Friday, 29 April 2011

2011 Forsythia Festival

Cabbagetown officially welcomes spring with our annual Forsythia Festival. This year’s 40th anniversary Festival takes place on Sunday May 1. It’s a lovely blend of activities, food, face painting, neighbourly gossip and entertainment. There’s a lot of fun for kids so take your family along for a good time in the park. The opening parade starts at 10:30 am in Riverdale Park (Sumach and Winchester). From 11 am to 1 pm, the day’s program happens in Wellesley Park (at the end of Wellesley). Our thanks and congratulations to the many volunteers who make this day such a pleasant event.

What a crazy weekend...
We’ve had a royal wedding, volatile voters in the federal election and Ontario’s inaugural Ultimate Fighting Championship bout. This is fun stuff. As usual, of course, the big things are happening here in Cabbagetown.

Royal wedding celebrations
A couple of Cabbagetown folks are joining the craziness to celebrate Kate and Will’s nuptials

Mylk Uncookies (253 Gerrard) has a special Royal Menu just for this weekend. It features raw shortbread tea blossoms, Earl Grey cupcakes with honeybutter cream, lemon butter melt aways and London fogs. Plus their trademark coffee and selection of fine teas. These folks can bake, so don’t miss this chance. Drop in on Saturday (9 to 6 pm) and Sunday (9 to 5 pm).

Simmons Flowers (540 Parliament) wouldn’t let a wedding slip by unnoticed, especially this one. Their window display says it all. Congrat’s Merion and Tina.

Mother’s Day is coming
Beading at the Me To We Store. On Saturday from 1 to 3 pm, you can learn the art of Kenyan beading at the Me To We Store (223 Carlton). The workshop is part of their Mothers’ Day campaign, From My Hands to Yours.

Labour of Love (242 Carlton) want you to celebrate your own favourite Queen Mother. Regina has lots of special ways to give her the royal treatment. Drop by Labour of Love next weekend, May 7 and 8, and you’ll get free wrapping on your gifts. If your purchase is more than $100, you’ll get a free gift as well.

Simmons Flowers (540 Parliament) has fresh shipments of roses, hydrangeas, tulips, freesias, gerberas and more. All these lovely flowers can be delivered to your own special Mom’s home.

Kendall has stuff for Mom Kendall & Co are featuring ceramic trays and serving ware, hand decorated with painted florals. They’re attractively priced from $32 to $53. And their 50% off sale continues – you’ll find all sorts of items to impress Mom and Mother-in-law. Click here to see all of it: Located at 438 Parliament, just across from Spruce.

The Hike for Hospice
On Sunday May 1, the Hike happens in Riverdale Park (Sumach and Winchester). It’s a fundraiser to help Alliance Hospices. Registration starts at 10 am, the hike at 11 am and lunch at noon.

Ultimate Fighting Championship
These are guys who like to get together and pummel the daylights out of each other. Their first bout in Ontario happens soon here in Toronto. To launch their event, they’re giving thousands of dollars to Ontario agencies working with kids. Of course, they immediately turned to the Cabbagetown Youth Centre and gave them $10,000 as their first gift in this campaign, a timely donation that the CYC can use to replace equipment damaged in a recent flood. The ceremony took place in the CYC’s newly renovated gym last Thursday.

Justin Skinner from Inside Toronto wrote a very good article about the gift at There was another report in the boxing blog, Ringside Report, at

Get stumped at Stout
Erin at Stout Irish Pub (221 Carlton) hosts a Pub Stumpers night every Tuesday at 7:30 pm. It’s a live trivia competition for teams of one to six people. On Saturday nights, there’s always live music from 9 pm – featuring this week the Irish Guys joined by special guests, The Last Calls. And don’t forget that every Sunday afternoon from 3 to 6 pm features a Ceili with Irish musicians playing traditional music followed by a delicious prime rib dinner (a bargain at $19).

The Bargain Shop is renovating
TBS is a favourite store for many Parliament Street shoppers. TBS headquarters has decided to renovate our store (429 Parliament) to bring in more products and offer more convenience shopping. Our new store manager is Akim who’s supervising the onsite upgrading work and of course, Barb is a familiar face for TBS customers.

Cave Spring at JAMcafe
More details are coming now about JAM’s tasting night to honour Cave Spring’s 25th anniversary. It’s a six-course dinner highlighting eight of the winery’s special vintages. Owner Thomas Pennachetti and winemaker Angelo Pavan will join Av Atikian to present the meal and its wines. Click here for all the details: Thursday, May 5, 6:30 pm, $100. Call for reservations, (416) 921-1255. 195 Carlton.

Caroline has been very busy lately. On Wednesday, she welcomed supporters of Fife House, a program that provides secure and affordable housing for people living with HIV/AIDS. She donated 25% of her evening’s proceeds to Fife House and she says that the place was bursting at the seams. For May, she’s designing a new pizza and the proceeds from its sale will go to Friends For Life bike rally – the famous ride from Toronto to Montreal that she joins each summer.

Spring 2011 Art Tours
Anyone who has joined one of the Art Tours in the past can tell you that it’s a marvelous evening. The organizers say that it’s a rolling party where fifty people enjoy looking at the art in three featured homes while nibbling on various courses in a gourmet dinner. Mary Ann Hawkes will play jazz piano. The tours sell out, so we suggest that you get your tickets quickly. You can order online at or in person at Kendall & Co (438 Parliament). Saturday May 14, 6:30 to 11:30 pm.

CNH’s Spring concert
Last Thursday night, Central Neighbourhood House hosted a children’s Spring concert at Lord Dufferin School. Kids from six schools and more from groups like UforChange entertained a packed gym. We can personally tell you that it’s impressive to be in a gym full of little kids who are all having a great time. CNH is holding events like these all through the year. As a part of their 100th anniversary, they want to connect with their neighbours in the ways that were popular in the past and bring wider awareness to our community of their work. This year’s Spring concert succeeded.

Federal election reminder
It all happens, of course, on Monday May 2, from 9:30 am to 9:30 pm. If you need information about where and how you vote, please call 1-866-281-5086 or visit (then type in your postal code in the box provided and follow the instructions to locate your info.)