Friday, 26 March 2010

Congratulations for Daniel et Daniel
Daniel Megly and four staff members are just back from Catersource in Las Vegas – the largest catering educational event in the industry with 5000 people from 25 countries attending. The CATIE awards are the conference highlight. Daniel et Daniel won the CATIE’s Best Single Plate Presentation with their chocolate mousse Faberge egg covered with a spun sugar cage. Stop by the Food Shop (248 Carlton) and see why they’re such winners.

Still more congratulations
This time to Aberdeen Ave Residents, Cabbagetown South residents and The Ben Wicks for the fine evening held last Wednesday with Sonia Day, the Toronto Star columnist. The residents’ groups have worked very hard this past winter with art tours, walking tours and this gardening talk. The Ben Wicks (424 Parliament) provided an amazing meal. The side room there is a very good venue for group events and meetings.

More free food
St Jamestown Steak & Chops (516 Parliament) is again hosting a sampling event with Doug Copping on Saturday. He’s got an outstanding line of olive oils and vinegars. Drop in for a tasting – you’ll want some right away.

Sharon’s new lines
Sharon has lots of new men’s and women’s selections ready for you. She has Docker’s shirts and Tee’s for men priced from $14.99 to $24.99. She’s especially pleased with her new silk chiffon scarves for women. For men, there’s Thermos light weight, wind resistant outer jackets at $79.99 (selling elsewhere at $135 and more.) For everyone, there’s a new line of beautifully painted greeting cards at $4.95 – on a rack just inside the door, don’t miss them. 503 Parliament

Easter supplies at Epicure
Patty’s got everything that the Easter bunny needs this year. Check out her fresh hot cross buns, home made shortbreads and gingerbread cookies. She’s just received her new 2010 maple syrup from Quebec – bottled just days before shipment. A quick advance notice – she’s closed for Good Friday this week. 473 Parliament

Forsythia Festival
We know that Spring is coming when the Forsythia Festival arrives. This year’s event is being announced just now so mark your calendars: Sunday, May 2. The parade collects at 9:30 am at Riverdale Park (Sumach & Winchester) and launches at 10 am to Wellesley Park where the festivities continue until 2 pm.

Welcome, Thai To Go
Our newest Associate Member is Thai to Go at 452 Gerrard Street East. Prasai and Dale have an innovative restaurant that provides good Thai food at great prices. A couple of years ago, they took a derelict spot and turned it into this cheery, clean location offering mainly takeout and delivery services. At the BIA, we regularly refer to them as a model for people who want to help restore seedy places, enjoy lower rents and make a big splash in their community. They have a web site with menus, reviews and other nice info here:
Within the past few days, they’ve been listed in NOW Magazine as one of T.O.’s greenest restos: They won this listing for their policy of giving discounts to customers who recycle their takeout containers back to the restaurant.
They’ve also been listed on blogto as one of Toronto’s best places for pad thai:
Congratulations everyone for the recognition – and welcome to our BIA.

Thanks, Heather
Heather McKenzie has just announced that she’s leaving her restaurant, Big Mamma’s Boy (554 Parliament). For the past five years, she’s been a partner there with Michael whom we recognize as the restaurant’s fine chef (he’s staying.) Heather wants a chance to do new projects and to travel.
We owe her a ton of thanks for her wonderful contributions to our community. She’s always been ready to help the BIA and to work with other restaurants to promote Cabbagetown.
All our best wishes, Heather, for your future efforts.

Barracuda’s Spring planters
The Spring 2010 planters have arrived at Barracuda (527 Parliament). The store is jammed with inventory and they’re ready now for your Spring planting and garden designs.

Spring at Number 9 Audio
To celebrate, Number 9 (222 Gerrard East) are offering special prices on all their core services through March and April: recording your vocals, having your album mastered and running off CDs for your band. To find out more and to learn about their new video and audio post-production services, click here:

At Once, Twice
Presented by the Toronto Dance Theatre (80 Winchester), Christopher House and Joe Moran each perform this new solo work by Deborah Hay. The audience will witness two contrasting interpretations as each one adapts her highly specific choreographic instructions. Thursday to Saturday, April 3, Winchester Street Theatre at 80 Winchester at 8 pm. $22 ($17 for students and seniors). For reservations and the box office call (416) 967-1365 or

Sweet Creamery
Emilio has been developing new recipes for custom made cakes. He’s made a birthday “Bowling” cake and a Tiffany Box cake and he’s hard at work now on monsters and other special creations. Bring your imagination and he’ll make your personal cake for your event. 521 Parliament.

Tees in Africa
Shirley and Alan have been traveling the world for several years on assignment with CESO. They’ve just finished a tour in Cameroon and they took their Cabbagetown Tees with them. These two photos show Shirley with the Traditional Council and Alan hard at work in the kitchen.
It’s just occurred to us that our flags and Tees have really started to travel the world – Cuba, Mexico, Lake Superior, Norway, Guatemala and Cameroon – all within the last two months.

Still more congratulations.
This time to Bob Rae, our federal MP and a BIA member (his office is at 514 Parliament.) We can’t quite figure out what he could possibly have done, but somehow he drew a nice crowd to his doorstep waving colourful banners and placards at noon on Friday. Our BIA gives awards every year to those who attract folks from outside Cabbagetown into our area – and we saw some of these visitors later on shopping at the LCBO and in restaurants nearby. Keep up the good work Bob, we’ll give you a prize for it.

Friday, 19 March 2010

Attention Cabbagetown Gardeners

On Wednesday, enjoy dinner and an evening with Sonia Day, the Toronto Star’s gardening columnist. It’s a project that’s being sponsored by the Aberdeen Ave Residents and Cabbagetown South Residents. Dinner starts at 6 pm and Sonia talks at 7:30 pm. At The Ben Wicks (424 Parliament). $45 for dinner and the talk. For more details, reservations and tickets, go to the Cabbagetown South web site:

Carlton & Parliament
Layer by layer, progress on the new building at Carlton and Parliament is unfolding before us. This week, the plastic tarps came off the exterior and we can see the new brickwork and windows. Before long, the TD Bank will take possession of the first floor and start their own interior finishings. We’re expecting a Spring opening.

Johnny G’s Fan Club
Johnny G’s (478 Parliament) is a Cabbagetown favourite. Just drop by any Saturday or Sunday for brunch and see how many others are there too, enjoying a great breakfast. Last Tuesday, they collected a welcome blast of very friendly publicity from Erin Criger at City TV:

The Epicure Shop
Save $3 this week on Epicure’s new cinnamon raison Raincoast Crisps – they’re regularly $6.99 and Patty has them on sale at $3.99. Try pairing them up with cream cheese (on special as well at $1.89/100 g). And just a quick reminder that Epicure has Cendrillion back in stock – “the world’s best cheese.” 473 Parliament.

Plum 226
The new restaurant at 226 Carlton, Plum 226, has launched a strong music and comedy program. On the third Thursday of each month, they’re hosting A Cabbagetown Comedy Showcase featuring some of Toronto’s best professional stand-up comics. We’ll keep you informed as these dates approach each month. On Fridays and Saturdays weekly, there’s music in their downstairs room, Lounge 226. This week, enjoy veteran jazz drummer Norman Marshall Villeneuve from 8 to 11 pm and tomorrow night, it's open mic with Jeff Cottrill from 9 pm. Next week on Saturday April 3, flamenco guitarist Ruben Diaz will appear – no cover charges.

Winter ends at The Deal Zone
Alex is holding a winter clearance sale – gloves, toques and even men’s thermal underwear are all yours at 20% off. Since their prices are already amazingly low, this is a great sale. (480 Parliament)

It’s been a year Hyojean (left) at Starbucks before its opening a year ago.
Congratulations to Hyojean and her staff at Starbucks (492 Parliament) for a successful year in Cabbagetown. They celebrated their first anniversary last week. Be sure to visit on Tuesday morning from 6 to 10:30 am when Starbucks are offering a free pastry when you buy one of their coffees.
Starbucks today - after all the work has been finished.

Jet Fuel is eighteen this year
Congratulations as well to John for his amazing presence in our community. From martiniboys to blogto to NOW Magazine, whenever other outside commentators want to list Cabbagetown’s landmarks, Jet Fuel (519 Parliament) is at the top of their lists. Check it out here:

St Patrick’s Day is (in theory) our festival day
Cabbagetown was founded by 19th Century Irish immigrants whose front yard gardens gave rise to our name. It’s appropriate that scores of people gathered on March 17 for a solemn observance of this great occasion.

At The Ben Wicks (424 Parliament), serious music lovers gathered to hear The Fractured Rovers.

At Big Mamma’s Boy (554 Parliament), hats were the evening's theme.

A volcanic souvenirPatricia and Daryl are visiting Guatemala and they waved our flag at the very edge of the crater at Pacaya Volcano. The picture is blurred by sulphuric fumes in the air. Within moments, our intrepid friends had to flee because of the lava’s heat.

Lookin' Good
We're reviving an old habit, one that we shouldn't have neglected. Here's this week's edition - Frank and John are two Cabbagetown guys who look good just by showing up.

Friday, 12 March 2010

Another hot ticket
Join your friends and neighbours for a three-course dinner and an entertaining and humorous talk by gardening expert, Toronto Star columnist and author Sonia Day.
Sonia has a new book which will launch this week and autographed copies will be available. Dinner is being prepared at The Ben Wicks (424 Parliament). Sponsored by the Cabbagetown South Association and Aberdeen Ave Residents. Wednesday, March 24 (dinner at 6, talk at 7:30 pm). $45. To reserve your tickets, click here:

Oh Oh ...they're doing it again
It must be Spring. As soon as warm sunshine arrives, people find the benches in front of Daniel et Daniel (248 Carlton) and they soak up the sunshine. Grabbing a sandwich and a coffee at the Food Shop seems to be a good idea too. I'm told that this strange behaviour is happening all across Cabbagetown - Sweet Creamery is putting out its tables, the HOP patio is starting to attract a hopeful crowd, the good people who frequent the Wicks are lounging outside. It all looks good to me.

St Patrick’s Day
At The Ben Wicks (424 Parliament), you can enjoy a special Irish menu and the music of The Fractured Rovers from 7:45 to 10:30 pm.
House on Parliament (456 Parliament) is celebrating with an evening of traditional Irish fare – organic Irish salmon, corned beef and cabbage and Guinness Ale.
Green beer, Irish food and a great St Paddy’s Day party happens at Brass Taps (221 Carlton).

At Big Mamma's Boy (554 Parliament), you'll have a special Irish treat - an evening under the supervision of celebrity guest chef Caroline Murphy, complete with Irish stew, green beer and all the other fun trimmings.

Eclectisaurus sale
This weekend marks the 5th Anniversary Sale for Eclectisaurus (249 Gerrard East). It runs on Friday, Saturday and Sunday from noon to 7 pm. 30% off. Discover why this is “the jewel of Gerrard Street”.

Guernsey Girl is here
Patty at The Epicure Shop (473 Parliament) now has this exciting new cheese in stock. It’s the third cheese coming from Niagara’s Upper Canada Cheese Company. Pale lemon in colour, it’s modelled on a Scandinavian bread cheese and it turns a beautiful caramelized brown when grilled over medium heat for a minute or two per side. The Toronto Star recently wrote about Guernsey Girl – you can read the article here:
For your after-dinner treat, enjoy a Nanaimo bar – buy one and get another one free.

Prestige office space available
Kentridge Johnston have very attractive offices available with shared amenities in their beautifully restored heritage building. Bright sunny space with two separate offices – it can be subdivided into smaller offices of 500 and 600 square feet. Boardroom, kitchen, fax and copy facilities available. 185 Carlton Street. June 1. Contact (416) 323-1444 or

Our neighbours’ comments about The Stonegrill
Here’s an informal review of an excellent evening at The Stonegrill – it’s well worth repeating: “We went to dinner there last night with some friends. We had an 8 pm sitting. We arrived early and sat at the bar. Place was almost 100% full. Dinner for all of us was excellent (highly recommend rib appetizer!) We left around 10:30 pm and it was still very busy. This restaurant is doing well.... Highly recommend it.” Mukul says that their popular $35 prix fixe three-course dinner (from 5 to 7 pm) is still going strong and will continue to the end of the month. 51B Winchester

Peartree has March specials
Every night throughout March, you can enjoy special dinners at Peartree at remarkably low prices. Turkey dinner, roast beef, T-bone steak, salmon, fisherman’s fettucini and New York steak are among the evening specials. A different special is offered each night of the week at prices from $11.99 to $13.99. And, of course, Peartree’s ever-popular brunch is offered every Saturday and Sunday from 10 am. 507 Parliament.

JAM (195 Carlton) continues to offer its amazing prix fixe dinners for us: 3 courses for $22. You can also ask for steak & frites with a glass of Les Calades merlot for only $19.95. If you prefer to dig into your own cellar for your evening’s wine choice, there’s no corkage charge for Sunday dinner. You can look at their web site for details about their menus:

Prudential Properties Plus
One of our most valued BIA members has closed and its agents have gone to different brokerages around town. We want to wish them all well in their future careers. The staff at Prudential Properties always had time for our events and activities. They supported the community and helped out whenever asked. We’re sorry to see them go.

Tee shirt in Mexico
Louise is horsing around here in Ajicic, Mexico. Of course, she’s got our Tee shirt along for the ride. She says that she’s not a natural horse rider, but we don’t agree – the horse looks very happy. Thanks for taking our Tee with you Louise.

Friday, 5 March 2010

Cobourg versus HOP
The Olympics offer nice hockey but that isn’t the only game in town. Last Monday morning, the folks from The Cobourg (supplemented by talent imported from The Ben Wicks) took on the House on Parliament at the outdoor rink in Regent Park. The battle for the Cabbagetown Cup ended in a draw – one game apiece. So far, no reports about cigars and beer on the ice.

More good news about Regent Park
Photo by Kevin Van Paasen, Globe & Mail
This week’s flurry of announcements about Regent Park centred on the opening of a new Royal Bank in the development at Dundas and Parliament. The Globe & Mail ran a good story on the branch and its micro-loans policies. You can read it here:

Stonegrill’s prix fixe
After a successful turn in Winterlicious, Stonegrill (51B Winchester) has announced a special prix fixe menu that will run throughout March. It’ll be offered every day from 5 to 7 pm, $35 per person. Appetizers include garden or arugula salad or soup. Then choose your entrĂ©e – Atlantic salmon, organic beef striploin or linguini primavera. For dessert, try either gran brulee or chocolate cake.

Wintery ice cream
Emilio is also really pleased with his peanut butter and chocolate mousse tart.
It’s tough to own an ice cream store in the Winter. Emilio at Sweet Creamery has tackled that problem with his cakes, tarts and other baking miracles and he’s now mixing his specialties together. Try his new gelatos with cakes mixed in. There’s tiramisu with almond cake and also raspberry, passion fruit and maraschino cake gelato. With the arrival of warm weather this weekend, he’ll put his table outside again – one of our favourite street spots for watching people stroll past.

Congratulations to Eclectosaurus
Eclectosaurus (249 Gerrard E) has been given a couple of lovely compliments lately. Our neighbours in Cabbagetown South declared it “the gem of Gerrard Street East” and Design Lines magazine listed it as one of their nine recommendations for “cool hunting in Cabbagetown”. Leslie has prepared a really amazing web site at

Marilyn is back at Pet Valu
Marilyn from Pawdicure is back for her regular monthly appearance at Pet Valu (240 Carlton) on Saturday March 6. Bring your cats and dogs from 11 am to 4 pm for a manicure and clipping. $10.

Buns at Epicure Shop
Patty shows off her hot cross buns to Sam but Chris, in the background, doesn’t want any part of this clowning around.
Hot cross buns are fresh every day at Epicure (473 Parliament). Patty also wants to tempt you with her brownies, date squares and butter bars – get one and buy a second at half-price. As always, yummy.

Free food at Cabbagetown Organics
This Saturday, Cabbagetown Organics (499 Parliament) are again hosting samplings and demonstrations on featured products. This week, they’re featuring organic chocolate milk and organic cheeses. Drop by for your own tasting from 10:30 am onward.

Fun stuff at Sharon’s
Sharon (503 Parliament) has a special batch of fun purses and bags for you – poodle bags, shoe bags, elephant bags, tea pot bags and more. She’s also offering her winter wares at phenomenal sale prices – 20 to 40% off. While you’re there, check out her ladies spring jackets and blazers.

BBQ specials from St Jamestown
Mark wants to remind you that the great weather this weekend is an invitation to fire up your bbq and get started on your warm weather grilling. He’s got steaks, salmon, chops, hamburgers and lots more. My personal favourites are pork chops marinated in his jerk sauce. 516 Parliament.

Riverdale Park update
A working committee has been formed to look at possible improvements at Riverdale Park West. City officials are on hand to advise the committee and to take action as decisions are reached. At this time, it’s very early in the process and the committee members want to hear from all interested people. They’ve been issuing newsletters that are distributed electronically and they’ve now prepared a second survey to ask all of us for guidance on the important issues. To get your copy of the survey, click here:
You just can’t hire decent help any more…
The Riverdale Park Newsletter and Survey mentioned above are available in a PDF document. Unfortunately, the fine folks here at Cabbagetown News who prepare our blog don’t know how to transfer a PDF onto our blog template. If you want your own original copy, send us an email and we’ll immediate get one to you:

New garden containers at Barracuda
Back in the workshop, Graham is trying to hide and Gerry is busy talking!
Graham and Gerry have been very busy importing new products and preparing them for your Spring garden preparations. This beautiful store is a favourite place for many Cabbagetown shoppers. The new 2010 containers, vases and furniture are being rolled out now. 527 Parliament.

More on lanes
At the BIA, we’re regularly being asked about the new names for the area’s lanes. We’d love to take the credit but in fact, the hard work was coordinated by Pam McConnell and carried out by people like the Cabbagetown Preservation Association. Pam has sent out her Newsletter and she’s given a good description of the work involved and the meaning behind each lane’s naming. Here’s the link to her article:

Our Tee shirt makes the big time
Julie visited Toronto last Fall and picked up a Tee shirt from us. She promised to give us a dramatic Chicago photo and she has indeed kept her word. Thanks Julie – this is really a fun shot.