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,