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Bicycle theft on Sumach Street

A resident reports the theft sometime overnight July 22 / July 23 of a silver Marin hybrid ​bike from the side of the house at 360 Sumach St.

The bike was locked with a kryptonite lock to a stee​l bar by the rear tire, which had a ​custom ​key-locked axle. The thieves apparently had custom hex keys to remove the rear wheel ​axle ​pins. The owner calls the theft “fairly brazen as the small walkway beside the house has motion detector lighting and the bike was locked near the back of the house visible from both houses sharing the ​narrow ​walkway …  Clearly a well scouted/cased, bike specific, specially equipped operation not afraid to work in well-lit tight passageways between houses.”

Police have been notified and the bicycle serial number is registered with police.​

If you have any information about this or any other matter of similar concern – call Toronto Police. Also, be sure to report crimes of any severity or value to the police as they monitor these reports and assign resources accordingly. If you would like to let fellow residents know also, please contact us and let us know what you would be comfortable with us sharing.

Toronto Police:
416-808-2222 for non-emergency inquiries
911 for emergencies and crimes in progress
Toronto Police CORE (Citizen Online Report Entry)
Toronto Police Bicycle Registration Form

how to report a crime - click for PDF

Posted in Crime Alert
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Toronto launches resident survey on short-term rentals

The City of Toronto is inviting residents to have their say about proposed rules for short-term rentals (such as Airbnb) via an online survey. Residents in Cabbagetown and nearby Winchester Park certainly have had some issues with some such rentals, so now’s the time to have our voices heard.

On June 19, 2017, City of Toronto Executive Committee directed Municipal Licensing & Standards (ML&S) and City Planning to consult the public on proposed zoning bylaw amendments and licensing and registration framework. The proposed regulations are to:

– Amend the City’s zoning bylaws to create a new land use called “short-term rental” that is permitted in principal residences across the city;

– Prohibit short-term rentals that are not in a person’s principal residence;

– License companies that facilitate short-term rental activity, like Airbnb; and

– Create a registry for anyone who operates a short-term rental in their home.

The proposed definition of a short-term rental includes all or part of a home or apartment that is a principal residence of the short-term rental operator and is offered for rent for fewer than 28 days at a time.

The city invites you to complete the short survey to provide your feedback on these proposed rules. The survey will be available online until August 18, 2017.  

The input that you provide will inform the final recommendations that staff will report to City Council in the fourth quarter of 2017.

For more information, please visit toronto.ca/mlshaveyoursay. Please note that public consultation meeting dates will be made available online once they finalized.


Posted in Issues, Politics
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Seek references for anyone offering odd-job help

One of an occasional series of articles by Board Director Des Ryan, a retired police officer, on safety and security.

If you’re like me, the handiest gesture you ever make is walking into the Home Hardware on Parliament to pick up a replacement light bulb. Or maybe you’re more skilled but don’t have the time or inclination to tackle a project. Fortunately, we live in an area where there is no shortage of people willing and able to take on household tasks for us.

Unfortunately, not all tradespeople are created equal. In fact, as we have seen far too often, some so-called tradespeople are not interested in trading anything except their words for our cash. Of course, there is nothing wrong with giving the person who washes windows for everyone in the neighbourhood your business, or getting the young kid from next door to clean up your yard. Be careful, however, about that guy (and it usually is a man) who knocks on your door, sight-unseen and usually unsolicited, offering to do any odd job you may have.

Losing twenty bucks to one of these unscrupulous individuals is more of a hit to the ego than to the wallet but some of these con artists (and they are, in fact, conning you) have bilked some residents out of hundreds of dollars and/or personal possessions.

Most of us choose to believe that the majority of the people walking around our neighbourhood are good people and, for the most part, that’s true. There are, however, those few individuals who seek out opportunities to take advantage of another’s good nature. Many of these rounders either charge a “reasonable” fee for work that doesn’t get done, or, worse yet, endear themselves to their so-called employer and end up bilking them out of additional cash through hard-luck stories and/or intimidation. When the happens, the homeowner may be too embarrassed to say anything, giving the crook carte blanche to find the next victim.

Here are a few things to consider before engaging with an unknown contractor or door-to-door labourer:

– Do you actually need the work done, or do they make you feel sorry for them to the extent that you find work for them to do?

– Have they done work in the area that you can verify? We all like to pass on the name of someone good!

– Will they provide you with a first and last name and contact phone number? If so, Google is a great source of information, bearing in mind that the name might not actually be real.

– How do they make you feel? Don’t overlook that gut feeling.

– Are they doing the work you want done?

– Are they eager to help or are they aggressive? That can be very subjective, but you are the one hiring this person. Trust your instincts.

– Do they leave when you ask them to?

If you are answering “no” to any of these questions, consider the possibility that you may be getting conned. End the relationship. If they persist or become threatening, call the police. Chances are, you aren’t the first (or won’t be the last, unfortunately) person to be targeted. Make sure you are safe and cut your losses.

Posted in Crime Prevention
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Throwback Thursday: 1977, according to the 7 News archive

By Eric Morse, CRA communications volunteer.

As Keith Lawrance told us back in April, the old 7 News, named for Ward 7, the online archive of which was unearthed by neighbourhood blogger extraordinaire Doug Fisher, is a gold mine of historical reference and nostalgic tidbits. Owned and managed by the community, it got off to a somewhat tentative four-page start in 1971 (creating a volunteer community paper with X-acto knives and hot wax on a paste-up board in the days before Aldus/Adobe PageMaker was no joke) but was soon well into its stride at a polished eight pages and lasted an astonishing 15 years, until 1985.

Over the next while, we will follow what was happening in the neighbourhood 40 years ago, beginning with the July 30, 1977 issue.

The headliner for the issue: The Old Don Jail is finally slated for closing. 

The conservation groups, it would seem, had the last word, but perhaps not quite in the sense that the article understood. As recounted in an April 13, 2013 news article, operational exigencies kept the east wing of it in service for another 35 years! Today, the restored centre block houses the administrative offices of Bridgepoint Health. 

Then as now, Toronto Centre was a landing point for waves of immigrants, whose lands of origin have changed rapidly over the decades. A year ago, Cabbagetown was sponsoring Syrian refugees; in 1971 a locally produced play, The Primary English Class, starred Jerzy Ambrozewicz in what looks to be an acidulous take on the ones who couldn’t learn English. In the context, “Actor Discusses Immigrant Problems” is a slightly understated headline. 

Over in the ads, pharmacist Terry Gudofsky of the Shoppers’ Drug Mart in St James Town, then at 240 Wellesley At. E., announced an innovative pick-up and delivery service for the neighbourhood between Bloor, Wellesley, Parliament and Sherbourne. COD, no cheques or Chargex. And a charming little ad for charming cheese at charming prices. 

Judy Smith writes that the exact fare system introduced by the TTC is being a real pain to the patrons of the 506 streetcar. Fifty cents, folks. No more, no less. 

Finally, this tiny announcement on Page 7 heralds the very first Cabbagetown Festival.

To view the full issue of 7 News, visit http://www.connexions.org/SevenNews/Docs/7News-Volume08-Number05.pdf 

The full 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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Carlton Street filming July 23-24

More filming coming to Cabbagetown: this time at 303 Carlton Street, same house as an earlier shoot this year in May. The production company and project titles are different, although this production company and the one from May share the same address.

As always, if you have any concerns or questions, contact the location manager.

Project Title: Forevermark 170723

Production Company and Address: Radke Films, 125 George St., Toronto Ontario, M5A 2N4 Phone: 416-869-3500

Location Manager: Matthew Cassils, mobile #: 647-618-4846

Filming Location and Times: Location: 303 Carlton St.,  from July 23, 7 a.m., to July 24, 11 p.m.

Parking Location(s): South side of Carlton Street between Parliament and Sackville streets, from July 22 at 6 p.m. to July 24 at 11 p.m.

Posted in Film Shoots
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Survey on laneway cycling – please participate!

The Laneway Project, the Canadian Urban Institute and the Community Bicycle Network are working together to explore opportunities for using laneways to fill gaps in Toronto’s cycling network.

The project will identify challenges and possible solutions that can be implemented in the short and medium terms, while more significant infrastructure investment is being undertaken as part of the City’s Cycling Network Ten Year Plan. Please refer to the Project Backgrounder for an overview of Toronto’s cycling and laneway networks today, current cycling trends and stats, and some observed challenges and opportunities.

As part of this initiative, they have prepared a short survey to gain input from Torontonians living and working around the city’s laneway network, both cyclists and non-cyclists, regarding the challenges and opportunities that exist for using Toronto’s laneways as cycle routes.

Cabbagetown is filled with laneways and it’s important that our voices be heard in this initiative, so please take a few minutes to fill out the survey.

Posted in Issues, Traffic and Parking
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Toronto City Council Highlights, July 4, 5, 6, and 7, 2017

The City of Toronto’s communications office prepares Council Highlights, an informal summary of selected decisions that Toronto City Council made at its recent business meeting. The City Clerk’s formal documentation is available at http://www.toronto.ca/council.

Implementation of Tenants First strategy
Council approved the integration of City programs and services for seniors at more than 80 seniors-designated buildings in the Toronto Community Housing Corporation (TCHC) portfolio, as recommended in the Tenants First report. The seniors-designated buildings will be managed by a new entity separate from TCHC. One of several motions that Council adopted with this agenda item directs TCHC not to permanently close any additional housing units in 2018 or 2019.

TransformTO climate action plan
Council unanimously approved recommendations for reducing greenhouse gas emissions in Toronto by 80 per cent by the year 2050 as part of TransformTO: Pathway to a Low Carbon Future. TransformTO identifies strategies and goals to transform Toronto’s buildings and energy, transportation and waste systems by 2050. Among related motions that were adopted is one providing direction for the City to undertake community engagement on TransformTO.

King Street pilot project
Council authorized a King Street transit pilot project between Bathurst and Jarvis Streets starting this fall. A motion that Council adopted will give taxis greater freedom of movement than general traffic on King Street from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. and the City will consult with the taxi industry on the matter of taxi-stand spaces. This pilot project is primarily about improving the speed and reliability of public transit on King Street, Toronto’s busiest route for surface transit.

Toronto Parking Authority Board
Council voted to place the Toronto Parking Authority’s board of directors on a leave of absence and to set up an interim governance arrangement while the City Manager assesses the Auditor General’s findings concerning a land acquisition by the parking authority. Council also adopted several related motions, including one by Mayor John Tory that will result in the City reviewing all its major agencies, boards and corporations “on a rolling basis so that agencies are reviewed once per term of office” to ensure consistency with City objectives and practices.

Campaign for infrastructure funding
Council supported a motion for the City to undertake a campaign calling for the Ontario government “to be a committed partner in meeting the unaddressed infrastructure needs of the City of Toronto by committing to increased, long-term and predictable funding to support Toronto’s housing and transit priorities.” Details on implementing the campaign, which will include the participation of City agencies and corporations that choose to be part of it, will be finalized this fall.

Vacant residential units in Toronto
Council decided that the City will undertake consultations and a study on the potential implementation and public policy benefits of a tax on vacant residential units in Toronto. Staff have been directed to report to the Executive Committee in September on the results of that work and provide recommendations on whether (and potentially how) to proceed.

Impacts of spring flooding
A temporary suspension of rent and licence fee collection from Toronto Islands tenants/licensees was authorized by Council as a response to this spring’s flooding of Toronto Island Park and waterfront areas. Staff will prepare a report detailing budget impacts of the spring flooding. On the islands, about 800 residents, 30 businesses and two schools had to adapt to rising waters. Many of Toronto’s waterfront parks and beaches have suffered shoreline erosion, damage and debris accumulation over the past few months.

Planning for children in vertical communities
Council approved the City’s use of the draft Growing Up guidelines in its evaluation of proposals for multi-unit residential developments. The intention is to foster the design of new vertical communities suitable for households with children. Another recommendation that Council adopted as part of the same agenda item calls for prioritizing space for non-profit, licensed child-care facilities in new developments.

Action plan for transgender youth
Council adopted recommendations for establishing an interdivisional working group to consult with the City’s transgender youth advisory group (Trans Youth Advisory) on a trans-inclusive services action plan. Council also decided to expand the age range for members of Trans Youth Advisory to ages 14 to 29. The term transgender refers to people with gender identities and expressions that differ from stereotypical gender norms.

New community advisory committee
Council adopted a motion to establish a Community Advisory Committee on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Two-Spirited Issues. Staff were asked to recommend terms of reference and committee composition this fall. An earlier, similar City of Toronto advisory committee was disassembled in 2006.

Change to lobbying bylaw
Council amended the City’s Lobbying Bylaw, extending the time period for starting a proceeding with the City’s Lobbyist Registrar. As a result, the previous limitation period of no more than six months after an incident has been changed to within two years of an incident.

Winter respite services
Council authorized the Shelter, Support and Housing Administration division to expand winter respite services, particularly for people experiencing homelessness who do not traditionally access shelter beds. Services for the coming fall and winter will be offered from October 15 to April 30. Winter respite services build on year-round homeless-support services, providing safe spaces for people who are otherwise vulnerable to extreme cold and winter-related events.

Nuclear emergency preparedness
Council adopted a motion to ask the Ontario government to extend its current July deadline for comments on its discussion paper about preparedness for a nuclear emergency. Council is asking that the deadline be extended to September 30 “to allow municipalities and citizens to provide meaningful input.”

Support for fashion industry
Council agreed to establish an advisory panel on Toronto’s fashion industry to advise the City on how it can help the local industry deal with challenges. A report says the fashion industry is growing but companies need assistance from the City as support is not provided by the federal or provincial governments. It is expected that the panel will consider matters such as providing additional support for entrepreneurship, labour force development and increased exports by the local fashion industry.

Promotion of major running events
Council voted to ask staff to establish a working group with suitable representation to develop a strategy to strengthen “running tourism” in Toronto. Council was told that Toronto can leverage its growing international reputation for excellent marathons and attract more runners from across North America and globally, contributing to Toronto’s tourism and economic vitality.

‘Spotlight on Toronto’ action plan
Council adopted a strategic action plan called Spotlight on Toronto in support of the Toronto film, television and digital media industry and asked staff to work on an implementation plan. The Toronto industry faces increasing competition from other jurisdictions in North America that have invested heavily in new studio spaces and tax-incentive programs to attract and retain new business.

Posted in Politics
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Cabbagetown according to … Lynne Oddie

This installment of “Cabbagetown According to” features the opinions of Lynne Oddie, elected to the Board of Directors in 2017 and now serving as the CRA Secretary.

Best place in Cabbagetown for a bite to eat:
“Hey Lucy”. They are always so great with my two little ones. They even have the high chairs with the trays!

Cabbagetown needs:
A dress shop!  Or at least more clothing stores. 

Favourite block:
Anything involving Amelia. It is such a beautiful street.

Best public space:
Riverdale Farm. I take my girls there almost every day. I think my daughter prefers the water fountain over the animals, but we do always manage to check out the bunnies. 

Favourite store:
No Frills. Seriously. It is amazing I can walk five minutes and get key household stuff.

Cabbagetown pet peeve:
All the sirens. We live on the South side of Spruce Street and there always seems to be a ton of sirens around naps and bedtime. 

Cabbagetown’s best-kept secret:
Absolutely Bakery, just south of Wellesley Street, east side of Parliament. They have amazing pastries at such reasonable prices. 

Best reason to join the Cabbagetown Residents Association (CRA):
It’s a great way to meet new people and learn more about our wonderful neighbourhood. 

Posted in Cabbagetown According To...
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More filming, July 28 to August 4

The Condor TV series folks are back in Cabbagetown with two sets of filming: one large shoot and one smaller, rescheduled shoot.

They are promising that the big shoot at the interior/exterior of 395/411 Carlton Street and the exterior of Gordon Sinclair Lane “will be the last shooting day for this production at this location.”  It involves a cast and crew of 40 (!) and 30 (!) vehicles.

If you have any questions or concerns with the filming when it occurs, please contact Location Manager Andrew O’Sullivan at (416) 433-6961.

JULY 31 UPDATE: In addition to filming below, an exterior shot will also take place at 288 Carlton St., August 2, 2 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Filming Location & Times:

Location: 395 and 411 Carlton St, Gordon Sinclair Lane, Riverdale Park West

Date Time: August 2, 7 a.m. to August 3, 8 a.m.

Parking Location(s): includes weather dates

The parking permit for all locations covers from July 28, 7 a.m. to August 4, 11 p.m.

– Carlton Street between Sumach Street and Riverdale Park Road
– Carlton Street between Bowman and Sumach streets
– Sumach Street between Geneva and Winchester streets, east side
– End of Winchester Street to Sumach Street, north side
– Riverdale Park Road between Geneva Avenue and Carlton Street, west side
– Parliament Street between Wellesley Street East and Howard Street, east side.

A second round of Condor filming at 286 Carlton Street that was supposed to take place in our neighbourhood in and around June 30 did not happen at that time and has now been rescheduled over July 28 to August 4. It appears that there will be only one full day of shooting — pegged for August 2 — but the permit covers several days to allow the shoot to be moved based on weather conditions.

Filming Location and Times:

Location: 286 Carlton Street

Date: August 2, 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Permit “weather dates”: July 28, 7 a.m. to August 4, 9 p.m.

Parking Location(s): Parking includes weather dates

Carlton Street between Metcalfe and Sackville Streets: July 28, 7 a.m. to August 4, 9 p.m.

Parliament Street between Wellelsey Street East and Howard Street, on the east side: July 28, 7 a.m. to August 4, 9 p.m.

Posted in Film Shoots
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Annual General Meeting, 2017

More than 40 members in good standing attended the Cabbagetown Residents’ Association Annual General Meeting for 2017, held on June 16 at Stout Irish Pub on Carlton Street.

We handled the usual business of an AGM, including:

– financial reporting
– review of the year’s activities
– election of the new volunteer board of directors.

President Phil Frei remains in his post, entering his fourth year, as do five directors entering their second year: Tina Card, Carolyn Jarman, Shawna Pereira, Sam Richardson, and Evelyn Sommers.

Treasurer Marc Simmons was re-elected to a second two-year term, as was Tyler Fleming and Kelley Teahen, who has served as secretary for two years but is stepping down from that post to take on communications for the association, filling the gigantic shoes of retiring board director Keith Lawrance. He was thanked for his dedication, as was retiring board director James Wood, the driving force behind the association’s Pumpkin Walk and a key volunteer at all CRA events.

We also elected three new volunteer directors: Welcome to Lynne Oddie, Fiona Knight, and Des Ryan.

For details of all the  of the AGM business, please read the presentation posted online.

It was also an occasion to celebrate! While the Cabbagetown Residents Association received its letters patent from the Province of Ontario in 1974, a group of Cabbagetowners first organized in 1967, creating their own group separate from a then-larger association of East Toronto residents. We’ve always considered 1967 to be the group’s founding date so 2017 marks our 50th anniversary of community building and advocacy for the neighbourhood.

Images from the AGM

Thanks to volunteer Eric Morse


In a brief meeting after the AGM, Lynne Oddie agreed to take on the role of secretary and Sam Richardson volunteered to step up to the role of Vice President. All the best, Lynne and Sam! Thank you for taking on these executive roles.

Posted in Events, Programs