Belated reminder

There is a session today, and also the Santa Claus parade.

As you may remember, this runs on Bloor, just north of the Tranzac.

If you are coming by TTC, the Museum station I’d the closest on that that you out on the south side of Bloor. Alternatively, we theorise, you can go to Spadina and take the streetcar one stop south and walk west to Brunswick from there.

Good luck. See you soon, we hope, and sorry to have left it so late!

Rob and Donna


GIANT session and “Where to Go Next”

WP_20131215_13_58_32_ProOur last session brought 2013 out with a BANG! We had a giant session and we even had Christmas cookies.

This year we hosted a joint session, with the usual suspects plus a very large number of Anne Lederman‘s students, who played a variety of traditional styles. It was so much fun, it might become an annual tradition.

We were thrilled to welcome so many new players, and hope that some of them might come back for our regular French Canadian sessions.


This is the last post of the year, and for this website. We will transition to the new website on January 1st, 2014.

On the right-hand side of the new website, click the Subscribe button, to sign up for an e-mail when the blog gets updated. For example, if you want a session reminder sent to your e-mail address, subscribe to the new blog. If you prefer, you can add an RSS feed to your feed reader.

At the top of the screen, the new events calendar lists the session dates, as well as dates and information about folk festivals, concerts, dances and other French Canadian events that WP_20131215_13_58_41_Prowe hear about. If you use an online calendar, click the Subscribe button at the bottom of the event listings to add all the events to your personal calendar (they auto-update). Or, you can add a single event to your calendar by clicking on the event itself and then clicking the Add to calendar button that appears under the map.   

And of course, we have moved Rob’s tune list to the new site, as well as the Resources section of this site.

As always, if you have any questions or problems, you can e-mail us at toquetrad(at)

We wish you a safe and a prosperous new year! The next session is confirmed for January 19, 2014.

Rob and Donna

Session confirmed for Sunday, November 17 (and a warning)

Just a quick note to confirm that we are hosting the session at the Tranzac Club (292 Brunswick Ave) tomorrow from noon until 3 p.m.


The Santa Clause Parade starts at 12:30PM, but the Holly Jolly 5K Run starts at noon just east of Bathurst, and follows the parade route.  Some of you may recall needing to take drastic steps to cross Bloor St. due to the Santa Clause parade (which has also been known to wreak havoc with parking, drivers).

Warning: Parade route!

Warning: Parade route!


  • Leave earlier than usual.  Check out for travel times.
  • Consider taking the Spadina streetcar south one stop, which will get you onto the right side of Bloor.
  • Consider getting off a the Museum subway station and walking west from Bay to Brunswick. Museum station surfaces south of Bloor, and you may find the 15-minutes walk along Harbord (first street south of the station) more invigorating and civilized than trying to walk along Bloor.
  • If you are driving, come very early and come from the south.

When you do make it, there’ll be tunes and pints (or coffee).

These streets will be closed at the following times:

  • Bloor Street West: Ossington Avenue to Christie Street at 8 a.m.
  • Bloor Street West: Christie Street to Bathurst Street at 10 a.m.
  • Bloor Street West: Bathurst Street to Bay Street at 10:45 a.m.
  • Avenue Road: Davenport Road to College Street at 10:45 a.m.
  • University Avenue: College Street to Dundas Street at 11 a.m.
  • University Avenue: Dundas Street to Front Street at 11:15 a.m.
  • Wellington Street: University Avenue to Jarvis Street at 11:30 a.m.
  • Front Street: Bay Street to Jarvis Street at 11:45 a.m.

The parade starts at Bloor Street West and Christie Street and can be tracked on the following route:

  • Eastbound: Bloor Street West
  • Southbound: Queen’s Park Crescent East
  • Southbound: University Avenue
  • Eastbound: Wellington Street West
  • Eastbound: Front Street East, finishing at Jarvis Street

See you all tomorrow — or for the dance tonight!

Welcome back for the September session

I would like to remind everyone that the normal session schedule resumes at noon on Sunday with our June session at the Tranzac.

Next Session:

Sunday, Jun 16th, 12:00 – 2:45PM

Tranzac Club, 292 Brunswick Ave, Toronto (map)

We look forward to seeing you there!

August session cancelled

From: USC digital collections

Sorry about last month, guys!

We were driving out of town (past our mobile zone) when we realised, to our horror, that we had forgotten to cancel the session!!! Egads, we felt like heels.  We were headed (very indirectly) to the Festival Mémoire et racines (more on that later, when we regroup), where we saw many of you anyway. But we sincerely apologise for our oversight.

This August session, we will be at Rob’s family reunion camping extravaganza on a mountain somewhere (I think, a lake is also involved).  Unless there is a brave volunteer from the studio audience (volunteer here:, then we will have to cancel the August 18th session as well.

…. anybody…?


June session, same bat time, same bat channel.

I would like to remind everyone that the normal session schedule resumes at noon on Sunday with our June session at the Tranzac.

Next Session:

Sunday, Jun 16th, 12:00 – 2:45PM
Tranzac Club, 292 Brunswick Ave, Toronto (map)

We look forward to seeing you there!

January session: « Bonjour les accordéons ! » and new year’s resolutions

Thank you for everyone who showed up for the first session of the year!WP_000227

It started out a bit slowly, which turned out to be a good thing because – out came the accordions!

Both Elizabeth and Rob broke out their boxes for the very first time, playing some very fetching accordion duets! Elizabeth has been a closet accordion player for some time now, apparently. (She may find she has more room for the bellows, now!). Rob’s accordion was his big “Cyber Monday” purchase this past November. He says: “At least it slows me down!”.

2013-01 Edith with fiddleOf course, the were a number of other instruments, as well — notably fiddles!  Welcome to Tim, who came for the first time, and welcome back to all the regulars who came, well, back. It was great to see you all!

There was some discussion about learning tunes this year. Rob suggested “A Year of Claude”, since Claude Méthé e-mailed him a new composition on New Year’s Day. It seem like a good omen.

Anne suggested that this would be a great year to learn some Métis tunes, partly to support the Idle No More movement, and mostly because they are such great tune!

Who could choose between these fabulous options? Not us — we ambitiously chose to do both!

Yes, it will be A Year of Claude Métis!  Rob will contribute the Claude tunes, Anne the Métis tunes, and we will all try very hard to learn one of each every month. Deal?  We’ll put a page up or link it to the All Tunes page of this blog. We’ll post an announcement when it’s been done.

Bonne année !

Bonne et heureuse année à tous !

Meilleurs vœux pour 2013. All the best for the new year, everybody!

Une petite image pour nos amis Québécois…

Une petite image pour nos amis Québécois…

Due to a conflict for the “third Sunday” in January, we will reschedule our regular session time. But do feel free to check out the 22nd annual Chris Langan Weekend (January 18-23, 2013).

If you don’t know about it, it’s one of the nicest weekends of traditional Irish music around here. This year’s guests include Maeve Donnelly (fiddle), Cillian Vallely (pipes), Peter Maguire (flute), and Kelly Hood (uilleann pipes).

There will be a concert with local performers on Friday night, workshops during the day on Saturday, and a Saturday evening gala concert. Sunday features a breakfast, a lecture on some aspect of the music and the Piper’s Chair, an uilleann pipe recital. Everything happens at the Tranzac Club.

It’s been a bit hectic lately (I blame the Time of Year), and we have been unable to confirm the day for the next session. We are hoping for Sunday the 13th, or maybe the 27th… Watch this space for details.

Until then, stay safe, stay warm and keep playing!

November session and last night’s fun

IMAG0997Thank you to Edith for organising such a superb fundraising dance!  The music was fabulous and the caller (Jean-François Bethiaume, also of Réveillons!) got dancers of all ages and experience levels onto the dance floor and sharing in the fun. And the Dovercourt House is always a great venue.

The band was a real treat: our celebrated guest fiddler, Richard Forest from Réveillons!, was joined by Brian Pickell (guitar), Kate Murphy (piano), Peter Jellard (accordion) and Rob Rohr (fiddle). All the musicans and the donated their time and talents to help raise money to support a school and a music programme in Haiti.

A riotous good time was had by all the dancers, who numbered over 12 sets at one point in the evening! (That’s dancer-speak for “over 100 people dancing at the same time”.)

WP_000155Despite the transportation challenges caused by the annual Santa Claus Parade, a record number of attendees at the monthly session helped raise $55.00 for the Tranzac Club this month. We flocked in our thousands – well, OK, there were 16 of us who came out – and played until about 4:30. We even had an audient or two.

Richard and Jean-François brought new tunes to the mix, as did our newest local member, Malcolm. Welcome! We particularly enjoyed your playing of le reel des éboulements and le reel Issoudoun.

WP_000158Newer or less-frequent tunes from this session:

  • la ronfleuse Wilfred, and the one before it
  • les patins à Pauline
  • Louis Cyr
  • la reel Béatrice (in A) followed by Pointe-au-pic
    (in C)
  • le reel minuit (Joseph Allard)
  • le reel de Louis Gagnon
  • Concordia
  • La pluie de la St-Jean (Claude Méthé)
  • La ronfleuse Gobeil
  • that Édouard Richard tune (somebody must have a name for for it!)
  • la reel à Sophie d’Édouard Richard (merci, Richard, pour cette belle toune!)
  • WP_000157Ici et maintenant (encore une fois, merci, Richard)
  • Jos Bouchard (Thérèse Rioux)
  • le reel du Mal de dos
  • Richard Forest tunes!  Mattawa, Montebello

Remember these upcoming events: