Friday, 10 February 2012

The future of Riverdale Farm
As we know, the Farm’s future has been cast into doubt and it was spared this year by the willingness of active volunteers to look at ways to support it and make it financially independent. The Farm’s volunteers need your advice. Join the community in a public meeting to talk about ways to help. Wednesday February 15, 6:30 pm, Cabbagetown Youth Centre (behind the Parliament Street Beer Store, 2 Lancaster)

Lucky times for the BIA
Susan Dineen has become the liaison between the Cabbagetown South Association and the BIA. It’ll be her job to figure out what we’re doing! Susan has been an effective advocate and organizer for community events for several years. We’re looking forward to her work with us.

Labour of Love in The Grid
This week, Labour of Love (242 Carlton) is featured in the Life-Design section of The Grid. Here’s a quick link to the news item. The story includes great photos of the eclectic mix of delightful trinkets available at this lovely store.

Party time at Winchester Kitchen & Bar
If you’re having a party, a meeting or some other private function, contact Anesti and Mike at (416) 323-0051 or through their website at They’ve been working very hard on their service for private functions and they’ll welcome a chance to tell you about it. The BIA held its successful Chairman’s Awards evening there in 2011. blogTO ran a testimonial about one party that’s happening there. You can read it here: 51A Winchester

A lovely office space for rent
The lower room off the downstairs patio at Weenen’s landmark building (211 Carlton) is available for rent. It’s a comfortable, impressive space with built-in shelves, air conditioning, gas fireplace, carpeting and bright window light. The entrance is in a lovely courtyard garden area. 300 square feet, $1000/month (including utilities). For more information, please contact Diana Menzies from Royal Lepage at 416-424-4900 and

MJG Gallery
The “Olio show” continues at the gallery this week. It’s a fun, hodge podge collection of the works that are in inventory. Drop by and browse through the collection. Wednesday to Sunday, 11 am to 6 pm. 555 Parliament.

Audition for CCDT
Join this award winning repertory company. Experience performance and technique training. Students gain advanced access to post secondary programs, secondary school credits, performance and touring experience. Auditions happen on February 26 with call-backs on February 27 and March 30. The audition fee is $30. For more information, click on 509 Parliament

Four at the Winch, Quebec
New works by Estelle Clareton, Lina Cruz, Deborah Dunn and Jean-Sebastien Lourdais. February 23-25 and 29, March 1-3, 8 pm. On February 26, 2 pm. $20 to $26. Toronto Dance Theatre, 80 Winchester. Box office: 416-967-1365,

Gifts for Valentines

Share the love
That’s the theme at the Me to We Store (223 Carlton) this year. When you purchase a gift from the Artisan Collection, you’ll be sharing with your loved one and sharing with the Maasai artisans who creates your gift, adding to the income of the women who beaded the work.

Rose are for Valentines
Red roses are always a great choice as an expression of your love on Valentine's Day. Simmons (540 Parliament) buys only the best roses from Ecuador - they have excellent longevity and they’re available in lots of colours. Please order well ahead of the 14th to ensure availability (orders requiring delivery must be placed before the 14th). Open 7 days/week before Valentines. This weekend hours: Saturday 10 am to 5 pm and Sunday noon to 4 pm. Monday Feb 13th and Tuesday Feb 14th - open until 7 pm. (416) 920-6580.

Valentines means jewels
Fair Trade Jewellery (523 Parliament) is featuring earrings this year. They have them in three styles – white pearls, balck pearls and diamond. The diamond studs are classics, made from European white gold and Canadian diamonds. These are gifts that can’t go wrong.

Love is a splendid thing
Celebrate the Queen of your heart. Give her these beautiful Diamond Jubilee notebook sets. Honour her natural beauty like these nested fine porcelain bowls embossed with hand-painted blossoms, made by Cabbagetown potter Viola Michalska. Spark some romance with this gold branch tealight holder centrepiece. For more gift suggestions, click on And don’t forget – Kendall’s staff will wrap your Valentine's Day present with their beautiful gift paper and cards. While you’re there, check out their new window display. It’s very sweet! Kendall & Co. 541 Parliament St on Winchester St.

A day at the spa
This is a great Valentine’s gift – whether it’s for your sweetie or yourself. Rose at Jordano’s Skin Care (252 Gerrard) will help you beat the winter blues with her facials and free LED photo-rejuvenation of dermis epidermis. You’ll reduce your wrinkles, pore sizes and saggy jaw line. It’s a wonderful way to become relaxed, rejuvenated and better looking.

Regina wants you to look gorgeous
Valentine’s Day is com­ing and it’s time to get your­self look­ing gor­geous! Join Labour Of Love (242 Carlton) this Sat­ur­day February 11, 11 am to 4 pm, to meet Melanie Cruick­shank, owner of DaL­ish Cos­met­ics. Melanie will be offer­ing com­pli­men­tary make-up appli­ca­tions and lip touch-ups, giv­ing win­ter skin care tips and demon­strat­ing her all-natural, Canadian-made products. And while you’re there, you can enter to win a “For My Valen­tine” lip gloss kit, val­ued at $48 with any pur­chase over $100.

At home on Valentine’s

St Jamestown Steak & Chops
Mark is well-known for his high quality meats and fish. Now, you can also add lots of zing to your meal with some of his new lines. He’s now got Sarafino olives, spreads, sundried tomatoes, mixed mushrooms. His blends of Bird Friendly coffee feature beans from locations that respect the winter habitat of migratory birds. On valentines, come by for chocolate dipped strawberries.

Absolute for dessert
Cake and cookies are the theme this year at Absolute. Heart shaped cookies filled with raspberry. Heart shaped truffle cakes. The cookies will be baked fresh on Saturday. Warning – once you’re in the bakery, you won’t escape without a sweet.

The food shop at Daniel et Daniel
This is a great place to shop for delicious extra touches that make a dessert special. They have chocolates from Chocolate Clare, cookies and macaroons in Valentine colours. For a full listing of their many menus, check the Daniel et Daniel website at 248 Carlton.

All the chocolate you’ll ever need
Carol at Lennie’s (489 Parliament) has tons of chocolate. It’s fair trade, organic and of course, healthy. (We all know that it’s healthy again to eat chocolate.) White chocolate, dark chocolate, flavoured chocolates. You may not expect it, but one taste of the Maca chocolate and you’ll know what libido really is. And Carol will tell you all about it when you drop in.

Lots of love at Epicure
Patty has lined up a very attractive list of sweets for your Valentines Day party. She’s got chocolate candy by Chocolate Clare, boxes of hearts and lollipops, Baci boxes, red velvet boxes, Dufflet’s cupcakes, and homemade sugar and gingerbread heart cookies. Next week, she’s holding her customer appreciation week with a new feature offered up daily – breakfast sandwiches, prepared salads, lunch specials, ham, brownies and coffee beans. 473 Parliament

Venture out for dinner

Valentines singles party at Stout
Erin and her staff have planned a night for singles to relax and have real fun meeting other singles. Here’s how it works: if you’re a single, straight gal, you must bring a single, straight guy (and vice versa) and if you’re a single, gay gal, you must bring a single, gay guy (again, vice versa). Get it? This keeps all the numbers even for a great party. Champagne is $5, Devil’s Pale Ale is $5 and classic martinis are $10. Games and prizes. Saturday, February 11, 8 pm to close. Tickets are $20., (647) 344-7676, 221 Carlton.

Valentines Party at the Flying Beaver
Crab cakes, Roquefort pear salad or tapenade brushcetta will start your three-course dinner at the FB (488 Parliament.) Cruise along to a Rowe Farms NY striploin, pasta carbonara, red snapper or mushroom and blue cheese risotto. For dessert, there’s a white chocolate brownie or a NY cheesecake. All of this for only $34.99.

On Tuesday evening, Cranberries (601 Parliament) hosts another of their scrumptious three-course dinners. Start off with cream of oven roasted beets and rosewater soup or arugula salad. For a main course, choose grilled swordfish, chicken roulade or grilled beef tenderloin. Finish up with raspberry cheesecake. Prix fixe for $39.99.

Once again, Peartree (507 Parliament) has a wide selection of appetizers, entrees and desserts for you for their Valentines three-course prix fixe. Start with a salad or your choice of two soups, then enjoy steak and lobster, roasted rack of lamb, seafood fettuccini, Atlantic salmon, Bombay butter chicken or stuffed angolati. For dessert, there’s cakes and pie. All for only $20.99 to $25.99.

Dinner for couples at Merryberry
This year, Merryberry (559 Parliament) are celebrating couples – each course will have one ingredient featured two ways. For the appetizers, the ingredient will be shrimp. Coconut milk will be used for the main course. Pomegranate is the dessert ingredient. The whole meal will have an exotic, tropical feel. It’s a prix fixe at $25/each.

Three-course champagne prix fixe at the HOP
On Valentines, the kitchen at the House on Parliament (454 Parliament) will be creating extra special specials. The menu includes harlequin soup, smoked duck breast salad, grilled shrimp, beef tenderloin with foie gras, seared sea scallops, rack of lamb and tarte au chocolat café with cognac crème fouette. You can also select a three course prix fixe with a champagne cocktail at $45. Now that’s romantic.

Okay – we’re outta here
Your blog will return in two weeks. Next week, the call of the wild wins out! See you soon…