Festival Weekend has arrived

It’s a complicated weekend. 

On Thursday from 7 pm, you can enjoy samples from nine Cabbagetown restaurants during One Night in Cabbagetown. 

The Cabbagetown Short Film & Video Festival (Winchester Dance Theatre, 80 Winchester) happens on Friday from 7 pm.

There are garage sales (everywhere) from 7 am on Saturday to dusk on Sunday. 

Art & Crafts in Riverdale Park (Winchester & Carlton) fills the park with small tents featuring art and craft vendors from 1 pm on Friday and all day long on Saturday and Sunday.

Parliament Street rocks with entertainers, street food, vendors and artists, and lots of individual highlights from 11 am to dusk on Saturday and Sunday.
Blair’s Run opens the Parliament Street festivities at 9:45 am (Carlton & Parliament). 

Riverdale Farm (east end of Winchester Street) is home to day-long corn roasts on Saturday and Sunday. 

The Yonge Street Mission is hosting Kidz Korner in Anniversary Park (Gerrard and Parliament) on Saturday afternoon.

The Cabbagetown Theatre Company (Necropolis Chapel, east end of Winchester Street) presents Cinderella…If the Shoe Fits on Friday at 7:30 pm and then throughout the afternoon on Saturday and Sunday.

The CPA sponsors walking tours (from the northeast corner of Riverdale Park) on Saturday and Sunday afternoons.

Smaller art exhibitions happen near Sprucecourt School (Sumach and Carlton) and beside the cemetery (Winchester and Sumach).

Have fun – it’s our annual celebration of our community.

More special entertainment

There’ll be oysters and Guinness at the House on Parliament (454 Parliament) on Thursday night – it’s a fundraiser for the Cabbagetown Community Arts Centre.

Jeff Barnes & The Wild Irish Rogues appear at The Ben Wicks (424 Parliament) at 9 pm on Saturday night. Look for the special Festival menu throughout the weekend.

Stout Irish Pub (221 Carlton) stages Irish dancing throughout Saturday afternoon.

Carol Pope is at the Flying Beaver (488 Parliament) at 7 pm Friday and 8 pm Saturday followed by Lea DeLaria and Maggie Cassells, Friday at 9 pm, Saturday at 10 pm.  There’s a lively outdoor patio as well.

Winchester Kitchen & Bar (51A Winchester) will have a large outdoor patio at Winchester and Parliament.  Look for musical entertainers throughout both days on the weekend.

Go Freddy Go are appearing at the House on Parliament (454 Parliament) on Saturday from 1 pm.

Two big stages will dominate Parliament Street over the weekend.  On Saturday, the stage is set up at Carlton and Parliament and the Samba Squad will lead a dance down Parliament Street at 11 am.  On Sunday, it’s near Carlton and Berkeley. Danny Marks will be the MC for a full day’s program.

The CCDT (509 Parliament) will stage flash mob dances, demonstrations of different dance classes and free dance lessons throughout the weekend.

As always, good food
St Jamestown Steak & Chops (516 Parliament) gets raves from Festival-goers every year for the barbeque offerings, especially the back bacon sandwiches.  For many of us, this is the place to start the day with a good breakfast (or brunch sandwich).

It’s really hard to single out any place that has good food and a comfy patio.  But, here goes –

Wellesley & Parliament – a whole block full of exotic Asian foods prepared on street barbeques right before your eyes.

Cranberries (601 Parliament) has a street patio right in the middle of the hectic action for those who want to sit and watch a crowded street.

F’Amelia (12 Amelia) fills Amelia Street with a patio and offers a special menu featuring the foods that have made it one of Toronto’s destination restaurants.

Butter Chicken Factory (556 Parliament & Prospect) has a patio and lovely Indian food.

Alice’s Place (554 Parliament) has a patio.

Merryberry (559 Parliament) has a patio and its unique and acclaimed menu.

Thai to Go is setting up for the weekend at Winchester and Parliament with their very popular Thai specialties.

Winchester Kitchen & Bar (51A Winchester) has its patio on Winchester from Parliament east to the lane.

Peartree (507 Parliament) is a favourite place to sit and enjoy the crowds in comfort.

The Flying Beaver (488 Parliament) has a barbeque and patio throughout both days.

Johnny G’s (478 Parliament) takes its brunch and light lunch menu out to the street in their patio.

Ginger (252 Carlton at Parliament) has a very popular south Asian menu.

Young Thailand (446 Parliament) has Thai dishes on the patio and also has a takeout spot so you can wander the street while enjoying their food.

Wing Machine (443 Parliament at Spruce) is expanding its regular patio onto Spruce for the event.

Grab a takeout slice from 2-4-1 Pizza (451 Parliament), Peter’s Cajun Creole Pizza (415 Parliament) and Pizza Pizza (560 Parliament at Prospect)
Gourmet Burger (482 Parliament) has eat-in and take-out service for its burgers, fries, onion rings and other goodies.

No word yet about Kibo, the new restaurant at 533 Parliament or from Omi (241 Carlton).  Both have Japanese and Asian dishes and are well worth investigating.

There’s life after the Festival

CNH Childcare Program
Central Neighbourhood House (349 Ontario) has spaces available in two childcare programs – toddlers (18 months to 2.5 years) and pre-school (2.5 to 4 years).  These twelve-month programs operate during school holidays, school PA days and March break, from 7:30 am to 6 pm daily.  Healthy meals and snacks are made on-site and include vegetarian and allergy considerations. The program includes fun outings and quality play-based activities.  The staff are caring and qualified professionals.  The program is licenced by the Ministry of Child and Youth Services.  Subsidy based spaces are available.  For more info and a tour of CNH, contact Karen Anthony at kanthony@cnh.on.ca or (416) 925-4363, ext 110.  Find out more about CNH at their website.

The Parliament Street Writing Group
The group is hosting its annual public reading of extracts from members’ short stories, works-in-progress and poetry.  Everyone is welcome – the Reading Room at the Parliament Street Library.  Monday September 10 starting at 6 pm.  Snacks are served.  Gerrard & Parliament opposite Anniversary Park.

Street party in Cabbagetown South
Save this date – Sunday, September 16 from noon to 6 pm. The Cabbagetown South party is starting to get a head of steam.  They’re welcoming artists who want to display their work and musicians who want to be part of the program – just notify Jennifer and then show up. They’re scheduling live music, bbq and games for the kids.  Seaton Street will be closed south of Gerrard to Dundas for the afternoon.  For more info, contact Jennifer Walker at eventscabbagetownsouth@gmail.com

Exercise classes at the CYC
Brenda Brown McNee has started up her exercise classes at the Cabbagetown Youth Centre (2 Lancaster, behind the Beer Store) featuring step aerobics followed by stretch and strength exercises.  They happen every Tuesday and Thursday from 9:15 to 10:15 am and cost $2 per class.  You can enroll or simply drop-in as often as you wish.  You can email Brenda for more info here: brenda.brownmcnee@bell.net
One further thought - it is definitely not true (so we’re told!) that some class members retire afterward for coffee and snacks simply because they’ve already worked off all those calories.  Not true – not true at all.  Nope, not true.

Volunteer for the Tour of Homes
The Tour is one of Cabbagetown’s signature events.  People come from across the city to enjoy our beautiful homes.  Tour organizers have issued a call for volunteers to staff each home and help the participants.  It’s a pleasant way to spend an afternoon – the people who visit are very friendly and the homes themselves are well worth seeing.  You’ll be on duty on Sunday September 16 for four hours followed by a private chance to tour the homes from 4 to 5 pm and then an after-tour party with wine and hors d’oeuvres. Contact Anne Pastuszak at annepastuszak@rogers.com  

In the media …

Killing the cabbage
Eric Morse whose photography graces this blog and many others became curious about the Cabbagetown tradition of Cutting The Cabbage that launches all of our Festivals.  He’s photographed a lot of cabbage ceremonies over the years.  He sees it in a morbid but amusing light.  His story was published in The Bulletin and you can catch it all here.

Visitors from Edmonton view Cabbagetown
Debbie and Murray write a blog about their travel experiences and in August, they visited Toronto, including Cabbagetown in their itinerary.  They obviously enjoyed Toronto generally (no doubt happily finding that we aren’t the self-satisfied grinches depicted in several western urban myths) and our neighbourhood in particular.  You can see what they’ve written here.  If you read through several entries, you’ll find their reactions very refreshing.