This week’s image: I’m starting to go stir crazy. I love fried chicken, I love french fries and I love beer. Mostly, I love sitting around with other people while I’m having all of this. Someday soon - House on Parliament’s fried chicken sandwich.
FEATURED LOCAL ARTIST
Alan first started to paint as an architecture student in Manchester when, long before computer-aided design, proposals were often accompanied by fully-rendered watercolour drawings. Since then, many of his paintings have been rendered on the spot, en plein-air, and enlivened by people and dogs. Others are recollections, abstractions, or watercoloured monoprints.
Sandra with adoring dogs
Watercolour on paper. Cabbagetown porches have a purpose that transcends their role providing shade and shelter. They’re essential for exposure to and integration with the local community.
CABBAGETOWN NEIGHBOURHOOD REVIEW
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Foundry demolition updates
By mutual agreement, the parties involved in the February 26 court case have postponed it to a future undecided date. This gives everyone a chance to sit down and talk about the issues. At the same time, the interim court order stopping the demolition will continue. In the meantime, the province has set up a consultation system that expires on March 4 - it’s been rejected by the demolition’s opponents as too one-sided.
By Wednesday February 24, 23,236 people had signed the petition to stop the Foundry demolition and $29,686 had been donated. The donations cover the cost of court actions so far but they’re far from enough to pay for any future actions. Sign the petition and make your donations.
Congrats to Aberdeen sandwiches
The Aberdeen Sandwich Group keeps on going. They’ve been reliably making their lunches for a year to help residents at Dixon Hall (58 Sumach). Last week, they prepared 100 meals with homemade sandwiches, fruit and baking. Anyone who wants to contribute is welcome - send an email to Michael Guenther.
The First Parliament site
Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam has announced that Metrolinx will not expropriate land at this site in order to build a subway station here. In a tweet on February 22, she says Metrolinx will discuss with City officials the access that they need to the site in order to stage construction of the Ontario Line. “Until those discussions and alternative options have been explored, Metrolinx will NOT be seeking expropriation of the First Parliament site.” To understand the importance of the site, check out this article.
This weekly lunch program provides healthy meals for 100 people once a week in Allan Gardens. It helps those who need the lunches and also the restaurants that make them each week. It’s been organized by the Cabbagetown BIA (239 Carlton) throughout February. Its grant funding has ended. Community donations have paid for the project to continue through four weeks in March. Chew Chew (186 Carlton) will supply the March 4 lunch, Cranberries (601 Parliament) on March 11, Tim Hortons (537 and 581 Parliament) on March 18 and Epicure (473 Parliament) on March 25. If you’d like to contribute, click here and use the code “Cabbagetown Cares” in the message box for St Luke’s United Church.
BIA Art Committee
The Cabbagetown BIA (239 Carlton) has a busy schedule for its arts program. To handle it, three people have joined the new Art Committee - Michael Cavanaugh from the Bell Box project, Regina Sheung from Labour of Love (223 Carlton) and Sonja Scharf from Akasha Art Projects (204D Carlton). Public art for the forthcoming Art Walk and for this summer’s CafeTO will be on their agenda. They’ll also be coordinating public discussion and selection of proposals for any new murals painted within the BIA.
Compost for Green Thumbs Growing Kids
Normally, GTGK collects scraps from the school cafeteria for its compost bins. Since the cafeteria is closed during COVID lockdowns, local neighbours have set up a collection station for their compost. Once a week, Micah - a GTGK volunteer - empties the station and aerates the main bin. It gets hot in there. Even in mid-winter, temperatures range between 48 and 65 degrees Centigrade. By the Spring, the compost will be rich and dark and ready to use in the school gardens. Green Thumbs Growing Kids relies entirely on the generosity of the local community. Please visit its website and send along a donation.
Dixon Hall needs volunteers
The Meals to Wheels program needs your help. They’re looking for drivers and runners to take meals to homebound seniors. During the pandemic lockdowns, its volunteers have slowed - your help will be vital. Please call Joyce at (416) 863-0499 x 3225 or email her.
St James Town Community Arts needs a volunteer treasurer. The organization runs a children’s choir and provides free music lessons for kids living in St James Town. It also offers drama classes and it’s moving into other areas of the arts. The outgoing treasurer will continue for a while and there will be time to overlap and learn the systems. Please email Janet Astington.
Toronto and East York Community Council has named a private lane in Regent Park as “Ratna Lane”. The name honours Ismathara Ratna, a local community activist. She helped new immigrants seeking social services especially those from the large Bengali community in Regent Park, worked on the Nelson Mandela School parents’ council and was an active member of the Jalalabad Association of Toronto. Councillor Wong-Tam and Ms Ratna’s family endorse this naming choice. The lane runs from Sumach to River Streets between Oak and Dundas.
Cabbagetown’s cannabis scene
Cabbagetown’s fifth cannabis store, Little House (307 Wellesley) has received the first of two steps in its approval to sell weed. In general, it’s deemed to be acceptable despite concerns from the neighbours. Now, the owners must order their opening inventory from the Ontario Cannabis Store. Once that’s in place, a further inspection happens and if the store passes that step, then it will be approved for a public opening. When local neighbours objected strongly to this approval, the AGCO dismissed their concerns In a form letter.
City of Toronto skating rinks
This week, Regent Park and Sherbourne Common are open from 10 am to 10 pm daily. The Riverdale Park East rink is closed. During the COVID restrictions, 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)
IN THE MEDIA
Dave LeBlanc writes about The Foundry
The Ontario government is selling the Foundry
On September 22, the Ontario government approved an arrangement to sell The Foundry lands to an undisclosed buyer at an undisclosed price without an open bidding process. The Premier and provincial Ministers are now refusing to reveal any of these details. The official line claims that an actual sale has not yet occurred. Negotiations took place for several months before the agreement was reached. Later in October, the government issued its Ministerial Zoning Order to speed the demolition of the buildings. Mike Crawley from CBC News has done a story about these back door dealings. (Photo: CBC News)
Other options for the Foundry
Jeff Gray, the Globe and Mail’s Queens Park reporter, has written about several alternative proposals that have been prepared for the Foundry site. These alternatives address the need to clean up the soil while still preserving the historic buildings. Click here for his story. (Image: Friends of the Foundry)
Find out about your home
The Cabbagetown South Residents are offering a Zoom event to show you how to dig into the history of your house. Robin Burgoyne from Caerwent House Stories will show you how to do your research. Gilles Huot will talk about the Cabbagetown Preservation Association’s plaques and the interesting people who have lived here. Wallace Immen and Jordan Allison will give updates on the new conservation district. Sunday February 28, 2 to 3 pm, click here for the link.
Corktown will hold its annual meeting on Tuesday March 2 from 7 to 8:30 pm. Guest speakers include the CEO of Tiny Mile, Ignacio Tartavull, and City Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam. It’s an online event - register here.
Gooderham & Worts. Monday March 8, 7 pm. Guests from Metrolinx will talk about the new Ontario subway line and MPP Chris Glover will give an update about Queens Park. It’s a Zoom event - members of the GWNA will get an invitation and links by email.
Celebrate International Women’s Day
The St James Town Service Providers Network is celebrating the women who are making a difference during the COVID crisis. Personal stories, singers, spoken word and dancers. Monday March 8, 4 to 6 pm. It’s an online event - register here.
Businesses on the move
Three locations have been changed in recent weeks. First, a few weeks ago MHC Vintage Clothing moved next door from 557 into 555 Parliament. An architects’ firm will open its offices at 557 Parliament. Second, Blooming Flower Bar (559 Parliament) is moving to 194A Carlton and will share this location with Velvet Lane Cakes. The store where Blooming once worked has been rented by an as-yet-unnamed new tenant. Third, The Framemaker is moving into the store that’s been empty for a year at 527 Parliament.
DeCiem has been sold
There are two Deciem stores in our area - at 242 Carlton and 18 Distillery Lane in the Distillery. The company is being sold to Estee Lauder in two steps. Estee Lauder currently owns 29% and that stake will rise to 76% on June 30. After a three year waiting period, it’ll purchase the remainder. Deciem CEO Nicola Kilner says that the company’s headquarters, laboratory and production will stay in Canada.
Blooming Flower Bar
Anji is moving this week from her Parliament Street shop to 194A Carlton. That’s the home for Velvet Lane Cakes and they’ll be sharing the space. All her other contact info remains the same. Watch on Instagram for great savings as Anji clears out her current location - @bloomingflowerbar.
Made Local. Shop Kendall
Kendall & Co’s upholstered furniture - sofas, arm chairs, dining chairs, benches, ottomans, beds, sofa beds - is made here in Toronto. Available in fabric or leather of your choice, like their latest arrival in tan butterscotch leather. See other gorgeous new styles by visiting their website. Take advantage of the sale on select floor models to make room for the new. Shop local with Kendall & Co for top quality furniture, rugs, drapery, window shades and wallpaper. Their Design Team is available to meet virtually to assist with your furnishings and decorating. Noon to 5 pm weekdays. Simply book your appointment by email or call (416) 363-9914.
Last summer, the City of Toronto closed curbside lanes on Parliament and Carlton to allow local restaurants to open outdoor patios. The program is scheduled again for 2021. Last year’s locations are back - Chew Chew, Stout Irish Pub, House on Parliament, Kingyo, Saigon Pai and Peartree. Three more are also coming - Haldi and Tokyo Ramen together, Shalom and Pho U. Registration opens on Friday February 25 and Rick Matthews at the Cabbagetown BIA is available to help those who are applying - call him at (416) 921-0857.
Congrats to the HoP
Yet another nice endorsement for the House On Parliament (454 Parliament). NOW Magazine has listed the HoP’s fried chicken among Toronto’s 15 best. “The chicken is brined in pickle juice (the tanginess that is integral to a good fried chicken sandwich starts here), fried and then anointed with chipotle aioli, house-made slaw and jalapeño Monterey jack cheese and wedged between a squishy butter bun.”
Enjoy Cranberries’ specials every day. Sunday’s takeout menu includes grilled chicken breast, caesar salad and a two-course roast beef dinner. Each day brings new dishes. Check out the menu here. (416) 925-6330. 601 Parliament.
Just what we need in the middle of winter - Cabbagetown Organics (499 Parliament) has a good supply of organic fruit and vegetables.
Join F’Amelia’s list
F’Amelia (12 Amelia) has an awesome selection of daily specials. They’re telling everybody about them with daily emails. Find out what’s available - just join the list. Email them to sign up.
This week’s vegan special - savoury chickpea and plantain pancakes topped with mango salsa. (647) 748-0555 and email. 555 Dundas E.
Stout’s weekly special
For Friday and Saturday, double bone pork chop and sweet Italian sausage with a creamy mushroom sauce. Served with grilled corn on the cob, coleslaw and a baked potato. Dinner for two at $75 and single dinner, $40. Add a bottle of Pinot Grigio or Grenache-Syrah, $25. Order at (647) 344-7676 or email to Madeleine. 221 Carlton.
Enjoy something beautiful from DOVA . And check out the cheese shop and the custom-made olive oils on the website. (416) 901-3501 and email. 243 Carlton.
Cyril is still struggling with suppliers. He’s having trouble getting as many takeout containers as he needs in his various sizes. He hopes to be back next week.
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.