August 21

This week’s image:  A resident cleans up the trash in Anniversary Park


Anniversary Park
It seems that everyone forgets Anniversary Park – the little triangle at Gerrard and Parliament.  Periodically, big plans pop up for its future but no one pays any attention to its current condition.  In fact, a few simple upgrades would make it a very pleasant place while the bigger changes are contemplated.  For example, the gardens could be perked up with lots of inexpensive annuals, the water in the fountain could be filtered and cleaned, and the trash could be swept up frequently.  These changes involve daily inspections and regular efforts but not a lot of money.  If the City won’t do the work, then perhaps the BIA and the Daniels Corporation could devise a maintenance schedule. The BIA’s management of its gardens at Carlton and Parliament has proven exemplary – so why not add Anniversary Park onto the list as well.

Air conditioning noise from Regent Park
New buildings in Regent Park are plugged into a Community Energy Centre (252 Sackville) which supplies their heating and air conditioning needs.  It’s a great idea – TCHC hopes to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 400,000 tonnes over a thirty year period.  Unfortunately for the past four years, the high speed cooling towers located on its roof have been blasting out a loud, droning, oscillating noise which worsens in the summer.  Local residents as far away as Carlton Street have complained. In the Spring, TCHC hired a consultant to offer a solution.  By late August, it hopes to send the plan to install silencers on the roof to the provincial Ministry of Energy for approval.  It’s an amazing story of a good idea surrounded by dithering.  You can read the residents’ story on their website.  

Thanks to the Cabbagetown Resident’s Association
The CRA has been writing very informative community bulletins on its website for some time now.  The noise story comes from its August newsletter.  You can read the CRA’s website here

Blair`s Run – Sunday September 7
Photo:  Eric Morse
The little race is growing up!  For its 35th anniversary organizers have put together a website along with all kinds of convenient online registrations.  It`s a very easy way to get registered for yourself and your team.  You can also set up a fundraising page that you can share on Facebook and Twitter.  If you want to volunteer, you can forward your name here.  Click here. 

The Liberals are all leaving
Photo:  Toronto Life
A couple of weeks ago, Glen Murray finalized arrangements to move his constituency office away from its Parliament Street location.  Now Chrystia Freeland is going as well. They’ll both be gone by August 31.  
It’s sad.  These guys always made us feel closely connected to the lofty corridors of power and occasionally we enjoyed the excitement of an overheated protest march or graffiti chalked onto the sidewalk.  A few years ago, for example, poverty-stricken teachers demonstrated against Glen day after day to the lunatic sounds of a scratchy boombox playing Abba's “Waterloo” – puzzling but unforgettable. You can still reach Glen at 120 Carlton Street, Suite 310 (416-972-7686) and Chrystia at 1027 Yonge Street, Suite 315, (416-954-2222).

Check out the gardens
A reminder - Streetscapes in Bloom is the annual Cabbagetown Preservation Association’s award to gardeners who have a special impact on the street around their home.  In the Spring, three homes were nominated and the judges have been watching their progress as the seasons change.  Check out the gardens and watch for yourself as these good gardeners do their work.  62 Amelia, 141 Amelia and 266 Carlton.

Soulpepper`s cabaret series
Photo:  Soulpepper
Saturday, August 23, 8:30 pm.  This week’s cabaret features Alex Samaras (vocals) with arranger Bobby Hsu, James McEleney (bass), Morgan Childs (drums) and Adrean Farrugia (piano).  It’s a look back to the beautiful music from Broadway`s golden era, especially Steven Sondheim, City of Strangers.  Tickets from $15 to $20 – click here.  

Summer Music Series
The Distillery`s outdoor concerts continue on Sunday August 24 from 3 to 5 pm.  This week, Kristine Schmitt and her band Her Special Powers will appear onstage in Trinity Square. They`re bringing a blend of bluegrass, country and folk – old and new.  Free.

ROM Walks are back
Photo:  ROM
Two ROM Walks through Cabbagetown are scheduled for late August, one free and one limited to ticket holders.  On Sunday August 24, the free walk covers Cabbagetown North.  It starts at 2 pm at the northeast corner of Parliament and Winchester and covers Winchester, Riverdale Park and Wellesley. On Sunday August 31, ROMwalk Plus goes through Cabbagetown South.  Included on the itinerary are the Trinity Medical School, Spruce Court Coop, revitalized Regent Park and tea and a tour at the Paintbox Bistro.  Tickets are $30 and are available at (416) 586-5799.

Music in the Park
The summer concert series in Little Trinity Park wraps up with singer/songwriter Sarah Burton. Thursday August 28, 7 pm, Trinity at King Street E.  Free. You can catch her releases and videos at her website.  

Prenatal classes
Kelly Deuster is teaching pre-natal classes at the Toronto Birth Centre (525 Dundas E) in Regent Park beginning September 10. She’s designed a four-week program with yoga and childbirth education classes that’s ideal for mothers-to-be who are 13 to 34 weeks pregnant.  For detailed descriptions of the program and for registration, click here.   

Artfest in the Distillery
From Friday August 29 to Monday September 1, Artfest presents painters, artisans, photographers, sculptors and other local crafts.  Live music.  Booths are located throughout the District.  Free.  For details, visit the Distillery website.  

Market reminders
The Riverdale Park farmer`s market (Winchester & Sumach) happens on Tuesday from 2 to 7 pm and the Regent Park market (east side of Daniels Spectrum) is open Wednesdays from 3:30 to 7 pm.


A waterfront Primer
The September issue of Toronto Life has a very useful two-page “Primer” (pages 38 to 39) about the development spree happening along the waterfront south of us.  Six big projects are highlighted – River City, the Canary District (future home of the Pan/Am athletes’ village), George Brown College, Monde Condo, Aqualina at Bayside and the Wave decks.  Quick summaries are also given about major problems, the financial impact and a map showing what goes where. Unfortunately, the article does not seem to be one of the stories offered in the online edition.

Urban Development in the east end
Photo:  Vince Talotta, Torstar
Christopher Hume has written an overview of the suddenly exploding developments in Corktown, the West Don Lands and Riverside.  The Toronto Star, August 15.  Click here

Canary District`s mixed future
Photo: Aaron Harris, Torstar
The huge development called Canary District is headed for two different futures – first as the athletes` village for the Pan Am Games and after that as condos and student housing.  Jennifer Pagliaro did a Toronto Star article on Sunday August 17 about the district and its current status.  Click here.  


Welcome to Little House in the City
Photo:  Hillary makes her first (of many!!!) purchases
Carol has opened her delightful store at 555 Parliament, just south of the Esso station.  It’s Toronto’s first urban homesteading and sustainability store, featuring do-it-yourself projects, locally sourced inventory and handmade crafts.  Interest has grown in old crafts and skills like canning, preserving, soap making and cheesemaking .  She’ll provide products that help you to do these projects and she’s planning workshops on these topics.  The store interior is bright and beautifully designed and a pleasure to visit for browsing or serious shopping. 

Kendall is back
Kendall and Kevin holidayed in the Maritimes and returned with these smart little floor mats.  Hand woven using repurposed fishing lines.  Weathered with seafaring charm.  Good for indoors and out.  Every time you purchase a mat, you’re keeping 150 feet of this otherwise discarded cordage out of the landfill.  The store is open 10 am to 6 pm weekdays and 11 am to 5 pm on Saturday.  Kendall & Co (227 Carlton).

Eclectisaurus has 1960s curtains
Leslie has a joyous pair of 1960s curtains printed with tulips in turquoise, blue and green interspersed with graphic outlines of poppies.  These large cotton drapes are pleated at the top to accept curtain hooks and they’re unlined.   Check out the details on Eclectisaurus’ website or visit the store Wednesday to Friday 3 to 8 pm, Saturday noon to 7 pm and Sunday noon to 6 pm. 239 Gerrard East. 

Grinning Face
Our local gelato shop has launched amid very favourable reactions.  Julie and Keo are pleased with the way their business has started. They`re preparing now for the Festival – no doubt this will be a highly successful part of the weekend.  They`re getting a bit of practice on Sunday at the Coconut Festival in Wychwood Barns (601 Christie St).


Merryberry`s cooking classes
On Tuesday August 26 at 6 pm, Cyril is again presenting one of his enjoyable cooking classes.  This week`s theme – Kiss Summer Goodbye.  Since this is the best time for fresh seasonal foods, he`s highlighting corn, watermelon, peaches and cherries – all in unpredictable ways.  $45. The spaces are starting to fill up so call (647) 348-0411 or visit the restaurant (559 Parliament).

Peartree`s specials
This week, Peartree (507 Parliament) has three new special dishes:  grilled Black Angus steak with lobster tail ($18.99),  baked stuffed chicken supreme with sautéed mushrooms, roasted red pepper and goat cheese ($16.99) and  baked fillet of rainbow trout served with sautéed grape-tomato, lemon thyme butter sauce  ($16.99).  Each item comes with fresh market vegetables and rice, potatoes or fries. For an extra $6, add soup or salad and a dessert – a great value. As always, on Monday seniors enjoy a 20% discount.

Under the Table
There`s a lot happening at this nifty spot just south of Wellesley (568 Parliament).  The menu will be available for delivery by Just Eats starting next week.  Karaoke is now offered every Thursday and Friday night from 9 pm.  There`s a brunch on Saturday and Sunday.  And, of course, it`s fully licensed by the AGCO. Plans are now under way for an outdoor patio at the Festival with a $6 menu, drink specials and Saturday night karaoke.  Kim and Betty will be closing for a well-deserved refresher on Saturday August 23 and Sunday August 24.  They are closed as well every Monday. Check out the enthusiastic reviews at YELP.  

Shelley Ledger`s photography
Photo:  Shelley Ledger
Shelley is a Cabbagetown photographer and writer whose work is currently being shown at Cranberries (601 Parliament).  She`s sponsoring a raffle at Cranberries on Sunday September 7, the last day of the Festival.  Half of her proceeds will go to support Riverdale Farm.  The raffle winner will receive a framed original print of any photo in the Cranberries` show and two runners up will each get their choice of an unframed original print.  Tickets are $5 (three for $12) and they`re on sale now at Cranberries.

Watch for …
Ronnie B`s Southern Kitchen.  It`s a new spot scheduled to open next week at the south corner of Carlton and Parliament (243 Carlton).  Preliminary publicity says that the menu will feature southern American food, craft beers and live jazz.  There`s a website with menu details here and a Facebook page.



Contact info
Alice’s Place, 554 Parliament St, (647) 931-9088
Dominion on Queen, 500 Queen St E, (416) 368-6893,
El Catrin, 18 Tank House Lane, Distillery, (416) 203-2121,
The Flying Beaver, 488 Parliament St, (647) 347-6567,
Gilead Café & Wine Bar, 4 Gilead Place, (647) 288-0680,
House on Parliament, 454 Parliament St, (416) 925-4074,
The Irv, 195 Carlton Street, (647) 350-4787,
The Local GEST, 424 Parliament St, (416) 961-9425,
Merryberry, 559 Parliament,
Mill Street Beer Hall, 21 Tank House Ln, Distillery, (416) 681-0338, Facebook and
Paintbox Bistro, 555 Dundas St E, (647) 748-0555,
Stout Irish Pub, 221 Carlton St, (647) 344-7676,
Tappo Wine Bar & Restaurant, 2 Trinity Street, Distillery, (647) 430-1111,
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.


Dominion on Queen
9:30 pm, Toronto Blues Society presents Carlos del Junco & Jimmy Bowskill
Flying Beaver
9 pm, Lobster & Karaoke, no cover
The Local GEST
9 pm, Open mic with Porter
Paintbox Bistro
8 pm, Erik Flowchild & Brandon Dramatic in Canvas Pieces, $10
7 pm, Errol Fisher
Under The Table
9 pm, Karaoke


Dominion on Queen
9 pm, Don River Blues Band
Flying Beaver
7 pm, Lucas Silveira, “Live & unplugged”, $15/advance & $20/door
9 pm, Carla Collins, $20/advance & $25/door
Paintbox Bistro
8 pm, Make It Work networking with Leila Rey, $10
Under The Table
9 pm, Karaoke


Flying Beaver
9 pm, Colin Asuncion, “Colin’s first cabaret”, $10/advance & $15/door
The Irv
7 pm, Frank Ryan’s vocals and acoustics
Mill Street Beer Hall
8 pm, Vinyl Nights with DJ Humble Mike of the Record Collective


Alice’s Place
4 pm, Karaoke
Dominion on Queen
4:30 pm, The Wintergarten Orchestra
Local GEST
4:30 pm, Sunday jazz with the Coleman Tinsley Quartet featuring Chris Gale (sax), Reg Schwager (guitar), Brendan Davis (bass) & Ted Warren (drums)
Mill Street Beer Hall
1 pm, Jazz brunch with Tyler Yarema


(No listings available)


Dominion on Queen
8:30 pm, Hot Club of Corktown – Django Jam
6 pm, Cooking class, $45
Stout Irish Pub
7:30 pm, Nerd Night pub quiz


Alice’s Place
9 pm, Karaoke
Dominion on Queen
8 pm, Corktown Uke Jam
The Local GEST
7:30 pm, Trivia night


Flying Beaver
9 pm, Lobster & Karaoke, no cover
The Local GEST
8 pm, Jeff Barnes & Noah Zacharin
7 pm, Errol Fisher
Under The Table
9 pm, Karaoke


Flying Beaver
9 pm, Matt Rubel, “Serious business, variety show”, $10/advance & $15/door
Under The Table
9 pm, Karaoke


Flying Beaver
7 pm, Dominique Fricot, $10/advance & $15/door
The Irv
9 pm, Frank Ryan’s vocals and acoustics
Mill Street Beer Hall
8 pm, Vinyl Nights with DJ Humble Mike of the Record Collective


Alice’s Place
4 pm, Karaoke
Flying Beaver
7:30 pm, Cheesy queer movie night, “Bound”, no cover.
Local GEST
4:30 pm, Sunday jazz with the Joanne Morra Trio
Mill Street Beer Hall
1 pm, Jazz brunch with Tyler Yarema