February 27


This week’s image:  Olympic hockey gold at The Local GEST, 7 am Sunday

Click here to read about the open houses in our neighbourhood.

Photo:  CBC
If you’ve got an issue with crime near your home, you might want to recruit these folks.  It’s been widely reported that 82-year old Mrs Ye was accosted in her apartment at Sherbourne and Dundas by a 52-year old man who claimed to be helping her.  Her neighbours, Chin-Hua Chen and 71-year old  Jane Harris (both senior citizens) intervened and then were helped by a homeless man who happened to be in the building’s stairwell.  Mr Chen slowed him down, the homeless man landed a few blows and then Ms Harris delivered the coup de grace with her cane.  Police now have a man in custody and have laid a variety of assault and robbery charges.  The CBC has a colourful video about the incident .

Cabbagetown South meeting
On March 5, the residents’ association will hold its March meeting at Retsina (209 Gerrard E) at 7 pm.  Superintendent Elizabeth Byrnes and Staff Sergeant John Spanton from 51 Division will talk about policing issues in the area. 

Storytelling events
Dinny Biggs reports that three special storytelling events are coming soon.  The Toronto Storytelling Festival happens from March 28 to April 6 – with its main stage at the Daniels Spectrum from April 3 to 6.  Within the Festival, there’ll be a special symposium about Storytelling & Social Justice on April 3.  On March 29, Urban Campfires is being held at the Parliament Street Library.  Check out the details, schedules and ticket info at the Festival website.

Regent Park update
Photo: Daniels Corporation
The proposed revisions for the redevelopment in Regent Park were sent to Community Council on February 25 and they’re scheduled for the March 20 agenda at City Council.
In brief, these changes increase the number of units for the area from 5400 to 7500.  This extra density will be totally devoted to market units and will increase the percentage of market units in the project from 60 to 75%.  
The large central park will be complete in the Spring.  Construction on the Athletic Grounds and the Linear Park will start this year and the work on the community centre has started and will finish in 2015.  A summary of these revisions with a full set of maps is available here.  For a complete copy of the detailed motion before Community Council, click here.  

Spring yoga with Joy
Joy Craighead has been teaching yoga since 1983.  She’s just back from India where she’s been teaching at the Himalayan Hospital and Medical School.  She offering two eight-week series of hatha yoga classes from February 24 to April 14 and from May 4 to June 23. Mondays, 6 to 7:30 pm, at the Kiwanis Boys & Girls Club (101 Spruce), $85 each.  Joy is donating all proceeds from the classes to the Himalayan Hospital.  Contact her at (416) 921-2683. 

Thai massage at Sundara
Helen Coltrinari has recommended Margo at Sundara (490 Parliament) for her Thai massage therapies.  It’s offered on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday afternoons from 2 to 5 pm.  Sessions are $45.  You can reach Margo at (647) 890-1830.  Helen says that her session with Margo was quite wonderful.

Congrats to Diane Flacks
Starting on March 12, Global TV presents Working The Engels, a new comedy show that reunites SCTV alumni Martin Short, Eugene Levy and Andrea Martin.  Diane is writing for the show.  She’s also included in Tarragon Theatre’s 2014-2015 season lineup. Her play, Waiting Room, will be staged from January 6 to February 15.  Click here to see the Global promo and here to read The Toronto Star’s report about Tarragon’s next season.  


Hockey madness
When the liquor board decided to extend pub hours into the early morning last Sunday to accommodate Olympic hockey fans, two local spots took advantage of the opportunity.  Both opened at 6:45 am for the 7 am start.  At the House on Parliament (454 Parliament), fans packed into the upper level and enjoyed the buffet breakfast laid out downstairs.  At the Local GEST (424  Parliament), fans gathered around the bar on both sides of the room to watch the game. 

The Winchester Kitchen & Bar
The Winchester Kitchen & Bar (51A Winchester) has closed.  Its location on the second floor of the Winchester building was a beautiful room  but it’s also a tough spot for restaurants and clubs.  On its Facebook page, the staff have offered their thanks to their friends for three fun years on Winchester.

The Irv
The new gastropub at 195 Carlton at Ontario (where JAMcafe used to be) will open on schedule on Saturday night.  The interior has been radically changed – gone is the wood panelling and the small booths.  It’s now a brighter, modern room with lots of glass and grey throughout.  Watch for regular entertainment on the weekends and try out the specially brewed beer.  The Irv’s Facebook page has listed its weekly features and menus.  

650 Bistro
Right across the street at 194A Carlton (in the home of the former Cafune), 650 Bistro is almost ready to open.  Stefano says that the menu will feature a Mediterranean touch. 

420 Smokehouse
Photo:  blogTO, Jesse Milns
Virginia has been tinkering with her menu.  She’s now added a thick peameal bacon sandwich,  reuben, smoked meat poutine, fish and chips, a bacon burger, pulled pork, and two kinds of chicken wings.  Open from 11:30 am to 11 pm, Tuesday to Sunday, 420 Parliament

Stout’s busy schedule
March will be a busy month for Erin and her staff at Stout Irish Pub (221 Carlton).  Of course, St Patrick’s Day rings a big bell in an Irish pub – so she’s celebrating with a four-day event.  She’s also brewing a special beer (coconut and lemon grass IPA) to mark International Women Day on March 8.  And she’ll be having an hour-long candlelit event on Earth Day.  Watch for details about each event as the time approaches.

Academy Awards weekend

The Flying Beaver (488 Parliament) has a two-day extravaganza lined up for the Oscars.  On Saturday, the evening starts at 7 pm with the Oscar Trivia Game and continues at 9 pm with “And the Winner Is IV”.  It’s an evening filled with your favourite songs from the movies.  On Sunday, the entire Pubaret is devoted to the Oscars on the big screen TVs – watch the winners while munching on lobsters. 

The Local GEST (424 Parliament) invites you to come as an actor in any nominated film (past or present) or in your Red Carpet Attire.  There’ll be prizes for the best costumes and an Oscar Trivia Pool.  From 6 pm on Sunday.

Music on the weekend

Check out the new place, The Irv (195 Carlton).  There’ll be live acoustic music from 9 pm to 1 am on Saturday.  It’s opening night for the pub so it should be an interesting evening.

The Paintbox (555 Dundas W) features Ilios Streyannis and his band, Solar Panel, with Chris Pruden (keyboards), Mario Potestio (guitar) and Mike Pelletier (bass) on Saturday at 8 pm.  $10 cover with a prix fixe dinner for $30.  On Sunday from 5:30 pm, the teachers from the Regent Park School of Music present “Yo Teach, play me a tune.”No cover charge. 

Sunday afternoon jazz at The Local GEST (424 Parliament) welcomes Melissa Lauren and her trio at 4:30 pm.  

The Dominion on Queen has the Paul James Band at the Sonic Blues party on Saturday at 9 pm.  $10 cover. 500 Queen E.


New Ideas Festival, March 12 to 30
A three-week festival of new writings, experimental theatre and works-in-progress at The Alumnae Theatre (70 Berkeley).  There’s a new program every week and a playwright reading every Saturday at noon. This year, 15 new works are presented, each ranging in length from 10 to 60 minutes.  For the detailed week-by-week program and tickets, click here. 

Norman Conquests
Back at Soulpepper with three plays making up the series – Table Manners (February 27),  Living Together (February 28, 8 pm) and Round and Round the Garden (March 3, 8 pm).  The trilogy continues to March 8.  50 Tank House Lane, Distillery.

Auditions at CCDT
The Canadian Contemporary Dance Theatre (509 Parliament) is holding auditions on Sunday March 2 from 10 am to 1 pm for Company Dancers or Company Apprentices ages 14 to 20.  Each dancer will perform one ballet and one modern class.  All auditioning dancers must have three years experience in ballet or modern dance.  $30 audition fee.  Contact Deborah Lundmark at dlundmark@ccdt.org   



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

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


Flying Beaver
7 pm, Benefit for “Stand-up against domestic violence” $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


Flying Beaver
7 pm, Whiskey Jack (unplugged), $15/advance & $20/door
9 pm, The legendary Carole Pope, $20/advance & $25/door


Dominion on Queen
9 pm, Paul James Band “Blues party” $10
Flying Beaver
7 pm, The Oscar Trivia Game
9 pm, And The Winner Is, IV
Trivia game only $10, The Winner $15, both shows $20
8 pm, The Solar Panel Band, $10 cover, $30 3-course dinner.


Alice’s Place
4 pm, Karaoke
Flying Beaver
4 pm, Tea Dance, no cover
5 pm, Lobsters & Oscars
Local GEST
4:30 pm, Sunday Jazz with Melissa Lauren
7 pm, Academy Awards
Mill Street Beer Hall
1 pm, Jazz brunch
5:30 pm, “Yo Teach, play a tune” with staff from the Regent Park School of Music, no cover