December 17

This week’s image:  Jeff Barnes & Noah Zacharin lead the carolling at The Local GEST



Reminders – do you want to help?
Community Matters Toronto is organizing local people who want to help refugee families.  To see its website for more information, click here. 
Central Neighbourhood House has a fundraising target of $150,000 for its relief efforts.  So far, the fund has reached $132,799.  Go to CNH’s website to link to the fundraising drive.  349 Ontario. 
The Cabbagetown Neighbourhood Association for Syrian Refugee Assistance will support a LGBT family, recognizing that they are in deparate need and that we have a very supportive community.  Donations for NASRA can be made through the CNH donation page.
These agencies have promised that every dollar that’s donated will go to refugee relief.

Make your announcement here
Are you part of a group that’s sponsoring a refugee family?  Are you looking for ways to help out personally? To make your announcement to your friends and neighbours in our area, email me and I’ll post your item here.

Thanks Louise Edwards
Louise – a Cabbagetown realtor working at HomeLife Realty One - organized a clothing drive to contribute to the Toronto Syrian Humanitarian Association.  The drive took place last Tuesday and she was overwhelmed by everyone’s gifts.  She and her friends collected bags full of clothing and the Association has been amazed.  In fact, she really tapped into Cabbagetown’s generosity and she had trouble keeping up with the collections.  If your gift was overlooked, she asks that you now take it to Double Take for their programs. Thanks Louise – it’s a marvellous initiative and it’s good to hear that it’s been such a success.

Christine Roth’s sponsorship
Christine is a Cabbagetown lawyer (219 Carlton) who lives in Cobourg.  Through her church, she’s part of a group that’s organizing a private sponsorship of a Christian family fleeing persecution by ISIS.  She was interviewed recently for a program called Liquid Lunch on ThatChannel.  She also now has a bank account to receive donations – contact her directly at (416) 882-3944 or email her at 


Volunteers needed for Repair Café
Repair Café is a great project.  “Fixers” – people who know how to repair all kinds of stuff – gather in one location and invite the world to bring their faulty toasters, their wonky computers, their wobbly bikes and lots of other needy belongings for a fix-up.  Find out what Repair Café is all about here. 
Central Neighbourhood House (349 Ontario) ran a Repair Café clinic in August and it was a resounding success.
CNH now wants volunteers to organize more Cafes.  You might become a “fixer” or a greeter or a support worker.  You will be committing your help to two events during the coming year.  Judging by the photos and the project comments, a Repair Café is a fun day.  To become a volunteer, contact Edwin at CNH at (416) 925-4363, ext 103.

Congrats carollers
The strolling carol singers did a very good job this year.  The group tours the Metcalfe and Winchester neighbourhoods, going door to door collecting funds and food for the St Luke’s Food Bank.  This year, they gathered up 800 pounds of food and over $1000 in donations.  Over the past 25 years, 24 people have been singing and helping to make this such a success – thanks to everyone.

Mill Street Carolling Challenge
The Christmas Market (Distillery District) wraps up this weekend.  Its grand finale is Mill Street’s mass carol sing-along at 5 pm on Sunday.  The organizers hope to gather the largest carolling crowd in the world and earn a spot in the Guinness Book of Records.  On Friday at 6:30, 7:15 and 8 pm, Steven Taetz is the Friday jazz feature and on Saturday at 7 and 8 pm, Clara Venice performs. 

The Shortest Day
The Shortest Day is an annual celebration of short films, presented by the National Film Board, Telefilm Canada and Quebec’s SODEC.  Opening Friday December 18 and running to Monday December 21 in the Aki Studio Theatre, Daniels Spectrum (585 Dundas E). On Monday at 4 and 6 pm, the Family program and the Comedy and Drama programs will screen at the Paintbox Bistro (555 Dundas E).  Free

Carolling at Little Trinity
Mike Janzen and Hugh Marsh will lead Little Trinity’s Carols by Candelight concert, Wedenesday, December 23, 7 pm.  Little Trinity is Toronto’s oldest church.  Tickets are $15 with $5 directed to a refugee relief fund, kids under 12 free.  425 King at Trinity.

Candlelit yin and yoga nidra
Jennifer Snowden is hosting this class to reflect on 2015 and make plan for 2016 in her studio at 58 Rose Ave.  Wednesday December 30, 7:30 to 9 pm. Read more about it and pre-register at her website, $20. 

Allan Gardens show
Photo: Joanne Arseneault
The flower show in the Conservatory (Carlton between Sherbourne and Jarvis) is now open.  There will be extended hours on the weekends of December 19 and 20 and December 26 and 27 – open to 7 pm.  Normal hours are 10 am to 5 pm daily to  Sunday January 10.

The PM in The Distillery
Last Monday, our new Member of Parliament Bill Morneau held a big bash at the Daniels Spectrum in the Regent Park.  Prime Minister Trudeau was among his guests.  The Gooderham & Worts Neighbourhood Group in the Distillery District spotted him in Balzac’s before the event and as he left, he paused for a few selfies with the crowd. Then he went past Mill Street Brew Pub and grabbed another pic. 


CBC at Rose Ave School
On Thursday morning, the CBC’s Metro Morning ran a segment with Rose Avenue students. Matt Galloway, the show’s host, noted that over 20% of the students in the school had come to Canada in the past five years.  He wanted their advice for the new wave of Syrian refugees and they gave it to him.  A marvellous interview with 8-year olds resulted.

UberHop in the Distillery
Photo: Chris Young, Globe & Mail
Uber’s new taxi service from the Distillery into the downtown core started up to mixed reactions this week.  The service operates from 7 to 10 am and from 4:30 to 7:30 pm and the pickup spot is on Mill Street and Cherry, outside 80 Mill Street.  You’ll need the app to find out the details.  The Toronto Star did a story about its service from the Distillery – click here. 

Update on the Canary District
Photo:  Justin Skinner, Inside Toronto
Justin Skinner in Inside Toronto wrote about the current status of the Canary District buildings.  Openings in Toronto’s newest neighbourhood will start in early 2016.  The area is south of Front Street and east of Cherry.  Click here to read his story. 


Christmas carolling
The Local GEST’s (424 Parliament) annual carolling happens this Sunday, December 20 from 3:30 to 7:30 pm.  Jeff Barnes and Noah Zacharin will lead the crowd.  Local songsters will pop up through the afternoon to enrich the performances.  Don’t miss it.  No cover charge – lots of good food, drink and cheer.

Corktown carolling
The new Sumach Espresso (118 Sumach) is home for a carolling sing-along on Sunday December 20 from 3 to 5 pm.  Join pianist Dennis Kucherawy and enjoy a latte or an espresso while the music rolls around.   

Don’t Gimme No Goose for Christmas, Grandma
Whiskey Jack’s Christmas show happens on Sunday, December 20 from 4 to 7 pm at the Cadillac Lounge (1296 Queen W).  Duncan Fremlin tells us that the program will be full of seasonal favourites. 
And while you’re thinking about it, book your tickets now for Whiskey Jack’s tribute to Stompin Tom’s 80th birthday – this year’s special guests include Adrienne Clarkson and J P Cormier.  It’s at Hugh’s Room (2261 Dundas W) and it’ll be a sell-out.  Click here. 

A very Soulpepper Christmas
Enjoy a week of concerts featuring guests like Jackie Richardson, soprano Patricia O’Callaghan, Mike Ross, Albert Schultz and the Hevyweights Brass Band.  December 19, 20, 23 and 26. Performance times vary.  Soulpepper in the Young Centre (Tank House Ln, Distillery). For all the details, click here. 


Peace & Joy
Victoria Hadden’s cards are still available at Kendall (514 Parliament).  They’ve sold very well.  She’s just delivered more of them to the store.  Drop by and pick up a package for your own unique greetings.

Last shopping weekend
Whether you’re just getting started or looking for a finishing touch, Kendall & Co (514 Parliament) has a holiday gift, décor and entertaining guide for you.  Click here.  Parliament and Winchester has become your one-stop-shopping centre for gifts, food and wine. 

Get your tree
The guys at Parliament and Spruce are back with their assortment of freshly cut Christmas trees.  They own a record that should be published in the Guinness Book of Records – 63 years selling trees in the same spot in Cabbagetown.  Thanks guys.

Cabbagetown Christmas gifts
Cabbagetown tees, flags and tote bags are all available at the Cabbagetown BIA office (237 Carlton).  Take a Tee along on your next holiday and send us your picture – it’ll be published here to dazzle and amaze all of your pals.
Spruce (455 Parliament) has a selection of Cabbagetown toques from the City of Neighbourhoods collection.

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.


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.

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.  The 420’s turkey is listed as one of Toronto’s best dinners to go for the holidays by blogTO – check it out here.  Contact Virginia at (416) 924-5858.  420 Parliament.

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. 

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.

Murgatroid has UberEats
UberEats is now delivering Murgatroid’s goodies directly to your door.  Sandwiches, salads, soups and breakfast items are always available.  In the evening, UberEats will bring the tapas and in the mornings, the brunch menu.  Find out how to connect on Murgatroid’s Facebook page.  568 Parliament.


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

Dominion Pub & Kitchen
Rockyard will be playing at the Dominion Pub & Kitchen on New Year’s Eve.  More details to come. 500 Queen E.

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.  Check out the details here.  (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.  Your three-course menu is $45 including a glass of bubbly. DJ Mike Reid starts at 10 pm.  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 & 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 with Dan Kosub


The Distillery’s Christmas Market
6:30, 7:15 & 8 pm, Friday night jazz with Steven Taetz
Dominion Pub & Kitchen
9 pm, 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
9 pm, Nicemark


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
Stout Irish Pub
7:30 pm, Headscratchers Trivia

Stout Irish Pub
7:30 pm, Headscratchers Trivia

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


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
Under the Table
9 pm, Karaoke


Alice’s Place
4 pm, Karaoke with Vee
Local GEST
4:30 pm, Sunday afternoon jazz with Faith Amour