Friday, 18 September 2009

Tour of Homes
This is the weekend when the Tour takes place. It’s a major event on our Fall calendar.
This year’s selection of homes features an exciting range of new choices. There are three amazing homes on Wellesley (including the one that’s covered in today’s Globe & Mail). Another home overlooks Wellesley Park. The Winchester home just west of Parliament showcases fascinating art objects. And the one on the eastern side along Winchester will be filled with music and will offer you a fascinating look at a green roof garden. Those who have seen the Carlton home previously know that it’s always worth the visit. The Tour takes a lot of effort to be properly organized - congratulations to Bruce Prouty and his team for their imaginative successes for this year.
Tickets are $30. In Cabbagetown on Saturday, visit Mi Casa (238 Carlton) or St Jamestown Steak & Chops (518 Parliament). On Sunday, come to the BIA office (237 Carlton) from 11 am onward.

The Festival was a great success
Glorious weather, big crowds, melodious musicians, colourful street vendors and talented Cabbagetown artists – all combined to make our Festival a lovely weekend. The Parade as usual was part of this exuberant activity. As you can see, Carl Orbach provoked his car driver, Norm Betts, into a frenzy of Festival excitement.

Thanks Latoya
Every year, we hire a student from Ryerson’s hospitality program to help with the planning and supervision of our Festival weekend. Latoya Dickenson joined us in early May and she worked at the BIA office until last weekend. She did an outstanding job lining up street vendors (we had a record number this year), planning the Parade and getting through the red tape with health certificates and liquor licenses for our outdoor patios and restaurants. She had a quiet and steady way of working through her projects and when finished, her work was always exactly what we needed. It’s been fun having her in the office and we wish her well with her studies for the next year.

JAMCafe’s Next Wine Event
On Thursday September 24 at 6:30 pm, JAM will host a tasting of wines from two unique Ontario vineyards: The Foreign Affair (Niagara) and Norman Hardie (Prince Edward County). Fresh hand-made hors d’oeuvres will accompany the six tastings. Wine makers will be present to discuss their vintages. Tickets are $35.
JAM’s tasting evenings are increasingly popular. This one is already over half-sold. Reservations are highly recommended (416-921-1255). For more info,
On a separate topic – JAM’s chef Av Atikian is fresh back from his Cabbagetown Festival foray onto Parliament Street. JAM joined forces with No Frills to offer spareribs to the happy throng. These weren’t ordinary ribs: they were flavoured with a dry rosemary rub and accompanied by a slice of pineapple with a toasty little garlicky bun. This guy can cook!

Cabbagetown Art Salon
A very different Tour happens on Saturday September 26 from 6:30 pm to midnight. The Art Salon combines great art, good food and three beautiful homes. Tickets are $40 (to cover your food, cocktails and jazz). Sales are limited to fifty people. You’ll move as a group to each home, enjoying a dinner course at each one and viewing each unique art collection. At the end of the evening, the group will go to The Ben Wicks for a jazz finale with Tiki Mercury-Clarke. For tickets, visit the BIA office (237 Carlton) or call Susan at 416-972-0943.

Introducing Stonegrill
Stonegrill (51B Winchester) is one of Cabbagetown’s new restaurants. It is, of course, also a familiar room for many of us. Its beautiful décor, striking bar and comfortably roomy seating have all been preserved by its new owners.
On Friday September 18, hear live neosoul and R&B with the Dion Duporte Trio, hosted by Tammy Fitzgerald. The band starts at 9:30 pm and the dress code is “sexy”. This is a great way to get an introduction to Dobby and Mckool who are the new team in this favourite room.

The Union now has yoga for kids
Saturday morning sessions start tomorrow, September 19 from 9 to 9:45 am at The Union (242 Carlton). Six sessions are $45 (or $10 for a drop-in). Through stories, games and creative activities, Shawnda Chambers will teach your kids about different spiritual principles.
After-school yoga classes will be lead by Gill Wortley and will introduce postures in six playful and exciting lessons. Six weeks, $75 (or $14 for a drop-in). Classes for ages 5 to 7 start on Monday September 21. For ages 8 to 12, classes start on Thursday September 24. Monday and Thursday classes all run from 4:30 to 5:30 pm.
For full information about all of The Union’s programs, visit

The Samovar Room
Here’s another new venue for discriminating Cabbagetowners (51A Winchester). Samovar Room has a vodka bar theme and predictably, it’s loaded with lots of memorabilia from the glory days of the Russian revolution. They also feature a fire-breather and when we get more info about her, we’ll pass it along. Even staunch anti-Communists are hot to take in her show. They’re open from Thursday through Sunday, 7pm to 2am. 51A Winchester beside Broadcast Lane.

Coffee week at The Epicure
On Saturday, The Epicure Shop (473 Parliament) is featuring special deals on their fine coffee beans. Epicure’s own house blend beans are fresh roasted every week and they’re on sale this weekend for $8.99/lb (save $4). You can also enjoy a free sample cup of their coffee throughout the weekend.
Patty, Joe, Franca and the other staff are starting to recover now after a truly hectic Festival weekend. Every year, they spend hours preparing marinaded steaks and other tender goodies for their Festival bbq. This year, they sold their entire weekend supply by Saturday afternoon. Congratulations for their success – it’s well-deserved. Check out one happy customer’s reactions from a previous year to their fine fare:

Art Auction for Nuit Blanche
At 7 pm on Thursday September 24, the Cabbagetown Nuit Blanche committee is again holding a fundraising art auction to help to defray costs for this all-night event. It’s a fabulous night of art and nibblies being held at The Cobourg (533 Parliament) – bring your wallet and your cheque book. You can learn more at

Looking good…
Continuing our series about people who’ve chosen our Tee’s for their superior style and sophistication, here’s a sampling from Gatineau in Quebec. Tee’s are still on sale at Sharon’s (503 Parliament) and at the BIA office (237 Carlton). $10.
Barry and Terry at a scrumptious lunch at Lac Brassard, Val des Monts, Quebec.