Parliament Street News - Sept 2021

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SEPTEMBER 2021 - Issue 53


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Thanks to all of our advertisers. They are committed to maintaining their visibility in the community. We appreciate the support, and it allows us to keep publishing and delivering via Canada Post to over 2500 houses and another 500 delivered strategically throughout the area. Elm St


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In the 2020 by-election, so many Toronto Centre residents took a leap of faith by voting Green. I asked them to “Be Daring” and to vote for the positive change they wanted to see — and so many did. I am going to repay that trust, and take the leap again — if you can be daring, so can I.

Time to Be Daring. Annamie Paul

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There are two more editions in 2021. The next deadline will be mid-October and then mid-November.

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A special thank you to an anonymous contribution from a Safe Injection Site worker. This article is more than an article, and while we generally can’t take contributions this long, I felt it was essential for the Paper to do so. Not just for you and I reading it but also for the author who contributed it.

Pete Lovering Publisher, PSN aka Parliament Street News

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Out contributors have outdone themselves once again. We have everything from politics to Safe injection sites to astrology, F1, art style and so much more. Be sure to find and share the stories you like online. Social sharing helps the Paper and the advertisers, and the contributors.

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Your candidate for Toronto Centre | PSTREETNEWS.COM -- SEPT. 2021

Leader · Green Party of Canada


→ Connect with us 437-886-6275 @AnnamiePaulGreen   @AnnamiePaul Authorized by the Official Agent for Annamie Paul

We obviously can’t do it without our contributors. Thanks to all of you and if you are reading an article please let them know you saw it, share it. Cabbagetown BIA...9 Randy 3 7 Pstreet 4 Anonymous ..pg5 Cabbagetown 11 Kathy Flaxman 13 Tony Lafazanis 16 Anita Bostok / Norm 12

Ed 11 Samantha Peck 10 Karen Joan Watson Chris McNutt Ari Korkodilos ...pg16 Kiwanis BGC...6 Celeste D’Costa 15 Karen Joan 12 Jacob 14 Andre 11 Fair Trade Jewellry Co...8

SEPTEMBER PSN Advertisers Montcrest School Gardener Don Weenen General Contracting Cabbagetown Massage therapy Cabbagetown BIA Laird and Son Momentum Montessori Richard Silver Menagerie Double Take Fair Trade Jewellry Co Bostok Hathaway Annamie Paul Green Party Silver Birch Flooring Tony Lafazanis Law Haddad Hudson Law Offices Marci Ien Liberal Party Gallery Arcturus Epicure Shop Cabbagetown Arts & Crafts Buro Klaus Hepburn Landscaping Cabbagetown Carpentry Ron Reaman MHC Vintage Genuine Auto Imports Brando 416 Parliament Animal Hospital

PATHWAYS IN THE PARK By Randy Brown, E.D. Friends of Riverdale Park West, ( I’m sure everyone has noticed the renovated pathways in our park – the main pathways are now concrete. This project didn’t just happen. It was started some eight years ago when the Art & Crafts which I founded 30 years ago, saw that the pathways were deteriorating. Of course, for our show the pathways are crucial – some 20,000 people stroll along them over the three days of the sale. So we donated $5,000 towards getting the paths fixed. We also approved the selling of engraved bricks for $100 & $150 to support the project. The park supervisor for much of this was Mark Hawkins. He got our first pathway done, from Winchester and Sumach to the farm, plus a patio in front of the farm gates ringed by our bricks. And then he did the second pathway, from Carlton and Sumach to the center of the park. This is a huge credit to Mark and to Parks. Last fall the City decided to redo the wading pool and held a public meeting. The manager of the project said the path from the end of Carlton to the center of the park would be asphalt. All of those present, including our Councillor Luicy Troisi, insisted on concrete and he conceded. Now the worst pathway in the park was fixed. But for budgetary reasons, the lower pathway had to be done cheaply so it was done in a type of gravel.

All that remained was the pathway from the centre of the park up to Winchester and Sumach. Without anyone even asking them (to my amazement) the construction crew tore up the old pathway and poured new concrete This final touch was an act of pure generosity from Parks. Of course the main push came from all those hundreds of generous citizens who paid $100 or $150 for an engraved brick. The money raised kept this project alive every year, as Parks placed the bricks each fall. Parks was reminded again and again that our community supported this pathway project. However, Parks did not take any money for this last task, and there is some $26,000 in the account ready for new heritage lighting such as in Allen Gardens.

WE STILL HAVE BRICKS – get a form from! With cooperation from Parks, the generosity of the donors and the management of the Art & Crafts, we have made a permanent improvement to our community.




HAS IT ONLY BEEN 20 YEARS? Our children have grown up with it. We pass by it to fall in and out of love. We see it when we eat, shop, drop kids ,walk , ride and drive.…and it never gets tired, old or outdated. The iconic Cabbagetown mural by artist Ryan Dineen is now 20 years old. When people think of Cabbagetown, they think of beautiful old homes, the farm and a mural. No matter how many pictures of goats or Victorian homes, there is one universally recognizable image representing Cabbagetown; the mural. We only thought we should learn more about this mural, the artist, and its impact on the community. It is the mural that launched the mural craze. A mural so good that many communities said we want one of those. Even after they got their own many still say they want theirs to be more like Cabbagetown’s. Is it the colours, the organic emotion, love and joy of the image? Yes. Anybody can paint a wall, but capturing joy and love and splendour the way our mural does in such a positive way is something unique. We have been lucky to pass by it daily for the last 20 years. It is also the 20th anniversary of the mural. I know. Has it only been 20 years??

B.I.A. Often photographed and Instagrammed, this mural is prolific on the internet. There are few images in the city that people instantly recognize and know the location. In 2021 with so much street art everywhere, it isn’t easy to know what neighbourhoods other murals represent. Not this mural; it set the bar of murals and remains one of the most recognizable in the city. The 18-year-old Dineen is now 38 and an extremely accomplished artist. Big surprise. We spoke with Ryan about what it was like to get such a commission at such a young age and how the heck did he pull it off? You grew up in Cabbagetown.. what was that like ? “There were tons of kids around, I had three younger siblings so it was always a madhouse. The neighbourhood was a bit grittier than it is now but there was always something to do.” When did the painting get done? “About 20 years ago, I was 18.” You were 18. Had you done something this big before??


“I had done similarly scaled murals prior.”

In the year 2000, a young 18-year-old artist, and local Cabbagetown resident, named Ryan Dineen was commissioned to do the mural at the corner of 4 Carlton and parliament by the

How did that come to be?? did you get paid? “At the time, the city was offering every B.I.A. to match funds put up for community murals. I applied to every B.I.A. in the city and landed three of them, including Cabbagetown.” What is the painting called?? “I call it the Cabbage mural, but I’ve heard other people call it the Enchantress and recently two lovers. It was never officially titled.” What inspired you to do that image??

“When my mural partner Alex Bacon and I were coming up with the design, we went through one of his old illustration books. We found one of a couple in a farmland scene, and we remixed it into a graffiti style which we were into at the time, but also keeping a historical feel to it.” What does it mean to you? “To me personally, it reminds me of how into murals I was at the time. I had done big murals before, but this was one of my first contracts where I lead the whole project.” Have you had to do any repairs?? it has lasted very well, did you do anything special to make it last so well? “Over twenty years, I’ve done some minor repairs. Less than a handful of times – nothing major. Nothing special. It looks to me some of the brick needs to be restored, and we can look at refreshing the paint if the B.I.A. wants that done. (hint Cabbagetown B.I.A.)” What other murals have you done?? “I’ve done hundreds of murals over the city. Cabbagetowners would know my mural on Chew Chew’s diner.” You are a prolific artist now. Can you tell us about your new

works and yourself as a highly acclaimed artist? “My focus these days is primarily oil painting on canvas. I’ve been showing my work in galleries since 2008 and have been represented by Ingram Gallery in Yorkville since 2013.” You can receive the Ingram Gallery newsletter from www., go on his

website at www.ryandineen. com and follow him on Instagram: @ryan.dineen Publisher’s note. Ryans’ paintings are incredible and capture the beauty of the city. Many of them seem to feature many downtown east subjects. Well worth the visit to his website and gallery.

SAFE INJECTION SITE CONFIDENTIAL A heart felt, first hand look at the day to day life of a front line worker in a safe injection site. Contributed by an anonymous front line worker

She explains to me that last night, a man she was seeing, pulled a knife on her, refusing to pay for ‘services’ rendered, and left her in the middle of the country, with no money, no phone to call for help, no weapon for self-defence in the event that she’s put directly in harms way, and almost more importantly: in a painful withdrawal from the volatile and unpredictable street drug, Fentanyl. She injects this roughly 5-9 times a day to mitigate opiate withdrawal, (if the finances are available), or PAWS, a lesser known acronym for Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome. PAWS is the motivating factor to risk it all. Your life, your freedom, your sexual integrity, your family, and your career. It’s a powerful feeling. Imagine having the worst flu you’ve ever had. You’re body aching, nerves screaming in pain. Sweats, the inability to sleep because your restless and twitching legs. You’re stomach is twisting and you are badly in need of a washroom, but due to the wave of intense anxiety and self-hating depression, you’re apprehensive to ask a Barista at Starbucks, because of the possibility, (and this you know from experience) will look at you, could ultimately write you off as a sub-human ‘junkie’, and deny you access. And now, due to the illicit supply of fentanyl

being so heavily adulterated with etizolam, (An injectable benzodiapene found in nearly all fentanyl tests which we receive from CAMH using their mass spectrometer), you have the added bonus of potential psychosis, seizures, and tremors. But don’t worry, this can be mitigated for $20, and a visit to the local plug on the corner. And that is the point where I begin to make my rent. (But not really. I’ll explain) I’m employed at one of the Consumption Treatment Centers scattered throughout the city. We operate under a medical directive which allows us a legal exemption for people

The team I work with is spectacular. Period. who use drugs to safely inject under our watch, and in the event of an overdose we are to administer compressed oxygen, or naloxone, depending on the severity of the event. Armed with a unimaginably vast knowledge of public resources, drugs, and the ins-and-outs of the public services sector, our onsite RN’s, PSW’s, and drug users a like, the site offers a myriad of other resources in healthcare built to cater to those with the multitude of socio-economical barriers that PWUD’s often face. The team I work with is spectacular. Period. Despite having the lowest wage of any frontline health worker, with painfully high demand for attendance. The minuscule rotation of staff I work with have managed to remain operational throughout the entire duration of the COVID-19 pandemic. Something that potentiated the devastation of the already raging opiate pandemic. Overdose deaths in Toronto alone have more than doubled since we first entered the state of emergency last March. We do this despite a total lack

of support for the emotional battering each one of us endures on a daily basis. One day it’s death, the other a violent outburst resulting in a traumatized coworker. Full disclosure: I have never been formally taught how to deescalate someone experiencing a stimulant psychosis without the safety of a hospital guard or an array of sedatives at my disposal, but I figured it out how to do it through talking pretty quickly. It’s very sink or swim. It’s also difficult to teach someone with no clinical background how to discover that a person you’ve interacted with daily basis, someone who you’ve gotten to know well, someone you’ve loved, you’ve shared laughter with, who’s trust you’ve gained, who you’ve looked forward to seeing and have worried about many times, has been prematurely dispatched in an under-equipped pop-up shelter after a shot of fentanyl they didn’t expect would kill them. This has happened countless times. These are people who we consider to be our family. They were our friends, and it’s so rampant it’s become casual. A strange bond is formed when you reverse someone’s overdose. For me anyways, I’m sure some coworkers would agree. When they become attached to a pulse oximeter and you can see that the oxygen saturation in their blood has dropped dangerously low, enough so that at the rate its depleting, without your intervention they would die. That is the point when it happens. You cradle their heads, count their breaths, ensure their belongings are kept safe. You make sure that they don’t injure themselves with a fall, but before anything you get their lungs filled with oxygen through any means necessary. The ironic part is that the person who’s overdosing, doesn’t actually know what you’ve done for them. They can’t remember. But I do. These are the things that are overlooked with our positions. People we work for don’t see the little parts of this job that affect us in such a visceral way. I’m a part-time employee, although I

work full-time hours. I have no entitlement to benefits. No one to speak with other then my friends at work, which I’m beyond thankful for. I don’t have dental coverage, or an allotment or even a subsidy for psychiatry, or professional emotional support. My wage is a mere dollar more than when I began this position back in 2019. A ‘generous’ raise

It’s a cycle I don’t understand. I was notified about when I renewed my contract earlier this year. I don’t have paid sick days, or the ability to take a leave when my emotional well-being is so spent that I feel like imploding. These are the realities of this job. I could quit, sure, but what else

would I do when I know that this reality would still be here? It’s a cycle I don’t understand. This job hinders my ability to function normally. It’s not like I can bring it up to any of my friends outside of this line of work. It certainly isn’t casual conversation. I remember the precise moment when I realized that I have nothing in common with the average 9-5. A man, whom I’ve never met, used in the washroom. Something we strongly encourage not to do, for obvious reasons. A mental stopwatch goes off in my head, he was dopesick, I’m not new. The brain dies after 5 minutes of oxygen depletion, I check on him in 3. He’s slumped over on the toilet, pants down, used He’s Continued on pg. 15



woke up late this morning. Luckily I live close to the site where I work, so it’s easy for me to arrive on time. The secondary job I’m required to have due to the high cost of living in the city often keeps me awake beyond what my threshold is capable of. My supervisor is aware, and generally merciful knowing what my hourly rate at a government funded position is. As I walk down Yonge street, I’m greeted by the same people I see each day as I supervise their injections. A woman walks up to me, I can tell by her body language and facial expression she hasn’t slept, and is rambling *somewhat* incoherently. This is a familiar banter that her and I have exchanged before. I pause to greet her, giving her a hug. The discomforting glares from onlookers walking past duly noted, and disregarded.


MEET BGC TORONTO KIWANIS. Let us introduce ourselves. We’re BGC Toronto Kiwanis (formerly Toronto Kiwanis Boys and Girls Clubs), an authorized recreation provider and High-Five Accredited organization. We provide afterschool & school-break programs to kids and teens aged 6-18. BGC Toronto Kiwanis currently operates four club locations serving Cabbagetown, Regent Park, and Trinity Bellwoods. Our flagship location is a short walk away – you can come visit us at 101 Spruce Street!


For 100 years, we’ve been creating opportunities for kids and teens in the Cabbagetown, Regent Park and Trinity Bellwoods communities – now we’re expanding to further support Cabbagetown and St. James Town. Today, BGC Toronto Kiwanis is excited to provide an update to our expansion within the Cabbagetown and St. James Town communities. In late 2020, BGC Toronto Kiwanis announced our merger with Cabbagetown Youth Centre and Boxing Club (CYC). We are excited to update the Cabbagetown community on the status of the CYC location at 2 Lancaster Avenue. In July, we began facility renovations to the CYC, and BGC Toronto Kiwanis hopes to reopen the space in 2022. Children’s After-School Program. Evening Youth Program. Summer Camp. It’s all coming to 2 Lancaster Avenue in 2022. As renovations at 2 Lancaster continue, BGC Toronto Kiwanis encourages CYC families and the Cabbagetown community to visit our 101 Spruce Street Club, for children & youth after-school program, evening youth program, as well as school break programs. As part of our expansion into Cabbagetown and St. James Town, BGC Toronto Kiwanis will be adding Rose Avenue Public School to our Club locations this fall. Previously run by Community Matters Toronto, BGC Toronto Kiwanis will be providing after-school program for students at Rose Avenue P.S beginning Monday, September 13th. We believe opportunity changes everything. We’re excited to provide opportunity to kids and teens in the Cabbagetown and St. James Town communities.


Want to learn more about BGC Toronto Kiwanis? Visit for more information or follow us on social media (@bgc_tk).


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WHAT’S YOUR NEXT MOVE? As your local Cabbagetown realtors and neighbours, we’re here to help you create a plan that will fulfill your real estate dreams. The present market offers exciting opportunities in every segment. Perhaps you’re looking to buy an investment property or want to up-size, you can take advantage of historically low interest rates. For those looking to sell, this hot sellers’ market is breaking record-high prices. If you’re looking to invest in a condo, downtown condos are a specialty. The current high level of inventory has created a rare buying opportunity for the savvy investor.

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Contributed by Ed Drass in communications at Gallery Arcturus, A not-for-profit art museum on Gerrard Street East. You can reach Ed @ This series is supposed to offer “Gentle” Treasure Hunts. Alas, our next stop may be a shock. If you head westward to the re-opened Allan Gardens Conservatory, prepare for surprises. First of all, the entrance moved. When I visited in early August it was behind the greenhouse complex, facing Jarvis Street. Next, expect a Covid-induced rerouting and do not plan on sitting down while there; the benches may be off-limits. You’ll probably have to follow a one-way path – starting with the cacti of the Arid House and into the friendly jungle of the Tropical House. Then, dear readers and plant lovers, prepare yourself for the Palm House; when I saw the condition of that lovely domed room, the hit was almost physical. Its contents had been practically clear-cut -- leaving a near-desert. All the palms and almost everything else were gone.

Toronto’s supervisor of conservatories reassures me everything that could be moved from the Palm House has been, and plant cuttings were taken from most of what could not be transported. Also missing from the Conservatory’s centrepiece space … was a clear indication to shocked visitors that our beloved plants have gone to other city greenhouses, and the news that the horticultural complex may be changing a great deal in coming years. Newsflash: By print date the city did place some placards. For the interim, the other four greenhouses should remain the same -- including the resident fish and turtles of the Temperate House and Orchid House respectively. So go say hi to them. New washrooms are under construction and until they open plan to rely on porta-potties. You’ll find them out near the Dr. Seuss-esque smoke trees by the parking lot, at the conservatory’s temporary entrance. A balm for all this dislocation is hope for an enlarged exhibit space -- and depending on funding -- more botanical diversions. If your explorations reveal any details from the city’s park department, or from the Friends of Allan Gardens volunteer group, please share them with me.

THE RIGHT TIME TO SELL. As a long time Cabbagetown Resident and your Local Neighbourhood Realtor, I am honoured to have helped so many of my wonderful neighbours and friends Buy and Sell their beautiful Cabbagetown homes over the years. It’s been an extraordinary year by any measure and Cabbagetown continues to attract increasing attention as one of the most sought after neighbourhoods in the city! I live in Cabbagetown, I am passionate about our neighbourhood and I am always happy to help you achieve the very best results! Thinking about buying or selling in this strong Real Estate market?



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The historic structure has glass and wood from a long-ago era – and it seems this “heritage” building material is in danger of falling on our heads. The one benefit to visiting the dome now, before it is closed off and total reconstruction begins, is to admire its lovely lines in a rare, unobscured state.


FTJCO FINE JEWELLERY’S NEW ADDRESS Since 2009, FTJCo has been Cabbagetown’s destination for fine and custom jewellery. For 12 years this stalwart of responsible and sustainable jewels has occupied 523 Parliament St, a few doors north of Jet Fuel. Back in 2006, co-founders Ryan Taylor and Robin Gambhir hoped to wholesale dual certified Fairtrade and Fairmined gold to jewellery retailers across North America. They must have been ahead of the curve, because when the wholesale model failed to take off, Taylor and Gambhir opted instead to make their own jewellery from some of the first traceable and responsibly-sourced gold in the world. “Our success at retail was, and remains, our in-depth knowledge of supply chains, and the ability to utilize that knowledge to continually source new materials, combined with a growing team of passionate and talented people.” Since being the first retailer to offer Fairtrade and Fairmined gold in North America, and second in the world only to Chopard, FTJCo has continued to press for change in the jewellery industry, often leading by example. In 2018 they announced a partnership with Canadian non-governmental organization IMPACT to support a gold sourcing program to trace conflict-free and legal artisanal gold from mines in Democratic Republic of Congo to the FTJCo studio. Today, clients can choose between Fairmined certified gold, certified recycled gold, or the house blend AKARA gold which combines Fairmined and recycled gold to produce a unique alloy offering both social and environmental benefits. To further this kind of positive change across the jewellery industry, FTJCo has served on the board of Ethical Metalsmiths, a US-based group connecting sustainability-minded consumers with responsible jewellers, and is a certified member of the Responsible Jewellery Council, the “world’s leading standard-setting organisation for the entire jewellery and watch industry.” FTJCo has also been certified as a BCorp since 2013, and in 2021 certified as a Living Wage Employer.


Over the years FTJCo has continued to grow as an increasing number of consumers seek out traceable


Never before have small class sizes been so important.

and sustainably-sourced options for their precious jewellery. Now the company counts nine employees (including two goldsmiths) in its ranks. Anticipating further growth, the company sought a bigger home for their thriving business, but were loathe to leave their beloved Cabbagetown. In 2018 576 Parliament St was purchased as the home for FTJCo, formerly Nettleship’s Hardware, just a short walk from their current location. It’s been an exciting, albeit time-consuming process to painstakingly restore the heritage building at their new location. FTJCo has partnered with Goldman Architect, Method Homes, and West Parks & Associates to revive the original facade and design a custom retail space and jewellery studio. The new interior will feature custom-built jewellery cases made from hot rolled steel, large-scale porcelain wall treatments, and plenty of space for clients to browse jewellery, and meet with staff to design custom jewellery. Separating the retail floor from the jewellery studio will be a giant glass wall, so clients can watch their responsibly-sourced jewels take shape. The folks at FTJCo will be making the short trek north to their new flagship location at 576 Parliament St this fall, and are looking forward to welcoming you there. For further information and updates, follow along on Instagram (@ftjco) and web (www.ftjco. com).

You’ve got this.

HELLO CABBAGETOWN! Contributed by Virginia Gallop, Executive Director, Cabbagetown BIA

A few things to look out for in the coming weeks and months. We’re infusing live music starting the weekend of Aug. 28/29. Come out and enjoy the great vibes at a few locations. We’re featuring lots of Cabbagetown talent and you may even see your own neighbour performing! See our ad on page X for more information. A few more of your BIA’s initiatives include animating empty storefronts with art and upgrades, hosting the annual AGM, and - yes it’s true, preparing to kick off the Holiday season! Drop in anytime to say hello. We’re always glad to see you, and happy to put a face to a name. Even with a mask on!



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It’s Virginia here, your new Cabbagetown BIA Executive Director. I’m excited to be here, bringing my career and lifetime experience in the arts, arts administration and event planning. As well, I’m a former Executive Assistant for a City of Toronto Councillor, so I fully understand and appreciate the vital role a BIA provides. I’m filling some very big and capable shoes. Huge thanks to Rick Matthews for the groundwork he laid during his time as ED, and his ongoing role showcasing this vibrant neighborhood and its businesses through social media. In the near future, our highly capable BIA Coordinator, Shivon Yim will be riding that momentum as she steps into the role of Social Media Coordinator. Continue to tune in and be inspired by what you see.


“In 100 words or less. If you are elected, how would your office make an impact that will be felt locally, in Toronto Centre?”




Toronto Centre is my home. Like you, I work, play, bike, eat, and shop here every day. I believe in a community that’s safe and healthy, so I’ve helped to coordinate vaccine clinics. I want to live in a community that takes care of each other, which is why I volunteer with a local food bank. I want to live in a community that’s clean and beautiful, so I lend a hand cleaning graffiti. It’s the people that make this community great, and you deserve a MP who will roll up their sleeves and work alongside you.

Since the start of the pandemic, hundreds of homeless people The people of Toronto Centre deserve real representation, and I will work tirelessly to ensure that everyone has what they need to live a life with dignity. From tackling the overdose crisis by decriminalizing drugs and creating a national safe supply, to implementing a Guaranteed Livable Income and investing in affordable and supportive housing, I will implement progressive policies that will have a tangible impact on people’s lives, both in the short and long term. Every person in Toronto Centre deserves a green future, a life with dignity, and to live in a truly just society - and I believe we can make that happen.

This election is about how we get Toronto Centre and Canada back on its feet, rebuild our economy and our jobs, and make real progress. Using Canada’s Recovery Plan, Ryan Lester and Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole, will focus relentlessly on jobs, wages, and getting Canada’s economy and finances back on track. Canada’s Conservatives will boost provincial funding for mental health care and create 1,000 residential drug treatment beds. A vote for any other party is simply a vote for Justin Trudeau. Learn more at

HELLO FURRY FRIENDS!!! We, the veterinary team at Parliament Animal Hospital are committed to treating your pets as though they are our pets and our clients as though they are family.

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If re-elected—our team will continue what we started some ten months ago: Listen to the needs of our communities in Toronto Centre and act on them. Whether it’s delivering new investments in affordable housing, supportive programs in Black and marginalized communities, being bolder on protecting our environment, pushing harder on a path of reconciliation or helping families navigate the COVID 19 pandemic—we will be there. In our office—serving our community well is the only goal.

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PINOT NOIR Contributed by Isabel Wai Brand Associate at Rogers & Company Chanson Réserve du Bastion Bourgogne Pinot Noir is a delicious red Burgundy from one of the best producers in the region. This wine is made with fruit sourced exclusively from the Côtes d’Or, known to be the best site for Pinot Noir. It has aromas of bright red cherries, ample structure & good length. The current vintage at LCBO is priced at $24.95 (LCBO#50575) and unanimously received 90 point scores from WineAlign critics: “There is perhaps not a finer expression of Burgundy available in Canada at this price.” David Lawrason Chanson Réserve du Bastion Bourgogne Pinot Noir complements an incredible variety of dishes: Charcuterie, Coq au Vin, Grilled Salmon or Duck Confit. Try it lightly chilled!

CHANGING STREET NAMES WON’T CHANGE STREET CULTURE Opinion contributed by Andre Bermon, Publisher of the bridge community newspaper In the last City Council meeting before the summer recess, our public servants put history to the test. In a 17-7 vote, council decided that the name Dundas, referring to an obscure 18th-century British politician, should be stripped from all Toronto signage.

In an effort to decolonize Toronto’s past and promote reconciliation among historically marginalized groups, City Council chose the path of least resistance. Why confront real systems of oppression, i.e., poverty, when a name change will do? How about Not Our Problem Street?

Henry Dundas, accused of stalling the abolition of slavery in the British Empire, never set foot in Toronto but is now among the tainted names of John A. Macdonald and Egerton Ryerson.

Instead of fixing a social service sector that is more inclined to profit off the poor than help those in need, let’s squabble over how many dead old white dudes should stand 21stcentury trial.

Whether or not today’s punishment fits the past crime, council has zero practical solutions to solving the city’s social inequities. Tearing down statues and removing names from streets may please social justice groups, but the issues these reactionary measures try to paint over are still visible.

According to the City of Toronto website, council has budgeted $663.2 million on homelessness and Housing First supports and services for 2021, almost double the amount spent in 2019.

Along the 25 kilometres of the soon to be renamed street, the intersection of Dundas and Sherbourne Streets is a good example of municipal failings. Part of the Moss Park/Sherbourne corridor, this infamous juncture in the heart of the downtown east was a well-known “quarantine zone” long before Covid-19 arrived. Instead of containing a contagious influenza, Dundas and Sherbourne pens in the scourge of poverty. Decades of gross mismanagement and willful neglect turned this once working-class neighbourhood into a catchment area of the city’s social ills. A place where a high concentration of government housing sits adjacent to shelters, social services and now pandemic hotels and encampments. Idling drug dealers and sex workers are staples around this intersection.

But ask any resident, business owner or encampment occupant in Moss Park where that money has gone, and they would probably shrug their shoulders. Even if a few shekels managed to find their way down to the streets, the complexities of poverty, homelessness, crime, addiction and mental trauma won’t be solved be signing a few cheques. What besets communities like Moss Park is not just a problem of housing but problems with being human. Finding selfworth and place in the world is as valuable as a key to a new apartment. Sure, these intangibles are better realized when you’ve got money in the bank, food on the table and a roof over your head. But while Moss Park provides some of those safeguards, as residents of the Toronto Community Housing complex can attest, a culture of despair permeates this community and prevents people from wanting more. The city clearly has a lot of work to do. But with 60 other street names flagged as problematic, including Toronto’s flagship north-south axis, Yonge Street, finding faults with the past will only distract from obtaining solutions to the present.

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GETTING TO KNOW YOU Cabbagetown is a neighbourhood of beauty, heritage, cultural diversity and inclusion. We are Anita Bostok and Norman Hathaway and we’re proud to contribute this regular feature where you get to know the people and businesses that make Cabbagetown so special. If you’d like to be featured or would like to nominate someone please get in touch.

Thasotharan Sinnathuai

Escaping civil war in his native Sri Lanka, Thaso came to Canada in 2000. As a young man he took jobs at downtown Toronto restaurants where he learned to cook and the skills needed to run a restaurant. After twenty years in the restaurant business Thaso decided it was time to start his own. Always drawn to Cabbagetown because of the great people, inclusivity, and large Sri Lankan community, Thaso found 506 Parliament to be the perfect place to open his new restaurant LJS Khasos. His love of cooking and of experimenting with interesting foods lends to a diverse menu offering American and Italian food, along with some vegetarian and gluten free options. He is married with two daughters who love to play in Cabbagetown parks.

Mathew Cohen

After a decade in Paris operating his vintage clothing store in the Marche aux Puces, or flea market, Mathew decided to bring his eclectic collection to Cabbagetown. Inspired by his love of clothing, he opened MHC Vintage at 555 Parliaments St in2018. Mathew likes to discourage “fast fashion” instead promoting more environmentally friendly vintage clothing. The experienced designer enjoys informing customers about the higher quality and value of vintage clothing, while pointing out the cyclical nature of fashion. His two great passions are fashion and art. Mathew credits being a Sagittarian as the reason he’s interested in every single thing in the world for at least one minute.


Scott A self-professed “cool computer geek” Warren says turning to online training was a natural. This along with the expertise of business partner Jay Patel, an accommodating landlord, and the loyal support of the Cabbagetown community helped Parliament Street Fitness at 488 Parliament weather the pandemic. Having surpassing the two year mark, the boutique gym which offers general membership, personal training, and group spin, yoga, and Pilates classes has now returned to indoor training. Originally from Halifax NS, Warren competed in track and field where he held a long-time record in the four by one-hundred relay, played varsity football in high school and for Acadia University, and also raced dragon boats. Warren, his wife (who he met in spin class) and three active kids enjoy camping and spending time outdoors.


Suhas Malik In 2010, the Malik family opened



Contributed by Karen Joan Watson We live in a strange world. But Canada has advantages during this time of Covid-19, climate crisis, democracies under pressure, social injustice and long-term care emergencies. During Covid, our federal government quickly gave out CERB (a form of universal basic income during crisis) and business grants and loans to keep our country functioning. Caring people provide support for refugees and immigrants from around the world. We Canadians are acting on reconciliation calls to action. We put time and money into affordable housing, infrastructure and progressive government. Are we going in the right direction? Yes, but... Are we changing fast enough? Not for some. Progress requires balancing a functioning economy and environment, while addressing decades of wrongs that need righting. With a Canadian federal election imminent this Fall, people with genuine grievances and needs will assess what has been done and will want more (for example, Indigenous peoples, our Black population, those in the way of forest fires, flooding, our elderly). That is good, because there is more to be done. And the next five years are pivotal in terms

of climate change policy and climate-sensitive diseases. I hear people say, “It doesn’t matter who I vote for, they’re all the same.” That’s the kind of thinking that gave the world the orange-hairpiece-down-south. It matters that we vote for EFFECTIVE progress. Anyone can promise and say what you want to hear. Can this person deliver? Is their track record to deny or cut services, to belittle and cut off those who are vulnerable? Or do they overpromise and fall flat, knowing they won’t be held responsible to pay? Listen to those who are motivated, have a track record, and belong to a team that produces. Don’t throw out a team because they aren’t moving fast enough. It matters that we vote. If you’re feeling cynical, it matters that the less-bad choice wins. Karen Joan Watson, BA, BFA, co-author of a bestselling anthology, Voices of the 21st Century: Resilient Women Who Rise and Make a Difference, is an active visual artist, a writer, and previously a Government of Canada marketing manager. She is currently synthesizing life-anddeath experiences and a sense of belonging.


As proud residents of

The Butter Chicken Factory 556 Parliament St. Rather than “cheating the system” to appeal to the Canadian Cabbagetown, we have a fond palate, mother Vanada created the menu consisting appreciation for our great of only authentic Indian cuisine. Meanwhile, father neighbours and businesses that Bhuvnesh who loves engaging with people, was in make it so special. charge of operations. In wasn’t until after a fire forced the temporary closure in 2015 that Suhas, trained by We hope to get to know you. Vanada to become a chef, took over the restaurant. Feel free to drop us a line This fall, BCF will open a larger new dine-in restaurant if you have any questions at 560 Parliament, but the existing shop will remain for the vast amount of delivery orders. Suhas, born in Delhi, India, immigrated to Canada when he was just fourteen. He lovesReal Toronto, proudly saying regarding Estate. he’s Canadian through and through.

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CABBAGETOWN RACING CHAMP NEEDS HELP! Everybody knows about the tortoise and the hare and how that race turned out. Now our Parliament St. neighbourhood has a new folktale plot: Cabbagetown boy starts racing late, quickly takes the lead, and can’t stop winning. Forget the tortoise! Ari Korkodilos began racing at age 13 with kids who had started five years earlier. This Cabbagetown jackrabbit’s natural talent, instincts, and driving control overcame the late start.

Contibuted by Kathy Flaxman, Photo courtesy of Rose Rozman

Joe clicked his heels when he was out the door heading to work the first day after we moved here last fall,” Rose Rozman says. “He used to commute for hours every day. Now it’s a five or ten minute walk.” “We wanted the type of home that is specific to the area,” Joe points out. “The exterior features that I looked for included a steep pitched roof and bay window – a typical Victorian front.” Fortunately, with help from neighbours, the couple found what they were looking for. Then, like many of their fellow Cabbagetowners they undertook a renovation, updating and customizing their new home. “We’ve been living through it,” Rose says. Normal life was achieved by creating a sort of dormitory on the third floor

complete with temporary kitchen and bathroom, TV area and sleeping quarters. “Luckily the contractors are excellent,” she laughs. That short walk to work for Joe, to the Weenen General Contracting offices on Carlton Street, maybe five minutes, is definitely one of the many delights he and Rose are enjoying in the neighbourhood. Rose takes their dog Murphy and his younger relative Chaga for runs and walks. “I’m very impressed with the walkability of the area,” she says. However, it does take longer some days for Joe to make it back home and through his new front door. “I’m always stopping to chat,” he says. “I’ve been here in Cabbagetown for 25 years. Now I sleep and work here.”

In September 2020, Ari won the Canadian Open in Tremblant that featured the largest field in history. This year, Ari moved up to the tough Briggs Senior class and is point leader at Mosport Karting Centre. He has also been invited to test-drive an F4 race car in Germany in October, a rare invitation. A winning kart driver needs more than four wheels to cross the finish line. He needs sponsorship. For Ari to continue this year and to participate in Germany in October will take individual and corporate sponsors. You can help. Cabbagetown needs to support one of their own. Talk to his manager and father by writing For more information, links to videos, and to be part of the winning team sponsoring Ari to a future F1 championship, go to Ari’s website,

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He finished 4th at the Canadian Karting Nationals in August 2019. F1 champ and Indy 500 winner Emerson Fittipaldi saw that race and couldn’t believe Ari had been racing for only 4 months. The Brazilian champ found him after the race and personally told him so.


FELLOWSHIP, UNITY, AND SOLIDARITY Filipinos in Regent Park celebrate Heritage and Resilience Contributed by Jacob Sukhra, Reference: Rosetta Lucente, Kapwa is a Filipino word with no direct translation into English: it means fellowship, unity, and solidarity with those in your community and with those who are complete strangers. On July 24, the Regent Park community embodied the spirit of kapwa at the Filipino Heritage Month Celebration, one of the first in-person cultural gatherings since the onset of the pandemic. (Filipino Heritage Month is actually in June, but we’re all too familiar with the unpredictability of the pandemic.) The event was a collaboration between Filipinos in Regent Park Community Group, Friends of Regent Park, and SEAS Centre’s Filipino Program.


Mary Ann Kalalang and Joshua Kalalang pose with their goodie bags containing freshly baked coconut buns. All the treats were generously donated by local community groups and agencies. (Photo: Jacob Sukhra)


PEDESTRIANS An Increasingly Common Cause of Cycling Accidents Contributed by: Tony Lafazanis – Personal Injury Lawyer Despite the several COVID lockdowns and restrictions in Ontario which led to fewer cars being on the road, cyclist accidents did not decrease. In Toronto alone, 22 pedestrians and cyclists were killed in the city this year. Cyclist deaths remain consistent within the last four years despite a significant increase in biking lanes implemented by the city. Toronto has a vibrant cycling scene, with over 1.4 million Torontonians who ride bicycles. As a result, Toronto has three times the injury rate of cyclists compared to the North American average. A scenario that is becoming increasingly more common is pedestrians stepping onto designated city bike lanes resulting in an accident with a cyclist. With this in mind, it is crucial for cyclists to try and make themselves visible and practice defensive cycling at all times.

Continued from page 5

slumped over on the toilet, pants down, used rig on the floor. I run to get my tank of O2 with a non-rebreather mask to strap over his face. At this point I don’t need a oximeter, I know what’s happening by the color of his face by now. As I’m charting his recovery, arm stretched holding the device to his mouth and nose, carefully avoiding the precarious setting we were in. My best friend texts me, “Hey, what’re you up to?” “Nothin, just at work” I reply. I begin to laugh. I start howling as I realize how absurd the situation I was in was. A man I’m currently supplying oxygen, while he’s in the midst of using the washroom, and I’m just there… Doing ‘nothing’. It sits with me to this day. Him and I, only one of us is in tears. Thankfully, no one around us noticed the outburst. Even if they did, they probably wouldn’t care. There’s so many changes our country needs to make to end this. The OPS, isn’t doing much to mitigate the crisis. I’m aware of this now. At first I believed it was making a difference, and sure, it does. However it’s not a means to an end. We need total reform. Badly. Decriminalization of drugs, and a non-biased education for young people to learn about them. If we could break down the traditional stigma of the ‘junkie’ (a word I despise more than anything), and understand that behind the facade of a homeless person who uses drugs, who begs for your money, is an actual human life, deserving of love, deserving of affection and someone who was once a person who dreamt to be something bigger, we could be a better society. Seriously, next time someone asks you for change, just look them in the eye if you don’t have any. A small gesture is enough to remind someone suffering a bad disposition that they’re still human.

As a cyclist, it is crucial to follow these safety tips when cycling to avoid injury:

The rain did not discourage the community from coming together. Almost 100 individuals came to hear Filipino folktales, join traditional songs and dances, and listen to speeches celebrating Filipino heritage and community diversity. MPP Suze Morrison, Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam, MP Marci Ien, and Green Party Leader Annamie Paul joined the festivities and shared inspiring words. Square Circle, a non-profit organization founded in Regent Park, taught the audience how to create balls from household items and juggle three or more at a time. Attendees left with a goodie bag full of Filipino treats.

• • • •

This event was part of Park People’s Community Resilience program, which brings comfort, joy, a sense of belonging, unity, mental wellness, physical wellness, and vibrancy to underserved communities.

Event sponsors included Park People, Muslim Welfare Canada, Freshco, CRC @ Fred Victor, Paramount Fine Foods, the Neighbourhood Group, the Lansdowne Cone, and Who is Hussain Toronto.


• •

Wear a helmet Clearly signal during turns At night, turn on your bicycle light At night, wear light-colored clothing or reflective fabric that glows in the dark to remain visible Ring a bell when passing or approaching a pedestrian or vehicle Always ride in designated bike lanes if available, and make sure to ring the bell if a pedestrian is approaching the lane Continuously shoulder check to ensure you are aware of your surroundings Ride in a predictable straight line

Bicycle Accident Lawyer Cabbagetown If you or a loved one has been in a cycling accident, you can trust Tony Lafazanis to fight for you. Even if you are at fault, you may still be eligible for compensation. Tony is a cyclist himself and he understands the intricate details involved in this type of claim. He is a member of Cycle Toronto, a registered charity that is focused on making Toronto a better cycling city. Contact Tony for a FREE case evaluation.

Although the city is only right now taking possible steps towards decriminalizing personal amounts found on users, there are so many models that highlight the benefits of full decriminalization. Portugal, for one. Switzerland used Heroin assisted therapy from 19922015 in a groundbreaking decision when faced with the 90s heroin pandemic they were faced with. This eliminated criminal activity due to the sale of illicit polluted narcotics overnight. We offer quantitive drug testing through a program funded by health Canada which utilizes the mass spectrometer at CAMH. I oversee much of what goes into the drugs people are using on the street. It’s shocking. Benzodiazapenes, easily the most dangerous things to mix with an already powerful CNS depressant like fentanyl or it’s analogues runs rampant in the supply. Etizolam being the heaviest hitter. This is a direct result of prohibition, and it’s killing more people than ever before. But I’m not in politics. I don’t work in policy. I just am one of the many people within the community, helping to clean the mess the war on drugs has caused. It’s a helpless, meagre feeling. I really hate to end this article here. It’s a predictably melodramatic point to drop off on, but I really hope these things change soon.

How to stop birds from hitting windows at your home Birds bring great beauty and happiness to our lives, and many of us enjoy bird watching, especially near our homes. However, as much as we love to see birds visit our yards, collisions with windows and other glass surfaces—like railings—are a leading contributor to decreasing numbers of birds. Glass is invisible to birds, just as it can be to humans. Reflections of trees, greenery and the sky—especially at or below the height of trees—trick birds, and often result in deadly collisions. And daytime window collisions kill far more birds than lights at night.

CARS OR CHILDREN Will Toronto Support Mothers? Opinion contributed by Celeste D’Costa Ulicki The Toronto daycare market fails parents. Demand outstrips supply and parents report long waitlists and expensive care. The pandemic has highlighted the fact that women still bear a disproportionate burden of domestic responsibilities. In 2016, my parents purchased a home in Cabbagetown. Two one-way streets with 30 km/h speed limits and several speed bumps corner it, and Riverdale Farm, a splash pad and a playground are all within a toddler’s walking distance. Accordingly, the neighbourhood has become home to many couples with children in tow. The area zoning permits daycares; however, the city would have to make public street parking spaces available for drop-off and pick-up on weekday mornings and afternoons. This simple request, to set aside a few parking spaces on a public road a few hours a day, set off a panic among three wealthy neighbours who hired the same lawyers and experts the city’s biggest developers rely on. This fight has swallowed my parents’ time and energy for three years despite the fact that three traffic experts agreed that there would be no material adverse impact on traffic or local residential parking. We also have the support of hundreds of other neighbours, and thousands more Torontonians (seriously, google “r/toronto cabbagetown daycare dispute”). You read that correctly: three opponents fought to prevent daycare for dozens of families to defend the privilege of parking their cars in front of their homes on a public street. Shockingly, the local city councillor pandered to the panic and had city lawyers oppose the daycare as well.

Luckily it’s quite easy for us to help stop birds from colliding with glass around our homes. We just need to place markers on the glass to help warn birds of the danger. To be effective, markers must cover the entire surface of glass, be placed on the outside surface of the glass, and the gaps between markers can be no bigger than 5cm x 5cm (2” x 2”). Multiple markers are essential—a silhouette of a single bird on a window will not prevent birds from hitting that window. If you’re not sure what to use as a marker, some options include items you probably have at home. A bar of soap can be used to mark up your glass (though it’s a short-term solution because you’ll need to re-apply when it fades or washes off). A series of ribbons or string can also be hung in front of your glass. Other cost-effective options can be purchased, like Feather Friendly Residential DIY Tape. And when replacing your windows, be sure to install glass that is bird-safe. Please visit the website for FLAP Canada, a non-profit organization dedicated to keeping birds safe from window collisions, if you’d like more information on what markers are effective, and what options, including DIY options, are available:

Our city is in dire need of child care spaces. We also pride ourselves on being socially and environmentally progressive. Thus, when an opportunity arises to reorganize our streets so that people come before cars, liveable before driveable, I expect support from our municipality. Yet, the City of Toronto has not approved this daycare application, despite the approval from TLAB. Clearly, parking cars takes precedence over caring for children. But perhaps that can change with your help. The Toronto East York Community Council and City Council must approve the aforementioned parking spaces. If you want to support our efforts to have this daycare application approved, please email and tweet your support to Councillor Wong-Tam (councillor_ and @kristynwongtam) to get the Sackville daycare on the agenda at the September 2021 Community Council and City Council meetings.


Contributed by Chris McNutt Host of the the weekly podcast the McNuttiest Dimension Whew! We’re finally on the other side of the Lion’s Gate Portal, and hopefully everyone made it through successfully with your DNA activated and avatar upgraded – or something like that. All good, right? Or maybe … WTF are you even talking about? Ok, some background. The New Age spiritual community (NASC – cause I feel like making up a new acronym) has been calling the recent time period of two-weeks on either side of August 8th, or 8.8 in numerological-speak, the “Lion’s Gate Portal” and describing it as a time where the earth and its inhabitants, like all us humans, get bombarded with some high-vibrational cosmic energies that aid with our evolution and ascension. The name “Lions’ Gate Portal” comes from a combination of one-part Lion part, referring to the current astrological sun-sign of Leo the Lion, one-part Gate as in something we go through or something all that cosmic energy comes through before it zaps us all real good, and one-part Portal because everything is a “portal” now if you haven’t noticed. Your car isn’t a car anymore, it’s a Grocery Store Portal, so get with the program. Now the part about us getting zapped real good by the cosmic energies isn’t like some nasty UV rays that we need extra sun-block for. These are benevolent energies of the Cosmos that are working on humans to help us evolve and ascend to life as higher dimensional beings, which we all agree we could use more of around here. All you need to do is bask and enjoy the cosmic ray bombardment, which might even include some activation of the higher octaves of your DNA. Maybe. The side-effects of such cosmic goodness can be a general spaciness and a need to have multiple naps in a day, or just lie in a hammock so don’t be too hard on yourself if you haven’t been super-productive lately in a 3rd-dimensional-world kind of way. Your avatar is being upgraded, so you just need to chill out a bit and let it happen. If you think you’re going to just blast on through anyways and get stuff done like you used to, you may have been surprised lately with projects and life in general going off the rails. Its just a sign to chill out and find a hammock, or a good book and spend the afternoon on the couch. Don’t resist the Lion’s Gate Portal, young human. Your inner Jedi awaits. Chris McNutt is a comedian and all-around spiritual ascension freak who produces the weekly podcast the McNuttiest Dimension. He welcomes guests to explore the current 21st century experience of ascension energies, awakening, meditation, consciousness, earth shift, galactic codes and so much more that’s currently whipping around in every direction. McNuttiest Dimension is easily available where all fine podcasts are found these days or by visiting or @mcnuttiest on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.





Contributed by fashion photographer Lenka

I’ve asked Mathew Cohen, the owner of the MHC Vintage on 555 Parliament Street, to dress me in 3 different outfits for 3 different occasions. Each look consists of vintage clothing, accessories and footwear that we picked together and viola! »» Denim jacket w/ studs (1970s made in France ) $88 »» 1994 dead stock Hanson band t-shirt $160 »» Pink silk and lace slip dress 1940s $90 »» Brown leather boots with tan python skin heal $110 »» Purse1980s Chanel look in pleather and brass chain $25 »» Bracelet 3x pearls strands magnet closure 1960s $33 »» Sunglasses. Brand unknown made in Italy (early 2000s) sparkly plastic $50

“As for planning the shop window, honestly, its pretty organic. It could be a pair of shoes, a t-shirt or the weather. It really just depends on what is happening that day. I like to try to display my own personal style coupled with the creative vibe of the shop.‘ How did you first get into vintage clothing? ‘When I was living in Paris working as a designer, I shopped vintage as a means of inspiration for pattern making. I was buying pieces more or less based on the silhouettes, fabrics and construction of the garment. These elements I used as a reference for creating modern pieces whether it was for myself or for the people I was working with. The weekly trips to the Paris Flea market fuelled my passion for vintage. I became friendly with Parisian vendors and began to accumulate more and more pieces which ultimately left me no alternative than to open a shop in the market, since I was already selling pieces and styling my friends in vintage from my Paris apartment, it didn’t seem like a far stretch, and it worked.‘

‘I think the biggest change in Vintage is the demand. It has become very popular in the last few years. There are a lot more individuals selling it, and it has become quite difficult to access good pieces at affordable prices because everyone is essentially looking for the same thing. I also think now what one person deems as Vintage is not exactly what another does. The age group of the buyers has changed so it’s extremely important to be relevant before the trend occurs. For example right now 90’s and 2000’s is fashionable. One needs to anticipate and stay ahead of the trend. You are buying on instinct and good design.‘

»» 1980s made in Italy for creeds boutique Toronto fitted long sleeves, sheer net with sequence paisley attached to poof off tulle miniskirt with bow on waist: $260 »» Boots vintage RCMP 80s -90s men’s in size 8 : $110 »» Evening bag: 1980/s faux suede $25


I asked Matt how he plans these:

What are the big changes in how vintage works today compared to when you started?

Special Occasion


If you live in Cabbagetown you must have noticed MHC Vintage’s window display. Its cool and creative window stops anyone in their tracks.

In The Office »» Suede skirt made in USA 1980s $45 »» Blazer pink dyed cotton denim very fitted made in France $55 »» Black 1980s super tailored gauze blouse new romantic type shirt made Italy. $64 »» Necklace faux lapis and faux gold metal Chain $25 »» Leopard pony skin pumps 1990s/2000s $45 »» Purse »» 1970s faux patent leather and croc embossed strip in middle feminine attaché case on long strap $33

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