Corktown Photo of the Week

Corktown News & Events for the week of November 16, 2014

PARK LIFE: The much-loved Corktown Common was the recipient of another award as Popular Science Magazine put it on their annual Best of What’s New list. We’re starting to think people like this park. Urban Toronto has the details.

FIREWORKS ON STAGE: The FireWorks Festival continues at Alumnae Theatre all this week, with a great line-up of new full-length plays developed at Alumnae, associated workshops, panel discussions and other events. You can find a schedule and ticket details at Alumnae’s website. The festival runs through November 30.

COP TALK: Our 51 Division Community Policing Liaison Committee is holding a town hall meeting on Wednesday, November 19, from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m at Wellesley Community Centre (495 Sherbourne). The meeting will work as an opportunity to meet your CPLC reps, learn more about the CPLC’s role in local policing and ask questions. Check out the flyer for more details.

COOKING CLASS: Corktown’s Healthy Road (518 King East) is hosting a pre-natal/family cooking class on Saturday, November 22 at 1 p.m. Come and learn about the how-to’s of nutrition and delicious prenatal cooking with Holistic Nutritionist and Culinary Nutrition Expert Kate Matthew in this 1.5 hour cooking demo. Only $50.00 per person. Register at —  all participants will receive 10% off all in store purchases that day.


  • On Monday, November 24, local chef Jamie Kennedy is bringing back the Local Food Movement with a dinner event in collaboration with the Ontario Water Sake Company. The evening will include a 6:30 p.m. reception a the Ontario Water Sake Company in the Distillery District, followed by a 7:30 p.m. four course dinner at the Gilead Wine Bar. Cost is $120 per person. Make reservations by calling 647-288-0680. You can learn more at Chef Kennedy’s website.
  • Also on Monday, November 24, our pals at the Enoch Turner Schoolhouse are hosting a lecture with John G. Geiger, author, CEO of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society and one of the key figures in the recently-in-the-news expedition to find one of Sir John Franklin’s lost ships. The lecture is scheduled for 7 p.m. Tickets are $20 with proceeds going to support Toronto’s First Post Office Museum. Learn more at the Enoch Turner Schoolhouse website.
  • Christmas is coming, whether you’re ready for it or not. Some upcoming events to be aware of. The Distillery Christmas Market kicks off on November 28. Our friends in Riverside are set to hold their tree lighting ceremony and shop the neighbourhood event on November 29. And Soulpepper’s production of A Christmas Carol returns to the Young Centre for the Performing Arts on November 30. Ho Ho Ho.
  • And hey, don’t forget. Your Corktown Residents & Business Association will host its next monthly public meeting on Tuesday, December 2 at the Little Trinity Church Annex. Details will be posted soon.

PRIVATE EYES, WATCHING YOU: A shot of one of the four new murals installed on the Richmond/Adelaide support pillars along King Street East. An official unveiling ceremony was held on Thursday, November 6. Photo by Badger416.

News & Events for the week of November 9, 2014

ARTFUL UNVEILING: Thanks to all who came out for the official unveiling of the new underpass murals last Thursday. You can read all about the event in this city news release.

READ ALL ABOUT IT: Urban Toronto has an update on the construction progress of the Globe & Mail Centre being built at King East & Berkeley. Take a look — it’s an exciting project for Corktown and St. Lawrence.

A STYLING PLACE: New business alert! Hair salon McManus and Campbell is now open in the Distillery District. They’ve got some info on their website.

ROYSON JAMES AT GWNA: For Distillery District residents, don’t miss this week’s Gooderham & Worts Neighbourhood Association meeting with special guest Royson James, columnist with the Toronto Star. The meeting will take place on Monday, November 10 at 6:30 p.m. in the 70 Mill Street Amenity Room. Find the details at the GWNA website.

LEST WE FORGET: On Tuesday, November 11, pay your solemn respects to those who made the ultimate sacrifice at Little Trinity Church. The ceremony will begin at 10:55 a.m. at the War Memorial. (425 King East)

FIREWORKS FESTIVAL READY TO SPARK: Our friends at Alumnae Theatre will debut the 2014 FireWorks Festival this week, starting on Thursday, November 13. You’ll be able to catch new full-length plays developed at Alumnae, associated workshops, panel discussions and other events, offering a rare opportunity to explore behind-the-scenes issues and aspects of the productions. For details on all the shows and ticket information, visit the Alumnae Theatre website.

RE-OPEN OUR STREETS: Over 170 people have signed the petition to Infrastructure Ontario and the provincial government asking that Cherry Street and Old Eastern Avenue be re-opened to all forms of traffic. If you haven’t added your support, you can do see at this link.


  • On Wednesday November 19 at 7 p.m., the 51 Divison Community Policing Liaison Committee will be hosting a TOWN HALL MEETING at the Wellesley Community Centre (495 Sherbourne Street). It’s your opportunity to ask questions and express your concerns about all aspects of policing in the area. You can find details at the CPLC website.
  • On Saturday, November 22, culinary nutritionist Kate Matthew will host a PRENATAL COOKING NUTRITION CLASS at the Healthy Road (518 King East). Come learn the how-to’s of prenatal nutrition and enjoy a delicious hands on cooking class incorporating key nutrients needed for a healthy pregnancy. Tasty leftovers will be provided! Cost is $50 which includes the cost of food, and receive a 10% discount on all purchases at The Healthy Road the day of the class. Check the Facebook post for more details on how to sign up.
  • The CRBA will host its December public meeting on Tuesday, December 2 at the Little Trinity Church Annex. Mark your calendars!

The Corktown Residents & Business Association will host our monthly public meeting this Tuesday, November 4 at the Little Trinity Church Annex.

What: CRBA Monthly Public Meeting – November

When: Tuesday, November 4, 7 to 9 p.m.

Where: Little Trinity Church Annex Building – 403 King East (It’s the newly-renovated storefront to the west of the church.)

Who: Corktown residents and business representatives — whether you’ve lived or worked in the area for decades, or you’re a total newbie, all are welcome.

Why: Because we’re passionate about the neighbourhood.

This month’s agenda will include a presentation from THINC Design on the planned redesign of the Bright Street parkette. We’ll also have updates on development, events, business, public art and more.

Hope to see you there!


Details on the official underpass mural unveiling have just been released by the City of Toronto. We hope you can join us on Thursday, November 6.

Councillor Pam McConnell (Toronto Centre Rosedale, Ward 28,) will be joined by artists Elisa Monreal (aka Shalak Attack), Bruno Revitte (aka Bruno Smoky), and Gilda Monreal (aka Fiya Bruxa) and representatives from the community to unveil murals at the Adelaide/Richmond underpass pillars on King Street as part of the StreetARToronto Underpass Program.

Date: November 6, 2014

Time:  4 p.m. – 6 p.m. (Ribbon cutting at 5:00 p.m.)

Location: Underpass at King Street (Adelaide/Richmond underpass – just west of Sumach Street)

Hope to see you there!



UPDATE Nov 4: Click here for a copy of the city’s official construction notice, with further details.

Another just announced road closure in Corktown – northbound River St. will be detoured from Shuter along Mark to Labatt for about 5 weeks starting Monday, Nov. 3rd.

Just received from a City Public Consultation Co-ordinator:

Please be aware that as part of the Gerrard Watermain construction project (, the contractors will be closing the northbound lanes on River Street at Mark St (south of Dundas) for about 5 weeks. A short detour around the work site will be provided to allow traffic to continue north.

– Work is to begin on Monday, November 3rd
– Should last 5 weeks
– Local water service should not be affected
– Should be working during regular hours

We’ll post more info as we receive it. Hopefully a map of the detour, too!


Screen Shot 2014-10-26 at 4.14.07 PMImage courtesy Waterfront Toronto.

As a follow-up to our earlier post on the subject, there is now an online petition addressed to MPP Brad Duguid and others requesting the re-opening of Cherry Street and Old Eastern Avenue. We hope you’ll sign it!

Click here to view and sign the petition.



Corktown Photo of the Week

Corktown news & events for the week of October 27, 2014

VOTING: Hey you, don’t forget to vote! Polls are open until 8 p.m. today — Monday, October 27. You can find your polling location using the city’s MyVote website. We have a list of council candidates available with website links — you might find it helpful!

TIME FOR TIM’S: The Tim Hortons Coffee House at Lower River & King Street East is now open. Try the kettle chips.

WATERFRONT TO NEWS: In news you can use, Waterfront Toronto has published their October newsletter. Here’s what they have to say about the continued closure of the King Street connection to the Queen Street bridge, which has been closed for months, causing there to be no streetcar service along King:

Before redevelopment of the West Don Lands – including the Athletes’ Village/Canary District – could occur it was first necessary to implement a series of flood mitigation measures. In spring 2012, the construction of the flood protection landform (FPL) by Infrastructure Ontario was nearing completion.

The FPL is an engineering feat that is essentially a 4-metre high berm that creates a flood barrier along the west side of the Don River. It protects 201 hectares (519 acres) and an estimated $162 million in potential flood damage from catastrophic storm events. The FPL has also provided the base for Corktown Common, the area’s signature park.

One of the final pieces of work to complete the FPL was the installation of a backflow preventer on an existing storm sewer beneath the King-Queen bridge. The backflow preventer is a pipe the size of a bus that will allow stormwater to flow out to the Don River but will prevent flooding from flowing back on to adjacent lands. Without it, the FPL would be ineffective.

When excavation for the installation of the backflow preventer began, it quickly became clear to Infrastructure Ontario that the century-old bridge footings would need to be fortified before any further work could continue. The work currently underway below the bridge is required to reinforce the structure and extend the life of this important piece of infrastructure. The work is complex and takes time.

Work to-date has included the installation of a series of micro piles. Micro piles are small diameter rods drilled into bedrock adjacent to the bridge columns to reinforce the columns and support the bridge span. The micro piles are encased in a steel pipe and then filled with concrete grout for stability.

Work has also included reinforcing the existing columns and column bases. The column bases have been reinforced with large steel I-Beams where the column bases meet the back flow preventer and diagonal bracing has been installed on the columns for further reinforcement.

Future work includes pouring new concrete pile caps and incorporating them into the existing bridge footings, as well as performing work to ensure the bridge columns are level and plumb. New column bearing plates will be installed at the same time.

Infrastructure Ontario expects to complete the work in early 2015 and is grateful for the community’s patience. Infrastructure Ontario have updated the signs on the bridge and will make every effort to keep the community up-to-date on the status of work going forward.

For more information or questions about the work being undertaken at the King-Queen bridge please contact

Emphasis added! Let’s hope they meet that deadline.

RE-OPEN OUR STREETS: In other development-related news, the CRBA, the WDLC and others have written to the responsible MPP in an attempt to speed up the planned re-opening of Cherry Street and Old Eastern Avenue. If you’d like to lend your support and send a letter of your own, click here.

LOCAL ART: Inside Toronto recently ran a profile on the Essencia Art Collective, who are currently hard at work on their pillar murals on King East, and won’t be deterred. Check it out here.

LITTLE TRINITY, BIG EVENTS: There are a pair of great events at Little Trinity Church this week, both taking place on Thursday, October 30.

  • First, head to the new Little Trinity Annex at 403 King East for the grand opening of the Little T Art Gallery. You’ll see works from artists Alison Chapman, Henry VanderSpek and Dan Philips. The opening reception will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. Check out the flyer for all the opening event details, as well as information on how you can visit the gallery.
  • Later that night, Little Trinity Church is proud to host the Corktown Chamber Orchestra‘s season debut at 8 p.m. The Orchestra will be performing DISCO NIGHT ON BALD MOUNTAIN. Admission costs just ten bucks at the door, with kids getting in free. Click here for details.

CABBAGETOWN PUMPIN WALK: Our friends in Cabbagetown are hosting their second annual Pumpkin Walk on November 1st 2014 in Riverdale Park West. Join them with your hallowe’en pumpkins and light up the night with your spooky creations. The event will run from 5 to 10 p.m.  Kids (and adults) are encouraged to dress up in their costumes. Bring candles to illuminate your pumpkin. Pumpkins will be disposed of by the City of Toronto the following day. The Daily Bread Food Bank will be accepting non-perishable food donations at the Winchester Street entrance. Check out the Cabbagetown Residents Association website for more info.

THEATRICAL FEATS: A pair of shows debut on stage at local venues this week. At the Young Centre for the Performing Arts in the Distillery, catch Soulpepper’s production of SPOON RIVER, on through November 15. Tickets are available online. At the Daniels Spectrum in Regent Park, check out 30 PEOPLE WATCHING, on stage until November 8. Tickets are available online.


  • Speaking of great theatre, Alumnae Theatre’s FIREWORKS FESTIVAL is set to run from November 13 to 30. You can find information about the works included in this year’s festival at the Alumnae website. You can also buy passes.
  • On Sunday, November 9 at 4 p.m., Award winning Scottish-Canadian reggae artist jason Wilson and legendary English fiddler Dave Swarbrick will team up to produce a “breathtaking mixture of folk and reggae” with a concert at the Enoch Turner Schoolhouse. You can get tickets here.
  • Our friends at the Gooderham & Worts Neighbourhood Association will welcome Toronto Star city columnist Royson James as a guest speaker at their next monthly meeting, on Monday, November 10 at 6:30 p.m. in the 70 Mill Street Amenity Room. Check their website for details.
  • And your CRBA will present its next monthly public meeting on Tuesday, November 4 at 403 King East, the newly-renovated Little Trinity Church Annex building.

Got a story about something going on in Corktown? Email


Screen Shot 2014-10-26 at 4.14.07 PM

CHERRY ON TOP: A photograph of the newly-reconstructed Cherry Street. Photo courtesy Waterfront Toronto.

At the October meeting of the West Don Lands Committee, board members — including a representative from the Corktown Residents and Business Association — decided it was worth sending a message to elected officials in the provincial government regarding the continued closure of Cherry Street and Old Eastern Avenue. Construction on both streets has been largely complete for several months.

The letter below has been drafted to Minister of Economic Development, Employment & Infrastructure Brad Duguid. His email address is Versions have already been sent by the WDLC and the CRBA. If you or your group would like to send your own message, you can customize the text.

The Honourable Brad Duguid, Minister of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure
Ministry of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure
8th Floor, Hearst Block
900 Bay Street
Toronto, Ontario M7A 2E1

Dear Minister,

I am writing as a resident of [street ]/on behalf of [organization] to request your assistance in expediting the re-opening of Cherry Street and Old Eastern Avenue, both of which have been closed for many months as part of the 2015 Pan/Parapan Am Games.

I/we are very supportive of the provincial strategy with respect to the revitalization of the West Don Lands, including the outstanding legacy that is being established through the 2015 Pan/Parapan Am Athletes’ Village. While I/we understand the complexity of construction within the Athletes’ Village, the prolonged closure of these two roads is pushing the bounds of patience for residents and businesses who have been adversely affected by the closure.

The roads in question have been physically complete for many months, but reopening of the roads has been bogged down in negotiations between your Ministry and the City of Toronto. Frustration is mounting as residents and businesses have endured many more months of inconvenience than was ever contemplated. As seasonal events drawing huge crowds draw near, such as the popular Christmas Market at the Distillery District, the sense of urgency for this issue to be resolved grows. It is entirely unfair to this community, which has patiently suffered many inconveniences over nearly a decade of construction on the West Don Lands and which will be expected to put up with even more disruption during next year’s Games, to be subjected to unnecessary hardship.

I am joining with many members of the community in asking that you meet immediately with the City Councillor for Ward 28 to iron out a firm strategy by which the roads can be opened in November. It is unacceptable that closure of the roads continues solely because of unresolved negotiations between the City and the Province. We are optimistic that your attention and intervention and that of the local Councillor can find a successful solution.

(I)(We) look forward to hearing that a meeting has taken place and that a workable and expeditious outcome is achieved.

Yours etc.


Hon. Glen Murray, Minister of the Environment and Climate Change –
Councillor Pam McConnell, Ward 28, City of Toronto –
Bruce Singbush, ADM Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure –
John Livey, Deputy City Manager –
David Stonehouse, Director, Waterfront Secretariat –
John Campbell, President & CEO, Waterfront Toronto –
Cindy Wilkey, Co-Chair, West Don Lands Committee –
Larry Webb, Co-Chair, West Don Lands Committee –
Kara Isert, President, Corktown Residents & Business Association –
Phylis Coles, President, Gooderham & Worts Neighbourhood Association –

Thank you for the support! We’ll keep you posted as news on this issue develops.



CLEAR EYES: Coach Taylor would have approved of the positive messages being shared at the Corktown/Regent Park Cheer Station on Sunday, October 19. Photo by Matt Elliott.

Corktown News & Events for the week of October 20, 2014

First, thanks to all those who came out to our neighbourhood’s first official Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon cheer station! We had a lot of fun. Thanks for all the organizational efforts from Friends of Corktown Common‘s Erin Balser and #LivingToronto‘s Socrates Apallas. We hope to see everybody out again next year.

Corktown and King East got some profile on BlogTO this past week, as writer Natalia Manzocco gave her thoughts on how to spend a day in our neighbourhood. Check it out.

Speaking of places to go in Corktown, we’ll soon have a new local restaurant to check out once Odin Hus opens at 514 King East. PostCity has some details on what they’re planning.

Urban Toronto has some details on a new art exhibit on display at the Canary District Presentation Gallery, located at the corner of Cherry Street and Front Street. Called CITIES OF THE FUTURE, the exhibit features photography from Tom Ryaboi and an interactive piece by Italian artists Fabio Giampietro, Ilaria Vergani Bassi, and Paolo Di Giacomo. For details on when and how to see the exhibit, check out the Canary District’s website.

On Monday, October 20, the West Don Lands Committee is holding their monthly public meeting. You can join them at 39 Parliament Street, in the 11th floor amenity room. The meeting will go from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Note that the meeting has been rescheduled from its regular date of October 27 due to the municipal election.

On October 22 starting at 6 p.m. Dr. Melissa Piercell will host a Learn How to Detox seminar at The Healthy Road (518 King East). Registration costs just $10 and gets you a 10% discount at the store. Check out the website for all the info.

Starting on October 23, the Toronto Irish Players take the stage at Corktowns’ Alumnae Theatre to present BOOKWORMS. Some details:

When Irish comedy Bookworms opens at the Alumnae Theatre on Oct. 23, it marks a very special occasion for Toronto’s only Irish theatre group.

The Toronto Irish Players is entering its 40th season, four decades after a group of immigrants decided to bring Irish theatre to their new homeland. They’ve been doing it ever since with great success.

The 40th season features plays by contemporary writers, but nonetheless straddles two Irelands – a reflective post Celtic Tiger country and a 1960s one, firmly under the thumb of the church.
The fall show, which runs till Nov. 8, is a post-Celtic Tiger Ireland comedy of manners by playwright Bernard Farrell.

The play, Bookworms, is a story of characters that make up a middle class book club.

Formerly the last bastion of female exclusivity, husbands are invited to participate in a social experiment that goes disastrously wrong. In this satire the surface veneer of normality is penetrated by resentment, adultery, repression and violence. By the end of the evening, civility has been tenuously re-established and relationships somewhat restored, but it is unlikely that the men will ever be invited to another meeting of the club.

Director Alan Hunt, a long-time TIP member, calls it an “hilarious comedy” and thinks a modern audience will enjoy the antics.

You can find more information and get your tickets at

Mark your calendars for a pair of upcoming events taking place at Little Trinity Church on October 30. The Little T Annex at 403 King East will be hosting an opening reception for its brand new art gallery at 7 p.m, featuring works by Alison Chapman, Dan Phillips and Henry VanderSpek. Later that same night, the Corktown Chamber Orchestra will be performing at Little Trinity Church at 8 p.m., as they present DISCO NIGHT ON BALD MOUNTAIN. You can find out more about the art gallery opening by clicking here. For more on the Chamber Orchestra’s performance, check out the flyer.

Finally, our friends across the river in Riverside are hosting the sixth annual Riverside Ignite WALKFEST on Saturday, October 25. There are a variety of fun and informative walks taking places, including a fitness fun walk, a culinary walk, a pan am path cycle tour, an urban planning walk and a kiddie costume parade walk. Check out the full list of festivities on their website.

Got a story about something going on in or around Corktown? Email



Corktown Cheer


Calling all Corktowners — we hope to see you this Sunday, October 19 at our first-ever OFFICIAL neighbourhood cheer station to help us cheer on the Scotiabank Toronto marathon runners.

The cheer station is proudly hosted by the Friends of Corktown Common, in partnership with 40 Oaks and the Corktown Residents & Business Association.

There will be fun for all ages with a sign making station, live music, coffee from Corktown’s Redline Coffee & Espresso, tunes from DJ Tuno and FREE fitness classes on the hour, every hour, presented by Think Fitness Studio!

The cheer station will be in full operation from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Underpass Park. Hope to see you there!

For more details, visit the Friends of Corktown Common website.