Vibrant street fest draws attention to the Don Mills community

Despite the inclement weather, the Don Mills Street Festival went off without a hitch.

The Oct. 3 event was created by members of the community group Don Mills Residents Inc. (DMRI) Communications director Doris Bies says the group needed to reassert their presence in the community.

“They (the residents) didn’t know what we were doing,” Bies said. “We thought this would be a great way to show what Don Mills Inc. can do,” Bies said.

Beis says the idea took off, prompting many local community groups and businesses to get involved.

“Better Living is here, Girl Guides of Canada is here, the karate people, different real estate people, so we thought, ‘invite all the local groups in,’” Bies said.

The event at Don Mills Collegiate featured street hockey, face painting, a bouncy castle, food truck and Scottish dancing, with a strip of Donway East closed for the occasion. Organizers originally wanted to hold the festival in June, but DMRI area co-ordinator Eric Kalm says they hit a stumbling block.

“Because of the Pan Am Games, they (the city) wouldn’t allow any road closings at that time,” Kalm said. “We looked for the next possible date and that turned out to be October 3rd.”

The DMRI raised money for the festival via vendor fees and sponsorships, and they intend on putting the money back into the community.

“We are actually going to be donating back to the high school for their organic garden, so we’ll probably be giving them a substantial cheque ….” Bies said.

Despite the unseasonal date of the festival, vendors such as Michael Walsh of Northern Karate School seemed pleased with the turnout.

“(There has been a) steady flow of people going through and it’s been a nice day,” Walsh said. “Many of our students came out, so that’s nice as well.”