Friday, 7 December 2007

Christmas festivities have started

Santa started his 2007 Tour in Cabbagetown with a great visit to Pet Valu (240 Carlton). This is the first of three appearances that he's making this year. Next week, he'll be at Spruce and Parliament on Saturday and then at Menagerie Pet Shop on Sunday - details are listed below. Today's events at Pet Valu mark a good beginning for Christmas 2007.
For 55 years, Gerry McDermott and his family have been selling Christmas trees in Cabbagetown at Spruce and Parliament. Gerry lives in Bracebridge and his trees are harvested from farms in Muskoka and Orillia. Gerry says that his father was always a natural salesman, ready to talk you into anything. Gerry’s love is the tree farm itself. When you buy a tree from him, let him tell you a few of his Cabbagetown stories.
We’ve often talked about the remarkable flower displays that small shops around Cabbagetown set up each season. Here are two more. Allan from Trek Holidays bought a great basket arrangement at Fairway (520 Parliament) and Anna at Mini Mart (464 Parliament) shows off the poinsettias and miniature trees that they’re offering.

And be sure to schedule next week’s events
Santa returns on Saturday, December 15 – right next door to No Frills (449 Parliament) and Gerry’s Christmas trees. This time, we hope you’ll bring your family for a quick souvenir photo. On Sunday December 16, Santa rounds out his Tour in Cabbagetown at Menagerie Pet Shop (549 Parliament) where you will, once again, be able to satisfy your urge to photograph your family pet.
After all of those pet photos, you’re going to need a drink and a few soothing carols to get you settled down again. On Sunday, December 16, the Sterling Brass conduct their traditional carol sing from 2 to 5 pm at the Ben Wicks (424 Parliament).

A warm welcome to two new businesses
Chez Etienne
(248 Gerrard – telephone 416-944-2024) is a wonderful new boutique offering kitchen, bar and bath accessories. Their inventory includes Barefoot Contessa food mixes, Maury Island Jams, Maxwell Williams dishes, McBloom soaps and Mel V decorative wall plaques. They’re open on weekends only (Saturday 10 to 5 pm and Sunday, noon to 5 pm).
Nail Expose (417 Parliament) offers manicures, pedicures, artificial nails, nail art, waxing and facials. When I saw my friend Jessica in there soaking up the indulgence, I knew it has to be a great place.

Holiday specials for the health of your body and mind…
GMI Wellness (250A Carlton) is hosting a special session on energy clearing with Winnie Li, a Qigong practitioner. Qigong is an ancient Chinese wisdom that assists the mind and the body to work together to channel energy for healing purposes. For more information, call GMI Wellness at (416) 922-7203.
Every Thursday evening, GMI Wellness focuses on love meditation. On Saturday, December 15, they’re offering Hope for the Holidays for those of us who have difficulty with this time of year. Then, two special programs on weight control on December 24 and January 12 will help you to get on track toward a healthy body and healthy mind.

Cabbagetown music
Jazz abounds again.
At Anabella’s Lounge in Piccolo (224 Carlton), Kristen Rundle appears from 9:30 to 12:30 on Friday night. Piccolo’s Friday jazz is rapidly earning a great reaction for its solid performances in this intimate setting.
The Grasshopper is another place that always brings interesting music to Parliament Street. This Friday, they feature Donkey with Alex Radeff’s vocals and guitar, Terry Kavanagh on drums and Joe Spina on bass. From 9 to 1 am.
Stonegrill on Winchester (51B Winchester) continues its Sunday jazz brunches, combining their gorgeous food and settings with Archie Alleyne’s hot music. Noon to 3 pm, Sunday. No cover charge.
The Cobourg (533 Parliament) has its jazz series again at 9 pm on Sunday, no cover.