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Thursday, December 31, 2009

Design Find

As a new year and some new adventures in my life begin, I've started to once again turn my focus to sprucing up my quaint old east end house with some funky cool decor. I'm sure that most of you, dear readers, have walked a simliar path: getting to this point has been a labour of love as we've poured money into structural functions, insulation, electrical, doors/windows and things that you can't see. So in between that and having a baby, the house has remained for the most part, a hodge podge of random furniture and very little in the way of decor.

However, my inspiration has been rekindled anew!

On this note, I stumbled across an amazing find last night that I wanted to share.

A Toronto design company called Walloper has created these amazing Wall Stickers based on the TTC subway stops. Here is a link to the images of Danforth line:

These are great for people who are non-committal. They are literally removable stickers that can be peeled off the wall whenever you want. And they come in whatever colour and size you desire to fit your decor.

I loved the Coxwell and Greenwood ones, so I am thinking about ordering one for my living room wall. DH will hate it, but considering we have no budget for art, this is a great temporary solution!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Eating Local

It's the 30th, and my thoughts have drifted towards tomorrow night when another decade will close and a new one begin. I personally like to spend the first seconds of the new year in my pajamas. I don't know about everyone else, but gone are the days when I shivered in the cold in a mini-skirt and 3-inch stilettos looking for a cab at 4am.

I'll be hitting up Royal Beef for some nice steaks and some delicious cheese and olives for my dinner guests tomorrow night and when 2010 comes around I'll be happily cheering it on from my couch on Danforth East.

For those of you who are on the fence (don't want to stay in but don't want to go out) why not consider eating local and making it home for the stroke of midnight. I made some calls to save you the trouble:

Melanie's - an a la carte menu starting at 6:00, with some special NYE entrees. Book now as Melanie herself said that the spots were filling up for the night. Kitchen closes at 11:00. (416) 422-1870

Relish - same as above, pretty much.

Ten Feet Tall - a $55 set menu with some tasty tasty menu items (you can find it here). Two seatings. Call for reservations: 416-778-7333. And it goes without saying that the music will be fantastic, as Karon's masterful selection of entertainment always is.

Happy New Year everyone, no matter where you end up. What matters is that you're with the people you love (or atleast like!!)!

Here's to a great 2010 on Danforth East!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Northern Lights

I'm betting some of you are wondering what happened to my holiday lights contest. I did get a few entries (thank you all who submitted!), but I realized that beauty is in the eye of the beholder and so in the holiday spirit, I have decided to refrain from pointing out holiday houses-of-horrors. Besides, it's quite hard to get a good photo in the dark, don't you think?

In lieu of that, here is my favourite line from my favourite Christmas movie which does in fact have the most heinous lighting display ever:

"What are you looking at?"
"Oh, the silent majesty of a winter's morn... the clean, cool chill of the holiday air... an a**hole in his bathrobe, emptying a chemical toilet into my sewer... "
(National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation)

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Festival of Lights

DH was playing editorial assistant today and came up with some suggestions for stories for me. His funniest idea is something I loved.

As I'm sure everyone knows, we have some pretty gorgeous and pretty heinous Xmas lights in the area. For instance, take a drive north on Greenwood between Mortimer and O'Connor and you'll see what I mean!

DH would like everyone to send in pictures of their favourite, least-favourite, loudest, ugliest, brightest, craziest and/or funniest Xmas lights from anywhere in Danforth East. I will post them and we can vote on which we like or loath the most (if there are enough entries). If you're game, you can email us at thedaily *at* eastendpioneer *dot* ca.

Winning entry gets a $10 gift card to a local coffee shop of your choice (True Brew, Three's Company Too, Last Drop, Seb's or Small World)!

Pet Project

Having a needy toddler and an equally as needy husband, I am occasionally a bit of a negligent mother to my "fur baby", an adventurous and rebellious shih-poo named Rascal who sleeps at my feet (okay, correction, on top of my feet) every night and who stole my heart the minute I met him.
Since it's the holidays, I have opted to spoil him rotten in lieu of missed play-dates at the park this past year, so my next stop on the "holiday shopping tour" will be Wag on the Danforth (1918 Danforth Ave), the best and pretty much only pet store on Danforth East.

I recently noticed that they carry super cute Hotdogs name tags, so I'll be picking one up for the little guy, customized with a skull and cross bones to match his fierce attitude.

They've also got an excellent selection of Wellness treats, which are the pooch's favourite snack (mmmm....liver and peanut butter....delectable!) and some really cute toys. What wins me over every time is the customer service and that's why I go back. The owners Ruth and Rob are dedicated to helping people and their pets and going the extra distance with a smile to boot, something you are not going to experience at Pet Smart. Oh, that, AND a wash your own dog station!

Now, if only they would start carrying rabbit food......


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Jams and Jellies, Oh My!

You never know what you're going to discover in this neighbourhood, and I've always stood by my idea that there are tons of hidden gems on Danforth East. It happened to me again the other night when I was grabbing take-out at Gerrard Spaghetti on Danforth.

A recent convert to the homestyle food at this Italian boite, I was waiting to pick up my order when I noticed a small display of homemade preserves and olive-oils to the side. My first thought was that I've hit the jackpot. Who wouldn't want to take home a taste of real Italian? My second is that this would be a great hostess gift - the homemade touch without all the "homemade" work. I selected a few for myself, but made sure to leave some goodies behind for my readers.

Bon appetit!


Monday, December 14, 2009

For What It's Worth

Last week, while researching the Roxy theatre redevelopment, I had the good luck to cross paths with one of the architects who revealed that he was moving into the Danforth East neighbourhood in the new year (and incidentally right around the corner from me).

As we were chatting, he asked me whether I knew what year the houses on Danforth East were constructed in. I do happen to know the details about my own house (approx. 1918) but I can only generalize about other areas and streets. That got me thinking. I'm a land surveyor's daughter, so I know how to find the Registry Office and do a title search, but most people wouldn't have a clue about finding this information.

Ironically, the same day, I jumped over to the Toronto Archives website and lo and behold, their front page featured a link to a new section called A Guide on How To Research Your House with a picture of a building on Coxwell circa 1912.

It's a great source for someone interested in getting background on their property. Most of the research has to be done at the archives, but they are very helpful and open on weekends.

I know all about my house, now I just want to know why Springdale used to be called Poulton Street. Can anyone answer this for me?

Friday, December 11, 2009

Fine Things

One of my favourite local jewelry designers, Fine Silver Girl a.k.a Heather Bell Denison, is having a holiday open house and sale tomorrow. I wanted to pass this on to my readers, because she honestly makes the coolest pieces that I always get compliments on.

The open house is at 48 Woodington Avenue on Tuesday, December 15th  from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. & 4 p.m. -10 p.m.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

A night at the Roxy

As a hyper-local blogger, I get asked almost daily from readers and friends in the neighbourhood about whether I know anything about what's happening on the SE corner of Greenwood and Danforth. Up until now, I'll admit, I've been lazy about doing any sleuthing on that issue, but last night all the info I could want was handed to me on a platter at city councillor Paula Fletcher's open house.

As most readers already know, the site will house an Esso gas station combined with an On The Run convenience store and a Tim Horton's. It will be open around April or May of this coming year. The great news is that I saw the site plan and elevations which revealed that the site's architectural firm is literally restoring the original Roxy theatre facade to it's original Art Deco glory. Grandiose double doors will be fronting onto the street for pedestrian traffic, with lots of bike parking to boot and a side entrance will accomodate gas station customers.

An Imperial Oil rep was on hand last night to answer my questions and he brought up a really great point: Tim Horton's will only have limited seating which will prevent any "loitering" by shady characters. He also noted that their research has shown criminal activity often moves away from areas where there are well lit gas stations. This is great for us, as that block seems to see a lot more police activity than the next couple of blocks.

The general consensus around the room seemed to be that this development was a good thing. I think that there is still the issue of car traffic increasing in the immediate vicinity, and I wouldn't say that Timmie's brings any cache to the neighbourhood, but it's a step towards revitalization which most will agree Danforth East needs.

And as a final note, the Roxy, which was once called the Allenby, is apparently known as one of the biggest influences of the Toronto punk rock scene - who knew! Here is an illustrated history.

Photo courtesy of BlogTO.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Saturday Shenanigans

There are two things going on in the 'hood this Saturday that I am excited to take part in. It will be a jam-packed day for me, DH and the little one.

At 9 a.m. we are hitting up Breakfast with Santa, the annual Girl Guides of Canada event at Harmony Hall (Vic Park/Dawes) that raises money for the troops to do fun things like camping and canoeing. It's $10 for anyone over that means you're toddlers get free breakfast, woohoo! Pancakes, sausage, O.J, door prizes and did I mention Santa??? To reserve your tickets, please e-mail

Next up: Kimbourne United Church is having their annual Christmas Goodies Sale and Children's Show on Saturday from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. Plop your kids down at 11:00 for a festive musical performance running until 11:30, while you peruse the delicious baked goods and *preserves* which are perfect hostess gifts for the holidays (these are going to go FAST, so get there early!).

After the concert, for a mere $5/each, you and the kidlets can have lunch in the tea room. When they're suitably stuffed (and sticky), a visit to Santa's lap will make the day complete (also $5 for a photo).

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Window Shopping

Holiday retail window decor is a beacon of holiday happiness, bringing forth feelings of joy and consumption.  However, the Bay is not the only store decorating their windows for the festive season. Our own neighbourhood storefront windows are getting their own "make-up" for the holidays thanks to the Danforth Mosaic BIA.

This past Sunday they launched their annual Mosaic Does Windows, a festive holiday window decorating contest amongst Danforth retailers between Donlands and Westlake. Citizens of the Danforth East Republic can stroll along our fine boulevards, enjoy our fabulously warm weather and check out the beautiful window art work that our local businesses have created.

While you're there, you might as well shop local and pick up some holiday gifts, decor, food to feed your third cousin twice-removed who is staying over for the holidays etc.

When you get home, you can log on to the Danforth Mosaic BIA website and vote for your favourite window and be entered to win prizes. It's a win-win situation, pardon the pun!


Tuesday, December 1, 2009


One thing that I absolutely love about Danforth East is the abundance of interesting people that I meet through various community events and committees. That has inspired me to dream of eventually starting a regular feature on East End Pioneer called Eastenders, focusing on the people who make this place great.

Today I'm highlighting one woman in particular who is a dynamo of ideas and business-savvy: Tanya Geisler is a DE resident and founder of Board of Your Life. She made it into today's Globe and Mail discussing her new life coaching program Coach Buffet. Check it out!