Corktown Meeting Poster - Feb 2016

Corktown, Toronto eNewsletter for the week of February 1, 2016

AGM TIME: It’s that time of year again. This Tuesday, February 2 — yes, Groundhog Day — is the Corktown Residents & Business Association Annual General Meeting (AGM). It will take place from 7 to 9 p.m. at Little Trinity Church Annex (King, just east of Parliament).

All Corktowners — new and old — are encouraged to attend. It’s your opportunity to vote for the Board of Directors for 2016.

We’ll also be considering changes to the board bylaws to allow board members to serve five consecutive terms. Currently, board members are limited to three consecutive terms. You can read about the proposed changes here.

There will be your standard flurry of community updates, as well. Don’t miss it!

CHERRY STREET CLOSURE: Waterfront Toronto has sent us this construction notice regarding a local road closure. The Northbound lane of Cherry Street from Lake Shore Boulevard to the rail overpass will be closed on Wednesday, February 3. The closure is expected to last two weeks. You can read the notice below.

CONSTRUCTION NOTICE 3 - Northbound Lane closure on Cherry Street from Lake Shore Boulevard to the Lake Shore Rail Corridor

EXPERT ESPRESSO: Corktown’s own Sumach Espresso made NOW Toronto’s list of notable new coffee shops. It’s a great spot to stop for your caffeine fix.

DOWNTOWN RELIEF LINE: A Corktown subway stop? According to a report by the Globe & Mail’s Oliver Moore, the city planning department is recommending that the oft-discussed downtown relief subway line run along Queen East, with a station proposed for Queen & Sumach. Obviously this is a long, long way from actual construction, but an interesting development, for sure.

FROM OUR CORRESPONDENT:’s Dennis Kucherawy reminds us that Grammy, Tony and Emmy nominee Alan Cumming will take the stage this weekend at the Winter Garden Theatre. Get the scoop at


  • Looking ahead to Valentine’s Day, our pals at the Extension Room are offering a thematically appropriate Partner Yoga Workshop from 4 to 6 p.m. on Sunday, February 14. Details are online.
  • DEFENDING THE CAVEMAN comes to Corktown’s Alumnae Theatre starting February 11. You can get tickets online.

Got a story about something happening in Corktown? Email



LIT UP: A dusk-set look at the public art installation on the corner of Cherry & Eastern. Photo by Dan Philips.

Corktown, Toronto eNewsletter for the week of January 25, 2016

DOMINION DAY: The freshly-renovated Dominion Pub is hosting their grand opening celebration this Thursday, January 28 from 6 to 9 p.m.’s Dennis Kucherawy had all the details for you last week. There will be snacks, giveaways and music — and, of course, a great, fun local pub vibe. RSVP to to reserve your spot.

FROM OUR CORRESPONDENT: Speaking of ace journo and local resident Dennis Kucherawy, here’s what he’s been covering lately:

  • Toronto was a winner at the Oscar nominations. The nominees included former Corktown resident Stephan Moccio, nominated for best song alongside Toronto’s The Weeknd, and the film ROOM, which picked up four big nominations and was filmed right here in Toronto, with many scenes filmed right across the river at Bridgepoint Hospital.
  • Speaking of ROOM, one of its stars, Tom McCamus, is set to take the stage at thew Groundling Theatre on the Danforth with a production of Shakespeare’s THE WINTER’S TALE. Dennis has the details.
  • For songandscript,ca, Dennis talks to musical wizard Colleen Allen — who produced Soulpepper’s 2013’s production of Rebel Rebel: The Music of Davie Bowie — about the life, career and legacy of the man also known as Ziggy Stardust, in an exclusive interview.

WDLC MEETING: The monthly public meeting of the West Don Lands Committee is set for tonight — Monday, January 25. Please note that the meeting this month will be in a different location, with the proceedings taking place at 80 Mill Street in the 2nd floor amenity room (entry code 1145).

On the agenda this month: a presentation from the Gardiner East Environmental Assessment team on new proposals for improving the Jarvis to Cherry corridor. The meeting goes from 7 to 9 p.m.

FUSILLI WINE TASTING MENU: Longstanding Corktown favourite Fusilli Ristorante is hosting a Four Course Wine Tasting Menu this Wednesday, January 27 at 6:30 p.m. Menu and details are on their website.

NEED A LIFT: Lift Crossfit has started to gear up for their planned Spring 2016 launch of their crossfit studio at 508 King East. You can learn about their plans and programs at their website.

ON STAGE: On stage this week, you can continue to catch Alumnae Theatre’s production of STEPPING OUT. Tickets are online. At the Young Centre for the Performing Arts, Soulpepper has COWBOY VERUS SAMURAI debuting on Tuesday, January 26. Ticket information is on the Young Centre website.

You can also get tickets for DEFENDING THE CAVEMAN, an “hilariously insightful, interactive play about the ways men and women relate.” It runs from February 11 through February 26 at Alumnae Theatre. Details are on the show’s website.


  • The Corktown Residents and Business Association Annual General Meeting is fast approaching. Join us on Tuesday, February 2 at Little Trinity Church Annex (King East & Parliament) between 7 and 9 p.m. as we look back on the year and elect a new board of directors. Members will also be asked to vote on a bylaw amendment allowing board members to serve for five years. We’ve posted amendment details on our website. 
  • Corktown’s Cahoots Theatre is hosting a SIGNature Gala event at SIGNS Restaurant & Bar. The event will be a celebrating of community, the arts and deaf culture, with proceeds going to support Cahoots’ programming. Details are on their website.

Got a story about something going on in Corktown? Email


“Mini-Me” Shakespeare at Intimate Coal Mine Theatre, Previews begin this Tuesday, Jan. 28th


By Dennis Kucherawy,

As the world this year celebrates the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare, Toronto’s new Groundling Theatre launches its first production of the Bard at the popular, intimate Coal Mine Theatre at 1454 Danforth, slightly west of Coxwell Ave.

Unlike productions distinguished by pageantry, opulent sets and lavish costumes in theatres seating 1,800 and more, this inaugural production of “The Winter’s Tale” takes place in a storefront theatre seating approximately 80 people with a 10-member cast. If Mike Myers’ spy Austin Powers had been theatrical, he might have called it “mini-me” Shakespeare.

Continue reading »


Hooray for Hollywood! Hooray for Former Corktown Composer Stephan Moccio! Hooray for Bridgepoint Hospital and “Room”!


CORKTOWN CRED: Academy Award nominee — and former Corktown resident — Stephan Moccio. Photo courtesy

By Dennis Kucherawy,

Stephan Moccio, former Corktown resident and hit pop composer, is just one of several Canadians who got a sprinkling of stardust on Thursday, January 14 when he received a Best Song Oscar nomination for co-writing “Earned It,” a song from the movie “Fifty Shades of Grey.”

And Toronto got further tinsel town glory when the critically and publicly acclaimed movie “Room,” shot here in November/December 2014, received four nominations including Best Picture.

Continue reading »



SEVEN YEARS OF UKES: Steve McNie, co-founder/host of the world famous Corktown Ukulele Jam, poses with a cake marking the Jam’s 7th anniversary. Photo by Dennis Kucherawy.

Corktown, Toronto eNewsletter for the week of January 18, 2016

CRBA BYLAW CHANGE: At the upcoming CRBA AGM, members will be asked to consider a change to the CRBA by-laws permitting board members to serve a maximum of five consecutive years on the board. Currently the limit is three consecutive years. A full copy of the bylaws with the proposed changes is available on our website. We’re looking for your feedback.

DOMINION PUB LAUNCH: The newly re-opened and revamped Dominion Pub is set to celebrating their grand opening on Thursday, January 28. Our own Dennis Kucherawy has tracked down some details for

UKE CAKE: Also from correspondent Dennis Kucherawy is a report from the 7th anniversary celebration of the Corktown Ukulele Jam, held last week in Regent Park at Paintbox Bistro.

HEALTHY ROAD SALE: The Healthy Road at 518 King East has a sale on protein powders and meal powders for the month of January. Pay them a visit and save 15%.

FUSE RESTAURANT: Fuse Restaurant Entertainment Emporium is set to take over the White Elephant restaurant space on Queen East. Keep tabs on their website for future info.

CAFES OF CORKTOWN: Two Corktown coffee shops made BlogTO’s list of the Best New Cafes in Toronto in 2015. Congratulations to Odin Cafe + Bar and Sumach Espresso. (CORRECTION: An earlier version of this post referred to Sumach Espresso as Broadview Espresso. Though they’re both great, Sumach Espresso is of course the one that calls Corktown home.)

GARDINER CONSULTATION: The public consultation regarding the future of the Gardiner Expressway East continues this Tuesday, January 19 from 6:30 to 9 p.m. at the Toronto Reference Library. You can RSVP online.

LIVE MUSIC: The Dominion Pub continues to offer up live music. This week, catch the Strome-Danckert Duo on Thursday, Drunk on Sunday on Friday and Scully and the Crossbones on Saturday. The full line-up is on the Dominion website.

ON STAGE: Soulpepper’s Twelve Angry Men debuts at the Young Centre for the Performing Arts on Tuesday, January 19. It runs through Saturday, February 13. You can get tickets online.

This Friday, January 22 will see Alumnae Theatre’s newest production, as STEPPING OUT debuts on their stage. It runs through February 6. Tickets? They’re online.

EXTENSION ROOM OPEN HOUSE: Rescheduled to a new date, the Extension Room — Corktown’s favourite dance and fitness studio — will host their annual WINTER OPEN HOUSE this Saturday, January 23 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Swing by for five dollar classes, door prizes, treats and more. The details are online.


  • Fusilli Ristorante on Queen East has a Four Course Wine Tasting Menu on January 27 at 6:30 p.m. Just $60 per person. Reservations are required — see their website for details.
  • The CRBA will be hosting our next public meeting on Tuesday, February 2 from 7 to 9 p.m. at Little Trinity Church Annex. The meeting is our AGM so we’ll be electing a new board of directors. Interesting in serving as a business rep or resident? Email

At our upcoming Annual General Meeting on Tuesday, February 2, members of the CRBA will be asked to consider amendments to the organizational bylaws that will change the maximum consecutive term length of an elected board member.

Currently, board members can stand for election a maximum of three consecutive years. After three years, they cannot be re-elected to the board for a one year period.

The amendments propose allowing board members to stand for election for a maximum of five consecutive years.

Executive positions would still face a three year term limit, so no board member could serve as president, vice president, secretary or treasurer for longer than three consecutive years.

In addition, the amendments propose that each committee of the board must contain at least one board member.

You can view the CRBA bylaws with the proposed amendments here.

Members will be asked to vote on these changes at the meeting on February 2. It will run from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Little Trinity Church Annex. If you have any comments or questions in advance of the meeting, email




PUB LAUNCH: Dominion Pub celebrates its re-opening with an official Grand Opening party on January 28. Photo courtesy Dominion Pub.

By Dennis Kucherawy,

Corktown’s new party centre the Dominion Pub and Kitchen invites everyone to its Grand Opening Celebration on Thursday, Jan. 28th.

From 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., Dominion’s charmingly fab and attentive staff will serve complimentary samples and snacks with giveaways and live music entertainment.

Since it’s opening in November, Dominion has established itself as a “go-to” destination for Corktown and beyond with its 24 taps for craft beers, a tasty wine selection and a wide variety of liqueurs and cocktails in addition to the hard stuff such as vodka and scotch.  The day before Christmas Eve, for example, I wore my Birks sandals … without socks… jeans, my “A Christmas Story” leg lamp tie that lights up and my bright, lime green Key West t-shirt to celebrate our El Niñ0 holiday. Forget the egg nog. I had a delicious Chipotle Pineapple Margarita. A new Yuletide tradition?  Hey, depends on the weather.

Drew, the Head Chef, cooks up a menu of traditional pub grub such as burgers, fish and chips, and salmon with vegetables.

How to RSVP

It’s bound to be a packed night, so you should RSVP now to with the number in your party.  Deadline is Jan. 25th, a week from today.


IMG_0742A Real Slice — Steve McNie, co-founder/host, teacher and conductor of the Corktown Ukulele Jam, celebrated with his friends the group’s 7th anniversary last Wednesday, Jan. 13th at Regent Park’s Paintbox Bistro.

The birthday night’s theme, in keeping with the 7th anniversary, were songs celebrating luck and fortune as, Steve said, “such as that we’ve had together, week after week, for seven fabulous years.”

A capacity crowd of newcomers and veterans alike strummed and sang together Bob Dylan and Stealers Wheel songs on ukulele, guitar and cardboard box drum. Highlights were a funky version of Ravel’s “Bolero” and a special tribute to David Bowie. You haven’t lived until you’ve heard “Space Oddity” on ukulele! It was a piece of cake for this crowd!

Hey, Chris Hadfield, now THAT was out of this world!

For more information about the club and upcoming jams, visit

Photo credit: Dennis Kucherawy


RAIN RAIN GO AWAY: A rainy winter day in the Distillery District. Photo by Dan Philips.

Corktown, Toronto eNewsletter for the week of January 11, 2016

IMPACTFUL: The Toronto Star last week covered new Corktown favourite Impact Kitchen, talking up their locally-sourced, ethical food. Impact continues to be a great addition to the Corktown neighbourhood.

Y WORK: The new Cherry Street YMCA — opening this spring! — is continuing to post job opportunities at their new facility. There’s currently a posting for a Membership Sales & Service Supervisor. You can find it and future job listings here.

DOMINION TUNES: The new Dominion Pub — who were kind enough to attend our CRBA meeting last Tuesday — has a great line-up of live music this week. On Thursday, check out the Dan Kosub Duo, and then head into the weekend with the Vicars of Vinyl on Friday and The Lonely Hearts on Saturday. Get the full calendar line-up here.

EXTENSION ROOM OPEN HOUSE: Our pals at the Extension Room, Corktown’s favourite dance and fitness studio, are hosting their annual OPEN HOUSE this Saturday, January 16 with five dollar classes all day long, door prizes and special treats. Check out the event notice here.

UPDATEExtension Room’s Open House has been moved to Saturday, January 23! Same great deal – five dollar classes all day! Check out the new event notice on their website.

LESLIEVILLE FLEA @ DISTILLERY: The Leslieville Flea takes up its winter residence in the Distillery District starting this Sunday, January 17 in the Fermenting Cellar at 28 Distillery Lane. Swing by between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. to check out their curated market selling vintage, salvaged, up-cycled goods, furniture, antiques, collectibles and handcrafted goods. Details are online.

ON STAGE: A new year brings new theatre to the area. Some shows to check out in the coming weeks: starting January 22, Alumnae Theatre is presenting Richard Harris’ STEPPING OUT. And kicking off January 19, the Young Centre for the Performing Arts has Soulpepper’s production of the classic TWELVE ANGRY MEN.


  • The Gooderham & Worts Neighbourhood Association in the Distillery District hosts their first public meeting of the new year on Monday, January 18. Details are online.
  • Waterfront Toronto is hosting a public consultation on the ongoing saga relating to the Gardiner Expressway East on Tuesday, January 19 at the Toronto Reference Library. Click here to check out the meeting notice.
  • The CRBA hosts our next public meeting on Tuesday, February 2 at Little Trinity Church Annex. The meeting will also be our Annual General Meeting with the election of a new Board of Directors. Interested in serving? Email

Got a story about something going on in Corktown? Email


PIANO WOMAN: Canadian-born triple threat performer Chilina Kennedy recently took the stage at the Kennedy Centre alongside an array of legendary talent, including Aretha Franklin and honouree Carole King. Photo via CBC

By Dennis Kucherawy,

Originally published at

What a difference a year makes!  That’s an understatement for Canadian-born triple threat performer Chilina Kennedy who is currently starring on Broadway in “Beautiful:  The Carole King Musical.”

Last year, in November 2014, she was playing the lead role in Theatre Aquarius Hamilton’s sold-out production of the musical of “Mary Poppins.”  Now, just a little over a year later, on Dec. 6th, 2015, she performed centre stage in Washington as the Kennedy Centre honored Carole King herself, among others.  The tribute was telecast last week on Dec. 29th.

As well as leading the Broadway cast in scenes and songs from “Beautiful,” she shared the stage with a stellar array of talent including James Taylor, Sara Bareilles and Janelle Monae.  She even had the privilege of introducing the star.

Continue reading »