were very committed to the neighbourhood – oh and the sweet potatoes fries were amazing.

Walking east along the Danforth, there is a new little interior design and home decor shop two doors north of Danforth on the west side of Coxwell.  It’s in the spot where Do Bamboo used to be.

As you walk by Shoppers Drug Mart, you might like to know that Canada Post is set to open an outlet in the Shoppers Drug Mart at Coxwell and Danforth.  November 8th!  Thanks to our on-the-street-reporter, Susan, for that bit of news.

Keep walking east along the Danforth and right beside Carter’s Ice Cream is a new cafe called Circus Coffee. Street reporters, Susan tells me that it is very cool and that Ron, the owner, is an interesting guy with interesting food and drinks!  He also owns Circus Books – a lovely used book store at Danforth and Jones.

Keep walking on the north side of the Danforth until you hit Silly Goose Kids, the fabulous new toy store beside the De Serres art store at Woodbine.  Silly Goose is selling beautiful toys, books and baby gear. There is a train table in the back and there will soon be mummy/daddy and baby activities as well.  Owners, Shamie and Tracy are friendly and helpful and so incredibly delighted to be in the neighbourhood.

Last stop, just past Woodbine is True Brew Cafe. It was written up with rave reviews in the Toronto Star today.

Don’t forget our Harvest Festival on Thursday, featuring the delectable dishes of Food Network host and Chef, Lynn Crawford. Lynn will be at the market from 3-7 p.m. with food and wine. Come one, come all.

One last thing!  We really need some donations to help pay for painting the wading pool.  For every $5 you donate on Thursday night to the pool fund, your name will be entered to win $50 market bucks!

Danforth Gems – Summer Sugar

News on the street to brighten your Monday.  If you’re at work this week instead of being on holiday, then you deserve some lovin’…be it a fantastic outdoor massage or a yummy bakery treat.  And if you’re having a staycation like me, then these things are an absolute must.

Above is a picture of Sugar Moon’s new outdoor massage table.  Enjoy a massage with Michelle inside or out!

And speaking of a wonderful way to treat yourself, the new Patisserie la Cigogne at Monarch Park and Danforth is delightful (photo below right) and a great addition to that stretch of the Danforth along with Three’s Company Two!   Further east, there is Cake Town, Celena’s, True Brew and Cozy Cafe and Bakery. (P.S. The sisters at Cozy Cafe are switching their menu up a bit, after closing for a few days, they will re-open in mid-August with more lunch type foods including sandwiches, crepes etc.  The ingredients will be almost all organic including a lot of gluten-free options.  The flour is local and organic as well.)

And then, of course, there are the ice cream options.  From Carter’s (She’s now making lovely ice cream cakes, photo left – and selling hot dogs too) to Seb’s and Quattro, there are a lot of good places to stroll to for a cool bit of scream.

Finally – pssssssssst….Where else do you get the scoop before anybody else so you can totally sound like you are in the know about what’s happening in your ‘hood?  Right here, my friend, right here.

Watch 2054 Danforth (beside DeSerres at Woodbine and Danforth) for Silly Goose Kids – a baby, toys and kids store.  The new owners have a combined 30 years experience in the toy business.  We look forward to welcoming those silly gooses with open arms and open wallets.