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Weekly Summer Events

posted June 8, 2006

Dancing In The Park, Step One

Tuesdays and Wednesdays,4 to 6 p.m.

Many of the people who work at the park have other “hats” that they wear as well. Park staff Eroca Nicols, as lots of park friends know, is a dancer currently studying with Ballet Creole. When park staff Ted Carlisle, who is also a DJ, presented a DJ on Ice day at the end of February, lots of people danced (on the ice, with or without skates). That was so much fun that Eroca began to plan with Ted, for summer dancing in the park.

So this is the summer to try it. Eroca says there are so many wonderful group dances/ line dances/ square dances in all the cultures of the world, and she wants to introduce some of them in the park, with the help of park kids. So the park is offering free children’s dance classes every Tuesday and Wednesday all summer long at the park. Then on one Friday each month (July, August, September, maybe October if the weather is still good), Eroca and Ted and will host a D.J.’d dance on the rink pad, for everyone, after Friday Night Supper. The dance class kids will teach everyone (adults too) who want to learn the traditional group dance of that month and then Ted will spin all sorts of other music too.

The sessions are:

  • Tuesdays:
    • Ages 5 and under, 4:00pm-4:30pm.
    • Ages 6-8, 4:45pm-5:30pm
  • Wednesdays:
    • Ages 9-12, 4:00pm-4:45pm.
    • All Ages Dance/Instrument Jam 4:45pm-5:45pm

From Eroca:

All classes will be in front of the playground gazebo. Make sure to wear sunscreen and bring water to class. Thanks to all who came to the first week of classes, And for your patience with the age group/schedule experiment. If anyone has kid friendly instruments (maracas, tambourines, percussive noisemakers of any kind) and would like to donate them please contact Eroca or drop them by during the All Ages Jam on Wednesday between 4:45pm and 5:45pm.

To find out more or to sign up, call the park at 416 392-0913 and leave a message, or e-mail Eroca at

posted June 8, 2006

Bike Maintenance Clinic

Every Thursday, 2 to 8 p.m. near the farmers’ market and/or the playground.

Park friend Issie Chackovicz tried this out on the last weekend in May, bringing his tools and also his educational material about the CAN-BIKE courses he teaches. It worked so well that every Thursday beginning on June 15, Issie will do on-the-spot bike maintenance, with explanations. If your bike is squeaking, the handlebars are crooked, the brakes are loose, the gears don’t work right – Issie can get your bike back in shape while your kids play in the sandpit, or while you walk the dog, or come to shop at the market. He’ll charge for the work and the parts; the explanations, of how to do it yourself the next time, are free. That might get some squeaky bikes back into good condition fast, for all those busy people who can’t fit in regular maintenance trips to the bike shop.

Issie is a nationally-certified CAN-BIKE instructor. He writes:

“The CAN-BIKE PROGRAM is a set of courses on all aspects of cycling safely and enjoyably on the road. The orientation is toward recreational and utilitarian use of the bicycle rather than toward competition. The CAN-BIKE courses are organized on age and 3 levels - basic, advanced and instructor. I teach all the levels including bike maintenance.”

Issie says the Can-Bike approach works for people who (1) want to learn to ride a bike, or (2) who already ride a bike in the city but would like to learn how not to get run over by a truck. Issie says he can teach anyone, child or adult, to ride a bike in half an hour. That’s just getting moving. After that comes riding in your neighbourhood, then riding on main streets, than riding safely in the urban jungle. The courses are offered at various Parks and Recreation locations but Issie wants to start some sessions at Dufferin Grove Park. He says there couldn’t be a better location, with the large surface of the rink for doing figures-of-eight, and then the local-traffic-only protection of the block between the park and St.Mary’s High School. Contact:

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