LIVE LIKE COMMON PEOPLE: The scene at the official opening of Corktown Common on Thursday, July 10. Photo by Dan Philips.

Local News for the week of July 14, 2014

The grand official opening of Corktown Common on Thursday, July 10 was a huge success. Thanks to all Corktowners who came out to mark the occasion. Councillor Pam McConnell has a report from the official opening ceremony, while Metro News has more about all the great features of the park. Meanwhile, local photographer Dan Philips has a great album of photos from the opening party.

A reminder that StreetARToronto is working with the CRBA to get awesome art murals painted on the columns supporting the Richmond/Adelaide overpasses. If you want an opportunity to have your say on this exciting project, check out our post here.

Urban Toronto’s latest Throwback Thursday feature looks at the building at the corner of King East & Berkeley. Give it a look to take a trip down memory lane.

Events for the week of July 14, 2014

Lots going on at Corktown’s renowned Dominion on Queen (500 Queen East, at Sumach) this week! Perfect entertainment for the summer.

  • On Monday, July 14, check out the Good Neighbours Open Mic — a good time whether you want to perform or just watch. Sign-ups open at 7:30 p.m., with the first acts taking the stage at 8 p.m.
  • On Tuesday, July 15, comedian Simon Rakoff holds a release party for his new album SURROUNDED BY IDIOTS at 8 p.m. I am pretty sure you won’t be branded an idiot if you come! Check out Simon’s website for more info.
  • And on Thursday, July 17, the Toronto Blues Society presents The Sinners Choir at 9:30 p.m.

And that’s not all! Check out the Dominion’s full July events calendar for all your entertainment options.

On Thursday, July 17, Music in the Park returns to Little Trinity Park. Put on by our friends at Little Trinity Church, this week you can catch a great outdoor performance from Queen of the Fleet. The music starts at 7 p.m. — bring a blanket or lawn chair. Check out the flyer for full details.

And for more musical entertainment, head down to Trinity Square in the Distillery District this Sunday, July 20 for music from singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Sean Conway. He’ll take the stage between 3 and 5 p.m. Check out the Distillery District events calendar for more info.

Got a story about something going on in Corktown? Email


The CRBA is excited to let you know that we’re working with StreetARToronto to get some murals on the pillars supporting the Richmond/Adelaide overpasses through Corktown.

To get the ball rolling, StreeetARToronto wants your feedback on guiding principles/themes for the art design. Here’s their message to Corktowners:

Dear friends and colleagues,

As we begin the process towards selecting an artist for the pillar murals at Richmond and Adelaide, we at StreetARToronto find that a really helpful aspect for the artists is providing them with a set of guiding principals/ themes to help situate their design within the scope of the neighborhood. What we are looking for here are some thoughts that would help provide some context for an artist who may be unfamiliar with the community. Some questions that arise include:

What makes your neighborhood special?
What aspects are crucial to the social fabric of your community?
What historical or contemporary facts are important to understanding how your community operates?
Why are projects like this important to your community?

These are just some examples of the many areas you can touch on to help the artist really get a sense of the space their work may occupy, and provide some insight on who they are creating this mural for. Any feedback would be very much appreciated.

Thank you for your time and we look forward to your response.

Sean Robertson -Palmer.

If you have any thoughts to share on these questions, please email them to and we’ll forward them on to StreetARToronto. Stay tuned for more updates as this process continues!


UNDER THE OVERPASS: Underpass Park played host to a whole bunch of community activities this past weekend for the Celebrate Corktown Neighbourhood BBQ and party. Thanks to all who came out! Photo by Dan Philips.

Local news for the week of July 7, 2014

Thanks to all who came out and enjoyed the Celebrate Corktown BBQ and party this past Saturday! And thanks again to MP Chrystia Freeland, MPP Glen Murray, Councillor Pam McConnell and the many businesses and volunteers that helped put the event together. Local photographer Dan Philips has posted some photos — take a look.

After much anticipation, Tandem Coffee has opened their doors at 368 King Street East after a soft launch. Stop by, grab a hot beverage and check ‘em out!

On June 25, the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority, Waterfront Toronto, Scotiabank, Heritage Toronto and Councillor Pam McConnell unveiled a couple of new plaques on the Lower Don Trail, right near the path entrance to Corktown Common. The plaques recognize the Lower Don River railway crossing and the straightening of the river. Urban Toronto has the story — and be sure to head down to the Lower Don Trail to check out the new plaques.

If you’re a woman in Corktown looking to get fit this summer, Fun & Mental Fitness Toronto East has a series of Boot Camps scheduled with trainer Melissa Russell. Check out the website for details.

Corktown favourite Adornments on Queen has published their July newsletter. This month’s can’t-miss deal offers 25% off table lamps and mirrors, plus 25% off any product with the colour red in it. They’ve also got a new downtown jewelry line. Check it out for all the details.

The Toronto Star’s Vicky Sanderson penned an article recently about the continued transformation of Toronto’s downtown east side, with a focus on the King East design district. Take a look.

Jamie Kennedy’s Gilead Cafe + Wine Bar is taking part in the SUMMER OF RIESLING. All summer long, they’ll have four Riesling choices on their by-the-glass wine menu. Visit their website for details and book your reservation soon!

Events for the week of July 7, 2014

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On Thursday, July 10, Waterfront Toronto and development partners Dundee-Kilmer and Urban Capital are hosting the official opening of Corktown Common with a community picnic. Between 5 and 8 p.m., come by for a FREE BBQ, food, fun activities and live music. For cyclists, valet bike parking will be available. Check out the flyer for all the details.

The official opening ceremony for Corktown Common will take place earlier on the same day, Thursday, July 10, between 10 and 11 a.m. at the park pavilion.

Also on Thursday, July 10, ARTA GALLERY in the Distillery District will showcase their third annual Summer Group Exhibition. Hosting an expressive abstract collection, each piece in the SUMMER HEAT exhibition is said to encapsulate the colour and vibe of summer in Toronto.The opening reception will take place between 6 and 8 p.m. on Thursday, with the exhibit on display at the gallery through to July 29. Click here for details.

And on Sunday, July 13, the East End Comedy Revue returns to Dominion on Queen (500 Queen East, at Sumach) with an all-star line-up of local comedians. Featuring Mike MacDonald, Winston Spear, Darryl Purvis, Ryan Horwood, Brian Coughlin & Hanna Hogan, the laughs start at 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $15 or $45 for a 4-pack. View the Facebook event page for details.

Got a story about something going on in Corktown? Email


Corktown Summer BBQ FLYER

The Corktown Residents & Business Association hopes everyone in and around Corktown will join us for a big neighbourhood day party this weekend as we celebrate Corktown! We’ve got lots of activities planned including a FREE BBQ, live music, an appearance by TO2015′s Patchi the Porcupine, music, face painting, a basketball tournament, a bouncy castle and so much more.

Thanks so much to MP Chrystia Freeland and MPP Glen Murray for supporting this event. And thanks to Councillor Pam McConnell and her staff for supporting the planning. And even more thanks to all the Corktown residents and businesses who volunteered their time to put this together.

What: Celebrate Corktown big neighbourhood party

When: Saturday, July 5, 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Where: Underpass Park (Lower River Street, South of King)

Come out and enjoy! Tell your friends!




MUSIC IN THE PARK: Head on over to Little Trinity park this Thursday for another great edition of Music in the Park at  7 p.m. Photo courtesy Little Trinity Church.

Corktown News for the week of June 30, 2014

Let’s start with the bad news: starting Monday, June 30, the intersection at Queen & Broadview will be closed for reconstruction through to July 25. This will have impacts on vehicle traffic — detailed by the City of Toronto in this press release — and streetcar service on the 504 and 501 through Corktown. Here’s the TTC’s diversion map:

Best advice for Corktowners taking the TTC is to walk to Parliament Street if possible. There will be shuttle buses operating along Queen Street as well. For full details, check out the full TTC notice. We’ll keep you updated on all aspects of the construction as it continues.

In better news, the June 2014 edition of the Holland Herald has an interview with Construction Manager Tim Irwin, who names Corktown as Toronto’s up-and-coming neighbourhood. We’ll take it!

Toronto Life has the scoop on Cluny, a new Distillery District restaurant they describe as “seriously massive.” Check out the info and photos on their website here.

If you’ve been down for a run or bike ride along the Lower Don Trail of late, you may have seen some striking blue “Don Was Here” markings on the pavement. If you’re wondering what they mean, BlogTO’s Derek Flack has you covered.

Local events for the week of June 30, 2014

If you’re looking for a list of events to properly celebrate Canada Day on Tuesday, this City of Toronto news release is a good place to start. Fireworks will begin at Ashbridges Bay around 10 p.m.

On Wednesday, July 2, the world famous Corktown Ukelele Jam takes roost once again at the Dominion on Queen (500 Queen East, at Sumach). If you’ve never been before, now might be the time. The Jam will run between 8 and 11 p.m, and costs just $7. Find the details at the Uke Jam website.

Between Thursday, July 3 and Sunday, July 20, Gallery 402 at 402 King East will be home to INTERPLAY, an art exhibition featuring the work of great local artists. The exhibition will kick off on Thursday with a reception at 7:30 p.m, with music from Vivienne Wilder. There’s a Facebook event with more details.

On Thursday, July 3, Music in the Park returns to Little Trinity Park, thanks to our friends at Little Trinity Church. Come on out at 7 p.m. to hear the Birds of Bellwoods take the stage. There’s no better way to spend a warm summer night. Check out the flyer for details.

And on Saturday, July 5, you won’t want to miss the FREE COMMUNITY BBQ in Underpass Park. Supported by MPP Glen Murray, MP Chrystia Freeland and Councillor Pam McConnell, along with Enbridge Gas, Toronto 2015, the CRBA and a host of other great business and residential supporters, the event will offer a DJ, a bouncy castle, live entertainment, a basketball tournament and so much more. Join us between 11 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. on Saturday — you won’t regret it!

And if you were looking for a place to unwind after the Corktown BBQ, the Distillery District may be the place. As part of the Bacardi Festival Libre, the entire district will be transformed into one giant patio on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Got a story about something going on in Corktown? Email



On June 27 through to June 29, our friends at Cahoots Theatre Company are hosting their Lift Off Festival at their Creation Studio at 388 Queen East.

They’ve got a full schedule of events planned, with performances, readings, art exhibitions and a special Meet & Greet Community Block Party on Saturday, June 28 from 3 to 4:30 p.m.

You can click here to check out the full schedule. 

Here are the details on the Community Block Party:

3pm – 4:30 MEET & GREET COMMUNITY BLOCK PARTY Come one, come all! Meet and mingle with the artists of the LIFT OFF! Festival, Cahoots, and our artistic neighbours in the Corktown and Regent Park communities. Don’t be shy!

So, seriously, don’t be shy! Come on out and meet the Cahoots gang and learn about their great work in Corktown and across the city.


Corktown Photo of the week

Corktown News for the week of June 22, 2014

Print Preview Ltd, a great Corktown business for so many years — and the printers that allow us to bring issues of the Corktowner to your door four times a year — have rebranded and renamed themselves as Corktown Printing Company. Check out their snazzy new website. They’re conveniently located at 30 Eastern Avenue.

Speaking of Eastern Avenue, STACKLAB just opened up a showroom at 28 Eastern Avenue. They’re a multidisciplinary design and fabrication studio. Check out their website for examples of their fabulous work.

Staff at city hall are looking for resident feedback on which Toronto street should be ceremonially renamed to honour Nelson Mandela. One of the option is Shuter Street between River and Parliament. Check out the rationale, and have your say by filling out the survey.

Waterfront Toronto has published their June 2014 newsletter, with lots of detail on construction progress. Give it a read online here.

BlogTO’s Natalia Manzocco recently paid a visit to Gilding The Lily, a new fine jewelry and accessory boutique that recently opened its doors in the Distillery District. Learn more at this link.

The winners (and losers) of the 2014 Pug Awards — Toronto’s people’s choice awards for architecture — were unveiled last week. Taking the award for Best Residential Building was Corktown’s own River City Phase One. It’s great to have such impressive architecture in the neighbourhood. To read the press release and view the complete list of awards, click here.

Councillor Pam McConnell has issued an alert about potentially misleading communications by an independent contractor that are made to look like official notices from the city about its downspout disconnection program or basement flooding subsidy protection program. You can read about it here. Basically: don’t trust anyone who comes to your door trying to get you to sign anything having to do with your water bill. The same goes for your gas bill. Just tell them to go away.

Speaking of water, there has been some news recently about the potential for lead in tap water across the city. It’s worth taking a look at the Toronto Star’s interactive map of testing results to check out if any homes have tested positive for lead in your immediate area.

Events for the week of June 22, 2014

On Monday, June 23, the West Don Lands Committee is set to hold their monthly public meeting at 39 Parliament Street on the 11th floor. (Entry code #182.) This month there will be a guest presentation from two new facilities coming to the West Don Lands: Anishnawbe Health Toronto and YMCA of Greater Toronto. All are welcome to attend the meeting which will run between 7 and 9 p.m.

The TD Toronto Jazz Festival continues all around the city this week. Here’s the jam-packed schedule of events for you to check out at Corktown’s own Dominion on Queen (500 Queen Street East, at Sumach):

jazzfest schedule week two

For more details check out Dominion on Queen’s website.

The other big news this week: The Regent Park Farmers’ Market is BACK, starting this Wednesday, June 25 — and then every Wednesday this summer.  In their own words: “in addition to offering fresh produce and products from Ontario farmers, the defining feature of the Regent Park Farmers’ Market is the inclusion of resident gardeners, growers and chefs from the Regent Park community as vendors. Enjoy a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, great music and artistic activities by local talents.” It’s open between 3:30 and 7:30 p.m. Check out the website for more details.

On stage this week, starting Friday, June 27, the Young Centre for the Performing Arts will play host to Rare Theatre Company’s production of BORNE. It’s a “piece of theatre created by award-winning playwright Judith Thompson (RARE, Young Centre 2013) in collaboration with nine performers who use wheelchairs. Watch as they share their own hilarious and heart-breaking stories in their own words and explore the myths and preconceptions about living with a disability.” You can get tickets online for performances through July 19.

Speaking of great theatre at the Young Centre, Soulpepper’s production of TWELVE ANGRY MEN continues until July 19. The Grid recently gave the show a strong review. You can get tickets online.

On Sunday, June 29, the Distillery Sunday Market will once again take up residence at 28 Gristmill Lane between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Immediately afterward, check out the Sunday Summer Music Series in Trinity Square between 3 and 5 p.m. as the band EH 440 takes the stage. The details are online.

Finally, there’s a whole lot going on across the city this week, with lots of World Cup action, a huge array of World Pride events, North by North East music plus more. Get out there and enjoy all Toronto has to offer.

Got a story about something going on in Corktown? Email




We’ve just received information about coming construction on Sumach Street to accommodate installation of new streetcar tracks on the east side of the street south of King. Installation is scheduled for June 24. Evenings and night shifts may be required to complete this TTC-specific work.

We’ll post more details when we get them.



As mentioned in this week’s News & Events Round-up, our friends at Little Trinity Church are hosting Music in the Park all summer long on Thursday nights. The first event will be this Thursday, June 19 at 7 p.m with singer/songwriter Liam Kinnon.

Hope to see everyone there! Bring a blanket or lawn chair!



RAISE A GLASS FOR THE CUP: Corktown’s Dominion on Queen is decked out in flags from around the world in celebration of the World Cup. Photo Courtesy Dominion on Queen.

Corktown News for the week of June 16, 2014

The Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon will be running through Corktown Common this comingOctober, and so the CRBA and Friends of Corktown Common are planning the first-ever Corktown Common Cheer Station. We’re looking for volunteers to help out with entertainment, sponsorship and communications, in addition to runners who want to represent Corktown as they race the course. Visit the Friends of Corktown Common website for the details.

Transit expert Steve Munro has posted a list of TTC service changes taking effect this month. Among them: starting June 30, construction at Broadview & Queen will mean Queen and King streetcars will be diverting up to Gerrard Street to Parliament before resuming their normal routes. This means there will be no streetcar service along Queen or King Street in Corktown until construction finishes on July 25. Replacement bus service will be offered. Click here for specific details.

Corktown favourite The Healthy Road is looking to expand their team, looking for health professionals and part time staff. See their website for more details.

Events for the week of June 16, 2014

In case you haven’t noticed the bevy of flags and the occasional excited horn honking, it’s World Cup season. For Corktowners looking for a great place to enjoy the games, check out Dominion on Queen (500 Queen East, at Sumach), Mill Street Beer Hall (In the Distillery District), and Betty’s on King. (240 King East, at Sherbourne.) All locations offer great beers, giant TVs and a fantastic atmosphere, no matter who you’re rooting for.

Speaking of great beers, it’s Ontario Craft Beer Week. Check out the website for a list of events, including daily happenings at Mill Street Brewery and Mill Street Beer Hall.

Starting Thursday, June 19, the TD Toronto Jazz Fest returns to Dominion on Queen with an incredible line-up of performers playing each and every night right through until the end of the month. Check out the full schedule for all the performance details.

On Thursday, June 19, our friends at Little Trinity Church are hosting their first Music in the Park event at 7 p.m., with singer/songwriter Liam Kinnon. All are invited to come out to Little Trinity Park — bring your blanket or lawn chair. Hope to see everyone there! Check out the flyer for info and for future dates.

On Saturday, June 21, the new central park in Regent Park — which has coincidentally also been named Regent Park — celebrates its grand opening. Come by between 1:30 and 3:30 p.m. for music, ice cream trucks and all kinds of entertainment. Councillor Pam McConnell will be officially opening the park at 1:45 p.m. The park is located at Dundas Street East and Sumach Street. See the flyer for details. In addition, the organizers behind the Regent Park Film Festival have scheduled a series of movies in the park running every Wednesday this summer — check out the line-up here.

Got a story about something going on in Corktown? Email