Events In The News Local Business News Local Interest

City/Local News Round-Up ~ Jun 5 – 18


The CRA AGM is scheduled for June 23 at 7.30 pm on Zoom. Invitations and links to the Zoom session have already been circulated to all CRA Newsletter recipients. If you still need the link, please email us at

Please note that only members of the association whose accounts are in good standing are permitted to vote on any resolutions that are brought to the floor. You can check your membership status by looking at the header of the newsletter email that you just received from us. Here’s the meeting agenda.




Sprucecourt public schoolFrom the Sprucecourt School Council: It’s hard to believe the 2020/2021 school year has come to an end.  There is no doubt that this has been a challenging time for many.  It has hopefully been made slightly easier by our amazing teachers and administrators – helping us all navigate online learning.  A huge thank you to the staff at the school for helping to make a challenging time slightly easier.   The 2021/2022 school year is set to start on Thursday, September 9th, 2021.  We hope to see you in person at that time!




Parliament Street Fitness logoUnder Ontario’s re-opening plan, outdoor fitness classes and personal training are now allowed. As a result, Parliament Street Fitness will  now offer some outdoor HIIT/bootcamp, yoga and running classes starting on June 22 in Riverdale Park West or Sprucecourt School. Classes are free for current members.  Non-members are more than welcome to join. Check out the PSF web site for more info (scroll down home page to schedule)

(Thanks to Doug Fisher at CNR for this news item) 




Have you heard of the Great Big Crunch? It’s a national movement and annual moment of anti-silence in which students, teachers, parents and others passionate about healthy food join the food movement, crunching into apples (or other crunchy fruit or vegetable) to make a big noise for healthy school food! Every year since 2008, Canadians have participated in the synchronized crunch, an original initiative of FoodShare Toronto, and now adopted by the national Coalition for Healthy School Food. Story from Heather Wilberforce at Green Thumbs, Growing Kids.




Located just south of Queen St E between Logan Ave and Morse St, this laneway is used by local kids to get to school, and provides service and parking access to neighbouring businesses and homes. It now features Toronto’s very first full-coverage laneway road mural along its entire 90m length.

This follows on from their project in Central Hospital Lane in Moss Park-Cabbagetown.




Live Green TO LogoHere’s a link to the latest newsletter from LiveGreen Toronto. In this month’s issue they cover:

Celebrating Pollinator Week – June 21-27, Toronto’s annual basement flooding campaign, community approaches to waste reduction and Getting TO to Net Zero.



Toronto residents who can show they have been vaccinated can get free ice cream and drinks from Kitchen Hub in honour of International Picnic Day.

Today, June 19, between 5 pm and 8 pm, the Kitchen Hub will host a picnic in Riverdale Park West and give away free drinks and soft-serve ice cream. The celebration is in partnership with Greenhouse, Station Cold Brew, and Sapsucker.



spacing logoLast week City Council voted overwhelmingly to expand sidewalk snow clearing to every sidewalk in the city. New plows will be purchased through the existing capital budget, and the operating budget won’t be all that expensive after all, reports Dylan Reid from






TORONTO LOGOThe City has announced the ActiveTO major weekend road closures that will be in place from Saturday, June 19 at 6 a.m. until Sunday, June 20 at 9 p.m., including the return of the full vehicle closure on part of Bayview Avenue.

ActiveTO road closures to vehicles will include:
• Lake Shore Boulevard East (eastbound lanes only), from Leslie Street to Woodbine Avenue
• Bayview Avenue (full closure), between Front Street East and Rosedale Valley Road, as well as River Street between Bayview Avenue and Spruce Street.



Last week the mayor announced the launch of ParkFitTO, a new pilot initiative offering residents outdoor fitness programming. With provincial restrictions still in place, the City of Toronto’s recreation centres will deliver fitness programs during the summer season at outdoor locations. With ParkFitTO, the City will offer outdoor drop-in fitness workouts as well as weekly outdoor group fitness and walking programs. 



The City of Toronto reminds residents that routine enforcement of residential on-street permit parking resumes Monday, June 21 at 12:01 a.m. The City encourages residents who require residential on-street parking, and who do not have a valid on-street parking permit, to apply for a new permit as soon as possible. 



 Last Week Toronto City Council approved the Single-Use and Takeaway Items Reduction Strategy – Stage 1 report as the first stage of a Reduction Strategy to help reduce single-use and takeaway items in Toronto. 






The National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) is now recommending that people who received a first dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine receive a second dose of an mRNA vaccine, such as Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna.



The City will open 90,000 new vaccine appointments over the next two weeks to respond to continued unprecedented demand as eligibility for second vaccine doses opens further. 30,000 appointments at City-run immunization clinics for the week of June 21 are now open in the provincial booking system . On Monday, the remaining 60,000 appointments will open for the week of June 28.



Rising vaccination rates and a gradual easing of international travel restrictions may be causing some Canadians to dream of that exotic summer vacation they had long since written off as a lost cause.

But with many restrictions still in place, challenges with accessing certain insurance, and the question of travelling with unvaccinated children, there are several things to consider before spending money on plane tickets in 2021. A report from Cameron French at CTV News. 



The City of Toronto has partnered with the Toronto Region Board of Trade to provide free COVID-19 rapid screening kits to small- and medium-sized businesses across Toronto.




Yes Folks, We Have A Winner

Winners of teh CRA holiday lights contest2019 marked the fifth year in a row that the CRA has run its popular Cabbagetown Holiday Lights contest (#CabbagetownLights). It was, as always, a well supported, fun and successful festive event.

Once again, all the great photos that Cabbagetown residents submitted showed off our lovely neighbourhood in all its holiday finest. 

After all the votes were counted, one location was a clear winner, garnering over 44% of the total votes! Our congratulations to Brian Ettkin and Andrey Shukalyuk from Wellesley Street, seen here with the 2019 Holiday Lights competition organizer, James Davie. 

Here are the first, second and third placed homes:

2020 Holiday lights first place winner

First Place – WINNER – Wellesley Street


2020 Holiday Lights 2nd place winner

Second Place – Carlton Street

2020 Holiday Lights 3rd place winner

Third place Wellesley Street

Thanks to all our great neighbours that made the effort to embrace the Festive Season by decorating their front yards so beautifully, to all the folk that submitted photos for the competition and, last but not least, to all the residents that joined in the holiday spirit and voted for their favourites.

Events Schools and Children

F’Amelia Fundraiser for Winchester Public School

F’Amelia, Cabbagetown’s cozy and sophisticated Italian eatery, on 12 Amelia Street, is hosting their second annual MINGLE WITH F’AMELIA Fundraiser on Monday January 20, 2020 to benefit the Winchester Public School. It’s a super fun night that provides opportunity for the community to come together in support of their local French Immersion school to enjoy some delicious pizza and aromatic wines. Todd Vestby and Tanya Grant generously donate the proceeds from ticket sales to Winchester PS, helping fund its art, music, sports and science programs.

Tickets cost $100 and include wine, beer, pizza and canapés. The evening starts at 6:30 and goes till 9 pm. Be prepared for fantastic door prizes and lots of mingling with Cabbagetown neighbours and friends . Charitable tax receipts will be provided for the full amount of the ticket cost.

Tickets can be purchased by RSVPing to Todd or Tanya at


Spring cleanup safety tips by Des Ryan

Des Ryan, a retired Toronto police officer and author of the Mike O’Shea Crime Fiction Series, is a CRA board director and our volunteer safety and security lead.

Spring has sprung, and the snow is melting. Really!

And perhaps, like me, you have noticed the dog poop, needles, condoms, and other not-so-nice items that those frequenting our neighbourhood have occasionally left behind.

The dog poop? A bag and a shovel and you’re good to go. And the condoms? A plastic bag and gloves (although you might have worn gloves for the poop clean-up, as well).

The needles? A bit of a different story.

As you may know, the city won’t pick up what they consider to be harm reduction items on private property. Kicking them onto public property is not advisable.

So, what to do?

If they are on public property, call 3-1-1 and the city will arrange for removal.

Needles and syringes found on private property, however, are the responsibility of the home owner or property management to dispose of. What you will need to do is place the item(s) in an approved sharps container or in another type of container (plastic jug, water bottle, etc.) that cannot be punctured by the needle tips and seal it. Clearly label the container “Needles” or “Syringes” and call 3-1-1 to arrange to have the Toxic Taxi drop by and pick up the container. Or, if you like, you can send them an email at

The container, by the way, will not be returned to you.

The upside to all of this? Unlike other items, there is no required minimum to have them come by. If you are keen on more details, the city has a 19-page document all about it: Needle Disposal: Guidance for Policies and Procedures (link opens a PDF).

Now that your yard is cleaned up, it’s time to think about planting, but I’ll leave that to much more learned neighbours than me to advise you about that!


Cabbagetown Lights 2018 – a tie for first!

This year was the fourth Cabbagetown Holiday Lights contest (#CabbagetownLights) and was another successful festive event. Once again, all the photos showed our neighbourhood in a great light. After all the votes were counted, for the first time ever, we have a tie for first!

The home of Paloma Ellard and Matthew Scott (and dog Panda) overlooking Wellesley Park from Hillcrest Park, and Bryan Hewitt and Steffen Ploeger’s house on Wellesley St. East,  share the crown this year.

Wellesley St. East was well represented in this year’s event, with houses on the street also coming in second place as well as tied for third with the Christmas Tree Lot on Spruce Street.

The contest received 375 votes, close to the number of votes received in 2016 (2017 shattered the record at more than 800). Like other years, there was a rush of votes at the very end of the contest period. Thanks to board director Tyler Fleming for running the contest.Congrats to the winners and all participants for another great neighbourhood showcase! And a reminder to all, it’s never too early to start planning next year’s lighting extravanganza.

You can view the full gallery of holiday lights photos on our Cabbagetowner Facebook page.

Events Local Interest

Cabbagetown Residents Association AGM on June 13

Are you a member of the CRA? Would you like to be? Both are invited to attend the association’s Annual General Meeting on Wednesday, June 13, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Stout Irish Pub, 221 Carlton Street.

Why go to this AGM? Five great reasons.

1. It’s fun! There are great nibbles provided and a complimentary drink ticket for each member who attends – with annual membership at $20 annually per household, let’s just say membership has its privileges.

2. You get to hear a year-in-review of accomplishments of the neighbourhood and its signature events, from Pumpkin Walk to Forsythia Festival.

3. You can vote to approve the slate for Board of Directors. These are volunteers who put in reams of donated time to keep everything running for the association, from our social events to our advocacy work with city hall and departments such as police and parks & recreation.

4. You can help us shape the next year’s direction for the association. The board directors need to set the association’s focus based on what’s important to our members: and only you can provide that information.

5. We keep the business short so we can have time to visit with one another and celebrate our community. Please, do join us!


If this doesn’t bring on spring weather, nothing will …

Every September, at the height of the Cabbagetown Festival, the festival organizers, the Cabbagetown BIA, sacrifice a cabbage to keep the Cabbage Gods smiling on the neighbourhood and bring good weather. Mark Michelin of St. James Town Steak and Chops has always been the “Purveyor of the One Cabbage.”

This April, the Cabbage Gods have been acting crankier than we’ve ever seen them, and the Forsythia Queens (aka Shawna Pereira and Carolyn Jarman from the Cabbagetown Residents Association) who organize the Forsythia Festival on Sunday May 6 are getting nervous. Mark, as a Festival Gold sponsor, has in the spirit of community service offered up a Brussels Sprout to appease and divert the wrath of the Cabbage Gods from their sisters the Forsythias.

The Act of Sprout was performed on Friday, April 20 by the hands of Mark himself. This better work … let’s bring on the spring weather!


“Clean Toronto Together” Cabbagetown edition is Sat. April 21

The City of Toronto sponsors an annual spring cleanup, Clean Toronto Together, over April 20-22 that, so far, has more than 100,000 volunteers from neighbourhoods, schools, and businesses signed up to help their corner of Toronto recover from the dreck and garbage of winter.

Cabbagetown resident and volunteer Sherry Peters is leading a cleanup with the Cabbagetown Residents Association, so mark your calendar for Saturday, April 21, 10 a.m. The Cabbagetown contingent will meet at the corner of Sumach and Winchester streets and will begin with a clean-up of Riverdale Park West.

If there is enough time and volunteers, a second identified clean-up area is Parliament around Wellesley and Amelia Streets, where a winter’s worth of takeout food wrappers have accumulated. The city provides free litter and recycling bags as part of Clean Toronto Together.

Please consider joining forces with your neighbours to make our parks and streets better for everyone.

Events Forsythia Festival

Think Spring! Calling for sponsors and volunteers for the 47th annual Forsythia Festival

The CRA’s main community activity each year is the annual Forsythia Festival, set this year for Sunday, May 6, from 10 am. to 3 p.m. This is a free event made possible by the hard work of hundreds of volunteers, led this year by Forsythia co-chairs Shawna Pereira and Carolyn Jarman, and by the generous sponsorship of our local businesses.

Check out our 2017 sponsors – wouldn’t you like to be on this list for 2018? Please read more about how to support the Festival as a donor.

We also need volunteers to help supervise various activity stations at Wellesley Park on the day of the festival. Volunteer shifts are kept short to allow you enough time to enjoy some of the festival with your own family.

We need more than 100 individuals to do everything from face paint, to assist at the food and beverage area, to tie doughnuts to tree branches (which is way more fun than you might think.) We need people to help set up and take down all the tents and activity stations. We even need people to help as marshalls for our Festival-opening neighbourhood parade. If you would like to volunteer, we’d love to have you! Please contact us at for more details.


Family Day activities in and near Cabbagetown

Riverdale Farm, Regent Park Aquatic Centre, Regent Park Community Centre and Regent Park Ice Rink are all open on Family Day, Feb. 19, 2018.

Regent Park Aquatic Centre: leisure swim, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Please note that, due to technical issues, the hot tub and tot pool are both closed this weekend and on the holiday Monday.

Riverdale Farm: regular hours, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Regent Park Community Centre: Family movie and crafts, ages 6+, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Pancakes being served from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Regent Park Rink – Shinny for all ages, 10 a.m. to noon and 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. public skate is noon to 4 p.m. 

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