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Old’s Cool’s Reggae Healing – 250 Westlake @ Lumsden, 11-4 

Summertime can be a slow time for our local businesses, especially those off the beaten path. Old’s Cool General Store hosts regular events to bring people in, (“like” them on Facebook so you don’t miss one) and today is going to be the perfect way to celebrate sun, summer and Caribbean culture.

See the event listing for all of the details, but here are the highlights and lunch menu.


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Jim Clayton Duo – Jazz Vespers Series, Hope United Church, 2550 Danforth, (n/w corner Main & Danforth), 4:30-5:15pm

Part of a new Jazz Vespers series at Hope United, jazz pianist Jim Clayton will be joined by bassist Steve Lucas today. Cost is free/pay what you can.

Click here for the event listing.

The market TODAY!

While yesterday’ downpour may have put a damper on your outdoor activities, I’m sure local farmers were praising the much needed rain. If you’ve died out from yesterday, or even if you haven’t, be sure to stop by the market this week to pick up some fresh, local produce!  Here’s some of the activities and visitors you can expect:

  • The Tool Library KIDS will be onsite offering another fun and unique craft activity for young builders.
  • Emergency Room nurses from the Michael Garron Hospital (formerly TEGH) will be sharing information on bicycle safety and saying safe in the heat.
  • For our thirsty shoppers, stop by the winery booth and sample the wares from Flat Rock Cellars, who come to us from the Niagara region.

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Wellness Booth:

Here what you can chat about with Accept Wellness at the market this week, in their own words:

Calling all moms & dads! Would you like to feel amazing after having babies (no matter how old they are)?  Naturopathic Doctors Lindsey Mallais & Nana Jokura will be offering free assessments in energy, mood and your health so that you can  keep up with your little ones. Accept Wellness is now offering east end services again!

The East Lynn Farmers’ Market runs every Thursday from 3-7:00 p.m. between June 2 – October 13 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.

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Jammy Jazzfest!

 

Bring your jazz hands this week as we celebrate all things Jazz!  DESIGNnook will have jazz themed crafts and there will be the sweets sounds of jazz music from the Felix Fox Pappa’s.

We’re grateful to Nathaniel Erskine-Smith, M.P. for sponsoring our events this week. He’ll be onsite to chat with market goers about local and national issues alike.  We hear he may have some jammy treats to share!

You can also stop by the DECA tent to chat with ZooShare or have some samples from this week’s winery, Tawse at their tent.

Wellness Booth

This week we’ll have Kelly Boaz at our wellness booth. In her holistic nutrition practice, she’s all about balancing your physical health with your mental health. What good is living forever if forever doesn’t include cookies? Bring your nutrition and health questions, and chat!

LGBTQ event this Sunday, July 24 from 4-7pm – allies also welcome!


Gaming fees waived for our group thanks to Time Capsule Board Game Cafe

Here’s the Facebook invite too. 

See you there!

Thanks to Angela Wagner from Umlaut Design for the poster 
To join the DECA Pride email list, click here and ask to be added. 

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We’ve all been eagerly awaiting it—the construction is done in our park! The fences came down this week and in their place are beautiful new benches and an accessible walkway into the children’s playground. Just in time, too, for a highlight week at the Market. So grab your picnic blanket, stretch out, grab your weekly fare from our farmers and say hi to a neighbour or two. There’s lots of fun happening this week you won’t want to miss out on!

For all ages:

Jazz lovers—attending this week’s Market is a must! Once again, East Lynn will take part in the Beaches International Jazz Festival’s Farmer’s Market Series. A seasonal favourite, this is your chance to enjoy locally grown talent in the park—for free and without the crowds the Beach draws! The Toronto All Star Big Band is performing again this year. You can catch them from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Take a step back in time and enjoy timeless big-band favourites like Ella Fitzgerald, Benny Goodman, Count Basie, The Fabulous Dorseys, Glenn Miller, and many more! Learn more about this wonderful troupe of musicians at torontoallstarbigband.com.

For the kids:

School’s out, but reading’s always in! This week, the Toronto Public Library will be offering pop-up stories and crafts to littles, starting at 4:30 p.m. Once they’re done, you can turn ‘em loose in the splash pad.

The Toronto Tool Library’s youth program, TTL Kids, will be at the market too, with a sweet activity—assembling marshmallow catapults. We can see all the dads trying to catch marshmallow bombs with their mouths already. All young inventors invited to participate in this free, fun learning-based activity!

For the adults:

Carrie Lynn and Mary of Counterbalance Studio Pilates will be at the market this week from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m., offering an interactive demonstration of 3-D Workout. This gentle exercise system can effectively help you improve your balance and functional fitness through the use of whole-body movements. Your shoulders and hips will thank you! Learn more about Carrie and Mary’s awesome studio at counterbalancestudiopilates.com.

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The East Lynn Farmers’ Market runs every Thursday from 3-7:00 p.m. between June 2 – October 13 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.

THE POP-UP SHOP PROJECT WRAPS UP

It was just four years ago when a group of us gathered together and made the decision to take matters into our own hands and do something about the high number of vacant storefronts in the area. It’s hard to believe now, but at the time, the commercial vacancy rate on our strip of the Danforth was 17%. That’s almost 1 in 5 shops empty!  While these were private properties, their empty, dreary spaces left the the public space along Danforth feeling bleak, abandoned and often unsafe. Most of us chose to go elsewhere to shop and socialize. The lack of local foot traffic, in turn, made it more difficult for existing shops to thrive.

The idea was simple. Or crazy, depending on whom you asked. Modeled after a similar project in Newcastle, Australia, we would somehow convince landlords to hand us their empty storefronts so we could place temporary tenants in them. These tenants would beautify the space and drive foot traffic to the area, which in turn would attract more businesses to the area.

Remember when many shops looked like this?

Remember when many shops looked like this?

A pop-up shop transforms the feeling on the street.

A pop-up shop transforms the feeling on the street.

The good news is…

It wasn’t so crazy after all! After 4 years of pop-ups, the vacancy rate in the area is now a healthy 6%.  During the life of the project, 32 Pop-up Shops were hosted; 6 of these businesses were incubated to stay on more permanently, and all 15 of the properties associated with the project obtained long-term leases.  And we continue to see more and more new businesses moving in regularly!

This lower vacancy rate means we’ve run out of spaces to pop into, and it’s time to wrap up the pop-up project. But we won’t go quietly. The project was a success because of all of you. So many of you played a role in its success, whether it was by volunteering, by participating in one of the community consultations or by changing your shopping habits to better support our local businesses.

Come raise a glass…

Please join us for a casual gathering on this Thursday, July 14, 7:30-9:30 pm, at The Shore Leave (1775 Danforth), where we will be raising a glass to all the work that went into this project! There will be light snacks, a cash bar and a chance to celebrate with your neighbours. Details and RSVP here.

Thank you all!

The biggest thank you and congratulations goes to all the volunteers that put their time, energy and expertise into this project. The volume of work that went into it was gargantuan, and over 100 of you played an active hand in its success. We can’t name everyone, but to give a sense of the scope of the work, volunteer project teams included:

  • Developing legal agreements and securing insurance
  • Investigating and recruiting property owners
  • Painting, cleaning and beautifying the pop-up spaces
  • Recruiting and interviewing potential pop-up shop tenants
  • Graphic design of a multitude of posters and brochures
  • Blogging and social media
  • Organizing community consultations like Danforth Dreams
  • Working with urban planning & architecture student group, and showcasing their work at Imagine the Danforth
  • Organizing shop local campaigns with both the pop-ups and existing businesses
  • Conceiving and running the popular Danforth Gems competition

Needless to say, it didn’t take us long to realize this project was not sustainable on a zero budget, 100% volunteer basis. In came WoodGreen Community Services, with whom we partnered to jointly apply for funding from the Metcalf Foundation.  The support from both of these organizations was crucial to the success of the project and our neighbourhood is all the more vibrant for it.

Work crew getting a shop ready for a pop-up

Work crew getting a shop ready for a pop-up.

 

Receiving funding allowed us to hire a much-needed co-ordinator (in fact, two people who job shared). While volunteers came in and out, as life circumstances dictated, Tina Scherz and Gay Stephenson, our 2 Pop-up Shop Project Co-ordinators were the enthusiastic glue that held the project together (and at times, the sanity of lead volunteers). Their energy and dedication were unmatched and made it all possible. Thank you, Tina and Gay.

This project’s success is also due to the many landlords who took a chance on a new idea, the support of our City Councillors Mary-Margaret McMahon and Janet Davis, and the members of our Advisory Committee, who lent us their expertise to help us set the direction of the project.

Thank you all.

It doesn’t end here…

Our strip of the Danforth is undeniably much busier than it was 4 years ago. But it still needs our help. If we want to see it continue to grow and become more walkable and vibrant, we need to each do our part by continuing to choose to shop, eat and play locally. The more we choose to spend our money in our neighbourhood, the more we support our local businesses and attract new ones to the area.

As we have seen, together we can do great things.


As our neighbourhood gets better and better, the list of Danforth East nominees for NOW Magazine‘s Readers Choice “Best of Toronto” gets longer and longer. 

So we’ve compiled a list for you of all the Danforth East nominees. Let us know if we’ve missed anyone. 

Note: There are lots of other east end favourites on the roster but we stuck with only those in our immediate area.

Huge thanks to our hardworking local business owners who make this neighbourhood a more walkable and vibrant place to live. 

Here are the nominees. Click here to get to the voting

Best Park – East Lynn Park

Best blogger – Danforth East Online

Best Car Service – Sunny’s Auto

Best consignment – Merrily Merrily

Best City Councillor – Janet Davis, Mary-Margaret McMahon, Paula Fletcher

Best library – S Walter Stewart

Best dentist – Dr Christina Binert & Associates

Best doctor – Dr Sian Wong

Best gym/fitness – Bomb, Legacy 

Best pet store – Wag, Canine Social

Best toy store – Silly Goose Kids

Best unique gift store – Len

Best vitamin store – Moberly

Best workout studio – Bomb, Legacy 

Best record store – Kops

Best African restaurant – Hirut, Rendez-vous

Best Bar – Sauce, Wren, Only

Best bulk food – Moberly

Best butcher – Royal Beef, Stock n Trade

Best caterer – East of York

Best cocktail bar – The Shore Leave, Sauce

Best delivery – Gerrard Pizza

Best farmers market – East Lynn Farmers Market

Best gastro-pub – The Borough, Local 1794

Best new restaurant – Forth Ave

Best organic food – Moberly

Best prix fixe – Melanie’s Bistro, The Borough

Best tapas – Relish

Best Thai – Thai Room

Best small theatre company – Coal Mine Theatre

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