Cabbagetown group names exec, sets agenda: ‘census’ to follow

Eric Morse –

The newly-elected board of the Cabbagetown Residents’ Association (CRA) held its first meeting on Aug. 14.

The first order of business was to elect a new executive. Steven de Blois was elected president, while Lynn Dionne was named vice president, and Carolyn Shaw-Rimmington took the position of secretary. Rod Carr-Harris continues as treasurer.

De Blois and his family have lived in Cabbagetown for 11 years, first on Naismith Ave. and now on Sumach St. He works in the on-line travel business for Expedia.

According to de Blois, the great priority for the CRA in the near future is communication with residents. To that end, Cabbagetown’s first “census” in five years will be taken this fall.

“We have many channels for communication, including e-mail, our website, and our neighbouring Aberdeen and Cabbagetown South residents’ associations,” de Blois told The Bulletin. “But one of the best mirrors of what Cabbagetowners need and want is our survey. It was first done in 2007 and 2008, and we’re going to begin the process again this fall.”

The CRA has a number of standing committees dealing with particular issues of local importance.

The schools committee, headed by Lindsay Whitfield, tracks developments in local primary schools and the co-operative Cabbagetown Nursery School housed in the Cabbagetown Youth Centre on Lancaster Ave. A particular point of current interest is the play area at Winchester PS, which the CRA is hoping will soon have the present concrete pavement replaced by a more kid-friendly surfacing.

The transportation committee, chaired by Lance Green, is a brand new committee which tracks the interface between all modes of transport—TTC, drivers, cyclists, pedestrians. De Blois noted that one persistent concern is the habit of commuters parking their cars all day on neighbourhood streets and taking the bus onward to work Downtown.

The safety committee—headed by Dionne—liaises with the councillor’s office and 51 Division to focus on points of particular concern in the neighbourhood as needed. Two safety walks were carried out in spring.

A home improvement committee (established by John Simpson and now led by Jill Bridgeman) continues to collate information on all types of service providers that homeowners need. It aims to be a go-to database for residents.

The Cabbagetown canopy committee under Carolyn Shaw-Rimmington is working on curating the existing green canopy, particularly in the wake of this summer’s severe storms.

Addy Saeed, who is a member of both the association and the Cabbagetown BIA (and the Riverdale Farm Stewardship Group, along with Dionne) is responsible for building a closer relationship between CRA and BIA.

Finally, the annual Forsythia Festival—which was taken over by the CRA this year and was larger and more active than in previous years and accounted hugely successful—will continue under the chairmanship of Trish Finkelstein.

For more information, follow the CRA at

Correction: Incorrect information regarding new and continuing Board members was reported in a previous issue. New members are: Jill Bridgman, John Hill, Lance Green and Keith Lawrance. Continuing members are: Lindsay Whitfield, Trish Finkelstein, Lynn Dionne Rod Carr Harris, Steven de Blois and Carolyn Shaw-Rimmington.