January 10 - mysteries, deep roots, dancers, winterlicious and ukeleles

Murdoch Mysteries
Have you ever wondered what the police do when they’re off-duty? Do they go home, flick on the TV and watch a cops-‘n-robbers show?  Staff Sergeant John Spanton has given us his answer to that mystery.  He runs the community response unit at 51 Division.  Last week, he told the Toronto Star about his enjoyment of the CBC’s Murdoch Mysteries and his disdain for a lot of other shows.  Click here for the story – it’s got lots of charming insights into the authenticity of the program and comparisons with the Staff Sergeant’s current job.  Toronto Star photo.
Deeply Rooted
The Regent Park School of Music is hosting four weekend events as benefit concerts for its program.  It’s supported by Cameron House Records and some of Toronto’s finest roots-based musicians.  The first event is Saturday January 12 in the Back Room at the Cameron House (408 Queen St W) at 8:30 pm.  It features Big Tobacco & the Pickers together with legendary roots singer David Baxter.  No cover charge – donations are encouraged and all proceeds go to the Regent Park School of Music.  Next shows are February 23, March 30 and April 27.
School snack program
The spiffy new facility that the Toronto Kiwanis Boys & Girls Club calls home at 101 Spruce Street is now just about a year old. The renovation provided badly needed new space in the gym plus a new computer training room, a dance studio, a multi-purpose meeting room, a library and an impressive kitchen.
The Club needs the kitchen.  Staff prepare and serve over 500 meals a day in the Club’s after-school snack program for children between the ages of 6 to 18. According to their announcement about this program, “the grim reality … is that this afternoon snack is the first real meal they may have eaten all day.  This begs the question – when all you can think about is food, how can you have an appetite for learning?”
The Club is asking for your donations.  It’s a great idea – if you want to learn more about the Club, click here. 
Toward Light
Dancers from the Canadian Contemporary Dance Theatre (509 Parliament) will be part of the tribute to Rachael Browne.  Twenty one dancers are recreating nine of her works.  Tickets are $15.  Fleck Dance Theatre, 209 Queens Quay. 
Volunteers at Riverdale Farm
The City of Toronto has formed a new stewardship committee to provide citizen input into operations at Riverdale Farm.  It’s the next step arising from last year’s efforts to save and modernize the Farm and make it more sustainable.  The committee will oversee new fundraising initiatives, set up partnerships with outside groups for the use of the facility and work with staff on new programs.
This is now an official body within the City’s structures.  The Parks, Forestry & Recreation department has an information page that you can read here If you’re ready to volunteer, check out the page and click on the link at the bottom to complete a volunteer application form.  The deadline is 4 pm, Friday January 25.
Pumpkin Pie at the Daniels Spectrum
Pumpkin Pie is a short film created by young people from St James Town and Regent Park.  It’s the story of two thirteen year-olds growing up in St James Town and its script is based on true stories.  It asks, “What does striving for excellence really mean?” and “How do we develop an attitude of cooperation when we’re surrounded by competition?”  Friday, January  18, 7:30 to 9 pm.  Artscape Lounge, Daniels Spectrum, 585 Dundas St E
Jack Grunsky’s art courses
Jack is a well-known JUNO winning recording artist who’s pursuing a second career as a visual artist.  He’s studied art extensively and displayed in galleries here in Canada and abroad since 1977.
He’s offering a relaxed and inspiring art course suitable for beginners. Working from still life, photographs and independent themes and ideas, students will be introduced to drawing and painting fundamentals and techniques pertaining to acrylic medium. These include line drawing, value, shape, pattern, texture, shading, highlighting, colour and perspective. Students will be encouraged to explore and develop their own personal style.  Eight weeks from January 18, 1 to 3:30 pm, $320 plus HST, at 383 Wellesley.
For more information, check out his website.  Contact him at jack.grunsky@sympatico.ca and at (416) 928-9375.
DanceWeekend ’13 by Dance Ontario
Friday, January 18 to Sunday, January 20 at the Fleck Theatre, Harbourfront, 207 Queen’s Quay W, (416) 973-4000 & (416) 204-1083.  Hundreds of dancers from over thirty companies take the stage in the 20th anniversary of Dance Ontario’s DanceWeekend at Harbourfront.  Two local companies are included – Canadian Contemporary Dance Theatre (519 Parliament)  on Saturday at 5 pm and COBA (Daniels Spectrum, 585 Dundas) on Sunday at 3:15 pm.  Check out the website. 
Museum survey
Here’s a quick reminder – the Cabbagetown Regent Park Museum is conducting a survey to ask you about your views on the Museum’s future course.  Take a few minutes to pass along your thoughts.  The deadline is February 28.  Click here to complete the survey.


Grand re-opening at Sundara Yoga Studio
Angela’s newly renovated studio has re-opened. With this expansion, she can now accommodate more comfortably Cabbagetown's growing yoga community. Sundara’s grand re-opening party happens on Thursday January 17th from 6 pm to 9 pm. Please come by and celebrate our new space and meet some of our staff as well as other yogis in your neighbourhood.  492 Parliament (side door.)
Leslie at Eclectisaurus (249 Gerrard) has a terrific vintage 1940's electric egg cooker in robin's egg blue pottery. A perfect compliment to a Fiesta collection, this appliance is working and includes instructions on the bottom for cooking four eggs to a turn.  For more information, visit her website.
Cabbagetown Pet Clinic
Dr Jennifer Day’s clinic uses lots of good communication skills to handle appointments and follow-up with pet owners.  If you book an appointment, you’ll get an email to remind you about your date and time.  They’ll send you a follow-up survey afterward to ensure that you’re satisfied with the service that you received.  It’s a very efficient way to keep in touch.  The clinic’s website offers a video tour, an introduction to the staff, educational information and a convenient online form to book an appointment.  It’s surprising that more doctors and dentists don’t use the same system and avoid the tedious round of telephone calls that they now use.  239 Gerrard. 
More new markdowns
Enjoy up to 50% off during Kendall & Co’s store-wide seasonal clearance. Save on fine stationery, serving ware, home accents, lighting and even their beautiful rugs. Discounts apply to in-stock retail merchandise only and excludes special orders, locally-made goods and new arrivals. Store hours: 10 am to 6 pm Monday to Friday and 11am to 5 pm on Saturday. 227 Carlton.
Merryberry’s February theme
Cyril has unveiled his new theme for Merryberry’s dinner specials which he’ll be offering through January - food in black & white.  The details are listed on his website. He’s feeling playful as you can see in his menu rules – the starting ingredient must be 80% black and/or white, OR the name of the ingredient must contain the word black and/or white, OR the resulting dish must be at least 80% black and/or white.  As before, this is a three-course dinner.  If you order an appetizer or a dessert plus the main course, it’s $25.  For all three courses, it’s $30.  To illustrate his specials, we’re using various photos through the month.  To start, this photo shows “sugar cloud with blackberry coulis” – which Cyril claims is the best dessert ever made by Merryberry.  Dinner hours Wednesday to Saturday, 6 to 9 pm. 559 Parliament.
News about Retsina
Toronto Life has run an introductory article about our new Greek restaurant, Retsina  (209 Gerrard). You can read the story here.  There’s also a website for the restaurant where you can see pictures and menus. 

From January 25 to February 7, three of our area’s restaurants are part of the 2013 Winterlicious program.  They’re all in the Distillery District.  Archeo  – a contemporary pizza and pasta house, lunch $15 and dinner $25, (416) 815-9898.  Pure Spirits Oyster House & Grill - fresh fish and oysters, lunch $20 and dinner $35, (416) 361-5859.  Tappo - wine bar and restaurant, lunch $20 and dinner $35, (647) 430-1111.  Reservations are open from January 10. 

Did you get a ukulele for Christmas?
The Dominion on Queen (500 Queen St E) holds weekly ukulele events.  They’re very popular.  The regular Corktown Ukelele Jam nights are Wednesdays at 8 pm in the Dominion’s Corktown Lounge.  Periodic teaching sessions – a debutante’s welcome to ukulele heaven or a sophomore’s refinement of chord and strum – add solemn depth to the program as do the Strum Clinic and the proposed overseas Ukulele Retreat to Calabria Italy.  For a calendar of events, visit Toronto Ukes and for weekly details, the Dominion on Queen’s site.
Thanks for the good Samaritan work
An anonymous figure has attacked the snow and ice along the staircase beside the toboggan hill in Riverdale Park.  This is a killer climb normally.  Park staff don’t shovel it so the snow piles up into deadly mounds on each step. Climbers can easily lose their footing.  It took our friend well over an hour of tough chopping to do the job. We tried desperately to get a photo of this fine person so the community could thank him personally but he just wouldn’t agree.  He wants to stay anonymous.  So, words alone must suffice - thanks go out to you, John Hill, from grateful people and their families across Cabbagetown.