News in brief

For the fifth season in a row, the Anglican Church of St. Nicholas Birch Cliff is teaming with the Birchmount Bluffs Neighbourhood Centre and Wimpy’s Diner to offer families and individuals in need The Amazing Christmas Feast on Sunday, Dec. 23 from 4 to 8 p.m. The event begins with a free turkey dinner with all the traditional trimmings at Wimpy’s, 1496 Kingston Rd. at Manderley Dr., and continues across the street at St. Nicholas Church where dessert will be served.
Santa Claus will be in attendance to visit with the kids and each child will receive a wrapped gift and photo. If you would like more information, please call 416-691-0449, 416-396-4312, or 416-694-1557.
Calvary Baptist Church is also holding a Community Christmas Dinner, on Christmas Day, Tuesday, Dec. 25, beginning at 3 p.m. Sit down to a full-course turkey dinner followed by fellowship, carol singing, and a visit from Santa who will be bringing along presents, too. Calvary Baptist Church is located at 72 Main St., at the corner of Benlamond. For more information call 416-691-4721.

A plethora of pop-up shops are still offering plenty of opportunities for pre- and post-holiday shopping along Danforth Avenue, from Bastedo to East Lynn, until the end of December. Organizers at Renew East Danforth say this is the biggest pop-up event the city has ever seen, as nine shops have opened in six storefronts over two blocks. The stores offer a mix of arts, gifts, clothing, accessories, arts and crafts workshops and fitness classes. By temporarily taking over empty storefronts in declining neighbourhoods, pop-up shops encourage regeneration and bring shoppers, and ultimately retail tenants, back.
Visit for more details.

Community Centre 55 is ready to begin its 31st annual Share A Christmas distribution of food and gifts to local families in need. From Tuesday, Dec. 18 to Thursday, Dec. 20, from 6 to 8 p.m., packing and sorting of non-perishables will take place at the Centre, 97 Main St.
On Friday, Dec. 21, toys will be packed and sorted, and although children are encouraged to help out with most Share A Christmas events, organizers ask that this be a child-free evening.
Perishables will be packed and sorted on Delivery Day, Saturday, Dec. 22 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Then at 2 p.m., deliveries begin. The delivery process usually lasts several hours. If you would like to help out, or want more information, call 416-691-1113.

The Neighbourhood Centre at 91 Barrington Ave. needs volunteers to help with its distribution of food and toy hampers to low income families in the East York area.
Until Dec. 21, volunteers will sort, wrap and assemble hampers of toys, clothing and food. On Friday, Dec. 21, volunteer drivers are needed to deliver the packed hampers. If you are able to help, or would like more information, call 416-698-1626.

The holiday season is stressful for many, and even more so for those with drinking problems. Family visits and holiday parties may present opportunities for conflict and hostile confrontations when a problem drinker over-indulges. Al-Anon/Alateen offers support. Contact Al-Anon/Alateen Family Groups at 416-410-3809 or visit

Join Ward 32 Councillor Mary-Margaret McMahon at a Community Skate at Ted Reeve Arena on Sunday, Dec. 23. The whole family is welcome to come out and share ice time with the councillor between 2 and 4 p.m. For more information call McMahon’s office at 416-392-1376 or email councillor

The annual Carolling in Cassels Park will take place on Sunday, Dec. 23. This is the eighth year this popular event will bring together friends and neighbours in the Gerrard and Woodbine  community. The singing is slated to begin at 7 p.m. For more information call 416-392-1376.

Fallingbrook Presbyterian Church will host a Community Breakfast on Saturday, Jan 12, at 9 a.m. with special guest Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish, author of I Shall Not Hate: A Gaza Doctor’s Journey. Dr. Abuelaish is a Palestinian medical doctor who was born and raised in a Gaza Strip refugee camp, and is a passionate proponent of peace between Israel and Palestine. His autobiographical book, inspired by the loss of his three daughters to Israeli shelling in 2009, is an international bestseller.
Fallingbrook Church is located at 35 Wood Glen Rd., off Kingston Rd. between Victoria Park and Warden Aves. Call 416-699-3084 for more information.

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