May 28

This week’s image:  whoa - another pot shop is coming here.



Every week, a new image in the right hand column highlights the work of a local artist.  

Throughout May, St James Town artist Michael Cavanaugh has been featured.  He’s worked on new murals in Cabbagetown, he’s been the program director of the successful Bell Box project and he works, as well, with Community Matters Toronto. 
Our thanks to Mike for making a beautiful difference in Cabbagetown and across the GTA.  Check out his Facebook page for contact info.


So - maybe there is a future in retail.  Pot.

For some reason, seven entrepreneurs have decided to open up in the Cabbagetown and Corktown neighbourhoods.  They need government approvals for their ideas but that seems like an automatic process.

So far, only one spot has official approval - Canna Cannabis at 433 Parliament.

Four others are applying.  The Green Closet (439 Parliament) is, incredibly, two doors away from Canna Cannabis.  The former Starbucks store is the new home for the proposed Growers Retail.  Spirit Leaf (240 Carlton) will move into the former Mi Casa store - it hasn’t officially applied but claims on its website that it’s “coming soon”.  And a new application just started at 307 Wellesley - the former home of Rashna’a, around the corner from Parliament.

Two other nearby stores are also applying.  Budmasters (290 Shuter) and Corner Cannabis (514 King E).  

These places are unlikely to become a threat to peace and harmony in our neighbourhoods.  They’re retailers - not pub-style smoking palaces.  They have lots of security systems and they want to please their neighbours, not offend them.   

By the way, the Ontario government agency that’s approving them is the same one that approved our local liquor store.  Now that’s a recommendation!


Thanks Cleo 
Cleo Pettigrew Brown is still doing her delivery service to help seniors and disabled people who are stuck in their homes during the COVID-19 shutdown.  So far, she’s made over 60 trips.
She picks up groceries and pharmacy items and delivers them at no charge. She leaves the delivery on the doorstep and collects payment from the mailbox.  For details, email her/

The COVID map
The Health Department has published a map showing the spread of COVID-19 across the city.  Although the worst outbreaks have happened in the suburbs, it’s apparent that cases have happened in every neighbourhood.  
The Moss Park area lists 140 cases, North St James Town 131 cases, Cabbagetown-South St James Town 32 cases and Regent Park 21. The Canary District, the Distillery, Waterfront Toronto and parts of Corktown are all blended into either South Riverdale at 22 cases or Waterfront Communities - The Islands at 101 cases.  
Although the map seems hard to use, it does make it clear that our downtown area is not a hot zone.  Click here and scroll right down the page.

Aberdeen rally
On Monday evening, Aberdeen residents were back at it - banging away on pots. cowbells and other noise makers to express their thanks to the people who take risks and do the essential jobs during the COVID-19 crisis.  

Cabbagetown Farmers Market
Unfortunately, the Market won’t open as scheduled in June.  The Parks department cancelled permits for events in the parks.  The Market organizers are trying to set up an online market and are looking for a suitable drop-off point in Cabbagetown.

Face masks
Last week, we told you about Jenn Walker’s daughter Townes (13 years old) who’s making decorated face masks.  Local customers who have them are very pleased.  Caroline says she’s super impressed - very  comfortable.
Townes is selling them for $10 and all the proceeds are going to local agencies - the Yonge Street Mission, CNH and others.  Email Jenn for more info and to make a purchase.  

Shawna Pereira and volunteers from the Cabbagetown Residents Association have been organizing Front Line gift bags.  The bags are donated to retail and restaurant workers to say thank-you for their efforts during the COVID shutdowns.  They dropped in to the House on Parliament and delighted the staff with their generous gifts.

St James Town Storeys
St. James Storeys is a podcast about building community in Canada's densest and most diverse neighbourhood. 
This week's episode is entitled "Coping with COVID in St. James Town, part 3: the power of grassroots supportive action by residents helping neighbours in need”.  Amal Kanafani is the guest.  She’s an extraordinary woman with an extensive social network in the community through which she helps to channel the care and compassion that St. James Town residents have for each other during the pandemic.

How to wash your hands
This is a very informative video about handwashing from Mark at St Jamestown Steak & Chops (516 Parliament)  Don’t miss it.  

COVID-19 contact info
Toronto has a useful website with the latest information, resources and facts.  
Contact Public Health at the City of Toronto by telephone (416-338-7600) and email
Telehealth Ontario (1-866-797-0000).


Pot news
An application to operate a cannabis store has been sent to the Ontario government by the owner of 307 Wellesley E, the former home of Rashna’a. Neighbours have circulated a flyer to oppose it and have started a campaign to get others to object as well.
To get more info and to express your views about this store, go to the AGCO website.  Anonymous submissions are not accepted.
The file number is 948524.  The submission deadline is June 5.  
You should also email Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam and Ms Suze Morrison, our local MPP.  

Government control of pot stores
The Cabbagetown Residents Association tried to get an answer from the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario about store density in our area.  They were told in reply, “Respecting the density of cannabis retail stores in any given area, it is possible that store authorizations can be issued to locations in close proximity to each other.”  The Association, although resigned to this nonsense from the AGCO, concluded “it is likely that survival of the fittest will weed out some of these outlets over time.” 

Laneway upgrades
Photo:  Cabbagetown South Residents Association
Maggie De Bruyne reports that upgrades are now underway on Calgie, Callaghan and Drovers Lanes - between Ontario and Berkeley south of Gerrard.  The storm basins have been removed and new pavement will be put down.  These fix-ups started on March 21 and they’re happening after years of planning, promises and delays. Local residents now are looking forward to the completion of the project.

Local street closures
Bayview from Mill Street north to the Rosedale Valley Road and River Street from Gerrard to Bayview will each be closed this weekend - from 6 am on Saturday to 11 pm on Sunday.  This will ease bike and pedestrian traffic on the Don River Trail. 

Summer jobs - apply before Monday June 1
Green Thumbs, Growing Kids is hiring six students for eight weeks (or more) this summer.  Jobs start on Monday June 8.  Info is available online here.  

Ontario Parkette fire
Photo:  Cabbagetown News
This dramatic photo shows the serious nature of the fire in the playground at the Ontario Parkette.  Whoever did this wasn’t fooling around.  Fortunately, no one was injured.  The Parks Department has started its removals and repairs.

Robins - update
Photo:  Steve Noble
Steve’s new neighbours, a family of robins, expanded this week.  The eggs have hatched and a couple of little guys want to be fed.  

Raccoons - the battle continues
Ron and Barbara's saga about their raccoon experiences continues.  
Last week, they kicked out a family from their garage by locking a door, then nailing the window shut and then putting a broom handle beside the slider.  This hasn’t stopped them.  As you can see from the photo - they’ve now tried to eat their way into the garage.  

Cabbagetown Regent Park Museum Historical Tidbit
Photo:  Winchester & Belt Line, 1890s City of Toronto Archives 376-5-80
by Sally Gibson    
When street railways were still dependent on horse-drawn cars, a group of entrepreneurs formed a corporation in 1889 to develop land north of the city in areas such as Forest Hill and service it with a steam-engine railway along a Belt Line encircling the growing city. Part of the route lay along the Don River where it passed the Winchester bridge, as shown in this photograph. 
For a very brief time – only two years from July 1892 to November 1894 - engines puffed along the tracks seen in the photograph and stopped at a very modest local station before heading north toward Rosedale and today’s Moore Park Ravine or south back to Union Station. Failure was due primarily to the high price of 25 cents (equal to about $5) and a severe economic depression. The route itself was more attractive to tourists seeking picturesque views of Toronto’s Highlands as depicted in a promotional pamphlet than to working people desiring a direct, not a circuitous, route to work.
For more Cabbagetown history, photos and videos visit the CRPM Facebook page


Your favourite Spring garden
Take a picture of a garden that really appeals to you.  Email it to the Cabbagetown South Association. One of the submissions will be picked (at random) and the gardener will receive a $20 gift certificate to Staij & Co (552 Parliament)
The deadline is Monday June 1.  Be sure to include the address so the prize can be delivered.   

Plant sharing day
The 2020 garden tour was cancelled because of the COVID-19 requirements.  So the Cabbagetown Preservation Association is organizing another way to enjoy your Spring garden.
Bring a plant to one of the drop-off spots - 89 Winchester, the southeast corner of Carlton and Sackville and Winchester Square Park (Aberdeen and Ontario).  Leave your plant and take another home.  Sunday June 14, 10 am to 5 pm.  

Streetscapes in Bloom
Nominations for the annual award continue until June 15.  The Cabbagetown Preservation Association holds this contest to highlight the neighbourhood’s great gardeners. 
The judges will visit the candidates four times throughout the Summer and early Fall.  The winner is announced at a presentation at the CPA’s Fall meeting and receives a medallion from Kitros Glass and a watercolour painting by Rosie Shepherd.
To learn more and to submit a nomination, go to the CPA’s website.  

Keep your body tuned-up
Parliament Street Fitness (488 Parliament) has a YouTube channel with videos by its staff that will maintain your fitness programs - yoga, pilates and HIIT.  The instructors are doing their workouts from their homes.   Check them out regularly on the PSF Facebook page and start your own at-home stretches and poses.  


650 Parliament
Photo:  Steve Russell, Toronto Star
Tenants displaced by the fire in August 2018 have all returned to 650 Parliament.  Their final move back into the building went smoothly and was on schedule despite restrictions caused by the COVID-19 virus.  Jason Miller has written about the move in his Toronto Star article.  Click here to read it.  

Anishnawbe Health
Image:  Quadrangle
The new hub for Anishnawbe Health will include health services, child services, a job-training centre, retail space and 400 condos and rental units.  Its design has been deeply shaped by Indigenous influences.  Wallace Immen has written about it in the Globe & Mail - click here for his story.  


Wiggly worms
This week’s video from Growing Up Green in the Garden is all about worms.  Every gardener knows that they’re the garden’s best friends.  Find out about worms and build a wormery to see why.  Click here to watch the video with Sarah from Friends of Allan Gardens.   


New hours at No Frills
Matt’s No Frills (449 Parliament) will open from 8 am to 9 pm daily from Sunday May 31.  Matt recommends that the 8 to 9 am hour be devoted to seniors.  On Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, all lanes will be open from 11 am to 6 pm.  Extra staff have been assigned to the front door and to cart cleaning.     


A reader’s review - Kingyo
Makoto and Aileen wrote to describe their experiences with Kingyo  (51B Winchester).
“During the lockdown, Kingyo has been producing exceptional authentic take out food and just launched a Take Home Ramen Kit, which we tried and it was amazing… we have one of the best Japanese restaurants in Toronto right in the heart of our neighbourhood!
My Japanese mother looks forward to visiting Kingyo every time she visits us and gives him props for creating authentic recipes at his izakaya. Everything is delicious. Our family favourites include their famous tantan ramen (arguably the best ramen in Toronto), pressed sushi, perfectly done katsu-don, tuna tataki and udon for the kids.” 

Back in action

F’Amelia (12 Amelia).  Salads, pizzas and pastas available now for takeout.  Open Wednesday through Sunday.  Online orders start at 2 pm.  Pick-ups from 4 pm.  Available every day - order two pizzas and a bottle of Sangre de Toro Cabernet Sauvignon for $69.  (416) 323-0666. For menus and info, go to the website.  

El Catrin (55 Mill St, Distillery).  Menu and delivery at Skip the Dishes, Tuesday to Sunday, noon to 9 pm.   

Cluny (35 Tank House Lane, Distillery) has opened an online grocery store as well as its normal French cuisine.  Baguettes, cheeses, macarons, beer and wine and more.  For pick-ups, you’ll need a face mask.  Check out the extensive list online here.  

Takeout at Jet Fuel  (519 Parliament).  Drop-in from 6 am to 2 pm for take-out coffee.  Payment by tap or cash.  John still also has home delivery for his coffee beans.  

Smoothies at Shalom  (587 Parliament).  They’re obviously healthy - great virus fighters!  Drop in and get one for takeout - 11 am to 9 pm, Tuesday to Sunday.

Saturday patio special at The Irv (195 Carlton).  Get 2 burgers, 2 fries and a 6-pack of Amsterdam blonde for $49.  Call 647-350-4787 for pick-ups and delivery.

Open Sundays at the HoP
Spring cleaning is underway at the House on Parliament (454 Parliament). The pub has been scrubbed down from top to bottom over the past week.  Good news - they're re-opening on Sundays.  This means that the Saturday prime rib has ended.  It’s back to Sunday prime rib.  The regular takeout menu starts up again on Friday.  Open Tuesday to Sunday - officially from 4 to 8 pm but watch for extended hours to be announced next week. 

New hours at Haldi
Haldi Indian Restaurant (568 Parliament) is open Tuesday to Saturday from 12:30 to 10 pm, 4 to 9 pm on Sunday and closed on Monday.   Be sure to order the Tandoori chicken wings - they’re new and they’re great.  

PearTree takeout specials  
This week, PearTree (507 Parliament) has two specials - Black angus steak and poutine at $24.99 and lemon thyme Arctic char for $17.99. The full menu is available for take out and delivery.  Call  (416) 962-8190.  Pickup orders available from 12:30 to 10 pm.  Delivery orders through Uber Eats, Skip the Dishes, DoorDash and Foodora.  For menu details, go to the website.   

Gift cards at Stout 
Rally For Restaurants promotes Stout Irish Pub (221 Carlton).  When you go online and purchase a $25 e-gift card, they’ll top it up with an additional $10 bonus to your card.  You can use it on anything on Stout’s online store.  Please support us by buying a e-gift card - click here.   
Open now for pickups 7 days a week.  Monday to Thursday 4 to 8 pm and Friday, Saturday and Sunday from noon to 8 pm.  

Cyril’s soups and juices
Cyril’s soup for Saturday is curried zucchini soup thickened with potatoes and made lush and creamy with the addition of coconut milk.  3-cup size for $9 and 4-cup size for $12.  His juice is orange and strawberry with a hint of papaya: $9 for a 2-cup container.
He makes two soups every week - on Tuesday and Saturday. He informs people about his menus in advance by email. He usually prepares a regular version and vegan one. Email him at to get all the details about each day’s menus as well.

Listed by starting dates.

Our theatres are now closed following directives from the City’s Public Health staff - Aki Studio, Alumni Theatre, Canadian Contemporary Dance Theatre, Canadian Stage, Citadel, School of Toronto Dance Theatre, Soulpepper, Toronto Dance Theatre. 



Our restaurants and pubs are now offering only takeout and delivery services.  Entertainment and special events have been cancelled until the COVID-19 shutdowns are over.


554 Parliament St, (647) 931-9088, 
17 Gristmill Lane, Distillery,  (647) 352-2766
601 Parliament St, (416) 925-6330, 
500 Queen St E, (416) 366-5555, 
18 Tank House Lane, Distillery, (416) 203-2121, 
394 King E
454 Parliament St, (416) 925-4074, 
573 King St E, (416) 306-1986, 
95 Carlton Street, (647) 350-4787, 
478 Parliament St, (416) 928-1358
21 Tank House Ln, Distillery, (416) 681-0338, 
21 Tank House Ln, Distillery, 
413 Parliament Street
514 King E, (647) 350-6346,
555 Dundas St E, (647) 748-0555
326 Parliament, (647) 989-9127, 
574&1/2 Parliament
Young Centre, 50 Tank House Lane, Distillery, (416) 866-8666,
221 Carlton St, (647) 344-7676,
(Formerly The Local GEST)
424 Parliament. (416) 961-9425