Friday, 26 November 2010

Henry of Pelham at JAMcafe
Henry of Pelham is a favourite winery for many people and this event promises to be an exciting evening. Proprietor Daniel Speck will introduce six of his wines and Av Atikian will prepare a special menu to match each one. The wines include Cuvee Catherine Rose, 2008 Sauvignon Blanc, 2005 Riesling Reserve, 1999 Cabernet/Merlot Reserve, 2005 Baco Noir Reserve and 2002 Riesling Icewine. Smoked rainbow trout, Upper Canada’s Niagara Gold cheese, organic chicken curry, braised elk short ribs, potato gnocchi, and lavender honey and ricotta crepe. It all sounds very yummy indeed. $40/each. Reservations recommended (416) 921-1255. Wednesday, December 1st, 6:30 pm, 195 Carlton Street.

Simmons has your Christmas flowers
Christmas is a time when flowers complete your celebrations - whether it’s a gift or a special decoration for your own home. Merion and Tina are happy to arrange your flowers in your own personal vase (just bring it to the store and they’ll use it for your selections.) A few days’ notice always is appreciated and ensures that you get the flowers of your choice. From now until Christmas, open from Monday to Saturday. 540 Parliament.

Home for the holidays at Riverdale Farm
Next Saturday December 4 from 10 am to 7 pm, the Farm has a full day of special events planned for you and your family. There’ll be displays in the Museum, treats from the baking oven, gifts at the Shop, crafts and activities in the Meeting House. A special guest and his reindeer will make an appearance throughout the day in the Farm. And to finish everything off, there’ll be a singing and the lighting of the Simpson House Tree at 6:45 pm in the Drive Shed. Riverdale Farm, Riverdale Park, Winchester and Sumach.

Daniel et Daniel
When Mount Sinai Hospital held a fundraiser hosted by celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay, they chose Daniel et Daniel to cater the event. 500 guests enjoyed their meal and watched the chef’s challenge. Held in the Carlu, it was a glittering evening and a major launch for this annual event. Congratulations to the staff at D+D for another successful evening. To find out more, click here: http://www.bizbash.com/toronto/content/editorial/19540_inaugural_mount_sinai_gala_puts_guests_in_the_kitchen_with_gordon_ramsay.php

A reminder
El muerto que no es visto no es adorado. This is Fernando Lara’s night at Jet Fuel. Many of us know Fernando from Cabbagetown Organics. Now we’ve learned that he has a life in the theatre as a director and an actor. He’s presenting his play at Jet Fuel (519 Parliament) next Friday night, November 26 at 8:30 pm. There are only 50 seats, so don’t delay – call (647) 458-6262. Tickets also at the door, $15/each.

Cabbagetown Spaw Four Paws
Diane Cole’s new grooming service opened in September at the corner of Ontario and Carlton. She’s had lots of previous experience grooming our pals. She operated a store in the Beaches previously and her customers from that location have followed her to Cabbagetown (where they appreciate her bright storefront and the convenient parking.) She offers complete grooming including show grooming to CKC standards. She welcomes pedigrees and pooches, puppies and seniors. (416) 420-0678. 204 Carlton.

Me To We Store
Me To We is a social enterprise and a partner for Free the Children. 50% of the profits are reinvested in Free the Children. They’ve just opened a beautiful new store at 223 Carlton. The manager is Emily and she says that her mandate is to stock socially conscious products that are made in Canada and are fair trade goods. You can read about the store at http://www.metowe.com/shop/store. Drop in and see their clothing, jewelry, accessories, travel accessories, books, CDs and DVDs. You can get more information about Free the Children’s overseas trips and leadership programs as well.

Congratulations to Salon 214
Nicky, Ginger and Dennis have been working in their new space at 214 Carlton for a while now. Their salon is a beautiful room with new floors, lots of mirrors and a very comfortable waiting area.

Hey Beauties, it’s that time again
Foxy’s monthly bargain blitz is on now. 50% savings on most inventory. The store is bursting with spectacular evening and party wear, outdoor wear, amazing sweaters and blazers, tops, bottoms and oodles of accessories. Michelle says “get your booty down here sisters and check it out …at half the price, it’s gonna be wild.” 251 Gerrard.

Christmas baskets from Lennie’s
Carol is creating special Christmas baskets designed just for your personal tastes. She’s got selected seasonal specials that she’s offering only during the Christmas period. You can look through these selections and build your own customized baskets. These are great gift ideas full of goodies that will fit perfectly for the person who receives them. 489 Parliament.

Patty’s Christmas specials
Watch for the flyer from Epicure Food Shop – it’s being delivered to homes throughout Cabbagetown right now. It has lots of news about Patty’s gift baskets, party platters and catering specials. This weekend, Epicure has a special offer on Stash Teas – buy one package at $3.89 and get a second one free. For Hanakkuh, she has packages of twelve milk chocolate Gold Coins for $1.50/each, another great holiday bargain. Quebec’s Cendrillion has been judged the best cheese in the world and Patty is featuring it this weekend at $6.99 each. 473 Parliament

Easy shopping at Kendall & Co
At Kendall & Co, Christmas shopping is easier than ever. Take advantage of their new online holiday gift guide at http://kendallandco.ca/fyi/holiday/holiday-gift-guide/. Enjoy their personalized Gift Basket service – they’ll create your gifts and they offer free local deliveries as well. From now until Christmas, the shop is open for extended hours on Fridays and Saturdays until 8 pm. Three new ways to avoid the crush at the malls and still get the best for your gifts. 438 Parliament across from Spruce Street.

Don’t miss it
Kendall & Co have a Christmas party planned for Sunday December 5 from noon to 5 pm. In the store at 438 Parliament. Ring in your holiday with drinks, treats and festive music. Please RSVP at holiday@kendallandco.ca

Whiskey tasting at Big Mamma’s Boy
Caroline has announced her plans for her first whiskey tasting, happening on Wednesday December 1. Please reserve at (416) 927-1593 or at caroline@bigmammasboy.ca There’s a four-course meal plus 2 whiskeys and 2 bourbons for your tasting, $65. 554 Parliament. 554 Parliament

Update on the fire at 454 Parliament
So far, only the House on Parliament has reopened. Graham from Capability Brown is still working for his customers at the House on Dumont (200A Carlton at Ontario). There’s no word yet about Superstein or Grasshopper.

Friday, 19 November 2010



The fire on Parliament Street
On Tuesday, fire erupted in the upper floors in the building housing Grasshopper and House on Parliament (454-458 Parliament). The apartment on the north end seems to have been the centre of the blaze. It has been destroyed. There’s a hole in the roof above this unit, considerable damage to the front window and the interior seems to be blackened and wrecked. Reports so far indicate that some businesses have been damaged.
The House on Parliament reopened the next day and is now back in business, largely because over the years they’ve built an independent electrical system. They also credit David Weenen for helping immediately when trouble started.
Graham Leslie at Capability Brown reports that his hair styling salon is okay but he also needs electrical service. In the meantime, he’s moving to the House of Dumont (200A Carlton) to serve his customers without interruption.
Grasshopper is waiting for final electrical inspections. This could be time consuming. Water came into the Grasshopper’s room but flowed straight through to floor drains without causing a lot of harm.
Superstein suffered some water damage. They’ve moved their clothing inventory out of the building and they need some repairs and electrical service.
For more information and a youtube video, click here: http://www.xtra.ca/public/Toronto/Cabbagetown_gay_business_burnt_in_Tuesdays_blaze-9428.aspx

The BIA holds its annual meeting
Our 2010 Annual Meeting was held last Wednesday at Athena Restaurant (488 Parliament). Our host, Jimmy, provided finger foods for our members with an emphasis on Greek nibblies. By all reports, they were delicious. This newly renovated room is a nice size for a medium sized gathering and provides both privacy and enough space for a comfortable group. Too bad the evening didn't drag along - we're hearing very good reviews about Jimmy's breakfasts.
The BIA has passed its 2011 budget. Our 2011 program includes additional street landscaping, a bigger emphasis on Christmas events, our springtime Music program and the 2011 Festival. Keep reading down the page – the full explanations are given below.

Festive dinners from Daniel et Daniel
Cabbagetown’s award winning caterer, Daniel et Daniel (248 Carlton),have just announced their plans for their annual festive dinner. You can spend less time in your kitchen this year. Just order a complete meal for your holiday party and your Christmas festivities. Find out more about it, including contact information at Daniel et Daniel’s Facebook page or call (416) 968-9275.

Sharon’s Christmas gifts
Last week, we told you about Sharon’s new Christmas inventory. She really likes her new sequined berets – modeled here by Barbara Mercer. They’re only $29.95. She also wants us to mention her new line of Christmas jewelry, starting from $15 – earrings, broaches, necklaces and bangles. 503 Parliament

Cheese at Epicure Shop
It seems that we regularly notify you about another new line of cheese being offered at Epicure. Patty really knows how to find delicious new brands. This week she has Cape Vessy grand champion goat cheese from Fifth Town Artisan Cheese in Prince Edward County. And from Bothwell, a BC producer, she has maple smoked 2-year old cheddar. She’s inviting you into the store over the weekend to try some samples. 473 Parliament.

Buy a brick and fix up the park
Randy Brown and the group at Cabbagetown Art & Crafts have an ingenious idea for improving Riverdale Park. They’re selling bricks to place in the walkways. Buy a brick to put into the new sidewalk and your name will appear on it as a valued donor to the project. You can also make a lasting Christmas gift – buy one dedicated to your family or friends. The group has donated $5000 to get the ball rolling. For $100, you can have your names engraved on two lines. For $150, you get four lines. To get more information and to donate, contact Randy at cabbagetowncraft@aol.com.

More info about Foxy’s new inventory
Michelle has just acquired some wonderfully vintage clothing, shoes and jewelry. Since she has so much inventory, she’s opening on Mondays as well. Check out Foxy on Facebook for pictures and details. 251 Gerrard.

El muerto que no es visto no es adorado
This is Fernando Lara’s night at Jet Fuel. Many of us know Fernando from Cabbagetown Organics. Now we’ve learned that he has a life in the theatre as a director and an actor. He’s presenting his play at Jet Fuel (519 Parliament) next Friday night, November 26 at 8:30 pm. There are only 50 seats, so don’t delay – call (647) 458-6262. Tickets also at the door, $15/ea.

Whiskey tasting at Big Mamma’s Boy
Caroline has announced her plans for her first whiskey tasting, happening on Wednesday December 1. Please reserve before November 27 at (416) 927-1593 or at caroline@bigmammasboy.ca There’s a four-course meal plus 2 whiskeys and 2 bourbons for your tasting, $65. 554 Parliament.

Labour of Love
Regina has lots of new arrivals for your Christmas needs. Come into her store and check it out. 242 Carlton.

Christmas at Kendall & Co
Kendall Williams has designed a brilliant orange wreath to hang in the window at his marvelous shop. A collection of festive ornaments surrounds the wreath – evergreen trees, silver mistletoe, forest critters, mercury glass acorns and origami cranes made from fine bone china. Visit the store for lots more – 438 Parliament across from Spruce.

Details about our BIA’s plans for 2011

Parliament Street landscaping
This is very expensive stuff. It works best when we can do it in a partnership. A lot of the new plans are very exciting.
The northeast corner at Carlton is a good example. In 2010, we worked with George Foulides, the developer of the new bank building, and with the City of Toronto. You can see the new stonework on the boulevard and the new planter boxes and trees. In the next few months, we’ll add finishing touches with a bike rack and decorative lights. In the spring, we’ll plant lots of flowers in the boxes. As the trees mature, this corner should grow into a softer, comfortable spot. In 2011, we’ll continue on the south side of Carlton. More trees, planters and new stonework will give this side a finished look as well. In 2010, we were partners in two other gardens. The residents at Prospect Street designed and planted a garden at Prospect and Parliament. Next year, it’ll have lots of daffodils and annuals as well as the new perennials that have already been planted. The BIA supports this financially.
John Bernardo, the owner of the Winchester building, planted a neat little garden on the sidewalk at the corner of Winchester and Parliament. It’s a lovely highlight at that location. The BIA made a financial contribution to John’s initiative.
In 2011, the north side of Winchester will be refreshed under the sponsorship of the Don Vale Cabbagetown Residents Association and the City of Toronto. The pavement will match the Carlton Street boulevards. New trees will replace the dead ones there now. The BIA will contribute a bike rack and we’ve asked the City to add a garbage container. We’ve also asked that a flat area be built near the corner to provide “scooter” parking so people visiting the coffee shops have a place to leave their vehicles instead of blocking the sidewalks – a major irritant currently.
Anniversary Park has long been an eyesore. We’ve put a small amount of money aside to begin planning how it can be fixed. We know that Pam McConnell will support this initiative. The Daniels Corporation and the Yonge Street Mission are also very interested. We’d love to create a much more attractive, useful park and a gateway into this part of our community.

Flower pots on the street poles
Both Toronto Hydro and the TTC have been tough to deal with. In 2009, we put up our first 30 flower pots. They were lovely. We had plans to expand this to 60 the next year. In 2010, Toronto Hydro went into some kind of bureaucratic spasm and stopped us dead in our tracks. Now the TTC is piling on.
We aren’t going to quit. Both the TTC and Toronto Hydro have wires and poles along our streets that drag down our efforts to beautify the place. The flowers offset that ugliness. We’re going to keep pushing because we think this is the best for our community.
A quick aside. The BIA Minutes from the BIA meeting for June 18, 1975 (yes – 1975!) list some streetscape improvements for the area. Point 7 says “overhead wiring such as hydro lines should be placed underground.” Groan.

The Cabbagetown Festival
In recent years, it’s been expanding. Our attendance is growing, our street vendors are more attractive and the entertainment and food are exceptional.
We have several plans in the works.
The parade should be a bigger event, marching from the Distillery north to Cabbagetown.
We’re going to continue the dog shows and art exhibits on Carlton Street.
We want more vendors who emphasize the arts and crafts.
We need a bigger area for kids to have some fun.
We want to use the internet more aggressively to promote the weekend.
We want to expand opportunities for local entertainers and for groups from Regent Park, St Jamestown and Cabbagetown.
All of this is incredibly expensive. The costs can be mind boggling. So we’re expanding our fundraising efforts.

Other interesting projects
Our Music on Parliament program works well. In 2011, we’ll expand to Gerrard Street and also return to Carlton.
We hope to revamp our web site and to use the internet more aggressively.
We want to add new decorations for the street for the Christmas holiday period.
If possible, we’ll add a community information kiosk at Gerrard and Ontario.

Friday, 12 November 2010

Dance fundraiser at the Stonegrill
Here’s a great combination for a lovely evening. Graduating students at the School of Toronto Dance Theatre are hosting a fundraiser at the Stonegrill. There’ll be dance performances (of course), a live DJ and great nibblies from Stonegrill. Drinks during the event will be $4. It’s happening tonight, Friday November 12, from 10 pm to 2 am. The cover charge is $6 and proceeds go to the students’ activities including a Montreal trip and the students’ 2011 show. 51B Winchester.
Hey Foxy fans
Michelle has just handled an estate sale and she has some fabulous new inventory. She calls it “the mother load of amazing blouses, sweaters and jackets, a flashback from the ‘80s.” She also uses words like hot, sexy and retro glam. So it’s gotta be good. All of it is in gorgeous condition and some has never been worn. Foxy Boutique, 251 Gerrard.

Wine tasting at JAMCafe
The second tasting of Prince Edward County wines happens at JAM on Tuesday November 16, 6:30 pm. Winemakers from two wineries – Norman Hardie Winery and Hinterland - will be present and Av will again have a special menu to complement the wines and draw out their best character, including Matane shrimp paella, muscovy duck breast, and smoked sturgeon. JAM’s tastings often sell out so reservations are recommended. Call (416) 921-1255. Tickets are $35 for each evening. 195 Carlton.

Sharon’s getting ready for the holidays
Back by popular demand, Sharon’s 100% cotton Victorian-style nighties. They’re a really cozy Christmas gift. You can add some glamour to your wardrobe this season with snazzy sequined berets and a fabulous crocheted cape. New items are arriving every week – gloves, hats, scarves, coats and much more – and on the $20 rack, there’s something new every week. Sharon still has a layaway plan. 503 Parliament

Goodies at Gourmet Burger
It’s a good time to visit Gourmet Burger (482 Parliament). If you go there between 3 and 6 pm any day in November, you’ll get a free order of fries with your burger. Students can also take advantage of their 15% discount – check out the discount card available next to the cash register. And for the rest of us, there’s a Gourmet Burger gift card – if anybody has plans for my Christmas, think Spicy Cajun Burger and gift cards!

New from France at The Epicure Shop
Patty has a new goodie from Lyon, the home of France’s finest foods – Rosette, a charcuterie that will accompany wine and cheese remarkably well. She has it priced at $9.99 to introduce it (regularly $12.99). And for those with an incurable sweet tooth, she’s still selling Phipps’ cupcakes, voted the “best in Toronto”. These cupcakes are, of course, good for dessert and for hostess gifts at parties but they’re really wonderful when you eat them all by yourself. 473 Parliament.

Onirak is now a wholesaler
Onirak Fashion (423 Parliament) has long offered fashionable imports at amazing prices. Runa Begum tells us that Onirak is now a direct importer and is offering their clothing lines at incredible wholesale prices.

Christmas at Kendall & Co You can deck your halls with adorable holiday decorative ornaments from Kendall & Co (438 Parliament across from Spruce). They’re eco-chic and exquisitely made. Portions of the proceeds from each sale with be donated to a non-profit wildlife federation. Kevin reports to us that customers are already snapping them up and he suggests that you think big with them – hang them at home, at work and even in your car. There are lots of other lovely Christmas decorations on display now so drop by and check them out.

World Jazz for Haiti
World Jazz for Haiti is a fundraising project developed by Number 9 Audio (222 Gerrard) as a contribution to the Canadian Red Cross relief efforts for that battered country. It’s a two-disk album offering music by world renowned jazz artists. It’s now also available as a digital download on CD Baby and it’ll soon be available at both iTunes and Amazon. For all the detail, visit http://www.number9.ca/

A reminder - keep these events on your calendar

Whisky tastings at Big Mamma’s Boy Caroline is launching a series of whisky and bourbon tastings at Big Mamma’s Boy (554 Parliament). She’s an expert and these nights are guaranteed to be exciting. The first is scheduled for Wednesday December 1. There’ll be a fixed-price menu and tastings of single malts and bourbons.

Riverdale Farm Advisory Council
The Council is holding its 2010 annual meeting on Wednesday December 8, 7 pm in the Residence Building at the Farm. New members are welcome. If you know someone who wants to serve, nominations are open and should be sent to dheldridge@yahoo.ca For more information, contact Daniel Eldridge, the Council chair, at (416) 456-7787.

Reel World Film Festival
The 11th anniversary for Reel World Film Festival (438 Parliament) takes place next April. Submissions from filmmakers are now open. If you have a feature, documentary, short, music video or animation, submit it now. For all the details and guidelines, click here: http://www.reelworld.ca/




Friday, 5 November 2010

NOW Magazine readers’ poll
Two Cabbagetown spots have earned first place in their categories in the 2010 NOW Readers’ Pick.
Daniel et Daniel (248 Carlton) once again won as the city’s best caterer.
House on Parliament (456 Parliament) won for the city’s best pub fare.
Congratulations to both for well-deserved awards.

Cesar was warmly welcomed
Dale and the staff at Pet Valu (240 Carlton) hosted a well-run, heavily attended reception for Cesar Millan last Sunday. He’s an internationally recognized television star and his appearance here in Cabbagetown was widely anticipated. It was a great occasion. Cesar is a gracious personality. He arrived early and stayed until everyone in the line had met him. He took a genuine interest in each person, giving everyone a chance to say hello and talk. And he obviously enjoyed meeting the dogs who showed up as well.
There was plenty of media coverage of his visit, including this Toronto Star story: http://www.thestar.com/news/article/883800--dog-whisperer-laps-up-puppy-love-in-toronto

Wine tasting at JAMCafe
Prince Edward County wines are highlighted at two JAM tastings this month. Tonight at 6:30 pm, Frederic Picard, the winemaker at Huff Estates, will talk about six wines Р2006 sparkling, 2008 riesling reserve, 2009 rose, 2007 chardonnay, 2007 cabernet/merlot and 2008 first frost. To match the wines, Av has prepared tiger shrimps, hunan chicken, fresh salmon, risotto, elk short ribs and cr̬me brulee.
On Tuesday November 16, winemakers from two wineries – Norman Hardie Winery and Hinterland - will be present. Again, Av will have a special menu to complement the wines and draw out their best character.
These tastings often sell out so reservations are recommended. Call (416) 921-1255. Tickets are $35 for each evening. 195 Carlton.

Something nice to write home about…
Kendall & Co now have a great selection of holiday greeting cards in stock. They’re done on handmade paper in a choice of brilliant colours. You can buy them individually or in a set. 438 Parliament across from Spruce.

BICYCLE at the CYC
The Cabbagetown Youth Centre has launched an after-school program for young people on bike repairs. The participating kids are mainly from St Jamestown and Regent Park. The aim for each student is to learn bike repairs and then to fix up a bike that they can take home at the end of the course. Click here to read the Toronto Sun article about the new program last weekend: http://www.torontosun.com/news/torontoandgta/2010/10/30/15889406.html

Whisky and bourbon at Big Mamma’s Boy
Those of us who know Caroline aren’t in the least surprised that she’s launching a series of whisky and bourbon tastings at Big Mamma’s Boy. She’s an expert and these nights are guaranteed to be exciting. The first is scheduled for Wednesday December 1. There’ll be a fixed-price menu and tastings of single malts and bourbons. Details will follow. Everyone at BMB is proud of Yuki’s championship creation at the Iron Bartender competition in late October. His winning cocktail is called Highland Voice and it’s now BMB’s signature drink – stop in and try one soon. 554 Parliament.

Riverdale Farm Advisory Council
The Council is holding its 2010 annual meeting on Wednesday December 8. 7 pm in the Residence Building at the Farm. New members are welcome. If you know someone who wants to serve, nominations are open and should be sent to dheldridge@yahoo.ca For more information, contact Daniel Eldridge, the Counmcil chair, at (416) 456-7787.

Movember at Number 9
The men on staff at Number 9 Audio (222 Gerrard) are sprouting moustaches to create awareness throughout November of prostate cancer. It’s a challenge – start the month clean-shaven and keep growing until your moustache is a ribbon for men’s health. The men at Number 9 have formed the Derek Smalls Appreciation Society and they’re collecting donations at the front office and online until December 9. http://www.number9.ca/movember-time/

213 Carlton
If you want a top rated Bed & Breakfast in Cabbagetown for visiting family and friends, you can’t go wrong at 213 Carlton. Don’t take our word for it, go online to http://www.tripadvisor.com/ and read any of the 326 reviews that appear there… “great location”, “home away from home”, “wonderful stay”. These are typical comments. Even my own brother loved it when he visited last summer. Toronto Townhouse, 213 Carlton, (416) 323-8898.

Reel World Film Festival
The 11th anniversary for Reel World Film Festival (438 Parliament) takes place next April. Submissions from filmmakers are now open. If you have a feature, documentary, short, music video or animation, submit it now. For all the details and guidelines, click here: http://www.reelworld.ca/