Friday, 28 November 2008

Proposals for change
David Weenen (left) and Paul Dineen (right) talk to David Orsini following his presentation.

The BIA has engaged David Orsini, a landscape architect from Sunarts Design, to prepare a Master Plan for future change on Parliament, Carlton and Gerrard. He’s looking at the physical features in these areas in order to make them friendlier for pedestrians, more inviting for shoppers and greener and more sustainable environments.
David showed his initial proposals to members of the BIA in their Annual Meeting last Wednesday evening. These ideas include developing green areas on the wider boulevards on the north sides of Winchester and Spruce at Parliament, expanding and rebuilding Anniversary Park at Gerrard, gateway brickworks on the street at Wellesley and at Sherbourne and Carlton, a “bike corral” in a bump-out area on Parliament near Jet Fuel, bigger street level gardens in sidewalk tree pits and hanging floral baskets along the street.
At this time, these are initial proposals. David is now getting feedback and is preparing his ideas in a coherent plan. When that’s available, you will be invited to see it at the BIA office and to comment on it.

2009 BIA program
At the Annual Meeting, BIA members also approved a budget and a program for 2009. Among the highlights:
Robert McEnirney, the BIA's treasurer celebrates his new budget with George and Cathy Rondina
A committee is working on a review of the annual Festival to see whether it needs to be more focused and revitalized.
A second committee is working with David Orsini on the streetscape Master Plan and will have priorities to implement his ideas once they’re approved.
Music on Parliament Street will again appear next May and June.

Sean McIntyre from Pam McConnell's office.

There will be a more integrated approach to publicize BIA events, using printed brochures and the internet to tell residents about restaurant and business activities. John Jay (left-from the Cobourg) and Daniel Megly (right-Daniel et Daniel) listen to David Orsini's presentation

Following up on the streetscape study, the BIA will undertake a second design study, this time looking at the buildings in our commercial areas. Our intention is to determine what standards are needed to accommodate both the community’s desire for historic preservation and our commercial activity. It’s hoped that we can add these guidelines as essential steps in any redevelopment projects that may come to the BIA in the future.
Carol and Calvin - who knew?

Cabbagetown Preservation Association
In their meeting last week, the CPA members heard Paul Dineen and Doug Fisher talk about their perceptions of retail life in the BIA.
Paul addressed the coming expansion of Regent Park, threats from big box stores and the streetscape plan. Doug gave details about the way the community is served by our businesses.
This was the third in a series of CPA meetings about Parliament Street. Earlier this year, George Rust D’Eye spoke about the heritage features of our buildings. Later, Rick Merrill tackled the topic of a renewed streetscape on Parliament.
Overall, the series has shed light on the importance of our commercial strip for Cabbagetown residents.
The CPA has been very vigorous over the past year. The Tour of Homes has been a great success and the springtime garden tours and the Halloween ghost tour have been added successfully as well. Cabbagetown People continues to be a strong part of the CPA program and the Museum is rapidly settling into its new home in Riverdale Park. The CPA Newsletter has become an important voice for community news and updates. All of this has been welcome indeed.

JavaVille Good news about the property at Carlton and Parliament. The owner, George Foulides, has submitted preliminary plans to the City of Toronto for a brand new, three storey commercial building on the site. The ground floor will house an operating business and the upper two floors will have office space for rent. George expects the public consultations to start in the winter.

JAMCafe As announced last week, JAMCafe (195 Carlton) hosts its Sangiovese tasting dinner on Tuesday, December 2. It looks good – wine from four regions plus a sparkling reception will accompany four food tasting courses. Please call (416) 921-1255 for reservations.
Av wants us to remind you that this is also an opportunity to support the food bank – so please bring a holiday food-bank donation.

Lounge 51
When The Laurentian Room closed a year ago, we really felt the loss. It was an exciting venue, a place that gave Cabbagetown a great upper-end restaurant and club.
Now, Lounge 51 (51A Winchester) has opened in its place and all indications are that it’ll be a worthy replacement. Both the CPA meeting and the BIA Annual Meeting were held here this week. It’s a good big space for private parties and meetings and it’s also open on weekends with entertainment and fine dining.
On Friday, November 28, Carol Taylor is singing. On Saturday from 9:30pm, TomKatz’s DJ Thomas Hall is playing Top 40, house, R&B and your requests. For more information, call 416-921-5100.