December 10

 This week’s image:  The guy on the end got into his Christmas spirits.




Joanne Pettigrew

Joanne Pettigrew is a graphic designer and artist, and a long-time resident of the Cabbagetown neighbourhood. She’s currently teaching at the School of Design at George Brown College.

Urban Landscapes,  Drawings by Joanne Pettigrew

“For some reason the beauty of the urban landscape becomes clearer to me at night. Maybe because there are fewer distractions, or perhaps because the darkness creates a greater intimacy.  Formally, these drawings are about my fascination with the effect of light on our perception of colour…”

Nasmith Avenue

Oil pastel and guache on paper 19”x 28”,  2016 


B Denham Jolly

Congratulations to Denham Jolly for his appointment to the Order of Canada.  He’s had a remarkable, constructive career as a businessman and a philanthropist.  He’s praised “For his contributions to the promotion of equity and opportunity within the Greater Toronto Area’s Black community.” His entry on Wikipedia lists his business and charitable projects and honours.  (Photo:  Order of Canada)  

Congrats Bill Graham

Bill Graham is a familiar face for people in Cabbagetown.  He had a distinguished career as our Member of Parliament from 1993 to 2007.  He has since been involved in a long list of academic, government and charitable roles.  In May 2015, he was appointed a Member of the Order of Canada and in November 2020, he was promoted to an Officer of the Order. (Photo:  Order of Canada). 

Cabbagetown is a Queen’s Park Pick

Cabbagetown has earned a 2020 Queen’s Park Pick.  Every year, the Ontario Association of Architects selects examples of outstanding architecture from across Ontario to celebrate World Architecture Day.  MPPs at Queen’s Park nominate one example from their ridings.  Our MPP Suze Morrison submitted the Cabbagetown neighbourhood.  The OAA’s description of Cabbagetown is online - click here.   

The Toronto Miracle

On Saturday December 5, volunteers gathered up food donations for the food banks at Council Fire (439 Dundas E) and Allan Gardens (St Luke’s Church, 353 Sherbourne). They collected over 250 pounds of non-perishable items from Cabbagetown. The Toronto Miracle was organized across the city in 140 neighbourhoods. Congrats to Sandy Riches and her team for their efforts.

Eastern screech owl

Early in the week, Max saw a flock of blue jays mobbing a knot in a nearby tree.  Nuthatches and cardinals got into the fray as well.  This went on all day until the resident popped out at dusk.  It’s an eastern screech owl, a small bird about the size of a robin.  It’s a long-time resident in the neighbourhood - Max and Sarah have heard its calls for the past ten years.  (Photo:  Max Perren). 

Winchester Park community skating rink

Trish Finkelstein is making great strides on her project to build a community skating rink.  She’s planning to use Winchester Park.  She’s applied for a permit and is waiting for the City of Toronto’s reply.  She’s located a storage spot for the hoses and tools needed for the rink.  She’s now asking us to save any old rug runners to use as walking paths.  She also wants to offer a skate exchange - so please save any old skates that you have.  Finally, she needs to build a seating area and she’s looking for hay bales.  If you can help with any of these items,  please contact her.   

City of Toronto skating rinks

Riverdale Park East, Regent Park and Sherbourne Common are now open from 10 am to 10 pm daily. Change rooms and lockers are closed. 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.  

Flu shots

Check your local pharmacy for accurate updates.  Our local Rexall (539 Parliament) and three Shoppers Drug Mart (467 Parliament, 565 Sherbourne and 593 Dundas E) are getting small shipments weekly without prior notice.  Both stores also say that the chain’s website is accurate.  Pharmasave (290 Shuter) still has supplies of the vaccine - call to check at (647) 352-2252.

Cabbagetown Regent Park Museum Historical Tidbit

Image: Don Vale House, 1870. John Ross Robertson, Landmarks.
By Sally Gibson
Don Vale House is but a memory. No one alive today remembers it directly. For about 35 years, this tavern occupied what is now a weedy spot at the foot of an extended Winchester Street, an important roadway into and out of Cabbagetown and the city before the Prince Edward Viaduct was built on Bloor Street. It was located in the Don Valley below the Necropolis and near a bridge over the river.  In the 1840s, a small, shed-like residence was built on the spot. Soon it was turned into a public house and then enlarged as shown in the pen drawing. Don Vale House was a convenient walking distance from the city for working men seeking a drink, convivial company, and amusement after a hard day’s work. Boxing and cock fighting (unfortunately) were popular. “Some of the scenes enacted within their precincts would now be deemed illegal and unsuited to the times,” John Ross Robertson admits. The tavern was abandoned around 1870 and pulled down five or six years later.


Premium Christmas trees

Supplies of Christmas trees are rapidly disappearing at lots and stores across Toronto.  Anji at Blooming Flower Bar (559 Parliament) still has some premium trees in stock.  Holiday urns and custom wreaths are also available. Give her a call to place your order.  Curbside pickup from 9 am to 1 pm and 4 to 6 pm daily.  (647) 350-8076

Cabbagetown Christmas cards

The Cabbagetown Residents Association has organized a Christmas card contest at Sprucecourt School.  Kids design cards and the winning entries are used to send Christmas greetings to residents in the area.  This year, over 200 kids from all grades participated.  Four winners and twelve runner-ups were selected.  You can see the winning entries at Epicure (473 Parliament) and watch for your card in your mailbox.

Christmas gallery

Deck the Holidays.  

The Cabbagetown BIA has organized window displays along Parliament Street - Meredith Heron designed this window at 527.

Sprucecourt School Christmas Cards

This week’s features are from Noha and Athiran.


Local businesses do a spectacular job with their front windows.  This week’s features are Kendall (514 Parliament) and St James Town Steak & Chops (516 Parliament)

Christmas lights contest

The Cabbagetown Residents Association is running its sixth annual Christmas lights contest.  It’s going to be a tougher competition this year - people are starting early and really getting into the spirit.  Nominate your neighbours (or yourself!).  The contest continues to Saturday December 26.  Everyone is welcome to vote - voting starts on December 14.  Check the CRA website for all the details.  


Carolling for cans

The food drive to support the food bank at St Luke’s Church (Sherbourne and Carlton) is still happening even though the annual door-to-door carolling event is cancelled this year. Click on the map to see the route for food collections. Please leave your bag of non-perishable food on your doorstep on Sunday December 13 from 2 to 4 pm. People outside this area can still make a financial contribution - use an e-transfer ( or a credit card payment through (select Saint Luke’s United Church). Tax receipts will be issued.

Neighbours Helping Neighbours

Update - over $12,000 has been raised so far.  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.  Click here to learn more and to find the link for your donation.      

Pots and pans for little kids

Lindsay Matheson is collecting wooden spoons, spatulas, old pots and pans - it doesn’t matter if they’re banged up. She’ll use them in a mud kitchen for Kindergarten kids at Sprucecourt School. Email her and she’ll pick them up.

FreshCo toy drive

FreshCo (325 Parliament at Dundas) is holding a toy drive between Sunday December 6 and Sunday December 13. Bring a new, unwrapped toy to the store and it’ll be forwarded to the toy drive at Fire Station 325.

Green Thumbs Growing Kids

GTGK supports three school gardens in Cabbagetown and St James Town and assists with another in Regent Park and the Children’s Garden in Allan Gardens.  Their normal fundraising has been cancelled by the COVID restrictions and it’s now online.   Your donation ensures that children get connected with their food through their own gardening experiences.  Click here for more info and to make your donation.   

Double your gift

The School of Toronto Dance (80 Winchester) is raising funds to support its bursaries and scholarships.  All donations up to $5,000 made between now and December 31 will be matched by the Del Degan family.  Make your donations online here.  


A cat mystery

Rumplestiltzken lives at Sackville and Gerrard.  Since the summer, Rumpy has disappeared for long periods of time. When he comes home, he’s not interested in his food.  One day, he returned wearing a bright pink, Rhinestone collar.  Virginia writes, “He was clearly engaged! To someone else! We attached a note to the collar to explain he was ours, duly licensed, vaccinated and microchipped, but we never got a reply. Obviously his girlfriend did not take the breakup well. We wonder if anyone can tell us who the third partner is in our menage a trois?”  Email Virginia if you have any idea about his two-timing habits.   



Canadian Contemporary Dance Theatre (509 Parliament) presents WINTERSONG – dances for a sacred season.  It’s an evening of virtual dances old and new. The program features two World Premiere short dance films, an inside peek at what it's like dancing with CCDT's company during a global pandemic, iconic repertoire highlights and more.  Live-streaming to viewers around the globe on Saturday December 12. Make your evening extra special with the Dinner & Dancing upgrade, adding gourmet pizza kits delivered to your home by local caterer Gusto 54.  Go online for more information and to purchase tickets.  


Canary District sculpture garden

There’s a sculpture garden in Canary District (Front and Bayview) that’s full of misshapen figures. Called the Garden of Future Follies, it’s based on 18th and 19th century sculptures.  blogTO has a story about the Garden - click here to read it.   


Shop Wonderkind

Shawna Pereira has a gift catering service based on Canadian-made products from companies founded by women.  She uses four nifty ways for you to create your gift.  You can answer a quiz and she’ll build your gift accordingly. Or you can send a gift code and let your lucky loved one take the quiz.  Or you can select a pre-tailored set.  Or you can call her and talk it over.  She’s gathered up lovely gifts for your Wonderkind Surprise. Check out her gift sets (and she can include alcohol in your package) on her website and start your order today.   

Shop online with KENDALL & Co

Holiday Shop 24/7 on their website.  Browse under “Holiday” at the top main menu or use the search bar to find what you are looking for. Or simply call 416.363.9914, email  with your inquiries. More goodies will be added to their website in the coming days and new arrivals are now here. So check back on their website, Facebook @kendallandcodesign and Instagram @kendallandcoca for updates. Curbside pick-ups Tuesday to Saturday Noon to 5 pm. They also offer worldwide delivery and FREE delivery in Cabbagetown. While you are on their website, learn about their Made in Canada Furniture, Reupholstery Service, Fair Trade Area Rugs, Vinyl Floor Mats, Custom Drapery and Wallpaper. The team at KENDALL & Co is here to help and offer creative solutions whether it is shopping for Christmas or for your home. They are pretty great at being creative as their Christmas Shop Window demonstrates year after years. 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.  


Christmas dinners

Daniel et Daniel (248 Carlton)

Traditional four-course Christmas dinner - $45 person, minimum two portions.  Details and order info are online.  Order by noon on December 22 for pickup or local delivery on December 24.   

F’Amelia (12 Amelia)

Dinner for four including a bottle of red or white wine. Two options. Option 1 is a traditional turkey dinner and dessert.  Option 2 features braised beef and dessert.  Served cold, cooked and ready to reheat.  Each option, $250.  Order by December 21 for pickup on December 23 - phone (416) 323-0666 or email.     

The Irv (195 Carlton)

A full dinner, $32.  Pickups on Thursday December 24 and Friday December 25, from 1 to 3 pm.  Order by email before December 20.    

The Tilted Dog (424 Parliament)

Order your scrumptious Christmas pies now - tourtiere (large $25), turkey pot pie (large $30 and small $10) and shepherd’s pie (large $30 and small $10).  (416) 961-9425).  

New features at The Paintbox

The Paintbox (555 Dundas E) has a new menu featuring its Chef Pop-up specialty sandwiches, homemade soups and bistro items - available for pick-ups or UberEats delivery.  And don’t forget about Nibbly, the online grocery store.  Open Monday to Friday, noon to 7 pm.   

Peartree’s specials

This week’s specials at Peartree (507 Parliament) are T-bone steak with garlic lobster tail at $25.99, spinach and goat cheese stuffed fillet of sole at $17.99 and chicken and shrimp fusilli with lemon white wine sauce at $17.99. The regular menu is also available. Pick-up or free delivery (Skip the Dishes). Check the website for menu and ordering details.

Stout’s pantry & bottle shop

Stout Irish Pub (221 Carlton) has fresh produce, sandwich kits, cans, grains and meat.  You can also order baskets filled with Louis Cifer beer, snacks, glassware and $5 gift cards - $20 to $60.  Order from Door Dash or from Stout’s website.    

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.   12 Amelia.  Call (416) 323-0666 or order online.  


Cyril’s soups

Cyril will be offering his soups on his “by-request” system until January.  He’s got a list of available recipes - 72 different varieties.  Choose those that you want and tell him whether you plan to freeze them.  Tell him your specific target date.  He’ll schedule his deliveries and let you know when to expect him.  For your minimum order - two large ($12 vegetarian and $15 meat option/each) or three small ($9 vegetarian and $12 meat option/each).  Email him for the list of soups and for your orders. 


COVID regulations for retail stores

There’s a business directory on the Cabbagetown BIA website with the COVID details listed beside each store’s info. 

Food services

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.