A PERSONAL VIEW
It’s time to brag!
This edition of the Cabbagetown Neighbourhood Review marks its official tenth anniversary. It started up on June 18, 2012. 510 editions later, 1,864,557 viewers have come into our Cabbagetown world. It’s been a great trip so far and there’s lots more to come.
Jack has recently added his images to our site. Click here to find his work. (This image: A Stroll in Vienna, acrylic on canvas, 30” by 36”)
This site introduces local artists to our local community. Six artists are featured here. They’ve been adding new images regularly. It’s a site where you can happily browse and see works by people you know. And you can purchase any that appeal to you. (This image: Martha Preston, Peonies)
Have fun, Elena
After 13 years keeping kids safe amid the crazy traffic at Wellesley and Parliament, Elena is retiring when school closes later this month. She’s been amazing. People who use this crosswalk all know her and enjoy her cheery greetings.. She’s planning a trip to the west coast in the Fall and another one to the Philippines after that. She says, proudly, that she’s 80 years old and it’s time for new adventures.
After more than 30 years as its executive director, Randy is retiring from the Cabbagetown Art & Crafts show. He’s had a remarkable run with the event. He created a major art exhibition for the whole city, combining the quality of its art and crafts with the charm of Riverdale Park. His show has become the centre of our annual Cabbagetown Festival, attracting thousands of visitors each day into the park. None of this has been easy. Thanks and congratulations to Randy for building this gift to Cabbagetown and to Toronto. (Photo: Randy Brown, Twitter 2020)
“I am retiring after thirty years of running the Cabbagetown Art and Crafts Show, due to a disabling cancer. I have been lucky to have had the assistance of many neighbourhood volunteers over the years and I thank them. The show has been turned over to a new team headed by Gerald Fitzgerald, Virginia Hamara and Beverly Jenkins who are determined to keep it in the community supported by volunteers just as I had hoped. It has been a wonderful, at times exhilarating experience running the show these many years. I will miss the Cabbagetowners and the artists who attended but the show does go on as it was meant to. I wish you all the best.” Photo: Randy Brown (left) and the 2021 artists’ jury.
As planned, the show will happen on the weekend of September 9, 10 and 11 in Riverdale Park. Gerald Fitzgerald, Chair of Cabbagetown Art & Crafts, has noted, "Randy will be missed, but the show he built will continue to be a premier event on the Cabbagetown calendar.” He has also announced that Bev Jenkins, a Cabbagetown painter, will succeed Randy as the new Executive Director.
The Cabbagetown BIA is not planning a traditional Festival along Parliament Street in September. Instead, the new Parkscape project along with the CafeTO patios will give the street the basics for a new program. Plans are still underway.
The CRA held its annual meeting this week on Zoom. The association is in very good shape. Caroline Murphy is its Chair and she conducted a brisk, informative session. The Forsythia Festival returned successfully in person in May. Its pumpkin walk attracted 250 people and 350 pumpkins. At Christmas, it conducted its annual lights contest and its Christmas card contest. The Spring clean-up in Wellesley Park and surrounding streets went off smoothly. It joined other local groups to raise $3,500 to fight food insecurity with Dixon Hall. In the coming year, it plans to circulate a survey among residents and to expand the clean-up efforts into the Fall. The association’s finances recovered from the pandemic and it now has over $29,000 in assets. Its website, Facebook page and Instagram page are all online now. And, perhaps most important, they printed three poster signs combatting dog poop on our sidewalks.
Volunteers are needed by the Cabbagetown Residents Association for its Board of Directors. There are currently ten people on the Board and a few more will fill all the slots. As you can see from the report (above), it’s a lively and effective group. Send an email if you’re interested.
Parkscape is the summer project being developed by the Cabbagetown BIA. A pop-up park will stretch along Parliament from Winchester to Carlton, bringing open spaces, seating and special landscaping to the street. There’ll be areas where musicians, performers, artists and community groups can set up and reach the passersby. Virginia at the Cabbagetown BIA is inviting interested individuals and groups to tell her about their projects. She wants to schedule events by the local community. Email your ideas to her. There’s now a special website page to describe the #CabbagetownParkscape project and the events planned there. Check it out.
The Cabbagetown walk in the Necropolis didn’t happen. It was scheduled for Sunday June 19 at 10 am. A group of people gathered inside the park gates at Winchester and Sumach as instructed. But nothing happened and they went home, confused, about 10:15. The tour leader appeared at 10:20, stayed to 10:40 and went home, confused.
The Centre (333 Sherbourne) celebrated its 20th anniversary on Tuesday with a Block Party. It has a strong tradition of community service. It was a leader in Toronto’s vaccination campaigns. It’s provided specialized services for the 2SLGBTQ+ community. This has expanded to include newcomers and the homeless. Thanks to the staff who make such an important contribution.
Bring your kids to the Book Bank’s new site (585 Dundas E, Suite 260). There’s a special display of books about LGBTQ+ experiences.
There will be no road closures on the weekend of June 25 - 26. If you’re planning a bike ride or a stroll along the street in the future, check the City’s website for the latest updates.
Opening day at the Cabbagetown Farmers’ Market (Riverdale Park, Sumach and Winchester) seemed to give a lot of people an excuse for hugs. Murray’s Farm has a selection of meats, eggs and fresh produce. John, who was staffing the booth, enjoys coming here. Until 2019 when he moved to Murray’s farm, he lived in an apartment on Parliament Street and loved Cabbageown’s lifestyle.
The Underpass Park Farmer’s Market (29 Lower River Street) in Corktown is open now, every Thursday from 4 to 7:30 pm. Over 30 vendors are listed.
The Cabbagetown BIA
The BIA is looking for volunteers to join its Board of Directors. People who own commercial property or a business in the BIA’s district are eligible to join. For more info, email Virginia Evoy at the BIA office (237 Carlton).
Cultural collage festival
Community Matters is organizing the 2022 St James Town cultural collage festival;. Tuesday June 28, 2 to 7 pm, 260 Wellesley E. There’ll be live music, a photo booth, food vendors, Bollywood dancing, face painting, henna, special activities for kids and lots more.
The Sumach is having a community bbq for seniors at 11:30 am on June 29. The food is delicious and it’s a great time to make new friends. Everyone is welcome. Free. On the terrace at 146 Sumach. Please RSVP at this link so they can make plans for food quantities.
Save these Monday mornings for your kids - July 4, 11, 18 and 25 at 10 to 11:30 am. Allan Gardens invites your family to drop-in (no advance notice needed) and stay as long as you wish. Great for children 2 to 7, siblings welcome, accompanied by a care giver. Your kids can nibble on plants, look at bugs, plant some seeds, make nature crafts and go on scavenger hunts. It all happens in the Edible Garden at Allan Gardens (Carlton and Jarvis).
Surviving a violent break-in
Alex Cyr has written a very detailed story in Toronto Life about a late night robbery at his Cabbagetown apartment while he and his friend were inside. (Photo: Joshua Best, Toronto Life)
Where the Blood Mixes
A coproduction between Native Earth and Soulpepper. Winner of the Governor General’s Literary Award for Drama in 2009. “Where the Blood Mixes takes us to the place where the rivers meet, to the heart of a family. After decades apart, Christine returns to her First Nations community to reconnect with her father. Her return provokes his memories of the Residential School system and together they must confront that legacy. With beautiful heart and great humour, this is a celebration of resilience and the healing power of stories.” On stage now to June 26. 50 Tank House Lane. For more info and tickets, click here.
The next presentation by Soulpepper and Native Earth is on stage from June 23 to July 24. Kamloopa is a winner of the Governor General’s Award for Drama. An irreverent comedy about the ultimate journey to self-discovery. 50 Tank House Lane. For more info and tickets, click here.
The School of Toronto Dance (80 Winchester) is again scheduling one-week summer intensives. The pre-professional level for ages 12 to 15 is July 4 to 8. The professional level for ages 16+ is July 11 to 15. They offer future dancers contemporary skills and networking opportunities. Details and registration are available online here.
Keating Channel Patio Party
Friday June 24 from 6 pm. The annual patio party will include beer, wine and spirits samplings. Live music with Denis Martel and the High Rollers. Lots of prizes. 2 Villiers.
Featuring Tiesto on June 30, Illenium on July 1 and Above & Beyond on July 2. Tickets are available online - $105 to $123. 20 Poulson Street. For more info, click here.
Friday night karaoke happens at 9 pm every week at Alice’s Place (554 Parliament). Thousands of songs.
The manager has told interested customers that L’Avenue (583 Parliament at Amelia) will open on Friday June 24. Judging by the construction work to restore the building and the design of the outdoor patio, this will be a classy place!
El Nahual Tacos
The sign says “coming soon” but the door is open for takeout orders. The menu lists burritos, tacos, enchiladas and quesadillas. All are reasonably priced and hearty offerings. If the early tastings are any clue, these will be popular dishes. You can see the menu on Ritual. 556 Parliament.
Friday June 24 and Saturday June 25, starting at 5 pm. Enjoy sangria, martinis and specialty cocktails. 531 Queen E.
Haldi (568 Parliament) is closing for a week from Sunday June 26 to Monday July 4. Construction and renos are happening. Lunch this week was wonderful - chicken tikka masala, butter chicken, naan and rice with a bottle of Kingfisher lager - big portions even for two people.
Cyril’s on vacation. His next delivery will be on Saturday July 9.