“The Danforth felt like the safest place ever. And it still does”
We asked residents what makes #DanforthStrong and what they love about the community
WORDS AND PHOTOGRAPHY BY NICHOLAS JONES
I was born on the Danforth and spent the first 10 years of my life running up and down Logan Avenue. The neighbourhood’s towering trees, wide laneways and profusion of parks formed my model for what a childhood home should be. Though my family moved away, I’ve since moved back because the Danforth will always be home to me.
It’s for this reason that I felt so strongly about talking to others in my community in the immediate aftermath of the tragic shooting on July 22. I didn’t need a hashtag to tell me that the Danforth was strong, but I wanted to try to capture some of that strength for others to see. Here’s what people said when I asked what they love about the neighbourhood and why they still feel it’s the best place to be in the city.
“What makes Danforth strong? Look at the people. It warms my heart to see everyone coming out to show their support and to show they’re not afraid to come down here.” – Mani
“We grew up in the east end, have been on the Danforth for six years. One of the reasons we moved into the area is because it’s very family-oriented and still feels very safe to walk around in, day or night.”– Mina
“The people who work in restaurants and live in the area make Danforth strong. It’s a real community, like a small town. Everyone knows each other and they support one another. I’ve lived here for 40 years and I was never afraid to walk down Danforth as a little girl, or as a teenager. It felt like the safest place ever. And it still does.”– Irene
“I love that things are open late here—the people are friendly and it’s really lively. One hidden gem on the Danforth is at the Big Carrot. Everyone knows the Big Carrot and Carrot Common, but I never knew they had a rooftop garden until I just walked up there one day. It’s really amazing.” – Abdul
“There are stores and community spaces here that I frequent every second day: from the fruit stalls at Logan with really good prices on organic berries, to the Big Carrot, to Eastminster Church where I sing in a choir. There are a lot of places along the Danforth that are very nurturing to me.”– Louise (with her friend Diana)
“I love how eclectic and vibrant the neighbourhood is: you can go from a bakery to a Greek restaurant, to a Thai place. I love walking from Pape to Broadview and just checking out the eclectic mix of shops and restaurants. It’s a great walk.” – Kevin
“There are a lot of great mom and pop shops that are really nice that you can just duck into to check out.”– Kim
“Whatever you want to explore, this community offers it. You just have to seek it out. There are a lot of diverse interests and different types of people clustered in a small area. In particular, I like the easy access to the lake from the Danforth, as well as all the access to green space and parks.” – Farahnaz
“I love the atmosphere of this neighbourhood and the people. [In the wake of the shooting], I’ve seen them stick together and fight as hard as they can to keep the Danforth a safe community to live in. It’s clear that they all intend to live here for years to come.”– Gail
“If you’re visiting the Danforth, I’d recommend visiting Riverdale Park. It’s huge, but people can still miss it. It’s just south of the Danforth on Broadview Avenue, and it overlooks the downtown skyline, so it’s a great place to watch the sun set.”– Jessica
We love our communities—and we know you do, too. That’s why we started hitting the streets of the GTA to get the inside scoop on what the locals enjoy most about where they live. We’ll be visiting lots of neighbourhoods in this region—if you see us out and about in the coming months, don’t hesitate to say “hi!”