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.  www.famelia.com (416) 323-0666.

Invitation to artists
Smart Development is planning a third community event for St Jamestown on Saturday August 11.  Jamie James (jamie@smartdevelopment.ca) 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 dine.to.  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 dine.to 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.