September 14

This week’s image: the Festival kicked off at 11 am on Saturday. By 10 am, the street was already busy.



First of all - many thanks and congrats to the Cabbagetown BIA and to Art & Crafts in the Park.  The Festival involves a lot of work and expense and these two groups created an exciting weekend.

For the first time, a woman won the race at Blair’s Run - Jazz from Metcalfe Street finished first in 4.46.1 minutes.  178 runners participated.  Local street teams raised lots of money for the Cabbagetown Youth Centre.  

Photo:  Susan Freeborn
The Cabbagetown Bowl proved to be a funny success.  The event - in support of the Children’s Book Bank - involved bowling cabbages down some temporary lanes in the parking lot behind The Local GEST.  It’s the sort of crazy event that should endure for years.

By all reports, Barbara Hall was a smash success as MC at the Opening ceremonies.  Good for her. She was worried beforehand that she didn’t know what she was supposed to do! In the photo - Eric Morse (left), Barbara Hall, Mark Michelin and the BIA Chair, Bill Renieris.

John Tory dropped in to the Scullery on Saturday to have a chat.  The Mayor knows about good food.

The Short Film Festival continues to be a favourite.  Gina Dineen’s hard work paid off with a fascinating program and a big appreciative audience.  Not bad, Gina - considering that you also had to help with your daughter Hayley’s wedding on the weekend.

For the second year, the Kidszone was a popular success.  The expansion west along Carlton to Ontario was also welcomed.  

Photo: Eric Morse
Great food.  As always, the peameal bacon at St Jamestown Steak & Chops sold out.

Yard sales took off again.  People found treasures everywhere.


Tour of Homes tickets
It happens this week - Sunday September 17, noon to 4 pm.  $35. Tickets are still available.  
The Tour is a self-guided event - your ticket contains the address for each home.  This year’s program is a completely new selection. Your ticket will also list of special offers from retailers and restaurants for the event day.   
Tickets are now available on Paypal . Please note that you must trade your Paypal receipt for an actual ticket on the day of the Tour.  
Four local retailers are selling tickets:  Epicure Shop (473 Parliament), Fairway Market (520 Parliament), Kendall & Co (514 Parliament) and Mi Casa (238 Carlton). 
Four more are selling them at convenient locations across Toronto:  Greenery Patch (St Lawrence Market), Kay & Young Florists (136 Avenue Road at Davenport), Ringe & Associates (Scotia Plaza concourse level) and Sheridan Nursery (2827 Yonge). 

Orchid sale on Sunday
Allan Gardens’ Conservatory will host a plant sale with orchids and succulents on Sunday September 17 from 10 am to 4 pm. Crystal Star Orchids is the organizer. Admission is free.  

The bike rack has moved
The Bike Share rack in Riverdale Park has moved from its Winchester location to the boulevard at the corner of Carlton and Sumach.  The move happened suddenly and quietly, as if everyone doing it wanted it to happen before the rest of the world took notice.  The new site seems to be a compromise - it’s technically out of the park so the people who complained can now be happy and it’s still near its original spot so bike users can find it easily. 

Step classes start again
Brenda Brown McNee has released her schedule for her step classes at the Cabbagetown Youth Centre gym  (2 Lancaster, behind the Beer Store).  Her first session has already been held.  She’s also published her safety tips.  If you want a copy, email her at 
Classes are $2 each and she urges you to make a further gift to the Cabbagetown Youth Centre.  Please bring your own mat and some water. 
On Sunday September 17 and September 24, class begins at 11 am.  On Wednesday September 20 and September 27, they start at 9:15 am. 

Jennifer Snowdon yoga
Jennifer’s fall schedule is now listed on her website.  Her drop-in classes continue and there’s a new one scheduled for Tuesdays at 5:45 pm starting next week.  Kids Yoga starts up on Thursday September 14.  It’s for kids ages 6 to 12 and goes for twelve weeks. The next Restorative & Yoga Nidra Workshop with Sarah Moore happens Sunday September 17.  Jennifer is also now teaching Buteyko Breathing in individual and small group classes.   
Go to Jennifer’s website to register, to get more info and to arrange private classes.  

Local community complaints
This is a new feature intended to add some colourful comments to your enjoyment of our weekly blog. 
Wellesley Street residents really hate the garbage that collects in Wellesley Park on hot weekends.  When big picnics happen, almost always people clean up nicely afterward.  The park’s bins finally get really full and there’s no room for more big bags inside them. So people leave the bags on the ground nearby.  City of Toronto staff usually get around on Tuesdays to empty them.  On Sunday evening and through Monday, the bags are a heavenly picnic for raccoons and dogs. 
Two questions nag in one’s mind.  First, why don’t people take the extra garbage home?  Second, why doesn’t the City use bigger bins?
Do you have a local gripe?  Send it in! 

Cabbagetown Regent Park Museum Historical Tidbit
Text by Sally Gibson.  Image:  City of Toronto Archives, 1568-498
When the school bell rang out for the first time from the top of the brand-new Park Public School in April 1853, students may have been curious to see what their new digs would be like. Architect William Thomas’s two-storey, mansard roofed structure on St James (later St David) Street dominated this part of Toronto. Thomas was the well-known English architect who later designed the Don Jail across the Don River. School kids might have thought it appropriate for a prison architect to be a school architect. 
The 1850s curriculum was designed to prepare boys to become industrial workers and girls to enter domestic life. Boys, in their separate classes, studied more mathematics and bookkeeping. Girls learned sewing, crocheting and embroidery. 
No image of our Park School has survived, but Thomas designed both Park and Louisa Street schools at the same time, to the same plan. Here’s a photo of that now demolished school.  
For more Cabbagetown history, photos and videos visit the CRPM Facebook page.
Please support the Museum by clicking on GoFundMe


Max gets a Repeat
Max Perren (middle) again coached the Ontario U18 field lacrosse team during the national championships in late August in Saskatoon. They defeated British Columbia for the gold medal by a score of 17-13 and claimed the First Nations Trophy.  Congrats Max.

Jazz sets a record
For the very first time, the ultimate first prize in Blair’s Run was captured by a woman!  Jazz Shukla from Metcalfe Street edged out Peter from the Boxing Club team by 3/1000 of a second, crossing the finish line at 4.46.1 minutes.   She’s been running the race since her mom took her around in a stroller 19 years ago. Congrats Jazz.

Grace on a bike
Grace has reached Halifax and she received a heroine’s welcome.  Her selfie shows Halifax harbour in the background. Her cross Canada bike tour has been both a fundraiser for Independent Living Nova Scotia and a memorial tribute for her friend Sarah Dube. 
Her arrival has stirred considerable interest.  CBC TV’s Colleen Jones met her on the trail and rode into town with her.  Click here to see her interview - just wait until the ads finish and then go to the 15-minute mark.  
The folks at Independent Living have held a welcoming party for her as well.
When all of this settles down, she’ll be off again to Newfoundland to finish at the Atlantic.
We can all help her with our donations.  She’s handling her fundraising through Canada Helps.  

George is back
Blair’s Run top finisher Michael MacAuley, Festival MC Barbara Hall and George Smitherman
George successfully ran the race in Sunday’s Blair’s Run, coming in #1 in the “Liberal over a certain age” category.  He reports that he’s busy now with his project to be a candidate in the forthcoming municipal election.


Tour of Homes
Photo:  Richard Lautens, Toronto Star
Two big articles have appeared in the Toronto papers in the past week.  
Kathy Flaxman’s story in the Toronto Star describes #6 Wellesley Cottages.  
Martha Uniacke Breen writes in the National Post about the blending of contemporary and heritage styles at a Metcalfe Street home that’ll be part of the Tour.  

Bleecker Street airbnb
Photo:  Cole Burston, Toronto Star
A year ago, several homes on Bleecker were being used for party houses, creating havoc on the street  Action by the neighbours, City of Toronto inspectors and airbnb convinced the owners to stop the practice.  Betsy Powell describes the problem and its solutions in the Toronto Star.  

Lower Don Trail
Photo: Eduardo Lima, Metro
The bike trail along the lower Don River has been slowly rebuilt over the past two years.  It’s almost ready to reopen now. The section from Riverdale Park north to Pottery Road has been very challenging for the City and a frustration for regular bike riders.  David Hains has summarized the problems and everyone’s reactions in his Toronto Star article.  

50 Regent Park Boulevard
Photo:  skycandy
Urban Toronto has an article about the completion of TCHC’s newest rental building in Regent Park.  It will have 155 units - 107 three or more bedrooms, 33 two bedroom and 15 one bedroom units.

2000 affordable and market rent housing units
The City of Toronto and the Province of Ontario are jointly offering land across Toronto for the construction of 600 affordable and 1400 market rent housing units.  A large number of these units will be built in the West Don Lands.  The Toronto Star’s housing reporter Emily Mathieu wrote about the project’s launch.  

Mouse melons
The Dirse family grows mouse melons - aka cucamelons - at Nature’s Way Organics near Simcoe and sells them at the Cabbagetown Farmer’s Market.  Toronto Star food writer Cynthia David describes the melons and the various ways that they can be enjoyed.


Having a good time at the Market
This little guy liked this game.  He kept coming back even when he slipped off.  His family liked it too - they were busy with their customers.
The Cabbagetown Farmers’ Market is featuring lots of late summer stuff.   Heirloom tomatoes, yummy corn, peppers, leeks and lots more.  Tuesdays from 3 to 7 pm, Riverdale Park (Sumach and Winchester).   

Corktown Farmers’ Market
3 to 7 pm on Thursdays in the Underpass Park  (Lower River Street).  Vendors include Clearwater Farms, Durham Honey Farm, Field Sparrow Farm, Monforte Dairy and Sunray Orchards.  The park is home to some of Toronto’s best murals and street art.  


Amy Rosen at Labour of Love
Save the date - Toronto bestselling author Amy Rosen will sign her new book, Toronto Eats, at Labour of Love (223 Carlton) on Saturday September 16 from 11 am to 1 pm.  Buy a raffle ticket for a signed copy and enjoy samples of her cinnamon buns.  

NOW Magazine’s Reader’s Choice poll
Only one week left to vote for your favourites.
24 local businesses have been nominated for the annual Reader’s Choice award.  It’s a great boost for each of them. A win in their category attracts customers from across the city.  Check the list and vote for your favourites.  Voting ends at 5 pm on September 21.Don’t be surprised when you see some names twice since they’ve been nominated in more than one category.  Click on the category name to cast your ballot.
Best bicycle store - Cycle Solutions  
Best camera store - Vistek 
Best condo developer - two local choices 
Best jewellery store - Fair Trade Jewellery  
Best pop-up store - Leslieville Flea  
Best shoe store - John Fluevog Shoes
Best butcher - St James Town Steak & Chops 
Best caterer - Daniel et Daniel 
Best cheese - Epicure Shop  
Best deli - Epicure Shop 
Best design firm - Kendall & Co  
Best farmers’ market - Cabbagetown Farmers’ Market 
Best taco - El Charro  
Best pub - House on Parliament  
Best gastro-pub - two local choices  
    House on Parliament
    The Irv
Best Japanese restaurant - two local choices   
    Kingyo Iza
Best Mexican restaurant - El Catrin  
Best server - Ashley at The Irv  
Best Thai restaurant - Sukhothai   
Best large theatre company - Soulpepper   


Bring a virgin
The Psychic Brunch welcomes psychic virgins - people who have never previously been to a reading - on Sunday September 17 from 11 am at Cranberries (601 Parliament).  The fee is $42/each for two insightful readings plus a $5 voucher to use toward your meal at Cranberries.  If you’re with a virgin, your combined fees will be $10 lower.  Bring two virgins and save $15.  

Update from Merryberry
Cyril confirms that he’s closing Merryberry (559 Parliament).  He’s created a lovely spot that’s a personal favourite for a lot of people.  But he’s out of steam.
Having said that, he also wants everyone to know that he hasn’t fallen off the planet.  Merryberry will continue with its daily menu, cooking classes and Merryboxes until the end of the year unless the landlord finds a satisfactory new tenant ahead of time.  

Merryberry cooking class
Buddha Bowls are the theme for Cyril’s next class. They’re all-in-one dishes that are perfect for busy people.  They usually include some grain, some starch, some veggies, some nuts, some protein (animal or not), some good fat and a sauce/dressing. 
The class happens on Wednesday September 20 at 5:30 pm.  $45.
But - that class is already full.  Cyril’s building a waiting list and he’ll set up a second class.  Just add your name to the list by visiting Merryberry (559 Parliament) or by email at 

Schedule changes at F’Amelia
After a summer full of comfortable brunches on the patio, the brunch season has ended.  F’Amelia’s new times run from 5 to 10 pm daily.  Wine Wednesday offers all bottles listed at $100 or ore at 50% off.  

Cask & Cheese Fest at Mill Street
The Beer Hall’s Cask & Cheese Fest happens on Friday September 15 from 5 pm, $10.  Sample five craft beers from Mill Street’s in-house brewery, paired with five locally sourced cheeses.  21 Tank House Lane, Distillery
Be sure also to book your spot for the Fall in Love with Beer, Brewmaster’s Experience - five beers paired with food stations, from 5 pm on September 21, $69.99. Click here for info and tickets.    

Thanksgiving at Cranberries
Thanksgiving arrives in three weeks.  It’s time to save the date for Cranberries (601 Parliament).  Siva will prepare butternut squash soup and organic salads for starters, oven roast turkey with cranberry sauce, stuffing, mashed potatoes and seasonal veggies for the main course and apple pie with ice cream and pumpkin pie with whipped cream for dessert.  It’s a good idea to make a reservation early for this popular evening.  Sunday October 8 and Monday October 9, 5 and 7:30 pm each day, $30.  Call (416) 925-6330. 

Addresses, online info and current events.

30th Anniversary Season
Berkeley Street Theatre
26 Berkeley Street
(416) 368-3110

Life After by Britta Johnson (book and music)
September 23 to October 22 

The Citadel: Ross Centre for Dance
304 Parliament Street
(416) 364-8011

Bright Nights series
September 20 to 23 

Aki Theatre, Daniels Spectrum
585 Dundas Street E
(416) 531-1402

September 15 to 17 

20th Anniversary Season
Young Centre for the Performing Arts
50 Tank House Lane, Distillery District
(416) 866-8666

Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett
September 8 to October 7
Picture This by Morris Panych & Brenda Robins
September 9 to October 7

50th Anniversary Season
Winchester Theatre
80 Winchester Street
(416) 967-1365

Toronto Heritage Dance - two programs
September 21 to 24 & September 28 to October 1


  • 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 with Ethan O’Reilly
Mill Street Brew Pub
5 pm, Live music with Charlie the Kid
New Town
Oki Doki Karaoke


Alice’s Place
10 pm, Karaoke 
9:30 pm, DJ Wizdome
10 pm, Ladies night and dancing, ladies free, others $10
Mill Street Beer Hall
5 pm, Cask & Cheese, $10
8 pm, Humble Mike
New Town
Oki Doki Karaoke
African weekends with DJ Fox and a guest DJ


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
11 am, Psychic Brunch, $42
9:30 pm, DJ Dash
Local GEST
4:30 pm, Sunday afternoon jazz with Brendan Davis Duo 
New Town
Oki Doki Karaoke
10 pm, Reggae Sundays, $10


Stout Irish Pub
7:30 pm, Headscratchers Trivia


Stout Irish Pub
7:30 pm, Headscratchers Trivia


Alice’s Place
9 pm, Karaoke
7 pm, Robert Chapman Duo
Local GEST
7:30 pm, Wednesday Night Trivia with Porter
5:30 pm, Cooking class - Buddha Bowls, $45
Latin Wednesdays with DJ Fight - reggaeton, merengue, rumba salsa, Afromusic and more.  $10.


Local GEST
8:30 pm, Open mic with Evan
Mill Street Brew Pub
5 pm, Live music with Andrew Fetterly
Mill Street Beerhall
5 pm, Fall in love with beer, $69.99
New Town
Oki Doki Karaoke


Alice’s Place
10 pm, Karaoke
9 pm, 3000AD
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


Mill Street Beer Hall
5 pm, Saturday nights with Humble Mike
New Town
Oki Doki Karaoke
10 pm, Nairobi Nights, $10


Alice’s Place
4 pm, Karaoke with Vee
9 pm, Your girl Flav
Local Gest
4:30 pm, Sunday afternoon jazz with Joanne Morra
10 pm, Reggae Sundays, $10


554 Parliament St, (647) 931-9088,
17 Gristmill Lane, Distillery,  (647) 352-2766
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, (647) 347-3873, 
95 Carlton Street, (647) 350-4787,
478 Parliament St, (416) 928-1358
424 Parliament St, (416) 961-9425,
21 Tank House Ln, Distillery, (416) 681-0338,
21 Tank House Ln, Distillery,
514 King E, (647) 350-6346,
413 Parliament Street
555 Dundas St E, (647) 748-0555
326 Parliament, (647) 989-9127,
Young Centre, 50 Tank House Lane, Distillery, (416) 866-8666,

568 Parliament St, (647) 351-1533,