Friday, 26 February 2010

Cabbagetown at the Olympics

Congratulations to Shelley Anne Brown
We’ve just heard from the Yonge Street Mission (280 Gerrard) that Shelley Anne Brown is one of their staff members. She, of course, is the brakeman in the women’s bobsleigh and she won a silver medal on Wednesday night. She must have nerves of steel to do her job in the sleigh. Great job, Shelley Anne – that was a thrilling event and you deserve every bit of praise for your efforts.

Saturday in snowboarding
Justin Skinner from has reported that Michael Lambert, one of our Olympic snowboard team members, is a Cabbagetowner. He’ll be competing in the Parallel Giant Slalom tomorrow, Saturday Feb 27 with the qualifying runs happening in the early afternoon and the various finals continuing immediately afterward. We can see it on Rogers Sportsnet. Go Michael – take lots of inspiration from Shelley Anne Brown.
Read Justin’s story about Michael here:
If we had known more about this ahead of time, we could have given him a Tee shirt for good luck.

Other events happening now …

Find out more about Number 9 Audio
The recording facilities at Number 9 Audio are among its best selling points. George Rondina wants you to see his studio and meet the artists who use it frequently. He’s added a YouTube Channel at Click here and take a tour of their facilities.

Celebrate the Chinese New Year
Steve and Phyllis at Del Ray Cleaners (586-588 Parliament) are holding a special sale to celebrate the Chinese New Year and it ends this weekend. Bring in your suits and dresses before Saturday night and get a nice 25% discount. Del Ray’s prices are already super-competitive, so who can resist a sale like this one.

Free coffee at Epicure
Come to The Epicure Shop (473 Parliament) from 8 to 11 am on Saturday morning and enjoy a free cup of Patty’s House Blend coffee. Watch in your mailbox for your Reunion Island coffee coupons which you can redeem at Epicure for a $2 discount on a bag of coffee or you can buy two bags and get one free. While you’re sipping that free cuppa, enjoy one of her homemade gingerbread cookies – they are really good.

Think Spring and think about your bike
Kale at Cabbagetown Cycle (444 Parliament) reports that he’s seen early sighs of the Spring bike tuneup rush. In a few weeks, they’ll be very busy. He recommends that people who want a tuneup right away should bring in their bikes early.

The Deal Zone
There’s a new face in The Deal Zone (480 Parliament) these days. Alex purchased the business late last year and he’s been busy learning his customers and routines ever since. He’s kept the store’s same bright, attractive format and filled it with excellent bargains. This week, of course, his winter supplies are in demand, especially mitts and gloves. Spring is just around the corner, however, and he’s selling Outer Banks Tee shirts for $4.99. Among his specials are the energy saving light bulbs that have long been featured in The Deal Zone. A single 60 w equivalent bulb is $1.59 and a six-pack of 40w equivalent bulbs is $9.99. For a limited time, he’s offering a free gift offer – on any purchase of $10 or more, you’re invited to add any $1 item from the shelves free.

Cabbagetown in the media
It’s been a busy week for commentators and reporters who’re singing our praises to the greater world beyond Cabbagetown.

Christopher Hume on Regent Park
The Toronto Star’s Christopher Hume has long reported about the revitalization process at Regent Park. His article on Saturday, February 13 gave a good summary of the project’s solid progress and its impact on the surrounding area.
Read it here:
(Photo by Christopher Hume)

A personal look at life in One Cole
The signature condo building rising up at Dundas and Parliament is described in this recent Star article:

Laneways in Cabbagetown
Jacob Richler woke up one morning recently to discover that his house is located on one of our newest laneways. Find out his reactions here:

Our Tee shirt travels north
Doug is posing happily in his Tee shirt on the skiing trails beside Sayer Lake at the Stokely Creek Lodge on the shores of Lake Superior, half-an-hour north of Sault Ste Marie.

Friday, 12 February 2010

Valentines in Cabbagetown
Last week, we introduced you to oysters, beef tenderloin, roses, chocolates, cookies, cakes and fine dining, all located right here in our neighbourhood.
For news about the Ben Wicks, Big Mamma’s Boy, Cranberries, Peartree and Stonegrill, click here: Valentines restaurant news and then scroll down the page.
This week, we’ve got more for you…

JAMCafe’s Valentines special (available on both Saturday and Sunday) is a three-course, sumptuous meal. For starters, there’s roasted parsnip and apple soup, or duck two-ways or a composed salad. Main courses offer you a choice of squid ink fettucini with scallops, or seared elk loin or pan roasted supreme of guinea hen. For dessert, you can dig into flourless chocolate torte, crème brulee and crepes suzettes. $100/couple. Seatings at 5:30 and 8 pm. Call for reservations. 195 Carlton, (416) 921-1255.
Plum 226 is one of our newest restaurants. The rooms are beautifully renovated and early feedback about their menu is very positive. For Valentines, Plum 226 has a three-course, prix fixe menu at $45 per person and it’s being served from Friday to Sunday. Start with a glass of sparkling wine and for an appetizer choose anti pasto di mare, grilled vegetable anti-pasto or the daily soup. For entrees, there’s zoupe di piesce, or filet mignon or smoked chicken risotto. At dessert, there’s gelato, zeppoli fritters or tiramisu. 226 Carlton. (647) 348-4226.
Provence Delices has a three-course prix fixe for $45 per person and as usual, it’s full of delightful suggestions. They’re offering their special dinner on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Start with soup of the day, house pate, roasted beet and orange salad or oysters on the half-shell. For your main course, choose pan roasted Mediterranean dorade, cassoulet, duck confit, coq au vin or flank steak. And finish with tarte tatin, marquise au chocolat or crème brulee. 12 Amelia St, (416) 924-9901.
Thanks to Metro News for this photo.
It’s prime rib Sunday at House on Parliament. This highly popular event will round out your Valentines weekend in one of our most landmark eateries. 456 Parliament Street.
And, as usual, it’s party time at Brass Taps. You can take the stress out of your Valentines Day with dinner specials and open mic with Porter. 221 Carlton.

Toronto Dance Theatre
From February 16 to 20, TDT is staging Christopher House’s new production, Pteros Tactics. The theatre is offering its Cabbagetown neighbours a special 30% discount. Just call the box office at (416) 973-4000 and ask for the “family and friends discount” to get your savings. The production takes place at Harbourfront’s Fleck Theatre, 207 Queen’s Quay West.

Open on Valentines Day for your convenience
We used this photo last week and Tina got a lot of favourable comments. So here it is again.
We’ve been asked to remind you that both Simmon’s Flowers (540 Parliament) and The Epicure Shop (473 Parliament) are open on Sunday from 9 to 5 pm. That’s good news for last minute needs – especially roses, chocolates, cookies and other goodies for your sweetie.

Valentines at The Epicure Shop
Franca and Patty - both of them like this picture, so we're using it again.
Cupcakes, shortbread heart cookies and gingerbread heart cookies are this week’s Epicure highlights. At the BIA, we served the gingerbread cookies to a solemn luncheon gathering and they were snapped up and munched down in an amazing rush – people really liked them. You can top all of this off with a serving of Chocolate Clare’s valentines treats. (473 Parliament).

Great recognition for our community
For the past week, Metro has run three enthusiastic articles about Cabbagetown. Click here for these stories.
Metro News first story
Metro News second story
Metro News third story

Hairlift gets two new staff
Kiki is pleased to tell us that she’s been joined by two new stylists at Hairlift (503B Parliament). Mark Anthony (left in the picture) says that he’s a “super-curling technician” and John Judge says that he does “just about everything”, especially colours and cuts. Welcome to Cabbagetown and best wishes, guys.

CPA Night
Once again, the Cabbagetown Preservation Association is holding one of their fascinating evenings with a featured speaker. On Tuesday February 23, Daniele Caloz will talk about the Francophone presence in Cabbagetown from the 1860s. 6:30 pm, the Filipino Centre, 597 Parliament Street.

Road repairs
Yes - they’re back. This time, we’re going to experience three waves of road work throughout the rest of 2010.
The first takes place from Winchester north to Wellesley. The gas company continues to place their new pipes on our sidewalks. This will take three weeks starting on February 16.
New water mains will be put under Parliament across from Anniversary Park north of Gerrard and south on Parliament from Gerrard to King. This will create a major disruption for traffic using Parliament from February 15 to June 18.
Street track repairs will then be made south of Gerrard along Parliament to King (after the water work). When the dates are clearly known, we’ll publish them.
If you normally use Parliament for north or south route, we suggest that you get ready to use alternate plans for the rest of 2010.

Our flag – the saga continues…
Everyone knows that whenever the Queen or the Governor General visits a place, then a special flag goes up the pole to announce her presence. It’s not, however, as widely known that when the Chair of the BIA travels, he’s accorded the same honour. Our flag recently flew proudly above the Caracol Hotel in Camaguey, Cuba while Paul and Gina enjoyed a personal holiday there.
This flag of ours is really getting around – Norway, Cuba, and a bunch of new surprises soon. It’s a busy year!

By the way, there won’t be a Newsletter next week. We’ll be back in two weeks with a whole new batch of stories (true and false – but all Cabbagetown).

Friday, 5 February 2010

Cabbagetown in Norway
Many will remember Ingvild who stayed here for several months while working with Free the Children. When she was returning home, she asked us for a flag as a keepsake from her trip and we of course agreed. She sent us this amazing picture taken in the mountain region in southern Norway near her parents’ cottage. She’s now getting in shape for a 54 km race later in the winter. She tells us that all Norwegians are “born with skis on their feet.” Lovely picture – thanks, Ingvild.

Valentine’s Day Weekend
Red roses are the true symbol of love. At Simmons Flowers (540 Parliament), there’s a bouquet waiting just for you.
This year, Simmons is open on both Saturday and Sunday (from 8:30 am to 5:30 pm) to prepare your orders. A word to the wise – if you need delivery service, order your flowers well ahead of time during the week in order to fit into Simmons’ delivery schedule.
Merion tells us that roses have long been a romantic gift and today, the world can’t produce enough roses to meet the annual Valentine’s Day demand.

Stay at home, who knows what’ll happen…

St Jamestown Steak & Chops
Every year, Mark’s chocolate dipped strawberries are a big success. He’s getting them ready right now. If you’re staying home, enjoy some oysters, beef tenderloin or lobster tails for a really special meal. (516 Parliament)

If you really want to be lazy
Daniel et Daniel can handle your whole dinner for you. Find out why they’re consistently called Toronto’s best caterer. Visit the food shop (248 Carlton) and place your order. While you’re there, grab a cookie that says “Kiss me” and take it home for an early start to the weekend.

Cake from Sweet Creamery
Heart cakes with chocolate ganache and fresh strawberries are just waiting for you at Sweet Creamery (521 Parliament). Don’t worry about the calories – we’re talking mood, romance… In fact, throw in a nice helping of Kawartha Dairy ice cream to finish your desserts nicely.

Homemade from The Epicure Shop
Baci, in Italian, means “Kiss” and Patty has lots of Baci chocolates ready for you. She also has a lovely selection of Chocolate Clare’s new candy. Pair them up with her heart-shaped gingerbreads and shortbreads and her chocolate Valentine cupcakes. Wrap up everything in special Valentine’s gift bags. (473 Parliament)

Valentine’s is more than just chocolate and wine. Sharon has Israeli silver rings, broaches, and other jewellery and lots of beautiful sequined and beaded clothing. While you’re there, Portia can sing for you. (503 Parliament)

Fair Trade Jewellery
Do you want a last-minute ring for your true love? Sorry - Fair Trade (523 Parliament) can’t help you. This is a custom order establishment, an atelier where your jewellery is crafted specifically for you. There’s no standing inventory, just various work-in-progress items. You can, of course, order now for next year.
On the other hand, Ryan does have an intriguing service – a loaner ring! If you want to propose a marriage and need a special symbol for your beloved, just borrow one from Fair Trade. Skip all the hassles with your in-laws and your beloved’s best friends trying to learn sizes, preferences, stones, designs. Just borrow a ring, make the proposal and then bring your betrothed to the shop when you return your loaner and settle in for your own custom design.

But you insist, let’s eat out…
Here’s a quick list of some of your choices. More info coming next week as well.

Ben Wicks (424 Parliament)
Two-course meal at $30 and three-courses at $35. Fri Feb 12, Sat Feb 13 and Sun Feb 14
Appetizers – chicken livers, beer and aged cheddar soup, greens with fresh milk cheesecake and blueberry balsamic preserves, or beets and orange with spring greens
Entrees – chicken breasts, baked halibut, NY sirloin or vegetable lasagna
Desserts – chocolate bread pudding, mixed berry pie and ice cream or lemon pudding cake

Big Mamma’s Boy (554 Parliament)
Three-course dinner at $29.95. Sat Feb 13 and Sun Feb 14
Appetizers – lobster bisque or baby green salad with strawberries
Entrée – Rowe Farm beef tenderloin
Dessert – flourless chocolate cake with fresh strawberry whipped cream

Cranberries (601 Parliament)
Three-course meal at $34.99 per person. Two sittings: 5 and 8 pm, Sun Feb 14
Appetizers – Borsch soup or smoked chicken mousse with tiger shrimps
Entrees – poached halibut, stuffed chicken breast with lobster and sun dried tomatoes, or beef tenderloin
Dessert – poached pear with French vanilla ice cream and raspberry coulis

PearTree (507 Parliament)
A la carte selection from the special Valentine’s Dinner Menu
Appetizers – 10 choices of salads, seafood and soups
Entrees – Beef tenderloin, NY strip loin, sea bass, lamb chops, stuffed chicken breast, Cajun jump fry and vegetable angolati pasta, all at $19.99.
Dessert – chocolate mousse cake, apple pie, strawberry rhubarb pie, pecan pie, cherry cheesecake, carrot cake and chocolate raspberry cake – all at $5.99

Stonegrill (51B Winchester)
Three-course meal with a bottle of red or white Italian wine, $150 couple. 5 pm to midnight, Sun Feb 14
Appetizers – lobster bisque or spinach salad with strawberries and sesame seeds
Entrees – salmon, swordfish, scallops, tiger shrimp, AAA tenderloin of beef, roast lamb, ostrich or chicken supreme served with butternut squash and sage and goat cheese ravioli
Dessert – chocolate cake with strawberry coulis.

Neighbourhood news...

Starbuck’s Coffee Seminar
On Sunday February 7 from 3 to 4 pm, Starbucks (492 Parliament) hosts the latest in their series of coffee seminars. Guatemala Casi Cielo (or “Almost heaven”) is the featured blend. Experience a coffee journey with Yury. No charge.

SuperBowl at the Ben Wicks
Who needs an excuse to drop into the Wicks (424 Parliament)? But the SuperBowl is a nice event and the big screen television gives stunning pictures. David and Robert have a traditional selection of gourmet snacks and football meals ready for you – chili, beans and hot dogs, sausage on a bun, ribs and baked potato, wings, nachos and even a Philly steak. Sounds good already.

Haiti fundraiser
Big Mamma’s Boy (554 Parliament) raised $1,600 for disaster relief in Haiti at their January fundraiser. Combined with the government’s pledge to match these funds, that means that $3,200 is on its way to help that stricken country. Congratulations to Heather from Big Mamma’s Boy, Simon from Great Lakes Brewery and Deb from Proud FM for your efforts.

Our Candidates’ Debate
Of course, the byelection is over and we want to congratulate Glen Murray for his victory. We also want to offer our congratulations and thanks to Cathy Crowe, Stefan Premdas and Pamela Taylor, each of whom made a difficult sacrifice to stand as a candidate in this election and whose ideas and platforms made sensible alternatives for us to consider. It isn’t easy to be a “politician” and to run for public office – but these four people did the job skillfully and offered us impressive choices on election day.
Our debate on the last Sunday of the campaign was a success. Over two hundred people showed up. The speeches were impressive. The questions and the answers shed light on important issues. The BIA is very pleased to be one of the host groups for this event along with our neighbours at the Aberdeen Ave Residents Group, Cabbagetown South and the Don Vale Cabbagetown Residents Association.