Friday, 25 January 2008

For neighbourhood news
Click on this link. This week, we have listings about the Forsythia Festival, Oak Street Co-op and open houses at Winchester School.

And all that jazz …
Over the last few months, Cabbagetown’s restaurants and bars have been offering some of the finest jazz available in the city. The Cobourg started it with their outstanding Sunday evening performances. Now, Piccolo has Friday and Saturday night sessions, Big Momma’s Boy has Sunday afternoon events, Stonegrill on Winchester has Sunday jazz brunches and, of course, Cobourg finishes the weekend with their Sunday jazz evenings.
And now, you can also add Big Momma’s Boy’s regular Tuesday night comedy cabarets
We’re using the photos and captions on the right side of the Newsletter to list these performances each week. Check them out.

It’s been a year!
The Union (242 Carlton) is celebrating its first anniversary with special events and a month-long art show.
On Saturday afternoon from 2 to 4 pm, they’re holding a Goallage workshop. On the web, click on for more information. In the evening from 6 to 9 pm, the celebrations include d.j. Madame Hair’s French tunes, free yoga passes and memberships, tea, bubbly and other yogic treats.
From January 26 to February 29, Christy Shapely and Sarah Oliver present the First Union Group Crafts Show. Information about their show can be seen at Their works will also be available at a silent auction during the Anniversary Party.

More Yoga
Renaissance Yoga & Ayurveda (391 Ontario) have just listed their Spring calendar. You can see the full listings at

Open House
Greater Mind International (250A Carlton) is hosting an open house on Saturday from 10 am to 7 pm. Included is a round-table discussion at 2 pm. Bring your health concerns and explorer how their services can help you.

Your opinions matter to us
Last year, the Don Vale Cabbagetown Residents’ Association circulated a survey to its membership in Cabbagetown asking for reactions to Parliament Street and its offerings.

The results have all been tallied and they’re fascinating:

  • An enthusiastic response. Over 1100 surveys were distributed and 468 people replied (42%). Although people answered some questions and skipped others, the same high number (468) answered both the first and the last questions. Many people wrote extra answers on the questionnaire and many of those comments were passionate.
  • Enthusiastic shoppers. 48% of the respondents shop here at least once a week and 45% more shop here every day. In total, 93% describe themselves as regular shoppers.
  • People like the convenience, the available choices in the stores, the quality of the goods and services, and well-informed staff. People also spontaneously wrote on their forms that they like to support their local businesses and they find this to be a friendly neighbourhood.
  • Recent purchases include groceries, pharmacy supplies, wine and liquor, hardware supplies, restaurants, pubs and dry cleaning.
  • 65% also regularly shop elsewhere, looking for a wider selection and for different quality of goods and services.

A few conclusions jump out of this data. Above all, our neighbours feel strongly about their business district. Throughout the responses, there is a constant sense of enjoyment and involvement with local businesses. They are an important part of Cabbagetown. Not surprisingly, this is a place for convenience shopping. It’s also not surprising that people will enjoy the larger city and seek out different selections and different qualities elsewhere.
Very specific comments were given about streetscapes, security and shopping choices. These comments will be compiled and circulated so that businesses, municipal officials, the police and social service agencies will learn about your views.
The survey promises to be a powerful tool for future planning in Cabbagetown.

Panhandling Update
Over the summer, the City of Toronto studied panhandling in the tourism districts and possible ways to assist street people. This report offered some concrete hope that progress can be made by helping people to plug into existing social services. Using a “non-enforcement” approach, City staff learned why people are panhandling, whether they know the alternatives that are available and what needs panhandling is answering. In the end, staff feel that over 60% of the panhandlers will accept other assistance once they know about it and are comfortable with it. This report will now go to City Council along with recommendations to implement it.
In the meantime, it is worth repeating that we can resist panhandlers simply by not giving money to them.

Don’t forget –
For local neighbourhood events,

Friday, 11 January 2008

A reminder about our new service…
Here’s a link to a Bulletin Board where you can list your own announcements. Just tell us about the events that you’re planning (a garage sale, a neighbourhood meeting, a political party and lots more!) We’ll list it here for you every week.
Three more announcements are listed here this week.

Construction has started

The new building at Parliament and Aberdeen is now on the way. This is the four-storey project that will feature ground floor retail and three residential upper floors. Starbucks will open a coffee shop in this location.

Anniversary Park update
The changes at Anniversary Park at Gerrard and Parliament have been stalled by winter weather. So far, lighting has been added in the trees and at the fountain, new interlocking has been built around the fountain and the fountain itself has been redesigned. Once the warmer weather returns, the remaining changes will be added.
Green Force (from HGTV) has been handling the construction. The Yonge Street Mission and the BIA have sponsored the tree lighting.

Renaissance Yoga (391 Ontario at Gerrard)
Winter Schedule
Implementing Ayurvedic Lifestyle begins tomorrow night and runs for 12 consecutive Tuesdays from 6:30 to 9pm. (Please note: for qualified students, it may be possible to take this course on-line: phone 416-920-4520 to ask about this option.) Fundamentals of Ayurveda in Asana begins this Wednesday and runs for 12 consecutive weeks from 10am to 12pm. Jennifer Hicks' NIA programme is in full swing, and Davis Batson might have room for one more Jyotish appointment this Saturday, the 12th. Also, the next round of "Intro to Yoga: a Therapeutic Foundation" begins on Jan. 16. On Valentine's Day, Matthew will be giving a FREE LECTURE on the topic of "Ayurveda and Sexual Wholeness" at the Big Carrot, from 7 to 9pm. This lecture will provide an overview of the unique material presented in the full AHECP course, slated for April.

Friday, 4 January 2008

A new service for the new year …
Here’s a link to a Bulletin Board where you can list your own announcements. Just tell us about the events that you’re planning (a garage sale, a neighbourhood meeting, a political party and lots more!) We’ll list it here for you every week.
Our first announcement is already there.

New Year’s Reflections
Of course, every New Year is welcomed by a bevy of nostalgic photos and sage commentaries. We’re no different. This week, we have a sampling of Cabbagetown pictures from events throughout 2007, a good year by all standards.

For the second year in a row, our streets and lanes were swept clean in the annual Mayor’s Clean-up Day. Local residents joined the campaign in late April.

The Cabbagetown Short Film & Video Festival became an independent, self-supporting program in 2007 and launched its year with a gala fundraiser on April 29 at the Stonegrill on Winchester.

Early May saw the annual Forsythia Parade and Festival happen in Wellesley Park. It’s a great introduction to Spring in Cabbagetown.

In early June, members of the BIA saluted those businesses who had contributed a unique way to the health of our area. Here, Paul Dineen gives an award to Free The Children as an “Outstanding Success Story” for 2007.

The weekends in June saw musicians appear on Cabbagetown street corners as part of our Music on Parliament Street annual series. Donna Green and the Mo'od Swings appeared beside St Jamestown Deli.

Every year, shops throughout Cabbagetown provide local gardeners with a wide variety of planting choices and, incidentally, decorate the street with their offerings. School children always do what Zena tells them - just ask Ray.

Throughout the summer, Lindsey Reidt worked at the BIA on our special events and our Festival planning.

At the Cabbagetown Festival, the “Cutting of the Cabbage” is a solemn and sacred ceremony. This year, Daniel Clairet from Daniel et Daniel showed everyone else exactly how to do it.

In the early Fall, plans were unveiled for the new building at Parliament and Aberdeen which will combine a retail area and residential apartments above it.

Controversy broke out throughout the Fall when the Salvation Army announced plans to open a church on Parliament Street at the old Flamingo site. Goodwill and frank negotiations eventually settled the issued.

In September, Xtra announced that Cabbagetown was voted “the best neighbourhood to live in” for 2007.

At Christmas, stores across Cabbagetown turned out their best and Santa was warmly welcomed everywhere.

On a wintry night at Valentines, a balmy night on Hallowe’en and another cool evening on New Year’s Eve, people turned out for the parties and enjoyed life to its fullest.

Not a bad year at all.