ZOOMING OUT OF SUMMER: The days are going by pretty quickly. Labour Day long weekend will mark the end of Corktown’s summer. Photo by Dan Philips.

Corktown, Toronto eNewsletter for the week of August 31, 2015

CRBA MEETING: In very exciting news, we’ve confirmed the details for the September public meeting of the Corktown Residents & Business Association.

The meeting will be held on Tuesday, September 8 at the Little Trinity Church Annex at 403 King East. That’s the renovated historic storefront on King just east of Parliament Street. Find us upstairs.

The meeting will take place from 7 to 9 p.m. All Corktown residents and friends are welcome – it’s a great opportunity for neighbourhood newbies to get to know what’s going on.

On the agenda this month, in addition to a host of local updates on important issues, will be a presentation from the StopGap Foundation. With their Community Ramp Project, StopGap provides a great service to local businesses, helping them become more accessible. We’re excited to hear about how StopGap can help local businesses.

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CORKTOWN NEWS: A PDF copy of the new issue of The Corktown News is now available on Corktown.ca. The Corktown News is the new name for the Corktowner, with a brand new format and layout. The issue includes a great profile of Corktown photographer Dan Philips, a first-hand account of the volunteer experience at the Pan Am Games, and the story behind the recent documentary about 90 Sumach. Plus so much more!

Download the issue here.

BIKE LANES ON THE GROW: The City of Toronto has announced that the project extending the “cycle tracks” — protected bike lanes — on Richmond and Adelaide will begin this week. Once the project is complete by the end of September, the bike lanes will run all the way to Parliament Street. You can find more details about the project and the construction impact here.

EXTENSION ROOM FALL SALE: If you’re looking for some fitness fun this fall, the Extension Room is set to launch their fall sale this week. Buy 10 & 20 class passes or an unlimited class card anytime between September 1-8 and you’ll receive 10% off. The details are online.

ARTFEST IN DISTILLERY: With the long Labour Day weekend comes the return of Artfest in the Distillery District. Running from September 4 to September 7 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day, the festival celebrates painting, photography, sculpture, fine craft, live music and more from Canada’s top artists. Visit the Artfest website for all the details.

Got a story about something going on in Corktown? Email website@corktown.ca.

 

COMMONLY CORKTOWN: After spending a couple of months fenced-off as part of the Toronto 2015 Pan Am/ParaPan Am Athletes’ Village, Corktown Common is once again open to the public. Enjoy it today! Photo by wyliepoon.

Corktown, Toronto news & events for the week of August 24, 2015

CORKTOWN COMMON IS OPEN: As we reported on Twitter last week, Corktown Common is once again OPEN TO THE PUBLIC. TO2015 organizers kept their promise to us and opened the park ahead of schedule. Thanks to them for working so hard to make that happen.

There may still be some remaining fences and barriers waiting for removal, but the park is fully open. In fact, with the wet side open, this is the first time all of Corktown Common has ever been open to the public. Enjoy it!

MAKING AN IMPACT: BlogTO has some details on the ambitious plans for Impact Kitchen, the new restaurant opening in September at the corner of King East & St. Lawrence. We’ll let you know when the doors are open.

CORKTOWN MEDICAL: Speaking of new things in Corktown, we’re happy to welcome Corktown Medical to the community. They just opened on August 19. They’re a family practice and walk-in clinic located at 589 King Street East, next door to Health Shield Pharmacy.

LIVE MUSIC: These may be the dog days of summer, but there’s still some live music to take in this week.

On Wednesday, August 26, catch artist Patrick Brealey in the Distillery District’s Trinity Square between 6 and 8 p.m. Click here for details.

Then, on Friday, August 28, White Elephant has Sean Pinchin from 7 to 10 p.m. View the White Elephant’s event calendar for more upcoming shows.

ADVERTISE WITH US: With the summer coming to a close, a reminder that advertising opportunities for Corktown businesses are available. For just $25, you can sponsor an issue of this fine e-newsletter, read each week by almost 500 attractive and talented Corktown residents.

Some details on our website. Get in touch if you’re interested in learning more!

THE CORKTOWN NEWS: Keep an eye on your mailbox! Copies of the Corktown News — our revamped and reloaded version of the Corktowner newsletter — are currently being delivered throughout the neighbourhood.

UPCOMING

  • After a summer break, the next public meeting of the Corktown Residents & Business Association is set for Tuesday, September 8 at 7 p.m. If you’ve never been to a meeting before, you should totally come. You’ll love it. We’ll have details on the venue and agenda posted shortly.

Got a story about something going on in Corktown? Email website@corktown.ca.

 

A NEW DAWN: The Toronto 2015 ParaPan Am Games have come to a close, marking the end of Corktown’s Pan Am summer. Photo by Dan Philips.

PAN AM END:  The ParaPan Am Games have come to a close, which means the athletes are currently vacating the Athletes’ Village. We should slowly start to see things return to normal in our cozy corner of Toronto. We’ll provide information about the re-opening of Corktown Common and major roadways (like Cherry Street) once we get the official word.

If you’re looking for some merchandise to remember Corktown’s Pan Am Summer, the Pan Am Store is offering a clearance sale. Get yourself a stuffed Pachi doll.

CRBA SEPTEMBER MEETING: We have officially scheduled the next public meeting of the CRBA for Tuesday, September 8. This is a change from the previously posted date. Please adjust your calendars accordingly. We’ll have details on venue and agenda posted shortly.

DRAW THE LINES: The City of Toronto is currently in the process of redrawing its ward boundaries to account for population growth. A report with five options has been released for public consideration. You can view the report here and look at the options here. Public consultation sessions will be held this fall — we’ll have the details posted at corktown.ca.

A BRIGHT STREET: The Globe & Mail had a neat article this weekend about the tight-knight community that calls Corktown’s Bright Street home. You can read it here.

LIVE LOCAL MUSIC: There’s lots of music happening in the neighbourhood this week.

On Wednesday, August 19, Melissa Payne plays Trinity Square in the Distillery District at 6 p.m. Get the details here.

On Thursday, August 20, Music in the Park returns to Little Trinity Church with a performance by the Conor Hall Trio with KIN. The show gets started at 7 p.m. Information is available online.

And on Friday, August 21, our pals at White Elephant have Ryan Carr playing between 7 and 10 p.m. You can view White Elephant’s live music calendar here.

RUN CLUB: Several tenacious Corktowners recently connected on Twitter to start a Corktown Run Club. The next run will take place this Thursday, August 20. There’s usually beer afterwards. Follow the #CorktownRunClub hashtag on Twitter to get involved.

Got a story about something going on in Corktown? Email website@corktown.ca.

 

IT TAKES A VILLAGE: The Toronto 2015 ParaPan Am Athlete’s Village, as seen from on high. Photo by Dan Philips.

Corktown, Toronto eNewsletter for the week of August 10, 2015

PARAPAN AM CONTINUES: The Toronto 2015 ParaPan Am Games continues this week, with over a thousand athletes calling Corktown their temporary home. The Pan Am Pup is continuing to chronicle their movements.

TRAFFIC CHANGE ON TRINITY STREET: This might be old news for some, but still worth mentioning: Trinity Street between Eastern Avenue and King Street East was switched over to a one-way northbound configuration in July. This is a permanent change in response to traffic issues identified by residents in the area. Don’t get caught making a wrong turn! (Thanks to Corktowner Dawn for writing in and suggesting we mention this!)

BRIGHT STREET PLAYGROUND: Work has begun on the Bright Street Playground revamp. The project is part of the ongoing Corktown Parks Improvement Plan. You can learn more about what’s in store for Bright Street – and other Corktown parks — by reviewing this presentation.

POLICE APP: The Toronto Police Service last week released a new SmartPhone app that allows residents to report incidents and connect with their local division. It’s worth a look.

ON STAGE: As part of the Panamania celebrations, Push! Real Athletes. Real Stories. Real Theatre. debuts this week at the Young Centre for the Performing Arts in the Distillery District. You can get tickets online.

Tickets are also now available for Antigone, the next Alumnae Theatre Company production. It debuts on September 18.

LIVE MUSIC: Catch “eclectic traditionalist” Kaia Kater this Wednesday, August 12 in the Distillery District’s Trinity Square at 6 p.m. It’s a totally free show, part of the Distillery’s Summer Music Series.

MOVIE NIGHT: Also on Wednesday, August 12, catch BOLLYWOOD MOVIE NIGHT in the big park in Regent Park. They’ll be an intro to Bollywood Dance session held before the movie. It gets started at 7:30 p.m. A free event.

SUPERCAR SUNDAY: If you’re a big fan of things that go vroom vroom, head across the river to BMW Toronto (11 Sunlight Park Road) this Sunday, August 16 between noon and 4 p.m. The event will feature over 100 vehicles from brands that include Lamborghini, Ferrari, McLaren, Aston Martin, Alfa Romeo, Porsche, Lotus, and more. Details are online.

FROM OUR CORRESPONDENT: Our local correspondent Dennis Kucherawy has been busy lately. For corktown.ca, on the eve of the ParaPan Am Games, Dennis contributed a thoughtful piece about the anniversary of the Hiroshima bombing. And over at songandscript.ca, he vividly recounts his memories of the novelist E.L. Doctorow.

Got a story about something happening in or around Corktown? Email website@corktown.ca.

 

PARAPAN AM: Crowds will celebrate as the ParaPan Am Games kick off this Friday, but in celebration we should also remember the past. Photo courtesy Toronto 2015 Host City.

By Dennis Kucherawy, Corktown Correspondent 

Tomorrow is the eve of the Toronto 2015 ParaPan American Games. It’s an exciting time for Torontonians and physically challenged athletes from the Americas and Caribbean who are striving to achieve the highest level of excellence in each of their sports.

However, tomorrow is also Remembrance Day. No, it’s not November 11th, but instead a time to recall and commemorate the 70th anniversary of the day the first atom bomb was dropped and exploded on Hiroshima, Japan with devastating consequences, the likes of which had never before been seen. It was the worst event in our history, revealing the worst in human nature and the depths of which are species is capable of reaching.

Nagasaki was bombed three days later.

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OUR “BLOCK PARTY”: The Corktown Kitchen, along with a slew of other great local businesses, got the spotlight in a recent Toronto Life article. Photo by Dave Gillespie / Toronto Life.

Corktown, Toronto eNewsletter for the week of August 4, 2015

PARAPAN AM: The Toronto 2015 ParaPan Am Games are set to kick off this Friday, August 7 with opening ceremonies held at York University. Be on the lookout for athletes in and around Corktown! You can grab tickets for the events online.

CORKTOWN BLOCK PARTY: Mark Pupo’s feature story on Corktown from the August issue of Toronto Life is now available online. Give it a read for his take on our neighbourhood’s recent development with the addition of businesses like The Corktown Kitchen, Roselle Desserts & Cocina Economica.

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POSTMAN DELIVERS: Adrienne Clarkson, Canada’s former Governor General, along for the walk, with partner, noted author John RALSTON SAUL. Photo by Dennis Kucherawy.

By Dennis Kucherawy

Last Sunday was an extraordinary final day for the cast and crew of The Postman, the “promenade” play that has emerged as a popular hit of the Toronto 2015 Pan Am Games’ Panamania arts and cultural festival.

The show closed Sunday with an audience of more than 250 people. They gave the players such a roaring ovation that its stage manager ran on and asked them to sing the finale again.

“The audience cheered and danced,” said Corktown actor/writer Sugith Varughese. A veteran performer who has acted and written for CBC Television, he said “I’ve never been in a show that had such an encore!”

Adrienne Clarkson, Canada’s former Governor General, attended the matinee with her partner, noted author John Ralston Saul.

“She told me it was a marvellous experience and so beautifully executed, “ said co-conceiver, director and writer David Ferry, quoting her. “The fact we were on (the real) Albert Jackson’s porch was wonderful. “Thank you so much for this great piece of theatre.”

David said there are lots of plans for the future of The Postman, including a full-length, proscenium production. But he admitted he was exhausted from the stress, strain and activity — including fundraising that got the production this far. “I cannot do the fundraising alone.”

Meanwhile, David is spear-heading an application being made to Toronto Heritage to approve a plaque honoring Albert Jackson to be unveiled in Union Station in Sir John A. Macdonald Hall. (Our first prime minister intervened to stop the racism preventing Jackson from pursuing his job as a mail deliverer.)

“I have the support of Councilor Michael Thompson,” said Ferry.

“The sum of $6,500 is needed to pay for it.”

For more information on The Postman check out Dennis Kucherawy’s earlier story on corktown.ca. You can also visit ThePostmanWalks.com for details about the show and its future.

 

PANAMANIA: Sergio Mendes performs for Panamania to close out the Toronto 2015 Pan Am Games. Below, Corktown resident and correspondent Dennis Kucherawy reviews the show along with Mendes’ latest CD “Magic.”

By Dennis Kucherawy

Last Sunday night at the Pan Am Games’ closing ceremony at the Rogers’ Centre, Kanye West brought his show to an abrupt ‘Hip Hop Interruptus” end. Frustrated by sound difficulties, he threw his microphone into the air and left the stage.

He said nothing. No cracks — wise or otherwise — for a change.

Meanwhile, at nearby Nathan Phillips Square, Sergio Mendes, one of bossa nova and jazz fusion’s pioneers and most successful pop performers, thrilled a more-than-capacity crowd with one of the most entertaining performances Toronto has seen in years. Children to octogenarians danced, even physically challenged people, some in wild abandon, from the first notes to the last chord.

For almost half-a-century, Mendes has brought his percussion-driven bossa nova and Latin arrangements to the world.  His concert, featuring many numbers from his new CD titled “Magic,” revealed his music was as sexy and scintillating as ever.

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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 corktown.ca 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.

UPCOMING

  • 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 website@corktown.ca.

 

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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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