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











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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With warm weather arriving, it’s a great time to get out and enjoy everything that’s happening in the neighbourhood this weekend…




Live Music @ PRESS books. coffee. vinyl

For live tunes, empanadas, ice cream bars and the best coffee in the hood…head to Press books. coffee. vinyl this Friday, June 23rd.  Lowfills will be playing at 7:30 p.m.


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Hop on your bike and join a group riding from Castle Frank to Danforth Road!  

If you arrive early, Velofix will be on-site performing light tune-ups. We’ll also be giving away commemorative items!  And at the finish, The Crossroads of the Danforth BIA will be throwing us a party when we arrive. Hang out, visit one of the local restaurants with a coupon, or sit for a picnic lunch in the nearby park.

All of the details you need to know about where to go and when to be there are on the 2017 ride page.

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Enjoy Drag Queen Storytime at the Library!

Walter Stewart Library is hosting a special storytime in celebration of PRIDE
Saturday, June 24th from 10:30 – 11:30 a.m.  

Drag queens in full costume and makeup will share in an hour of storytelling and fun! Children will have the opportunity to learn about different gender expression in a safe space, increasing acceptance for LGBTQ+ people.

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For you animal lovers out there, WAG is hosting a Toronto Cat Rescue Adopt-a-Thon this Saturday, June 24th from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Visit the WAG Facebook page or call for further details.

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Join in for the opening of the Kiwanis Pool


Help kick off the summer outdoor pool season.

Enjoy family fun, cake and ribbon cutting!

Saturday, June 24

Starts at 12 noon

375 Cedarvale Ave.



Global Water Dances at East Lynn Park @ 3 p.m.

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Join Pegasus Dance Studios at 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, June 24th at East Lynn Park and be a part of the International Global Water Dances project!

Watch this biannual event that takes place at over 80 sites around the world to inspire international collaboration for environmental water solutions through the universal language of dance.  You can even participate in the final section of the dance!

If you can’t make it to the park, all of the Global Water Dances sites will be live streaming their performances. https://www.facebook.com/GlobalWaterDances

For more information about the Toronto performance contact: Janice Pomer jpomer@look.ca

For more information about Global Water Dances go to: http://globalwaterdances.org




Celebrate with Melanie’s Bistro!

Join DECA Pride for our 2nd Annual Pride celebration on June 22 at the East Lynn Farmers’ Market! All are welcome.

In addition to our amazing farmers, food vendors and face painting, we’re planning:

Live Music featuring the Coe Hill Girls: 4:45-5:45

Kids sing-a-long with Christina W: 5:45-6:30

Arts & Crafts:
Silly Goose Kids: 4:15-5:15
Art Cave: 5:30-6:30

(times are estimates)

Plus a few other surprises! 

Brought to you by DECA Pride, an east-end LGBTQ+ group under the Danforth East Community Association (DECA).
This event is generously sponsored by Steve’s Quality Meats and Deli at 1938 Danforth.
Thanks also to Corbin Creative for the poster!

As with all events at the market, please remember to come and support the farmers – without them we have no market!

Table Tennis 4 Tuition #TT4T

Also happening at East Lynn Park on June 22 is the #TT4T finals happening at 6:00pm on the ping pong table! Come and cheer on your neighbours as they battle it out for a great cause: DECA’s Young Leaders Scholarship. 

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.

Recently we discovered many amazing places to host a kid’s birthday party right here in our ‘hood. Undoubtedly, the next party you host will be a ton of fun, but to be a true success all kids’ birthday parties need decorations, loot bags, balloons, and, most importantly, CAKE! Luckily, you can find everything you need right here in our DECA community.

Cake is essential for a birthday party. In fact, sometimes a good cake is all you need.

birthday candles





Whether you want cakes or cupcakes, Sweet Serendipity offers a variety of flavors including vanilla bean, carrot, and red velvet, with frosting options to match and deliciousness with every bite. For a beautiful hand decorated cake with buttercream frosting that will be the highlight of the party Celena’s Bakery is the place to go. Cake Town Café has a good selection of decoration options and you can choose vanilla or chocolate cake.  If you are hosting a party in the summer months try the ice cream cakes from Carter’s Ice Cream for a cool delicious treat your guests will love. Last, Sobeys near Main and Danforth is always a good option if you want a yummy sheet cake with a custom image on top.


Once you decide where to get your cake, all you need are loot bags, balloons, and decorations. Let Silly Goose Kids take care of the loot bags and they will provide you with personalized, age appropriate, bags of fun for all your guests. Helium balloons are available at both Kids Fun Town and It’s My Party in a variety of shapes and colors. Also, It’s My Party carries decorations, hats, tableware, and all your other party supply needs. Last, but not least, the Dollarama is always a good place to find decorations, balloons, party games (glow stick dance party anyone?!?!?), and loot bag stuffers.

Now that you know everything you need for birthday party planning is right here in the ‘hood, think and shop local next time it’s your turn to host!


Celena’s Bakery, 2036 Danforth Ave, www.celenasbakery.com/

Sweet Serendipity, 1335 Danforth Ave, www.sweetserendipitybakeshop.com/

Cake Town Café, 2039 Danforth Ave, www.facebook.com/pages/Cake-Town-Cafe/266736310061914

Sobeys, 2451 Danforth Ave, http://www.sobeys.com/en/stores/sobeys-danforth/?f=766

Carter’s Ice Cream, 3 Woodmount Ave, http://www.cartersicecream.com

Party supplies:

It’s my party, 2208 Danforth Ave, www.itsmyparty.com/

Silly Goose Kids, 2054 Danforth Ave, www.sillygoosekids.tumblr.com/

Kids Fun Town, 2040 Danforth Ave, www.kidsfuntown.ca

Dollarama, 2064 Danforth Ave, www.dollarama.com/store-locator/

Thank you to everyone who attended, shopped, ate and enjoyed the activities at the Grand Opening of the market last week!  Every week in June we add more farmers to the mix as their produce becomes available, so be on the lookout for a few new vendors this week.

This week, Toronto Public Library are coming to the market with a 3D printing demonstration. And the Michael Garron Hospital will at the community booth sharing both health information and information on their upcoming (major) construction project.

If you are looking to get involved in the market we have two weekly volunteer gigs that we could use some help with.  The DECA Booth volunteer and cooks.  Check out the links provided to find out more about the roles and to sign up for a date!


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”

2014 DECA Board

Making Change

Parts 1 and 2 of series described what the neighbourhood was like 10 years ago and how a group of people came together to start DECA. This post is about what  happened next. As you know, fair reader, the DECA Diaries blog was our only communication tool for many years before Facebook, Twitter and Instagram helped us expand our reach. Lovingly written by DECA’s founding Chair, Natasha Granatstein from 2008-2011 when every post was written on an actual computer (not on an iPhone like this one) and event posters were still actual pieces of paper and not JPEG files so the words that Natasha wrote had to be crafted carefully – and they were.

In the past nine years of the blog (it began as an email newsletter), we have posted 1160 times. Each post takes anywhere from 20ish minutes to a few hours of someone’s spare time, to help get the word out about our community. More than 1200 people subscribe to the blog and many more read it via Facebook and Twitter. The blog is now managed by a small team of volunteer bloggers and a volunteer editor (yours truly). Turns out, the blog is also our unofficial archive.

Here’s a look back courtesy of the blog at some of what we’ve done to change the neighbourhood over the past #DECAde. 

January 2009: First Store Makeover  

The store did so well after this makeover, the owners bought their own building and moved a bit west where they remain today.

July 2009: Square Dancing at the Market

Our weekly market posts didn’t start until a few years in, but this post was a sweet reminder of a wonderful night at the market (in its third year by 2009) where people of all ages came to square dance! 

September 2009: First Danforth East Arts Fair

November 2009: Our first annual cocktail party (that was secretly also our AGM)  at Melanie’s Bistro. No e-version of the poster back then so the blog post is our only proof!

November 2010: First Pumpkin Parade

December 2012: First Tree Lighting at East Lynn Park 

January 2012blog post about Australian  Marcus Westbury’s innovative “pop-up shop” model to deal with high commercial vacancy

March 7, 2012 – Marcus Westbury was in town so we hosted an event with him!

May 2012 – carrot gets a buddy: the birth of the broccoli costume!

What shows a deeper commitment to improving one’s own community than dressing as vegetables to promote our local farmers’ market during rush hour?!

Veggies promoting our Farmers’ Market

October 2012: First Pop-Up Shops

This was back when it was solely run by a team of DECA volunteers, based on the Renew Newcastle model we learned about earlier that year. Incredible!

June 2013: First #DanforthEast Yard Sale

April 2014: #DanforthEast Dreams event

We asked you what you wanted for our neighbourhood and mapped it and made a video found in this follow-up blog post. (The post also shows our first laneway revitalization effort more than three years ago!)

April 2015: DECA Gems neighbourhood competition

It was a total love-in and so many people learned of new places to shop, eat, play, get their car fixed, hem a skirt, get a haircut, buy flowers and on and on. Search the hashtag #DECAGems on our fb page or blog to look back. Anyone remember who won?

December 2015: First DECA Connects fundraiser – Sleep Out for Syrians

DECA’s social justice group launched with this fundraiser where participants slept outside (in December!) to simulate what Syrian refugees were experiencing for months in camps. The goal was $10k. In the end, we raised $28,500, helping  several Syrian families come to Canada.

June 2016: First DECA Pride LGBTQ+ event 

We have a thriving LGBTQ+ community in the east end but no groups or events. DECA Pride changed that!

June 2016: First Table Tennis for Tuition 

To raise money to support the $2000 DECA Young Leaders Scholarship established in 2016. 

This has been an amazing decade-long experiment in being positive and making changes that many people say have transformed our neighbourhood. 
Want to join us?

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

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