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Friday, November 27, 2009

Holly Berry Fair

Just a reminder, in case people didn't see it in the Mirror:

St. Luke's Anglican is having its Holly Berry Fair tomorrow (Saturday) - a holiday sale packed with baked goodies, a tea room, silent auction, crafts, books, jewelry and other fun stuff. It's at 904 Coxwell at Cosburn. The hours are 9:30 to 2:30.

Happy holiday shopping!


Thursday, November 26, 2009

Pie in the Sky


I love food and food loves me. However, I have a shameful secret. I order Pizza Pizza delivery. It is something I've been doing on auto-pilot for years. Never mind that Magic Oven is literally a stone's throw away or that the best pizza ever is at Danforth Pizza House (according to Yelp.ca anyway).

I usually order takeout about once every three weeks, and it's usually pizza or Thai and occasionally Indian from Gourmets on Gerrard. I recently decided to break free of the corporate pizza trance and try some local joints.

I started with Casa Di Giorgio because it's close. DH and I ordered an x-large with pepperoni, green olives and mushrooms. When it arrived, we were shocked because it was ENORMOUS. Enough for a huge family meal. Regardless, it was delicious. Nice thin crust and a perfect amount of cheese. Definitely a tad bit too salty, but that could be because of the pepperoni.

Yesterday I ordered from Free Topping pizza at Coxwell and O'Connor. The medium veg pizza was a perfect size for me for lunch and leftovers for DH's dinner. A little more doughy than the Casa Di Giorgio pizza, but not greasy at all, which is so important. They are a small chain though, so I shouldn't really compare.

A friend has recommended Amato at O'Connor and St. Clair and Columbo's of course! That will be my next "taste test".

Any suggestions?

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Mousecapades

We have a mouse (or plural: mice) in our house. We know because we hear the little critters ripping apart the space between our basement and our kitchen. I've also seen Felix the Field Mouse sitting on my counter about to bear down on a fresh pizza sitting on the stove. If he could have, he would have given me "stink eye" for interrupting his feast.

I have the feeling that lots of my East York readers can empathize. It seems to be very common in our 'hood.

This is literally driving DH insane and thus, we have tried every conceivable over-the-counter remedy to catch our family of Mousketeers.

We recently discovered that we have a veritable pro in our midst. The people at Aetna Pest Control, located at 1828 Danforth, are recognized city-wide for their pest-fightin' skills. We shelled out a couple of hundred and one of their mouse experts came and laid down the law with some toxic mouse-nip.

I've just heard some nibbling behind my desk though, so I'm not sure that this plan is working. Any suggestions anyone??

Friday, November 20, 2009

Little Treasures


The holidays are seriously almost here. Next Thursday is American Thanksgiving, and you know what that means.....it's time to do some cross-border shopping! (*gasp*) Just kidding. Not only is that really bad for your carbon footprint, but it's a very long drive. Why spend all that time in your car when you can shop here on Danforth East?

In honour of Festivus, this Saturday (Nov. 21) our favourite east end eco-childrens retailer Kai Kids is pairing up with another very cool east end online business called Little Footprints Toys. They're calling it the Eco Family Holiday sale and its between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. at their secret lair: 1390 Danforth Avenue.

It's a match made in heaven! As you know, Kai Kids specializes in earth-friendly clothing and accessories - perfect gifts for expectant or new mothers on your list - but we all know what the little ones really want for Christmas: toys. Little Footprints is an online "green" toy store dedicated to fun and games for kids of all ages.


The best news: your kids will NOT be running wild in the store while you shop. Amanda Pedro of Music Pups will be on hand from 10:30 to 2:30 every hour on the half hour for musical fun!

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Thursday, November 19, 2009

Sugar, sugar...



Tonight is the Sugar Moon open house and I'm excited.

They are offering a free $200 gift card, if you buy any denomination of products or services worth $200. This may sound astronomical, but imagine how much free pampering this is. Plus, they have Dermalogica products and face mapping which I just found out is a very cool way to fine-tune a healthy skin regime.

My neighbour says that Sugar Moon is the best skin care place in East York and will go nowhere else for a pedicure or facial. I haven't ever made an appointment, but I have a $10 off coupon hanging on the fridge that I picked up at Jazz in The Park over the summer which I have been meaning to use.

The open house goes from 3 p.m. until 10 p.m. They are offering free food and drinks for visitors so it's worth stopping by, if only for that!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

DECA Cocktail Party and 3rd anniversary

Happy Third Anniversary to the Danforth East Community Association!
To celebrate their birthday, DECA has some exciting news: they are moving their boundary west to Monarch Park (from Coxwell), which is exciting for all of the west-of-Coxwell dwellers.

I write a lot about DECA on this blog, and the reason is because DECA does great things for our neighbourhood. Aside from running the farmers' market, business facelift initiative plus many other programs, they get people out walking and talking about Danforth East. Thanks to their call to action this past week, the Toronto Star has been flooded with letters in response to their article about the decline of the Danforth. We love our neighbourhood and DECA is a great example of a community group that started around someone's dining room table, but has grown to be a driving force behind urban change.

Props goes out to Natasha Granatstein (chair), Catherine Porter (vice-chair), the Smeech (treasurer), my dear Mary-Margaret, the fiery Alison McMurry - lady warrior of East Lynn park and all of the other people who have contributed to its success.

You will ALL get to meet these people live and in person next Monday evening at the 1st Annual DECA Cocktail Party (and AGM). Everyone is invited to come and nibble some finger foods at Melanie's Bistro and meet the crew. The part-ay starts at 7:00. Melanie's is located at 1870 Danforth Ave, between Coxwell and Woodbine.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

It's In You To Give


I was walking home along Danforth last night when I noticed a Canadian Blood Services sign pointing towards Toronto East General Hospital. I wouldn't normally post about this, but I was a little curious about the whole system of blood donation. Doing a little bit of research, I discovered that by the numbers, only 3.7% of eligible Canadians actually donate blood but 52% of the entire country actually needs blood for themselves or their family members.

I'm not sure how often they set up a mobile clinic at East General, but I thought it was worth noting for people who would actually like to donate.

The clinic runs from 12:00 to 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday, November 17. The Canadian Blood Services website says appointments preferred, but I think the sign said it was a walk-in.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Update: The Hole/2055 Danforth


A lot of people have approached me, asking me if I know anything about The Hole and the community meeting that was organized on Nov. 2 to discuss the issues around the property's development. I wasn't able to attend, however, our good friends over at the Danforth East Community Association are plugged in (as usual) and have posted a really great meeting recap and overview of the proposed development over on DECA Diaries.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Takes the Cake

I'm having my first book club meeting tomorrow night, as I finally have a comfortable living room for people to sit in and more importantly, a place to send my daughter overnight.

I was hoping to pick-up some cute little cupcakes for everyone since there seems to be a serious love-on for cupcakes in this city right now. While I'm sure that everyone will be shouting "go to Sweet Indulgences" at Coxwell and O'Connor, I wanted to try CreARTive Cakes on Danforth. They've been open since the Spring and I love their window display, so I was hoping to try and get a taste of what they have on offer.

I've previously gone there twice, only to find the doors locked and closed in the middle of the day, so this time I thought I would be smart and call first.

My call was answered, but when questioned about whether they have cupcakes on hand, the answer was no. I could have sworn that they have cupcakes in the window but maybe I'm wrong.

So, three strikes....you know the story.

I think I'll just have to settle on Sweet Bliss down on Queen. They make DIVINE but pricey cupcakes and other baked goods. Sweet Indulgences is going to have to wait!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Never Forget the Fallen


I haven't posted in awhile - life's curve balls just keep on coming. However, I wanted to take some time out today to quietly reflect on Remembrance Day and what it means to me both as a Canadian and as a Torontonian.

The annual East York Remembrance Day ceremony was at the Civic Centre on Coxwell which is just around the corner, so I shut off my blackberry and headed over for a moment of silence.

The crowd that had gathered was admirable and touching. The young and the old, the uniformed and the civilians, the politicians and other community members gathered around the central monument in a moment of silence marked by the cadence of a single horn and the haunting melody of a bagpipe.

As four vintage Royal Canadian Air Force planes flew overhead, I choked up, suddenly hearing their roar for the first time in the context of war. 64 years ago, Toronto's soldiers began returning from foreign shores and many of them were sent to live on the complacent streets of East York, settling into the area's newly built post-war bungalows. For those men and women, the sound of bombers overhead didn't always signify a pleasant aerial display, but a real and horrifying threat. While children smile and point to the sky, a whole generation will remember the sounds of modern warfare and reflect on emotions that most Canadians will probably never have to face.

We're the lucky ones and it's important to remember that today and always.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Christmas Craft-y

I was reminded by a colleague just yesterday that Christmas is only a mere 7 weeks away, in a tone that was so urgent I almost rushed to the mall, believing that this would definitely not be enough time to get all my Christmas shopping done. Reality check: I remembered that I hardly ever start shopping until December which has always given me plenty of time.

Now that Halloween is over, the plethora of neighbourhood Christmas bake sales and craft sales will begin. Although a bit farther afield than Danforth East, this Saturday St. Barnabas Anglican Church at 361 Danforth is holding it's annual Christmas Bazaar from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m.

Jams, jellies, baked goods, crafts, books and other gift items will be on sale.

You could take a nice leisurely walk along Danforth or, if you're taking transit, the closest stop is Chester.

Happy Bazaar-ing!
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