Friday, 26 August 2011

Introducing MJG Gallery Mark Jeremey Gleberzon has opened his new gallery at 555 Parliament. He plans to use this space for his own art, for guest artists and for teaching and social events with Cabbagetown neighbours. Mark has been painting for twenty years and his work has been shown locally at One Of A Kind, Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition, The Artist Project, the Queen Street West Art Crawl and many other venues and he’s shown his work in Ottawa, New York, Chicago and Vancouver. You can see his paintings at and he’s on Facebook at MJG Gallery

It’s a Cabbagetown classic This year marks the 20th anniversary for the Cabbagetown Short Film & Video Festival. Save the date – Friday September 9 at 8 pm, Winchester Street Theatre. Featuring 16 films from around the world and around the corner – from Canada, Israel, Slovenia, Spain, Poland, the UK and the USA. Tickets are $15. Advance tickets at the BIA Office (237 Carlton) and at the box office (80 Winchester) from 7 pm on September 9.

Fixing up Carlton Street Daniel et Daniel are sprucing up their façade with fresh paint and more new colours. It’s part of a general renewal that they’re undertaking. They’ve already given the Food Shop (248 Carlton) an interior makeover. They’re also adding fresh paint to Reinhart MacMillan (244 Carlton) and Healthy Whey (250 Carlton). New benches and flower boxes are en route as well. All of this matches the appearance that they’ve given to their website,

K & C Co
Ahmed Ktaech, Kimberley Gignac and Laurence MacSween are the core team at K & Co, our new neighbour at 179 Carlton. They have an experience design firm that creates, imagines and redevelops brand experiences for better customer engagements. Their client list is impressive, ranging from Delisle Youth Services, Second Clothing Company, the TTC, Sears, Modasuite, Zenporium Furnishings and Accessories, the Ontario NDP and the B & R Club. Last year, they contributed significantly to Joe Pantalone’s mayoralty campaign. You can check them out at

Michael Caplan at The Underdown The Underdown Pub (263 Gerrard at Berkeley) has one of the best music programs in Cabbagetown. Someone is featured every night. On Saturday August 27, Michael Caplan is there, singing his Sweet Hurtin’ Songs and accompanied by Steve Grant and Bill Coleman. 9:30 pm to 1 am. No cover.

Vintage and modern at Kendall Kendall has hand picked vintage finds like these antique work lamps. They add charm and warmth to your home, especially when paired with modern new accents. Kendall and Co also have tickets for the 2011 Tour of Homes. As a special bonus, when you buy your ticket, you can enjoy a special 15% discount on all of their regularly priced accents and accessories. It’s also the store to buy your Cabbagetown Tee-shirt. 541 Parliament, entrance off Winchester.

It’s a busy weekend at The Flying Beaver Paul Bellini returns with his Flatus Film Festival – see clips that have never before been seen and were never meant to be seen. On Saturday and Sunday, Jessica Kirson, the funniest comic on the planet, is here. On Sunday from 11 to 3, it’s brunch time. 488 Parliament. Info at

Double Take at the Cabbagetown Festival Kathy Webster, the manager at YSM’s Double Take (310 Gerrard), has announced their Festival line-up. They’ll be part of the parade, offering clowns and free balloons along the way. At the store during the day on Saturday from noon to 4 pm, they’re planning a special sidewalk sale with lots of goodies available for just a buck or two. Since 1999, Double Take has earned a reputation as Toronto’s best outlet for gently used clothing, furniture and housewares.

Parliament Street Writers at the Festival The Parliament Street Writers meet every Monday at 6:30 pm at the Parliament Library (269 Gerrard) to encourage and work with each other along the road to publication. This year, they’re hosting a reading at The Flying Beaver (488 Parliament) during the Festival – Sunday September 11 at 7 pm. Novels, poems, memoirs and short stories are all on the agenda. New members are welcome.

2011 Tour of Homes Mark this date on your calendars – Sunday September 18, noon to 4 pm. The Tour offers six exciting homes for your viewing. Ticket holders can also receive special discounts and offers from ten local restaurants and businesses. You can buy your tickets ($30) locally at Mi Casa (238 Carlton), Kendall & Co (541 Parliament) and the BIA Office (237 Carlton). Visit the website to learn about other ticket vendors and the Paypal system:

Don’t forget to buy a Tee Brenda and Kelly look terrific in their new shirts. You can too. Drop in to Labour of Love (242 Carlton), Kendall & Co (541 Parliament), Del Ray Cleaners (586 Parliament) and the BIA Office (237 Carlton). They’re available in green and brown, the usual sizes, $15/ea or two for $25.

Welcome, Aurelie Aurelie Lasserre lives in Switzerland and last week, she visited family here in Cabbagetown. During her trip, she traveled to the shores of Lake Huron and modeled her new Cabbagetown Tee while there. Her new Tee is back home with her now and we’re left with this nice photo as a souvenir of her time with us. We hope she’ll be back soon.

Friday, 19 August 2011

Congratulations to CCDT
The Canadian Contemporary Dance Theatre (509 Parliament) is one of three finalists nominated for the prestigious Arts for Youth award from the Toronto Arts Foundation. It’s given to organizations that have demonstrated an outstanding commitment to engaging Toronto youth in the arts. The final selection will be announced in October.

Community picnic in Riverdale Park
Our two elected representatives, Glen Murray and Bob Rae, are teaming up once again to host the annual Toronto Centre picnic. It happens on Sunday August 21 from 11 am to 2 pm in Riverdale Park (Winchester & Sumach). It’s a fun time for your family – free bbq’s, free cotton candy and popcorn, face painting, raffles and games. Halal and vegetarian options will be available. Drop by and tell Glen and Bob how you want them to run the country for the next year!

Glass fish at Kendall & Co
These decorative handmade glass fish vessels are incredibly beautiful. You can fill them with long-stem flowers, put bath salts in them at the tub, stash your necklaces in them on your dresser or just let them be accents on a table. Check out the school of fish and other new arrivals at 541 Parliament, just west on Winchester.

There’s nothing like a summer wedding
A lovely bride and a shy groom. Warm evening breezes. A welcoming drink and a irresistible buffet dinner. I once attended such an event – and every time the groom had to speak, including during the ceremony, he fainted dead away. Regina at Labour of Love (242 Carlton) has a new line of wedding cards for just such occasions. Go to to see them all.

The world’s best cheese maker
Quebec’s Alex de Portneuf won this title. He makes the double cream brie that Patty is featuring this weekend at Epicure Shop (473 Parliament). She also has three new varieties of homemade gluten-free cookies available. Good reasons to stop by.

Comedy at Winchester Kitchen & Bar
Michael McLean hosts the new WinJester Bucket of Comedy every Thursday night from 9 pm. This week, it’ll be followed by DJ Dr with dancing and Latin beats. There’ll be special guests, lots of drink specials and great food. No cover charge. 51A Winchester.

Progress at F’Amelia
The new restauarant at 12 Amelia has been undergoing extensive reno’s and the menu is being firmed up rapidly. John reports that the new executive chef is Maurizia Verga and he’ll be preparing six fresh pastas made daily, housemade sausages and charcuterie, fish and beef dishes. They’ve installed a Mugnaini wood burning pizza oven and it’s ready to go. A short while ago, they launched a pizza search – they want your favourite suggestion and if it’s chosen for the menu, they’ll give you a free pizza and name your item after your street. Go to the website to enter the contest –

Thanks, Don
Don Taggart from Nettleship Hardware (576 Parliament) has just finished painting the exterior of the BIA Office (237 Carlton). Check it out – he’s done a great job. We had been delayed by lease negotiations in our plans to spruce up our office and so our exterior was getting really run down. Once the new lease was settled, we gave the work to Don. If you need advice about paint or a contact with someone to do the work, call Nettleship. Their specialty is paint and they’re very good at it.

Mylk Uncookies gets reviewed
Toni & Elaine are featured in a recent article in Mylk Uncookies is their lovely coffee shop at 253 Gerrard and it’s reviewed very favourably. You can check out the article here:

Flags are available again
People have been asking about buying our flag. We’re happy to announce that we've just received more inventory. They’re back and they’re here for you. (The photo shows Christopher Dew proudly waving it on top of Mount Kilimanjaro – this flag gets around.) Email us at or call (416) 921-0857

Construction at 456 Parliament
As you can easily see, the building where Grasshopper and the House on Parliament used to be located is now under construction. The owners are repairing the damage done by the fire in October 2009 and they’re preparing to build new housing units at the back. Considerable effort will be made to preserve and improve the historic façade. When details are ready, we’ll publish them here.

Thanks Gina
The new construction at the former Grasshopper is under way. Unfortunately, we’re losing the Grasshopper so this work can be done. Gina has always been a good local business person. Her bar was funky and relaxed and for her customers, it was always a welcoming place. She’ll be traveling to China for a visit and after that, she’ll decide what she wants to do. Best wishes, Gina.

Friday, 12 August 2011

One Night in Cabbagetown
Last week, we told you about our new tasting event that launches the Cabbagetown Festival on Thursday, September 8.
Here’s another restaurant to add to your list. Cranberries (601 Parliament) will be featuring a beer sample and wings. If you’ve ever had their wings, you’ll know that this is a real attraction. Definitely yummy.
Your ticket for the event is only $10 and it buys a tasting at four spots. Tickets, posters and flyers have been distributed to the participating restaurants. When you visit your favourite place, be sure to buy your tickets.
An important reminder - this isn’t an event for hermits. Don’t go out there all on your lonesome. Get a group. Ask your friends. Take your husband!
The tastings are sampling sizes. Somewhere along the way, you’ll get hungry. When that happens, pause and enjoy a full-sized meal.
For more info, call (416) 921-0857 or email

More good Festival news
This year, the area from Parliament to Ontario along Gerrard will be added to the Festival. You won’t want to miss their events. Hands On Exotic will be displaying their exotic birds and animals. Cabbagetown Pet Clinic will have supplies for you. Eclectisaurus, Kiden’s Thrifty and the Children’s Book Bank will be on display.
For those who get hungry and thirsty, Mylk Uncookies will have their great coffee and pastries available. The Underdown Pub has a great side patio and good entertainment.
We aren’t going to tell you about the outdoor garage sale or the special drum shows. These aren’t official yet.

Dogs are welcome
Last year, dog owners from Cabbagetown brought their pooch and strutted their stuff in the parade. We had special souvenirs and a neighbourhood dog show at Pet Valu (240 Carlton).
We’re doing it again this year.
Get your pals ready. Book the time – Saturday, September 10, 9:30 am – and come to Carlton and Berkeley to join the parade.

Favourites at Epicure
Patty has two summer time favourites for you this week at The Epicure Shop (473 Parliament). Buffalo mozzarella has just arrived, fresh off the plane from Italy. And her roast beef from Montreal (no preservatives) is on special at $2.49/100g

Cabbagetown artists at the Library
Catherine Tammaro, Inge Vanderneulen and Clayton Langstaff will be showing their art at the Parliament Street Library (269 Gerrard) throughout September. Their opening reception takes place on September 17 from 1 to 3 pm. Their works include photographs, paintings, drawings, mixed media and assemblage.

Dinners at The Flying Beaver
Every Wednesday is Lobsterpalooza – one and a quarter pound dinner for only $19.95. Thursdays are Wing Ding night (only $5.99 for a full pound) and Sundays are mussels specials. On Sundays, from 11 am, try out the super yummy and affordable brunch. 488 Parliament.

Congrats to four restaurants
Last Thursday, the Toronto Star highlighted four of our patios in their series about great spots for an outdoor experience.
The Ben Wicks (424 Parliament) has “an intimate feel…it’s a great place to relax away from the noise on the street”. You should “try the chocolate Guinness cake for dessert.”
The House on Parliament (454 Parliament) is “a cosy pub that makes you feel right at home” and “the pulled-pork sandwich is a must.”
Our new Underdown Pub makes you “feel like you’ve been to the Underdown before even if it’s your first time” and “the bar features local beers on tap.”
The Wing Machine (482 Parliament) offers “a casual dining experience” and “the wings are baked, not fried, so they’re healthier than your average chicken wing.”

Kendall & Co
As the summer winds down, enjoy every last hour of al fresco living with fragrant 3-wick candle vessels. Available in assorted colours. Each 10-oz candle burns for approx 65 hrs. And after the candles go out, pop the lid on and leave it out for another night of revelry. Check them out at 541 Parliament, Unit C.

Welcome to Cabbagetown

Ana Espinosa (left) teaches at the University of Alicante in Spain. She’s in Toronto to do a study of BIA’s here. Of course, Cabbagetown is on her list. At the end of an hour-long discussion, we gave her a small Cabbagetown flag as a souvenir of her visit. She and her husband Stefan then toured the neighbourhood before setting out to the Distillery area. Patty Junior (right) joined us for the photo op.

Friday, 5 August 2011

One Night in Cabbagetown
Here it is – our first announcement about the 2011 Festival. A dozen of our restaurants and pubs are hosting a tasting evening.
It happens on Thursday, September 8 from 7 pm onward.
A ticket costs only $10 (yes – only $10!) and it buys tastings at four places. Just show up and present your ticket and you’ll be welcomed in.
Each sample, of course, is a “tasting” size. You’ll want to pause through your travels and enjoy a bigger bite to eat and even a full-sized beverage. Those are separate arrangements.
We have several brand-new restaurants in our neighbourhood. This is a great way to see them in action.
Just to whet your appetite – here’s a list of our plans so far:

Ben Wicks, (424 Parliament) Sampling of international beers – Czechvar (Czech) beer, Magners Irish Cider and Canada’s own Moosehead premium beer.
Butter Chicken Factory, (556 Parliament), Sampling of Cheetah beer and appetizers.
Flying Beaver Pubaret, (488 Parliament), Bombay Coolers in three flavours and a beer sampling from Great Lakes Brewery. There’ll be a “Beaver Bite” to nibble. Entertainment throughout the night.
House on Parliament, (454 Parliament), Vodka and oysters
JAMcafe, (195 Carlton), Two samples of Rosewood wines with specially prepared matching hors d’oeuvres.
Margarita’s Mexican Fiesta, (229 Carlton), Flautas – a hard shelled taco roll filled with chicken, topped with sour cream with a small side salad.
Merryberry Café, (559 Parliament), Select one of four different sangrias and a tapas plate.
Peartree, (507 Parliament) Popcorn shrimp with a mango martini.
Stout Irish Pub, (221 Carlton) Half-pint of Barking Squirrel craft beer. Karaoke from 9 pm.
Underdown Pub, (263 Gerrard St E) Your destination throughout the night for live music and entertainment. After you’ve tried the other places, make Underdown your last stop and stay until the last chord. Beer sampling and samples from new menu items.
Winchester Kitchen & Bar, (51A Winchester), Free appetizers. Comedy night.
Young Thailand, (446 Parliament) Thai appetizers.

There’ll be entertainment at three locations: Flying Beaver Pubaret, Stout Irish Pub and Underdown Pub. You can enjoy the music without a ticket throughout the night until closing time.

Support for Cabbagetown
The Festival is a wonderful place to support our neighbourhood. Events throughout the day bolster the efforts made by volunteers and organizations working in St James Town, Regent Park and Cabbagetown.
Blair’s Run is the biggest and most noticeable. Several hundred sprinters, runners and walkers tear through a 3 km course early on Saturday morning. Friends throughout the area support them. The funds raised here (usually well over $25,000) support our own Cabbagetown Youth Centre (2 Lancaster)
Check out the tents and booths along Parliament Street during the day. You’ll find volunteers everywhere, explaining what their group does. The Kiwanis Boys & Girls Club, UforChange, the dance theatres, our major political parties, churches, community support groups and school organizations all present their programs for you throughout the weekend.
The parade is another showcase for community groups. Everybody is welcome to strut their stuff. It’s a grand stage to use to tell the rest of us that you’re there, serving Cabbagetown.

Festival dates
There’s lots happening during our Festival week. Here’s an advance guide. Book the dates now and watch for more information closer to the events.
One Night in Cabbagetown – Thursday, September 8 (7 pm)
Cabbagetown Short Film & Video Festival – Friday (7:30 pm)
Art & Crafts in the Park – Friday (1 to 6 pm), Saturday and Sunday (10 am to 6 pm)
Blair’s Run – Saturday (8:30 am)
Festival Parade – Saturday (10 am to noon)
Parliament St Festival – Saturday & Sunday (10 am to 7:30 pm)
Yonge St Mission party – Saturday (noon to 6 pm)
Riverdale Farm corn roasts, dance, tours – Saturday & Sunday (all day)
Cabbagetown Theatre Company – Saturday & Sunday (times to be announced)

Regular News

Cabbagetown Tee’s
Our new Tees are now available for you at two local stores – Labour of Love (242 Carlton) and Kendall & Co (541 Parliament). Our friends at Del Ray Cleaners (586 Parliament) are on holidays until next week and when they return, they’ll have a supply as well. Drop in and buy a few for yourself - $15/each.

More summer supplies from Epicure
Patty has a new supply of Kozlick’s Mustard – an all-Canadian product that comes in six delicious flavours. She also has new white cheddar bread sticks from Fred’s Breads – you can enjoy a free sampling throughout this weekend at the store. 473 Parliament.

Cabbagetown South and CNH
This year marks the 100th anniversary of Central Neighbourhood House. To celebrate, the neighbours living around CNH are joining with them to host a street party on Sunday August 14. There’ll be lemonade, watermelon, iced tea, sandwiches and Popsicles. Ontario Street (south from Gerrard) will be closed for the event and artists and artisans will display and sell their goods. 1 to 6 pm

Omi does it again
Omi (241 Carlton) has become a success in Cabbagetown’s restaurant scene and a favourite for everyone who loves John’s Gangster Sushi. Post City blog has just done an excellent review. Click here to read it:

Kendall & Co
Kendall & Co’s designer James Fobert relaxes with Johnny Pearl from Cabbagetown Carpentry after a tough day working on the store’s new signage. They’re enjoying a Buffalo Leather Sadari Double Recliner with matching ottomans. Now available. 541 Parliament, just east on Winchester.

Me to We Store
The Me to We Store (223 Carlton) sells sustainably produced, sweatshop-free fashions. They’re currently featuring lovely Africa Tees by Jessi Cruikshank. This is her third design for Me To We – it pays tribute to the traditional geometric beadwork and brilliant colours of Maasai design. For every Tee sold, Me To We will donate a tree to the Maasai Mari region in Kenya.

Closures on Winchester Street
Toronto Dance Theatre and The School of Toronto Dance Theatre (80 Winchester) are working on their building as part of a long-term renovation that will see these facilities upgraded and improved over the next eighteen months. We’ve been asked to pass along the notice that Winchester Street will be closed next Wednesday from 7 am to 4:30 pm from Metcalfe to Sackville. A crane will be used to install HVAC equipment on the roof. Cars parked here will be towed.

Eric’s antique Tee
Our pal, Eric Morse, serves as the official photographer for the Spitfires Wheelchair International Basketball Tournament with players appearing from Mexico, Japan, the USA and Canada. The event took place last weekend at Etobicoke’s Olympium. Everyone there was exposed to Eric in his splendid Cabbagetown Tee. Those who envy this Tee are out of luck – it’s now available only as an antique on eBay. Eric, however, isn’t available there.