Friday, 27 March 2009

Are you an artist?
(Aren’t we all…) If you’re a painter, a crafts person or a photographer, we want you in the Cabbagetown Festival. This year, we’re setting up a priority area where Cabbagetown artists will be able to exhibit their works. It’s free. It’s going to be a highlight of the event. We’re notifying you now so you have time to prepare your work. Contact We’ll book a space for you.

The Cobourg Sings

On Saturday, March 28 from 8 pm, The Cobourg is hosting its second (annual) Sing. Everyone who comes to listen or to sing pays $5 at the door and these gifts go to Pathways to Education, a Cabbagetown non-profit agency helping students from Regent Park. Last year, the singing was incredible and this year, the same ragtag band has been recruited to recreate the magic. (533 Parliament.)

Fundraiser for Toronto People with Aids Foundation

Brass Taps (221 Carlton) is hosting this fundraiser on Saturday, March 28. Doors open at 7:30 pm. The entertainment includes event MC’s Dolly Jones and Alexis Van-Carter, singers Alicia Porter, Marni Levitt and Tammy Moone, Hip Hop artist Epidemic and Mohammed Diaby, Guinea Drum & Dance performer.

Eric Morse at Gordon Daniels Gallery

Kathryn Langley Hope and Arlene Perley Rae joined Eric at the grand opening of his show at the Gordon Daniels Gallery (460 Parliament). His photographs of Toronto streetcars entitled “Transports of Delight” will be shown there through the next week until April 5. Congratulations to the gallery for their continuing successes – they’re new to Parliament Street and already having a great presence here.

Saturday is Earth Hour
All over the world, people will turn off their lights and cut down their footprint on the Earth for an hour at 8:30 pm on Saturday. You can join Cabbagetown South residents for a guided walking tour on that evening. You’ll be part of a worldwide event and at the same time, you’ll see our beautiful neighbourhood in a magical candlelit way. Join the tour at Seaton and Gerrard at 8:15 pm.

Greening your Cabbagetown home Mark your calendars for Tuesday April 7, 7 to 9 pm for a special talk about “Greening your Cabbagetown Home” by Chris Chopik. Topics include energy efficiency, conservation, using renewable resources and grants available for refits. The meeting takes place at St Martin’s School, 55 Salisbury Avenue. This is the first in a series of special evenings sponsored by the Don Vale Cabbagetown Resident’s Association.

Sharon’s Spring announcements Sharon (503 Parliament) has a store full of new Spring offerings including linen, silk and cotton pants, skirts and summer dresses. Be sure, as well, to check out her reversible coats, multicoloured evening gloves, Pure sweaters and shawls and Neon Buddha yoga and casual wear. In case you’re feeling the recession times pinch, Sharon still has her old-fashioned but brand new layaway plan.

Acceleration 2009 On April 1 to 4, the School of Toronto Dance Theatre presents its annual evening highlighting members of its graduating class. This year, there are dance pieces by James Kudelka, Christopher House, Allison Cummings, Peggy Baker and Risa Steinberg. Find out more at 80 Winchester St, (416) 967-6887, April 1 to 4, 8 pm, $15 and $12 (students and seniors)

Follow-up The visit to the Cabbagetown Youth Centre last week by Premier Dalton McGuinty has had lots of media follow-up. The Premier’s own web site has a great video showing the choir that welcomed him at the start of his visit. Click here to see more:

Friday, 20 March 2009

Welcome Premier McGuinty

The kids charmed the Premier at the CYC.

On Friday afternoon, Ontario’s premier Dalton McGuinty and Deb Matthews (Minister of Children & Youth Services) came to the Cabbagetown Youth Centre to confirm Ontario’s new support for low income families through an increased Ontario Child Benefit and additional investments in social housing. They took part in a public discussion and then a press conference.
Of course, the CYC made sure they were warmly welcomed. Monique Caine’s choir ushered him in with a CYC song.

John Kalbhenn from the Boxing Club gave him a tee shirt and traded reminiscences with him about boxing and wrestling. Spiros Papathanakis, the CYC’s executive director, was on hand to make sure that all went smoothly during the event.

Thanks Paul
In 2006, Paul Nadeau (right) kept George Smitherman, Carl Orbach, Mark Michelin and the other dignitaries upright and steady while they cut the cabbage during the Festival.
Next week, a good friend for many people in Cabbagetown, Constable Paul Nadeau, will retire. He’ll be missed. As the community liaison officer at 51 Division, he’s helped us constantly. He worked with us on programs for the Cabbagetown Festival. He organized clothing drives at local shelters. He listened and acted when we had issues with street people – often telling us to use our common sense and good manners as much as any other cure. He took us seriously when we suffered from criminal actions and he followed up to make sure that these problems were solved. Best wishes, Paul, from all of us here for a great time in your future adventures.

Links for your convenience
On the top right corner of this page, we’re adding links to other web sites of special interest in Cabbagetown. This week, we’ve added the Cabbagetown Online Flyers link giving you connections to the weekly flyers and catalogues from 241 Pizza, Luciano’s No Frills, Royal Home Hardware and Shopper’s Drug Mart. This list is going to expand whenever we get new links.

The Epicure Shop
Patty Junior has lots of fresh hot cross buns. From now to Easter, they’ll be delivered daily. Her coffee contest ends this weeknd so get in there for your chance at a free pound. (473 Parliament)

Jordano Skin Care
Rose Jordano has a great new web site telling us all about her services. Rose attends our BIA functions regularly and she always brings a warm, gracious air to our events. She’s worked in her business for over 25 years and her building on Gerrard is a model of pleasant elegance. (252 Gerrard St E)

International News
Christopher Dew has done it. Up to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro (Africa’s highest peak) and back safely. We showed you his “before” picture and we’re proud now to bring you his mountain-top accomplishments.
Christopher used his adventure to publicize the upcoming fundraiser for the Cabbagetown-Regent Park Museum. For more details, click here:

Flags That lovely flag that Christopher flew over Mt Kilimanjaro is available for you here at the BIA office (well – a copy of it, not the real thing!) For $30, you too can proudly own and fly our pennant. If you need a pole, we’ll give you one of those for just $20. If you already own a flag, check it out; it’s probably a bit faded and needs replacement. For more details, call Doug at (416) 921-0857 or drop in at 237 Carlton.

Filming event
Cabbagetown is home to several scenes in the new film “Scott Pilgrim versus The World” being produced by Universal Studios. The corner of Carlton and Parliament is being used on Monday, March 23 to depict a winter scene and a bus passing through the intersection. Parking will be restricted in some areas and the crews will be “dressing” the street with fake snow from 7 am to 11 pm.

Earth Hour
On Thursday March 26, lights will dim city-wide for an hour from 8:30 to 9:30 pm for our annual Earth Day observances. The Cabbagetown South Association is organizing a unique candlelight walk through this beautiful Victorian neighbourhood during the darker hour. Join the group at Seaton and Gerrard at 8:15 pm.

Crime alert
We’ve just been told by sources hidden deep inside the City of Toronto that a crackdown squad has been formed to force local merchants to stop using sidewalk signs to advertise their wares. Gone are the days when restaurants could tell a breathless public about their daily soups, or internet cafes could let you know that they’re just downstairs, or tax experts could ask you to call before filing. Nope, that stuff is being swept away.
Your property tax bill is expected to go up by 4% in 2009. We’re pleased to give you this one small example of the ways that these extra funds are being spent.
Sorry Anita but this stuff has gotta go.

Toronto Dominion Bank at Carlton & Parliament
Plans for the site at Carlton and Parliament have passed the City’s Committee of Adjustment. The owner has announced that the first floor will be a Toronto Dominion Bank and office space will appear above it. By next week, a copy of these plans will be available on the Newsletter. The BIA has also started planning the exterior landscaping to complement the TD Bank entrance at the corner.

Friday, 13 March 2009

Nuit Blanche Thanks
It’s been a busy week so we’ll start with a very pleasant set of “thank you’s”. When you’re visiting your favourite stores, look for the 2008 Nuit Blanche certificate that many of them have earned. Our merchants supported our first Nuit Blanche effort held last October with considerable generosity and these plaques help to identify the ones who did so.

Arbab at Healthy Whey (250 Carlton) was one of more than a dozen businesses who helped out at Nuit Blanche.

Thanks to Starbucks
Starbuck’s official opening last Thursday was a smashing success – the new store hosted a fundraiser on behalf of the Cabbagetown Youth Centre. At least $1500 was raised. For over three hours, a dozen staff served coffee and pastries to a packed house. Congratulations to everyone involved for a great community event and a successful launch. (492 Parliament)
Louisa is one of the new staff welcoming people to Starbucks.

Gamblers Anonymous Yes, for those of you with gambling compulsions, Patty Junior at The Epicure Shop (473 Parliament) is offering her Annual Coffee Contest. Pour yourself a bag of fresh coffee beans and if it weighs exactly 454g or one pound, you’ll get a pound free. The contest runs until Sunday, March 22. Once again, this event is attracting busloads of high rollers en route to Casino Rama.
And more good news – Patty has all of her Quebec favourites back in stock, including wild boar, duck pistachio and cognac pates and 7-year-old cheddar, Riopelle and La Sauvigine cheese. On Saturday, drop by and sample her new fruit nectars from Spain.

St Patrick’s Day, Tuesday March 17
Check your favourite restaurant to learn their plans for this fine occasion. Ben Wicks Bar & Bistro (424 Parliament) has smiling eyes and cold beer. Big Mamma’s Boy (554 Parliament) is featuring a special Irish menu. House on Parliament (456 Parliament) will have corned beef with cabbage and organic Irish salmon. Brass Taps (221 Carlton) is featuring Irish food specials and great giveaways.

Mamma’s Deli
There’s a new restaurant, Mamma’s Deli, at 415 Parliament. The site has been given a pleasing redecoration and it’s now a very bright, inviting room. I enjoyed a falafel sandwich and lentil soup for lunch there during the week and can recommend it highly.
Breakfasts, particularly on Saturday and Sunday, are a specialty and a terrific bargain – bacon, eggs, home fries and coffee for just $3.99. Mamma’s Deli opens at 9 am on the weekend. Stop by for a great start to your day. Sam, Georgi and Taghrad will welcome you to Mamma’s Deli.

Kidist March Specials Kidist at KPA Web Design Services tells us that she’s offering monthly specials for people who want her help with web site design. Check her list of available services at When you order one of her services, you can also have a second one at half price. Her packages are priced at 15% off and there’s a $50 bonus for Cabbagetown businesses payable toward her services. Contact her at or at (416) 939-0585.

Mi Casa Spring Sale
This is an event worth waiting for. Lamps, furniture and accessories throughout the store are on sale at discounts up to 50% off. No wonder people look forward to this sale each year – as always the store is jammed full of beautiful offerings. (238 Carlton.)

Alex from Mi casa (left) and Svein discuss his new lamp interests.

Business Plus Wireless Victor is holding a grand opening sale to announce his new association with Bell and Solo wireless phones. The special promotion for Solo includes no activation fee, no system access fees, no 911 fees and some phones sold on monthly contract with no charge for the phone. (437 Parliament)

Menagerie Pet Shop Menagerie (549 Parliament) has a special sale on Mane & Tail shampoo and conditioners. Store staff have authoritatively assured us that this is a great product for horses, dogs and balding human males. (If, in fact, someone bought you a last minute, ill considered Valentines gift, you may want to reward him with a bottle of Mane & Tail.)

Welcome to Krishna
We have a new restaurant at 585 Parliament. Krishna offers takeout and catering services, specializing in south Asian and Sri Lankan dishes. A takeout lunch, for example, with a sampling of eggplant, dhal, rice, spinach, turnip and chicken, fish or mutton is available for $6. Samosas, meat and fish rolls, fish patties and sweets are also available.

Palakrishnan Appachy (right) previously operated Tea Pot Chat in much smaller premises and now he’s located right on the street in his newly decorated restaurant.

JAMCafe (195 Carlton) is holding a special Spring Equinox Party on Saturday, March 21 from 6 pm to 2 am to celebrate the start of Spring and the arrival of warm weather. Its theme is “look high in the sky and feel the cosmic joy.” Mill Street brews for $3 may make the joy even more profound and Niagara’s Rosewood Estates will be sampling rose and merlot wines. Mini JAMburgers will be available free. Please bring a non-perishable food item as a donation to the food bank. Brooke Manning will sing and there will be appearances by other special musical guests.

Friday, 6 March 2009

It’s Spring…

Sang enjoys his lunch on the patio at House on Parliament (456 Parliament)

Megz and her friend on the bench outside Daniel et Daniel (248 Carlton)

And the flowers are on the sidewalk at Cabbagetown Mini Mart (464 Parliament)

It really is spring…
And JAMCafe are hosting a Spring Equinox Party on Saturday, March 21 from 6 pm to closing time. Bring along a food bank donation and you’ll get a free mini-JAMburger, washed down with a $3 Mill Street beer. And if it’s warm enough, the party can move outside to JAM’s great patio. (195 Carlton)

Spring is bike time
Kale at Cycle Solutions (444 Parliament) urges everybody to bring their bikes in early. There’s always a Spring rush. To avoid the congestion, you can make a specific appointment time for your tune-up. Visit the store to set a date and leave a $5 deposit. A basic tune-up is $30 and the full, no-holds-barred tune-up is $50. You can also check out the new line of jerseys, shorts and other bike related clothing.

The Ontario government decided that biking is a good green sport and to make it more popular, they’ve dropped the PST on bikes and biking accessories under $1000. Kale has new bikes from Giant, Specialized and Kona on sale now. He also has Dahon’s folding bike.
And one last little reminder – a bike bell costs $5 and the police will give you a nice $100 fine for not having one.

Jet Fuel hosts Norm Betts

Norm Betts at Jet Fuel
Cabbagetown photographer Norm Betts has a wonderful exhibition running at Jet Fuel (519 Parliament). Entitled “Witness a Masterpiece”, it’s a celebration of Linda Manzeer’s craft – for the past 25 years, she’s built beautiful guitars for jazz guitarist Pat Metheny.

The show continues through March – the coffee here flows forever.

James McNee downs a latte in front of one of Norm’s pictures.

Starbucks hosts the CYC

As announced last week, Starbucks will open in the new store at Aberdeen and Parliament on Thursday, March 12 from 4 to 7 pm. Store manager Hyojean Parks tells us that Starbucks always celebrates these openings with a “Family & Friends” event on opening day.
The Cabbagetown Youth Centre will be the guest of honour for this event. Complimentary coffee and pastries will be available and all voluntary donations that you make will be directed to the CYC.
The finishing touches are being applied inside and as soon as the weather permits, the exterior landscaping will be completed.

House on Parliament and Big Mamma's Boy were each praised by NOW Magazine last week and included in their "Eat Well, Spend Less" feature. Ten restaurants across Toronto were listed, included two of ours.
House on Parliament got the mention for their Sunday Night roast beef dinner. Big Mamma's Boy earned their listing for Michael Guenther's roasted root ragout.
Click on these links for the full reviews: House on Parliament and Big Mamma's Boy.

Spring Cleaning Loonie or Less (480 Parliament) can help. Kyle has the original Shammy for $5.99 – similar to the one you’ve seen on television for $19.99. Whether you want to wipe off your car, your counter or your dog, the Shammy does it for you. If you’re tired of the recession and want to fight off your economic blues, this is the store that’ll do the trick.

CITY TV covered Cabbagetown
Last Tuesday, City TV profiled Cabbagetown during their series on Toronto neighbourhoods, part of their run-up to Toronto 175th birthday. They did their broadcast live from Jet Fuel and included Epicure’s Patty Junior as well as local residents like Maureen Penno.
Click on this link and then press the arrow to play video:

Spring in our food shops

Easter, of course, means hot cross buns. The Epicure Shop (473 Parliament) is now bringing in fresh ones daily throughout the Easter season. Patty Junior is also supersizing her lunch soup – 16 oz for $4.50 (her large soup is 12 oz at $3.50 and the small one is 8 oz at $2.50).

Daniel et Daniel (248 Carlton) are launching their annual Easter chocolates from France. On March 21, they’ll also be offering a “fill your own” deal on Easter baskets. For $4.99, you select your own basket, grass, ribbon and wrap. After that, the food shop staff will help you fill it with the items of your choice. And a reminder – you can get a Daniel et Daniel gift card as part of your basket goodies.

Goodbye …
To winter. Here’s a fine reminder of what’s leaving.

And goodbye as well to the LeslieVille Power Centre. This massive retail complex featuring vast parking lots, low wages, box stores and other retail goodies has been shown the door by the Ontario Municipal Board. Cabbagetown merchants instructed the BIA Board to join with Leslieville retailers and other east end groups to oppose this project and we really aren’t sorry to see it go.

Like ourselves, Leslieville enjoys small, creative retailers and they’ve been given a new opportunity in both neighbourhoods thanks to this OMB decision.