Friday, 29 May 2009

Jim Heineman is back
At Parliament and Winchester on Saturday afternoon. It’s week two in our Music on Parliament series and Jim will be appearing with his trio in the space beside St Jamestown Deli from 1 to 5 pm. When you’re passing by, stop for a minute to enjoy his great jazz.

St Jamestown has lobsters
While you’re checking out Jim Heineman, drop in for some live lobsters at St Jamestown Steak & Chops. Mark has a shipment of these delights and he’s stocked up for the weekend. At $9.99/pound, they’re a guaranteed success.

Centre Shift
Presented by the Canadian Children’s Dance Theatre, this year’s edition features premieres by choreographers Colin Connor and Deborah Lundmark along with remounts by Danny Grossman and Louis Laberge-Cote. June 4, 5 and 6 at 8 pm and June 7 at 2 pm. The show happens at the Winchester Dance Theatre, 80 Winchester St. Tickets are $18 and $25. Call (416) 924-5657.

Attention Cabbagetown artists…
A quick reminder. Cabbagetown artists are invited to join us at our annual Festival. We’re providing booth space (so you can display and sell your works) to everyone who is based here in Cabbagetown. Fifteen people have signed up already. To get on the list and to learn more about our project, call Doug or Latoya at (416) 921-0857 or send us an email at

Lookin’ good
Cara and Vicky (right) visited us for a few days from Carrboro, North Carolina and took home souvenir T-shirts.

Thanks Patrick Patrick Lightheart lives on Carlton Street above the former INZ shop (231 Carlton). When the space became vacant, he decided to make it more attractive and so he brought out his own art work. He’s right – his display really improves the storefront. Let's hope that other landlords take note.

Quit eating for a week... Save up your appetite. Provence Delices (12 Amelia St) is about to launch Saturday and Sunday brunches. Their patio is one of the few street level open areas in Cabbagetown and it’s a delightful spot. Details on the brunch menu will be coming out next week – for now, we know that there will be huge cafĂ© au lait bowls, croissants, danish and other pastries baked in their kitchen plus their variations on egg dishes, steak and other brunch goodies.

Go ahead - eat lots of good stuff
Over the weekend, you can get any Summerfresh Dip on sale at Epicure. Patty is offering one dip at regular prices and the second at half-price. And you can buy her homemade pasta sauce (she says it's fantastic) and get a box of DeCecco Pasta free. (473 Parliament)

Launch yourself on the world-wide web
Kidist Designs has special new offers for businesses and individuals for June. Kidist has written a very useful blog about website designs and how they can achieve your goals. It has lots of worthwhile, practical insights for people planning their web presence. Check it out here: For June, she’s giving a 15% discount on all website design packages and if you buy one design service, then you can get a second service at half-price.

Spring time at Barracuda
In Cabbagetown’s small gardens, containers often save the day. They can add extra space and turn a tough spot into a pleasant corner. Barracuda (527 Parliament) is full of beautiful new pots with designs that are textured and sculpted.

Sweet Creamery is just open
Emilio's past the construction stage and now he's doing what he loves best.
They’re open and, of course, we’ve given their ice cream a special test run. Gotta tell ya – the butterscotch ripple is a definite A+ That report is based on my personal field trip with a “large”. Do your own testing on Saturday when Quincy Lapalm will be playing his acoustic guitar out front. (521 Parliament)

For the birds
Dave and Robert will help you with your bird calls.
On Monday June 1, Project Chirp gets underway at 7 pm at the Ben Wicks (424 Parliament). Sponsored by the Cabbagetown South Association. Christina Sharma is a certified habitat steward with the Canadian Nature Foundation and she’ll be talking about backyard birding. Tickets are $10.

Friday, 22 May 2009

Music, music, music…
Ian Hamilton's Trio (above) and Michael Brennan (below) are both scheduled to come back this year. Jazz, country, latin, favourites and bebop are all on the menu.
For the past four years, the Cabbagetown BIA has organized Music on Parliament Street. We really enjoy this project. This year, our musicians will perform on the street every Saturday afternoon from 1 to 5 pm until June 30. They'll be at Winchester and Parliament, Spruce Street near No Frills and Gerrard Street near Ontario. This year as well, our schedule is better than ever. Donna Green and the Moo'd Swings do country favourites. They're back for the third time - and each visit has been a popular appearance.
Starting tomorrow, May 23, we’re offering Cabbagetown’s own Diego Solis who’ll be bringing his Latin rhythms to Winchester Street. We’ll give you announcements each week throughout the Spring. Oh, by the way, we enourage the performers to bring their CDs for sale and to busk – your generosity will be greatly appreciated.

Gossip and unsubstantiated rumours …
There’s news from The Stonegrill – it appears possible that the restaurant has changed hands and will soon reopen. That’s great. It’s an important feature on our restaurant scene. (51B Winchester)

While we’re at it – many thanks to Frank Bernardo. He served as the Stonegrill’s manager from its opening. Frank always opened his doors to community groups. His neighbours knew from the beginning that they were welcome. His programs at the restaurant were innovative and drew people into our area, including his Sunday Jazz series, his special evening menus and his efforts upstairs at Lounge 51.

You’ll also want to keep an eye on 521 Parliament (next to Jet Fuel) for the grand opening of our latest addition – a brand new ice cream store called Sweet Creamery. Rumour has it that this place will open during the next week, just in time for the hot weather.
Emilio's whipping up hard ice cream, soft ice cream and gelato. People at the BIA are gonna get fat!

Pick up a free book
The Yonge Street Mission (270 Gerrard) and Double Take (306 Gerrard) are again hosting their annual Community Book Fair on Thursday May 28 and Friday May 29. It’s an Extravaganza – a chance to find and enjoy free books. The Fair is open both days at 10 am and in the afternoon; it closes briefly each day at lunchtime.
Starbucks (Parliament & Aberdeen) are providing free coffee and they’ve got a collection basket for anyone who wants to donate a book for the Fair.

Reno’s at the LCBO

Alan Berger, our local manager, tells us that repairs on the LCBO building (512 Parliament) are going well. The first step is happening now on the roof and then fix-ups on the mural wall and the front will take place. A new mural and fresh paint on the front are part of the program.

Customer Appreciation Week at Epicure, May 25 to 30

For the next week, Patty is offering daily specials to thank each of her customers. On Monday, it’s beans – buy one pound of coffee beans and get another pound for half price. Tuesday is pizza – get a slice and your bottle of water is free. Wednesday, wake up to a breakfast bagel with a free cup of coffee. On Thursday, dessert treats are free with every lunch special. On Friday, buy any Summerfresh Dip and get a second one at half price. And on Saturday, it’s a biggie – buy Epicure’s Homemade Pasta Sauce and receive a free box of De Cecco Pasta. (473 Parliament)

Toronto Dance Theatre
The Berlin/Toronto Project features new works by two Berlin choreographers and TDT dancers. It’s part of an effort by TDT artistic director Christopher House to infuse renewed international experience into Toronto’s dance milieu. Performances take place May 21 and 22 at 8pm, May 23 at 2 pm and May 27 to 30 at 8pm. 80 Winchester. For tickets, online at and by phone at (416) 967-1365.

News from Renaissance Yoga & Ayurveda
Matthew and Dennison are traveling west for six weeks and while they’re gone, Scott Petrie will conduct a drop-in class from 6 to 9 pm starting on Thursday May 21. The latest newsletter from RYA gives details about summer activities, as well as the Yoga Festival (that happens from August 21 to 23) and a preliminary schedule for the RYA Fall program – to get more info, contact (391 Ontario St)

Friday, 15 May 2009

Sunday Vintage Sunday

The Gerrard stores, Eclectosaurus (249 Gerrard) and Foxy Boutique (251 Gerrard) are hosting their first Vintage sidewalk sale on Sunday May 17 from noon to 5 pm. Weather permitting, of course, and the forecast says that it’ll be a good day to enjoy an outdoor shopping expedition. There’ll be vintage clothing, furniture, jewelry, housewares, artwork and oddities – all at prices that are sure to please you.

Chez Etienne is moving

While you’re on Gerrard, take advantage of the moving sale happening this weekend at Chez Etienne, right across the street at 248 Gerrard. Barefoot Contessa foods, soaps and lotions from McBlooms and lots of other bath and kitchen items are priced at 25% to 75% off. You can see more at

Online bargains and features
Have you noticed the link in the right hand column that connects you to Cabbagetown Online Flyers? It's a great way to look at the weekly flyers that list specials, features and bargains from Shoppers Drug Mart, Luciano's No Frills, Home Hardware and Lennie's. You may have to add your postal code to connect to the proper pricing.

It’s not as far away as you think…
Yeah, the Festival. We need to plan ahead. That means thinking about your booth and your float in the parade. We like to remind everyone about this now because once the summer arrives, you’ll be too busy with cottage life, beer and barbeques and other distractions. Latoya Dickenson is now distributing emails and making phone calls to get your attention. If you want to take part, just let us know and then start to work on your presentation.
It may not look like it but these guys had to do a lot of work to get this presentable...

I Love You More
It’s a fun, art infused, interactive family event. It runs from noon to 5 pm on Sunday May 17 at the Canadian Children’s Dance Theatre (509 Parliament). Performances take place at 1 pm, 2:30 pm and 4 pm.
Nuit Blanche is getting organized

Toronto’s overnight art event takes place in early October. Artists who want to be a part of it here in Cabbagetown are asked to send proposals including a budget, resume, photos and sketches to our committee at If you prefer to send a package, drop it off or deliver it to the Cabbagetown BIA at 237 Carlton Street, Toronto, M5A 2L2. You can check us out at
To celebrate their launch, the committee built a Gateway in Riverdale Park during opening day of the Riverdale Farmers Market. (The market takes place every Tuesday afternoon from 3 pm to 7 pm until October.)

For the birds – mark your calendar
Project Chirp gets underway on Monday June 1 at 7 pm with an evening sponsored by the Cabbagetown South Association. It’s a discussion about attracting songbirds into your Cabbagetown backyard, featuring Christina Sharma. She’s a certified habitat steward with the Canadian Nature Foundation. Ben Wicks Bistro (424 Parliament), Monday June 1, 7 pm. Tickets are $10. For more information, You can also email or

Lookin’ good

Steve Yeates is definitely enjoying Spring

One-stop barbeque shopping
Royal Home Hardware (485 Parliament) is now in the middle of their great annual barbeque push. Their barbeques begin at $179.99 and they have a lovely small Weber for just under $300. If you don’t want to bother with the complexities of home assembly, they have helpful staff who can deliver and assemble it for you at very reasonable rates.

While you’re there, check out their rubber pork chops – Wayne will be happy to demonstrate his cooking techniques. Unfortunately, someone (who must have been really hungry) stole the rubber chicken.

And Patty has the goodies
When you’ve finished getting your barbeque supplies at Home Hardware, check out The Epicure Shop (473 Parliament) next door. Patty has new homemade Italian sausages, new Smokies for the barbeque in plain, cheese and jalapeno flavours and lots of traditional bratwurst and weisswurst.

Bob White, an old friend of our businesses and a pioneer in the BIA, dropped in to see Patty and she twisted his arm until he picked up some of her new Italian sausages.

Congratulations to the HOP

Both NOW Magazine and Eye Weekly have listed the House on Parliament (456 Parliament) as one of Toronto’s memorable patio experiences. In this week’s NOW, they receive their kudos for both their patio and their great food. In Eye, the friendly staff, above-par food and the best patio in Cabbagetown are all applauded. We, of course, knew that all along.

Friday, 8 May 2009

Welcome Latoya
Latoya Dickenson has joined our office for the summer. She’s a Ryerson student from the School of Hospitality & Tourism and her help will be valuable in our preparations for the Festival and several other summer events. You’ll be hearing from her as she organizes the parade, helps with pub and patio events, and gets a million other small details organized and presentable. She’s a welcome addition to our Festival group.

Cabbagetown’s main streets
The future shape of our business district is being planned and drawn up now. The BIA has commissioned David Orsini of Sunarts Designs to do a “revitalization plan”. You can see the draft at (and then look for the Cabbage image and click on it.) Please look it over and then send us your reactions at We’ve had good input from lots of people and we hope you’ll continue to send us your views.

Science Rendezvous event on Saturday
JAMCafe (195 Carlton) is home to this year’s Science Rendezvous, an annual community outreach event that promotes science education and research. Speakers and guest scientists include Dr Darren Anderson (nanotechnology), DrAlex Mihailidis (artificial intelligence, health care), Kieran Cooley (behaviour, environment and health, alternative medicine) and Dr Mohini Sain (forestry). There will be free snacks and $4 beers to enhance the discussions. Saturday, May 9, 2 to 5 pm.

Good food and flowers for Mother’s Day

JAMCafe's patio is now open
JAMCafe (195 Carlton) is again hosting Mother’s Day Brunch from 11:30 am to 3 pm. Eggs Benedict are a big favourite and Av is now adding Eggs Natasha (with vodka, salmon and spinach). There’s French toast, fruit cups, steak and eggs, crepes with smoked salmon – all for a little variety. Reservations are suggested (416-921-1255.) Sunday dinners continue – don’t forget that JAM has a free corkage policy every Sunday evening along with a prix fixe, three-course dinner at $19.

At Big Mamma’s Boy (554 Parliament), there’s a Lobsterfest all weekend. Mothers of all sorts are invited and there’s a free glass of champagne waiting for every mother who arrives. Lobster dinners are $34.95 from Friday May 8 to Sunday May 10. Call for a reservation at 416-827-1593.

St Jamestown Steak & Chops (516 Parliament) has a free carnation for every Mom who comes to the store over the weekend.

Daniel et Daniel (240 Carlton) have cookies for “The World’s Greatest Mom” along with their usual selection of delicious entrees and desserts. I’ve been using their gift card – absolutely amazing convenience.

Epicure Shop (473 Parliament) is making it very tempting to bring dessert home to Mom. There are gingerbread cookies, pies and Dufflet tarts available along with special Mother’s Day baskets made to order with all of her favourite goodies. Brownies and date squares are on sale: buy one and get an extra one for half price. Reunion Island Coffee sample bags are free with every purchase (while supplies last).

Absolute Bakery continues to be one of the most popular stops among the shops at Wellesley and Parliament. When you purchase one of their cakes, pies or pastries, you know that it’s been freshly baked on the same day.

Flowers everywhere
We’re really lucky to have so many stores setting up flower and plant displays outside their doors. They add a wonderful Spring quality to our streets. They offer both cut flowers for indoors and a wide variety of garden-ready potting plants.

Merion at Simmons Flowers (Parliament north of Winchester)

Cabbagetown Mini Mart (Parliament south of Carlton)

Fairway Market (Winchester & Parliament)

Parliament Smoke Shop (Wellesley & Parliament)

Jamestown Milk (Wellesley & Parliament)

And beautiful clothes

Congratulations to Michelle at Foxy Boutique (251 Gerrard). She’s just completed a lovely renovation to her store. She now has room for her regular inventory (including designer brands at deep discounts, Dior, YSL, Prada, Armani, Dries van Noten and more) and she has current and vintage styles in her bargain section. The Gerrard shops have been changing – if you haven’t been there in a while, you should visit them soon.

Sharon has Mother’s Day specials

She’s got hand-made market baskets and hats from Madagascar in fabulous hot summer colours (from $24.99) and new summer dresses from $34.99. All of her belts are on sale at $9.99 each or $15.99 for two. As always, she has a great selection of cards including special Mother’s Day selections. (503 Parliament)

The calendar is getting crowded...
The annual Farmers Market in Riverdale Park launches again on Tuesday May 12. It’s open every Tuesday through the summer from 3 to 7 pm. There’s a very informative web site at

And while you're there, take part in art at the Farm. Nuit Blanche is starting its planning for this year’s events. Artist and architect William Hudson will be building a Gateway in the Park during the Farmers Market on Tuesday May 12. Watch for the event and join in. You can learn more at Facebook,

The Forsythia Festival crew served up another great day last Sunday in Wellesley Park. Congratulations to everyone involved. It takes a lot of work and it’s all done by volunteers. Thanks to their contributions, Cabbagetown has an annual Spring event to enjoy with the whole family and to share with others in our community. A lengthy list of businesses made donations to this event. Our thanks go to Absolute Bakery, Cycle Solutions, Fairway Market, Jet Fuel, Lennie’s Health Centre, Luciano’s No Frills, Nettleship Hardware, Royal Home Hardware, St Jamestown Steak & Chops and Starbucks.

The Cabbagetown Garden Tour is giving us advance notice that Ed Lawrence will be attending the Tour. He’s the CBC’s gardening guru and he’ll be available for book signings and lots of advice. The Tour is happening on Sunday June 7 from 10 am to 3 pm. Tickets are $10 each and in Cabbagetown, they’re available at Mi Casa (238 Carlton) and Fairway Market (520 Parliament).