May 26

This week’s image:  Cabbagetown garden




Community Matters Toronto
CMT is a St James Town organization that aims to build a strong neighbourhood culture by building networks between people, by linking people with common interests and by fostering exchanges of knowledge and skills. Over the past two years, its staff has been studying ways to create an organizational framework that will continue into the foreseeable future.  
Its programs include job skills, healthy living, after school programs, language classes and arts projects.  There’s lots more - click here to read it.  
 For a lively presentation of its day-to-day activities, visit the CMT Facebook page.  
CMT took a big step forward last Tuesday.  It held its first Annual General Meeting.  Over 450 people are registered members.  A full audit was presented and debated.  Its first official Board of Directors was elected.  
Happily, I am obliged to report that I was one of the nine Directors chosen for the new Board - it’s an honour.

Congrats to the Cabbagetown Farmer’s Market
Photo:  Cabbagetown Residents Association
The market opened for the season this week in Riverdale Park (Winchester and Sumach).  Be sure to visit it weekly - Tuesday afternoons from 3 to 7 pm until October. Volunteers are needed - email to join. 

Get your body into bikini shape
Brenda has announced her step class schedules for the rest of the Spring season.  As usual, her Wednesday classes happen at 9:15 am - June 8, June 15 and  June 22. There won’t be a class on Wednesday June1.  On Sundays at 11 am from May 29, June 5, June 12 and June 19.  She suggests that class photos be taken on Sunday May 29 and Wednesday June 8.  Cabbagetown Youth Centre (2 Lancaster, behind the Beer Store.) 

Sir Andrew Davis Laneway
The City of Toronto has named the lane (east of Rose, south of Wellesley) in honour of Sir Andrew Davis for his forty years on the Toronto Symphony podium.  Thanks go to the residents of Cabbagetown and Councillor Pam McConnell who spearheaded the effort.  He will join his friends and members of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra in an informal dedication - Friday May 27, 2 pm at the lane.  

Green Thumbs plant sale
Green Thumbs Growing Kids is a local group that operates gardens in four schools in St James Town, Winchester Park and Regent Park.   It teaches kids how to grow and prepare fresh foods with a hands-on program.  It’s celebrating the start of the new growing season with a plant sale in the Children’s Greenhouse in Allan Gardens (Carlton and Jarvis).  There’ll be greenhouse tours and demonstrations of container gardening and hydroponics.  Music, dance and crafts. Enjoy a make-your-own salad bar, baked goods, mocktails and fair trade coffee. Free.  Saturday May 28, 1 to 4 pm.  

The new YMCA
The Cooper Koo Family Cherry Street YMCA (461 Cherry) will open officially this weekend - Saturday May 28 (10 am to 9 pm) and Sunday May 29 (10 am to 6 pm).  There’ll be free tours of the facility and free fitness classes including an open swim, yoga, hourly circuits, personal fitness demos, barre, cycling, pilates and dodgeball.   There’s a BBQ at lunch on Saturday and Sunday.  Music and festive events are scattered through the day.  See the full schedule online.  

Doors Open
Saturday May 28 and Sunday May 29.  The big Toronto touring festival has three local destinations on its list.  
Two are in the Distillery.  The Deaf Cultural Centre (15 Mill Street) features performing and visual arts, media arts and literature reflecting deaf heritage.  It’s open on Saturday and Sunday, 10 am to 5 pm.  The Voice Integrative School (50 Gristmill Ln) is located in a former Rectifying House and Cooperage in the Gooderham & Worts Distillery. Open Sunday, 10 am to 5 pm.   In Regent Park, the Daniels Spectrum (585 Dundas E) is rapidly becoming a cultural and social hub.  Saturday and Sunday, 10 am to 5 pm.  
Photo: Waterfront Toronto, Nicola Betts
Two more interesting tours happen nearby.  In the West Don Lands, Waterfront Toronto has organized a walking tour to visit the public art sites in the area - Saturday and Sunday, 10 am and 2 pm.  To register for this tour, click here.   
Just across the Don Valley, the Bridgepoint Administration Building (1 Bridgepoint Way) is the former Don Jail.   Open Saturday and Sunday, 10 am to 5 pm.  
There are over 130 buildings on display - for the full list, click here.  

Lecture at Enoch Turner Schoolhouse
Lori Oschefski is the CEO of the British Home Children Advocacy & Research Association.  Her talk will highlight the contributions made by the 100,000 children who came to Canada from Britain between 1863 and 1949 and their 4 million descendants.  Wednesday June 1, 6:30 pm, Enoch Turner Schoolhouse (106 Trinity St).  Tickets are $10/members and $12/public, available at the door and online here.  

5th annual Bright Ideas Symposium
Central Neighbourhood House is now organizing its 2016 Bright Ideas Symposium.  It’s a day filled with dynamic discussions, creative thoughts and plans for innovative community solutions.  Lunch is provided.  Free event - everyone is welcome. Saturday June 4, 10 am to 2 pm, Central Neighbourhood House (349 Ontario).  

Farm in the City photo contest
Visit the Farm (Winchester east of Sumach) and snap a photo. Use your photo to show what the Farm means to you.  Contest runs from now until Saturday June 4.  Winners will enjoy terrific prizes. There’s a Facebook page that tells you how to submit your pictures.  

Hidden Gardens & Private Spaces
The tenth annual garden tour happens on Sunday June 5 from 10 am to 3 pm.  You’ll get a peek into spectacular gardens, quiet back laneways and interesting Victorian architecture.  Marjorie Harris is the tour’s gardening expert this year and she’ll be joined by six Master gardeners.  
$15.  Buy your ticket at several local outlets:  Epicure (473 Parliament), Fairway Garden Centre (520 Parliament), Jay’s Garden Centre (360 Gerrard E), Kendall & Co (514 Parliament), Labour of Love (223 Carlton), Mi Casa (238 Carlton) and Spruce on Parliament (455 Parliament).  You can also get your tickets online here.  

Cactus and succulents sale
There will be a show and sale of rare and unusual plants at the Conservatory in Allan Gardens (Jarvis and Carlton) sponsored by the Toronto Cactus & Succulents Club.  Sunday June 5, 10:30 am to 4 pm.  Free admission. 

Underpass Park
Photo:  Waterfront Toronto, Nicola Betts
Waterfront Toronto continues to roll out amazing sites for the revitalized waterfront area.  Underpass Park is the most extensive park built under an expressway in Canada.   Check out its blog entry with its stunning photographs here - in celebration of recognition from Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum in New York.   

Cabbagetown Regent Park Museum historical tidbit
Photo: City of Toronto Archives, 372-58-19
It’s a universally acknowledged truth that Toronto has two seasons - winter and construction.  This isn’t a new phenomenon.  Take a look at this April 1911 photograph showing Wilton (now Dundas) Street from Sumach west to Parliament.  It’s the pre-automotive era with horse-drawn wagons and workers removing old pavement blocks by hand.  The street is flanked by houses later demolished in the 1950s for Regent Park.  The new Aquatic Centre and other elements of the new Regent Park are there now.   For more history and photos, visit the Museum’s Facebook page.   

Great news for Tee-shirt lovers
The Cabbagetown BIA has released its 2016 version of its Festival Tee in honour of the Festival’s 40th anniversary.  It features a Victorian home, cabbages and music notes.  Congrats go to Victoria Koene and Logan Adams for their design - they’re the winners of the BIA’s Tee design contest.  Check out the shirts at the BIA office (237 Carlton).
If you’re travelling, take your Tee, email a photo to me and I’ll post it here on the international world-wide web. 


Winchester PS Fun Fair
Saturday May 28, 11 am to 3 pm, Winchester School (15 prospect).  There’ll be plenty of activity for everybody.  Great prizes.  Music, munchies, rides and games.  

Riverdale Farm sheep celebration
Photo: Riverdale Farm
Visit Riverdale Farm (Winchester east of Sumach)) to watch a sheep shearing in the Lower Francey Barn on Saturday May 28 at 11:30 am and 1:30 pm.  It’s part of a busy day’s schedule that runs from 10 am to 3 pm - farmer demos, a demonstration of carding, spinning and weaving by the Toronto Guild of Spinners and Weavers, kids activities, exhibits at the Cabbagetown Regent Park Museum and treats and drinks in the Simpson House Kitchen.

Sprucecourt PS Fun Fair
Sprucecourt Public School is holding its first-ever Fun Fair on Saturday June 4, 11 am to 3 pm at the school (70 Spruce).  There’ll be face painting, games, a bouncy castle, food and prizes.   

Summer Dance Camp
The School of Toronto Dance Theatre (80 Winchester) is offering a week-long dance camp from July 18 to 22. It’s designed for movement, creation and fun and it’s aimed at kids ages 5 to 9.    There‘ll be dance and music classes, arts and crafts and outdoor activities.  Kids will learn the fundamentals of modern dance in a safe environment.  9 am to 4 pm, with an after-camp care service available. Click here to find out the details and to register.  


CPA Annual Meeting
The Cabbagetown Preservation Association makes big contributions to Cabbagetown.  Its Cabbagetown People program highlights homes where famous, accomplished and remarkable people have lived.  Its members organize the biennial Tour of Homes, the annual Hidden Gardens & Private Spaces tour, the Hallowe’en ghost tour and a full schedule of guided heritage walks.  It gives out awards for great gardens and for imaginative renovations. If you want to fix up your home, there’s a CPA person who will give you heritage advice.  Its newsletter is delivered to every home.  
Its annual meeting will be held on Tuesday May 31 at 7 pm in the Meeting House in Riverdale Farm (Winchester entrance, east of Sumach.)  Two awards will be presented - the Peggy Kurtin Award for a noteworthy renovation and the Volunteer of the Year Award.
The guest speaker is Heela Omarkhail, manager of Community Partnerships at The Daniels Corporation. She’ll be talking about “Reconnecting Regent Park to Surrounding Communities.” 
Check out the CPA’s website here and its Facebook page here.  

Winchester Park Residents Association
General meeting - Tuesday June 7, 7 pm, Hugh Garner Co-op, party room (8th Floor, 130 Ontario).  Four big issues are on the agenda - Winchester Street TCHC rooming houses, Bleecker Street block busting, illegal rentals for party houses and neighbourhood safety.  The guest speaker is Bruce Rivers from Covenant House who will talk about the transitional home for young women that is now being established in the area.  

Cabbagetown Residents Association
The CRA’s annual meeting will happen on Wednesday June 8, 7 pm, Stout Irish Pub (221 Carlton).  The Resident’s Association organizes the annual Forsythia Festival and the Hallowe’en pumpkin walk. It has dealt with very practical community matters - noise levels, speed limits, laneway cleaning, parking problems and road repairs.  Its Board is also closely involved with school issues, Riverdale Farm, heritage preservation and our tree canopy. There’s a good website and a regularly updated, informative Facebook page. The meeting will feature a business session plus lots of neighbourly chitchat, free nibblies and a beverage.  

Cabbagetown South Residents Association
The Spring meeting will highlight speakers from Options for Homes.  They’ll present their plans for affordable housing to be built on the St Luke’s Church site at Carlton and Sherbourne.  The Association’s newsletter has been published with details about the Marty Millionaire site, a development proposal for Queen and Ontario, problematic housing, policing, noise and new Ward boundaries.  Watch the Association’s website for a link to this Newsletter - it’s full of useful data.  Wednesday June 8, 7 pm,Retsina Restaurant (209 Gerrard E).  


Toronto Dance Theatre’s season finale is a new duet created and performed by Christopher House and Jordan Tannahill.  Thursday May 26 to Saturday May 28, 8 pm, Sunday May 29 at 2 pm and Wednesday June 1 to Sunday June 4 at 8 pm.  Winchester Theatre (80 Winchester).  Tickets available at the Box Office, at (416) 967-1365 and online here.  

The company from Canadian Contemporary Dance Theatre (509 Parliament) returns to the Fleck Dance Theatre in Harbourfront (207 Queens Quay W) on Friday May 27 and Saturday May 28 at 8 pm.  The program includes the Canadian premiere of Jose Limon’s The Winged and the world premieres of works by Deborah Lundmark and Hanna Kiel.  Tickets are $15 to $38, available at (416) 973-4000 and online here.  

Beats, Brass & Black
newchoir presents its next concert at 8 pm on Thursday June 2 at Koerner Hall (273 Bloor W) with guest artist Jully Black.  newchoir creates rock concerts using unexpected arrangements of rock and pop songs from every decade since the 1960s.  Its shows are regular successes - thanks no doubt to the Cabbagetown singers in its ranks.  Click here to get your tickets.  


We were all young - once
A couple of spiffy dudes, Daniel and Daniel.

Menagerie Pet Shop
Kaelo and Levanna have purchased Menagerie Pet Shop (549 Parliament) and that’s good news. A trip to the Shop is like a step into a private zoo, full of fish, birds and pets.  They’ve worked here for a long time and they’ll keep up its amazing inventory and great service.  Best wishes for all of your future plans.  And thanks to the BIA for a timely reminder about this announcement.

Spruce is almost ready to re-open
As we know, Spruce on Parliament (455 Parliament) was damaged when a fire happened next door during the winter.  Since then, the shop has been torn apart and rebuilt.  There was a nice note of triumphant hope on the Spruce Facebook page this week - walls are up and the store will be open soon. 


Merryberry updates
The changes that Cyril promised are coming next week.  Merryberry (559 Parliament) will only offer takeout on Monday and Tuesday to finalize renovations.  On Wednesday, Cyril will reopen to show off his new decor, new concept and new menu.  Friday June 3 will be a party day.  There’ll be a “grand opening” lunch, dog caricatures on the front patio and a special art evening with four local artists and a live jazz/blues duo performance.  Watch the Merryberry Facebook page for details as events unfold.  

Brewmaster’s Doors Open Dinner
The Mill Street Brew Pub (21 Tank House Ln, Distillery) is having a special dinner to celebrate the history of The Distillery.  Five courses, each inspired by an historic event in The Distillery’s past.  Accompanied by matching beer.  There’ll be a private tour and tastings through the brewery plus a live cooking demo with Chef Jeremy Eidt.  Sunday May 29, 5 pm.  $69.99.  

Spoken Lives
The Paintbox Bistro (555 Dundas E) presents three amazing women telling wonderful stories about the victories in their lives.  Andrea Tyniec, Patricia Silver and Ava Sloan tell “Stories women share”.  Tuesday May 31, 6 to 8:30 pm, $20.  

Craft cider week at The Local GEST
The GEST (424 Parliament) is joining the celebrations for craft cider week.  Two ciders will be served - Pommies Farmhouse Cider from Caledon and KW Cranberry Cider from Waterloo.  

Wine tasting at Fusilli
Fusilli (531 Queen E) is having a four-course dinner with matching wines on Tuesday June 7.  The chef’s salad appetizer with a Gewurztraminer Riesling will open the meal.  Farfalle ai Porcini with a 2015 Voignier is the second course.  A 2014 Cabernet Merlot will accompany the Veal Saltinbocca. And a Cabernet Franc Icewine will be offered with dessert.  Reserve your spot - call 416) 214-5148.  $60.  

Congrats Odin
The Porter Air inflight magazine, re:porter, has a nice plug about Odin’s menu, ales, design and furnishings.  514 King E


  • For contact info about these clubs and restaurants, see the list at the bottom of this page.  
  • If there's a cover charge or tickets are sold, the prices are listed.


8 pm, Enzo Boldrini Duo
The Irv
7 pm, Geoff Willingham, live acoustic music
Mill Street Brew Pub
7 pm, Beer and cheese pairings with acoustic music


8 pm, DJ Frankensztein
11 pm, Fuse Lounge Fridays, Grown & Sexy 30s, Wade O Brown Trio
Mill Street Beer Hall
8 pm, Friday Nights with DJ Humble Mike
Mill Street Brew Pub
6:30 pm, Beer school with Dan North, $25


8 pm, Phusion Trio
11 pm, Fuse Lounge Fridays, Grown & Sexy 30+ socials, Wade O Brown Trio
Mill Street Beer Hall
9 pm, Saturday Nights with DJ Humble Mike


Alice’s Place
4 pm, Karaoke with Vee
Corktown Kitchen
11:30 am, Jazz at Sunday brunch with Dakota (guitar) & Matt (keyboard)
Local GEST
4:30 pm, Sunday afternoon jazz with One Big Song Group
Mill Street Brew Pub
Doors Open Brewmaster Dinner - The Distillery Revisited, dinner, matching beers, brewery tour and live cooking demo, $69.99.


Local GEST
7:30 pm, Euchre night with Joane
Stout Irish Pub
7:30 pm, Headscratchers Trivia


Paintbox Bistro
6 to 8:30 pm, Spoken Lives - stories women share, $20
Stout Irish Pub
7:30 pm, Headscratchers Trivia


Alice’s Place
9 pm, Karaoke
Paintbox Bistro
7:30 pm, Corktown Ukulele Jam

8 pm, Synsonic plus Katey Gatta
The Irv
6:30 pm, live music with Geoff Willingham
The Local GEST
8 pm, Jeff Barnes and Noah Zacharin
Mill Street Brew Pub
7 pm, Beer and cheese pairings with acoustic music
Mill St Beer Hall
6 pm, Tap into summer - patio opening party


8 pm, Grump plus DJ Dash
11 pm, Fuse Lounge Fridays, Grown & Sexy 30+ socials, Wade O Brown Trio
Mill Street Beer Hall
8 pm, Friday Nights with DJ Humble Mike
Mill Street Brew Pub
6:30 pm, Beer school with Dan North, $25


8 pm, Running Red Lights
11 pm, Fuse Lounge Saturdays, Grown & Sexy
Mill Street Beer Hall
9 pm, Saturday Nights with DJ Humble Mike
Soulpepper Cabaret
8:30 pm, Steve Hunter & Suzanne McKenney with Colleen Allen, Kansas “Sin” City, $25


Alice’s Place
4 pm, Karaoke with Vee
Corktown Kitchen
11:30 am, Jazz at Sunday brunch with Dakota (guitar) & Matt (keyboard) Local GEST
4:30 pm, Sunday afternoon jazz with the Ryan Oliver Trio


554 Parliament St, (647) 931-9088,
354 King St E, (46) 901-1188, 
500 Queen St E, (416) 366-5555,
18 Tank House Lane, Distillery, (416) 203-2121,
366 Queen St E, 
95 Carlton Street, (647) 350-4787,
584 Parliament St, (416) 961-1600, 
424 Parliament St, (416) 961-9425,
21 Tank House Ln, Distillery, (416) 681-0338,
21 Tank House Ln, Distillery,
568 Parliament, (416) 323-9381,
514 King W, (647) 350-6346,
555 Dundas St E, (647) 748-0555,
Young Centre, 50 Tank House Lane, Distillery, (416) 866-8666,
568 Parliament St, (647) 351-1533,