Friday, 27 May 2011

A bloomin’ street
Once again, three stores have turned our street corners into gardens.
Fairway Market (520 Parliament) has a big garden centre at Winchester.
Jamestown Milk (592 Parliament) and Parliament Smoke (609 Parliament) have made the corners at Wellesley Street blossom.

One more week
The 2011 Garden Tour happens in just one week’s time. It’s on Sunday June 5 from 10 am to 3 pm. There are ten gardens on the tour and they’ll each be memorable. Author and television personality Liz Primeau is this year’s garden guru. Tickets are a bargain at $15. Several local places are selling tickets: Fairway Market (520 Parliament), Jay’s (360 Gerrard), Kendall & Co (438 Parliament), Mi Casa (238 Carlton) and the BIA Office (237 Carlton). You can also order online with Paypal -

Two more days
Friday and Saturday nights are your last chance to enjoy the Paris/Toronto Project at Toronto Dance Theatre. The Globe & Mail has said that this performance is “beauty in motion underpinned by power and strength.” May 27 and 28, 8 pm. You can get your tickets at the box office or online at $26. 80 Winchester.

Get your dinner and dance package
If you’re going to the Paris/Toronto Project, enjoy a three course, prix fixe dinner as well. For $52.95, you get ticket to the theatre and your dinner at Caroline’s (554 Parliament).

Congrat’s to TBS
TBS has had its official store re-launch. The opening happened last weekend and the refurbished store is now ready to go. TBS (formerly The Bargain Shop) now has a bigger range of inventory including lots of convenience items that you often need at the spur of the moment. Our thanks to Colin Grant from The Voice for his photo. Drop by and check out the goodies at 429 Parliament.

Goodies for chefs at The Epicure Shop
Patty’s featuring 4-year-old cheddar from Maple Dale Cheese (one of the last few family owned dairies left in Ontario.) For appetizers, she still has Summerfresh dips on special – buy one and get another one free. And she has flavoured olive oils on special as well at $5.99/bottle, a savings of $5 each – rosemary, basil, lemon and hot pepper. 473 Parliament

Regina’s thinking about dad
For Father’s Day gifts, Regina at Labour of Love (242 Carlton) recommends personalized album cover cufflinks. They’re designed by Toronto’s Barbie Basement Jewellery. Just bring in his favourite album cover and she’ll make it happen before Father’s Day. Check out her website at

Leslie’s Pop-up is ready to Pop-down
Leslie has been using the empty space next door to display her extra inventory while her landlord sorts out a new tenant. All’s well now and so she has to finish her pop-up. This is the last weekend for her extraordinary sale at Eclectisaurus – you won’t want to miss some of these exceptional bits of vintage and antique offerings, many priced in the $5 and $10 range. She’s put a nice short video on her site so you can get a preview of her stock - 349 and 351 Gerrard.

Kendall’s moving
Kendall & Co have run out of room at the current location. They’re holding a big sale to clear the shelves rather than move their stuff. They’ve reduced their prices by an extra 30% on furniture, indoor and outdoor rugs, lamps, framed art, servingware, home accents and accessories, and outdoor décor. You should get into their store – these are great sales. (438 Parliament across from Spruce.)

Caroline’s Diningroom& Lounge
Caroline Murphy is a big supporter of PWA’s Friends For Life Bike Rally, a multi-day ride from Toronto to Montreal. On May 31 from 6 pm onward, she’s holding a fundraiser to support them. Lots of prizes and a silent auction.
She’s now very busy in her restaurant. Her repairs and reno’s have finished up and she’s into action at full speed. She’s announced that her restaurant is now open all week. She’s hosting brunch on both Saturday and Sunday. All-you-can-eat mussels Mondays ($18) are back. And her comfy backyard patio is open daily. You can see her menu and events calendar at 554 Parliament.

Cabbagetown South giant garage sale
From 9 am to 3 pm, the entire area from Sherbourne to Parliament, Gerrard to Shuter becomes a massive garage sale on Saturday May 28. Thousands of items at bargain prices. The Cabbagetown South residents are coordinating the day and you can find out more at When you’re in that area, you’ll need to take a break so stop by Mylk Uncookies (253 Gerrard) for great coffee and baking.

Your reactions please
We’ve discovered that HOP has a twin. Yes, our venerable House on Parliament (454 Parliament) has a secret twin living in the French city of Bordeaux. It’s an English pub in the heart of wine country and it looks like a fun place. We want to contact them and tell them that there’s a great Cabbagetown gastropub with the same name, the same good food and the same fun attitude. We’d like to suggest a “twin” project. Any ideas that you have will be very well received. Contact us at

Speaking of France…
Our Tee shirt has taken another vacation across the pond. This time to the south of France to Peyre, one of the most beautiful villages in that region. Paul wore the Tee and cuddled up to Sharon, Gina and Marilyn. Thanks to Louise and Joanne for the photo. He says it was a wonderful trip.

Friday, 20 May 2011

A grand opening at TBS
The Bargain Shop, now called TBS, has remodeled and restocked to give their store (423 Parliament) a facelift and new inventory. This is big news for Cabbagetowners – everyone enjoys TBS prices and now they have plenty of convenience items as well. Stop in and say hello to Akim, the new manager.

The Me to We Store
The Me To We store (223 Carlton) will host an evening reception for the Cabbagetown community on Thursday May 26 from 6:30 to 8 pm. It’s a chance to show off the store and introduce Free the Children. Staff will make a few short welcoming remarks and then there’ll be a mingle with refreshments where you can look around, ask questions and learn more about their programs. The whole emphasis is on a relaxed informative evening so feel free to bring your family and friends as well. Please RSVP at

Cask beer at Stout
Cask beer is brewed from traditional ingredients and then served directly from the barrel where it’s made. It’s fresh, unfiltered and full of natural beer flavours. Stout Irish Pub (221 Carlton) now has it on tap and a fresh cask is opened every five days. Beer lovers should flock to this place.

Play with clay happens on Sunday
Kendall and Co (438 Parliament across from Spruce) are hosting “Promote our local” events and the first one takes place on Sunday afternoon. Two local potters, Gerri Orwin and Winnie Wong, will present samples of their work, discuss their creative processes and share their experiences with you. For more info about the artists, click here: These gatherings are meant to be informal, personal discussions. There will be two sessions – at 1 and 3 pm on Sunday – so please RSVP at

Don Vale Cabbagetown Residents Association
The DVCRA is holding its annual general meeting on Tuesday May 24 at 7 pm at the Toronto Dance Theatre (80 Winchester). It promises to be a memorable night. The official meeting will take about half an hour. Following that meeting, the special guest speaker, Christopher House, will talk about Toronto Dance Theatre – its history, its current productions and its future. He’s an internationally renown choreographer with a long personal connection to TDT. For more info,

Rapture Night at The Flying Beaver.
Saturday May 20 after Carla Collins’ show, you can dance the night away until the world disappears. DJ Garrick provides the tunes. No cover.
Thursdays are Wing Ding night with a pound of wings for only $5 in the pub.
On Friday, it’s time for a Retro Dance Dance Dance Party with DJ Carol.
On Sunday (if the world lasts that long!), there’s a T-Dance with DJ Dallas from 4 to 7 pm. Sunday’s also the time for a roast beef dinner at $10.95.
Tickets for Carla Collins show are $20. Available at the door and at 488 Parliament.

Supplies for your long weekend
The Epicure Shop (473 Parliament) has what you need to polish up your weekend barbeques. All Summerfresh dips are on special – buy one and get another one free. Meditteranee Yogurt in five flavours is only $2.99 and extra old white cheddar (great for cheeseburgers) is on special for the week.
Patty at The Epicure Shop is teaming up with the Me To We Store (223 Carlton) to feature fair trade coffee. On Tuesday, you can order a small coffee at half price and Me To We will pay the other half. It’s one small way to introduce the Me To We philosophy to us.

Number 9 sold their piano
And then they went out and bought another, just exactly the same. They had a trusted and beloved Bechstein which they sold to a client. Then they hunted everywhere and tested everything. And settled on another C Bechstein Concert Grand Piano for the studio so they can continue to provide the highest quality piano recordings in Toronto. Give it a test run – call (416) 348-7818 to book a short session. 222 Gerrard.

Kendall is bursting at the seams
And they’re about to move to a new location. To make life easier, they’re having a moving sale. They’ve got a “Now or never” attitude – get in to the store to enjoy 30% additional savings from their regular low prices on furniture, indoor and outdoor rugs, lamps, artworks, serving ware, home accents and accessories, outdoor décor and lots more. 438 Parliament (across from Spruce).

The Farmer’s Market is open
The Friends of Riverdale farm have long sponsored a farmers’ market in the park (Sumach and Winchester). It’s back again this year – every Tuesday from 3 to 7 pm. 28 vendors are listed for this year and they’re offering everything from Lake Huron white fish, fine cheese, wild mushrooms, seasonal garden veggies and honey. There’s a knife sharpener, a seedling nursery and pet food supplier.

Cabbagetown holiday getaway
This weekend, enjoy an extraordinary dance performance and have dinner at a great local restaurant. Caroline’s Dining Lounge (554 Parliament) is offering a three-course prix fixe dinner and a ticket for the Paris/Toronto Project at Toronto Dance Theatre (80 Winchester), all for only $52.95. Friday and Saturday May 20-21 at 8 pm, Sunday May 22 at 2 pm and Wednesday to Saturday May 25-28 (8 pm). Performances only, $26.

Stephanie’s flag gets around
Here she is in the midst of St Mark’s Square in Venice Italy. The photo is two years old. She was there for the Venice Biennale and, since it happens again this year, she’s sure that someone from Cabbagetown will be going and will take a flag and Tee-shirt to display again. If you look closely at the picture, you’ll see that the square was flooded. But, as the song says, “our flag was still there…”

Friday, 13 May 2011

Welcome Kelly

Kelly is a Ryerson student who’s just finished her 3rd year in Arts & Contemporary Studies. She’s joining us at the BIA to work on our Cabbagetown Festival and to help with a list of special events throughout the summer. Two of her bigger projects involve planning for the Festival parade and for the display areas for Cabbagetown artists. If you want to join either of these events during the Festival, contact Kelly at

We’re on Facebook
You’ll notice the icon on the right hand side of this page. Please click on it and join our group. You’ll get updates regularly as the Festival program is confirmed. Find out who’s singing on the street corners, where your favourite cold beer can be found, who’s selling special handcrafted jewellery and when our big events are happening. (In case you’re wondering, Kelly set this up – not Doug.)

Caroline’s medium pizza
Every year, Caroline Murphy joins the People With Aids bike rally between Toronto and Montreal. To help with the PWA fundraising, she’s offering a medium Caroline’s Classic Pizza throughout May – all the proceeds from its sale go to PWA. (416) 927-1593. 554 Parliament

The 2011 Art Salons Tour
It happens this weekend – on Saturday from 6:30 to 11 pm. It’s a tour of four gorgeous homes where you’ll meet new neighbours, see intriguing art and nibble on scrumptious goodies. At the last stop, you’ll enjoy jazz piano by Mary Ann Hawkes. $50/each - proceeds from the ticket sales support three local residents’ groups. You can get more information and buy your tickets online with Paypal at and at Kendall & Co, 438 Parliament.

Another welcome bit of news…
Merryberry Café (559 Parliament) has just been issued a liquor license. Cyril is serving sangria as his opening specialty throughout this weekend. Other adult refreshments will be added next week. He plans to keep light and tasty beverages like mimosa and sangria on his menu - perfect for the warm weather.

Me To We Yoga
On Tuesday May 17 from 6:30 to 7:30 pm, a one-hour yoga session is open at the Me To We Store (223 Carlton). Lots of space, a small crowd and plenty of one-on-one work with the instructor. $10.

Cheese and chips at The Epicure Shop
This weekend, Patty has two favourite cheeses from Fifth Town in Prince Edward County – Cape Vessy, a cow’s milk hard cheese and Lighthall Tomme, a prize winning goat cheese with washed organic rind. She also has falafel chips made from chick peas, a perfect match with humus. And, conveniently, her humus dips are on sale at $1.19/100 g as well.

Barracuda is full of beautiful pots
It’s Spring and Gerry’s store is chock full of beautiful outdoor pots, containers and accessories. Drop by to see how many different sizes, shapes and colours are available. He always puts samples in front of his store door and this year, he’s had them filled with lovely plant displays by Sheridan Nursery. 527 Parliament.

Introducing Carey and Marjan

They’re working at Fair Trade Jewellery Co (523 Parliament). FTJCo is open now for regular retail hours – from 11am to 6 pm from Wednesday to Sunday. Carey will be helping with the design work that’s involved with custom-made jewellery (that’s FTJCo’s specialty). Marjan reminds me that the store is still focused on fair trade and recycled precious metals and gems. Private appointments are still available.

Stout’s new patio
On Thursday, Erin held her official grand launch and she combined it with the official opening of her new patio. It promises to be one of Cabbagetown’s lovely hidden corners (where all kinds of stuff can happen quietly, or otherwise.) She’s also opened her first cask beer – at this report, we don’t know whether there’s any left but it’s worth a trip to find out. Her regular events are all lined up – Sunday’s ceili and prime rib dinner, the weekend brunch, Pub Stumpers on Tuesday night and Wednesday night with Zack Werner. 221 Carlton

Kendall’s “Promote Our Local” event
On Sunday May 22 from 1 to 3 pm, Kendall & Co are hosting their first “Promote Our Local” event. It’s an exhibition of works by local potters Gerri Orwin and Winnie Wong. The artists will present their works, talk about their art and share their experiences with you. For more info: There are two sessions and there’s no charge. Space is limited, so please RSVP and indicate whether you want 1 pm or 3 pm: 438 Parliament, across from Spruce.

Kendall also has Spring cleaning supplies
Sacred Lotus is a locally made, 100% organic line of cleaning products. They do the tough jobs – getting rid of the filth without leaving toxic residues. Available in several aromatic scents – sweet basil lemon, lemongrass pink grapefruit, lavender neroli and rosemary eucalyptus. They’re all available at special 20% introductory prices. Kendall & Co, 438 Parliament across from Spruce.

The Paris/Toronto Project at TDT
There’s a big mix of exciting dance events happening at the Toronto Dance Theatre (80 Winchester). French choreographers Alban Richard and Emmanuelle Vo-Dinh are featured in eight performances: May 19 to 21 (8 pm), May 22 (2 pm), and May 25 to 28 (8 pm). Tickets are $26 regular, $20 for students, seniors and CADA. To purchase online, click here: or call (416) 967-1365.
On Monday May 16, Phillip Szporer will host a discussion on Dancing Perspectives in France with Alban Richard and Emmanuelle Vo-Dinh. It’s a free event. 7 pm, 80 Winchester.

Caroline’s Dance & Dining Package
Caroline’s Dining Room & Lounge (554 Parliament) is offering a Dance & Dining special throughout the Paris/Toronto Project. It’s a three-course dinner plus tickets for the performance at Toronto Dance Theatre. $52.95/each. (416) 927-1593

Cuffed by Labour of Love
Regina wants her male customers to know that they’re appreciated. She has a new line of men’s jewellery from Montreal like these beautiful handcrafted sterling silver cufflinks. And, of course, she has lots of Father’s day cards in stock.. Go to to see more. 242 Carlton.

Congrat’s to the Prospect Street gardeners
You may remember that people living along Prospect and Rose have built a new garden right at the corner of Parliament and Prospect, next to the Butter Chicken Factory. Last Fall, Margaret and Chris sold daffodil bulbs to their neighbours on behalf of the Canadian Cancer Society. Their garden is now full of yellow blossoms, the results of a lot of hard work. They have big plans for this corner and we can expect more beautiful plants throughout the summer.

The 2011 Garden Tour
Tickets are now on sale. This is a very popular early Spring event and we recommend that you get your tickets as early as possible – they do sell out. The Tour happens on Sunday June 5 (10 am to 3 pm). $15. For more information and to buy your tickets with Paypal, visit You can pick up tickets in person at Mi Casa (238 Carlton), Kendall & Co (438 Parliament), Fairway Market (538 Parliament) and the BIA office (237 Carlton).

L’homme de Chouville
We’ve reported before about Ken’s personal Tour de France. He’s completed his journey – biking 3000 km since early March in a circular route around France. He discovered that cows stop and watch him as he rockets past them. People in cafes, on the roadside and in their cars have cheered him along and given him their help when he needed it. He stayed in hotels that are fleabags and others that are gems. He saw Canadian war monuments, beautiful small villages, inspiring city centers and even a restaurant called House on Parliament. He lost weight – and then started to gain it back when his son joined him and insisted on a proper meal. He has regularly called this his personal dream and he’s amazed that he’s achieved it. We give a lot of the credit for his success to his Tee shirt.

Friday, 6 May 2011

Eclectisaurus has a pop-up store

Leslie is taking advantage of some extra space in her neighbourhood to expand into a pop-up store. From now until May 28, she has a temporary location next door at 251 Gerrard and she’s holding an “as-is” sale of vintage and antique furniture, decorative smalls, clothing, jewellery, lighting and artwork. Save from 15 to 50% off. Many items at $5 and $10. New stuff arrives daily. 249 and 251 Gerrard.

Champagne for Mum at Stout
Erin at Stout Irish Pub (221 Carlton) loves Mums and she’s giving each one who visits for brunch and dinner on Mother’s Day a free glass of bubbly. Dinner on Sunday features a lovely jumbo prawn spaghettini sautéed in white wine butter with fresh parsley and parmesan. This is just the start of a very busy week at Stout. On Thursday, it’s time for a party. Beginning at 5:30 pm, Stout will celebrate a grand opening. It’s a bit late - Erin opened in January but she hasn’t had a chance to do her launch until now. So she's combining it with her patio launch. Come early (before 7 pm) and enjoy complimentary hors d’oeuvres, scotch whisky tastings, samples and gifts from Camerons Brewery. At 7 pm, Zack Werner starts performing. For more info, click here:

Young Thailand is now open
There’s been some curiosity about this new restaurant. They opened but didn’t have a sign and their publicity was very low-keyed. Now, everything’s done and they’re all ready to welcome you. Their liquor license arrived a week ago. Outside, their new sign is up and inside the dining room is beautifully decorated with white table cloths. So far, their most popular dishes have been royal pad thai and grilled red snapper. Lunch is from 11 am to 3 pm daily and dinner from 5 pm onward. 446 Parliament.

Caroline Murphy is expanding her weekend brunch service – it’s now available on Saturdays from 11 am to 3 pm. And her patio is open along with her special shawls for those who think it’s too chilly for Spring. Throughout May, tables of four or more who order a Caroline’s classic pizza will be supporting her in her July bike ride to Montreal on behalf of People With Aids. 554 Parliament.

Business people interested in Twitter
Linda Ogbeide is giving a talk at Merryberry Café (559 Parliament) on Wednesday morning May 11 from 8:30 to 9:30 am. It’s geared to business people who want to know more about this effective social networking tool. Topics include having conversations, getting followers, best practices and lots more that you need to know to succeed here. This event is sponsored by the Cabbagetown chapter of Business Networking International, a group who meet weekly and cover topics relevant to business people. $10.

Flowers for your mother
Mother’s Day is a big event at Simmons Flowers and they’re ready for the rush. They have great choices for you - lots of different flowers in stock to meet your needs. And they’re delivering on Mother’s Day (order by Saturday for Sunday delivery.) (416) 920-6580. 540 Parliament

And flowers for your garden
Contrary to popular experience, it really is Spring. Time to plan and plant your garden. Fairway Market (520 Parliament) has loaded up with plants, soil, fertilizer and other gardening necessities. Of course, flowers are the basic ingredient, but don’t overlook their basil plants - very yummy indeed. There’s something for everybody here.

It’s Spring at Mi Casa
When Alex holds a sale, it’s a big event. Over this weekend on Friday and Saturday only, all his regularly priced merchandise is on sale. He has gorgeous furniture, lamps, chairs, accessories and more – like these Jonathan Adler ceramics. All are available at 20% off. And search through the store for even better buys on specially marked items – 20 to 50% off. 238 Carlton.

Mother’s Day treats at Epicure Shop
Patty is featuring Phipps Mother’s Day cupcakes (beautifully decorated with pearls and flowers) along with Dufflet tarts, boxed chocolates and homemade pies and cookies. Cheese lovers will again enjoy her latest offering – fresh chevre from C’est Bon Cheese in St Mary’s Ontario. And from Quebec, she still has 2011 maple syrup and her lovely roast beef from Montreal is on special all week long. 473 Parliament.

Crazy catnip at Pet Menagerie
The main event in Pet Menagerie’s sale (at least in my house) is the wild catnip. It’s wild, organic and potent – very potent. You can get little cloth bags full of this stuff and then sit back and watch your cat go crazy. We did a test case at the store – Kaelo played with Oscar who couldn’t get enough of it. Buy one for $3 and get another free.

Mum’s gifts at Kendall
Kendall & Co have lots of gifts – handmade jewelry, picture frames, keepsake and jewelry boxes, home accessories, vases, tea sets, organic bath products and cards. You can save up to 50% on these fantastic presents. 438 Parliament (across from Spruce.)

Kendall’s first “Promote our local” event
On Sunday May 22, Kendall will host an event with two local potters – Gerri Orwin and Winnie Wong – whose latest works will be shown along with informal presentations by each one about their work, their creative process and their experiences. There’ll be two sessions and space is limited. So please RSVP and indicate which session you prefer – 1 pm or 3 pm. 438 Parliament (across from Spruce.)

Spring bbq-ing is starting up
Mark at St Jamestown Steak & Chops (498 Parliament) has started the barbeque season with his special chicken and beef kebobs. They’re available now. While you’re visiting his store, check out the many ways that he’s improved his meat and fish – with more local, organic and hormone-free offerings on sale. Read what Toronto Life says about his store at : .

Get your pet ready for Mum
Marilyn from Pawdicures is visiting Pet Valu again on Saturday from 10 to 4 pm. For only $10, your pets can have their claws clipped and trimmed. 240 Carlton.

Celebrate Mother’s Day with Labour of Love
Regina has lots of new arrivals and fresh ideas for your Mother’s Day gifts. Stop in and she’ll do a free gift wrap for you and for purchases over $100, she has a free gift for you as well. She gets new stock regularly and you can check it out here: 242 Carlton.

Cabbagetown pet lovers
A group of Cabbagetown dog owners is creating a community in our area. On Sunday May 15 from 4 to 7 pm, they’ll be holding a doggie-day in Riverdale Park to make everyone aware of their new group. There’ll be treats, photo opportunities, sessions on first aid and on local clinics, dog walkers and groomers. For more info, go to

Congrat’s to the Kiwanis Boys & Girls Club
We’ve told you already that the Kiwanis Boys & Girls Club at Spruce and Sackville is in the middle of big renovations. They have a fundraising campaign underway to help pay their share of these costs. Miles Nadal has contributed 1.55 million to the project, enabling them to expand their facilities and their program. There’s a very good article in the Toronto Star about his gift.

The Forsythia Festival
Another successful festival happened last Sunday in Wellesley Park. The parade and the crowd were bigger than usual despite the cloudy and threatening weather. The festival relies on the generosity of its donors and several Cabbagetown businesses supported the event: Cycle Solutions, Fairway Market, House on Parliament, Nettleship Hardware, Pizza Pizza, RePrint, St Jamestown Steak & Chops, Starbucks and Shoppers Drug Mart. Nadine from the festival organizing committee chats with Mark and his son Noah and in the background, you can see the Pizza Pizza jumping castle.

Ticket sales for the garden tour are underway
This is one of our most popular Spring events. The Garden Tour happens this year on Sunday June 5 (10 am to 3 pm) and tickets are available at several Cabbagetown outlets – Mi Casa (238 Carlton), Kendall & Co (438 Parliament), Fairway Market (520 Parliament) and the BIA Office (237 Carlton). They’re also available at Jay’s Garden Centre (360 Gerrard), Sheridan Nursery (2827 Yonge) and Bill’s Garden & Design (903 Pape). You can get more info and buy your tickets online with Paypal at $15 For more info,