It’s a taste of the other Danforth, Scarborough’s Danforth.
And while another Danforth Avenue festival this weekend may draw larger crowds, merchants and residents along the street east of Victoria Park Avenue have found a way this Saturday to show what their neighbourhood does best.
In an area with body shops, mechanics, used car lots and auto parts stores, Wheels on the Danforth is their answer.
The classic car show with 15 judged categories is this year’s addition to the Fun in the Park family festival presented by the Crossroads of the Danforth Business Improvement Area.
“We’re hoping to have well over 200 vehicles on the street,” said Liane Murillo, the festival co-ordinator.
“There’s going to be such a variety of vehicles, it’s going to be amazing.”
Certainly, anyone who wants to check out, say, a 1930 street rod Chevrolet sports coupe, a 1958 Dodge Crusader or a 1964 Ford Fairlane 500 is in luck Saturday.
In Oakridge Park east of Byng Avenue, centre of the family activities, “Odessa’s Mater” - an old truck refurbished by an Eastern Ontario man into a talking replica of a cartoon vehicle in certain Disney films - should be a star attraction.
The Access Alliance Multicultural Health and Community Services hub on the edge of the area, AccessPoint on the Danforth, is bringing more local talent and entertainment, to the event, which runs from 11 a.m to 5 p.m.
Both Danforth Avenue between Byng and Warden avenues and Danforth Road north to Landry Avenue will be closed from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. to accommodate Wheels on the Danforth and Fun in the Park.
Members of Scarborough’s newest BIA, which formed in 2008, hope the expanded event will promote the area as a place to work, play and live.
Local car clubs - there are four in Scarborough alone - usually have to drive far to show off their vehicles and are excited to do so in their own backyard, said Joe Murillo, Liane’s husband and a BIA vice president.
All activities are free, but auction sales and charity car wash will be raising money to benefit the children’s breakfast club at nearby Oakridge Community Centre.
The BIA is getting help from more than 50 volunteers, including youth co-ordinating events in the park. “Every year we’re getting stronger and stronger in terms of community spirit,” said Rene Glazier, who with her brother bought the former Mansion House tavern (now Frontier Sales, a used furniture store) across from the hardware store Glazier’s grandfather built and ran in the 1950s.
The Crossroads has empty storefronts, and while Glazier acknowledges some landlords are hanging on to their vacant properties, she said the BIA board is trying to recruit new businesses and sees positive prospects for the neighbourhood.