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It’s mid-August, the lazy days of summer, and the perfect time to enjoy the farmer’s market! Come out and join us this Thursday at East Lynn Park from 3pm to 7pm – the wading pool will be open and Oaks ‘N Acorns will be hosting a kids activity at 4:30pm. It’s a great time to bring the kids, pick a snack up at the market, and hang out in the park for the afternoon, or maybe even make it a picnic dinner so you don’t have to worry about dishes.

corn

Every week the farmers bring more produce to choose from and this week the highlight is corn and tomatoes! We always get excited when corn is in season, it just doesn’t get any better than corn on the cob fresh off the grill and dripping with butter, but if you want to make something new that incorporates some of the beautiful farm-fresh tomatoes and potatoes along with the corn give we recommend this delicious chicken and corn summer chowder. See you at the market!

corn 2

The East Lynn Farmers’ Market runs every Thursday from 3-7:00 p.m. between June 1 – October 19 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.

Arts Festivals Galore!

The first ever Monarch Park Arts & Music Festival is happening this Saturday, August 12 (tomorrow), 12 noon – 8:00pm
Free!


Coming soon…

East End Arts presents Main Squared, a free nine-day arts and community festival that will activate and explore the public square at the corner of Main Street and Danforth Avenue from August 26 to September 3, 2017.

Blending contemporary art and community arts projects, the festival will feature art installations, interactive activities, workshops, performances, and more.

The festival location is situated in the unique spaces between the four high-rise towers that are home to thousands of residents and a commercial plaza with unoccupied storefronts. Given its accessible location, diversity, density of residents, and proximity to transit and other amenities, Main Square is full of potential as a vibrant and unique cultural hub. With Main Squared, East End Arts aims to increase engagement with the community to spark a sense of pride within the spaces in the neighbourhood in which they live, work, play, and own every day.

Visit the website for more info. Also note that they are looking for volunteers!


Still over a month to go but you definitely want to make a mental note and block off time now for the Danforth East (Community) Arts Fair #DECAF17, coming on September 16 & 17. One of DECA's signature events, this weekend of arts, beauty, community and fun is a must-do for everyone in this 'hood.


See all the sneak peeks of what will be for sale by following the DECAF on social:

Fb: @DECAartsfair
Insta: @deca_arts

We are always in need of volunteers so give us a shout if you're available for a shift that weekend! Sit at the info table, help with set up or take down, take pics, help us with social media – there are lots of jobs! Email us here.

DECA news!

So much to tell you about what we are up to – our birthday parties next month, community-wide scavenger hunt, meet & greet next week, Board meeting and volunteer opportunity!

Happy Birthday to Us!

We have officially announced our DECAde celebrations, our 10th birthday, with a few exciting events. We'll tell you more, but here are the highlights:

  • celebration at the East Lynn Farmers’ Market at East Lynn Park (1949 Danforth Avenue) from 3-7pm on September 21st. Formal remarks and a cake-cutting to begin at 5pm.
  • cocktail soirée at The Shore Leave (1775A Danforth Avenue) on Saturday, September 23rd from 7-9pm (cash bar)
  • self-led scavenger hunt from now to September 21st to encourage individuals and families to explore the Danforth East neighbourhood to find the 10 spots, using our clues.


Free scavenger hunt maps & clues will be available at the East Lynn Park Farmers’ Market on Thursdays or download one here. Completed maps can be dropped off at the DECA table at the Farmers’ Market every Thursday from 3-7pm until September 21st. All completed maps will be entered into a draw, with results announced at The Shore Leave cocktail soirée on September 23rd.


Meet & Greet + Board Meeting

Who should come to our meet & greet on Tuesday? You should! It's from 7-8pm at Gerrard's Pizza in the basement (1528 Danforth). You should come if you're new to the neighbourhood, or you're curious about what exactly DECA does and who we are (spoiler alert: we're all volunteers with full lives but we just really love our neighbourhood and we are fun!) or because you are interested in joining our Board or volunteeringin some other capacity. Come for a chat, and it's up to you whether you'd like to stay for the Board meeting!

You are also invited to join us for our Board meeting from 8-9pm. Same location. Do you have an agenda item? Just let us know!

Click here to email us with any questions or to RSVP. We appreciate it if you let us know you are coming so we can reach you if anything changes and so that we can change to a bigger location if needed. Please also tell us about any accommodation needs. (The room is not accessible but we will find one that is if needed)


Volunteer Opportunity: Still need cooks

We are still looking for volunteer cooks to feed the farmers' at our East Lynn Farmers' Market. Some spots have filled since we made our plea last week but lots of spots are still available. Make a simple meal for 10-15 and we pay you a $20 honourarium. Past volunteer cooks have really enjoyed this chance to give back to the people who bring us their fresh local food week after week! Click here to sign up and for more information.


Other ways to get more involved:

Join DECA as a member for $10/household for the year. deca.to/membership/

Interested in volunteering? Click here to sign up and you'll be added to our volunteer email list!

Tired of the same old boring lunches? Want to kick it up a notch? While walking the lane at the market this week I’m sure you can find numerous fresh and/or fruity ideas. One market shopper shared her Friday salad with us for inspiration – blueberries, peaches, beans and cucumbers  – delish!

salad.jpg

Stop by the DECA tent to pick up your free DECAde Scavenger Hunt entry form! DECA is ten this year and we’re celebrating our “DECAde” with two parties in September (stay tuned for details) and a fun self-led scavenger hunt, highlighting ten interesting facts about the ‘hood. Turn in your completed forms to the DECA tent at the East Lynn market up to Sept. 21 to be entered into a draw for a fantastic prize!

Guerilla Ruffians will be running 5-10 minute improv-plays on the slope of the North hill at 4 and 4:45 or so.   (Pssst. Ask the squad about their performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream in Withrow Park later this month.)   
The East Lynn Farmers’ Market runs every Thursday from 3-7:00 p.m. between June 1 – October 19 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.

For this series of blog posts marking our #DECAde, we are looking back on where DECA started, how far we’ve come and where the next 10 years might take us and our neighbourhood. We are including interviews with some of DECA’s founders and other info and tidbits from DECA’s “archives”

A few months ago, we asked some of our founding Board members to share their thoughts about DECA. You've already read some of what they said in our previous #DECAde posts. In this, our fourth and final blog post based on those interviews, find out why our founders think DECA succeeded and their advice for anyone who wants to make a difference in their community.

*Watch this space for a big announcement about our official #DECAde community celebrations!*


Peter Schmiedchen: My hope is that DECA takes us leaps and bounds beyond where we stand now, and make our area a destination recognized citywide.  The responsibility doesn’t fall completely upon DECA though.  Working together with the local businesses and the BIA, we have all made this part of the Danforth great.  

…This group was started by a few people who had good ideas and loved to drink wine.  We were virtually strangers at the start, but we had common goals – as do you and your neighbours.  It doesn’t take much…Stop thinking that Toronto is a cold, unfriendly city.  Talk to your neighbour and you will realize that they want the neighbourhood to have the sense of community that you want it to have. Only shyness stands in you way.

Mary Vallis: Don't be shy. Just do it. Find something that needs doing and don't let nervousness, ego or "lack of time" get in your way. We're all busy. We're all shy. We can all easily find reasons to not do something. What takes more courage, and more dedication, is doing. Through that, you'll find yourself walking around the street one day, looking around and thinking to yourself, "I belong, I belong, I belong."


☝🏼This pic is Alison, Mary-Margaret and Catherine from the early days of the farmers' market.

Mary-Margaret McMahon: ALL you need is an IDEA! DECA is the friendliest group going. They will cheerlead for your crusade and shower you with support! BUT it starts with YOU! So take the first step and volunteer, send a compliment, join a Subcommittee, pay your membership, cook for a farmer, gather some people to start your idea — do one thing. 

Catherine Porter: You don't have to have it all figured out. Just take your little idea, and meet with some people over wine (wine is key, I'd say. People are more willing to come to meetings with wine) and start to talk. Magic happens in the doing together, and it's much more fun when you don't have it all figured out. There will be side effects you never imagined — new friends; new ideas; a deeper understanding of where we live….. Go for it

Alison McMurray: I think what always boggles me is how far reaching the efforts of DECA have gone. Volunteer efforts have a way of burning out over the years and relying on the same 5 people but somehow we have managed to bring new people into the fold and continue to make an even bigger impact 10 years later.  That is remarkable to me.
…There are a lot of ways to get involved with DECA that don't require attending any meetings!  Everyone should be on the blog, everyone should be a member and then when an opportunity to help comes along, do it! And if you have an idea, bring it to DECA.  That's how all of our initiatives started – with a little idea and some grassroots organizing. 

Natasha Granatstein: We really didn't know what we were doing. We just did something. We started small and grew. A few years in, I was talking to someone who assumed that we had paid staff!  Paid staff!  Ha! We all have other jobs and other commitments. We just did our little bit to make our community more vibrant, walkable and safe. And, the best part? We became friends along the way so it didn't really feel like work. Also – have wine at your meetings. 

Colleen Clarke: The founding members really went above and beyond to make a success of everything that was conceived of. No grass grew under anybody's feet, except at the farmer's market, lol… To get involved, just sign up and do it! You chose this neighborhood to live in, own it and get out there and do even a little bit to make a difference.


Nothing is nothing stopping you from joining us. Become a member, come to an event or volunteer! Or maybe you are interested in joining our Board at our AGM in November? Get in touch with us – send us an email!


DECA memberships are $10/household to support our community initiatives including our weekly Farmers’ Market, Diversity Scholarship, annual Arts Fair, Pumpkin Parade, Tree Lighting Festival, #DanforthEast Yard Sale, DECA Pride LGBTQ+ group and more! Sign up here

If you want to get in touch, send us an email

We've been sharing lots on our Facebook page but the chaos of summer has left us neglecting our faithful blog readers. Here's a catch up for those of you not on fb, and for those of you who are, here's a round-up of some of our recent posts!

Electronics Recycling Today (July 29)



Toronto Cat Rescue Adopt-A-Thon Today (Jul 29)

Wag on the Danforth, Toronto: 1918 Danforth Ave / (647) 349-8263

Come one! Come all! Please join us on Saturday, July 29th from 10am – 4pm for an adopt-a-thon with Wag on Danforth! We will have a lots of kittens and cats waiting for their forever families to adopt them and love them forever! Please come and bring home your new best friend – the cats need you!

Special Adoption Fees at the event only! Our adoption fee at the event only is $100 (vs. the standard $175 adoption fee) for cats and kittens over 8 months of age, and $175 for kittens under 8 months of age – payable by cash only. Our fee includes: spay or neuter, vaccination (receive a rabies vaccination, if age appropriate) and includes 6 weeks of free pet insurance. For City of Toronto residents, the adoption fee includes a mandatory City of Toronto cat license that is valid for one year.


Old's Cool Community Strength Event & Playback Theatre – Today (July 29)

For more info click here



Coal Mine Theatre – Season 4!

Here it is! Season Four at the Coal Mine! This year we are thrilled to bring you two Canadian premieres, including a commissioned translation, one Toronto premiere, and our first ever Coal Mine Concert!

Season Passes are now on sale (for a total savings of over $30) at www.coalminetheatre.com


August Wednesday Concerts at Stephenson Park – starting August 9

Brought to you by Friends of Stephenson Park (led by the amazing Peter Woodcock) and the Danforth Village BIA mark your calendars & do summer right with music and drinks in the park!


Call for Volunteers!

DECA could use a few more volunteers to sit at the DECA table at the farmers' market. Do you have a couple of hours on a Thursday to spare? Click here to sign up!


Call for Participants!

Artists, business owners, and artisans from the Danforth Village community are invited to show their wares/services at the Main Squared Marketplace!


Main Squared is a free 9-day arts & community festival that will activate and explore the public square at the corner of Main Street and Danforth Avenue from August 26 – September 3, 2017. The event will feature art installations, performances, workshops and more.There is no fee to participate. For more information and to apply online, visit: http://mainsquared.com/the-marketplace/ Deadline: July 31st.

Main Squared is presented by East End Arts and is a Signature project of the City of Toronto’s Cultural Hotspot

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