Schools and Children

Crime Prevention In The News Issues Local Interest Safety and Security Schools and Children

City/Local News Round-Up January 2022

Dear Cabbagetowners,

Happy New Year! We hope our first newsletter of 2022 finds you and your family happy, healthy and hopefully having dug out of the 55 cms of snow we received earlier this month.

As the city continues to deal with snow removal from the storm, we encourage everyone to do their part and shovel their sidewalks and walkways, and check on neighbours who may need assistance.

Winter sunset in Cabbagetown

We hope you enjoy this latest newsletter. As ever, if you have comments to share, feel free to email us at




In this issue:

  • Addressing Food Insecurity in our community
  • Winners of our 2021 Holiday Lights contest
  • The Wink at Winchester is up and running
  • Toronto’s 311 Mobile App
  • UrbanHensTO is looking for feedback
  • Crime Prevention Tips and Contacts
  • Cabbagetown BIA Update

Addressing Food Insecurity

Lack of food security continues to be a major source of concern in our community.  The local resident’s association, along with the Cabbagetown Preservation Association, are once again partnering with Dixon Hall in the Neighbours Helping Neighbours campaign. 

Holiday Lights contest winners

Congrats to our 2021 Holiday Lights winner!

First Place – Wellesley 2

Second Place – Sackville 2

Third Place – a tie between Sackville 1 and Amelia 1

Thanks to everyone who voted and to our winners, who received a one-year membership to the CRA and a $50 donation to their charity of choice!

Snowman and holiday lights on Wellesley street
First place – Wellesley 2
House on Sackville street decorated with holiday lights
Second Place – Sackville 2
White and coloured holiday lights on Amelia Street
Third Place – Amelia 1
White lights and lit up reindeer on Sackville Street
Third Place – Sackville 1




The Wink at Winchester is Up and Running!

The cold weather has made for perfect skating conditions for the second season of The Wink, our the community-built skating rink at Winchester Park! You can book your time at online. Children 6 and under must wear a CAS approved helmet, and anyone on the ice must wear skates. Be sure to follow The Wink via their Facebook page for updated hours of operation and rink conditions. There was also a cool shout out to The Wink is Toronto Life.

Last year The Wink ran a skate donation drive and collected around 50 pairs of used skates. Those skates have been tuned up and sharpened thanks to financial donations received from Royal St.George’s College Community and the Cabbagetown Residents Associaton. The Wink will be hosting a “Skate it Forward” event on Saturday February 5th at Winchester Park from 11am-3pm, or until they run out of skates! Kids and adults who could use a hand gaining access to skates are invited to come and find a pair to take home – for keeps! The Wink is not accepting anymore donations for skates this year.

A million thanks to Trish Finkelstein for her organization, and the generous contributions made by Mark Michelin at Steak & Chops, Bill Renieri at Home Hardware, Carolyn Jarman and Family, the Royal St.Georges’ Community, Just Hockey Source for Sports, the Cabbagetown Residents Association and the many neighbourhood volunteers who make building, running and maintaining the rink possible.  

Outdoor ice rink






Toronto’s 311 Mobile App

See a pothole? Want to report that pothole and then track the City’s response? The new 311 mobile app will allow you to do just that and much more.


UrbanHensTO is looking for feedback

What came first: the chicken or the egg? And while you’re thinking about that, take a few minutes to also let the #CityofTO know what you think about #Toronto’s #UrbanHensTO program. Take the survey by Feb 11, available at




Crime Prevention Tips and Tricks

Earlier this month at the Community Police Liaison Committee meeting, Sergeant Henry Dyck shared a great presentation on crime prevention. Our Neighbourhood Community Officers contacts are below:                                                                              (includes Cabbagetown)                                         

Cabbagetown BIA update

Our local BIA recently held a community consultation about the Cabbagetown StreetScape Master Plan. To view a recording of the meeting, and see the plan, click here.

In The News Local Business News Local Interest Schools and Children

City/Local News Round-Up – Dec. 11


Hello All, 

Seasons greetings from the CRA team. We hope you all have a wonderful holiday season and a very Happy New Year.

Your friends at the CRA




Holiday card contest winnersWell, the ever popular CRA holiday card contest has wrapped up for another year and the results are in for everyone to enjoy.

Thanks to all the children at both Winchester and Sprucecourt Schools for participating so enthusiastically as well as to our organizers and, of course, to our dedicated and diligent judges.

Each of the winning entries has been made into holiday cards, which will be printed and distributed to CRA member households within the CRA boundary (Gerrard, Parliament, St. James Cemetery and the Don River).




Yes, it’s back for 2021 and we’re ready to receive your photos for posting to the voting portal, so we encourage you all to light up your front gardens to bring some extra festive cheer to Cabbagetown.

Find out all you need to know about how to enter and win!

Just want to vote? Here’s the link to the voting portal.




Dixon Hall logoThis just in from Dixon Hall:

We thank all out volunteers for helping out with our Meals on Wheels (MOW) program in the past. With their help, we have been able to continue to bring comfort to those experiencing food insecurity and isolation during such challenging times.  
Due to the pandemic and its continued restrictions, we are currently experiencing a shortage of volunteers for this upcoming holiday season. We are asking for your help once again. 
If you are able to offer your time with the MOW program this year, and help deliver essential meals to seniors and people with disabilities in the community, please complete this volunteer registration form. 




suppli logoAs a signed up user, I received a message from Julianna at Suppli, a Cabbagetown organization who believes that together we can make single-use takeout containers a thing of the past:

As the giving season is upon us we want to thank you for being a part of this journey and ask for your help! Together with you and others from our amazing community, we’ve saved over 17,000 (and counting!) single-use containers from landfills and generated tens of thousands in additional revenue for east-end restaurants. Wild!

We’re trying to get the word out about Suppli and figured we’d start by asking our existing community members to refer a friend! 

Already a user? Please spread the word. Not a user? Sign up now and if you indicate you were referred by a friend (at the CRA!), they’ll donate $1 to Second Harvest.




fireworksToronto’s New Year’s Eve fireworks display is returning to the sky for the first time since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic but it is going to look a little different as the city works to limit crowds.

Mayor John Tory announced on Wednesday that there will be a “10-minute, high-altitude fireworks display” to ring in 2022, reports Chris Fox at CP24/CTV News.




TORONTO LOGOThe City of Toronto encourages residents to “recycle right” and reduce the amount of waste that they generate during the holidays.

Every year, the City manages more than 900,000 tonnes (two billion pounds) of waste. This requires money, energy and resources, and takes up valuable landfill space. The holiday season in particular can create a large amount of waste. The most effective way to reduce the amount of waste that ends up in landfill is to practice the 3Rs – reduce, reuse and recycle right. Small changes can make a big impact.



team toronto kids logoTeam Toronto and Toronto Kids Vaccine Day partners are ready for action! The team will be welcoming nearly two thousand of the city’s youngest public-health superheroes to Scotiabank Arena to get their COVID-19 vaccine surrounded kid-friendly activities, entertainment, ticket and toy giveaways and special Toronto mascot and PAW Patrol visitors.

Toronto Kids Vaccine Day is taking place this Sunday, December 12 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Appointments are needed and some appointments are still available by calling the provincial vaccine booking line at 1-833-943-3900 or through the Province of Ontario’s How to book a COVID-19 vaccine appointment. 




Heather over at Green Thumbs Growing Kids asked us to share their latest newsletter highlighting efforts to provide environmental stewardship through hands-on garden and food education for urban children and their communities. 






Live green news logoAnd here’s a bumper year-end round-up from our friends over at Live Green Toronto.




Local Interest Schools and Children

Final Results – CRA 2021 Holiday Card Contest

Posted on December 11, 2021


We’re so happy to welcome Winchester School back to the Holiday Card Contest after a brief hiatus, re-joining Sprucecourt for a bit of festive fun for the kids.

After much deliberation, the judges have selected a primary and junior winner from each school along with 2 runners-up. All 8 artists will receive a CRA ribbon. Each of the winners’ classes will get a Pizza Party Prize from the CRA too!

For Sprucecourt:

The Winners are:

  • Sanika in Grade 3
  • Sara in Grade 8

Runners up are: Beatrix in Grade 3 and Raisha in Grade 7

For Winchester :

The Winners are:

  • Louisa in Grade 3
  • Jaxen, Amari, Leo & Ella in Grade 7

Runners up are: Alyssa in Grade 3 and Evan in Grade 4

Holiday Card contest winning card
Sanika’s winning entry

All the winning artwork will be framed and put on display over the holidays at Epicure on Parliament Street.

Holiday Card contest winning card
Sara’s Winning Entry


Many thanks to CRA Member Lindsay Matheson, and CRA Board Members Lise Flynn and Katie Tozer for managing this years competition. And thanks, of course, to our three invaluable judges, Betty White, Cynthia Eldridge and Sarah Birnie , for working so diligently to select the winners.

Holiday Card contest winning card
Louisa’s winning entry


Betty White is a professional artist and art teacher. She taught art to children for 28 years and continues to teach children in her Cabbagetown home since retirement.

Cynthia Eldridge is an art history major who uses design thinking to work with global thought leaders to address critical public health challenges.  She believes whole heartedly that a picture is worth a thousand words.

Sarah Birnie is an Interior Designer living in Cabbagetown with her husband, 2 girls and golden retriever. She believes all of us benefit from finding our own creative outlet!

Holiday Card contest winning card
Jaxen, Amari, Leo and Ella’s winning entry

Each of the winning entries has been made into holiday cards, which will be printed and distributed to CRA member households within the CRA boundary (Gerrard, Parliament, St. James Cemetery and the Don River).


Local Interest Schools and Children

Local Charity Update – Green Thumbs, Growing Kids

Posted on November 6, 2020

Green thumbs logoGreen Thumbs Growing Kids is a local charity actively creating school food gardens in order to connect children to food and their environment. They reached out to the CRA to share an update on their activities: 

For 21 years we have been at the forefront of garden-based elementary education in downtown Toronto helping teachers and families to start food gardens at their schools. 

This fall we wanted to connect with more folks in our  community and spread the word about the important work we do. If you live or shop around Cabbagetown, you may have noticed pumpkins in the shops accompanied with information about Green Thumbs. We want to thank all the local business owners who agreed to lend a hand and display a pumpkin, it was a pleasure to meet you. 

The pumpkins represent the kind of work we do at GTGK , demonstrating Pumpkinthe magic of seeds, soil and water to children. Our school gardens and programming engage children, youth and even their parents. The exploration of nature and healthy food is at the heart of all our programs. The gardens are dynamic classrooms for vibrant hands-on learning in many subject areas including planting seeds, compost and making meals from the food grown. 

This year, like so many other organizations, we  have pivoted to online food and garden education in order to keep kids interested and engaged in growing food. Plus we have been able to use the school gardens to grow food and share it with those in need in our community. 

You can look us up and learn more about what we do at – or on social media – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. Reach out if you have questions or would like to support our work, we look forward to meeting more folks in our neighbourhood – 

Local Interest Schools and Children

Free Movies, TV Shows, eBooks, Audiobooks & More

The Toronto library lets you watch, listen and read a huge selection of movies, music, ebooks, audiobooks, magazines and newspapers on your smartphone, tablet or PC/Mac — all at no charge!

All you have to do is register on-line using your library card. (If you don’t already have a PIN, try the last 4 digits of your phone number.)

No library card? No problem. Just download “Libby, by Overdrive” from your App Store and get instant online access with you local mobile phone number (must be 416, 647, 437). NOTE: some of the services below are only accessible with library card logon.

Services you can access:

Kanopy (movies & eBooks)
Hoopla (movies)
RBdigital (audiobooks & eMagazines)
BiblioBoard (eBooks from self-published authors)
Flipster eMagazines (current issues of popular magazines)
Safari Tech & Business Books (major technology & business publishers)
PressReader (newspaper & magazine for 100 countries in 60 languages) (New York Times newspaper)
CanTook Station (French-language eBooks) (streaming video of classical music, operas & ballets)
Naxos Music Library (great music spanning medieval to modern)
Naxos Music Library (Jazz)

If you don’t have a library card, or you’ve ‘been there and done that’ you can try these other FREE services to keep you and your family amused:

CRACKLE (TV & movies)
hoopla (movies)
PLEX (movies)
Pluto TV (livestream ViaComCBS)
Vudu (movies & TV shows)
Tubi TV (movies)
TVO (documentaries, etc.)
CBC GEM (livestream TV, movies, docs)
Internet Archives (movies, audio, eBooks, audiobooks)
Project Gutenberg (eBooks)
Authorama (eBooks)
LibriVox (audiobooks)
ManyBooks (eBooks)
BookBub (eBooks)
Goodreads (eBooks)

Local Interest Schools and Children

Garden Kits for Neighbourhood Kids

Veg2Grow logoVeg2grow is a new program from Building Roots a local organization providing fresh produce food baskets to vulnerable persons in Ward 13. They also run the Moss Park Market. 

On Earth Day they launched a fantastic new program to address food security and children’s education for Cabbagetown and the neighbouring communities called Veg2grow Garden Kits for Kids. 

Veg2grow provides free garden kits for kids to start an urban farm at home. The already have funding through private donations to provide 200 kits to the communities of Cabbagetown, Regent Park, Moss Park, and Corktown. But they need more help. Full details on the kit and how to register can be found at


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

Schools and Children

2019 Cabbagetown Holiday Card Contest – Winners

Holiday card entries on wall

This year we had nearly 300 entries from Sprucecourt Public School – that’s almost one entry for every child that attends the school!

After much deliberation , our judges selected four winners and 15 honourable mentions. All 19 get an official CRA certificate and the four winners get their picture framed, plus a pizza party for their whole class.

The winners, in alphabetical order are:

  • Nylah, a primary Sprucecourt School Student
  • Saifan, a junior Sprucecourt School Student
  • Ted, a primary Spruecourt School Student
  • Zara, a junior Sprucecourt School Student

 Their work has been framed and is on display over the holidays at Epicure shop on Parliament Street.

Card content winning entry
Nylah’s winning entry

Many thanks to CRA Member Lindsay Matheson, and CRA Board Chair Sam Richardson for managing this years competition. And of course to our two judges, Karen Whaley and Betty White, for working so diligently to select the winners.

Card content winning entry
Saifan’s winning entry

Karen Whaley has 1.5 degrees in Art History and her favourite job ever was teaching arts and crafts at a day camp. She’s a full-time parent to Elizabeth, age 5 and Alexandra, 14 months. In her spare time, she volunteers on the Board of Heritage Toronto, where she is the Jury Chair of their annual Awards gala.

Card content winning entry
Ted’s winning entry

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. You can see here artwork online here.

Card content winning entry
Zara’s winning entry

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

Local Interest Schools and Children Tree Canopy

City releases final plan for Riverdale Park West wading pool

Following public consultations, plans are now finalized for the new wading pool at Riverdale Park West in Cabbagetown.

Based on feedback received at the community consultation:

* All paths are now concrete – no asphalt
* The extent of paving has been reduced to meet accessibility requirements, and to maximize grassy area
* Benches are upgraded to Ipe wood slats
* The organic /irregular shape of wading pool has been used – provides more shallow water area
* No Muskoka chairs, no tables with umbrellas.

The city Parks Department will be issuing construction documents for bidding the week of Feb. 5 to 9.

Work will begin in mid September 2018, after wading pool season is over, and is expected to take eight to 10 weeks, with additional landscaping in spring 2019. The wading pool will re-open in time for the regular 2019 season.

Read the full report.

Events Schools and Children

Cabbagetown Moms and Dads potluck picnic in the park – June 1

Some local parents are getting together for a potluck picnic on June 1 at 4:30 p.m. in Riverdale Park West at the benches. If you would like to join, they ask that you bring a dish to feed 10-12 people (or more), a picnic blanket, kids, plates and cutlery and a beverage.


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