November 29 - Serving Cabbagetown & the Downtown East Neighbourhoods

Your Christmas gifts
This is the season when we think about making donations to agencies working in the arts, teaching kids, helping people who are sick or homeless.  There are amazing people doing this work in our communities.  For your convenience, we're drawing up a list so you can see who they are and what they're doing. 
To see the list, click here and also click on the poinsettia image in the right hand column.  Check back regularly - we'll add more names in the next week or two.

Riverdale Farm news
Changes are being made by the City of Toronto to the Advisory Council at the Farm.  For over 25 years, the Riverdale Farm Advisory Council has given feedback and direction to the professional staff from the Parks Department.  They’ve worked closely with staff but they’re an independent body. 
In November, the City dissolved this arrangement, following on recommendations from the Riverdale Farm Coalition.  A new group will be formed to look into fundraising projects to finance the Farm’s $500,000 annual budget.
We remember the Advisory Council’s leadership last year when they launched the campaign to “Save the Farm” with their bright yellow lawn signs .  Their work over the years has ranged from renovations to the health and welfare of the animals.  They’ve spent thousands of volunteer hours cleaning up the property, planting and tending the gardens.  They ran the annual Pancake Breakfast during the Festival. 
The final Chair of the Council was Dan Eldridge.  Over the years, the Council’s membership has run from 12 to 16 people. 
All of them deserve our heartfelt thanks.
Dental bus in St James Town
Every two weeks on Mondays, a bus from Toronto Public Health visits St James Town to provide dental care.  It’s an important service for local residents.  Children under the age of 18, senior citizens and adults needing emergency care are all eligible for treatment. Toronto Public Health works with community partners with the bus – Community Matters and Community Corner are the St James Town partner. Appointments are needed and can be arranged through Amina Chaudhary at Community Matters, (647) 765-7672.
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.  Thursday December 6, 7 pm. Please RSVP to (416) 960-1032 or
Cabbagetown South Christmas Party
The residents’ group is sponsoring its Christmas party on Wednesday, December 12 from 7 to 9 pm at the Ontario Restaurant (south side of Dundas between Ontario and Milan).  It’s a chance to meet your neighbours, share some cheer and celebrate Cabbagetown South.  Advance ticket sales continue to Sunday December 2 - $15 each.  After that, tickets are $20.  Learn more and buy your tickets at the Cabbagetown South website.
Christmas flower show at Allan Gardens
The conservatory in Allan Gardens (Carlton & Sherbourne) is transformed from Sunday December 2 until mid-January.  There are hundreds of different floral decorations including over thirty varieties of poinsettia and seasonal topiary masterpieces.  It’s the highlight of the year.
Sunday December 2 is the grand opening featuring horse and wagon rides, carolers, hot cider and a visit from Santa. 
Theatre reminders – starting now
Several shows are mentioned along the left column in our Review.  On Saturday at 8 pm and Sunday at 2 pm, THE BESETTING OF REENA VIRK is staged at the Aki Studio Theatre.  This weekend marks the opening of IMPULSE from the School of Toronto Dance Theatre.  IGNORANCE by the Old Trout Puppet Theatre starts in the Downstairs Theatre at Berkeley St Theatre.  Charles Dickens’ A CHRISTMAS CAROL begins at Soulpepper in the Distillery.  And on Thursday December 6, THE LIME TREE BOWER begins Upstairs at the Berkeley Street Theatre.  For those who have missed it so far, this weekend is your last chance to see THE DROWNING GIRLS in the Alumnae Theatre. 
Restaurant news
Free food
The Flying Beaver (488 Parliament) has a special offer for next Sunday – buy one Beaver Brunch and get your second one free!  11 am to 3 pm.  Heather and Maggie have a new chef and a new menu – they’re very proud of their updated efforts.  (More about that next week.) 
You must say “Doug sent me”.  No fooling.  That’s the secret code.  Repeat after me, “Doug sent me.”  When those words slip from your lip, you’ll be good for the two-for-one special.  “Doug sent me.”
Merryberry’s December theme
In addition to his regular menu, Cyril is offering a festive Victorian theme for December at Merryberry (559 Parliament).  One hundred years ago, a hodgepodge of immigrants lived in our neighbourhood – British, French, Irish and Macedonians – and his menu pays homage to them.  For your appetizers, there are two choices -  spiced butternut squash soup or a traditional cabbage-bacon-potato dish. For main courses, there’s tourtiere with maple glazed carrots, asparagus and apple chutney or duck with berries or baked bean casserole with spicy Macedonian sausages. Two dessert choices:  plum pudding with brandy sauce or Irish whiskey with gingerbread.  Prix fixe dinner with two options: two courses for $25 or all three courses for $30.  Starting on Wednesday and running through December. Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, 11 am to 3:30 pm and Wednesday to Saturday, 11 am to 9 pm.
Thai to Go
If you’re thinking of holiday entertaining choices, Chef Prasai can help.  He’ll work with you to prepare a special menu.  You can book the full dining room if you want to host your event here or, of course, your food can easily be delivered.  Call (416-515-8424) or drop by (452 Gerrard) and tell him or Dale about your plans.  You can see the regular menu at their website.
House on Parliament
Drop by during the twelve days of Christmas to see what’s being offered in the HOP’s (454 Parliament) advent calendar.  It starts on Saturday, December 1.
Shopping news
This week’s feature is a dramatic set of three art glass bowls designed by  Italian architect Carlo Scarpa and produced in Murano in Italy in the 1930s.  You’ll see more at Eclectisaurius’ website. Wednesday to Friday, 3 to 8 pm, Saturday noon to 7 pm and Sunday noon to 6 pm. 249 Gerrard.
Mail Bonding at Kendall & Co
Greeting card box sets,  gift tags and gift wrapping paper abound at Kendall & Co (227 Carlton), along with other fine stationery goods.   Extended shop hours: Monday to Friday 10 am to 6 pm, Saturday 11 am to 5 pm and Sunday noon to 4 pm. For more info, click here.

Trauma-sensitive Yoga
Information session with special guest Dr. Jane Salter and trauma-sensitive Yoga teacher Joanna Morrison, Saturday December 8th, 5:30 to 6:30 pm.  A short presentation about the basics of trauma-sensitive yoga followed by an open discussion. Light refreshments will be served.
Sundara Yoga Studio welcomes Joanna Morrison who will be teaching Yin Yoga on Saturdays from 11:15 am to 12:30 pm. She will also be leading the trauma-sensitive Yoga program starting in January 2013. Please go to for more information and course dates.
Busy weekend at Pet Valu
Santa comes back to Cabbagetown this weekend (and again on December 15) to Pet Valu (240 Carlton).  He’ll be here from 11 am to 2 pm on Saturday for photo opportunities.  He knows how to calm your pets and bring out their best - a really charming photo for only $10.
Marilyn Wilputte is also back on Saturday for her monthly nail clipping clinic.  She’s a favourite for pet owners.  10 am to 4 pm, $10.
Jet Fuel Bike Team
On Saturday from 8:30 pm, Jet Fuel is launching the season for the 2013 Cycling Team.  You’ll enjoy this chance to meet the team members and other racing celebrities and to see the team’s latest equipment.   For more info, check the Jet Fuel website.
Distillery’s 3rd annual Lowe’s Christmas Market
From Friday November 30 to Monday December 16.  This is the Distillery’s celebration of the romance and magic of a traditional Christmas.  Hundreds of unique, local, handcrafted products are showcased.  There are musicians, carollers, children’s choirs and stage performances.  Santa puts in an appearance.  Along with the great shopping, there are specialty beers, mulled wine, sweets and the Distillery’s fine restaurants. Monday to Friday, noon to 9 pm.  Saturday and Sunday, 10 am to 9 pm.