Cabbagetown Living Newsletter from the Cabbagetown Business Improvement Area (May 2017)

Cabbagetown Living


There is lots to see, do and taste in Cabbagetown. This edition of Cabbagetown Living includes new arrivals at Riverdale Farm, fun activities for the whole family, ideas for Mother’s Day gifts, summer camps for the kids, tips on gardening safety, memories of one of Cabbagetown’s finest and more. So please read on to discover Cabbagetown this month and if you have not visited recently, we hope to see you soon!


Meet the New Kids On The Block! This spring Riverdale Farm is all a buzz with the arrival of new baby lambs and goats (aka kids.) Located at 201 Winchester, Riverdale Farm is our very own 3-hectare municipally operated farm in the heart of Cabbagetown open daily 9am – 5pm. Admission is free. Donations encouraged.


Mother’s Day is May 14th (don’t forget!) Cabbagetown has lots of great shops to find the perfect gifts for every mom. Over at The Labour of Love their front card shop is packed with options to make mom smile, tear up or laugh. In their gift department they also have a collection of succulent planters and our favourite item, a time capsule with letters you write to mom now and she can read later. Stop in to discover everything they have to offer, including jewelry from talented Canadian designers.


We’re all itching to get out into the garden in the next few weeks. The first Spring clean-up can be some of the most rigorous yard work you’ll do for the year. Our friends at Paths to Vitality want to make sure you keep your spine in fine form and have provided these quick tips for when you’re diggin’ deep!

1. Mind your spine – Use proper posture, even when lifting lighter loads, and be cautious when twisting or bending over for long periods of time.

2. Use the proper tools – Make sure your equipment is the right height and size for you, and there are even shovels and rakes with more ergonomic handles you can buy. Use knee pads or a cushy mat if you’re kneeling for longer period of time.

3. Switch it up – Avoid prolonged repetition of movements, and remember to balance yourself and switch sides or hands with your equipment when you can.


Parliament Employment Services will be having a Youth Job Fair on Saturday June 3rd! If you are looking for part time or summer jobs – don’t miss your chance to be interviewed by employers looking to fill various positions! Employers will be at 595 Parliament Street interviewing on the spot for customer service, retail, food service positions and more!

To help prepare for the event, you can attend any of their resume and interview preparation workshops. Youth Job Link is designed to help youth, including students, aged 15 to 29, who need extra help to plan their careers and transition to the labour market. They can help you to find part time, summer or entry level jobs through the Youth Job Link program!


While the BIA’s Cabbagetown T-shirts are always popular, we think cyclists are going to be really excited about these Cabbagetown jerseys Cycle Solutions Downtown just got in. Designed for riding, these jerseys will become your instant fav. With the fun map graphic, you’ll never get lost in Cabbagetown. 😉


On Saturday May 13th Sprucecourt Public School is hosting their 2nd annual FUN FAIR from 11am – 3pm. Take the whole family over to 70 Spruce Street for bouncy castles, face painting, games, food, prizes and more!


Save the date for an interesting presentation and lively discussion at the next general meeting of the Winchester Park Residents’ Association (WPRA) on Monday May 15th, 7-9pm, at Dixon Hall, formerly St.Peters Church at 188 Carlton Street. Special meeting host Glen Murray will speak on the concept of one COMPLETE NEIGHBOURHOOD, (how a neighbourhood can be a home to people from their earliest years to their senior years.)

This meeting is open to anyone who would like to attend so bring a friend or bring a neighbour.

Although admission is FREE donations of any amount are accepted.

The WPRA wishes to thank meeting sponsors Chartwell, Kendall & Co., Fairway Garden Centre, Mi Casa and St. Jamestown Steak & Chops.


Looking for the perfect day camp for your child(ren) during the summer holidays? Look no further! The Cabbagetown Youth Centre offers summer day camps for children and youth aged 4 – 18 years. Sports, performing arts, evening leagues and more! Registration for these amazing summer camps will begin on Monday May 1st. You won’t want to miss it!


As the season changes so do our wardrobes. Looking for more change? Spring further into spring with a fresh cut from Hair Spa and take 15% off any service. Call to book a complimentary consultation with owner Nano. 416-920-5643, 440 Parliament Street.

FIND ONE OF THE 150 BEST IN CABBAGETOWN recently released their list of the top 150 Best Neighbourhood Restaurant Gems in Canada in honour of Canada’s 150th Birthday! Considering how many restaurants there are in our “home and native land,” we were ECSTATIC to learn that our very own F’Amelia was on the list with 149 other amazing places to dine across Canada. Way to go team F’Amelia!


Looking to keep the kids occupied over summer break AND get them moving? The joy of movement and imaginative play paired with an intro to dance technique is available right here in Cabbagetown! The Summer Arts program at our very own School of Canadian Contemporary Dance Theatre is a week-long program with full or half day sessions for 5 to 8-year-olds and half-day sessions for 4-year olds. Both groups experience each of the disciplines in the morning while full-day students then enjoy storytelling and Musical Theatre in the afternoon. Programs culminate in a day of sharing as parents are welcomed into the studios to observe their child’s activities! Please contact the CCDT for more details.


Our local CRC | Regent Park Community Food Centre is a strong part of the resurgence happening in and around Cabbagetown and downtown east, areas still affected by concentrated poverty.

From connecting hundreds of individuals to affordable housing and other vital resources to providing thousands of visitors to their 40 Oaks drop-in space with healthy meals, new skills, and the social connections of a community hub, the CRC | RPCFC team is having a major impact on a better way of life. In fact, the Regent Park Community Food Centre crew has been named among the winners of this year’s United Way Bhayana Family Foundation Team Achievement Awards for collaborative work in service to the community. (Congrats to all!)

As they continue their intentional poverty-relief and personal skills-development work please consider playing your own small part by making a charitable and tax-deductible donation.

(Photo: @nicosgigi on instagram.)


Cabbagetown lost one of our dearest last month. Donny Taggard operated Nettleship’s Hardware which was likely the oldest business in Cabbagetown having opened in 1920. Donny was 58 years old.

We recently crossed paths with Glenda J. Fordham who was a resident and knew Donny in the 1970s. At our request, Glenda shares her memory of Donny below.

“I was so saddened by the news of Donny Taggart’s recent passing – how many times had I said to myself “I should pop in and say hello to Donny…see if he remembers me from the old days”? Well, now it’s too late and what a hard cosmic lesson I just learned.

Back in the late 70’s when I was new to Toronto and a typical “starving actor”, I frequently dropped into Nettleship’s Hardware to pick up this’n’that to fix up the house at the end of Wellesley I rented with other actors and musicians. I also took on part-time work in the little vintage clothing store, Tom Foolery, that was next door but one to Nettleship’s.

Donny became a frequent visitor in the store, dropping in to fix loose switchplates, repair electric chords, even fixing the ‘loo once and a while. He was kind and full of funny “hardware” stories that he shared with us over a cuppa tea, and occasionally we got him into the change room and dressed him up in groovy vintage jackets and pants. Donny always had a kind word and a friendly smile, and was well liked by all of us up and down the Parliament strip. You will be missed, my dear old friend, but I’m sure you’re already hard at work fixing the squeak in those pearly gates!”

In lieu of flowers, Donny’s family asks for donations to be made to the local Cabbagetown Youth Centre, – 416-960-1032, or The Salvation Army, – 647-225-3472.

Contributed by: Glenda J. Fordham


Earlier this year Cabbagetowner Gilles H. climbed the Mayan pyramid of Ek’ Balam in the Yucatan Peninsula and sent us this shot of himself proudly wearing his Cabbagetown T-Shirt. We hope he had a fun time and are glad to hear he chose NOT “roll back down” the other side of the pyramid.

Gilles is very active in our community, (read the rest of our blog to find out where you can hear him give a special historical presentation.)

Grab your Cabbagetown T-shirts, tote bags or official flags at the Cabbagetown BIA office at 237 Carlton Street with general hours of 10am – 5pm. (We suggest calling first in case we are out on the street visiting a BIA member. 416-921-0857.)


Following the Cabbagetown Preservation Association’s Annual General Meeting (more info below) will be a presentation looking back at some of the amazing people who helped shape Canada and now lay at rest in two of Toronto’s most important historical cemeteries, the St. James Cemetery and the Necropolis, both located in Cabbagetown.

Plan to attend this AGM to hear about the CPA and then learn about these icons from the past who left their mark and helped build Canada through: exploration, politics, education, industries, immigration, philanthropy, transportation, war, sports, communications and more. This presentation will be led by local historians Gilles Huot and Virginia Van Vliet.

CPA AGM: Monday May 29th at 7pm at Dixon Hall, formerly St.Peters Church at 188 Carlton Street. More info on the CPA, including walking tours, available at


Cabbagetowners sure love their dogs and Cabbagetown Pet Clinic wants to ensure you have all the info you need regarding ticks in order to keep your dog safe. Lyme disease is transmitted to dogs through the bite of a tick. Once in the blood stream, the Lyme disease organism is carried to many parts of the body and can cause inflammation of the joints or in some cases, kidney disease. Find out how to check your dog properly for ticks and other important information by clicking here to access an informative one pager Cabbagetown Pet Clinic has complied for you and your four legged best friend.


Green Thumbs presents Spring is In the Air, Saturday May 13, 2017 from 1-4 pm. Allan Gardens Children’s Greenhouse, Carlton & Jarvis.

Plant Sale, Mother’s Day Gifts, Fruit Tree Activity. Bring the kids to meet our special guest Jon-Erik Lappano, who will read from his Governor-General’s Award-winning children’s book Tokyo Digs a Garden.

FREE admission, treats by donation. Event sponsored by ERA Architects.

More info? Green Thumbs: 647-348-5437,

Have something to contribute to the next issue of Cabbagetown Living? Please email info and pictures, (no posters please) to bia@cabbagetownTO,com for newsletter inclusion consideration.

Open It!