A Lot Goes On Around Here In May

Jane’s Walks are this weekend and we at DECA are big fans of learning about your neighbourhood by walking through it.

DECA’s own, Stephen Wickens, is leading his very popular walk – The Other Danforth – on Saturday, May 5th at 10 a.m. It starts at the Wise Guys pub and ends at the Linsmore Tavern. For more on Steve and what you might learn, visit the East End Pioneer blog, here.

If you want to head a little further south, you can get the scoop on poop with Councillor, Mary-Margaret McMahon and assorted friends. She’ll start out at 2 p.m. on Saturday, May 5th with Tap To Toilet where you’ll learn all you ever wanted to know about the Ashbridge’s Bay water treatment plant and “some exciting new ideas for eco-engineering the future of sanitation and toilets”.  If that doesn’t scare you enough, join Mary-Margaret and Gene Domagala at 7:30 p.m. for a Spooky Ghost Tour of St.John’s Cemetery. Bring your flashlight!

Is There A Doctor In The House?

For the last two years we’ve been watching a building rise out of the former O’Conner Brothers funeral home at 1871 Danforth Ave.  The South East Family Health Team has now opened its doors and is accepting new patients.

Monarch Park Pool

Do you know that you can swim at the Monarch Park C.I. indoor pool? Lessons, masters swim programs and mommy and me programs are offered by Jack of Sports, Beaches Swim School, H2Ofit and Family Fun Fit. And you can drop in to community swim Fridays and all-girls swims on Tuesdays. Read more about all of the above here.

Hirut Hoot

May I be the first (but certainly not the last) to say, ‘May the fourth be with you.’ And I always like to follow up with, ‘And also with you.’ Because that’s the good church-goer that I am.  Anyway, that’s the theme of tomorrow night’s comedy show at Hirut restaurant.  Eat, drink and laugh. Starts at 9 p.m.


The Bata Shoe Museum is taking it’s show on the road this weekend. Staff from the museum will be at the Danforth Coxwell library with a number of different shoes for touching (a sealskin boot and a shoe made from a tire for example). They’ll have great stories and kids (and adults I suppose) can make a shoe-shaped magnet to take home.

Beaches Studio Tour

Many local artists will be showing at the Beaches Studio Tour this weekend. Who?  When? Where?  It’s all right here for your perusing.

Ward 32 Environment Day

Mark your calendars for the next Environment Day at the Ted Reeve Arena parking lot. Drop off old paint cans and other untoward household hazards, pick up compost, learn about neighbourhood groups, get your bike tuned up and enjoy some hot dogs and good music. That’s right, garbage and dirt can be fun! May 17th, 4-8 p.m.

DECA Kids Gear Sale

Thank you to everyone who bought a table and everyone bought some stuff and everyone who bought a cookie for DECA’s first Kids Gear Sale. Aside from reusing and recycling and having a good time, we raised $170 for the community gardens and mural project at Stephenson Park at Danforth and Main. If you’re interested in learning more about that project and maybe getting your hands a little dirty, contact Tak at artattak(at)total.net.

And finally…

Thank you to all of you who took part in community clean up events a few weeks ago. Our neighbourhood is so fortunate have so many people who willingly give up a Saturday morning to help out.

DECA Danforth Walk – This Saturday!

DECA’s very own board member, veteren journalist and local historian, Stephen Wickens, is often asked to speak about the history of East Toronto. He’s agreed to lead a walk this weekend about the history of the Danforth how that will influence where the neighbourhood is headed and how it will get there. The walk will take about two hours, leaving from the Greenwood Tim Horton’s at 10 a.m. Steve asks that if you plan to grab a coffee, arrive a little early so the walk can start on time.

Curious? Here’s a little more to whet your appetite…

For many Torontonians, the Danforth is the main street of Riverdale or a place to eat Greek. But that covers just a small strip of this storied street, formerly known as the Second Concession, the Danforth Plank Road and The King’s Highway No. 5.

Danforth and the surrounding streets east of Pape, sometimes referred to as the “Other Danforth,” wasn’t really developed until the 1920s, partly because a series of creeks made road maintenance a nightmare, and partly because the Bloor viaduct didn’t open until after World War I. The timing meant ours was one of Toronto’s first areas in which the automobile was a major factor. But it was also very much a streetcar suburb, and our main street was an intensely thriving place until the 1960s.

The Other Danforth has always tended to be blue collar and gritty and, while it has seen hard times and empty storefronts, especially in the past four decades, the area is almost certainly about to see a wave of gentrification, investment and development. How do we as a community maximize the chances we get the type of change we want? What factors are key to making neighbourhood economies thrive?

On October 29, we’ll tackle these questions and more while walking the Upper Midway strip, from Greenwood and Danforth to Wise Guys tavern, east of Woodbine. The walk, based on the popular Other Danforth Jane’s Walk held each May since 2008, will examine forgotten history, hidden geography and the basics of urban form and healthy local economies. We’ll also discuss how this might provide opportunities for us and the people who will eventually inherit our neighbourhood.