This week's image - Gilead Café


Nelson Mandela Park Public School
Photo:  CP Photo/Frank Gunn
In November 2001, Nelson Mandela along with his wife Graca Machel visited Park School in Regent Park for a special ceremony to rename it as Nelson Mandela Park Public School (440 Shuter St).  In the past week as the world mourns his death, the school has become a focus for local memorials.  The school’s page on its website notes that it will “continue to honour his spirit by building a culture of caring and providing opportunities so our students can reach their utmost potential.”  

BIXI in Cabbagetown and Corktown
The BIXI bike sharing system has been saved from disaster by the City of Toronto.  The City’s financial support and planned expansion of the existing network have rescued the project. 
Now it’s time to decide where the 22 new Bixi stations will be located.  Cabbagetown and Corktown  deserve to be prime targets.  We fit several parameters – we’re within appropriate distance of existing stations, we’re on busy commuter routes to the city core and we have suitable places for the stations.  Regent Park, Allan Gardens and St James Town all have stations already.
For lots more information, go to the Cycle Toronto website. 

The Pan Am Village
Photo: Craig White
Located south of Eastern Avenue and east of Cherry Street, the Pan Am Village is the site of the games’ housing and the future site of the Canary District commercial condominiums.  A ceremony held on December 6 marked the last of the concrete pourings.  Now the work will shift to building interiors.  To everyone’s pleasure, the project is proceeding on budget and ahead of schedule.  Urban has a detailed story about the site and the future developments there along with plenty of photos and maps. 

Thomas Dannenberg’s sale
For the past three years, Thomas has lived at 290 Shuter (side door at Poulett) but the building has been sold so he has to move.  He’s selling hundreds of his illustrations that he’s done for the Star, the Globe & Mail and various magazines, his oil paintings and some of his furniture.  Wine and cheese will be served.  Friday December 13 from 5 pm and Saturday from 11 am to 4 pm.

Gerri Orwin at The Distillery
Gerri is a Raku potter and her works are in the Toronto Potters Christmas Show at The Distillery’s Arta Gallery (Gristmill Lane) this weekend.  She joins thirty other artists in the show.  It happens on Friday December 13 from 3 to 9 pm and Saturday and Sunday from 10 am to 8 pm.   

Congrats to the Sherbourne Health Centre
The Sherbourne Health Centre (333 Sherbourne) has won the City of Toronto’s Pride Award for its programs working with LGBT people.  The Centre operates Supporting Our Youth (SOY), LGBTQ Parenting Network, Rainbow Health and LBGT Family Health Team. 


Thanks from the Yonge Street Mission
Ellyn Kaufmann at Cabbagetown Self Storage (431 Parliament) has donated 34 sleeping bags and a tent to the Yonge Street Mission (306 Gerrard E) for people in need over the holiday season.  YSM’s Shirley Courtice told Ellyn that her gift is the difference between another forgetful winter and a warm memory that will last forever.  Ellyn urges other businesses in the area to support the YSM’s programs as well.  Anyone who wants to make a donation can contact the YSM at  

Santa’s coming back
Santa will visit Pet Valu (240 Carlton) on Saturday December 14 from 11 am to 3 pm.  Dale and his staff have created a great Christmas tradition with his visits.  Bring your dogs, cats, gerbils, hamsters and every other pet along for a seasonal snapshot.  Kristin Halliwell from Wet Noses Photography will be doing the photos again this year. 
This guy is wonderful.  His bubbly enthusiasm charms everyone within range.  If you’re in Cabbagetown on Saturday, watch for him and have your picture taken. 

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 that the church gives to the orchestra. Thursday, December 12, 8 pm, tickets $10.  Little Trinity Church (425 King E).

Joint holiday concert
The Canadian Children’s Opera Company and the St James Town Children’s Choir are holding a joint Christmas concert at St Peter’s Anglican Church (188 Carlton).  The performers are kids ages 6 to 19 from the two organizations. Friday, December 13, 7 pm.  Free admission.  Please bring a non-perishable food donation for the St Luke’s food bank. 

Home for the holidays
Riverdale Farm (Winchester and Sumach), Saturday December 14, 9:30 am to 3:30 pm.  The Farm hosts a family holiday event this weekend.  Santa visits the animals. There’s a farmer’s demonstration and craft activities.  Donations for a local food bank are also being collected. 

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.

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). 

Get your turkey here
Mark at St Jamestown Steak & Chops (516 Parliament) is taking Christmas orders.  Your turkey will be ready for pick-up on December 23 and 24. He has a lot of your other Christmas goodies here as well – hams, beef, steaks.  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. 

This weekend at Lowe’s Toronto Christmas Market
Lowe’s Toronto Christmas Market in The Distillery District wraps up this weekend in a big way.  The program has regular daily features like Santa’s Elves sing-along, Children’s Storytelling and the Carol Gathering.  Special events include Maderaz with Latin American holiday music (Friday, 7 pm),  the Toronto Christmas Singers (Saturday, 11 am and 12:40 pm), the Vychodna Slovak Dancers ( Saturday, noon and 3 pm),  the St John’s York Mills Handbell Choir (Saturday, 1 and 4 pm), the Randolph Glee Choir (Saturday, 3:30 and 5 pm), Terra Hazelton and Sophia Perlman in Perlhaze (Saturday, 6:45 and 7:30 pm), chamber choir Voices (Sunday, 11 am and 12:30 pm), Toronto Beach Chorale (Sunday, 1:15 pm), Hannaford Youth Band (Sunday, 3 pm), and then the Mill Street World Caroling Challenge (Sunday,  5 pm.)  Free admission. There’s a very good website with all the daily details.

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)


Photo:  Best of Toronto
Vicente Gannam has closed Cafune (194A Carlton) to the dismay and surprise of its many fans.  On the café’s voice mail, Vicente announces that Cafune has been sold and that the new managers plan to reopen in early January. 

Jamie Kennedy’s Gilead Café
The Gilead Cafe (4 Gilead Place) now offers daily a-la-carte dinner service in its wine bar from 5:30 pm,  Tuesday to Saturday.  The Café also serves breakfast (8 to 11 am) and lunch (11 am to 3 pm) from Monday to Saturday and Sunday brunch (10 am to 3 pm) and it will continue to host special programmed events and tastings.  Its menus and events are available online here. Jamie Kennedy is, of course, an important figure on Toronto’s restaurant scene.  In November, the Globe & Mail published a story about his recent problems and his new ideas for The Gilead Café. 

Junior Jazz at The Paintbox
10 to 11 am, Saturday December 14.  This month’s guest is Richard Marsella from the Regent Park School of Music.  He’ll show the kids how to make an instrument, how to play a homemade instrument and how to enjoy a large group ensemble.  Free admission.  Enjoy brunch while the kids have fun.  For more info about Junior Jazz, click here. The Paintbox Bistro (555 Dundas E)

East End Comedy Revue
Back at the Dominion on Queen (500 Queen E).  Dave Martin is your host. The revue features Ryan Belleville, Graham Chittenden, Boyd Banks and Rhiannon Archer with special guests Fraser Young, Chris Robinson and Alex Wood.  Suga Jam and Diva Ross provide the music.  8:30 pm, Saturday December 14.  Tickets are $20 each or a 4-pack at $60. 

The Local GEST – save these dates
Tiffany and the others at The Local GEST (424 Parliament) are expanding its music program.  On Sunday December 15, Robert Occhipinti’s Trio will bring “The Taste of Cuba” from 4:30 to 7:30 pm.  Then, on December 22, a highlight of the Cabbagetown calendar returns – with Jeff Barnes’ help, they’re continuing the Christmas sing-a-long tradition started by the Ben Wicks.  Save the dates.

Big shows at the Flying Beaver
On Sunday night at 7 pm, Cabbagetown’s very own cantautore, Peter Donato, makes his monthly appearance – tickets are $10/advance and $15 at the door.  Details for his show and the others on the FB’s program, click here.
On Wednesday at 7 pm, John Alcorn returns with Reg Schwager and Steve Wallace for a one-time only appearance. 

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.

Donna Garner’s Little Big Band Holiday Show
Monday December 16, 7 pm at the Winchester Kitchen & Bar (51A Winchester). This is Donna Garner’s only jazz show in Toronto this season – she’s currently touring North America in Once and she’s appearing in the show at the Royal Alex.  Her show features special guests Rick Hughes and Matt Wolpe and a nine piece band.  Tickets are $25/advance and $30 at the door.  For more info and tickets, click here. 


Christmas dinner 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.

Stout’s annual pajama party
You’ll have to ask Erin about her pajama theme – it’s a cute story.  You’re invited to Stout’s Christmas Eve pajama party – turkey dinner with all the fixin’s.  Wear your pjs and enjoy some complimentary Christmas cheer.  Trivia starts at 7:30 pm.  On New Year’s Eve, it’s time for champagne toasts, party favours and hors d’oeuvres.  Tickets are $10, available at the pub or at the website.  Stout Irish Pub (221 Carlton)

Enjoy your New Year’s Eve dinner at one of Toronto’s 100 Best restaurants.  New Year’s Eve dinner specials feature butter poached lobster, venison tenderloin and truffle risotto.  Book your reservations now at (416) 323-0666.  12 Amelia Street.

Maggie Cassella’s Year End Party
New Year’s Eve from 8 pm at the Flying Beaver (488 Parliament).  Maggie looks back at the year that was.  Show tickets are $25. Please reserve your table when you buy your ticket -  there’s a minimum drinks/dinner charge of $30.  All of this is followed by the NYE Dance Party and free champers at midnight.  For those who only want to dance, the ticket is $5, space permitting.



Contact info
Alice’s Place, 554 Parliament St, (647) 931-9088
Dominion on Queen, 500 Queen St E, (416) 368-6893,
Flying Beaver, 488 Parliament St, (647) 347-6567,
Local GEST, 424 Parliament St, (416) 961-9425,
Mill Street Beer Hall, 21 Tank House Ln (Distillery), (416) 681-0338, Facebook and
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
8 pm, Melanie Peterson & Graydon James, “Xmas Show”, $10/advance & $15/door
Winchester Kitchen & Bar
9 pm, Loser Karaoke with Jason Rolland


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


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


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
Local GEST
4:30 pm, Jazz with Roberto Occhipinti Trio “The Taste of Cuba”
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


Winchester Kitchen & Bar
7 pm, Donna Garner “Little Big Band Holiday Show”, $25/advance & $30/door
10:30 pm Win-Prov


Dominion on Queen
8:30 pm, Hot Club of Corktown “Django Jam”, pwyc
Flying Beaver
7:30 pm, Alexandra Stratham’s “Season of giving cabaret” for the Daily Bread Food Bank,  $10/advance & $15/door
Stout Irish Pub
7:30 pm, Nerd Night pub quiz
Winchester Kitchen & Bar
10 pm, Games & movie night


Alice’s Place
9 pm, Karaoke
Dominion on Queen
8 pm, Corktown Ukelele jam, $5
Flying Beaver
7 pm, John Alcorn, Reg Schwager & Steve Wallace “Happy Holidays songbook”,
$15/advance & $20/door
Winchester Kitchen & Bar
7:30 pm, Smart ass trivia
10 pm, Karaoke with Jason Rolland


Dominion on Queen
7 pm, The Wee Folk Club, $10
Flying Beaver
9 pm, Kendall Partington’s holiday show, no cover
Winchester Kitchen & Bar
9 pm, Loser karaoke with Jason Rolland


Flying Beaver
9 pm, Ryan Hind’s Comedy, cabarat and coffee talk – holigay edition, $10/advance, $15/door
Stout Irish Pub
7 pm, Beer tastings with Railway City
Winchester Kitchen & Bar
10 pm, Barbarosa, pwyc


Dominion on Queen
9 pm,  Saturday night blues
Flying Beaver
7 pm, Sara Hennesey & Stephanie Kaliner “Terrific Women” $10/advance & $15/door
9 pm, Whiskey Jack (unplugged), $10/advance & $15/door


Alice’s Place
4 pm, Karaoke
Dominion on Queen
11 am to 3 pm, Rockabilly brunch with the Cosmotones
4:30 pm, Toronto Art Orchestra, $10
Flying Beaver
7 pm, Annual Holiday Variety Show fundraiser for the Sherbourne Health Centre.
Mill Street Beer Hall
1 pm, Jazz brunch
Winchester Kitchen & Bar
7 pm, Magic at the Winchester, $10
9 pm, Open Mic with Porter