Shooting on Parliament Street
Last Saturday morning at 5:30 am, a Mercedes SUV was parked carefully at the curb near 519 Parliament.  It was shot up.  Fourteen bullets struck the vehicle.  The back tires were blown out, the rear window was shattered and there were holes all over the passenger`s side. No one has been reported injured and there were no obvious blood stains in the car.
It all happened very quickly.  One local merchant heard the sounds, went outside but didn`t see anything and concluded that someone was just banging on a dumpster.
Apart from that summary, there`s been no information about the event.  Nothing in the media or from the Toronto Police Service. 
In the absence of any reports, a couple of theories have been nurtured locally.  The first theory involves a gang attack against some outside criminal entrepreneur who`s being warned to stay away from local turf.
The second theory involves a ``hot pillow event``- a jealous lover who shot up the car belonging to a partner who`s been stepping out.
Anyone with real information is asked to call (416) 808-5100.  51 Division is investigating.

Trip to Honduras
If you enjoy yoga and scuba diving, then Angela from Sundara Studios (492 Parliament) has an ideal winter trip for you.  She`s taking a tour to X-Balanque in Roatan Honduras from January 28 to February 4.  (That`s her in the photo at the resort`s infinity pool.)  The booking deadline is rapidly approaching so you should contact her quickly to learn more and make your reservation.  For details and contact info, visit her website.

Another cultural highlight
Cabbagetown’s annual Christmas sing-a-long took place last Sunday at the Ben Wicks (424 Parliament).  The crowd was in a great voice.  We belted out our Jingle Bells and Deck The Halls with great enthusiasm.  Credit goes to Jeff Barnes and Noah Zacahrin whose leadership of the choir inspired everyone to give their best.  Kudos as well to Robert and the Wick`s staff (Benoit provided a French version of Oh Holy Night.)  Our sympathies go out to Robert as well - while we indulged our vocal talents, he quietly struggled with a backed-up sewer and kept it under control for us.

51 Division success
Every year, the staff at 51 Division host a toy drive.  For three weeks before Christmas, people drop off a gift at the police station and the toys are then distributed to families in the area through several local agencies.  Their 2012 drive set a record - almost 400 toys were collected.  Congratulations to everyone who helped – the officers at 51 Division, the Community Police Liaison Committee and the generous members of our community.

It`s here again
Winter`s soft caress has arrived. 
For a bit of warmth, we`re offering up these pictures of the Wellesley Cottages from mid-August and last night.

Fifteen restaurants, pubs and clubs are listed here.  Each listing has contact information, reservation requirements, hours, menus, entertainment details and prices.


12 Amelia Street, (416) 323-0666
Named by Where Magazine as Toronto Best Italian Restaurant in 2012. Three stars in 2012 by Toronto Life Magazine. Globe & Mail’s Top Ten Restaurants of 2011.
Hours & Reservations:  8 pm to 1 am – reservations please.
The regular menu’s seasonal items are all available including the chef’s specialty, salumi, plus all antipasti choices, four selections for primi piatti and six desserts.
New Year’s Eve specials
Special primi piatti
A serving of six oysters has been added for New Year’s Eve.
Special entrees
·        Wild mushroom and Molise truffle risotto
·        Venison loin with Jerusalem artichoke puree, roasted Jerusalem artichokes, parsnips and Brussels sprouts
·        Pan seared halibut with endive baragou
All pastas, breads and salumi are made in-house and we are pleased to feature local Ontario produce when available.
Prices:  Salumi at $20 and $28, antipasti from $12 to $18, primi piatti at $17 or $23, New Year’s Eve specials at $28 or $35, and desserts at $9.

Dunc's Midnight Dance Party
454 Parliament Street, (416) 925-4074
Hours & Reservations:  Reservations please, at (416) 925-4074
·        Roasted yellow pepper soup
·        Roasted tomato soup with Serrano cream
Second course
·        Maché salad with spiced rum soaked figs, walnuts, chèvre champane vinaigrette
·        Beef carpaccio with baby arugula, shaved parmigiano reggiano, truffle oil
·        Grilled coriander & ginger jumbo shrimp with chili mango coulis, Cookstown micro greens
·        Seared beef tenderloin with a black truffle foie gras sauce with chèvre & double smoked bacon scalloped potato, roasted heirloom carrots
·        Candied pepita crusted rack of lamb with roasted pumpkin purée, heirloom carrots, rosemary port reduction
·        Lobster, leek & mascarpone ravioli with François Lichtlé pinot gris & tarragon beurre blanc, charred green onions (can be substituted with a roasted pumpkin & mascarpone ravioli)
·        Seared black bass with blood orange & pomegranate salsa, caramelized fennel, grilled vegetable wheatberry salad
Dessert selections
La Plume Prosecco
Prices:  3 courses for $60 and 4 courses for $70

195 Carlton Street, (416) 921-1255 & 
Hours & Reservations :  8:30 pm to midnight (plus) – reservations needed.
An evening of champagne tastings and succulent hors d’oeuvres. Party favours and music.
Six fine sparkling wines and champagne will be offered. Individually priced by the 2 oz taste, 5 oz glass or 750 ml bottle.
Hors d’oeuvres
·        Torchon of fois gras, wild huckleberries
·        Wild boar sliders, maple syrup carmelized onions
·        Duck confit rillete, cherry conserve
·        Wild mushroom and smoked emmenthal sandwich
·        Panko shrimp, hoisin and ginger dip
·        Buttermilk fried chicken
·        Scallop ceviche
·        Late night sweet table, coffee and tea included.
Prices:  The sparkling wine and champagne are priced individually. Hors d’oeuvres plate at $48 per person.

533 Parliament Street, (647) 352-3788
Hours:  Noon to 11 pm
Regular selections are available.
Two New Year's Eve specials:
Sake & sushi
Bubbly & sushi
Prices:  Specials are $15 each.

241 Carlton Street, (416) 920-8991
Hours:  noon to 10:30 pm - reservations please.
New Year's Eve special
4 options for 2 people.
Each option has 5 courses.
Omi Sushi is licenced and serves sake, wine and beer.
Price:  $36.99 - $39.99

507 Parliament St, (416) 962-8190
Hours & Reservations:  5 pm to midnight (plus) – reservations please.
Three course prix fixe.
Green salad, Caesar salad, Greek salad or roasted butternut squash soup.
Main courses
Choose from five entrees:
·        Grilled organic veal rib chop, seasoned, grilled to your liking with a triple reduction balsamic vinegar. Served with fresh vegetables and baked rice or mashed potato.
·        Classic peppercorn steak. AAA grade, 10 oz New York strip loin steak aged for 28 days, grilled to your liking with a lassic mushroom peppercorn sauce. Served with fresh vegetables and baked rice or mashed potato.
·        Grilled halibut fillet. Seasoned and grilled to perfection, with sautéed leek champagne cream sauce. Served with fresh vegetables and baked rice or mashed potato.
·        Chicken supreme al forno. Roasted breast of seasoned chicken supreme with Portobello mushroom, grape tomato and sherry cream sauce. Served with fresh vegetables and baked rice or mashed potato.
·        Vegetable agnolotti pasta. Sweet potato stuffed agnolotti pasta with seasoned leeks and mushrooms in a light tomato cream sauce.
Carrot cake, chocolate mousse cake, raspberry chocolate truffle cake, red velvet cake, pecan pie, or strawberry rhubarb pie.
A glass of bubbly will be served at midnight.
Prices :  Three course prix fixe from $22.99 to $28.99.

452 Gerrard Street East, (416) 515-8424
Hours:  From 11:30 am. Open late (until the phones stop ringing.)
Menu & Prices:  Regular menu selections.

446 Parliament Street, (416) 920-8424
Hours:  11 am to 10 pm
Menu:  Thai food. Regular menu plus New Year’s Eve specials.
Prices:  Specials at $15 to $20.


Red, Hot & Blues New Year’s Eve
500 Queen Street E (at Sumach), (416) 368-6893

For information –
Hours & Reservations:  Dinner & show - doors open at 7:30 pm, dinner at 8 pm. Show only- doors open at 8:30 pm, show at 9:30 pm. Reserve early - limited number of tickets available for each package.
Three course AAA prime rib dinner. Start with a mixed green salad. Main course is a AAA prime rib with garlic mashed potatoes and tossed vegetables. Chocolate fudge cake for dessert.
Get ready for a Red, Hot & Blues New Year’s Eve with Gary Kendall Band & special guests Braithwaite & Whiteley. Joining Gary in his band are Tyler Burgess (drums), Shakey Dagenais (organ & piano) and Darran Poole |(guitar). Gary is a veteran Canadian vocalist, bassist, songwriter, band leader and member of the Downchild Blues Band. View Gary’s website here.
Prices:  Dinner & show at $100, show only at $35. Reserve your tickets online at the website or call (416) 368-6893.
Carla Collins
488 Parliament Street, (647) 347-6567
Hours:  Two shows, 7 pm and 9:30 pm. Dancing after 11 pm.
Buy them at the Pubaret or online.
When you have your ticket, you must reserve your table –so speak up at the Pubaret or else call (647) 347-6567.
If you want to show up for the dancing party any time after 11 pm, we’d love to have you if there’s room.
Carla Collins entertains. Two shows – 7:00 (dinner and show) and 9:30 pm (dinner, show and dancing). Dancing with DJ Trizzy V from 11 pm. Complimentary bubbly.
Come for the dancing after the show – 11 pm onward.
Prices:  Show tickets are $25. Plus, there’s a $30 minimum charge for food and drinks for the early show and $35 for the late show. Dancing party after 11 pm, $5.
Dinner & Reggae Night
555 Dundas Street East, (647) 748-0555
Hours & tickets:  Dinner and after party from 7 pm to 2 am.  After party and bubbles at midnight from 9:30 pm to 2 am.
Oysters amuse
First course
·        Potato risotto, elephant garlic and smoked mushrooms
·        Ham hock and tomato soup, truffle
·        Smoked salmon, antipasto, arugula.
Main course
·        Braised short ribs, cauliflower, red cabbage, piccalilli
·        Roasted butternut squash, kale, wheat balls
·        16 oz halal striploin, fondant potato, vegetable for two
·        sea scallop, mushroom soy broth
·        Banana cream pie for two
·        Lemon curd
·        Chocolate mousse
After dinner party and midnight bubbles – 9:30 pm.
Prices:  Tickets for dinner, after party & midnight bubbles -$55.  After-party & midnight bubbles only - $20.
51a Winchester Street (east of Parliament), (416) 323-0051
Hours & tickets :  5 pm to 3 am.  Tickets, please. You can purchase your tickets at the Pub ahead of time.
One King (a blend of Motown, soul, R & B and Funk), dancing, party favours and champagne and seafood spread at midnight.
Menu:  Three-course steak and lobster dinner. Champagne and seafood at midnight.
Prices:  Dinner and dancing, $60.  Dancing after 10 pm, $20
221 Carlton Street, (647) 344-7676
Hours & tickets:  8 pm to 2 am.
Tickets, please - online at  or at the Pub ahead of time.
Regular menu items available.
Bubbly at midnight.
Entertainment:  Dancing, party favours and midnight toast.
Prices:  Tickets are $10. Food – entrees from $10 to $15.
424 Parliament Street, (416) 961-9425
Hours:  5 pm to closing at 3 am.
The chef will prepare New Year’s Eve specials. In addition, all items listed on the regular menu are available.
Entertainment:  From 9 pm, DJ John and dancing
Prices:  Entrees range between $15 and $19. No cover charges.
554 Parliament Street, (647) 931-9088
Hours:  Noon to 3 am
Menu:  Regular menu items available. No cover charge.
Entertainment:  Karaoke on main floor and entertainment and party on second floor
Prices:  No cover charge.

December 20 - Serving Cabbagetown & the Downtown East Neighbourhoods

First - a couple of quick announcements

Make a Christmas gift
Like many people, you may want to make a donation to a local agency that works here in our community.  If so, click here or on the poinsettia (in the right sidebar) to find a list of services in our area and a description of their programs.

Are you planning a New Year’s Eve event?
Click here or click on the champagne bottle (in the right sidebar) for a list of fifteen restaurants, pubs and clubs where you can celebrate the New Year.  They’ve prepared dinner, dancing, entertainment and parties for you, everything from a night of champagne tastings to funk bands, formal dinners to pajama parties. 

Neighbourhood news

Accident at Carlton and Parliament
Photo: CityNews
On Tuesday morning, two people were crossing Parliament on the north side of the intersection at Carlton when they were struck by a tow truck turning onto Parliament from Carlton.  They were taken to Sunnybrook Hospital and are still there.  The woman is in very serious condition in the intensive care unit.  The man is battered and bruised but not suffering from life-threatening injuries.  No charges have been laid.  Traffic Services at the Toronto Police Service is asking anyone who saw the accident to call them at (416) 808-1900. 
This intersection badly needs some serious fixing.  It’s a mess.  Cars turning east onto Carlton have to dodge carefully through Parliament traffic.  Pedestrians and cyclists have to navigate traffic coming unexpectedly from three directions. 
For years, the BIA and residents have raised the issue with Councillor Pam McConnell and City of Toronto officials.  It’s not enough for City officials to shrug and say that it’s a tough case.  It’s time for them to get serious and fix this problem.
In the meantime, our best wishes go to the two victims for a speedy and complete recovery.

Nighisti Semret police progress report
To date, the police are not offering any new details about the investigation of Nighisti Semret’s murder.  In October, they asked residents to think about possible links to her attacker and they appealed for our help to identify this person.  We can contact Detective Sergeant Gary Giroux at (416) 808-7387 or (416) 808-7400 or Crime Stoppers at (416) 222-TIPS (8477).  In late October, D/Sgt Giroux said “Someone in the area knows who this is and they need to call us right away.”

Community events

Christmas concert with the Corktown Chamber Orchestra
The orchestra’s Christmas concert happens tonight, Thursday, at 8 pm at Little Trinity Anglican Church (475 King St E).  The program includes Leroy Anderson’s Sleigh Ride, Bach’s Brandenburg 5 and a reading by Martin Gwynn Jones.  There’ll be carol singing with the audience.  Tickets for adults are $10 (children free) and the proceeds go to Little Trinity Church in appreciation of their hospitality throughout the year.  The orchestra has a website where you can learn more about the program and see a short video.

The Mayans say that the world ends tonight
And now, in Cabbagetown, we’ve got two places where you can sit back and enjoy the carnage.  Stout Irish Pub (221 Carlton) has a pajama-and-tragedy theme.  Anybody wearing PJs will be eligible to win the last door prize in recorded history.  It starts at 8 pm and there’ll be a farewell champagne toast at midnight.
Patrons at Alice’s Place (554 Parliament) will sing away the night with karaoke.

Christmas sing-a-long at The Wicks
Jeff Barnes and Noah Zacahrin are leading the mass choir at The Ben Wicks (424 Parliament) on Sunday December 23, starting at 4 pm.  Jeff and Noah will have their guitars, there’ll be an open mic and lots of audience participation.   It’s time to bring your family, enjoy a break from the pre-Christmas stress and soak up the Christmas spirits with your friends and neighbours.

The Flying Beaver’s 1st Annual Holiday Charity Variety Special
Heather and Maggie are staging their Special during this weekend’s program at the Flying Beaver Pubaret (488 Parliament).  Entrance is on a Pay-What-You-Want basis.  The proceeds from the door go to the designated charities – Sick Children’s Hospital, Women’s College Henrietta Banting Breast Clinic, Support Our Youth and the Stephen Lewis Foundation.
On Friday at 9 pm, Diane Flacks brings musical comedy.  On Saturday, there are two shows, Marla Lukowsky at 7 pm and at 9 pm Shelley Marshall.  The fourth performance on Sunday features Becky Bays.  Click here to read all the details.

Open on Christmas Day
Cranberries (601 Parliament) is welcoming guests for a full Christmas dinner. There’ll be two sittings at 5 and 7:30 pm.  It’s a traditional Christmas feast.  Start with cream of butternut squash soup or organic greens with balsamic vinegar.  Oven roasted turkey is the main course, served with mashed potato, fresh seasonal vegetables, cranberry sauce, stuffing and gravy.  Warm apple pie and ice cream for dessert.  $24.99.  It’s a popular event so book now, (416) 925-6330.
Alice’s Place (554 Parliament) is also open, from 11 am to 2 am.  Alice is planning a low-keyed day with lots of warm hospitality.  On Christmas Eve, she’s having a party with karaoke and  lucky draw.
One-stop holiday shop
Kendall & Co (227 Carlton) has great items for your party celebrations, for your table settings, for your mantle and for your Christmas tree decorations.  You’ll find gifts for your friends and family.  See their top picks or shop online.  Open 10 am to 6 pm Monday to Friday, 11 am to 5 pm Saturday and noon to 4 pm Sunday.
Welcome Kingyo
Photo: Renee Suen, Toronto Life
After a lot of work renovating the old Stonegrill site, Kingyo has opened in their new Cabbagetown location (51B Winchester).  They’ve built a very beautiful room with seats for 120 people.  They’ve landed with a splash – Toronto Life’s The Dish did a very nice article about the location, the menu and the people who’re working there. They’re open daily from 5:30 to 11:30 pm.  You can see more at Kingyo’s website and make your reservations at (647) 748-2121. 
Last minute and gorgeous
If you need a last-minute gift, Eclectisaurus (249 Gerrard) has gorgeous items in stock now.  This one is a Poole pottery vase from England, circa 1970, shape number 15. The vase is glazed in green with an abstract floral pattern in black outline, highlighted with touches of bright yellow and orange. Signed by Anita Lawrence.  You can see more at Leslie’s website.
Lookin’ good…
The Paintbox (525 Dundas St E) is becoming a good place for people-watching.  This week, Daniels Corp’s Mitch Cohen was caught chatting conspiratorially with Chalo Barrueta from UforChange.