Resolve to join DECA!

A quick note from DECA Chair, Sheri Hebdon

A few weeks ago at our AGM, I was honoured to be elected Chair of DECA for the third year. Our Board this year is an exciting mix of experienced and new Board members – the perfect circumstances for good ideas and the expertise to implement. In case you missed it, joining me on the 2016/17 Board is Audrey Kvedaras (Vice Chair), Anita Schretlen (Treasurer), Alison McMurray (Secretary), Loreen Barbour, Nicole Bergot-Browning, Amanda Olson, Melissa Peretti, Jennifer Scott, Gay Stephenson, Peter Woodcock. 

This year is our 10th year – our “DECAde”, if you will. One area we want to focus on during this milestone year is increasing our paid membership base. While thousands of you follow what we do and show up for our events, a much smaller number of you support us financially. None of our events or social media spaces are limited to members-only, but we do depend on membership fees to be able to do much of what we do.

If you want DECA to keep putting on events like the East Lynn Farmers’ Market, the Danforth East Arts Fair, the Pumpkin Parade, Festival of Lights and the Danforth East Yard Sale, then sign up for your $10/household Annual membership by clicking here. (Yes, it’s just $10!)

If you don’t have time to volunteer but you want to feel like you’re doing something,  throw money at that problem! Sign up for a $10/household membership by clicking here

Of course, if you do want to be more involved, send us an email to start the conversation. 

Members must live within our borders (Main St north to Lumsden/Mortimer, west to Monarch Park, south to the train tracks) but if you live outside of the catchment, you can still make a donation to us as a “friend” of DECA. We are a non-profit but not a registered charity so we do not issue tax receipts.

You can also keep up on our events and other local news  by following DECA on social media:
Facebook /DanforthEastCommunityAssociation

Twitter – @decadiaries

On behalf of the DECA Board, I wish you all the best for 2017!


2016/17 DECA Board, Photo credit: Catherine Porter

We’ve shared many of these on our Facebook page, but since not all of you are on Facebook and because Facebook doesn’t always show you everything we post, here are some upcoming events to take note of.

Alternative Gift Shop – Sat & Sun

No money needed. Swap items one-for-one. I can’t even tell you how cool and inspiring this event is. DECA is proud to be part of this innovative community event and huge thanks to the Tool Library for putting it together.

Alternative Gift Shop details below taken from the Tool Library website:

It’s the most wonderful SWAP of the year – Toronto’s largest Alternative Gift Shop is back for its fourth season! Why buy gifts when you can swap for them instead? The Gift Shop will take place at The Shore Leave, 1775 Danforth Ave over two days:

December 10th: launch party and swap from 4:30pm onwards

December 11th: swap from 10am-3pm.

How does it work? Bring your gently used, previously loved items to the Gift Shop and exchange them for new items to use as gifts for friends and family. Only bring items you deem worthy of being a gift. Items may be dropped off prior to the event during opening hours at their 1803 Danforth Ave Location.

Some examples of items that can be brought:


– children’s toys, clothing and accessories

– housewares

– books

– electronics

– jewelry

– musical instruments

– kitchenware

– clothing

– handmade items

– services (such as a gift certificate to a service you or someone else offers)

– etc


Last year, 3,000 swaps occurred in our space. We’re hoping to break that record this year!

(Can we pause here to remember just how lucky we are to have the Tool Library in our neighbourhood??! Membership there makes a great gift!)

Old’s Cool Warehouse Holiday Market – Sat & Sun

The blue garage door will open again this weekend at the corner of Westlake and Lumsden to bring you a holiday market with over 20 local vendors.

Saturday and Sunday December 10th & 11th: 11am – 4pm

Jazz Vesper at Hope United – Saturday 

Hope United Church’s monthly jazz series is happening Saturday from 4:30-5:30pm

Come to enjoy  B2 Trio -Brian Stevens-piano, Bill MacLean- vocals and Michael LaLonde- bass with special guests Karen Henderson – Cello & Brian Johnston – Drums . They will present music from their latest recording “Twelve Songs for Christmas”.

Cost is free will offering (pay what you can). For more info and events check out http://hopeunited.ca

Story Time at Silly Goose Kids – Sunday

If you have small people on your life, bring them to this lovely annual event and you will be glad that you did. In this age of apps and screens, Sally’s storytelling is truly a gift!

Call ahead to register for this free event.

Silly Goose is also working with Boost again in support of children impacted by abuse. Donate $20 in someone’s name (say, a teacher) a Silly Goose will donate a $50 gift to a child in need. You can also donate through their gift-wrapping service.

The Danny Loves the Holidays, Danforth Mosaic BIA Late-Night Shopping – Tuesday

From their Facebook invite:

What is The Danny Loves The Holidays? It is a celebration of shopping local this holiday season! Join your friends and neighbours for outdoor festivities and late night shopping along The Danny on Tuesday, December 13, from 5pm – 10pm.

Buskers will be all along Danforth from Jones Ave to Westlake Ave, and our participating member businesses will be open from 5-10pm that evening to help you shop local this holiday season
Bring your children to check out the amazing window displays our merchants have put together, and stop by Santa’s Pop-Up Workshop at 1432 Danforth Ave Unit 1 for photos with Santa!

We are having a window display contest amongst our BIA members. Check into our webpage after the late night shopping event to vote for your favourite for a chance to win $250 in Danny Dollars to spend at local businesses!

Celtic Christmas – Sunday

Support healthcare for homeless and street-involved people by coming to this annual event!

Holidays are coming…

Last weekend we had a wonderful celebration in East Lynn Park to kick off the holiday season here in the east end. There is a LOT going on around here in the next couple of weeks. We can’t possibly blog about it all, so here are some of the highlights. 

Nooks – Sign Making Workshop
With the opening of the gorgeous Nooks General Store at 2005 Danforth has come the beautiful community room in back. There are regular workshops like this Sign Making session happening on Sunday, so keep tabs on Instagram or Facebook so that you don’t miss the perfect workshop for you. 

Speaking of the Nooks – join them tonight for a late-night shopping event. 

Stephenson Park (re)Lighting & Fundraiser

Join Friends of Stephenson Park for a bonfire and celebration of their tree lights on Sunday, Dec 4 from 3-6pm. They are also selling yummy cookies to raise funds for their seniors’ home gift drive.


Swap Shop – December 10-11

Swap till you drop! Dec. 10 & 11. The swapping begins Dec. 10 @ 4:30pm, with a free launch party at The Shore Leave. Everyone welcome! Then on Saturday Dec. 11 the swapping continues 10am – 3pm. Wondering how this amazing gift exchange works? Just bring 1-10 items that are new or lightly used and exchange them for the same number of goods from others in the community. Help us spread the word! We love partnering with the Toronto Tool Library to offer this incredible event. 

Danforth BIA Late-Night Shopping, December 13

Still a couple of weeks away, but mark your calendars – late-night shopping event is coming on December 13! 

Here’s the Facebook invite with the details! 

Festival of Lights Wrap Up


A big thank you to the hundreds who braved the rain to celebrate with us at this year’s Festival of Lights! Thanks to our crew of volunteers who made it all happen. Thanks to our performers, The S.P.A.C.E., Pegasus Studios, FireGuy, and the east end music project choir (who were unfortunately rained out, but we’re hoping they’ll be back for a rousing sing-along again next year). And a big thank you to our sponsors who helped make it all happen: Sugar Moon, Trust Realty Group, our local branch of the BMO Bank of MontrealCouncillor Mary-Margaret McMahon, the nooks and Celena’s Bakery.

And a big shout out to everyone who brought food and money for Centre 55‘s food drive to feed hungry families in our neighbourhood. We beat last year’s collection haul, filling our big container and then some!

For those of you who were wondering why we decorated less trees than in previous years, we’re now only allowed to decorate trees with a dedicated electrical source. We were able to add electricity to one tree this year and we’ll keep adding it to trees next year to expand the light show. But don’t those two trees look fantastic?

See you next year!


The long line up to see the big man (and woman) in red.


Holiday in the Hood

Come join the Earl Beatty Public School community today and tomorrow and for the 5th Annual Holiday in the Hood. Friday 4-8 pm and Saturday 10-4 pm. 

Everyone can start holiday shopping from the talented local vendors at our Artisan sale. Kids can explore the Just for Kids Craft sale where all gifts are $5 or less. Visit Santa for photos and don’t miss the world famous bake sale!! Lastly, you can bring some gently used books for children newborn-age 12 for the Children’s Book Bank book drive, organized by Butterfly Books.

DECA Pride Mingle – donations wanted

In addition to the usual social event happening on Sunday from 3:30-5:30pm, this month our group will be collecting winter clothing and other items listed below for a group of 40 recently arrived LGBTQ+ refugees in the east end. This will be the first Canadian winter for all of these newcomers and they are in desperate need of warm winter gear, personal care products, and used phones.

LGBTQ+ refugee claimants and convention refugees are particularly vulnerable and very few in this group are sponsored or receiving other supports. Many are living in shelters (which are notoriously unsafe for LGBTQ-identified folks).

Items Requested:

– Winter gear including warm coats, boots, socks, gloves, and hats.

– Personal hygiene products including lip balm (Chap Stick), body lotion, and bottles of Vitamin D. Most of the refugees they work with come from places with much more sunshine than Toronto and are susceptible to illnesses associated with Vitamin D deficiency. Pads and tampons would also be helpful.  

– Used cell phones that are in good working condition. If you’ve upgraded your phone and still have an old one in a drawer, please consider donating it! It’s a lifeline for someone who is otherwise totally disconnected.

For details of this event, read our previous blog post here. All are welcome!

And don’t forget

DECA’s Festival of Lights is on Saturday from 5-6pm and we are taking donations of non-perishable food for the Community 55 food drive. 

DECA Events this week

Hello neighbours!

Thank you so much to those of you who braved the first blast of winter weather to join us at our AGM and Party last night at Hirut. It was a wonderful neighbourhood love-in! Meeting neighbours and talking about all that we have done and all that we can do – it felt like the answer to the “what now?” question that many have been asking in the past few weeks. Our community is full of positivity and possibility!  We are a real group with real people doing real things. Join us!

If you didn’t make it out last night but would like to join or renew your $10/year household membership, click here.

Welcome to our 2016/17 Board:

Sheri Hebdon (Chair)
Audrey Kvedaras (Vice Chair)
Anita Schretlen (Treasurer)
Alison McMurray (Secretary)
Loreen Barbour
Nicole Bergot-Browning
Amanda Olson
Melissa Peretti
Jennifer Scott
Gay Stephenson
Peter Woodcock

We have two great events coming up this week, the Festival of Lights on Saturday from 5-6pm and a DECA Pride Mingle on Sunday from 3:30-5:30pm. The posters with all the details are below!

Festival of Lights 

(We blogged about it here, but why not share this beautiful poster again?)


Here’s our official Facebook invite!


DECA Pride November Mingle


Here’s our official Facebook invite for this event!

(Thanks so much to Angela Wagner from Umlaut Design who made both of these beautiful posters!)

 ‘Hood happenings today

Anti-Racism Gathering, 2:30-4:30pm

A community gathering has been organized by a new local group – the East End Anti-Racist Collective – for tomorrow, Saturday, November 19 from 2:30-4:30pm in Stan Wadlow Park. The event, aimed to show support in the wake of alt-Right posters that appeared earlier this week, will be family-friendly and include arts activities and hot chocolate. Organizers welcome the community out to show their support.

Holiday Market, 12-4pm
Old’s Cool General Store (250 Westlake, @Lumsden) is hosting hosting a mini holiday market and today featuring five local makers:

Red Thread Clothing, Naked Dog Bakery, David’s Bow Ties, TreeForm Design Studio, Jarred

Products include:

  • Apple Butters wrapped by 3 in a package and get 5$ off!!! 
  • Dog Treat Ornaments only a limited supply for Saturday. 
  • Red Thread Clothing: One Off designs for kids!
  • Bow Ties on SuperHero fabrics and more…

You can stop in and also check out the new café they’ve recently opened. 

Pokémon At Face to Face, 2-8pm (drop-in)

Face to Face Games (2077a Danforth, upstairs) is once again hosting a PokéParents event, inviting kids and adults (doesn’t have to be a parent!) to come and learn to play the card game from their knowledgable staff. Limited decks available to borrow so if you have one, bring it or you can buy one when you arrive. Click on the link above for more details. 


Upcoming DECA events:

Annual Party & General Meeting – Nov 21, 6-9pm (click here for details)

Annual Festival of Lights – Nov 26, 5-6 (click here for details)

DECA Pride Mingle – Nov 27, 3:30-5:30 (click here for details)

%d bloggers like this: