Contributed by Anita Bostok and Norman Hathaway. 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.
Hilton – In 1991, Hilton and his family moved to Toronto from South Africa. For twenty-five years, he’s managed the family business, Parliament Street Furniture at 465 Parliament St. Mom retired shortly before the Covid-19 shutdown, leaving Hilton, his brother Rowan, and a “good bunch of guys” to run the store. Because of the great value of the furniture, which includes free delivery and assembly, and by carrying lots of readily available Canadian products, the store has been able to weather the challenges of the pandemic. Hilton’s favourite part is speaking with customers and hearing their unique points of view from which there is always something he can learn. He believes in treating everyone with kindness and respect, saying “it doesn’t cost extra to be nice.”
Jeanette - To bring clients back to their heart centre, Jeanette created Kan Asana Yoga. Beyond yoga classes, Kan Asana Yoga has a Yin and Tonic shop that offers herbal teas, bath sachets, meditation malas, and pure artisanal cocoa. For the time being, the yoga classes are exclusively online, but outdoor classes will resume in the park as soon as restrictions are lifted. Jeanette wants to bring awareness to the importance of connecting with nature. She says, “We should look closely at nature because it is always talking to us.” Originally from St Catherine’s, Jeanette loves Cabbagetown and especially the splendor of neighbourhood gardens. She is also a student of herbal medicine. Look for her website: kanasanayoga.com.
Lisa Taira - Seven years ago, Lisa arrived in Toronto from Japan in search of a new adventure. She began as a Frame Maker employee, quickly learning the trade. Now in a partnership with Jorge Alexis Forti-Farias, Lisa and Jorge opened their third Frame Maker shop at 527 Parliament St. The pair deemed this location ideal due to excellent foot traffic. The shop was also set up with much of the necessary equipment. Lisa loves helping clients choose the right frame that highlights the artwork or photograph. Framing fits right in with her other passions of DIY custom furniture, shelving, and painting. She is very active, getting outside for a run whenever possible.doors to her dancers.
Tom Lieu and Quynh Ha – Kismet brought Tom and Quynh together during high school in their native Viet Nam. But conflicts in the homeland made Tom’s family uproot, first to Hong Kong, then as refugees to Canada. Settling in Toronto, the family took up the dry cleaning business. Meanwhile, Quynh left the chaos traveling to the US with 28 passengers on a tiny boat meant to carry only 10. Eventually, Tom and Quynh reunited in Canada and were married. Tom started working at Parliament Cleaners, 346 Parliament St, to help save a failing business. He took over the shop in 2000. The couple is very appreciative of Cabbagetown where they always received tremendous support for their business. They want to profoundly thank everyone in the community.