The Good Neighbours’ Food Market

The Church of The Messiah in partnership with the Residents of 250 Davenport, Toronto Community Housing Corporation, and Food Share bring you a weekly market featuring fresh vegetables and fruit at an affordable price. Unlike most traditional farmers’ markets, our food comes from a non-profit food-access programme called FoodShare. FoodShare only changes us a very slight markup from wholesale cost, and we pass those savings on to you! These are super-fresh vegetables coming from the same suppliers as the grocery store, but the price is the difference. DSC_1103

See Why Good is the New Super!

Our vision is enrich the life of the parish and surrounding community by providing a venue of fair exchange. As a contemporary Christian community we believe it is critical to respond to the needs of our community, and the number one concern raised to us after several months of research was “food security.” Simply put, many of our neighbours simply can’t afford to shop at the local boutique and high-end grocers. The Good Neighbour’s Food Market fixes that problem. Our goal is to create a market that attracts all kinds of people as we branch out to include small farms, artisans, and vendors in our effort. DSC_1171The market takes place on the lawn in front of 250 Davenport (Northwest corner of Avenue Road and Davenport) rain or shine from 4pm until 8pm. We plan to move the market indoors once the winter comes. We have big plans for the market. We want to start doing things like movie nights and cooking demonstrations. We also want to provide services like a monthly legal clinic, a tax clinic, and others. If you have a passion for community, contact us and let us know how you can help. Support for the project has been very positive from a variety of areas, including the office of city Councillor Adam Vaughan (before he was elected), the local BIA, and small business owners in the neighbourhood. We are happy for any input from the community, especially with regard to recruiting potential vendors. We are also looking for volunteers to help set-up, run, and clean-up the market. If you want to sponsor the market financially your help will be essential to making this endeavor sustainable into the future. Potential vendors are welcome! Please contact for more information or call 416.922.4371 and leave a message!

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The Weekly Bread Newsletter

Each week we publish a newletter focusing on one particular item of produce (our “Feature”) with lots of recipes and ideas. The Weekly Bread also include cook book reviews, articles about spirituality, and other information designed to help you live your best possible life in the corner of the Annex. Click on the covers below to view the PDF edition of the newsletter.

Live @ Messiah: Good Friday 2017

What makes Good Friday “Good?” Only that it is a small moment in our long lives to contemplate the end of a certain life: that of Jesus of Nazareth. We know that he was resurrected, but the reality of his death (and the reality of our sinfulness) are still realities to be dealt with on the journey towards love. Today we talk and think about the death of Jesus. Scroll below to see the leaflet or click on this link to see the worship leaflet.

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Holy Week Services 2017

Many people come to Church twice a year: Christmas and Easter. This is understandable, since they represent the two highlights of the church year–the celebrations of the birth and death/resurrection of Jesus. But if most people were forced to choose between them, they would probably go Christmas with its cheerful hymns, cozy traditions, and family vacation time. Yet for Christians nothing could be more cheerful than to commemorate the foundation of our hope: the death and resurrection of Christ.

We do this at Messiah in much the same way that the ancient Christians would have done thousands of years ago. The drama unfolds over the course of Holy Week beginning at Palm Sunday and climaxing at the Easter Vigil.

imagePalm Sunday of the Passion

When Jesus came into Jerusalem before his arrest, the Bible tells us that people laid palms on the street for him to ride over. This service begins at 10.30am on with a blessing over the palms in the park across the street from the church, which are then handed out so that we can carry them in procession around the church. The service moves quickly from the triumph of Jesus’s entry, when he was greeted as a king, to his betrayal, trial, and death. The sweep of these events challenge our understanding of how our world works and proposes that kingship might not look like we expect.

Maundy ThursdayDSC06465

On Thursday at 6.30 our community will gather to remember the Last Supper that Jesus had with his friends. Like them, we gather for a lush festival meal in the spirit of “Agape” (love). We even endeavor to recreate a feast that Jesus would have recognized with roast lamb, grains, and bread. This is one of the highlights of the community life of our church. When people have finished their supper, we tell the story of that last meal with the celebration of a Eucharist.

On that last night with his friends Jesus taught his disciples about true leadership by washing their feet–the chore of a lowly servant. We follow his example by taking turns washing each other’s feet. Finally, the church is stripped of all ornament and the community departs in silence. Only our youth remain–keeping vigil.

Burning-candleGood Friday

The saddest day of the church year is Good Friday. We will gather at 10.30 am around the cross to tell the story of Christ’s death on a similar cross in Jerusalem. We sing a powerful setting of the story and honor his sacrifice with humble prayers and petitions for the whole world that God loves.

The Easter Vigil

In the darkness a new light is kindled–literally. Having come together at 9pm, our community gathers around the priest in darkness as a flint is struck and kindling lights. By the light of this fire a candle is blessed and lit. Then others are also lit as we tell the story of how God’s promises came true for our ancestors. Jesus was resurrected from the grave. After communion we depart in joy.

_MG_2642Easter Sunday

Easter Sunday is the sweetest day of the year for Christians as we savor the freedom from death and sin which God has brought us by bringing back Jesus from the dead. Our worship will begin at 10.30 on Easter Morning. We sing songs of thanksgiving and praise and celebrate.

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Messiah Hosts 250 Davenport Development Open House

We were pleased to host members of the community for a meeting called by city Counselor Joe Cressy to discuss the development plans for the property adjacent to 250 Davenport. 250 Davenport is a large Community Housing (TCHC) complex close to Messiah. For some years we have been partnering with that building to run the Good Neighbours’ Food Market. The objective of the Market is to provide affordable fresh fruit and vegetables in an area with few other options. TCHC, which manages the building at 250 Dav, has sold some of the adjacent land to condo developers in order to finance the rejuvination of the TCHC building. The purpose of today’s meeting, ahead of a more formal meeting to be held February 18th, was to bring various stakeholders together in the area to talk about the plans.

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Market Report: January 14, 2015

After a few weeks’ break for the holidays the market is back! Join us every Wednesday at 250 Davenport for deals on Butter CUP squash and many other delights.

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The Weekly Bread: Cabbage


It’s time to forget everything you thought you knew about cabbage and turn over a new leaf

  • Editor’s Note: the Centre for Social Innovation
  • Food of the Week: Cabbage
  • Recipe Box: Braised Red Cabbage with Caramalized Apples
  • Kitchen Techniques: Fermenting Sauerkraut
  • Kids’ Table: Colouring Page and Word Find Puzzle
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The Weekly Bread: Carrots

These roots run deep: Carrots take over the world beginning with your kitchen

  • Editor’s Note: When the Weekly wasn’t weekly
  • Food of the Week: Carrots
  • How to Cut Onions
  • Recipe Box: Gajar Ka Halwa
  • 250 Dav: Social Assistance and the Food and Shelter Gap
  • Kids’ Table: Colouring Page and Word Find Puzzle
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The Weekly Bread: Onions

A universal ingredient in world cuisine, Onion makes the cut onto everybody’s plate, with a few tears.

  • Editor’s Note: The Shelter and Food Gap
  • Food of the Week: Onions
  • How to Cut Onions
  • Recipe Box: French Onion Soup
  • 250 Dav: Social Assistance and the Food and Shelter Gap
  • Kids’ Table: Colouring Page and Word Find Puzzle
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Recipe: Pumpkin with Chicken

imagesPumpkin with Chicken

Nasreen Zahida


  • 2 lbs. chicken pieces
  • 1/8 of a medium pumpkin; ripe
  • 1/3 cup cooking oil
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 4 tbs. onion blend
  • 2 tbs. ginger blend
  • 1 tbs. garlic blend
  • 1 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp coriander powder
  • 3 bay leaves


  1. Place a medium sauce pan on heat
  2. Add the oil
  3. Add all the spices and saute until flavor comes out
  4. Add the chicken and saute well to mix
  5. After 5 minutes put the lid on the pan
  6. Let the water come out from the chicken; check frequently to avoid burning
  7. Remove the lid and reduce the water completely
  8. Add 1/2 cup of water
  9. Peel and chop the pumpkin into 1 1/2” pieces before and clean and drain
  10. Add pumpkin to chicken when it boils vigorously
  11. Cook for 10 minutes
  12. Cover and simmer in low heat for 10 minutes
  13. Enjoy with bread, pita bread or rice
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Recipe: Mashed Pumpkin

villafane-pumpkin-carving-knockoutMashed Ripe Pumpkin

Nasreen Zahida


  • Ripe pumpkin wedge
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 tsp. fresh dill seed


  1. Peel and chop the pumpkin into 1/2’ slices
  2. Clean and drain
  3. Chop the onion in coarse pieces
  4. In a sauce pan put the pumpkin, onion, salt and 1/2 cup of water
  5. Cover and cook in medium heat until all the water is gone
  6. Mash with a potato masher
  7. Keep aside
  8. In a skillet pour the oil and heat
  9. Add The dill seeds and let it pop
  10. Add the mashed pumpkin and cook until the water is gone.
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Pumpkin Madness

home-decoration-other-design-inspiratncils-922x1008Pumpkin Madness

Far too nutritious and versatile to be reserved solely for Thanksgiving and Halloween pumpkins deserve to be added to your culinary repertoire.

by David Roth

With Halloween fast approaching pumpkins are in evidence all over the GTA, and many of us are preparing to engage in the age old tradition of hollowing out pumpkins and carving them into fanciful lanterns. Halloween, as celebrated by many people in North America, draws upon many cultural and spiritual traditions, not least of which are the Druidic harvest festival of Samhain, pronounced “Sahwin”, and the Christian Feast of All Saints. Samhain is celebrated from sundown on October thirty first until sundown on November 1, coinciding with the Feast of All Saints on November first. The name Halloween refers to the eve of All Saints, or All Hallows Eve. The story of how pumpkin carving came to be associated with and practised on Halloween in North America has its origins in Irish mythology.

As the legend goes a rather nefarious character named Stingy Jack was out drinking with the devil, as one does, and, true to his nature and to his name didn’t want to pay his bill. Jack convinced the prince of darkness to change himself into a coin with which he would settle their tab. Being even stingier, Stingy Jack was reluctant to part with this unholy coin and so walked out without paying and kept the coin in his pocket, next to a silver cross, effectively preventing his drinking buddy from changing back into his true form. Eventually Jack thought better of holding the devil hostage as a piece of currency and released him, but only on the condition that he leave Jack alone for a year.

The next year Jack convinced the devil to help him out again, this time by climbing up a tree to retrieve some fruit for him. While the devil was up amidst the boughs Jack carved a cross into the tree’s trunk, preventing him from climbing down. This time Jack released the devil on the condition of ten years’ amnesty and a promise to never lay claim to his soul. As with most people Jack eventually succumbed to the inexorable summons of death. God wanted nothing whatsoever to do with such an unsavoury character, but neither could Jack be admitted into hell, the devil being true to his word not to lay any claim to Jack’s soul. However, the devil was understandably miffed at having been had not once, but twice and so sentenced Jack to walk the earth in perpetuam as a lonely spirit and with only a single coal to light his way at night. Resourceful even in the face of an earthly damnation Jack carved out a turnip, making a lantern of sorts in which to keep the coal and to light his way. This earned him the name Jack of the Lantern, later being shortened to Jack O’Lantern.

A tradition sprang up throughout the British Isles based upon this legend in which people carved lanterns of turnips, beets, potatoes, and other root vegetables and placed them in their windows in order to ward off Jack and other wayward spirits. Early British colonists to North America soon adapted the practice to pumpkins as they were easily hollowed out and carved. The belief that spirits were to be found out and about on Halloween is why even today Jack O’Lanterns are carved and left out on October thirty first.

pumpkin patch picPumpkins as Food

Now, as interesting as all of this is it belies the fact that pumpkins are also a most savoury and wholesome variety of winter squash. Like other winter squashes, acorn and butternut to name but a couple, pumpkins are of the genus cucurbita pepo and like all squashes are indigenous to the Americas. The word pumpkin, which can be used interchangeably with other winter squashes but which is most commonly used to refer to the large, orange, ridged fruit vegetables we’ve all come to know and love, comes from the greek pepon, meaning “large melon”. The french adapted the Greek word to pompon, and the English to pumpion. British colonists to North America finally settled on pumpkin, and the name holds to this day.

Pumpkin pie is a favourite preparation of this hearty winter squash and has its roots in the early days of North American colonisation. Pumpkin, like other squashes, was a staple in the diets of many indigenous peoples throughout North America. Typically it was roasted over an open flame. Early settlers took to hollowing out whole pumpkins, filling them with milk, spices, and honey, and then slow roasting them in embers. Undoubtedly delicious as this must have been all but the most enterprising modern cooks opt to buy tins of pumpkin puree to make custard that can be baked in a pie. The more ambitious might even make their own puree by cooking down fresh pumpkin themselves. This does provide a more authentic and satisfying result, not only because of the sense of accomplishment and assurance of quality , but also because most commercially available pumpkin purees tend to be made from winter squashes other than the ones which most of us think of as pumpkins. This is not really false advertising because, as already mentioned above, the word pumpkin is, in fact, quite an encompassing term for a wide variety of squashes, albeit one which is colloquially used by most of us to describe that big orange one out of which we make Jack O’Lanterns once a year.

5145453784_861aaacc04_bCooking with Pumpkins

Aside from their use in holiday pies and as demonic lawn ornaments pumpkins are sought after and used by home cooks and top chefs alike. They can be used anywhere you would use another winter squash; pureed and baked into muffins and loaves, in soups, roasted alone or as part of a vegetable medley, for example. Even the seeds and leaves are used. Pumpkin seeds roasted with your favourite seasonings make an excellent healthy snack. You can buy the seeds raw almost anywhere that sells bulk food items, or simply clean the seeds you scoop out of your Jack O’Lantern. The leaves can be added to salads, soups, or lightly steamed and stuffed. Many fine restaurants feature ravioli stuffed with pumpkin, and it is especially fine in curry flavoured soup scented with spices such as cardamom, coriander, cumin, and nutmeg. Not only delicious, pumpkins contain many important nutrients, not least of which being beta carotene, a powerful antioxidant in its own right and a raw form vitamin A, and what gives pumpkins, carrots, and other colourful fruits and vegetables their distinctive orange colouring. Pumpkins are also a good source of dietary fibre, iron, magnesium, and potassium.

If the prospect of tackling an entire pumpkin on a regular basis seems daunting, consider buying a couple at a time and processing them on a free day. Entice friends, family, neighbours, members of your community to lend a hand and share in the fruits of your collective labours. Seeds can be roasted and kept indefinitely in a cool, dry place. The flesh can be chopped or pureed and frozen for future use. Far too nutritious and versatile to be reserved solely for Thanksgiving and Halloween pumpkins deserve to be added to your culinary repertoire. As a winter squash indigenous to this part of the world they keep exceptionally well and can be purchased whole, raw, and local most of the year. A proud part of our Canadian heritage, steeped in mythology, healthful, tasty, and versatile this week’s feature deserves a regular place in your larder and on your table.

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