This week's image - Toronto Christmas Market, The Distillery.  Photo from Lowe's Toronto Christmas Market.

CABBAGETOWN NEIGHBOURHOOD REVIEW

Open houses this week - an elegant Victorian at 457 Sackville.  Click here to see the listing.
 
PEOPLE & EVENTS

Allan Gardens Christmas show
The Christmas show is the highlight of the year in Allan Gardens.  Thousands of plants fill the conservatory including over thirty poinsettia varieties. The show runs to mid-January.  Open daily from 10 am to 5 pm. Free admission.  (Sherbourne and Carlton)

Corktown Christmas Party
It’s always a great time.  Organized by the Corktown Residents & Business Association.  There’s music by the Corktown Chamber Orchestra, a kids program, door prizes and a live auction.  Turkey dinner is served, $14.95 for adults, $7.50 for kids.  Reservation available for the 6 pm seating, first-come, first-served at 7 pm.  Dominion on Queen (500 Queen E).  Details and ticket info here.

Caroling on Sackville and Winchester
For over twenty years, an informal group of friends has gathered around Winchester Street and strolled through the neighbourhood to sing carols at local homes.  This year, the choir is covering Sackville and Winchester on Sunday December 8 from 6:30 to 8 pm.  As they go, they ask for donations for the Food Bank at St Luke’s United Church (Sherbourne and Carlton).  Last year, they collected over 700 pounds of food and $600 in cash.  The event started in 1991 as part of CBC Radio’s annual food drive (when they were located on Parliament Street).

Elise Stanley and the Toronto Community Orchestra
The orchestra has 61 members ages 20 to 80 playing under the leadership of Leonidas Varahidis.  On December 10, the orchestra presents its Holiday Concert and Elise will be the soloist playing Beethoven’s Romance in F.  Eastminster United Church (310 Danforth), 7:30 pm, no cover charge.

Corktown Chamber Orchestra
The Corktown Chamber Orchestra jams the holidays, Corktown style.  Special guests include Martin Gwynne Jones and the Havergal Choir.  All proceeds go to Little Trinity Church in appreciation of the hospitality to the orchestra. Thursday, December 12, 8 pm, tickets $10.  Little Trinity Church (425 King E).

Cabbagetown South Christmas party
The Association held its annual Christmas gathering on Wednesday at Retsina (209 Gerrard E) and it was a bustling success.  The crowd filled the room, the food and drinks provided by Retsina were outstanding and the enthusiasm that everyone felt was infectious.  Congrats to everyone involved in its organization.

Lowe’s Toronto Christmas Market
Lowe’s Toronto Christmas Market in The Distillery continues this week.  Among the highlights for next week are the arrival of St Nicholas (Thursday December 5), the Arkan Dance Company, the Kodaly Hungarian Folk Dance Ensemble, and the Jenni Burke Miracle Trio (all on Saturday December 7), Cadence (Sunday December 8), The Salvation Army Christmas Brass Ensemble and the 2013 Peace Light (Monday December 9), George Kash Christmas Experience (Tuesday December 10),  Jully Black (Wednesday December 11) and Antonella Cavallaro (Thursday December 12).   Watch out, as well, for details about the Mill Street world carol singing challenge on Sunday December 15.  For all the details, click here.

Impulse
The School of Toronto Dance Theatre presents Impulse 2013.  Dancers from all three years of the Professional Training Program perform works by widely acclaimed choreographers.  This is your chance to see tomorrow’s contemporary dancers today.  December 5, 6 and 7, all dates at 8 pm.  Tickets are $20, $15 for students, seniors and CADA members.  More info and tickets here.  Winchester Dance Theatre, 80 Winchester.

WinterSong is coming
WinterSong is a major performance by dancers from the Canadian Contemporary Dance Theatre (509 Parliament) happening at the Fleck Dance Theatre in Harbourfront (235 Queens Quay W) on Friday December 13 at 8 pm and Saturday December 14 at 2 pm.  It’s a breathtaking tapestry of seasonal dance.  Save the dates.  Tickets are $22.50 to $38, available online here.

Duncan Fremlin returns to Cabbagetown
Whiskey Jack will perform at the Flying Beaver (488 Parliament) on Saturday, December 21 at 9 pm.  The group’s annual Christmas show will feature seasonal music along with special tributes to Randy Morrison who’s just won his fourth Canadian Bluegrass Fiddler of the Year Award.  Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 at the door.

Peter Donato’s holiday concert
Peter’s next performance at the Flying Beaver (488 Parliament) happens on Sunday December 15 from 7 pm.  Tickets are available for $10 in advance and $15 at the door.

Welcome home, Christopher
Christopher Dew has conquered his second mountain wearing his Cabbagetown attire.  This time, he wore his vintage Tee at Mount Everest base camp earlier this month.  (His previous climb took him up Africa’s Mt Kilimanjaro where he flew our flag.)  Thanks Christopher – you’re making the mountains look good.

Membership correction
Last week, we incorrectly told you about the fees for membership in the Cabbagetown Preservation Association.  In fact, the annual fee is $10 per person and $20 for a family.  Membership includes a copy of the nifty new kit that the CPA has developed.  It contains descriptions of Cabbagetown life, architecture, history, events and landmarks.  Special sheets deal with Cabbagetown People (the blue plaque project), gardens and the CPA itself.  Finally, there’s a good discussion about home styles and renovation standards.  You can get more info and membership links here. 

RESTAURANTS & PUBS

Welcome Martin and Eddie
Mexican Burrito has opened at 296 Gerrard E,  right on the corner at Parliament.  It’s a welcome addition.  Martin is a familiar face in Cabbagetown – he worked previously at Margarita’s on Carlton.  The menu includes burritos (the bestseller so far), nachos, quesadillas, tacos and cerviche with side salads and salsa.  Prices are good, ranging from $7 to $10 depending on the dish and its size, with both eat-in seating and takeout service.

Brunch at Hey Lucy
Hey Lucy (229 Carlton) now offers brunch on Saturdays and Sundays from 10:30 am to 2 pm with pizza available from noon onward as well.  There are $3.99 caesars, $4.99 mimosas, $4.49 breakfast martinis and $4.49 espresso martinis.  David has finally been able to put up his front sign and the restaurant’s façade is finished.  Like the interior, it’s a clean, inviting design and adds nicely to the storefronts along Carlton.

Jeff Barnes at The Local GEST
Jeff and Noah Zacharin will be playing here on Thursday December 5 from 8 pm.  These guys are popular musicians in Cabbagetown so this is good news.  Their fans will be happy to learn that they’ve scheduled regular performances every two weeks at the GEST (424 Parliament). 

Christmas at Cranberries
Once again, Siva and Ruth will open Cranberries (601 Parliament) on Christmas Day for a three-course, prix fixe dinner at $28.  Two sittings, at 5 and 7:30 pm.  Dinner will include butternut squash soup or organic green salad, roast turkey, seasonal veggies, mashed potato, stuffing, cranberries and gravy.  These events are very popular and you should book ahead, (416) 925-6330.

Congrats Cyril
Wednesday was Cyril’s third anniversary at Merryberry (559 Parliament).  His café has become a Cabbagetown destination with its lighthearted décor and innovative menus.  Cyril says that, coincidentally, his first customer when he opened on Wednesday was the same person who was his first customer when he opened three years ago. 

Turkeys at the HOP
Beau reports that customers at the House on Parliament (454 Parliament) ploughed through over 60 turkey dinners last week in celebration of American Thanksgiving.  There was still enough left-over for turkey sandwiches at lunch the next day. 

Congrats to Alice’s Place
Last week, Alice (554 Parliament) held a relief concert for victims of Typhoon Haiyan featuring Soundtraxx and a lively evening’s entertainment.  Generous donors contributed over $330 for the Canadian Red Cross relief program and the funds will be matched by the federal government.

420 Smokehouse
Virginia has a sign in the door promising that the long slow road toward 420 Smokehouse’s (420 Parliament) opening may be finally coming to its end.  As well, there are Christmas ornaments in the windows and inviting furniture inside.  She promises great smoked meat (but no smoked elephants.)  Good luck guys – we can’t wait.

SMART CHRISTMAS GIFT IDEAS

19 days left
Kendall & Co (227 Carlton) have put together their Holiday Gift Guide. It’s updated every week and it’s full of suggestions for your perfect presents.  The store was voted Toronto’s Best Design Shop in the 2013 NOW Magazine readers’ poll.  While you’re on Carlton, be sure to check out the gorgeous display in Kendall’s window.  Store hours:  Monday to Friday, 10 am to 6 pm and Saturday 11 am to 5 pm. 

Get your trees here
The McDermott family are back again.  For over 60 years, they’ve been selling us their trees from their spot at Spruce and Parliament (beside No Frills).  Peter tells us that you can pick up a beauty for $25 (or more). 

Get your turkey here
Mark at St Jamestown Steak & Chops (516 Parliament) is taking Christmas orders.  He has a lot of your other Christmas goodies here as well.  Be sure to ask him.

Sharpen your knives
Café Olya (540 Parliament) is hosting Trevor Taylor from Quick Edge Metalwork on Saturday December 14 from 3 pm.  It’s a first-come, first-served event but you can leave your knives with Olyana and Mike ahead of time and arrange for a later pick-up.  Prices range from $5 for a paring knife up to $10 for a large chef’s knife (but there will be extra charges if a knife needs a fix-up).  Check it all out here.

Yoga gift certificates
Angela has three different gift certificates for yoga at Sundara Yoga Studios (492 Parliament, side door) for your Christmas giving.  The Sundara gift card is $50, Shanti is $75 and Namaste is $100. 

Blowouts at Menagerie Pet Shop
Menagerie (549 Parliament) is selling its inventory of Skinnee dog toys (buy one, get one free) and Fat Cat dog toys (50% off).  Your dog wants one – needs one – for Christmas.  While you’re there buying your supplies, be sure to stop and admire the birds beside the front door.  They’ve just had their beaks and nails trimmed for the holidays.

Pet Valu
Marilyn returns on Saturday to Pet Valu (240 Carlton) for her monthly nail clinic for your pets.  Bring them to the store from 11 am to 3 pm for a Christmas trim, only $10.  On Saturday, as well, Catbusters will be there to encourage you to adopt a cat.

LOCAL CHANGES

Thanks David
Fashion Wearhouse (411 Parliament) is gone.  David says that his business started to dry up as the reconstruction of Regent Park picked up speed.  This is a trend that we expected to happen and its arrival here, though sad for Fashion Wearhouse, has not been a surprise.  Thanks to David for all his contributions over the years and best wishes for future projects.

433/435 Parliament and 403 Parliament
Both locations are being renovated.  In both cases, the buildings are expanding and extra space is being added to the upper floors.  The Sri Lankan Temple has moved out to another location on Broadview.  These buildings have interesting facades that have been preserved (by the lack of interest from their past owners) but those storefronts will now be altered by the new upper floor additions.

456 Parliament
Who knows what’s going on here?  Slowly, slowly, slowly - work continues on the interior and exterior façade.  In the recent past, new railings were installed along the mezzanine and the stair cases.  It appears to be impossible to impress on the owners or construction workers that a minimum amount of cleanliness would go a long way.

Swimming pool consultations
The City of Toronto is starting its design process for a new indoor swimming pool at the Wellesley Community Centre (Sherbourne and Wellesley).  Pam McConnell and Kristyn Wong-Tam are hosting a community consultation to get your ideas about the project.  City staff and the architects will be there.  Tuesday December 10, 6 pm, Meeting Room in the Wellesley Community Centre (Sherbourne and Wellesley). 

CLUBS & PUBS – DAILY LISTINGS

THURSDAY DECEMBER 5 TO SUNDAY DECEMBER 15

Contact info
Alice’s Place, 554 Parliament St, (647) 931-9088
Cafune, 194A Carlton Street,  (647)748-7884, Facebook and http://cafune.ca/
Dominion on Queen, 500 Queen St E, (416) 368-6893, www.dominiononqueen.com 
Flying Beaver, 488 Parliament St, (647) 347-6567, www.pubaret.com
Local GEST, 424 Parliament St, (416) 961-9425, https://www.facebook.com/thelocalgest
Mill Street Beer Hall, 21 Tank House Ln (Distillery), (416) 681-0338, Facebook and
Paint Box Bistro, 555 Dundas St E, (647) 748-0555, www.paintboxbistro.ca
Stout Irish Pub, 221 Carlton St, (647) 344-7676, www.stoutirishpub.ca  
Winchester Kitchen & Bar, 51A Winchester St, (416) 323-0051, www.winchesterkitchen.com

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

THURSDAY DECEMBER 5

Cafune
6:30 pm, Henrique Matulis (guitar) & special guests, Brazilian jazz, free admission
Dominion on Queen
7 pm, The Wee Folk Club, $10
Flying Beaver
7 pm, What Dyke Looks Life/Putin on the Ritz Funder, pwyw
Local GEST
8 pm,Jeff Barnes & Noah Zacharin
Winchester Kitchen & Bar
9 pm, Karaoke with Jason Rolland
 
FRIDAY DECEMBER 6

Dominion on Queen
9 pm, Havana to Toronto afro-Cuban jazz, $10
Flying Beaver
7 pm, Aastha Lal, “Words to laugh by”, $10/advance, pwyw/door
9 pm, The B Girlz evening of holiday magic “Hell freezes over” (sold out)
Stout Irish Pub
7 pm, Beer tastings with Sir Isaac’s cider
Winchester Kitchen & Bar
8 pm, Trivioke with Jason Rolland

SATURDAY DECEMBER 7

Cafune
8 pm, Henrique Matulis (guitar) with special guests, Brazilian jazz, free admission
Dominion on Queen
6 pm,  CRBA Corktown Christmas Party & turkey dinner, $14.95
Flying Beaver
7 pm, The B Girlz evening of holiday magic “Hell freezes over”, $15/advance, $20/door (sold out)
9 pm, The B Girlz evening of holiday magic “Hell freezes over”, (sold out)
Paintbox Bistro
8 pm, Quinn C Martin “Quinndiana Jones, raiders of the lost joke”

SUNDAY DECEMBER 8

Alice’s Place
4 pm, Karaoke
Dominion on Queen
11 am to 3 pm, Rockabilly brunch with the Cosmotones
4:30 pm, Wintergarten Orchestra, $10
Flying Beaver
7 pm, Scott Pietrangelo, “Sir, step away from the piano”, $15/advance, $20/door
Mill Street Beer Hall
1 pm, Jazz brunch with the Tyler Yarema Trio
Winchester Kitchen & Bar
7 pm, Magic at the Winchester, $10
9 pm, Open Mic with Porter

MONDAY DECEMBER 9

Dominion on Queen
7:30 pm, Good neighbours open mic
Winchester Kitchen & Bar
9 pm Win-Prov
11 pm, Indie Music Mondays
 
TUESDAY DECEMBER 10
 
Dominion on Queen
8:30 pm, Hot Club of Corktown “Django Jam”, pwyc
Flying Beaver
7:30 pm, David Gale & Randy Vancourt,  “Oy to the world”, $15/advance & $20/door
Stout Irish Pub
7:30 pm, Nerd Night pub quiz
Winchester Kitchen & Bar
10 pm, Epic movie Tuesday

WEDNESDAY DECEMBER 11

Alice’s Place
9 pm, Karaoke
Dominion on Queen
8 pm, Corktown Ukelele jam, $5
Flying Beaver
7:30 pm, Sarah Minx and friends, “Minxy’s Country Mix-up”, pwyc
Winchester Kitchen & Bar
7:30 pm, Winchester Trivia smackdown
10 pm, Karaoke with Jason Rolland
 
THURSDAY DECEMBER 12
 
Cafune
6:30 pm, Henrique Matulis (guitar) with special guests, Brazilian jazz, free admission
Flying Beaver
8 pm, Melanie Peterson & Graydon James, “Xmas Show”, $10/advance & $15/door
Winchester Kitchen & Bar
9 pm, Loser Karaoke with Jason Rolland

FRIDAY DECEMBER 13
 
Dominion on Queen
9 pm, Swamperella $10
Flying Beaver
7 pm, Heather Bambrick, Julie Michels, Diane Leah “Broadsway”, $20/advance & $25/door
9 pm, Brad Alexander, “The Legendary Bitch Diva Holiday Show”, $10/advance & $15/door
Stout Irish Pub
7 pm, Beer tastings with Kensington Brewery

SATURDAY DECEMBER 14

Cafune
8 pm, Henrique Matulis (guitar) with special guests, Brazilian jazz, free admission
Dominion on Queen
East end comedy review
Flying Beaver
7 pm, Heather Bambrick, Julie Michels, Diane Leah “Broadsway”, $20/advance & $25/door
9 pm, Dykes of Hazard comedy hour,  $10/advance & $15/door
Paintbox Bistro
10 am, Junior Jazz with Richard Marsella

SUNDAY DECEMBER 15
 
Alice’s Place
4 pm, Karaoke
Dominion on Queen
11 am to 3 pm, Rockabilly brunch with the Cosmotones
4:30 pm, Royal Conservatory jazz students
Flying Beaver
1 pm, 2013 skeenawild film fest, $10/door
7 pm, Peter Donato, $10/advance & $15/door
Mill Street Beer Hall
1 pm, Jazz brunch with the Tyler Yarema Trio
Winchester Kitchen & Bar
7 pm, Magic at the Winchester, $10
9 pm, Open Mic with Porter