New pedestrian aids
The City of Toronto has installed new pedestrian buttons on short poles at Carlton and Parliament.  They are mainly intended to help visually impaired pedestrians and they give off a series of beeps to tell people when to walk and when to stop.  The sounds adjust automatically to match street noise – louder when traffic is heavy and quieter at night.  They also inform the computerized traffic control system that a pedestrian wants to cross and the traffic lights are then adjusted as appropriate to accommodate the request.

Last chance to volunteer
The Riverdale Farm Stewardship Group is a new agency being set up by the City of Toronto to help revitalize the Farm and to work on its financial stability.  Local people are needed to give our community a voice in the operation of the Farm.  If you want to volunteer, please submit your application by Friday afternoon, 4 pm, January 25.  You can get the application and submit it here. 

Construction news
There’s an empty lot on Parliament Street just north of Wellesley.  A Scarborough doctor now owns the property and has submitted a plan for a medical clinic and a pharmacy in that location.  It’s a great idea.  The east side of St James Town and Don Vale are not currently served by any doctors and this service will bring a needed convenience back to the area.
The construction site on Parliament Street south of Carlton seems to be stalled.   Most of the exterior work has been finished and approved by the City.  There are several small retail spaces available on the mezzanine level and space for a large restaurant on the ground floor.  The building owners will welcome tenant inquiries.

Cat adoptions
The noted English astronomer, Patrick Moore, died recently and in obituaries, he is quoted as saying that “a catless house is a soulless house”, thereby proving that he knew a lot about a lot.  If your house needs to become a real home, drop by Pet Valu (240 Carlton) on Saturday from 10 am to 2 pm.  Cat Busters will be there and you can make arrangements to have your own little pal.

Dee Simpson
Dee is a personal fitness trainer and coach who specializes in helping “those who think they can’t.”   She’s a cyclist, a mountaineer and a marathoner.  She ran her first marathon at the age of 61, won her age category and qualified for the Boston Marathon.  Her client list includes people from 29 to 80 years old.  She works regularly at Cardio Go and adds private sessions in clients’ homes and her apartment on Homewood Avenue to her schedule.  When you contact her, she’ll do a consultation with you to decide your goals and set your schedule.  You can reach her at

Toronto Kiwanis Boys & Girls Club
Just a year ago, the Club (101 Spruce) celebrated its grand re-opening.  The older building had become limited and creaky. Now it`s expanded, cleaned up and renewed.  Amanda has found some pictures in the Club`s files from the last restoration in 1988 and was struck by the similarities between the two ceremonies.  The mayor of Toronto at that time was Art Eggleton who helped in both ribbon cuttings.  Today, Art`s a senator which just shows you how a little exposure at the Club goes a long way to helping you build a bright future.

Media coverage
Congratulations to both Cafune and Flying Beaver.  
Cafune (194A Carlton) has had a nice review in Post City.  Their coverage to the north of Cabbagetown will attract customers from Rosedale, Leaside and north Toronto into our area. 
The Flying Beaver (488 Parliament) has had a long and enthusiastic story about their emerging impact as a leading cabaret in Toronto`s entertainment scene in The Grid.  Indeed that`s true – last weekend, the Globe & Mail mentioned two club events in their column about weekend events – both were shows at the Flying Beaver.


Eclectisaurus (249 Gerrard East) is holding a January sale this weekend in the afternoons on Saturday and Sunday.  Save 25% on all inventory in the store.  Leslie’s shop is full of beautiful items. This is a sale that shouldn’t be missed. 

Kendall & Co
The final days for Kendall & Co’s January clearance sale are here.  Enjoy up to 50% off on gifts, fine stationery, serving ware, home accents, lighting and rugs. Just in time for Valentine's Day.  Now you can give more love for less too! Discount applies to in-stock retail merchandise only and exclude special orders, locally-made goods and new arrivals.  Monday to Friday, 10 am to 6 pm.  Saturday 11 am to 5 pm. Kendall & Co,  227 Carlton.


Presented by the Cheshire Unicorn Theatre Company at the Winchester Kitchen & Bar (51A Winchester) The Cheshire Unicorn produces thoughtful, innovative theatre by Canadian creators.  Actors! presents Canadian actors up close and personal.  It’s part panel discussion and part scripted and all entertainment. 8 pm, Thursday January 31 to Friday February 9.  Show tickets are $15 and show plus dinner for $45 and $60.

Native Earth Performing Arts
Over this season, Native Earth is settling in at their new permanent home in the Daniels Spectrum (585 Dundas East).  They’ve just finished a short run with Café Daughter and they’re preparing for Chocolate Woman Dreams the Milky Way (January 29 to February 3.)  Later in the year from April 26 to May 12, they’re staging Kenneth Williams’ Deserters, a world premier for the play.  You can see the details at their website. 
The playwright Kenneth Williams wrote both Café Daughter and Deserters.  The Globe & Mail ran a profile about him last week.  You can read it here. 

Jump Start at The Citadel
At the Citadel (304 Parliament). New Adventures in Sound Art joins Continuum to give an electronic boost to their already juiced ensemble.  Together, they’re creating a concert with musical statements ranging from the delicate to the explosive.  Continuum have prepared a short YouTube video to describe the evening’s program.  Composers include Rose Bolton, Daniel Mayer, Scott Smallwood, Andrew Staniland and Scott Wilson.  One performance only – Saturday, February 10, 8 pm.


Neeps, tatties and haggis
It’s the night we’ve all been waiting for.  House on Parliament (454 Parliament) does a big Robbie Burns special  – and who could do it better?  The bagpiper will be on hand and will play at 7 pm followed by a dance celebration by the Julie McDonnell School of Highland Dance.  There’ll be a reading of the Ode to Robbie Burns.  And after that, comes the moment that we all love – haggis, neeps and tatties.  Washed down by Innis & Gunn Scottish beer.  It all happens on Friday January 25 from 7 pm.

Customer appreciation at The Pear Tree
Ilango and Asokan at Pear Tree (507 Parliament) have three new specials on their customer appreciation menu:  grilled balsamic T-bone steak with sautéed mushrooms for $18.99, breast of mango chicken with coconut mango cream sauce for $15.99 or baked fillet of Atlantic salmon with spinach and goat cheese for $16.99.  All are served with fresh vegetables and your choice of rice and potatoes.
Don’t forget, as well, to join their special contest.  They’re offering a dinner for two, a lunch for two and brunch for two in their customer appreciation draw.  Details available at the restaurant.

Kingyo is open
Koji Zenimaru manages Cabbagetown’s Kingyo, the beautiful new room at 51B Winchester.  He’s the former head chef at Kingyo’s original Vancouver location.  .  Kingyo has been open since December 18 and Koji’s very pleased with the welcome that he’s getting.  His restaurant is busy every night and has line-ups on weekends.  Reservations are recommended at (647) 748-2121.
The Dish at Toronto Life has written a good introduction complete with menu descriptions, prices and photos.  Click here to read the article. 
They have a long liquor, beer and wine list including Kozaemon sake on draft – the only place in Ontario.
You can check them out at their website and they’re on Facebook and Twitter. 

Another small café – It’s Jenny
This week in my ongoing research into our small neighbourhood cafes,  It’s Jenny (253 Gerrard E) was my destination. Another noteworthy choice.  I was alone (wow – how did that happen?) and I dropped in there on the first day of our cold weather last Tuesday.  There’s an extensive menu full of good café food.  
Obviously, chili was a fitting choice. I eat a lot of chili wherever I go and love every spoonful.  This was a success.  It’s meaty and gently seasoned with lots of lovely spicy undercurrents and served with two slices of toast.  Jenny also makes a Volcano Chili with seven of the hottest chilis known to mankind.  It comes with a medical alert.  I stayed with the menu special.  Jenny’s daughter handles all the baking and really does it well. I had a brownie with sea salt and caramel sauce followed by an individually brewed Americano coffee. 
My bill including tip and tax was $9.95.  No alcohol.  This café isn’t licenced.
I got there at mid-afternoon so the restaurant was quiet.  It’s set up in a clean white room with modern furnishing and Susan Thomas’ art work on the walls.  A friend who works nearby says that their early-morning scones are irresistible. Open 7 am to 6 pm weekdays, 9 am to 5 pm Saturday and 10 am to 7 pm Sunday.

SuperBowl in Cabbagetown 
Five of our pubs each have authentic SuperBowl celebrations.  And one of them even has an anti-Bowl event.
Alice’s Place (554 Parliament) – good beer, big TV and lots of fans.

The Ben Wicks (424 Parliament) – SuperBowl food for the true fans – chili, dogs, sausages and fries.  If you want a real football atmosphere with an outdoor trailer party, enjoy all of this outside on the patio.  Inside, there are three big screens and plenty of opinions.

Dominion on Queen (500 Queen E) – the party starts at 5:30 pm and it’s an All-Game night with $5 drinks and a $5 menu.

Stout Irish Pub (221 Carlton) – Erin has a TV covering every angle in her rooms.  If there’s a heroic TD, a crashing tackle or a groaner fumble, you’ll see it all.  Add to that her award-winning pub grub and it’s a Sunday bowl game to remember.

And then, there’s the Flying Beaver (488 Parliament).  Heather and Maggie can’t make up their minds.  They have two rooms and so they’re holding two events.  True fans will see the game on the pub side with three TVs, stereo sound, prize pools and lots more.  Those who hate football will be welcome next door to join in a rousing sing-a-long featuring Kendall Partington.  No cover charge for either event but “rezzos recommended” at (647) 347-6567. 

Yes indeed – there`s a face that a mother definitely could love!  Duncan`s happy that shinny hockey has started up again at the Regent Park rink.  There's a rumour that Meagan Takeda might show up there too. If that`s true, the other team can go home.  Nobody`s gonna score a goal against her.