November 22 - Serving Cabbagetown & the Downtown East Neighbourhoods

Free the Children on 60 Minutes
Sunday, November 25, 7 pm. CBS’ 60 Minutes has followed Craig Kielburger for the past year.  They’ve visited Free the Children projects overseas, attended We Day events and interviewed people at home and abroad about the organization’s work.  This is a follow-up to an interview that they did with Craig sixteen years ago when he was a young teen launching his first efforts.  For this program, they also watched students in an American school who did their fundraising to build a school room in Kenya.  The broadcast will follow the Sunday afternoon NFL game – if you can’t watch it then, you can visit Free the Children’s website and see it online.
Toronto Street Cats
There’s an important animal rescue program under way in Regent Park and Cabbagetown South (River to Sherbourne, Gerrard to Dundas) to locate and neuter feral and stray cats living in the neighbourhood.  Launched in November 2011, the program has helped 250 cats out of an estimated 450.  It’s run by Toronto Street Cats using a generous grant from PetSmart Charities.
All medical care is handled at the Toronto Humane Society (11 River).  The cats are brought there, neutered, dewormed, vaccinated and given flea treatments and a two-day recovery. This work is done by qualified veterinarians and support staff who are all volunteers.  Follow-ups include providing shelters and feeding programs for the colonies of cats.
There are an estimated 100,000 feral cats in Toronto.  By neutering them, we avoid the huge stress placed on shelters and the need for large scale euthanasia. The animals enjoy a big improvement in their lives.
Volunteers are always welcome.  Watch a two-minute video celebrating treatment for the 1000th cat here.  Check out their informative website here.
Regent Park’s new aquatic centre
Photo GridTO
The new swimming pool is officially open in Regent Park and it’s another big milestone in the rebuilding of that community.  It has a lap pool, a leisure pool, a warm water pool, a Tarzan rope, a diving board and a water slide.  There are good stories about the facilities in GridTO and in an earlier edition of the Globe & Mail.
The Centre promises to be very popular.  The facilities are sensitive to various social standards and the pools themselves accommodate kids, people with various disabilities, families and serious fitness freaks.
Even Donald Trump got into the act – he donated $2 million toward its cost using something called Section 37 of the Ontario Planning Act.  In return, he got some leeway with his plans for his hotel downtown.  It was a smart move organized by Pam McConnell to direct his money into this project. 
St James Town progress report
The recent edition of the CPA Newsletter offers an article by Chris Hallett and Margaret Coshan about changes brewing in St James Town.  Margaret and Chris are leaders in Community Matters, an agency fostering better services and facilities for the St James Town area.  As new development plans for the north end are unveiled, they`ve worked for spin-offs that benefit the whole neighbourhood.  Their article is a recommended and informed read.
Cabbagetown Preservation Association Speakers Night
Monday November 26, 7 pm, St Peter`s Church (188 Carlton at Bleecker).  The CPA has invited Andrew McCausland to be the guest speaker.  His company, McCausland of Toronto, is the oldest surviving stained glass studio in North America and their works are scattered everywhere across Toronto.  Andrew is the fifth generation in the family to run the firm.   The meeting will include presentations for the 2012 winners of the Streetscape in Bloom award, the CPA`s annual nod to outstanding gardens and the 2012 Volunteer Award.
CYC Appreciation Night
The Cabbagetown Youth Centre has a lot to celebrate.  Their new renovations are complete and the changes are remarkable.  So they`re hosting an evening to show off and to thank their supporters.  John McFadyen, a very strong supporter and leader, will be recognized. The people who contributed to Blair`s Run and to the Scotiabank Marathon will be acknowledged. The CYC`s Performing Arts Kids will perform.  There`ll be tours of the new facilities and refreshments.  Please RSVP to (416) 960-1032 or
Historic hats
Congrats to Norma Shephard from the Mobile Millinery Museum and to volunteers at the Cabbagetown Regent Park Museum.  Last Sunday`s presentation, Historic Hats, was a charming event – full of knowledgeable comments, gorgeous hats, gracious models, witty remarks and an amused audience.  Well done everyone. For more hat insights, click here and for more about our community museum, here
Restaurant news
Spanish wines at JAMcafe
Av and Joe are again hosting an evening of wine and food tastings at JAMcafe (195 Carlton), this time featuring Spanish wines and olive oils.  It`s in co-operation with Olive & Olives, a specialty shop at 779 Queen St.  The evening will include five wines, two sherry vinegars and three olive oils, all with matching hors d`oeuvres.  Seating will be limited to 28 people so it`s advisable to call early.  Save the date – Wednesday December 5, 6:30 pm – final details about ticket prices will be ready soon.  (416) 921-1255.
Cafuné – a new café on Carlton Street
Vicente Gannam will open his new café (194A Carlton) this weekend.  He`s presenting a unique blend of art and food from Brazil.  Each month, he`ll be showcasing a new artist along his walls – works by Selma Abreu are shown now.  He also has natural fabric crafts displayed and for sale in the shop.  His menu will feature traditional meals, snacks and baked goods from indigenous and Afro-Brazilian cooking. These are the dishes that have become the heart of Brazilian cuisine.  The coffee comes from the microregion in the southeast mountains.  By next year, he plans to have a listing of Brazilian wines to match the menu. Check out Vicente`s website here – menu specifics will be added soon.  A welcome addition to our restaurant choices.
It`s Jenny
Photo Jesse Milns
blogTO has just published a very nice profile of our new café, It`s Jenny (253 Gerrard).  The review is favourable and well deserved.  Read it here.
Shopping news
Congratulations Cabbagetown Pet Clinic
The Farley Fund is a program run by the Ontario Veterinary Medical Association.  It provides assistance for seniors and disabled people who can’t afford treatments for their pets. Through the fund, participating clinics receive a budget and decide locally who will get the support.  Our own Cabbagetown Pet Clinic (239 Gerrard) raised $1400 this year for the fund – up from $500 last year.
Leslie has a dazzling studio art glass perfume bottle, artist signed and dated 1995.  Its sculptural frosted sommerso glass has a Memphis inspired slash of deep purple on one side and peach on the other.  For more info, visit her website.  249 Gerrard.

For the perfect couple from Kendall & Co
These Mr & Mrs monogrammed pillows are a match made in heaven. They’re equally perfect as a set of Mr & Mr and Mrs & Mrs.  Locally handmade.  Available exclusively at Kendall & Co, 227 Carlton.
Labour of Love
Tis the season – Regina invites you, ``Our Christmas window is up and our shop is stocked with all the Christmas essentials.  Drop by to see what we`ve chosen for you this season!``  242 Carlton.
Sundara`s new classes
Sundara (492 Parliament, side door) now has three new classes for you.
Friday November 23, 7:30 pm.  It`s Vinyasa and vino with Emma.  Do a dynamic vinyasa class with Emma and then stay afterward to meet fellow yogis in your community.
Saturdays, November 24 to December 15, 3 to 4:30 pm.  Ashtanga fundamentals with Emma.  Learn the basics of Ashtanga yoga.
Saturdays, 1 to 2:15 pm.  Pre-natal yoga is now a drop-in class.  This is an opportunity to connect with yourself, your baby and other women going through similar experiences.
Christmas news
Christmas decorations
The Cabbagetown Christmas Market (238A Gerrard) is a specialty shop devoted to Christmas installations and greenery.  George, the owner, will design and install your personalized home and tree decorations.  His shop also provides both vintage and modern decorations.  Contact him at (647) 997-7078.
Santa`s new look
Kidin Thrifty Shop (246B Gerrard) has given Santa a brand new look.  Local wits have noted that it`s a big improvement over the fat old guy.
Complaints department
Life is often full of tiny irritations that seem too small to deserve a mention. Bottling up these frustrations can be unhealthy. This department on our Review provides a therapeutic answer to that problem.
Garbage collection
Photo Toronto Sun
Normally, the City`s collection guys do a spiffy job.  But in Don Vale recently, they`ve started to experiment with the schedule.  They arrive on the proper day but the times are changed all around.  For twenty years, the truck has arrived at a predictable time and the bins were always there waiting for them.  Over the past few weeks, afternoon pick-ups started to take place in the mornings and vice versa.  As a result, homeowners are seen in pajamas and bare feet racing to the curb with the week`s collection of goodies.  Curses have also been heard.  Maybe someone in authority at City Hall can ask the crews to go back to their comfortable old ways.
The Globe & Mail
The Globe & Mail also needs to fix its delivery schedules.  Home deliveries seem to be fine.  Deliveries to our local stores, however, arrive now at 9 or 9:30 am, especially on Saturdays. For one G&M fan, this is far too late – it`s like getting an afternoon paper with yesterday`s news.  Let`s get back to our 7 am routine.