Friday, 28 May 2010

Music on Parliament Street
Our annual Springtime music events start this weekend. For the past five years, the BIA has hired bands to perform on our street corners throughout late May and June. This weekend, Roberts & Friends are performing on guitar and vocals at Aberdeen and Parliament. Next weekend, Donna Green plays country favourites at Winchester and Snooky Tynes does bebop at Spruce. Our performers will have CDs for sale and donations are also welcome.

Designer Dare Fashion Show
Only one week to go for the Designer Dare at Double Take (310 Gerrard). The rules are simple – buy the elements for your creation at the store, make a new outfit from these parts and then model your handicraft at the Fashion Show on Saturday June 5 at 2 pm.
It’s all part of Double Take’s 10th anniversary party – Saturday, June 5 from noon to 4 pm. There’ll be games, food and fun for your whole family.

Viva Chile at Church Street Winery
Gunnar and Monika have a June special featuring premium Chilean wine kits. Buy two kits (30 bottles each) and save $10. Five grapes are featured: chardonnay, sauvignon blanc, cabernet sauvignon, merlot and carmenere. Church Street Winery has a nice website where you can learn all the steps that you need to know about their facilities and their bottling programs: . 420 Parliament.

JAMcafe hosts another tasting
JAM is now regularly hosting sell-out crowds in this series of wine tastings with matching foods. Stolpman is an award-winning California winery that features organic, Rhone-style wines. Av Atikian is preparing a tasting menu of hors d’oeuvres to complement the six wines being featured. Meet the winery’s proprietor and place special private orders. For more details about the wines and the food, A special prix fixe dinner menu will be available immediately following the tasting. Saturday June 5, 6:30 pm. Tickets are $45 and reservations may be made at (416) 921-1255

Centre Shift
Presented by the Canadian Children’s Dance Theatre. Premieres by William Yong and Deborah Lundmark and remounts by David Earle, Robert Glumbek and Colin Connor. Thursday June 3 to Saturday June 5 at 8 pm and Sunday June 6 at 2 pm. For more information Tickets are $18 and $28. Winchester Dance Theatre, 80 Winchester (at Metcalf).

Kendall and Co
James handles interior design at Kendall and Co (438 Parliament). This week, he’s showcasing their reuseable White Ceramic Cup. It’s double walled and comes with a resealable soft lid. Brew your own coffee and carry it with you everywhere. Become a star for the environment and save a few dollars every day.

New paint at Big Mamma’s Boy
For the past few weeks, we’ve been telling you about Caroline’s improvements inside and out at this Cabbagetown landmark restaurant (Parliament). She’s sent along a few pictures of her accomplishments and one of them is posted here. Michael informs us that Sunday brunch has become the Sunday Opera Brunch featuring performances by Jessica Turje from 12:30 to 2:30 pm each Sunday.
International News
Nadia reports that her new line of British foods and goodies is now selling very well. Drop in and check it out. 533 Parliament
Craig Keilburger and George Stroumbouloupoulis
Free the Children's Craig Keilburger was interviewed yesterday on the CBC's show The Hour. Catch the video here -

Niagara Gold at Epicure
Patty has a new batch of Niagara Gold from the Upper Canada Cheese Company. It’s an oka style, semi-soft, washed rind cheese modeled on recipes by Trappist Monks in the Loire Valley. There’s lots of information about the company and its cheeses at If you get your cheese from Epicure, you know that it comes from a happy cow!
She also has a whole new line of mustards, salad dressings and grilling sauces for the summer barbeque season. 473 Parliament

Doors Open
Hugh Garner Co-op
(550 Ontario) has just officially opened a Green Roof garden. The project has been in the works for seven years and phase one is finally successfully finished. As well as giving residents a place to enjoy gardening and to be outside in a comfortable place, it’s got loads of environmentally sensitive features. You can enjoy a tour on Saturday and Sunday from 10 am to 5 pm.
There are four other Doors Open events in our immediate area:
Allan Gardens Conservatory, Carlton and Sherbourne
Sat & Sun - 10 am to 5 pm
National Ballet School, 400 Jarvis St
Sat only - 10 am to 5 pm
Regent Park Phase One Revitalization, 246 Sackville St
Sun only - 10 am to 5 pm
Chapel of St-James-the-Less, St James Cemetery, 635 Parliament St
Sat 11 am to 4 pm & Sun 1 to 4 pm

SOUP has a sale
Once again, the folks at SOUP (6031/2 Parliament) are hosting a craft sale in the lobby of their building. There'll be Branch Out greeting cards, Allie Oop bags, prints, fun button pins, seeds and unique plants, jewelry and bling, fashion accessories and lots more. Saturday, June 5, 10 am to 5 pm. Located on parliament just south of Wellesley.

Congratulations Rashna’a
Rashna’a (307 Wellesley) has been a Cabbagetown landmark for the past twenty years, serving award-winning south Indian and Sri Lankan dishes. This week, they’ve opened a patio in front of the restaurant. They’ve had a long struggle through the City’s regulations and various layers to get this approval but they persevered and now have outdoor table service. We know of two more patio projects underway in our neighbourhood and we’re hoping that they’ll both be in place in 2010.

A reminder –
The Winchester School Fun Fair
happens tomorrow, Saturday May 29 from 11 am to 3 pm. Good food, bouncy castle, games and a dunk tank. 15 Prospect Street
Cabbagetown Preservation Association annual meeting. Monday May 31, 7 pm, Presentation Centre in Regent Park (500 Dundas Street)
Hidden Gardens & Private Spaces. Garden tour through eleven hidden alcoves. Tickets are $10 at Mi Casa (238 Carlton), Kendall and Co (438 Parliament), Fairway Garden Centre (520 Parliament), Jay’s Garden Centre (360 Gerrard) and the BIA Office (237 Carlton).

Cooking with Elie
This week, Elie is focusing on charcuterie. The dish that’s being prepared is saucisson sec of venison. These are small, hands-on classes. Elie’s emphasis is on fun and on his love for cooking. Find out more here:
Monday, May 31, 6:30 to 9 pm. Provence Delices, 12 Amelia St.

Flowers on our hydro poles
You may have noticed that our floral arrangements haven’t reappeared on our poles along Parliament, Carlton and Gerrard. They were a great success last year and we had plans to double their number in 2010. Unfortunately, Toronto Hydro has changed its regulations about community use for these poles and this has stalled our flower project. It’s not just a Cabbagetown issue - people right across the city are affected. Negotiations are going on now and we’re hoping for a solution soon.

Friday, 21 May 2010

Repairs at The Wicks
Robert, in his passion for perfection at the Ben Wicks (424 Parliament), is upgrading his patio, his windows and the railings around the upstairs walkway. The Wicks will still be open during this construction period. There will be special portable banquettes for the patio so you can still enjoy a cool drink outside each evening. As you can see, John has stepped out for a beer and a smoke while Aldo carries on with the patio work. The Wicks will be daily open from 3 pm as usual through this time.

Star Nails
Sunh at Star Nails (442 Parliament) has announced to us that his daughter, Phan, is now in charge at Star Nails. He seems very proud of her as well he should be. Phan is just back from her studies at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg (where she fell in love with the city.) She reminds us that it’s time now to break out of our “winter feet” with a rejuvenating pedicure. Every week, Star Nails has fabulous new colours that are right on trend for the summer.

Boot camp at Kendall
Kendall & Co Design and Décor (438 Parliament) have amazing wares on sale and they know how to have fun presenting them. This week’s display is a great example – crackled porcelain work boots. Eric, the architectural designer, is modeling them for us here. They can be a whimsical door stop, an umbrella stand and an outdoor flower planter. Drop in, buy a pair and get a ticket for the June 6 Garden Tour while you’re at it.

Double Take’s 10th anniversary
Double Take are celebrating their 10th birthday in Cabbagetown on Saturday June 5 from noon to 4 pm at 310 Gerrard. It’ll be a family friendly event with great music, entertainment and children’s activities.
To top off the day, they’re having a Designer Dare Fashion Show – pick out some items from Double Take and fashion them into a new outfit for any occasion. The judging will happen at Double Take’s 10th party under the eye of fashion designer and stylist Zanesha Gowrali.
There’s an application form for the Fashion contest (which you can collect at the store – or call the BIA at 416-921-0857) and a $10 fee. When you register, you’ll get a $25 gift certificate so you can shop for your items at Double Take.

Cooking with Elie
On Monday, it’s week five in the cooking series at Provence Delices (12 Amelia), this week highlighting charcuterie techniques. Classes start at 6:30 pm and go to 9. This is a hands-on experience where you will learn and then practice a technique. Then, best of all, you sit down and eat the results. (416) 924-9901

Big Mamma’s Boy
Brunch season has started on Sundays from 11 am to 3 pm. And Michael, the chef, is shopping at the Riverdale Farmers’ Market for his ingredients. He’s already had fresh asparagus and fiddleheads. Strawberries will be in soon. Small wonder that they’re getting good crowds for dinner every day. 554 Parliament

Nest Redux at Toronto Dance Theatre
Christopher House and ten TDT dancers are revisiting his seminal work, Nest, over this weekend and next week. Friday May 21 and Saturday May 22 at 8 pm, Sunday May 23 at 2 pm. May 26 to 29 at 8 pm. 80 Winchester Street, (416) 967-1365.

Construction notes
Three projects near the corner at Carlton and Parliament have provoked some interest in Cabbagetown. Here’s the latest on each of them.
At 499 Parliament (above Cabbagetown Organics), the owner is adding a third floor for the apartment spaces in the building.
At 488 Parliament, the Paradise Restaurant has closed. There’s a new project now underway to open a family-style restaurant in place of the old bar. We can also expect some changes to the exterior facing Parliament and a clean-up around the back deck.
The new bank is the big project in this area at the corner. George Foulides, the building owner, tells us that the majority of the work is now being done inside and that a summer date for opening the TD Bank is firming up. You can easily see through the front windows that interior furnishings and counters are now being set in place.

Doors Open at Hugh Garner
The annual Doors Open event is a big deal across Ontario and here in Cabbagetown, Hugh Garner Co-op is being featured for its innovative green roof. Trees, shrubs and planting beds are spread across the 8000 square foot roof. It contains a storm water retention system for watering the plants. For a quick video presentation about the garden, click here: Doors Open happens on Saturday May 29 and Sunday May 30 from 10 am to 5 pm daily.

Coming events
Don Vale Cabbagetown Residents Association
annual meeting. Special guest speaker is Amanda Gomm from LEAF who will discuss our urban forest and ways to enhance it. Wednesday May 26, 7 pm, Riverdale Farm.
Winchester School Annual Family Fun Fair. Games, prizes, face painting, dunk tank, jumping castle, silent auction and more. To donate items for the garage sale and silent auction, please call Gwen at (416) 368-0129 or Pam at (416) 944-9944. 15 Prospect Street, Saturday May 26, 11 am to 3 pm.
Cabbagetown Preservation Association annual meeting. Learn more about the new Regent Park. Presentation Centre, 500 Dundas St E, Monday May 31, 7 pm.

Democracy is alive and well
On Thursday, a group from Ontario Coalition against Poverty protested the elimination of special diet allowances from support payments made to low income people. They marched along Parliament from Gerrard to Winchester and staged their protest in front of Glen Murray’s office. These are the same guys who tried to warm up their event by gluing posters onto every hydro pole in the area for a couple of weeks ahead of time. Unfortunately, they’ve forgotten that the very people they’re trying to impress are more likely to get annoyed by this relentless postering.

Friday, 14 May 2010

Silent Auction for Haiti

The Cobourg (533 Parliament), Friday, May 14 from 8 pm. $5 admission at the door. Maison enfants espoir is a small orphanage caring for 57 children in the Santos district of Port au Prince. It was badly damaged in the quake and now the children live and sleep outdoors beside the building. The silent auction is being organized by Becca Reed to support the orphanage. For all the details about the stuff that’s up for grabs, the auction times and the orphanage, click here:

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

Introducing the new RBC staff

Jasmina (left) is the new manager at the RBC branch and Sasha is an account executive.
The Royal Bank has opened its branch at Dundas and Parliament as part of the revitalized Regent Park and it will serve Cabbagetown business and residential customers. The manager is Jasmina Zdravkovic. She’s returning to Cabbagetown after an earlier stint here and understands our neighbourhood well. The branch is open Monday to Wednesday from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm, Thursday from 9:30 to 8, Friday 9:30 to 6 and Saturday 9 to 3. There is, as well, a bank machine on premises that can handle deposits and withdrawals. Parking is convenient throughout the area. We have long wanted additional banking services here and the new RBC is especially welcome. 480 Dundas E.

Sharon has summer jewelry

Sharon (503 Parliament) is featuring colourful summer jewelry made from stone, shells and natural fibres. She has earrings from $12.99/set. The beautiful turquoise necklace that she’s wearing in her picture is made from shells and natural fibres – the earrings and necklace are $34.99.

The Epicure Shop
Patty has Cendrillion cheese from Quebec in stock (it’s the world’s best cheese). She’s offering it on special this weekend at $6.99. Her two-year old parmesan reggiano is also on sale at $3.99/100 g. 473 Parliament.

Spring plants at Fairway
The outdoor yard at Fairway Market (520 Parliament) is now full of young plants for your garden – annuals, herbs, perennials are all on display and ready for you and there are lots of preplanted hanging baskets and special arrangements. They have tons of potting soil and other essential supplies. The spring planting season is finally here and Fairway is ready. You can buy a ticket for the Cabbagetown Garden Tour here as well.

Barracuda has planters
Gerry has his full line of outdoor planters and garden accessories in stock, including the very popular Gramercy and Delano styles. Several lines are on sale at discounts from 20 to 40%, including Santa Clara, Festonada and Madison planters. 527 Parliament.

Peter’s Cajun Pizza
Peter has arrived in Cabbagetown. His fans will fondly remember his previous store at Dundas and Parliament. He’s located in a bright inviting spot across from Anniversary Park at 415 Parliament. The small patio at the rear is now open. You can see all his menu selections at his website, During the week, he’s open from 11 am to 2 am. On the weekend, 3 pm to 2 am. Call (416) 368-8099 for delivery.

Wine and cooking
Two of our restaurants are continuing with special events through next week.
JAMcafe (195 Carlton) is hosting a wine tasting that features seven Phelps Creek Vineyard wines from Oregon. Food specially prepared by Av Atikian will match the wines and bring out their best features. Click here for details: JAM has become very adept with their wine presentations and many of their tastings are sold out early. Be sure to book your table as soon as possible. Thursday May 20, from 6:30 pm. (416) 921-1255 for reservations and more information.
Provence Delices (12 Amelia) is holding its fourth class in its current “Cooking with Elie” series. Each event is practical and direct. You can enjoy a lesson, do hands-on techniques and then sit down and eat the fruits of your labours. This week’s class deals with “starters” – soup, escargots and tuna salad. Monday May 17, 6:30 pm, (416) 924-9901.

Andrew brings colour to Kendall
Andrew works on bouquets and planters at Kendall & Co (438 Parliament). He refreshes the selection and flowers on display there. You’re invited to see the new nature inspired home décor accessories and purchase a ticket for the Cabbagetown Garden Tour.

John at The Hair lift Group
A while ago, we introduced John Judge who’s a new person at The Hair Lift Group (503B Parliament). He said then that he does “just about everything” especially colours and cuts. John has asked us to announce his current special – complimentary face framing highlights with every cut.

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

Nest Redux at TDT
Christopher House and ten of the TDT dancers take a fresh look at House’s seminal work, Nest. May 21 and 22 at 8 pm, May 23 at 2 pm, May 26 to 29 at 8 pm, Winchester Dance Theatre, 80 Winchester, $26 for adults, $20 for seniors, students and CADA. (416) 967-1365 and

Coming up soon –
Mark your calendars. Spring is a very busy time throughout Cabbagetown.
“Carts of Darkness” – a movie night invitation at 55 Bleeker St, Recreation Room. Monday May 17 at 6 pm, light refreshments. The Anti-Ableism Committee and TCHC present Murray Siple’s absurd, amusing and moving story of bottle pickers who expand into shopping cart racers. No cover charge.
Don Vale Cabbagetown Residents Association – 2010 annual meeting. The association’s annual business meeting with an election of officers, treasurer’s report and more. Special guest speaker is Amanda Gomm from LEAF who will discuss the state of our urban forest and action that we can take to enhance it. Wednesday, May 26, 7 pm at Riverdale Farm.
Annual Family Fun Fair – Winchester School, 15 Prospect St. There’ll be games, prizes, face painting a dunk tank, bouncy Castle, garage sale, silent auction, French café, delicious Halal lunch and much more. If you want to donate items for the silent auction or the garage sale, call Gwen (416) 368-0129 or Pam (416) 944-9944. Saturday May 29, 11 am to 3 pm.

Friday, 7 May 2010

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Mother’s Day in Cabbagetown
It’s a weekend for flowers, candy, chocolates and a memorable meal.

Simmons Flowers
Merion and Tina will be open for the weekend with fresh flowers ready and available for your own special Mother. They report that it’s already been busy with orders for both home and away and they’re looking forward to lots of local orders on Saturday and Sunday. 540 Parliament.

Carnations at St Jamestown
Mark has a free carnation for every mother who visits St Jamestown Steak and Chops (516 Parliament) over the weekend. It’s his traditional Mother’s Day thank-you. He also has plenty of this year’s fresh crop of fiddleheads in store for you.

Stonegrill has a Mother’s Day brunch
A special weekend is planned for Mother’s Day at Stonegrill (51B Winchester). Brunch is available from 10 am to 3 pm. From 5 to 10:30 pm, there’s a three-course gourmet dinner as well as a special kids’ menu. Guests can enter a special raffle with a $100 gift certificate. For reservations, call (416) 967-6565.

Another success at JAMcafe
The Butterfield wine tasting set for next Wednesday at JAMcafe (195 Carlton) has been fully sold out. Congratulations to everyone and best wishes for a great evening.
On Sunday, enjoy Mother’s Day brunch at JAM. Your menu choices run from smoked salmon to eggs Natasha to steak and eggs. Check out the full menu here, Fotr reservations, call (416) 921-1255

Cabbagetown Organics
A visit to Cabbagetown Organics (499 Parliament) always brings a surprise. We’ve never before heard of Almond Milk – but they’ve got it and it’s on sale two for $5. It’s really good and it comes in various flavours “original”, “vanilla” and “chocolate”. And while you’re there, get some Kicking Horse Coffee on sale at $14.99.

Kendall has a ring cup
Slip a Swarovski crystal ring on her finger for Mother’s Day. It comes attached to a fun little mug. It’s a perfect gift for both single and married Moms. This is just one of many good gifts for Mom available this weekend at Kendall & Co Interior Design and Décor. (438 Parliament)

The Epicure Shop
Patty’s celebrating Mother’s Day in a big way this year. Her latest delicacy is duck rillette from Quebec, a wonderful treat for brunch. Then for desserts, she has cupcakes, gingerbread, brownies and nanaimo bars – buy one and get a second at half price. Patty also plans a Mother’s Day gift basket contest and you can enter at any time over the weekend to win. 473 Parliament

Cooking with Elie
There’s a small change in the cooking schedule this week. Classes will be held on Wednesday instead of Monday. Elie is conducting small, hands-on lessons for up to eight people each week. A different topic is covered each week through May. Full details can be seen here: 12 Amelia St.

Fundraiser for Green Thumbs Growing Kids
GTGK is a registered charity that works with urban kids to teach them about growing food and healthy ecosystems. They operate school gardens, after-school and summer programs. On Sunday May 16, they’re holding a fundraising dinner at Allan Gardens in the Children’s Conservatory. There’ll be good food, a silent auction, a seed sale and mocktails and music. Adults $50 and kids are free. For more information, call (647) 348-5437 or go to

Frappuccino Happy Hour
Get to Starbucks every day from Friday May 7 to Sunday May 16 from 3 to 5 pm for a new-however-way-you-want-it frappuccino. Have it with soy, or lactose-free milk or extra coffee. You decide and your drink will be custom made for you. 492 Parliament

Construction groans
Yes, Parliament Street south of Gerrard is a mess. They’re repairing water mains under the roadway. The good news – the work will be done in July. Bad news – after that, the street car tracks will be dug up. Only one lane northbound will be open while the work is underway from July to December.