Chances are the name Richard Silver is a familiar sounding one to many Cabbagetown residents. That is because Richard has been an active real estate agent and supporter of Cabbagetown for over 35 years.
Richard was first introduced to Cabbagetown in 1979 during the Cabbagetown Festival. His first impression was that Cabbagetown was a small town within a big city, and that he had to live here. He was serious, and bought his first house in the neighbourhood that very same day at 422 Sumach Street for $95,000.
This year, the 2015 Forsythia Festival organizing committee was happy to recognize Richard (again) as one of its Gold Sponsors. His association with the Forsythia Festival dates back to the days of Tony Brady (the founder of the Forsythia Festival). Richard loved the idea of supporting Brigette the Clown (Tony’s alter ego) in his efforts to host a spring festival that would see all the neighbours parading around the streets and celebrating, at Wellesley Park, the arrival of good weather.
When asked what encourages Richard to continue supporting the Forsythia Festival after all these years, he remarked that it has come to be the marker of spring in the neighbourhood and that each year there seem to be more and more children involved in the festivities, which he loves. In fact, over his 35 years Richard noted that, of all the changes to the neighbourhood, the increase in the number of children has been one of the most significant. Where previously families with young children would leave Cabbagetown for the suburbs, Richard says he is witnessing more and more of those families choosing to stay and raise their children in the neighbourhood.
Richard has moved a few times since that chance house purchase in 1979, but he continues to be an active contributor to the neighbourhood. When he’s not working (which doesn’t happen very much) his favourite thing to do in Cabbagetown is eat at our local restaurants. He attributes the fantastic cuisine (and to being fed so well!) to the talented chefs who hail from Sri Lanka who have chosen to make Cabbagetown their home.
Richard is definitely a community gem who is committed to the neighbourhood and to helping out whenever he can. The next time you see Richard walking his dog, hosting an open house, or enjoying some eats, give him a nod of recognition and maybe a quick ‘thanks’ for all he does to keep our neighbourhood special.