Local Interest

The Cabbagetown Residents Association is looking for new directors to sit on the board starting in June at our 2019 Annual General Meeting.  We need people who have a passion for the neighbourhood and who wish to contribute to the community.  

We have particular need for people who like to help co-ordinate community events, book keeping or who have interest liaising with the City of Toronto on issues both local and broad, but there’s always room to pursue other passions that are in residents’ best interests (social, economic or environmental).  

If you or someone you know might be a good fit for the role, please contact us. The Nominating Committee will get in touch with each nominee and arrange to meet in person to discuss the role.

Read about the current board of directors here
Read the by-laws governing the nomination process here

A board director is expected to attend monthly business meetings with fellow board directors (although we take a break in the summer, and the December meeting tends to be more social than business). As well, a board director commits to volunteer for our major events, such as the Forsythia Festival on the first Sunday of May. Finally, each board director takes on a portfolio of interest, whether that’s running events, serving as treasurer, attending city meetings, leading environmental initiatives, or working on communications.

Thank you for your consideration, and we hope that you’ll consider joining us.

The results are in: this year we had six winners selected from Winchester Park P.S. and Sprucecourt P.S. for the Cabbagetown Holiday Card Contest. You’ll see five of them here: one parent declined having that child’s artwork shared outside the school. 

In this post, the five winning illustrations, from top to bottom, are created by:
* Manha, Winchester 
* Hahed, Winchester 
* Tashfifa, Sprucecourt
* William, Sprucecourt
* Lubaba, Sprucecourt 

Thanks to Sam Richardson and  Lindsay Matheson for organizing and the contest, which drew more than 400 participants between our two local public schools. The winners’ work has been framed and is on display over the holidays at Epicure shop on Parliament Street, and each winner gets a pizza party for her or his class, all sponsored by the CRA.

Many thanks to our three volunteer judges:

Kristie Prieur has 15-plus years experience in the advertising and marketing industry. Currently, she works for Reebok managing their Canadian brand marketing efforts. Just as Albert Einstein said, she believes that “Creativity is intelligence having fun.”

Karen Whaley is an arts marketing professional and an amateur art historian. She’s currently a full-time parent of two kids and a board member at Heritage Toronto, where she serves as Chair of their Awards Jury Committee. 

Betty White is a professional artist and art teacher. She taught art to children for 28 years at Montcrest School and continues to teach children in her Cabbagetown home since her retirement. She also actively exhibits her art work and had her last show in June 2017 at Teodora Art Gallery. Read more on her website. 

These artworks have been made into cards  printed and distributed to households within the CRA boundaries of Gerrard (south), Parliament (west), St. James Cemetery (north) and the Don Valley (east).

Thanks to volunteer graphic designer Chris Moorehead for designing the cards and CRA president Marc Simmons for organizing the distribution.

The day you’ve been waiting for has arrived! You can now cast your vote for your favourite Cabbagetown Holiday Lights, 2018 version.

Go the voting site between now and Dec. 26 to cast your ballot for your favourite neighbourhood decorations.

Want to add a new entry? If you use Twitter or Facebook, post your picture using the hashtag #CabbagetownLights or email it to info@cabbagetowner.com Our volunteer contest elf will then get your image posted onto the voting site. 

Read all about the contest in our earlier announcement post!

It’s the most wonderful time of the year: time for the fourth annual Cabbagetown Holiday Lights contest!

In what has become a popular annual tradition, every December Cabbagetowners get to see our neighbourhood’s houses in all of their illuminated glory. Last year more than 800 people (a new record) voted for their favourite, with Paul and Thea Sywulych’s house on Spruce Street. taking the top prize. 

You can enter your own home or nominate one of your neighbours. There are three ways you can enter:

– Post a photo to Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #cabbagetownlights;

– Post a photo to our Facebook page timeline with the hashtag #cabbagetownlights;

– or email us your photo at info@cabbagetowner.com 

Please include the address of the home in the photo so we can include the street name on the voting website and know how to contact the residents if their house wins.

Check out our gallery of photos of last year’s submissions (opens a link to our facebook page).

Photos can be submitted anytime between Friday, November 30 and Wednesday, December 26. By submitting your photo, you consent to your photo being reproduced on a voting website that will contain all of the submissions. Photos will be identified by the house’s street but no names or other personal identifying details will be published. 

The voting website will go live on Friday, December 14 to not give too much of an advantage to those who submit early. However, don’t wait too long to enter! The link to the voting website will be shared on Cabbagetowner.com and social media when it is live.

UPDATE DECEMBER 14: Follow this link to the live voting site site!

Whichever three photo submissions have the most votes by the end of the day on December 26 wins a trophy, a one-year membership to the Cabbagetown Residents Association (CRA), and bragging rights! The top three vote-getting houses will get to display a lawn sign marking their achievement. For the purpose of determining resident winners, when the same house is photographed more than once, total votes will be counted. Only one vote will be allowed per IP address; however, you can switch your vote anytime up until the deadline.

By Eric Morse, a communications volunteer with the Cabbagetown Residents’ Association.

For the past year or so, I’ve been tracking highlights of the old Ward Seven News from 40 years ago. The paper was created in 1970 as a “progressive” alternative to mainstream media, and it was in print from 1970 through March 1985, existing in a perpetual state of financial crisis and subsisting on a hot mix of grants, donations, volunteer labour and ad revenue (plus some income from a print shop it owned). Unfortunately, the digital archive for its last year of existence is available only as images of the front page top halves, so the reason for its expiry isn’t immediately available. Did it write its own obituary, or just fold its tents and quietly steal away?

It lived its entire span as an editorial collective, so did not always have a formal editor (and whether or not a masthead appeared seems to have depended a lot on how much ad copy they had managed to sell), but many, many names then and later famous in the reformist movement in municipal politics passed through its pages. Here is a masthead from September 1983:

Recently Ron Kaplansky, one of the board members listed, contacted us after reading Throwback Thursday, and we talked over coffee. A well-known graphic designer in Toronto, he had served on the board for about a year in 1982-83.

“I grew up with socialist politics in my blood. My parents married very young, and left for Israel [then known as Palestine] in the 30s. They returned to Toronto in 1937, and I was born here in 1939.

“In the 1970s, I became very involved in the reform movement. I lived on Hampton Avenue in Riverdale for a few years and then moved to Don Vale – in those days it was still Don Vale, it was the real estate community that changed the name to Cabbagetown later, but the Cabbagetown that Hugh Garner wrote about in his book was where Regent Park is now. From 1980 through 1984 I lived on Sumach.

“I did design work for many political figures in the 1980s, for Bob Rae when he first came back from Ottawa to run in Ontario, and afterwards I did fundraising for social causes in the area and finally sat on the board of Seven News in 1982-84.”

Kaplansky, now in his late 70s, continues in graphic design, and did the early brochures for the Regent Park redevelopment. He now lives in the Annex.

In the period when he was on the board, Seven News underwent some design and layout changes, and one of them was the regular inclusion of line drawings of local landmarks by a talented local artist Joe Houston. At first the idea seems to have been that he would be an editorial cartoonist, but after an issue or two at most his work went in another direction. Here are a few samples:

April 6, 1983

April 22, 1983

May 8, 1983

It’s not that long ago, but it’s a different city now.

There are many people in the community who were involved with Seven News in its 15-year lifespan, and we would love to hear your reminiscences – contact me for coffee! info@cabbagetowner.com.

An April 11 decision by Toronto’s Committee of Adjustment to deny minor variances to the property at 461 Sackville Street to allow for development of a day nursery is being appealed to the Toronto Local Appeal Body (TLAB), the successor to the now-dismantled Ontario Municipal Board. The run-up to that hearing, and the decision, drew wide media coverage, most critical of the objections raised to the application.

The appeal was filed by the building’s owner and the hearing date is set for August 17, 2018 at 9 a.m. in Hearing Room 2 at 40 Orchard View Blvd, 2nd floor, suite 253. The case file number is 18 150889 S45 28 TLAB.

At issue: “To alter the existing 2 ½-storey mixed-use building containing four dwelling units and two retail/commercial units by converting the building in its entirety to a day nursery use and by constructing a new exit staircase and fire escape.”

TLAB is an independent, quasi-judicial, tribunal that has jurisdiction over appeals of the Committee of Adjustment decisions in the City of Toronto.

Review all the details and documentation.

Contact information:
Joshua Pesce, Support Assistant B, Court Services, Toronto Local Appeal Body
(416) 392-4697
email: TLAB@toronto.ca

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!

May 26-27 is Doors Open Toronto and there are four points of interest on this year’s tour near our part of the ‘hood: two to the east and two to the west.

Historic Don Jail and Bridgepoint Active Healthcare administration building. Yes, there will be a lineup. But it moves quickly and it is a wonderful set-up inside. Many fascinating details from the former Don Jail have been preserved in this renovation. If you haven’t been already, head over the walking bridge joining Riverdale Park West to Riverdale Park East and take a look on either Sat. May 26 or Sun. May 27, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Building Arts Architects, 324 Broadview Avenue.  Originally built in 1913 by the Standard Bank of Canada. Open Sunday only 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Described as being located in a “Second Empire townhouse” (1876) the Children’s Book Bank at 350 Berkeley Street is open on Saturday and Sunday. “Discover the history of a prominent former resident and his surprising connection with the current use of the building as The Children’s Book Bank.”

Finally, Jarvis Street Baptist Church at 130 Jarvis Street East (at the corner of Gerrard) is open Saturday and Sunday.  In 1875, the church moved to the intersection of Jarvis and Gerrard Streets, the current location of the Gothic style building. The church survived a major fire in 1938 and was rebuilt shortly after with a unique U-shaped sanctuary. The Gothic architecture is unusual for a Baptist church.

Want to know more about Doors Open Toronto? In this case, Wikipedia says it best.

“Doors Open Toronto is an annual event when approximately 150 buildings of architectural, historic, cultural, and social significance to the city of Toronto open their doors to the public for this free citywide event.

“Doors Open Toronto was developed as a millennium project in 2000, by the City of Toronto (developed from a European model) and has since attracted more than 1.7 million residents and tourists. Doors Open Toronto gives people of all ages and backgrounds the opportunity to learn about Toronto’s history, get involved and celebrate Toronto’s built heritage.

“Doors Open Toronto was the first city in North America to launch this type of program. Many participating buildings organize guided tours, exhibits, displays, and activities to enrich the visitor experience.”

The City and the TTC will be replacing the streetcar tracks at the intersection of Gerrard Street East and Parliament Street.

To accommodate this track work, the intersection will be completely fully closed in all directions for three weeks – from 5 a.m. on Monday, May 14 to 6 a.m. on Monday, June 4. A minimum of one lane of traffic in each direction will be open on June 4.

TTC service changes (5 a.m. on May 14 to 6 a.m. on June 4)
The 506/306 Carlton route is currently operating with a bus service. During the full closure and track renewal work at the Gerrard/Parliament intersection, all buses will be restricted from entering the intersection.

– 506/306 Carlton Route: Buses will divert around the closed intersection both ways via Carlton Street, Sherbourne Street, Dundas Street East, River Street and Gerrard Street East to route.

– 65/365 Parliament Route: Buses will divert both ways via Parliament Street, Carlton Street, Sherbourne Street, Dundas Street East and Parliament Street to route.

The first few days of the full intersection closure are the most disruptive and involve breaking and removing concrete within the streetcar track areas. Concrete breaking will stop at 11 p.m.

Traffic during the closure
– Eastbound traffic will be diverted at Sherbourne Street.
– Westbound traffic will be diverted at River Street.
– Southbound traffic will be diverted at Carlton Street
– Northbound traffic will be diverted at Dundas Street
– Local traffic will be maintained up to the closure.

Track work
The rail installation phase of this project will involve periods of late evening and overnight work and extended weekend hours by TTC crews. The overnight rail work may consist of moving rail into position, rail installation and rail welding / grinding. Around-the-clock rail installation work by TTC is required to preserve the integrity and quality of new rail and concrete and support the daytime construction.

Pre-assembled rail panels on flatbed trailers will be temporarily stored in the track allowance near the closure limits. The rail panels help speed up installation, thereby reducing overnight work.

TTC office/lunch trailers will be parked on Gerrard Street (south of Anniversary Park) west of Parliament Street. These trailers will be removed at the end of the project.

The TTC contact for this project is Diego Sinagoga, Senior Community Liaison, 416 393-2197; diego.sinagoga@ttc.ca.

Update on April 25: Read about all the work done in the DVP spring cleanup in this news release from the City of Toronto.

Based on weather forecasts that we’re moving into a sunny weekend, the City of Toronto is going ahead with The Don Valley Parkway spring cleanup, between Highway 401/404 and the Gardiner Expressway, from 11 p.m. on Friday, April 20 to Monday, April 23 at 5 a.m. The DVP will be closed that entire time.

On April 11 Toronto City Hall announced that the Don Valley Parkway closure set for April 13 to 16 was cancelled due to expected unsuitable weather – a prescient move, given the ice storm and weather kaka the city endured last Saturday and Sunday.

Please plan alternate routes to and from Cabbagetown this weekend.

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