Friday, 30 April 2010

We’re on Facebook
Join our Facebook group. We’ll be telling you about entertainment and special events in Cabbagetown on a regular basis. Click here:!/group.php?gid=118982754795260

Next Sunday, May 9 is Mother’s Day

Flower Power

Merion at Simmons Flowers (540 Parliament) reminds us that flowers always convey love and respect. She likes to quote an old proverb “If you have two pennies, spend one on a loaf and one on a flower. The bread will give you life and the flower a reason for living.” Simmons can supply your flowers for in-town or out-of-town deliveries and they’re ready to assist with beautiful fresh flowers on May 7, 8 and 9.


Sharon has lots of new lines for your Mother’s Day gifts – jeans, fancy tees and dresses, all starting at $29.99. For special gifts, check out her new silver jewelry. And for men, there are new hats, jeans and shorts. 503 Parliament.

Kendall & Co Interior Design & Décor
In celebration of Mother’s Day, Kendall & Co have wonderful gift suggestions for you. Visit the store to see these selections and to take advantage of the free gift wrapping for all Mother’s Day purchases. 438 Parliament

Mother’s Day at Stonegrill
Mother’s Day highlights at the Stonegrill (51B Winchester) include a raffle with gifts worth $100. Brunch is available from 10 am to 3 pm. There’s a three course gourmet menu for dinner (from 5 to 10:30 pm) as well as a special kids’ menu. For your reservations, call (416) 967-6565.

Thanks, Judy
Judy Herron-Graham is leaving her post as parish priest at St Peter’s Anglican Church (188 Carlton). She’s taken up a new post in Port Credit and she’ll be starting there next week. We’ll miss her. Under her leadership, St Peter’s has had a strong and beneficial role here in our community.

Diggity Dog Grooming
Marilyn is back at Pet Valu (240 Carlton) on Saturday. She reports that her grooming has become increasingly popular as word about her work spreads and she really is enjoying herself with this part of her business. You can bring your pet to her nail clinic on Saturday May 1 from 11 am to 4 pm. She still charges only a modest $10 fee for her services despite the growing demand.

This weekend at The Epicure Shop
Patty is featuring Ace Cranberry Crisps at $4.49 or two for $7, chicken pies at $1.99, and meatballs at 3 for $1.25 (you can combine them with Epicure’s own homemade pasta sauce.) 473 Parliament.

2010 Forsythia Festival
The Forsythia Festival is Cabbagetown’s annual welcome to Spring and it’s coming up fast – it happens this Sunday May 2 from 10 to 3 pm. The parade gathers in Riverdale Park at 10 am and everyone then marches up to Wellesley Park for the rest of the day. There’ll be games and fun for the kids, booths, hot dogs and lots more. Our thanks, by the way, to Mark at St Jamestown Steak & Chops (516 Parliament) for donating his time and cooking skills – proceeds from the hot dogs that he sells go entirely to the Festival funds.

Last chance for the Tour of Art Salons
The Tour happens this Saturday evening and there are a handful of tickets still available. It’s your chance to visit three amazing art collections and to enjoy dinner and cocktails with friends and neighbours. The evening starts with champagne cocktails at AKA The Space on Parliament at 6:30 pm and then continues to three stunning heritage homes. You’ll enjoy dinner along the way and finish with a jazz concert at the last home. The Tour is sponsored by our local residents’ associations. For ticket information, $40 per person.

The Cobourg Film Club
On Monday May 3, The Cobourg Film Club hosts the second event in their schedule. Two movies are being shown: Lost in La Mancha at 7:30 pm and Don Quixote at 10 pm. There’ll also be a preview of short films by local filmmaker Francois Aubry. 533 Parliament.

Big Mamma’s Boy Re-Launch Party
You’re invited to Big Mamma’s Boy for their grand re-launch party. It’s a celebration, a chance to enjoy a bite and a drink and to meet Caroline and Michael. Renovations have been underway for the past few weeks as Caroline starts to put her own stamp on the premises. Michael tells us that his popular menu items are continuing and that business over the past couple of weeks has been roaring. It’s all good news. Tuesday May 4 from 7 pm onward, 554 Parliament. RSVP not needed but appreciated at (416) 927-1593.

Cooking up a storm at Provence Delices
Elie’s first cooking class last week was a great success. He’s asked us to re-post the details again to tell you about his plans for the next five weeks. These are hands-on, fun and informative nights. A small group will meet at Provence, work with Elie, cook up a meal and then sit down to enjoy it. Find out more by clicking here: Monday nights, May 3 to 31, 6:30 to 9 pm, $112 per session, 12 Amelia Street, (416) 924-9901.

Double Take’s Fashion Challenge
June 5 is Double Take’s 10th anniversary in their store here in Cabbagetown. They have a lot of events planned for the day including a games and photo area for kids, free food and snacks, and live music. One big event needs some advance planning – the designer dare contest. Form a team and remake Double Take clothes into “new” fashions. The winners will get gift certificates and an “intern” day with a top fashion designer. Visit the store and get an application – 310 Gerrard East.

Another wine tasting at JAMCafe
A quick reminder – you only have a week and a half until JAM hosts its next tasting, A Premium Taste of Burgundy, David Butterfield Wines. It takes place on Wednesday May 12 from 6:30 pm. There’ll be six wines to taste and a marvelous meal designed to highlight the best of each wine’s features. For a full description of the evening’s events, click here: 195 Carlton. $95 per person. For reservations and tickets call (416) 921-1255.

2010 CPA Spring Garden Tour
The garden tour sponsored by the Cabbagetown Preservation Association has become an important part of our Spring calendar. There will be hundreds of people enjoying a sunny Sunday in Cabbagetown but the Tour easily absorbs everyone and makes each visit a comfortable experience. As always, in 2010, you’ll go to hidden places that are full of charm and imagination. Save the date on your calendar – Sunday June 6, 10 am to 3 pm. Tickets are $10 before June 6 and $15 at the event. You can buy your tickets at Kendall & Co (438 Parliament), Mi Casa (238 Carlton), the BIA Office (237 Carlton), Fairway Market (520 Parliament), Jay’s Garden Centre (360 Gerrard) and Sheridan Nursery (2827 Yonge St).

Daniel et Daniel
The staff at D + D have plugged into the social media in a big way. Now you can learn about their services, see where they’re catering, find out what new trends are unfolding and link into their activities. They have a blog at They’re on Facebook ( And they twitter ( A visit to their Food Shop (248 Carlton) is a lot better than a lot of surfing but at least when you go to their sites, you won’t put on weight.

Greenhouse Garden Party & Flower Tasting
Green Thumbs Growing Kids (6031/2 Parliament) is a Cabbagetown agency that introduces children to the pleasures of gardening. Kids learn how to grow their own food at home and in school gardens. On Sunday May 16, they’re hosting a party at Allan Gardens Conservatory from 1 to 4 pm. There’ll be good food prepared by chef Anne Sorrenti, a silent auction, free seeds, mocktails and music. It’s a fundraiser. Tickets are $50 (kids are free). Find out how to buy a ticket at or call (647) 348-5437

Friday, 23 April 2010

Welcome Robyn
Robyn Kennedy has joined us at the BIA office for the summer. She’s a senior student at Ryerson and is interested in event management opportunities. She’ll be responsible for many aspects of our 2010 Festival program – if your group is part of our Festival parade or if you want booth space on the street, then she’ll be your contact person.

Wedding bells at Sweet Creamery
Emilio and Tom, the proprietors of our attractive new ice cream parlour, were married last Friday in a small ceremony attended by a group of their close friends. They tied the knot at the CN Tower and then enjoyed a memorable dinner there together. All of your friends and neighbours in our BIA want to wish you a life full of happiness with each other. Drop in and give them your congrat’s as well - Sweet Creamery, 521 Parliament.

Cabbagetown’s hidden art salons
Tickets are selling briskly for this second tour of hidden art treasures (Saturday May 1, 6:30 to 11:30 pm). Your ticket includes cocktails and food, a tour of three art collections and a piano jazz concert at the last destination. An Aberdeen home has an amazing cerebral collection, an historic home featured in Style at Home has an equally fascinating collection, and a Don Vale residence showcases an emerging artist. For tickets and information, click here:

Soup’s 9th
Soup Inc is a collection of creative people who work on digital productions, web design, graphic arts and consulting. They moved to Cabbagetown in 2001 when they purchased their building at 6031/2 Parliament. You may recognize the official Cabbagetown Festival Tee shirt (designed by Chris Kiraly from Blink, Blink) or the greeting cards (by Mary Spence-Thomas at Branch Out) or nearby school gardens (by Sunday Harrison from Green Thumbs Growing Kids). James Woollatt from Blink Blink is a newly minted member of the BIA’s Board of Management. These are just four of their members – as you can see from the picture, they’re a large and happy group. Everyone got together last week for a barbeque lunch to celebrate their 9th Anniversary. Congratulations all – and thanks for your hard work on behalf of Cabbagetown.

Learn to cook like Elie
Provence Delices, the beautiful restaurant at 12 Amelia Street, is justly known for its fine menus and cuisine. Elie, the proprietor, is hosting six cooking sessions for eight lucky people on Mondays from 6:30 to 9 pm, starting on Monday April 26. The topics include sea breem, poultry, starters (2 sessions) and charcuterie (2 sessions). These classes will be hands-on fun and conducted by Elie himself. For more information, click here:
To reserve your place, call (416) 924-9901 or email

Here’s Kendall & Company
For the past two weeks, we’ve shown you photos of the beautiful objects available at Kendall & Co Design + Décor (438 Parliament). Their new store combines both retail furnishings and interior design consulting. We’ve told them that we need faces – the people behind the scenes – to go with the goodies and here they are:

Spring at Riverdale Farm
It’s the season for babies. There are 13 new piglets, 3 new lambs and 2 six-month-old short horn calves at the Farm. The tulip gardens are in magnificent bloom. On Saturday May 1, the Farm holds its annual Rite of Spring Festival with sheep shearing, sheep dog demonstrations and spinning and weaving activities. It’s a great day for the whole family. Winchester and Sumach beside Riverdale Park.

Beer sampling at Samovar Above Winchester
Beer is good and Samovar has a big supply for everyone who wants a sample. Drop by on Friday April 23 from 5 to 8 pm (51A Winchester) to get a taste from ten different drafts. A small appetizer plate is recommended as well. You can get a second appetizer free whenever you purchase the first one. This happy hour offer runs Tuesdays to Fridays, 5 to 8 pm until June 30. Click here to see their menu and photo gallery:

Big Mamma’s Boy
The Grand Re-opening party is now scheduled for Tuesday May 4 at 7 pm. More details will follow soon. Save this time and date and be sure to drop by to see the new BMB and to test their newly tweaked menu. (554 Parliament).

JAMCafe has another tasting
Av Atikian is again hosting a marvellous wine and tasting evening, this time featuring beautiful Burgundies done in classic style by David Butterfield. Six wines from three districts will be paired with Av’s special menu. Wednesday, May 12 at 6:30 pm. Reservations at (416) 921-1255, $95 per person. For all the details about this amazing evening, click here:

Central Neighbourhood House
CNH holds regular euchre parties as fundraisers. It’s a fun way to help a valuable Cabbagetown agency. Players can win valuable prizes (ranging from $20 to $80). The proceeds benefit the Christmas Gift program for CNH’s Home Support clients. Over one thousand people receive these gifts, a monumental task that relies on the generosity and help of the neighbourhood for its success. Saturday April 24, 11:30 am to 2:30 pm, $20 registration fee. 349 Ontario St.

Cabbagetown Organics
This week’s features include Salba Seeds, “Nature’s most powerful whole food” at $19.99, a real savings from the regular price of $26.99. Illy Coffee is also available at $14.99. 499 Parliament.

Menagerie Pet Shop
Menagerie (549 Parliament) has Orijen cat and dog foods on sale at 10% discounts from now to May 31. These are biologically appropriate real food – all-natural, grain-free and Canadian made. While you’re there, stroll through this cool shop, see the lizards and parrots and fish and then say hello to Frankie, Menagerie’s house cat.

Pet Valu
At Pet Valu (240 Carlton), there’s a premier edition of the new magazine, “Pet Valu Companion”, and it’s full of articles and product announcements for pet owners. This edition features discussions on holistic grain-free multiple protein pet food and there are several new product lines for dogs and cats available in-store. There’s also a display of nifty new travel aids for people who are launching off with their pets.

Sharon has a new $20 rack. She’s featuring tee’s, capris, sweaters and much more at this special price offering. She also has men's and women’s summer hats. 503 Parliament.

English Delights at International News
Nada has just added a new collection of English cakes, cookies and drinks to her shelves at International News (533A Parliament). She has Battenburg Cakes at $6.99 and Tipsy Cake at $3.50 – both brought in fresh weekly. Her candies include Dolly Mix and Olde English Royal Toffees and her cookies include Cadbury Digestives, Fox’s Classic ginger cookies, Elke’s Ginger Nuts and McVities Rich Tea cookies.

Looking tired but happy…
Last week, we told you that Hector is moving home. Pembroke’s gain and our loss. It appears, however, that you can take the boy out of Cabbagetown but you can’t take the Tee-shirt off his back. Here he is in tired splendour after dashing through the Boston Marathon last Sunday at rocket velocity in 3 hours and 59 minutes. He’s qualified automatically to enter again next year.

Friday, 16 April 2010

The Spring Flowers Are Here
Fairway (520 Parliament) is loading up with all the plants, soil and gardening supplies that you’ll need for your early plantings. Dom tells us that his pansies are very hot right now – and he has plenty of them for you. As you can see, he has lots of choices to help you take advantage of our remarkable Spring weather.

Advance notice for Cabbagetown artists
You’re invited to display your art at our annual Festival on Saturday, September 11. We know that you want lots of advance notice to prepare your materials, so this is your reminder that you’re welcome to attend. There’s no fee. We successfully started these displays at last year’s Festival and the artists who attended told us that they had a fun time and even sold some of their pieces. We’re repeating it again in 2010. For more info, email

Singing at The Cobourg
Last week, The Cobourg (533 Parliament) hosted their second annual sing song event. The $10 cover charge was collected as a fundraiser to support one of our local agencies. By all accounts, it was a great success. On Tuesday, John Jay (below, left) proudly donated $870 to UforChange (517 Parliament), a new group working with youth from St James Town.
Introducing UforChange
This project for St James Town youth integrates art, culture and human rights to grow communities and improve livelihoods. It’s federally funded and supported locally by the Wellesley Institute, Cabbagetown Community Arts Centre and LIFT. We’ve had great success in Cabbagetown with agencies that draw on young people’s energy and skills. We wish everyone well at UforChange. You can learn more at

Breakfast on the Go
At The Epicure Shop (473 Parliament), Patty wants us to remind you about her very successful breakfast specials. She opens at 7:30 am during the week and 8 am on Saturday – so she’s ready when you need her. Her Original Breakfast Bagel Melt is a fresh egg with melted cheddar on a bagel or English muffin. The Big Guy has two eggs, cheddar or swiss on a nine-grain bun or an onion bun. There are lots of other choices, including vegetarian. You can add bacon or ham for only $1 and enjoy a medium tea or coffee with any breakfast for just a loonie.

Kendall & Co Design + Decor
Kendall, Kevin and their associates are very busy at their new store location. Last weekend, their open house was a huge success – many thanks to everyone who visited. This week, they’re continuing their Grand Opening with a special sale offering 30% discounts on chandeliers and fine furniture. Quantities are limited. 438 Parliament.

Cabbagetown Organics
At Cabbagetown Organics (499 Parliament) this week, they’re continuing their sale on Seven Generations Baby Diapers at $17.99/package. While you’re stocking up on these supplies for the kids, get some Kettle Brand potato chips for Mom and Dad. They’re new in the store and on sale at 2 bags for $5.

Changes at Big Mamma’s Boy
Caroline Murphy has joined chef Michael Guenther at Cabbagetown landmark, Big Mamma’s Boy (554 Parliament). After a quick burst of energy doing some repairs and small clean-ups, the doors are back open and business is continuing. Michael still emphasizes local sources for his food purchases, gluten free choices, great pizzas and outstanding meals at great prices. You can still get lots of menu information, pizza lists and details about their future events at

Tomorrow’s the day…
Eclectisaurus is holding their annual Vintage clothing sale. They join forces with Gadabout and Angela McCool. The event takes place on Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm at 52 Laing Street (south of Queen, just east of Leslie.) There’ll be other goodies on sale as well as clothing. In fact, if you’ve been to Eclectisaurus (249 Gerrard), then you know that this sale has to be worthwhile.

More lunch details
Last week, both JAMCafe and The Ben Wicks announced new extended hours so they could open for lunch. Now we’ve got concrete details for you:
The Ben Wicks (424 Parliament) opens daily at noon. Brunch happens on Saturday and Sunday from noon to 3 pm. Through the week, you can enjoy Classic Pub fare, salads, wraps and burgers. I’ve had a beef burrito and recommend it highly.
JAMCafe (195 Carlton) opens at 11:30 am and offers lunch to 2 pm from Monday through Friday. Everything is fresh and available for dining room service or for takeout. The menu includes daily soups, salads, Jamburgers, shrimp, saute veggies, smoked salmon and chicken piccata.

Lookin’ good
Hector Clouthier (right) is leaving Cabbagetown. We’ll miss him. He’s been a charming presence during his stay here and he’s represented us well at events as diverse as the Boston Marathon and the Calgary Stampede. In fact, this weekend, he’s in Boston again for another run in the 2010 Marathon. He’s headed back to his hometown, Pembroke, to prepare himself for a different kind of “run” in the next federal election. Watch out Ottawa, this guy is dynamite.

Friday, 9 April 2010

Singing at The Cobourg
Saturday night from 8:30 pm features the second annual big sing song at The Cobourg (533 Parliament). It’s $10 at the door and this cover charge is a fundraiser for Uforchange, our new agency just down the street above Unistar Computers. A lot of people showed up and stretched their vocal cords last year (and, it’s reliably reported, some of them could actually sing). John Jay tells us that this is one of the best nights of the year for The Cobourg.

Grand Opening for Kendall & Company
Kendall Williams and his associates have started two exciting new businesses at 438 Parliament. Kendall & Co Design + Décor is a new retail store showcasing exquisite home décor. Kendall & Co Interior Design offers residential designs of decisive character. On Saturday from noon to 5 pm, you have a chance to visit them and learn about both services. They’re getting launched with a Grand Opening and you’re invited to drop in. If you want an earlier glimpse, visit their stunning new website at

7th Absolutely Vintage Sale
Eclectisaurus (249 Gerrard) joins forces with Gadabout and with Angela McCool to bring you this not-to-be-missed sale of vintage men and women’s clothing, antique costume jewellery, accessories, furnishings and textiles. You’ll find irresistible goodies from the 1890s to the 1970s. It’s taking place on Saturday, April 17, 10 am to 5 pm at the Toronto Heritage Maple Cottage, 52 Laing Street (south of Queen, just east of Leslie).

Specials at Cabbagetown Organics
Once again, you have a chance to test out a free sample of one of the outstanding products on sale at Cabbagetown Organics (499 Parliament). Ground Soaps will be featured on Sunday, April 11 from 11 am onwards. Throughout the week from today until Thursday, April 15, Almond Breeze Almond Milk is on sale at 2 for $5 or $2.99 each and Seven Generations baby diapers are $17.99.

Lunch is getting better
Two of our leading establishments have just announced that their doors will fling wide open for lunch. Good news for hungry Cabbagetowners…
The Ben Wicks (424 Parliament) opens from noon starting tomorrow, Saturday April 10. Brunch will start this weekend. As soon as our warm weather returns, the Wicks’s patio will be a comfy hideout for a weekend meal with the menu featuring classic pub fare, delicious brunch items, salads, breads and special appetizers. Details will appear on their website soon:
JAMCafe (195 Carlton) starts their new lunch service next Tuesday April 13 from 11:30 to 2 pm. They’ll be open from Tuesday to Friday every week. To get your attention and bring you in to their cozy dining room or garden patio spaces, they’ve got a ½ price special on all menu items from April 14 to 16 – don’t miss out. Details are now available on their web site:

Hidden Art Salons
Warning – there are only 50 tickets available for this event! It’s another wonderful evening organized by Aberdeen, Cabbagetown South and Don Vale Cabbagetown Residents groups. This time, you can tour three unique original art collections scattered through our neighbourhood. Food and cocktails will be available at each home and jazz pianist Maxine Willan will present a live performance. The tour is sponsored by Kendall & Co Interior Décor +Design (438 Parliament). Saturday, May 1, 6:30 to 11:30 pm. Tickets are $40, payable online by Paypal at or call (416) 972-0943.

A quick reminder
April is a Cabbagetown neighbours’ appreciation month at Stonegrill. This lovely restaurant has grain fed organic meats, fresh fish and exotic game. You can be your own chef and prepare your meal at a stone right at your own table. Or you can order from the “a la carte menu”. For those who want something lighter, there’s a tapas menu and a more casual experience with drinks at the bar. To enjoy your discount, please print this coupon:

Sweet times at Epicure
Maple syrup and breakfast melts are both big news this week at The Epicure Shop (473 Parliament). Patty gets her maple syrup directly from a farm in Quebec and this year, it started to flow early and it’s really good. She has a special offer while supplies last: buy one tin and save $2 on your purchase of a second one. To get your coupon for this offer, click here and print your copy: And to help you get through the week, she’s hosting an Eggstatic morning on Wednesday from 7:30 to 11 am. You can buy her original Breakfast Melt (egg and cheese on a bagel) for only $1.99.

The Library wants your advice
Future uses for the lawn outside the Parliament Street Library (269 Gerrard East) are now being studied. Library staff hope to create a park there that extends the library to the outdoors and makes the area more appealing. They want your ideas and imagination. The community is invited to a meeting on Tuesday, April 13 at 7 pm at the Library, 269 Gerrard East.

Lookin’ Good
Continuing in our introductions to people who make Cabbagetown look good… two more singers from Cobourg's sing song last year.