February 5

This week’s image:  Snow has finally arrived.


A quick note.  There won't be a blog next week.  The call of the wild takes us away for a holiday.
There’s a beautiful condo at 25 Cole for sale and its open house happens this weekend.  To read about it, click here. 


Wow – what a prize
Fair Trade Jewellery Co (523 Parliament) has teamed up with NOW Magazine.  Readers are invited to submit their personal romance stories.  The winner will get one of FTJC’s $5000 Canadian pink diamond pendants.  The deadline is Monday February 9.  To see the rules and to send along your story, click here. 

Claudia’s Valentine gift
Claudia Salzmann suggests a special Valentine’s gift certificate for a therapeutic massage to go along with your special dinner, flowers and chocolates.  To book your gift, call her at (416) 923-0494 or email info@salzmann.com

Bookbinding, backyard chickens & Ukrainian Easter eggs
Carla’s really on a roll at Little House in the City (555 Parliament). She’s developing a series of workshops on unique topics.  This week on Sunday February 8 from 1 to 4 pm, her workshop program is a demo on bookbinding.  It’s a hands-on class by Carolyn Eady of Sprouts Press with tools and materials provided.  You’ll go home with your own personal journal.  $65. 
On Sunday February 15, Dan Pryce from Spade & Feather will demonstrate the ins-and-outs of backyard chicken keeping including how-to-do-it plus the benefits, realities and legalities involved. A great intro for those who want to start their own homegrown flock. No word yet whether you go home with your own personal chicken. $20. Future topics include boozy preserves, making Ukrainian Easter eggs, sauerkraut and jewellery making.

Cats and nail trimming
Pet Valu (240 Carlton) is holding its monthly nail trimming clinic for your pet.  Marilyn will be there on Saturday from 9 am to 4 pm.  $10.  As part of Pet Valu’s National Adoption Week, Cat Busters will also be at the store on Saturday from 10 am to 3 pm.  If your home needs a warm, cuddly ball of fur, drop by and pick out a needy kitten.

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.  She’s set up a Facebook page where we can compare notes and exert pressure on the LCBO. 


Meet Chrystia Freeland
Our Member of Parliament is hosting a drop-in event on Sunday February 8 from noon to 1:30 pm in the community room at the Aquatic Centre in Regent Park (640 Dundas E).  It’s a chance to say hello and talk about the issues that interest you.  There’ll be refreshments and snacks.  Bring your bathing suit – there’ll be a free swim available from 1:30 pm.

Poster artist for the 2015 Forsythia Festival
Planning and preliminary work for this year’s event are now underway.  The organizers are holding a competition to select the artist for the 2015 poster.  Send in your work.  If you win, you’ll get a $50 gift certificate from one of the Festival’s sponsors plus the pleasure from seeing your work plastered all over the neighbourhood.  The contest deadline is March 23.  Click here to read the contest rules and to see what the committee wants to include on your poster. 

Volunteers needed for the Museum
Photo:  Carol Moore Ede
The Cabbagetown Regent Park Museum is looking for volunteers for its 2015 season.  Located in the Simpson House in Riverdale Farm, the Museum’s volunteers welcome visitors and help them enjoy their tour.  If you’re interested, please email crpmuseum.volunteer@gmail.com. 

Tour of Homes
Early planning has started for the 2015 Tour.  The committee at the Cabbagetown Preservation Association is looking for suitable homes to include.  If you have a suggestion or want to volunteer your own home, email cpa@cabbagetownpa.ca. 

Re:Leaf’s community meeting
Re:Leaf presents its Cabbagetown urban forest management plan, developed in cooperation with students from U of T’s Faculty of Forestry .  Thursday February 26, 7 to 9 pm, Toronto Kiwanis Boys & Girls Club (101 Spruce).   Don’t forget that re:Leaf is looking for people to care for newly planted trees in our parks.  The trees need mulch and watering.  The project includes Riverdale, Wellesley, Winchester and Regent Park parks.  To volunteer, call (416) 875-0725 or email david@cabbagetownreleaf.org

Workshop on heritage grants
The City of Toronto heritage grant program offers up to $10,000 for conservation work on designated heritage properties.  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.

Bird alerts
Photo: Greg Cote
Cabbagetown has always offered plenty of birdwatching treats.  In the winter, it’s easy to see the special guys – cardinals, blue jays, juncos, nut hatches, chickadees and woodpeckers.  This year, we’ve also had an abundance of larger predators.  In the Wellesley and Sackville area, Cooper’s hawks, sharp shinned hawks and redtail hawks have regularly been spotted.  Near Wellesley Park, Max saw an Eastern Screech Owl in his backyard. Within a few minutes, it then flew into the park.  He sent along a nifty video that shows why they’re normally so hard to see.  A month ago, a great horned owl was seen near Parkview and Wellesley.  It’s nesting time for a lot of these birds so they’re calling and their colours are becoming much more vivid. 

Super memories
All over town, people gathered for their annual Superbowl rituals.  This crowd from Amelia, Wellesley Cottages and Wellesley Street got together at the party organized by Christopher and Andrew. You can see Andrew sitting prominently in the front row displaying his Cabbagetown Tee.  In fact, that particular shirt is now a well-travelled treasure.  It’s been to Costa Rica (with Richard, far right front) and to Japan (with Andrew) and Mount Everest  (with Christopher, far left middle).  No doubt, its final destination will eventually be in the archives at the Cabbagetown Regent Park Museum.

Some restaurants are not listed here.  Their menus are not yet available.  To learn more about them call or visit their websites.  House on Parliament at (416) 925-4074.  Paintbox Bistro at (647) 748-0555.  Stout Irish Pub at (647) 344-7676.  Under The Table at (647) 351-1533.

There’ll be two seatings for dinner – 5 and 7:30 pm.  It’s a three-course prix fixe meal.  Starters include potato soup or organic greens salad.  For your main course, there’s beef tenderloin, roasted Atlantic salmon or chicken supreme.  Dessert is a grand marnier dark chocolate truffle.  $40.  For reservations, call (416) 925-6330.  601 Parliament.

F’Amelia (12 Amelia) has a five course dinner for $75 with additional wine pairings at $49.  Start with scallops ceviche.  For the antipasti, crispy pork belly, pan seared arctic char, roasted Brussel sprouts salad or ribollita.  The choices for prima piatti are potato gnocchi, butter poached lobster, pan seared flank steak or farfalle.  The cheese plates include three cheeses and homemade crackers.  For dessert, there’s tiramisu, lemon brulee tart and flourless chocolate cake.   Reservations at (416) 323-0666 and at www.famelia.com

The Flying Beaver
On Valentine’s Day, Dina Martina is performing at 7 and 9 pm.  Tickets are $20/advance and $25/door.  Dinner is available before, during and after the show.  For reservations, call (647) 347-6567. 488 Parliament.

The Irv
The Irv (195 Carlton) has a three-course dinner for two for $60.  The regular menu is also available.  For a reservation, call (647) 350-4787. 

Local GEST
The Local GEST (424 Parliament) has an a la carte menu with individually priced items.  French onion soup, warm kale salad, crepes, tiger shrimp, artisan board with cured meat, preserves and cheeses, beef tenderloin risotto, chicken cordon bleu, langoustine ravioli and chocolate raspberry mousse.  Reservations at (416) 961-9425.

Cyril will be showing off his skills with “Modernist Cuisine”.  There’ll be plenty of seafood, for example, done up “sous vide”.  There’ll even be some molecular gastronomy.  Sounds like fun.  Reservations at (647) 348-0411, 559 Parliament.

Mill Street
In the Brew Pub, there’s a night of craft beer, acoustic music and a three-course menu.  When you make your reservation, you might win a private dining event in the brewery. In the Beer Hall, there’s live music, burlesque, craft beers and a four-course dinner, $59.99.  Reservations at (416) 681-0338.  21 Tank House Lane, Distillery.

Caleb has a special Valentine’s Day brunch.  Call him at (416) 323-9381.  568 Parliament.

Peartree (507 Parliament) is offering a three-course dinner for two for $65.  There will be two seatings – at 6 and 8 pm.  Choose an appetizer – organic green salad, Caesar salad, shrimp salad, mushroom and brie soup or mussels provencal.  For your main course, there’s grilled New York steak and lobster tails, beef tenderloin, Cajun creole seafood platter, baked arctic char, chicken supreme or sweet potato stuffed agnolotti.  Dessert choices include chocolate mousse cake, raspberry chocolate truffle cake, cherry cheese cake, red velvet cake, carrot cake and pecan pie.  Reservations at (416) 962-8190. 


Family Story Day
Dinny Biggs is a coordinator at the Toronto Storytelling Festival.  She’s announced that a Family Story Day will take place on Family Day from 1:30 to 3:30 pm in the Artscape Lounge at the Daniels Spectrum (585 Dundas E).  There’ll be plenty of stories and art activities for the whole family plus a photo op with a dragon.  The annual Storytelling Festival is a very big deal.  Started in 1978, it continues to bring together professional storytellers, newcomers and artists.  The full program will happen in late March.  Click here to see the website. 

Cabbagetown Family Day Festival
The BIA presents its first winter festival.  All along Parliament Street from Gerrard to Wellesley, there’ll be music with the Toronto All Star Big Band, ice skating demos with Glisse on Ice and free pancakes.  Check out the ice sculptures.  Take a ride in a horse and carriage and enjoy the buskers performing along the street.  Free admission.  Monday February 16 from 11 am to 5 pm.

Heat Fest in the Distillery
Some of Toronto’s finest food trucks will be lined up in the Distillery’s Trinity Square to offer the best comfort foods on a cold Family Day.  There’ll be soups, stews, curries, sauces, jerks, gravy and more.  Plus funnel cakes, lobster rolls and falafels.  Enjoy workshops in hula hooping, jazz funk and “cold yoga”.  It’s a fun-filled event for the whole family.  11 am to 6 pm, Monday February 16, Distillery District


Adrienne Clarkson sings Stompin Tom’s songs
Photo:  Richard Lautens, Torstar
She’s joining Duncan Fremlin and Whiskey Jack onstage on Saturday February 7 at the Cadillac Lounge, 1296 Queen W.  (Sorry – the show is sold out.  Congrats, Duncan.) She’ll be singing Sudbury Saturday Night.  The Toronto Star has a nice article about the event and her performance.  Click here to read it. 

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

Lynn Harrison at Winterfolk
Lynn is performing in three events at Winterfolk III and she’s also part of a celebration of Sam Larkin’s CD release.  From 1 to 2:30 pm on Saturday February 14, she’s in “Lilith comes to Winterfolk” at the Black Swan (154 Danforth).  From 6 to 7 pm on Sunday February 15, she’s in a panel discussion on “Songs of protest and social change” at Terry O’s (185 Danforth).  At 8 pm Sunday February 15, she has a one-hour solo show at the Globe Bistro (124 Danforth).  Finally, on Monday February 15 at 7 pm, she’s one of several performers singing Sam Larkin’s songs during the posthumous release of his CD, Tranzac Club (292 Brunswick).  

Soulpepper Concerts
Young Centre for the Performing Arts (50 Tank House Lane, Distillery). 

A movable musical Maritimes feast, Sunday February 15, 2:30 pm. 
PEI`s Mike Ross and his guests explore the extraordinary musical life of eastern Canada.  Tickets and more info available online here. 

The Nina Project, Monday February 16, 7:30 pm. 
As part of Black History month, Jackie Richardson, Shakura S’Aida and Kellylee Evans celebrate the life and music of Nina Simone. For tickets and more info, click here. 

ReelWorld Film Festival
The ReelWorld Film Festival will be screened this year from Monday March 2 to Sunday March 8 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.


Dina Martina at Flying Beaver
Next weekend, Dina Marina takes over the stage for two full days at The Flying Beaver (488 Parliament).  She’s performing at 7 and 9 pm on both Friday and Saturday.  She’s drawn huge crowds at her international performances and reviewers have called her a “comic genius”, “the most original drag performer” and “unfortunate”. This is just one of many hot acts showing up there – congrats to Maggie and Heather.  Click here for more stuff about the FB’s schedule. 

Order of Good Cheer
400 years ago, Samuel de Champlain landed on the shores of Prince Edward County.  Jamie Kennedy at Gilead Café along with the folks from By Chadseys Cairns are celebrating.  The restaurant and the winery have teamed up to produce a 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). 

More cooking classes at Merryberry
Cyril is demonstrating his “sous vide” menu at his next class at 6 pm on Tuesday February 17. His last classes have been full so book your spot early at (647) 348-0411. 559 Parliament.

The final week for Winterlicious
Winterlicious 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 website. 


Contact info
Alice’s Place, 554 Parliament St, (647) 931-9088, https://www.facebook.com/alicesplacetoronto
Cranberries, 601 Parliament St, (416) 925-6330
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.


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
Mill St Brew Pub
7 pm, Live acoustic music with Don Campbell
Under The Table
9 pm, Karaoke


Flying Beaver
7 pm, Not so newly wed 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, Arthur Renwick


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


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, Alyssa Minichillo, Andrea Page & Emilie O’Brien, “Down with love – a valentine’s cabaret”, $10/advance, $15/door
6:30 pm, Order of Good Cheer Dinner, dinner $75, wine $25
The Local GEST
7:30 pm, Trivia night
7:30 pm, Corktown Ukulele Jam $6


Flying Beaver
8 pm, Tim Boyle, “Heartstrings 2.0”, $15/advance, $20/door
The Local GEST
8:30 pm, Open Mic with Porter
Mill St Brew Pub
7 pm, Live acoustic music 

Flying Beaver
7 pm, Dina Martina,  $20/advance, $25/door
7 pm, Dina Martina,  $20/advance, $25/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
White Elephant
7 pm, Conor Gains
Flying Beaver
7 pm, Dina Martina,  $20/advance, $25/door
9 pm, Dina Martina,  $20/advance, $25/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
7 pm, That Choir “Valentine edition”, $10/advance, $15/door
Local GEST
4:30 pm, Sunday jazz featuring Laura Marks & Friends
Mill Street Beer Hall
1 pm, Jazz brunch with Tyler Yarema