Friday, 19 December 2008

Santa’s Back on Saturday
Bring your puppies, cats, budgies, hamsters and even your fish for your annual photo opportunity with Santa. This year, there are two stops: Pet Valu (240 Carlton) from 11 am to 2 pm and Menagerie Pet Shop (549 Parliament) from 3 pm to 6 pm. It only costs $10 for a wonderful souvenir of a snowy Christmas.
Santa's return brings back memories of a great friend, Wendy, who didn't quite make it for a second photo.
Sterling Brass at the Ben Wicks
Five instruments and a scintillating singer perform Christmas carols for you on Sunday afternoon, December 21, at the Ben Wicks (424 Parliament). Don’t miss this annual performance – back again by popular demand.

Christmas Day Once again, Cranberries (601 Parliament) is hosting its annual Christmas feast. A three course dinner with appetizers, turkey and trimmings and dessert will be offered in two sittings (at 5 pm and 8 pm). $24.99 per person. Reservations are needed since the restaurant sells out each year (416-925-6330).
Find out a lot more about the menu, hours and restaurant by clicking on our new link: .

Food shop news St Jamestown Steak & Chops (516 Parliament) now has two new offerings from Quebec for your Christmas feast - foie gras from La Ferme and fresh duck breasts. Check with Mark as well about your Christmas turkey.
Patty at The Epicure Shop (473 Parliament) is offering a Canadian Christmas for you. She’s got Rain Coast Crisps (2 for $11.99, save $2), Kicking Horse Coffee (at $12.99, again for a $2 savings) and Greaves Jams (2 for $6.99) . There’s no tax on her Gift Baskets and she has a nice selection of homemade mincemeat pies, short bread and gingerbread.
At Daniel et Daniel (248 Carlton), Christmas Yule Logs are highlighted. You can pick one up in either mocha, chocolate or hazelnut. They’re priced by weight. These aren’t their only offerings, of course. You can make it a lot easier to buy all their goodies by using their Gift Card – with optional values. Movies at the Library
Parliament Library (269 Gerrard) is hosting a screening of the fabulous film, “Detective Jones and the Case of the Missing…” Bumbling detective Jim Jones and his photographer sidekick are called upon to solve the mystery of a building that suddenly disappears from Regent Park. Saturday, December 20, 3 pm.

Last Minute Shoppers
We can flock to the Farm – the Riverdale Farm Shop that is. They have plenty of goodies left for you and this year, they’re providing gift certificates as well. (Winchester & Sumach)

Carlton & Parliament The Committee of Adjustment of the City of Toronto will be holding a meeting to consider the plans and applications by George Foulides who owns the old JavaVille site at Carlton and Parliament (493 Parliament). The meeting will be in Committee Room 2, Second Floor at City Hall at 9 am on Wednesday, January 7. The file number is A0988/08TEY.
George is asking for permission to demolish the current structure and put up a three-storey non-residential building in its place. He is seeking approval for two variances: to increase the non-residential density from 1.0 to 2.90 times the area of the lot and to be exempted from the required eleven parking spaces.
This meeting serves two purposes. The Committee will consider George’s plans and requests. In addition, it will consider any public comments that it receives either by letter, by fax or by a personal appearance during the meeting.
If you want further information, you can contact either Doug Fisher at the BIA (416-921-0857) or Sean MacIntyre at Pam McConnell’s office (416-392-0207).

Scam report…
If It’s Too Good To Be True…then don’t believe it. Ruth at Cranberries reports that she ran into one of these crazy scams.
She got a phone call from a man in the USA, in Delaware. He asked about catering for a group of students visiting Toronto for four days. They would need lunch and dinner for each day. He then emailed her with his request and she gave him a full run-down on their menu, services and prices. Everything was credible and explained in detail.
Suddenly, a cheque for $4800 arrived in the mail. Two days later, she got a panicky phone call from this guy, telling her that 11 students had cancelled. Could she send back a refund for $2200 to cover their costs? Of course, the scam is simple – it takes about two weeks for a cheque written in the United States to clear in Canada and by the time it’s proven to be a dud, the guy would be long gone.
Ruth isn’t dumb. She didn’t try to cash the first cheque, didn’t send a refund and called the police.

Friday, 12 December 2008

Christmas News

Carlton and Parliament

The proposal for the new building at this corner has been released to us. It’s now in the hands of the City of Toronto and the owner expects that public meetings will begin in earnest in January.
This is a major location for all of us in this area. Its fate has been discussed widely for the past two years.
The drawings illustrated here give you a preliminary look at the owner’s ideas. A new, three-storey building will replace the old JavaVille structure. Its first floor will hold commercial or retail space and the top two floors will contain commercial office space.
Whenever opportunities arise for public viewing or discussion of these plans, we will announce them here in the Newsletter.
Christmas gifts from Tim Hortons
Constable Dave Smith handles the crossing guard program in 51 Division. At his initiative, gift mugs were given to each of the Division’s guards by Tim Hortons as a bit of Christmas cheer and thank-you to them for their work with our children.
Zena works at the intersection at Parliament and Winchester and is well-known and popular in our area.
Our thanks to Tim Hortons for these gifts. Nauman and Amin represent the local group who operate the beautiful store in the Winchester (537 Parliament) and at the gas station (581 Parliament). Tim Hortons regularly supports our community with efforts like this. They support the Cabbagetown Festival and the Short Film & Video Festival as well as many smaller projects in Cabbagetown.

Soup SaleSoup is a cooperative operating from 603.1/2 Parliament. Its members include designers, artists, crafts people and internet experts. On Saturday December 13 from 10 am to 4 pm, they’re hosting a one-day craft sale featuring fine greeting cards (fresh back from One-of-a-Kind), jewellery, buttons and pins, fine handcrafted clothing and lots more. Don’t miss it!

Ahhhh, Whiskey
This Tuesday is the big day for JAM's whiskey tasting, From Islands to Highlands. 6:30 pm. (195 Carlton) Bring a gift for the food bank as well and Av Atikian will forward it along. This is a tutored session under the guidance of The Scotch Ambassador from Diaggio Limited. $25 will get you in the door and a chance to taste four single-malt whiskies. Reservations are suggested, (416) 921-1255.

Sharon (here with Jesse) reports that she’s open for the next two weeks on Sunday from 11 am to 4 pm to handle the Christmas rush. Edward Gorey Christmas cards are still in stock. She also has lots of specials available in the store (scarves from $9.99 and samples at 50% below retail). She urges anyone who needs a little Christmas cheer to stop by. (503 Parliament)

The Epicure Shop Patty is introducing new cheese dips and spreads and so she’s offering one free tub of Feta Spread with every Cheesy Dip that you buy. It’s a great bargain for anyone who’s Greek (and everyone else who wants to be). From December 12 to 15th, you can save the tax on any purchase of an Epicure Gift Basket. Patty also has 7-to-10 year-old raw milk cheddars from Quebec plus an assortment of shortbreads, gingerbreads and mincemeat tarts. (473 Parliament)

Turkey time St Jamestown Steak & Chops (516 Parliament) is taking orders for your Christmas turkey. When you want to move away from the traditional spread, Mark can give you hams, rack of lamb, beef tenderloin and lots of other fine choices. Janice Williams and Claudia Salzmann are grilling Mark about his choices.

Christmas Toys Number 9 Audio & Technologies Group (222 Gerrard) held their 5th annual Christmas party last weekend. Over 100 guests attended and each was asked to donate a toy to be given to the Yonge Street Mission. George Rondina (above - with Cathy Rondina and Anne Keyes of YSM) reports that they collected enough toys to fill a pick-up truck, plus a generous gift certificate for Long & McQuade.

On the horizon…
(601 Parliament) again open on Christmas day. In past years, they’ve offered a real feast and the restaurant has been packed for two sittings. This year, they have extra space with their new facilities and it should be even better. If you want to enjoy a turkey dinner with all the trimmings but don’t want the hassle, make a reservation.

Ben Wicks (424 Parliament) getting ready for the annual Christmas sing-a-long with the Sterling Brass. December 21, 2 to 5 pm. Good vibrations.

Into the New Year Dennison Smith and Matthew Remski from Renaissance Yoga (391 Ontario at Gerrard) have announced their winter programs. Starting on January 7, they’re offering on-going Yoga Asana classes. Fundamentals of Yoga is a twelve-week program available on both Mondays and Wednesdays at 7:30 pm. Every Sunday at 10:30 am, you can drop-in for a Level One Yoga session and on Thursday at 7:30 pm, they hold a drop-in Candlelight Restorative Yoga session. The advanced Yoga Philosophy Program also starts on January 7 (from 7 to 9 pm). You can check their website for details on other programs that begin later in the year:

International News Here’s Rick O’Clee who’s making his regular seasonal visit to Cabbagetown from Ramsgate in England. Rick is father and father-in-law to Laila and John Jay (The Cobourg). He’s a good cook which explains why he was hanging around St Jamestown Steak & Chops and how he developed his friendship with Terry Michelin and now with Mark. Welcome back, Rick and all the best for this Christmas season.

Friday, 5 December 2008

A quick list of handy Christmas goodies

Stores across Cabbagetown have stocked up on basic supplies that you’ll need for your holidays.

Wayne at Royal Home Hardware (485 Parliament) is always ready to offer advice. His tips help the BIA stay on a steady course all year long. At Christmas for $4.99, he’s ready to put a bow on it. Home Hardware are holding their Christmas Gift Sale and Wayne will guide you through the complexities of it all.

Nearby at Loonie or Less (480 Parliament), Kyle has “the biggest roll at the best price” – 40 square-foot rolls of Christmas wrap for $1 each. Then for every dollar that you contribute to Red Door Family Shelter, he’ll make a matching gift of six toothbrushes.

At The Epicure Shop (473 Parliament), Patty has filled the store with seasonal treats like homemade shortbreads, ginger breads and Dufflet mincemeat pies. If you order one of her personalized Gift Baskets before December 12, you’ll receive a 15% discount. And if you order any three trays from her catering specials, you’ll get a free pastry tray with your order. And don’t forget the Italian ceramic plates and bowls – they make perfect gifts for your foodie friends.

Among our favourite seasonal displays are the flower arrangements that sprout up on street corners and bring colour even during gray December rainy days.

Fairway (520 Parliament and Winchester) has a wide range of trees, holly, mistletoe and decorative plants.

Gerry and Carl are back beside No Frills (Parliament and Spruce). Their Christmas trees come from lots in Muskoka and Orillia. Gerry and his father have sold trees in Cabbagetown for the past 56 years. Welcome back, guys.

Anh at Mini Mart (460 Parliament) has brought back her miniature trees.
Parliament Smoke (609 Parliament at Wellesley) has small Christmas trees and an assortment of seasonal decorations.

And at Jamestown Milk (592 Parliament at Wellesley), the amaryllis are selling for only $7.99 – a beautiful bargain.

If you’re mailing Christmas parcels and cards, Guru at the Canada Post desk in Shoppers Drug Mart (467 Parliament) is open from Monday to Saturday until 9 pm and on Sunday from 11 am to 5 pm.

Mark your calendars

Big Mamma’s Boy (554 Parliament) announces that the last She Dance for 2008 will happen on Saturday, December 6. The music starts at 10 pm. There’s no cover charge. Then, on Tuesday December 16, they’re holding their second (in a regular series) of Big Mamma’s Cabarets featuring Jennie Brooke and Michael Barber. Cabarets start at 8 pm with a $10 cover.
December 16 brings some relief from all that shopping and wrapping. Get over to JAMCafe (195 Carlton) for their scotch whiskey tasting – From Islands to Highlands features four single malts in a tutored experience with the Scotch Ambassador from Diaggio Limited. Please also bring a holiday food-bank donation and JAMCafe will forward your gift. $25 plus tax and gratuity. Call for reservations (416) 921-1255.

The Ben Wicks Pub (424 Parliament) holds its annual Christmas Sing-a-Long featuring the Sterling Brass on Sunday December 21 from 2 to 5 pm. We’ve been there before and can honestly testify that it’s a genuine treat to hear Silent Night played on a tuba.