April 28

This week’s image:  The Forsythia Festival


There's an open house in a classic Victorian on Salisbury.  Click here to read about it.


Forsythia Festival King and Queen
This year, the Festival and the Cabbagetown Residents Association are saluting JoAnne Arcand and Abdul Alhesayen.  They established the Cabbagetown Neighbourhood Association for Syrian Refugee Assistance.  The group undertook fundraising and received enough to sponsor a family and to donate more through the refugee program at Central Neighbourhood House.  The family is now here with one child in school and two more at home.  Volunteers are helping them get settled and integrated into Canadian life.  Thanks to JoAnne and Abdul for their leadership and hard work. 

It’s here - and it’s bringing a reluctant Spring season with it.  Weather forecasts for the day are good - lots of sun, cool but not chilly.  
Opening parade, 10 am, Riverdale Park at Winchester and Sumach- a fun walk through neighbourhood streets with a band,a police escort and lots of people wearing colourful costumes
11 am - events start at Wellesley Park (east end of Wellesley Street)
3 pm - the day wraps up.

Kids program
It’s a big success for little kids.  There’s a bouncy castle, bean bag toss, parachute game, dangling donuts and lots of arts and crafts

Grown ups
Gossip is the main item on the agenda. The Festival provides plenty of opportunity to stand around, talk to your friends, tell outrageous stories and shake off the winter’s isolation.  There’s a bbq, a beer garden and free coffee.

A DJ will be on hand.  The whole family can visit the photo booth.  The police and fire departments will have cars and trucks available for everyone to inspect.

Raffles and prizes
There’s greed-inspiring stuff to be won!  An overnight stay for two at the King Edward Hotel.  A dinner for four at Little Shmiddy’s and a gift certificate for 420 Smokehouse.  Claudia Salzmann, Jordano Skin Care, Laurie Ward shiatsu, Hair Spa by Nano and Star Nails - they promise to do soothing things for your body.  A bike and a tune-up from Cycle Solutions, a month’s membership at the Cycling Gym, gift certificates with Jennifer Snowdon Yoga - all of these will wear off the excesses from your day in the park.  In total there are over two dozen prizes to be won. You can’t win if you don’t buy a ticket…


Public art on the waterfront
Waterfront Toronto presents a walk through the new public art and the new West Don lands community.  May 6 and 7, 10:30 am, Underpass Park (River Street south of King).

Cabbagetown South
This is the first of the season’s ROM Walks in Cabbagetown South.  It covers workers’ cottages, Spruce Court Co-op, Trinity Medical School and the revitalized Regent Park.  Starting point - Parliament and Spruce, Wednesday May 4, 6 pm.  

Regent Park, a neighbour’s tour
Kate Sellars looks at the revitalization that’s happening in Regent Park and at the ways that residents are actually using the new facilities.  Meet at 10 Cole, May 7, 10 am.  

Walk with me
Discover St James Town.  Visit the library, the community centre, Rose Ave public school and Food Basics.  Learn how the community provides services that help people to live together cheerfully.  Meet at the Library, 495 Sherbourne, May 8, 11 am.

Imagine a garden in every school
Visit five schools where gardens have been established.  Meet teachers and students to learn how gardens enrich the students’ lives.  Meet at the Sherbourne Subway Station, Bloor and Sherbourne, May 8, 1 pm.

Whisky, wharf and windmills
A ROM Walk through the Distillery.   Meet at Queen and Power, in front of St Paul’s Basilica, May 8, 2 pm.


Team Bloch clothing drive
Liora and Daniel are starting up their third annual Spring clothing drive.  Please call before May 1 to arrange a pick-up of your special donation bags.  Gather up the clothes, shoes, hats, gloves and toys that you don’t need anymore and bag them.  Then place the bags on your porch - Sunday May 8 is the main day for pickups.  All clothing gifts will be used by Oasis Addiction Recovery programs for people in need.  Call (416) 859-8649 and email info@teambloch.com 

Community Environment Days
The City of Toronto hosts these environment days to make it easier for us to get rid of awkward unwanted household items.  Computers and peripheral equipment, electronic stuff and hazardous waste. You can also take along goods for recycling to schools and items to donate to other people for reuse. For a full list, check out the City’s website here.  The first one in our area happens on Saturday April 30, Lower Sherbourne Park (Frederick St).  

TorGEN launch
Our MPP and Ontario Minister of the Environment & Climate Change, Glen Murray, is launching TorGEN. It’s a platform for residents, businesses and community groups to track their emissions, to learn about available resources and to work with each other on a sustainable community plan.  Monday May 2, 7 pm, 39 Parliament, 11th floor.  Free.  The new TorGEN website includes an emissions calculator that helps each of us to figure out what our emissions levels are and how to control and reduce them.  Click here.  

An evening with Elizabeth Hay
The Children’s Book Bank presents an evening with bestselling author Elizabeth Hay.  Tickets  are $100 and they include a copy of Hay’s latest book, His Whole Life.  Tuesday May 3.  Reception with wine and appetizers at 7 pm.  Author’s presentation at 8 pm.  To buy your ticket online, click here.  Daniels Spectrum (585 Dundas E)

The Extension Room
The Allegro Marathon Challenge is a special two-hour cardio class with Jennifer Nichols.  It’s a high energy session that includes all the elements of The Extension Method.  ALLEGRO Ballet Bootcamp defines classical ballet ‘with an edge and an extra kick’, building cardiovascular stamina and muscular endurance. This is a dynamic full body workout conducted away from the barre for an added balance challenge. Plié, jeté and pirouette your way to strength and length!  Sunday May 1, 11:30 to 1:30 pm, $25.  30 Eastern Avenue.  Book your spot online here.  

Prenatal Yoga
Yoga classes that prepare you for your child’s birth.  Learn breathing techniques and safe poses to strengthen muscles used during childbirth and to reduce common discomforts such as back aches.  No previous yoga experience necessary.  These classes run for eight weeks on Fridays from April 29 to June 17, 6:15 to 7:30 pm at the Toronto Birth Centre (525 Dundas E).  Five classes $99, eight classes $160.  Lots of details and registration available online.   

A reminder - School Board trustee nominations
Toronto District School Board is holding a by-election in our community. Nominations are open until 2 pm on Friday May 6.  The rules governing eligibility and the procedures for filing nomination papers are outlined here.  

Waterfront Toronto arts programming
Photo:  Connie Tsang, Waterfront Toronto
Waterfront Toronto is developing a pilot program to encourage public arts events along the waterfront - dance, music, theatre, visual arts, performances and more. Up to $5000 will be awarded to artists and groups for proposals that  celebrate the new public spaces and draw audiences into them.  Check out the details here.  

Toronto Challenge
Philip Unrau from Central Neighbourhood House (349 Ontario) is walking in the Toronto Challenge to support the CNH Seniors Program and he’s asking for our donations.  The program offers hot meals to a shut-in person, rides to medical appointments and day programs for Alzheimer and stroke clients.  It also provides home care, daily reminder phone calls, checks to ensure that clients are healthy and home visits to push back loneliness and isolation.  To donate,  click here.  

Brenda’s step classes
Brenda has given us her schedule for her classes at the Cabbagetown Youth Centre (2 Lancaster - behind the Beer Store).  As usual, her Sunday classes are at 11 am and Wednesdays at 9:15 am.  Drop-ins are welcome.  Classes are scheduled for Sundays May 1, 8, 15 and 29 and for Wednesdays May 4, 11, 18 and 25.  Please note that there will not be a class on Sunday May 22 and Wednesday June 1. 

CONTACT Photography Festival
The 2016 Contact Photography Festival gets underway this weekend and runs in various locations across the city until late summer.  There are 20 primary exhibitions, 20 public installations and over 130 featured and open exhibitions.  The online program gives details.  Click here.  
The local exhibitions are happening at the Daniels Spectrum (585 Dundas E), Evergreen Brick Works (550 Bayview, Suite 300). the Urban Gallery (400 Queen E) and Vistek (496 Queen E). 

Congrats to Atia Pokorny
Photo:  Atia Pokorny
Atia was trained as an architect in her Czech native home.  When she came to Canada, she became an arts conservator and a self-taught photographer.  She’s a member of Gallery 44 and her work will be shown at Ellipsis (1313 Queen W) from April 27 to May 8 as part of the 2016 CONTACT exhibitions.  For the show, she’s chosen works that document the transformation of a downtown Toronto building site.

A reminder - photography at The Local GEST

Photo:  Peter Merry

The three-man photography show by Derrick Fulton, Peter Merry and Richard Smith is continuing at The Local GEST (424 Parliament).  Landscapes and urban settings.  


Toronto’s cottages

Photo: blogTO

Derek Flack, writing in blogTO, takes a look at the cottage homes found across the city.  Cabbagetown and Corktown both have outstanding examples of this style.  Read his article here.  

Lunch with Free the Children
Photo:  Dan Pearce, Inside Toronto
On Friday April 22, staff from Free the Children set up tables in Allan Gardens and distributed free lunches to people who asked.  It’s a tradition with the organization.  Justin Skinner has written about their project in Inside Toronto.  Click here to read his story.  

Soulpepper’s new plans
J Kelly Nestruck in the Globe & Mail wrote about the expansive new plans afoot at Soulpepper announced at the theatre company’s annual meeting - a new building, several new artistic commissions and a tour into New York.  Click here for the story.  


Juan Chioran at Stratford
Juan Chioran returns to the Stratford Festival this season in two musicals.  From April 30, he appears as Zach in A Chorus Line and from May 21, he’s Count Carl-Magnus Malcolm in A Little Night Music.  Click here to see the official Festival program and to buy your tickets.  

The students at the School of Toronto Dance Theatre present new works by  Sharon B Moore, Darryl Tracy, Kate Alto, Robert Desrosiers and Massimo Agostinelli along with a remount of Christopher House’s Vena Cava. April 28 and 29, and May 5 to 7 at 8 pm.  Winchester Theatre (80 Winchester).  Tickets are 420 and $15, available online.  

Gathering Momentum
The School’s year-end fundraising gala,  April 30 at 7:30 pm.  $50.  Tickets and more info available here.  

Bryce Kulak Spring Fling
A new Soulpepper Cabaret evening.  Bryce Kulak brings his music from film and stage with Tom Allen on trombone and surprise special guests.  Saturday April 30, 8:30 pm, $25.  For tickets and more info, click here.  

Two short plays at Canadian Stage
Botticelli in the Fire and Sunday in Sodom - two new one-act plays by Jordan Tannahill.  On stage now until May 15.  Berkeley Street Theatre (26 Berkeley).  Tickets and more info here

Quiet Revolution
A collection of monologues, songs, movement and brave hearts by THE AMY project.  Berkeley Street Theatre (26 Berkeley), April 29 and 30.  PWYC.  Tickets available online.  

Against Nature/A Rebours
Coleman Lemieux presents the second in a series of music/dance/theatre pieces by James Kudelka.  It features original music by James Rolfe, libretto by Alex Poch-Goldin and book by Joris-Karl Huysmans.  May 5 to 7 and May 11 to 14 at 8 pm and Sundays May 8 and 15 at 4 pm.  The Citadel (304 Parliament).  Tickets are $50, available by phone at (416) 364-8011, ext 1 and online.  

Save the date - SING
SING, The Vocal Arts Festival returns to Toronto from Wednesday May 4 to Sunday May 16.   Concerts, performances and workshops happen all across the city and feature international stars, a cappella workshops and lots of outdoor performances.  Free concerts will start on Saturday May 7 and Sunday May 8 in The Distillery’s Trinity Square and continue in the Dance Makers Studio (Third Floor, 9 Trinity Street) and in Little Trinity Church (425 King E).  For concert schedules, go to the SING website.  


The sweet smell of success
Kendall & Co (514 Parliament) introduces Grass Roots. It’s made here in Cabbagetown by Amanda and her dog Olive at Woodsmoke & Olive.  It’s a vegan soy wax, kosher certified and biodegradable and pesticide free.  Fragrances are sourced locally from small businesses in Ontario.  Shop local at Kendall from 10 am to 6 pm weekdays and 11 am to 5 pm on Saturdays.   

NOW Magazine’s  Readers’ Choice 
Every year, NOW conducts a lengthy poll of its readers asking which business, which personality and which social service is the best in a wide variety of categories.  If you like online voting, you’ll really love the NOW poll. And it makes a difference - businesses and restaurants all enjoy stronger customer responses when they can brag that they’ve been nominated. 
It’s getting organized now.  This is your first chance to speak up.  Nominate your favourite in one or all of the categories.  Later in the summer, you’ll be able to vote for the actual choice. Our local winners have included House on Parliament, Stout Irish Pub, Daniel et Daniel and the Distillery District.
Click here to get started.  

This week and next week, this list will feature the special menus and events at our restaurants for Mother’s Day on May 8.  The list will expand next week as more events are announced.

Do you love your Mom?
Win $500 in the NOW Cabbagetown Mom contest plus a gift package from Cabbagetown restaurants and merchants valued at $700.  Just tell the world in 500 words or less why your Mom is the best.  The contest ends on Monday May 2.  To enter, click here.  

F’Amelia (12 Amelia) is open for both lunch and dinner on Mother’s Day.  There’s an adult and a kids’ menu.  Grown ups can enjoy three courses -  antipasti including beef carpaccio, arugula or fig salad, main  dish choices of green risotto, bigoli, octopus linguine, oven baked lasagna and several pizzas.  There’s tiramisu, lemon brulee tart, pana cotta and a flourless chocolate torte for desserts.  $39 prix fixe.  The kids get a fruit plate or arugula salad followed by cavatelli or margherita pizza and two scoops of homemade gelato for dessert - $19.  

Dinner at Fusilli (531 Queen E) from 4 to 9 pm - authentic southern Italian cuisine.  There’ll be a special menu, complimentary rose and dessert for her.  Reservations at (416) 214-5148

The Local GEST
Mother’s Day brunch will feature a special menu.  Guests are welcome to stay afterward to enjoy Sunday afternoon jazz.  Seating is limited so reservations are advised - (416) 961-9425. 424 Parliament.

Mill Street Brew Pub
Mother’s Day brunch begins at 10:30 am.  Treat her to a great beer and a delicious brunch. The Brew Pub has a special gift for her as well.  21 Tank House Lane, Distillery.

Peartree (507 Parliament) has its usual amazing menu - both a la carte and as a three-course dinner.  There’s roast rack of lamb, arctic char, roasted chicken breast, prime rib and sweet potato stuffed agnolotti.  For a full meal, add a soup or salad plus dessert.  Reservations at (416) 962-8190


  • 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.


8 pm, Katey Gatta
The Irv
Geoff Willingham, live acoustic music
Mill Street Brew Pub
7 pm, Beer and cheese pairings with acoustic music
7 pm, Seven-course collaborative with OGPyramid Organic & Fair Trade Tea


8 pm, DJ Frankenzstein
11 pm, Fuse Lounge Fridays, Grown & Sexy 30s - Wade O Brown Trio
Mill Street Beer Hall
8 pm, Friday Nights with DJ Humble Mike
Mill Street Brew Pub
6:30 pm, Beer school with Dan North, $25


8 pm, Lost & Sound
11 pm, Fuse Lounge Fridays, Grown & Sexy 30s
Mill Street Beer Hall
9 pm, Saturday Nights with DJ Humble Mike
Soulpepper Cabaret
8:30 pm, Bryce Kulak Spring Fling, $25


Alice’s Place
4 pm, Karaoke with Vee
Corktown Kitchen
11:30 am, Jazz at Sunday brunch with Dakota (guitar) & Matt (keyboard)
Local GEST
4:30 pm, Sunday afternoon jazz with Diane Roblin Trio


Local GEST
7:30 pm, Euchre night with Joane
Stout Irish Pub
7:30 pm, Headscratchers Trivia


Stout Irish Pub
7:30 pm, Headscratchers Trivia


Alice’s Place
9 pm, Karaoke
The Local GEST
7:30 pm, Smart Ass Trivia with Porter
Paintbox Bistro
7:30 pm, Corktown Ukulele Jam


8 pm, Strome-DancKert Duo
The Irv
7 pm, live music with Geoff Willingham
The Local GEST
8 pm, Jeff Barnes and Noah Zacharin
Mill Street Brew Pub
7 pm, Beer and cheese pairings with acoustic music
Paintbox Bistro
Generation Z EP release party


8 pm, DJ DXB
11 pm, Fuse Lounge Fridays, Grown & Sexy 30s
Mill Street Beer Hall
8 pm, Friday Nights with DJ Humble Mike
Mill Street Brew Pub
6:30 pm, Beer school with Dan North, $25


8 pm, Ayerhart Roofing Company
11 pm, Fuse Lounge Fridays, Grown & Sexy 30s
Mill Street Beer Hall
9 pm, Saturday Nights with DJ Humble Mike
Soulpepper Cabaret
8:30 pm, Lara Solnicki and Rob Piltch, $25


Alice’s Place
4 pm, Karaoke with Vee
Corktown Kitchen
11:30 am, Jazz at Sunday brunch with Dakota (guitar) & Matt (keyboard) Local GEST
4:30 pm, Sunday afternoon jazz with Zim Zum 


554 Parliament St, (647) 931-9088, https://www.facebook.com/alicesplacetoronto
354 King St E, (46) 901-1188,  https://www.facebook.com/CorktownKitchen 
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, http://fusedining.com 
95 Carlton Street, (647) 350-4787, https://www.facebook.com/theirvpub/
584 Parliament St, (416) 961-1600, https://www.facebook.com/ 
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/
568 Parliament, (416) 323-9381, https://www.facebook.com/MurgatroidTO
514 King W, (647) 350-6346, https://www.facebook.com/odinhus
555 Dundas St E, (647) 748-0555, https://www.facebook.com/PaintboxBistro/
Young Centre, 50 Tank House Lane, Distillery, (416) 866-8666,
568 Parliament St, (647) 351-1533,