January 29

This week’s image:  Parliament near Winchester.  Photo: Alexandra Scandolo, The Varsity


There hasn’t been much to tell about local open house events.  Fortunately, our realtors have given us short reports about overall market activity to fill the gap.  Susanne Hudson at Chestnut Park has written a brief overview of 2014 price trends in our area and added interesting info about Rosedale and Leslieville activity.  To read her report, Click here. 


Nelson Mandela honoured
Canada Post has unveiled a line of postage stamps honouring Nelson Mandela as part of the government’s projects for Black History month.  Canada Post president Deepak Chopra and federal cabinet minister Chris Alexander made the announcement at Nelson Mandela Park Public School on Tuesday January 27.  Students and staff paid tribute to Mr Mandela and remembered his earlier visit to the school in 2001.  The stamps go on sale on Friday January 30. 

Black History month at the Daniels Spectrum
Through Generations is the featured exhibition.  It includes an interactive exhibit organized by the Art Gallery of Ontario by A Jean-Michel Basquiat, an exhibition showing a lineup of local artists and a collaborative selection of Zimbabwean sculpture.  The opening reception happens on Wednesday February 4 from 7 pm.  The exhibitions run from Thursday February 5 to Sunday March 1.  585 Dundas E.

Bizarre events at Jet Fuel
Jet Fuel (519 Parliament) regularly displays artwork along its walls.  This month’s selection comes from Eric Farache. His exhibition entitled “The Jew Funnies” was attacked by a man who objected to its apparently antisemitic content.  He was stopped after removing three pieces from the wall and running outdoors to his van.  He obviously did not know that Farache is a practicing Sephardic Orthodox Jew whose artwork is the beginning of a book depicting the conflicts and misconceptions affecting contemporary Jews in Toronto.  No word about the settlement of the event but it would not be surprising if the laid back staff at Jet Fuel gave the guy a coffee and a biscotti and then invited him to chill out.

Rooming house consultations
Mike Adler, writing in Inside Toronto, reports that the City of Toronto has started a round of consultations about rooming houses.  Cabbagetown is one of the focal points in the study.  Councillor Pam McConnell will be asked for her reactions along with ratepayers groups, tenants, owners, neighbours and social service agencies.  The final report from these discussions will be sent to City council in December. 

More changes at Regent Park

Photo: Dan Pearce, Inside Toronto
Phase Three in the redevelopment kicked off officially last May, and it’s now proceeding with the demolition of the last high-rise buildings in the southern part of the area.  Dan Pearce captured the demolition at 605 Whiteside Place.  As its outer brick walls come down, colourful apartment decorations are clearly revealed.  Phase Three involves the construction of new athletic facilities, new retail along Dundas Street, 600 social housing units and 1800 market condominiums.  Inside Toronto has the full story here. 

David Grant from re:Leaf is looking for people who will take care of newly planted trees in our parks.  The trees need mulch and watering.  The project includes Riverdale, Wellesley, Winchester and Regent Park parks.  You can contact him to volunteer at (416) 875-0725 and at david@cabbagetownreleaf.org

Brenda’s step and Zumba classes
Brenda has issued her schedule for February for her classes at the Cabbagetown Youth Centre (2 Lancaster, behind the Beer Store).  Step classes happen every Wednesday morning at 9:15 am.  On Sunday mornings, Zumba classes are held at 11 am and if possible, a step class will be held at 10 am.  A double classes will be held on Sunday February 1.  Watch for announcements about the remaining Sunday step classes.

Workshop on heritage grants
The City of Toronto heritage grant program offers up to $10,000 for conservation work on designated heritage properties.  Owners of homes designated under Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act (specific properties with specific heritage features) or Part V (properties within heritage districts) are eligible.  The deadline for applying is 4 pm, Friday April 3. 
There will be a workshop to help you with the application process – 6:30 pm, Tuesday February 10, committee room 2, City Hall (100 Queen W). The City has a page on its website with details about the program and eligibility for the grant.

Varsity visits Cabbagetown
Photo:  Alexandra Scandolo, The Varsity
David Kitai, writing in the U of T’s Varsity, takes a day to enjoy the perks along Parliament Street.  He visits Café Olya, Rashnaa, Cabbagetown Brew and Vintage Vagabond for a day of “curries, coffee and second hand crystal chandeliers.”  It’s a fun read – click here. 

Connecting with Cabbagetown families
Karen and her family have just moved into the neighbourhood.  She has a four-month old son.  She’s looking for contacts with other parents who have small children.  She hopes to set up a nanny sharing system.  If you’re interested, please send an email here and I’ll forward it to her.  cabbagetownreview@gmail.com

Marg Taggart
Marg has been a pleasant fixture on Parliament for her entire life.  She was born in the building where Nettleship Hardware operates and she lived there all her life.  She’s part of the four generations who established and ran the store since 1920.  Her family has announced that she’s just moved to the Isabel & Arthur Meighen Manor at 155 Millwood.  If you’d like to stay in touch with her, contact Don at (416) 921-3772 or call the Manor at (416) 481-9449.  She goes there with our best wishes.

Do you think an election is coming?
In the past week, we’ve had two senior cabinet ministers from the Harper government visit our area.  Joe Oliver and Chris Alexander have both popped up at media events here.  It’s good stuff – they brought money and glory with them and those are always welcome.  Thanks guys.


newchoir at Carnegie Hall
The singers in newchoir will be making a debut appearance at New York’s Carnegie Hall on March 29. Their concert is part of a mass choir performance organized by the legendary impresario Deke Sharon.  Carnegie Hall ticket and event info is here. If you’re going, don’t delay – the balcony is already sold out.
We’ll be paying close attention to this event. The choir practices in Cabbagetown at St Simon’s and there are six locals in its ranks – Margaret Grottenthaler, Doug Harrison, Louise Koepfler, Jennifer McIlroy, Tish Mancini and Chris Stockley. You can check them out at their upcoming concert on Saturday January 31 at 8 pm at St Michael’s College School (1515 Bathurst). 

Eric Murphy
7 pm, Monday February 2, The Windup Bird Café (382 College at Bathurst). Eric will join other Young Adult authors to read from his work and answer audience questions.  Richard Scarsbrook, Deborah Kerbel and Helaine Becker will join him on the panel.  Eric’s first book, Phantom’s Gold, is short-listed for a Manitoba Young Reader’s Choice award and was part of the Regent Park Reads initiative.  His second book is now with his publishers. For more info, check out the event Facebook page. 

Whiskey Jack does Stompin’ Tom
The second annual Stompin’ Tom Birthday Tribute happens at 8 pm in the Cadillac Lounge (1296 Queen W) on Saturday February 7. Special guests include Adrienne Clarkson and Wendell Ferguson.  Tickets are going fast and there probably won’t be any available at the door.  Click here to buy yours. 

ReelWorld Film Festival
Save the dates. The ReelWorld Film Festival will be screened this year from Monday March 2 to Sunday March 8 with films being shown at Cineplex Scotiabank Theatre, Cineplex Odeon First Markham Place and the Barbara Frum Atrium at the CBC.  The 2015 program will be launched at a reception in the Barbara Frum Atrium (25 John St) on Thursday February 19 at 5:30 pm.  The Festival brings together independent film makers from racially diverse backgrounds. An early bird pass is available online at $55.


Skylight Series 4 X 4
The Corkin Gallery (7 Tank House Lane, Distillery) is an acoustic treasure.  On Thursday January 29 at 7:30 pm, the LARK ensemble, talented musicians from the TSO, Canadian Opera Company and the National Ballet Orchestra, will perform the Inaugural Concert in its Skylight Series in a program ranging from classic to contemporary works.  Refreshments.  Tickets are $20 students/seniors and $30 regular, (416) 979-1980. 

Music program at White Elephant
On Friday January 30, it’s Sean Pinchin – a Maple Blues award nominee for artist of the year.  On Saturday January 31, the Toastr Party.

Jeff Barnes and Noah Zacharin
Jeff and Noah are now appearing at The Local GEST (424 Parliament) on the first Thursday of each month.  Their next show happens on Thursday February 5 at 8 pm. 

Wee Folk Club
Pressgang Mutiny and David Woodhead each make their appearance at 7:30 pm on Thursday February 5.  $10. Back room, Dominion on Queen (500 Queen E)

Peter is back
Peter Donato and his friends David Gluck (bass) and Michael Skinner (drums) will be back at The Flying Beaver (488 Parliament) on Sunday February 8 at 7:30 pm.  Valentine themes seem to fit in to this week`s performance.  Tickets are $10 advance and $15 at the door.

Corktown Chamber Orchestra
The Orchestra’s Valentine concert, Heart & Soul, takes place on February 12 at 8 pm in Little Trinity Church (425 King E).  $10

A movable musical Maritimes feast
PEI`s Mike Ross and his guests explore the extraordinary musical life of eastern Canada.  Soulpepper concert series, 2:30 pm, Sunday February 15,  Young Centre for the Performing Arts (50 Tank House Lane, Distillery).  Tickets and more info available online here. 


Let’s improve our LCBO selections
Elise Stanley shops at our local LCBO (512 Parliament), deals with the staff there regularly and tries diligently to improve its Vintages offerings.  She’s concerned that recent selections in the Vintages releases have suddenly sharply deteriorated and she attributes this to a move away from store-based decisions into centrally controlled selections.  Her whole approach is sensible and positive.  It’s worthwhile to join her efforts and add our voices to hers.  She’s set up a Facebook page where we can compare notes and exert pressure on the LCBO. 

Second annual winter sale
Spruce (455 Parliament) is holding its winter sale starting on Saturday, January 31.  As usual, some very nifty items are available – well worth the visit to browse and shop.  In collaboration with Apolis, Spruce also has a new waterproof Toronto market bag featuring 100% golden jute fibre, leather handles and antique nickel rivets. 

Workshops at Little House in the City
Carla has announced a very busy schedule for her workshop program in the next few weeks at Little House in the City (555 Parliament).  Bookbinding is her first topic – Sunday, February 8 from 1 to 4 pm.  Carolyn Eady of Spouts Press will show you how to make your own journal.  This is a hands-on class.  Materials and tools are provided.  Everyone goes home with a completed project.  $65.  From February 17 to April 11, classes will cover boozy preserves, jewellery making, Ukrainian Easter eggs, sauerkraut, and lots more.  For all the details and registration, click here. 


Superbowl parties
The Superbowl Game is not a time for pious sobriety.  Our neighbourhood restaurants are doing their best to make it a fun evening.
Flying Beaver (488 Parliament), The Irv (195 Carlton), The Local GEST (424 Parliament), Mill Street Brew Pub (Distillery, 21 Tank House Lane), Paintbox Bistro (555 Dundas E) and Stout Irish Pub (221 Carlton).  All have parties with great big TVs, games and contests as well as drink specials and game menus.  The game starts at 6:30 pm and the parties start in mid-afternoon. 

The annual winter food-a-thon begins on Friday January 30 and runs to Thursday February 12.  In our neighbourhood, the participating restaurants are all in The Distillery.  Three have $18 lunch and $25 dinner menus - Archeo (21 Trinity St), The Mill Street Beer Hall and the Mill Street Brew Pub (21 Tank House Lane).  Pure Spirits Oyster House & Grill (17 Tank House Lane) and Cluny (35 Tank House Lane) offer a $23 lunch and $35 dinner.  There are a lot of choices nearby in the Church Street, Leslieville, Danforth and Yorkville areas.  See the list on the official City website. 

So far, there have been announcements about special menus (all scrumptious!) for Valentines Day events from Cranberries, F’Amelia, Flying Beaver, The Irv, The Local GEST, Mill Street Beer Hall, Peartree and The White Elephant.  No doubt, several more will come along.  Watch next week for the full descriptions of their menus and special events.  If you’ve already decided your destination, it’s a good idea to call and make your reservation.

Congrats to the HOP
Photo: Lumico, Indie88
Another blog has listed the House on Parliament (454 Parliament) among the city`s best pubs.  Indie88 lists eight places for the best classic pub grub and the HOP is right there on the top.  Congrats everyone. You can read the review here. 

Order of Good Cheer
400 years ago, Samuel de Champlain landed on the shores of Prince Edward County.  Who knew - well apparently, Jamie Kennedy at Gilead Café along with the folks from By Chadseys Cairns.  The restaurant and the winery have teamed up to produce a celebratory feast.  Hors d’oeuvres and a 4-course dinner, $75 and the wine tasting, $25.  6:30 pm reception, 7:30 pm dinner, Wednesday February 11.  Reservations at (647) 288-0680.  Gilead Wine Bar (4 Gilead Place). 

Ronnie B’s has closed
Ron and Jane have closed their short-lived restaurant, Ronnie B’s Southern Kitchen & Bar at 241 Carlton.  It was a fun spot while it lasted with games, live music and a community fundraising campaign to go along with their fine food.  Thanks and best wishes for your future plans. 



Contact info
Alice’s Place, 554 Parliament St, (647) 931-9088, https://www.facebook.com/alicesplacetoronto
Dominion on Queen, 500 Queen St E, (416) 368-6893, www.dominiononqueen.com
El Catrin, 18 Tank House Lane, Distillery, (416) 203-2121,  www.elcatrin.ca/home
The Flying Beaver, 488 Parliament St, (647) 347-6567, www.pubaret.com
Gilead Café & Wine Bar, 4 Gilead Place, (647) 288-0680, http://www.jamiekennedy.ca/
House on Parliament, 454 Parliament St, (416) 925-4074, www.facebook.com/pages/House-on-Parliament
The Irv, 195 Carlton Street, (647) 350-4787, http://www.theirvpub.ca/
The Local GEST, 424 Parliament St, (416) 961-9425, http://www.thelocalgest.com/
Merryberry, 559 Parliament, www.merryberry.ca
Mill Street Beer Hall, 21 Tank House Ln, Distillery, (416) 681-0338, http://toronto.millstreetbrewpub.ca/
Murgatroid, 568 Parliament, (416) 323-9381, https://www.facebook.com/MurgatroidTO
Paintbox Bistro, 555 Dundas St E, (647) 748-0555, www.paintboxbistro.ca
Stirling Room, 16 Trinity, Distillery District, www.stirlingroom.com
Stout Irish Pub, 221 Carlton St, (647) 344-7676, www.stoutirishpub.ca
Tappo Wine Bar & Restaurant, 2 Trinity Street, Distillery, (647) 430-1111, www.tappo.ca
Under the Table, 568 Parliament St, (647) 351-1533, https://www.facebook.com/underthetabletoronto
White Elephant, 366 Queen E. (416) 364-9999, www.whiteelephant366.com

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


The Corkin Gallery
7:30 pm, Skylight series, 4X4, Inaugural series, $20 and $30
The Local GEST
8:30 pm, Open Mic with Porter


Flying Beaver
7 pm, Christopher Sawchyn sings again, $20/advance, $25/door
8:30 pm, Savoy Howe’s “Drag Karaoke”, $5
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
White Elephant
7 pm, Sean Pinchin


Flying Beaver
7 pm, Jennifer Noble & Gus Apostolos, “Warm songs to slay the bitter cold” $15/advance, $20/door
9 pm, Suzi Wesson & Doug Balfour, “Baby it’s cold outside”, $10/advance, $15/door
Mill Street Beer Hall
8 pm, Vinyl Nights with DJ Humble Mike of the Record Collective
Stirling Room
Resident DJ Rod Bravo, reserve on the guest list.

Alice’s Place
9 pm, Karaoke with Vee
Flying Beaver
4 pm, Superbowl party
Local GEST
Superbowl party
Mill Street Beer Hall
1 pm, Jazz brunch with Tyler Yarema
Stout Irish Pub
4 pm,  Superbowl pregame party
6:30 pm, Superbowl


Stout Irish Pub
7:30 pm, Headscratchers trivia


Stout Irish Pub
7:30 pm, Headscratchers trivia


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


Dominion on Queen
7:30 pm, Wee Folk Club – Pressgang Mutiny & David Woodhead, $10
Flying Beaver
7:30 pm,  Lukas Stark’s pro-am variety show, no cover
The Local GEST
8 pm, Jeff Barnes & Noah Zacharin
Under The Table
9 pm, Karaoke


Flying Beaver
7 pm, The Dating Game hosted by Savoie Howe, no cover, pwyw
Retro dance party following the show.
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
White Elephant
7 pm, TBA

Flying Beaver
7 pm, Natalie Kulesza, “Boys, booze & Buddha – a cabaret”,  $10/advance & $15/door
9 pm, Marilla Wex, “This much I know”, $20/advance, $25/door
Mill Street Beer Hall
8 pm, Vinyl Nights with DJ Humble Mike of the Record Collective
Stirling Room
Stirling Saturday.  Reserve on the guest list.  $20


Alice’s Place
4 pm, Karaoke with Vee
Flying Beaver
7:30 pm, Peter Donato, “Cantataure valentino”  $10/advance & $15/door
Local GEST
4:30 pm, Sunday jazz featuring Sherie Marshall
Mill Street Beer Hall
1 pm, Jazz brunch with Tyler Yarema