January 6

This week’s image: Decorations along Dundas Street




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. The Summer 2014 issue of Acrylic Artist Magazine listed him as one of their "29 Top Painters". He’s the co-founder of the Alliance for Modern Art (AFMA) a group promoting interaction among artists. 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 No 7

Acrylic and dry pigments on canvas, 26” X 26”, 66 X 66 cm.  The focus of his work is the relationship between colour, form and movement. His paintings are vividly coloured and perspective-bending compositions which speak to his ongoing evolutions within abstraction as well as to the dynamism of his painting practice. His “BoxCars” series was first unveiled at New York’s New Art Center. They’re an analogy of the vignettes of life inspired by the rhythmic play of life expressed by Allen Ginsberg’s poem HOWL, with its iconic line “boxcars, boxcars, boxcars”.


The Cabbagetown BIA is drafting a streetscape plan for future development along Carlton, Parliament and Gerrard.  It’s the second time that’s been done in the past 15 years.  I was on staff at the BIA when the first one was done.  That first plan called for the redevelopment of Anniversary Park at Gerrard and Parliament. 
The cost of that project was far beyond the reach of the BIA’s budget. But, we were assured, it’ll be an active part of the City’s planning and whenever a big repair happened at that corner, then these ideas would be included in the work.
Good luck with that.  Check out the photo at the top of this article.  In 2018, the TTC dug up Gerrard from Berkeley to the Don Valley and from Oak Street north to Spruce. The work surrounded the park.  It was an ideal time for a cost-effective rebuild there but City of Toronto staff did not follow through with the commitment.
No doubt, lots of assurances will float around again.  We now have a different  City Councillor - Kristyn Wong-Tam.  She likes plans.  If we’re lucky, she’ll make sure that this streetscape plan has some genuine teeth.  


Streetscape plan

The Cabbagetown BIA has started to plan the future streetscape along Parliament, Carlton and Gerrard.  This will have obvious interest for local residents and businesses.  The plan will, theoretically, help to direct future development.  The BIA has posted a working document online that lists initial ideas.  A community consultation has been scheduled for Wednesday January 12.  It’s a zoom event - click here to register.  If you have advance questions or comments, you can register them online here.

Decorating our neighbourhood

Our holiday lights were a success this year.  They’re always a lift and this year’s displays on the streets and at our homes were really welcome. The Cabbagetown BIA created the displays at Carlton and Parliament.  

The big tree at Riverdale Farm was amazing.  

And each tree along Dundas in Regent Park was lit up, making the entire length of the street come alive.

The Distillery put up another gorgeous tree for its annual Winter Village.

And the winners are …

Over the holiday season, the Cabbagetown Residents Association held its annual contest to find the best Christmas lighting displays in the neighbourhood.  The winner by popular vote is 365 Wellesley East. The runner up is 334 Sackville. There was a tie for third place - 377 Sackville and 58 Amelia. Look for the signs on the front lawns of each home. Congrats all - it was a delightful season.

St James Town tour

Heritage Toronto has developed a tour of St James Town showing remarkable relics of its days when the area was like the rest of Cabbagetown.  Click here to see the map and the tour highlights.

Marilyn’s clinic

Marilyn will hold her nail clinic for your pets on Saturday January 8 at Pet Value (242 Carlton).  By appointment only.  Phone or text her at (416) 920-6814.  Please use the back door off the Green P parking lot.  Starts at 9 am to 4 pm.  Still only $12, cash only.

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)  will close on Monday January 10 in response to the pressures created by Omicron.  The Parliament Street Library (269 Gerrard E) will open as usual.

Public skating rinks

All three outdoor rinks in our local parks are open on Thursday January 6  - 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.

Deer on Bayview

Jenny Stam posted her photo of two deer that she saw in the Don Valley, near the stairs close to Cabbagetown on Wednesday January 5.  

Lookin’ good

Eric Morse has a spiffy new Cabbagetown Cadillac - which he’s christened “The Beast”.  You’ll see him wheelin’ around town. When you do, you’re well advised to step aside.  He likes to imagine that he’s on an armoured vehicle plowing his way through a battlefield.


Apartment for rent

Available January 1.  Spacious one-bedroom Cabbagetown basement apartment, fully furnished.  Private entrance through gorgeous garden, high-ceiling living room with dining space and kitchen, dressing room, bathroom with big shower, full sized washer/dryer, bedroom, and use of part of the garden.  Startlingly tranquil, Ideal location.  $1700/month including utilities and high-speed wifi.  Quiet reliable person with references.  Prefer long-term but short-term possible (one-month minimum). Send an email to contact Beth.


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 time when the store can operate and so the grand reopening will be on hold until the rules relax.  In the meantime, two book giveaways are planned - Saturday January 8 and 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.  


COVID-related schedule changes

Canadian Stage (26 Berkeley) has delayed its staging of Solaris and its dance production, Miigis: Underwater Panther. They were scheduled to start this weekend. Alumnae (70 Berkeley) has delayed Nested to late 2022. Native Earth (585 Dundas E) is already using online video to present its programs from Weesageechak 34 until December 31.   Soulpepper’s Golden Record (50 Tank House Lane) starts the year on February 9 followed by the Ex-Boyfriend Yard Sale on February 11 - both are listed online as “sold out” for all scheduled performances.


House on Parliament

The roof top patio is open and warm.  Check out the daily menu online.  Open from noon to 10 pm, pickups and deliveries available. 454 Parliament.


The heated outdoor patio is open from 5 pm - only four tables so reservations are needed.  (416) 363-0666.  The takeout menu is different for each weekday.  On Tuesday - tagliatelle and meatballs. Wednesday - funghi risotto.  Thursday - pizza and calzone. Friday - battered white fish.  Saturday - chicken or eggplant parmigiana. And on Sunday - osso buco.  12 Amelia.

Cranberries takeout menu

It's history - the guys chomping down on their dinners can't come in to Cranberries today.  Instead, Siva is preparing different dishes for each day for takeout.  On Monday - chicken wings and chicken parmesan.  Tuesday - cheese burger or blackened salmon.  Wednesday - chicken souvlaki or black Angus steak. Thursday - chicken fusilli or Kashmiri chicken curry.  Friday - haddock and chips or chicken wings or a three-course prime rib dinner.  Saturday - bbq ribs and wings or two-course roast pork dinner. Sunday - three-course roast beef dinner. All the details are listed on Cranberries’ website.  601 Parliament.

Dominion Pub & Kitchen

More history.  I liked this image because I like parties.  But they aren't happening right now.  Dominion is open daily for takeout and delivery, 2 to 11 pm.  Its website has menus for specials on Monday, Wednesday and Friday plus the regular daily offerings.   500 Queen E.

A free meal at Haldi

Here's a good idea.  Buy an entree and get a second one free.  Check out the menus here.  (647) 787-5680.  568 Parliament.

Camp fire party at The Irv

Call me a Boy Scout - I really like this idea.  The Irv (195 Carlton) is having an outdoor patio camp fire party on Saturday from 1 pm.  All kinds of good food and drinks.  Bring a blanket.  Win a prize for your winter costume.  

El Catrin

The outdoor heated patio will open on Thursday and Friday, 4 to 10 pm and on Saturday and Sunday, noon to 10 pm.  Takeouts and deliveries available at the same times.  If bad weather or new government rules interfere, staff will call the reservations to cancel.  Check Facebook for more info.  18 Tank House Lane, Distillery.

Temporary closing at Reyna

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.


Closed for eat-in dining.  The grocery, takeouts and deliveries are still available - details on Terroni’s website.  8 am to 8 pm.  22 Sackville. 


These two are serious and formidable bakers!  Their shop is closed for annual holidays to January 22.  362 King E.

Cyril’s soup

He's back.  Cyril has returned after his year-end break and he’s preparing one of his favourites.  Curried lentil and apricot soup.  He did it in the Spring, 2021 and got lots of satisfied feedback.  He says, “It starts with onion, ginger, and garlic cooked together over medium heat until soft and fragrant. Then comes in some curry powder, stirred into the pot for a couple of minutes before adding in the bulk of the remaining ingredients: tomatoes, red lentils, dried apricots, and water. Let simmer for a while, add a touch of coconut milk and some seasonings, and blend partially. That's it! Done!”  His juice is pineapple, orange and hibiscus.  Soup is $3/cup or $2.50 each/ten or more cups.  Juice is $9/two cups.  Send him an email to place your order.