About Us – Board of Directors: 2016/2017
The Cabbagetown Residents Association (CRA) is a volunteer organization, originally established in 1967, representing residents living in Toronto’s Cabbagetown community.
Phil Frei – CRA President
Phil Frei lives on Geneva Street with his wife, Cynthia Eldridge and their two boys, Malcolm and Dominic. They have owned the house since 2002, but moved back into the neighborhood in summer of 2013 after living abroad for many years. The desire to raise their boys in Cabbagetown and be part of a strong community was a big driver in the decision to move back to Toronto. Phil knows that the CRA and its volunteers are key to strengthening the community and wants to be able to personally contribute to this work. Professionally, Phil is an entrepreneur with a technology background. His most recent venture, Bridge International Academies, is the largest chain of private primary schools in Africa offering world-class education in the poorest neighborhoods in Kenya.
James, Brad and their dog Barney live on Dermott Place, where they have resided since 2004. As an avid cyclist Cabbagetown is the perfect, centrally located area in which James can avoid using any form of public transit!
James is a television producer who has been in the business for over 30 years, and whose best ideas have often come from simply walking around the neighbourhood with his dog.
James’ goal on the CRA is consistent with all the other board members making Cabbagetown a better place to live, work and shop by listening to the residents and tackling their concerns.
Marc Simmons – CRA Treasurer
Marc and his wife Lisa moved to a small Cabbagetown house in 2007 after a long search for the right community to start a family. Their son was born a year later but when twin girls arrived in 2011, they had to upsize. There was never any question that Cabbagetown was the right fit for the family so they moved several times within the neighbourhood before settling into the perfect home. The draw to Cabbagetown has always been due to its diversity, rich history and intense sense of community.
Marc is a Professional Engineer and MBA currently doing strategy work in the energy sector. He hopes to become better acquainted with the issues that affect residents and will strive for the betterment of the community’s economic, environmental and social well-being.
In a previous life, Kelley lived in London, Ontario, was active with the Woodfield Community Association and was that association’s representative on the Urban League of London, a citywide coalition. She moved to Stratford, Ontario, bought a Regency cottage and became known as that crazy person who grew vegetables in her front yard. In 2012, work brought Kelley to Toronto, whose stunningly high housing prices led her to renting. She chose Cabbagetown because of its proximity to downtown, its practical set of stores on Parliament “main street”, its beautiful green spaces and the fact she found a place to rent with a small garden to call her own. Kelley works in communications and shares her garden, and life, with Chris, an information designer and data visualizer.
Tina Card and her husband Alejandro moved to Toronto from Calgary in the summer of 2012, ending up by chance in Cabbagetown. They moved so that Alejandro could work on his PhD in Political Science at nearby UofT. Four months later their first daughter, Sasha, was born. Their original plan was to move back to Calgary eventually, but after welcoming their second daughter Maya in 2015 they decided to change plans, take roots, and raise their children in Cabbagetown. As many of you can relate, they had fallen in love with the amazing community here — even though their families are elsewhere in Alberta and Mexico. Tina’s number one passion is to be a mom, work that she combines with her professional career as a mortgage specialist.
Tyler moved to Nasmith Avenue in 2014 and quickly became an active and engaged Cabbagetowner. He is a graduate of the University of Toronto and currently works in senior management for an organization in the financial services industry. Prior to his current role, Tyler worked at a strategic communications and public affairs consulting firm and served in a variety of political roles at the provincial and federal level. Tyler has also served on a number of boards, including most recently as Chair of an internationally-recognized City of Toronto agency with over 300,000 user visits in 2014.
He also makes Cabbagetown chalkboards in his spare time.
Carolyn Jarman lives on Sackville Place with her husband Brad, and their two children, Eleanor and Ted. They previously lived in Corktown and moved into Cabbagetown in the fall of 2013 after living for 4 years in London UK. It was in London where their desire to live in a small village within a city was established.
Cabbagetown has the feeling of a leafy, small town with the benefits of being a 10-minute cycle ride into the core.
Carolyn is a pediatric occupational therapist working in neonatal and pediatric intensive care units. While she commutes to Hamilton for work, she spends the rest of her time cycling and walking with her family exploring the nooks and crannies of the neighbourhood.
Keith has been a resident of Cabbagetown since 2003, when he and his partner Jocelyn Watchorn moved to Nasmith Avenue (www.nasmithavenue.com). He joined the Cabbagetown Residents Association in 2013. Keith enjoys being part of a neighbourhood with a long history, great architecture and wonderful neighbours. Although one of the smallest streets in Cabbagetown, Nasmith Avenue residents have a close relationship, due in large part to an annual street party and other social events such as “Doors Open Nasmith” where neighbours visit a number of homes in one evening. The spirit of the street inspired Keith to join the CRA to share his experiences and to learn more about other parts of Cabbagetown.
Keith was previously Vice President of Web Development for the Capital Markets and Investment Banking division of one of the big 5 banks, managing digital marketing, communications and social media. He is currently on a sabbatical, devoting time to his passions of vegetarian cooking, gardening and exploring the neighbourhood.
Keith hopes to use his skills to assist with communication channels amongst residents and to support the great work that the board already does.
Hello! My name is Shawna Pereira… I have been a resident of Cabbagetown for the last 9 years and have recently dawned the “yellow scarf” as the organizer for our annual Cabbagetown Forsythia Festival, held rain or shine the 1st Sunday of May in Wellesley Park.
I’m a freelance photographer that loves shooting weddings, births and families. I’m a mom to an 8 year old little girl named Nyla. My husband’s name is Ashley (and yes, he is a man with a girls name). We live on the quiet and quirky street of Salisbury Ave…the street that is ONE WAY, for only half the street.
It’s the mix of quaint, eclectic, laid-back, parks, laneways, history, great people, local restaurants, shops and sense of community that drew us here to Cabbagetown and I really can’t think of a better place to live in the City of Toronto.
If you see me shopping at No Frills, perusing the vintage section for wine at the LCBO or having dinner on the patio at F’amelia please stop and say Hi. While we’re here…don’t forget to mark your calendar, Sunday, May 7th, 2017, Forsythia Festival, Wellesley Park, Rain or Shine.
Sam has lived in the neighbourhood for over 10 years, in 4 different properties. As his family has grown he and his wife, Josie, never considered moving out of Cabbagetown and have just settled into a new family home on Salisbury Ave with their two young sons, Mac, and Graeme.
Professionally, Sam is a Portfolio Manager and Investment Advisor helping everyone from new investors to retirees in growing their savings, with a focus on socially responsible investing.
The Cabbagetown community has been a great source of support and growth for Sam’s family and he joined the CRA to give back and ensure that that support is there for all residents in the years to come.
Evelyn moved to Sumach Street in December 2013, just in time to escape a 5 day blackout due to the ice storm in her former neighbourhood, Bloor West Village. She chose to relocate to Cabbagetown for its proximity to her son and his family as well as to her office, and for the lovely Victorians and tree canopy. She earned a Ph.D., at the University of Toronto and is a psychologist in private practice. She has written two books and worked in teaching, business and social services before heading to graduate school at 40. While living in BWV she served on the Board of Directors of the Residents’ Association for eight years and hopes to draw on her experiences there to inform her contribution to the RA here.
Des Ryan – Safety & Security Liaison
Des Ryan was first introduced to Cabbagetown about twenty years ago when he was a beat cop in 51 Division. Several years later, he found himself back in the neighbourhood, but his time as a resident with his wife, two sons, and their two dogs. Having recently retired after almost three decades with the Toronto Police Service, Des spends his time writing, teaching, and enjoying the experience of being a Cabbagetowner. Most recently, his offer to assist the Cabbagetown Residents’ Association in keeping our neighbourhood safe for everyone has been graciously received.