June 9

This week’s image:  downtown Toronto on a soft Spring evening from the roof garden at the Hugh Garner Co-op.



Hiring homeless youth
TVO’s Steve Paikin discussed unemployment rates among homeless youth on The Agenda on June 7.  The Local GEST (424 Parliament) hired young workers through the Covenant House project aimed at training kids for careers in restaurants.  Sean Gayland appeared on The Agenda to talk about the GEST’s success with the Cooking For Life program.  The entire video is worth watching - click here.  

Toronto District School Board by-election
Election day for this by-election is approaching.  To vote, you’ll need one piece of ID that shows your name and your qualifying Toronto address - a driver’s licence, for example.  You cannot use the Voter Information Card as ID.  
On Saturday June 11 and Sunday June 12, 10 am to 6 pm, you can vote in the Advance Polls - Toronto City Hall or Regent Park Community Centre (402 Shuter) or TCHC (931 Yonge).  
On Monday June 20, 10 am to 8 pm, the regular poll. Check the Voter Information card that has been mailed to your home.  To find your voting location online, click here and enter your address in the appropriate box.  
There are 12 candidates in the race. You can find the list here along with links to their individual websites.  

Good reports in Winchester Park
The Winchester Park Residents Association held a positive meeting on Tuesday evening to report about several very serious issues. Congrats to its Board members who have been doing a lot of  detailed, difficult work to create change in the neighbourhood.
TCHC has responded to concerns about the behaviour of its tenants in several Winchester Street addresses.  People who are dealing drugs are being kicked out.  As other tenants leave, their rooms are being left empty.  The remaining tenants are being offered alternate homes in the TCH system.  All of this is heading toward a possible lease arrangement with Margaret’s House, a support facility for women with mental illnesses.  
This deal is in the very early stages.  It’s welcome news for both Margaret’s House and local Winchester Park residents.
Covenant House has now finished the final repair work before moving into its new facility in Winchester Park.  A derelict TCH property has been renovated to provide housing for seven young people from the Covenant House system. This project is also good news for local residents - the property is being renewed and there’s real hope that the new neighbours will have a good impact on the street.
On Bleecker Street, five properties are being renting to Airbnb visitors. The upshot is a long list of troublesome activities - big parties, garbage, charter buses.  Airbnb Inc has officially been supportive of WPRA complaints but the building owners find ways to avoid Airbnb sanctions.  The City of Toronto is watching for possible zoning violations. At the meeting, a representative from Unite 75, the hotel workers union, expressed support for the WPRA efforts and offered contacts to a city-wide coalition trying to get this problem under control. 
The solution appears to involve proper supervision.  Some local residents participate successfully and quietly in Airbnb visits in their homes.  The Bleecker Street addresses, however, are owned by absentee landlords who don’t care about the impact of the events happening on their properties.

Cabbagetown Residents Association
The CRA held a successful annual meeting at Stout Irish Pub (221 Carlton) on Wednesday evening.  The official agenda items will be reported on the CRA’s website - the list of new directors, the financial status of the group and its 2016/2017 program targets.  As usual, Stout provided good service and nibblies for the occasion.  This organization makes a difference in the Don Vale area.  Its projects include the Forsythia Festival, the post-Halloween pumpkin walk plus a very comprehensive online presence. They negotiate with city officials and keep residents informed about changes that will affect our lives.  Congrats to the Board for a lot of hard work and for continued successes into the next year.  

Soulpepper Cabaret
Back again this Saturday, June 11 at 8:30 pm - Richard Lam stars in “The New Toronto”. Soulpepper’s Cabarets present outstanding talent in an intimate cabaret setting.   Young Centre (50 Tank House Ln, Distillery) Tickets are $20 (students) and $25, available online.  

Soulpepper’s Concert Series
Thursday June 9, Friday June 10 and Wednesday June 15 - The Voyager Golden Record. In 1977, NASA sent the Voyager probe deep into space with recordings on board that attempted to explain who human beings are and how we live.   The Soulpepper Ensemble recreates these recordings to take us on an extra-terrestrial journey.  Young Centre (50 Tank House Ln, Distillery). $25  Tickets and more info available here. 

Regent Park Community Band Sing-a-Long
Every Monday from June 6 to July  11, a different band will lead a community singing session.  On Monday June 12, Lucky Mike leads the singing with classic country tunes.  Artscape Lounge patio in the Daniels Spectrum (585 Dundas E) from 5 to 7 pm.  Free.

Bike tuneups
The BIA is sponsoring a tuneup workshop on Father’s Day weekend, Saturday June 18 from 11 am at Carlton and Parliament.  Kids welcome.  Cycle Solutions (444 Parliament) will  handle the complimentary tuneups.  There’ll be live music and dad-approved light refreshments from the House on Parliament (454 Parliament), Epicure Shop (473 Parliament) and Cosimo’s No Frills (449 Parliament).  

Dads at the Children’s Book Bank
Dads are welcome at the Children’s Book Bank (350 Berkeley at Gerrard) on Saturday June 18.  10 am to 3 pm. Drop by with your kids.  There’ll be raffles, donuts and storytelling (at noon).  Dads can pick up an extra book to take home.  There’ll be tips to help Dads with reluctant readers

Heritage walk - Cabbagetown pioneers and champions
This is a CPA sponsored walk to point out homes featured on the Cabbagetown People program.  Sunday June 19, 10:30 am.  Free.  Start at Winchester and Sumach.  

Heritage walk - lost breweries of Toronto
Heritage Toronto is conducting this tour. It’s a perfect Father’s Day activity.  Tour through Old Town to see where many of Toronto’s original breweries operated.  As a wrap-up, there’ll be a tour and complimentary samples at the Mill Street Brew Pub in the Distillery.  Meet at the park, 140 Sherbourne, 1:30 pm, Sunday June 19.  $30.  Register online here.  

Congrats Spruce Court and Winchester PS
The Fun Fair at Spruce Court School held last weekend was an amazing event.  There were half a dozen castles, snacks, a DJ, exercise events and a very big, happy crowd.  It was the first one at Spruce Court - a promising start for an annual fun day.
Congrats as well to the Winchester Public School fun fair organizers.  Their event, as usual, was a good time.

Congrats to the garden tour
Organizers can be proud of their success once again in the Hidden Gardens & Private Spaces tour.  Even the rain cooperated - it came pelting down at 2:45 pm, just as the afternoon was finishing.  Included on the tour was a visit to the Winchester Square Garden (Aberdeen and Ontario) where Tony Redmond gave talks about its history.  The tour did a fine job coordinating with local merchants who were very generous with their support and gifts.

Congrats Ford
Last Saturday, a film crew showed up on Sackville to do an advertisement for a Ford car.  Congrats guys for picking such a super location.

Tee shirt contest
The new Cabbagetown Tees have been printed and they’ve got a nifty design.  You can buy yours at the BIA Office (237 Carlton).  The BIA held a contest for the best design - Victoria Koene and Logan Adams created the winner.   Congrats everybody.  
We can wear them proudly anywhere in the world.  If you’re strutting your stuff in one of them while visiting an exotic spot - Etobicoke or East Anglia or Ecuador - then snap a selfie and send it to me.  I’ll be delighted to post it here.


Dogs of Corktown
It’s becoming apparent that the off-leash dog facilities in Corktown Common are very limited.  As you can see from the photo, the space is small, its surface is gravel and there’s no shade.  The gate into the area doesn’t work.  Councillor McConnell’s interest in this appears to be low-keyed.  She doubts that anything can be done.  If true, she’s missing an important point.  All across Toronto, people in condos are asking constantly for spaces that offer adequate exercise room for their pets.  As more and more people move into the spiffy new Corktown condos, the pressure here will only increase. The Bulletin did a story about the issue - click here to read it. Local dog owners in Corktown are taking this problem quite seriously and they have a Facebook page - click here to read their views.  


Cabbagetown Farmer’s Market
Every Tuesday, Riverdale Park (Winchester east of Sumach), 3 to 7 pm.  Over a dozen vendors showed up last week.  Early season veggies continue - peas, radishes, green onions, rhubarb.  There’s always an entertainer and often a wine vendor with tasty samples. Vendors with baked goods and prepared foods are appearing as well including our own Scullery (200 Carlton).  It’s a homey and welcoming event.

Street music 
The Cabbagetown BIA has been sponsoring music performances along Parliament Street through the Spring. The events will continue on Saturdays from 11 am to 2 pm until the end of June.  Last week, the Hot Rods drew a crowd with a fun performance at Carlton and Parliament.  Vincent Soars appears on June 11 and June 25 at Winchester and Parliament and at Carlton and Parliament.

Music City Summer Series
Every Saturday, musicians will perform from the Trinity Square stage in the Distillery.  On Saturday June 11, Ozere is on stage at 2 pm with her rich instrumental presentation and at 4 pm, It’s Sarah Jane Scouten with new music written in an old-timey style. 
On Saturday June 19,  Graham Nicholas at 2 pm and Kristine Schmitt at 4 pm.  

Distillery Sunday Market
Every Sunday until September.  Artisans will be selling their wares including food products and snacks.  Noon to 5 pm, the Distillery.   

Celebrate the summer solstice with an all-day outdoor yoga event. There’ll be nine specially themed 40-minute classes lead by instructors from several Toronto yoga studios.  Hundreds of yogis will participate.  There’ll also be a family friendly second stage and a special meditation area.  It’s free - rain or shine.  Sunday June 19 from 9 am to 5 pm, The Distillery.

Coming soon
The Regent Park Farmer’s Market is scheduled to return in late June.  Under the Stars - the Daniels Spectrum night time movie sceenings - will begin in July.


Merryberry switches to Cabbagetown Hive
The new menu, format and events have all kicked in at Cabbagetown Hive (formerly Merryberry - 559 Parliament).  Cyril is still handling the kitchen and he has a new menu.  As always, there are great soups, lots of salads and lighter fare, several of his all-time favourites and yummy desserts.  You can also create do-it-yourself Street Food - pick your ingredients and enjoy exactly the taste that you want.
For his opening, he’s got four young artists showing their works in his gallery area. 

Cooking classes at Cabbagetown Hive
Cyril’s first summer cooking class will be held on Tuesday, June 21 at 6:30 pm.  The theme is “a light summer dinner” and the menu will cover gazpacho, salmon in puff pastry and lemon souffle.  $45.  You’ll learn his secret techniques and then you’ll enjoy eating the results. Register at the restaurant or call (647) 348-0411.  559 Parliament.

OpenTable Canada recommendations
OpenTable.com has listed 100 Canada-wide restaurants that offer great outdoor patios along with very good meals.  Congrats to F’Amelia (12 Amelia) along with two in the the Distillery, El Catrin and Pure Spirits.  They’re part of a list that celebrates some of Canada’s best chefs, innovative menus and wonderful cooking.

Father’s Day psychics
The Psychic Brunch returns to Cranberries (601 Parliament) on Sunday June 19 from 11 am to 3 pm.  As a Father’s Day special, $40 will purchase two intensive 15-minute readings plus a $5 brunch voucher.  The Brunch supports Spectra, a non-profit group that helps create diversity in music.  

Craft Beer Week
Craft beer’s popularity has inspired the annual Craft Beer Week festival. Our local, Stout Irish Pub (221 Carlton), has built a solid reputation across Toronto for its offerings of Ontario craft beers, both on tap and in the bottle.  As  its part of the event, Stout will headline three beers with tastings, samples and prizes.  On Monday, it’s Cameron’s, on Tuesday, Steam Whistle and Wednesday, Railway City.  

Euro football
Are you a football freak?  Try out lunch at Corktown Kitchen (354 King E).  Every Tuesday through Saturday from June 9 to July 11, CK will open from 10:30 am to 3:30 pm for lunch and football broadcasts from Europe.  Soup, salad and sandwiches.  The regular menu will start at 5 pm dinner and brunch with live jazz happens every Sunday.

Golf tournament
The Local GEST(424 Parliament) is having its second annual golf tournament at Bloomington Downs Golf Club on Thursday July 23.  Sign up now to make sure that you have a spot.  It’s sponsored by Steam Whistle who are providing a bus for the first 20 people who register.  Lots of prizes.  $110 includes your golf, a cart and dinner afterward at The Local GEST.  

A walker at the HOP

The House on Parliament (454 Parliament) has announced that “a lovely gentleman” has left his walker on the front patio.  He came in with it and left without it.  Nobody is speculating about how he did it - good food, plenty of spirits, angelic staff! If you know who he is, please contact the restaurant at (416) 925-4074.


  • 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.

The Irv
7 pm, Geoff Willingham, live acoustic music
Local GEST
10 pm, Cabbage Head Comedy with Ethan O’Reilly
Soulpepper Concert
7:30 pm, The Voyager Golden Records, $25


11 pm, Fuse Lounge Fridays, Grown & Sexy 30s, Wade O Brown Trio
Mill Street Beer Hall
8 pm, Friday Nights with DJ Humble Mike
Soulpepper Concert
7:30 pm, The Voyager Golden Records, $25


Distillery Trinity Stage, Music City Summer Series
2 pm, Ozere
4 pm, Sarah Jane Scouten 
8 pm, The Heat
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
Soulpepper Cabaret
8:30 pm, Richard Lam, “The New Toronto”, $20 and $25


Alice’s Place
4 pm, Karaoke with Vee
Corktown Kitchen
11:30 am, Jazz at Sunday brunch
11 am, Jazz brunch
Local GEST
4:30 pm, Sunday afternoon jazz with the Beverly Taft Trio


Daniels Spectrum
5 pm, Regent Park Community sing-a-long,Classic Country with Lucky Mike
Stout Irish Pub
7:30 pm, Headscratchers Trivia


Stout Irish Pub
7:30 pm, Headscratchers Trivia


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


Aloha Strings
The Irv
6:30 pm, live music with Geoff Willingham
The Local GEST
8:30 pm, Open mic with Porter


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


Distillery Trinity Stage, Music City Summer Series
2 pm, Graham Nicholas
4 pm, Kristine Schmitt
11 pm, Fuse Lounge Saturdays, Grown & Sexy
Mill Street Beer Hall
9 pm, Saturday Nights with DJ Humble Mike
Soulpepper Cabaret
8:30 pm, Tom Allen “The Last Curlew”, Lori Gemmell (harpist), Etsuko Kimura (violin) and Julia Aplin (dance), $20 and $25


Alice’s Place
4 pm, Karaoke with Vee
11 am, Jazz brunch 
Local GEST
4:30 pm, Sunday afternoon jazz with the Maria LukofskiyTrio


554 Parliament St, (647) 931-9088, https://www.facebook.com/alicesplacetoronto
354 King St E, (46) 901-1188,  https://www.facebook.com/CorktownKitchen 
500 Queen St E, (416) 366-5555, https://www.facebook.com/DominionTO/
18 Tank House Lane, Distillery, (416) 203-2121, https://www.facebook.com/elcatrin.ca
366 Queen St E, http://fusedining.com 
95 Carlton Street, (647) 350-4787, https://www.facebook.com/theirvpub/
584 Parliament St, (416) 961-1600, https://www.facebook.com/ 
424 Parliament St, (416) 961-9425, http://www.thelocalgest.com/
21 Tank House Ln, Distillery, (416) 681-0338, http://millstreetbrewery.com/toronto-beer-hall/
21 Tank House Ln, Distillery, http://millstreetbrewery.com/toronto-brew-pub/
568 Parliament, (416) 323-9381, https://www.facebook.com/MurgatroidTO
514 King W, (647) 350-6346, https://www.facebook.com/odinhus
555 Dundas St E, (647) 748-0555, https://www.facebook.com/PaintboxBistro/
Young Centre, 50 Tank House Lane, Distillery, (416) 866-8666,
568 Parliament St, (647) 351-1533, Register at the pub or call (416) 961-9425 or email thelocalgest@gmail.com.