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Thursday, March 18, 2010

Wheels On Fire

While some of my erstwhile single and beautiful pals were out on a sunny patio drinking beer yesterday, the sudden change in climate had me dreaming about riding my bike. One small problem though: somewhere in between my junior 1 bedroom apartment, subsequent rental spaces and their storage units, and now my current home, I have lost my bike helmet. There is a rubbermaid container out there somewhere with my name on it, containing my ice skates, barely used rollerblades, a tennis racket and my bike helmet

Lucky for us Danforth East-ers, we have Cyclepath at 1520 Danforth to call our own - one of the best cycling stores in Toronto. They've moved to a spiffy new location a few doors east of their original digs and when I stopped by yesterday evening to check it out, I was blown away. Aside from the gorgeous floor to ceiling picture windows at the front, the big wide aisles and easy stroller access at the door made it a breeze to shop.

I picked up a simple, black Specialized helmet for $49.99, fitted to my head by a super-friendly saleswoman who smiled and talked baby with the junior pioneer.

Total time in the store was approximately 10 minutes and then back out into the sunshine.

Now, if only I could find my bike.....

Monday, March 15, 2010

Calling my Bluff

This past weekend wasn't exactly the picture perfect weekend for getting outside and enjoying the neighbourhood, however, there came a point on Sunday afternoon when DH and I were struggling to amuse the junior pioneer and realized we needed to get out of the house.

Once ensconced in the car, we decided to head east and explore the land beyond Danforth. Admittedly, I've lived in the city for 14 years and have hardly been beyond Victoria Park, other than shopping trips to the big box stores at Warden Woods or Shoppers World.

This means I have never seen the Bluffs, so we headed off on a little adventure. Using our handy dandy GPS system and a brief query to Wikipedia from the iPhone, within 15 minutes we had ended up on a winding road leading down to the water and Bluffer's Park.

What unfolded was a breathtaking vista. If you've never seen the Bluffs and live in East York, it is worth the short trip. It was a gray and windy day, but the towering cliffs looked majestic and ethereal. With the gray waves roaring onto the breakwater, I somehow felt removed from Toronto. We could have been in Dover on the southern shores of England.

I was shocked to see that there was a group of people in the water with surf boards, a sight that I didn't think I would ever be privy to in March in Toronto.

I could see that there are lots of walking trails along the water, and had I been in sensible footwear and wearing a hat, we might have continued on. However, now that I've discovered this great spot, I'm looking forward to going back when the mercury is a little higher!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

March Break Mania

March Break Mania has begun:

If you have kids over the age of 2 (which is almost half of this neighbourhood, I am sure!), you are probably familiar with Max & Ruby, the deliciously cute Beatrix Potter-ish bunny siblings of TreehouseTV fame.

If you have kids over the age of 2, who are as crazy about Max & Ruby as you are, then you won't want to  miss this weekends Max & Ruby extravaganza at the Music Hall over on the "other Danforth" as DH and I have started calling it.

One of our local Danforth East businesses, Sphere Entertainment, is the brains behind the event. Here's the link to more info:

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Shamrocks and Leprechauns

It's only fitting that the name of the band playing this weekend in the 'hood for Patty's Day is called the "Shenanigans", a favourite word of my half-Irish Catholic mother who basically applied it to anyone or anything conducting any form of mischief. If one was to want to get into some mischief, Patty's Day is the day that revelers can get away with perhaps acting a bit raucous, all in honour of the man who led the snakes from the Emerald Isle.

If you can find a sitter for the kids and have a chance to get out on Saturday night, I would highly recommend grabbing a pint at Taps & Tales and then heading over to LucSculpture on Greenwood for some foot-stompin' Celtic music.

Last St. Pat's day, I hit up the Seanachai (pronounced Shawn-ah-key) - a "real" Irish pub further west of Greenwood - for an afternoon cider (I was on mat leave, and yes, they let babies into the bar). It was a nice laid back vibe. I asked the lone, acoustic guitarist to play my favourite but rarely heard Irish folk song "The Orange and the Green" and surprisingly, he had the sheet music and knew the words. A+!

I'll leave you with something funny I heard this week: Irish comedian Tommy Tiernan says "You know you've been drinking the Irish beer Harp when your night starts out in fine form.....and then you suddenly come to, and you're standing over your cousin with a shovel." 


Sunday, March 7, 2010

The big spring reveal

Oh what a glorious weekend! If you're anything like me, you were stuck inside a suburban shopping mall with artificial heating only glimpsing the breathtaking sunlight through the occasional pedestrian entrances.....
Just kidding! What a nightmare.

This was the weekend to be living in the city and enjoying it's ripeness.The pooch, junior pioneer, DH and I headed off for a long walk to the Broadview post office to pick up a package and we noticed that the streets were alive. We happened along Baltic Avenue (sounds like its straight from the Monopoly board!) where the entire street was playing a game of shinny. Parents, kids (girls AND boys I might add) flooded the street with their voracious appetite for spring weather. No coats, no boots and certainly no hats. Junior pioneer was mesmerized by the game, a sure sign that next winter, we will be lacing up skates at the Monarch Park rink for some free skate time.

It reminded me about community and how lucky we are to have one. There's no place like home, especially here on Danforth East.

The nice warm weather also reminded me that Earth Hour is approaching on March 27th. I'll write more about that later, but I wanted to point out that the green/eco Store Do-Bamboo (or at Danforth and Coxwell has some really great eco t-shirts made of bamboo. As I was walking by, I noticed a funny one in the window: it said "Don't Be Fuelish"!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The Little Neighbourhood That Could

It's such an amazing feeling to open the Toronto Star and see a news item about your neighborhood that is inspiring, rather than depressing. 

Joe Fiorito has continued his interest in our lack of a post office on Danforth East and wrote a great item in today's paper about the community meeting this past Sunday:

What I really love, is that someone from the neighbourhood was smart enough to bring in the Postal Service Charter to the meeting. That seemed to really make Canada Post officials squirm, as Joe notes. We have the right to convenient postal services, and it says so in their official mandate. So what gives? Has no-one at the mother ship noticed the big gaping inconvenient hole in this pretty massive, urban community?

I'm hoping that the meeting and this article will be able to maintain our community momentum so we can fight for the right to have our own postal services. To start with, please send me a note if you'd like to be added to the list of people who get email blasts about this issue from Jack Layton's office, so that we are all in the loop!