Friday, 16 May 2008

Barracuda, raccoons, sparrows, lambs and Slaw…

Barracuda has new planters in stock
Barracuda (527 Parliament) has just announced the arrival of new Ellis Planters – a sleek, modern, rectangular planter that’s perfect for decks, patios and gardens. It’s guaranteed not to crack in the cold or to fade in bright sunshine. (In Cabbagetown, we also need protection from raccoons but Barracuda can’t guarantee that!) This is a beautiful store so it’s a pleasure to find a new reason for a visit there.

Sharon (503 Parliament) has just received sample lines from Canadian labels mac&jac and Kensie Girl. Lovely silk dresses, eyelet skirts and tops, snappy stretch skinny pants balance out this fabulous fresh line in a rainbow of colours. More raffia hats are arriving on Tuesday. Don’t miss out.

Hidden Gardens & Private Spaces Tour
The second annual garden tour takes place on Sunday, June 8 (11 am to 4 pm). Last year’s tour was a spectacular sell-out and this year’s version promises to be even better. Tickets cost $10 and they’re available at Mi Casa (238 Carlton), Jay’s Garden Centre (Sackville and Gerrard) and the Old Cabbagetown BIA (237 Carlton).

The 14th Annual Slaw Festival of Short Original Works The Cabbagetown Theatre Company presents its satirical review annually and it’s irresistible. This year’s program, Live & Swinging, is being presented in the former Laurentian Room, now rebranded as fifty one and managed by the Stonegrill. Singing aerialist Lindsay Stephens who trains with the Centre of Gravity Circus will take advantage of the room’s burlesque hooks. If that alone doesn’t tempt you, four other short original plays will amuse and delight you. May 29, 30 and 31, and June 4, 5 and 7. 8 pm. Tickets are $15. Theatre reservations at (416) 653-5870. fifty one is located at 51A Winchester Street (just east of Parliament.)
The Stonegrill on Winchester (51B Winchester) is offering a three-course dinner theatre package. Call (416) 967-6565 for details and reservations.

Proud new parents at Riverdale Farm The 2008 babies are arriving at the Farm (Winchester and Sumach). By last weekend, two Suffolk lambs and a baby Nubian goat had just been born. According to the official announcement, more births will be happening soon and it’s a great time to drop in and see the newborns.

More Cabbagetown birding
Over the past few weeks, White Crowned Sparrows, White Throated Sparrows and Rose Breasted Grosbeaks have all been seen. Migratory birds are on their way through and giving our neighbourhood a real thrill.

Friday, 9 May 2008

A new face in Cabbagetown...
Marianne Mailer joins the BIA for the summer. It’s her job to turn the 2008 Cabbagetown Festival into a great success story and she’s already hard at work on it. Marianne has just finished her third year studies at Ryerson. She hopes to work in marketing and special events planning in the future so this is a good chance for her to get some experience and start her career. Watch for her because she’ll be very busy working on the Festival parade, outdoor patios, health department regulations, Festival vendors and more.

Mother’s Day

Flowers, of course, are the mainstay of Mother’s day greetings. Simmons Flowers (540 Parliament) reports that business is very brisk. They’re almost “sold out”. But they’ll search for just the right bloom for you if it’s an emergency!

Daniel et Daniel (248 Carlton) have used their usual ingenuity to offer heart shaped, pink cookies for Mom. It’s advisable that you buy lots of them so that a few are left for her after everybody else digs in.

The Epicure Shop (473 Parliament) has a big week ahead. On Saturday, Mom (and other family members) can visit from 10 am to 2 pm for special samplings of St John’s Bakery Organic Bread and a sampling of Epicure’s lovely cheese selections. Then, on the official day (Sunday), you can enter the Epicure draw for a Mother’s Day Gift Basket.

Epicure’s Customer Appreciation Week runs from May 12 to 18th.

  • On Monday, you’ll get a free pop or water with every lunch special.
  • Tuesday is Epicure’s Homemade Pizza day when you can buy a slice and get a free water, all for only $1.99.
  • Wednesday is a biggie – buy a pound of Reunion Island coffee and get a second bag at half price.
  • For Thursday, when you buy a lunch special, you’ll have a double stamp on your reward card.
  • Friday is another good one: when you make a $40 purchase of groceries, you’ll get a free flavoured oil.
  • On Saturday, you’ll receive Epicure’s new grain salad free when you purchase any size potato, coleslaw or macaroni salad.
  • Sunday finishes the week with a two-for-one brownie sale.

Jacky at INZ Jewelry (231A Carlton) offers the reassuring observation that Mother’s Day is right up there with Christmas and Valentines. Diamonds are still a direct route to Mom’s heart. And congratulations are due to Jacky. His jewelry was part of the exhibition held last weekend to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Art & Crafts in the Park.

Eric Morse ( reports that his new venture, Petshotz, is going to the dogs. Moms who love their pets will definitely want to give him a call. He has a special new project – doing dog and cat photos shot right in your own home with your pet relaxing and posing in its natural habitat. Eric first gained famed and international attention as our official Santa photographer and his new business will undoubtedly draw equal acclaim.

Forsythia Festival
The Festival is Cabbagetown’s annual celebration that Spring has arrived. A nifty parade, face painting and games for kids, hot dogs and music in the park – all are offered up on the first May weekend.
This year, several businesses offered their support to the event.

No Frills added some entertainment

St Jamestown Steak & Chops brought a barbeque, a tent and more than 300 hotdogs.

Peter Tarshis of HomeLife Realty volunteered his help. Financial support was also given by Cycle Solutions, Fairway Market, House on Parliament, Home Hardware, Nettleships, Lennie’s Health Centre, RePrint and Star Nails – thanks everyone.

Updates on Parliament Street real estate
Two more good signs for Spring. Work is now underway at the old Town Grill site and at the former home of Chapter Eleven. In both cases, arrangements have been finalized. New businesses are planned in these sites. Stay tuned and you’ll find out more as soon as we do.

Friday, 2 May 2008

A warm welcome to another Cabbagetowner…
John Dirga is visiting us from Cabbagetown in Atlanta, Georgia where he operates the Carroll Street Café and is active in the Neighbourhood Improvement Area. Like our community, his Cabbagetown is a heritage district that has been rescued and revitalized by people who love its history. John has spent some time with us already and plans to return for a walking tour on Saturday.

Panhandling New ideas for tackling our panhandling problems are emerging from City Hall. In the summer of 2007, the staff at Streets-to-Homes studied panhandling and its impact along Yonge Street, in Yorkville and in the Entertainment District. They’ve come up with some innovative ideas that may help all of us to solve the problem.
Their report will be made officially at City Council’s Executive Committee on Monday morning. After being debated there, it will travel on to a full Council meeting at some date in the near future.
This report calls for a concentrated program of personal contacts between City staff and individual panhandlers. This will be a one-on-one approach with case workers identifying and working with individuals to figure out their problems and to point them toward help. Solving the problems caused by panhandlers will become a social service focus and not a police issue.
Streets-to-Homes is known for its direct, repeated approach to individuals in need. People are not forgotten or treated in some assembly-line fashion. That determination will be used with panhandlers as well. Case workers will be on the job at least sixteen hours a day and in the summer, they’ll be on the streets even longer. To supplement this, there will be a hotline where we can call to notify them when a panhandler becomes a problem.
Cabbagetown will be one of the neighbourhoods included in this focused, intense coverage by the case workers. The BIA pushed for this last year and it’s good news to us that problems in our area will be one of the priorities for the project.

We’ve had an “Oops” moment
For everyone who helped to clean up Cabbagetown two weeks ago, our third annual Community Clean-up event was a wonderful experience.
But …
The Solid Waste folks at the City of Toronto have been upset about it. Apparently, we got carried away. Despite the volume and the surprise of it all, the crews on the trucks tackled those big piles and got them away safely. So this is both an apology and a heartfelt thank-you to the people at Solid Waste who helped us over Saturday and Sunday night.
It seems that several items that were pitched out should have been discarded in some other way. Appliances, for example, can be picked up throughout the year with a simple telephone call to Solid Waste. Bricks, boards and other construction materials need to be handled through private disposals. We’re reminded to look at the calendar sent out by the City – it lists telephone numbers that can be used on a daily basis to arrange for a pick-up and go to the official web site at
So, in 2009, we’re going back to basics: litter only. We’ll clean public spaces and be ready to sort and recycle wherever possible.
On top of all this, we still need to keep up the community spirit and enthusiasm that has made this day so successful for us up to now.

It’s going to be a busy weekend… The Forsythia Festival is here: 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 jurists 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
In mid-May, the Farmer’s Market will reappear in Riverdale Park. Every Tuesday, starting on May 13, the market will open from 3 to 7 pm.

Driver wanted
A local Cabbagetown business needs a driver for a van for 3 days/week (with the possibility that the job will grow to 4 days/week), 8 hours a day, $14/hour. You must have a clean driving abstract. Some lifting will be involved - your deliveries will include boxes that weigh up to 25 pounds each. Call Graeme at (416) 925-4643.