Forsythia Festival

Stout Irish Pub and its sister business Cifer Brewery sponsored the 2018 Forsythia Festival beverage tent.

Think Spring: Think about sponsoring!

The 48th annual Cabbagetown Forsythia Festival will be held on Sunday, May 5 and planning is in full swing.

This magical community festival is steeped in tradition and is our neighbourhood’s official welcoming of spring. This is an event free for all to attend and we can’t do it without a little help from our friends.

Organizers are looking for businesses and residents open to sponsoring the 48th Annual Cabbaagetown Forsythia Festival.

Insurance, permits, fencing, porta potties, tents, tables, supplies, musicians, decorations: these all cost money. We are very lucky to live in a community where local businesses such as Steak and Chops, Stout Irish Pub, Weenan General Contracting, Meridian Credit Union, The Sumach by Chartwell, House on Parliament, F’Amelia, Canada Trust, and many more donate money, product and time to make our festival happen. Please check out the full list of our 2018 sponsors.

If you own or work at a business that would be interested in sponsoring the Forsythia Festival we want to talk to you! We also have a few residents who donate individually to the festival. If you are open to sponsoring as an individual, as family, or even as a group of neighbours or street, we would love to hear from you. All donor levels and recognitions are featured on CRA website, If you have any questions our wish to chat further, please contact festival organizers Carolyn Jarman or Shawna Pereira via

We’ve waited all winter for spring weather to arrive and on Sunday May 6 we will welcome the season with open arms as neighbours gather to celebrate at the 47th Annual Cabbagetown Forsythia Festival at Wellesley Park from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

This annual Cabbagetown tradition has not only grown in enthusiasm over the years, it has grown in size. We are happy to welcome new sponsors MWM Fish Co., which will be setting up an oyster table in the beer garden. Please check out our complete list of sponsors, without whom the Festival would not be possible.

Buds & Blossoms will be setting up a glitter tattoo station and Blooming Planter will be setting up a flower crown-making station. Do come to the festival hungry, as well as thirsty. Our Gold Sponsors Mark Michelin from St. Jamestown Steak and Chops will be there barbecuing his signature burgers (beef and portobello mushroom) and Erin Gamelin from Stout Irish Pub will be on hand to pour you some of her quality craft beer. (And yes, wine will be back!)

The festival will be full of free activities for kids of all ages: there is face painting, a craft station, bean bag toss, parachute game, piñatas, Pizza Pizza bouncing castle, Cycle Solutions bike tune-up station, photo booth, dangling doughnuts, and more.

Back by popular demand is magician Scott Dietrich, who will be holding court with his magic show at noon. While at the festival, do follow the line of green bins to our newest attraction: The Mechanical Raccoon. You read that correctly. You will have a chance to take on Toronto’s unofficial mascot by riding on the back of a mechanical raccoon. Be sure to have your photo taken after and hashtag your friends and family: #Forsythiaraccoon2018

Do bring your refillable water bottles as the City of Toronto’s H2OtoGo will be onsite to supply drinking water. Don’t forget that we now accept credit cards for purchase of food and drink.

Be sure to join us for the Forsythia parade through the neighbourhood before the festivities at Wellesley Park begin. We gather at the corner of Sumac and Winchester streets, starting at 10 a.m. Yellow poms will be handed out and we encourage everyone (pets included) to dress in their best in the colour yellow! Parade will depart at 10:30 a.m., led by the amazing Heavyweights Brass Band, loop around the block, and end at the park.

Come one, come all … the festival is free for everyone to attend and it really wouldn’t be the same without you there. Think Spring!

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.

The 46th Annual Forsythia Festival held on Sunday May 7 2017 was a truly wonderful day of yellowness, fun and smiles! We are grateful that the threat of rain and snow (gulp!) didn’t deter anyone from showing up for the parade and park activities and that the sun came out during the day to remind us that spring had arrived! We counted over 620 attendees including 116 people who volunteered their time during the day – thank you so much to our wonderful volunteers!

Our special thanks to those businesses and organizations that donated money, prizes and their time to make the festival possible! Please thank them when you see them in the neighbourhood!

Forsythia Festival Donors
Forsythia Festival Prize Winners

If you have photos of the day you would like to share, please email them to us at or via Twitter/Facebook/Instagram with the hashtag #ForsythiaFest. We will put together a gallery of photos for you to enjoy.

Thank you again and we look forward to seeing you again on the first Sunday of May 2018!

We have our winners – congratulations! Thank you to our donors and the many residents and attendees of Forsythia Festival 2017 who purchased tickets!

The winner of our 50/50 membership renewal draw was Carolyn Shaw-Rimmington!
(if your membership has expired, you can still renew online!)

Prize Donated by Winner Pet Painting Kendall & Co Brad Jarman Veggie Share GC Clovercroft Farm Laura Lenz Veggie Share GC Clovercroft Farm Frankie Kerr Cooking Class GC Merry Berry Kate Riddell Massage GC Claudia Salzmann & Assoc Meg Mooney Yoga Pass GC Jennifer Snowden Fitraz Arafat Hair Cut GC Hair Spa by Nano Dan Elliott & Dale Spence Massage GC Laurie Ward Marc Simmons Epicure Gift Basket Epicure Linde L Gift Bag (Kids Activities) Labour of Love Max Beck Kids Bike Cycle Solutions Ellie Jarman 1mth GC Cycling Gym Jen C Stout Gift Basket Stout Irish Pub Michelle Keightley $50 GC Cosimo's No Frills Lucy Triosi $50 GC Pear Tree Everett Summers Market Bag Spruce Sarah Chapman Tour of Homes Tickets CPA Judy Cowling CCDT Gift Certificate CCDT Carolyn Evans Karate GC Northern Karate Studio Lesley Hughes Walking Tour & GC CPA & Local Gest Rachel Hepburn $100 GC Home Hardware David Dunlop Pizza Box GC Salt & Tobacco Cynthia Eldridge Photoshoot GC Shawna King Lis Seelmann

Forsythia Festival Prizes

Forsythia Festival 2017
The Cabbagetown Residents Association needs your help! The annual Forsythia Festival will be held Sunday, May 7 2017 and we are busy recruiting 80+ volunteers to help make it our most successful event yet. Please volunteer by contacting us with your time slot(s) and activity preferences. If you’ve already contacted us directly to express interest in volunteering, we thank you!

The Forsythia Festival is Cabbagetown’s official welcome to Spring. Held in Wellesley Park, this festival has something for everyone…bouncy castles, beer garden, delicious BBQ, marching band and magic. For more information visit our website at:

We are looking for people who can volunteer for 1 or 2 hour shifts on Sunday, May 7. We have a few slots available:

8:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.
1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

If you are able to volunteer, please email and indicate what time slot(s) or role you prefer. Volunteers will be rewarded with a chance to win special volunteer prizes, as well as the knowledge that you are helping a long-standing neighbourhood tradition thrive.

Thank you in advance for your help.

Forsythia Festival 2017 post banner

“Think Spring” Cabbagetowners and mark your calendars for Sunday, May 7 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. as we celebrate the 46th Annual Forsythia Festival!

Things you need to know:

Parade: We will gather at the corner of Sumach and Winchester Streets at 10 a.m. and march through the neighbourhood to the beat of the amazing marching band.

Dress code: Yellow! Dress your strollers, your kids, your pets and yourselves in yellow. Be creative.

Schedule of activities
Park map

Festival at Wellesley Park: The parade ends at Wellesley Park and that’s were the serious fun begins. After a short official opening ceremony and welcoming of Spring, activities will begin. Dangling doughnuts, bouncy castle, face painting, parachute game, photobooth, crafts, bubbles, bean bags and a new addition this year will be a magic show.

Food and beverages: Both will be for sale by local butcher Mark from St. James Town Steak and Chops and beer tent sponsored this year by local Stout Irish Pub.

Bicycle Tune Up Shop: Another new addition to the Forsythia Festival this year is a “Pop Up Spring Tune Up Shop” sponsored by Cycle Solutions…so be sure to bring your bike by for a check up!

Prizes: There will be plenty of prizes available from our generous donors and businesses around Cabbagetown.

Festival Queen and King: (updated April 30)
Each year, two residents are recognized for their community spirit by being named the Forsythia Festival Queen and King. Their Majesties lead the parade (dressed in yellow of course!) and act as ambassadors at the post-parade event in Wellesley Park. We are pleased to announce that Trish and Andrew Finkelstein will be our Festival Queen and King for this year’s Forsythia Festival. We received multiple nominations for Trish and Andrew with most lauding Trish’s work as a previous board director of the Residents Association and her role as chair of the Forsythia Festival Committee for the past 5 years before leaving the board in June 2016. Andrew provided enthusiastic support to Trish and the festival by participating in many of the organizing functions and was nominated to be the “power behind the throne”.

Volunteers Needed: This event couldn’t happen without the efforts of our 80+ volunteers. If you would like to help make it a great day and enjoy yourself with neighbours, volunteer your time for an hour or two. Teenagers are especially welcome for many of the activities. Volunteers are entered into a draw for some great prizes also!


We look forward to seeing all our neighbours out and about on May 7th celebrating the arrival of spring together at the 46th annual Cabbagetown Forsythia Festival!

And remember…. The festival happens rain or shine.

Read more about the Forsythia Festival

A staple in Cabbagetown, the House on Parliament has been in business for 20 years. Serving up fine fare, libation & diversion you are guaranteed to encounter eclectic banter, solid conversation and some of the best food in Toronto!

As a business owner, Tania, her husband Beau along with business partner Duncan have a lot to say about Cabbagetown. “We love the diversity, the community spirit, neighbourhood loyalty,” says Tania, “but most of all that it feels like an urban village.”

The House on Parliament (aka “The HOP”) has a tonne of great history behind it.
“We originally wanted to name the restaurant the “Houses of Parliament” after Westminster in the U.K.,” says Tania. “We had two street addresses at the old location (there are two Houses in England), and were British-inspired, so it seemed fitting. The city flatly rejected the name when we were registering it as they felt it would be confused with the actual Parliament buildings. ‘House’ became singular, ‘of’ became ‘on’ and people call routinely to book tours of the Parliament buildings or to lodge complaints against their local MPP.”

Tania, Beau and Duncan have always been great supporters of community events in the neighbourhood, including the Forsythia Festival: “We love the community involvement. It has been amazing to watch it grow from a tiny little event to what it has become today. Kudos to all the hard-working volunteers for pulling off such a joyful day.”

The Forsythia Festival is run completely by volunteers and it could not exist or grow without the support of businesses such as the House on Parliament. The HOP decided to become a Gold Member sponsor in 2016. “The neighbourhood has given us so much over the years that we happily give back,” says Tania. “It is even easier when it is an incredibly well organized free event for kids and families. Thrilled to be associated with the Forsythia Festival!”

Hungry? Thirsty? In need of some always interesting conversation? Be sure to stop in at the House on Parliament at 454 Parliament Street. Hours: 11:30 a.m. to 2 a.m., Monday to Friday; 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Saturday and Sunday. Facts: Duncan and Beau are not brothers. And HOP has the best sweet potato fries in the ’hood! 

The House On Parliament

Thorious Founders
Now that the kids are settled into a school routine and homework has started to trickle in we are thrilled to feature Thorious in the October Spotlight on Sponsorship. A fairly new business to Parliament Street, Thorious is the place to be when it comes to getting a solid back-to-school start and has generously supported the 2016 Forsythia Festival.

Thorious is almost two years old, and has been at their current location at Parliament and Spruce Streets since February 2015. Co-Founder Wassim El-Geries the explains what the drive behind Thorious is about: “I am really passionate about education, specifically STEM (science, tech, engineering, math). I love the way these fields are changing our world, and I want to teach kids the skills necessary to contribute to that kind of world.

Our two main offerings are math tutoring and workshops/camps. Our math tutoring really stands apart – I am an experienced certified teacher and I integrate a lot of technology in my teaching. The end result is a unique curriculum for each child and unique objectives to fill knowledge holds and turn weaknesses around. I assign digital homework that is a especially motivating for kids in grade 1-8. We also focus a lot on traits that lead to success, like resilience and strategy development.”

This past summer Thorious ran their first set of summer camps. They were a great hit and Wassim is really looking forward to amping it up for March break camp (Minecraft coding anyone?). “A similar experience is offered during the week and on Saturdays. The Lego coding workshops are especially popular – kids complete increasingly complex missions using motors, sensors, coding skills, and a whole lot of creativity. It’s fun and learning at the same time!”

“I really feel like I’m part of the Cabbagetown community” says Wassim. “It was great to let people know about our services at our Cabbagetown festival booth this year, but it was especially fun catching up with the hundreds of people we’ve gotten to know over the years. It feels great to know that we are contributing to the children of our community through our programs, donations, and subsidy program, and we look forward to more opportunities to do so.”

Interested in getting in touch with Thorious? Well, they’ve got a great year lined up and they can’t wait to get started! Thorious can be reached at Also, by joining their newsletter at you can be the first to know about their newest programs, promotions, and the occasional educational tip. Or…stop by in person at 438 Parliament St. and see what they’re all about!

When asked about one aspect of the Forsythia Festival he enjoyed being a part of in 2016, Wassim had this to say: “The thing I loved the most was the enthusiasm of all the volunteers. Everyone was so friendly; a brand-new acquaintance even invited my wife and over to hang out afterwards. That’s such great warmth and friendliness! (Oh, and the bbq was on point!).”

When it came to what inspired Wassim to donate and support the Forsythia Festival on behalf of Thorious he had this to say: “I’ll be honest – donating and supporting events like the Forsythia Festival is pretty advantageous to Thorious. If we grow at all, it’ll be because we convinced a community that we’re doing something worthwhile and effective in education. We get to support our community and we get the word out at the same time – that’s pretty great. We’re looking forward to this year’s festival!”

Thorious has been a great addition to Cabbagetown. Investing time, strategy, education and most importantly passion for learning towards what matters the most: our children. Thanks to Wassim and his team at Thorious for supporting the Forsythia Festival!

Thorious Logo

438 Parliament St.
Toronto, ON
M5A 3A2

lindsay and trish at the photo booth
The Forsythia Festival weather was a bit drearier than usual, but spirits were still high for the parade and events at the park. It was wonderful to see everyone brave the cold and rain to walk with us and participate in the many fun events.

Thank you to our Queen and King, JoAnne Arcand and Abdul Alhesayen for their enthusiasm and thanks to our 93 (!) volunteers who gave their time to ensure that it was a great day. The event couldn’t happen without the support of our generous donors – thank you again.

Photos of the day, including those from the Photo Booth are now online for your viewing enjoyment. See you next year!


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