This week's image - Riverdale Farm's Mid-summer Mixer

Visit Barbara's Garden - click here

Fix the Farmers’ Market
Riverdale Park’s Farmers’ Market appears to be in a state of slow decline. 

A recent email from a concerned Cabbagetown resident urged customers to visit the market more faithfully.  She’s right but it’s a dilemma. To be more attractive, our market needs more farmers and suppliers. These vendors, however, need more customers.

Other markets in Toronto have found answers.  A Google search reveals over 30 farmers’ markets in the city.  Like ours, most are neighbourhood based, most are seasonal and most offer a mix of farm and retail vendors.

There are a variety of ingredients in a successful operation. Here are just a few of them:
  • People who live in the community do the work.  Our market really needs to rebuild this foundation for its fundraising, program ideas and volunteer base.  We saw a big revitalization of the Forsythia Festival this year – our community has the leadership and brains to do the same for the market.
  • Other Toronto-area markets are very family-friendly with musicians, community events and lots of activities for kids. With Riverdale Farm beside our market, this should be an easy step for us.  
  • Many markets have interesting, informative sites on the internet.  They tell their customers about the vendors who appear every week, what products are being sold and who the entertainers and guests are. We need to create an internet presence.
  • They have sensible services.  One market offers home delivery services.  Another has a café.  Another brings in celebrity chefs from local restaurants.
If the farm vendors begin to see this kind of enthusiasm and support at our market, they’ll be willing to come.  This activity, as well, will be infectious and the neighbourhood’s customers will shop here again.


Rave reviews for Soulpepper
Photo: National Post
Tony Kushner’s two plays, Angels in America, are currently on stage at Soulpepper.  The plays, the acting and the staging have all drawn very high praise. For Robert Cushman writing in the National Post, the work represents the acting magnificence that distinguished its earliest days. They run until September 14.  Tickets and more info are available online. 
Gary Smith and Kim Benoit in The Distillery
Corktown artist Gary Smith is a busy man this summer.  Among other things, he`s travelling to France to compete in Figure Drawing at the Louvre.  He`s also staging his first major exhibition in several years at the Cabinet (10 Trinity St) in the Distillery.  He and Kim Benoit have a show there throughout August to September 6.  The Cabinet is a furniture store which they chose because it offers a home-like setting and has plenty of space on brick walls for their pictures.
Kim will be familiar to folks at the Cabbagetown Boxing Club.  She boxed and coached at the Club for several years and met her husband there.  Gary is recognized throughout Corktown for his 2011 Gateway Mural on the Humane Society building on Queen Street and his 2012 mural in the Sackville playground on King Street.

Writers and artists walking tour
The Cabbagetown Preservation Association is offering a guided neighbourhood walk to homes where our writers and artists have lived – winners of Governor General’s awards, people who have received the Order of Canada, winners of the Toronto Arts Awards.  Many people whose music, writing and paintings have left an impressive legacy have lived in Cabbagetown.  The tour starts at Winchester and Parliament, Saturday August 10, 1:30 pm.

Whiskey Jack
Duncan Fremlin and his friends in Whiskey Jack are returning to the Plein Air Concert series organized by the Artists Garden Cooperative. They’re the guests at the August 14 event held outdoors in the garden at 345 Balliol (Davisville and Mount Pleasant).  It’s an “all acoustic” evening that’s billed as Folk Roots.   Seating is limited and tickets are $10.  Doors open at 7 pm and th concert runs from 7:30 to 9 pm.  You can reserve your seats online.

CYC Gala Performance
It’s the annual showcase for the CYC’s Performing Arts Camp, celebrating the skills, talents and spirit of kids in our community.  This year’s event happens at Rosedale Heights School of the Arts (711 Bloor St E – across from Castle Frank subway station), August 15, 6:30 pm (pre-show) for 7 pm.  Tickets $7 or $21 family of four.

Bell Box murals
Photo: Justin Skinner, Inside Toronto
Step two in the Bell box painting project happens in Regent Park on Saturday August 17 and Sunday August 18.  In the first phase, eight boxes were painted in St James Town and Cabbagetown.  Justin Skinner at Inside Toronto has a neat story about the project and about Jim Bravo who carried on with his work despite the rain. 

Riverside Historic Walk
The Riverside BIA is sponsoring a walk along historic Queen Street from the Don Valley Parkway to Degrassi Street. The Queen Street bridge was one of the few crossing points over the Don so the street became the city’s main east-west artery.  The walk will explore some of Toronto’s oldest buildings and discover anecdotes and stories about local landmarks.  For more info, click here. Ron Fletcher is the leader.  Meet at the Ralph Thornton Centre (765 Queen E).  2 to 4 pm, Saturday August 17.

Movies in the Park
Over the summer, a group of local agencies has been hosting Movies in the Park in Riverdale Park East.  (The next movie is Ferris Buehler on Sunday night, August 18.)  The sponsors are now holding a raffle to cover their costs and they need your support.  You’ll win a pass at one of nine hot spots around Toronto – the Science Centre, Zoo, CN Tower, Wild Water Kingdom, Casa Loma and more.  Only 300 tickets printed.  Tickets are $5 each, 3 for $10.  The draw happens on Monday August 19, 5 pm at the Boys & Girls Club (101 Spruce).  For more info or to buy your tickets, call Leslie at (416) 925-2243 ext 25.

A violent summer storm
The storm that came through on Friday night caused a lot of damage in a very small area.  It lasted only a few minutes but the high winds, rain and hail were very destructive.  The streets around Wellesley and Sackville suffered most severely.  Hydro was out for several hours.  Big trees fell onto Winchester, Amelia, Sackville and Wellesley.


Bianca Perren
Bianca’s paintings are hanging now at Jet Fuel (519 Parliament).  Her previous show was a great hit and it’s nice to welcome her back.  Her art is there until the end of August.  For more about Bianca and her art, click here.

Junior Jazz returns to the Paintbox Bistro (555 Dundas E) on Saturday, August 17.  It’s at 10 am and it’s free – although brunch for the family is a great idea.  This week, Sophie Perlman’s quartet is onstage.  Find out more here.

Welcome Gary, Erick, Sean & Tiffany
The Local GEST (424 Parliament) is now officially open.  After a practice run on the weekend, everyone is now up and running.  Restaurant hours are Monday to Friday 3 to 11 pm, Saturday 10 am to 11 pm and Sunday 10 am to 9 pm.  The artist whose work, “The Fusion of Nature in Metal”, is hanging on the walls is Erick Gamez.  There’s a Facebook page (click here) for the latest news and a website (click here) for menus and reports about special events.

A unique program in Toronto
Personal growth and transformation at Sundara Yoga Studio (492 Parliament). Deepen your practice and blossom your understanding of yoga.  Your personal growth and the tools and techniques of the yogas of India and China are the program’s topics.  This 60-hour intensive focuses on your ability to perform asanas (postures) with clarity, safety and joy. Pranayama, bandhas, meditation, mindfulness, chanting, philosophy and nidra will be taught to support personal and asana development.  Extending these internal techniques into daily life will be part of the program.  Diverse experience and abilities will be accommodated by one-on-one mentorship and instruction.  Registration is limited to 12 people.  For more information and registration, click here.

Good luck Mark
August 15 is closing day for Mark at MJG Gallery and his contents sale will continue until then. His next spot is 1028 Queen E in Leslieville.  He’s asked us to pass along his special thanks for our welcome and support to his gallery during his stay in Cabbagetown. 


Contact info

Alice’s Place, 554 Parliament St, (647) 931-9088
Cafune, 194A Carlton Street,  (647)748-7884, Facebook and
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,
Local GEST, 424 Parliament St, (416) 275-1586, 
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.


6:30 pm, Bill Prouten (sax), Chris Adriaanse (bass) & Henrique Matulis (guitar)
Flying Beaver
7:30 pm, Law & Order trivia night, no cover
Paintbox Bistro
7 to 9 pm, storyteller, dub poet and actor d’bi young, “We tellin’ stories, yo” no cover
Winchester Kitchen & Bar
9 pm, Burlesque Night and DVS Swing Dance sessions


Flying Beaver
7 pm, Sam, Keelan & Gareth’s platonic threesome comedy show, $10/advance & $15/door
Winchester Kitchen & Bar
10 pm, Thunderfunk


Dominion on Queen
4 to 7:30 pm, Ronnie Hayward matinee, pwyc
Flying Beaver
7 pm, Marilla Wex “Lost and found” repeat performance, $10/advance & $15/door
9 pm, Ergo Sum with Pamela Gilmartin, Jeff Shewchuk & Donna Michelle St Bernard, pwyc.
Winchester Kitchen & Bar
10 pm, Barbarosa


Alice’s Place
4 pm, Karaoke
Dominion on Queen
11 am to 3 pm, Rockabilly Brunch with the Cosmotones
Flying Beaver
2 pm, Not so softballers
Stout Irish Pub
5:30 pm, Strategy Board Games
Winchester Kitchen & Bar
9 pm, Beau’s presents Open Mic with Porter


Winchester Kitchen & Bar
9 pm Win-Prov
10 pm,  Industry Night


Dominion on Queen
8:30 to 11:30 pm, Hot Club of Corktown Django Jam, pwyc
Stout Irish Pub
7:30 pm, Nerd Night pub quiz
Winchester Kitchen & Bar
10 pm, Epic movie Tuesday


Alice’s Place
9 pm, Karaoke
Dominion on Queen
8 pm, Corktown Ukelele Jam
Flying Beaver
7:30 pm, Cabaret for a cause, fundraiser, $10/advance & $15/door
Winchester Kitchen & Bar
7:30 pm, Winchester Trivia
10 pm, Karaoke at the Winch with Jason Rolland


6:30 pm, Henrique Matulis (guitar) and Paco Luviano (bass) - Brazilian jazz
Flying Beaver
7:30 pm, Zoe Sky Jordan, pwyc


Dominion on Queen
8:30 pm, Often Running
Flying Beaver
7 pm, Lucas Silveira. $10/advance & $15/door
9 pm, Comedy, cabaret & coffee talk with Ryan G Hinds, Jennifer Walls, Seth Drabinsky
and Mme Belle Jumelle, $10/advance & $15/door.
Winchester Kitchen & Bar
8 pm, Michelle Bozzeto fundraiser

Dominion on Queen
4:30 to 7:30 pm, Ronnie Hayward matinee, pwyc
Flying Beaver
9 pm, Aastha Lal, “Words to laugh by”, $5/advance & $10/door
10 am – Junior Jazz presents Jazz for Children with Sophie Perlman quartet, no cover
Winchester Kitchen & Bar
10 pm, Roncy Boys Double Bill


Alice’s Place
4 pm, Karaoke
Dominion on Queen
11 am to 3 pm, Toronto’s only rockabilly brunch with the Cosmotones, no cover
Flying Beaver
7 pm, Brandon presents Hypnotixx, $10/advance & $15/door
Winchester Kitchen & Bar
7 pm, Ken Margoe presents Illusionism, $10/advance & $15/door
9 pm, Beau’s presents Open Mic with Porter