December 4

This week’s image: of course we’re on a patio in December – this is Canada.  The Mill Street Brew Pub, The Distillery.


Click here to read about an open house that's happening this weekend.  It's a beautiful home that was featured in the Globe & Mail.


Pam gets a lot of work
Pam McConnell has been asked by Mayor John Tory to serve as a deputy mayor and to spearhead the City’s efforts at poverty reduction.  This is a wonderful opportunity for her and for the City.  Pam has spent her career focused on issues that involve people living in poverty.  She’ll go at this task with dedication and skill.  She’s written a comment about her new role on her website. Congrats for the honour, Pam, and best wishes for success in this onerous but worthy assignment. 

New babies
After I posted this photo of Hope Finkelstein last week, I heard all kinds of encouragement and support for doing so. (Of course I did – she’s lovely!) People like reading about new babies.  If your family has a new arrival, tell the world.  Send me an email with the various details at and attach a nice pic. 

Corktown Cocktail Party
Join your Corktown neighbours at Fusilli (531 Queen E) on Sunday December 7 from 5 to 9 pm for the annual Corktown Christmas party.   There’ll be hors d’oeuvres, a cash bar and a silent auction.  Sponsored by the Corktown Residents & Business Association. 

Toronto Humane Society Pet Pics
Pet Pics with Santa happens on Saturday December 6 from 10 am to 4 pm at the Humane Society (11 River Street).  Get a photo that you’ll always treasure - $20.  And while you’re there, drop in on the Bake Sale and check out the Holiday Bazaar.  All the funds are used to help animals in distress.

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, make 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.    

Close to Home
The Cabbagetown Regent Park Community Museum has a big new exhibition happening now through mid-January on the first two floors at the Daniels Spectrum (585 Dundas E).  Sally Gibson (left) and Carol Moore-Ede helped to put it all together.  The images, stories and artifacts show how people lived in Cabbagetown in 1914. 

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. 

Make a gift this season
Several local restaurants and stores have set up opportunities for you to make a contribution to the community over the holiday season.  At Kendall & Co (227 Carlton), bring a non-perishable food item for the Carolling for Cans campaign and receive a 10% discount on your holiday purchase. The Local GEST (424 Parliament) has set up 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.

26 Aberdeen
We’re fresh from a municipal election where dozens of candidates lamented the shortage of affordable housing and pledged to bolster TCHC’s resources.  So here’s a starting point for Ms McConnell and Mr Tory – find out why a perfectly good TCHC house at 26 Aberdeen Avenue has been sitting empty for almost a year.  And why hasn’t any work been done on the fire-damaged TCHC house across the street? 


Soul Many Songs

The Young Centre City Choir presents a holiday concert at St Peter’s Anglican Church (188 Carlton) on Tuesday December 9 at 7:30 pm.  A bake sale starts at 7 pm before the concert.  The Choir’s directors will be three Soulpepper performers – Gregory Oh, Patricia O’Callaghan and Waleed Abdulhamid.  The Choir is a non-audition group open to all who enjoy singing.  It’s a “pay-what-you-want” event with suggested donations at $10.  Proceeds go to St Peter’s and the Choir.

Carolling for cans
Carolling for Cans is a volunteer community effort to aid the food bank at St Luke’s United Church.  Neighbours in the Winchester Street area visit local homes to sing and collect donations. Last year, they gathered over 700 pounds of food and $600 in cash.  This year’s carolling takes place on Sunday December 7 from 6:30 to 9 pm.

Corktown Chamber Orchestra
The Orchestra is holding its annual Christmas concert on Thursday December 11 at 8 pm at Little Trinity Church (425 King at Trinity).  Special guests are Lynn Janes, Ted Hawkins and Martin Gwynn Jones.  Tickets are $10 (kids are free) and the proceeds go to Little Trinity for its generosity in giving the orchestra a home.

Save the date – December 20
Every year, Cabbagetown’s most enthusiastic carollers gather at The Local GEST (424 Parliament) to warble out their favourite seasonal tunes.  This year’s big sing-a-long features Jeff Barnes and Noah Zacharin and it happens on Saturday December 20 from 3:30 to 7:30 pm. 

Sam Roberts at Sprucecourt
In November, Sprucecourt Public School’s music teacher, Terrance Bristow, was surprised to learn that TD Bank was donating $20,000 toward its music program.  The initiative came from TD’s “Make Today Matter” project and was arranged by Bibi Alli from our local TD branch (493 Parliament).  Mr Bristow spent $7500 on new instruments and then donated the balance to Musicounts who in turn funded the music programs at Rose Avenue and Winchester schools.  In a final twist to the story, when Sprucecourt School held an assembly to celebrate the new equipment, Juno award winner Sam Roberts showed up to perform for the students with Mr Bristow.  Many thanks to TD – its gift enriched the music program for kids from Regent Park, Cabbagetown and St James Town.


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.

Soulpepper’s Christmas schedule
A Christmas Carol and Kim’s Convenience start on November 27.  Online info about each play is available here.  Soulpepper Theatre in the Young Centre (50 Tank House Lane, Distillery)

Berkeley Street Theatre, Canadian Stage
Venus In Furs returns to the Berkeley Street Theatre (26 Berkeley) from December 18 to 28.  Program details and tickets available here.


He’s here this weekend
It’s a highlight of the doggy social calendar in Cabbagetown.  Drop in to Pet Valu (240 Carlton) on Saturday.  Santa will be there from 10 am to 2 pm for a photo op with your pal.  If it’s hard to get there on Saturday, he’ll make a return visit next weekend.  $10.  And if you want to make sure that everything is spiffy, Marilyn is at Pet Valu for nail grooming sessions, 10 to 4 pm Saturday December 6, $10.

Workshops at Little House in the City
The final workshop in the current series at Little House in the City (555 Parliament) takes place tonight. It’s a hands-on class and you’ll leave with a sample to take home. Thursday December 4 – Advanced Fermentation: kimchi and experimentations.  Instructor is Rebekka Hutton from Alchemy Pickle Company.  $50.  Watch for details about forthcoming events:  sustainable fashion, homemade bodycare gifts and pie making.  For details and registration, click here or call (416) 413-9993. 

This 1800s Swedish double pedestal Biedermeier table is now available at Eclectisaurus (249 Gerrard E).  It’s a beautiful piece of furniture, made from the early to mid-1800s.  Its surface is a richly grained golden birch set off by ebonized details.  It has two extensions and the leaves tuck into the table when not in use.  For more details, click here. 

Leslie’s offering 25% off on selected merchandise through the pre-Christmas season.  It’s a great chance to enjoy good savings at her beautiful store.  Open Wednesday to Friday, 3 to 8 pm, Saturday noon to 7 pm and Sunday noon o 6 pm. 

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.

Joy to the world
Kendall & Co’s (227 Carlton) dinner plates are super stylish in black with gold accents.  They feature maps of the fashion capitals in London, Paris, Milan, Rome, Tokyo, Shanghai and Venice.  You can also use them as decorative plates on your walls. Holiday hours – Sunday noon to 4 pm, Monday to Friday 10 am to 6 pm and Saturday 11 am to 5 pm.

The Christmas Market
The Distillery is home to the annual Christmas Market, underway now until December 21.  It’s a highly popular show – scores of artisan vendors, outdoor lounges and patios, kiosks with food and drinks and live entertainment.  Parking in the area is tough so the TTC is a good idea. Closed Mondays.  Tuesday to Friday, noon to 9 pm and weekends 10 am to 9 pm.  The Christmas Market’s website lists the daily events and live entertainment. 


Music, moxy & monologues
The Paintbox (555 Dundas E) presents Wild Women (Don’t Get the Blues) on Wednesday December 10 at 8 pm.  Lorraine Sergato, Miku Graham, Stacie McGregor and Lyne Tremblay.  Tickets are $20/advance and $23/door.  For info and tickets, click here. 

Christmas Day at Cranberries
Cranberries (601 Parliament) is a definite Christmas favourite and the restaurant fills right up.  There’ll be two seatings – at 5 and 7:30 pm.  It’s a three course dinner at $28 per person.  There are two choices for openers – butternut squash soup with apple and bacon or organic green salad with balsamic vinaigrette.  Roast turkey comes with mashed potato, seasonal veggies, gravy, cranberry sauce, homemade stuffing and a dinner roll.  For dessert, there’s warm apple pie and ice cream.  To reserve a spot, call (416) 925-6330.

Christmas & Boxing Day
At Under The Table (568 Parliament), Kim and Betty are planning a three-course meal for both Christmas and Boxing Day, from 3 to 9 pm.  For starters, there’s vegetable soup or spinach salad.  The main course is roast turkey with garlic mashed potato, gravy, cranberry sauce, homemade stuffing, baked macaroni and corn.  Dessert choices include apple or pumpkin pie or rum cake.  Each dinner comes with a glass of red or white wine or a rum and eggnog. $30 per person or $50 per couple, tax included.

Trim the Tree
The Local GEST (424 Parliament) is trimming the tree on Saturday, December 6 from 6 pm.  Bring an ornament and join the party. 

Party at The Irv
On Thursday December 18, The Irv (195 Carlton) will be the scene for a big Christmas party and guest appreciation night.  There’ll be prizes, free munchies, giveaways, live acoustic music and beer samplings.

It’s not too early to reserve

F’Amelia’s New Year’s Eve starts at 5 pm on December 31.  John and Todd are offering a prix fixe dinner for $59 including oysters, arctic char, truffles risotto, branzino and venison.  Reserve now at (416) 323-0666.  12 Amelia.

The Flying Beaver (488 Parliament) has two shows by Carla Collins on New Year’s Eve, at 7 and 9 pm.  Show tickets are $25/advance and $30/door.  Dinner is extra and there’s a minimum charge (only for NYE) - $30 for food and drinks at 7 pm and $40 at 9 pm.  DJ Jacquie starts spinning and the dancing gets going at 11 pm after Carla finishes.



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, we’ve listed the prices. Otherwise, the event is free.


Dominion on Queen
7:30 pm, Wee Folk Club with Prodigal Daughter and Jay Aymar, $10
Flying Beaver
7:30 pm, Paul Schmidt hosts trivia night, no cover
The Local GEST
8 pm, Jeff Barnes & Noah Zacharin
7 pm, Open Mic
Under The Table
9 pm, Karaoke


Flying Beaver
7 pm, Mary Catherine Kelly’s Pubaret debut, $10/advance & $15/door
9 pm,The legendary B*tch Diva’s holiday cabaret, $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
Under The Table
9 pm, Karaoke


Flying Beaver
7 pm, Melanie Peterson & Blair Packham, $10/advance & $15/door
9 pm, Carrie Chesnutt Studio 54 party, $10/advance & $15/door
Local GEST
6 pm, Trim the tree holiday party
Mill Street Beer Hall
8 pm, Vinyl Nights with DJ Humble Mike of the Record Collective
Ronnie B’s
8 pm, Emily Steinwall, sax, guitar and vocals
Stirling Room
Stirling Saturday.  Reserve on the guest list.  $20


Alice’s Place
4 pm, Karaoke with Vee
Flying Beaver
7:30 pm, That Choir, “A very Christmas cabaret”, $5/advance & $10/door
Local GEST
4:30 pm, Sunday jazz with the Joanne Morra Trio featuring Joanne Morra (vocals), Jeff Hewer (guitar) & Rachel Melas (bass)
Mill Street Beer Hall
1 pm, Jazz brunch with Tyler Yarema


Local GEST
Christmas food drive for the Daily Bread Food Bank – through December
5 to 9 pm, Board game nights
Stout Irish Pub
7:30 pm, Headscratchers trivia


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


Alice’s Place
9 pm, Karaoke
Dominion on Queen
7:30 pm, Corktown Ukelele Jam, $6
Flying Beaver
7:30 pm, Maggie’s Mish Mash, details tba
The Local GEST
7:30 pm, Trivia night
8 pm, Wild Women (Don’t get the blues) with Lorraine Segato, Miku Graham, Stacie McGregor & Lyne Tremblay,  $20/advance, $23/door


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


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
Under The Table
9 pm, Karaoke


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
Ronnie B’s
8 pm, Live music, tba
Stirling Room
Ice & Cocco and resident DJ Rod Bravo, reserve on the guest list.


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, tba
Mill Street Beer Hall
1 pm, Jazz brunch with Tyler Yarema