December 10

This week’s image:  a remarkable facelift at Parliament & Winchester


Two interesting homes on quiet side streets are open for inspections this weekend.  Click here to read the details. 


Helping Syrian refugees
Local projects and coordinating agencies are putting together resources to assist both refugee families and Canadian sponsors.  If your group is looking for guidance or for practical necessities, these two agencies can help.  Community Matters Toronto is based in St James Town and has access to translators, housing, health care, language services and other necessities.  Lifeline Syria is a city-wide initiative that’s operating a Sponsors Forum to share information, advice and best practices. 

Solstice Arts & Crafts Bazaar
Neighbourhood of Nations is the group that created the new mural in St James Town during the summer.  It’s now collaborating with CRC in Regent Park and Council Fire to bring the Solstice Arts & Crafts Bazaar.  There’ll be lots of goodies for sale plus music, food and children’s creative activities.  Saturday December 12, 3 to 6 pm.  Council Fire (429 Dundas E at Parliament). 

Christmas at Riverdale Farm
Visit the Farm (Winchester east of Sumach) to enjoy craft making, cookie decorating and treats from the kitchen.  Santa will drop around. Saturday December 12 from 9:30 am to 3:30 pm.  Please bring a donation of unused toiletries for local shelters.

Carolling in Cabbagetown
Once again, neighbours around Winchester and Parliament will be carolling and collecting goodies for the St Luke food bank.  Watch for the group along Winchester, Metcalfe, Carlton and Sumach on Sunday December 13, starting at 7 pm.  Last year, they collected over $700 in cash and over 700 pounds of food.  If you aren’t on this route or you’re not planning to be home, drop off your donation at 94 Winchester.

Brenda’s step class
Brenda has issued her latest December step class schedule.  She’ll lead a class on Sunday December 13 at 11 am and her last 2015 class will be on Wednesday December 16 at 9:15 am.  Cabbagetown Youth Centre  (2 Lancaster). 

CRBA annual Christmas party
Odin Café and Bar (514 King E) is hosting the Corktown Residents and Business Association annual party.  Sunday December 13, 5 to 9 pm.  Live music, cash bar, hors d’oeuvres, silent auction and more.

Regent Park Community Celebration
There’ll be a community talent show, an update on 2015 events and an introduction to the people and agencies making a mark in Regent Park.  Thursday December 17, 6:30 to 8:30 pm.  Daniels Spectrum (585 Dundas E). 

Outdoor skating on the waterfront
Photo:  Corktown Residents and Business Association
The rink at Sherbourne Commons is now open (east of lower Sherbourne at Queen’s Quay).  Amazing views of the city and the lakefront.

Allan Gardens Christmas show
Photo: Joanne Arseneault
The 2015 Christmas flower show at the Allan Gardens Conservatory (Carlton between Sherbourne and Jarvis) is now underway, daily from noon to 7 pm to Monday January 11.  There’ll be special candlelight shows from 5 to 7 pm on the weekends of December 12 & 13, December 19 & 20 and December 26 & 27. Free.


The political history of Allan Gardens
Photo: Toronto Star archives
Jason Ball writing in the Toronto Star traces the upheavals, riots and protests that have centred on Allan Gardens from the Depression to the G20 summit.  His story also covers the more conventional development of the park and its conservatory.  Click here for the story. 

Congrats Odin
Azure magazine focuses on contemporary architecture and design.  In its November/December issue, Odin (514 King E) is one ten stunning interiors highlighted by the editors, including an amazing child care centre in Japan, a hotel in Canberra, restaurants in Shanghai, Milan and Prague, a distillery in Sydney and retail stores in Monterey, Holland and a Prada gallery in Milan.  Click here to read the article. 


Corktown Community Orchestra
Don’t miss the orchestra’s Christmas concert.  Thursday December 10 at 8 pm, Little Trinity Church (425 King E).  $10, kids free.

Dancers from the Canadian Contemporary Dance Theatre will perform WINTERSONG – dances for a sacred season next weekend, Friday December 11 (8 pm) and Saturday December 12 (2 pm) at the Fleck Dance Theatre in Harbourfront (207 Queens Quay W).  The program includes Petits Reves, a premiere by renowned choreographer Sylvie Bouchard plus Incipit Vita Nova by Belinda McGuire.  Tickets and more info here 

Toes for Dance
Toes for Dance is an annual festival of 60-minute dance productions at the Aki Theatre in the Daniels Spectrum (585 Dundas E).  Belinda McGuire’s Three Muses is on stage on Friday December 11 and Saturday December 12 at 7 pm and on Sunday December 13 at 2 pm.  Callahan Connor’s The Living Shhh follows at 8:30 pm and 3:30 pm on Sunday.  A Q&A session and meet and greet follow the performances.  Tickets are $23 to $35.  More info and tickets available online here. 

A very Soulpepper Christmas
A family concert full of stories and music.  Cast members include Mike Ross, Albert Schultz, Jackie Robinson, the Heavyweights Brass Band and lots more.  On stage December 19 (2 pm), 20 (7 pm), 23 (2 pm) and 26 (7 pm).  Concert details and tickets online here.  50 Tank House Lane, Distillery. 


Dale is missing
Regular customers at Pet Valu (240 Carlton) may have noticed that Dale isn’t cruising around the shelves anymore.  In fact, he’s retired and resettled in Prince Edward County.  Our best wishes to him for lots of pleasant free time.  You’ll be missed.

Ready, set, go holiday
With just two holiday shopping weekends left, Kendall & Co (514 Parliament) annual gifts and entertaining guide will get you and your home ready.  Check out what’s in store – click here.  Plus, you’ll get a free gift with every purchase (while quantities last).  Parliament and Winchester is your one-stop-shop for gifts, wine and food.  Open every day until Christmas. 

The Christmas Market
The Distillery’s big Christmas show swings into its fourth week.  Be sure to save the date for Sunday December 20 at 5 pm.  The Mill Street carolling challenge happens thn – we’re trying to gather up the world’s biggest carolling crowd.  The entertainment takes place all day with strolling carollers, Santa’s elves and children’s storytelling.  Special events are staged daily from 6:15 pm. Multicultural performances include dancing, choral music and special performers.  $5 admission fee on weekends. You can check out all of these details on the Market’s website. 

Santa Paws at Pet Valu
If you missed him last week, Santa is back for an encore appearance at Pet Valu (240 Carlton).  Bring your favourite pet and get a memorable souvenir photo.  $10.  Saturday December 12 from 10 am. 

The best Elfin’ Christmas market
Ontario’s best artisans bring their food, fashions, cosmetics and crafts to the Daniels Spectrum (585 Dundas E).  Sunday December 13, 11 am to 7 pm.  There’ll be gourmet food, a licenced bar and music. 

Time to order your turkey
Mark at St James Town Steak and Chops (516 Parliament) is taking orders now for your Christmas turkey – they’re farm fresh, grain fed birds,  For a little variety, he also has prime rib roasts, smoked ham, capons and geese.  While you’re there, check out his other Christmas treats, organic meats and fresh veggies.

Smoked turkey from 420 Smokehouse
Make your holiday festivities a little easier with a smoked turkey from 420.  Your bird is soaked in brine for three days and then given 420’s own special rub before it’s smoked.  Contact Virginia at (416) 924-5858.  420 Parliament.

The Irv
Get a nifty hat for the holidays.  The Irv (195 Carlton) now has a line of snap-backs for $25 (free when you buy a $100 gift certificate) and toques at $12.  Fun souvenirs from a great pub. 


Wild Women are back
Lorraine Segato and her friends return to the Paintbox Bistro (555 Dundas E) with their cabaret, Wild Women Don’t Get the Blues,  on Thursday December 10.  Doors open at 6:30 pm and the show starts at 7:30 pm.  Appearing with her are Colleen Allen, Shakura S’Aida, Miku Graham, Lyne Tremblay, Diane Flacks, Marianne Epp, Trevlyn Kay and Nancy Walker.  Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 here.  Order yours online.

More cooking at Merryberry
Cyril’s next cooking class will be about tapas, from classic to modern.  He’ll be demonstrating such goodies as sautéed mushrooms, saffron-garlic shrimp, spicy potatoes and among the modern recipes, pineapple-mustard beef skewers.  For those who want to live ‘way out on the edge, there’ll also be bacon-wrapped banana with a curry sauce!  It all happens on Monday December 14 at 6 pm.  $45. Only two spaces left – call (647) 348-0411 or visit Merryberry at 559 Parliament.

Christmas at Cranberries
One of the season’s most pleasant events is the annual Christmas Day dinner at Cranberries (601 Parliament).  The meal is delicious.  The price is modest. The crowds fill the restaurant.  Two seatings – at 5 and 7:30 pm.  Soup or salad, a traditional turkey entrée with mashed potatoes, gravy, homemade stuffing, fresh veggies, a dinner roll – and of course, cranberries.  Apple pie and ice cream for dessert.  $28.  This is a popular event – so book now at (416) 925-6330.

Holiday food drive
The Local GEST (424 Parliament) is collecting your food donations for the holidays.  Drop off non-perishable food items from now until December 21. 

Storeys at Paintbox
Chris Klugman’s photographs of Regent Park’s demolition and renewal are on display at The Paintbox Bistro (555 Dundas E).  The exhibition will continue until the end of January – drop in to see his images and enjoy a meal.

The new Dominion
Entertainment is now scheduled every Thursday, Friday and Saturday at the new Dominion Pub & Kitchen (500 Queen E).  This week, the Dan Kosub Trio appears on Thursday, DJ DXB on Friday and the Great Grantsby on Saturday. 

Two parties at The Irv
Guest appreciation night at The Irv (195 Carlton) happens on Thursday December 17 from 7 to 11 pm.  It promises to be a blow-out.  Live music, beer sampling, prizes and giveaways and free munchies. 
Santa’s coming to The Irv and there’ll be lots of fun, gifts and good food.  It’s your chance to make a Christmas donation - $2 from every brunch will buy food for a needy family.  Gifts for kids under 10.  Saturday December 19, Santa from 11 am to 2 pm. 

Put it on your calendar
The Local GEST’s annual Christmas sing-a-long happens on Sunday December 20 at 3:30 pm.  Join Jeff Barnes and Noah Zacharin for some melodic Christmas cheer.  It’s always a packed house and a great time.  424 Parliament.

Holidays and parties at Peartree
The holiday menu at Peartree (507 Parliament) includes entrees from $23.99 to $26.99 with soup or salad and your choice from four desserts.  The Solarium at the back is a lovely private room that can handle up to 25 people.  For the full holiday menu, click here. 


Watch this column in the next few weeks.  The list will be updated each week as more pubs and restaurants tell us their plans.

On New Year’s Eve, ring in the New Year with F’Amelia’s Table D’Hote.  It’s a three-course dinner with amazing choices and you can add on a Salumi board at the start and a cheese board to finish.  $59.  F’Amelia will be open on Boxing Day and New Year’s Day – closed December 24 and 25, January 3, 4 and 5.  (416) 323-0666.  12 Amelia. 

The Irv
The Irv (195 Carlton) offers a three-course dinner complete with a glass of Prosecco for $39.99.  The menu includes mushroom soup or salad, butternut squash ravioli, New York strip or oven-baked halibut for your entrée and two-chocolate mousse for dessert.  (647) 350-4787.

Local GEST
Food, fun and frivolity.  Details coming soon.  424 Parliament.  (416) 961-9425
Mill Street Brew Pub
A no-hassle New Year’s Eve with a beer paired dinner, dancing, party favours and sparkling wine at midnight.  Entertainment by The Clearing.  (416) 681-0338.  21 Tank House Lane, Distillery.

Mill Street Beer Hall
Swinging at The Beer Hall (21 Tank House Lane) is a roaring ‘20s themed dinner and dance.  The four-course dinner includes beer pairings, wild mushroom soup or beet salad for starters, braised short ribs, curried halibut or orecchiette pasta for your main course and cherry and bosc pear cobbler or a black-and-white for dessert.  Tickets are $69.99.  (416) 681-0338. 

Stout Irish Pub
Ring in the New Year with your friends and family at Stout (221 Carlton).  A $10 ticket buys your champagne, hors d’oeuvres and party favours.  8 pm to 2 am.  (647) 344-7676.



Contact info
Alice’s Place, 554 Parliament St, (647) 931-9088,
Cranberries, 601 Parliament St, (416) 925-6330
Dominion Pub & Kitchen, 500 Queen St E, (416) 366-5555
El Catrin, 18 Tank House Lane, Distillery, (416) 203-2121,
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,
Odin, 514 King W, (647) 350-6346,
Paintbox Bistro, 555 Dundas St E, (647) 748-0555,
Soulpepper, Young Centre, 50 Tank House Lane, Distillery, (416) 866-8666,
Stirling Room, 16 Trinity, Distillery District,
Stout Irish Pub, 221 Carlton St, (647) 344-7676,
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.


The Distillery’s Christmas Market
6:30 pm & 7:15, The O’Pears
Dominion Pub & Kitchen
Dan Kosub Duo
The Irv
7pm, Geoff Willingham
The Local GEST
8 pm, Open Mic with Porter
Mill St Brew Pub
7 pm, Cask & Cheese - live acoustic music with Phil Hood
Paintbox Bistro
6:30 pm, “Wild Women don’t get the blues” with Lorraine Segato, Colleen Allen, Shakura S”Aida, Miku Graham, Lyne Tremblay, Diane Flacks, Marianne Epp, Trevlyn Kay & Nancy Walker,  $20/advance and $25/door
Under the Table
9 pm, Karaoke


The Distillery’s Christmas Market
6:15, 7:15 & 8 pm, Friday night jazz with Micah Barnes
Dominion Pub & Kitchen
Mill Street Brew Pub
6:30 pm, Beer School with Dan North


The Distillery’s Christmas Market
7 and 8 pm, the Seraphim Men’s & the Cherubim Women’s Choirs $5 general admission
Dominion Pub & Kitchen
The Great Grantsby


The Distillery’s Christmas Market
6:30 & 7:15 pm, Oregano Percussion, $5 general admission
Alice’s Place
4 pm, Karaoke with Vee
Local GEST
4:30 pm, Sunday afternoon jazz with the 3X Trio


Stout Irish Pub
7:30 pm, Headscratchers Trivia

The Distillery’s Christmas Market
6:30 & 7:15 pm, Otonabee String Band
Stout Irish Pub
7:30 pm, Headscratchers Trivia


The Distillery’s Christmas Market
6:15 pm, Igranka Bulgarian Dance
Alice’s Place
9 pm, Karaoke
The Local GEST
7:30 pm, Smart Ass Trivia with Porter
Paintbox Bistro
7:30 pm, Corktown Ukelele Jam


The Distillery’s Christmas Market
6:30 & 7:15 pm, Kosa Koletiv
Dominion Pub & Kitchen
Running Red Lights
The Irv
7pm, Geoff Willingham
The Local GEST
8 pm, Open mic with Porter
Mill St Brew Pub
6 pm, Cask & Cheese- live acoustic music
The Distillery’s Christmas Market
6:30, 7:15 & 8 pm, Friday night jazz with Steven Taetz
Dominion Pub & Kitchen
DJ Book Shelf
Mill Street Brew Pub
6:30 pm, Beer School with Dan North
Under The Table
9 pm, Karaoke

The Distillery’s Christmas Market
7 & 8 pm, Clara Venice, $5 general admission
Dominion Pub & Kitchen


The Distillery’s Christmas Market
5 pm, Mill Street carolling challenge, $5 general admission
Alice’s Place
9 pm, Karaoke with Vee
The Local GEST
3:30 pm, Traditional Christmas carolling sing-along with Jeff Barnes and Noah Zacharin