The Pan Am Pup and her owner are trying to get photos with representatives from every country at the Pan Am Games.  Uploaded by: Shouldice, Alison

PAN AM PUP: The Distillery District’s resident canine superstar Dagny poses with the Brazillian national team, in town for the Pan Am Games. Photo by Sue Janzen.

Corktown eNewsletter for the week of July 27, 2015

A PAN AM ENDING: Time flies, doesn’t it? With the eruption of CN Tower fireworks and the thud of a Kanye West mic drop, the Toronto 2015 Pan Am Games came to an end yesterday, even though it kind of feels like they just started.

Thanks to the 23,000 (!) volunteers who worked so hard over the last few weeks to keep things running smoothly. And to the organizers of the cultural festivals — Panamania in the Distillery was great fun.

And thanks of course to the athletes for being such great Corktown guests.

A special shout-out to Dagny, the now-famous Pan Am Pup who made it her mission to get a photo with every country represented at the Games. You can read about Dagny’s mission here, and check her instagram account for all the photos.

For a good rundown of what’s changing now that the Games are over, check out this article in the Toronto Star. Of note: the HOV restrictions on highways change to only requiring two occupants starting Tuesday. Most other traffic restrictions will remain in place, as the ParaPan Am Games start on August 7 – just two weeks away!

MEMORIES OF PAN AM: Over at the website, our correspondent Dennis Kucherawy shares some of his amazing experiences as a Corktown resident during the Pan Am Games, including a stirring multicultural “Hey Jude” singalong. Sing it with me: Na Na, Na Na Na…

Click here to check it out.

SCREAM FOR ICE CREAM: This week is set to be ridiculously hot, so why not cool down with soft serve ice cream at Roselle Desserts (362 King East)?

Yep, ice cream.

After taking a month to develop their ice cream recipe — unlike a lot of places, they aren’t using a prepackaged mix — soft service is now available Thursday to Sunday, from 1 p.m. until they sell out. They’ve just introduced a Cream of Earl Grey flavour that features infused whole tea leaves as well as toasted milk notes.

Get there fast!

PAN AMERICAN FOOD FESTIVAL: For a different kind of Pan American experience, the Pan American Food Festival runs from Thursday, July 30 through to Monday, August 3 outside Daniels Spectrum in Regent Park. Sample food from 41 countries and enjoy great entertainment. All the details are online.


  • Our friends across the river in Riverside are hosting their next RIVERSIDE WALKS event on August 8, complete with the unveiling of their new Sports Legacy mural. Check out the details here.

Got a story about something going on in Corktown? Email



PASTA POWER:  Multiple Pan Am medal-winner Dominique Bouchard outside Corktown’s Fusilli restaurant. Photo by Dennis Kucherawy.

By Dennis Kucherawy, Corktown Correspondent 

Last Tuesday night in the Distillery District, I learned an important lesson in international relations.

To connect, understand and relate with people from other countries, you don’t need to study history, geography, economics or diplomacy. You don’t even need to study a foreign language. All you have to do is clap together and sing “Na, na, na, na.”  Shaking your tush while you do it doesn’t hurt.

It happened in the Distillery District, just down Trinity Street from the Athletes’ Village Welcome Centre, around a piano next to the Young Centre for the Performing Arts.

As I plunked out the notes to a classic rock ‘n’ roll tune, men, women, teenagers and children alike clapped together and sang along to “Hey, Jude.”

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SUMMER IN THE CITY: A shot from this past Saturday’s PAN AM POP-UP PARK held at Queen & River Street. The pop-up park was put together by The People’s Queen Street and #LivingToronto. Photo by Edward Nixon.

Corktown eNewsletter for the week of July 20, 2015

PANAMANIA: You’ve got a week left to enjoy the sights and sounds of PANAMANIA in the Distillery District! This week will see another great line-up of concerts designed to get you feeling the Pan Am spirit. Click here for the full list. 

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Pan Am Pop Up Park4

If you missed the promotion in our weekly eNewsletter, don’t miss this: there will be a Pan Am Pop-up Park at Queen East  & River Street this Saturday, July 18 between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m.

Presented by The People’s Queen Street and #LivingToronto Realty, this neighbourhood-wide event is COMPLETELY FREE! So stop on by and check it out!





CARRYING A TORCH FOR CORKTOWN: The Pan Am Torch is passed on Sumach Street in Corktown last week. Photo by Matt Elliott

By Dennis Kucherawy, Corktown Correspondent 

With French translator Asher McKenzie and Spanish translator Stephan Dyer


Last Sunday, my wife and I were driving on Front St. E. to do some grocery shopping in our trusty 1998 Honda Civic with its roaring engine:  “A-ringy-dingy-dingy!”

On the way, I lost count of the number of pot-holes we hit, rattling our bones.  It made me think how many gold medals would it take to fill them up?

Then, yesterday, I waited forever at the corner of Queen and Bay for a Neville Park streetcar.  After 20 minutes, it arrived and my wife and I gingerly stepped through the people riding in this can of sardines they call the Red Rocket.

Well, after 30 years of riding the 501 Queen (Humber) from my Corktown home, I’ve learned a few tricks.  One was courtesy of a beleaguered TTC driver who, exasperated, once again called out “Please move to the back, folks.”

“Yeah, c’mon people,” said a shaggy, bearded street person who had last bathed to celebrate the 1976 Montreal Olympics.  “That’s it, no cooperation,” he said, “that’s all you can expect in this life,” as riders uncomfortably shifted in the heat.

“There is one person, though, one person!”

“Uh oh, here comes the Jesus pitch,” I’m sure we partners in misery thought as we braced ourselves.

“Doug Henning!”


“I’m just an average guy,” he says, “and poof!  Hey, where’d the elephant go?”

We all looked at each other, some stunned, some laughing.  Hey, this guy could play Vegas. “We’re here all week.  Try the veal!”

Today, it’s gotten worse as people struggle to make their way to the back of a streetcar crowed with SUV-sized baby carriages, buggies overflowing with bags of purchases made at cheap seniors’ day at Shoppers Drug Mart and all sorts of characters.  Many of them haven’t bathed since the Blue Jays last won the World Series.

And now we have everyone in town for the PanAm/Parapan Games to add to the congestion.

Here’s a way to survive:

In the spirit of the game’s bonhomie, smile, nod friendly-like and sweetly sing “Getting to know you / Getting to know all about you…”  You’ll be surprised how fast it clears out…and you’ll get a seat!

For our PanAm guests, sing it in Spanish:

Empezando a conocerte / empezando a conocer todo sobre ti”

As well, here’s a handy glossary of phrases in the three official languages of the Games:  English, French and Spanish.

Shake hands, kids.  Make friends.  And make sure our Guests will always remember Toronto.

Be good.  If you can’t be good, be memorable!

Glossary – PanAm Games

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Pan Am Pop Up Park4

Corktown news & events for the week of July 13, 2015

POP-UP PARK: The People’s Queen Street has teamed up with #LivingToronto Real Estate to present a Pan Am Pop-up Park this Saturday, July 18 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Come by to experience this FREE neighbourhood-wide event at the corner of Queen East & River. Hope to see everyone there! You can RSVP to the event on Facebook here.

PANAMANIA @ DISTILLERY: The Panamania cultural festival continues this week. If you haven’t checked out the festivities in the Distillery District, you’re missing out. You can view the entire line-up of live music and performances here. Some highlights: on Friday, catch Eva Avila at 9:45 p.m. On Saturday, Molly Johnson takes the stage at 9:45 p.m. It’s totally free!

#NAVTO2015: The Neighbourhoods of the Athletes’ Village Guide — otherwise known as #NAVTO2015 — has been released for all athletes and visitors in town for Toronto 2015. Pick up a copy at local businesses throughout the area, or check out the online version. It includes a great rundown of Corktown businesses and attractions. It’ll make for a great legacy for the Games!

CORKTOWN KITCHEN: Corktown Kitchen, the neighbourhood’s newest eatery at 345 King East, got a great write-up by Toronto Life, complete with photos of their great food and drink.

LITTLE TRINITY MUSIC: Little Trinity Church’s Summer Concert Series grooves on! This week, on Thursday, July 16, catch Changui Havana in the outdoor space at 425 King East at 7 p.m.. It’s totally free — just bring a blanket or lawnchair and enjoy the tunes!

MUSIC AT WHITE ELEPHANT: Speaking of live music, Corktown’s White Elephant (366 Queen East) remains the place to check out for local live acts. This week, they’ve got Scott B. Sympathy on Friday, July 17. Check out their full event calendar here.

July TORP Poster

REGENT PARK MARKET: Good news for fans of last summer’s Regent Park Farmers’ Market! Our friends at the CRC have launched the Taste of Regent Park Good Food Market. Swing by the big park near Dundas & Sackville each and every Wednesday from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. for fresh, cheap and local produce, plus fun snacks prepared in the bake oven and a meal by local caterers.

FREE YOGA BY CHERRY STREET YMCA: If you enjoyed the FREE YOGA  offered by the team behind our future neighbourhood YMCA on Cherry Street (to open in mid-2016) you’ve got to check out the free classes they’re offering in St. James Park on Wednesdays throughout the summer from noon to 12:45 p.m. The details are online.

Got a story about something going on in Corktown? Email



Street Art Toronto is inviting all Corktowners to a celebration of the stunning new murals at Underpass Park next Monday, July 13 from 4-6 pm. Come on down to the park on Lower River Street for the formal ribbon cutting, light refreshments and the opportunity to take lots of photos!

Check out the Facebook event page.

Looking forward to seeing everyone next Monday!


PAN AM READY: The Athletes’ Village for the 2015 Pan Am / ParaPan Am Games is ready for action. The opening ceremonies to the Games will take place on Friday, July 10. Photo by Dan Philips.

PAN AM TIME: If it’s somehow escaped your notice, be advised: the Toronto 2015 Pan Am Games will start this week, with the opening ceremonies held at Rogers Centre on Friday, July 10. A new block of tickets for some of the most popular events just went on sale today, so grab ’em while the grabbing’s good.

In addition to the athletic events, PANAMANIA will also be taking place across the city with arts and cultural goings-on. For a good list of events, check out BlogTO’s round-up.

CHAT WITH US: Members of the Corktown Residents & Business Association board will host an online discussion about our Corktown neighbourhood this week. They will touch on the history of the neighbourhood and how residents and business associations can impact urban development.

To join, download the Plaza app – free from the AppStore for iOS devices. The chat will take place on Tuesday, July 7 at 7 p.m. EDT.

DOMINION ON QUEEN ABDICATES: BlogTO has some more details on the future plans for the Dominion on Queen. As we reported earlier this year, the building has been sold. The new owners are the Pegasus Group, who have leased the pub space to FAB Concepts, who operate the Mill Street Brew Pub, the Brazen Head, Murphy’s Law and other establishments. They plan to open in the fall — we’re looking forward to having a pint.

FLAME SHACK HEATS UP: Corktown burger join Flame Shack (506 Queen East) got a great write-up in the Toronto Star last week, on the heels of our story by Dennis Kucherawy. Starting tomorrow, July 7, owner Saber Chowdhury is set to offer an expanded menu — be sure to pay him a visit.

90 SUMACH: Local filmmaker Jeremy Benning and his director partner Francis Luta have produced an amazing documentary about the history of 90 Sumach, the original CBC design building that was converted into condo lofts. It’s well worth a look.

BALA UNDERPASS ART: Street Art Toronto is looking for public input into a new mural planned for the Bala Underpass — the tunnel entrance to Corktown Common off the Lower Don Trail. Four designs are being considered. Fill out the survey here — you have until July 12 to submit feedback.

RIVER CITY DOG PARK: Urban Toronto has some details on a new dog park being constructed by developer Urban Capital for River City residents. Lucky dogs.

In other dog news, you can access the new leash-free area (part of Corktown Common) this summer from Bayview.

ORPHAN BLACK: Corktown locales make frequent appearances in the BBC America series Orphan Black. Over at Torontoist, they’ve got a rundown of the locations used for Season 3. See if you can find your house!

flyer7 copy

POP UP SHOP: Studio Visuals at 503 Queen East is launching a Corktown Collection of Creatives Pop-Up Shop. It debuts with an Opening Reception this Friday, July 10 from 7 to 10 p.m. After that, you can visit every weekend (Friday, Saturday & Sunday) between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. during the Pan Am & Para Pan Am Games.

CONCERT SERIES: The Little Trinity Church Summer Concert series starts this Thursday, July 9 at 7 p.m with a performance by The Young Novelists. Swing by Little Trinity Park to enjoy the outdoor tunes — bring a blanket or lawnchair. All are welcome and the event is free.

The concert series will continue on Thursdays throughout the summer. Check out the flyer for the line-ups.

PICNIC AT TRINITY: The fun doesn’t stop at Little Trinity Church. On Friday, July 10, join day camp attendees for a picnic in the park at 5 p.m. The event will also include big screen viewing of the Pan Am opening ceremonies in the church’s sanctuary. Details are online.

PHOTO SERIES: Starting this Monday, July 6 and running through to August 15, Preservation House (461 King East) will host a photo exhibit spotlighting Corozal & Howard Jason’s Borinquen, with images dedicated to the missionary who championed sport activity in Puerto Rico. Details are online.

RIVERSIDE WALKS: Our friends across the river are hosting RIVERSIDE WALKS on Saturday, July 11, with a historical walk, a sidewalk sale and more. Details are online.


  • The minds behind People’s Queen Street are planning a Pop-Up Park at Queen & River for Saturday, July 18 and Sunday, July 19 between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. You can check out the Facebook event here. We’ll have more details soon.

Got a story about something going on in Corktown? Email



TRUE COLOURS: Underpass Park gets painted as part of the Live Art Festival held on June 20. Photo by metrix_feet.

Corktown eNewsletter for the week of June 29, 2015

DAY PARTY PHOTOS: BlogTO has a great set of photos from the Corktown Day Party & Live Art Festival held June 20. Check ’em out — and make sure you go to Underpass Park and take in the murals! They really transform the space.

RIVER CITY PHASE TWO: At Urban Toronto, check out the construction update on River City Phase Two as it nears completion. It’s looking great.

CANADA DAY THOUGHTS: To quote Jon Stewart, “I don’t trust any country that looks around a continent and says, ‘Hey, I’ll take the frozen part.’” Corktown Correspondent Dennis Kucherawy has compiled a bunch of famous Canada quotes to inspire you this Canada Day. Check it out here!

ADORNMENTS ON QUEEN’S PAN AM SALE: Our pals at Adornments on Queen (338 Queen East, at Parliament) are offering a special summer sale in celebration of the Pan Am/ParaPan Am Games. For the duration of the PanAm/ParaPan Games, participants and attendees will get 25% off all purchases, on presentation of ID or ticket stubs! That’s a deal worth carrying a torch for.

EXTENSION ROOM SUMMER SALE: Meanwhile, the Extension Room (30 Eastern) has a summer sale on NOW, where you can get two months of UNLIMITED CLASSES for just $150 per month. Details are online.

CORKTOWN COFFEE: Speaking of great deals, don’t forget that Sparkplug Coffee has an amazing promotion on now for Corktown Residents. For a limited time, a portion of sales from every coffee purchase made in the Corktown area will go to the Corktown Residents & Business Association for neighbourhood improvement projects. It’s a win/win proposition — you get to support your community and get fresh coffee delivered right to your door. The details are online.

PAN AM GAMES: In case you somehow missed the memo, the Pan Am Games kick off with the opening ceremony on Friday, July 10. In preparation, the new HOV lanes on major highways started today. See this map for details on affected lanes.

KINKY BOOTS, REVIEWED: Over at, our own Corktown Correspondent Dennis Kucherawy reviews Mirvish’s production of KINKY BOOTS, calling it “absolute fun and joy.” For the sounds of it, you’d be a fool to miss out on seeing this show this summer. Check out Dennis’ in depth review here.

ADVERTISERS WANTED: Are you a Corktown business or service provider? The CRBA is currently looking for advertisers for our Corktowner newsletter, our website and our weekly eNewsletter. It’s a great, affordable way to let the enthusiastic and good-looking Corktown community know about your products and/or services.

For our NEW newsletter advertising rates and sizes, click here. 

For details on online sponsorships, including your opportunity to sponsor this eNewsletter, click here.


  • Our friends at Little Trinity Church will kick of their Summer Concert Series on Thursday, July 9 at 7 p.m. with a performance by The Young Novelists. The details are online.
  • Our friends in Riverside host Riverside Walks on Saturday, July 11, with guided tours and a sidewalk sale. Click here to learn more.
  • With the Pan Am Games comes Panamania, a city-wide art and music festival. Check out the great line-up of concerts and cultural events taking place in the Distillery District — you’ll want to check it out.
  • Remember! No CRBA meetings in July or August. The next meeting will be held in September.



TRUE NORTH: Dennis Kucherawy’s unique, self designed T-shirt.  Being made at Corktown’s LOGO MAJIK

By Dennis Kucherawy, Corktown Correspondent 

Blog post courtesy of

Canada– Some Laughs and Poignant Insights About the Greatest Country in the World

“I don’t trust any country that looks around a continent and says, ‘Hey, I’ll take the frozen part.'”

– Jon Stewart

Happy Canada Day to all our dear friends…

As we ramp up to our country’s 148th birthday, here are some funny and profound observations about our home and native land.

Enjoy and ponder them, maybe over a beer at Odin …a plate of mouthwatering, red and white pasta with friends at Giuseppe Pelligra’s Fusilli Ristorante… or delicious burgers at Saber Chowdhury’s Flame Shack…maybe while watching fireworks… or maybe just sitting quietly contemplating a silent, placid lake in the Muskokas… chilling, waving at the lake and letting the lake wave back.

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