Friday, 30 October 2009

The Ghost Tour is back again
Friday, October 30, 7 pm, Winchester & Parliament. Hosted by the Cabbagetown Preservation Association, the Tour will again take you through the haunted and haunting nooks and crannies in Cabbagetown. It was a popular success last year and organizers are expecting a good turnout again this year. Tickets are $10 and the Tour happens rain or shine

Last minute supplies
Our local pumpkin suppliers still have plenty of choices on hand for you. We make this announcement as a public service for all those (like me) who wait until the very last minute …
Our handy pumpkin and flower shops - Jamestown Milk at 592 Parliament, Parliament Smoke & Gift at 609 Parliament. Fairway Market at Parliament and Winchester.

Party time
Both Big Mamma’s Boy (554 Parliament) and The Cobourg (533 Parliament) are hosting costume parties on Hallowe’en.
The parties at Big Mamma's Boy are always a good time. For Hallowe'en bring a costume. Be outrageous.
Heather at Big Mamma’s Boy reports that her upstairs room is devoted entirely to the party. Costumed creatures will be especially welcome. The action starts at 10 pm. The person with the best costume will win a prize (brunch for two?). There’ll be music and assorted other entertainments.
On Friday morning, Laila and Sam stocked up on the basic necessities for the Cobourg's Hallowe'en night. Willie, the golden retriever, supervised the deliveries.
At The Cobourg, DJ Urban Steve is handling the night’s program. He’s calling it a “Night of Mayhem” starting at 10 pm and running through to 3 am. At midnight, there’ll be prizes for the best costume. All night long, there’s a special spooky cocktail.

Help wanted
Paul Dineen at Chapnick & Associates is hiring a real estate assistant. This is an ideal job for qualified applicants who live in Cabbagetown and who want to work in a busy local law firm – it’s close to home and in the middle of our BIA area. Send your resume to Paul at Chapnick & Associates, 228 Carlton St, M5A 2L1.

Hallowe’en goodies from Epicure Shop
Patty at The Epicure Shop (473 Parliament) has chosen cookies and tarts to highlight your Hallowe’en dinners. She’s got Dufflets pumpkin tarts and sugar cookies plus her homemade Hallowe’en gingerbread cookies as well. As an extra treat for your goody bag, she’s offering her old fashioned brownies on sale: buy one and get another at half price.

Watch for the spiders
Rama Caritey’s spiders will be going up on the steel framework on the new bank (Carlton and Parliament) for the Hallowe’en weekend. This promises to be a spooky display – worth a quick trip to check them out.
The building’s owner, George Foulides, reports that construction at the site is moving along nicely. He anticipates that the building’s exterior will be completed by January. At that time, the TD Bank will take over their ground floor area and will handle their interior work. The current target for the official opening is March or April.

Hallowe’en specials at Number 9 Studios
We told you in our last Newsletter about the success Number 9 (222 Gerrard St E) had with Van Morrison’s recent Toronto concert. Now they’re throwing their studio doors open for you as well – at special rates. You can record on a beautiful concert grand piano, or lay down some of your own vocal tracks. They’re also offering Hallowe’en deals for CD and DVD duplication services. Check them out at

Last day for great savings
Kyle at The Deal Zone (480 Parliament) reports that his special discounts on CFL Eco Bulbs will end on Saturday, October 31. These energy savers will last up to seven years and they’re coated for extra protection. The OPA has sponsored this initiative as an incentive for you to make your home more energy efficient.
The facade improvements at The Deal Zone are finished. The new storefront perks up this part of Parliament.
Barracuda’s clearance Emily at Barracuda will show you the handmade wares from Colombia that they're offering on sale.
It’s the end of the season and Barracuda (527 Parliament) has selected wooden, ceramic and glass wares on sale. Savings go up to 30%. These beautiful items are all handmade in Colombia.

Start watching this space …
The people who have already built a beautiful community garden on the wall at the Pizza Pizza on Prospect Street are back at it again. This is the space that Timothy’s Tikka House (556 Parliament) once used as a patio area at Prospect and Parliament. It’s now been returned to the City of Toronto and the gardeners are poised to add their magic here. As soon as equipment can be allocated, the asphalt will be taken up and the basic parts of the garden will be built. By next year, it’ll be a corner full of blooms. The BIA is very happy to be a contributor and supporter of this fine project.

We’re turning 100
Yes, your favourite Cabbagetown Newsletter will soon be 100 – a geezer in the blogosphere. Our 100th issue should pop out later in November. This is #97. We want to celebrate in an appropriately dignified fashion - stay tuned for the announcements.

Friday, 9 October 2009

Thanksgiving weekend in Cabbagetown

It’s a tough weekend for turkeys in Cabbagetown! But it’s a great time for the rest of us. Pick your favourite restaurant and enjoy the comfort of a Thanksgiving meal with all the work done for you. Turkey, cranberry sauce, stuffing, fall veggies and pumpkin pies are being featured on menus everywhere.
So far, we’ve heard from Brass Taps (221 Carlton), House on Parliament (456 Parliament), Ben Wicks (424 Parliament), Peartree (507 Parliament), Cranberries (601 Parliament) and Big Mamma’s Boy (554 Parliament). Each has Thanksgiving dinners with all the trimmings. Pick your favourite.

Take your turkey home…
St Jamestown Steak & Chops (516 Parliament) is a beehive of activity every year on Thanksgiving and this year, they’re ready to roll again – the freezer is full of turkey, hams, and a raft of other Thanksgiving goodies to make your meal a feast. Mark is open on Saturday from 8 am to 7 pm and on Sunday from 9 am to 5 pm. Closed on Monday.

Thanksgiving at Epicure Shop
Thanksgiving weekend is full of pleasant offerings from the Epicure Shop (473 Parliament). For your desserts, Patty has homemade pumpkin pies, tarts and fruit pies. Cheese fans will love her three new Quebec brands – the famous 1608, non-pasteurized Le Buxton and Chenal de Moin. Ontario is well represented by Niagara Gold and Comfort Cream, both from Niagara’s Upper Canada Cheese company. Epicure will be open from 9 am to 6 pm on Sunday and will close on Monday.

Number 9 Studio films Van Morrison
When Van Morrison visited Massey Hall on October 2 for the “Astral Weeks & Classic Songs” tour, the band needed someone to film the concert. Number 9 Studios did the job – recording the concert and creating DVDs for Van’s personal use, all within a one-day deadline. Number 9 has both outstanding audio facilities and now, also, a client list for their video work that includes legendary performer Van Morrison. (222 Gerrard St East)

Back again at The Deal Zone
CFL Eco Bulbs were a big hit last year during Deal Zone’s (480 Parliament) special promotions. They’re back again. They’re on sale until October 31 starting at only $1 (after the coupon). CFL bulbs are energy savers that last for up to seven years. They’re coated to add extra protection and to make them even more attractive in your lamp. The OPA has sponsored this initiative to encourage you to convert your home to environmentally friendly lighting.

Want a spider for Hallowe’en?
Rama Carity has a great idea – to place big, scary illuminated spiders on your outside wall for Hallowe’en. Rama wants to do this on Parliament. Several spiders are already assembled and available for inspection at the Fair Trade Jewellery Company (523 Parliament). They were built during Nuit Blanche. He has a permit from the City of Toronto and he knows skilled people who can put them up. Anyone who has a suitable wall and a great sense of humour should call Doug at the BIA (416-921-0857) and we’ll make the introductions.

JAMCafe’s second wine tasting
We told you last week that JAM (195 Carlton) has a tasting scheduled for October 24 – well, it’s already sold out. We warned you then that these events are growing in popularity. To make sure that nobody goes away heartbroken and frustrated, Av has scheduled another date, October 26, for a second tasting with the same wines.
Six wines from two boutique California wineries will be the centre of attention: Trefethen Family Vineyards and Terra Valentine. Av will be preparing his hors d’oeuvres to match the wines and emphasize their special character.
Tickets are $35 and advance reservations are obviously needed. Call (416) 921-1255.
Two more quick notes – Sundays are still a free corkage day. Bring your own bottle to match your meal and the staff will open and serve it without charge. While you’re there, try the elk burgers. Av says they rock.

Johnny G’s new hours
Winter hours have arrived at Johnny G’s (478 Parliament), one of our most popular brunch and lunch locations. They’ll be open from 7:30 am to 7 pm daily after Tuesday. On Thanksgiving Monday, they’re open from 8:30 am to 5 pm to satisfy your brunch cravings.

Google Streets
Have you heard about it? The views are amazing. Google has assembled a photo montage of Toronto (among other cities) that gives us a street-level view of our neighbourhood that we’ve never before seen on the internet. Try it out – click here:,+Toronto,+ON&sll=49.891235,-97.15369&sspn=20.355045,52.470703&ie=UTF8&layer=c&cbll=43.664204,-79.36831&panoid=OCzHOXmtlYfhV5sfwx-oSw&cbp=12,214.92,,0,12.78&hq=&hnear=603+Parliament+St,+Toronto,+Toronto+Division,+Ontario&ll=43.664177,-79.368426&spn=0.001733,0.003412&z=19&iwloc=r1
Thanks to James Woollatt at Blink Blink (603 Parliament) for guiding us to this site.

Friday, 2 October 2009

Nuit Blanche is back again
Book the night on your schedule -
Saturday October 3 to Sunday October 4, 7 pm to 7 am.
The Cabbagetown volunteers lining up our Nuit Blanche event have done a great job. This year, there are over a dozen installations – eight on Parliament and four in Riverdale Park. Once again, Parliament is closed from Carlton north to Winchester. On Rose Avenue just south of Wellesley, there’s a final multimedia event.
Parliament is the scene for a magic lantern show, bike art, an attack of illuminated spiders and several sculptures.
George Smitherman’s office at 514 Parliament will host a live concert by CYC kids, art from Regent Park’s Art Heart and a collection of George’s own photographs entitled Images of the North.
In the park, the Cabbagetown Monster is back plus there are public displays of affection and 3-D awareness project. On Rose, an antique letterpress prints limited editions through the night and they’ll be distributed free to visitors.
Your first stop should be the Information tent on Parliament north of Carlton. You can get a program, look at the map and plan your tour.
For advance information on artists and locations in Cabbagetown, check

It’s above ground

The shell for the new bank building at Carlton and Parliament has risen above the earth to the satisfaction of the builder and everyone else’s fascination. The extensive footings and basement areas are poured. Now it’s the steel structure to be followed in October by the pre-cast concrete flooring and the major utilities and services. By year end, the brickwork and windows will be in place and the interior work by the bank will begin.
It’s hoped that the bank will open in April.
George Foulides, the builder, has started to work closely with the BIA on exterior landscaping plans. This partnership allows both parties to benefit from the other’s work. Trees, a special concrete plaza, bike racks and gardens are among the elements under study.

Congratulations Double Take
The large second-hand store at 310 Gerrard Street (east of Parliament) is a familiar fixture for Cabbagetowners. Few of us also know that it’s an arm of the nearby Yonge Street Mission and that it offers not only a useful retail service but also a training ground for community residents who need a job or a chance to upgrade their skills.
The store’s manager, Kathy Webster, says that Double Take provides a big step toward a real career for many people.
The store was the feature of a good article in Metro News and you can read the full account here:
Stop by, have a look and find a bargain.

Epicure’s Thanksgiving
Patty’s taking your orders for homemade pumpkin pies – a real seasonal treat. While you’re there, pick up a litre of extra virgin olive oil for $9.99 (and save $3). If you’re hungry, check out Patty’s new grilled panini which she’s offering for $6.99 and $7.99. (473 Parliament)

We Day
Free the Children annually holds a day to celebrate our service to each other and the pleasures that we find in that work. This year, a massive rally featuring the Governor General along with a full slate of popular celebrities took place in Vancouver. Toronto’s event is scheduled for Monday from 9 to 2 pm at the Air Canada Centre. You can read about it and watch the video clips courtesy of CTV, one of the major sponsors:
Cabbagetown benefits greatly from Free The Children and Me To We, the sister agencies located at 233 Carlton.
You can watch the CTV special on the two We Day celebrations on Saturday October 10 at 7 pm. The website link and the CTV specials will give you insights into their world-wide programs and explain how the many young people who pass through our neighbourhood are helping to shape a new and better world around us.
Russ McLeod is a familiar face in the neighbourhood. Despite working unceasingly on the We Days, he's been caught here taking a minute for a Tim Horton's. Russ is a member of the BIA board and is constantly looking for ways to tie Free The Children into our community.

Turkey time
Speaking of Thanksgiving, Mark at St Jamestown Steak & Chops (516 Parliament) is taking your orders now for turkeys, hams and fresh fish for your holiday feasts. He’ll have them ready for you next weekend. We always get a smaller bird – around ten pounds – and we find that it’s a perfect size for two people. Mark sells a lot of turkeys simply because the ones that he offers are so good.

It’s early – book now
Yes, it’s early to be telling you about JAMCafe’s next wine tasting: Saturday October 24 at 6 pm. It’s a good idea to book ahead because this popular tasting series sells out.
On October 24, JAM will feature six wines from two California estate wineries – the Trefethen Family Vineyards and Spring Mountain Vineyards. Joe Atikian is preparing hors d’oeuvres to match the wines. Tickets are $35 each and reservations can be made at (416) 921-1255. For more info, visit

Looking good …
Continuing onward in our series of Tee-shirt profiles, this week we present Michael and Cassie from Melbourne Australia. The Tee shirt looks especially good on Cassie who is, by all reports, a delightful Labradoodle. We have no doubt that she’d fit right in at the doggie area in Allan Gardens or the playground in Riverdale Park. Michael is the human. Thanks to Jo on Aberdeen for sharing the pic.