This week’s image:  Willie in Riverdale Park, photo by Irene DeClute.

After a leisurely holiday over the New Year and a few weeks to recuperate, we’re finally offering our Open House section once again.  And none too soon.  The housing market in Cabbagetown is very brisk.  In Toronto generally, the market seems to have surprised the experts with its early vigour.  To see this week’s Open Houses, click here.


So, what’s your house worth?
Nick and Hilary from Sage Real Estate (538 Parliament) have issued their annual review of sales and pricing for Cabbagetown homes.  They’ve provided comparisons and graphics to help you see how your house performed last year.  As usual, you’ll wonder why you aren’t worth more but - don’t fret - the prices  involved are unbelievable.   Click here to read the good news. 

Seeing stars
Tania from the House on Parliament (454 Parliament) met Chris Hadfield from the Space Station at the Leafs game last week.  He sang the national anthem before the game.  She inspired the team to a 5 – 3 win against Montreal.  Just a year ago on January 21 while he was in orbit around the Earth, he dropped the puck to start the game and bragged that he was the first member of Leafs nation in outer space. Watch a fun video of all of this here. 

It’s official
Photo: Chris Wattie, Corbis
Our new Member of Parliament, Chrystia Freeland, has been sworn in and introduced in the House of Commons.   Her constituency office is located at 514 Parliament Street (south of Winchester) – the same place where our provincial MPP Glen Murray can be found.  You can reach her at (416) 954-2222 or at  

New speaker’s series
Photo: Globe & Mail
Glen Murray, our MPP for Toronto Centre, is organizing a new monthly speaker’s event called Ideas Distillery.  The first one happens on Thursday February 6 at 6:30 pm at The Foxes Den (1075 Bay St).  The featured guest is Paul Bedford, former chief planner at the City of Toronto and Vice Chair of Ontario’s Transit Investment Strategy Advisory Panel.  He’ll be talking about the steps needed to unlock gridlock and get Toronto moving successfully.  Everybody welcome – no cover charge.


420 is really open
Virginia’s 420 Smokehouse (420 Parliament) opened last Wednesday.  The food is really good.  A quick lunch included a smoked meat sandwich, very good French fries, coleslaw and a killer dill pickle.  Licenced.  Open Tuesday to Sunday, 11:30 am to 11 pm.  Congrats Virginia.

Olya is one year old
On Tuesday, Café Olya celebrated its first anniversary at 540 Parliament.  Congrats and thanks, Olyana and Mike.  Their bakery and coffee shop has been a great addition to the neighbourhood.  They work in a tiny kitchen and sales area and create marvellous coffee and baked goods.  This winter, they moved into a Cabbagetown apartment and they’re loving the short commute to and from their home.  Check out the Café’s Facebook page for daily specials.

Welcome Mike Dawson
Vintage Vagabond Co has opened at 6031/2 Parliament (just north of Cranberries) and it’s a fascinating place to visit and browse.  It’s a very small shop that’s crammed full of rare and unusual vintage goodies.  Mike says that he specializes in “buying low and selling low” so you can expect lots of bargains.  While you’re there, you’ll meet Josephine, Mike’s dog, who’s friendly, curious, large and very charming. 

Raiyan & Anand at The Spice House
The Spice House has opened at 587 Parliament.  The menu includes Tandoori chicken, butter chicken, biryanis, curries and a nice range of side dishes.  Prices are incredibly low and the restaurant is a small, clean and bright room. 


Auditions at the CCDT
The Canadian Contemporary Dance Theatre (519 Parliament) is holding auditions in two age categories within a few weeks.  For ages 8 to 13, the audition happens on Saturday February 23 from 10 to 11:30 am (for ages 8 to 10) and from noon to 2 pm (ages 11 to 13) with callbacks on Monday February 24 or Saturday March 1.  For ages 14 to 20, the audition is on Sunday March 2 from 10 am to 1 pm with callbacks on Monday March 3 or Saturday March 8.  For more details about the programs for each age group plus the audition registration form, click here.

Valentines Day at F’Amelia
Photo: Toronto Life
Reservations are now available at both F’Amelia (12 Amelia) and Extended F’Amelia for February 13, 14 and 15.  At Extended F’Amelia, the specials include six oysters for $18 or $29 paired with two glasses of bubbly.  There’s also a Carnivore’s Board and a Seafood Board at $18 each and a Vegetarian Board and a Cheese Board at $16 each.  At F’Amelia, the prix fixe menu includes soup, wild mushroom salad or calamari to start along with farfalle ($49), osso bucco ($59),  lobster risotto ($65) or rib-eye steak for two people ($69) followed by your choice from three desserts and chocolate truffles.  To reserve, call (5416) 323-0666.

Peartree Valentine Dinner
As always, Peartree (507 Parliament) has a super special for Valentines – dinner for two for $70.  Your selections include soup or several appetizers and salads, New York striploin with lobster tails, roasted rack of lamb, Peartree’s seafood classic, roasted Chilean sea bass, roast chicken or Mediterranean penne pasta.  For dessert, there are four cakes and mousse.


Poutine week
Merryberry (559 Parliament) is part of a city-wide celebration of poutine that happens from Saturday February 1 to Friday February 7.  Over 20 restaurants are participating and their recipes combinations are dazzling.  Cyril, for example, has seasoned potato wedges and crunchy French beans covered with a cream, wine and mushroom sauce and sprinkled with goat cheese and walnuts.  It’s a contest – check out your favourites and then vote for them.  The official poutine week website has all the details.  Click here.

Busy weekends

Last week, Erin at Stout Irish Pub (221 Carlton) celebrated her third birthday with a full house and plenty of games, contests and special drinks. 

House on Parliament (454 Parliament) held its annual Robbie Burns celebration with William Brisland slicing the haggis and the Julie Mcdonnell Highland Dancers.  

Movie night at Under the Table
Photo: Marina L at Yelp
This week, John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John make an appearance with their 1978 classic, Grease.  The film screens at 8 pm.  Betty has prepared a tempting array of $4 appetizers and Kim is offering free popcorn.  568 Parliament.

Stout’s winter offerings
Erin has expanded her highly successful Nerd Night.  Tuesdays are filling up nicely so she’s added a Monday event to the schedule at 7:30 pm.  On Fridays, she’s continuing her tasting events with a different beer on tap each week, from 5 to 7 pm.  Stout Irish Pub, 221 Carlton.

Dina Martina at The Flying Beaver
The Flying Beaver (488 Parliament) presents four shows in two days with cult sensation Dina Martina, “one of the maddest drag acts ever”.  Friday February 14 (7 pm and 9 pm) and Saturday February 15 (7 pm and 9 pm).  Tickets are $20 advance and $25 at the door.

Jazz everywhere

The Local GEST (424 Parliament) continues its Sunday afternoon jazz program with Artie Ross (bass) and Geoff Young (guitar) on Sunday from 4:30.

At the Dominion on Queen (500 Queen E) the Friday night jazz pulse features Havana to Toronto Live, Afro-Cuban jazz.  9 pm, cover charge $10.  On Sunday February 9, the Wintergarten Orchestra plays from 4:30 pm, $10 cover. 

Photo: Rochester Jazz Festival
Paintbox Bistro (555 Dundas E) is home to the JPEC series with Maria Farinha (Brazilian jazz and bossa nova) on Saturday February 1, Juno award winners David Braid and Matt Brubeck on Saturday February 8 and Luis Mario Ochoa (Cuban/Latin jazz) on Saturday February 15.  Tickets are $20 for each event and you can buy a three-course dinner for $30 more. 

The Wee Folk Club
The Dominion on Queen (500 Queen E) regularly hosts The Wee Folk Club.  The next edition happens on Thursday February 6 at 7 pm with guitarist Tony Quarrington and Hannah Naiman (vocals and banjo). $10 cover.  The Wee Folk Club is based on a British idea – a small room in a pub where singers sing songs with stories in them. 


Kendall & Co
The National Post has just run a story about some of the candle holders on sale at Kendall (227 Carlton) to celebrate the Chinese new year. Kendall has also marked down more items for its Seasonal Winter Clearance.  Home accessories, serving ware, lighting, rugs and furniture are now up to 40% off.  You can see the details here. The store is open from 10 am to 6 pm weekdays and 11 am to 5 pm Saturday.

Marilyn at Pet Valu
Drop by Pet Valu (240 Carlton) on Saturday from 10 am to 4 pm to see Marilyn Wilpute.  Bring your dog, cat or other favourite pet and she’ll trim your pal’s nails for $10.

Redfeather’s quilts
Redfeather (418B Parliament) is an interesting Cabbagetown business that offers natural products designed to help you live pain free.  You can see their lines online here. Tim has added a selection of three native-designed quilts which he’s successfully selling to customers in reservations across Northern Ontario and Quebec.  For more information, contact him or Jason at (416) 929-5444. 

Spruce sale
Kim and Tara at Spruce Home Décor (455 Parliament) are holding a clearance sale to make room for the new crafts that they’ll soon be bringing into the store.  Their shop has been well received in the seven months since opening for its emphasis on unique handmade, local goods.  If you go there, be sure to check out the City of Neighbourhood toques. The Cabbagetown toque has sold out four times since they brought it in.  In January, blogTO listed Spruce as one of nine best new design stores in the city. 



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,
Under the Table, 568 Parliament St, (647) 351-1533
Winchester Stage & 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
7 pm, Savoy Howe presents “Punch like a girl”, $5
10 pm, Joe Donahue’s “Bathtub gin review”, pwyc
Local GEST
8 pm, Music night with Jeff Barnes & Noah Zacharin
Under the Table
8 pm, Movie night “Grease” with $4 appetizers and nibblies
Winchester Stage & Bar
9 pm, Loser Karaoke with Jason Rolland
Dominion on Queen
7 pm, food, 9 pm, D B Buxton “Sonic Blues BBQ” $10, midnight, after party.
Flying Beaver
7 pm, Jeni Walls as Jeni Walls, $15/advance & $20/door
9 pm, Ryan G Hinds, “Comedy, cabaret & coffee talk”, $10/advance & $15/door

Dominion on Queen
9 pm, The Diamond Drapes “Steeltown Rockers”
Flying Beaver
7 pm, Maggie’s Mish Mash no cover talent show
9 pm, Dale Miller & Ron Kelly, “Dudettes, A year gone by”, $15/advance & $20/door
Paint Box Bistro
8 pm, Maria Farinha (Brazilian jazz & bossa nova) in the Flavour of Jazz series, $20

Alice’s Place
4 pm, Karaoke
Dominion on Queen
11 am to 3 pm, Rockabilly brunch with the Cosmotones
Flying Beaver
4 pm, SuperBowl Party
Local GEST
4:30 pm, Sunday Jazz with Geoff Young (guitar) & Artie Roth (bass)
Mill Street Beer Hall
1 pm, Jazz brunch with the Tyler Yarema Trio
Winchester Kitchen & Bar
7 pm, Magic at the Winchester, $10

Stout Irish Pub
7:30 pm, Nerd Night pub quiz
Winchester Stage & Bar
9 pm Win-Prov
10 pm, Indie music Monday

Dominion on Queen
8:30 pm, Hot Club of Corktown “Django Jam”, pwyc
Stout Irish Pub
7:30 pm, Nerd Night pub quiz
Winchester Stage & Bar
10 pm, Games & movie night

Alice’s Place
9 pm, Karaoke
Dominion on Queen
8 pm, Corktown ukulele jam
Flying Beaver
7 pm, Paul Bellini, “Liar liar, pants on fire” no cover
9 pm, From New York - Erin Judge, Abbey Crutchfield, Carrie Gravenson & Kaytlin Bailey “Pink collar comedy, $10/advance & $15/door
Winchester Stage & Bar
7:30 pm, Smart ass trivia
10 pm, Open Mic with Porter
Dominion on Queen
7 pm, Wee Folk Club, $10
Under the Table
8 pm, Movie night with $4 appetizers
Winchester Stage & Bar
9 pm, Loser karaoke with Jason Rolland


Dominion on Queen
9 pm, Friday night jazz pulse, Havana to Toronto afro-cuban jazz, $10
Flying Beaver
7 pm, Kevin Wong Sings “New musical theatre”, $15/advance & $20/door
9 pm, Kathleen Phillips solo comedy show, $10
Paintbox Bistro
10 pm, Dirty bingo is back, no cover
Dominion on Queen
8 pm, Saturday night blues, James Anthony’s CD release, $10 show, $20 show & CD
Flying Beaver
7 & 9 pm, Heartbreaker’s fundraiser, “A singing out review”,  $15/advance & $20/door
Paintbox Bistro
8 pm, David Braid & Matt Brubeck in the Flavour of Jazz series, $20 and $30 dinner
Winchester Stage & Bar
10 pm, Matt Morgan & the Mayday


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
11 am, Psychic brunch
7:30 pm, Sarah Strange & Katie Beetham “2 Divine”, $10/advance & $15/door
Local GEST
4:30 pm, Sunday jazz
Mill Street Beer Hall
1 pm, Jazz brunch
Winchester Stage & Bar
7 pm, Magic at the Winchester, $10