This week’s image: early birds take to the Riverdale Park slopes on Sunday despite the fog, the heavy wet snow and a huge wet spot at the bottom.
FEATURED LOCAL ARTIST
Eric has lived in Cabbagetown since 1986. His photographs have been featured in a local newspaper and with a variety of community groups. Some of his work can currently be seen (and purchased) at The Tilted Dog. Streetcars are one of his favourite subjects and he often gives them whimsical powers.
Just before COVID, Eric also shot an epic full-length video of the entire route of the Carlton 506 car, with soundtrack compiled by Cabbagetown jazz aficionado Stan Smrke. It can be viewed here.
A foul-weather encounter between streetcars is always tense, as neither can clearly see whether the other might be younger, or more heavily armed or even, fate forfend, off its trolley. February 2013
Neighbours Helping Neighbours
Six local associations have joined together with Dixon Hall in a Christmas fundraiser to address food insecurity in our neighbourhood. This problem is urgent and it’ll get worse over the winter. Dixon Hall has a long history helping to deliver food to seniors, unemployed people and other vulnerable families in Cabbagetown, Regent Park and St James Town. The campaign is called Neighbours Helping Neighbours. Click here to learn more and to find the link for your donation.
Sprucecourt School clothing drive and giveaway
The school is running a warm clothing drive for its families. Please consider donating warm, clean clothes - rain and winter coats and pants, sweaters, boots, hats, gloves, mittens, scarves, toasty warm socks and cozy pants. The drop-off bins are located at the Grades 7 & 8 entrance to the school (70 Spruce) between 8:30 and 9 am, November 26 and 27. If you need warm clothes, help yourself. The donations will be sorted and displayed at the Grades 7 & 8 entrance between Monday November 30 and Friday December 4, 3 to 4 pm. For more info, email the School Council.
Donate to our schools
Across Toronto, local communities donate extra funds to their schools to enrich their programs. This year, it’s a lot tougher - fundraisers have been cancelled because of COVID restrictions. You can help our schools by making an online gift. Visit the Toronto District School Board’s website School Cash Online and select your school - Lord Dufferin, Nelson Mandela, Rose Avenue, Sprucecourt and Winchester are all in our neighbourhood.
Ice rink in Cabbagetown
Trish Finkelstein is organizing people who want a skating rink this winter in the neighbourhood. She’s researched the idea with Parks Department and has a list of their requirements. She’s now recruiting more people to work on the rink throughout the season. It sounds like a fun project and she’s got it figured out. Email Trish if you’d like to join the group.
Pots and pans for little kids
Email her and she’ll pick them up.
Former Toronto mayor June Rowlands lived in Cabbagetown on Sumach Street and on Wellesley for many years. The Cabbagetown Preservation Association has recognized her contributions as the first woman to serve as Toronto’s mayor. She’s listed on the CPA’s website with many other distinguished people whose lives enriched the community and the city. Click here to read it.
Over the past few weeks, Linda Sims has collected used winter clothing for New Circles. The COVID regulations have shut down New Circles and Linda’s drive is now over. Her efforts and the community’s generosity have really paid big dividends. She gathered up 41 coats, 134 sweaters, shirts and tops, 52 pairs of boots and shoes, 78 hats, scarves, mitts, gloves and socks, 1 suit and 3 sports coats. Many thanks, Linda and many many thanks to each donor.
Check your local pharmacy for accurate updates. Supplies are arriving unannounced and the druggists are phoning clients to make appointments. Pharmasave (290 Shuter) still has supplies of the vaccine - call to check at (647) 352-2252. The main Rexall website shows that our local store (539 Parliament) is out of stock but local social media reports that they’ve just received some. According to the online map, our three neighbourhood Shoppers Drug Marts (467 Parliament, 565 Sherbourne and 593 Dundas E) do not have the vaccine.
Riverdale Park East, Regent Park and Sherbourne Common will open on Saturday November 28 from 10 am to 10 pm daily. There’s a 25-person limit for the rinks. You can make a reservation and confirm that the rinks are open at the City’s website.
Jim died peacefully on Friday, November 20 at 68 years of age. He owned and operated Jim’s Super Foto (now called Rapid Photo, 434 Parliament) for nearly forty years until his retirement in 2015. He was a fixture in Cabbagetown’s business community - a good friend, a capable businessman and an astute observer of the passing scene along the street. Our sympathies go to Rose and to his daughters Jessica and Olivia. Funeral details are online here. Donations to the Cabbagetown Community Arts Centre (422 Parliament) in his name are welcome.
Cabbagetown Regent Park Museum Historical Tidbit
Willie Jackson grew up in Cabbagetown during the 1930s and 40s. He fell into a life of crime which introduced him to Toronto’s dashing robber and media star, Edwin Alonso Boyd. Both were serving time in the Don Jail. Willie was apparently a prankster, nicknamed “the clown,” but the Don Jail was not conducive to trickery unless it involved escape.
Twice Jackson joined Boyd in escaping from the jail. On November 4, 1951 they sawed through the bars of a window with a hacksaw hidden in Lennie Jackson’s prosthetic wooden foot. Their getaway driver, Steve Suchan. failed to show up because he was entertaining his girlfriend and forgot the rendezvous outside the jail.
On September 8, 1952, all four gang members were once again reunited in the Don Jail. This time authorities confiscated Lennie’s wooden foot and the gang was locked-up in the empty Death Row section of the jail. Again they sawed through the bars of a hallway window, dropped down on a wall, waited while the guard below passed on his rounds, dropped down to the ground, and ran (in Lennie’s case, hobbled away without his wooden foot) into the nearby Don Ravines. A huge manhunt spread out across the local landscape. They were discovered and captured on September 16 in an old barn near Yonge and Sheppard.
This time they went to trial. Boyd was sentenced to eight life sentences. Cabbagetown’s own Willie Jackson got 30 years. And both were paroled in 1966. Suchan and Lennie Jackson were found guilty for the murder of two policemen and were hanged on December 16, not far from Death Row.
Apartment for rent
Hilary Browning at Sage Real Estate (538 Parliament) has a special offer on behalf of a special client.
Exclusive opportunity to rent the top floor of a Cabbagetown mansion. Loads of character and light in this 2 bedroom suite with a west-facing balcony overlooking downtown. Enjoy living in the heart of the neighbourhood and steps from Riverdale Park. Available January 1st for $2,000/mo. Please email Hilary for more information.
CPA annual meeting
Weesageechak Begins to Dance 33
Native Earth Performing Arts (Daniels Spectrum, 585 Dundas E) is bringing back its annual development festival featuring new dance, theatrical and multi-disciplinary works by Indigenous creators. It’s online and free. Over the next five days from November 25, there’s a jam-packed schedule with different live performances every day. These are then available online until December 6. Click here to see the daily programs and artists’ profiles.
Waterfront Toronto virtual town hall
Join the town hall meeting online, Tuesday December 1 at 7 pm. You’ll hear updates about the projects that are underway and the plans for the future - about social housing, climate leadership and economic growth. Use Eventrite to get the ZOOM link and the meeting password.
Children’s Book Bank
Even though the store (350 Berkeley at Gerrard) is closed for COVID lockdown, it’s still giving away books to kids who want them. On December 2 and December 9 from noon to 5 pm, the Walk-Up Window will be open. Kids can tell the staff person about the books they want and they’ll be delivered to the window.
IN THE MEDIA
The Regent Park Film Festival
CBC News interviewed Angela Britto, the executive director of the Regent Park Film Festival. They discussed her role there and the impact of the COVID pandemic on the Festival. Click here to read it. (Photo: Ramya Jegatheesan)
Drug overdoses in CabbagetownJane Stevenson wrote a Toronto Sun story about five deaths that are linked to poisonous opiates distributed in the Cabbagetown area. The latest one involved an 18-year old man in St James Town last Thursday morning. Police are warning users to be careful about their sources and not to inject drugs alone. Click here for her story.
Watch for it
On Friday, the BIA will launch its Deck The Holidays campaign. Four storefront windows are being decorated by imaginative designers - #419, 495, 527 and 557 Parliament.
COVID regulations for retail stores
There’s a business directory on the Cabbagetown BIA website with the details listed beside each store’s info.
Shop Online with Kendall & Co
Do your Holiday shopping 24/7 on Kendall’s website. Browse under “Holiday” at the top main menu or use the search bar to find what you are looking for. Learn about their made-in-Canada furniture, reupholstery service, fair trade area rugs, vinyl floor mats, custom drapery and wallpaper. More goodies will be added to their website in the coming days and new arrivals are en route. Curbside pick-ups Tuesday to Saturday, noon to 5 pm. Worldwide delivery and free local delivery in Cabbagetown. The team at Kendall & Co is here to help and find creative solutions. They are pretty great at being creative as their Christmas shop window demonstrates year after year. Check back on their website, Facebook @kendallandcodesign and Instagram @kendallandcoca regularly. Call (416) 363-9914 or email with your inquiries. 514 Parliament.
Distillery’s Toronto Winter Village
Check out the Winter Village Holiday Gift Guide. The Distillery’s stores are offering curbside sales and this guide is a handy catalogue of their specials.
Toronto Star Readers’ Choice Awards
Joe Warmington reviews The Irv
Joe Warmington at the Toronto Sun gets very impatient about the COVID lockdowns and the government’s handling of the COVID crisis. He interviewed Regan Irvine, The Irv’s owner, about his experiences running The Irv (195 Carlton) and about its personal ties to his father and his community. There’s a short video with the story. Click here to see the Toronto Sun’s story. (Photo: Eric Morse)
Takeout Tuesday from the Cabbagetown BIA
Bottled cocktails from Super Bargain
Toronto Life’s featured take-out cocktails and included Super Bargain (441 Parliament). Each kit has four drinks - negroni, margarita and paper plane choices. Click here to learn more.
Christmas cake and cookies
Mark has just received his supply of his popular Christmas cookies and cakes. Get yours now because they disappear fast. St Jamestown Steak & Chops (516 Parliament)
Congrats to the House on Parliament
The HoP (454 Parliament) has won a second big award as the city’s best pub. This time from the Toronto Star’s Readers Choice. Congrats again to Tania, Beau and the staff for a well deserved prize. During the COVID closures, the HoP has takeout service and limited local deliveries from noon to 9 pm daily - click here for info.
F’Amelia’s meals for home
Take the stress out of cooking with F’Amelia’s daily takeout specials. $45 for 2, $85 for 4. And order up one of F’Amelia’s wines for a complete treat. For more info and to place your order, call (416) 323-0666 or order online.
Cranberries’ daily takeout menuEvery day, Cranberries (601 Parliament) offers new specials for take-outs along with its regular menu. Call (416) 925-6330 and check it out online.
Pies from The Tilted Dog
Buy a $100 e-gift card at Dominion (500 Queen E) and get another $50 bonus card for yourself. Offer good until December 1.
A comprehensive listing of our local food services is now available in our new Cabbagetown Directory.
The list includes bakeries, coffee shops, delis, restaurants and pubs. Each entry gives the name, address, phone number and a link to a Facebook page or website.
Click here to find your favourite.