Progress in the Semret investigation
Newstalk Radio published a story earlier this month giving updates about DNA testing in the investigation.  There`s a possibility that evidence found under her fingernails may include DNA from her murderer.  The story has another interesting angle – we see how detailed and difficult the search for the murder weapon has been and how difficult it has been for the police to sift through the public`s tips.  Click here to read the whole account.
Coyote controversy
Photo: City News
Officers from 51 Division shot a coyote running near the Necropolis and in Wellesley Park last week. The shooting has stirred up commentary in the media.  The event itself was partially captured on a City-TV video which you can see here.
Then, in the Toronto Star, the heat starts to get turned on, step-by-step.  On February 12, there`s a report about the event.  On February 13, Alex Ballingall summed up the police reasons and then noted concerns from other informed sources.  The next day, Christopher Hume decided that a firm blast was needed and gave it in his column.
The decision to kill this animal seems over-the-top.  Two questions need to be answered.  First, what threat did this particular animal pose to the public?  It seems to be acting normally and, in fact, it seems quite comfortable about the people in its vicinity.  Second, why now? We`ve had coyotes visiting us for years in this area.  Norm Betts photographed a coyote crossing Sumach Street at the exact same corner almost ten years ago. 
Funding for Riverdale Farm
The W Garfield Weston Foundation has contributed $25,000 to Riverdale Farm.  It will match every dollar up to $25,000 given by the public.  The gift helps to launch the new Riverdale Farm Stewardship Committee that will seek ways to make the Farm more self-sufficient in the future.
Win $50,000 for St James Town upgrades
Community Matters and the St James Town Youth Council have a plan to upgrade the St James Town tennis courts. Their project is one of the top ten finalists in a contest to win $50,000 for community improvements.  The winner will be the one getting the most online votes. Voting starts on Friday February 22.  The link will be published by Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment at that time.  To help them out and to give you an extra reminder, we`ll be sending out a special email blast on Friday dealing just with this opportunity – watch for it!  Thanks for your help.
Artists wanted
Community Matters is taking part in the Bell Boxes Project.  They’ve identified eight rusty Bell boxes in St James Town and Cabbagetown to decorate with local community artwork.  The project is part of a citywide facelift.  It’s a wonderful opportunity to improve our neighbourhood and showcase our local talent.  There`s a free workshop next Wednesday, February 27 at 6:30 pm at 260 Wellesley St, Unit 102, (buzzer code 8605) where you can find out the project details.  For more information, please contact Neudis Abreu at
Museum survey
It`s the last chance for you to voice your opinion!  The Cabbagetown Regent Park Museum wants your views about its future growth.  There’s a survey that’s been posted to collect residents’ opinions.  It expires at the end of February, so please complete it as soon as possible.  Click here for the survey.  Inside Toronto has an online story about the museum and the value of the survey – click here.
Sidewalk problems
Congrat`s to the Cabbagetown Residents Association. They`re distributing a notice to remind everyone that sidewalks in front of our houses must be shovelled.  It`s the law.  After a few gentle encouragements, they`ve also listed the phone number where enforcement complaints can be registered – 311 and online at You can read the full notice here. 
Members wanted
The Cabbagetown South Residents Association has launched its 2013 membership drive.  It’s time to renew your membership and to join if you haven’t already.  The group serves the area from Parliament and Carlton west to Sherbourne and south to Shuter.  Anyone who renews or brings in a new member will be entered into the lucky draw for a special prize pack. The winner will be announced at the next Association meeting on March 6, 7 pm, Ontario Restaurant (383 Dundas). 
More book prizes
Photo: Inside Toronto
Both Carol Bishop-Gwyn and Noah Richler have again been recognized for their fine writing.  Ms Bishop-Gwyn is a finalist on the short-list for the 2013 Charles Taylor Prize for her “Pursuit of Perfection” (Mr Richler was nominated for this as well) – the prize will be announced on March 4.  Inside Toronto has a profile of Carol Bishop-Gwyn here. 
Noah Richler is a finalist for the Shaughnessy CohenPrize for his “What We Talk About When We Talk About War” – the winner will be announced on March 6. 
Congratulations to both of them. 
Waterfront report
Waterfront Toronto issued a January newsletter that’s well worth reading.  It describes the construction projects that are underway now as well as specific updates about the Pan Am Games sites, the Canary District, Underpass Park, Queen’s Quay renewal and the Martin Goodman Trail.  You can read it here.
The Extension Room
Photo:  TDFoto
A first anniversary celebration on Thursday February 21.  Doors open at 6:30 pm and performances happen at 8 pm.  The ExtensionRoom offers ballet fitness and dance classes, workshops and special events guided by professional dancers and aimed at everyone from all fitness levels.  Tonight’s celebration will feature a dance photography exhibit by TD Photo, performances by Hit & Run Productions and Nancy Hitzig, breakdance, hand balancing and gymnastics by ABS Crew, aerial silks by Jennifer Roy, and lots more.  Cocktails and light appetizers.  30 Eastern Ave (at Sackville).
Deeply Rooted
The Regent Park School of Music is benefitting from four concerts at the Cameron House (408 Queen St W).  The second one happens at 8:30 pm, Saturday and features Whitney Rose and Kayla Howren.  No cover charge – pay what you can – all proceeds go to the School. 
Tiffany needs your support
Tiffany Smith is a familiar face at the House on Parliament. In late March, she’s going to Sri Lanka for three weeks as part of a Habitat for Humanity project.  To defray her costs, she and Steve MacDougall (who’s going with her on the trip) are having a fundraising party at the Winchester Kitchen & Bar (51A Winchester) on Sunday February 24 starting at 5 pm.  It promises to be a great night -  good food and lots of drinks, Go Freddy Go, the Dead Apostles and DJ Mike Reid.  Raffles and silent auctions will raise the funds for the trip throughout the night as well as plenty of opportunity for donations.  If you want to help, just contact House on Parliament (454 Parliament, 416-925-4074).
From the House of Mirth
Coleman Lemieux’s production is based on Edith Wharton’s novel.  It’s a devastating critique of the American gilded age aristocracy.  The show finishes this weekend – performances on Thursday and Friday at 8 pm, Saturday at 4 pm and 8 pm and Sunday at 4 pm.   Tickets at $50 and rush seats at $25 (one hour before the performances).  For info and tickets, click here.   The Citadel (304 Parliament)
Run Cabbagetown
John and Karen organize monthly 5 km runs through noteworthy neighbourhoods in downtown Toronto.  Their run on Tuesday February 26 happens in Cabbagetown and it`s open to anyone who wants to join.  You can register here and then show up in front of the Toronto Dance Theatre (80 Winchester) by 7 pm.  Post-run refreshments at either Tim Horton`s or the House on Parliament.
Auditions at CCDT
Auditions for the CCDT’s award-winning performance company are happening on Sunday.  Dancers ages 8 to 10 audition from 10 to 11:30 am, ages 11 to 13 from noon to 1:30 pm, and ages 14 to 20 from 2 to 4 pm.  The auditions are open to dancers with a minimum of one-year experience in either modern or ballet and there is a $30 fee.  Call backs take place on Monday February 25 and Saturday March 2. Everything happens at 509 Parliament.  Click here for more info.

Summer at CCDT
Two summer dance programs at CCDT (509 Parliament) – SunDance for ages 8 to 20 (July 1 to 19) and SummerArts for ages 4 to 8 (July 23 to 27) – are now open for registration.  For course descriptions, registration forms and costs, click here.
Everyday Anthems
Toronto Dance Theatre presents Heidi Strauss’ new commission at the Fleck Dance Theatre (207 Queen’s Quay W) from March 6 to 9. For info and tickets, click here.  You can also enjoy a free sneak preview on Monday February 25 at 7 pm at the Winchester Dance Theatre (80 Winchester) – meet Heidi Strauss and learn more about the show’s creation. 
Ukelele news
Photo:Tara Wlaton, Toronto Star
The ukulele phenomenon at the Dominion on Queen (500 Queen E at Sackville) continues to create ripples beyond Corktown`s  borders.  Last Sunday, Andrea Gordon wrote an in-depth article in the Sunday Star about the people and events involved in this amazing weekly homage to the lovely uke.  It`s a fun read – click here. 

Contact info
Alice’s Place, 554 Parliament St, (647) 931-9088
Ben Wicks, 424 Parliament St, (416) 961-9425,
Dominion on Queen, 500 Queen St E, (416) 368-6893,  
Flying Beaver, 488 Parliament St, (647) 347-6567,
Paint Box Bistro, 555 Dundas St E, (647) 748-0555,
Stout Irish Pub, 221 Carlton St, (647) 344-7676,  
Winchester Kitchen & Bar, 51A Winchester St, (416) 323-0051,  

If there's a cover charge or tickets are sold, we’ve listed the prices. Otherwise, the event is free.

Dominion on Queen
7 pm, Wee Folks Club, $10
Flying Beaver
7 pm, Dina Martina ``Ample Wattage``, $20 advance, $25 door
Winchester Kitchen & Bar
8 pm, Three Desis & a Diva
9:30 pm, Jeff Barnes & Noah Zacharin
Dominion on Queen
8 pm, David Hayter’s Birthday Jam
Flying Beaver
7 pm, Dina Martina ``Ample Wattage``, $20 advance, $25 door
9:30 pm, Ashley Gibbons ``Life is sweet, even in February``, pop and theatre tunes, benefit for CAMH Foundation, $15 advance, $20 door
Winchester Kitchen & Bar
8 pm, Three Desis & a Diva
10 pm, Shotgun Wedding Band

Dominion on Queen
10 am, Uke 101
4 to 7:30 pm, Ronnie Hayward & his Trio – hillbilly beatnik music
9 pm, Sonic Blues with Gary Kendall & the Burgea Bros, Gary Pinchin opens,  $15 ea, four pack for $45
Flying Beaver
7 pm, Dina Martina ``Ample Wattage``, $20 advance, $25 door
9:30 pm, gaysian jazz with Chris Tsujiuchi,  ``A Very Chris-terical Jazz Cabaret``,  $10 advance, $15 door
Winchester Kitchen & Bar
8 pm, Three Desis & a Diva
Dominion on Queen
11 am to 3 pm, Rockabilly brunch  with the rockin’ sounds of the Cosmotones featuring Alistair Christl
Flying Beaver
11 am to 3 pm, Psychic Brunch
Winchester Kitchen & Bar
5 pm to 2 am, Tiff & Steve`s Habitat Fundraiser
Dominion on Queen
7 pm, Uke 101 with the Corktown Ukelele Society
Winchester Kitchen & Bar
10 pm,  Industry Night
Stout Irish Pub
7:30 pm, Nerd Night pub quiz
Winchester Kitchen & Bar
Midnight – Epic Movies
Alice’s Place
9 pm, Karaoke
Dominion on Queen
8 pm, Corktown Ukelele Jam, $5
Flying Beaver
7:30 pm, Brandon ``Altered States Comedy Hypnosis`` $10 advance, $15 door
Winchester Kitchen & Bar
7:30 pm, Smart Ass Trivia
10 pm, Winprov
Flying Beaver
7:30 pm, Julie Michels, Sophia Perlman & Terra Hazelton, ``Vexed``,  tight harmonies and lots of laughter, $15 advance, $20 door
Paint Box Bistro
8 pm, Indie Night with Low Level Flight featuring Ryan Malcolm & with Melissa Cameron
Winchester Kitchen & Bar
8 pm, Three Desis & a Diva
10 pm, Phil Hood, ``The Human Jukebox``
Dominion on Queen
8 pm, Havana to Toronto, Afro-Cuban jazz, $10.
Flying Beaver
7 pm, Heather Bambrick, Julie Michels & Diane Leah ``Broadsway`` great songs, bizarre banter and lots of laughs, $20 advance/ $25 door
9:30 pm, Beat The Beaver pub quiz, $5 door
Winchester Kitchen & Bar
8 pm, Three Desis & a Diva
10 pm, Thunderfunk with Seamus Erskine`s Greatest Hits & DJ Splattermonkey
Dominion on Queen
4 to 7:30 pm, Ronnie Hayward & his Trio, hillbilly beatnik music, pwyc
8 pm, Film Noir “Nightmare Alley” (1947), back room.
9:30 pm, “Que isso”, Brazilian jazz, front room, $5
Flying Beaver
7 pm, Heather Bambrick, Julie Michels & Diane Leah ``Broadsway`` great songs, bizarre banter and lots of laughs, $20 advance/ $25 door
9 pm, Margot Roi  ``Life Love & Laughter: Love it or lump it``,  $10 advance/$15 door
Paintbox Bistro
9:30 pm, Comedy Night featuring Sean Cullen ``The Sean Schau``
Winchester Kitchen & Bar
8 pm, Three Desis & a Diva
10 pm, Fried Angels
Alice’s Place
4 pm, Karaoke
Dominion on Queen
11 am to 3 pm, Rockabilly brunch  with the rockin’ sounds of the Cosmotones featuring Alistair Christl
Flying Beaver
7:30 pm, Lilli Connor & Cara Pantalone with Danielle Wade & Mark Allen, ``Les Nongenues``, $15 advance/ $20 door
Winchester Kitchen & Bar
8 pm, Three Desis & a Diva
10 pm, Beau’s Open Mic with Porter