December 11

This week’s image:  Willie likes this weather.



Jets at Toronto Island
Last Tuesday, over 300 people came to a public meeting to hear about proposals for expansion of the Toronto Island airport.  According to Councillor Pam McConnell’s website, the message from the meeting was clear – no jets.  Pam has an interesting essay on her website explaining her own views and her opposition to the expansion. 

CCDT’s WINTERSONG celebrates the solstice’s rich winter traditions with motifs of light and life reborn from darkness.  It will warm the hearts of audiences of all ages with its breathtaking tapestry of seasonal dance.  Friday December 12 at 8 pm and Saturday December 13 at 2 pm.  Ticket info here.  Fleck Theatre, Harbourfront Centre, 207 Queen’s Quay W.

Belated congrats
Somehow, these improvements along Parliament Street happened and didn’t get a mention.  It’s time to fix that oversight.

No Frills (449 Parliament) has had a makeover.  The outdoor signage is neater and stronger.  The interior is clean and more open.  Good work, Cosimo.

The building where The Source is located (433-435 Parliament) was torn apart and renovated.  The upper apartments have modern new fixtures, clean lines and lots of windows. The Source is another sign that the retail area around Spruce Street is improving.  The building’s facade was given a badly needed rescue.  Here’s a website with lots of interior pictures.  Thanks to Karen from Cabbagetown South for this reminder.

Ray Prince’s robin
Photo:  Ray Prince
Ray snapped this shot of a robin stealing his holly berries in his back yard.  He sent it along when I invited readers to submit photos that remind you of our neighbourhood’s life.  If you have a photo to share with your neighbours, send it to me at Thanks Ray – good pic.


Allan Gardens Christmas show
The Conservatory in Allan Gardens (Sherbourne & Carlton) has launched its 2014 Christmas show running until January 11.  On three weekends, the hours are extended to 7 pm and the Conservatory is candlelit – December 13-14, 20-21 and 27-28.  The show is the highlight of the Conservatory’s year with thousands of blooming plants featured.  10 am to 5 pm daily.  Free admission.

Corktown Chamber Orchestra
The Orchestra presents its Christmas program – Christmas, chilled & distilled -  at 8 pm on Thursday December 11 at Little Trinity Church (425 King W at Trinity.)  Special guests include Lynn Janes, Ted Hawkins, The Reply and Martin Gwynn Jones. Tickets are $10 (kids are free) and the Orchestra donates the evening’s proceeds to Little Trinity Church. 

This weekend at the Toronto Christmas Market
Every day, there’s free live entertainment and special events at the Christmas Market (Distillery District).  On Thursday at 6:45 and 7:30 pm, Frost & Ivy with Andrew Frost and Victoria Dobbs perform.  On Friday at 7 and 7:45 pm, The O’Pears (Meg Contini, Jill Harris and Lydia Persaud) bring their unique blend of bluegrass, folk and R & B.   The Salvation Army Christmas Brass Ensemble will play from 6 pm. Saturday’s line-up includes the Oriana Women’s Choir at noon and 1 pm, the Radosc-Joy Polish Dance Group at 1:30 and 4:15 pm, The Walter Perry Public School Choir at 3:30 and 5 pm and singer/songwriter Steven Taetz at 6:45 and 7:30 pm.  Sunday’s program is full of events. L’Ensemble vocal les voix du Coeur will sing French carols at 11 am and 12:30 pm.  The Ukrainian Arcan Dance Company is onstage at 1:30 and 4:30 pm.  At 5 pm, Antonella Cavallaro will sing Italian carols.  The day finishes with a concert by Shakura S’Aida. 

Santa’s back

Santa did his annual drop-in at Pet Valu (240 Carlton) last week.  As usual, the scene was a bit chaotic.  Dogs everywhere in the store were more interested in sniffing bags of treats.  They didn’t care about the guy in the red suit.  Normally, Santa looked relaxed but occasionally, he seemed slightly worried.  The owners were delighted.  He’ll make a second visit on Saturday December 13 from 10 am to 2 pm.  Photos are only $10.

Farm for the holidays
Get over to Riverdale Farm (Winchester & Sumach) on Saturday December 13 from 10 am to 3 pm for a day-long adventure for your family.  Make a hand-dipped candle, decorate gingerbread cookies, build a bird feeder and watch out in case Santa comes along.  There’ll be treats from the kitchen.  And while you’re there, check out the new heritage turkeys.  Admission is free.

Online auction fundraiser
The Toronto Kiwanis Boys & Girls Club (101 Spruce) is holding an online auction with five great prizes for you to claim – a trip for two on Westjet to any of its destinations, a Tassimo T45 home brewing system, an 8” Tupperware frying pan, a Quick Chef pro system by Tupperware and a Joseph Estates wine tasting. Bidding is online and open until December 16. The rules are simple – just click here to see how it’s done and to read more about the prizes. 

Wee Folk Club & Corktown Ukes
Both groups still meet at the Dominion on Queen (500 Queen E at Sumach) in its back room while the renovations in the front are being completed. 
The Corktown Ukulele Jam will host its annual holiday celebration on Wednesday December 17 at 7:30 pm.  This is the year’s last jam – next event happens on January 7.
It’s time for the Wee Folk Club’s first Christmas sing-a-long.  Proceeds from the evening will benefit a local charity.  Thursday December 18, 7:30 pm.

Christmas caroling at The Local GEST
Jeff Barnes and Noah Zacharin are back again at The Local GEST (424 Parliament).  Their Christmas caroling is a major holiday milestone in Cabbagetown.  Everyone who is anyone is there.  Some can even sing!  It’s a happy frolic – Saturday December 20. 3:30 to 7:30 pm.

Whiskey Jack’s Christmas show
Duncan Fremlin and his friends will appear at the Cadillac Lounge (1296 Queen W) from 4 to 7 pm on Sunday December 21.  There’ll be seasonal songs and stories along with vocalist Jen Cook and Canada’s favourite funny man Sean Cullen.

Mill Street Caroling Challenge
Photo:  Toronto Star
Save the date - Toronto Christmas Market at the Distillery, Sunday December 21, 5 pm. This is Mill Street’s annual caroling extravaganza that attempts to set the world record for the largest number of people in one place singing carols.  Mill Street Brewery donates $1 to the Daily Bread Food Bank for every caroler and distributes song sheets and LED candles.

Gifts for the season
Several local restaurants and stores have set up opportunities for you to make a contribution to the community over the holiday season.  The Local GEST (424 Parliament) has a food drive for the Christmas season – it’s happening now.  Ronnie B’s Southern Kitchen (243 Carlton) is collecting your extra Canadian Tire money to be donated to a local food bank.


Tyler’s chalkboards
Tyler is a Cabbagetowner who’s making chalkboards with special local designs.  Each one is framed and has an attractive cabbage silhouette and it’s emblazoned with the street name of your choice.  Each one also comes with a small pouch to hold your chalk – done in a forsythia design.  Portions of the sales go to the Cabbagetown Residents Association.  He has an Etsy account where you can place your order. 

Gift certificate for a massage
Give the gift of a wonderfully relaxing, professional massage from Claudia Salzmann & Associates (78 Amelia at Sackville).  For 25 years, Claudia’s certificates have been the perfect gift for your hard-to-please family members.  Visit for more info or call (416) 923-0494 to place your order. 

Victoria Hadden’s calendars and cards
Victoria’s lovely holiday cards and calendars are now available exclusively at Kendall & Co (227 Carlton). 

Toques at Spruce
Spruce (455 Parliament) has received new supplies of its City of Neighbourhoods toques.  There’s a toque for everyone in Cabbagetown, Corktown and Riverside.  These are nifty gift items because the selection covers neighbourhoods in the whole city.  The Regent Park toque is special - Spruce has an exclusive.  $38.  For more details, click here.

Cabbagetown Tea Towels
Get your own lovely Cabbagetown Tea Towel, designed by Steve Yeates for the Cabbagetown Preservation Association at Kendall and Co (227 Carlton). Four designs are available featuring Bay & Gable, Arts & Crafts, Queen Anne and Workers’ Cottages – architectural styles found through the neighbourhood.


Merryberry’s birthday invitation
Merryberry (559 Parliament) is celebrating its fourth birthday.  Cyril is inviting groups to party with him over the next week until December 16.  There are “rules”, of course. Parties of 5 to 25 people are eligible.  Please reserve a day in advance.  Yell out “happy birthday” when you arrive.  Saturday and Sunday brunch are excluded. He’s offering 1% discount for each person in the group – so 5 people get 5%, 25 people get 25%.  Congrats, Cyril – here’s to many, many more.

The Irv’s party
On Thursday December 18 from 7 to 11 pm, The Irv (195 Carlton) is having a guest appreciation party.  There’ll be prizes, giveaways, munchies and beer samplings.  Live music.  

Calendar of events
The club listings at the bottom of this page often contain hidden gems that may not get noticed.  There are several happening this week – here they are.

Tim McDonald and Kent McDonald will be singing southern rock at Ronnie B’s Southern Kitchen & Bar (243 Carlton) on Saturday December 13 at 8 pm.  Ronnie B’s is developing a good Saturday night music program.

Every Sunday afternoon at 4:30 pm, The Local GEST (424 Parliament) presents a jazz trio in a relaxed and comfortable setting.  On December 14, it’s Heidi Lange (vocals), Amanda Tosoff (piano) & Rachel Melas (bass). 

Sarah Jackman is appearing at The Paintbox (555 Dundas E) on Saturday December 13 at 7 pm.  R&B and soul.

Caleb at Murgatroid’s (568 Parliament) is hosting open mic acoustic nights.  The next on is Thursday December 18 at 8 pm.  No decision yet about a featured player.  Everyone welcome.

Ellen Reid, keyboard and vocalist with the Crash Test Dummies will be singing at The Flying Beaver (488 Parliament) on Saturday December 20 at 7 pm.

Karaoke seems to have a permanent fan base.  Alice’s Place (554 Parliament) holds hers on Wednesdays at 9 pm and Sundays at 4 pm. 
Under the Table does karaoke on Thursdays and Fridays at 9 pm.



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,
Murgatroid, 568 Parliament, (416) 323-9381,
Paintbox Bistro, 555 Dundas St E, (647) 748-0555,
Ronnie B’s Southern Kitchen & Taps, 243 Carlton, (416) 935-1515,
Stirling Room, 16 Trinity, Distillery District,
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, the prices are listed. Otherwise, the event is free.


Flying Beaver
7:30 pm, trivia and dinner special, no cover
The Local GEST
8:30 pm, Open Mic with Porter


Flying Beaver
7 pm, Aastha Lal, “Don’t die of constipation”, $10/advance, $15/door
9 pm, Das Faggot Mannschaft, $10/advance, $15/door
Mill Street Beer Hall
8 pm, Vinyl nights with DJ Humble Mike of the Record Collective
Stirling Room
Theatrical Friday with resident DJ Rod Bravo, reserve on the guest list.  $20


Flying Beaver
7 pm, David Gale & Randy Vancourt, “Oy to the World 3”, $15/advance, $20/door
9 pm, Aastha Lal, “Don’t die of constipation”, $10/advance, $15/door
Mill Street Beer Hall
8 pm, Vinyl Nights with DJ Humble Mike of the Record Collective
7 pm, Sarah Jackman
Ronnie B’s
8 pm, Kent McDonald & Tim McDonald, southern rock
Stirling Room
Stirling Saturday.  Reserve on the guest list.  $20


Alice’s Place
9 pm, Karaoke with Vee
Flying Beaver
7:30 pm, Peter Lebuis & David Nelson, “All I want for Christmas”, $15/advance & $20/door
Local GEST
4:30 pm, Sunday jazz with Heidi Lange (vocals), Amanda Tosoff (piano) & Rachel Melas (bass).  
Mill Street Beer Hall
1 pm, Jazz brunch with Tyler Yarema


Stout Irish Pub
7:30 pm, Headscratchers trivia


Ronnie B’s Southern Kitchen & Taps
7 pm, Euchre
Stout Irish Pub
7:30 pm, Headscratchers trivia

Alice’s Place
9 pm, Karaoke
Dominion on Queen
7:30 pm, Corktown Ukelele Jam annual holiday celebration, $6
Flying Beaver
7:30 pm, Paul Bellini, “Liar, liar pants on fire”, no cover
The Local GEST
7:30 pm, Trivia night


Dominion on Queen
7:30 pm, Wee Folk Club - Christmas sing-a-long for charity, $10
Flying Beaver
7:30 pm, Belle’s bawdy trivia night, no cover
The Irv
7 pm, Holiday party & guest appreciation, no cover
The Local GEST
8:30 pm, Open Mic with Porter
7 pm, acoustic Open Mic
Under The Table
9 pm, Karaoke 

Flying Beaver
7 pm, Richard Ryder, $15/advance & $20/door
9 pm,Meryle Trouble’s “Not an f-ing Xmas show”, $15/advance & $20/door
Mill Street Beer Hall
8 pm, Vinyl Nights with DJ Humble Mike of the Record Collective
Stirling Room
Theatrical Friday with resident DJ Rod Bravo, reserve on the guest list.  $20
Under The Table
9 pm, Karaoke

Flying Beaver
7 pm, Ellen Reid returns, $20/advance & $25/door
Local GEST
3:30 pm, Christmas carolling with Jeff Barnes & Noah Zacharin
Mill Street Beer Hall
8 pm, Vinyl Nights with DJ Humble Mike of the Record Collective
Ronnie B’s
8 pm, tba
Stirling Room
Stirling Saturday.  Reserve on the guest list.  $20


Alice’s Place
4 pm, Karaoke with Vee
Flying Beaver
7:30 pm, The return of the Rita Carrey Duo, “Carrey on”, $20/advance & $25/door
Local GEST
4:30 pm, Sunday jazz featuring Steve Koven (piano), Anthony Michelli (drums) & Rob Clutton (bass)
Mill Street Beer Hall
1 pm, Jazz brunch with Tyler Yarema