Friday, 9 January 2009

Tiffany is going to Guatemala

Tiffany Smith has volunteered to work on a Habitat for Humanity project in Guatemala later in January. She’ll be building homes for people in need as part of a team in the Global Village program.
She has to cover her trip costs and she’s holding a party to pay for her expenses. It’s at the Ben Wicks (424 Parliament) on Saturday, January 10 from 8 pm to closing. Michael McGaraughty is the host and DJ Ze H is providing the tunes. Special guest performers include “Go Freddy Go” of Cabbagetown Festival fame. There’ll be a silent auction and a raffle with special artwork, Raptors tickets, yoga apparel and lessons, gift certificates at the Stonegrill on Winchester, tarot readings and a lot more.
Another wine tasting at JAMCafe
JAMCafe’s first tasting meal of 2009 is happening on Thursday, January 22.
A five-course meal will match tiger shrimp, seafood and spinach terrine, porcini mushroom soufflé, elk bourguignon and seared Muscovy duck breast with five Rhone style wines from Edward Sellers California vineyards.
This will be an exceptional evening. Chef Av Atikian is welcoming the vineyard owner, Edward Sellers, to introduce his wines and talk about the wine and food pairings.
Tickets are on sale, only forty are available. $85 per person plus tax and gratuity. Please call for a reservation: (416) 921-1255. 195 Carlton Street. http://www.jamcafe.ca/events
The Epicure Shop loves Quebec
Patty Junior has three new Quebec cheeses for your enjoyment: 7- and 10-year old cheddars and Chevre Noit. To help these go down smoothly, pick up a few Montreal bagels with your purchases. She also now has organic Brick Street breads. Finally, to carry it all away, her line of Italian ceramics is on sale at 50% off.
Welcome to Cabbagetown
Edward Jones, the full service investment and brokerage firm, is setting up in Cabbagetown. Our local office will be run by Bryan Grundmann who brings over 20 years’ experience as a financial advisor to his role with us. At the moment, the company is sizing up properties around Cabbagetown for their office requirements and should have a location soon. The new tax-free savings accounts are attracting lots of attention and Bryan can take you through the steps with these accounts. He can be reached at (416) 846-3414.
And welcome back to Cabbagetown
Sri is back. Sri Paramanathan is a familiar and welcome face at our CIBC branch (245 Carlton) and he’s returned here as manager on January 5 after a stint at Queen and Spadina.
Carlton and Parliament Update
This week, the site owner, George Foulides, submitted a request to the city’s Committee of Adjustment for two minor variances on the proposal for a new office building at Carlton and Parliament. First, he asked for greater density to support office space on the second and third floors. Second, he wanted forgiveness on two parking spaces (the current building has this provision and George wants to continue it.)
George Rust D’Eye from the heritage district advisory committee opposed the demolition of the current building.
(We’ve got a lot of Georges on this project.)
When the Committee learned that there is a community disagreement, they deferred their hearing and decision to a future date. This matter could be resumed at any time within the next ninety days. The redevelopment on the site has, therefore, stopped.
In the meantime, everyone is busy trying to fix the problem. George Foulides will be consulting with the heritage group. The architects for the new proposal are talking to local architects in order to draft a better exterior façade. Public meetings will be held after these two events. Final proposals will then be displayed in the BIA office for everyone to inspect.
Stay tuned.
Reviews and links
Who can complain about all the great publicity that we’ve been getting? Our community and our restaurants have been the focus of full length newspaper stories and rave reviews. Here’s a quick rundown along with links to the online stories.
The National Post started it all with an article by Guiseppe Valiante about the redevelopment of Parliament Street. It’s a thoughtful article about the balance between conservation and change. http://www.nationalpost.com/news/canada/toronto/story.html?id=1110047
In The Toronto Star, Noah Richler then gave us an easy-going guide to ten of his favourite Cabbagetown spots. http://www.thestar.com/article/562634

Omi and Gourmet Burger really caught a lot of attention over the holidays.
Omi (241 Carlton) scored big twice with Joanne Kates’ reviews in the Globe & Mail. First she gave us a full review under the heading, “Sushi lovers rejoice, Omi is back”: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/LAC.20081220.KATES20/TPStory/?query=joanne+kates
and then she listed Omi as one of her top-ten selections for 2009: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/LAC.20081227.KATES27/TPStory/?query=joanne+kates

Gourmet Burger (482 Parliament) had its share of the limelight as well.

NOW Magazine’s Steve Davey (and several readers) gave it a top-ranking four-N rating. http://www.nowtoronto.com/food/story.cfm?content=166651
And on blog.to, they were called “scenes stealing” and the “finest specimen on this or any other continent.” http://www.blogto.com/restaurants/the_gourmet_burger_company
There were more stories, but we’ve lost track. What a pleasure.

We agree wholeheartedly with Noah Richler that “the jumbled character of Parliament Street, Cabbagetown’s untidy thoroughfare, would have suited Jane Jacobs ... Cabbagetown is not a perfect neighbourhood … Still, it is stocked with personality.” And we’re very pleased when other people see and enjoy us as we are.
(Photo Colin O'Connor, Toronto Star)