CABBAGETOWN NEIGHBOURHOOD REVIEW
This week’s image:  Spruce Street, Wednesday February 5

OPEN HOUSES
Homes are being offered and snapped up across the neighbourhood.  To see this week’s Open Houses, click here.

NEIGHBOURHOOD NEWS

Glen’s 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) with 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.

The new City budget
Pam McConnell has analyzed the City of Toronto’s new budget for the coming year in her latest Newsletter.  Rising above all the tragedy, comedy and media play at City Hall, she’s given us a dispassionate look at the way the City is spending our money.  Check it out here.

Chrystia Freeland’s meet & greet
Our new Member of Parliament is holding an informal drop-in to get acquainted with people from Toronto Centre riding.  It happens on Saturday February 15 from 1 to 2:30 pm in the party room at the Regent Park Aquatic Centre (640 Dundas E).  Nibblies and coffee will be available. 

The new Toronto Birth Centre
The Ontario government has opened two new birth centres as pilot projects designed to give women a safe, culturally respectful place to have their babies.  The Toronto Birth Centre is located at 525 Dundas St East.  Its focus is centred on midwife care for women who are experiencing normal childbirth.  There’s an extensive website that explains its operations and gives directions for finding a midwife. 

Filipino Martial Arts
Manoy Jojo has organized FMA classes at the Winchester Theatre (80 Winchester) on Sundays from 5 to 6:30 pm.  New participants are welcome.  The group, Doces Pares, teaches its Eskrima style of martial arts using sticks.  Many other techniques begin with empty hands but Eskrima introduces weapons from the beginning.  Eskrima has been widely featured in movies, books and television programs.  More detail is available online. Interested people can email doceparescanada@gmail.com

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. 

Black History month
Black History month exhibitions continue at the Daniels Spectrum (585 Dundas E).  Ghanian-Canadian sculptor Ekow Nimako has used 50,000 Leggo pieces to create Building Black.  Jamaican-born photographer Rose-Ann Marie Bailey explores concepts of beauty and body in Black men and women.  Black Future Month 3014 is a collection from 13 visual artists describing their vision of the distant future for Black people.  February 1 to 28.  Weekdays, 8 am to 9 pm and weekends, 10 am to 6 pm. 

Guard your canaries
This impressive fellow has been visiting the St James Cemetery area over the winter.  It’s a Cooper’s Hawk who enjoys dining on smaller birds and is a skilled flyer who navigates into bushes and trees to hunt them down. 

Just three more months
The annual Forsythia Festival happens in Wellesley Park on the first weekend in May every year.  That’s just three months away.  You’ll be cavorting around in shorts, tee shirts and flip-flops.  This announcement is brought to you courtesy of the folks at the Cabbagetown Residents Association.  Check out the new Festival page at the CRA’s website.

VALENTINE’S IS JUST A WEEK AWAY

Since February 14 falls on a Friday this year, our favourite restaurants and watering holes are getting busy and giving us a whole weekend of love.  How nice is that!

Valentine's weekend menus

Cranberries
On Friday, February 14, Cranberries is offering a three course dinner.  Two seatings – 5 and 7:30 pm.  Appetizers include soup, shrimp or mixed green salad.  The main courses are beef tenderloin, roasted Atlantic salmon or chicken supreme.  There’s a Grand Marnier dark chocolate truffle for dessert.  Cranberries’ loyal fans appreciate Siva’s skill and his quiet way of offering big surprises with his special dinners.  $40.  Reservations at (416) 925-6330.  601 Parliament

Extended F’Amelia
Oysters, bubblies and three special boards – carnivores ($18), sea ($18) and vegetarian ($16).  With its casual and cozy intimacy, Toronto Life says that Extended F’Amelia is #1 for a first date.  Reservations at (416) 323-0666.  8 Amelia. 

F’Amelia
Seriously good food.  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.  Reservations at (416) 323-0666. 12 Amelia

Hey Lucy
Three seatings for Hey Lucy’s Valentine’s dinner – 5, 7 and 9 pm.  There’ll be ”his and hers” drinks, a special wine promotion and the regular menu.  It’s a popular spot and reservations are a very good idea.  Call (416) 901-9777.  229 Carlton

House on Parliament
Special Valentine’s menu on the weekend.  No reservations.  Be sure to try Beau’s St Luke’s Verse lavender gruit.  It’s  great beer with unique taste.  St Luke’s verse is a medieval parable about maidens who wanted to see their true love in their dreams … hmmmm.  454 Parliament

Peartree
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. 507 Parliament.

Stout Irish Pub
Erin will be offering a special Valentine’s menu on Friday night along with her usual assortment of tasty (and irresistible) beers.  For reservations, call (647) 344-7676.  221 Carlton

Valentine’s entertainment

Big bands and harmonicas
As usual, the entertainment at the Dominion on Queen is mixed, lively and really interesting.  On Friday February 14, Pamalot with Pam Hyatt, Peter Hill & Jacob Gorzhaltson presents jazz standards and comedy in “That ain’t your Valentine.”  On Saturday afternoon from 1 to 5 pm, Carlos del Junco hosts the Toronto Blues Society harmonica workshop with Jerome Godboo, Roly Platt and Mike Stevens ($10 members and $12 public).  On Saturday night, there’s the Big City Band in the Big Show at 9 pm ($10).  500 Queen East.

Dina Martina at the Flying Beaver
It’s Dina’s latest Toronto appearance and it’s a biggie – four shows in two nights.  She’s been called “one of the maddest drag acts ever”.  Friday February 14 and Saturday February 15 at 7 and 9 pm each night.  Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door – phone (647) 347-6567 and online. As always, dinner patrons get priority seating.  488 Parliament.

Learn salsa at The Local GEST
Erika Galindo will be here on Valentine’s night to teach salsa lessons and to lead the evening’s dancing.  It’s time to enjoy and share this wonderful music and its romance.  424 Parliament

Joel Hartt at the Paintbox
Joel Hartt is an accomplished singer and entertainer.  He promises an evening of romantic, swinging love songs.  And Paintbox will have a three-course prix fixe dinner.  Reservations are highly recommended at (647) 748-0555.  Tickets are $15 and dinner is $30.  555 Dundas E.

REGULAR NEWS FROM OUR SHOPS & RESTAURANTS

Kendall & Co + Sale = Love
 
Kevin says “we all like a good sale and we all LOVE a great deal.” So Kendall & Co has both for Cabbagetowners who want to take advantage of fantastic offers on home accessories, serving ware, lighting, rugs and furniture – now up to 50% off. Check out the details online and visit the showroom (227 Carlton) from 10 am to 6 pm weekdays and 11 am to 5 pm Saturdays.

Winterlicious
The annual city-wide food fest is underway.  You can see the menus from our local eateries online.  Mill Street Brew Pub and Mill Street Beer Hall (21 Tank House Lane, The Distillery) Paintbox Bistro  (555 Dundas E), Archeo (The Distillery) and Pure Spirits Oyster House & Grill (The Distillery)

Bev Jenkins at Peartree
Bev Jenkins’ oil paintings will hang at Peartree (507 Parliament) through February and March.  Her landscapes focus on nature and its vivid colours, light and texture. 

Poutine week at Under the Table
Photo: Marina L at Yelp
Betty and Kim are gearing up for poutine week.  They’ve prepared four special poutine dishes guaranteed to clog your arteries – Jerk chicken, meat lovers, ground beef and chili & beef hot dog.  Open for lunch and dinner.  568 Parliament.

Adopt a cat
Cat Busters is back at Pet Valu (242 Carlton) on Saturday February 15 from 10 am to 4 pm.  It’s your chance to rescue a deserving kitten and it’s a cat’s chance to rule your house.  This might be your best-ever Valentine’s gift. 

No blog next week
The Cabbagetown Neighbourhood Review won’t publish next week.  It appears that everyone here wants to go to a place where there’s plenty of snow.  We’ll be back on February 20.

CLUBS & PUBS – DAILY LISTINGS

THURSDAY FEBRUARY 6 TO SUNDAY FEBRUARY 16

Contact info
Alice’s Place, 554 Parliament St, (647) 931-9088
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 http://toronto.millstreetbrewpub.ca/
Paintbox Bistro, 555 Dundas St E, (647) 748-0555, www.paintboxbistro.ca
Stout Irish Pub, 221 Carlton St, (647) 344-7676, www.stoutirishpub.ca
Under the Table, 568 Parliament St, (647) 351-1533
Winchester Stage & 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 FEBRUARY 6
 
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

FRIDAY FEBRUARY 7

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
10 pm, Dirty bingo is back, no cover
 
SATURDAY FEBRUARY 8

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
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

SUNDAY FEBRUARY 9

Alice’s Place
4 pm, Karaoke
Dominion on Queen
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 Sophia Perlman trio
Mill Street Beer Hall
1 pm, Jazz brunch
Winchester Stage & Bar
7 pm, Magic at the Winchester, $10

MONDAY FEBRUARY 10

Dominion on Queen
7:30 pm, Good neighbours open mic, music, comedy & spoken word
Stout Irish Pub
7:30 pm, Nerd Night pub quiz
Winchester Stage & Bar
9 pm Win-Prov
10 pm, Indie music Monday

TUESDAY FEBRUARY 11

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

WEDNESDAY FEBRUARY 12

Alice’s Place
9 pm, Karaoke
Dominion on Queen
8 pm, Corktown ukulele jam
Winchester Stage & Bar
7:30 pm, Smart ass trivia
10 pm, Open Mic with Porter

THURSDAY FEBRUARY 13

Flying Beaver
7:30 pm, songs by Tim Boyle “Love actually”, $15/advance & $20/door
10 pm, comedy with Eman “Unveiled”, $10/advance & $15/door
Local GEST
8 pm, Music night with Jeff Barnes & Noah Zacharin
Under the Table
8 pm, Movie night with $4 appetizers
Winchester Stage & Bar
9 pm, Loser Karaoke with Jason Rolland

FRIDAY FEBRUARY 14

Dominion on Queen
8 pm, Pamalot presents “That ain’t your valentine” with Pam Hyatt, Peter Hill & Jacob Gorzhaltson
Flying Beaver
7 & 9 pm, cult sensation Dina Martina, $20/advance & $25/door
Local GEST
Salsa night with Erika Galindo
Paintbox
8 pm, Joel Hartt, “My swinging Valentine”, $15

SATURDAY FEBRUARY 15

Dominion on Queen
1 to 5 pm, Toronto Blues Society harmonica workshop with Carlos del Junco and special guests, $10 TBS members & $12 public
9 to 11 pm, Big City, Big Band, Big Show, $10
Flying Beaver
7 & 9 pm, cult sensation Dina Martina, $20/advance & $25/door
Paintbox
8 pm, Luis Mario Ochoa (Latin jazz) in the Flavour of Jazz series, $20
 
SUNDAY FEBRUARY 16
 
Alice’s Place
4 pm, Karaoke
Dominion on Queen
5 pm, York Jazz Ensemble, $10
D B Buxton Sonic Blues BBQ – show from 9 pm, food from 7 pm, after party from midnight to 2 am, $10
Local GEST
4:30 pm, Sunday Jazz with Shawn Nykwist trio
Mill Street Beer Hall
1 pm, Jazz brunch
Winchester Stage & Bar
7 pm, Magic at the Winchester, $10