Tag Archives: Cabbagetown

When is enough, enough? A very sad story for all Torontonians

When is enough, enough? A very sad story for all Torontonians

Originally, this article was published on March 20, 2013. Four years ago!! Nothing has changed. This is a very sad case of the City of Toronto Building Department abdicating its responsibilities to the neighbours. It has cost thousands to fight the City's fight. This is not to be taken lightly by any homeowner as it can happen to you tomorrow.

Hey, John Tory, the City needs to step up to compensate the neighbours!

In March 2013,  there was a meeting at City Hall between the neighbors surrounding 2 St. James Court, just north of Wellesley Street East at Wellesley Avenue and the owners of the property, Mr. and Mrs. "Nasty" Norm Rogers (not my name for him but from others with past dealings, where he has enjoyed making other neighbors lives hell...Google his name). A notice was sent out by a Land Use Consultant hired by Mr. Rogers and encouraged (supposedly) by Buildings and Heritage however neither they nor the city councillors were in attendance.

Over 12 years ago the Rogers bought a small one bedroom coach house on a very small lot in a back alley that was protected under the Heritage designation that is in the area. When they could not get the approvals that they needed to build a large two bedroom plus home with a garage, they allowed the existing home to fall to pieces so that the project was no longer Heritage but would now be considered to be "New Construction".

The Rogers started to build a structure made of concrete and rebar with a concrete and rebar "fence" and a concrete and rebar Garden Shed at the rear. After 8 years of intimidating the neighbours (last spring they brought in a gang of pot-smoking Bikers to work construction on the site), they were closed down by the City Building Department when it was found that they had again overstepped what was allowed. Suggestions have been made that the Survey was altered...

The Land Use Consultant had probably drunk the Kool-Aid provided for her by the Rogers and at times seemed shocked by what she learned from the neighbours and Mr. Rogers when questioned. It turns out that Mr. Rogers felt that it was necessary to build a foundation that went under the house to a depth of 8 feet and then filled it in with dirt even though it has (as one neighbour noted) walls, doors and electric plugs in the walls.

It was also very easily noted from the plans that the "garage" that was part of the house, could easily be altered to be included in the gross floor area.

The Rogers, at last, threatened the group that because this was now considered by the City to be "New Construction" if the neighbours did not approve a two-storey addition over the parking garage, that a third Storey would then be built at the front of the house. Please note that although many options were laid out to the Land Use Consultant by the neighbours, they were refused by Mr. Rogers who insisted on having two large bedrooms and a built-in garage. Please note that in the area only 10 per cent of the houses have a garage and maybe another 50-60 per cent actually have parking.


No solutions were achieved. The City has not done its job and protected the surrounding owners from someone who has made their lives miserable for over a decade. The neighbours have lost privacy, spent thousands on repairs caused by shoddy workmanship, and have lost the value inherent in their properties....because the City is intimidated by a Bully.

For everybody who is adjoining that property, their property values went down by about 10 per cent due to this.

Every citizen should be concerned that the City of Toronto has done little to protect tax paying citizens. The City is abrogating responsibility. It has and will continue to cost these neighbours thousands of dollars as well the peace and quiet that they deserve. They should not have to fight this fight! Is the neighbours' only option to sue the City for not protecting their properties? 

Here we are 12 years later and this story is still without a happy ending. It's been covered on the front page of The Toronto Star and the CBC News has written about it as well. It's time for the City to step up and do something to protect the tax paying citizens.

Title Photo by Bernard Weil, The Toronto Star


97 Winchester Street – Restored Heritage Cabbagetown Home! SOLD!

97 Winchester Street – Restored Heritage Cabbagetown Home! SOLD!

Have a look at this restored 1892 Cabbagetown beauty, with 3 storeys and 3 bedrooms. This home offers you charming, elegant principal rooms with a designer kitchen. It has two walk outs to the city garden! This is a great home for a young family or adults that often entertain guests. The lower floor can be used as a children's playroom or a man cave, whatever suits your needs!


Third floor has a loft bedroom with cathedral ceiling, bathroom and a private deck with a view of the Toronto skyline.

Includes: stained glass, hardwood floors, wainscotting, coffered ceilings, fireplace, cornice moulding and a skylight, french door fridge, gas stove, dishwasher, microwave, all electric fixtures (exlude hanging), gas furnace, central air, split AC on the third floor and loads of built ins for storage and closets. If you're interested in a full list of inclusions and exclusions, don't hesitate to contact us!

You can find more information about this property on richardsilver.com and we will be open this WEEKEND 2-4 PM.

Price: $1,050,000

If you are interested or you know someone who might be interested in this property, don’t hesitate to contact us at rsilver@sothebysrealty.ca or by phone at 416-960-9995.

Cabbagetown: One Very Special Community in Toronto

Click individual photos to enlarge and enter the Lightbox Gallery.

We are introducing a brand new series of Photo Essays! Have a look at amazing Photo Sets all shot by talented photographers. Explore the vibe of the city, its hidden treasures, meet the Torontonians! This time, let's have a look at Toronto through the lens of Viera Prievozníková!

Cabbagetown Colourful Facade Homes
Cabbagetown Colourful Facade Homes

Cabbagetown is a neighbourhood located on the east side of downtown Toronto that surely needs no further introduction. The name has become very well known as one of the most interesting parts of the city. Wonder why that is? According to the Cabbagetown Preservation Association, the community features "the largest continuous area of preserved Victorian housing in all of North America." In 2004, part of Cabbagetown also became a Heritage Conservation District. Truly the most dominant feature of the neighbourhood is these homes, so finely restored during the 1970s and ‘80s. It's a huge draw for homebuyers to live in one of these original properties, as these red brick cottages are set in enchanting lane-ways. And so Cabbagetown — once one of the poorest neighbourhoods in Toronto — is now a much sought-after enclave with a great sense of community, friendly neighbourhood pubs, and some of the best cafés in the city.

But the area wasn't always as attractive to live in as it is today. The name "Cabbagetown" came from stories of new Irish immigrants planting cabbage in their front yards. The Irish had fled to Canada from their home during the Irish Potato Famine. After World War I, the area became increasingly impoverished and known as one of Toronto's largest slums.

Luckily escaping the urban renewal plans that would destroy the unique history of the area, Cabbagetown took the path of continued renewal and restoration. This was thanks to many affluent professionals and community activists who moved to the neighbourhood in the early 1970s. Many of the new residents restored their small Victorian row houses. Today, the neighbourhood is home to many artists, musicians, journalists, and writers. The active community organizes quite a lot of special events that attract crowds of visitors throughout the year. The Cabbagetown Festival, held on the second weekend in September each year, offers many interesting events that lead to the festival's highlight, a parade on Saturday morning. Cabbagetown is a warm community that welcomes everyone with a genuine interest in the neighbourhood. Go for a walk and have a look at the lovely homes yourself. We guarantee you'll fall in love with them too.

If you want to read more about life in the neighbourhood in the past, grab the novel Cabbagetown written by Canadian writer Hugh Garner, who wrote about the neighbourhood during the Great Depression. This promises to be some interesting reading!

Cabbagetown Brick Homes Front Entrance
Cabbagetown Brick Homes Front Entrance
Cabbagetown Brick Homes
Cabbagetown Brick Homes
Cabbagetown Blue House Window
Cabbagetown Blue House Window
Cabbagetown Front Entrance and Garden
Cabbagetown Front Entrance and Garden

St. James Cemetery

Cabbagetown features two of the city’s oldest cemeteries, St. James and the Necropolis. The Anglican St. James Cemetery is the oldest cemetery in Toronto still in operation. It opened in 1844 as the burial ground for St. James Cathedral. The cemetery is home to the Victorian Gothic funeral Chapel of St. James-the-Less, which sits atop the highest point in the cemetery. The cemetery is the final resting place of many of Toronto's oldest families and notable citizens, including whiskey magnate George Gooderham, founder of TD Bank James Austin, famous city architect E.J. Lennox, and 17th Premier of Ontario John P. Robarts, just to name a few.

St James Cemetery Entrance
St James Cemetery Entrance
St James Cemetery Church
St James Cemetery Church
St James Cemetery Family Crypt
St James Cemetery Family Crypt
St James Cemetery Statue of Angel
St James Cemetery Statue of Angel

Riverdale Farm

Riverdale Farm is a three-hectare municipally operated farm in the heart of Cabbagetown that once served as the site of the Riverdale Zoo (from 1888 to 1974). After the Toronto Zoo moved to its new location in Scarborough, the site was restored as a farm, just as it would have appeared at the turn of the 20th century. It lies on the west bank of the Don River, close to the lovely Riverdale Park. One of the main attractions are the many animals that are bred in the barns scattered all over the grounds. Riverdale Farm supports the work of Rare Breeds Canada, focused on preserving rare breeds of animals.

Riverdale Farm in Toronto Wooden Barn
Riverdale Farm in Toronto Wooden Barn
Riverdale Farm Toronto Landscaping Sheep
Riverdale Farm Toronto Landscaping Sheep
Riverdale Farm Sheep
Riverdale Farm Sheep
Riverdale Animal Farm Barn
Riverdale Animal Farm Barn
Riverdale Farm in Cabbagetown
Riverdale Farm in Cabbagetown

All visual content is licensed by Creative Commons - you may use individual photos but you need to link them back to this original page properly and clearly attribute them to us.

Meet the Photographer

Viera Prievoznikova

Viera Prievozníková

Viera studies marketing communication. She has been devoted to documentary photography and fine art photography for 2 years. Amongst other styles, Viera is fond of street photography, portrait photography and art nude photography. Viera uses street photography to draw people's attention to things often overlooked in everyday life.

Two Homes in One! 42 Amelia Street: EXCEPTIONAL OPPORTUNITY!!

Two Homes in One! 42 Amelia Street: EXCEPTIONAL OPPORTUNITY!!

Have a look at this Victorian Cabbagetown beauty built in 1860 with parking for two cars. Two Homes in one! 42 is a four level traditional Victorian home with 2+1 bedrooms with high ceilings and hardwood floors. 42A is a charming two bedroom Pied-A-Terre with a private garden.


Extras include: 42: Microwave, Stove Top, Oven, Dishwasher, Sub-Zero Fridge, Lower Freezer, Washer, Dryer, All Light Fixtures (Except Hanging), Include All Window Treatments, See Floor Plans. 42A: Fridge, Stove, Dishwasher, Washer, Dryer, Broadloom, Hardwood

More information about this property on richardsilver.com

Price: $1,299,000

If you are interested or you know someone who might be interested in this property, don't hesitate to contact us at rsilver@sothebysrealty.ca or by phone at 416-960-9995.

Cabbagetown Festival Of the Arts

Cabbagetown Festival Of the Arts

The Cabbagetown Festival Of the Arts is one of the longest-running community festivals in Ontario, and it's celebrating its 37th year this month. Sponsored by TD Bank and presented by the Cabbagetown BIA, this neighbourhood extravaganza runs through Thursday, September 5, to Sunday, September 8, in locations throughout Cabbagetown. And don’t think for one minute that you’d be bored with nothing to do, because there are so many events and festivals tied in with this event that there's something for everyone! This is the kind of event that brings the community together — families, tourists, and businesses alike gather annually for the Cabbagetown Festival of the Arts, creating long-lasting friendships and working relationships that have lasted for decades.

Some of this year’s event highlights include One Night in Cabbagetown, a ticketed event that allows patrons free tastings from a choice of four neighbourhood restaurants, the Cabbagetown Arts & Crafts Sale, the Cabbagetown Short Film & Video Festival, Blair’s Run (a mini marathon in its 34th year that raises funds for the Cabbagetown Youth Centre), the Riverdale Farm Fall Harvest Festival, and the jewel of this festival’s crown, the Cabbagetown Festival of the Arts that runs on the closing weekend and includes vendors, performers, artists, buskers, and a variety of scrumptious food selections. Everyone is encouraged to bring their families and friends and let loose and dance in the street.


While you’re out enjoying all Cabbagetown has to offer, please take a moment and participate in the Cabbagetown Tour of Homes. This is a perfect opportunity for you to explore one of Toronto’s oldest and most beautiful neighbourhoods at your own pace and leisure. I bought my first house in Cabbagetown in 1979 at the very first Cabbagetown Festival because I was so drawn to the town and the "big city" feeling of the festival that it made me want to live and work here for the past 34 years. Ticketholders for the tour can also enjoy discounted meals at participating restaurants and cafés throughout Cabbagetown. Why not pop in to Qi Sushi (358 Gerrard Street East) for some fantastic Japanese fare? Or, if you’d like to see where all the locals hang out, you could pay a visit to Red Cranberries Restaurant (601 Parliament Street) or House on Parliament (454 Parliament Street) for some hearty comfort food. One of the newest additions to the Cabbagetown food market that comes highly recommended is the restaurant Under the Table (568 Parliament Street).


For festival event times, locations, and ticket information, please visit the official Cabbagetown website at www.oldcabbagetown.com.

Should You Pay Down Your Mortgage or Refinance?

Should You Pay Down Your Mortgage or Refinance?

It might seem that the best option for every homeowner is to pay off a mortgage as soon as possible and relieve some stress. A report by the Canadian Association of Accredited Mortgage Professionals released in May 2013 found that Canadians pay off their mortgages in about two-thirds of the time originally intended. However, there’s also another possibility — refinancing, which allows you to get lower interest rate, consolidate debt, or tap into home equity. Refinancing is the process of paying the existing mortgage and setting up a completely new one. This process can save a lot of money, but it comes with several expenses and can prolong your mortgage term. So it's wise to compare the total costs of paying down the mortgage with changing to a new one. Here I give you a brief explanation of some of the possible costs and benefits of both solutions.

Cabbagetown Home by Proxy Indian Cabbagetown Home by Proxy Indian

When Is it Smart to Refinance?

First of all, keep in mind that refinancing a mortgage doesn’t pay off the debt but restructures it. Refinancing when mortgage rates are low will allow you to decrease your monthly payments and save on the sum you pay during the loan. Apart from saving you money, reducing your interest rate also increases the rate at which you build equity in your home. If you’ve considerably lowered your interest rate and monthly payments, you can also decrease the length of your mortgage term by paying more every month. The amount you pay overall will still be lower than the sum you would pay with your original mortgage.

Refinancing allows you to choose a new mortgage product that will better suit your requirements. If you have an adjustable-rate mortgage and interest rates are increasing, then you should prefer to get out of the adjustable-rate mortgage. On the other hand, if you have a fixed-rate mortgage and interest rates start to decline, you should change to an adjustable-rate mortgage, with the periodic rate adjustments resulting in smaller monthly payments.

Houses by woodleywonderworks Houses by woodleywonderworks

Plus, refinancing can allow you to access up to 80 per cent of your home's value that you can then use to cover expenses such as remodelling or investment. Another reason why homeowners refinance is to consolidate their debt. Refinancing allows you to replace a high-interest debt such as on credit cards or cars with a low-interest mortgage and at the same time consolidate a number of payments in one.

I recommend that you refinance your mortgage when you plan to stay in the house for some time. Charles Delaney, associate professor of finance and director of the real estate program at the Hankamer School of Business at Baylor University in Waco, Texas, suggested,

"You have to look at the savings relative to the cost, and then consider: How long am I going to be in this property?"

You have to consider different costs, like a prepayment penalty for breaking mortgage terms, an application fee, a loan processing fee, a document preparation fee, an appraisal fee, an inspection fee, legal costs, insurance, and additional costs associated with refinancing. It's important to figure out how long it would take to recoup these costs. In his book The Mortgage Kit, Thomas C. Steinmetz recommends,

"The industry rule of thumb — 'refinance when you can lower your interest rates by 2 per cent or more' — no longer is correct... It makes sense to refinance if you can recover your costs and make a decent return on your investment before you plan to sell your house or pay off your mortgage."

Plus, the right time for refinancing depends on the status of your current mortgage, as you'll be starting all over again with a brand new mortgage. A general rule is, the longer you've had your present mortgage, the less advantageous it is to refinance — especially if there’s a small difference between the rates. If you're extending the mortgage term with a lower interest rate, you can still end up spending more in interest. To find out whether it's advantageous to refinance with a loan term extension, you should calculate the interest savings on the new loan with the same term as the old one as well as the interest savings on the new loan with the length of your planned refinance and compare the two figures.

Home Red by nikcname Home Red by nikcname

Refinancing means undergoing the same process you went through when you got your current mortgage, so you have to get all your records together and make sure your credit score and report are respectable. A good payment history will increase your chance of successful refinancing.

When Should You Pay Off Your Mortgage?

The main reasons for paying off your mortgage as soon as possible are saving money and getting peace of mind. Whether you should pay off your mortgage depends on your goals. If you consider your house an investment that may appreciate, then you might want to continue borrowing money and investing if it brings you a higher return. However, if you consider your house your home — something more than an investment that may or may not guarantee you return — then you should pay off your mortgage and relieve yourself of the mortgage stress. Emily Larimer, a CGA (certified general accountant) who runs a Toronto-based sole proprietorship, remarked,

"Your biggest asset is your house. And you want to pay off that loan because you want to eventually pay yourself rather than the bank. And you’re building equity which you can eventually use to do other things."

Many people claim that paying off your mortgage is worse than refinancing in the long run, since you lose money you could get from your investments. However, you're not guaranteed to get a higher return on your investment. Paying off your mortgage is a safe bet that provides you the security of having a place to live. Most people buy a home so that they can live in it, and even if its value increases, they don't want to sell.

Vic-shtick by Loozrboy Vic-shtick by Loozrboy

Before you start spending extra money to pay down your mortgage, you should consider that there are other costs with a higher priority than your mortgage. Greg McBride, a senior financial analyst with Bankrate.com, pointed out,

"Paying off the mortgage becomes a higher priority later in your career, after you’ve amassed sufficient savings for emergencies, after you’ve paid off other debt, after you’ve put the kids through college, and after you’ve spent years accumulating your retirement nest egg on a tax-advantaged basis. All are higher priorities than pouring more money into a low-cost, tax deductible debt like a mortgage, particularly when rates are as low as they are today."

Once you decide to pay off your mortgage, you have several options. First of all, you can accelerate your payments by switching from monthly to bi-weekly payments. Bi-weekly payments will allow you to pay down more of the principal each year, shortening the total repayment period of your mortgage. Another useful and harmless way is rounding up your mortgage payments. Rounding your monthly or bi-weekly payments to the next hundred won’t make a huge difference on your monthly budget but will be noticeable on your mortgage. If you have a closed mortgage, you can repay as much as 10 per cent of the borrowed amount at any time during each calendar year. Moreover, at each regular payment date, you can make an additional payment that's equal to or less than your regular payment.

Deciding for Yourself

Generally, there isn't a clear answer to the question of whether it's better to pay down your mortgage or refinance. Both solutions have their pros and cons and whether the decision is right depends on your current circumstances. Continually refinancing your mortgage makes sense when you want to reduce your total payment and make more money in the long run. But if you find the comforts of your home more enjoyable if it's you, not the bank, who owns it, then you should pay off your mortgage and sleep well at night.

Cabbagetown Preservation Association Hidden Gardens & Private Spaces Tour

Cabbagetown Preservation Association Hidden Gardens & Private Spaces Tour


Sunday, June 2, 2013 10:00 am - 3:00 PM

Here is a great community event in the small town in the big city known as Cabbagetown.

This self-guided tour (map in the ticket) showcases the creative designs of imaginative gardeners in private inner-city spaces in the Heritage Conservation District of downtown Toronto, Cabbagetown, where most homes date from the mid to late 1800s. Many gardens can be accessed only through pleasant back lanes with appealing names like Magic, Yen or Chipping Sparrow.

Gardeners, present in their backyard gardens, inform visitors of diverse solutions to specific urban challenges: shade from 100-year old trees, squirrels, raccoons, opossums, pigeons and the occasional fox or coyote.

Location: Cabbagetown,Toronto – Carlton & Parliament

Tickets cost $15.00. Buy tickets at various outlets in the city or online using PayPal at www.cabbagetownpa.ca. The web site also lists the ticket vendors. Visit the website for more information about special offers for ticket holders.

P.S. For those of you who’ve asked in the past,

“Is your garden going to be on the tour?”This time I’m saying,“Yes.” Come see me in my garden at #2 Geneva Avenue.

Ruth Wagner

The Cabbagetown Forsythia Festival is Coming May 5th, 2013.

The Cabbagetown Forsythia Festival is Coming May 5th, 2013.

Every year at this time, the Cabbagetown Forsythia is in bloom and people hit the streets. This year the Festival is on Sunday May 5th at Riverdale Park. Come celebrate with your neighbors and catch up on all the gossip! Your children will love it but there is lots of fun for adults as well!Forsythia-Poster

Here is a short video from the 2010 Cabbagetown Forsythia Festival to enjoy! It was a cool and cloudy day but of course, this year we have ordered much better weather!

The Perfect Turkey Recipe!


This post was a big success a couple of years ago so I thought I would repost it. It is so easy and almost flawless!

You know that I love my food, like to cook but am always looking for the easy way, as time is of the essence…well….our favourite Cabbagetown Butcher, Mark Michelin at the St. Jamestown Steak & Chops, has an almost flawless Turkey Recipe, almost a Turnkey Turkey Recipe. I tried it last year and it is almost too simple to believe and produces an amazing result. So here it is!

Continue reading

GUEST BLOG: To downsize or not to downsize, that is the dilemma….By Karin Ivand

I knew things were bad when I e-mailed Richard Silver, my patient realtor, one Sunday at 9.30 p.m.

“What do you think of this listing?” I asked.  “Is it worth looking at?”

The listing in question was a semi out of my beloved Cabbagetown  neighborhood and had a basement apartment.  Now that I am considering the dreaded D-word (downsizing), maybe it would be a good idea. The basement apartment could provide income in case I am struck by lightning and can’t work for a while. It was still downtown, so moving there wouldn’t be that much of a change. Or would it?

“Do you know people in that neighborhood?” came the patient reply. “It can be traumatic to move to a new area if you don’t know anyone.”

Oh. Well, no, I don’t actually.  Would this be a problem? Perhaps there is more to the D-word than I have considered.

“It’s also risky to buy without selling,” the voice of reason continued.

“Yes,” I sighed. “It’s all part of this process.  When do I retire? Do I semi-retire? What does this look like? What should I be thinking of?”

“That,” said the soothing voice. “Is the conversation so many people are having today.”

Right. Gulp. OK. What next? What should I do?

Statistics Canada very helpfully tells us that the leading edge of Canada’s baby boom is turning 65 in 2011.  That means all us folks in our 50s are not far behind.   People – many many people – are starting to think about retirement.

How long should I keep working?  Most importantly, how long do I need to keep working? As a self-employed consultant, my pension plan is what I have saved privately, plus my home, which I have been lucky enough to be able to buy.

People are working longer and they are working differently. Many do not fully retire when they leave their workplace.  It’s a whole new ball game and much different than the era of the golden handshake at age 65, followed by many pleasant days reclining in a hammock.

I feel like I am standing on the first square of a new and confusing life-sized board game, with no clue how to proceed. Must start somehow, so I roll the dice.

I call my wonderful and perennially cheerful financial consultant. I love him because he is  younger than I am and will still be working when I retire.  I am thinking of downsizing, I tell him.  How much of a difference between  the selling price of my house and a smaller house makes a sale worthwhile?

I feel like I need a new way of thinking.  All this time, I have had the “trade-up” mentality. Buy a house and trade up when you can. The rules were so simple! Is a profit of, say, $100K worthwhile in making a move?

“Yes!”” he exclaimed. (He really is a cheerful chap.) “Even reducing your debt by $100K is worthwhile. Don’t forget, you have to pay your mortgage with after-tax dollars, so $100K is actually much more and will knock off a substantial chunk.”

“Of course, it is better to realize more of a gain, but any debt reduction is a positive thing.”

He invites me to call him when I have found something I want to buy and he will run some numbers. Another lesson: involve your financial advisor when you are thinking of making a move. I have advanced a few steps on this new board game.

I roll the dice again and find out more.

Don’t forget about selling and moving costs when you factor in the net gain of your new, smaller house, Richard says.  Land transfer tax, commission, moving costs and any repairs and renovations to your new home can add up to a hefty sum. Yes, good, I have taken a few more steps.

So what to do next? Keep looking, keep thinking and hope that an answer presents itself?

I am learning that this is a process.  It’s a few steps forward, a few steps back, a bit of muddled thinking and the occasional bolt of revelation and clarity.

It seems like talking to your trusted advisors, mixed in with a little divine intervention, should do the trick.  I will make it my intention, and it will be so (this feeling may evaporate  once I have forgotten what I read in Dr. Wayne Dyer’s latest book.)

It also means reevaluating what you think you need.  Do you need all that room for your grandmother’s china, a separate bathroom for your guests and a dining room that doesn’t get used? I highly recommend reading David Chilton’s new book The Wealthy Barber Returns for his straightforward and no-nonsense advice on reducing and simplifying. I found it quite inspirational.

In preparing to write this story, I Googled “downsizing” and was greeted by many colourful sites about how to de-clutter! It’s not downsizing, it’s “right-sizing!” This gave me an instant headache and I quite forcefully hit the close button.  That, as they say, is a topic for another day.

How to proceed from here with  the D-word will likely boil down to the usual formula I have relied on for so long: sheer dumb luck and intuition mixed in with a bit of fortuitous timing. And a few more late night emails to Richard.

Karin Ivand is a communications consultant who hopes to stay in Cabbagetown after she successfully figures out how to downsize.

I really want to thank Karin for sharing her feelings on the process that she is experiencing.  As a Realtor, I see my clients trying to figure out what they want to do and when they want or need to do it.

My guiding rule is to think of it as “right sizing” when you can control your options and timing always with safety in mind. Enjoy and thanks again Karin!

Neighbourhoods: Cabbagetown Is Going To The Dogs!!!

20061111_198_edited-1I decided many years ago, and am now convinced, that in my next life I plan to come back as a dog.  Now that major life decision has been made, I also would like to live that next life in the Cabbagetown Neighbourhood  of  Toronto.

I would have lots of friends close by to hang with and when I get tired of smelling their butts, I would have some children to play ball with…. My owners would be able to take me to the Off-leash Park  at the bottom of the hill at the end of Carlton Street (Riverdale Park ). Not many places where a good dog like me can be off-leash in the City…Hopefully my owners would bring two balls to play with, one after the other (no way I’m bringing back one ball till they throw the next)…well, unless there are treats involved of course…Ice Cream being my favourite…Let me tell you, it is important to know how to train your owners from day one! Continue reading

The Cabbagetown Forsythia Festival….

It has been such a crazy time the past few months that I finally went in to my Vado HD Video Camera and realized that I had taken these videos of the Cabbagetown Forsythia Festival.

This is a great event in early May in Downtown Toronto and one of my favourite times to see the kids and their parents emerging from their warm winter accomodations and start to deal with the first signs of Spring. However this year, the Forsythia were almost one month early due to our mild winter but…it was still a great time had by all.

Many thanks to our Festival Queen’s Gina Dineen and Liz Kingstone. Enjoy the video and look forward to the first weekend in May for next year’s event!

REALTOR Magazine, June 2010

I was recently interviewed by REALTOR Magazine for their June 2010 issue. I have since received a number of calls about this artricle and especially the “leaf bags”, that I distribute in Cabbagetown each year. If you are interested, contact Primo Promotions, who are my supplier and are great to work with…their email address is primopromos@sympatico.ca. Tell them I sent you!

What I learned at National Association of REALTORS Conference San Diego 2009.

RebarcampsdREBarCampSD 2009:

We arrived a few days early and were able to take in some of the sites of San Diego and the REBarCamp San Diego  thanks to the great work of Jim Marks  and his team. REBarCamps are quite a phenomenon in the Real Estate Social Media World. They were begun by Todd Carpenter , Andy Kaufman , Mike Price  and Brad Coy , four energetic and crazy guys who decided that a “Un-conference” that gathered the best minds in the field in a large space with lots of viewpoints for a day of discussion might be fun. Little did they know that the idea would grow with BarCamps held across the States in one year culminating in the largest, held at the nightclub “Stingaree” in San Diego? It was my forth in the past year, filled with knowledge, networking and great conversation. Continue reading

Carl Orbach QC, LLB, BA Mayor of Cabbagetown and a lovely man!

CarlVery Sad News for Cabbagetown. A strong supporter of the Cabbagetown Community and all around good guy passed away yesterday and will be buried tomorrow. For years he led the Old Cabbagetown Business Improvement Area and worked tirelessly for the Community. Sadly since retiring a couple of years ago, he has been ill. Even through the pain, he had a great laugh and loved a good story. There are and will be few of the caliber of Carl Orbach…sleep well wonderful Carl… Continue reading

Some Video of the Cabbagetown Festival 2009….Why people love Cabbagetown!

Every year, the weekend after Labour Day in Toronto, Ontario, the residents of Cabbagetown get together and celebrate the neighborhood. It starts early in the morning with Blair’s Run in support of the Cabbagetown Youth Centre, a Parade and then the Cabbagetown Arts and Crafts Show in Riverdale Park! There is great eats at the Park, Farm and on Parliament Street that really highlight the diversity of the neighborhood. It serves to remind us all that Cabbagetown is just a small Town in a big City!

Related Posts:

Cabbagetown For Sale: Stunning Detached Townhome: Seldom Offered…

Great Annual Cabbagetown Fundraiser to Benefit the Riverdale Farm.

Toronto Real Estate: Cabbagetown Landmark Victorian: Residential with Commercial Unit

31st Annual Cabbagetown Tour of Homes, September 20th, 2009.

Cabbagetown Controversy: To Seat or Not To Seat!!

Toronto: Confessions of a "Scab" During The Garbage Strike 2009

Cabbagetown Cleanup  Crew!!Looks like the 2009 Garbage Strike is finally over. What will we do with our Sundays?  The past four, a group of Cabbagetown residents have been meeting at the JetFuel Cafe’ at 10 AM and have been trying to keep the litter at bay.

It has been an interesting experience. We have been called “Scabs” but I think you can only really be a scab if you are getting paid…I think we prefer being called concerned citizens… Continue reading

A Sad Loss for Cabbagetown…

Cabbage headOver the years you could always count on Peggy Kurtin to set you straight on what should and should not be Historical in Cabbagetown. Sadly, she has passed away after a long battle with Cancer.

She could be frustrating at times and was miffed by people who were not 100% committed to preserving the Heritage of Cabbagetown. She will be missed. She was a valiant volunteer and spokesperson for the Victorian Homes that needed a voice. Cabbagetown has had a great loss...

The Globe and Mail has a notice but you can also read it here for information. The Cabbagetown Preservation Accociation has also posted a very nice memorial here.

Cabbagetown Controversy: To Seat or Not To Seat!!

Cabbage isolated on white backgroundWhat would a community like Cabbagetown be like without a good controversy?

Over the past few weeks there have been rumblings in the Cabbagetown Community about a plan being put forward by the Old Cabbagetown Business Improvement Area (OCBIA) called Cabbagetown 2.0. You can find the full report at Sunarts.ca (click on the Cabbage) but the discussion mostly seems to be centered mostly around a seating plan that would affect the east side of Winchester at Parliament (North and South), Carlton Street (North and South) east of Parliament, and Spruce Street at Parliament Street. (Click here to view the street plan) Continue reading

Toronto Streets: Congratulations Cabbagetown on Being Number Three!

istock_000006757986xsmallNUMBER THREE??

Today, the Toronto Star’s Christopher Hume named “any street in Cabbagetown east of Parliament Street” as his 3rd favorite street in the City in the Star’s List Week.

We knew that Cabbagetown was great and it is sad to be only number three; but in the scheme of things, with hundreds of areas to live in in this great city, number three is PRETTY COOL!

Of course, I think he is wrong about only east….the west is just more diverse but has great houses!

Check out the Christopher Hume’s article here, posted today, Monday June 29th, 2009!