Friday, 25 July 2008

Our T’s Are Here

Our shirts have arrived and we’ve got plenty of them. Only the small and XXL are in short supply.
Brenda dropped around to inspect them. Frankly, she was skeptical – she thought she’s get some for her family but she doubted that they’d suit her. Well she was wearing hers when she left. She’ll be back for more.You can get yours for only $10 at 237 Carlton Street or by calling (416) 921-0857. Don’t be left behind!

The Left DoorRenovations are nearly complete at The Left Door (424 Parliament). Nearly complete? Well, everyone knows that David, Scott and Robert will never stop tinkering and improving!The result is a lovely bright room. As you can see, there are cozy places for couples and small groups and there’s enough room to fit an event for fifty people comfortably. They’ve brought in new furniture, bright colours, new mirrors, lights and pictures. And they’ve kept the good food, drinks and pleasant company.

Epicure announces… Delicious Italian sausage and two new pasta sauces are now available. The sausage come in three flavours – mild, hot and garlic & fennel. Patty says that they’re great for the bbq and won’t shrink as they cook. Low fat and no preservatives. The sauces come in two flavours – tomato and tomato with meatballs. Yummie. (473 Parliament)

The planting is almost finished.
Last Sunday, you may have seen busy crews of volunteers digging around trees and along the sidewalk, planting a variety of perennials. In a dozen spots along Parliament, we’re testing whether ground level, hardy plants can survive and prosper. Three issues, of course, stand out. Will they be trampled? Will they get enough water? Will they survive the winter and sprout again next year? If so, then this will be a pleasant and interesting way to turn an extra bit of our streetscape into a greener patch in the city.

Speaking of sidewalks Please walk carefully along the east side of Parliament for the next few days. As City construction crews repair the sidewalks, they have to do the work in two stages. The sidewalk is cleaned out and replaced with fresh concrete. The decorative strips of bricks are also cleared away but the replacement work has been delayed by the rain. A nasty pit remains. Watch your step there until the full repair work is completed.

Elvis is alive and well and living in Fairway Market Media reports tell us that the annual Elvis festival is happening this weekend in Collingwood. While we wish everyone there well, we must point out that you don't have to drive so far. The real guy is here at Winchester and Parliament. For only $31.99, you can bring him into your home and make him cosy and happy. He comes in solid gilt and in a lovely tear-stained model. (520 Parliament)

Friday, 18 July 2008

Surrendering to Temptation Just Got Easier Daniel et Daniel (248 Carlton) have just introduced a new gift card program. You can now give one to your family and friends (or secretly get one for yourself.) All those beautiful meals, snacks and desserts can be charged up to the card. No need for messy money, complicated credit or long delays while your debit is approved. Just pass over your card and walk out with your goodies.
The card is available in any amount. It can be used for catering and food shop purchases. It can be reloaded and it never expires. It’s a perfect gift for birthdays, seasonal gifts and personal indulgences.

Attention All Gardening Enthusiasts
The BIA’s public spaces committee has issued a “call for local gardeners”. You’re needed on a planting project coming up on Sunday July 20 from 1 to 4 pm. This is a pilot project organized by the BIA to test ways to create more green spaces along Parliament Street. We’ve selected species that are drought and salt tolerant for planting at the base of ten trees along the street. We hope to develop low-maintenance, sustainable landscaping and to create a greener, more welcoming environment for neighbours, businesses and shoppers. These small garden areas will reduce the compacted area around the trees and allow rainwater to collect more easily.
Your help is needed: gather at the BIA office at 237 Carlton Street on Sunday at 1 pm. We have the necessary equipment but if you have handy gardening tools and gloves, bring them along. We’ll also need a supply of old newspapers. Contact Maggie O’Connor for more information or to confirm that you’ll be there: (416) 616-3660 and

More Volunteers Needed Cabbagetown’s outstanding Tour of Homes relies on community volunteers for its success. This year, ambitious plans are afoot to make the Tour even more interesting and they will only be possible if volunteers come forward to help at each site. If you’re able to help, please call (416) 363-9914.
This year’s Tour will be held on Saturday, September 13 and Sunday, September 14. Be sure to save these dates.

Aberdeen Avenue Blow-out Reports are beginning to surface of a major celebration on Aberdeen Ave on June 28. Billed as the first annual BBQ & Garden Tour for Aberdeen Avenue Residents, this is apparently the first of many planned for years to come. It began as a street barbeque and grew from there into a meandering afternoon spent among the tulips in four local gardens. This is definitely the kind of event that earns wide approval in the BIA.
This Week at The Epicure Shop Patty recommends that you try one of her homemade pies or Dufflet and Phipps pastries. She’s also pleased with the new gluten-free baking that’s now available. The Epicure Shop (473 Parliament).

JAMCafe BBQ JAMCafe (195 Carlton) will soon be one year old and they’re celebrating with a casual barbeque, free appetizers and a chance to make a food bank donation. A special optional menu will be available and will include lamb sausage, elk quesadilla, jerk chicken and shrimp roti. Mill Street Brewery will be highlighting some of their finest beers.
Saturday, July 26, 3 to 11 pm. Reservations recommended (416) 921-1255.
(Staff at JAM must still be enjoying Gina Mallett’s complimentary review in last weekend’s National Post - congratulations everybody.)

Tees Are On the Way
Deliveries arrive at the BIA on Tuesday. Have you ordered yours yet? We’ve had a nice spurt of advance orders and we’re looking for more. Please remember that “small” and “XXL” are only available in limited numbers and you’ll definitely want to order them early.

As this photo clearly shows, our Tee will transform even the saggiest physique (the guy on the right) into a sophisticated, debonair creature.
Call (416) 921-0857 or visit 237 Carlton (at Parliament) or email Bring your money - $10/each.

Speaking of Great Clothes Sharon's (503 Parliament) has new summer stock and it’s priced to sell. Fun, colourful ladies’ tops at $15, 100% cotton men’s T’s from $9.99 to $19.99, beautiful dresses for special occasions, weddings and parties (some reversible, great for travel) from $29.99 to $49.99. Plus more Neon Buddha, the fashionable and comfortable Canadian line of yoga and everyday-wear skirts, tops and pants, all at the special summer price of $34.99. And Sharon always has her fabulous collection of hats, scarves and jewellery.

Enjoy the Heat
Because this is the alternative! Thanks to Frank Martin at The Village Laundromat (252 Carlton) for his great photo.

Friday, 11 July 2008

Your Tee’s are here
Your 2008 Cabbagetown T’s are arriving soon.
Last year, our T’s sold out in a flash. It happened so fast that we were caught unaware and unable to order more in time.
This year, it’s different. We’ve got them early and we’ve got lots.
Be the first on your block to own one. 100% cotton, black, with green imagery. Sizes: medium, large and XL, with limited quantities of small and XXL available. They’re on the press and getting ready for shipment even as we speak.
Buy yours now. $10 each, at the Old Cabbagetown BIA, 237 Carlton, (416) 921-0857 and

Yeti Law Yeti Agnew has announced that her law firm has a new name, “Yeti Law Professional Corporation” and her new corporate vision is “Law with understanding.” Her specialty is her focus on the business needs of creative people like authors and artists. She also has a special niche as a cultural property lawyer for creators and collectors. Her firm is located in the beautiful heritage building at the southwest corner of Berkeley and Carlton (215 Carlton). She can be reached at (416) 964-0021 and at

New manager at the CIBC A familiar face has returned to the CIBC branch at 245 Carlton (at the corner of Parliament). Jerick Fernandez took up his duties as the new branch manager in early May and he’s now well settled into his routines. For the past year, he’s been serving at the CIBC at Bay and Dundas. Before that, he worked here. Cabbagetown is familiar territory for him. Since his arrival, the branch has instituted its convenient new extended hours: 9:30 to 4 pm (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday), 9:30 to 7 pm (Thursday and Friday) and 9:30 to 4 pm (Saturday). You can call Jerick at the branch number, (416) 980-6179, ext 222.

So you like smoked salmon? Visit The Epicure Shop (473 Parliament) on Sunday between 11 am and 2 pm. There’ll be a tasting of Valentino’s smoked salmon at the sidewalk table just outside the door. Come by and help yourself.

Posterity Graphics Many of us already know that Daniel Stroud is retiring and his store, the popular Posterity Graphics, is closing on August 31 after sixteen years at 523 Parliament. He has put all of his stock posters on sale at 25% off. He urges everyone to come by soon since the choices will be more and more limited as the sale progresses. Daniel has asked us to thank everyone who supported his store during his time here and he’s grateful to all of you who dropped by to wish him well. We too want to thank him for bringing an interesting business into our area and for giving each of us such good service. We’ll miss Posterity once Daniel is gone.

Anniversary Park The new fountain and pathways are in place and working at Anniversary Park at Gerrard and Parliament. The result is a fine location where you can go for a relaxed lunch or just a quick visit. Congratulations to the television makeover crews at Green Force for their efforts on this project.

Sidewalk Construction Once again, construction is underway on Parliament Street. This is a follow-up to the work done in May and June by the gas company when they dug a trench along the road and broke into the concrete on the sidewalk. This is the final stage of that work and the City of Toronto crews are now putting in permanent new concrete slabs wherever the gas company initially broke through the walk. The construction started on the east side at Gerrard and will go north on Parliament to Winchester and then south on the west side back to Gerrard. It’s scheduled for completion within about two weeks.

Construction Questions
At Fashion Wearhouse (411 1/2 Parliament), this phase of the sidewalk construction marks the fifth time in two years that work has happened at their location. First, they got a new connection and a little outdoor grey pipe statute, courtesy of the gas company. A little while later, a neighbour got a statute. After another delay, his other neighbour was given this gift. Then there was work on a water main. Finally, the sidewalk itself is being refinished. Perhaps it’s just idle curiosity – but they’d like to know why all of this couldn’t be done at the same time. Whatever happened to planning and coordination? And why does a perfectly good roadway and sidewalk have to be destroyed at all when this work could have happened when the streetcar track reconstruction took place several years ago?
Every business person on Parliament would like answers to the same questions.

Children’s Book Bank Many of us have been following the slow and meticulous restoration of the building at 350 Berkeley. Once home to Pimblett’s and then Underdown, it’s been beautifully finished and the work is almost done.
Now it’s home to the Children’s Book Bank. Inside and out it’s worth a visit.
The Children’s Book Bank is a charitable corporation dedicated to providing books and literacy support to children aged 2 to 12. It operates like a bookstore – except the books are free. One book is given to a child or parent per day. So far, the average is between 180 and 250 donations each day.
Your gifts are welcomed. Please remember that they need only children’s books (suitable for ages 2 to 12) and please limit your gifts to gently used books only.
Kim Beatty is the Executive Director. You can find out more at
Life in the fast lane
These four guys happily agreed to show us how pleasantly time passes in Anniversary Park.

Friday, 4 July 2008

We’ll make you famous... Yes, indeed, this could be you!
Are you a Cabbagetown performer who wants to be part of the Cabbagetown Festival? Call us and we’ll fit you into the schedule. On Saturday and Sunday during the Festival, we have opportunities for people to perform on Parliament Street. We welcome individuals and groups, young and old, professional and amateur.
For example, within the past three years, we’ve enjoyed student Highland dancers, colourful Bengali dancers, award-winning children’s entertainers, throaty country singers, serious jazz musicians, karate demos and some amazing hip hop dancers from the CYC. All from Cabbagetown.
Just call and we’ll let you know how we can work with you: (416) 921-0857.

Postal blues
Yes, our local post office has closed. It’s not a permanent problem for us but it will be a short-term inconvenience. A new location has been earmarked but the new operators have asked for a bit of time before making their announcements.
In the meantime, we can go to Shopper’s Drug Mart at Queen and Parliament or to Greendale Pharmacy at Homewood and Carlton until our own branch reopens in its new home.

Watery demo

The Epicure Shop (473 Parliament) is hosting a demonstration by Mountain Valley Spring Water on Saturday from 11 am to 3 pm. You’re invited – dive right in.

Stonegrill on Winchester
Stonegrill’s new summer agenda has just been announced and it’s got amazing choices.
Tuesday brings Stonegrill Stripped. The bistro menu promotes a casual feel and affordable luxury, $6 martinis and $5 drinks.
As we’ve come to expect at Stonegrill, there’s a real Cabbagetown connection: this time, chef Bashir Munye is drawing on the Riverdale Park Farmers’ Market for supplies. Every Wednesday, organic fruits, veggies, fish and meats will be used for a new 3-course prix fixe menu featuring locally raised seasonal dishes. Each dish is specially paired with Henry of Pelham family estate wines.
S&M Thursdays highlight Sushi & Martinis prepared by Michi Tanaka, former sushi chef at the Drake.
On Sunday, jazz legend Archie Alleyne and the rhythm section from Kollage (Robi Botos and Artie Ross) perform during brunch from noon to 3 pm. The new brunch menu includes homemade blueberry scones, crab salad benedict and strawberry crepes with ricotta.
You can now even make your reservations online at 51B Winchester. Call (416) 967-6565.

Music on Parliament
Our annual June music program has now finished. Special thanks to Jim Heineman whose trio rounded it all up last Saturday. Another familiar Cabbagetown musician, Snooky Tynes, joined them and made the performance even more memorable.

Don’t forget ... If your business or your group want to join us in September at the Festival parade, then you’re welcome to call and let us know. Make your parade appearance special by adding some costumes, some music and lots of decorations. It’s your parade. (416) 921-0857.