Cabbagetown Daily Updates
The latest news, views and things to do in Cabbagetown neighbourhoods
Outdoor skating continues to Sunday — if the ice holds up
The city is encouraging skaters to enjoy the last few days of the official outdoor skating season at our local rinks. However, the weather seems poised to end the season earlier than the scheduled March 19 deadline.
Sunday evening is when the city starts to close its outdoor artificial ice rinks, natural ice rinks and skating trails and begin its annual conversion of spaces into skateboarding parks, tennis courts and pickleball spaces.
Meanwhile the forecast for the next four days calls for rainy and overcast days with temperatures mainly above zero.
Locals upset by cutting down of Don Valley trees
Nearly 2,800 trees in the Don Valley are being cleared to make way for construction of the Ontario Line.
It’s a move that reportedly appalls nearby community members and representatives who say Metrolinx has not communicated adequately about the massive cutting.
See the recent Toronto Observer story about the local reaction.
Farm drop-in planned for March Break
Starting tomorrow, Riverdale Farm is presenting a program of farmer demonstrations of animals, crafts and play, and other family fun. It’s all free, running from March 13 to 17.
See the Streeter Things To Do listing for the schedule and other information.
Councillor opening local office
Toronto Centre councillor Chris Moise announced in his newsletter today he will soon open a constituency office just for Ward 13. This will allow him to meet with residents in the area, rather than in his city hall office, he says.
The office will be at 329 Parliament St. He’s planning to host a grand opening on April 29.
Report of gun at Jarvis Collegiate investigated
Police were at Jarvis Collegiate Institute today at about 1:30 p.m. to investigate reports of a person with a firearm on school property, according to a police Twitter message.
No injuries were reported and police have released no further information about the alleged incident.
UPDATE: The school lockdown was lifted and police told media no firearm was found, despite reports a student had claimed to have a gun. No charges were laid.
Metrolinx to move planned layover facility from Don Valley
Metrolinx appears to have given in to demands that a planned layover facility not be built in the Don Valley alongside the parkway north of the Prince Edward Viaduct.
Yesterday the provincial agency overseeing public transport announced it has found a new location in a light industrial area near York Mills Road and Leslie Street.
The proposed 11-acre site in the valley has been the subject of protests and petitions from environmentalists and community members who said building the facility there could damage the valley’s sensitive ecology.
Success! Metrolinx has moved the proposed Don Valley Layover facility out of the Valley. Thank you to all the advocates who’ve spoken up to protect this important natural area. https://t.co/i6sgwF41bc pic.twitter.com/5vNSnHUWh1
— Paula Fletcher (@PaulaFletcherTO) March 1, 2023
Summerlicious applications open
Winterlicious seems barely over and it’s already time for local restaurants to sign up for the summer edition of the fixed-price dining festival.
Applications to participate in the Summerlicious program will be accepted from today to March 22, the city has announced.
This year’s Summerlicious runs from July 7 to 23 and there’s good news for participating restaurants: the fees have been cut to less than half the pre-pandemic rates. The new fee is $550. The city says this reduction should “make it easy and affordable for restaurants to participate and will encourage more Toronto residents to dine out and celebrate Toronto’s diverse culinary scene.”
Restaurants can find more information on the City’s Summerlicious 2023 Restaurant Participation webpage.
March for homeless on ‘coldest night of the year’
It wasn’t quite the coldest weather we’ve had so far this year, but it was cold enough for 440 people who braved it this evening to support the poor and homeless.
Fifty-five fundraising teams met at St. Paul’s Bloor Street, 227 Bloor St. E., for the Toronto Downtown Yonge edition of The Coldest Night of the Year walk, one of many walks taking place across Canada today.
In the warmth of the church they heard a brief address from Angela Solomos, vice-president of philanthropy for the Yonge Street Mission, who reported they had already raised 89 per cent of their $160,000 goal.
And then they poured out into the cold, to take their message east on Bloor to Sherbourne Street, then south onto local streets including Parliament Street, Yonge Street and Gerrard Street East.
Local home prices dropping, real estate board says
Home prices are down by seven per cent from last year in this area, according to figures recently released by the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board.
The report indicates the year-over-year decrease for the real estate “C08” area, including Cabbagetown, St. James Town, Church-Yonge Corridor, Regent Park, Moss Park and Waterfront Communities.
As of January, the average home here is now $813,700, TRREB reports.
The higher end properties — single, detached houses — have taken the biggest hit, dropping 15.4 per cent to about $2.2 million.
Beloved St. James Town variety store still closed
The Philippine Variety Store at 240 Wellesley St. E. in St. James Town is still closed several months after the death of its popular owner.
Leonida McNabb, 64, died peacefully on Nov. 29, according to a message still posted on the door of the store.
“Regrettably, there is nobody available to run this store, and this store will remain closed until we decide how to proceed,” the sign says.
So far there has been no word on the store’s future.
An appreciation of the store and owner appeared in BlogTO today.
Rave for Cabbagetown’s new vegan restaurant
Revelstoke, which opened at 195 Carlton St. in November, is the subject of a story on blogTO today.
The restaurant bills itself online as a “plant-based restaurant serving brunch, lunch, dinner and cafe service” and the article, plus Instagram video, raves over the food that “is convincing carnivores to go vegan.”
Get ready to walk on the Coldest Night of the Year
The Coldest Night of the Year charity walks to serve the hurt, the hungry and the homeless take place on Feb. 25, with the Toronto Downtown Yonge edition hosted by the Yonge Street Mission.
The local walk starts at St. Paul’s Bloor Street, 227 Bloor St. E.
To sign up for the walk, to donate or just to find out more, see Toronto Downtown Yonge’s Coldest Night page.
Backyard fire, arson rumoured
A fire erupted behind an Aberdeen Avenue residence early this morning. Some Cabbagetown neighbours on social media are calling it arson, though we have no official word on it yet.
Local musician Danny Marks, who lives behind the house on the next street, caught the blaze on camera and posted the picture on Facebook.
Parking restrictions eased for Family Day
Police have announced they will not be ticketing vehicles parked on the street on Feb. 20 on rush-hour routes and in areas with posted Monday–Friday regulations.
Gerrard reconstruction delayed for a year
Road reconstruction along Gerrard Street between Sherbourne and Parliament streets, originally scheduled to begin this year, has been put off until 2024, it has been announced.
See the city’s “Gerrard East Complete Street” webpage for more on the project.
Report our potholes to be fixed
You may see repair crews out on the roads today as the city launches its first pothole-fixing blitz of the year.
Chances are, though, plenty of Cabbagetown potholes will remain unless they are reported. To get those car-wrecking eyesores filled, report them via the 311 Toronto mobile app, online at Toronto.ca/311 or by calling 311.
The city says most repairs are carried out within four days of potholes being reported.
Trees to be cut down for Ontario Line kept from two MPPs
The Toronto Star is reporting the provincial government instructed Metrolinx to leave two Toronto MPPs off a notice to politicians about trees in their ridings to be cut down to make way for the Ontario Line subway.
Toronto Centre’s Kristyn Wong-Tam and Toronto-Danforth’s Peter Tabuns, who have both been critical of the Metrolinx plan, sent a letter to Transportation Minister Caroline Mulroney asking why they were deliberately excluded.
Red Cranberries, 601 Parliament St. in Cabbagetown, is one of many restaurants across town offering a special Valentine’s Day menu and romantic atmosphere for Feb. 14.
But spaces are filling up everywhere, so get your reservations in as soon as possible.
Now this ward has three cameras to catch speeders
The city is adding 25 automated speed enforcement cameras, one for each ward in Toronto. The most recent ASE in Toronto Centre is on Queen Street East near Sackville Street.
It joins two other such cameras in the ward, currently located on Alexander Street east of Yonge Street and on Sherbourne Street south of Wellesley Street East.
See the full Streeter story on the new cameras.
Cabbies reported asking money upfront for some areas
Some taxi drivers are accepting fares to certain “dangerous” areas of the city only with advance payments, blogTO is reporting.
The blogTO story relates the attempts of a rider trying to catch a cab in the Church and Wellesley area a short distance to Sherbourne and Dundas streets, and being asked for $10 and $12 advances.
Longtime local butcher’s difficult story is told
The family business serving this community for more than five decades, St. James Town Steak & Chops, is featured in a Toronto Star story appearing today.
Owner Mark Michelin relates the history of the Parliament Street shop, started by his father in 1971, including a tragic incident about 30 years ago that changed his perspective on life and business.
Start making reservations for Winterlicious
Winterlicious is back, set to offer prix fixe lunches and dinners from Jan. 27 to Feb. 9.
Cabbagetown-area restaurants participating in Winterlicious Toronto include Butter Chicken Factory on Parliament Street, The Blake House on Jarvis Street, F’Amelia on Amelia Street, Maison Selby on Sherbourne Street and Dominion Pub & Kitchen on Queen Street East.
You can find the entire Toronto list on the city’s Winterlicious page.
CampTO registration set to open
It’s time to start planning the kids’ summer camp activities at local parks and centres this summer. The city has announced its CampTO programs are online for your consideration, ready for registration beginning Feb. 11.
Some new programs have been added to the CampTO lineup for the programs that run from July 4 to Sept. 1.
Camp locations in and around the Cabbagetown area include:
- Regent Park Community Centre, 402 Shuter St.
- Riverdale Farm, 201 Winchester St.
- Wellesley Community Centre, 495 Sherbourne St.
For more information on the program and registration, see the Streeter calendar listing.
Dance theatre moving from Winchester
The School of Toronto Dance Theatre has been based at 80 Winchester St. in the heart of Cabbagetown for more than four decades. Now it’s grown too big for that space and is moving. But not far.
The theatre plans to be opening its own space at Artscape’s Daniels Spectrum, a multifaceted cultural centre in Regent Park.
The plan is to move four months from now. See the full Toronto Dance Theatre release.
Beer Store gone, at least for now
Some local drinkers are still grieving the loss of their Beer Store, which had been serving the community for more than two decades at Gerrard Street East and Seaton Street.
During COVID lockdowns, this was one of few beer stores that would accept empties, often resulting in very long lines of people returning them, local beer drinkers recall.
The Georgian, a seven-storey mixed-use condominium building, is planned for the site at 227 Gerrard St. East.
The condo project was first proposed in 2017 but the Beer Store closed down only recently and our roving photographer just noticed it was gone today.
It’s anticipated that a new Beer Store will be opened on the ground floor of the new building, although we
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