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If a pipe bursts in your basement or your roof leaks, where do you turn? Find out your neighbours' favourite fixers, where your neighbours like to go out to eat, who they go to for piano lessons, and more. This list is a compendium of listserv posts from four local lists.

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Learning | Books - Local Authors


Welcome to the Learning and Books page, where neighbours' recommendations, and promotions, give us a guide to some great resources in our neighbourhood.

Art Classes


posted October 10, 2013

Toronto School of Art

TSA is an art school just around the corner from the park (Bloor & Dufferin) and have many courses that may be of interest to the community, like courses for youth and families, as well as basic drawing & painting classes, digital courses incl. photography, and more contemporary or interdisciplinary courses like printmaking, mixed media and collage.

980 Dufferin Street, 2nd Floor
Toronto, ON, M6H 4B4



posted February 21, 2007

Art and music class for 3-5 years: with special guest James Funny Hat Patterson. There are a few spots available in the next 6 week session starting Feb. 22 2007. The class is on thursdays from 1:30 to 3pm at The Garrison Creek Art Education Centre.

The fee is $170.00 / 6 weeks.

Susan Blersh
Garrison Creek Art Education Centre
tel. 416-531-5991


posted July 19, 2004

Artist Rosslyn Berot will be running art classes for adults and teens from September13th. Interested individuals can contact her at

Piano Lessons


posted January 15, 2009


From: Kim Fry
I strongly recommend Michelle Denis who is also studying to be an expressive arts therapist. 647-345-5390

posted January 15, 2009


From: Alice Kent
Shari Kasman is a great piano teacher!

posted January 15, 2009


The Little Workshop is great. It's a family run music school on Shaw at College.


posted December 17, 2006


I teach Music for Young Children, a piano-based music program for kids. We cover ryythm, reading music, composition and singing and we use lots of props and puppets and fun things. They are group classes with parent/adult participation. Groups are 3 to 5 children and an adult each. Classes run from September to June. It is a comprehensive and fun program. Graduates of MYC are prepared to do the grade one Royal Conservatory exam. I teach in my home in the Dufferin/Hallam area. Feel free to contact me for more information or visit




posted December 17, 2006

Our kids did not study with Theresa but did do Music for Young Children and it was GREAT! It's a time-commitment for the parents (parents attend an hour class per week and then help the child practice throughout the week) but it certainly pays off in spades: Meg passed her grade one exam last year, and both kids love playing the piano as a result (no kicking and screaming, as was the case with me as a child). In addition, it is real quality time spent with your child (something we never do enough of) and both Em and I learned something as a result!!

My sales pitch.

Cheers and happy holidays, Bernard


posted December 17, 2006

A brilliant teacher - modified suziki - teaches piano, harp, flute, cello and violin to all the students. it paid off - Carson now goes to ESA for cello and also plays guitar and piano.

her name is HEIDI MARIE Garbe - 416 - 654-8943

I also have a friend Marina - Russian piano teacher lives on Rusholme road - 416- 536-2092

Carson is also selling apple pies for X mas or Chanukkah.



posted December 17, 2006

My six year old has been taking lessons for 2 years now with Deborah Marion. She is located at 558 Gladstone just north of Bloor St. Private 1/2 hour lessons in her home. Her number is 416 533 1242.



posted December 17, 2006

My daughter, who is 7, just started lessons this fall at the Classical conservatory of Music on the corner of Howard Park and Roncessvale above the Rogers Video (entrance on Howard). She has been having a great experience and the school itself is very small and community centered. There # is 416 817-3126.

Good luck


Vocal Lessons


posted March 24, 2007

Hi there, Great Lesson at,

The Music School of St Christopher House @ 248 Ossington Ave ( @ Dundas Street West).

Music School co-ordinator: Sherry Squires @ 416-532-4228 x: 127 Email:

Take care - have a great day !



posted March 24, 2007

Leah Salomaa. She also teaches violin and piano and she is great with kids (very patient). She is primarily a vocalist though. Her website is, email is Please let her know I sent you if you contact her.


Camps - Kids


posted March 6, 2007

It is that time of year when we have to start planning what our children will be doing this summer. For the past three years my son has gone to a wonderful camp here in the hood called The Upper Canada Repertory Company, and done The Shakespear Zone.

The camp is located at Dundas and Dufferin at Equity Showcase,and the children often come up to the park for breaks/lunch/and yoga. The staff are wonderful, and there is a great atmosphere, also the cost is very good $349 + GST for three weeks. If you want to check it out, go to



posted January 14, 2005

My son went to Pinecrest for years and loved it. It is the YMCA camp.

This year, because of a new friendship he is going to Camp Kawartha……it looks great and very similar to Pinecrest.

Hope this helps. Rona.


posted January 14, 2005

My two older daughters both went a couple of times to Camp Tawingo, which is a YWCA girls camp in Parry Sound, and they had really positive experiences. I remember the fees were quite reasonable (relative to other camps) and they even had partial fee waivers for low-income families.


Theatre Lessons - Children


posted September 20, 2004

From Three Funny Hats:

The Garrison Creek Art Education Centre is a unique and innovative childrens' art school run by Artist, Susan Blersh. Beginning September 15, James will be working with Susan in classes that feature Music, Storytelling, Movement and Art. Classes are for 4-5 Yr olds (Wednesdays), and 3-4 yr olds (Thursdays). For more info, you can call Susan at 531-5991, or go to James' website

Also, James will be teaching a number of classes for a range of ages (6mths to 9 years) at Scooter Girl, which is on Roncesvalles. For more info about these, go to:

Tutors - High School


posted September 20, 2004

From: "Peter Yu" To: "dufferin grove" Sent: Sunday, August 08, 2004 9:08 PM Subject: [dufferingrovefriends] high school tutor available

My good friend Lisa Hayes is available to tutor high school students.

Lisa was trained as an engineer and has also written, directed, and produced a number of independent films (including producing a recent feature film). She is now considering becoming a teacher.

If you would like to contact her for more info, please e-mail her at

Peter Yu

Music - Young Children


posted October 15, 2008

From: Jenny Lemon
My name is Jenny Lemon. I am a graduate of the Randolph Academy of the Arts. Specializing in musical theatre. I am currently accepting new piano or vocal students. Lessons are one on one format. Located in the Queen/Dufferin area.

My curriculum is designed to provide a strong basis in the fundamentals of music. There is an emphasis on fun repertoire and technical development. Exam preparation is also available. Music is a lifelong skill and can bring abundant joy and personal growth!

Please contact for rates and time availability.


posted March 24, 2007

Christina Serra is a licenced Kindermusik teacher and professional actor. She has enjoyed teaching Kindermusik all over Toronto for the past 5 years. In 2004 she created Disco Ducks, a class for caregivers and tots, held under a disco ball and set to the theme of disco music.

Caregivers and Tots ages 2&3, come join the Disco Ducks for music, instruments and fun. The ducks will explore rhythm and body awareness while gettin’ down to the beat. Enjoy the chance to boogie together under the disco ball, then step back and watch the little ducks strut! Flyer

For ages 0 to 1&1/2: Baby Song and Bounce encourages the development of verbal and motor skills, body awareness and also provides the opportunity to learn new songs and games, for you and your little one to enjoy. Flyer

For registration or further information please contact Christina at: (416) 500-5914 or visit

Local Schools

To read the entire thread regarding local schools go here.


posted May 18, 2007

We've been at Pierre Elliot Trudeau for 6 years now, first at the daycare and now with a kid finishing Grade 1. It's a wonderful place to maintain a sense of belonging in a francophone community in Toronto. It's also a great school academically speaking, and has a good community feel. The seamless onsite daycare and full-day kindergarten are also a big bonus. As Tori said, no school is perfect, but we're very happy to be at PET and to be part of the growth and improvement of this very young school (it's only been around for 7 years).

This neighbourhood sure is rich in schools. For families where the parents don't speak French, Dewson is a fantastic French immersion program for introducing kids to French. And for all you parents out there from a francophone background, there is an alternative to French immersion in our community. You don't have to lose your cultural and language connections just because you live in Toronto (or as someone from my hometown called it, "Au Canada.") On vous attend!

Emily Paradis


posted May 17, 2007

I would highly recommend Dewson, especially for French immersion. The school population is a wonderfully diverse reflection of our neighbourhood and has an excellent combination of cultural, artistic and athletic programming (school choirs, steel bands, track and field, artist in the school). We also have great social events like movie nights, Dewson Festival (June 7) and the recent South Asian Festival.

Our principal, Beth Mills is a long time member of the Dufferin Grove community. Beth works tirelessly for the benefit of the children and the school. As well, there's a very active and engaged group of parents and dedicated teachers.

We should support our neighbourhood schools wherever possible. We're lucky to have a French immersion school in our neighbourhood, as many parents have to bus or drive their kids across town to reach one. I recommend anyone interested in Dewson to attend an open house, or contact Beth Mills or VP Gail Croll.

Andrew Munger 63 Hepbourne St.


posted May 17, 2007

I second all the positive things Andrew said about Dewson. It has many, many strengths. It has a full-time music teacher, gym teacher and librarian (sadly not every school can have specialist teachers.) Dewson really feels full of energy these days - there are so many engaged parents, staff and kids making things happen. On successive Thursdays in May Dewson's had a South Asian Festival, story telling festival, film night, kindergarten concert, and on June 7 the festival will happen with multicultural dinner and steel band performance. The school even has a cricket team! But for me the best thing is the diversity of the school community - I can't believe how much my boys are learning about the world just from their classmates. And as a stay-at-home parent right now I really value the community I've found at the school. All that said, I offer one more piece of advice - don't worry too much. In the west end of Toronto we have a many great schools to choose from. No school is perfect, but I haven't talked to a single parent who isn't mostly satisfied with where the school they chose.

Good luck.
Tori Smith


posted May 17, 2007

The grade 3 EQAO results for Dewson over the last five years have consistently been below the provincial standard.

There are also several excellent Catholic schools in the neighbourhood.

Posted anonymously by "It's Just Me" aka outskirts99

The EQAO (popularly known as "standardized testing") was introduced by the right wing Mike Harris government as a "one size fits" method of measuring student achievement. It's designed for the benefit of administrators and policy makers, rather than students or teachers. There is a direct correlation between high EQAO scores and socio-economic factors, ie: afluent, white kids whose first language is English score higher.

If EQAO is one's sole measure of a school's quality then perhaps Rosedale or Forest Hill would be a more appropriate setting.

And yes, there are several Catholic schools in our district, which is great. If you happen to be Catholic.

Andrew Munger
63 Hepbourne St.

Books - Local Authors

Anorexia and Bolemia


posted November 12, 2004

From Marianne Apostolides, a friend of the park who's also a writer:

Inner Hunger: A Young Woman's Struggle Through Anorexia and Bulimia (W.W. Norton, 1998) describes my ten-year journey through eating disorders, and into recovery. I wrote the book when I was young (I was still in my early twenties, and quite close to the emotions of the eating disorder); its style and content therefore appeals to girls and women aged 15-25, approximately. While the bulk of the book explores my own experience and, hopefully, connects the reader to hers, the final quarter contains straightforward advice for girls, their parents, friends, community members, etc. The book is no longer available in bookstores, but the Toronto Public Library has several copies, as do on-line bookstores.

The High History of Celtic Music


posted September 19, 2004

Drone On! The High History of Celtic Music by Winnie Czulinski (aka "Winnie, Lady of the Dulcimer") is a humorous look at the 3000 years of musical history behind the rhythms the ancient Celts laid down in lands like Ireland, Scotland, Brittany and Spain. This music has infused the world; influenced country, classical, religious, folk, rock and film music, and created the biggest dance phenomenon ever.

Drone On! The High History of Celtic Music (20 chapters, 200 pages) is published by

Sound and Vision Publishing Ltd. and distributed by. Firefly Books Ltd.

There's an excerpt of the book at, and it can be ordered through other retailers like Chapters/Indigo and Suggested retail price is $19.95 -- though you may find it for less.

Winnie Czulinski says, "As 'Winnie, Lady of the Dulcimer,' I have fond memories of performing my music for many Thursdays throughout summer/autumn in Dufferin Grove Park. It was a relaxing and rejuvenating experience for me, after having spent six months in "solitary confinement" book-writing! Meeting so many fabulous people who were intrigued with my instrument, confirmed for me that music truly is the universal language. And it was my dulcimer music that partly inspired my book -- which I call my 'CD' -- i.e., 'Celtic duty.' I hope you enjoy Drone On! and I can be contacted at"

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