Friday, 25 June 2010

2010 Cabbagetown Festival
Mark your calendars – our 2010 Festival happens on Saturday September 11 and Sunday September 12.

Getting ready for the 2010 Festival
Kelsey Butler in the BIA office is now calling community groups across Cabbagetown to remind everyone about the 2010 Festival parade. Of course, there are lots of events happening during the Festival weekend. She’s focusing on the parade because it usually requires early preparations for banners and floats and for recruiting people to take part.
This is a hit-and-miss process. It’s quite possible that we’ll overlook someone. If you have a group, a club or even an event that you want to highlight by marching in the parade, please call us at (416) 921-0857.

Cabbagetown artists
Here’s a reminder. If you’re an artist living in Cabbagetown, you’re invited to show your work during the 2010 Festival. There’s no charge for this event. Just tell us that you’re interested and we’ll save a place for you. Call Kelsey or Doug at (416) 921-0857.

Kendall & Co celebrate the G8
Stroll down to 438 Parliament over the weekend and see eight great ways that Kendall has to celebrate everything that starts with a “G” – (clockwise from the top left) a grasshopper, a grapevine tea light, a garden patio oil lantern, a gear wall clock, glycerin grapefruit soaps, a glass venetian lamp, green parrots and gold twig salad servers.

Vicente finishes Music on Parliament
A longtime Cabbagetown favourite, Vicente will play his wind flute at Winchester and Parliament on Saturday from noon to 4 pm. It’s always a pleasure to welcome him back.
Last week, Michael Brennan performed at Winchester and Jim Heineman played at Ontario and Gerrard. For us, Jim’s appearance on Gerrard was an experiment and it worked – he was warmly received by pedestrians and storeowners in the area. One of his fans was an overly refreshed gentleman who sat on the grass across the street and sang along - occasionally even managing to sing the same music that Jim was playing. It was an afternoon for everyone.

Thanks, John
John Bernardo from Bernglen Holdings (owners of the Winchester) has launched a lovely community garden on the northeast corner of Winchester and Parliament at the Tim Hortons site. His work on the Winchester has made it one of Cabbagetown’s landmarks and every year he’s added extra touches to polish the building’s appeal.

Parliament Street Library Writers Group
On Monday June 28, the Writers’ Group is holding its 7th annual open house featuring readings from their works in progress, short stories and poems. Nine different writers will present their works. Snacks and chats start at 6 pm and readings start at 6:30 pm. Enjoy some mystery, mayhem and merriment. Parliament Street Library, 269 Gerrard East.

A cheesy weekend at Epicure

Patty is very pleased to announce that two favourites have reappeared at The Epicure Shop (473 Parliament). Buffalo mozzarella is always in demand over the summer when tomatoes and basil are both readily available. She’s getting shipments every two weeks and it sells out quickly. The Upper Canada Cheese Company has refreshed her supply of Niagara Gold – when we last mentioned this popular product, it sold out over that weekend.

Mobilicity is new
Iftekhar Khan is the store manager at the new Mobilicity shop at 439 Parliament. They’re offering straightforward cellphone services. Their simple, all-inclusive plans start at $15/month. No contracts needed.

Save this date – Sunday in the Park
Regent Park’s annual Festival is always a lot of fun. This year, it takes place on Sunday July 11 from noon to 4 pm at Lord Dufferin School (350 Parliament). Our new MPP Glen Murray will be the chief victim at the dunk tank. As well, there’ll be a barbeque, games for all ages, raffles and prizes and entertainment. For more information, call Bianca at (416) 363-4234.

Cabbagetown renovations
Keen eyed observers will notice that construction and renovations are happening everywhere on Parliament and Carlton. There’s a new site for the Bell Mobility store, the Ben Wicks is wrapping up its outdoor patio work, the store at 242 Carlton is getting a fresh coat of paint, the old Timothy’s Tikka House is being rejuvenated, there’s a new Rainbow Restaurant at 587 Parliament and the offices at 552 Parliament are being reno’ed. No Frills has joined the trend with extensive work on the roof and repairs and repainting along the outdoor walls.

Friday, 18 June 2010

There’s music all over Cabbagetown

But first…

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The 2010 Tee Shirt Season has arrived

Kristin bought a beautiful Cabbagetown Tee shirt this week. And then graciously agreed to be our 2010 model to launch our new sales season. You can look as good as she does – for just $10. Drop in to 237 Carlton Street and pick out your size. Our Tees are available in a wide range of colours, all black.

Our Music on Parliament Street Series
Michael Brennan is our musician this week. He’s a Cabbagetown favourite, singing genuine alternate country in his unique gentle style. Saturday June 19, noon to 4 pm, Winchester and Parliament.

Jazz on Gerrard
The Gerrard stores are a hidden corner in Cabbagetown so we’ve decided that it’s time to highlight them. Jim Heineman’s Trio will play their marvelous jazz offerings there from noon to 4 pm on Saturday at Ontario and Gerrard to liven up the scene and the local stores have prepared specials to draw your attention.

Foxy Boutique
Michelle is still holding her store-wide 50% sale. Foxy has vintage clothing and jewellery and the store is full of interesting inventory. 251 Gerrard.

Leslie’s store has art, glass, dishware, lighting, furniture and knick-knacks from mid-century to modern styles. 249 Gerrard

Cabbagetown Pet Clinic
Grooming is a regular part of the Cabbagetown Pet Clinic. Janet Colquhoun has long provided grooming services in our neighbourhood and she’s now affiliated with the Cabbagetown Pet Clinic. 239 Gerrard.

Kiden Thrifty Shop
Just across the street, Aya Kiden’s Thrifty Shop features clothing, furniture and jewellery. 246B Gerrard.

Jordano Skin Care
Rose Jordano has operated her beautiful spa here for over twenty years. She has a wide range of rejuvenation treatments for both men and women. 252 Gerrard

Old Cabbagetown Physiotherapy.
Dr Minh Hao is a registered physiotherapist and chiropractor and his services also include acupuncture and massage. New this year – he has a special golf fitness session. 255 Gerrard.

Donate to the Children’s Book Bank
The Book Bank provides free books and literacy materials for children in our area. Whenever you drop in, it’s full of young people browsing the shelves, talking to staff and “checking out” their daily selections. You can help – donate a gently used children’s book (but please, no magazines, no adult books and no books that are severely beaten up.) 350 Berkeley (at Gerrard)

Soccer at the Cabbagetown Youth Centre
The CYC’s evening soccer program is now underway. Kids who may not otherwise have a chance to play in an organized league are given this special opportunity. Last year, over 20 teams were formed, each one sponsored by local businesses. The CYC needs $300 for each team to buy jerseys, equipment and awards. If you can help, please call June at (416) 960-1032 or email her at

Green’s Antiques
Green’s is full of intriguing stuff. You’ve probably noticed it regularly passing by along Parliament. They also have a really good web site, telling you about their services and how to coordinate with them for a successful contents sale. Check them out at 529 Parliament

Father’s Day at The Stonegrill
The Stonegrill has a special $25 offer for Father’s Day, Sunday June 21. For every $100 on your meal tab (before gratuities and taxes), they’re giving a $25 reduction. This is a real bargain. You may recall that the BIA held our annual Chairman’s Awards evening in this beautiful room just a few weeks ago. It was a huge success, thanks to the care and quality of The Stonegrill’s service. 51B Winchester.

Aberdeen Avenue picnic
Every year, Aberdeen residents have a picnic – a day when they congratulate themselves and their neighbours for having the good fortune to live on Aberdeen. This year, they had a big crowd and, it seems, a good time.

World Cup update
The Samovar Room (51A Winchester) is now open daily to host World Cup soccer fans. They have a good selection of drafts and other adult refreshments, pub fare appetizers and a great big television screen. In short – all the basic necessities for a good time.

Father’s Day at Kendall & Co
Kendall & Co (438 Parliament) makes it easy to shop for your Father’s Day gifts. In this picture, for example, we have (clockwise from the upper left), a man’s best friend and his cigar, a salad wrench to toss a macho salad, a stylish wine accessory box, a USB-man for go-go-gadgets, elk bookends and door stoppers, and a crystal highland liquor set. Good stuff, all of it.

No fat at Cabbagetown Organics
This weekend’s specials include the 750 g size of Organic Meadow yogurt, plus organic strawberries at $2.99/carton and Kettle Chips (2 bags for $4.50). 499 Parliament.

Fresh Ontario produce
Mark at St Jamestown Steak & Chops (516 Parliament) is now bringing in more and more fresh Ontario vegetables. He has strawberries at $4.99/carton as well as broccoli, zucchini and organic asparagus. The selection gets bigger each week as the summer rolls in.

Feta Toppers at The Epicure Shop
Patty has Feta Toppers dips in three flavours – balsamic and ginger, sundried tomato and piri piri. They are, as she says, really good. Buy one at $5.99 and get a second one free. 473 Parliament.

Lookin’ good
Melanie Redman is back now from her South American adventures and we’re really pleased to welcome her home. Among her other projects, she’s been a strong supporter of Cabbagetown’s Nuit Blanche where her cheery enthusiasm made a lot of tough jobs seem easy. We found her talking at Jet Fuel with Doug Hurlbut (who was working up his strength for an afternoon of FIFA soccer at the Samovar.)

Friday, 11 June 2010

Music on Parliament Street
Our first two weekends have been pleasant successes. This week, one of our favourite groups, Ian Hamilton’s Trio, will make their third annual appearance in Cabbagetown with jazz at Winchester and Parliament. Saturday June 12, 1 to 4 pm.

Construction at the Ben Wicks
Robert assures us that it’s business as usual at The Wicks (424 Parliament) even though it looks from the outside as if the whole place is under construction. In fact, the work is progressing nicely. The upper railings, sidewalks and stairs are being repaired. The front windows (which have long plagued Robert) are being replaced. When that work is finished, the flooring on the patio will be restored. Gonna be nifty – as usual. For now, drop in for a pint and dinner, both inside and out.

The World Cup
The Wicks is planning several dates when early opening hours will apply so that you can enjoy an entire game broadcast live from South Africa. Robert is studying the schedule and watching the final rounds to decide actual dates. We’ll keep you informed.

Our first new garden
The community garden at Prospect and Parliament is now underway. The asphalt has been removed and the gardeners will arrive on the scene next week. This is the start of the summer landscape projects that will add bright patches of colour and beauty to our business area. This garden is the twin to one across Prospect beside the Pizza Pizza. It promises to be another award-winning effort. People living nearby will water, tend and cheer along the plants as a labour of love.

Foxy has a 50% sale
When we visited Foxy Boutique (251 Gerrard E) this week, Michelle reminded us that she has a 50% sale happening on many items throughout her store. This is a fun, funky spot full of vintage clothing and jewellery – well worth a visit.

Bagel lovers rejoice
Cabbagetown Organics (499 Parliament) has Western cream cheese in stock as well as a whole freezer full of their other products. This weekend, they’re offering a 250g tub at $4.99 (regularly $5.49). And throughout this weekend as well, organic strawberries are on sale at $4.99 (regularly $5.99). Drop in on Saturday – Amar is hosting a tasting of olive oil.

Wine aerators at Kendall
Kendall & Company (438 Parliament) have a perfect Father’s Day gift suggestion. This aerator has been endorsed by wine connoisseurs and sommeliers all over the world. It’s simply the best. Specially engineered to mix wine and air perfectly as they’re poured, it creates a better bouquet, improved flavour and a smoother finish. (At the BIA, our wines don’t get an opportunity to age in the bottle or to breathe once opened, so something like this will be a major improvement.) It’s packaged in a beautiful box and travel pouch. One more reason to visit this beautiful new store.

Sharon has a summer sale
Sharon (503 Parliament) is making room for new merchandise. Dresses are on sale from $34.99 and men’s pants from $19.99. Summer hats are listed from $12.99. She also wants you to check out her new $19.99 rack.

Italian ceramic dinner ware
Patty at the Epicure Shop (473 Parliament) sells more than good cheese, coffee and pastries. This week, she has an Italian ceramic pasta dinner set for four at the amazing price of $19.99/set. Pizza plates at $9.99/each. She recommends them as great gifts. She’s also promoting her brownies (good idea!) – buy one and get another at half price. And fresh buffalo mozzarella has just arrived from Italy, a great addition for your summer salads and with fresh tomatoes, basil, olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

Cooking with Elie
Monday June 14 is Elie’s final class for the Spring session and he’s ending with a lovely menu, “Working with Poultry”. Chicken drummettes (appetizers), duck confit with sautéed potatoes and sauteed mushroom persillade (main course). We can only imagine that the after-class dinner is really yummy. For more details, go to Provence Delices website and follow the links, 12 Amelia Street, (416) 924-9901.

Number 9 office space
Here’s a golden opportunity for a media professional looking for a Toronto home base. Number 9 has an office available upstairs in their multimedia production facility. For more information, call (416) 348-8718. Located in the heart of Cabbagetown at 222 Gerrard E.

Lookin’ Good
Our federal Member of Parliament, Bob Rae (514 Parliament) dropped into the BIA last week, no doubt in search of lots of earthy wisdom. Instead, it turned into a fun photo-op. Outside our front door, he met Tom and the two of them qualified for our latest “lookin’ good” entry.

Friday, 4 June 2010

Chairman’s Awards
Every year, business people from the Cabbagetown BIA get together for a party. We tell each other how terrific we are. Our 2010 edition was held last Wednesday at The Stonegrill (51B Winchester) and over 100 people attended.
It’s a beautiful room and a perfect size for our event. Mukul and his staff did a marvelous job for us. The food was wonderful and all the service was very well organized.

But before we get to that, here are some important reminders:

Music on Parliament Street
This week, we’re hosting Donna Green & the Moo’d Swings (country favourites) at Winchester and Parliament and Snooky Tynes (bebop) at Spruce Street. Saturday afternoon from noon to 4 pm.

Soup’s sale happens on Saturday
From 10 am to 5 pm, you’ll be able to enjoy the arts and crafts sale at Soup (6031/2 Parliament). There’ll be handcrafted greeting cards, preserved flowers, rare and unique seeds and plants, prints, jewellery and lots more. Soup is located just south of Wellesley, beside Cranberries.

Hidden Gardens & Private Spaces
Organized by the CPA, this annual self-guided tour of eleven Cabbagetown gardens is one of our Springtime highlights. Marjorie Harris will be the Gardening guru – she’ll be signing copies of her new book in one of the gardens on the tour. Tickets are $10 at Mi Casa, Fairway Garden Centre and Kendall & Co before Sunday and $15 on Sunday. And there’s a bonus – ticket holders will get special discounts and gifts at Barracuda Home & Garden Accessories (527 Parliament), Ben Wicks Pub (424 Parliament), Kendall & Co (438 Parliament), Mi Casa (238 Carlton), Starbucks (483 Parliament) and Stonegrill (51B Winchester). The Tour takes place on Sunday June 6, 10 am to 3 pm.

Designer Dare and Double Take’s 10th anniversary
Saturday is the day. The party happens at 306 Gerrard from 12 to 4 pm. Drop by for family fun and lots of bargains.

New tarts at Epicure
Patty has Dufflet’s fresh strawberry tarts (only $1.50 each). We can report that the sample we ate was absolutely delicious, especially with a little side order of Reunion Island Coffee. (As you can understand, these tasting samples are a real occupational hazard – our little bodies are starting to round out and fill in at an alarming rate.) She also has Dutch Beemster Vlaskis back in stock and on special – come in over the weekend for a sample. The Epicure Shop, 473 Parliament.

Centre Shift happens this weekend
Presented by the Canadian Children’s Dance Theatre, the performance happens on Friday June 4 and Saturday June 5 at 8 pm and on Sunday June 6 at 2 pm. For details, click here: Tickets are $18 and $28. Winchester Dance Theatre, 80 Winchester.

Mi Casa has placemat art
Alex and his friends at Mi Casa are collaborating with independent artists to bring you handmade, silk-screened silicone mats. They won’t crease or rip and they’re easily washed. They feature creative, playful designs. Save some trees – just use them and wipe clean. 238 Carlton.

Cooking with Elie
Two more classes are scheduled for June and then Elie takes a summer break. This Monday June 7, he’s working on appetizers: Du Puy lentil salad, roasted beets, frisee salad, raspberry vinegar dressing, and olive oil and citrus dressings. His classes feature demonstrations, hands-on practice and an enjoyable meal as a finale. Provence Delices, 12 Amelia, (416) 924-9901.

Fresh and local at Big Mamma’s Boy
Michael Guenther at Big Mamma’s Boy has always supported local farmers and their fresh produce. He now builds his Tuesday menus around his farmers’ weekly visits and his own shopping at the Riverdale Farmers’ Market.

Stolpman Winery at JAMcafe
There are still a few seats left for Saturday’s tasting. Stolpman is a California based winery offering organic, Rhone-style wines. Av Atikian has planned a special menu to highlight the best qualities in each serving. The winemaker will be present to answer your questions. For a full description, click here: Saturday, June 5, 6:30 pm, $45. For reservations, call (416) 921-1255. 195 Carlton.

Now, more about our Awards evening

This year, nine awards were given out.

Mitch Cohen from The Daniels Corporation (left) and Mitzi Hunter from Toronto Community Housing (right) each accepted an award for their companies’ role in successfully launching the new Regent Park.

Michael Haddad (centre) was given his award for the extensive renovation of his beautiful building at 548 Parliament.

When Ryan Taylor from Fair Trade Jewellery Company (523 Parliament) accepted his award for his outstanding interior renovation of his store, he brought along his brand new daughter Etsuko and told the room to thunderous applause that she was his finest creation.

Kendall Williams (centre) from Kendall & Co (438 Parliament) was recognized for his efforts to bring people into Cabbagetown.

Merion Clement (left) was given an award for the beautiful window displays that are so regularly mounted at Simmons Flowers (540 Parliament).

Barbara Campbell represented The Bargain Shop (429 Parliament), chosen because of the high quality of their customer service.

Tom and Emilio were given their award for launching The Sweet Creamery (521 Parliament) and they were also warmly congratulated for their recent marriage.

Four people came from the Cabbagetown Preservation Association and the Tour of Homes: Helen Coltrinari (not pictured here - past chair of the CPA), Kendall Williams (left - 2008 Tour chair), Bruce Prouty (second from right - 2009 Tour chair) and David Pretlove (right - new CPA chair). Their award recognizes their hard work and success as volunteers.

Two past BIA Chairs, Merion Clements and David Weenen.
David was thanked for his longstanding and effective service to our BIA and to the Cabbagetown community.

Congratulations everyone.

Gerry takes our Tee to Greece
Gerry spent a delightful few days in the Greek Islands with the sea in the background, the scenic village all around him and a bottle of wine ready for every meal. This took its toll – but our Tee shirt helped him remain cool and stylish throughout.