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Forsythia Festival
This venerable Cabbagetown tradition is being updated and re-energized by volunteers from the Cabbagetown Residents Association.  This year’s event on Sunday May 5 promises to bring an exciting new program and a lot of new attractions.  The residents’ website has a page about the Festival.
Each year, the Festival starts with a parade from Riverdale Park to Wellesley Park.  It highlights a Festival Queen or King and a Parade Marshall.  Last year, Jen Fraser was the Marshall and Shannon Grimm was the Queen.
This year, organizers are asking you to help with the selection of these award winners.  They hope that you’ll nominate someone special who’s been an outstanding neighbour – someone whose contributions make a difference.
Send your nomination along with a brief description of your nominee’s contributions to Shannon at   The deadline is Friday April 19.

Community Walk & Star Gazing by Candle Light
Every year during Earth Hour, the Cabbagetown South Residents Association conducts a guided walk of their neighbourhood.  It’s free and you’re welcome to join the tour.  You’ll enjoy the beauty of a bygone era.  You’ll meet your neighbours and learn the history of Cabbagetown South.  To register and get more details, click here.  This year’s walk happens on Saturday March 23 from 8:15 to 9:30 pm. 

More classes with Jack Grunsky
Jack is an award-winning  local musician and artist who’s offering art instruction for beginners.  His first course was a success (all of his students have re-signed for another course) and so he’s adding another ten-week session beginning next week. Students will work from still life, photos, images from art history and independent themes and ideas.  Drawing and painting fundamentals and techniques in acryllics. Classes run from Thursday March 21, 1 to 3:30 pm, at Jack’s home studio at 383 Wellesley E.  The cost is $400 plus $52 HST. Contact Jack at (416) 928-9375 and at  You can see his art at his website. 

Injeanius Design’s new website
Sarah Cook’s stylish fur-trimmed jackets are now highlighted and available through her new website.  Since her launch in June last year, she’s attracted clients from New York, Europe and across Canada.  Sarah’s fashions are made from 100% sustainable materials – recycled jean jackets, vintage fur and second-hand materials.  She operates a home-based business here in Cabbagetown and you can see her work in the Clothing section of our special Home Business page.

Toronto Police Service
Last week, the police notified us of an incident at Dundas and Berkeley involving a young girl and a man who tried to lure her away with him.  They have now released a drawing of him which you can see here.  If you have any information, please contact 51 Division at (416) 808-5100 or Crimestoppers at  

Fixtures sale
The Church Street Winery (420 Parliament) has been a pleasant fixture on Parliament for do-it-yourself  wine lovers for several years but sadly, Gunnar has decided to close.  He’s now holding his last open house to offer the store fixtures for sale.  It’s a good opportunity for other store owners, residents and oenophiles (you know who you are…)  You can, for example,  pick up a blender, a nifty handmade wine rack, a bar fridge and a long list of other wine related items.  There’s even a hideaway bed that’s perfect for those occasions when you taste too much of your own stuff!  Drop by and make an offer. Saturday and Sunday, 11 am to 4 pm.

Toronto Urban Photography Festival at MJG
The Toronto Urban Photography Festival is in its second week at MJG Gallery (555 Parliament). Mark is hosting works by Stev'nn Hall and Geoff Elliot Simpson in their show "Regulation" along with photographic works by Mark Gleberzon, Sandy Middleton, Tommy Vohs and Lorne Wisebrod. The show runs to March 23. The opening night reception is Thursday March 14,  6 to 9pm. Please RSVP.  Gallery is open Wednesday to Sunday, 11 am to 6 pm. (416) 923-4031.  For more information about the Festival, click here.

Business Networking International open house
BNI is a group of local entrepreneurs who exchange business information and new contacts every week.  The members tell each other about new business opportunities. They believe that they generated over $300,000 in new business for each other in 2012 by trading customer leads. 
The Cabbagetown chapter meets at 7 am on Wednesdays for breakfast at Merryberry Café (559 Parliament). 
Their Visitor’s Day will happen on Wednesday March 27.  They hope to attract more members and this session will be your introduction to them.  If you want to attend, please reserve in advance with Duncan Fremlin at (416) 405-8828.  You can read about BNI and about the Cabbagetown chapter here.

According to urban legend (or is it an urban myth?), Cabbagetown and Corktown were settled by Irish immigrants who fled the famine in the mid-19th century.  St Patrick’s Day is our national holiday.  As you can see from Farrah’s photo taken during last year’s events at Stout Irish Pub, it’s a time for solemn sobriety.  Here’s a rundown of our local celebrations.

The Ben Wicks
The Ben Wicks (424 Parliament) is the place to hear the rock, folk and roots blends of the One Shot Band.  Enjoy a special Irish menu.  Dance ‘til you drop.  Saturday night from 8 pm.

Dominion on Queen
On Sunday, starting at 4 pm, the DoQ (500 Queen E )presents “Prophets & Losses”. Check out a YouTube video of the band here.  The menu includes Irish favourites like carrot soup, corned beef and cabbage, Irish potato cakes and lots more.  No cover charge.

Congrat’s to the Flying Beaver
It’s time to celebrate – Heather and Maggie are enjoying the FB’s (488 Parliament) second anniversary and it falls on St Paddy’s Day.  So they’re having a “Two Brunch”.  The first fifty people who order an Anniversary Brunch will get it for only a Twoonie.  There’s also a chance to win a $15 food gift certificate and a Mill Street special $200 prize pack.  Click here to study up on all the details. 

Get hypnotized at Flying Beaver
Brandon learned the mysteries of his arts in Las Vegas, the world’s capital of stage hypnosis.  He’s making his second appearance at the Flying Beaver (488 Parliament) on Sunday at 7 pm.  His first show there was a sold-out hit.  In honour of St Paddy’s Day, Sunday’s show will feature volunteers from the audience who want to be turned into leprechauns.  Tickets are $10 (advance) and $15 (at the door).
House on Parliament
It’s a nice Irish weekend at the HOP (454 Parliament).  The Gilchrist Irish dancers will make three appearances – Friday at 8 pm, Saturday at 9 pm and Sunday at 7 pm.  They’ll be performing in the pub and incidentally, it’s a chance for the dancers to do some fundraising so they’ll be passing the hat.  Sunday’s menu features the HOP’s prime rib special.  For those who want a more Celtic dinner, there’ll be corned beef and cabbage.  For everyone, two special beers are on tap:  Innis & Gunn’s Irish whiskey cask stout and Beau’s Strong Patrick.
Stout Irish Pub
Erin’s got a full day planned for Sunday at Stout.  Doors open at 11 am.  Family fun starts at 2 pm with Irish dancers and then a face painter from 3 to 6 pm.  From 7 pm, Andrew Dunt and Henry Brkic from the Gurriers play modern Celtic acoustic music .  221 Carlton. 


Jamie Kennedy’s Gilead Café
Thursday March 14, 6:30 to 9 pm. An evening of handcrafted cocktails made from Dillon’s Small Batch Distillers vodka, gin and bitters.  Dillon’s is based in Beamsville and this is one of Kennedy’s Local Food Movement Events.  Cocktails are available at $5 each along with lots of Jamie Kennedy’s signature dishes. Gilead Café (4 Gillead Place). 

Toronto Blues Society
The Dominion on Queen (500 Queen E) is home for the Society’s Vocal Master Workshop with Sacha Williamson on Sunday March 17 from 12:30 to 3:30 pm.  Tickets are $10 ($8 for members).  Click here for the Society’s website.

Hoppy Hour at Stout
Starting on Monday, Erin is hosting a Hoppy Hour every day from 4 to 7 pm.  Get any Cameron’s Beer brands, Murphy’s Irish Stout and Caffreys, Jameson, Jack Daniels and Jager shots for only $5.  And there’s a $5 appetizer menu to enjoy with your beverages.  Stout Irish Pub 221 Carlton. 

New themes at Merryberry
Cyril’s menu theme for March and April at Merryberry (559 Parliament) highlights literary food.  James Bond’s favourite is the featured cocktail.  Simple fare comes from Catcher in the Rye and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.  Pam Houston, Rudyard Kipling, Sylvia Plath, Herman Melville, Virginia Woolf and Toni Morrison each inspired the entrée selection.  Imagine, for example, boeuf au daube, or clam chowder with chorizo, or crab stuffed half avocado, or red flannel hash.  The meal may be literary, but you’ll never get it from Amazon or Indigo or Kobo – only from Merryberry


The Groundswell Festival
A national festival of contemporary women’s theatre - is running at the Berkeley Street Theatre (26 Berkeley) from Friday March 15 to Sunday March 24.  Here's the link.
New Ideas Festival
Underway at the Alumnae Theatre (70 Berkeley).  Four plays and one reading are offered each week.  It’s a very busy schedule. Click here for the progrm details.

Aki Theatre (Daniels Spectrum, 585 Dundas). 
Ching Chong Chinaman by Lauren Yee running to March 30, Tuesday to Saturday at 8 pm and Saturday and Sunday matinees at 2 pm. 

Soulpepper (Distillery, 50 Tank House Lane)
Two plays are launching in the next few days.  Sam Shepard’s True West opens March 25.  La Ronde by Arthur Schnitzler starts March 26.  Here's Soulpepper's website.

Young Centre (Distillery, 50 Tank House Lane). 
Pomme Is French For Apple.  The run has been extended but must end this weekend, March 16.  Click here
Regent Park
Shawn Micallef from Spacing Magazine was interviewed this week on the CBC about progress in Regent Park.  It’s a balanced discussion talking about the residents’ pride in their community, the persistence of local women to drive the area’s renewal, hopes for the future and the impact of ongoing crime patterns. Highly recommended conversation.  Listen to it here. 

The West Don Lands site
Photo: Toronto Star Lucas Oleniuk
Jeff Green wrote about progress in the development of the Pan Am Games area in the Toronto Star.  This site has enormous implications for everyone living north of it along the Parliament Street corridor.  After the Games, the site will be home to thousands of new residents, new retail and recreational facilities and the new Don River Park.  Click here to read his story. 
Dave Topping has written an article in The Grid that gives lots of details about both the area’s history and the status of its current redevelopment.



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,
House on Parliament, 454 Parliament St (416) 925-4074,
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.

Flying Beaver
Winchester Kitchen & Bar
8 pm, The Seagull in Four Movements
10 pm, The DVS swing dance sessions

Flying Beaver
7 pm, ``Working It``, pro-comics try out new material, Paul Bellini hosts.  No cover.
9 pm, Mark Cassius “Poparet”
House on Parliament
8 pm – Gilchrist Irish dancers
Winchester Kitchen & Bar
8 pm, The Seagull in Four Movements

Ben Wicks
8 pm – Good old fashioned St Paddy’s Day party with “The One Shot Band”
Dominion on Queen
10:30 am & 1 pm – Uke 101
Flying Beaver
7 pm, Gavin Crawford’s “Bits & Pieces”, $15 advance/ $20 door
9 pm, Tim Boyle’s tribute to Elvis “One Night with You” with Jordan Klapman & Artie Roth,  $15
advance/$20 door
House on Parliament
9 pm – Gilchrist Irish dancers
Winchester Kitchen & Bar
8 pm, The Seagull in Four Movements
Phil’s Birthday Jam

Alice’s Place
4 pm, Karaoke
Dominion on Queen
12:30 to 3:30 pm – Toronto Blues Society vocal workshop, $10 general & $8 members
4 pm – St Patrick’s Day party with “Prophets & Losses”
Flying Beaver
7 pm, “Altered States”, comedy hypnosis by Brandon, $10 advance/ $15 door
House on Parliament
7 pm – Gilchrist Irish dancers
Stout Irish Pub
St Patrick’s Day party
2 pm – Irish Dancers
3 to 6 pm – Face Painter
7 pm to 1 am – Live modern Celtic acoustic music with the Gurriers
Winchester Kitchen & Bar
10 pm, Beau’s Open Mic with Porter

Dominion on Queen
7 pm, Ukelele 101
Winchester Kitchen & Bar
10 pm,  Industry Night

Dominion on Queen
8:30 pm – Hot Club of Corktown Django Jam, pwyc
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 Theme Night, $5
Flying Beaver
7:30 pm, “The Rules of Romance”, classic and original romantic songs with Micah Barnes $10 advance, $15 door
Winchester Kitchen & Bar
7:30 pm, Smart Ass Trivia
10 pm, Win Prov hosted by Tracy Rowland & Dwayne Mailman, $5

Dominion on Queen
7 pm, The Wee Folk Club, $10
Flying Beaver
7:30 pm, Suzanne Nuttall & Jeffrey Michael Straker, $10 advance, $15 door
Paintbox Bistro
Live Nation & Canadian Music Fest present Ben Somer (at 9 pm), Paula Perri (9:45 pm) & Danielle Duval (10:40 pm),  $5.  For more info, go to  
Winchester Kitchen & Bar
8 pm, The Seagull in Four Movements

Dominion on Queen
Book launch, “Every Ever After” with Lesley Livingston
Flying Beaver
7 pm, British pop rock sensation Kieran Strange, $10/advance, $15/door.
9 pm, Comedy cabaret and coffee talk with Ryan G Hinds and featuring Chris Tsujuichi, Red Herring and MC Jazz,  $10/advance, $15/door
Paintbox Bistro
Live Nation & Canadian Music Fest present Thompson Egbo-Egbo Trio with Randall Hall on bass and Max Roach on drums (at 8 pm). Three-course dinner and performance, $45 and performance only $15.  For more info, go to
Winchester Kitchen & Bar
8 pm, The Seagull in Four Movements
10 pm, Shotgun Wedding Band
Dominion on Queen
4 to 7:30 pm, Ronnie Hayward, pwyc
Flying Beaver
7 pm, David Benjamin Tomlinson “Memoirs from Cracktown”,  $15/advance, $20/door
9 pm, pop, soul and jazz with “Red, Whyte & Tollar”, $10/advance, $15/door
Paintbox Bistro
Live Nation & Canadian Music Fest present Ryan McKinley (at 9 pm), Jean on Gene (9:45 pm) & Michael Rault (10:40 pm),  $5.  For more info, go to
Winchester Kitchen & Bar
8 pm, The Seagull in Four Movements
10 pm, Winchester anniversary party

Alice’s Place
4 pm, Karaoke
Dominion on Queen
11 am to 3 pm, Rockabilly Brunch with the Cosmotones
4 pm – Fundraiser “Vocal Support” for the We Are Jose campaign, $10 minimum, pwyc
Flying Beaver
11 am to 3 pm, Psychic Brunch, $29
7:30 pm, comedian, actor, speaker and writer Sabrina Jalees, $10/advance, $15 door
Stout Irish Pub
5:30 pm – Toronto Area Boardgaming Society presents Strategy Boardgaming Night
Winchester Kitchen & Bar
10 pm, Beau’s Open Mic with Porter