Friday, 13 January 2012

Thanks Paul & Robert
Last Wednesday, Paul Dineen retired as the BIA Chair. He’s served for twenty years in that job and this is the end of a very fruitful period in Cabbagetown’s history. Over the past year, he’s asked the Board to find a willing volunteer to take his place.
Along with him, Robert McEnirney resigned as the BIA’s treasurer. Robert had handled that job for almost ten years.
When Paul came into the chair, Cabbagetown was a very different place. Parliament Street was widely known for its rough and tumble character. The Festival was a much smaller annual event. The business area was very local, focused on the surrounding neighbourhood. Today, it’s become much safer, more open to new retail trends and well known across Toronto. Paul played a big part in these improvements and led the BIA to become a dynamic organization in Cabbagetown.
Robert proved to be a very astute money manager. During his time as treasurer, we’ve seen a lot of pressure on our budgets, we’ve brought in landscaping and decorating features for the street, and we’ve paid ever higher fees to the City for the Festival. Despite that, the BIA fees paid by local businesses are virtually the same today as they were in 2002 and the BIA has a healthy surplus in the bank.
Paul will continue to represent us at TABIA. He’s on our Board as an ex-officio member in the newly created role as immediate Past Chairman. Robert will stay as a Board member and a member of the finance committee.
Both men worked very hard to build Cabbagetown. Their contributions have shaped the vibrant, pleasant business area that we now enjoy. We owe each of them our heartfelt thanks.

Welcome Frank and Michael
Our new Chair and Treasurer are familiar faces.
Frank Bernardo Ciddio is our new Chair. He’s well known locally as the first manager at the Stonegrill and after that as part of the management team at the Winchester. His background in the food industry connects him with an important part of the BIA business community. His knowledge of building management, heritage issues and construction will help us as we continue our streetscape improvements.
Michael Haddad is a well-established local lawyer. His practice is located in a beautifully renovated heritage building across from the gas station. He’s well equipped to be our new Treasurer. For the past five years on the BIA Board, he’s been a part of the finance committee that has watched our spending and set new budgets.

Congrat’s Tonya
Tonya Lee Williams will be honoured on January 28 with the Dr Martin Luther King Achievement Award by the Black Theatre Workshop for her significant contribution to the development of Black performing arts. She founded the Reel World Film Festival (438 Parliament) in 2001. Her achievements as an artist have been considerable – two Emmy nominations, winner of two NAACP Image Awards, an ACTRA Award of Excellence, a Harry Jerome Award, an African Canadian Achievement Award, and a Planet Africa award. Find out more about her impressive career as an actress at

MJG Gallery
The Landscape show continues at MJG Gallery (555 Parliament). It includes over forty pieces by various painters including this week’s feature, Alone, by Mark Gleberzon. Wednesday to Sunday, 11 am to 6 pm.

Don’t forget that reservations are now available for Winterlicious. Two Cabbagetown favourites are taking part – JAMCafé (195 Carlton, 416-921-1255) has a three course prix fixe dinner for $25. And Stonegrill (51B Winchester, 416-967-6565) is offering a three course dinner at $35. Winterlicious runs from January 28 to February 10.
You can find all the details at
Toronto Life magazine just listed JAMCafe as one of the top ten midtown selections for this year’s Winterlicious.

Kendall & Co
Kendall’s new custom drapery program will make your home nice and warm. New colours in a variety of fabrics are now available. Curtains are well-known for being all-season energy savers. By keeping your curtains closed on cloudy, wintry days, you block the cold outside air from entering and on summery days, you keep the hot air out! Check out all your new options in person at Kendall & Co or preview just a selection online In addition to our custom draperies, ask us about our custom upholstery furniture line and custom pillows. 541 Parliament St on Winchester.

Epicure has cheese
Patty reports that La Sauvagine is back in stock. It’s a creamy cow’s milk oval with a complex, earthy, rustic taste. It’s a #1 seller in Quebec. Patty has it on sale this weekend at $3.99/100 grams. Also back in stock are her favourite veggie samosas. Epicure Shop (473 Parliament)

Save this date
Kiki will be celebrating her 40th anniversary on Parliament Street from 2 to 5 pm on Friday, February 5th. Save the date and drop in to Hairlift (503B Parliament) for a bit of wine and cheese.

Elie is back
After a finishing his business career as an active restauranteur, Elie Benchitrit is back in action. His cooking classes have resumed. Those of us who remember him from Provence Delices will be happy to know that we can join him for his popular lessons from Mondays to Wednesdays from 6:00 to 9:30 pm. For details and contact info, click here:

Save a penny
UforChange are holding a penny drive. Donate your pennies and help to educate and inspire young people to be creative and build better futures. They work with youth aged 16 to 29 through an arts-based program of experiential and intercultural learning. Drop your pennies at 517 Parliament, second floor.

Check out this video
Here’s a great escape from today’s snow and slush. The kids at UforChange (517 Parliament) made a video about street performances at the Cabbagetown Festival. Check it out:

The Globe and mail recently ran a lengthy article about the impact of young people who volunteer and try to make a difference in their worlds. It was a revealing picture of their idealism and energy. Many of the people covered by the story are involved with projects associated with Me to We and Free the Children. Check out the story here:

RBC and Dixon Hall
Jasmina, the Manager at the Regent Park RBC Branch (480 Dundas), is joining with the Dixon Hall Employment Services Centre to host a small business advice and networking event. It happens on Thursday January 19 from 6:30 to 8:30 pm. Dixon Hall offers complete human resources solutions for small business. You’re invited to learn how RBC and Dixon Hall can help your business. Please rsvp to 489 Queen St E, Suite 300.