December 29

 This week’s image: Winter’s here and it gave us a white Christmas. 




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…” 

Gerrard and Sackville 

Oil pastel and guache on paper 16” x 24”, 2018 


Christmas lights contest 

Congrats to the homeowners on Spruce who really did a great job decorating their home. They won the contest in a landslide, despite the high quality of all the entries. Congrats as well to the Cabbagetown Residents Association. It’s been a remarkably successful contest - 2,337 people voted in 20 days. Check the CRA website for photos of the nominees and all the voting details.  

200 Wellesley  

Another fire has struck the large Toronto Community Housing building at Bleecker and Wellesley. This one happened in a 12th-floor unit about noon on December 26. Two people were injured - a man with life-threatening burns and a woman with serious injuries. A quick Google search shows that fires have hit the building three times in the past ten years. In 2010, it was a big one that resulted in an evacuation. Smaller fires happened in separate units in March 2017 and November 2019. This is not the large building at 650 Parliament where a fire forced an evacuation for eighteen months. (Photo: CityNews, Ryan Belgrave).

Thanks to the Aberdeen sandwich group

The group supplies sandwiches, home baking, fruit and other foodstuffs plus clean socks to Dixon Hall’s Wednesday lunch program.  Its members now come from all corners of Cabbagetown and they’ve recently recruited four new members.  They make at least fifty sandwiches each week. They made a huge effort for the annual Christmas dinner that fed eighty people.  Congrats all for your fine work.  If you’d like more info and want to join the group, email Michael Guenther. (Photo:  Victoria Hadden).

Green Thumbs Growing Kids 

Throughout the year, various programs by Green Thumbs Growing Kids have been featured here.  GTGK creates and manages gardens at Sprucecourt, Winchester and Rose Avenue schools. It helps with another garden in Regent Park.  1,560 kids were involved, 300 pounds of food produced and donated, 182 seed kits provided to 168 participants - and lots more.  There’s a good video report about the successes that it's had in 2020 despite the COVID problems - click here to watch it. 

A great memory

One of Yvonne’s closest friends died three years ago from a cancer.  She had two Macaws and when they shed their feathers, she collected them from the bottom of their cage.  Yvonne has found them and made a wreath from them.  It’s hanging on her front door in her friend’s memory.

Flowers blooming in the winter

These are helleborus or the winter rose.  They bloom and survive in the cold and snowy days that we’re currently enjoying.  This batch has lived in its Cabbagetown garden for many years.

Bread is a big thing

Baking bread has become a COVID trend. Peter certainly does it and he does it really well. He’s dropping off samples right to the front door for his lucky fans. Yummy stuff. Thanks, Pete.

City of Toronto skating rinks 

Riverdale Park East, Regent Park and Sherbourne Common are now open from 10 am to 10 pm daily. Outdoor rinks are still open with a 25-person limit. Change rooms and lockers are closed. You can make a reservation and confirm that the rinks are open at the City’s website. (Photo: Waterfront Toronto)  


Final days

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.  


Congrats Suppli 

Megan Takeda-Tully’s project has attracted favourable attention from CBC News. Nazima Walji wrote about Megan’s new business promoting reuseable metal containers for restaurant takeout food. The story is online here. (Photo: Megan Takeda-Tully).

Cycling in Toronto

Matt Elliot is a Toronto Star contributor and a Corktown resident.  On December 28, he did a column about cycling in our part of Toronto along Bayview, the Danforth and the Lakeshore.  He makes a strong case for a renewal of these bike lanes next summer.  Click here to read his story.  (Photo: Richard Lautens, Toronto Star) 

Rabba Foods and Paramount Fine Foods

Rabba is opening a new grocery store in Regent Park (Dundas and River).  Inside, it’ll offer takeout Middle Eastern specialties by Paramount Fine Foods - including shawarma, wraps and baklava.  blogTO has a writeup about their new joint venture, click here.  (Photo:  blogTO).  

The future of Quayside

Donovan Vincent followed the Sidewalk Labs’ project from its start to its withdrawal.  His article in the Toronto Star looks at the lessons learned and the future of this large, valuable chunk of lakefront real estate.  Click here to read it. (Image:  Sidewalk Labs) 


What’s open and closed 

Rick at the Cabbagetown BIA has posted a handy list of the stores and services affected by provincial lockdown regulations. These rules continue until January 23. For more info and updates, go to the BIA’s business directory on its website or to its Facebook page     


Groceries, variety stores, liquor and beer stores, pharmacies, laundromats and dry cleaners and veterinarians (for animal health services). 

Curbside pickup only 

All restaurants and bars (pickups and delivery only), cannabis stores, hardware, pet supplies, computer sales and repairs, and clothing stores. 

Fully closed 

Gyms, nail and hair salons and real estate open houses. 

A tasty local recipe

Rick has gathered some turkey from St Jamestown Steak & Chops, veggies from Cabbagetown Organics and pasta from Epicure - he’s made a yummy post-Christmas Cabbagetown lunch. He’s extended the thanks of all our local businesses for your support in these tough times.


Go to the restaurants’ websites and Facebook pages for more menus from your favourite places - click here for the contact list.   

Cranberries (601 Parliament) 

Start your New Year’s Eve dinner with seafood chowder or organic mixed green salad. Select either Black Angus striploin with mashed potato and veggies or Atlantic salmon with basmati rice, veggies and a lemon dill cream sauce or chicken roulade stuffed with spinach, roasted red peppers and cheese with mashed potato and veggies.  New York cheesecake with cranberry sauce for dessert. $35.  To order, call (416) 925-6330 for pick-ups (no deliveries). 

F’Amelia (12 Amelia)

Two packages for a fun New Year’s Eve and another for the morning after.  Dinner for two includes a salad, Osso Bucco with potatoes and veggies and ricotta cheesecake for dessert, $195.  Fun Pack for four includes an antipasto box, muffuletta caponata, mini meatballs and tiramisu, $260.  And each option comes with a bottle of Bel Star prosecco. The Morning After serves four - premixed Caesars for four, ground Barzula coffee, southern Italian frittata pie and potato hash, $150.  Served cold, cooked and ready to reheat. Email for your order.  

Stout Irish Pub (221 Carlton)

Dinner for two - fire grilled striploin and garlic shrimp. Two ten-ounce striploins with chimichurri, sauteed shrimp, frites, creamy macaroni and cheese, caesar salad, coleslaw and horseradish. Serves two, $90. Available New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day - email Erin to place your order.

Daniel et Daniel (248 Carlton) 

The D & D count-down cocktail party is available for New Year’s Eve.  It’s got nibblies, cold hors d’oeuvres, hot hors d’oeuvres and desserts.  $68.   The holiday celebration dinner is available now until New Year’s Eve. Four courses,  $65. Minimum order for each package is two portions. Check out the details online along with the regular menus.   

The Irv (195 Carlton) 

The Irv’s New Year’s Eve dinner has two options. Slow roasted prime rib with mashed potato, green beans, wild mushroom and horseradish, $36. Or butternut squash ravioli with a brown butter and sage sauce, $25.  Included with both of these - New York cheesecake. Pre-order by December 30 or go to the regular menu, no pre-orders needed.  Email your order to Regan.  

Noushe (200 Carlton) 

Special house selections of wine are available. Details and order info online here. Closed January 1. 


Absolute Bakery (589 Parliament) 

Open daily for regular hours 6 am to 8:30 pm. 

Cabbagetown Organics (499 Parliament) 

Shorter hours on Christmas Eve and Boxing Day - 10 am to 6 pm. Closed on Christmas. Regular hours from December 27, 10 am to 9 pm. 

St Jamestown Steak & Chops (516 Parliament) 

Check out the store hours - you don’t want to be caught short with no bacon or fresh veggies in the house.  Mark is open on Wednesday from 10 am to 6 pm and on Thursday from 9 am to 4 pm.  Then he’s closed on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. 

Cyril’s soups 

Cyril is taking a break over the Christmas and New Year period. He’s finished with his special order system. When he starts up again in January, he’ll let us know.


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.