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Here is our third installment of DECA’s talent show — aka, our new board members.

You’ve already met Mark Rullo and Linda Ballantyne.

Now, lucky neighbors, you get to meet……

CORINNE MCCABE

Corinne

Corinne McCabe (left) with the owner of her beloved Vincenzo’s Italian Grocery, Sam (middle), as well as Al and Sam’s daughter Mary. Vincenzo’s is located at 2406 Danforth Ave.

My name and age is…. Corinne McCabe, age 43.

One thing people don’t know about me is…. I’ve been a realtor for the last 15 years, but come from a dance background. Isn’t that a “normal” transition?

I moved to Danforth East because… I always try to buy the ugliest house in the next up and coming neighbourhood. For example, my previous house was in Leslieville by Dundas & Pape.  I bought that house when there was only one bar —Stratengers. And look at it now!  I did buy the ugliest house possible in Danforth Village, and gutted the whole thing with the thought of selling within 3-4 years later.  I’m at 8 years now.  Itchy to move? Yes, as always, but actually really like living here so I’ll stick for a while until I can no longer bear the snow.

I was dying to join the DECA board… for a few reasons: to meet more people in the neighbourhood and to help if possible to improve it. Not that I want it to be another Leslieville, but somewhere in between would be nice.

The thing I love most about the neighborhood is… the ease of transit, TTC and GO make it a breeze to get downtown. I also like the good walk to the beach. I have a crazy dog, so nice spaces to walk in are key.

My biggest local pet peeve is… the land owners of stores who neglect their properties. I hate to be negative, but so be it. In Cabbagetown, the government offered a tax break incentive to those owners who fixed up the fronts of their buildings. Instead of tax breaks for vacancies, I think this was a great idea. It got many storefronts a new facelift which really helped.

My neighborhood secret is…  Vincenzo’s Italian Grocery store.

We buy fresh daily for dinners here. Vincenzo’s has all the best Italian ingredients you could imagine.  Their high-end pasta, fresh dandelion greens, and their hand-made sausage is delicious! My favourite section is the deli counter. Cheese is a weakness of mine, and they can slice their prosciutto so thin you can see right through it!  Wrap it around their fresh mission figs and drizzle some good quality balsamic vinegar over top, and you’ve got a snack made for the gods.

The place I go to on the Danforth that you’ve likely never frequented is…. Danforth Neighbourhood Pharmacy Care at Danforth & Westlake (2416 Danforth Ave.), on the north side. The best!  No line-ups, no waiting, no prep time. Call ahead, he knows who you are and will have everything ready for you.  A walk-in clinic is also on site!

My dream plan for this year as a DECA board member is…. to involve even more of the community. Getting the word out there, that involvement will equal improvements, a benefit to all.

Thanks to Councillor Davis for the message:

Cedarvale and Oak Park Construction Open House

You are invited to attend a drop-in event to learn more about upcoming work on Cedarvale Avenue and Oak Park Avenue, the schedule of work and what to expect during construction.

Monday, February 23, 6 to 8 pm, Danforth Mennonite Church, 2174 Danforth Ave.

In April the City of Toronto will be replacing a sanitary/combined sewer on sections of Cedarvale Avenue from Danforth Avenue to Milverton Boulevard and from 20 metres south of Carruthers Lane to Lumsden Avenue. The work is scheduled to be completed by September 2015.

Work will then begin in early fall on replacing the sanitary/combined sewer on Oak Park Avenue from Danforth Avenue to 75 metres south of Everett Crescent. This work will also include resurfacing of the road from Danforth Avenue to Cosburn Avenue and intersection improvements at Cosburn Avenue.

In combination with the sewer work on both Cedarvale Avenue and Oak Park Avenue, the City will be replacing the City-owned portion of any substandard water services. A water service connection is the pipe that connects your house to the City’s water distribution system to deliver water into your home. Your water service connection may be considered substandard if:

 it is made of lead or galvanized metal;
 it is smaller than the City’s 19 mm standard size;
 it is a double connection , delivering water to more than one residential property; or
 It is leaking or broken.

Project website www.toronto.ca/constructioninfo/ward31

www.toronto.ca/leadpipes

Contact: John Croxall, Field Ambassador 416-473-5799
General Inquiries 311 TTY 416-338-0889
Councillor Janet Davis councillor_davis@toronto.ca

Ward 31 Beaches-East York 416-392-4035

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Last November, we elected a new board. We thought you might want to meet some of the new members — kick their tires, look under their hoods, you know.

Last week, you met Mark Rullo.

This week …. drum roll…. 

linda ballantyne

My name and age is…  Linda Ballantyne and I am young at 63!

One thing people don’t know about me is…  I’ve always enjoyed volunteering. Currently I deliver the Beach Metro News on Bastedo Ave. with my grandson Ocean.  It’s been a family tradition for 25 years. We had a route on Gainsborough Rd. and then Kellner Court and now Bastedo. My daughters always complained about delivering the paper and Ocean does too, but I say you have to give back, meet your neighbours and meet new friends.

I moved to Danforth East because…  I have roots in this area.  Twenty-five years ago, I had a house on Gainsborough, actually just across the tracks from my current home. 

I was dying to join the DECA board because…  I wanted to keep up on happenings of the community and look for an opportunity to give back.
The thing I love most about the neighborhood is…  the sense of community within each section of where we live — our townhouse row is very friendly and we all connect well.
My biggest local pet peeve is…  those who do not shovel their side walks!
My neighborhood secret is… I love to walk the around and check out gardens and go to Monarch Park and watch the dogs play!
The place I go to on the Danforth that you’ve likely never frequented is….  Our Little Library, at the corner of Hanson & Drayton which always has great “gems” to enjoy. It’s a great way to share books you’ve enjoyed.
My dream plan for this year as a DECA board member is…  I like the idea of reaching out to support our less fortunate neighbours in need and provide support to them.

This just in from the TTC:

On Tuesday February 17 at 7:00 AM, the contractor will be moving into the next phase of the Elevator (E2) work which will require partial closure of Strathmore Blvd. Vehicular traffic will be maintained to one lane in each direction. This configuration will remain in place until fall 2015. Please refer to slide 12 in the following presentation for more details:

http://www.ttc.ca/PDF/Transit_expansion_PDFs/Coxwell_EA-Const-Update_Jan21-2015.pdf

A Police Officer will be on site for the week to assist with traffic operations.

Family Day in the ‘hood

A few events that you should know about!

Skating Party and Bonfire, Sunday February 15, 2:00-8:00pm
Stephenson Park

An amazing group of neighbours have come together to make a natural rink at Stephenson Park (just behind Sobey’s near Main & Danforth) and now these local heros are having a skating party and bonfire for the community. People have been baking and planning and it’s all shaking down on Sunday from 2-8pm. You know all those reasons why you love this neighbourhood? Well, this is all of them.

My Danforth Village - January 2015

 

(You may have read about this event in Catherine Porter’s Catherine Porter’s Column in the Star!)

Family Day Fun, Monday, February 16, 9:30am-2:00pm
Monarch Park Stadium

This annual event is becoming legendary. You can even buy tickets online ahead of time to ensure entry!

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Love is in the air, and it’s not just for your sweetheart and loved ones. Show some of our local businesses some love! Everything you need for wooing is right around the corner.

Some ideas:  (this list is just the tip of the iceberg!)

Moberly Natural Foods – 2044 Danforth
Can you say chocolate? Fancy cheese and crackers? Bulk candy? Evidently, decadence occurs in nature because this natural food shop has it in abundance!
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Royal Beef - 1968 Danforth

Staying in? Whatever you want for dinner, you should buy it from here. Seriously..and lunch…and breakfast.

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Sweet Serendipity Bake Shop – 1335 Danforth

This is a relatively new shop just west of Coxwell, and if you haven’t been GO.THERE.NOW. Honestly, this is the kind of place that every neighbourhood yearns for. For Valentine’s Day they even have a special spicy red velvet cupcake!

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Len: Democratic Purveyors of Fine Art & Beautiful Things – 698 Coxwell
A few doors north of Danforth, this store full of beautiful things owned by local couple Christal and David will have the perfect gift for the man or woman on your list (including yourself!). They’ve kindly written their own Valentine’s Day post so you can get a sneak preview of what’s on offer.

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Artisans at Work – 2071 Danforth (at Woodbine)

Own Tara is a talented jewellery designer, which is a great start but it doesn’t stop there. This space is brimming with unique and beautiful one-of-a-kind gifts created by artists and artisans.  Warning: you will need time to look at everything and you’ll want to buy it all.

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Melanie’s Bistro - 1870 Danforth

Delicious three course meals or just stop in for dessert!

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NaNa Florist – 2454 Danforth (east of Woodbine)

Because, flowers.

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Jenny’s Floral Boutique – 1898 Danforth (across from East Lynn Park)

Because, flowers.

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This list is only the beginning – bundle up and take a stroll to see all of the wonderful shops for yourself.

If you don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day, celebrate the fact that we made it half way through February and it’s a long weekend!!

Last November, we elected a new board. It’s the biggest board DECA has ever had, bursting with 15 people. Many are new to the board, which we think is awesome. New people = new energy = new ideas.

All new things demand inspection, of course. I’ve asked them each to fill out a questionnaire. Over the next few weeks, I’ll share their answers with you.

Starting with… drum roll…. 

Mark Rullo with Shiro, the owner of NaNa Florist, buying an early Valentine's Day gift for his wife, Stephanie.

Mark Rullo with Shiro, the owner of NaNa Florist, buying an early Valentine’s Day gift for his wife, Stephanie.

My name and age is…

Mark Rullo, 36

One thing people don’t know about me is…

I love to dance, and over the years I’ve tried a few breakdancing classes.  That’s one plug for something we’re missing in the ‘hood. 

I moved to Danforth East because… 

Honestly, it was the most affordable, family centred place in the city.  We knew at the time that Danforth East needed some work and we’re happy to see that DECA has been a force for that change.  Back then it was just my wife and my two dogs.  Now we’ve added 2 boys, one of whom is in junior kindergarten already!  We love being close to so many great parks.  In the summer one of our favs is formally called Gledhill Park, but we know it as the Dragon Park because that’s what the splash pad feature is.  The neighbourhood has donated their used kids’ toys to the park and it’s always a fun time on a hot day.  What keeps us here is our ever-expanding circle of close neighbours, and other parents at the school who we’re getting to know and love.

I was dying to join the DECA board because… 

The board is full of people who want to create positive changes for the neighbourhood.  I want to work with the rest of the board and volunteers to further that positive change.

The thing I love most about the neighborhood is… 

The young families and friendly neighbours that I’m surrounded by.

My biggest local pet peeve is… 

The bars that sell cheap beer, and over-serve that beer to customers that keep coming back, day after day.  

My neighborhood secret is…  

It’s not really a secret: when my wife and I are able to get out for a night, we like to go to Relish and enjoy their fantastic food and great bands.  Joanne the owner has done me and my wife a solid favour.  We were in there having lunch one day, and I talked to her about a brewer she has on tap who wasn’t responding to my social media inquiries over some bad batches.  Joanne asked us to leave our contact info, and within a few days the sales rep for the brand dropped off a 4 cases of beer for the inconvenience.  The local neighbours benefitted with a party, and a little campfire.  

The place I go to on the Danforth that you’ve likely never frequented is…

On the eastern stretch of our hood there are two family run places we like to support with our dollars.  The first is Golden Pizza (2360 Danforth Av.) where we don’t go for the pizza, but rather their super souvlaki, potatoes, and salad.  They also have a killer burger and a tasty veal parm dinner. They’ve recently overhauled their establishment, and it looks great. Give them a shot.

The second is our local NaNa Florist (2454 Danforth Av).  They are always friendly, and put together a great bouquet.  My wife always comments on how long the bouquets from NaNa last and how beautiful they are. (Editor’s note: they specialize in a Japenese-style of floral arrangement called “ikebana.”)