December 31

This week’s image:  Our first snowfall


Best wishes to everyone for a successful and exciting year in 2016.


Barbara Hall
Photo: Colin Perkel, Toronto Star
Barbara Hall’s membership in the Order of Canada was announced on Wednesday December 30. In the citation about her award, the Governor General says that she is recognized “for her human rights leadership and for her commitment to public service.”  People all across Cabbagetown will agree with that view – congrats Barbara and thanks for all of your contributions.

Margaret MacMillan
Photo:  St Antony's College
Dr MacMillan has just been appointed a Companion in the Order of Canada, a promotion for her within the Order.  She was first invested as an Officer in 2006.  Her academic research and her writings have earned her a long list of international honours and awards.  She’s currently the Warden of St Antony’s College, Oxford and a Senior Fellow at U of T’s Massey College and Trinity College.  Although she doesn’t live in Cabbagetown any longer, her friends and neighbours on Sackville Street still proudly watch her distinguished career.


Cabbagetown neighbourhood initiative
Sandra Riches is part of a local effort to sponsor a Syrian family.  At this time, the group is looking for financial support, volunteers and other support.  Its target deadline for organizing commitments is January 31.  Send an email to indicate your interest and to get more info –

Support CNH’s project
Central Neighbourhood House (349 Ontario) has a list of tasks to be undertaken by volunteer supporters  – interpreters (Arabic/English), transportation (both personal cars and larger vehicles), gathering furniture and getting discounts from stores,  shopping for clothing, food and other supplies, settling children in schools and daycares, connecting with cultural and religious centres and finding family recreational facilities.  These are all familiar, practical jobs.  Volunteers may be asked for a police background check.  People are needed for daytime, evening and night schedules.  To contact CNH, call (416) 925-4363.

Toronto Harbour
Toronto Harbour is a group of professional people (including Cabbagetown residents) aiming to raise $35,000 to support a Syrian family,  using Jewish Immigrant Aid Services as its Sponsorship Agreement Holder and Canada Helps as the vehicle for receiving funds.  The group’s website spells out who the members are, how it handles the money and who its refugee family will be. In addition, the members will pitch in with the settlement tasks when a family arrives.  Click here for more info.  

For more info
Eric Morse has written a comprehensive article on The Bulletin’s website about campaigns to support Syrian refugees at Community Matters Toronto, Central Neighbourhood House and Metropolitan United Church.  


Bloor Street Improvements
Photo: City of Toronto
The stretch of Bloor east from Church to Parliament will be given a facelift in 2017.  The City of Toronto is proposing new sidewalks, more trees, benches, bike parking posts, better signage and future bike lanes.  This will be the main street for the big new development at Bloor and Parliament.  The streetscape improvements will pick up from the Bloor-Yorkville work done at its west end.  A public consultation is scheduled for Monday January 11 from 5:30 pm at the Church Street Community Centre (519 Church). 

Top five new developments
Photo:  George Socka, blogTO
Derek Flack writing in blogTO has listed five new real estate developments that will be exciting landmarks in 2016.  Three of them are nearby – the Canary District south of Corktown, the Broadview Hotel at Queen and Broadview and the Globe & Mail building at 351 King East.  Each has maintained a link to its heritage character. Click here to see the article.  

Winter cycling
Photo: Don Harder, Waterfront Toronto
Waterfront Toronto has announced that the Martin Goodman Trail will be plowed and salted during the winter.  The plan is to make bike commuting possible throughout the year.  It’ll be cleared to the bare pavement within six to eight hours of a snowfall.  It’s one of several priority downtown bike lanes that will be plowed.

Step classes
Brenda will hold her first 2016 step class at the Cabbagetown Youth Centre (2 Lancaster) on Wednesday  January 6 at 9:15 am.  Everyone welcome – this is a drop-in class.  Brenda’s January schedule will be available soon.  For more info, contact her at 

Dogs at play
Ross Fraser and Richard Summerbell own Fleafus, a companionable Chocolate Lab who runs happily in Wellesley Park.  Richard has written a song and Andrew Wilson made a fun video, “Thank you for being my dog”, that introduces us to a bunch of canine characters who regularly cavort with Fleafus.  Click here to enjoy it.  

Congrats Allan Gardens
Photo: Melissa Boodoo
The Canadian Garden Council has given Allan Gardens its award for the Garden Event of the Year.  The award specifically goes for the Christmas Show.  Congrats to the staff at the Conservatory (Sherbourne and Carlton).
The Christmas Show is underway now and continues to January 10, 10 am to 5 pm daily.  Don’t miss it.

Klara Ihasz
Klara was a fixture in Cabbagetown.  She was known for her enjoyment of her friends and neighbours, her enthusiasm for all kinds of dogs and other animals, her yoga and her dill pickles.  In the 1990s. her cabbage rolls won a prize in the annual Festival cabbage cooking contest.  She suffered a stroke in mid-December and died on Christmas Eve at 87 years old.  Our condolences go out to her daughter, Claire and son-in-law John McLeod.  Her obituary can be found at Rosar Morrison’s website.  

Working on Christmas Day
These guys never quit!


Finishing at Soulpepper
Three productions are wrapping up this weekend at the Young Centre (50 Tank House Lane, Distillery).  A Christmas Carol, Alligator Pie and Tricks will end on Sunday January 3.  For tickets and production info, go to Soulpepper’s website here.  


Good food at Stout
Congrats to the kitchen at Stout Irish Pub (221 Carlton).  In mid-December, Stout was included on blogTO’s five best Mac ‘n Cheese list.  This week, blogTO ranked Stout’s shepherd’s pie #1 in Toronto.  Read about it here.

Open & closed
New Year’s Eve is, of course, a big deal – check out the list below to see what’s happening.
On New Year’s Day, some are open and others closed.  It’s a mixed bunch.  Here’s a quick guide:
Closed on New Year’s Day – 420 Smokehouse, Local GEST, Merryberry, Odin, Paintbox Bistro and Scullery.
Open on New Year’s Day – Alice’s Place, Chew Chew, Cranberries, Dominion Kitchen & Pub, F’Amelia, House on Parliament. The Irv, Peartree, Stout Irish Pub and Under the Table.


Special a la carte dishes and wine and champagne.  35 Tank House Ln, Distillery, (416) 203-2632.

The New Year’s Eve dinner menu is another of Cranberries’ fine offerings.  It’s a la carte with individually priced courses.  Appetizers include tomato and shrimp bisque and a mixed green salad. For your main course, there’s chicken roulade, seafood pasta or horseradish crusted rib steak and for dessert, dark chocolate Grand Marnier mousse.  601 Parliament. 

Dominion Pub & Kitchen
Rockyard will be playing at the Dominion Pub & Kitchen on New Year’s Eve from 10:30 pm. Party favours, special menu, bubbly at midnight. No cover. (416) 366-5555. 500 Queen E.

El Catrin Destileria
Mexican eats, spicy beats.  The party starts at 10 pm.  Food stations and DJ dancing.  Early bird tickets at $32.50, general tickets at $43 and tickets at the door, $53.60.  (416) 203-2121. 18 Tank House Ln, Distillery.

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. 

House on Parliament
Four-course dinner featuring beef tenderloin, duck confit, pork loin or scallops and prawns along with soup or salad, second course with escargots, shrimp cocktail or ravioli and a selection ofm desserts.  $80.  From 6 pm. Call for reservations, (416) 925-4074.  454 Parliament.

The Irv
The Irv 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.  From 6 pm.  (647) 350-4787. 195 Carlton.

Local GEST
Food, fun and frivolity.  Your three-course menu is $45 and it includes 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 Ln, Distillery.

Mill Street Beer Hall
“Swinging at The Beer Hall” 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.  21 Tank House Ln, Distillery.

On New Year’s Eve, enjoy Peartree’s three-course dinner.  Start with shrimp, mussels, soup or salad, select steak and lobster, grilled halibut, chicken breast, seafood classic or vegetarian agnolotti, and your choice of dessert.  $70 for two.  507 Parliament.  (416) 962-8190. 

Pure Spirits Oyster House & Grill
Seafood platter for two and two glasses of prosecco, $140.  (416) 361-5859.  17 Tank House Ln, Distillery

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.


Dominion Pub & Kitchen
10:30 pm, Rockyard – New Year’s Eve Party
El Catrin Destileria
10 pm, Dinner, DJs, dancing, tickets from $32.60 (early bird).
The Local GEST
6 pm, New Year’s Eve three-course dinner, DJ Mike Reid, $45
Mill St Beer Hall
Swinging at the Beer Hall on New Year’s Eve, dinner and dancing with a live DJ,  $69.99
Mill St Brew Pub
6 pm, No Hassle New Year’s Eve party with The Clearing, dancing and a beer paired menu, bubbly at midnight. 
Stout Irish Pub
8 pm, New Year’s Eve party with bubbly, hors d’oeuvres and prizes.  $10.


Mill Street Beer Hall
8 pm, Vinyl Nights with DJ Humble Mike of the Record Collective
Under The Table
9 pm, Karaoke


Dominion Pub & Kitchen
9 pm, DJ DXB
Mill Street Beer Hall
8 pm, Vinyl Nights with DJ Humble Mike of the Record Collective


Alice’s Place
9 pm, Karaoke with Vee
The Local GEST
4:30 pm, Sunday afternoon jazz with Boom For Rent


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
Peter James project
Local GEST
8 pm, Jeff Barnes & Noah Zacharin
Mill Street Brew Pub
7 pm, Tap That Cask with acoustic music


Dominion Pub & Kitchen
Take Cover
Mill Street Beer Hall
8 pm, Vinyl Nights with DJ Humble Mike of the Record Collective
Mill Street Brew Pub
6:30 pm, Beer school with Dan North, $20


Dominion Pub & Kitchen
Clean SL8
Mill Street Beer Hall
8 pm, Vinyl Nights with DJ Humble Mike of the Record Collective


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