For the basics, see
- Website & Privacy Policies
- How To Get Involved
- The Role of the Park

Search options:

up to a month to index new postings
web search

Search Newsletter:
local & up to date but simpler
See Search Page

Department Site Map

August 2006

posted August 2, 2006

(click to open)

Quick Page Table of Contents


Friends of Dufferin Grove Park Newsletter

Volume 7 Number 8, August 2006


Special Events In August

posted August 2, 2006

The Toronto Humanist movement – WORKSHOP
Saturday August 5th (2-4pm) in the rink house:

"Being an activist in the real world." [website:]

posted August 2, 2006; updated August 10, 2006

“All Caps” open-air FREE CONCERT
Saturday August 12, 2-7 p.m. In the Garrison Creek hollow by Dufferin Street.

Organized by Ryan McLaren. There will be eight youth bands, playing a great variety of music, from rock to jazz to punk music (family friendly). The Toronto Public Space Committee will have a table there, and so will “Who Runs this Town.” That’s Dave Meslin’s group, which organized the “Toronto Idol” candidate-for-City Council contest. We’ve invited the winner, and any other candidates for the upcoming municipal election this year, to stroll around during the concert and talk to young people about the issues.

See the website -

The bands:

Neil Haverty -
Proof of Ghosts -
The Diableros -
I Can Put My Arm Back On, You Can't -
Mantler -
Stop Die Resuscitate -
The Lolo Project -

See a story about this in the Toronto Star: Under-age and under-served

posted August 2, 2006

Clay and Paper Theatre SUMMER PERFORMANCES:
Camões, the One-Eyed Poet of Portugal.
Wednesday to Sunday, July 21 to August 13, 7:30 p.m.

Camões, the One-Eyed Poet of Portugal is the fourth show in Clay and Paper Theatre’s program called “Building Local Stories”, following The Resurrection of Fornax, The Ballad of Garrison Creek, and Gold all of which were written by Larry Lewis and directed by David Anderson.

From director David Anderson: “On the northwest corner of College and Crawford stands a sculpture of Luis Vas de Camões. Many local Torontonians know that statue, but few who are not Portuguese know that he is the national poet of a nation of poets, the greatest and most beloved poet of Portugal. We hope to correct this omission. Narrated by the one-eyed adventurer, soldier and poet himself, Luis de Camões in Dufferin Grove Park will sing the praises of the Portuguese who have come to our community. It will fill the air with the songs of the Fado. Gigantones and Cabecudos (giant puppets and big head puppets) will recall and connect the Portuguese parade tradition with ours. This is a collaboration between David Anderson, Nuno Cristo, Aida Jordao, Mark Keetch and Larry Lewis.”

The Bairrada Churrasqueira (at College and Rusholme) send their cook up after the show to grill delicious Portuguese sardines, served with corn bread, at the cob courtyard. Pay by donation (all proceeds go to Clay and Paper Theatre). They also give lessons in how to eat the sardines (peel them off the bone, bit by bit).

posted August 2, 2006

Something brand new at Dufferin Grove: WRESTLING SHOW.
Thursday August 24, 7 – 9 p.m. On the rink.

There will be various wrestling acts, such as the Italianos versus Motor City Assassins, Magnus the Punisher versus Big Daddy Hammer, and many others. There are also midget wrestlers (Farmer Pete versus El Tigre) and lady wrestlers (Ladies’ Champ LuFisto versus Sexxxy Eddie). The finale may involve quite a bit of ketchup. This is a fund-raiser for a dog-adoption shelter called “adopt a dog - save a life.” By donation.

This is a chance for Dufferin Grove to get even more diverse than it already is. For that one evening, the skateboarders will have to yield their place to the wrestlers, on the pleasure-skating side of the rink.

Produced by

posted August 2, 2006

Friday August 25, 7 to 9 p.m.

with DJ and park staff Ted Carlisle. On the grass beside the basketball court. Eroca Nicols will teach a traditional dance of some kind and after that Ted will spin all sorts of other music too.

posted August 2, 2006

Friday August 25 and Saturday August 26, 8:30pm

A new theatre company called the “Maboroschi Orchestra” presents shadow puppet show, The Man with the Wolf in his Belly. 8.30 p.m. by the playground gazebo. Livia Berius and Stuart Wiber are both recent graduates of the National Theatre School in Montreal. They’re touring this show, adapted from a story by German Saravanja, to various parks this summer (including our sister park, MacGregor). Dufferin Grove is their last stop. The show lasts half an hour and then kids are welcome to come backstage and see how shadow puppets work. Admission is free and donations are welcome.

posted August 2, 2006

Sunday September 3, 4 p.m. on the basketball court

The annual get-together of the Morris Dancers. Organized by John Parkinson. On the basketball court. This event is a party for all the various Toronto Morris Dancing groups, plus some out of town groups. It’s always held on Labour Day weekend. The groups come together at Dufferin Grove after they’ve danced all over the city. They have an “ale” inside the rink house along with pizza at the oven and lots of park oven bread and herb butter. The point of the get-together is so that groups can show off their latest dances to one another. They welcome anyone else who wants to watch, and they are generous about sharing their food. They’re not allowed to share the ale, though.


Arie's morning glories climbing the
chain link fence by the rink house

posted August 2, 2006

Every Tuesday and Wednesday afternoon,4 to 6 p.m.

Park staff Eroca Nicols is a dancer, as lots of park friends know. 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 into 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.

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.” 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 August 2, 2006

Tuesday afternoon, 1 to 3 pm by the wading pool

with Kate Cayley.

posted August 2, 2006

Wednesday afternoon, 1 to 3 pm

...with Kate Cayley. Near the playground. Everyone is welcome to come and hear stories from all around the world, with new stories each week. As August progresses, drama and puppetry may also be part of the Wednesday afternoons. Kate is a former staff member at the park, and is now the artistic director of The Cooking Fire Theatre Festival. She told stories by the wading pool and at pizza days for many years.

posted August 2, 2006

Wednesday to Sunday, 11am to 3.30pm

with Georgie Donais, Jenny Cook, and lots of others. Help build a park bench that looks like an old tree; find out how to make an earth-bag foundation; and (later in August) make a little composting-toilet enclosure with bas-relief sculptures. For more information: See the dufferin park cob courtyard subsite for details about cob.

posted August 14, 2006

See a review of this project in the National Post: Park goes arty with compost toilet

posted August 13, 2006

7 a.m. by the cob gardens

posted August 2, 2006

Thursday afternoon, 1 to 3 pm

with park staff Anna Bekerman. By the cob wall. Cook scones, fritters, dovladas, tortillas. Children too.

Anna cooking blue corn pancakes at the Saturday afternoon campfire:

posted August 2, 2006

Thursday Stories For Children
Thursday 4-5 pm at the farmers’ market

Stories for children with April and Daniel.

posted August 2, 2006

Thursdays (except NOT Aug.10 and 17), 2 to 6 p.m. near the farmers’ market.

Park friend Issie Chackovicz brings his tools and also his educational material about the CAN-BIKE courses he teaches. He does 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.

posted August 2, 2006

Friday afternoon, 1 to 3 pm (except August 4):

with park staff Sandy Gribbin. Sandy does physical theatre when he’s not working at the park. He has four pairs of stilts for kids who want to try being taller.

posted August 2, 2006


Those are just lazy afternoons, but there’s often a surprise activity of some kind, since the park staff have many talents. You can also borrow a volleyball, chess and checker pieces are set up, and once in a while there’s croquet.

posted August 2, 2006

Sundays 1 to 3pm

That’s the time for Eroca Nicols’ BEACH BLANKET BINGO. Everyone welcome.

Food In The Park

posted August 2, 2006

12 to 2 Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 1 to 3 Sundays.

From park staff Amy Withers: “Pizza is a make-your-own affair but we cook it for you in the oven and the cost is 2 dollars per pizza for dough, sauce and cheese. You can top your pizza with some of the fresh greens the garden is starting to yield like basil, kale, red chard, dill, and soon tomatoes. Of course feel free to bring extra toppings from home. On hot pizza days we set out the sprinkler for kids to dash through while you chat and we have a few toys and books for little ones too.”

Groups on pizza days:

Small groups: Amy says, “If you have a group of less than 12 people just call the park and tell us that you would like to come. Since pizza days are quite busy we suggest a less hectic time, for instance if you come late in the session (at 1.30 on Tuesdays and Wednesdays or 2.30 on Sundays) there is more space for a little group.”

Bigger groups: If you want to have a pizza party for a large group, more than 12 people, you must contact the park at 416 392 0913 to book a time separate from, but adjoining, our regular pizza hours (that is, right before or right after the regular pizza day hours). For the extra time and staff required for a scheduled party we charge 60 dollars plus $2 per pizza as usual. If your group has special circumstances and you are willing to make a trade of labour and time or goods for a lowered price, discuss it with staff….we like making deals.”

posted August 2, 2006

Every Friday at the big oven, 6 to 7 p.m.

Friday night suppers, weather permitting, every Friday from 6 to 7.30. Same low prices as other years – or free if you want to do swaps (e.g. park garden help, dishes, park clean-up). Contact park staff if you want to make this arrangement – no documentation is necessary, just your willingness to swap something the park needs (like your skills). See Bake Ovens and Food.

posted August 2, 2006

it’s at the playground every day

Serving coffee, juice, and good plain bake-oven food, mostly organic. You can swap your work skills for food there too, if you like. In this hot summer, don’t forget to bring a cup from home – the water fountain is broken but the cob courtyard has taps that dispense free, clean, delicious Toronto City water. No need to bring bottled water. (The food cart does sell bottled water, if you must.)


posted August 2, 2006


The park web site ( has a section called “Neighborhood marketplace,” which is full of good recommendations about carpenters, auto repair shops, book-keepers, and every kind of person who might make life easier when a job is not do-it-yourself. These are not ads but neighborhood references that have appeared on the “dufferingrovefriends” e-list over time. To add to the word-of-mouth about who’s local and good at their trade, the park newsletter will carry one item a month about a local merchant whom people like.

From local resident Max Wallace: “I have discovered something truly rare in Toronto that I just have to pass on - an honest car mechanic! They're called Autosonic and they're located at 1236 Dundas, around Dovercourt. Their phone number is 416 535-7565. After some unhappy experiences at other mechanics, I first brought our 14-year-old Honda Civic to them a few months ago for a tune-up and checkup and I even told them that I thought it sounded a bit funny. Nelson called me back the same afternoon and told me there was nothing wrong with it except that it needed new windshield wipers. They replaced the wipers, changed the oil and the total bill came to about $60.00. I think that's the cheapest I ever ended up paying after a checkup/tuneup on any car, new or old. But I assumed that was just a fluke. Then, earlier this week, I heard what sounded like a metallic clanking in the car and knew something was wrong. I immediately brought it to Autosonic and, since my Drive Clean test is due in three weeks, I also asked them to do that at the same time. A few hours later, I received a call informing me that it was a very minor problem with the exhaust, they had fixed it, and I could pick it up at any time. If they had told me I needed a new fligabidijit and the total was $1200.00, I would have paid it. Total cost, including the Drive Clean test, a new gas cap required to pass the emissions test, and taxes: $57.44. I noticed on my bill that they had charged me a grand total of $4.00 for labour! They are also very friendly and incredibly efficient.”

To submit a story of a favourite local merchant, e-mail

posted August 2, 2006


Parked cars at the bottom of the park,
blocking residents' laneway access

The little dead-end bit of Gladstone Avenue right by the playground has legal parking spaces for only four cars on the east side of the street. The west side of the street has two “no stopping” signs, but they are not obvious.

That little street is the only access to the laneway behind the houses on that stretch of Lindsay Avenue, where residents park their cars. In this hot summer, when so many people come to the playground wading pool, there are usually between 5 and 10 cars parked on the dead-end street illegally. That makes the street so congested that residents are often blocked from getting their cars out of the laneway.

A friend of the park is painting a big “no parking” sign. Park users can help too – if you see someone parking there, point out the signs to them. Otherwise they might get a very expensive ticket, which would spoil their day at the park.

No parking signs painted by park staff


As in other years, the soccer field is available for free casual community permits from Saturday at 2 p.m. to Sunday night. The casual permits are available from park staff Amy Withers. You can contact her by e-mailing or by leaving a message for her at the park: 416 392-0913.

posted June 08, 2006

Saturdays 4 to 6 p.m. – co-ed soccer

Neighbourhood soccer games all accept drop-in players – just talk to the players and join the game. Saturdays 4 to 6 p.m. – co-ed soccer.

Saturday 6 pm to dark

For years now, this has been mainly but not only Sudanese players. There are always a few taxis parked on Dufferin Park Avenue while their drivers play.

Sundays 10 to 12 p.m. – women's beginner/intermediate soccer

"We do a few warm-up drills and then play with however many show. It's a lot of fun."

posted August 2, 2006

Sundays 4 to 6 p.m.

From cricket organizer Hasanka: “On Sundays we play an informal game of cricket at the park, on the soccer field. We play with a tennis ball, so no protective equipment is required. If you'd like to join us, just walk up and introduce yourself. This is not a club with membership fees, just a group of amateur cricket enthusiasts. Beginners (and spectators) are welcome. We hope to see you there.”

posted August 2, 2006

Saturdays 10:30-12:30 p.m.

Contact: Matt Price,

Matt can put you in touch with the ultimate frisbee players. He himself can’t play right now because he fell off a cliff as high as a four-story building, early in July. He not only survived but – after intensive care and some very skilful surgery – he’s begun to walk again, still using a cane. Seeing him walking in the park is a great thrill for the many people in this neighbourhood who know Matt (but nothing compared to the thrill for his family!). Matt says he’s so amazed that he’s alive, and his thankfulness is quite contagious.

posted August 2, 2006

7pm Wednesday nights throughout the outdoor Vball season

Contact: Zoubin at ( From Zoubin: Our friendly beginner level (recreational) volleyball group is now into its second year of playing at Dufferin Grove Park on Wed. nights. This organically formed group organizes itself online through an email based RSVP confirmation system. When: 7pm Wednesday nights throughout the outdoor Vball season. Skill level: Recreational.

posted August 2, 2006


This is the summer of the temporary skateboard park. It’s been set up at Dufferin Grove while its home, Scadding Court Rink, is torn up and replaced with a new rink surface. If kids want to borrow a skateboard to try it out, park staff have three good boards, with helmets, to lend. Kids need good I.D. and a signed consent from their parent or guardian. For more information, call the park at 416 392-0913 or write:

Other Events

posted August 2, 2006


Yoga in the park
every Thursday, weather permitting, 4:45-6:00.

It is open and free for youth (12-24), no registration is necessary, between the basketball court and soccer field.

Dufferin mall Youth Services program supervisor Wolfgang Vachon says that staff from the agency will be in the park throughout the summer and into the fall to connect with youth. Their services are: “culturally sensitive counselling, community support, and programming for youth age 12-24 and their families. DMYS was conceived and established as a joint community, mall, and business initiative to meet the needs of families, youth, businesses, and individuals striving to improve their communities. We are located inside Dufferin Mall in Suite 103, down the hall from HRDC and beside Abrigo. For more information call 416 535 1140.”

posted August 2, 2006, revised August 11, 2006


The farmers’ market is a tough place to shop if you’re in a hurry – people are so friendly and there are so many interesting conversations that it’s hard to get out of there.

One of the conversations lately has been about a “Harvest Ontario” booklet ( listing all Ontario farmers’ markets. Bob Chorney, the executive director of Farmers’ Markets Ontario (, offered copies of this booklet to market manager Anne Freeman for distribution at the market, and she showed it to quite a few market users. But they didn’t like it very much. The booklet has a colourful centrefold directed at "Mom," telling her to just relax about pesticides. There are lots of pictures to illustrate the point, for example an eggplant in a bubble bath, with the claim that pesticides are a lovely “spa for vegetables.”

The centrefold ad comes from "CropLife Canada," ( the "trade association representing manufacturers, developers and distributors of pest control products and plant biotechnology." Ouch! There are lots of pressures on organic farming, including initiatives like this ad booklet. We won’t be contributing by handing it out.

Since Farmers’ Markets Ontario has just been funded by the Greenbelt Foundation ( - an arms-length corporation endowed by the Ontario Government) [ see the Greenbelt Plan Area (map) ] to "keep rural life in south central Ontario strong and productive," it seems that their influence in promoting such a booklet is not unimportant. However it’s also important to get the facts right, and your newsletter editor didn’t do enough checking before calling attention to this booklet in the first printing of this newsletter. That made Farmers’ Markets Ontario’s Bob Chorney very unhappy. Hopefully there are no errors in this story now.

Bob Chorney says he has now passed on our concerns to “Bright Light Communications” (, publisher of the booklet. That’s good. Farmers Markets Ontario and the Greenbelt Foundation have a very big task ahead, and we wish them the best in their efforts. For more information, a link to the Greenbelt web site, and a map of the “Greenbelt,” see the market page of the park web site.


This newsletter is sponsored by Scooter Girl Toys and also by Edward Cayley.

Newsletter prepared by: Jutta Mason

Illustrations: Jane LowBeer

Web Site: Henrik Bechmann

Park photographer: Wallie Seto

Park phone: 416 392-0913

Web address:


hosted by | powered by pmwiki-2.2.83. Content last modified on March 13, 2008, at 10:42 PM EST