December 6 - Serving Cabbagetown & the Downtown East Neighbourhoods

Make a donation to a local agency
Click on the poinsettia in the right-hand column and see a list of local agencies.  Each one is deserves your support.
Toronto 2013 budget
The 2013 City of Toronto Operating and Capital Budgets have been released.  The details and supporting documents plus meeting schedules can be seen online here.
Councillor Pam McConnell and Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam will be making presentations about the budget and hearing your feedback at a special public forum next Saturday December 8 from 1 to 3 pm.  Following this forum from 3 to 4:30 pm, they’ll hold a workshop to inform you about the steps involved in making a deputation to Council about the budget.  Aki Studio Theatre, Daniels Spectrum, 585 Dundas St E
Awards night at the CPA
A week ago, the Cabbagetown Preservation Association held its Fall meeting and announced three important awards to local residents.
The 2012 annual Volunteer Award went to Richard Silver.  A high-profile local realtor, Richard makes a hefty contribution to Cabbagetown`s community life and it’s very appropriate that he receive this honour.
The annual Streetscapes in Bloom Award was split this year between two winners.  Through this award, the CPA highlights homes that have created outstanding gardens and enriched our streetscapes with their efforts.  The two homes selected this year were 427 Sackville Street and 262 Carlton Street.  Congratulations to both.
The 2012 Peggy Kurtin Award for Excellence in Restoration went to Christopher Dew and Beverly Conquest for their renovation of their home at 7 Wellesley Cottages.
Also at the meeting, Anne Pastuszak summarized the poll results from the survey taken among Cabbagetown residents about the CPA’s work and its future direction.  You can read the details here on page 2 of the CPA’s Fall newsletter. 
The Toronto Christian Resource Centre
The CRC is a long-established service agency working with residents in Regent Park.  Just as the neighbourhood has been demolished and rebuilt, so too have the CRC’s facilities.  Its Community Hub provides spaces and coordination for a variety of other agencies.  Its Community Meal Program offers over 32,000 meals annually.  At 40 Oak Street, the CRC’s new home has over eighty affordable newly built housing units.
You can see how well all of this works in this shortvideo about the housing services.  Last Saturday, the Globe & Mail’s Margaret Wente wrote a column about the CRC’s Board Chairman Greig Clark.  You can read it here
Christmas activity
The world’s biggest carolling choir
On Saturday December 8, starting at 3 pm, Mill Street Brewery and Lowe`s Christmas Market are organizing the World Carolling Challenge in the Distillery District (Trinity Square – 55 Mill Street).  It`s a benefit to aid the Daily Bread Food Bank.  Mill Street Brewery will donate $1 to Daily Bread for every participant.  At 5 pm, the singing starts.  Free lyric books and LED candles.  Join the crowd to break the record and be part of the biggest choir ever to enjoy singing Christmas carols.
Volunteers needed
Be a volunteer at the World`s Carolling Challenge.  People are needed to hand out LED candles, toques, lyric books and more.  If you`d like to be a part of this amazing event, contact Steve Abrams at
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.  Tickets are $20.  Learn more and buy your tickets at the Cabbagetown South website. 
Central Neighbourhood House
Volunteers are needed to distribute small gift bags to people in CNH’s In-Home Services Program.
About one thousand people, living in the downtown core, receive a bag filled with personal care items, pens, notebooks, gloves and candies.  The deliveries are made in the day and evening and on the weekends – so if you have time in these slots, then CNH will appreciate your help.  Contact Chris or Angela at (416) 925-4363 or at  CNH is located at 349 Ontario Street.
Toy Drive
The Cabbagetown BNI group have organized a toy drive on Saturday December 8 to benefit the Woodgreen Community Childcare Centre in Riverdale.  Duncan Fremlin and Mun from Munphotos  are working on it.  Bring a toy and have your picture taken with Santa.  As a bonus, when you make your donation, you`ll be  eligible to win a free Mac Book .  It all happens on Saturday afternoon from 3 to 5 pm at Merryberry, 559 Parliament.
Santa visited us
Pet Valu (240 Carlton) customers brought their dogs, cats and other pals along to meet Santa and have a picture taken with him last Saturday. The usual happy confusion resulted.  If you missed him last weekend, come by the store on Saturday December 15. He`s coming back then for another photo opportunity
Restaurant news
Busy times at Merryberry Café & Bistro
Cyril has launched Merryberry’s December theme – Christmas in Cabbagetown, a menu based on Victorian cooking from 100 years ago.  It’s a prix fixe with several options.  Enjoy the appetizer, entrée and dessert for $30 or the entrée plus an appetizer or a dessert for $25.  Check out the details here.
Merryberry is also the featured special on Hilary & Nick’s Facebook page – Cabbagetown Lives Here.  It’s a good site and worth joining.  They highlight a local businesses once a month and give good discounts when they do so.  Merryberry’s discount is one free appetizer or dessert from the Christmas in Cabbagetown menu.  Watch for the coupon – they’re being delivered door-to-door.
Cabbagetown Brew
Our newest coffee and sandwich shop is expanding rapidly. To launch themselves and introduce their new dishes, they’re offering a small Colombian or Sumatran coffee free.  Pat and Steve are featuring baked goods from Marc Thuet – delivered fresh daily. They’ve got fresh bread, all-grain muffins, and a line of other baking goods.  They’ve added ham & cheese and turkey sandwiches on croissants along with their regular Panini.  As well as their coffee selections, they now also have seven flavours of loose teas.  552 Parliament.
Congrat’s to F’Amelia
Todd, John and the staff at F’Amelia (12 Amelia) have been chosen as the Best Toronto Restaurant for Italian Food by Where Magazine.  Italian food is back in vogue in Toronto and this cozy joint is the best of the new trattoria crop. That’s probably because the chefs keep it simple (no dish has more than five ingredients) and authentic, from the charcuterie plate to the pastas to the pizzas.”
Good food at Flying Beaver
Heather and Maggie have introduced a new chef and a new menu at their Pubaret (488 Parliament).  Their entertainment has been a growing and very satisfying success.  It’s not at all uncommon for them to enjoy sold-out performances.  Dinner patrons get priority seating for many of the shows.
Maggie feels that it’s time to emphasize the value and high quality of their menus.  In addition to their regular fare, Chef Amin Mozumdar is preparing daily specials.  Wednesday, it’s “Hurry in for Curry” night.  Sunday morning’s brunch features Two-for-One specials and on the last Sunday of each month, Psychic Brunch.

The end of the world
It's on the Mayan calendar and it happens on December 20.  Erin is throwing a party to celebrate at Stout Irish Pub (221 Carlton).  There's gonna be a champagne toast for the survivors at midnight.  Wear your pajamas and win a prize.  If the end is here, then why not gather your family and face it together with your pals at Stout?  Hors d'oeuvres and craft beers available while you wait. 
Early Christmas announcements
Once again, Cranberries (601 Parliament) will host Christmas Day dinners.  These are always full and each year, I hear how pleased the customers are.  When times and menus are available, they’ll be posted here. 
St Jamestown Steak & Chops
Mark at St Jamestown Steak & Chops (516 Parliament) is taking your orders for Christmas turkeys.  He`s also been aging PEI prime rib roasts and they`ll be ready for Christmas as well.  He`s got Christmas cakes, puddings and cookies - he`s donating a portion of each sale to the Cabbagetown Youth Centre.
Shopping news
Cat adoptions
Cat Busters, the rescue agency, are returning to Pet Valu (492 Parliament) on Saturday December 8.  You can see the cats that they’re offering, find out about their health, learn the fees that they charge and then pick out one special guy for yourself.  10 am to 3 pm.
Tray Chic
These are just one of several available styles to serve during your holiday gatherings.  Available now from Kendall & Co (22 Carlton).  You can shop online here or check out Kendall’s other great gift ideas here.  When you spend over $50, you’ll receive a free tote bag (while supplies last).  Extended shopping hours – Sunday from noon to 4 pm until Christmas.
Aiming for 500
Regina at Labour of Love (242 Carlton) wants to reach 500 Likes on her Facebook page so she’s making it worthwhile to join.  She now has 368 and when she hits her goal, she’s going to have a draw and select ten lucky winners to receive $50 gift cards.
Sundara Yoga
On Saturday December 8 from 5:30 to 6:30 pm, Sundara (492 Parliament) hosts an information session about trauma- sensitive Yoga with guests Dr Jane Salter and Joanna Morrison, the trauma-sensitive yoga instructor.  They’ll be available for the presentation and for questions afterward.  The program will run from January 19 to March 2 on Saturdays from 5:30 to 6:30 pm. 
Angela is renovating her studio space and closing from Saturday December 15 to Wednesday January 2.  When she reopens on January 3, check out her $45 unlimited introductory offer for new students.
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.