January 7

This week’s image:  Necropolis in the winter



Four loud “thanks” to people who made truly lasting contributions to our neighbourhood in 2015.

Mischa Hamara and Seed by Seed
Mischa and his friend Andrew Wilson were dismayed to learn in the Spring that the Farmer’s Market in Riverdale was cancelled.  Both of them were active in Seed by Seed, a non-profit group that empowers communities to reconnect with their food.  They wanted to save the Market.  Along with three friends, Ashley Collier, Michelle Davidson and Malory Hilkewich, they indeed rescued it and they gave it a badly needed burst of new life and energy along with a website, a Facebook page and a variety of innovative extras for each Market day.  
The Market has long been a pleasant summer event for the Cabbagetown community.  It was important for the farmers as well and they were happy to help with its rescue.  By the end of the season, the vendors who sold their goodies were pleased with its reception by the community.
Mischa, Andrew, Ashley, Michelle and Malory will be back next year.  They need our help – as shoppers at the Market and as volunteers to help with the heavy lifting each week.
Thanks to each one of you. 

Mark Michelin at St Jamestown Steak & Chops
Photo: Mark in his landmark tent at the Cabbagetown Festival
Every year, hundreds of loyal shoppers keep coming back to Mark’s butcher shop and deli at 516 Parliament.  No wonder - he offers high quality food at reasonable prices with exceptional service.
He does a lot more.  He supports our community.  He is, for example, a Gold level sponsor of the annual Forsythia Festival. 
And, this year, he’s been busy polishing up his store.  His new façade is a dramatic improvement that gives the corner a modern, upbeat tone.  His interior renovations have saved the store’s former charms while making it more efficient and more welcoming. 
Thanks Mark.

Cabbagetown Residents Association
In recent years, the CRA’s Board of Directors has been a positive, strong group that sees opportunities and acts on them.  A few years ago, for example, a Board committee got involved in the Forsythia Festival and reenergized it, making it once again a vibrant Spring event. The Board has an impressive track record and it does its work without a lot of noise or controversy.
For the past couple of years, the Board has been working with officials at the City of Toronto on plans for the splash pad in Wellesley Park.  It was built and opened in 2015 and it’s clearly well-received by the whole neighbourhood.  There’s a striking design on the pad’s floor – a reproduction of one of Norval Morrisseau’s works – and approval to use it was negotiated by a CRA Board member.
Families from Don Vale and St James Town started to use the pad last summer. Every day, an enthusiastic group of kids got gleefully soaked. When a dog ran through it on a hot summer day, nobody freaked out. 
Thanks to the Board at the Cabbagetown Residents.

Kendall Williams and Kevin Kung
Kendall & Co (514 Parliament) has an impressive track record.  Kendall and Kevin have a prize-winning interior design studio. Their store is also a prize-winning home decor retailer. Their shop always sets a high standard among retailers along Parliament as our shopping strip becomes more modern and gentrified.
Together with their friend Mark Michelin, they redesigned the facades on 514 and 516 Parliament to give the Winchester corner a new and interesting feel. 
They regularly give a big boost to two important local events - the Tour of Homes and the Garden Tour.  They sell tickets, create special offers for ticket holders and generate publicity.  And they give local artists and crafts people a chance to display and sell their work to a local audience.
Thanks Kendall and Kevin.


Jarvis Street fire
Photo: The Toronto Blog
On Monday morning, a fire destroyed a heritage building at 314 Jarvis Street.  Built in 1865 and altered in 1901, the house was built for the Sheard family.  Dr Charles Sheard served as Toronto’s Chief Medical Officer of Health and also as a Member of Parliament.  For a personal look at the home and its history, click on this CBC link.  

Allan Gardens flower show
The flower show in the Conservatory (Sherbourne and Carlton) is underway now and continues to January 10, 10 am to 5 pm daily.  Don’t miss it. Free admission.

Bloor Street Improvements
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 stretch 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). 

Sherbourne and Gerrard development
A public consultation will be held about a proposal to build a 13-storey rental building at 307 Sherbourne with 57 one bedroom, 32 two bedroom and 5 three bedroom apartments.  The location used to be a gas station which was demolished several years ago.  The Cabbagetown South Residents Association notes that the building’s size is a problem and urges some ground floor commercial to help redevelop the streetscape. The meeting will be at the Parliament St Library (269 Gerrard E) on Wednesday January 20, 7 to 9 pm.

CNH’s refugee settlement project
Justin Skinner, writing in Inside Toronto, has described the project that Central Neighbourhood House (349 Ontario) is undertaking to help Syrian refugees.  CNH has conducted a very successful fundraising campaign.  Now, it’s searching for volunteers to help.  Read his story here.  

John Tory’s traffic plan
Mayor Tory has announced a plan to ease congestion at Toronto’s ten top traffic hotspots.  Bloor and Parliament is one of those locations.  The Mayor’s efforts will include lots of traffic-easing techniques, none of which have been revealed to date.  They are, undoubtedly, beneficial since they rely on the very latest “vehicular probe data.”  The CBC’s report is here. 

Updates in Cabbagetown South
The Cabbagetown South Residents Association has published its January newsletter.  It’s full of good stuff.  There are several important topics raised in it.  Click here to read it.  
Heritage Preservation Services at the City of Toronto has listed Cabbagetown South as the next area for heritage designation.  The Association is cautious about this project, worrying that safeguards for heritage buildings will also restrict homeowners who want to improve their properties.
Vacant and neglected properties continue to be topics of meetings between the Association and City officials.  Progress is slow. 
There are reports on the redevelopment of George Street and the reconstruction of Seaton House. The Association is also worried that the new Liberal government in Ottawa will be sympathetic to supervised injection sites and that the potential locations are always in downtown areas.

The donations window at The Beer Store
The Cabbagetown South Residents Association arranged for a donations window at the Gerrard Street Beer Store (Gerrard and Ontario).  Drop off your empties at this window and you’ll be supporting the breakfast program at Lord Dufferin School and the refugee project at Central Neighbourhood House.  Keep drinkin’ and keep givin’. 

What are you worth?
Nick Humphries and Hilary Browning at Sage Real Estate (538 Parliament) have just finished their year-end research, comparing 2014 and 2015 home sales in Cabbagetown.  They’ve found – not doubt, to everyone’s delight – that our houses were worth more, more of them went on the market and they sold faster in 2015.  To check out the details on their website, click here.  

NIMBY stuff
Edward Keenan has written a three-part series on NIMBY behaviour in Toronto.  Part Two uses Cabbagetown’s Tarp Tussle as its launching pad.  It’s a surprising report.  He finds a good side in even the nasty and petty battles, including ours.  You can read his series here – Part One, Part Two and Part Three.

The Swallow
Shannon Grimm lives in a house on Hillcrest Park.  Her home is the setting for Charis Cotter’s award-winning book, “The Swallow: A Ghost Story”.  The story, set in the 1960s, tells about two girls who each go into their homes’ attic to escape problems in their daily lives.  They discover each other through the wall and develop an unlikely friendship.  Ms Cotter, the author, once lived in this house and has based her story on her experiences there and her knowledge of the nearby homes and graveyard. It’s published by Tundra Books and it’s available online from Amazon. Thanks for the tip, Shannon.

Old dogs
Claudia Salzmann has just finished reading Pete Thorne’s book, “Old Faithful”.  She suggests that Cabbagetown is full of lovely old dogs.  She recommends that we share our stories and brag about our pals.  I agree.  Send along your photos and tell us why you think your Old Faithful is special.  To start off, here’s our Willie and his constant companion, Smudges.


Skate with Glen Murray
Glen’s free skating days at Moss Park Arena (140 Sherbourne) are back again.  Every Wednesday, starting on January 13 from 4 to 5 pm and continuing to March 16.  Skates and helmets are available. Free.
By the way, Glen’s event is very popular and as a result, some of his skates have become worn.  If you have an extra pair that you can donate, contact Glen’s office at gmurray,mpp.co@liberal.ola.org

Gentle Tai Chi
Michael White’s tai chi classes are starting up for the fourth year.  He teaches a 24-move tai chi at a gentle pace aimed at improving balance, flexibility and relaxation for adults.  Regular classes are planned for Wednesday mornings from 9:30 to 10:30 am.
Starting on Wednesday January 13, 9:30 to 10:30 am, Toronto Kiwanis Boys & Girls Club (101 Spruce), $30 month (4 or 5 sessions). 
He’s also seeking your reactions for a possible evening class on Thursdays from 7:30 to 9 pm. 
To register or to comment, email Michael at michael.white@sympatico.ca or call (416) 926-9553.

Jennifer Snowdon’s Yoga
Jennifer’s January schedule is now available.  She’s offering regular weekly classes plus a special workshop on Sunday January 17. All classes and the workshop are held at 58 Rose Avenue.
For more info on each session, click here.  
Mondays -  teen yoga from 4:30 to 5:30 pm and beginner’s yoga from 7:30 to 8:30 pm
Wednesdays – Yin Yoga and Yoga Nidra from 7:30 to 9 pm.
Thursdays – kids’ yoga from 4 to 5 pm.
Saturdays – Hatha Yoga from 9:30 to 10:45 am and Yin Yoga from 11:15 am to 12:30 pm.
Special Workshop – Sunday January 17, 2 to 4 pm.  Conquer your fear, 2016.
Connect with your heart, find strength in the present moment and begin to live your dream.  Through yoga, meditation and reflective writing, you’ll uncover your brilliant self.  Pre-registration is required, space is limited, $40.  Click here for more info and for registration.  

Brenda Brown McNee’s step classes
Brenda’s classes are starting up again for the New Year.  2016 marks her 18th year as a Step class leader - she held her first class in the CYC in 1998! 
Sunday January 10 at 11 am, Wednesday January 13 at 9:15 am and Sunday January 17 at 11 am.
Her classes are held in the gym at the Cabbagetown Youth Centre (2 Lancaster, behind the Parliament St Beer Store).   
They’re drop-in sessions.  Brenda will meet you before a class to talk about your needs and to give you an idea of her program – please email her at brenda.brownmcnee@bell.net to confirm your visit.


Stompin’ Tom by Whiskey Jack
Duncan Fremlin and his friends in Whiskey Jack are again celebrating Stompin’ Tom’s birthday with a special concert for his 80th.  Guests include Adrienne Clarkson in her cowboy hat singing the Marten Hartwell Story and the great Maritime virtuoso J P Cormier.  Tuesday February 9, 8:30 pm, Hugh’s Room (2261 Dundas W).  Tickets sell quickly – reserve yours here.  


Cooking with Cyril
Cyril has a fascinating schedule of cooking classes lined up for the next few weeks.  All classes are on Tuesdays, starting at 6 pm.  $45.  If any classes have a strong interest, Cyril will hold an extra Monday class.  He’d like your reactions, as well, to his idea for a mid-February “Cook for your Valentine” class.
January 19, Tacos, Part One, Tex-Mex style
January 26, Fish
February 2, Tacos, Part Two, Fusion style
February 9, Morocco
To sign up, drop in to Merryberry (559 Parliament), or call (647) 348-0411 or email cyril@merryberry.ca 

Jeff Barnes & Noah Zacharin
Jeff and Noah will be playing on Thursday January 7 at 8 pm at The Local GEST  (424 Parliament).  They appear there on the first Thursday of every month.  Jeff says that Noah has quit his day job and is now a proper full-time musician. 

Psychic brunch is back
The ever-popular Psychic Brunch returns to Cranberries (601 Parliament) with Toronto’s best psychics using a wide variety of special psychic modalities including tarot cards, astrology, mediumship, clairvoyance, psychometry, palmistry, face reading and numerology.  Who can resist?  Sunday January 17, 11 am to 3 pm.  $40.  Your fee includes a 20-minute individual reading plus an additional 5-minute reading from a different psychic, together with a $5 voucher for any menu item from Cranberries. Net proceeds benefit the Rainbow Association of Canadian Artists. 



Contact info
Alice’s Place, 554 Parliament St, (647) 931-9088, https://www.facebook.com/alicesplacetoronto
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,  www.elcatrin.ca/home
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
Odin, 514 King W, (647) 350-6346, https://www.facebook.com/odinhus
Paintbox Bistro, 555 Dundas St E, (647) 748-0555, www.paintboxbistro.ca
Soulpepper, Young Centre, 50 Tank House Lane, Distillery, (416) 866-8666,
Stirling Room, 16 Trinity, Distillery District, www.stirlingroom.com
Stout Irish Pub, 221 Carlton St, (647) 344-7676, www.stoutirishpub.ca
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
Peter James project
The Irv
7pm, Geoff Willingham
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


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
8:30 pm, Open mic with Porter
Mill Street Brew Pub
7 pm, Tap That Cask with acoustic music


Dominion Pub & Kitchen
Vicars of Vinyl
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
Under The Table
9 pm, Karaoke


Dominion Pub & Kitchen
9 pm, The Lonely Hearts
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