January 19

 CABBAGETOWN NEIGHBOURHOOD 

REVIEW




WINTERLICIOUS


It’s back  

As the Winterlicious promotion says, “Travel the world with your taste buds.”  For two weeks, over two hundred restaurants will offer three-course meals at lunch and dinner for special prices.  Eight of them are near us.  There are more in nearby neighbourhoods and you can view all the participating restaurants across the city on its website.  There are six price brackets for each meal ranging from $20 to $55 for lunch and $25 to $75 for dinner.  The individual restaurants’ menus, hours and prices are also listed on their websites. Reservations are now open. Here’s the contact list - click on the name of your favourites.  

Blake House (449 Jarvis) - Lunch $27, dinner $35


Boku (42 Gristmill Lane, Distillery) - Lunch $34, dinner $45


Butter Chicken Factory (560 Parliament) - Lunch $27, dinner $35


Cluny Bistro (35 Tank House Lane, Distillery) - Lunch $48, dinner $65


Dominion Pub & Kitchen (500 Queen E) - Lunch $27, dinner $35


F’Amelia  (12 Amelia) - Dinner $45


Maison Selby (592 Sherbourne) - Lunch $48, dinner $65


Pure Spirits (17 Tank House Lane, Distillery) - Lunch $41, dinner $55



LOCAL NEWS


Cabbagetown real estate - update

Hilary Browning from Sage sees a market that’s very sensitive to interest rate changes. There’s a lot of hesitation from both buyers and sellers.  Local sales reflect the general Toronto experience - “Prices are down from their peak in February 2022, days on market are rising and buyers are expecting to negotiate… it's likely the slower market of the latter half of 2022 will continue into the first half of 2023.” Exceptional homes are still getting noticeable attention because buyers are still out there.
Kimberley Ezeard at Sotheby’s feels that sales activity has perked up. People are tired of waiting and just want to get on with it. They’ve adapted to the new lending environment. It’s been a very busy couple of weeks for her and she expects this activity to continue after the Bank of Canada’s next interest rate announcement.

Winchester School fundraiser

Monday January 23,  6:30 pm.  Every year, F’Amelia (12 Amelia) supports Winchester Public School by hosting this fundraiser.  F’Amelia covers all the costs so 100% of your ticket price goes to the school and you get a tax receipt for the full price.  It’s a great idea and a great evening for meeting your friends, gossiping and enjoying delicious dinner and drinks.  F’Amelia wants you to come “hungry”.  Don’t miss it -  get your tickets now at the door, at (416) 323-0666 or by email. $100.

French-language school trustee by-elections

These by-elections will be held on Monday January 23 from 10 am to 8 pm.  They fill vacancies in the French public school board, Conseil scolaire Viamonde (Ward 3 – Centre), and the French Catholic school board, Conseil scolaire catholique MonAvenir (Ward 4 – Toronto Est).  Advance polls happen on Saturday January 21 and Sunday January 22 from 10 am to 6 pm.  Voters can go to any one of the voting sites - the nearest is at the Regent Park Community Centre (402 Shuter).  The MyVote website gives more details.

Outdoor skating rinks

The City of Toronto operates three rinks in our area - Regent Park (480 Shuter), Riverdale Park East (550 Broadview) and Sherbourne Commons (61 Dockside). Check the City’s lists before heading out to the rink - weather conditions may affect the ice.

Sally Gibson’s Tidbit

Today’s item is Sally’s final Tidbit - it's very sad and we'll miss her.  Appropriately, she highlights a book that gives us considerable insight into Cabbagetown life at the end of the nineteenth century.

Cabbagetown Regent Park Museum Historical Tidbit

By Sally Gibson.   The Cabbagetown Store.  John Verner McAree was a successful journalist for the Mail & Empire and Globe & Mail during the first half of the 20th century. He owed his success, at least in part, to being more-or-less raised by his Uncle John and Aunt Polly Verner. They lived in and operated what McAree called in his 1953 book, the Cabbagetown Store. It’s a wonderful and evocative book about growing up in the old Cabbagetown (now Regent Park) during the 1880s and ‘90s.  “The store was our home,” McAree noted nostalgically in the first chapter. It was on the east side of Parliament, north of St David Street. From his perch in the store, McAree could monitor not only life in the store but also life on the street outside. He observed his gentle, argument-avoiding Uncle John tidy up the store, mix tea and welcome customer. And his tiny Irish Aunt Polly take-down the largest, burliest. behind-in-pay male customer, keep track of accounts and take-in numerous relatives and those down-on-their-luck. He also watched the seamier side-of-life outside, like a proper Bobby rough-handling a drunken lout down to No. 4 Police Station. (Yes, watchers of Murdoch Mysteries, Cabbagetown’s police station was No. 4). 

The little store, eventually, failed. They couldn’t match the loss leaders and lower prices of the department stores. They did have one advantage: They were willing to give credit. But, as McAree put it, “Credit made them and credit destroyed them.” Too many customers failed to pay-up.  (Image:  The Cabbagetown Store long after the Verners,  1953.  TPL r-1586)


NEIGHBOURHOOD UPDATES


More info coming soon


The Oben Flats project (307 Sherbourne) for the corner of Gerrard and Sherbourne was sold even before the first shovel hit the ground.  The new owners are Forum Asset Management.  So far, there’s no info available about the new plans or the target date for its opening.


The Women’s Respite Centre (233 Carlton) has been delayed by both a zoning appeal (which failed) and then the COVID emergency. Councillor Chris Moise’s office confirms that the plans for the centre remain the same. There’s some confusion about the opening date - one website at the City of Toronto says “2023” and the Councillor’s office has been told “2024”.


595 - 601 Parliament, the home for Cranberries, is slated for residential additions on three storeys above its current retail and office levels.  It’s received approvals but there’s been no action on the actual construction.  


A few years ago, a real estate firm drew a speculative image of a condo on the current Esso site to promote its sale.The realtors haven’t responded to follow-up queries just yet.


The Parliament Street Library.  Earlier this year, Toronto Public Library made the official announcement that the Parliament Street Library (269 Gerrard E) will move to Regent Park.  It’ll be part of the Phase Four and Five developments by Tridel.  The new library will have 23,000 square feet and feature a list of expanded services.  The tentative location is the south side of Gerrard opposite Gifford and Nasmith.  No firm dates have been set but the library is aiming for some time in 2026 or 2027.  The current location will close.  


IN THE MEDIA


Allan Gardens Food Bank

The Food Bank operates every Thursday from Saint Luke’s Church (353 Sherbourne).  It’s often supported by local groups in Cabbagetown.  Dhriti Gupta has done a story in the Toronto Star about the pressing need for its food and the volunteers who staff it.


COMING EVENTS


Danny Marks’ Smoke Show

Saturday January 21, 4 to 7 pm, 744 Mount Pleasant.  Danny regularly visits the Smoke Show on the first Sunday of every month at 3 pm. This is an extra Saturday that’s been added to his routine.  Don’t miss it.

Apres ski weekends

Saturdays and Sundays from noon to 6 pm from January 21 to March 19.  There’ll be Muskoka chairs, fire pits, marshmallows, beer, wine, hot drinks and tasty menus.  Put away your boards and grab your toque.  In the Distillery at Trinity Square.

Repair Cafe

Oops - last week, the wrong date was listed for The Repair Cafe at Central Neighbourhood House (349 Ontario).  It’ll be held on Friday January 20, 11 am to 1 pm.  The theme is repairing your small appliances.  Register at (416) 925-4363, ext 103 or by email

Vermicompost workshop

The Friends of Allan Gardens are hosting a vermicompost workshop - learn what composting does, dispel the myths and find out how to build a composting bin.  Container kits are available for sale.  1 pm on Sunday January 29.  Allan Gardens Conservatory (Carlton and Sherbourne).  Pre-registration is required.


KIDS NEWS


Storytelling in the Park

The Children’s Book Bank (585 Dundas E) is hosting storytelling in the Conservatory in Allan Gardens (Sherbourne and Carlton).  Saturdays - January 21, February 18 and March 18 from 11 am to noon.  All families are welcome, free books for every child. 

CampTO

The City of Toronto has released its list of CampTO programs.  This list gives parents time to decide which ones to use for their family.  The actual registration opens at 7 am on Saturday February 11.  Online registration is suggested.  There are five community centres where in-person registration is available - the Wellesley Community Centre (495 Sherbourne at Wellesley) is the nearest one.  


THEATRE & DANCE NEWS - JANUARY


Aki Studio (Daniels Spectrum, 585 Dundas E) - Martyr.  January 13 to 29


Alumnae Theatre (70 Berkeley) - Vanya & Sonia & Masha & Spike. January 20 to February 4.


Canadian Stage (26 Berkeley) - Miigis:  Underwater PantherJanuary 22 to January 29


RESTAURANT NEWS 


Happy birthday Stout

Stout Irish Pub (221 Carlton) has a birthday on Thursday January 19 from 7 to 10 pm. Erin is holding a Birthday Bingo night. Lots of games, prizes, food and drinks. The Bingo is free to play. Congrats, Erin, for making such a fine pub here in Cabbagetown! 

Tequila tasting and dinner

Enjoy rare and hard-to-get tequilas paired with special dinners.  Every Tuesday to the end of March.  For more info about the featured bottles and for reservations, click here.  El Catrin (18 Tank House Lane, Distillery).

Cyril’s soup

Cyril will be making his regular deliveries every two weeks from now on.  Today’s soup is available next week on Saturday January 28.  He’s happy to handle your special orders (12 or more cups) in the meantime and you can continue to email these to him.  His next soup is carrot, miso and ginger using only carrots, onions, miso, ginger, allspice and lime.  $3.50/cup for 3 to 9 cups and $3/cup for 10 or more.  His juice is pineapple, apple and basil, 2 cups for $9.50. Please place your order by Wednesday January 25.  Send him an email.

WEEKLY CALENDAR - CLUBS & PUBS


THURSDAY JANUARY 19 TO SUNDAY JANUARY 29

  • For contact info about these clubs and restaurants, see the list at the bottom of this page.  

THURSDAY JANUARY 19


Dominion

6:30 pm, Pubstumpers Trivia


Bolokelen Malinke Percussion

7:30 pm, Group drumming classes for beginners with Anna Melnikoff


Stout Irish Pub

7 pm, Birthday Bingo and celebration


FRIDAY JANUARY 20


Alice’s Place

9 pm, Karaoke 


Super Bargain

10 pm, DJ Shame


Wing House

9 pm, Karaoke


SATURDAY JANUARY 21


Bolokelen Malinke Percussion

Noon, traditional West African drumming classes with Amadou Kienou


Distillery

Noon to 6 pm, Apres Ski Weekends in Trinity Square


SUNDAY JANUARY 22


Distillery

Noon to 6 pm, Apres Ski Weekends in Trinity Square


Dominion

6 pm dinner and 7 pm, stand-up comedy


MONDAY JANUARY 23


F’Amelia

6:30 pm, Winchester School Fundraiser with wines from a wide range of regions and vintages. Pizza and canapés will be served.  (416) 323-0666 for tickets.  


Stout Irish Pub

7 pm, Headscratchers Trivia


TUESDAY JANUARY 24


El Catrin

6:30 pm, Tequila tasting and dinner


Stout Irish Pub

7 pm, Headscratchers Trivia


Golden Pigeon

7 pm, live music and oyster specials


WEDNESDAY JANUARY 25


Bolokelen Malinke Percussion

7:30 pm, traditional West African drumming classes with Amadou Kienou


Stout Irish Pub

7 pm, Euchre night


THURSDAY JANUARY 26


Dominion

6:30 pm, Pubstumpers Trivia


El Catrin

6:30 pm, Tequila and dinner tasting events.


Bolokelen Malinke Percussion

7:30 pm, Group drumming classes for beginners with Anna Melnikoff


FRIDAY JANUARY 27


Winterlicious

January 27 to February 9.   In our neighbourhood, eight restaurants are joining - F’Amelia (12 Amelia), Butter Chicken Factory (592 Parliament), The Selby (560 Sherbourne), Dominion Pub & Kitchen (500 Queen E), Cluny, Pure Spirits and Boku (all three in the Distillery) and The Blake House (449 Jarvis).


Alice’s Place

9 pm, Karaoke


Super Bargain

10 pm, DJ Shamz


Wing House

9 pm, Karaoke


SATURDAY JANUARY 28


Bolokelen Malinke Percussion

Noon, traditional West African drumming classes with Amadou Kienou


Distillery

Noon to 6 pm, Apres Ski Weekends in Trinity Square


SUNDAY JANUARY 29


Aviary

Noon to 6 pm, Community Market with brews, brunch and a Maker’s Market.


Distillery

Noon to 6 pm, Apres Ski Weekends in Trinity Square


Dominion

6 pm dinner and 7 pm, stand-up comedy


CONTACT INFO


Alice’s Place - 554 Parliament

Aviary - 484 Front E

Bolokelen Malinke Percussion - 243 Gerrard E

Cranberries - 601 Parliament

Dominion - 500 Queen E

El Catrin - 18 Tank House Lane, Distillery

House on Parliament - 454 Parliament

NJ Lounge - 507 Parliament

Stout Irish Pub - 221 Carlton

Super Bargain - 441 Parliament

Wing House - 420 Parliament