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Cabbagetown Tour of Homes gets major media coverage

Two big media stories have been published about the upcoming Cabbagetown Tour of Homes, organized by our friends at the Cabbagetown Preservation Association.

A story in the Toronto Star Homes Section, “Cabbagetown Tour of Homes open doors to (renovated) history”, goes in-depth about a wall-to-wall redo of one of the Wellesley Cottages and has shorter stories about a recently renovated five-apartment building on Metcalfe Street and a home in the Carlton Street Chamberlain Block that has been reimagined to accommodate three unrelated people sharing the home.

The National Post’s article on the tour, “Back to the future,” features yet another one of the tour’s homes, this one a 1905 Queen Anne style home that had been extensively changed over in the 1980s and whose 30-year-old renovations “had fit the fashions of that era, but by now was as outdated as big hair and padded shoulders.” A sleek 21st-century makeover has restored some of the older features while creating an open-concept, airy space.

The tour, covering eight stops, takes place on Sunday, Sept. 17 from noon to 4 p.m. and tickets are $35. Go to the CPA website for ticket-purchasing information.

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Throwback Thursday: Sept. 24, 1977

Volunteer Eric Morse continues his look through the 7 News, a community newspaper published in what was then Ward 7 in Toronto in the 1970s and 1980s.

The front page of the September 24, 1977 issue of 7 News was chock full of big news. There was a report on the great success of the second Cabbagetown Festival. It rained, of course: clearly our ancestors had not yet learned of the ritual of the Cutting of the Cabbage, designed to ward off ill-favour from the cabbage patch. But through it all everyone had a great time. George Rust d’Eye gave a historical talk at the library and local artist of note Mary Augustine carried on bravely in spite of a fractured kneecap.

Cabbage rolls were served (we don’t seem to see those any more) and the first Cabbagetown Tees made the scene; the one below gaily festooned with Lucifer the Python from the Menagerie Pet Shop.

The other big front-page news was that the Hon. Donald MacDonald, who had been MP for Rosedale since 1962, had decided to retire from politics. He had been serving as Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau’s Finance Minister during a very rough patch in the Canadian economy and was best-known, according to the article, as the man who brought in wage and price controls, thereby achieving rare unity among Canadian business and labour. His previous Cabinet posts had included National Defence at the time that the War Measures Act was invoked during the FLQ crisis of 1970, and it’s hard to blame him for deciding that a less-stressful career was in order


And in sadder community news, an outraged letter from a resident of Grant Street in Riverdale against “mainstream media’’ sensationalization of a tragic shooting of two Grant Street teens. 

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Bicycle found in Cabbagetown

Residents of Cabbagetown report that they found a bicycle today (Sept. 5) in their carport by the corner of Salisbury and Rawlings. A picture of the bicycle is below: a silver Giant-brand mountain bike.

Please contact info@cabbagetowner.com with the serial number or other proof of ownership and we can connect you to the household holding the bike.

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Get your free yard sale bags here!

After the warm reception we received last year, the Cabbagetown Residents Association is happy to once again give out bags to those Cabbagetown residents who are running yard sales during the Cabbagetown Festival, Sept. 9-10.

These green paper bags are fun and reusable, and remind people to join to support our association, which is committed to protecting and improving general quality of life, sustaining economic viability, promoting safety and security, raising awareness among community residents, and communicating key issues and concerns to various public organizations including City Council, Toronto Police and District School Boards.

As a reminder, CRA’s geographic boundaries are Gerrard Street to the north, Parliament street to the west, St. James Cemetery to the north and the Don Valley to the east. We also organize many events for the community throughout the year, including our signature Forsythia Festival, held the first Sunday of May.

This year, Nick and Hilary at Sage Real Estate (nickandhilary.com) have kindly sponsored us to help defray the cost of the bags.

If you are holding a yard sale within the CRA boundaries and want to make sure you get your Cabbagetowner bags, contact us at info@cabbagetowner.com or contact us through social media (follow us on facebook and @cabbagetowner on Twitter) and we’ll make sure your address is on one of our delivery routes. Our volunteers will be out bright and early on the morning of Sept. 9 to deliver the bags.

Posted in Events

Throwback Thursday: September 1977

Volunteer Eric Morse has been mining the archives of 7 News, a community newspaper published in what was then Ward 7 within East Toronto, including Cabbagetown. Here’s his report on the Sept. 10, 1977 edition.

In the September 10, 1977 issue of 7 News, excitement was palpable in the run-up to the second-ever Cabbagetown Festival, which was held a couple of weeks later than now. There was as yet no parade, and the advertised program tended rather more severely to the cultural side of the street than it does now, nor is there yet any mention of the ancient rite of community bonding now called the Cutting of the Cabbage.

A burning chronological question (of the sort that causes amateur historians nervous breakdowns, and drives the pros to drink) intrudes itself. Our BIA is advertising the 2017 festival as the 41st and neighbourhood blogger Doug Fisher, formerly Executive Director of the BIA, upholds this reckoning as orthodox. The 1977 editions of 7 News are resolute in calling the 1977 Festival the first. The September 1976 issue goes on to muddy the waters nicely by referring to an Upper Parliament Festival but in the same article refers to “last year’s festival”. 7 News also reports that another festival was held at Parliament Street Library on August 27 for the younger set.

The seemingly never-ending war for pay equity was being fought in an article by Alderman Janet Howard (Ward Seven had two; Howard and John Sewell; the article also mentions Ward Six Alderman, the late Dan Heap, who later trounced Liberal nominee Jim Coutts in the Spadina byelection of 1981). The particular issue was over a disparity in pay for female public health nurses with the City of Toronto.

Get a load of these dinner specials at the Parkway Tavern, at 488 Parliament St., most recently the home of the Flying Beaver Pubaret.

And Carlton Foods at 493 Parliament was that decade’s incarnation of a long line of greengrocers and cafés on the northeast corner of Carlton and Parliament until the current TD Bank building replaced the old premises.

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Falling Water TV series filming on Lancaster & Isabella Aug. 31

More film crews are arriving in Cabbagetown, this time for a TV Series, Falling Water. If you have any issues or concerns during the filming on Aug. 31 and set up before / clean up after, contact Location Manager Tim Owen at (416) 875-4373

Locations: 136 Isabella St. and 2 Lancaster Ave.

Date and time: Aug. 31, 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Parking locations: Parliament Street between Wellesley Street East and Bloor Street east, on the east side, Parliament Street between Winchester and Prospect Street, west side and Huntley Street between Isabella and Selby streets.

Parking dates and times: from Aug. 29 5 p.m. to September 1, 5 p.m.

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Cabbagetown According To … Margaret McGann

Margaret McGann is a CRA volunteer for the Forsythia Festival and has sat on the nominating committee for new board directors.


Best place in Cabbagetown for a bite to eat: This is a hard choice as there are many great restaurants in Cabbagetown. Friends of mine from the Beaches, Riverdale, Leaside, East York and Etobicoke that I have introduced to Cranberries love it and keep coming back for the great food and wonderful staff.  

Cabbagetown needs: more retail stores. While Cabbagetown has some wonderful shops I would like more to make our neighbourhood even more vibrant. 

Favourite block: definitely the Wellesley Cottages. They are a pleasant surprise in the midst of the city.

Best public space: Riverdale Farm. Where else in Toronto can we enjoy welcoming spring with the birth of baby lambs, piglets and chickens?

Favourite store: London Calling on Carlton for their English chocolate bars and toffee. 

Cabbagetown pet peeve: I don’t really have a Cabbagetown pet peeve although if I thought about it deciphering the different times for legal parking for my guests has been challenging.

Cabbagetown’s best kept secret: The Necropolis chapel and cemetery. It is my favourite spot for a walk and to absorb some Toronto history. 

Best reason to join the Cabbagetown Residents Association (CRA): to keep up with what is happening in our neighbourhood. CRA provides a long list of services from liaising with the City on everything from suggesting improvements to resident complaints. 

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They’re ba-ack: One more Condor filming on Aug. 24

The Condor TV series returns for what they promise is just a few hours of “pickup shots for previous recurring location” on Thursday, July 24 between 5 p.m. and 11 p.m. along Gordon Sinclair Lane and Riverdale Park Road.

The vehicles will park on Carlton Street, south side, between Bowman and Sumach Street.

If you have any issues or concerns, reach out to the Location Manager Chris Moulson
 416 891-6000

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Throwback Thursday: the summer of ’77

Volunteer Eric Morse peruses the August 27, 1977 issue of Seven News for more throwback tales.

Downtown was reinventing itself. The August 27, 1977 issue of Seven News headlines the beginning of construction of mixed housing in the St Lawrence neighbourhood – where the Esplanade now stands.

Gentrification was getting underway in Cabbagetown but it wasn’t yet in full swing, and the old housing stock was feeling the insurance pinch, though $500 for a homeowner’s package looks like a bargain in 2017!

The words may have changed somewhat but the tune remains familiar; the Cross Cultural Communications Centre on Dufferin Street was calling for opposition to Bill C-24, a revision of the Immigration Act. Some of the features that the Centre found objectionable were:

The last point, implying exit controls as it does, pretty clearly went nowhere but it reminds us that there has rarely been a time when society did not feel inchoate threats from some direction. In the ’70s it was Red Brigades, Black September and the IRA among others, including of course those illegal immigrants from just about anywhere.

An expropriation gone wrong provides the background for the Oak Street Co-op.

And the beloved Cabbagetown Boxing Club gets some mixed notices; on Page 7, some very commendable participation figures are noted (more than 200 boys signed up; no mention of how many girls), while on Page 8 we find this somewhat more salacious tale.


Meanwhile, Winchester Street icon the Winchester Dance Theatre was launched.

These stories and many more are available at http://www.connexions.org/SevenNews/Docs/7News-Volume08-Number07.pdf). The PDF archive is a remarkable achievement by Connexions, a collective dedicated to preserving social activism, of which 7 News is surely a shining example.

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Commercial being filmed on Sackville, Sumach in August

Cabbagetown may be getting an IKEA closeup.

While we cannot confirm for certain that the world’s largest furniture retailer is behind the latest filming notice from the city of Toronto for our ‘hood,  the permit states this is for a commercial with the title”Ikea170817.”

Maybe we’ll get to be as famous as “START THE CAR!!!”

Update August 15: Another shoot date on Sumach Street has been added for this commercial.

In this case, the Location Manager is Bill Dawe and his number is (905) 339-8921.  Contact Bill if you have any issues or concerns during the shoot.

Location: 311 Sumach St.

Dates: Between Aug. 19, 7 a.m. and Aug. 22, 11 p.m.

Parking Location(s): Sumach Street between Gerrard Street East and Spruce Street; and Spruce Street bebwteen Sumach and Sword Streets

Original post: This commerical shoot is supposed to be one full day of filming but the permit covers a week in which that day of shooting will occur: Thursday, August 17 to Thursday, August 24.

As always, if you have any issues, contact the Location Manager, Christian Wood: Cell #: 416 880-8684.

– 374 Sackville St.;
– Sackville Street between Millington and Winchester Streets;
– 415 Sackville St.

Dates and Times:
from 7 a.m. Aug. 27 to 11 p.m. Aug. 24.

Update on August 17: Two filming dates now confirmed for Sackville: Aug. 19 and Aug. 21. Local residents have been informed.

Parking Locations:
– Carlton Street north side between Parliament and Sackville streets; 
– Sackville Street between Carlton and Winchester streets;
– Winchester Street between Metcalfe and Sackville streets.

Parking dates and times are the same as for the filming times except for Carlton Street, where the parking permit begins at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, August 16 and ends August 18 at 8:30 p.m.

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