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Thursday, October 29, 2009

Flu shots and Crime Alerts


I must do my duty today, as a neighbourhood communicator, and pass on information about a couple of public services.

For those considering getting the H1N1 vaccine, the East York Civic Centre (850 Coxwell Ave) is holding a vaccination clinic TODAY for priority groups only, which includes:

 - pregnant women; children 6months to 5 years; people under 65 with chronic conditions; people who live with infants under 6 months old; immunocompromised people; and healthcare workers.

The hours are 12 - 7pm. H1N1 vaccine clinics for the general public will begin November 2nd. Check toronto.ca/health for clinic updates.

As well, after yesterday's post, one of my valued readers Berta sent me a note about the Toronto Police community alerts service. What I didn't know, but am really glad to have found out, is that you can sign up for neighbourhood alerts which will be sent right to your inbox with accurate information about recent community altercations or incidents. You can sign up here: www.torontopolice.on.ca.

What Berta also revealed is that yesterday's community alert was about the Sammon and Woodmount robbery. It was not by gunpoint, as my source had originally told me, but at sword point. Apparently we are living in Narnia.....

It's also the last day for the East Lynn Park Farmers' Market. It was a great season. Looking forward to next spring already!

(image courtesy of the National Institute for Health)

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Robbery: Sammon & Woodmount

A neighbourhood source emailed me yesterday with the news that the convenience store at Sammon and Woodmount got held up at gun point on Monday night. This is pretty scary news for everyone, particularly the home owners in the immediate vicinity.

The idea of a neighbourhood watch group was brought up and I think this is a great idea. However, in lieu of that, I think there are things that everyone can do on their own. The first is: get to know your neighbours. Talk to the old man down the street, or the old lady who lives by herself or anyone on your block really. This brings a heightened awareness of what is normal and what is not.

However, if you do see sketchy behaviour at your neighbour's house while they are on vacation, don't do anything on your own. Call 911 or call 416.808.5500 (or 5400) - the desks at 54 and 55 Division.

The crime rate is actually going down on Danforth East, thanks to the diligent work of the men in blue and to the people who live here that report suspicious activity to the police on a daily basis. The recent prostitution bust is a good sign that law enforcement is paying attention to our 'hood and realizing that we want to change it for the better!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Urban Planning

A few weeks back I blogged about the property we affectionately call "The Hole" being re-zoned for a 14-story building. A public meeting has been called by Councillor Bussin's office to discuss said plans with the community before any ground-breaking happens.

Here are all the details:

Monday, November 2, 2009
7 – 9 p.m. Danforth Mennonite Church @ 2174 Danforth Ave. – Lower Level

An overview of the proposed development will be provided.  A representative of the developer will be there to give some notes on the preliminary plan.  Tine Major who is the city planner assigned to the file (and local Danforth East-er to boot!) will be there to comment and answer questions.

For more information, you can contact Sandra Bussin’s office at 416-392-1376 or councillor_bussin@toronto.ca.

Monday, October 19, 2009

The joint was jumpin'

On Friday night, my girls and I had a chance to raise the roof for our tri-monthly get together without our husbands. Our watering hole of choice is Taps & Tales, a really nice comfy pub on Danforth just west of Linsmore (or Linnsmore, depending on where you live, but more on that another day). There was only a handful of us this time, so rather than book the private lounge space at the back, we squeezed into their 6 person booth which was just the right size. What I love about the booths here is that they are not only comfortable, but you have the ability to adjust the lighting to your own desired brightness, right at the table. Ambiance - check!

Taps & Tales has a great microbrew menu and an average wine list, with some definite highlights such as the Dan Ackroyd Chardonnay which I have been meaning to try for months. One of my gal pals always gets the apricot beer which literally arrived at the table seconds after she pulled off her coat and sat down. This brings me to another reason I love Taps: our waitress Jasmine. For a year now, we've been haunting this place and gotten to know "Jazzy" as I call her. She's fun and friendly and once she even had a drink with us (it was late and we were rowdy). She remembers our names and my friend Jenn's choice of beer. It's like my own personal Cheers on Danforth.

Regardless, what I wanted to point out today is that this joint was jumpin' and it was so very nice to see that. The bar stools were packed, the booths were packed and the place was humming. It looked like the kitchen was super busy, but even then, our delectable nachos and Mediterranean dips plate were brought out with speedy service.

This place never disappoints. We all had such a great night. I know I will be back for more!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Call to Action

The two sweet ladies behind the counter at the Coxwell and Danforth postal outlet are always ready with a huge smile when DH and I come in to mail our weekly multitude of packages. With a home based business and relatives all over the world, we tread a beaten path to this Canada Post counter which is the only one within a huge radius that we can walk to.

This morning DH made his usual stop to mail a package before work and was stunned to find out that after 20 years in business, the outlet is closing its doors. The reason why is even more upsetting. Canada Post is insisting that they pay $12,000 to upgrade their computers, which they obviously cannot afford as small business owners. This is forcing them to shut down, essentially also shutting our community out of an essential services.

Aside from the inconvenience factor of having to drive to Woodbine and O'Connor, which is the next nearest CP location, this will have a serious impact on neighbourhood revitalization and quality of life within Danforth East, particularly for seniors who have been visiting this branch since 1989.

I don't want to get up on a soapbox, but the facts are the facts. When a community has essential services within walking distance, it stays vibrant, increases safety and walkability and contributes to quality of life for its residents.

Over the past five to ten years, Danforth East has undergone a quiet revolution of urban renewal. We have a new-ish BIA, a residents association (DECA), two farmers' markets, school improvements, a brand new library (S. Walter Stewart), a multitude of new businesses that have moved to the neighbourhood and hundreds of young families that use this post office on a regular basis. By creating another vacant store front, we're taking two steps backwards, rather than moving forward.

Let's show some community spirit. If you want to save this post office, please call Jack Layton's office (416-405-8914) and Maria Minna's office (416-467-0860) and show your concern. These are the types of things that our MPs are here for.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Green is the new Black

Just a little bit west of Monarch Park on Danforth, you may have noticed that there is a shop window that often displays a selection of Japanese socks and sandals. It occasionally mixes things up with a fresh exhibit of eco-friendly kids clothing and accessories. I've often wondered what this is all about, so I'm very happy to share a new secret discovery: this is Kai Kids and they're a great, family run business (who actually live in the neighbourhood) which specializes in ethically-made, eco-friendly gear for families.

Although they're not usually open to the public, this Saturday, October 17, they're doing what the Brits call a pop-up shop and what I call a trunk show. They'll be opening up 1390 Danforth from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. for some planet-friendly and non-toxic 'green' shopping.

Products are mainly for kids from birth to 4, pregnant women and nursing moms and includes skincare products, toys, clothes, bedding etc.

Design star Barbara Nyke, who specializes in eco-friendly design, will be holding a free information session on designing healthy rooms for kids.


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Friday, October 9, 2009

There's A Chill In The Air....


There's a chill in the air and in our household, DH's thoughts usually start turning to pre-winter lawn maintenance and a long list of "indoor" projects to keep him busy through the cold months. When we moved into our house a few years ago, we inherited a whole slew of gardening implements including a VERY rusty rake circa the 70's and some clippers that don't actually clip, so as I look out the window and see the leaves falling I know its time to bite the bullet and at the least, buy a new rake.

For now, I'll have to make the drive to Canadian Tire, but soon enough I'll be able to actually walk to a neighbourhood hardware store when Home Hardware opens up at the corner of Woodbine and Danforth. The space, which was once a dollar store, is being renovated as we speak and should open up this year.

A multitude of calls and emails to the Home Hardware community relations office has resulted in no actual response from them about when that will be, thus the reason this post is so very tardy, but here's hoping it will be before winter!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Pie In The Sky

As the weather gets cooler, I can't help but notice that Hallowe'en candy is already starting to creep onto the shelves and costume racks are fully stocked. If that's not enough to get you into the mood, Pumpkinfest is here again. The 2nd annual community event is happening this Thursday, October 8th at East Lynn Park from 3:30 - 7:30 in conjunction with the weekly farmers' market.

All the typical festivities will be in full swing: pumpkin decorating for the kids, music, face painting, bouncy castles and fresh food from the farmers. The highlight of this year's party is the Pie Making Contest - the prize is worth $600 in services from local businesses which is nothing to sneeze at. All you have to do to win is to enter the contest here, make a pie and show up on Thursday for our judges to decide if you are indeed the Queen of Pies.

If you can't bake (like me...), don't worry! Grab a coffee and come and listen to the Sons of Beaches while grabbing your groceries for the week. See you there!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Caller ID

Oy! Once again, our city councillor Sandra Bussin is in the news ........:
http://cp24.com/servlet/an/local/CTVNews/20091001/091001_bussin/20091001/?hub=CP24Home

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Update: Thanks to Twitter, I found out that Kris Reyes from City News has found the recording on youtube...its here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4xtbmvhBaQs

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