A PERSONAL VIEW
Another reason to brag
The new Parkscape on Parliament Street is awesome. It promises to bring fun, excitement and prominence to the neighbourhood. It’s the kind of project that fits in Cabbagetown - offbeat and welcoming for everybody. Ten years ago, no one would have predicted that we would build a park in the middle of our main street. At that time, our retail area was seen as rundown and slightly seedy. Not now. Congrats to everyone who had the idea and the drive to bring it here. It’s going to be an interesting summer! (Photo: the plaza area in front of Jet Fuel)
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: Irene DeClute, Lorne’s Wellesley Cottage)
Parkscape is opening
The target date is July 1 and construction appears to be right on schedule. Adam Bienenstock from Bienenstock Natural Playgrounds is leading the team doing the work - he gets here at 5:30 am each day. He notes that they have done hundreds of them and it shows in the coordinated and careful work that they’re doing.
Parkscape entertainment opportunities
Virginia at the Cabbagetown BIA is inviting interested individuals and groups to tell her about their projects. You can use the spaces at Parkscape to stage your event. Email your ideas to her. There’s now a special website page to describe Cabbagetown Parkscape - check it out.
Of course, while traffic and parking are jammed on Parliament because of Parkscape construction, a movie is filmed on Winchester just east of Parliament. Traffic is regularly stopped there as well while this happened.
Welcome Bev Jenkins
Bev Jenkins is succeeding Randy Brown as the Executive Director at Cabbagetown Art & Crafts - the annual Festival art show in Riverdale Park. She’s an experienced professional planner who’s managed major events and media campaigns for over 25 years. She’s also an accomplished artist who’s been exhibiting her work for over two decades. Her paintings have been sold all across the world. She knows what artists need when they come to Riverdale Park - she’s joined plenty of group shows, special commissions and solo shows. She’s a long-time Cabbagetown resident and appreciates the importance of the Art & Crafts Festival for our community. Best wishes, Bev, for your work at the show.
Protect the Don Valley
Three groups have joined forces to oppose Metrolinx plans to build a rail facility in the Don Valley - A Park for All, Build the Park and Wonscontonach Trail. They published an open letter against the project and they’re organizing people to make presentations to City Council. Floyd Ruskin has written about the campaign on his Facebook page with details about contacting CityCouncil.
Congrats Wellesley Avenue
Bill and John, two Wellesley Avenue residents, spearheaded repairs to a wall and garden at the end of the street. It’s a beautiful frame for the rows of gracious Victorian homes. All the residents on this tiny street contributed to the project. Originally, the wall contained a plaque saluting Peter Thomas who “loved gardens and was a guiding light in the building of this one” and the plaque has been restored as well in his memory. (Photo: Gus looks good lounging in front of the new wall.).
Port Lands bridge
The final bridge is on its way from Nova Scotia for the Port Lands. This one will twin with another one across the Keating Channel. It’ll reach Toronto within a few days.
Apparently, the news reported here that the Cabbagetown BIA won’t stage its traditional Festival along Parliament Street in September wasn’t exactly correct. The BIA’s Board has assigned a committee to put together a program for the weekend’s festivities.
Bayview Avenue south of the Rosedale Valley Road to Corktown and River Street between Bayview and Spruce will be closed from Saturday at 7 am to Sunday at 7 pm. If you’re planning a bike ride or a stroll along these streets, check the City’s website for the latest updates.
The Cabbagetown Farmers’ Market (Riverdale Park, Sumach and Winchester) has had a successful launch for its season. David Doze from Riverdale Urban Farming reports that, “The first two weeks have been amazing – busy with shoppers (some vendors have even sold out!) and fantastic weather (another great one today!)” Neighbourhood Coffee, Reif Winery and Henderson Brewery provided lots of liquid refreshment.
The Underpass Park Farmer’s Market (29 Lower River Street) in Corktown is open now and every Thursday from 4 to 7:30 pm. Over 30 vendors are listed.
These nifty little painted rocks are appearing across the neighbourhood. The donor is anonymous and the gifts are appreciated. Watch nearby front yards to see them. (Photo: Jessica Commins)
Quinn, David and their son Felix are enjoying the Cabbagetown Farmers’ Market in Riverdale Park.
Cabbagetown Regent Park Museum Historical Tidbit
By Sally Gibson. Cabbagetown has long been home to artists in many disciplines. Who should come pirouetting down Winchester Street in the mid-1970s but prima ballerina Karen Kain. She was winning hearts and international recognition with her Swan Lake, a ballet that still stirs her to her artistic depths nearly fifty years later . But in the mid-1970s on Winchester Street, Kain was performing more as Cinderella than Odette, woman-handling a scraper and calling in her National Ballet company friends to help her renovate her new/old Cabbagetown residence. Image: Karen Kain renovating 1976 TPL, Toronto Star
The Passionate Animal Walkers are open for business. Flyers are appearing in mailboxes around the neighbourhood. They’re insured and bonded and they offer “the best prices in Toronto.” Call Meaghan at (647) 628-0373 and check out her website. (Photo: Meaghan with Ticket and Doug. Thanks to Lawrence Bernstein)
Build a bike
Charlie’s Freewheels is teaching young people (ages 12 to 25) how to build a bike from the frame up. Classes on bike anatomy, tool safety, bike safety and mechanical systems. Students will build and keep their own bikes and they get a helmet, lights, a bell and a lock. All classes start from July 3 - limited to 8 students, first-come, first-served. BAB1 happens on Mondays and Wednesdays from 2 to 4 pm, BAB2 on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6 to 8 pm. (Note: BAB2 is reserved for 2SLGBTQ+ persons and people of marginalized backgrounds) and BAB3 on Saturdays from 3 to 6 pm. For more info, click here. Free.
Pride Month at the Children’s Book Bank
Drag Queen Storytime starring Lucy Flawless happens on Wednesday July 6 at 4 pm. All kids are welcome. This is the latest in a series of drag queen events held at the Book Bank (585 Dundas E, Suite 260). There’s also a special display of books about LGBTQ+ experiences.
Mud-days at Allan Gardens
Save 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).
IN OUR STORES
Marilyn at Pet Valu
Marilyn from Diggity Dog Grooming (239 Gerrard E) returns to Pet Valu (240 Carlton) with her nail grooming clinic for your dogs and cats. Saturday July 2 from 9 am. Bring your pets for a trim. Please call (416) 920-6814 for your reservation.
Vintage and previously loved goodies
Rychard has opened Timeless Collective and he’s sharing space with Lala June (540 Parliament). He’s offering furniture, lighting and other household items. Lala has vintage clothing, African designs, jewellery and shoes. Open from 1 to 7 pm daily.
IN THE MEDIA
Art trail gift
The Pierre Lassonde Family Foundation has given $25 million to Waterfront Toronto. The gift will be used to build an art trail through the Port Lands. It’ll pay for two permanent installations along with rotating installations by various local, Canadian and international artists. Click here to read Aisling Murphy’s story in the Toronto Star. (Artist’s image: Waterfront Toronto, City of Toronto)
Former Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam and City Councillor Paul Ainslie along with several Catholic school trustees had been sued by the publisher of Corriere Canadese, Joe Volpe. It involved a dispute over links to a LGBT Youthline and subsequent comments by the City officials about the newspaper’s reactions. The judge dismissed the suit because it tried to prevent public officials from speaking out on a matter of public interest, also known as a Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation. Mr Volpe plans to appeal. Francine Kopun wrote about the suit and reactions by the Councillors and Trustees in the Toronto Star.
THEATRE & DANCE NEWS
Presented by Soulpepper and Native Earth - on stage now 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.
Tim Collins Band
Every Wednesday and Sunday afternoon, the Cabbagetown BIA will sponsor a band to play in the new Parkscape. The first performers are the Tim Collins Band on Wednesday July 6 at 5 pm.
Mill Street Brew Pub
Mill Street Brew Pub (21 Tank House Lane, Distillery) has ribs, chicken, sausages, skinny fries and coleslaw - plus a special on cans of beer. Only on Canada Day.
House on Parliament
The HoP (454 Parliament) is open on Canada Day. Brunch is available from 11 am to 3 pm.
Celebrate Canada Day the Italian way. Have a Bellini. 12 Amelia.
Buskers in the Distillery
Every Saturday and Sunday until August 28. Noon to 4 pm. A new performer appears very day.
Stout Irish Pub (221 Carlton) is hosting its popular Headscratchers Trivia every Monday and Tuesday night from 7 pm. Reservations are recommended. Board games are available daily. (647) 344-7676. Free.
Karaoke at Alice’s Place
Friday night karaoke happens at 9 pm every week at Alice’s Place (554 Parliament). Thousands of songs.
Live music and DJs
The Dominion (500 Queen E) brings you live music and DJs every Saturday night through the summer.
The Irv (195 Carlton) has closed. It’s a loss for all of us. Regan Irvine used his pub as a springboard for lots of special causes to support the Cabbagetown community. And he attracted a loyal customer base with his good food, good beer and cheery atmosphere. Thanks, Regan, and best wishes for all of your future plans.
The new restaurant at Parliament and Amelia is open (583 Parliament). The menu is online. Congrats to the building owners and the restaurant for an outstanding renovation.
Life is stirring at The Golden Pigeon (424 Parliament). It’s the new pub that’s moving into the location of the former Tilted Dog and Ben Wicks.
Introducing Lamdoma and Sanjay
You’ll meet them at El Nahual (556 Parliament) when you order your tacos and burritos. Open 4 to 10 pm on weekdays and 1 to 9 pm on weekends. For now, they’re open at the side door take-out counter on Prospect Street. The front room is being renovated for bistro-style fine dining. Licenced.
Haldi (568 Parliament) is closing for a week from Sunday June 26 to Monday July 4. Construction and renos are happening.
Cyril is still on vacation but right about now, he’s probably starting to miss us. His next delivery will be on Saturday July 9.