Thanks, Dale
After 28 years working on Parliament Street and 31 years altogether on City of Toronto staff, Dale Bilby is retiring.  He’s done a great job for us - much more than simply cleaning up the street. His good company has been an important part of the glue in Cabbagetown’s community. A lot of us will miss him.  Best wishes, Dale, for your retirement plans.

Restorative yoga at Sundara
Congrats to Angela Jervis-Read. She's just married! 
She's announced two new events at Sundara Yoga Studio (492 Parliament)
Be part of Sundara’s restorative Yoga class with Thai massage on Sunday July 29 from 5 to 7 pm. This workshop gently guides you into a deeper experience of each pose using traditional Thai massage techniques and gentle stretching. Sunny Smith, Maryann Cusi and Dwain Jones.  Space is limited to ten.  $40.
Next week, Mysore Practice with Emma O’Neill starts on Tuesday from 6 to 9 am.  Students come and go anytime within that window.  The Ashtanga Yoga system is explored at their own pace by each individual. The teacher moves around the room and helps students individually.  Practising in this way is similar to having a private lesson at a reduced cost. Click here for Sundara’s website.

Peartree Specials
From now until the end of August, enjoy a $10 discount at Peartree (507 Parliament) when you spend $40 or more on any meal.  A gift coupon has been circulated through the neighbourhood so be sure to save it and present it when you want to take advantage of the offer. And while you’re there, check out the newly renovated spaces and the facilities for private parties.  Peartree is one of Cabbagetown’s favourite places and well worth the visit. You can see their menus on their website here.

Farmers Feed Cities
Last Tuesday, Farmers Feed Cities hosted a day at Riverdale Farm for “mommy bloggers” from the GTA.  So, of course, I went.  Moms who blog arrived with their kids to meet young farmers and learn how they bring food to our tables.  It’s part of a general campaign to increase our awareness of farming and agricultural issues.   The Farm was a perfect meeting place for the event.  Everyone had a chance to relate the remarks made by the farmers to the actual animals running through the area.   

Cat adoptions
Pet Valu (240 Carlton) is working with Cat Busters to find homes for all sorts of cats.  Their next adoption date is Saturday July 28 from 10 am to 3 pm.  There’s a minimum of fuss involved with your adoption – fill in some paperwork, pay a fee and then away you go with your cat.  This is a regular event at Pet Valu (the next one is August 11) and we’ll remind you when future dates roll around.

The original Parliament site
On July 12, Councillor Pam McConnell spearheaded a motion through Council to finish assembling the land where Ontario’s first Parliament was located.  This land, at Parliament and Front Streets, is currently home to a car wash and car rental agency.  The City will do a swap involving a library processing centre on the east side of Parliament (those services are scheduled for relocation to Scarborough) and then the Parliament site will become the new home for the St Lawrence Library as well as a permanent interpretative centre. Pam has worked for over 15 years on this project and now is overseeing the complete assembly of an important heritage site.

Instruments for Regent Park School of Music
Anne Pastuszak has organized a drive to collect unused musical instruments.  It’s a blitz – lasting for four weeks only.  Get into your attic and under your bed – pull out your old drum kit, flute, trumpet, clarinet, cello and French horn.  Any instrument.  It’ll be sent to the Regent Park School of Music.  Anne has arranged for some help from Long & McQuade who will check over your gift and make sure it’s working properly.  There’s also an opportunity for you to get a tax receipt.  To find out more or to start the ball rolling, email Anne at annepastuszak@rogers.comShe’ll send you a flyer or arrange a pick-up. For information about the program, click here.

New bike lanes
This is good news for Cabbagetown cyclists.  Starting in late July, new bike lanes will be built along Sherbourne from Bloor south to King.  There’ll be two different designs – both separated from the car traffic.  The construction will continue until November.  The lanes south of King to Queens Quay will be finished in 2013.  The Toronto Star has an article about the new lanes here.   These lanes will provide a comfortable zone all the way to the lake.

Every week, we’re using a picture from Cabbagetown to highlight our neighbourhood’s beautiful character.  F’Amelia (12 Amelia) opened just last September and they’ve been a roaring success ever since.  There’s no doubt that they have one of our best outdoor patios.  Combine that with their award-winning menu and service and it’s no wonder that people are flocking here. (416) 323-0666.

Invitation to artists
Smart Development is planning a third community event for St Jamestown on Saturday August 11.  Jamie James ( has issued an invitation to musicians, dancers and performers to join the program.  The featured group will be Kaeja Dance (click here to see their website).  As Jamie says, “Whether you’re young or old, modern or traditional, if you’re looking for the opportunity to share your work and engage with the community, we would love to hear from you.”  This event follows two earlier successes with a banner program and with a day of gardening, mural painting and sprucing up the area.

Last call for Summerlicious
The big foodies’ festival wraps up across Toronto this weekend.  It’s now or never if you’re planning to take advantage of the event’s great prices at high quality restaurants.  We have four in our area – Stonegrill (51B Winchester) in Cabbagetown and in the Distillery, Archeo, TheBoiler House and Pure Spirits Oyster House & Grill.  Click on their names to see their menus and prices.

41 Pianos
These pianos are a fun idea.  Toronto will host the Pan Am Games in 2015 and this event kicks off the official celebrations.  41 pianos – one for each country in the Games – have been placed in public areas around the city.  They’ve been decorated by an artist from each country.  The piano closest to us is Argentina’s and it’s in the Distillery.  Drop by and play your favourite tune. 
They’re here until the end of July.  On Sunday morning, an energetic group from Wellesley Street plan to cycle through downtown Toronto in search of the 20 pianos located in the city centre.
A quick extra note - click here to read about a Bermudian artist who decorated one of the pianos and my thanks to David Reed for sending this nifty follow-up.

Cobourg reno’s
The brown paper covering the windows at The Cobourg (533 Parliament) is hiding some refinishing work that’s happening inside.  When seen on Wednesday, two workers were staining the bar and the shelving behind it.  They’re hopeful that all will be ready for the weekend.  There were fears that the paper meant the business had closed – just the opposite, the new owners are fixing it to fit their tastes.

Cranberries’ new menus
Fans of Cranberries (601 Parliament) hate it when we announce their specials and events (they want it all themselves) but Ruth has insisted that we help her brag about Siva’s latest efforts.  This time, they’ve got winners. Every Sunday from 5 to 11 pm, they’re featuring a three-course Roast Beef Dinner for $17.99 with gazpacho or salad, roast beef, Yorkshire pudding, potatoes, veggies and bread pudding with Irish whiskey sauce.  On Mondays from 5 to 11 pm, it’s bbq Beef Short Ribs and fries for $13.99.

Parrot Sanctuary
Marie-Elisabeth Gagnon has an amazing project.  She’s established a sanctuary for parrots in her Cabbagetown home – birds that have been lost, abandoned or orphaned by their owners’ death.  For nine years, her rescue system has housed and protected them and found new homes for almost 200 birds through an adoption.  You can learn more about her efforts here.  The Toronto Star wrote an article about Parrot Sanctuary – read it here.  Photo:  Toronto Star.

Vote for Stout
Stout Irish Pub (221 Carlton) has been nominated as Toronto’s Best Bar & Pub in  Erin won this award last year and she’d love a repeat.  The final decision belongs to readers who vote in the online poll.  To vote for Stout, just visit the website and click on the red Vote button on the top right of the page. 

Vote for a bird
While you’re online and exercising your democratic rights, vote for the beautiful little hawk who’s been frequenting Wellesley Park.  Julia Maillard took this picture when the hawk fell from its nest and she’s submitted it to the July photo contest at DiscoverWildlife.  It’s a tough competition – she’s up against baby rhinos, ducks, rodents and a whole raft of other cuddly creatures.  The winning photo is the one that collects the largest number of viewers’ votes.  To cast your ballot, go here and scroll down to this photo (and don’t get diverted by any cute little elephant along the way!)   

Save the date – Cabbagetown Festival
September 7, 8 and 9.  This is our big weekend across Cabbagetown.  It starts on Friday with the Cabbagetown Short Film & Video Festival – a sell-out favourite.  On Friday afternoon, the big Art & Crafts Show opens in Riverdale Park.  Early Saturday and Sunday mornings, people dust off their family treasures and plunk them on the sidewalk.  Garage sales are one of our biggest attractions.  And along Parliament Street, there are vendors, street food booths, entertainers, buskers, and sidewalk cafes.  Mark the dates on your calendar.
Sundara Yoga Studio
Three weeks ago, Angela Jervis-Read opened Sundara at 492 Parliament – side door, just beside the Starbucks’ patio. She’s working with a group of teachers offering several styles and levels of yoga in their classes.  She has a special promotion for her studio opening – thirty days’ unlimited yoga for only $45, usually a $150 package.  Starting July 30, Emma O’Neill will hold Ashtanga Mysore on weekdays from 6 to 9 am. On Saturdays (1 to 2:15 pm) from August 11 to September 22, there’s pre-natal yoga and on Wednesdays (1:15 to 2:15 pm) from August 8 to September 12, there’s Mom & Baby yoga.  Call now to register (416) 828-7247, and check out her website at     

What’s this…
The HandyForce is a general handyman and contracting service.  They’re fully licenced and insured.  They handle everything from hanging a picture to building an extension on your home. Their first office is on Woodbine and their location at Parliament and Amelia will be their second one. It’s being renovated now.  This looks like a good idea – especially in a neighbourhood full of older homes. You can contact now them at and at 647-427-RENO (7366).

TCHC’s heritage houses
An interesting debate unfolded over two days in the media this week.  First of all, Scott Weir and Rick Hall made a presentation to the Special Committee on Housing at City Hall on behalf of a local heritage group asking that TCHC speed up its repairs to the heritage buildings in Cabbagetown.  They sounded the alarm about the deteriorating conditions.  TCHC’s new boss then waded in, replying that nobody was going to get special treatment.  We were told two years ago that some of TCHC’s inventory in Cabbagetown would be sold but nothing’s happened since the big announcement.  Furthermore, one of their buildings on Prospect Street still stands empty – years after a fire gutted it.  (Photo: National Post)

Festival garage sale spaces
The Cabbagetown Festival is only two months away.  Garage sales are the heart of the weekend.  People come from across the city to browse and buy.  You may want to have a sale but can’t set up in front of your own home.  Here’s a great offer - rent a 10’ wide space for your garage sale on Sumach Street, just north of Winchester.  You’ll be in the middle of the action around Riverdale Park.  You qualify for this offer if you have a Cabbagetown address.  Contact Doug at

41 Pianos
Throughout July, you can hunt down and tickle the ivories on 41 pianos scattered around Toronto as part of the official wind-up to the 2015 Pan Am Games.  Each piano has been painted by an artist from one of the countries participating in the Games.  Ours is in the Distillery - Argentine Piano 8 created by Ivan Ortiz.  The website explains the project and gives you a map of all 41 locations   

Regent Park in the news
A couple of big announcements came from the Regent Park revitalization over the past week. Inside Toronto has run two stories with all the details.   Hockey Canada and Maple Leaf Sports are teaming up to refurbish the Regent Park arena at Shuter and Sumach.  The details are here.  Regent Park’s School for Social Entrepreneurs offers support, tips and meetings for people who have ideas for co-operative, non-profit businesses and social ventures.  You can read Justin Skinner’s story here. (Photo: Inside Toronto)

Soulpepper’s summer season
Four plays are being staged at Soulpepper (50 Tank House Lane) this summer.  David Mamet’s Speed-The-Plow is on stage now.  Neil Simon’s The Sunshine Boys starts on Saturday July 14. The Royal Comedians by Mikhail Bulgakov is on stage from July 24 and Arthur Miller’s The Crucible is on stage from July 25.  Performance notes and details, plus online ticket sales, are available at   (Photo: Soulpepper)

Summerlicious, the city-wide food festival, continues until July 22. Four nearby restaurants are offering Summerlicious menus. Stonegrill in Cabbagetown and Archeo, Boiler House and Pure Spirits Oyster House & Grill in the Distillery. Click on each name for links to make reservations, to look at their menus and to find contact info.

Veni, Vidi, Vici
Kendall & Co Design + Décor moved to 227 Carlton Street in April and they haven’t looked back. They’ve been really busy. They started the Riverdale Farm Gift Collection as a fundraiser for our Farm and hosted two local art shows in their design showroom. They’ve put together a fun group of photos showing how different their store is today.  Click here to see their Before and After.  Summer hours – Monday to Friday, 10 am to 6 pm, closed Saturday.

Winchester Square gardens
On Saturday, people from the Bleecker Street Co-op, Aberdeen Avenue, Ontario Street and Central Neighbourhood House gathered for the official launch of the gardens in the park.  It’s been a long effort but it’s worthwhile - the garden boxes bring a welcome improvement. The park will now be the focus of plenty of neighbourhood activity.  This space is a very good area for small to medium sized events – picnics, neighbourhood parties, perhaps something associated with the Festival weekend.  The little ceremony was very comfortable here.  Ontario Street and Aberdeen.

Sunday in the Park
Last weekend, folks from several groups in Regent Park organized their annual Sunday in the Park Festival at Lord Dufferin School.  The crowd this year seemed bigger and there were lots of booths and food available throughout the afternoon. Three big bouncing castles were set up for the kids.  Local politicians were spotted in the crowd.  Congrat’s to everyone who helped make it a fun day – it’s a lot of work but definitely worthwhile.

Hawks in Wellesley Park
A family of Cooper's Hawks has been nesting in the trees at the south end of the park through the Spring.  The two young birds are now flying and beginning to forage for themselves.  They’re still coming back to their original nest site and they’re in the nearby trees in the Necropolis.  The park’s squirrel population has really been very quiet over the Spring.  Most of the local birdwatchers regret that we can’t attract a raccoon hawk! Several weeks ago, one of the chicks fell out of the nest and was rescued by a neighbour and a wildlife agency but it stayed on the ground long enough for a photo op. East end of Wellesley.
Stout Irish Pub
Saturday is Beer Lovers Meet-up starting at 8 pm at Stout (221 Carlton).  Erin will open a specialty cask for the night.  And she has three new beers available in the bottle – Shipyard Smashed Blueberry from Portland Maine, Hophead Black IPA and Raspberry Porter, both from Kelowna’s Tree Brewing. If you love beer, then Saturday is the night for you at Stout.  

Summer in St James Town
Saturday, July 7 from noon to 4 pm, in the grassy square on Ontario St north of Wellesley.  Here’s a chance to get outdoors, meet your neighbours and enjoy the summer.  The day includes a workshop on container gardening (you can take home your own plant).  There’ll be lots of kids’ activities as well as face painting, henna art, live music, and drawing.  Green Thumbs Growing Kids, Toronto Art Foundation and St James Town Artists Network will all have tables.  It’s a free event – be sure to bring your whole family.

Winchester Square Gardens
Local residents from Aberdeen Avenue and the Bleecker Street Co-op have planted flowers in the boxes in Winchester Square.  It’s a great start.  Central Neighbourhood House (349 Ontario St) have teamed up with them to build the gardens and get them launched.  An official opening ceremony will happen on Saturday July 7 starting at 2:30 pm – there’ll be music, face painters, eco games and more for your whole family. 

Summerlicious, the city-wide food festival, starts on July 6 and runs to July 22.  Four nearby restaurants are offering Summerlicious menus.  Stonegrill in Cabbagetown and Archeo, Boiler House and Pure Spirits Oyster House & Grill in the Distillery.  Click on each name for links to make reservations, to look at their menus and to find contact info.

Absolute’s new restaurant 
Congratulations to Raj and Nages for the successful launch of their third Toronto location.  They’ve opened a new restaurant at 55 St Clair West and it joins their other one at 2100 Queen East in the Beach.  Of course, we enjoy their Cabbagetown bakery location at 589 Parliament just south of Wellesley.  Check out their menu here.
Marilyn’s Pawdicures
On Saturday, Marilyn will be at Pet Valu (240 Carlton) from 10 am to 4 pm for her monthly visit.  She’ll be trimming nails and providing manicures for your cats, dogs and other pets.  Appointments are not needed. $10.

Advance notice
Saturday July 21, 1:30 pm.  The Cabbagetown Preservation Association is hosting a walking tour of St James Cemetery.  Opened in 1844, it’s Toronto’s oldest working cemetery and it’s home to a beautiful chapel and the gravesites of many of our leading citizens.  The tour starts inside the front gates, on the east side of Parliament north of Wellesley.

Lookin’ good
Charlotte knows all about our House on Parliament (454  Parliament).  Her mom and dad own it.  She’s now visiting Ottawa with Tania and seeing the other House for herself.  By the way, the HOP has a great Facebook page where you can find announcements about their specials and menus and, most important, their people.   They have a good website here and you can click through to Facebook from that site.