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Thank you to everyone who came out to kick off the holiday season at DECA’s 6th annual Festival of Lights a few weekends ago! The forecasted rain held off, we filled two big barrels full of food and a jar full of cash for Community Centre 55‘s holiday food drive, and Santa even joined in the sing-along this year!

A huge thank you to the dozens of volunteers who work behind the scenes and at the festival to make the event happen. Thanks to The S.P.A.C.E.Pegasus Studios, Ben from Zero Gravity Circus, and The Music Project Choir for entertaining us so delightfully before we hit the lights. And a big thank you to Parks Supervisor Colette for helping get the East Lynn tree lighting display increased from two to five fabulous trees this year.

Thanks to our lead sponsors MP Nathaniel Erskine-Smith and MPP Arthur Potts, and contributing sponsors Councillor Mary Margaret McMahonSugar MoonTrust Realty Group, Danforth EastBMO Bank of MontrealSauce on the DanforthCelena’s Bakery, and The Danny: Danforth Mosaic BIA.

Finally, here are some pictures courtesy of Nicole Bergot-Browning and Bruce Reeve to remind you of the evening. (If anyone knows the boy who assisted in the circus act, tell them to contact volunteer@deca.to! Bruce took an amazing photo of him balancing spinning plates and a ball that his family will want to frame.)

Happy holidays, Danforth East!

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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.

Upcoming:

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! 

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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. 

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The Danforth East Community Association operates on a set of principles that includes fostering a community that values diversity and inclusion.  

We are very alarmed and disturbed by the anti-diversity posters that appeared in our neighbourhood today. 

We are grateful for our elected representatives who have denounced these posters. 

We don’t have the answers. Like many of you, we are struggling to find a way to respond to what feels like escalating hate or violence in our community. It won’t be solved today or tomorrow or this week. DECA was founded to make our community better and we will continue to take positive action. 

We are a group of volunteers who, along with many, many other volunteers, spend a lot of time trying to improve our neighbourhood and bring people together. We’re your neighbours and we’re trying. 

If you want to join us, volunteer with us, tell us how we can support your idea or just to say hi, please reach out to us. 

We are here for you. 

Sincerely,

DECA Board of Directors
 “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

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Two things to tell you about related to children’s books! 

Barbara Reid book reading today! (Nov 12)

As part of their annual Neighbourhood Toy Store Day celebration, Silly Goose Kids will host story time and book signing with famed children’s author, Barbara Reid today, starting at 10:30am. Lots of other activities happening all day long so check out the poster below. You can save the tax all day on books and everything else!



Children’s Book Drive, Nov 19-26

Locally owned and operated children’s book subscription service, Butterfly Books (click link for more info) is organizing a book drive for the children’s book bank, beginning next weeeknd. We’re letting you know about it now so that you can get an early start clearing out your kids’ gently used books.  Several local drop-off locations will be available – see poster for details. 


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On November 1st, beautiful jack-o-lanterns will light up parks around the neighbourhood thanks to many volunteers who put them together. (And in some cases with help from City Councillors – thanks to Councillor McMahon for her support of ours.)

DECA’s Pumpkin Parade will be at East Lynn Park again, but we’ve also included a few others below so that you can take your pumpkin to the closest magical event. 

Happy Halloween and see you on November 1st starting at 6:30pm (Note that in most cases, it’s helpful if you bring your own candle)

East Lynn Park (DECA’s!) 

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Gledhill Park


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Dentonia Park


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Felstead Park


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DECA’s north border is Mortimer/Lumsden and this Saturday things are really happening from end to end!

Old’s Cool Big Reveal, Saturday 9-12


Looks like some big changes are coming to Westlake & Lumsden. A plan for a building overhaul and the opening of a new cafe to be revealed beginning at 9am. (The big reveal of the plan for the rebuild will be at 11am) 

Free coffee all day plus snacks and other surprises. 250 Westlake. 

Check out the Facebook event for more info. 
Gotamago Grand Opening, Saturday 12-5


At the corner of Woodbine & Mortimer (ok fine, technically it’s Lumsden) is the green building that has housed a number of failed take out ventures but has been transformed into an artists studio and shop! Check out the full story including before & after pics owners Lichia & Christopher posted in a recent blog post

What an exciting addition to the neighbourhood!

Gotamago’ official opening is Saturday from 12-5pm, 1231 Woodbine. For more details check their Facebook event


Official East York Civic Centre Grounds -Ribbon Cutting, Saturday 2-4pm



Heading back down to the Danforth…

Fall Jazz Vespers @ Hope United, Saturday 4:30-5:15pm

Andy Slade Trio

These monthly jazz concerts at Hope United Church, located at 2550 Danforth on the north/west corner at Main, are a lovely way to pass an afternoon. The cost is a free will offering, or pay what you can. 

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