November 28

This week’s image:  the BIA’s Christmas kickoff was another pleasant family event.



Tuesday’s meeting
The City called a meeting of leaders from various groups in Cabbagetown last Tuesday.  There were representatives from the Cabbagetown Residents Association, Cabbagetown South, Aberdeen Avenue, Winchester Park, the Cabbagetown Preservation Association and the BIA. 
Ms Joy Connelly was the City’s representative there.  She and former City Councillor Joe Mihevc have been chosen to be “facilitators” on the project. 
A dispute arose when Jaimy Warner from the BIA appeared to be live tweeting the conversations during the meeting.  Everyone else wanted her to stop doing so and she refused. She repeatedly claimed that she was taking notes from the conversation.  As a result, everyone except Ms Warner left and the meeting fell apart.
Ms Connolly is now trying to set up a second meeting.

Public consultations
The Tuesday meeting is the start of the public consultations.   
The City of Toronto has a plan to create public awareness and support for shelters and respite centres.  City staff messed up the first stages. Theoretically, they were supposed to develop a broad general plan that identifies our neighbourhood’s needs and to discuss this plan with local residents’ groups, faith groups, the BIA, service providers and the local Councillor.  This didn’t happen.
In addition, staff’s actions surrounding the lease for 233 Carlton were kept secret and only revealed inadvertently.
The result of this failure was the deep surprise that accompanied the announcement about 233 Carlton.

How final are the lease arrangements?
Understandably, City staff are saying that the lease is signed and the deal is final.  That’s not quite true.
First of all, the lease allows the City to change the use of this building.  It could, for example, become home to staff offices from different departments - parks, garbage, streets, etc.  The lease includes very affordable rents and the City could move staff from more expensive locations into Cabbagetown. 
The City could also cancel the lease and find alternate tenants.  This approach would greatly reduce the cost now facing the City - only the year-to-year rental costs would only continue until a new tenant moves in.  
Finally, the City could devote the space to alternative community uses. In the Fall 2019, for example, a committee had formed to see whether a non-profit daycare could locate in Cabbagetown.  

Kristyn Wong-Tam’s role
The steps listed above need Kristyn Wong-Tam’s determined support.  So far, she isn’t showing this kind of determination. She needs to focus on the basic question - does this respite centre belong at 233 Carlton?  If the community wants change, it needs to keep pressure on her.  She was mistreated at the beginning of this process by City staff and she has complained about the process.  But she has not indicated that she considers the respite centre to be a bad idea.

What’s not included
According to the City’s plan, the next consultation steps will not include public discussions on the location itself.  Consultations will present the location as a done deal.
The next steps will also not include a large public meeting.  Staff and consultants have concluded that these are counter-productive.  

What to expect
The City has hired two professional “facilitators” - Joy Connelly and former City councillor Joe Mihevc. According to the plan, they’ll promote “active listening, clear dialogue and a focus on solutions.”
City staff want to know how the respite centre will fit into the neighbourhood successfully.  There’ll be a flurry of activities designed to “invite the community to join in planning for and welcoming the new service.”
There’ll be meetings with residents’ groups, the BIA, schools, school board trustees, health professionals and youth workers. And this process has already started.
Finally, there’ll be an open house where the community can meet the people who will run the facility, learn about its programs and express their concerns.
We may also see design charettes, focus groups, a community liaison committee, additional open house events and web-based information sources.
You can check out the full story about each step online here.  

Sign the petition
A petition to oppose the respite centre has been organized with a target of 2,500 signatures.  2,308 people have signed to this date.  

Another online petition supports the new respite centre.  To date, 308 have signed it.  

Emails can be sent to City of Toronto officials at the following addresses - use “233 Carlton” in the subject line.  The Mayor -  The City Manager -  Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam -


Trouble for the Cabbagetown Youth Centre
Photo:  Matthew Bingley, Global News
The CYC has been slowly sinking deeper into financial trouble.  A four-year $1 million grant from the Province has ended and has not been renewed.  
If the Centre doesn’t receive more help, it will be forced to close by March 2020. By the end of December, the after-school programs will close.  Its evening and weekend programs are no longer offered.  Former City Councillor Lucy Troisi returned to the CYC as its executive director after her term at City Hall but she is now working there as a volunteer.  
The CYC has asked Councillor Wong-Tam to help with an additional City grant for $350,000.  This will help with core programming and with staff salaries.

Support from City Council
Kristyn Wong-Tam has successfully introduced a motion that the City evaluate the programs and finances at the CYC.  A report is needed by mid-January.  She added an extra clause - that the City evaluate whether to take ownership of the CYC and report on this topic by mid-June.

GoFundMe for CYC
A GoFundMe drive has been set up to support the CYC’s After 4 program.  It gives kids a supervised, safe environment after school until 6 pm. Its activities include a homework club and tutoring, literacy instruction, skill-based athletics, recreational free play, hands-on math and science, music instruction, performing arts, nutrition and computer training. 
To make your donation, click here.  

The BIA’s Christmas kick-off celebration
The BIA’s annual street celebration of the Christmas season happened on Saturday November 23 at the corner of Carlton and Parliament.  There were horse-drawn carriage rides, treats from Epicure and No Frills, lots of kids’ activities with the Children’s Book Bank, a choir and, of course, a visit from Santa.  

A good crowd enjoyed the events.

Kids and cookies were everywhere.

Thanks go out to Lisa from the City of Toronto who kept a watchful eye to make sure that everyone was safe and to Christopher from the Cabbagetown BIA who put the program together.  

Cabbagetown Preservation Association
At its Fall meeting last Thursday, the CPA presented its annual Streetscape in Bloom award to the garden at 70 Amelia.
The CPA’s Recognition Award for an outstanding contribution to the community went to Tim Fry for his work on behalf of the Association.  
Following the awards, Robert Johnson, Laura Johnson and Stephanie Fernandes talked about Regent Park and its ongoing revitalization. 

Children’s Book Bank online auction
The Book Bank’s first-ever auction is online now until November 30.  The goal is $10,000 to use for gifts of free books to children and for events throughout the year.  There are, of course, book packages.  And tickets to the Leafs’ games, overnight stays at the Royal York, dinner at Woodbine, theatre packages, wine and cheese packages and lots more.  To view the auction details and to bid, click here

Christmas Market in the Distillery
This hugely popular Christmas event in the historic Distillery District runs to December 22, Tuesdays through Sundays.  Closed Mondays.  There’ll be locally produced crafts, unique foods, entertainment, Santa and the elves. Admission is free from Tuesday to Friday and $8 (advance) and $12 (at the gate) on Friday night, Saturday and Sunday.  To learn about the daily entertainment schedules and the vendor lists, go to the Market's website.  

Now we know where it comes from …
Witty observers at the BIA’s Christmas kick-off were saying that Gerty and Bae are the source of the recent crazy policies from the City of Toronto!


Home for rent
We have a furnished 2+1 bedroom home for rent, with parking, from mid-January 2020 to the end of June 2020 (or anytime within that time frame).  Rent is $3300/month.  Please email for more information.  

A great Christmas present - Keith Lawrance guitar lessons
Keith is giving one-on-one personalized guitar lessons.  Acoustic or electric. He's also added ukuleles to his repertoire.  He’ll meet you in his own home or, if you wish, he’ll come to yours for the lessons.  For your Christmas gift giving convenience, he's getting his gift certificates ready - enquire about them when you contact him.
Keith's had a life-long interest in music.  He graduated with a music diploma from Mohawk College and he’s recently revived a band who played together years ago.  
Check out his website for lots more info and for his rates. You can contact him at his website as well.  

Save these dates - extra info will be available soon. See more events listed in the Coming Events section

Allan Gardens winter flower show, Sunday December 1 to Monday January 6, Monday to Wednesday noon to 7 pm and Thursday to Sunday 10 am to 5 pm, Conservatory (19 Horticultural Ave, Jarvis and Carlton).
Regent Park annual holiday market, Thursday December 5, 5:30 to 8 pm, Paintbox Bistro (555 Dundas E).
Your Holiday Playlist by Singing Out, Toronto's LGBTQ+ Community Chorus, Saturday December 7, 3pm and 7:30pm, Jane Mallett Theatre (27 Front Street E).
Swedish Christmas fair, Saturday December 7 from 11 am to 5 pm  and Sunday December 8 from 11 am to 4 pm, Daniels Spectrum (585 Dundas E). 
Community carolling at The Tilted Dog.  Sunday December 22, 3:30 to 6:30 pm.  424 Parliament.

Listed by starting dates    

Christmas market at St Peter & St Simon Church
16 different vendors offering a variety of unique gifts plus members of the parish selling homemade baking, jams, jellies and crafts. In the morning there’ll be carollers, a performance by the children of Reaching Out Through Music, and a string quartet. There will be a kids corner, a cafe and a raffle at 2 pm with a number of prizes including a fabulous quilt made by a parishioner. Saturday November 30, 10 am to 4 pm, 525 Bloor E.

Bev Jenkins at One Of A Kind
Bev has Booth B34 and is displaying her paintings at the annual One Of A Kind show.  It continues to Sunday December 1 at the Enercare Centre (100 Princes’ Blvd, Exhibition Place).  Tickets are $15, seniors and youth at $8.50, available online.  

Impulse 2019
The School of Toronto Dance Theatre, 8 pm on November 28 to 30 and December 5 to 7.
Ensemble works that showcase dancers from all three years of the Professional Training Program at the School of Toronto Dance Theatre.
Winchester Street Theatre (80 Winchester), $22 General Admission, $17 Students/Seniors/CADA - online or call (416) 967-6887.

Cabbagetown South holiday party
Save the date.  This event is always a lot of fun.  Meet your neighbours and friends.  Wear a Christmas sweater.  Hors d’oeuvres and sweet treats.  Monday December 2, 6:30 pm, The Tilted Dog (424 Parliament).  Tickets are available online here. $10. 

Enoch Turner Schoolhouse founder’s dinner
Celebrate the opening of Toronto’s first free school, 171 years ago.  Music by Jordan Scholl and Lesley Bouza with pianist Ross Inglis.  Bruce Beaton, Master of Ceremonies.  Hors d’oeuvres, traditional Christmas dinner, wine.  $120, charitable receipt issued.  RSVP by December 2 to (416) 327-6997 or 

Corktown Residents & Business holiday party
The annual Corktown Holiday Party is here - silent auction, great company and fundraising for Anishnawbe Health. The party takes place in the new Aviary Brewpub and you'll be able to explore the new brewery as part of the Silent Auction.  There’ll be awesome goodies, partners and much more.  Thursday December 5, 7 to 9 pm, Aviary Brewpub (484 Front E)

Suze Morrison Christmas party 
Join our MPP Suze for light refreshments, kids activities and a chance to talk about provincial affairs.  Saturday December 7, 11 am to 1 pm, Constituency Office, 329 Parliament.

Strolling carollers  
Every year, an amazing group of carollers stroll door-to-door in the Winchester, Carlton, Sumach and Metcalfe neighbourhood.  They’re asking for donations for the St Luke’s Church food bank.  Watch for them on Sunday December 8 from 6:45 to 8:45 pm. 

Kristyn Wong-Tam’s holiday celebration
There’ll be good company, dancing, music, door prizes and holiday cheer.  Please RSVP by December 6.  Tuesday December 10 from 6 to 9 pm, St Lawrence Market Great Hall  (157 King E).  

Wintersong - Dances for a sacred season
Presented by the Canadian Contemporary Dance Theatre.  Seasonal dance inspired by the world’s rich solstice traditions.
Friday December 13 at 8 pm and Saturday December 14 at 2 pm.  Fleck Dance Theatre, Harbourfront  (207 Queens Quay W). Tickets and more info are available online.  

Soulpepper’s Family Festival
Soulpepper is bringing back three classics for the whole family over Christmas.  Peter Pan and A Christmas Carol are both on stage from December 6 to 24.  Tweet Tweet returns on December 27, 28 and 29.  These are very popular seasonal performances.  Tickets and info will be available at the Soulpepper website - click here.  


Cabbagetown Youth Centre
Photo:  Toronto Star 
The Toronto Star’s Jennifer Pagliaro has written a detailed story about the financial woes at the CYC (2 Lancaster).  She was given access to the CYC’s records and budgets and she combines these insights with summaries of the CYC’s programs.  Click here to read her story.  
An additional story from Global News is online here. Matthew Bingley’s report includes information that the boxing club will also face closure if the CYC shuts down.  


Santa’s coming to Pet Valu  
Spiffy up your dog, cat, rabbit and canary and bring it along for a fun-filled photo op.  Saturday November 30, 10 am to 4 pm and Sunday December 1, 11 am to 4 pm. 240 Carlton. $10

Christmas in-store and online
Kendall & Co has Toronto’s best selection of unique ornaments, a wonderful selection of toys and games for all ages, amazing party crackers, magical snow globes and adorable advent calendars. How lucky are Cabbagetowners to find this much Christmas joy so near and dear. Shop in-store and now online before they sell out!  On Instagram, follow  @kendallandco for their featured items
Open - Monday to Thursday from 10 am to 6 pm, Friday 10 am to 7 pm, Saturday 11 am to 6 pm and Sunday noon to 5 pm.

Workshops at Blooming Flower Bar
Anji still has two more workshops on holiday floral decorations and each one is a great experience for yourself and a great gift for someone on your list.  The topics include wreath-making (Thursday December 5 - $125) and centrepieces (Wednesday December 18 - $65).  Learn to make these arrangements and then take your creation home.  Snacks and supplies are provided.  See the website for more info and reservations. All workshops take place at Blooming Flower Bar,  559 Parliament.  


Art Market at The Tilted Dog
Save the date and drop in to the pub to view the crafts, jewellery, paintings and local baked goods.  Everyone is welcome. Saturday December 7 and Sunday December 8, noon to 5 pm daily.  424 Parliament.

PWA Joy Drive
The annual PWA food drive is happening at The Tilted Dog (424 Parliament).  Drop off non-perishables at the pub.

Listed by starting dates.

Citadel Dance Mix 2019
Citadel + Compagnie  (302 Parliament)
On stage to November 30
Website and tickets here.   (416) 364-8011   

Impulse 2019
School of Toronto Dance Theatre  (80 Winchester) 
November 28 to 30 and December 5 to 7
Website and tickets here.  (416) 967-6887   

A Christmas Carol
Soulpepper (50 Tank House Lane)
December 6 to December 24
Website and tickets here.  (416) 866-8666   

Peter Pan
Soulpepper (50 Tank House Lane)
December 6 to December 24
Website and tickets here.  (416) 866-8666  

Wintersong - Dances for a sacred season
Canadian Contemporary Dance Theatre
Fleck Dance Theatre, Harbourfront  (207 Queens Quay W)
December 13 and December 14
Website and tickets here.

Tweet Tweet
Soulpepper (50 Tank House Lane)
December 27 to December 29
Website and tickets here.  (416) 866-8666



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.


New Town
Oki Doki Karaoke
Social Smiths
7:30 pm, Cabbagetown Comedy Night with Robert Watson, $10.
The Tilted Dog
8 pm,  open mic finger style guitar sessions


Alice’s Place
9:30 pm, Karaoke
New Town
Oki Doki Karaoke


Alice’s Place
9:30 pm, karaoke
8 pm, DJ Tharen


Alice’s Place
9:30 pm, Karaoke


Stout Irish Pub
7:30 pm, Headscratchers Trivia

7 pm, Pub Stumpers Trivia
Mill Street Beer Hall
7 pm, Pub Stumpers Trivia
Stout Irish Pub
7:30 pm, Headscratchers Trivia


Alice’s Place
9 pm, Karaoke
The Tilted Dog
7:30 pm, Smart Ass Trivia with Porter


New Town
Oki Doki Karaoke
Tilted Dog
8 pm, live music with Jeff Barnes and Noah Zacharin


Alice’s Place
9:30 pm, Karaoke 
New Town
Oki Doki Karaoke


8 pm, James Stevens


Alice’s Place
9:30 pm, Karaoke


554 Parliament St, (647) 931-9088, 
17 Gristmill Lane, Distillery,  (647) 352-2766
354 King St E, (46) 901-1188
601 Parliament St, (416) 925-6330, 
500 Queen St E, (416) 366-5555, 
18 Tank House Lane, Distillery, (416) 203-2121, 
12 Case Goods Lane, Distillery
394 King E
454 Parliament St, (416) 925-4074, 
573 King St E, (416) 306-1986, 
95 Carlton Street, (647) 350-4787, 
478 Parliament St, (416) 928-1358
See below - The Tilted Dog
21 Tank House Ln, Distillery, (416) 681-0338, 
21 Tank House Ln, Distillery, 
413 Parliament Street
514 King E, (647) 350-6346,
555 Dundas St E, (647) 748-0555
480 Parliament, (416) 922-0769
326 Parliament, (647) 989-9127, 
574&1/2 Parliament
Young Centre, 50 Tank House Lane, Distillery, (416) 866-8666,
221 Carlton St, (647) 344-7676,
(Formerly The Local GEST)
424 Parliament. (416) 961-9425