allsaints 5 to 7 to the rescue!

Ryan Lotan

I am certain many of us will look back at this past winter as seemingly endless and having almost entirely forgotten what our neighbours look like. Beyond a quick wave as we shovelled ourselves out from another snowfall, it is oftentimes hard to find the opportunity to connect with neighbours the same way we normally do during warmer weather. Enter allsaints Cinq à Sept (5 à 7).

Taking place on both Thursday and Friday evenings from—you guessed it—5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., the allsaints 5 à 7 at first sounded like a weekly tradition my 20-something self would have loved (especially having spent my university days in Montreal).

On a Friday night in March, Jo Anne Walton and Barbara Brockmann found the 5 to 7  a great  place to get together at the end of their work week. They were undergraduate roommates on Sweetland some years ago, and Barbara remains a denizen of Sandy Hill. 
Photo Jane Waterston

With three young kids, getting out to socialize is a logistical impossibility. But wait, on Fridays at allsaints you can bring your kids! For the cost of $10 per child, the kids are treated to dinner and a movie in Bate Hall while you can enjoy yourself with an excellent selection of food and beverages in the Working Title Café (entrance off Laurier Avenue). My wife and I attended a few times over the course of the winter, in some cases coordinating with other friends and neighbours, while in others just seeing who we would run into. Not only did we get to remember what our neighbours looked like before the spring thaw, but we were also able to meet some new imports to Sandy Hill. Shortly after 7:00 p.m. we would make our way up to Bate Hall, collect the children (who are assigned a numbered ticket to avoid any unintended “Parent Trap” situations), bundle up and wander down the street to home.

There is nothing better than a simple idea, well-executed and this is a prime example: Thursdays with live music in the café and Fridays with the kids upstairs at Kindercinema. After we attended our first one, I was sharing with co-workers what a great concept it was and they commented that they wished their neighbourhood was as “hip as Sandy Hill.” Hats off to Leanne Moussa and the great staff at allsaints for establishing what has become a warm weekly tradition for many. If you haven’t attended yet and you are home on a Thursday or a Friday wondering what to do for dinner, give it a shot. You never know who you will run into.