Friday, 19 June 2009

Party time last week – work time this week
Our Chairman’s Award party at Provence Delices (12 Amelia) was a great success last week but work is starting to catch up to us.

Our musicians are back

Michael Brennan returns to Cabbagetown with his special brand of country music. A regular in clubs around town, he appeared here in our 2005 Festival and again on Parliament Street in 2006. He’ll be at Winchester and Parliament from 12:30 to 5 pm.
While you’re there, check out the fresh Ontario strawberries now available at St Jamestown Steak & Chops (516 Parliament).
Down on Gerrard Street, Cabbagetown favourite Jim Heineman will be playing jazz outside Eclectisaurus and Foxy Boutique (249 and 251 Gerrard) from 1 to 5 pm.

Bench controversy - our side of the story
Those of us who know and love Cabbagetown also know that there’s always a nice controversy boiling under our easy-going and placid surface. This week, it’s a neighbourhood uproar over benches in the shopping area.
In our proposals for future development of our area, the BIA suggests that mini-parkettes should be built on the boulevards at Spruce, Carlton and Winchester. Our sidewalks are too narrow to allow us to open outdoor patios or sidewalk cafes everywhere. So we want to use the bigger places at these side streets.
This suggestion has stirred up some disagreement. People worry that ne’er-do-wells of all sorts will plunk down there and cause trouble.
So what’s up? Is this just a normal proposal to make Cabbagetown more pleasant or is it really a dumb idea?
Here are a few points to think about:
Benches are a civilized feature in modern cities. They make life more comfortable for everyone - seniors, moms with kids in strollers, shoppers, people eating ice cream cones, people coming here to eat their lunch. We know there are problem people. We just don’t think that we should deny everyone else the pleasures of sitting down just because of them.
Some folks visiting from Vancouver suddenly got the urge to cuddle.
When people sit on a street corner, they figure out all kinds of ideas
. We expect to hear about new ways to create public art, new possibilities to improve our businesses, new enthusiasm for our heritage buildings. We also expect lots of new friendships, romantic encounters and even renewed battles.
Lindsey and Angie really were working. Sure, that's what they say.
Our street is changing. When Daniel et Daniel built benches in front of their store at 248 Carlton, that strip on Carlton was a dangerous place with a lot of criminal activity going on, especially at night. Today, it’s one of our most beautiful areas and the benches there are constantly used. Danny has regular "office" hours at D&D.
Benches make our street more personal. When Danny Marks (a long-time Cabbagetowner and an entertainer with a national reputation) wants to talk to his friends, he goes to his “office” at the Daniel et Daniel bench. He knows that he’ll meet all kinds of people while he’s sitting there. When Doug Fisher (that’s me) wants to cook up another story for this Newsletter, he snaps a picture at the bench.
Ron Parker plays his guitar here regularly. Ron has a PhD in physics and he’s setting up a tutoring service with special emphasis on high school physics. You can contact him at - or drop by the bench.
People who sit on the street add life and safety to our environment.
There will be people who abuse the bench areas, but they’re out in the open and doing so under every else’s eyes. When a car accident happened recently at Carlton and Parliament within sight of the Daniel et Daniel benches, the 911 number probably had half-a-dozen calls right away.
The BIA’s plans are still general guidelines. They’ve been put together to give all of us a starting point. If you think these ideas are worth further consideration, check out the plan. It’s available at and you just scroll down the page to the cabbage and click away. (It’s a very big file, so it’ll take a while to open.)
Megz and her friend have a great gossip
Please send your opinion along. Even if it’s a one-liner, we’d like to know what you’re thinking. You can email us at
What happens when you put up a bench and Doug starts to monkey around?

Pride Week at the Deal Zone Savings Centre
Cheryl at Deal Zone celebrates proudly with her flag. Kyle is launching Pride Week celebrations with special offers on Pride flags (large at $10, medium $3 and small handheld flags at $1.) He’s also got bandanas at $2 and rainbow leis at $1. Kyle has renamed his store from Loonie or Less to the Deal Zone to emphasize his great bargains and amazing prices. (480 Parliament.) He also has name-brand sunglasses at $4.99 or 3 for $10.

Thanks to Helen and to the CPA
The 2009 edition of the Hidden Gardens & Private Spaces tour was a smash success – over 650 people bought tickets and had a wonderful afternoon. It takes a lot of effort to make this event such a success. All of us are grateful to Helen Coltrinari and her committee for their willingness to organize it. She’s also involved in the autumn Ghost Tour, the Tour of Homes and the other ongoing work at the Cabbagetown Preservation Association. Thanks, Helen – it was a great event.

Father’s Day at Epicure
Dad deserves the best and Epicure Shop (473 Parliament) has some of the best shortbread, cupcakes and Father’s Day mug cake just for him. On Sunday June 21, every Dad who comes to the store gets a free coffee. Dad will also want Epicure’s buffalo mozzarella – a fresh shipment has just arrived from Italy and it’s now back in stock.

Welcome to our new officer

Constable Peter Cullingford is our new 51 Division Community Relations Officer. He’s a twenty-one year veteran and his service has included six years in the Mounted Division. He’s been in 51 Division for three years. He’s a downtown resident who knows and understands our communities. We’re looking forward to a good relationship with him. You can reach him at 416-808-5108.

Sharon is having a summer sale
Sharon’s lovely clothes and accessories are now being offered at great prices during her Summer’s Here Sale. She has tops from $12.99, a new shipment of summer dresses from $24.99, men’s tees at $12.99 and recycled bags at $24.99. Plus, her hats and jewelry are all reduced.
Whenever your purchase is more than $40, Sharon will give you a free pair of hot sox – you can flash your sox at a nearby bench!

Attention container gardeners
Cabbagetown South Association is holding a container garden competition to celebrate the beauty and creativity that container gardens bring to our neighbourhood. You can enter for yourself or nominate a friend. Entry is free and you will be eligible to win garden-inspired prizes. For more information,

Container gardeners will want to visit Barracuda (527 Parliament) to browse through their outstanding line of garden accessories. Barracuda also has a new line of ceramic serving dishes, plates, bowls and other tablewares. They’re offering several items throughout the store at deep discounts. By the way, our Chairman’s Awards certificates were mounted on special plaques by Barracuda’s framing services.
Brenda is showing off a tagine, a traditional cooking vessel from the ancient Moroccan desert. Its conical shape captures moisture during cooking which falls back into the dish and creates meltingly tender meat, no matter the cut.

A new summer menu at Big Mamma’s Boy
Among the new items are garlic cheese toast (with sourdough and mozzarella), spaghetti primavera with local organic veggies finished with organic olive oil, lemon and fresh herbs, plus a daily fish plate. On Mondays, it’s all-you-can-eat mussels Monday for $14.95. On Mondays as well, it’s pad thai time in addition to the regular menu. 554 Parliament, (416) 927-1593.

International News
A group of Cabbagetowners has recently flooded into France to see how the under-developed world manages its daily trials. So a quick hello to all of you. All’s well here – your homes, your cats and your friends are just fine but the beer’s a bit lonely.

This guy just wants to sit on a bench.