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.