Friday, 15 July 2011

Let’s save Riverdale Farm
When did Riverdale Farm become part of the gravy train? The City’s “Core Services” review has concluded that $1.3 million can be saved if three farm facilities in the parks are shut down. City Council will hear community reactions (on Thursday at 9:30 am in Committee Room 1 in City Hall) and then vote on this issue.
The Farm is an absolutely vital part of our Cabbagetown community. For business people in the BIA, it’s an important draw into the neighbourhood. Daily during the summer, we meet visitors (yesterday it was a family from Manchester England) who want to walk through the area and go to the Farm.
Of course, for residents from Regent Park, Cabbagetown and St Jamestown, the Park and the Farm are part of the fabric of our lives – for picnics, a good gossip with our friends, a ball game and a walk with our dogs.
You can help the Farm and prevent this from happening. Here’s how --
First and very important! If you know someone from outside our community, recruit their help. We need to expand beyond Cabbagetown if we want to succeed.
The Friends of Riverdale farm have set up an emergency Facebook page at!/pages/Riverdale-Farm-Toronto/101628989895157
Anne Pastuszak is part of the group who’ve been working on improvements to the park. She’s collecting a petition to present to City Council next week. You can get a copy of it by email at
You can phone (416-392-7916) or email Councillor Pam McConnell ( . She’s working to save the Farm and she needs your help.
Your own voice is your biggest weapon here. You can email the committee directly ( and your submission then is part of the official record. You can go down to City Hall to make a personal submission on Thursday but you have to register by phoning 416-397-7796.
However you do it – be sure to speak up and help our Farm and our community.

I went over to the Farm at lunch time on Friday and I was amazed. The place is full of little kids from all over the city. They’re having a great time. They mingle with the chickens and they get a good look at all the other animals. Here’s a link to a few photos that I snapped on my trip -

Congratulations Edwin
Last week, we held a special draw to give away a new Tee shirt to one of our Facebook members. The lucky winner (for him and for us) is Edwin Dumont from the House of Dumont Hair Studio (200A Carlton). It would be very hard to find anyone else who can make our Tee look so sophisticated and rakish.
Click on the Facebook logo on this page and join our group for regular news updates and for a chance to be part of future draws and prizes.

Best wishes to Elie
After a distinguished 32-year career as a chef and restauranteur, Elie has sold his business on Amelia Street. He’ll continue to be part of our neighbourhood as the building’s owner. Provence Delices is part of Summerlicious and once that’s over, he’ll wind up his affairs. For wine lovers, he’s got a special finishing touch – his cellar will be opened at 30% discounts from today until July 24. For fans of good food and fine cooking, there’s also good news – his cooking classes will continue and he’ll still sell his duck confit and his artisanal charcuterie. Contact him at (416) 924-9901, 12 Amelia St.

Auditions for the Canadian Contemporary Dance Theatre
CCDT (509 Parliament) is looking for dancers to perform with Canada’s finest young contemporary dancers. The auditions happen on Sunday July 17 from noon to 2 pm. Dancers must be between 13 and 20 years olf and have at least two years dance experience in both ballet and modern dance. Audition fees are $30. Pre-registration is required either at (416) 924-5657 or through the website at

Summerlicious is in full swing
Two Cabbagetown restaurants are taking part. Call for reservations.
Provence Delices, 12 Amelia, 416-924-9901,
Stonegrill, 51B Winchester, 416-967-6565,

Me To We current events night
Kate Strachan has announced a new monthly series of community discussion nights on current and hot topics. The first is Tuesday July 19 from 6:30 to 8:30 pm at 223 Carlton. The topic is post-earthquake Haiti. There’ll be a W5 dopcumentary video followed by discussions with Free the Children’s country director for Haiti. This will be an amazing opportunity to learn from first-hand observations about Haiti’s progress since the earthquake.

JAMCafe has a summer menu
Av Atikian has announced his new summer menu with attractive new lower prices. They’re featuring elk and water buffalo (from Prince Edward County) and they’re already getting a positive response. As Av tells us, the prices but not the quality have been lowered. Watch, as well, for their announcement about their forthcoming 4th anniversary party. For reservations, call 416-921-1255 and visit 195 Carlton.

Good food at Young Thailand
Our secret reviewer, Lila Orbach, came into the office full of praise for the lunch that she had just enjoyed at Young Thailand. Not only was it “very good”, she also found the people “really pleasant” and the room “very comfy and very clean”. Lunch there is only $8.95 – Lila found it a “very good value.” 446 Parliament.

And speaking of good food…
Richard at Gourmet Burger now has scrumptious haddock burger on his menu. As Lisa demonstrates here, it’s covered with beer batter and topped with lemon dill tartar sauce. We also highly recommend that you enjoy your burger inside – the window seats are an amazing place for people watching. 482 Parliament.

Kendall & Co
Kevin at Kendall & Co (541 Parliament, just east on Winchester) is introducing a new line of table linens, placemats and table runners. They’re ideal for outdoor use – UV safe and waterproof fabric. The hand towels and napkins are soft natural linen with accent embroidery. All made locally.

Number 9 at ReverbNation
The studios at Number 9 (222 Gerrard) have been producing lovely music for a while. They’re now part of ReverbNation where you can hear several tunes now and more will be added shortly. Click here:

Have fun this weekend
On Saturday, Central Neighbourhood House (347 Ontario) is hosting A World of Neighbours Festival in Allan Gardens (Sherbourne and Carlton). There’s food, live music, games for kids, and lots more. It’s all free. Noon to 7 pm.
If you want to know more about CNH and about the Festival, you can listen to a short interview on CBC radio:

On Sunday, the CRC’s annual festival, Sunday in the Park, takes place at Lord Dufferin School (350 Parliament, just south of Gerrard). They have a barbeque, games, a riddle, prizes and live entertainment. This is always a fun event and well worth a visit. Noon to 4 pm.

It’s too hot to cook…
And the forecast for next week is “hot and steamy”. (Sounds kinda appealing.) Patty at The Epicure Shop (473 Parliament) recommends her prepared meals and salads. Her fresh fruit salad is selling out. And so is her marinated grilled chicken. So be lazy (and hot and steamy) and let Patty cook up something for you.

Abstract art at Labour of Love
Regina at Labour of Love (242 Carlton) is featuring lovely ceramic jewelry from Kari Lynn Bianchi. Each one is handmade from clay and is truly one of a kind. Her jewelry is made carefully and intuitively, a process that can take over three weeks from start to finish. The result is a piece that’s as unique as the person wearing it. To see more examples, go to

Finishing touches at Carlton and Parliament
This week, we installed two freestanding light poles on the boulevard at Carlton and Parliament. They add a decorative touch and they throw off enough light to add to the safety and comfort of the area at night. One last step will complete the work. We have a bike rack to place along the sidewalk for cyclists’ convenience.