Archive for the ‘Events’ Category


Cookbook Swap

Recently switched from paleo to vegan? Find you don’t make sushi from scratch like you thought you would? Bring your unwanted cookbooks to the market this Thursday and trade them in! Stop by the D.E.C.A. booth and see what has been shared in the Cookbook Swap!


A Basket Full of Learning

One of the best things about our farmer’s market is how every generation shows up, every Thursday, to pick up this week’s basket full of fruits and veggies, say hello to friends and neighbours and take part in whatever fun activity is on tap that week. From seniors to newborns, we’re one friendly bunch!

One of our favourite things is watching young children learn about the market and what it stands for: healthy, locally sourced foods, community building, engagement, and connection. Taking your little this week? Here are some fun ways to help them engage and learn while at the market:

Give them a few dollars to spend on their own: With $3 in hand, a child can learn a lot about making choices (apple or pear? Or I’ll treat dad to his favourite, plums?), communication (interacting with our farmers and merchants) and responsibility (whoa, I have THREE dollars to spend! All by myself!). Watch as they confidently make purchases and figure out why buying local is best.

Touch, smell, taste: A great activity for toddlers, park it on a blanket at the market, take out the fruit and veggies you just bought, and explore the wonderful summery goodness together! Touch, smell, and bite! Bonus learning involves teaching the names of the different goodies you bought.

Please and thank you: Did you accidentally bump into someone? Want to show gratitude to one of the vendors? As your children watch you interact with others in the market, they’ll pick up on your cues, such as polite manners and thankfulness for the wonderful things we’re provided at the market—and the people who make it happen!

Dinner planning made fun: This one is great for older kids—help them understand what it means to get dinner on the table every night. Get your kids to be the meal planners! Work together to come up with a meal that you make solely using what you buy at the market. Bonus points for cooking it up together!

Everyone belongs: Our market is at the heart of our community. It’s a chance for us to gather, connect and relationship build. Encourage your littles to do the same! Together, say hi to a vendor, ask their name and where they’re from. Say hi the next week, and let them know how you used those carrots you bought from them. Maybe encourage them to bring some bubbles or hit the swings after and make a new friend. It’ll empower your kids to start recognizing they’re a big part of their community and that they have a voice in it!

Wellness Booth:

Our Wellness booth will be Audacious Willow Pilates.  Enjoy 15 minute 1-on-1 Stability Ball sessions with Harjit a Pilates instructor at Counterbalance Studio Pilates. No previous ball or Pilates knowledge is required as we’ll start with exercises at your level. You’ll feel energized, stretched out and improve your plank!

We’ll see you at the market!

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.

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Photo/Shelley Lepp

Meet Chris.  She’s driven, thoughtful, and real.

She’s the founder of Firefly Creative Writing.


The Story of Firefly

It all began in a cute little sun room jutting off the back of her small, one-bedroom apartment.

She was on the main floor of a cottage-y little house in The Pocket.  The sun room wasn’t insulated and had to be heated all winter.  It would leak in a rainstorm so a bowl would sit on the table.  There was just enough room for a small group to gather around a wooden table.  It was epic.

A room full of magic – tucked away from the world.  It shared no walls.  A secret meeting place for people to share their stories.

A neighbour would leave her kids’ windows open at night so they could fall asleep to the sound of their laughter.

It was here where Chris first started offering writing workshops.  That was 12 years ago.


She had decided to follow her heart and post some flyers made on her printer at home. She knew nothing about business and spent some time with a career coach. She was terrified and also really excited.

Her love of writing began as a teenager; as a safe place to freely express herself.  In her 20’s, she did memoir writing in old age homes.  She wrote poetry.  She left Ottawa to take history at UBC and thought a life of academia was in her future.  Yet she found herself taking creative things on the side – photography, writing classes, and film school.

It was at film school that she found her calling.

On Galiano island, off British Columbia, a guy named George had turned an old logging camp into a film school.  Small groups of students would stay together on the island, sleeping in bunk beds, eating their meals together, and learning all that they could about film – while creating their own in 7 days. Nights were spent together around a campfire.

Everyone was really whole there.  No one was pretending.  No one was posturing or competing.  They were all accepting of each other and seeing each other for who they really were.  It was an authentic and loving environment.

That is when it really switched for me.  Whatever is going on in this film school, around this campfire, that’s how I want to spend the rest of my life.  I want to figure out how to make this.  

Knowing writing was her her craft, Chris began learning all that she could about adult education and writing workshops.  She did her masters degree at OISE (in Adult Ed.) and sought to recreate this space for writers.  An environment where people would feel heard, excited, and creative.

She was able to do it in her little sun room and now again at her new studio at 1898 Danforth Ave.

There’s something special about the space at Firefly Creative Writing.

Everything has a story.


The teapot.

A symbol of warmth and communality.  It was around that little table in the sun room hundreds and hundreds of times.  Everyone drinking from the same teapot.  It feels really important.

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The note.

Before her first workshop in the sun room, Chris was super nervous.  Tammy, a career coach and friend, told her to write down what she wanted people to feel during her session – then tape it under the table.  Desperate, Chris wrote down three words and stuck it under.  Then she completely forgot it was there.

Just this past winter, Tammy suddenly passed away at a young age.  Just days before her funeral, Chris was in the process of moving the old workshop table over to her new studio space.  When they took the legs off and flipped it over, there were her words. Confidence.  Reassurance.  Progress.  It was there the whole time.  Taped beneath for over ten years.  It was how she wanted to feel in that moment too.

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The note is still under one of the studio tables.   I had to go see. I snapped this photo lying on the floor under the table like a kid.


The sky blue painting.

Before Firefly moved into the space it was a marijuana dispensary.  Picture an entire room painted bright blue from floor to ceiling, along with a huge psychedelic mushroom mural at the front.  Yikes. As a little reminder, a small swatch of colour remains on the wall when you first walk in.  It’s now a part of a cool gallery wall and Firefly.

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The handcrafted writing tables and little clipboards.

From the long beautiful wood table in the main room to the little one of a kind clipboards, her boyfriend, Ian, has been busy working behind the scenes designing beautiful touches for the space and being her rock along the way.

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I could go on, but you need to go see it for yourself.  When you hear the meaning behind the different objects inside, you’ll fall in love with the place.

Since they’re often teaching or seeing clients in the back, just drop them a line to set up a time to come visit. They would love to have you.  Don’t be shy.  Chris and her team love curious neighbours.

And if you’re still wondering where the name Firefly came from, one last story…

Chris was at a writing retreat.  At the time she was trying to think of a new name for her business (formerly Footprint Memoirs) and her students were helping her brainstorm. She knew that she wanted something in the natural world – like a plant or animal or something organic.  They were throwing around ridiculous ideas until it was late at night and she was ready for bed.  She was sleeping in a tiny little cabin the size of an outhouse (it’s cool, she loves rustic things).  As she was walking to her cabin, she crossed a valley.  It was full of fireflies.  A sea of fireflies.  That’s when it hit her – Firefly!  Worried that it might sound cheesy or random, she wasn’t sold on it until after a little research.

She found out that fireflies live underground for years and years, until they are ready to come out and show themselves to the world.  She was like, oh my god.  I know that feeling.  To keep a creative heart underground and then to one day feel ready.  Firefly Creative Writing was perfect.

Maybe you can relate.  You love notebooks and the feel of paper under your fingertips.  You have a particular pen you like to write with.  Maybe you love writing but don’t see yourself as a writer.  If so, you need to step inside Firefly.  If you’re nervous, it’s a good sign.  It means it matters. Just stop by and see where it takes you…
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To learn more about Firefly Creative Writing and their workshops, one-on-one coaching, or retreats, check out their website.

Follow them on Twitter @firefly_writing

Find them on Instagram @fireflycreativewriting

And Like their Facebook page @fireflycreativewriting
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A Note from Lainie:
My family is about to enjoy some much needed time at the lake.  Watch for the next Humans of Danforth post in August!

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It’s been an exciting week since posting the introduction of Humans of Danforth East and the first feature, Kari from The Pop Stand.  Thank you so much for your encouraging words.  I think this is going to be a fun project for us all, and we’re just getting started.

This week I emailed some new businesses in our neighbourhood.  I’m hoping to talk with Queenie from Queenie’s Cards in August.  I’m meeting with Chris from Firefly Creative Writing this upcoming week, and Cafe Cocoro and I are currently finding a date and time to connect soon.  Business owners have also reached out to express their interest in the project — Yvonne and Erin at Origin Wellness and Toni at Elevated Health Associates Inc.  I’m looking forward to meeting everyone and hearing their stories.  I’ll share with you as soon as I can!

If you own a storefront in the Danforth East neighbourhood and would like to share your story with us,  I’d love to hear from you.  You can email me at: humansofdanfortheast@gmail.com  And if you’re a community member who would like to suggest a local business, I’d be happy to hear from you as well.

Hope everyone’s having a great weekend,


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The market is more bountiful every week, with more farmers, more fruits and vegetables, and more delicious baked goods.
This week we are also planning even more fun, with our usual kids’ tent guests of Toronto Tool Library Kids, Face to Face Games, and our clowns Mini Quinn and Clown Lady Pink Lemonade.
Making oral health fun, D on D Dental will be at the market this week (as our generous sponsors) but also with activities for kids and a raffle for market goers. Check them out beside the DECA tent.

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In our Wellness Tent we have Origin Wellness, who are celebrating their third birthday in an expanded space with seven RMTs and their Naturopathic Doctor.  They are offering complimentary chair massages (see? fun!) from 3:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Come meet a few of their massage therapists and discover how they can help you maintain a healthy lifestyle.
And if biking is more your kinda fun, then can also stop by the Ward 32 Spokes group for bike tune up and bike map info.
Finally, we are in desperate need of more volunteer cooks for the market! Please let us know if you are able to cook dinner for our farmers one Thursday or sign up here.

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.


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Fireworks and music!

The holiday weekend is here and the first week of July starts out with a bang (literally, there will be fireworks) and keeps the excitement going with the first concert in the “The Danny Loves Music” series this summer.

Come celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary and East York’s 60th anniversary at Stan Wadlow Park this Saturday, July 1! The day starts with a parade beginning at 10 a.m. at Dieppe Park and ending at Stan Wadlow Park. Throughout the day there will be live entertainment, food vendors, and carnival rides. Of course the day ends with a spectacular fireworks display you won’t want to miss.

Canada Day

This Wednesday, July 5, the Skydiggers are playing from 6 to 9 p.m. at East Lynn Park to kick off “The Danny Loves Music” concert series. Organized by the Danforth Mosaic BIA, this is the first of four concerts featuring local musicians happening at East Lynn Park every Wednesday this July. The concerts are free and there will be both food from local restaurants and drinks from local breweries and cideries so you are sure to be satiated when you leave. Whether you dance to the music or sit on the grass to listen, come on out and enjoy the fun!

The Danny Loves Music

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Summer water fun

It’s here, it’s here, it’s officially here — summer is finally here! The summer solstice is passed; the school year is almost over; and now it’s time for sun, heat, and outdoor water fun! Summer is the time of year where pools are best enjoyed outside. On a hot humid day there is nothing quite like diving deep underwater to finally feel relief from the heat. Even better is when you take a break from splashing with your friends and the hot, humid air feels comfortable again….until, of course, the sun dries you off, heats you up, and you are ready to jump back into the water all over again.  Fortunately, whether you want to fully dunk yourself, get your feet wet, or feel a few sprinkles, there are many fun, water-play places in our DECA community.

In the summer, Monarch Park Outdoor Pool is the place to be. With a large pool and Screen Shot 2017-06-03 at 10.46.59 PMchange rooms, a water slide, and plenty of room to sit surrounding the pool this outdoor pool is a great place to beat the heat. Plus, there is a separate entrance to a warm wading pool with jets for the littlest water lovers. Not quite in the DECA boundaries, but too much fun to exclude, Kiwanis Outdoor Pool is another outdoor pool option nearby. The pool and change rooms are smaller than Monarch Park, but it also has a water slide, trees for lounging in the shade, and it is a bit shallower than Monarch Park Pool. Also, just outside the pool area there is a great splash pad for kids of all ages.

If you aren’t quite ready for full submersion in a pool, or you have lots of little ones with you, try the wading pools and splash pads in the area. Painting the wading pools at both East Lynn Park and Stephenson Park is organized and wading poolfunded by DECA, so we always get excited when it is time to play in the water. East Lynn Park has a great wading pool with sea creatures painted on it and trees nearby for shaded rest areas. The water is frequently cold, but somehow the kids never seem to mind and it is particularly popular on Thursdays during the Farmer’s Market. Stephenson Park has a wading pool with beautiful whales on the bottom painted by local illustrator Tak Bui. There is even a legend naming all the whale species on the adjacent shed. The Stephenson Park wading pool has more sun than East Lynn Park which means there are fewer shaded areas to rest, but the water is a bit warmer. The sun exposed wading poolat Oakcrest Parkette is warmer than the rest and has the advantage of being in a smaller, quieter park. If wading pools aren’t your thing, don’t forget about the splash pad at Gledhill Park. Gledhill Park is a small, fenced in park most appropriate for younger kids, and the splash pad reflects this fact. A dragon and a flower that spray water are hours of entertainment, and there is lots of shade for those who need a break from the water fun.

On those summer days when swimming outside isn’t an option, don’t forget about our neighborhood indoor pools. Main Community Centre and Earl Beatty Community Centre both have nice pools that are open to the public and always a good way to get in some water time.

Now it’s time to kick back, relax, and enjoy some sunshine and water-play fun in the DECA ‘hood.

Outdoor pools

Monarch Park, 115 Felstead Ave

Kiwanis Outdoor Pool, 375 Cedarvale Ave

Wading pools

East Lynn Park, 1949 Danforth Ave

Monarch Park, 115 Felstead Ave

Oakcrest Parkette, 30 Oakcrest Ave

Stephenson Park, 61 Stephenson Ave

Splash Pads

Gledhill Park, 125 Gledhill Ave

Kiwanis Outdoor Pool, 375 Cedarvale Ave

Indoor pools

Early Beatty Community Centre, 455 Glebeholme

Main Square Community Centre, 245 Main Street











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Toronto’s First Creative Writing Studio on East Danforth

There’s really nothing else like this in the city.  Our hope is that even if you’ve never taken a writing class, you’ll feel at home in our studio from the minute you walk through our door.”    ~Chris Kay Fraser (founder and writing coach)       


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The team from Firefly Creative Writing

This Thursday, June 29th from 5 – 10 p.m. Firefly Creative Writing will be celebrating the opening and launch of their dedicated writing studio at 1898 Danforth Ave.  Remarks will be made at 8 p.m. and the first inaugural lighting of their street-facing sign at 9:30 p.m.

Firefly, a team of seven women writers, offers writing workshops, retreats, one-on-one coaching and creative workshops. They have helped over 2,000 participants share their stories over the past 12 years and have a shelf to showcase published works by writers who have taken courses with them.   (Source: Newswire.ca)

Stop in to see their beautiful studio space and to say hello.

To learn more about Firefly Creative Writing, visit fireflycreativewriting.com

For further details about the event or follow-up inquiries, please contact Ailsa Bristow at ailsa@fireflycreativewriting.com


The Handwork Deparment: Late Night Shopping Event

While you’re visiting Firefly’s launch and celebration,  pop in next door to see The Handwork Department.  They’re hosting a late night shopping party! Stop by from 5-9 p.m. to get 15% off all Canadian made vintage goods by Westclox, Kodak, Corningware, and many more great Canadian brands!  (This Thursday, June 29th)


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