April 30

This week’s image:  Forsythia Festival



There are open houses in a home on Aberdeen and a townhouse on Earl .  Click here to see the details.

The Spring real estate market is in full swing now and there are sales and open houses through the area.  Two noteworthy homes are on the market.  Their histories and character make each one worth watching. If you have a chance, check them out.

#6 Wellesley Cottages
This cottage was the first restoration done in the Cottages row.  In the early 1980s, a developer had wanted to alter them drastically or tear them down.  Their facades were stucco and the rear walls, as one owner notes, were largely made from early 20th century copies of the Toronto Star.   There were dirt lanes and a dirt parking area in the front.  They were protected by Part IV heritage designation in September 1983.
The current owner bought #6 in 1982.  It had 400 square feet in four little rooms.  His renovation expanded it into a 2800 square foot home with parking for four cars, a small front yard and a deep backyard onto the St James cemetery, all on a 30’ wide lot. It’s still the largest of the Cottages. The original dirt front area has been transformed into a paved brick courtyard. It’s the eastern home in the row.
It’ll come on the market this weekend.  For listing details, contact Larry McGill of Right At Home, (416) 391-3232.

397 Carlton Street
This is a big, beautiful Victorian Italianate heritage home on Carlton facing Riverdale Park.  Built in 1883, its inner rooms still retain much their original charm with 10’ ceilings, high crown moulding, a marble fireplace in the living room, two staircases and three large bedrooms and a den upstairs.
There’s a 421 square foot coach house, a separate one bedroom lower apartment and driveway parking for two cars.  It’s a detached house with a 50’ by 90’ lot.  The back verandahs overlook a private rear garden.  
Its latest owner was the writer, director and artist Patricia Watson who lived here for 45 years, including time with her then-husband film maker Allan King in the 1970s. It’s currently being shown with her furniture and paintings.  It’s now an estate sale “as-is, where-is”.
Susanne Hudson at Chestnut Park is the listing agent.  (416) 925-9191.  It’s on the market at $2.7 million. 


The Forsythia Festival
After months of hard work, the organizers have prepared a great program for Sunday’s Forsythia Festival.  It starts, as usual, in Riverdale Park (Sumach and Winchester) at 10 am.  The neighbourhood parade launches off at 10:30 am and takes the crowd through Don Vale up to Wellesley Park and the day’s events get underway.  There’ll be a Beer Garden with great barbeque from St Jamestown Steak & Chops (516 Parliament) and ice cold Steam Whistles. You can buy tickets for the fabulous raffles – two draws  will be made each half hour from noon to 3 pm.  A fire truck will visit from 1 to 2 pm at the end of Wellesley and kids are invited to climb aboard and meet the firemen.  All day long, there are free kids activities – an arts and crafts table, a beanbag toss, a bouncy castle, bubbles, fishing, dangling donuts, face painting, parachute games, a police car, a Scouts rope bridge and more.  From 11 am to 3 pm, a DJ from Jet Entertainment will provide onsite music, there’ll be a Taekwondo demo and a gentle tai chi performance.  Plus, most important, there’ll be plenty of opportunity to meet your friends and have a good gossip. 
For maps, a program guide and a list of donors and prizes, click here.  

Congrats Lenny Long and Erica Benson
Erica has been named the Forsythia Festival Queen and Lenny is the King.  Both were nominated because of their continued efforts to improve our community. This is well-deserved recognition – congrats and have fun on Sunday.

Jane’s Walk program – Friday May 1 to Sunday May 3
There are, of course, walks in all of Toronto’s corners.  Here’s a sampling of the walks, times and starting points in our area:
·      Building roads together, Regent Park (10 am Friday, Daniels Spectrum, 585 Dundas E)
·      Everybody walk St James Town (11 am Friday, Wellesley Community Corner, 200 Wellesley St E)
·      St James Town & the Filipino community, (10 am Saturday, Glen Road exit, Sherbourne subway station)
·      School gardens (10 am Saturday, Sherbourne subway station)
·      Poor people’s history of downtown Toronto (10 am Saturday, 51 Division, 51 Parliament St)
·      Queer & Fabulous (11 am and 1 pm Saturday, Wellesley subway station)
·      Regent Park, an insider’s perspective (11 am Saturday, Tim Horton’s Parliament & Dundas)
·      Riots to responsibility, the Irish in Toronto (11 am Saturday, St Paul’s, Queen & Power)
·      Distillery District photo tour (1 pm Saturday, Pikto Gallery, 22 Gristmill Lane, Distillery)
·      Revitalization or displacement: mixed neighbourhoods (2 pm Saturday, All Saints Church, Dundas at Sherbourne)
·      Three Centuries of Corktown (10 am Sunday, Enoch Turner Schoolhouse, 105 Trinity)
·      Radical History of Allan Gardens (10 am Sunday, corner of Carlton & Sherbourne)
·      Queer & Fabulous (1 pm Sunday, Wellesley subway station)
See the full city-wide list of walks, dates and times plus detailed info about each of them here. 


Free dirt
Pam McConnell will arrange for a load of compost to be dropped off at Riverdale Park on Sunday May 3.  Please note that this is a new location – in previous years, the dirt was dropped on Hillcrest near Wellesley Park.

Cabbagetown South meeting
The next regular Association meeting – 7 to 9 pm, Wednesday May 6, Retsina Restaurant (209 Gerrard E).  Among the topics for discussion will be the proposal by St Michael’s Hospital and the Sherbourne Health Centre to open a residential withdrawal program.  For more info, click here.  

Corktown Residents & Business Association
7 to 9 pm May 5, Little Trinity Annex, second floor, 403 King E.  The Association’s May meeting will include a presentation on the local impact of the Pan Am, ParaPan Games, details about the Live Art Festival in Underpass Park on June 20, and updates on local community and development issues.

CRC Open House
Visit the CRC (40 Oak Street) on Thursday May 7 from 4 to 6 pm for its annual open house.  Find out about the programs offered there – community meals, food skills, advocacy, gardening, housing and housing support, clothing, community enterprises and drop-in activities.  At 6 pm, be part of the CRC’s annual community meeting to see what was done last year and learn about future plans.  Meet special guest Joy Connelly, social housing consultant and blogger.  Light refreshments.  See the website at www.tcrc.ca

Spinning workshops
Riverdale Farm (Winchester east of Sumach) will conduct two workshops on Saturday May 9.  At 9:30 am, the first topic is “How to use a drop spindle”.  From 1:30 pm, the second one is about “How to use a spinning wheel.”  Each workshop is limited to ten participants and fees for each range from $21 to $57.  Call (416) 338-4836 to register. 

Cabbagetown Cycling Club
Sunday’s ride meets and rolls out from Jet Fuel (519 Parliament) at 7:30 am – 65K to the Zoo. If you aren’t yet registered with the Club, you must bring your completed waiver.  Find out more and join the Club online here.  

New arena on Cherry Street
Ports Toronto has announced plans to build a new community arena on federal property at the foot of Cherry Street, the home of the terminal for the defunct ferry project to Rochester. The 75,000 square foot building will house two indoor rinks, locker rooms, viewing areas and other amenities.  Its still at the conceptual stage – developer must still be selected to create a business plan, manage construction and manage the facility’s operations.  There are also several steps to complete in order to get the City’s approval. 

Sports centre for Jarvis and Dundas
Maple Leaf Sports Enterprise is planning a 42,000 square foot sports centre to be built on derelict TCHC property near Dundas and Jarvis. It will have multi-sport courts, classrooms, office space and a cafeteria.  Justin Skinner has written about the proposal in Inside Toronto – click here to read it. 

Lynn’s tee in California

Lynn Walker regularly visits California for bike rides and training.  This year, she was in Santa Monica mountains and covered over 20,000 feet of climbing during the week.  Of course, she took her Cabbagetown tee.  Congrats Lynn. 


Laili Biali at Little Trinity
Laila Biali is an award-winning jazz pianist, vocalist and songwriter.  She’ll be releasing her album, Laila Biali and The Radiance Project, at a concert in Little Trinity (425 King E) on Saturday May 2 at 8 pm.  Tickets are $20 and $25 and they’re available online

Soulpepper’s Cabaret Series
Intimate musical performances featuring both established artists and fresh, exciting talents.  Star Crossed Lovers focuses on popular music’s fascination with Romeo and Juliet themes.  On Saturday May 2 at 8:30 pm.  Soulpepper’s regulars perform music from Sondheim to Radiohead. Tikets are $20 and $25, available online here.  

Momentum 15
An ambitious main-stage production featuring dancers from all three years of the Professional Training Program, School of Toronto Dance Theatre.  Choreography by Christopher House, Sasha Ivanochko, Sharon Moore, Julia Sasso, Ofilio Sinbadinho and Heidi Strauss.  8 pm, Thursday April 30 to Saturday May 2 and Thursday May 7 to Saturday May 9, Winchester Street Theatre (80 Winchester).  Tickets are 15 and $20.  Tickets are more info – click here. 

Gathering Momentum
This is the annual fundraiser for the School of Toronto Dance.  The program includes featured works from Momentum 2015 plus an award ceremony.  7 pm – wine, dessert and a silent auction.  7:30 pm, performances.  Winchester Street Theatre (80 Winchester) Tickets are $30, click here.  

God and the Indian – May 2 to May 17
Written by Drew Hayden Taylor.  While panhandling outside a local coffee shop, Johnny, a Cree woman, is shocked to recognize a face from her childhood spent in a residential school.  She’s desperate to hear him acknowledge the terrible abuse inflicted on her and other children at the school.  Native Earth Performing Arts with Firehall Arts Centre.  Saturday May 2 to Sunday May 17.  Aki Studio Theatre, Daniels Spectrum (585 Dundas E).

Looking for Elvis & the Man in Black – May 5 to May 9
Two works.  Looking For Elvis, choreographed by Laurence Lemieux, explores the life of a young Elvis Presley.  The Man in Black, choreographed by James Kudelka, is a celebration of American working-class grit and the man whose voice embodied it.  May 5, 6, 8 and 9 at 8 pm, $20.  The Rockabillie Rumble Fundraiser, May 7 at 7 pm, $100.  The Citadel (304 Parliament). Tickets and more info available online.  

Trudeau comes back to Soulpepper
Two of Michael Hollingshed’s plays about Pierre Trudeau and Canadian politics return in late April to Soulpepper. Trudeau and Levesque - onstage from April 25. Trudeau and the FLQ - from May 12.  Soulpepper’s Spring season continues with Alan Ayckbourn’s Bedroom Farce from May 1, Vern Thiessen’s adaptation of Somerset Maugham’s Of Human Bondage from May 2 and Anton Piatigorsky’s The Dybbuk Or Between Two Worlds in mid-May.  For details, schedules and tickets, click here.  

Corktown Ukulele Jam
Throughout May, the Jam will continue on Tuesday evenings at 7:30 pm at the Paintbox Bistro (535 Dundas) 

Jeff Barnes and Noah Zacharin
Jeff and Noah make their regular monthly visit next Thursday May 7, 8 to midnight, The Local GEST (424 Parliament).  Open Mic with Porter is Thursday April 30 and Thursday May 14, 9 pm to 1 am.


Mama knows best
Kendall & Co (514 Parliament) has a wonderful assortment of gifts for Mother’s Day.  Good from local artists, vases for a lovely bouquet and charming home accessories.  And how about this apron that says “Mama knows best”.  Visit the store and see the new arrivals – 10 am to 6 pm, Monday to Friday and 11 am to 5 pm, Saturday.

Workshops at Little House in the City
Two workshops are scheduled for the coming week.  On Saturday May 2 from 10:30 am to noon, join historian Harold Troper for a guided walking tour through Old Cabbagetown.  $12.  On Monday May 4 from 7 to 9 pm, Dan Pryce from Spade & Feather will hold a workshop on growing your own backyard hops.  $20.  For details and registration, click here.  555 Parliament


Welcome back
The Butter Chicken Factory (556 Parliament) has reopened.  Stricken by a fire in its ventilation system, it needed extensive repairs for its kitchen equipment as well as a thorough cleaning in the dining room.  There’s now a new tin ceiling in the front room and the whole place has a comfortable, fresh feeling.  Drop in for a lunch special and, of course, there’s takeout and home delivery.  Open from 11 am to 3 pm and from 5 to 10 pm.

Little Shmiddy’s Hot Meat House
This attractive little room opened a few weeks ago at 584 Parliament just south of Wellesley.  It’s immediately obvious that the exterior has been very nicely improved with new colours, a thorough paint job and an attractive bench.  Inside, it’s a surprise – well finished in dark and relaxing colours and finishes.  The menu changes regularly.  Last weekend, both the burger and the schnitzel sandwich were big hits at reasonable prices. Open Tuesday to Saturday, 10 am to 10 pm and Sunday 10 am to 4 pm.  Click here for the website and here for Facebook.    

Kanpai Snack Bar
Here’s another amazing small room.  Located at the northwest corner of Carlton and Parliament (252 Carlton), its façade and interior have been really well designed.  There’s an open kitchen, longer tables for groups plus a row of seats along the bars facing the kitchen and the service counter.  The roll-up garage door windows have fortunately been saved along Parliament Street from the old Ginger site. The menu highlights “Taiwanese street food delights, handcrafted Canadian cocktails and a hip-ass vibe”. It’s been busy since it launched and appears to be on the road to success. Open 11:30 am to 1 am.

Kanpai’s Collaborative Dinner
Kanpai (252 Carlton) is one of six Toronto restaurants teaming up with international experts to create a Collaborative Dinner Series under the auspices of Terroir Hospitality Industry Symposium.  Kanpai’s dinner happens on Wednesday May 13 at 7 pm.  It’ll be a six course tasting menu together with Samuel Adams beer and samples of artisan cocktails.  $50.  For lots more information about the series and Kanpei’s event, plus tickets, click here.  

Dinner and a show
Mill Street (21 Tank House Lane) has a dinner and theatre special offer at The Brew Pub and The Beer Hall.  If you’re seeing a play at Soulpepper, show your ticket to enjoy a 15% discount on your dinner or dessert. 



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
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.

Please note: 
Two of our regular Clubs are currently closed.  The Flying Beaver is being renovated after a fire in late February.  The Dominion on Queen has been closed since the summer of 2014 for renovations.


The Irv
7pm, Geoff Willingham
The Local GEST
8 pm, Open Mic with Porter
Mill St Brew Pub
7 pm, Tap That Cask with Jeff Eager
Under The Table
9 pm, Karaoke
White Elephant
Open mic


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 to 10 pm, Ryan Carter


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
Local GEST
4:30 pm, Sunday afternoon jazz with Zim Zum
Mill Street Beer Hall
1 pm, Jazz brunch with Tyler Yarema


6 pm, Games night
Stout Irish Pub
7:30 pm, Headscratchers trivia


El Catrin
6 pm, Cinco de Mayo, DJ, tequila sampling and Mexican eats.
Stout Irish Pub
7:30 pm, Headscratchers trivia


Alice’s Place
9 pm, Karaoke
The Local GEST
7:30 pm, Trivia night with Jill
Paintbox Bistro
7:30 pm, Corktown Ukelele Jam


The Irv
7pm, Geoff Willingham
The Local GEST
8 pm, Jeff Barnes & Noah Zacharin
Mill St Brew Pub
7 pm, Tap That Cask with live acoustic music
White Elephant
8 pm, Open mic night


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
6 to 9 pm, Arthur Renwick


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
White Elephant
9:30 pm to 2 am, Toastr Party


Alice’s Place
9 pm, Karaoke with Vee
Local GEST
4:30 pm, Sunday afternoon jazz with the Chris Wallace Mill Street Beer Hall
1 pm, Jazz brunch with Tyler Yarema