Friday, 25 May 2007

Wow – it’s getting Green in Cabbagetown
Although the BIA is officially non-political, we can’t help but be impressed by Chris Tindal from the Green Party of Canada. He’s their nominated candidate for the next federal election. He was their candidate in the last election as well when he carried the Green message with both passion and humour.
Chris saw our appeal for funds from last week’s newsletter and he’s pledged $100 toward the Cabbagetown Festival parade. He’s said that he hopes to inspire others to do the same and we do too … we’ll be happy to take donations from any Liberals, Conservatives and NDP who like the parade and want to match Chris.

It’s Spring and Cabbagetown is in full bloom…
We can all easily see that our local flower shops are now in full bloom. They’ve got lots of blossoms and every local gardener is stocking up.
Our stores also provide great beauty for the whole street. We regularly hear from residents, tourists and other visitors that we’re lucky to have these displays right along our major street corners.
Our thanks to Jamestown Milk (592 Parliament St), Parliament Smoke & Gift (609 Parliament St) and Fairway Market (520 Parliament St). Their efforts have brought colour and beauty to each corner.
At Parliament Smoke & Gift, the blooms live indoors as well as outside.

Then, of course, there are these two late bloomers…
Doug Hurlbut and Stuart Marwick are seen here in the midst of their campaign to spend more money on Parliament Street. Two great Cabbagetowners, they’re an inspiration for all of us.

Medical Clinics Sponsored by the Filipino Centre.
The Filipino Centre, Toronto operates several really helpful community services. Their contributions are making the Cabbagetown and St James Town neighbourhoods healthier and safer for all of us.
On the last Sunday of each month, FCT offers FREE medical workshops. On May 27th, the topic is hypertension and the guest speaker is Dr. Nenette de Villa, the chief cardiologist at St. Joseph Health Centre. The chairman of this FCT committee is Dr. Mario Andres, a practicing physician who is a medical internist in the Greater Toronto area. Before each workshop, qualified nurses take blood pressure for anyone who wants to know if their blood pressure is okay. FCT offers FREE medical clinics for new immigrants who are waiting for their Ontario health cards. These clinics are held on every second Saturday of each month from 12 to 2 pm with qualified medical practitioners. When there is medicine available, this medication is given free.

Vegetable Soup at the Cabbagetown Community Arts Centre
You’re invited to a gala exhibition of young people's art work (ages 4 to 6) at the Centre (454 Parliament St), on Friday, June 1 from 5 to 8 pm. Carolyn Poplak, the Centre’s executive director, wants us to “pop by, have a bite and take in the beautiful creations of these young people.”

Jazz at the Cobourg
Sunday is our last chance to see Perry White this summer. He’s joined by Reg Shwager on guitar and Neil Swainson on bass. Sunday, 9 pm. No cover.
As always, it’s beautiful sax at the Cobourg (533 Parliament St).

Thanks to the Don Vale Cabbagetown Residents Association
The DVCRA has taken the initiative in a special customer-satisfaction survey among our residents. 1100 homes were contacted and almost 500 have replied – a phenomenal response. The survey asks about the shopping districts along Carlton, Gerrard and Parliament. There can be no doubt from the enthusiasm shown by the replies that people love our area and have deep feelings about its future.
To everyone who took a few minutes to pass on this valuable advice – thanks from every BIA member. And thanks as well to the Board and members of the DVCRA who have taken so much time and given so much effort to write, distribute and collate all the surveys. This is a wonderful initiative that will help merchants, property owners, city officials and many others as we work to improve our streets and businesses.

Lunchtime Nia at the Union
The Union is the new yoga studio at 242 Carlton Street and they’re offering a wide range of programs. They’re located in a beautiful room within the striking storefront just west of Parliament on Carlton.
Jennifer Hicks has a NIA lunch program. “Nia is a spirited blend of the martial arts, dance arts, and healing arts. It is an invigorating cardiovascular conditioning experience set to inspiring music and is suitable for anyBODY.” We can join her from 12:30 to 1:15pm every Thursday from June 7 to July 12. The fee for six weeks is $36. Please register with her directly at or 416-573-4911.
On Saturday June 2nd, the Union is also hosting a Craft Fair fundraiser from 9 am to 7 pm. Local artists will be selling eco-friendly, hand-crafted artwork, household objects and rescued plants. All proceeds go to local artists, community yoga programming and the Women Against Poverty Collective. For more information, call Maggie at (416) 616-3660.

Music on Parliament Street
Starting in early June, the BIA is sponsoring four musical Saturday afternoons. Watch for the details here and in flyers now being sent to your homes. You’ll be able to enjoy Peruvian flutes, a dulcimer, Irish fiddle music, country tunes and the smoothest jazz. And all the while, you’ll be out and about on Parliament Street – a dynamite combo.

Friday, 18 May 2007

Thanks to Carol Garner at PSST

Avid readers of this Newsletter will know that we’re looking for donors and sponsors to help defray the cost of our annual Festival Parade.

Carol is our first benefactor! Our heartfelt thanks to her. PSST regularly supplies T-Shirts for our Festival and we can vouch for the high standards of her quality and service. PSST offers custom screen printing, embroidery and promotional products. You can see more at

We’re sure that many more people will want to follow Carol’s inspiring example and make a small contribution to a great annual event. You can email Doug Fisher at and make arrangements.

It’s Spring

And it’s time for a new flag. You can order one at the BIA office (237 Carlton Street) at 416-921-0857. The cost for a flag is $30 and for a complete kit (a flag, a pole and a bracket), it’s $50.
By the way, we’ve just sold three flags to our southern Cabbagetown neighbours in Atlanta, Georgia. As soon as we get photos, we’ll tell you more.

Customer appreciation at Menagerie Pet Shop

Throughout the afternoon on Saturday, Menagerie Pet Shop (549 Parliament St) is offering free hot dogs and in-store specials as a springtime “thank-you” to their customers. Drop by for some kibble…yummy stuff!

Cabbagetown’s Princess Warrior

Anyone who passes the corner of Winchester and Parliament during school hours will recognize Zena Primus. She keeps our kids safe at a dangerous intersection and still has time to cheer up everyone else nearby. Our thanks to Ray Barton for insisting that we give Zena full credit for doing such a great job.

Jazz at the Cobourg

The Perry White Trio returns to The Cobourg (533 Parliament St) once more on Sunday, May 20. Perry White is on sax with Neil Swainson on bass and Rob Piltch on guitar. 8 pm. No cover charge. Beautiful music – don’t miss it.

Doors Open Toronto – Saturday, May 26 and Sunday, May 27

Two Cabbagetown landmarks are on this year’s tour. The Chapel of St James the Less at St James Cemetery (635 Parliament Street) on Saturday and Sunday, from 1 pm to 4 pm. The Chapel at Toronto Necropolis (200 Winchester Street) on Saturday and Sunday, from 11:00 am to 3:30 pm.

If those tours dry you out, stop at one of the many nearby watering holes all along Parliament Street for a refreshing chance to think about what you’ve just seen!

Walking Tour Guides

Once again, free brochures are available at the BIA office (237 Carlton Street) for your enjoyment. The walking tour guide offers a map and good notes to tell you about landmarks in the neighbourhood. “Cabbagetown People” gives thumbnail sketches of the individuals who are honoured with blue plaques in our gardens and in front of our homes.
You can call (416-921-0857) or email us ( and we’ll send copies to you.

Cabbagetown Festival Teaser …

Big events are coming in September. Our own Danny Marks is organizing a musical gala for the Saturday night. We’re planning another wine tasting, a home show, and a night of special events and partying in our pubs. Plus the usual wonderful stuff – a parade, street vendors, musical diversions, outdoor patios and more. September 4 to September 9, along Parliament and Carlton Streets.

Friday, 11 May 2007

This week –
Jazz at The Cobourg
Hello Cork & Cabbage
Music on Parliament Street
Cabbagetown Festival
Forsythia Festival report
Oops – proper dates for Centre Shift
BIA April Mini-Minutes

Sunday Jazz at The Cobourg
The Cobourg (533 Parliament Street) continues its amazing jazz evenings. The Perry White Trio is back. Sunday, 9:00 pm. No cover charge. (416) 913-7538. Beautiful music – don’t miss it.

Hello Cork & Cabbage, Goodbye Bistro Aubergine
Bistro Aubergine (195 Carlton Street) has undergone a TV makeover. The new version continues under the watchful eye of Sheila Nolan and Asim Ozses.
The new Cork and Cabbage will be a comfortable gastropub. The owners plan to offer up to fifty different brands of craft beers. The interior features a warm, wood-lined room with booths and tables at the front and a fireplace and library room at the back. The landmark outdoor patio is now open to the sky and more inviting. Previously a fine dining room, its menu will stay the same.
The television program will be broadcast in about two months and we’ll keep you informed.

Music on Parliament Street
Our successful spring music program is now almost ready for its launch. In June, we’ll be offering music at three Parliament Street locations: Winchester near the Tim Hortons, Carlton at the mural and Spruce beside No Frills.
Vicente Carbonel is back with his Peruvian wind flutes. Don MacDonald will play Irish fiddle music. Jim Heineman brings a jazz trio. Michael Caplan offers country and down-home songs.

Advance Notice on the Cabbagetown Festival
Save these dates: Saturday, September 8 and Sunday, September 9
Once again, we’re inviting outside crafts people, retailers, social service groups and other vendors to join us on Parliament Street during our Cabbagetown Festival. For details about available space, please call the BIA office at (416) 921-0857 or email us at
The BIA Board has confirmed that the Grand Parade will indeed take place on Saturday, September 8. Our theme this year is “The Cabbagetown People’s Parade”. Your school groups, sports clubs, residents’ associations, cultural groups - anybody from Cabbagetown - will be our featured guests.
Plan ahead. Get colourful unforms, playful costumes and outrageous activities for your float. We’ll give a special grand prize to the group rated the most original in the Parade.

Congratulations to the Organizers
In fact, congratulations to everybody who took part in the 2007 Forsythia Festival. By all accounts, it was a smash hit.

Oops, wrong dates…
We must correct the dates that we listed for the Canadian Children’s Dance Theatre’s presentation of Centre Shift. We inadvertently cut the program short. Here’s the real stuff:
May 31 to June 3, Winchester Dance Theatre (80 Winchester Street). Tickets are $15 and $25. Reservations at (416) 924-5657.
Don’t miss it.

As a special feature in our newsletter, we’re publishing the Mini-Minutes of the BIA Board meetings. In April, the Board held two different meetings to deal with on-going business and also to discuss this year’s Cabbagetown Festival

Old Cabbagetown BIA

Board Meeting April 10, 2007
Paul Dineen chaired the meeting.
Treasurer’s Report
Rafiq Dosani, our auditor, distributed and reported on the 2006 Financial Statements. He noted the shortfall in our income during 2006 against the budget forecasts. This was offset by a cut in spending and, as a result, the actual deficit was lower than expected.
The BIA’s reserve has been reduced and needs to be replenished. Otherwise, our finances and reporting are fine.

Paul Dineen made a series of announcements:
The Mayor’s Clean-up Day - Saturday, April 20.
The Forsythia Festival - Sunday, May 6.
We have submitted our grant applications to the City of Toronto for the 2007 mural program and to Service Canada for the 2007 Summer Student Employment program.
We have had success at recent AGCO negotiations. The Cabbagetown Restaurant has had its license revoked. The Tender Trap has voluntarily withdrawn its license application for one year in order to show its good intentions.
The Cabbagetown Short Film & Video Festival is holding a fundraising event at the Stonegrill on Sunday, April 29 from 2 to 5 pm. Tickets are $10. This is part of the Festival’s efforts to become financially independent.
Gerry Gold announced that the Toronto Police Service are organizing a mural painting project in Broadcast Lane. Property owners along the lane have been approached and have approved the use of their wall spaces.

Cabbagetown Festival Parade
The previous decision to cancel the parade has stirred some discussion among BIA members and neighbours. Board members discussed the value of the parade and its possible future role in the Festival.

For some people, the parade hinders the flow of business on Parliament Street and delays patio openings until 1:00 pm. The cost is high and we have better places to spend this money. It now only has nostalgic value. It is possible to hold a ceremonial event in its place. Even if the parade costs are neutral, it is not a worthwhile project.

For others, the parade is vital for the first day of the Festival. It’s a great starting point for the Festival, a great community event and a great way to make the Festival prominent. It will be very hard to replace it with some other event if it is cancelled. Without a parade, there will be no crowds on Parliament Street on Saturday morning.

Several suggestions were put forward about parade costs. It was noted that the event can cost between $4000 and $10,000 to stage. Several Board members urged merchants to help us to find outside sponsors. A committee must be established to set up the program and get funds.

It is also possible to have a shorter parade by starting in St James Town and going straight south to Gerrard. The parade can also be a celebration that draws people into the Festival at no cost and is based on the community, not professional bands.

In the past, the Board was more heavily involved in planning and implementing the entire Festival. Costs were covered by outside sponsors. The parade can be used to honour special groups like the police, fire department etc and that it should be the occasion for getting all of Cabbagetown’s groups together.

Unfortunately at this time, two members had to leave the meeting to meet other obligations. Quorum was not maintained. A second meeting on this topic was scheduled for Tuesday, April 17 at 5:30 pm. Specifically, this meeting will deal with a vote on the parade’s future.

April 17
The Board met for fifteen minutes. During that time, discussion centred on the possibility that the parade could be held with outside sponsorships to cover costs. A volunteer has been recruited to be the parade chair. This approach was approved unanimously and the parade has been reinstated for the 2007 Festival.

Friday, 4 May 2007

Sunday Night Jazz
Jazz at the Cobourg (533 Parliament Street). Beautiful music - don't miss it.
This week it's National Jazz Award winner Mike Murley with Neil Swainson and Rob Piltch. 9:00 pm. No cover charge.

Contact Toronto comes to Cabbagetown
In Cabbagetown, two locations are taking part in the 11th annual Contact Toronto, a city-wide festival of modern photography – the House on Parliament (at 456 Parliament Street) and Gingers (at 252 Carlton Street).
Shawna King’s pictures, shown at the House on Parliament, feature the patrons of this “popular eatery located in the eclectic community of Cabbagetown.” At Gingers, you can see Owen Wong’s pictures of his trip to China.

Cowboys and Rodeos come here too …
For the second year, prominent photo-journalist Norm Betts is showing his stunning pictures of small town rodeos at Jet Fuel (519 Parliament Street).

And at the Ben Wicks/Left Door (424 Parliament Street), Ryan Dineen’s water colours of famous sports personalities are on display.

Terry Michelin Is Remembered
The late Terry Michelin was a much-loved figure along Parliament Street. His business, St Jamestown Steak & Chops (516 Parliament Street), is now flourishing under the guidance of his son, Mark. Terry’s friends have been actively raising funds for a lasting memorial and their efforts are at last being rewarded.
On Sunday, May 6 at 11:00 am, during the annual Forsythia Festival at Wellesley Park (at the end of Wellesley Street near Sumach), the City of Toronto will unveil “Terry’s Gate” in the park’s playground.

Forsythia Festival, May 6, 10:00 am
This weekend is the date for Cabbagetown’s official start to Spring, our Forsythia Festival. Events start at Riverdale Park (Winchester and Sumach Streets) at 10:00 am, followed by the parade to Wellesley Park. This year’s highlights include the unveiling of Terry’s Gate, planting a fresh forsythia bush, games, picnics and entertainment.

Advance Notice …
If you’re a dance fan, you won’t want to miss Centre Shift by the Canadian Children’s Dance Theatre. Works by Deborah Lundmark, Robert Glumbek and Sasha Ivanochko are featured on this year’s program. Centre Shift is the CCDT’s end-of-season production showcasing the company’s young dancers. May 31 to June 2. Tickets are $15 and $25, reservations at 416-924-5657. Winchester Street Theatre, 80 Winchester Street.