Saturday, 29 September 2007

A Great Week

Our Thanks to the Salvation Army
The Salvation Army has decided to continue its work at the Warehouse Mission near Parliament and Wellesley and not to pursue their plans to open at the old Flamingo site.
This decision is a result of the Salvation Army’s desire to fit into the Cabbagetown community in a positive and beneficial way. Their staff talked to residents, the BIA and Councillor McConnell over the past month. Many businesses and residents worried that a fragile part of Parliament Street would become even more vulnerable if the Salvation Army located in the middle of this block. The Salvation Army investigated these worries and concluded that they were right.
Thanks first and foremost to the Salvation Army. They listened to our discussions with an open mind and were sensitive to our community’s concerns. Local staff and officials from the Ontario Central Division came to our meetings and talked frankly and openly about their plans and the needs of people in Cabbagetown.
Thanks, as well, to Councillor Pam McConnell. She made this project a priority and kept everything in focus. She made sure that both the Salvation Army and the community understood that these services are needed but that Parliament Street was not the right place for them.
Paul Dineen from the BIA, Patricia Smith from Cabbagetown South and Klaus Schirmer from Don Vale represented the community. They spoke from our perspective and made sure that accurate information flowed both ways.
Finally, Ron and Linda Farr represent the local Salvation Army on a daily basis in our midst. They work with TCHC tenants in the Warehouse Mission and they have constructive plans for new programs within a Cabbagetown congregation. Businesses and residents regard them as friends and speak highly of their contributions.

Congratulations and Best Wishes…

Tania Waldock and Beau Opperman became proud parents of their second child, Charlotte on Monday. Both Mom and Charlotte are doing well and are expected to return to the House on Parliament (456 Parliament St) ASAP.

More congratulations, this time to all of us who live and work here. In its annual survey, Xtra magazine has polled its readership and found that Cabbagetown is “the best neighbourhood for a home.” Thanks, everyone. This is a special honour indeed.

At long last, we can welcome a newsstand to our neighbourhood. International News has opened a boutique at 533A Parliament Street beside Tim Hortons. Many avid readers in Cabbagetown (and they certainly include the people who plow through this Newsletter) have long wanted a good source for newspapers and magazines.
This is an added attraction to the Winchester. Owner John Bernardo keeps ringing up his successes: first with his remarkable restoration of this beautiful building and then by bringing interesting tenants to this corner – International News, The Cobourg, the Stonegrill, the Laurentian Room, and of course Tim Horton’s.

New Building
The southwest corner of Aberdeen and Parliament is slated for a major redevelopment. Architects have unveiled plans for a small four storey complex that will house a Starbucks on the main floor (at 492 Parliament St) and apartments above it. The Board of Management at the BIA, the Aberdeen Avenue residents and the Cabbagetown Preservation Association have reviewed the plans and their recommendations have gone to the architects. A demolition permit has been issued by the City of Toronto for the current structure and the new building will start once several issues have been cleared by the Committee of Adjustment.

Saigon Hot Pot
Saigon Hotpot (568 Parliament) is downtown Toronto’s only hot pot restaurant. Also known as Mongolian hot pot, this dish is the Chinese version of steamboat stew. It’s made with a simmering pot of broth and small side dishes offering individual ingredients. “Weilu” which means to circle a hot pot, has a deep and profound meaning to the Chinese people stemming from traditional Confucian ideals emphasizing family, friends and unity. Diners can enjoy a special introductory 10% discount on their meals. Delivery is also available. Licenced.

Weekly calendar
Friday, September 28 – the Whitney Smith trio plays downstairs in the Anabella Lounge at Piccolo. (224 Carlton St). RSVP at 416-944-3738
Sunday, September 30, 3 pm – Community Blessing of the Animals at St Peter’s Anglican Church (185 Carlton St). A warm welcome for all creatures, big and small.
Sunday, September 30, noon to 3 pm - jazz for brunch at the Stonegrill on Winchester (51B Winchester Street). We’ve been there and can assure you that the both the brunch and the music are outstanding.
Sunday, September 30, 9 pm - ,Jazz at The Cobourg (533 Parliament St) features John Alcorn. Owner John Jay (freshly back from a dizzying round of deeply researched television advertisements) confirms that his Sunday night jazz series is now a permanent fixture at Cobourg. Both the musicians and then audience agree that this is a great room for their music. No cover charge.
Wednesday, October 3, 9 pm – Errol Fisher begins a weekly appearance at the Piccolo (224 Carlton St). The Anabella Lounge is a lovely downstairs room and his music will fill the place. He was featured by Piccolo during the Cabbagetown Festival and we think he’s great.

And a sad announcement
A good friend of the BIA has passed away. Houston loved his walks along Parliament Street, especially his visits to St Jamestown Steak & Chops (516 Parliament) which always featured a free hot dog from Terry Michelin and then from Mark. In fact, we had to stop taking him past this spot whenever the store was closed – he would simply sit down and refuse to move if he didn’t get his treats. Our sympathies as well to both Menagerie and Pet Valu who’re going to feel a drastic drop in their treat sales now that he isn’t here. He was a great friend and he’ll be sorely missed.