Friday, 28 January 2011

We’re in the middle of an amazing growth spurt.
Over the past few weeks, every day seemed to bring an announcement of another newcomer settling into our neighbourhood. Me to We opened their dazzling store, Mylk Uncookies is charming Gerrard Street shoppers, Underdown Pub has music every night, Merryberry is wowing brunch and lunch munchers – all of these within the past few weeks. Looking back just a few weeks further, we’ve welcomed Labour of Love, Butter Chicken Factory, Kendall & Co, the TD Bank, Athena, Rainbow.
Our latest arrival is Stout Irish Pub, described below.
From our offices, we can see several more projects coming very soon.
Each new business brings fresh designs and new shopping experiences to our streets. Nice stuff, all of it.

Stout Irish Pub

Erin Gamelin’s new pub has opened with a great buzz. Featuring “comfort food with class”, local sources and Ontario craft beers, Stout combines a traditional pub atmosphere and the feel of a home away from home. The site has been completely rebuilt and beautifully furnished. There are big fat leather chairs, dark wooden floors, red brick walls and a lovely fireplace. Toronto Life has written a good review at and there are already very favourable comments appearing on the food-and-drink blogs For menu details, lots of photos, hours of business and more, go to 221 Carlton.

Sharon’s last weekend
In the middle of all this new growth, it’s sad to report that Sharon’s will close after this weekend. Stop in to her store for a last goodbye and see if there’s a goodie that you want to take away with you. She still has some store fixtures for sale – a magnificent jewelry case, an oriental display case, various chrome clothing racks and some miscellaneous office equipment. 503 Parliament

Patty loves Valentines
So she has a store full of goodies for the big day. This week, she’s featuring homemade ginger cookies and Dufflet’s whoopee cookies. (with yummy strawberry cream filling). There’s also a jar full of Valentine jujubes that you can win – just fill in the entry card and you’ll be in the draw. She also wants to remind you that her special for today is homemade tomato sauce with DeCecco pasta at half-price. On Saturday, she has her original breakfast bagel melt for only $1.99 and on Sunday, you can buy a brownie or a square and another one at half price. 473 Parliament.

All of You Wellness Centre
Don Edwards is the director of the Wellness Centre that’s opened at 179 Carlton. He and his staff provide mental health services for better living - individual and group psychotherapy, relationship life and career coaching, couples and family therapy, mediation, parenting coordination and clinical hypnotherapy. The initial consultation is free and they offer student and special needs rates. 416-972-6622

One Hundred Years at Central Neighbourhood House
CNH has been a vital part of Cabbagetown life for a century. During this time, they’ve supported our families, immigrants, street people, new mothers and seniors. They’ve given hope to the poor, direction for young people and opportunities for newcomers. You can see an amazing slide show about their history at
This year, CNH is coming to the neighbourhoods that they’ve served to celebrate their birthday. In February, they want Cabbagetown to laugh in the face of winter at their Riverdale Park Winter Festival. On Sunday February 13 from noon to 3pm, there’ll be sleigh rides, games, hot chocolate, free hotdogs and toboggan rides for everyone. There’ll be music by local artists including Cabbagetown’s acclaimed children’s entertainer Jack Grunsky. Keep this date – more details to come.

Wales, Ireland, Scotland and Kentucky in a glass
Caroline at Big Mamma’s Boy is a whiskey expert. She’s bringing us the benefit of her knowledge on February 7 at 7 pm, hosting a tasting evening with whiskies and a four-course, prix fixe meal. Her theme is UK/Ireland meet bourbon – it should be a great evening. Reservations are recommended (416-927-1593). $65/each.
She’s also giving advance notice that Valentine’s reservations are now available. BMB is hosting a prix fixe dinner that promises to be perfect for couples and groups. $35/each.

Square dance tickets
Tickets are now available for the special Cabbagetown Square Dance that’s happening on Saturday February 26 from 6 to 10 pm in the Parish Hall, St Simon the Apostle Church, 525 Bloor Street. Whiskey Jack and Al Calhoun are featured performers. Reaching Out Through Music provides opportunities for children in St James Town to experience music regardless of their age or ability. The Square dance benefits the project. Tickets are $10/each and they’re available at the BIA office, 237 Carlton, 416-921-0857.

Our flag flying in Africa
Patricia sent us this photo of two Maasi junior elders displaying our flag in Amboseli Park in the south eastern part of Kenya. Thanks everyone – a very nice souvenir.

Friday, 21 January 2011

Rediscovered rare varietals
On Wednesday January 26 at 6:30 pm, JAMCafe is again holding an evening of wine tasting and matching hors d’oeuvres. Seven rare varietal wines (one Spanish, two French and four Italian) are being poured. Some date back to the 15th century and are rediscovered treasures. These tastings often are sell-outs, so reservations are recommended, (416) 921-1255. $40/each. 195 Carlton.

Get your tickets now
Cabbagetown Square Dance. Enjoy a family friendly evening on Saturday, February 26, 6 to 10 pm in the parish hall at St Simon The Apostle Church (525 Bloor). Reaching Out Through Music sponsors musical and social opportunities for kids aged 6 to 14 living in St James Town. Learn more about this program at
The dance features Duncan Fremlin and Whiskey Jack with Al Calhoun. Tickets are only $10 and they’re on sale now at the Cabbagetown BIA Office, 237 Carlton.

Mi Casa’s big sale
Alex at Mi Casa (238 Carlton) has chairs, lamps, mirrors, pillows and lots of other furnishings on sale for 50 to 70% off. It’s always a pleasure to drop in here – the store is always full of beautiful furnishings and decorations. Their sale will go on to the end of January.

Winter Sale at Kendall & Co
Kendall & Co Design & Decor has a 50% off sale going on, featuring lamps, serving ware, wine and bar accessories, candles, home fragrances, bath accessories and lots of other accent décor. They’ve got an idea to warm our hearts – just mention the secret code word, “BIA”, and you’ll get another 10% discount – your savings will be up to 60% off the original sticker price. Up a few steps at 438 Parliament, just across from Spruce Street.

Leslie at Eclectisaurus still has her promotion underway with her new neighbour. Buy a delightful coffee at Mylk Uncookies (253 Gerrard) and save at Eclectisaurus (249 Gerrard). Leslie is offering a 20% discount on any item in her amazing store when you show your receipt from Mylk Uncookies. It’s a great idea.

Customer Appreciation Week at The Epicure Shop
Patty is holding her Customer Appreciation Week. She has something new for you every day. On Monday, buy a breakfast sandwich and get your medium tea or coffee free. On Tuesday, Reunion Island coffee is only $9.99 a pound (save $3). When you buy a lunch special on Wednesday, dessert is free. For Thursday, buy a prepared salad and you’ll get one free. On Friday, you’ll get DeCecco pasta at half price when you buy Epicure’s homemade tomato sauce. Your breakfast melt is only $1.99 on Saturday. And on Sunday, buy a brownie or a square and get another at half price. 473 Parliament.

Don’t forget our three Winterlicious restaurants.
It starts next Friday and everyone is taking reservations now. JAMCafe (195 Carlton) , Provences Delices (12 Amelia) and Stonegrill (51B Winchester). You'll find links and details in the Newsletter column on the upper right.

Early French Immersion
Learn more about the benefits of a French immersion education (SK – Grade 8) for non-francophones. Your child can be enrolled now. The information evening happens at Winchester Jr Public School, 15 Prospect St, on Thursday January 27 at 7 pm.

Thanks, Luciano
Luciano is moving from his Parliament Street No Frills to a new assignment. His neighbours along Spruce have found him a very helpful friend and they held a small party to wish him well. Eric tells us that Luciano “civilized the truck situation” to ensure both safe passage and orderly, quieter deliveries so the nearby residents wouldn’t be bothered. He also, as we know, continued to upgrade the store’s offerings and he supervised a fresh facade renovation. From everyone in Cabbagetown, thanks and best wishes, Luciano.

Travelling Tee’s
Joan and Lu, together with three grandchildren, traveled to the Dominican Republic over Christmas. Weather, food, hospitality, beaches – all of it made for a great holiday. The T-shirts didn’t hurt either. Many thanks, folks, for taking our souvenirs along with you.

Friday, 14 January 2011

World Jazz for Haiti
Over the past year, George Rondina at Number 9 Audio (222 Gerrard) has produced and promoted a two-disk album with songs from seventy great jazz artists. Proceeds from its sale benefit the Canadian Red Cross and George gave them their first cheque for $7000 last week. His efforts were headlined on this CBC National News report For lots more information about the album and where you can get it, visit

Rare wines at JAMCafe
On Wednesday January 26, Av Atikian is again hosting one of his remarkable wine tastings. This time, it’s a presentation of seven rare varietals, one Spanish, two French and four Italian. Some of these rare varieties date back to the 15th Century. Av will prepare his special hors d’oeuvres to match each tasting. Tickets are $40 each and reservations are recommended (these tasting sell-out). Menu and wine details are on JAM’s website at 195 Carlton, 416-921-1255.

Merryberry adds delivery services
We hate to discourage anyone who wants to visit Merryberry (559 Parliament), our new café on Parliament just south of the gas station. The décor is very pleasant and very whimsical. But you can’t always get there so Cyril has started a lunchtime delivery service. Just give him a call to find out the details and the daily specials. (647) 348-0411.

Coffee at Epicure
This week, Franca is promoting Epicure's house blend coffee. Buy a cup for only 49 cents. It’s freshly brewed all day long. While you’re there, check out her ceramic pizza plates, on sale at half price, only $7.99. 473 Parliament.

Don’t miss the sale at Eclectisaurus
Leslie really likes having a new café nearby. It adds a pleasant touch to this row of Gerrard Street stores and she wants to encourage it. So, here’s the deal. Drop in to Mylk Uncookies (253 Gerrard) and have a nifty cuppa coffee and a snack. Save the receipt. Show your receipt to Leslie at Eclectisaurus (249 Gerrard) and buy anything in her store at a 20% discount. The sale continues to January 31.

Foxy’s New Year sale
Michelle is continuing to offer 50% discounts on all of her in-store inventory. She’s bringing new items regularly to keep her offerings fresh. 251 Gerrard.

New cards at Labour of Love
Regina has been very busy through the holiday season talking to her customers and learning what you’d like from her store. She’s made some decisions. Her raunchy greeting cards have been a hit – she says it’s due to your “high demand and low-brow humour” - and she’s keeping them for you. Then, she’s adding a new high-quality line of more formal, traditional cards. To make space for her new inventory, she’s offering all of her cozy mitts and hats and a selection of her purses on sale at 20% off. There’s more at And try to guess who modelled for this picture!

Livelite at Big Mamma’s Boy
On Monday January 17, Big Mamma’s Boy is launching a special partnership with livelite. As mentioned here before, Caroline and Michael have an ongoing commitment to organic, naturally raised and individually prepared dishes and to creating a relaxing place for you and your family. Their partnership with livelite is a way to pursue a good diet and healthier lifestyle without sacrificing taste and enjoyment. Their new menu will be unveiled at Monday’s launch. You’re invited – come to Big Mamma’s Boy to learn how livelite will help you to make a difference in your own life. 554 Parliament.

Bricks for the park
Late last year, we told you about Randy Brown’s campaign to sell bricks to upgrade the walkways in Riverdale Park. When you donate a brick, your name is inscribed on it – a permanent record of your generosity. Inside Toronto did a good article about Randy’s campaign - Your gift of $100 or $150 will help create a badly needed facelift for the park. For more information and to learn where to send your gift, email

Tee shirts around the world
We’ve been receiving some amazing pictures as our Tee shirts travel to every corner of the globe. Today’s photo comes from Louise – her brother, Gene, is serving as a civilian with the NATO forces stationed in Afghanistan. Our thanks to him for sharing his photo and our best wishes for a safe tour of duty while he’s there.

Friday, 7 January 2011

Sharon’s clearance sale
Sharon has decided that her 25-year run with her business has come to an end. (Sadly – very sadly - for the rest of us.) So throughout January, she’s having a blow-out sale. She wants to clear out her inventory and there’re some great bargains. Men’s shirts and pants, for example, are priced at $20 and Thermos jackets normally costing up to $150 are on sale at $40. So drop in and say hello, wish her well and get a bargain. Businesses are reminded that Sharon has some very desirable store fixtures that she’s selling – including a jewelry showcase, computer and keyboard, wire racks and display grids. Sharon’s, 503 Parliament.

Winterlicious in Cabbagetown
Each year, Winterlicious is a huge success right across Toronto. Three Cabbagetown Restaurants are joining the event this year.
JAMCafe offers a $15 three-course lunch and a $25 three-course dinner. 195 Carlton, (416) 921-1255,
Provence Delices also has both lunch (three courses, $20) and dinner (three courses, $35).
12 Amelia, (416) 924-9901,
Stonegrill has a three-course meal at $35. 51B Winchester, (416) 967-6565,

Patty’s helping with your New Year’s resolutions
It doesn’t matter what you resolved, Patty’s here to help. If dieting and good taste are your goals, then pick up some Dutch cheese – Cantenar is only 14% butter fat and Slanke Anke is only 9%. On the other hand, maybe you’re too skinny and you want to put on a few pounds. If so, try some Italian Torrone (buy one and get a second at half price) or some gingerbread cookies (buy one and get another one free!). The Epicure Shop, 473 Parliament.

Underdown is open
We’re hearing good reviews from people who have visited Underdown (263 Gerrard) for a bite to eat and for the music. Open from Tuesday to Sunday, 5 pm to 2 am. It’s a cozy room that makes the music even better. There’s a new group every night usually starting at 8 or 9 pm. Check the website for menu and event details –

Mylk Uncookies
And while you’re exploring along Gerrard Street, stop for a coffee and pastry at Mylk Uncookies (253 Gerrard), our newest coffee shop. Ideally located in the middle of this block. You’ll like this cheery new place - great coffee.

Eclectisaurus sale
Leslie at Eclectisaurus (249 Gerrard) is really happy to have a new coffee shop as her neighbour. So she’s teaming up with them on a lovely sale idea – come into her store with any receipt from Mylk Uncookies and save 20% on Eclectisaurus’ offerings. Everything in the store is on sale. It’s a perfect way to get ready for Valentine (for example, get your sweetie a unique piece of vintage jewellery and save 20% while you’re doing it.) The sale runs from Wednesday January 12 to January 31 – open Wednesday to Saturday (noon to 7 pm) and Sunday (noon to 6 pm.)

Indulge yourself at Kendall
For the past few weeks, you’ve been totally focused on other people. Now it’s time to treat yourself. Perhaps you’ve been secretly admiring Kendall’s lamps, framed art prints, servingware, bathroom accessories, candles and wine accessories. Come now and enjoy their Winter Sale prices. Up to 50% off. Monday to Friday, 10 am to 6 pm and Saturday 11 am to 5 pm. Just up a few steps at 438 Parliament, across from Spruce.

Livelite at Big Mamma’s Boy
Caroline and Michael have an ongoing commitment to organic, naturally raised and individually prepared dishes and to creating a relaxing place for you and your family. As part of this, they’ve partnered with livelite. It’s a way to pursue a good diet and healthier lifestyle without sacrificing taste and enjoyment. Their new menu will launch on Monday January 17 at 6:30 pm. You’re invited – come to Big Mamma’s Boy to learn how livelite will help you to make a difference in your own life. 554 Parliament.

Cooking with Elie
Elie’s starting his cooking classes again and his January line-up looks yummy. On Monday January 10, his theme is cooking with sea bream. Then it’s salmon (January 17), charcuterie (January 24) and vegetables (January 31.) His classes start at 6:30 pm and they feature hands-on techniques. Each evening, he ends the sessions with a tasting of that day’s work and a glass of wine. $99/session. To reserve a spot, call (416) 924-9901. Provence Delices, 12 Amelia.