Local Interest Programs

Food Insecurity Emergency in Cabbagetown

Posted on November 19, 2020

A Message From Your Cabbagetown Associations


Dear Neighbour,

Food insecurity is at an all-time high across Cabbagetown, St. Jamestown and Regent Park. Unemployment and soaring food prices, along with many other pressures caused by the pandemic, have created a severe problem that is only going to get worse this winter.

The Residents’ Associations across Cabbagetown, along with the Cabbagetown Preservation Association, have launched a fundraising initiative to help address this problem. This Neighbours Helping Neighbours campaign asks our generous and caring community to help us raise much needed funds.

This initiative will directly support Dixon Hall, a neighbourhood services provider located in the heart of Cabbagetown. They manage most of our local rooming houses and have done much to improve the lives of tenants. They also serve clients in supported housing across St. Jamestown, Regent Park and other areas in the Downtown East.

Dixon Hall urgently needs the support of our community to help address the food insecurity their clients face.

By directing donations to the Dixon Hall fundraising platform we can ensure all the monies raised get used for front line support services, plus tax receipts can be issued for donations of $10 and over. 


Please select “Food Insecurity” in the ‘Donation Designation’ field to ensure your donation is directed correctly.


Thank you for your support. Together we can ensure that all members of our community have regular access to healthy, nutritious food.


Victoria Hadden – Chair AARG
Dee Lewis – President WPRA
Karen Marren – President CSRA
Gale Moore – Chair CPA
Sean O’Donovan
– Acting Chair CRA

Local Interest Programs

Cabbagetown Holiday Lights contest, 2018

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 

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 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.

Local Interest Polls Programs

Parks & Trails wayfinding sign design – online survey

You might have noticed the new wayfinding signs in Riverdale Park West and in the lower Don Valley along the trails. This is part of a pilot project and the city would like your opinions on the designs they have used.

UPDATE: If you would like to share your views, the survey deadline has been extended until November 5: many people will be in the park on November 1 for the Cabbagetown Residents Association Pumpkin Walk, so take a few moments then to look at the signage and provide your feedback!

Pilot Project Survey on Parks & Trails Wayfinding Sign Design (

Local writer Doug Fisher has posted on his October 5 blog that the Cabbagetown Heritage Conservation District and Friends of Riverdale Park have provided their opinions already.

Local Interest Programs Traffic and Parking

Sewer works on Amelia St. October 2 – 6

Our friends in the Ward 28 office have let us know that sewer works will be conducted on Amelia St. during the week of October 2 – 6. Residents on Amelia St. have been notified by the letter posted below.

The field ambassador on site during this project can be reached at 647-821-9813. The City’s project manager is Bo Pajic, available at 416-392-7338. The work involves sending a CCTV camera in to the sewer pipes to take images of different pipe segments. The sewers are flushed to facilitate this work. This may cause some noise and possibly some odour. If the sewer requires relining, equipment such as blowers, air compressors and/or power generators will be used. Access will be gained through maintenance holes, but excavation may be required. All noise and work will comply with the City’s noise bylaw.

While there will be no disruptions to water or sewer services, residents are asked to please limit the usage of their water services as much as possible while this work is being done. If access to driveways is impeded (likely not an issue on Amelia), homeowners will be notified in advance. Parking in an active work zone is not permitted. If a parked vehicle affects the construction work, it will be re-located nearby at no cost to the owner. If a resident cannot find their car, please contact 416-808-2222.

Click to read PDF version
Click to read PDF version
Click to read PDF version

Events Programs

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.

Issues Local Interest Politics Programs

Proposed changes from City of Toronto ML&S Dept. re: short-term rentals

The topic of Short-term rentals (such as Airbnb) is back in the news. The city’s municipal licensing and standards (ML&S) dept. has released their proposals today. Highlights of the proposals are:

– Ban Torontonians from renting units unless it is their primary residence.
– Torontonians offering short-term rentals must be listed in a city-managed registry.
– Require that companies such as Airbnb be licensed.
– Change zoning bylaws creating a separate category called “short-term rental.”

For more information on today’s recommendations:
New Toronto Airbnb rules would require hosts to live at property they’re listing (

Related posts:

Cabbagetown Quick Poll – September 2016
Owners of Cabbagetown short-term rentals charged with zoning violations – December 2016
Your input requested on short-term rentals in Toronto – March 2017

Issues Local Interest Politics Programs Traffic and Parking

Bike Share June 2017 update

Toronto City Councillor Pam McConnell convened a meeting on June 7, 2017 at Riverdale Park West because the city parks department has raised concerns about snow clearing issues with the Bike Share station in its present location. In attendance were representatives from Bike Share, Parks and Recreation, the Cabbagetown Residents Association (CRA), and Friends of Riverdale Park.

It was clear from the CRA poll run from Nov. 29-Dec. 1, 2016, that all but a handful of residents wanted to keep the Bike Share station in the park and many indicated by added comments it should stay in its current location. It was also the unanimous opinion of the 11 board directors of CRA that the Bike Share station does not need to be moved. The board feels the Bike Share should be part of the park and visibly displayed. The board, reflecting feedback from its members, did not accept a previous argument, later supported by the Heritage Conservation District Committee, that the Bike Share location was detrimental to heritage concerns.

However, given this new logistics concern raised by the Parks department, the CRA agreed to participate in conversations about an alternate location for the station within the park.

At the June 7 meeting, two options presented were rejected:
– Moving the bike share outside the park; the group committed to finding a spot within the park;
– Moving the station to street parking spots bordering the park, not acceptable since parking is at a premium in our neighbourhood.

The suggestion of using the space between the parking spaces on Carlton and the sidewalk at the southwest corner of the park seemed reasonable to all parties and does not present a snow-clearing issue, according to the Parks representative. This option would keep the Bike Share station in the park and keep it in a visible location — the primary entrance to the park and near existing post-and-ring bike parking stands.

The Residents Association is here to represent your views. While the parties at the meeting felt that this was the best solution, given the concerns presented, we welcome your feedback and will continue to work with the other parties to find the best solution.

The additional purpose of the meeting was to connect the Bike Share staff with community representatives from Cabbagetown since it is likely that more Bike Share locations will be installed in our neighbourhood over the coming years and city staff has promised consultations with the community through the CRA.


Phil Frei
Volunteer Board Director & President
Cabbagetown Residents Association

Events Programs

Volunteer now to share your love of cycling with newcomers to Toronto!

We were contacted recently by CultureLink to see if any Cabbagetowners would like to volunteer their time with an intriguing program called Bike Host which uses cycling as a way to welcome newcomers to Canada. Contact details are included and be sure to wave as you ride through the neighbourhood!

Bike Host is a free cycling mentorship program for newcomers to Canada, created by CultureLink Settlement and Community Services (CultureLink). Bike Host volunteer mentors are matched with newcomers to Canada who are open to cycling. Together, mentors and newcomer participants explore Toronto by bike and organize and participate in group activities. Through this program, volunteer mentors support newcomer participants to improve their communication skills, bike riding skills, knowledge of bike routes (recreational and other), general bike maintenance, free events and activities as well as providing networking and socializing opportunities all while exploring Toronto by bike.

Check out our website for more information, including a map of the 2017 program locations:

For mentors, pre-registration and interview is required. If you are interested, please sign up online.

Contact or 647-713-9188


Bike Host Poster

Issues Politics Polls Programs

Cabbagetown South Residents’ Association Green Bin Survey

Our friends at the Cabbagetown South Residents’ Association recently conducted a poll among members on the new City of Toronto green bins that are expected to be distributed this year. Areas of Cabbagetown South were part of a pilot to see how residents found the new bins. Here is their letter to Councillor McConnell and a link to the poll results. We conducted a poll ourselves last year if you will recall.

If you have thoughts on the matter, please leave them in the comment section below.

From the Cabbagetown South website:

Thanks to everyone that took the time to answer our survey questions. It is clear that many people are dedicated to reducing the amount of garbage going to landfill and want to do the right thing regarding sorting out green waste and recycling. Many residents go to great lengths to store their bins out of sight or use the smallest bin available. Neighbours have built custom storage units for their present sized bins and some will find the larger green bin does not fit. Other neighbours store their present bin out of sight and bring it through the house on the morning of pick up.Others actually haul their bins via the laneway from the back of their property to the curb fronting their house.

A heavier and bigger bin will be problematic for many.

Many store their bins on their front porch or front garden as they see no other alternative. We need alternatives. To see the results of the survey please click here. We are in the process of putting together a report for Councillor McConnell and Solid Waste Management in hopes of coming up with household friendly solutions to bins.

New Green Bins Survey

May 30, 2017

Dear Councilor Pam McConnell,

As you may be aware, Solid Waste Management is in the final stages of delivering the new and larger green bin to residential properties in the City of Toronto. It is our understanding that the new bins will be rolled out in the later part of this summer. In preparation for the roll out we have surveyed area residents to determine if they are aware of the new larger bin and how the larger bin might be problematic for many area residents

We have determined many area households consist of couples and single people who do not generate the volume of green bin food waste that Solid Waste Management has determined as average when they designed the new green bin.

The bins chosen by SWM is a suburban family sized solution that does not work in all small family homes on small inner city lots, row housing, stacked townhouses, duplexes, triplexes etc..

We need household friendly options to continue in diverting household waste from landfill.

30% of residents surveyed advised they will no longer participate in the Green Bin Program if the larger bin is their only option.

46% of those surveyed store their green bin in their basements, garage or in a backyard storage area and bring their green bin through their house on pick up day. They are dealing with stairs and other obstacles that the heavier and larger bin would make impossible to navigate.

87% of residents surveyed asked to keep the current Green Bin. Solid Waste needs to allow those with issues to keep their present smaller green bin. We need real options. To date SWM has indicated that the larger bin is the only solution on offer.

SWM suggest neighbours share a bin which in some instances could work but likely means that one neighbour will have to keep the green bin near their front door or in their front garden so their neighbour can access it. This is not a solution.

The residents are not storing their bins near their front door for the convenience, but due to the lack of other options. We encourage everyone to create welcoming front gardens and porches.

Possible Solutions

When the new recycling and garbage bins were rolled out you were able to come up with the bags and tags solution. A green bag option may work depending when the green materials are put at the curb. The night before will not work as raccoons will quickly tear things open. If we are given the option to bag their green bin material there needs to be a requirement that the green bag goes out early morning.
Allowing folks to keep the current smaller bin if they agree not to put the bin out overnight when raccoons are on the prowl.
A smaller bin with a raccoon proof mechanism for those who put out their green bin the morning of pick up could continue to use the old green bin.
For CSRA Green Bin Survey results please click here

Please we need your help to find a solution.

Thank you,

Cabbagetown South Residents Board

Become a Member

Household Membership

Just $20 Per Year

Learn More

Newsletter Sign-Up

Learn More