The HotHouse Restaurant at 35 Church St. has put together a celebration menu designed to be picked up hot on New Years Eve, or chilled and ready to re-heat for dinner New Years Day. There will also be low-prep breakfast options on offer to help get your New Years Day started! Click here for their New Year's Food menu.
And of course, it wouldn't be New Year's without some drinks. Click here to see their New Year's Drinks menu!
Café Nicole (located in the Novotel Hotel at 45 The Esplanade) wants to thank everyone for their support through 2020. For New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, Café Nicole is offering a Festive Dinner and Brunch to help everyone to Welcome 2021 from the comfort of their living room.
On December 31st, pick up a 3 Course Dinner which includes Sparkling Wine and Party Favours to Kiss 2020 Goodbye! This offer will be available for Pick up from 6pm-9pm on New Year’s Eve. For New Year’s Day, Enjoy Brunch with a Build Your Own Cocktail to start the new year off right! Brunch will be available for pick up on New Year’s Day from 11am until 2pm. All of our New Year’s Offerings are available at www.cafenicole.ca or through Ritual, Skip the Dishes and Uber Eats.
Keep an eye out for Cafe Nicole's Super Bowl Special and their Valentine’s Weekend in February! Best Wishes for 2021 from Café Nicole!
By Bruce Bell, Local Historian
One of my favourite Christmas stories of days past is the one about George William Allan, the son of one of the wealthiest families in Ontario who decided it was time to do something to help the children who lived on the mean streets of Toronto.
As legend has it, on Christmas Eve 1870 George went for a walk along Front Street from his home on the north east corner of Front and Frederick streets, heading towards the St. Lawrence Market where along the way he encountered children huddled in doorways trying to escape the cold.
After living a life of privilege, on that Christmas Eve George was determined to do something to help the homeless youth of Toronto whose numbers were growing.
That night, George decided to donate his townhouse on Frederick Street to become the Newsboys' Home where young boys were given newspapers to sell on the streets and at night a place to eat and sleep - such a concept was radical idea for those times.
Many rich and wealthy people in 19th century Toronto and the rest of the British Empire didn’t think that the lower classes and especially children should be educated or even looked after by government as they might grow up and take over society, leaving the privileged classes throneless.
Within a year, Allan's Newsboys' Home had become a place of refuge for up to 20 young orphaned boys, most of whom had never known a hot meal or warm bed. Not nearly enough room for all the homeless children of Toronto, but it was a start.
In a mere 50 years, Toronto had grown from an quaint agricultural town of 10,000 people in 1834, to becoming a vast polluting industrial city of a quarter million.
Children, however, were looked upon like animals today, some we love and some we eat.
George Allan felt differently and in taking the actions he took to create the Newsboys' Home doing he led the way for another remarkable man to leave his mark on Toronto’s history.
In 1874, a 10-year old boy named John Joseph Kelso arrived in Toronto with his family poor and starving escaping the unimaginable poverty back in Ireland.
The following year, John Joseph, JJ as he became known, at age 11 skipped school and got a job at James Bain's bookstore on King Street East just around the corner from the Newsboys Home.
As JJ became older, he was often sickened at the sight of young shoeless boys not fortunate to live at the Newsboys' Home forced as he would famously say to “demean themselves and give the money to their parents or unscrupulous elders to buy liquor”.
As time went on, JJ Kelso went to college, became a bright student and eventually got himself a job as a newspaper reporter at the Globe and through his writings lifted the lid of the gruesome world of Toronto street children.
Kelso once a poor destitute street child would then go on to found the Children's Aid Society of Toronto in 1891, giving hope at last to the most vulnerable amongst us.
But it didn’t end there; previously Kelso established the Toronto Humane Society in 1887 and the Fresh Air Fund in 1888 providing excursions to the Toronto Island for poor women and children.
In 1911, Kelso become one of the founders of the still thriving Central Neighbourhood House built to bridge the gap between rich and poor by having workers live communally in urban slums with those they wanted to help.
George Allan and JJ Kelso, two extraordinary men from extremely different backgrounds would transform Toronto making it a safer place for children and eventually leadign to the establishment of Children Aid Societies the world over.
After his death in 1901, and as a tribute to the memory of George William Allan who was also the mayor of Toronto in 1855, the city changed the name of the Horticultural Gardens to ‘Allan Gardens’. The gardens maintain that name today.
After leading a life dedicated to helping the poor and destitute of Toronto, JJ Kelso died on September 30, 1935.
And to think it all began with a walk along Front Street on a snowy Christmas Eve in 1870.
Holiday Inn Express Contest
The Holiday Inn Express at the north end of our neighbourhood at 111 Lombard St. is extending their Staycation Contest to January 3rd - see details below:
We know a lot people could use a romantic getaway right now so we've extended our Romantic Getaway Contest entry deadline to January 3rd! To enter, like our post (on Twitter @hiexpresstorontodowntown) and @ tag who you want to join you for an overnight stay for two with us including dinner from Hothouse Restaurant delivered to your room, a movie of your choice, and breakfast to go. Winner will be announced on January 4th. Conditions apply. (The Staycation Package can be booked separately starting at $189 at https://bit.ly/3gRmTmr.)
#holidaygiveaway #win #contest #romanticgetaways #hietorontodowntown #entertowin #giveaway
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!
from the SLNA Board of Directors
St. Lawrence Market Holiday Hours
St. Lawrence Market has special winter holiday hours of operation beginning Monday, December 21.
South Market (main building)
Monday, December 21 - 9am / 5pm
Tuesday, December 22 - 9am / 5pm
Wednesday, December 23 - 9am / 6pm
Thursday, December 24 (Christmas Eve) - 7am / 4pm
Friday, December 25 (Christmas Day) - CLOSED
Saturday, December 26 (Boxing Day) - CLOSED
Sunday, December 27 - CLOSED
Monday, December 28 - CLOSED
Tuesday, December 29 - 9am / 5pm
Wednesday, December 30 - 9am / 5pm
Thursday, December 31 - 8am / 4pm
Friday, January 1 - CLOSED
Saturday, January 2 - 5am / 4pm
The South Market will operate under the COVID-19 revised hours of operation all other days in December and January.
The Farmers Market will have a special holiday market day
Wednesday, December 23 - 8am / 1pm
The Farmers Market will be closed on Saturday, December 26 (Boxing Day). The Market will be open on Saturday, January 2.
Market Lane Park Revitalization
It looks like the City of Toronto's plan to revitalize Market Lane Park is finally starting to get into gear. The City recently issued a 'Request for Proposal' for Landscape Architects and included in that request is a helpful description of the project which is likely of interest to nearby and surrounding residents. An excerpt from that description follows:
The project site is Market Lane Park located at 149 King Street East, in the St. Lawrence Market Neighbourhood. The park site is bounded by King St. at the north end, Front St. on the south side, St. Lawrence Hall and the new St. Lawrence North Market on the east side and Market Square condominium buildings on the west side. (Refer to Appendix 01 Survey.) Market Lane Park is situated within an area of cultural and heritage significance. It is located within the original footprint of Old Town Toronto, and integral to the historic St. Lawrence Market Neighbourhood. The park is a designated heritage property under Part V. of the Ontario Heritage Act as it is located within the St. Lawrence Neighbourhood Heritage Conservation District.
The goal of the project is to revitalize Market Lane Park through the design and implementation of park improvements that will respond to the protected heritage character of the area, maintain pedestrian connectivity from King St to Front St., provide visual and physical connectivity to the new St. Lawrence Market north market building which is currently under construction, integrate Indigenous place-making, provide seating and gathering areas, passive recreation opportunities, enhance lighting, site lines and safety features, create a place that is accessible and welcoming for all, preserve and enhance the existing trees, reimagine the existing fountain as a water feature without standing water, integrate the existing public art work at the north end, create a sustainable and accessible design that achieves design excellence and meet the current and future needs of the community.
While the RFP review for landscape work will take place in 2021, it is expected that this park revitalization initiative will begin once the North Market construction is complete. SLNA is kept abreast of this development via our Development Chair Suzanne Kavanagh who also represents the SLNA on the St. Lawrence Market Precinct Advisory Council (SLMPAC). Further updates will be provided when available.
Shop Local This Holiday Season!
yongeTomorrow Consultation Report
The following is from the City of Toronto's yongeTomorrow Initiative:
The third and final round of public consultation took place from September 2, 2020, to October 6, 2020, with a virtual public meeting held on September 16, 2020.
Questions and Answers received during the virtual meeting and the Round #3 Consultation Report are now available at toronto.ca/yongeTOmorrow.
Overall Feedback on Recommended Design ConceptA range of feedback has been received from different stakeholders:
Some participants were concerned about the level of confusion for all road users as the road operation changes from block to block. There was support for a more consistent operation throughout the focus area to reduce confusion for road users. SAG participants in particular noted that their priorities for yongeTOmorrow (e.g. improving pedestrian and cycling experience and vehicle access for businesses) had not changed given COVID-19. Business stakeholders expressed ongoing concern about the economic impacts of removing daytime vehicular access on sections of Yonge Street.
To learn more about what people said about the pedestrian and cycling experience, vehicle access, space for patios and street retail as well as space to festivals and events, visit the Past Consultation section on the project web page.
Review the Feedback
Staff Report to Committee of Council in Early 2021
Our next step in this study is to report to the Infrastructure and Environment Committee (IEC) of City Council with a staff report outlining the study recommendations and a request to proceed with a 30-day public review for the study report. Originally scheduled for December 2020, the yongeTOmorrow report will be presented at the committee meeting on Monday, January 11, 2021.
A copy of the staff report will be made available on the Toronto City Council and Committees Meetings, Agendas and Minutes (TMMIS) web page with a link also provided on the yongeTOmorrow web page.
How to Participate
The IEC will meet to discuss the staff report, hear from the public and make recommendations to City Council. Once the Committee agenda is published one week prior to the meeting date, members of the public can arrange to speak or submit comments to the Committee by contacting the Committee Clerk or IEC web page.
Learn how to Have Your Say
Sir Walter Scott Christmas
By Bruce Bell
In 1845, on the NW corner of Church and Wellington once stood the Wellington Hotel (now the site of the Works Burgers).
It was a three story wooden colonial style building that had verandas on the 2nd and 3rd floors and was quite the fashionable place.
One of the reasons for its success, was the hotel's owner Russell Inglis who as a boy while working in a restaurant in Scotland, Inglis waited on novelist Sir Walter Scott of Ivanhoe fame.
Inglis would often retell conversations he had with the famed writer to his enthralled patrons as they sat by the fire in his hotel.
Every Christmas Eve, Inglis would read Sir Walter Scott's epic poem Marmion about the Battle of Flodden published in 1808.
"Heap on more wood! – the wind is chill;
But let it whistle as it will,
We’ll keep our Christmas merry still.
Each age has deem’d the new-born year
The fittest time for festal cheer".
So there they sat the early residence of our neighbourhood, by a roaring fire, with the snow coming down, on a Christmas Eve on the corner of Church and Wellington as Inglis's read from his favorite Christmas poem.
When Russell Inglis died in 1860 his Wellington Hotel was demolished and replaced with one of the most sophisticated and luxurious buildings in the city, the new headquarters for the Bank of Toronto.
Eventually in 1962 the grand Bank of Toronto building too was demolished and replaced with a smaller TD Bank built of steel and glass in the then all-the-rage International Style.
In 1998 the little bank was converted into a Pizza-Pizza franchise, then a few years ago the present Works Burger Restaurant moved in.
Today every time I find myself standing on the NW corner of Wellington and Church I can hear the ghostly echo of Russell Inglis voice quoting the final lines of Walter Scott's epic poem:
‘Twas Christmas broach’d the mightiest ale;
‘Twas Christmas told the merriest tale"
Local Business Highlight: Cafe Nicole
Café Nicole (at 45 The Esplanade in the Novotel Hotel) is pleased to share that we are offering Weekend Dinner Specials, the Chef will be designing a menu every weekend for a change from our everyday Café Nicole Menu. We have some delicious options coming for the next two weekends. Please see attached photo for your Newsletter, Weekend dinners are available to order on cafenicole.ca and can be picked up on Saturday and Sunday Nights from between 4-6pm. We will also be offering our Friday Night Fish & Chips as we know it’s a favourite, and we are also available on Skip the Dishes, Ritual and Uber Eats
Lastly, we have you covered for the Holidays! We are offering a four course meal for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day for $49 a person, and with the purchase of 3 meals or more we will include a bottle of wine. For New Year’s Eve we have a lovely three course meal which includes sparkling wine and party favours for $59. On New Year’s Day, you can pick up Brunch for Café Nicole! Your choice of Entrée and a make your own cocktail included for $24. Order all of our special offerings at cafenicole.ca
Please download, print and share this flyer
Planning Applications for 49 Ontario Street and
429-455 Richmond St. East, 69 and 75 Ontario St.
Online session - Register to attend
Date and time: Monday, December 14, 2020 6:30 pm
Duration: 2 hours
Description: This Community Consultation Meeting will include two separate planning applications which are located within the same block bounded by Richmond Street East to the north, Adelaide Street East to the south, Ontario Street to the west, and Berkeley Street to the east. A summary of the two proposals is provided below.
49 Ontario Street
City Planning Division has received an application to amend the Zoning By-law to permit a mixed use development consisting of 3 towers: 12-storeys (46.95 metres), 36-storeys (127.0 metres) and 29-storeys (104.4 metres) atop a shared base building. The development would contain 13,138 square metres of office, 643 square metres of retail uses, and 881 dwelling units. A mid-block connection between Ontario Street and Berkeley Street is proposed between the 12-storey building and the towers. The proposed development would have a total gross floor area of 66,025 square metres, which would result in a Floor Space Index of 10.91 times the area of the lands. The application proposes 202 vehicular parking spaces and 947 bicycle parking spaces.
You can view the submitted plans and reports online at: http://aic.to/49OntarioSt
You can view a copy of the Preliminary Report providing background information at: https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2020/te/bgrd/backgroundfile-141195.pdf
429-455 Richmond Street East, 69 and 75 Ontario Street
City Planning Division has received an application to amend the Zoning By-law to permit a 35-storey mixed use building with an overall height of 113.85 metres containing 384 square metres of retail uses and 251 dwelling units. The proposed development would have a total gross floor area of 16,816 square metres, which would result in a Floor Space Index of 15.19 times the area of the lands. The application proposes 58 vehicular parking spaces and 260 bicycle parking spaces.
You can view the submitted plans and reports online at: https://aic.to/75OntarioSt
You can view a copy of the Preliminary Report providing background information at: