December 1

This week’s image:  the Christmas kick-off at Carlton & Parliament



Congrats to the BIA for its Christmas kick-off
On Saturday November 26, the BIA offered up a very pleasant afternoon with its Christmas kickoff at Carlton and Parliament.  Families enjoyed rides in two horse drawn wagons.  Santa promised everyone everything.  There were gingerbread cookies from Epicure (473 Parliament) and sugar cookies from The Scullery (200 Carlton), all washed down with hot cider from the House on Parliament (454 Parliament).  Later in the day, Salt & Tobacco (521 Parliament) produced pizza slices that were immediately devoured by the crowd.  The music was provided by the very talented City Choir. 

Bike Share in Riverdale Park
The City of Toronto has received a request to get rid of the Bike Share stand in Riverdale Park on the grounds that it’s cluttering up the park.  
Fortunately, the Cabbagetown Residents Association set up a Survey Monkey Poll to get a broader range of views.  You can read about the issues at the CRA’s website.  Click here.  
721 people voted in favour of leaving the bike stand where it is and 16 want it removed.  Be sure to read the comments posted below the Poll as well - you can still add your own opinion.

Waterfront Toronto
A plan to naturalize the mouth of the Don River has been developed by Waterfront Toronto and its partners over the past decade.  It’s a major undertaking.  It’ll free up over 350 hectares for future residential, commercial and recreational uses and it’ll protect the Port Lands from flooding.  At this time, a Due Diligence Report has been completed and Waterfront Toronto is preparing a Community-Based Risk Assessment.  For an overview of the project and these steps, click here.   

Winchester Park Residents’ annual meeting
The Association held its 2016 annual meeting on November 28 at the Hugh Garner Co-op (550 Ontario).  Diane Walter, the Executive Director at Margaret's House, described her group’s plans for four Winchester Street properties that they’ll soon be leasing from TCHC. Covenant House has also opened its new residence - a welcome upgrade from the old TCHC facility that it replaced.  Progress has been slow against the five airBnB party houses on Bleecker but the Mayor and the City’s executive committee have asked staff to speed up an action report in the new year.
Together with St James Town’s Community Matters, the Association will be organizing dental clinics to assist families living in TCHC homes. Plans for a Canada Day celebration in Winchester Park are also in the works.
The Association lists 1200 households as members.  The Star condominium with 400 residents has recently joined and has a spot on the Board. 

The Cabbagetown that vanished
At the Cabbagetown Preservation Association’s Fall meeting on November 29, over 60 people heard Gilles Huot’s passionate and charming talk about the Cabbagetown that vanished - the Winchester Street route across the Don, the Riverdale zoo, the sheet metal factory on Gerrard, the Lamb rendering plant in Wellesley Park, the Anglican church on the current No Frills property and the old Toronto General Hospital with its surrounding facilities.

Future plans for the Garden Tour
The CPA’s popular Spring Garden Tour is changing.  It will now be offered up every two years, to alternate with the Tour of Homes.  Both Tours used the same volunteer base and the work involved in running both of them annually has become too onerous.  The next Tour of Homes is planned for 2017 and the next Garden Tour for 2018.

CPA awards - congrats to the winners
The CPA meeting also included presentations to three award winners.  
Photo: Rosie Shephard (left), Helen Coltrinari, Greg Aspin & Samantha Aspin
Louise and Greg Aspin won the annual Streetscape in Bloom Award for their garden at 112 Winchester.  
Photo:  Helen Coltrinari (left), Sheila Schirmer & David Pretlove
Sheila Schirmer was given the Association’s Volunteer of the Year Award for her leadership and hard work on the Cabbagetown People’s project.
Photo:  Rosie Shephard (left), Rick Merrill & Kevin White
Kevin White and Ruth Preston received the Peggy Kurtin Award last Spring for their renovations at 372 Berkeley.  

Rosie Shephard’s paintings
The CPA donates a painting to the winners of its annual Streetscapes Award and Peggy Kurtin Award.  This year’s winners each got a painting done by Rosie Shephard.  She does commissions around Cabbagetown - interested people can connect with her through her website, click here.   

Congrats Eric
Eric Murphy has just published his third book, The Bermuda Shipwreck.  His official book launch at Ben McNally’s turned into a real celebration.  Cabbagetowners turned out in large numbers, proving once again that we really like a chance to gossip, read and enjoy a free drink!  Congrats, Eric.
You can pick up your copy at Ben McNally Books, Chapters/Indigo and Amazon.  Click here to see the first chapter and buy your own copy.  

Skating rinks open for the season
A reminder - two rinks in our neighbourhood are now open for the season - the Regent Park rink (480 Shuter) and the Paul Quarrington outdoor rink (61 Dockside Dr). The outdoor rink in Riverdale Park East is closed for the season while renovations in the park are handled.

Cabbagetown Regent Park Museum Historical Tidbit
Image:  City of Toronto Fine Art Collection.  
Not long after Toronto Star crime reporter, Roy Greenaway, painted this grocery store at the corner of Parliament and Sydenham (now Shuter Street), he had one of the biggest scoops of his long career: interviewing prohibition-era kingpin, Al Capone … not in Cabbagetown (which Capone never visited), but in a Chicago courtroom. The 1931 interview was short. Canada? Never been there. “I don’ t even know what street Canada is on,” the mobster chortled. Greenaway painted many Toronto streetscapes. John Foster’s 1870s corner store featured in this late afternoon scene is still in business as Kullubi Food and Spice. For more Cabbagetown history, photos and videos visit the CRPM Facebook page. 

Check out this new section.  These classifieds are working - stuff is selling, being rented and getting attention.  Send your announcements by Wednesday evening to

Garage for rent
Metcalfe and Winchester. Contact 416 460-1864before December 5th.

Parking space for rent
Sackville and Carlton. Available now.  (416) 967-7196.

Home for sale
358 Sumach St. $2,199,000. Restoration of a beautiful Cabbagetown Victorian home located across the street from Riverdale Park. Ryan Barnes is the agent.  Click here for more info. 


Santa at Pet Valu
Always a fun event.  Santa will pose for a photo with your pet.  10 am to 2 pm, Saturday December 3 and Saturday December 10.  Bring your dog, cats, rabbits and gerbils! $10.  Pet Valu (240 Carlton) 
While you’re there, book an appointment with Marilyn to trim your pets’ paws - Saturday December 3, 9 to 4 pm, $10.

Carolling for cans
Once again, residents in the Winchester and Metcalfe area will be singing outside local homes and collecting donations for the food bank at St Luke’s Church.  Helen Coltrinari reports that the team collected over 700 pounds of food and $700 in cash donations last year.  Watch for the carollers on the evening of Sunday December 11 along Carlton, Metcalfe. Winchester and Sumach. 

Christmas trees are back
Christmas trees are back again at the corner of Spruce and Parliament beside No Frills.  These folks have been selling their trees here for 64 years - lots of happy customers and excited kids.  Their trees and trailer fit nicely into the new parkette that’s just been reno’ed by the BIA.  Prices start at $25.

Carolling at The Local GEST
The Christmas sing-a-long at The Local GEST (424 Parliament) is a big event on our Christmas calendars and a major tourist attraction.  Jeff Barnes and Noah Zacharin inspire and encourage the throngs to add their voices to the heavenly sounds.  Save the date - Sunday December 18, 3:30 pm. 

Distillery Christmas Market
One of the season’s biggest Christmas events runs in the Distillery to Thursday December 22. 
Regular events include daily carolling, tours and photos at Santa’s House, a ferris wheel and a gingerbread house for kids, pet photos with Santa, St Nicholas riding on a white horse and lots more. 
Over 350 performers will appear onstage and throughout the Market.  Themed entertainment is presented each day - traditional Tuesday, world Wednesday, classical Thursday, Jazz Friday, pop Saturday and ensemble Sunday.
The Market is open daily except Mondays.  Tuesday to Thursday, noon to 9 pm,  Fridays from noon to 10 pm, Saturdays from 10 am to 10 pm and Sundays from 10 am to 9 pm. There’s an entrance fee on Saturday and Sunday - $6.  Weekdays free. 
The daily program is online here.   


Order your turkey
Mark at St Jamestown Steak & Chops (516 Parliament) is taking orders for your Christmas turkeys.  He also has a selection of Christmas cakes, chocolate truffles, plum pudding and cookies - a portion of the proceeds from each sale will go to the Cabbagetown Youth Centre.  

Fair Trade Jewellery
The goldsmith elves at Fair Trade Jewellery (523 Parliament) would like to remind you to get your custom orders by early December to avoid disappointment.  Happily, they’ve made new things for Christmas including a new crop of Cabbagetown pendants ($65) and matching earrings ($75) made in their workshop from dual certified Fairtrade & Fairmined silver.

Advent at KENDALL & Co
Count down to Christmas with Kendall’s daily special promo’s! Find out about them by following Kendall & Co on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. Each promo will be announced each morning and wil continue while quantities last. Don’t miss out. 
Cabbagetown’s One-Stop-Holiday-Shop with cards, cookies, ornaments, gifts, tableware, barware and festive décor. Now open every day - Monday to Friday from 10 am to 6 pm, Saturday from 11 am to 5 pm and Sunday from noon to 5 pm.  514 Parliament between the LCBO and St. Jamestown Steak & Chops.

Honey tasting at Spruce
Last Saturday, Spruce on Parliament (455 Parliament) featured a special honey tasting and a beekeeping talk by Madison from Alveole Honey.  Cabbagetown honey has a different taste from Rosedale, Leslieville and the Junction.  Check at Spruce about buying a jar for yourself.

Christmas swag
The Cabbagetown BIA has a stocking-full of Cabbagetown goodies - flags, tees and shopping bags.  Get yours at Mi Casa (238 Carlton), Kendall & Co (514 Parliament) and Spruce on Parliament (455 Parliament) or at the BIA office (237 Carlton).  At Spruce, you can also pick up a Cabbagetown toque.  Neat stuff.


Enoch Turner Schoolhouse dinner
The annual Christmas fundraiser at Enoch Turner Schoolhouse (106 Trinity) takes place on Friday December 2 from 6:15 pm.  There’ll be a traditional Christmas dinner, carolling and music by soprano Susan Ryman and by Martin Lindquist & The Leftovers.   Tickets are $110 - click here for more info.  

Allan Gardens
Two events are coming up this weekend.  On Saturday December 3 there’s an orchid and succulents sale from 10 am to 4 pm.  
The annual Christmas flower show starts on Sunday December 4.  The opening will include Victorian carollers, sleigh rides, hot cider and cookies, and kids’ activities.  Noon to 4 pm.  The show continues daily to January 8.  Free.

Amateur Boxing
The Cabbagetown Boxing Club (2 Lancaster behind the Beer Store) is again opening its doors to the public for an afternoon of amateur boxing matches.  Sunday December 4. Doors open at 2 pm and the first match starts at 2:30 pm.  Adult tickets are 420 and tickets for kids under 12 are 12.

Cabbagetown South Christmas party
Cabbagetown South’s annual party is moving to Stout Irish Pub (221 Carlton).  As always, it promises to be a fun night with plenty of good food, raffle prizes from our local stores, friendly neighbourhood faces and lots of gossip.  Advance tickets are $17.50 (to November 30) and tickets at the door are $24. Cash bar. Wednesday December 7, 6:30 pm.  To buy your advance ticket, contact the Association at or go online here.  

Social enterprise evening
The Regent Park Catering Collective will present fifteen authentic cuisines to sample and purchase at this year’s Social Enterprise evening - everything from western cupcakes to samosas to biryanis.  The Catering Collective works with Toronto’s health department, the school board and the Paintbox Bistro to provide income and employment opportunities for its members.  The Sewing Collective is also displaying yoga mats, aprons and other handmade crafts.  Check out the Collective’s website.   Thursday December 8, 5 to 8 pm, Toronto Centre for Community Living (540 Dundas E at Sackville).  


Shopping controversy at the Toronto Christmas Market
The Distillery staff who manage the Toronto Christmas Market are upset that two major retailers - Hallmark and Nordstrom - have set up pop-up shops in trucks outside the Distillery grounds to attract shoppers en route to the event.  Both had been invited to participate in the Market but declined.  The Toronto Star’s Nina Alam has written about this dust-up - click here for more.  

Scroll down for the full Theatre & Dance Calendar

Impulse 2016
Ensemble works that highlight performances by students from each year in the program.  December 1 to 10.  School of Toronto Dance Theatre (80 Winchester).  For tickets and more info, click here.  

29th anniversary edition.  Breathtaking tapestry of seasonal dance.  This year, there’s a premiere by Ryan Lee. “Against the Dark” returns along with “To Repel the Demons”.  Friday December 9 at 8 pm and Saturday December 10 at 2 pm. Harbourfront Centre, Fleck Dance Theatre (235 Queens Quay W).  Buy tickets online here.  

Corktown Chamber Orchestra
The Orchestra's Christmas concert featuring seasonal favourites and special guests.  8 pm, Thursday December 15.  Little Trinity Church (425 King E), $10.

Soulpepper Cabarets
Saturdays at 8:30 pm in the Young Centre (50 Tank House Lane, Distillery).
Saturday December 3, Michael Hughes’ Christmas Special.  Tickets and program info are online here.  $20 and $25.  
Saturday December 10,  Wendy Lands - What the world needs now. Tickets and program info are online here, $20 and $25.  


Lookin’ good
Tania and her pals at House on Parliament (454 Parliament) volunteered at the BIA’s Christmas kick-off last weekend.  The HOP also donated the cider that washed down lots of cookies and even some pizza.  Lookin’ good, Tania.

Cooking up tiny but tasty bites
Cyril’s next class will be held on Tuesday December 6 at 5:30 pm and will feature gorgeous party bites and nibblies - just in time for the holidays.  
To reserve your spot, drop in to Merryberry (559 Parliament) or call directly (647) 348-0411. $45.

The Local GEST
Jeff Barnes and Noah Zacharin make their regular monthly appearance on Thursday December 1 at 8 pm.  The pub will be closed on Saturday December 3 for a private event.  424 Parliament

The Irv
Save the date - The Irv (195 Carlton) is hosting its annual Guest Appreciation Night on Thursday December 15.  There’ll be free munchies, beer sampling, prizes and giveaways and live music.  Watch for an appearance by Santa.

420 Smokehouse
Virginia has proudly announced that everything at the 420 Smokehouse (420 Parliament) really is smoked.  Get your smoked spices here - salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, onion powder and cocao are all now available.

Under the Table
Kim and Betty are taking a vacation.  The restaurant will close from Monday November 28 to Wednesday December 7.  568 Parliament. 


70 Berkeley Street

A Christmas Carol - on stage to Sunday December 4
Online info and tickets here 

Writers’ Intensive 2016 with Diana Flacks 
Two more sessions are available:  Saturday December 3 and Saturday December 10.
Online info and tickets here.

509 Parliament Street

Wintersong  - December 9 (8 pm) and December 10 (2 pm)
Online tickets and info here.  

Berkeley Street Theatre, 26 Berkeley Street

Who Killed Spalding Gray - on stage to December 11
Online tickets and info here.

The Citadel
304 Parliament Street

Bright Nights Series
Damage Done - on stage to December 11    
Online tickets and info here.   

50 Tank House Lane, Distillery District
All performances are in the Young Centre (Distillery - 50 Tank House Lane) except those specifically noted for the St Lawrence Centre.

A Christmas Carol - December 2 to December 24
Online tickets and info here

It’s a Wonderful Life - December 9 to December 24 (St Lawrence Centre)
Online tickets and info here

Hocus Pocus - December 10 to December 31
Online tickets and info here

Aki Studio Theatre, Daniels Spectrum,  585 Dundas St E

Comfort - on stage to December 10
Online tickets and info here

80 Winchester Street

Impulse - December 1 to December 3 and December 8 to December 10
Photo:  Cylla von Tiedermann
Online tickets and info here 



  • 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
7:30 pm, live music with Geoff Willingham
Local GEST
8 pm, live music with Jeff Barnes and Noah Zacharin


Alice’s Place
10 pm, Karaoke 
5 to 7 pm, Fuse Fridays with Wade O Brown Trio.  Live bands from 8 to 10:30 pm.
Mill Street Beer Hall
8 pm, Friday Nights with DJ Humble Mike


8 to 10:30 pm, live bands.  
11 pm, Fuse Lounge Saturdays, the best of the 80s and 90s - jazz, blues, soul and R&B.
Mill Street Beer Hall
5 pm, Saturday Nights with DJ Humble Mike
8:30 pm, Cabaret - The Michael Hughes’ Christmas Special, $20 and $25. 


Alice’s Place
4 pm, Karaoke with Vee
Corktown Kitchen
11 am, Live jazz and brunch 
11 am, Jazz brunch
Local GEST
4:30 pm, Sunday afternoon jazz with Alison Young


Free Karaoke
Stout Irish Pub
7:30 pm, Headscratchers Trivia


Stout Irish Pub
7:30 pm, Headscratchers Trivia


Alice’s Place
9 pm, Karaoke
Local GEST
7:30 pm, Wednesday Night Trivia
Paintbox Bistro
7:30 pm, Corktown Ukulele Jam


8 pm, Ryan Cassleman
The Irv
7:30 pm, live music with Geoff Willingham
The Local GEST
8:30 pm, Cabbage Head comedy


Alice’s Place
10 pm, Karaoke 
5 to 7 pm, Fuse Fridays with Wade O Brown Trio.  Live bands from 8 to 10:30 pm.
Mill Street Beer Hall
8 pm, Friday Nights with DJ Humble Mike


8 to 10:30 pm, live bands.  
11 pm, Fuse Lounge Saturdays, the best of the 80s and 90s - jazz, blues, soul and R&B.
8:30 pm, Wendy Lands, “What the world needs now”, $20 and $25.


Alice’s Place
4 pm, Karaoke with Vee
Corktown Kitchen
11 am, Live jazz and brunch
11 am, Jazz brunch
Local GEST
4:30 pm, Sunday afternoon jazz featuring the Brendan Davis 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,
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 E, (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,