June 8

This week’s image:  Parliament Street construction is finished. It’s amazing - when the City wants to hurry, the job gets done!



Smooth as a baby’s bottom…
Bike riders know when a road is really bumpy. That certainly was the story on River Street and on Parliament north of Wellesley.  Not any more.  The construction work is finished.  The roads are now dreamy smooth.  The work on Parliament came in well ahead of schedule.  The bike lanes on River are between the parked cars and the curb, creating a nice safe zone.  The bigger dig at Parliament and Dundas is done as well and traffic is flowing through there in all lanes.  

Cabbagetown South Residents meeting
The Association grapples with some tough issues facing its community and handles them carefully and (where possible) with good humour.  This meeting covered several big topics.  The guest speaker, Glenn Russell from ADT Security Services, talked about security and camera systems for home protection.  He described available equipment and cost ranges.    There also were discussions about two current building applications on Gerrard, about the City of Toronto’s new green bins and about the new Ward boundaries for the 2018 municipal election - details on each of these below.

Gerrard Street condo proposals
Two projects have been proposed for Gerrard between Sherbourne and Parliament.

Oben Flats has applied for a 13-storey, 94-unit condo on the southeast corner of Sherbourne and Gerrard.  At the Cabbagetown South meeting, local residents complained that discussions have stalled.  Even though a neighbouring heritage property is affected, Toronto Preservation Services has not returned calls.  Neither has the developer.  

Redevelopment of the Beer Store site at Gerrard and Ontario has involved meetings between the local community and the developer.  The developer’s staff have been helpful during these meetings. The original 9 storey height may be reduced to 6 storeys.  The Beer Store itself is still a problem for the community and efforts are underway through Glen Murray’s office and the City’s planners to see if a smaller store is possible. At this time, the discussions about the building are focused on height and density. Other specific issues with the building design will be handled later.

New green bins
Photo: City of Toronto
Throughput the Fall, the City is rolling out new green bins for organic waste disposal.  They’re bigger than the old ones - they hold 97 litres (versus 47 for the old ones).  Click here to see the City’s fact sheet about the bins and the rollout schedule.
Mayor John Tory promised that these new bins will be a key ingredient in the war against marauding raccoons.  
Residents on Ontario and Alpha are part of a pilot study looking at possible problems with bin storage and with landlocked houses.  
The Association previously did a survey asking its members about their experiences and opinions. 30% of local residents dislike the new bins and will stop using them - diverting their waste into landfill garbage instead of recycling it.  85% want to continue with the current smaller design.  Click here to see the questions, responses and comments from this poll.

New Ward boundaries
The City has been redrawing the boundaries to create municipal Wards that are roughly equal in size.  The new boundaries have been accepted by City Council (click here). The current Ward 28 will become Wards 21 and 23.  Ward 21 runs from the lake north to Shuter and from Yonge east to the Don Valley.  Ward 23 goes from Shuter north to the Rosedale Valley Road and from Jarvis east to the Don Valley.  
We’re now in an appeal period when Council’s decision can be taken to the OMB.  If the OMB makes its decision before a late winter deadline, the  new boundaries will be used in the 2018 election.
Our current Ward 28 is represented by Pam McConnell.  She has not indicated whether she will be seeking reelection in the southern or northern one.  

Speakeasy at the Farmer’s Market
Chad showed up last Tuesday from Aurora despite the rain to offer Speakeasy’s tempting condiments.  He’s got “Shrubs” that are perfect in cocktails, soda streams and dressings - they come in strawberry, blackberry balsamic, mango, peach ginger and blueberry thyme flavours.  Try out his sodas, artisan cheese, pastas and preserves.  He also makes a knockout quesadilla right on the spot at his tent.  He’ll be here every Tuesday through the season.

A reminder
An all-important reminder - the Cabbagetown Farmer’s Market is a rain or shine event.  In fact, the hardy customers who came by last Tuesday enjoyed really good samples of early season produce.  Every Tuesday afternoon from 3 to 7 pm, in Riverdale Park at the corner of Winchester and Sumach.

Rope for Hope
Alicia Porter is going to rappel down the side of Toronto City Hall on Friday June 9 at 2 pm.  She’s afraid of heights but she’s going to do it anyway.   She’s part of The Local GEST Team who are raising funds for the Make-a-Wish Foundation to earn their spots in the event. Two others from The GEST will be climbing down as well - Gary Jordan and Steve Potts.  
Make-a-Wish Foundation provides gifts and experiences for children with life threatening medical conditions.  
The pub’s target is $4,500 and Gary hopes to double that amount.  If you’d like to make your gift, drop in to The Local GEST (424 Parliament) or click here.  


Cabbagetown Residents Association
The Association’s annual meeting happens on Thursday June 15 from 7 pm at Stout Irish Pub (221 Carlton). It’s the CRA’s 50th anniversary party.  Membership is $20/family and can be renewed at the door.  Enjoy Stout’s tasty food, cake and a free adult beverage.  The meeting will elect next year’s Board of Directors, review the past year’s work and cover the Association’s business.  There’ll be plenty of opportunity to meet your friends and enjoy a good gossip.

Free bike tuneups
The Cabbagetown BIA together with Cycle Solutions (444 Parliament) is organizing a bike workshop on Sunday June 11 from noon to 2 pm.  Bring your bike for a simple checkup.  Enjoy some munchies from El Charro Mexican Restaurant (582 Parliament).  Green Thumbs and Cycle Toronto Ward 28 will offer kids activities.  It all takes place on the corner of Carlton and Parliament.  

Picture days at Brenda’s step classes
Brenda’s schedule for the next few weeks is coming into focus.  No class on Sunday June 11.  Wednesday June 15 at 9:15 am and Sunday June 18 at 11 am are both picture days.  Wednesday June 21 at 9:15 am is the last class for the season.  Cabbagetown Youth Centre gym (2 Lancaster)

Summer flower show
Allan Gardens’ summer show launches on June 11 and continues through the summer.  Look for the newest varieties of several annuals including coleus, geraniums, impatiens and more.  Open daily from 10 am to 5 pm, free admission, Allan Gardens Conservatory (Carlton and Jarvis).

Waterfront Toronto Walks
From June 8 to 17, Waterfront Toronto is offering four different walking tours of the waterfront.  
On June 8 and June 13 at 7 pm, there’s a 90-minute tour of the Queens Quay revitalization.  The starting point is the Simcoe WaveDeck (lower Simcoe and Queens Quay). 
On Saturday June 10 at 11 am, take a 75-minute walk through Corktown Commons. Meet at the Pavillion on the hilltop.
On Thursday June 15 at 7 pm, visit the public art in the West Don Lands.  Start at Underpass Park.
On Saturday June 17 at 11 am, walk through the central waterfront to explore its history.  Start at 60 Harbour Street.
The walks are free.  Register at Eventbrite.   

Two ROMWalks
ROMWalks are guided walking tours organized by the Royal Ontario Museum. Two local tours are scheduled for our sites over the summer. 
St James Cemetery covers Toronto’s oldest operating cemetery including its chapel, a national historic site and the graves of notable and notorious citizenry.  The starting point is at the cemetery gate (Parliament north of Wellesley) on June 18, July 19 and September 17.
Whiskey, Wharf & Windmill goes through the Distillery District to discover commercial, industrial and residential buildings from the historic Town of York. Starting point at St Paul’s Basilica (Power and Queen). The walk will be offered on June 25, August 2 and October 15.


Beautiful inside and out
Kendall & Co's (54 Parliament) outdoor rugs keep the party going, rain or shine. Perfect for this season’s backyard entertaining and cottage living. Made of durable, mould and mildew-resistant synthetic fibres that are safe on wood decks and patios. Check out Kendall’s website for available styles and sizes. http://kendallandco.ca/fyi/retail/outdoor-rugs  Plus …. select wool rugs are now 25% off and floor models are 60% off!  Kendall & Co is your one-stop-shop for furnishings, lighting and decorating - open from 10 am to 6 pm on weekdays and 11 am to 5 pm on Saturdays.

Meridian’s seminar
Renovate - Rebuild:  From planning to financing.  The seminar is aimed at people who plan to renovate their homes, especially for those who are unsure about where to start and what they need to consider.  Thursday, June 15, 7 to 8:30 pm, light snacks, MerryBerry Bistro (559 Parliament).  Please RSVP to Steven Ahn, stevenahn@meridiancu.ca, Meridian Credit Union (486 Parliament). 

Ontario strawberries
Mark at St Jamestown Steak & Chops is getting regular supplies of yummy Ontario Spring strawberries.  


Parking tickets
Photo:  Veronica Appia, Inside Toronto
Veronica Appia has written a story in Inside Toronto about the places where the largest number of parking tickets are issued.  70 Mill Street in the Distillery is #11 on the list of Toronto's top 16 spots.  She’s also included a handy chart detailing the parking offences that do not require City signage.  Click here to read her story.

St Lawrence Market
Image:  Archeological Services
The new north Market building has been delayed by the discovery of historic objects buried on the site.  They date from the early 1800s and include a jar belonging to the guy who invented Canada Dry.  Pam McConnell describes the finds and their importance in this CBC report.  

Spruce Court Co-op
Photo:  Toronto Savvy
The Co-op relies on federal funds to provide a rental subsidy for its lower income residents.  The Co-op also has a mortgage through CMHC but as current mortgage rates have dropped, there’s now a significant opportunity for a major savings with a different mortgage. CMHC will allow it to  renegotiate its mortgage but if the Co-op does this, the subsidy will end in 2021.  If the Co-op does nothing, it will lose the savings but extend the subsidy to 2025.  Emily Mathieu has written a story in the Toronto Star about this problem and its impact on over 125,000 co-op residents across Canada.  Thanks to the Cabbagetown Residents Association for the info about this story.  Click here to read it. 

Waterfront Toronto has unveiled its ideas for an innovative new community located at the east end of Queens Quay.  Its blog offers a description of the concepts used to plan this area. 

Metis garden
Photo: Elise St Germain, CBC News
A group of Metis women has planted a small area in Allan Gardens.  They’re members of the Metis Women’s Talking Circle and they’re growing traditional herbs and medicines.  CBC News did a story about their project.

Drift Seeds
Red Dress productions will present Drift Seeds: A Poetic Parody for People Living in Absurd Times in Winchester Park (Ontario and Prospect) on Friday June 9 and Saturday June 10 at 7 pm and Sunday June 11 at 3 pm.  It’s a multi-disciplinary, multi-sensory theatrical production with over 100 musicians, dancers, singers and puppeteers. There’ll be puppets, a saxophone, complicated costumes, an electric guitar and lots more.  Free admission.

Serpent People
The artists of Aanmitaagzi - the community and artists of Nipissing First Nation/North Bay - explore historic indigenous serpent stories and figures.  Tickets and info here.  Part of the Bright Nights series by Coleman, Lemieux et Compagnie. June 15 to 17, The Citadel (304 Parliament).

Distillery’s Music City Summer Series
Each Saturday  through the summer, the Distillery presents live music from its Trinity stage.  
On Saturday June 10 from 2 to 6 pm, it’s Allison Brown and Sean Conway.  
On Sunday June 11 at 2 pm, Suzie Vinnick and at 4 pm, Piper Hayes.


Kalyna Rakel Duo at Arvo
The latest of Arvo’s Concert Series performances happens on Sunday June 11 from 6 pm with Kalyna Rakel (vocals and guitar) and George Chenery (upright bass).  Jazz, blues and folk.  Arvo Cafe (17 Gristmill Lane, Distillery).

Craft beer week at Stout
Stout Irish Pub (221 Carlton) has a big reputation for its fine selection of craft beers.  During Craft Beer Week, Stout has announced three special events.   On Monday June 12 from 7:30 pm, Steamwhistle sponsors Beer Trivia night.  On Tuesday June 13 from 7:30 pm, it’s Cameron’s turn to sponsor Beer Trivia.  On Wednesday June 14 at 7 pm, Railway City hosts Beer Bingo night.  

Addresses, online info and current events.

Daniels Spectrum, 585 Dundas E

Grandma’s Pearls - June 16
Online info and tickets here.  

304 Parliament

Serpent People - June 15 to 17
Tickets and info online here.

50 Tank House Lane, Distillery District

Porgy & Bess - on stage to June 9.
Online info and tickets here.

Confederation: Part One, Confederation & Riel - on stage June 9
Tickets and info online here.

Confederation: Part Two, Scandal & Rebellion - on stage June 23
Tickets and info online.



  • 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.


Local GEST
10 pm, Cabbage Head comedy night with Ethan O’Reilly
New Town
Oki Doki Karaoke


Alice’s Place
10 pm, Karaoke 
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 Humble Mike 
New Town
Oki Doki Karaoke
African weekends with DJ Fox and a guest DJ


2 pm,  Music City Summer Series with Allison Brown and Sean Conway
Mill Street Beer Hall
5 pm, Saturday nights with Humble Mike
African weekends with DJ Fox and a guest DJ


Alice’s Place
4 pm, Karaoke with Vee
Arvo Coffee
6 pm, Concert series with the Kalyna Rakel duo
2 pm,  Music City Summer Series with Suzie Vinnick and Piper Hayes Dominion
11 am, Brunch & Beats
The Local GEST
4:30 pm, Sunday afternoon jazz with Zim Zum
New Town
Oki Doki Karaoke 


Stout Irish Pub
7:30 pm, Beer Trivia by Steamwhistle


Stout Irish Pub
7:30 pm, Beer Trivia by Camerons


Alice’s Place
9 pm, Karaoke
Local GEST
7:30 pm, Wednesday Night Trivia
8 pm, Corktown Ukulele Jam, $12
Latin Wednesdays with DJ Fight - reggaeton, merengue, rumba salsa, Afromusic and more.  $10.
Stout Irish Pub
7 pm, Beer Bingo by Railway City


The Local GEST
8:30 pm, open mic with Porter
New Town
Oki Doki Karaoke


Alice’s Place
10 pm, Karaoke
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 Humble Mike
New Town
Oki Doki Karaoke 
Paintbox Bistro
7:30 pm, Christopher Sawchyn Sings! Songs & laughter, $20/advance and $22/door 
African weekends with DJ Fox and a guest DJ


Mill Street Beer Hall
5 pm, Saturday nights with Humble Mike
New Town
Oki Doki Karaoke
African weekends with DJ Fox and a guest DJ


Alice’s Place
4 pm, Karaoke with Vee
2 pm, Music City Summer Series with Gathering Sparks
11 am, Brunch & Beats
The Local GEST
4:30 pm, Sunday afternoon jazz with Ryan Oliver


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
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
413 Parliament Street
555 Dundas St E, (647) 748-0555
326 Parliament, (647) 989-9127,  https://www.facebook.com/cometoquincys/
Young Centre, 50 Tank House Lane, Distillery, (416) 866-8666,

568 Parliament St, (647) 351-1533, https://www.facebook.com/underthetabletoronto