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It’s time for another Thursday-in-the-life of an East Lynn Park farmer.  Bruce of Black Tractor Farms

Meet Bruce Wier of Black Tractor Farms. Bruce and Gillian Proudfood are quite busy managing an 11 acre property in Warkworth, Ontario growing peas, various salad greens, onions, beets, garlic and more. You can follow along on their farming adventures and bee keeping shenanigans on their website.  Bruce spends his Thursdays preparing for the market, including washing lettuce and other salad greens and running to the bank to get change. He tends to spend Mondays sequentially planing so he always has fresh lettuce and salad mix each week.  This process includes tilling, raking and seeding. And because he don’t use pesticides (or chemical fertilizers or herbicides), he has to cover his lettuce to protect it from flea beetles. Wednesdays are reserved for harvesting, meaning that spicy salad mix on your plate was just picked yesterday. Be sure to stop by the Black Tractor Farm tent and grab some greens for your dinner plate!

For the little ones: 

This week the market hosts Anne Massicotte.  Anne is an experienced music teacher and performer offering private recorder lessons from her home to students of any age or level. Discover the joy of playing the whole family of instruments! Come see and hear them at the market this week.

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Anne Massicotte, recorder teacher

The East Lynn Farmers’ Market runs every Thursday from 3-7:00 p.m. between June 4 – October 15 at East Lynn Park, located on the south side of Danforth Ave, just west of Woodbine Ave. Stay up to date by visiting the East Lynn Market Facebook page or by following us on Twitter.

It’s almost that time again…time to make your way over to East Lynn Park for the Farmers’ Market! This week, there’s a whole lotta dancin’ goin’ on.

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Wellness booth:

Pegasus Studios (361 Glebeholme Blvd.) will be at the Farmer’s Market Wellness Table to give you information, tips and maybe even get you moving! Come and learn how dancing not only is a fun way to exercise but it has additional benefits like; reducing stress, improving strength and flexibility, keeping our muscles and joints healthy, and improving posture and balance. Not only that but participating in dance, learning sequences, and mastering new physical skills helps with brain development, can make you smarter and can lift your mood!

Children’s activity:

We have a few activities going on this week, including performances by Irish Dance School around 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. You can also join us for story time with the Toronto Public Library at 4:30 p.m.

And don’t forget to check out DECA’s first Volunteer Fair at this week’s market. See you Thursday!

Have you always wanted to volunteer in the neighbourhood, but not known where to start?

Mark next Thursday August 27 on your calendar. DECA is hosting it’s first “Community Connections” fair – at the top of the farmers’ market in East Lynn Park, between 3 and 7 pm.

There, you can meet TEN local groups and service providers who will tell you what they do and why, and – most importantly – how you can get involved.

Have you always wanted to help out at a women’s shelter or the hospital? How about deliver hot meals to senior’s doors, so they don’t have to brave the winter weather? Maybe you just want to get on your kids’ school’s parent council. In all cases — this is your chance!

Comm Connections V2-2

This is the first project of our newly formed DECA Connects committee. We are a small group of neighbours who want to use DECA’s impressive talents, connections and energies, to address social needs in our community.

Would you like to join us? Please email Elizabeth Dove at edove9@gmail.com for details regarding our next meeting!

Murals, fairies, another pop-up shop success and NOW Magazine nominations!

Coxwell Barns Mural

East End Arts is teaming up with a esteemed artist Sean Martindale to paint a mural on the wall of the Coxwell Barns (south-east corner of Danforth & Coxwell, just south of Danforth) from August 24-end of Sept (approx). Other than just telling you about this awesome project, there are two other things you need to know:

  1. Are you interested in volunteering to help paint the new mural? If so, come to a volunteer info session on Monday, August 24, 5-6 pm at TKO’s (Coxwell & Danforth). All are welcome – no experience necessary! If you can’t attend the session but you want to help out, please join the project’s Facebook event and to keep track of sign-up slots when they have a schedule.
  2. The project is looking for the following supplies to help with this mural – please contact info@eastendarts.ca if you can share any of the following:
    • a sturdy rolling cart capable of carting full buckets of paint/water (may get paint on it, 1 needed from August 24 – end of Septladders ( 6 ft, 8 ft) – needed 1 or 2 from August 24 – end of Sept
    • step stools – needed 1 or 2 from August 24 – end of Sept
    • 1 high quality, long (at least a meter) level – must be strong, engineering-type quality here! (warning: may get paint on it)

If you can help or want more info, please contact Cindy at info@eastendarts.ca!

Fairy Dance

On Tuesday, Danny’s Urban Fairies are heading to Pegasus Studios for a Fairy Circle Dance Party from 6:30-7:30pm. BYOFW (Bring your own fairy wings)

 

The fairies are so busy but are wrapping up at the end of the month so make sure to keep up to date on all of their comings and goings!

Another Pop-Up Shop Success! Congrats to the Handwork Dept!

Last week we were so happy to tell you that Merrily, merrily is now a permanent store on our strip! So it’s doubly exciting to tell you that another of our current pop-up shops has signed a lease! The Handwork Dept will be moving to 1898 Danforth (formerly Jenny’s Floral Boutique). If you haven’t been yet, you should go. It is part gallery, part trip down memory lane (depending on how old you are) and all-around awesome shopping experience. Thanks to Maggie the owner for giving us one more interesting, unique and fun store to visit.

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The Handwork Dept’s current storefront at 1801 Danforth – moving to 1898 Danforth in the coming weeks

Also need to acknowledge our dedicated pop-up shop team. Gay, Tina, Cath, Anita and so many others have worked so hard to transform and revitalize our neighbourhood through our pop-up shop project. It’s a huge project that involves countless hours of work, and every success happens because this team has made it happen.

Now Magazine Best of Toronto Nominations

Now’s Best of Toronto nominations are out and our neighbourhood is very well represented. While it’s an honour to be nominated, what we need is to WIN! Our friends at Moberly have put together a handy cheat sheet for all our local nominations. You can vote from all of your devices, so please get in as many clicks as possible. Show Toronto why the east end is the best end.

http://moberlynaturalfoods.com/2015/06/26/now-best-of-toronto-2015/

A few snaps from some of our local winners last year to show you that we can totally do this!!

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LEN owner Christal and their 2014 award for Best Design Store

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Shamie and Tracey with their 2014 Best Toy Store award for Silly Goose Kids

wag  moberly

 

Oh. My. God.

That was my reaction stepping into Gerrard Pizza.

If you’ve been there recently for the first time in say, four weeks, you’ll know what I’m talking about.

Can you believe the transformation?

White walls, now a dark smokey blue. 1980s disco-inspired lights replaced with custom-built hanging mason jars, each fitted with an old-fashioned Edison lightbulb.

New bench seating down the front, where once a ledge cluttered with old newspapers sat. New sign. New logo. New mosaic tile on the entrance stoop. New enlarged black and white family photos on the walls. New streamlined display. New table runners… and I’ve only just got started!

It went from this:
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All this was done by DECA volunteers as the reward for winning the “DECA Gems” competition.

I haven’t even told you about the stunning website yet – which didn’t exist before, in any form. It was done by a local professional, after a local food stylist had gussied up the food, a prop stylist had arrived with all the right plates and rustic cutting boards and a local professional photographer had shot the offerings ….

Such talent we have in this neighbourhood. Such generosity too. All the labour was done for free.

A quick reminder about the DECA Gems competition last May, when neighbours nominated more than 400 local “hidden gems.” We whittled them down to four finalists, and took our esteemed judges on a tour.

They picked Gerrard Pizza, a family restaurant run by three generations of Grecos since 1966. The food — there are 64 pizzas to choose from on the menu! — was outstanding. It was just the space that needed some sprucing.

Then a whole new team took over, led by Angela Matich, who met me there for pizza a couple of weeks ago to talk about it.

I had expected her to lead a modest makeover – some staging and decluttering, a painting party, a new website. All that happened, and was wonderful.

But Angela, as usual, had more ambitious plans.

Angela is one of those manic multitaskers who has done 4 loads of laundry, babysat the neighbour’s kids, walked the dog and completed a 10-page proposal, colour printed and bound, all by 6 am. She’s also a professional brand designer and manager. She gets paid to do this stuff. She’s done it for free for DECA makeovers for 7 years now. This job, however, was her crowning jewel, and “by far the biggest,” she said, between bites of pizza.

“We had such a big team on this. We kept adding people as we went. People were unbelievable. I’d just tell them the story, and they’d ask, ‘How can we help?’”

Local designer Jon Isaac made a new restaurant logo and sign, which embodied the restaurant’s new brand – family history and pizza.

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Local web developer Kim Dolan designed the restaurant’s first website, using photos taken by LCBO and House And Home photographer Donna Griffith, after local food stylist Clare Jones had done her magic. (Lynda Felton provided all the beautiful dishes and table clothes for the shoot. She is a prop stylist, a job that I’ve only just learned about. It is a stager for photo shoots — I think.)

When Angela realized needed bench lowered, called on neighbor Stuart Fraser, a carpenter. He like everyone else, agreed to work for free.

“I suck everyone in,” she said.

When Angela approached Houman Nooreini, owner of  Bella Lite, for a quote on the mason jar chandeliers she had in mind, she offered to create them in house, at “less than cost.” “Some things are not for profit,” he told me. “This is my neighborhood.”

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The same thing happened when Angela phoned Mosaic Beach Studio.

“I like the whole idea of what you guys are doing — helping out small businesses,” owner Patricia Tiemann told me over the phone. “I have a small business. I know it’s really hard.” No matter that she had only just bought the studio to keep it from closing (the previous owner was ill) in the fall, and hardly has time to do paid commissions between the classes and workshops and her other job, as a project manager at a software company.

When you walk over the mosaic welcome mat she designed and created, think of this: It took her 50 hours. She cut every single piece of glass by hand.

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(You can see her awesome photos of the process here.)

Tiemann, like everyone else involved in this project (and there are so many I have not told you about), deserves a swimming pool of gratitude, good karma and new paying business for their kindness. The whole makeover, in fact, feels to me like a giant community group hug.

It’s still not finished – there are a few finishing touches to come, including a giant sign on one wall listing all 64 pizzas and new facing for the bar…

But, it’s just about finished. And already, it’s having an effect. Business is up 30 per cent since the restaurant was nominated as a DECA Gem,  Elenor Imbrogno told me, rushing by with another pizza. It was 6.45 on a Thursday night in the dead of summer, and eight tables were full.

“I was expecting a slow week. Oh My God,” she said.

What does her brother Vito Greco think of the makeover? “It’s awesome,” he says.

There will be a volunteer appreciation night later this month — if you were involved and haven’t heard about it, please email Gay for details at GStephenson@woodgreen.org — and an official reopening party in the fall some time.

But, don’t wait till then to admire the new look.

Drop in for a romantic night, and some pizza. My favourite choice so far is No. 56, the “Parmigiano,” which Angela ordered, of course. She’s eaten a lot of pizza there, while pouring over plans and ideas with Elenor, over the past couple months. Thank you Angela!

What does she think of the makeover? “It should last them another 50 years,” she says.

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Angela Matich (left) stands inside the new Gerrard Pizza, with family owner Elenor Imbrogno

Have you ever wondered what the farmers do on Thursdays before coming to the East Lynn Park Farmers’ Market? I’ve been wondering about this so I decided to stop by the Bio Vision tent to ask the bearded man about his day. Here is the first edition of the Thursday-in-the-life of an East Lynn Park farmer.

Henricus Verhoeven of Bio Vision Farm

Henricus Verhoeven of Bio Vision Farm

Last Thursday Henk’s day started ridiculously early. He was up at 4:30 a.m. Henk and his wife Jin operate a biodynamic farm called Bio Vision Farm just west of Orangeville. That morning they had some chickens that needed to be taken to the “plant”. But by 7:30 a.m. he was back at his farm for breakfast with Jin and then off to start his daily chores. This includes tending to the baby chicks, feeding the animals, changing water, etc. At 10:00 a.m. the couple started packing for the two markets they attend on Thursdays. After lunch, they drove to Mississauga to set up for the first market where Jin spends her Thursdays. Then Henk came over to our neck of the woods to set up at East Lynn Park. From 3-7:00 p.m. we know where he was. (He was selling us some lovely summer sausage.) And as you can imagine, his day didn’t end at 7:00 p.m. By the time he finishes packing up from East Lynn Park, picking up Jin, driving home and unpacking, it’s usually 11:00 p.m.

That’s a looong day. Be sure to stop by and thank Henk for choosing our market to sell at.  Or better yet, thank him by buying something nutritious and delicious from one of his coolers.

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This week will be fun!  There’s a soccer activity with Canada First Academy at 4:00 p.m., crafts with Melissa at 4:30 p.m. and the magic show at 5:30 p.m. The movie will start as soon as it’s dark enough, around 8:30 pm. A huge thank you to Mary-Margaret McMahon, Councillor for Ward 32, for not only sponsoring this event but popping the popcorn for the movie!

Wellness Booth

Nana Jokura of Accept Wellness will be offering free 10 minute consults on how you can improve your health with naturopathic medicine. The Accept Wellness Naturopathic Community Clinic offers compassionate rates & high quality care so that you can feel your best and get the most out of life.

Nana Jokura

Nana Jokura

Hello Neighbours!

As we head into a couple of days of heat advisory, a small reminder to please check on vulnerable neighbours, take extra care with kids and pets, and please please please water your trees. Buckets full of water for the trees please. (If you have a moment to spare, please water some trees at a park or in a schoolyard!)

And now for the news…

Merrily, merrily is here to stay!

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Another one of our pop-up shops has just become a permanent store on at 1854 Danforth (beside Oaks ‘n Acorns) – congratulations to Merrily, merrily!  If you haven’t been yet, they are a go-to for new, nearly new and handmade goods for babies, kids and even moms-to-be. It’s a lovely shop, and they have even more stuff for sale online: www.merrilymerrily.ca.

Could this get any better? Yes! They are a consignment shop, so every purchase puts money in the pockets of your neighbours as well as these local mompreneur owners. Win-win! And don’t forget the summer pop-up promo on until August 31 with current and former pop-up shops, which will save you the tax at Merrily, merrily (click here for more info on the promo).

Gentle reminder: Permanent stores are only permanent as long as we support them. SHOP LOCAL!

Speaking of awesome local shops…

Face to Face Games is celebrating their 1st Birthday!

This Tuesday, August 18 please visit Face to Face Games to enjoy 10% off everything in the store and buy-one-get-one-free lemonades all day long.

2077a Danforth (above Pizza Pizza, @ Woodbine)

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Face to Face Toronto’s awesome cafe

A few things you should know about this amazing shop:

  1. It is packed every night. Packed.
  2. They have an amazing cafe full of fresh, healthy and very affordable meals, snacks, coffee and their signature house-made lemonade and iced tea. Seriously. You need to try it.
  3. The owners want the space to be as much a neighbourhood drop-in as a shop. There are games on hand available to play for free (they have games for all ages) and they encourage people to bring along their favourite game from home to play as well. No catch, just a sincere interest in wanting to be a place where people gather.

Go there on a date, with your friends, with your kids, or go theire by yourself. You’ll love it!

Board games to Board meetings…and who doesn’t LOVE a good Board meeting?

DECA Board Meeting

This Tuesday, August 18 will be he next DECA Board meeting. Do you want to join us? We are trying something new this time, and will spend 7:30-8:30 with no formal agenda to give us a chance to chat with anyone who chooses to join us. Come and say hi and have a beverage with us (not on us)! If you want to stay for the actual meeting, you’re welcome to do so but you don’t have to. We thought this might be a better way engage with potential volunteers and others than our usual meeting-only approach.

If you want to come, please RSVP by clicking here and we can provide the details. (We do this so that we know who is coming and can ensure that we meet in a big enough space to accommodate!)

And last but not least…

Free Movie for Teens at Danforth/Coxwell Library: Insurgent 

Next Wednesday (Aug 26) for teens 13+ including free popcorn and door prize!

Movie Night ft. Insurgent

And it’s Movie Night this week at the Market: How to Train Your Dragon 2!

 

 

Stay cool, East Enders!

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