Friday, 25 April 2008

Our members vote on big box stores…

Quick announcements & advance notice… The Forsythia Festival is here and it’s a sure sign that Spring has reached us. Sunday, May 4. Riverdale Park (Sumach & Winchester) and Wellesley Park (east end of Wellesley.) Face painting and twizzlers at 10 am at Riverdale. 10:30 am – parade from Riverdale to Wellesley. Festival in Wellesley following the parade.

Art Exhibition at The Residence in Riverdale Farm. Saturday May 4 and Sunday May 5, 10 am to 4 pm. This promises to be a real treat. The people who are jurists for Art & Crafts in the Park (the annual show held during the Festival) are presenting their own works. It’s a celebration of the show’s twentieth anniversary. These are the artists whose dedication and good judgment guarantees a high-quality event each year.

Momentum 2008 is our chance to see tomorrow’s dancers today. Performances take place at the Winchester Dance Theatre (80 Winchester) over two weekends: May 1 to 3 and May 8 to 10, at 8 pm. A gala performance and fundraiser happens on Friday, May 7. $15 ($12 for students, seniors, CADA). You can contact the box office at 416-967-6887 and

Our members speak out…
On Wednesday, the BIA held a general meeting for our members to vote on the proposed retail power centre development in Leslieville. After an informative discussion, they voted unanimously against the development and in favour of plans by the City of Toronto to fight it at the OMB.
Paul Dineen, chair of the BIA, explained our role over the past decade fighting these centres. In summary, he believes that our retail area is the heart of our Cabbagetown neighbourhood and this heart is facing incredible threats from such massive competitors.
Mike Major from the City of Toronto reported on the City’s stand. This fight is a watershed. If the power centers win at the OMB, then low-value jobs and suburban style plazas will spring up in the city’s centre. If the City wins, then this will open the door for higher value workplaces such as film and software companies and our retail areas will continue as neighbourhood services filled with individual entrepreneurs.
Rosalinda Javier from the Filipino Centre urged everyone to look at smaller towns across Ontario and the USA where big box stores have hollowed out the community. Denis Ho from Star Nails worried that more centres like this would follow in nearby areas and Mike Major confirmed that other proposals are now waiting in the wings. Winston Lau gave a quick update on Leslieville activities and referred everyone to their website ( The new Wing Machine restaurant hosted the meeting. It gave us a chance to introduce their wings and pizza (both recommended) to the crowd and to show off their impressive renovations. Many thanks for the fine hospitality.

Sharon promises to snap you into spring… With her fabulous new raffia hats and bags, handmade in Madagascar at a woman’s co-op. They come in wide and medium brim, bucket and cloche. You can select hot summer colours or subdued pastels. They can be conveniently folded for travel and the matching bags finish the touch to glam up any outfit. (503 Parliament, 416-963-9426)

Nora’s Salon and Spa Just opened at 538 Parliament. This is a tidy, bright room in an interesting part of Cabbagetown. Nora is offering a 15% discount to everyone who visits her salon for the first time. Of course, we welcome her and wish her all the best in her new location.
Next to Simmons Flowers and near Prudential Properties Plus, this building is part of a charming row that reflects styles from two separate eras. The property owner, Nick Tharrenos, bought the building some time ago and has undertaken an extensive renovation in Nora’s space and the apartments upstairs. It’s worth a look as you pass by the next time.

Toronto Languages Plus

Cabbagetown’s largest English-language school, TLP is located at 386 Ontario just south of the corner at Gerrard. Since 2006, over 500 students from twenty countries have passed through its doors. This year, enrolment will increase even further and is expected to double within the month. These lucky young people are all being introduced to Toronto and Canada through the eyes of Cabbagetown – wow! Cabbagetown residents can host students during their stay here. Check out the website at and look for the section entitled "Families required." We can also take advantage of a special language training offer: TLP will give a 10% discount on any English language course to Cabbagetowners who quote this article. (416-925-7117 ext 234 and )

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