February 23

This week’s image:  Family Day farmer demos at Riverdale Farm



Congrats Noah
Noah Richler’s latest book, The Candidate, is an engrossing journey through the 2015 federal election as he experienced it.  He ran as a novice NDP candidate in Toronto-St Paul’s.  His book takes us from his first tentative steps when he wondered whether he should get involved through to election day and the post-election wrap-up. It’s a great read. Get your own copy at Chapters, Amazon and independent stores or you can read it online at Toronto Public Library’s Overdrive.  
Watch Noah in a TVO interview with Steve Paikin - click here.  

BIA test
Last fall, the BIA installed new landscaping in the small areas at Parliament and Spruce and Parliament and Amelia.  The Association is now planning its next improvements for these areas and it wants our feedback about these ideas.
At Spruce, the area will be enhanced with planters to add extra vegetation to the area to soften it and add more colour.
At Amelia, four stools will be installed.
In both cases, these are tests.  The BIA wants our reactions in advance and again throughout the summer.  In the Fall, it will review reactions and make a final decision about these amenities.
Click on the image to enlarge the BIA’s announcement.
You’re asked to forward your comments to bia@cabbagetownTO.com 

Cabbagetown Talks 
Don’t miss the CPA’s latest talk:  Imagining Cabbagetown: Our Place in the City: Part I, a presentation and discussion of TOcore, an initiative by the City to prepare a Secondary Plan for Toronto’s downtown.  Moderated by Rick Merrill, panelists include Andrew Farncombe, Leo DeSorcy, & Marc Ryan.  Monday, February 27, Dixon Hall (formerly St Peter’s Church - 188 Carlton), 7 to 9 pm.
For detailed information and speaker bios, click here.  

Bev Jenkins
Bev is displaying her paintings - Sculpted Oils on Canvas - at the Artist Project (Better Living Centre, CNE) from Thursday February 23 to Sunday February 26.  She’s in Booth 627.  

COBA fundraiser
The Collective of Black Artists is located in the Daniels Spectrum.  It needs support now to preserve its legacy.  Saturday February 25, 6 pm, Daniels Spectrum (585 Dundas E). 
The fundraiser will feature Itah Sadu, author and bookseller, as MC.  There’ll be performances by COBA’s Children’s Youth Ensemble, singers Julian Taylor and Kevin Brathwaite.  Simone’s Caribbean Restaurant will cater the event. Suggested ticket prices are $100 (but donations of all sizes are welcome).  For tickets and donations, click here.  

CCDT auditions for 2017/2018
The Canadian Contemporary Dance Theatre (509 Parliament) will hold auditions for its 2017/2018 season on two separate dates.  For dancers ages 8 to 10 - Sunday February 26 from 10 to 11:30 am.  Dancers ages 11 to 13 - Sunday February 26 from noon to 2 pm. Then for dancers ages 14 to 19 - Sunday March 5 from 10 am to 1 pm.  Check on the CCDT Facebook page for prerequisites, callback times, schedules, dress and program offerings.  Contact (416) 924-5657 or info@ccdt.org  

Allan Gardens spring flower show
The Conservatory’s annual spring show gets underway on Wednesday March 1 and continues into May.  During that time, the Easter Show will also appear from April 14.  The Conservatory is open from 10 am to 5 pm daily with free admission.  Allan gardens (Sherbourne and Carlton)

WE in Corktown
Cabbagetown’s Free the Children has expanded south into Corktown with its purchase of the former Marty Millionaire’s building on the southwest corner of Parliament and Queen.  The group is making a presentation to the Corktown Residents & Business Association about its plans on Tuesday March 7 at 7 pm in the Coopers Koo Family YMCA (461 Cherry). 

Islam women in an age of Islamophobia
A panel discussion featuring prominent Muslim women will take place in Arta Gallery (Distillery, 14 Distillery Lane) on Monday March 6 from 6 pm.  Sponsored by Islamic Relief Canada, the panel will include Dr Alaa Murabit, Muneeza Sheikh, Naseem Mithoowani and Ginella Massa.  Tickets are $10.  

CYC’s Spring Fling
The Cabbagetown Youth Centre (2 Lancaster, behind the Beer Store) is organizing a fundraiser for Saturday, March 25 at 6:30 pm.  It’ll include a sparkling wine reception, dinner and drinks.  There’ll be live music and an auction sale.  Proceeds will be used to support the CYC’s programs for kids in the neighbourhood.  Tax receipts will be issued.  Get your tickets or make your donation online here.  

Sugar Shack is back
Last year’s highly popular Sugar Shack is returning to Sugar Beach (Lower Jarvis and Queen’s Quay).  There’ll be two shacks serving maple taffy,  a food market offering maple infused treats and traditional sugar shack foods and a Sugar Shack bar with beer, mulled wine and specialty liquors.  Plus kids’ programs, ice sculptures, battle of the chainsaws and a giant ice Tic-Tac-Toe.  Saturday and Sunday, March 11 and 12.  

Riverdale Farm Open House
On Wednesday March 1, there’ll be an Open House at the Farm (Winchester and Sumach) to present the plans for the renovations at Simpson House.  Councillor Pam McConnell and members of the Stewardship Group will explain the project. From 6:30 pm with a brief program at 7 pm.  

WaterfrontTO summer arts programs
Applications are now being received for grants to support dance, music, performance, literary and media arts and community-engaged artwork.  The program facilitates arts and cultural programming that celebrates public spaces and invites people to enjoy our waterfront.  Application deadline is March 24 at 12 pm.  Find out more, including a PDF about the guidelines, click here.  

Florida Highwaymen
The Daniels Spectrum (585 Dundas E) is celebrating Black History month by mounting a unique exhibition of 30 original pieces from 26 self-taught African-American landscape painters in the Florida Highwaymen movement.  The group formed in the middle 1950s when segregation prevented them from showing and selling their art in local galleries.  So they sold their work from the trunk of their cars on Florida highways.  To March 12.  Open Monday to Friday, 8 am to 9 pm and weekends 10 am to 6 pm.  

Toronto Light Festival
To March 12. The Distillery is the home for the Toronto Light Festival. It takes place between sundown and 11 pm daily. 17 installations by 14 artists will transform the Distillery into a huge open-air gallery. Free. 

Museum fundraising
The Cabbagetown Regent Park Museum is running a GoFundMe campaign to raise $15,000 for a new website.  The Museum is a volunteer organization that does a great job to preserve our history and spread the word across our community.  Click here to read its request and make your donation.  

Cabbagetown Regent Park Museum Historical Tidbit
Blackburn monument, Necropolis (left image)
Blackburn’s yellow taxi, King Street 1844-45 ROM (right)
Fugitive slaves, Thornton and Lucie Blackburn, arrived in Toronto in 1834 and they reunited with Thornton’s brother, Alfred, who worked at Gooderham & Worts distillery. They built a distinctive “shotgun” style house on South Park (Eastern Ave) near Pine (Sackville St) where they lived for over 50 years. After waiting tables at Osgoode Hall for a few years, Thornton had an inspired idea. He built and operated Toronto’s first taxi service, beginning with a four passenger, one-horse, yellow and red carriage.
On February 26, 1890, 76 year old Thornton died. Two days later, he was escorted from his home up Parliament Street to the Necropolis. No doubt, as a prominent member of the black community and friend to such leaders of Toronto society as the Gooderhams, his funeral was well attended. Lucie sold their old home which was replaced by Sackville School and moved to Bleecker Street where she lived until her death in1895. She was buried next to Thornton. Neither her name nor the names of several others buried there appear on the monument. An omission to be corrected.
For more Cabbagetown history, photos and videos visit the CRPM Facebook page.  

All roads lead to Cabbagetown
Photo:  Irene DeClute - a Goulais River landmark
When we left Toronto for our annual ski holiday at Stokely Creek Lodge north of the Soo, Duncan Fremlin asked us to “say hi to Goulais River for me.”  
In midweek, four people came to the Lodge for a special dinner, two from Goulais River and two from Toronto. So, of course, we said “hi” for Duncan.  
The Goulais River people immediately said “that would be a Fremlin from Laird Township”.  Yup - they knew him.  So did the couple from Toronto who've worked with him in real estate.  
And then the Toronto folks told us that their son, Jake, is currently in Vancouver and Whistler with a guy from Cabbagetown, Henry Dineen (son of Gina and Paul).
Duncan and Whiskey Jack will be visiting the Soo on July 1 for a Canada Day concert in the Roberta Bondar Pavillion.  Don’t miss it.

Cabbagetown Tee
Doug stays warm and cozy in his vintage 2007 Cabbagetown Festival tee shirt in -10 degree weather,  Goulais River, February 15.


595-601 Parliament
Photo:  Ryan Starr, BisNow
This building, home to Cranberries Restaurant and the Filipino Centre, has just been sold for $5.9 million.  The deal closed on January 31.  The new owners plan to renovate it and bring in tenants for its office spaces.  There’s an article about the building and some of the new plans  in BisNow - click here to read it.  
Interestingly, a rumour floated around in early February that the building would be expanded into a six-storey complex.  No confirmation yet whether this is actually the case.
Thanks to Keith Lawrance and the Cabbagetown Residents Association for this story. 

Choir Choir Choir
MILCK’s hit song, Quiet, became the unofficial anthem of the Washington Women’s March last month.  Choir Choir Choir decided to do a Toronto protest sing-a-long.  The event was staged at the Phoenix Concert Theatre (410 .Sherbourne). 1,300 people showed up and MILCK lead the singing.  Toronto Life has a story and a video of the concert - click here.  

Distillery shoot-out
Photo:  CBC News
In September 2015, police pursued and stopped a car near the Distillery.  One officer subsequently fired fifteen shots into the car’s engine.  He has pleaded guilty of misconduct at a police tribunal.  During the sentencing phase, his lawyer has argued that his action were, in fact, a brave attempt to disable the car.  The tribunal will issue a decision in the near future.  CBC News has a report about the incident and the hearing - click here.   


Soulpepper Concerts
Each original Soulpepper Concert revolves around a place, a time or an artist.  Coming up - three concerts in the Manhattan Concert Cycle that offer an unforgettable journey through the history, culture and rhythms of the original Manhattan neighbourhoods.  Volume One is Downtown, The Melting Pot on March 4, 14 and 18.  Volume Two is Midtown, 42nd Street & Broadway, March 7, 13 and 18 and Volume Three is Uptown to Harlem, March 10,16 and 18.  Young Centre, 50 Tank House Lane, Distillery. For tickets and info click here.  


Leslie’s store (249 Gerrard E) has long been a lovely landmark in the short Gerrard Street shopping strip.  She offers “antiques and brocante … from the ridiculous to the sublime.”  Her website is almost as good as a personal visit to the store itself and she’s enhanced it with a 360-degree interactive image showing the nooks and crannies and all the goodies that she has on sale.  To see it, click here and follow the arrows through her store.

Going swimmingly
How do you top Flamingo Umbrellas? How about this fun Fish Rug? It’s just one of Kendall & Co’s new rug designs. See their expanded selection in wool, bamboo and indoor/outdoor rugs. Plus, more Spring products are arriving weekly. Kendall & Co (514 Parliament) is your one-stop-shop to furnish, light and decorate your home. Store hours:  Monday to Friday 10 am to 6 pm and Saturday 11 am to 5 pm.  http://kendallandco.ca/fyi


F’Amelia’s winemaker’s dinner
Meet the winemaker from Italy’s renowned Il Poggione Estate in Montalcino.  Enjoy a delicious five-course dinner paired with some of Italy’s best wines.  $139, Thursday February 23, 7 pm.  To make a reservation, call (416) 323-0666 or email info@famelia.com.  F’Amelia, 12 Amelia.  

Tarot 101
A three-hour, fun filled class taught by a renowned psychic.  It’s interactive and you’ll learn Tarot at a comfortable pace.  In your class, you’ll get profound insights into three questions.  Your $25 fee includes a $5 voucher toward dinner.  Please reserve in advance for every class - space is limited.  Every Tuesday from 6:30 to 9:30 pm, Cranberries (601 Parliament).   For more info and reservations, click here.  

Young, Live & Local
The Local GEST (424 Parliament) presents four young musicians in its local talent showcase - Hudson Hogarth, Roy Tugbang, Brooke and Evan Simms Trio.  9:30 pm, Saturday February 25. 

Spoken Lives
Three women discuss their real life stories from the stage - Beth Ostrander talks about depression, Trish Krause about weight and health and Marie Foley about dyslexia.  Paintbox Bistro (555 Dundas E), Tuesday February 28, 6 pm, $20.   

Photography and travel at Fusilli
Fusilli (531 Queen E) is hosting a photo exhibition and a travel talk on Sunday March 5 from 2 to 5 pm.  Trevor Fernandez will show his pictures and offer them for sale and he’ll share his travel ideas for trips to China and Europe.  To see his work, click here.  

Addresses, online info and current events.

70 Berkeley Street

New Ideas Festival - March 8 to 26
Online tickets and info here

Berkeley Street Theatre
26 Berkeley Street

Five Faces for Evelyn Frost - To March 5 and March 21 to March 25
Online tickets and info here

50 Tank House Lane, Distillery District

Of Human Bondage - February 23 to March 11
Online info and tickets here

Kim’s Convenience - to March 4
Online tickets and info here

Cage - March 11 to March 25
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.


8 pm,Kat Vhonda
The Irv
7 pm, live acoustic music with Geoff Willingham


Alice’s Place
10 pm, Karaoke
8 pm, DJ Dash
10 pm, Ladies night and dancing - ladies free, guys $10.
Johnny G’s
8:30 pm, Live Greek music with Dimitra (vocals), Vassilis (keyboard) and Vaggelis (bouzouki).
Mill Street Beer Hall
8 pm, Friday Nights with DJ Humble Mike


8 pm, DJ Wizdome
Local GEST
9:30 pm, Young, Live & Local with Hudson Hogarth, Roy Tugbanc, Brooke & The Evan Sims Trio.
Mill Street Beer Hall
6 pm, acoustic music with Jeremy deFreitas
9 pm, Saturday Nights with DJ Humble Mike


Alice’s Place
4 pm, Karaoke with Vee
The Local GEST
4:30 pm, Sunday afternoon jazz with Marc Sepic


Stout Irish Pub
7:30 pm, Headscratchers Trivia


6:30 pm, Tarot 101, $25
6 pm, Spoken Lives, $20
Stout Irish Pub
7:30 pm, Headscratchers Trivia


Alice’s Place
9 pm, Karaoke
Local GEST
7:30 pm, Wednesday Night Trivia


8 pm, Katey Gatta
The Irv
7 pm, live acoustic music with Geoff Willingham
The Local GEST
8 pm, Jeff Barnes & Noah Zacharin


Alice’s Place
10 pm, Karaoke 
8 pm, DJ Marlove
10 pm, Ladies night and dancing, ladies free, others $10
Johnny G’s
8:30 pm, Live Greek music with Dimitra (vocals), Vassilis (keyboard) and Vaggelis (bouzouki). 
Mill Street Beer Hall
8 pm, Friday Nights with DJ Humble Mike


8 pm,DJ Knoxx 
Mill Street Beer Hall
5 pm, Saturday Nights with DJ Humble Mike


Alice’s Place
4 pm, Karaoke with Vee
2 to 5 pm, Trevor Fernandez photography and travel show
The Local GEST
4:30 pm, Sunday afternoon jazz with Sherie Marshall & Mike Cado  


554 Parliament St, (647) 931-9088, https://www.facebook.com/alicesplacetoronto
17 Gristmill Lane, Distillery,  (647) 352-2766
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, (647) 347-3873, http://fusedining.com 
95 Carlton Street, (647) 350-4787, https://www.facebook.com/theirvpub/
478 Parliament St, (416) 928-1358
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/
514 King E, (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, https://www.facebook.com/underthetabletoronto