January 13

This week’s image:  The first draft of the new Streetscape Plan is now available through the Cabbagetown BIA.  (Image:  Planning Partnership, Cabbagetown BIA)





Charles Gibbons

Charles Gibbons’ abstract art has been exhibited in galleries, museums and art fairs around the world for more than thirty years. He’s been featured in solo and group shows, television programs, magazine articles and a book. He’s lived in Cabbagetown for the past 35 years.  His works are on Instagram and his personal description of his work is on his website. Contact him by email

BoxCar 8, 2011

Acrylic on canvas. 26x26”, 66x66cm


Streetscape plan

A community consultation for the Cabbagetown BIA’s new Streetscape Plan was held on Wednesday night, drawing over 120 people to a Zoom conference. It was a well-run, remarkably even tempered event. Virtually everyone who spoke expressed satisfaction with the draft materials and with the presentation. Participants responded with specific suggestions and honest questions that built on the draft’s proposals.
This was the first public discussion. Planners will now incorporate the ideas presented in this discussion and talk about the plan with City officials. A second consultation will follow and then a final draft will be presented to the BIA. Congrats and thanks to everybody who put it together.


Details from the streetscape plan

Michael Sraga from The Planning Partnership is spearheading the Streetscape Plan.  He suggested big ideas for Parliament, Carlton and Gerrard.  The end result will be a shopping district that’s more pedestrian friendly with better outdoor spaces for restaurants and stores.  Sidewalks will be wider.  The traffic lights at the corners of Carlton and Parliament will control all four streets at that intersection. Lanes around the stores will be cleaned up and turned into welcoming pedestrian passageways.  The park at Gerrard and Parliament will be renovated and connected to the surrounding neighbourhood. When new trees are planted, they’ll be native species that are better suited to urban life.  
There are some drawbacks which the planners recognize and want to cure.  All of this expansion will impact cars.  Traffic lanes will be slightly narrower and there’ll be two of them rather than four.  There’ll be fewer parking spots.  The bike lanes on Gerrard will be extended around the park but there won’t be designated bike lanes on Parliament.  The plan and a recording of the Zoom meeting are online at the BIA’s website.

Paying for these improvements

Carol Culhane is the BIA’s treasurer.  She noted that the BIA has already put aside $100,000 for action on the plan’s ideas.  Despite these savings, many of the big ideas will cost far too much for the BIA’s budget.  Three major construction projects are scheduled for the area in the next five years and the BIA’s plan will guide the City when the roads are torn up and then rebuilt.  



Claudio lives on Berkeley and his house was smacked by idiotic graffiti last week.  Several neighbours had the same problem. He did the right things- he immediately cleaned up the wall.  The longer it stays on the wall, the more likely it is that others will add more.  He and his neighbours contacted City officials.  The City’s website makes it abundantly clear that the problem belongs to the homeowner.  Additional graffiti attacks have happened along Parliament Street - the building owner at Parliament and Amelia immediately cleaned off his wall and doors.

Progress on the Waterfront

Waterfront Toronto has posted a video of its work in 2021 along the Port Lands, the area south of Lakeshore along Cherry Street.  It’s a massive project that will transform the mouth of the Don River and create a huge space for new parks, housing and businesses. The dramatic new bridges that have been installed on the waterfront are located here.

Fair Trade Jewellery

Robin reports that FTJCo has moved from its location near Jet Fuel to its new home at 576 Parliament.  They’re using a small office while the interior finishing are completed in the rest of the building.  Open 10 am to 5 pm, Tuesday to Sunday.  Closed Monday.  Please book an appointment at (647) 430-8741 or use the link on the website. 

Photos wanted

Robin at Fair Trade Jewellery (576 Parliament)  wants to create a story about the heritage building where FTJCo now has its home.  It was previously the store and the home for Nettleships.  The family lived in the attached building next door.  Anyone with archival photos is asked to contact him - he’s especially interested in pictures of the building before the front retail store was added to it.

Park closures

Riverdale Farm (Winchester and Sumach) is open from 9 am to 5 pm daily - masks and social distancing are required.  Swimming at the Pam McConnell Aquatic Centre (640 Dundas) and programming and drop-ins at the Wellesley Community Centre (495 Sherbourne), the Regent Park Community Centre (402 Shuter) and the St Lawrence Community Recreation Centre (230 The Esplanade) are closed. The Conservatory at Allan Gardens (Jarvis and Carlton) is closed.

Library closures

The library in the Wellesley Community Centre (Sherbourne and Wellesley) and the St Lawrence Library (171 Front)  are closed in response to the pressures created by Omicron.  The Parliament Street Library (269 Gerrard E) is open as usual.

Public skating rinks

All three public rinks in our local parks are open on Thursday January 13  - Regent Park Athletic Grounds (480 Shuter),  Riverdale Park East (550 Broadview) and Sherbourne Common (5 Lower Sherbourne), Check out the City’s website for up-to-date info on openings and closures at each rink.


Giveaways at the Children’s Book Bank

The Book Bank has moved to a new location in the Daniels Spectrum (585 Dundas E).  Unfortunately, the COVID restrictions limit the store’s operations and so the grand reopening will be on hold until the rules relax.  In the meantime, book giveaways are planned for Saturday January 15, 10 am to 3 pm.  Drop by and get a package of books to take home and keep. Side door patio area at the Daniels Spectrum.

Waterfront for All

Lou Di Gironimo, General Manager for Toronto Water, will talk about Toronto’s water supply with a special emphasis on the Don River and the central waterfront.  January 25 at 7 pm. Click here to register. 


Regent Park developments

Alex Bozikovic has written a Globe & Mail column about the architects and design team now working on Tridel’s buildings in Phases 4 and 5 in Regent Park.  These developments have stirred concern among Cabbagetown residents living north of Gerrard.  His story describes their plans and their achievements in Britain and Canada.  (Photo: Jim Stephenson)

Toronto’s best outdoor patios

Toronto Life has listed their picks for winter-proof outdoor restaurant patios.  These are the places that escape the shutdown rules from the COVID battles.  Two of our local eateries have made the list - F’Amelia (12 Amelia) and El Catrin (18 Tank House Lane, Distillery).  Both have lots of heaters and yummy food.

A new hotel at The Distillery

Hilton will build one of its new Curio brand hotels on Mill Street right across from The Distillery.  There's an article in blogTO describing the building, the heritage warehouse that will serve as its street level base and the Curio hotel chain. (Image:  CNW Group/The Gupta Group)


Cleaning services

Faye runs a cleaning service in Cabbagetown.  She’s available now.  You can contact her at (647) 786-4593.

Porter’s handywoman services

Many of us know Alicia Porter from her entertaining appearances in Cabbagetown’s pubs.  She’s also doing a home repair service.  If you need small jobs completed, send her an email.


The Paintbox

The Paintbox (555 Dundas E) has closed permanently, a victim of the conditions created by the pandemic. In a note on its website, Chris Klugman explains his reasons and extends his heartfelt thanks to the many people who supported the Paintbox.  It’s a sad day and a loss for Regent Park.  Chris created a community hub that supported many Regent Park projects. It was a great place to have a good meal, a drink and a pleasant time with friends.

National chicken curry day

Who knew?  But it’s true - you can Google it.  Haldi (568 Parliament) knows all about it - check it out on Facebook.

F’Amelia presents Pasta Family

Bring the best from F’Amelia’s kitchens (12 Amelia) to your own table at home.  Pastas and sauces, pizza kits, appetizers, side dishes and desserts.   Order by 3 pm for delivery the next day.  F’Amelia’s heated outdoor patio is open from 5 pm - only four tables so reservations are needed.  (416) 363-0666.


Mike and Olyana are back from holidays and once again accepting orders for their scrumptious croissants.  You can buy their baking online - place your order and then show up on Saturdays between 10:30 am and noon for your pickup.  Be quick.  The available baking is listed early in the week and it sells out quickly.  540 Parliament.

Back again 

Last week’s Campfire was a great success so The Irv (195 Carlton) is doing it again.  Outdoors on a heated patio.  Dress warmly. Sunday January 16 from 11 am to 4 pm.  The menu includes breakfast sandwiches, poutine, burgers, spicy chicken sandwiches, Mac ’n cheese, tomato bisque, beers, mimosa, Baileys and coffee, mulled wine and more.  If you want to stay at home,  The Irv is offering free delivery daily from 4:30 to 9:30 pm on all orders over $25 before tax.  Go online to see the menu.  Call (647) 350-3787 to place your order.

Mill Street Brew Pub

The heated patio is open for dining at Mill Street (21 Tank House Lane, Distillery) daily from noon to 11 pm.  Try the Bee Sting Pizza.  Deliveries also available from the pub, Uber Eats, Door Dash and Skip the Dishes.  The bottle shop is open from 11 am to 9 pm, Sunday to Wednesday and 11 am to 10 pm, Thursdays to Saturday.

Temporary closings

Reyna on King (354 King E) has closed for both dine-in and takeout service.  They’ll be back on January 26 if the restrictions are lifted.  Terroni (22 Sackville) is closed for eat-in dining.  The grocery, takeouts and deliveries are still available - details on Terroni’s website.  8 am to 8 pm. 


Closed for annual holidays to January 22.  362 King E.

Cyril’s soup

Cyril is doing the stews that everyone loves.  This week, it’s vegetarian chili with cashews instead of beef. (Next week, it’s beef.)    His juice is orange, papaya and ginger.  Soup is $4/cup or $3.50 each/ten or more cups.  Juice is $9/two cups.  Send him an email to place your order.