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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Metro Retro

As Pioneer was strolling along Danforth this week, a bright orange sign caught our attention and made our mouth start to water. If there was ever a time to try Retro Burger (1684 Danforth), this was it! Talk about retro: From 2:00 until 5:00, every afternoon, burgers are only $2.79.

Now it's not quite the malt shop of Betty & Veronica fame, and it was almost dinner time, but Pioneer figured that if Archie and the gang can scarf back burgers mid-afternoon then we can too.

The verdict: Retro Burger burgers are pretty awesome. They're juicy and fresh, and the bun doesn't overwhelm the meat. For a couple of loonies, this was a great afternoon snack - and eating it on a blanket, in the sun in East Lynn Park in the middle of March was even better!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Oh, you silly goose!

I thought I was over boutique toy stores after Junior Pioneer's toy box became too full for even a single Mr. Potato Head shoe, but Danforth's newest kid-friendly destination Silly Goose Kids (2054 Danforth) just proves that a good toy store can make anyone feel like a kid again.

The lack of any type of Disney product was the first thing that caught my attention when I cruised into the colourful store with Junior Pioneer #2. Full of cool toys, scooters, puzzles, arts and crafts and of course, supplies for moms of kids from babes to school-agers, this is a destination for kids of all ages. Vintage toys, crisp colouring books, piles of Uglydoll monsters and pretty dolls are piled high on shelves. There is literally something fun to look at in every direction!

The baby gear and the miniature Tom's shoes in a size 3 were tres adorable, but the item that really made me start giggling was the 'I trike the Danforth" onsies and kids t-shirts. These are definitely a must for any hip three-wheeled toddler peddling around the daycare tarmac (and don't worry - they're exclusive to Silly Goose Kids so you won't see anyone from, say, "the Junction" wearing one of these gems!).

Oh, you silly goose!

Find them on Facebook or on Twitter @sillygoosekids.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

52 and counting

Thank you for all the great feedback on the recent list of 50 Reasons to Love Danforth East.

A reader pointed out a correction/addition to the list that I wanted to mention. In the spirit of staying local to Danforth East, I think that #48 should really be replaced with some props for Better Bulk, our local health food store at 2035 Danforth.

Who wants to walk all the way to the Carrot anyway??

And Daddy Pioneer wanted to throw in Retro Burger to the list. I haven't actually tried Retro Burger, but he says the burgers are amazing. So stay tuned. This Pioneering gal is sure to have a hamburger craving soon!

Monday, March 12, 2012

50 NEW Reasons to Love Danforth East

A few years ago, Pioneer compiled a list of reasons why everyone should love Danforth East. Take a look at this old list, and you'll sadly see that many of the gems I listed as my favourites have bitten the dust. I thought it was time to write a new list for 2012.

So here we are, 50 NEW Reasons To Love Danforth East:

1. The people
2. Easy transit access
3. We're STILL Starbucks free
4. East Lynn Park
5. It's only 4km to the Beach
6. DECA (Danforth East Community Association)
7. S. Walter Stewart Library
8. Bread from Celina's bakery
9. The Tandoori Wrap at Melanie's Bistro
10. Carter's Ice Cream
11. The Monarch Park Outdoor Pool
12. East Lynn Farmers Market
13. Beef Kebabs from Jerry's Supermarket
14. The amazing staff at Toronto East General
15. Cappuccino at Seb's
16. The trails at Taylor Creek Park
17. Eating with your hands at Lalibela
18. Houses with character
19. We have a Red Rocket Coffee
20. Spring tuneups from the helpful staff at Cyclepath
21. Post-hangover eggs at the Bus Terminal
22. 2 for 1 Mussels and microbrew pints at Sarah's
23. Getting waxed at Sugarmoon
24. The Value Village kids section
25. The Foam Store - a valuable resource for DIYers
26. The Pumpkin Parade
27. Waffles with strawberries, raspberries and whipped cream at the Sunset Grill
28. Sharing tapas with friends at Relish
29. Strider classes at BOMB Fitness and Wellness
30. Great elementary schools like Earl Beatty
31. Peak Freans Cookie Outlet on O'Connor
32. Pegasus Studio for Pilates and Kindermusik
33. Kimbourne Drop-in centre for moms and kids
34. Sushi in a hurry from Happy Sushi
35. Custom picture frames at Ciraco
36. Tasty old-school pizzas from Gerrard Spaghetti
37. The lush greenery and peacefulness of Merrill Bridge Park Ravine
38. The Danforth East Arts Fair
39. Peaceful, endless streets for long, dog walks
40. $3 sandwiches at Plank Road Market
41. Front porch socializing
42. Bob the Sweet Potato Guy at East York Farmer's Market
43. Quality cuts from Royal Beef
44. The deals at Ages & Stages
45. Comic geniuses at Comics & More
46. The cultural, religious and socio-economic diversity
47. Andy at Legacy Spinning Studio
48. We're within walking distance of 'the Carrot'
49. Wash your own dog at WAG on Danforth
50. Last but not least - The warm smiles from Paula and Marie at Last Drop Cafe

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Early Spring

Photo courtesy of Carter's Ice Cream.
Forget Groundhogs Day predictions, because this bit of news can only mean one thing: this very strange, mildly warm winter is almost at an end. Carter's Ice Cream is opening this Saturday (March 10) for it's 2012 season!

It's almost too good to be true, but a flyer from them that landed in Pioneer's mailbox says that they will open come rain or shine (or snow!). As everyone out there knows, Carter's is the number one choice for ice cream on Danforth East. And this year, they've got some new additions, including artisanal chocolate and homemade waffle cones (Pioneer would like to underscore that last item with a few million exclamation points!!).

Check out their website here: http://www.cartersicecream.com/

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Empty Storefronts

Photo by Catherine Porter, The Toronto Star.

Have any of you ever wandered along Danforth East and noticed empty, deserted and derelict storefronts and wondered why there are so many of them? It's a mystery that's for sure but thanks to DECA's Catharine Porter, it's getting unraveled baby step by baby step.

This week, the Star reporter herself and the Business Revitalization subcommittee of DECA, are bringing a special guest to speak to us about this very issue. Marcus Westbury is a festival director from Newcastle, Australia, a steel town that faced the same type of problem as Danforth East in their downtown core. Westbury took the bull by the horns and almost single-handedly began a revitalization of an area that is now a vibrant artistic community and tourist attraction to boot (you can read more about it here at the Toronto Star: http://www.thestar.com/news/article/1119036--porter-renew-newcastle-shows-how-to-create-a-people-magnet).

Westbury is here in Toronto for one night only, and coming to Danforth East to speak about his trials and tribulations and the magic of tranformation. The event is on Wednesday, March 7 and starts at 7:00 at the Naval Club at 1910 Gerrard Street East. Tickets are pay what you can. This is not an event to be missed. See you there!
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