Friday, 24 July 2009

Peggy Kurtin

Last week, sadly, we went to Peggy’s funeral. Her passing is a major loss for our community. Many others have already told us their memories and praised her contributions to the protection and enhancement of Cabbagetown’s architectural treasures. A few years ago, she worked with the BIA to protect the heritage qualities of the buildings along Carlton Street. This was no easy task since commercial interests can often run counter to preservation efforts. Despite such potential problems, Carlton became one of the first commercial districts in Toronto to receive a heritage district designation and this designation passed without a complaint from the area’s owners and businesses. It’s fitting that we now have a beautiful street full of Victorian buildings standing as a memento to Peggy’s leadership and hard work.

Both sides now…
Cabbagetown’s “benches” controversy attracted the attention of the CBC this week. As a result, there’s a balanced presentation from both sides in the debate in this audio clip courtesy of Metro Morning. Check it out and make up your own mind: click here and scroll down the page to “Cabbagetown Benches or Not”:

Sweet Creamery
Our Cabbagetown summer sure is in full swing on Parliament, especially here. Emilio and Tom have made their shop (521 Parliament) an inviting place to visit with comfortable seats and a table outside. We’re hearing high praise for their gelato and for the Kawartha Dairy ice cream.
As promised, baked goods are now also available – including a tiramisu cake and a gelato cake. The BIA staff did a taste test on the macadamia caramel chocolate mousse tart – it was terrific. Each flavour stood out without a heavy or cloying sweetness. One tart was just fine for the three of us.

Sofia and Sachi ordered a hazelnut, raspberry caramel ice cream dish and got extra toppings to finish it off. Since they’re sharing, they got a triple. Dancers (they’re students at the CCDT) need the energy.

Save the Jarvis Pool
Young people from across our neighbourhood have used the Jarvis Collegiate swimming pool for years. Now, because of budget restraints at both the City and the school board, the pool faces closure in December. In fact, even now, it’s unused.
You can help to save the pool. It’s possible. Pledges and gifts totaling over $20,000 have already been received to defray the costs of the pool’s operation.
To learn more about this vital effort and to find out how you can help, click here:

Riverdale Farm Calendar
We’ve just added the 2010 Riverdale Farm Calendar to our list of Cabbagetown souvenirs. Published annually, the calendar is a fundraising project organized by the Riverdale Farm Advisory Council and proceeds from its sale are used to enhance the Farm. Twelve striking photographs illustrate life throughout the year at the Farm. You can buy your copy for $10 from our office at 237 Carlton and from the Riverdale Farm office at 201 Winchester.

Farmers’ Market
Fans of organic and locally grown foods have long enjoyed the summer market at Riverdale Farm. During the municipal employees’ strike, the location has moved to the nearby north boulevard along Winchester, right beside the Park. The hours, as always are 3 to 7 pm, every Tuesday afternoon. The market, by the way, continues to operate with the blessing of both the city’s Parks Administration and the Union representing striking workers.

The Epicure Shop
Patty Junior continues her enjoyable feast of Quebec specialties. This week, she has a seven-year-old white cheddar on special at $4.89/100 grams along with wild boar, peppercorn and cognac pates. From closer to home, she has a new shipment from Niagara on the Lake - Greaves jams and jellies on special at 3 for $9.99. Be sure to visit to see more of her goodies. (473 Parliament)

Eclectisaurus summer sale
On Gerrard Street, Leslie is hosting her annual summer sale of art, antiques and brocante, everything from the ridiculous to the sublime. Her sale (30% off) runs on Saturday from noon to 7 pm and on Sunday from 11 am to 5 pm. Her website at gives you a great overview of her offerings. Eclectisaurus is located at 249 Gerrard Street East.

Hairlift Group
Kiki is searching for an experienced hair stylist to join her salon. You can contact her at
503B Parliament, (416) 924-7891.

Keeping our street clean
We owe a huge thanks to Richard Silver, John Englar from Jet Fuel (519 Parliament) and a crowd of volunteers who have been cleaning litter and debris from Parliament Street every Sunday for the past three weeks. This isn’t an easy job but they’ve kept at it and the street looks so much better because of their efforts.
Week 4 in the clean-up campaign happens on Sunday July 26 at 10 am. Come to Jet Fuel at 519 Parliament and bring a broom, a dustpan and gloves. Your one-hour effort will polish our streets and keep them livable through these difficulties.
Thanks as well to Matt McAllister who has been attacking the mid-week litter on Tuesdays and Fridays.

Yoga Festival Toronto
Dennison from Renaissance Yoga (391 Ontario) wants us to remind you that the Yoga Festival is taking place on August 21, 22 and 23 and that events and classes are starting to fill. You’re urged to register as soon as you can.
This grassroots yoga event brings all of Toronto’s major studios together. You can learn more about the Festival and its participants at
Cabbagetown is well represented this year. Much of the work organizing the Festival is being handled by Dennison and Matthew at Renaissance Yoga. Maggie O’Connor at The Union (242 Carlton) is the Arts Coordinator.