By Dennis Kucherawy

He’s a singing legend that has sold more than 100 million records with 36 Top 40 hits in the UK and 19 in the USA.

And this Wednesday night at 7 p.m. he swings by the Opera House in Corktown’s neighbor Riverside at 735 Queen St. E. to sign copies of his new autobiography “Over the Top and Back.”  The event will include a 30 minute public interview.

Born as Thomas Jones Woodward in Glamorgan, South Wales, Jones was at the forefront of the British musical invasion of the mid-Sixties along with The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and Petula Clark with hits such as “It’s Not Unusual,” “Delilah,” “She’s a Lady” and the theme from the James Bond film “Thunderball.”  With his passionate performances, rich baritone and swiveling hips, he inspired women everywhere to pelt him with their undergarments. He was knighted in 2006.

Rules for the event say that Jones will only sign copies of his book and that candid photography is permitted but no posed selfie photography or video.

Requests for physical contact will not be allowed… he’s 75, you know… and a final request from organizers:

“Please — No throwing of gifts or clothing of any kind.”




SNEAK PEEK: A glimpse at the interior of the new Dominion on Queen. Under new ownership, the pub is set to re-open in December. Photo by John Downs, via Facebook.

Corktown, Toronto eNewsletter for the week of November 23, 2015

CHERRY STREET Y: The new Cherry Street YMCA — set to open in Spring 2016 — is collecting feedback on their programming via an online survey. Click here to fill it out.

Reps from the Y will also be attending the next CRBA public meeting on Tuesday, December 1 at Little Trinity Church at 7 p.m.

SUMACH ESPRESSO: BlogTO has a review of new Corktown coffee shop Sumach Espresso, located right on the corner of Shuter & Sumach across from the Regent Park ice rink. It’s a delightful spot to check out. Our own Dennis Kucherawy took an in-depth look at the place a month back.

FREE THE CHILDREN: Not-for-profit organization Free the Children is set to take over the building that until recently housed the legendary Marty Millionaire. Inside Toronto has some details on their plans for the site — they’re looking at a Summer 2017 opening.

CHRISTMAS MARKET: The Toronto Christmas Market continues this week in the Distillery District. Admission on weekdays is free, while getting in on the busier weekend festivity will cost you five bucks. To get there, follow the sound of Christmas music or, um, check the website.

ON STAGE: Speaking of holiday cheer, our friends at the Young Centre for the Performing Arts are set to debut a tale of how a grumpy old man found his Christmas spirit with their production of A CHRISTMAS CAROL. You can get tickets online. The show runs from December 3 through to January 3.

LIGHT UP RIVERSIDE: Our friends across the river in Riverside are also getting in on the yuletide action this week. On Saturday, November 28 check out their LIGHT UP RIVERSIDE event. It kicks off at 5 p.m. in the Mustard Seed Courtyard (791 Queen East) with music, food and the lighting of the tree. Visit the Riverside BIA website for details.


  • The next public meeting of the Corktown Residents & Business Association is set for Tuesday, December 1 at Little Trinity Church. (In the basement of the main church building.) We’ll run from 7 to 9 p.m., with a bunch of special guests including reps from the Cherry Street Y and a new Corktown business. All are welcome to attend!
  • The Corktown Chamber Orchestra is tuning up for their Christmas Concert on Thursday, December 10 at Little Trinity Church at 8 p.m. Tickets are just ten dollars at the door, with kids getting in free. Check the event page for details.
  • The CRBA Holiday party will be at Odin Cafe + Bar (514 King East) on Sunday, December 13 from 5 to 9 p.m. with live music, a silent auction, free appetizers and a cash bar. Come out and celebrate with us! RSVP on Facebook to let us know you’re coming!

Got a story about something happening in Corktown? Email



CORKTOWN NIGHTS: A Corktown skyline shot shows our big and glowing neighbourhood. Photo by Anne Marie Aikins, via Twitter.

Corktown, Toronto eNewsletter for the week of November 16, 2015

IMPACTFUL: Our new friends at Impact Kitchen have earned themselves a slew of good press (have you been yet?) — the latest is a Toronto Star profile on co-owners Josh Broun and Frank Toskan. Our own Dennis Kucherawy profiled Josh and Frank for a few weeks ago — here’s the link in case you missed it.

DATA IS BEAUTIFUL: Over at Torontoist, they take a look at the design and inspiration behind the new Parliament Street Data Centre. It’s meant to look like an old school punchcard.

TOYOTA SITE DEVELOPMENT: Inside Toronto has an update on the development plans for the Toyota dealership site just across the bridge in Riverside. It’s received community council approval.

GWNA MEETING: For Corktowners in the Distillery, the Gooderham & Worts Neighbourhood Association meets tonight — Monday, November 16 — in the 2nd floor community room of 80 Mill Street. The details are on their website.

YOU BETTER NOT CRY: Ready or not, the Distillery District Christmas Market begins this Friday, November 20. As has been reported in the media breathlessly, admission to the market will cost $5 on weekends. (Though kids under 12 get free admission this weekend.) This year will see a jam-packed line up of musical performances, including a show by — and I am not making this up — Dee Snider of the band Twisted Sister. The details are online.

PORT LANDS CONSULTATION: Waterfront Toronto’s consultation meetings on the plan for the city’s port lands — just south of us — continue this week. There’s a session on November 17 at Morse Street Junior Public School and one on November 18 at the EMS Training Centre. View the flyer for details.

ON STAGE: The Fireworks Festival at Alumnae Theatre concludes this week. Don’t miss your last chance to check out the great line-up of stage shows.


  • The Riverside BIA is holding their annual Light Up Riverside event on November 28 with a tree lighting ceremony, a shop the neighbourhood event and other festivities. The details are online.
  • Our flowery friends at Linden Grove are hosting a Wreath Design Class on December 5. Enquire at or 416-530-2427 for details and to reserve a spot.
  • The next public meeting of the Corktown Residents & Business Association will be held Tuesday, December 1 at Little Trinity Church — in the basement of the church itself — between 7 and 9 p.m. Reps from the new Cherry Street Y are set to attend and share some of their plans for the community programming in the new facility.
  • The official Corktown Holiday Party presented by your CRBA is set for Sunday, December 13 from 5 to 9 p.m. It’ll be hosted by the amazing people at Odin Cafe + Bar at 514 King East. We’ll have live music, a silent auction, free appetizers, a cash bar and more. Let us know you’re coming by RSVPing on Facebook.

Got a story about something going on in Corktown? Email


IT’S COMING: The Distillery District gets gussied up for the coming holiday season. The Christmas Market starts November 20. Photo by Dan Philips.

Corktown, Toronto eNewsletter for the week of November 9, 2015

DIRTY IN CORKTOWN: You may not know it, but Corktown is home some of Toronto’s flashiest tailors. The Dirty, Inc. took up shop on 396 King East earlier this year. Recently, Toronto Life showed how their suit designs come to life.

ATHLETES’ VILLAGE UPDATE: Metro News has some updates on the conversion process of the Pan Am Athletes’ Village into condos and apartments that will house our new neighbours next year. You can check it out here.

RIVERSIDE UPDATES: Speaking of neighbourhood changes, there’s a lot going on across the river in Riverside. The Riverside BIA has a rundown of new retail and restaurants.

LEST WE FORGET: Pay your respects and remember the fallen this Wednesday, November 11. Mark your Remembrance Day with a ceremony at the cenotaph at Little Trinity Church (425 King East) beginning at 10:50 a.m. The details are online.

PORT LANDS CONSULTATION: Help shape the next major phase of waterfront development by attending Waterfront Toronto’s upcoming sessions on their plans for the city’s port lands.

An open house will be held this Saturday, November 14 with two sessions at George Brown College’s lakefront campus. There will also be two workshop sessions — the first on November 17 at Morse Street Public School (180 Carlaw) and the second on November 18 at the EMS Training Centre (895 Eastern).

Check out the information page for all the details.

ON STAGE: The critically acclaimed Fireworks Festival continues at Alumnae Theatre. You can get tickets online.

Also on stage at the Alumnae: Interview with a Demon. Get your tickets!


  • The next meeting of the Corktown Residents & Business Association will be held on Tuesday, December 1 at Little Trinity Church in the church basement. All are invited. On the agenda will be a presentation from the Cherry Street YMCA along with other great guests and updates.
  • Our friends at the Enoch Turner Schoolhouse are hosting their annual Founders’ Dinner on Thursday, December 3. You can buy tickets online.
  • The annual Corktown Holiday Party is set for Sunday, December 13 from 5 to 9 p.m. at Odin Café & Bar (514 King East).

Got a story about Corktown? Email


Thanks to all who came out to the November public meeting of the Corktown Residents & Business Association on Tuesday, November 3 at Little Trinity Church Annex.

For reference, we’ve uploaded the presentation files from our three guests.


First Gulf Presentation on 21 Don Roadway (Unilever Site)


Good Shepherd Presentation on Volunteer/Donation Opportunities for the Holiday Season

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Update on the Queen-River Secondary Plan OMB Appeal

The next CRBA public meeting will be Tuesday, December 1, with special guests from the Cherry Street Y.


Opening night this Thursday, Nov. 5th — “I laughed, I cried, I conga-ed!”

By Dennis Kucherawy, Corktown Correspondent

After its sizzling hot out-of-town engagement at Chicago’s Oriental Theatre this summer, the much-anticipated new Gloria and Emilio Estefan bio-musical “On Your Feet” is setting Broadway ablaze in previews.

It has already broken the weekly $1 million ticket sales mark in only its third week. (The show sold 11,825 tickets for a weekly gross of $1,096,202.)

The part Broadway/part thrilling concert opens this Thursday, Nov. 5th at the Marquis Theatre.

A key to the success of this Latin/salsa dance fiesta is Toronto’s own Sergio Trujillo. The Chicago reviews were love letters: “Sensational” (Chicago Sun Times). “Spectacular choreography!” (Time Out Chicago).

Continue reading »


Corktown Meeting Poster - Nov 2015

Corktown, Toronto eNewsletter for the week of November 2, 2015

CRBA MEETING: Your Corktown Residents & Business Association has our monthly public meeting this week. Please join us on Tuesday, November 3 from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Little Trinity Church Annex (403 King Street East). All are welcome!

On the agenda this month we have a special presentation from developer First Gulf, who will tell us about their Project 21 plans for the former Unilever site on the east side of the Don River. This will be one of the most significant developments coming to our part of the city, so make sure you come out and learn about what’s coming our way.

We’ll also be discussing the ongoing OMB appeal of the Queen-River Secondary Plan, hearing from our partners at the Good Shepherd Centre about holiday season volunteer opportunities and, of course, sharing other news items and issues of concern in the neighbourhood.

We hope to see you there!

FREE THE CHILDREN AT QUEEN-PARLIAMENT: As reported in the Globe & Mail last week, Canadian charity Free the Children will be moving their headquarters to the old Marty Millionaire site at the southwest corner of Queen & Parliament. Their new office will house 400-500 workers.

REGENT RETAIL: Urban Toronto had a good story last week about the retail plans for One Park Place in Regent Park. Worth a look.

ON STAGE: The annual FireWorks Festival launches this week at Alumnae Theatre. The festival includes several intriguing plays along with opportunities for you to go behind-the-scenes into the creative process. You can get tickets online.

Also at Alumnae Theatre, make sure you get your tickets for INTERVIEW WITH A DEMON. It premieres next week. Tickets are online.


CORKTOWN ART CLASSES: After getting a great response to their adult art classes, Myspace Art Studio is now open for Junior art classes, for ages 7 to 13. Participants will create Christmas gifts and cards. The studio is located at 535 Queen St East Unit 3. For more details, check or contact Imam Azhari at or at 416-877-3732.

BOOK LAUNCH: Jazz fans take note: the autobiography of late drummer Archie Alleyne will be launched this Saturday, November 7 at 5 p.m. Corktown correspondent Dennis Kucherawy has the details at


  • Our friends at the South Riverdale Child Parent Centre are hosting a fun fundraiser evening complete with a live/silent auction and the music of the Johnnie Blues Band on Saturday, November 14 from 7 to 11 p.m at the Ralph Thornton Centre (765 Queen East). Tickets are just $10 in advance or $15 at the door. Get the details online.
  • Keep the date free! The annual Corktown neighbourhood holiday party will be held at Odin Cafe + Bar on Sunday, December 13 from 5 to 9 p.m.


ALL THAT JAZZ: Drummer Archie Alleyne performing at a 1988 concert. His autobiography will be released at a book launch at Daniels Spectrum on November 7. Photo courtesy CBC.

By Dennis Kucherawy

Last June on a sweltering afternoon during Toronto’s jazz festival, approximately 800 people crowded shoulder-to-shoulder into the Daniels Spectrum’s Ada Slaight Hall to pay tribute to Canadian jazz pioneer Archie Alleyne.

Many of Canada’s finest musicians gathered in Regent Park to performer in the beloved drummer’s honor, including pianist Joe Sealy and singer Jackie Richardson.  Tessama Alleyne, Archie’s daughter, presented a dramatic; dub poet performance, accompanied by percussion.  The concert went on into the night.

Now, on Saturday Nov. 7th, another event will celebrate Archie and his extraordinary career:  the launch of his autobiography “Colour Me Jazz – The Archie Alleyne Story.”  It will happen next door to the Daniels Spectrum at The Paintbox Bistro (555 Dundas East).  Doors open at 5 p.m. and the reading begins at 6 p.m.

The reading is free, but RSVPs are a must at  The deadline is Nov. 4th.

A limited number of his books will be available at $25 each.

Born in Toronto in 1933 and raised here, Alleyne’s illustrious career included drumming for such great “visiting” jazz artists as Lester Young, Stan Getz, Ben Webster, Coleman Hawkins and legendary singer Billie Holiday.  His book, co-written over a decade with Sheldon Taylor, is a wide-ranging memoir detailing his jazz career that spanned 60 years, according to press materials.

It “covers the highs and lows of Archie’s career, his reflections on race, family life and politics, and his passionate commitment to spreading the word about jazz and blues,” the release says.  “(It) serves as a collection of memorable jazz profiles and portraits that will make you laugh, cry and feel alive.”

Throughout his long career, he also performed with “literally hundreds of Canadian jazz players and singers.”  He rose to critical attention as the resident drummer at Toronto’s famous Town Tavern where he performed for more than a decade beginning in 1955.

Following a car crash in 1967, he took a break from music to become a partner in Toronto’s Underground Railroad Restaurant before returning to music in the early 1980s.

In 2003, he established the Archie Alleyne Scholarship Fund (AASF) a not-for-profit organization to recognize and encourage academic excellence in jazz studies.

At the end of 2011, he received the highest civilian recognition in the country, as a Member of the Order of Canada. Archie’s musical journey came to an end this summer, when he died due to complications with prostate cancer.


PATH FORWARD: The mural on the ground is a colourful remnant of the Toronto 2015 Pan Am/ParaPan Am Games Athletes’ Village in Corktown. Photo by Dan Philips.

Corktown, Toronto eNewsletter for the week of October 25, 2015

BIKE SHARE TO: Formerly known as Bixi, Bike Share Toronto has launched a new survey allowing Toronto residents to provide feedback on the service and indicate where they’d like to see new stations. Let them know that we need more stations in Corktown here.

PAINTED ‘TOWN: Local artist Gary E. Smith has just finished another great neighbourhood painting. This time, his subject is the block of historic rowhouse storefronts at 362-368 King East. The block includes local favourites Roselle Desserts, Eco Stems and Tandem Coffee. You can check it out — and buy prints — at Gary’s website.

DON TRAIL CONSTRUCTION UPDATE: The City recently provided an update on the trail improvements planned for the Lower Don Trail. You can read all the details here. The trail isn’t expected to see any closures for construction this fall, but there will be some closures this winter to complete the work. We’ll provide updates as we get ’em.

CORKTOWN THROWBACK: The corner of King East & Parliament was the subject of Urban Toronto’s Throwback Thursday last week. The corner has definitely changed a lot with the addition of the King East condo project.

RIVERSIDE SQUARE: Speaking of changes, Urban Toronto has some details on the Riverside Square project that will transform Queen East across the river over the next few years. Of note: “Riverside Square also strives to become a lively neighbourhood hub, with the public plaza set to be joined by a variety of retailers, including an onsite grocery store.” (Emphasis enthusiastically added!)

FOOD TRUCKS RETURN: Food trucks return to the neighbourhood this Tuesday, October 27, with Vesta Lunch on Wheels setting up shop between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. in the parking lot outside Workplace One. (340 King East) Visit the Food Truck Toronto website for info.


CHAMBER ORCHESTRA: The world famous Corktown Chamber Orchestra kicks off their 2015-2016 season this Thursday, October 29 at Little Trinity Church. (425 King East.) Their concert “Pastoral” will start at 8 p.m. Tickets are just $10 at the door, with kids getting in for free.

IWAD_BannerON STAGE: Interview with a Demon is set to debut at Corktown’s Alumnae Theatre on November 10, with a limited engagement scheduled through November 15. The show promises to “take us on a wild ride explaining life on the other side – what Heaven and Hell are really like, the essence of the soul, religion, mythologies, angels and God and Satan – debunking much of what we have come to believe for centuries.” The production features an all-star cast, including Canadian comedy legend Sean Cullen. You won’t want to miss it – grab your tickets online.

Also upcoming on stage: Alumnae Theatre Company’s always intriguing Fireworks Festival. The festival offers 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. It runs from November 4 through November 22. Get your tickets online.


  • The next public meeting of your Corktown Residents & Business Association will be held Tuesday, November 3 at Little Trinity Church Annex (403 King East) from 7 to 9 p.m. We’re excited to welcome representatives from First Gulf developments, who will share with us some details on their plans for the Unilever lands located across the river from Corktown Common. (You can learn more about this project at the Project 21 website.)
  • I know it’s crazy, but it’s true: set up has begun for the Distillery Christmas Market. It kicks off Friday, November 20. This year, in an attempt to keep the crowds reasonable, the market will charge an admission fee of $5 to all attendees on Saturdays and Sundays. All other market days will be free admission. You can learn about all the plans here.
  • Speaking of Christmas, hold this date! The Corktown Holiday Party will be held Sunday, December 13 from 6 to 10 p.m. at Odin Cafe + Bar. (514 King East) We’ll have more details on all the fun and merriment soon.

 Got a story about something going on in Corktown? Email


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Corktown, Toronto eNewsletter for the week of Monday, October 19

ELECTION DAY: It’s election day in Canada. We’re urging all Corktowners — regardless of political stripe — to head out to the polls today and mark a ballot. We were grateful to have many of the candidates in Toronto Centre come out to our most recent CRBA meeting.

If you’re confused about your polling location or what you need to vote, the Elections Canada website can help.

FOOD TRUCK TUESDAY: If you’re looking for an extra tasty post-election lunch tomorrow, head on over to the parking lot outside Workplace One (340 King East) to grab a bite from the Heirloom food truck. They’ll be serving from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Click here for details.

RIVER CITY 3: The third phase of the River City development broke ground last week. This phase, located just south of Underpass Park, will be 29 storeys tall and has a unique design. It’ll be followed by Phase 4, which will complete the development. You can learn more about the groundbreaking, the project and future plans at Urban Toronto.

ON STAGE: Interview with a Demon opens at Alumnae Theatre on November 11. You can get tickets online.

HALLOWEEN IN RIVERSIDE: On Saturday, October 24, join our friends in Riverside for their annual Halloween event. There will be a pumpkin carving contest, a haunted house, a kiddie costume parade and trick-or-treating along Queen East. It runs from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m — the details are online.


  • The next public meeting of your Corktown Residents & Business Association will be held Tuesday, November 3 at Little Trinity Church Annex (403 King East) from 7 to 9 p.m. We’re excited to welcome representatives from First Gulf developments, who will share with us some details on their plans for the Unilever lands located across the river from Corktown Common. (You can learn more about this project at the Project 21 website.)

Got a story about something going on in Corktown? Email