Friday, 30 September 2011

Thanksgiving at Simmons
Celebrate your Thanksgiving with the beauty of the earth as well as its bounty. Merion and Tina remind you that your Thanksgiving table needs a centerpiece of traditional Fall flowers. Bring in your favourite vase or container before Wednesday October 5 and they’ll prepare a uniquely designed bouquet for you. You can, of course, place your order by phone as well (416-920-6580). Thanksgiving Saturday hours are 9 am to 3 pm. 540 Parliament.

Election Day is Thursday October 6, 9 am to 9 pm
Do you have questions about this? Where do I vote? Who are the candidates? When is it? You can get your answers here: Click on the link, then type your home postal code into the first box and click “search” at the bottom of the page. To talk to a human being, call 1-866-566-9766.
Our Cabbagetown candidates for the big “four” parties are:
Martin Abell, PC -
Cathy Crowe, NDP -
Mark Daye, Green -
Glen Murray, Liberal -
And best wishes to our local Returning Officer – Eric Morse. Eric is the official referee who makes all the arrangements and oversees the voting. By now, he’s probably really hassled but doing his characteristically good job.

Start your Christmas wines now
Gunnar at Church Street Winery (420 Parliament) recommends that you get your Christmas supplies into the bottle now. He has a wide range of grapes and styles available including ice wine and port. These are great choices for your table and your gifts. It’s time now – avoid the rush and get your wine into the bottle so it can set and be ready for Christmas.

Congrat’s Jamie and Rob
Jamie MacLean was just given a gorgeous engagement ring from Rob. Great news. It’s even more interesting that she got it from him during their recent trip to Paris. He had it designed and custom made at Fair Trade Jewelry (523 Parliament) and carried it secretly across the Atlantic to make his gift in the fabled Luxembourg Gardens. She says its recycled, fair-mined platinum with a clean Canadian diamond and etched with a trillium to remind them of their Ontario Street home. That’s a very romantic gesture.

More congratulations for We Day
Free The Children holds a day-long event at the Air Canada Centre every year. Over 18,000 young people from schools throughout the GTA and surrounding districts attend. The program is based on the idea that we can all make a contribution to our communities and to other people. Craig and Marc Kielburger were the hosts and the special guests this year included Danny Glover, Mary Robinson and Nelly Furtado. Ms Furtado used the occasion to make an extraordinary $1 million gift for school construction in Kenya. To see a clip of this amazing event, click here:

Everybody knows Jet Fuel
Even Andrea Horwath. The NDP leader made a campaign stop here this week to meet other women running under the NDP’s banner. Spiffy buses – and they parked very politely a few doors south of Glen Murray’s Liberal office so his staff didn’t have to look out the window at them throughout their stop. Jet Fuel (519 Parliament) is, of course, one of Toronto’s premier coffee shops and as Ms Horwath has shown, a destination for people of all sorts from across the city.

Beautiful styles coming to Labour of Love
Regina has announced her first-ever Clothing Trunk Show opening on Thursday October 13. She’s highlighting fashions from Melissa Nepton, one of Montreal’s most promising new artists whose work this Fall incorporates a more casual business style with relaxed clean silhouettes and fine materials. For more details, 242 Carlton.

Tomatoes and crisps at Epicure
Patty has stocked up after the onslaught at the Festival and she’s ready again to bring you great food at great prices. This week’s features include San Marzano tomatoes at $2.49 for a 20-ounce tin and Italian extra virgin olive oil at $12.99/litre, a $4 savings. To the great pleasure of her English customers, she’s now stocking Tyrell chips as well. In fact, the Tyrell bags always show a photo of some distinguished but unknown person – and she’s sure that you can submit your pic’s to them for your own personalized package. The Epicure Shop (473 Parliament)

On the house – for your home
Kendall & Co (541 Parliament) have been promoting their lovely New Zealand fair trade wool rugs. Buy a big one (4’6” by 6’6” or larger) and get a smaller one (2’ by 3’) with it free. It’s a great offer and it ends quickly. Get in to the shop by Friday September 30. Check out their exclusive styles at

Cabbagetown in Rhode Island
Gretchen and Peter Bloom visited Toronto this summer and their friends here – Gillian and Stuart Marwick – made sure that they had a flag to take home with them. Here, they’re displaying it fondly at Newport – apparently just before the arrival of Hurricane Irene. They plan to continue their travels to Rome and they’ll take the flag with them as they go. Our thanks to them and a quick note that this picture joins the other gems that we’re keeping in our special Flag Hall of Fame.

Friday, 23 September 2011

F’Amelia in the news…
Our newest restaurant, F’Amelia (12 Amelia), has been very favourably reviewed in Post City Magazine. It’s a real bonus for all of Cabbagetown - Post City’s coverage extends well north of us into Leaside, Rosedale and other north Toronto neighbourhoods. Congratulations to John, Todd and the other staff there. For reservations, call (416) 323-0666. Photo courtesy of Post City. Click here to read the full review:

Two events at JAMcafe
JAM (195 Carlton) hosts a Professional Wine & Cheese Pairing with guest fromager Scott McKenzie. Wedenesday, September 28, 6:30 pm. It’s a guided tasting of fine domestic and international cheeses with expert help on wine pairings from Ontario, Spain and Italy. For lots more detail, check JAM’s website: $50 (including tax and gratuity). Reservations are recommended at (416) 921-1255.
Through October, Cabbagetown author Paul Kropp is host at four evening conversations about the Italian renaissance art of Botticelli, Leonardo and Michelangelo. Along with the discussions, you can enjoy Italian wines and matching appetizers prepared by JAM’s Av Atikian. It’s a bargain - $50 for four evenings or $20 per session. October 4, 11, 18, and 25 from 6:30 to 7:30 pm. For reservations, call (416) 921-1255. For more details, visit

Biko is back at Labour of Love
Toronto designer Biko has a new jewelry collection called “Girls Club”. Regina says that it’ll knock off your woolly socks this Fall. It features polished and raw pyrite, oversized tourmaline boulders and slices of naturally faceted quartz and agate, all in her signature juxtaposition of feminine/industrial or soft/hard. Regina is also prepping a clothing trunk show for October so stop by the store to get a catalogue and a sneak peak at the trunk. 242 Carlton.

Fall rugs at Kendall & Co
Kendall & Co (541 Parliament) has stunning New Zealand wool, fair trade rugs in 4X6”, 6X6” and larger sizes. Purchase any one of them and receive a free 2X3’ rug of your choice. This offer expires at the end of September, so get to the store now. Check out the designs at

Small but pleasant fix-ups
We’ve seen several nice improvements along Parliament and Carlton during the summer and now that the Festival is over, I have a chance to mention them and congratulate the businesses.
The Ben Wicks (424 Parliament) did a very nice makeover earlier in the summer. They’ve placed a row of Ben Wicks cartoons around their front wall and added a nifty new sign at the sidewalk. As always, Robert also makes sure that the big Trudeau artwork is kept clean and free of graffiti.
Cabbagetown Organics (499 Parliament) has a new awning. It’s part of the general renovations that the building’s owner has been doing at this address for more than a year. It’s now a very handsome three-story structure with black trimmed windows, brickwork that matches the bank building next door and a pleasant retail façade.
Daniel et Daniel (248 Carlton) have finished their painting and added a new awning. Their neighbours at Reinhart Macmillan (244 Carlton) and The Healthy Whey (250 Carlton) have also been refinished. It’s a dramatic change.
Starbucks (492 Parliament) has a new side patio along Aberdeen. Although it only holds nine seats, it’s a welcome addition. There were several bureaucratic hurdles to clear which Starbucks handled well. They also made sure that the local neighbourhood supports the seating. In Cabbagetown, we’re handicapped by our narrow sidewalks which prevent local restaurants from adding patio space – so even a small area like Starbucks’ patio is important.
We also have nice progress at a couple of other sites. HomeLife Realty will soon finish their work on their office expansion at 503 Parliament. The fire site (and the former home of the HOP at 456 Parliament) is stirring to life as well – the owners have been filing applications for building permits to renovate the basement restaurant area, fix the upper apartments and add new units along the rear lane.

Last minute reminder
Central Neighbourhood House is sponsoring the Jump Back Ball tomorrow night. Tickets are $110. It’s a fundraiser for a valuable community agency and it’s well worth your support. For more information, visit their web site:

Congrat’s to the Tour of Homes

Helen Coltrinari tells us that the 2011 Tour was a great success. Certainly the selection of homes and the preparations for the big day were well handled. The next big CPA event is the Ghost Tour on Sunday October 30 - watch here for details.

Friday, 16 September 2011

Thanks, Kelly
Kelly Lang worked over the summer at the BIA Office as our festival organizer. She did an outstanding job. She organized the little tents that sprang up along the street, got the permits for the outdoors patios from the alcohol commission and the City’s health department, set up our Facebook page, recruited volunteers and inspired everyone to join the parade. On top of all of that, she posed with Brenda McNee on our Tee-shirt poster – and we had a complete sell-out of our inventory. Kelly has now returned to Ryerson for her final year and she’s aiming for a career in special events planning – we’re sure that she’ll be perfect for that job. Thanks, Kelly.

Luau at Stout
On Saturday from 4 pm to midnight, Erin is hosting a Hawaiian luau at Stout Irish Pub (221 Carlton). There’ll be Hawaiian hula dancers, a best-Hawaiian-shirt contest, hula and limbo dancing competitions and Hawaiian-style pale ale and cocktails all night long. Space is limited – buy your ticket today, $25.

Kendall & Co supports the Tour of Homes
On Sunday, bring your Tour ticket to Kendall & Co (541 Parliament) and enjoy a 15% discount on all regularly priced, in stock rugs, home décor and accessories. There’ll be a free gift for the first 15 customers with a purchase over $50. Kendall also has stunning New Zealand wool, fair trade rugs and when you buy any one of them (4’6’ and 6’6”), you’ll get one free 2’X 3’ rug of your choice (a $110 value.) This offers continues to September 30 and cannot be combined with other promotions.

F’Amelia is open
The food is good, the room is renovated and the atmosphere is welcoming. We’ve heard very good reviews about their pasta and their pizzas from people who have visited over the past week. You can see F’Amelia’s full menu here: There’s also a link at that site to help you with your reservations. 12 Amelia, (416) 323-0666

2011 Tour of Homes
The annual Tour of Homes takes place on Sunday from noon to 4 pm. It’s a self-guided tour of six stunning houses in our neighbourhood. People from all across Toronto come to Cabbagetown for this event every year. Proceeds from ticket sales support community groups across Cabbagetown. Last minute tickets are available at the BIA Office (237 Carlton) on Sunday from 11 am. $30

A Taste of the Arts
The Cabbagetown Community Arts Centre (422 Parliament) is hosting a moveable feast – fine food, wine and music set in three historic homes. The Centre provides music and art lessons to children and this event is a major benefit for this program. Thursday September 22 at 7 pm. $125. For more details and tickets, please call (416) 925-7222.

The Jump Back Ball
An evening of great entertainment and fine food with hosts Jojo Chinto and Barbara Hall. The joint will be jumpin’ all night long with funk, swing and jazz in a trip back 100 years. It’s a celebration of 100 years of service to our community by Central Neighbourhood House with a silent auction, sumptuous food, and fabulous cocktails. Tickets are $110 each and the proceeds go to support CNH’s innovation fund. For more details and to buy your tickets, click here:

Great rates at Number 9 Studio
The folks at Number 9 (225 Gerrard) have just announced two very attractive rate packages for recording artists. If you book a session before October 15, you can get a daytime five-hour block at only $75/hour. This includes the services of a professional recording engineer, access to Number 9’s equipment and a chance to use the beautiful C Bechstein concert grand piano. Evening rates are even better – a five hour block between 9 pm and 2 am is only $325. For more details, call (416) 348-8718 or click on

Save this date – details to come soon
JAM’s latest tasting evening features high precision wine and cheese pairing with noted cheese expert Scott Mckenzie. Thursday, September 28. 195 Carlton. For more details, check at

We have a winner
Last Thursday, hundreds of people descended on Cabbagetown to enjoy our “One Night” event – a tasting tour of fourteen outstanding local restaurants. Part of the attraction was our special “One Night” lucky draw. Participants filled in a raffle ticket for a chance to win a dinner for two and an overnight stay in one of our Bed & Breakfasts. The lucky winner was selected yesterday. The draw was held on the patio at Stout Irish Pub (221 Carlton).
Excitement and passions surrounding the raffle have been running at a fever pitch so we asked James Woollatt of Blink Blink (603 1/2 Parliament) to aim his trusty camera on the proceedings. He’s popped the result onto the world-wide web:
Erin picked Bill Jeffery’s ticket and we’ve contacted him to let him know about his good fortune.

Memories of the Festival
Thanks to Calum at Home Hardware for this fine panoramic view of Parliament Street on Saturday afternoon. The crowds were very friendly and enjoyed the Festival fully. The weather cooperated and gave us a marvelous weekend. All of our events went smoothly. Watch this Newsletter next week – we’re preparing a photo montage and you may be featured in one of our pic’s.

Cabbagetown in Kenya

Many thanks to Cameron who works with Free The Children in Kenya’s Maasai Mara region for this picture of our flag. Last year, Wilson and Jackson (who live there) visited Toronto for the We-Day celebrations. The BIA gave them a flag. It’s now flying at Sikirar School, a K to 4 facility with 275 students. Free the Children has been helping them with such infrastructure needs as desks, furniture and clean water. There are also 100 women in this community who make the beautiful beadwork that’s sold in the Me To We Store (223 Carlton).

Friday, 2 September 2011

2011 Cabbagetown Festival Highlights

This week, our Newsletter is all about special highlights at the Festival. Next week, we’ll give you a detailed program. Here’s your guide to these events.

The Weather Network has issued a perfect Festival forecast for the weekend – sunny and 23 degrees.

One Night in Cabbagetown

Thursday, September 8. A tasting tour of 14 Cabbagetown restaurants. Buy a ticket (yes – only $10) and go to four different places. If you want more, buy another ticket. These are tastings. If you get hungry or thirsty, you can easily stop to order a bigger dinner and drinks. Get your tickets at participating restaurants or at the BIA office (237 Carlton). For a full list of participating restaurants, times and menus, click here:

Art & Crafts in the Park

Weekend activities start in Riverdale Park (Winchester & Sumach) on Friday from 1 to 6 pm and continue on Saturday and Sunday from 10 am to 6 pm each day. This is a main event for the Festival - these artists are a big draw into the neighbourhood and the park is a beautiful venue for them. Free admission. For more info and photos, visit

Cabbagetown Short Film & Video Festival

Friday at 7 pm. Now in its 20th year. The Festival screens over 15 short films gathered from talented producers around the world. Admission is $15. Advance ticket sales are available at the BIA Office (237 Carlton). The Box Office opens at the Winchester Theatre (80 Winchester) at 7 pm and the show starts at 8 pm. For a list of the films and directions to the theatre, go to

Blair’s Run

Saturday at 8:30 am. A major athletic event and a big fundraiser for the Cabbagetown Youth Centre. Several hundred people with their babies, their spouses and their dogs will sign up to run, walk, ride and crawl the 3 km course through Cabbagetown streets. Free gifts, munchies and souvenirs. $10. Registration starts at 8:30 am and race time is 9:15 am.

The Grand Festival Parade

Saturday at 10 am. An amazing collection of outstanding Cabbagetown groups will march proudly from Wellesley and Parliament south to Gerrard, west to Ontario and back north to Carlton. Once again, dogs and their owners are our featured guests. Souvenirs and goodies will be passed out along the way. Music includes the Sandhill Pipes and Drums, Nunca Antes, the ROTC, the 48th Highlanders military band and Toronto Black Watch Pipes & Drums.

The Doggie Beauty Contest

Saturday at 12:30 pm. Pet Valu (240 Carlton). Bring your pal and join the fun. You might have the biggest nose, or the shortest legs or the curliest hair. These are important categories and there’ll be prizes and treats (!) everywhere.

Cabbagetown Festival on Gerrard Street

Saturday. A brand new Festival event. The short section on Gerrard between Parliament west to Ontario is closed and local people are putting on their best for the day. The parade goes through here around 11:30 am. There’ll be good food, drinks and music on the patio at Underdown Pub (263 Gerrard). Mylk Uncookies (253 Gerrard) will offer great pastries and coffee. Eclectisaurus has plans for a sidewalk sale. Cabbagetown Pet Clinic will have pet supplies, food and good advice for you. The neighbours from the area are organizing a big garage sale and local service agencies will have info booths along the street. Don’t miss it.

Artists at the Cabbagetown Festival

Saturday from 11 am to 6 pm. We invite artists living in Cabbagetown to come to Carlton Street and show their work for the afternoon. Some will offer their work for sale. This part of the Festival is very pleasant – there are several restaurants and patios, Daniel et Daniel have tables out front, Pet Valu runs the annual Doggie Beauty Contest and local stores have sidewalk sales.

Rapunzel – unbraided

Cabbagetown Theatre Company, Friday (at 7:30 pm) Saturday & Sunday (noon, 1 pm, 2 pm, 3 pm, 4 pm), Necropolis Chapel (Winchester & Sumach). A Comedy for all ages. Each show is 30 minutes. $5 at the door..

September 11 Memorial, Sunday September 11 at noon. Winchester stage (Parliament & Winchester). Two groups of ex-pat Americans have organized a brief ceremony to mark the 10th anniversary of September 11. There will be brief remarks, featured guests and an opportunity to observe a moment of silence.

A big line-up of performing talents

Local boy, radio personality, recording artist and blues icon, Danny Marks, returns for another Sunday afternoon concert. Danny loves performing with kids and so we recruited the CYC dancers and the Rose Avenue Public School choir to be there with him. Winchester Stage, Sunday afternoon.
Go Freddie Go return to the House on Parliament (454 Parliament) after a couple of years’ absence. They’re joining an impressive list of entertainers appearing throughout the weekend.

On Saturday, the St James Town Steel Drum Orchestra plays at Prospect St, Trish Kerr & the Divas are at Merryberry, UforChange at Winchester, Michael Brennan at Carlton St, Go Freddie Go at House on Parliament, Cabbagetown Steve & Code Green at Spruce St, DJ Suave at Margaritas and the Irish Guys (Stout Irish Pub, Saturday).

On Sunday, Jim Heineman is at Merryberry, Danny Marks at Winchester and the Outputs at Carlton.
In addition, we’ve lined up a big batch of buskers – face painters, balloon artists, clowns, jugglers, singers and magicians – to perform along the street.
Watch for flash dance mobs, martial arts demos, ping pong and lots more.