Smoke Signals BBQ Opening Soon

smokesignalslogoDundas and Ossington is getting its own barbecue joint. Former pop-up and event staple Smoke Signals BBQ is opening soon, bringing Southern style brisket, ribs and more to 1242 Dundas West.

1242 Dundas West was formerly home to the Brazilian Star restaurant, which closed recently. The space is already set up for commercial cooking and dining, which hopefully means the Smoke Signals crew will be ready to serve us delicious slow-cooked meats in the near future.

As a caterer and food vendor in Toronto the past few years, Smoke Signals has appeared as a pop-up across the city, including locally at Mr. Flamingo and The Derby, both on Dundas West. They’ve also participated in food fundraisers like The Stop Night Market. All of this work has been gaining them attention and praise in Toronto: they’re on many of BlogTO’s ubiquitous Top 10 lists and have received good reviews on more legit sites.

Smoke Signals Dundas West

Smoke Signals Sign at 1242 Dundas Street W

The new bbq pit will be on the same block and side of the street as Junked, west of the LCBO and east of Dovercourt. This should be a good location for them and us, because despite the plentitude of food choices in the area, there are none devoted to BBQ.

We will let you know when Smoke Signals is open to the public, and of course, keep us informed if you know more!


Hungry Amoo Open on Ossington

halogoHungry Amoo has opened on Ossington. Nestled in a block of good restaurants, with stalwart Union and the newer Te among them, the boite fills a long unused space at 74 Ossington. As mentioned in our previous post, it’s led by chef-owner Houman Pourmarz who has a good base of Toronto restaurant experience.

We stopped in last night for a drink at the bar and chatted with the very friendly bartender, Ben.  We didn’t try any food yet but the card is a good mix of nibbles and sharing plates.

The interior surprised us. Long and narrow is the norm, but this space goes very far back, with lots of seating. Comfortable seating too, at the bar and the tables. The front of the restaurant is dominated by two long communal tables, then there’s the bar area, and the back is filled with groups of smaller tables along the wall.

HungryAmoo Interior

The front tables at Hungry Amoo

Hungry Amoo is in soft opening mode. Last night was only the second night of service, so join them this weekend or next week while they make their way through the new menu. Get to know them! Everyone we met last night was very nice, the space is very nice too! Welcome them to Ossington Village!


Big Movie Shoot at Dundas and Ossington

There is a high budget shoot happening on Dundas at Ossington today. The production team is trying to keep the name of the feature a mystery, but word is out that it’s Guillermo del Toro’s latest feature, The Shape of Water, which fits everything we learned today.

The Movie is set in the 1960s

This is one piece of information that was willingly given out by one of the many workers on the production. The period costume and the vintage cars serve as further evidence.

Ossington shoot

Extras on set on Ossington

According to online info on The Shape of Water, it’s set in Cold War Era, circa 1965.

It has a pretty good sized budget

The street is blocked off for parking from Dundas and Grove on the west, south along Ossington to Rolyat, and on Dundas east of Ossington. This is so they can park all the vintage cars,, of which I counted at least 7.

Vintage Car

Vintage Car Dundas and Ossington

Vintage Army Truck

Vintage Vehicle Dundas and Ossington

















Did I mention the multitudes of cast and crew? Three of the four corners at Dundas and Ossington had line-ups of extras dressed in period costume.  There are also tens of crew members around, preventing anyone from finding out what is being filmed.

In addition, there are a couple of green screens out there, including one covering the West Neighborhood House at the northwest corner of Dundas and Ossington.

Green Screen

Green Screen Dundas and Ossington

Filming in the Lakeview

In addition to the assumed exterior shots (assumed because of all the extras on the street and the vintage cars, which aren’t going indoors), word is The Lakeview is being used for interior shooting. The Lakeview is often a location for film shoots, and definitely fits the period.

Lakeview Exterior

Lakeview Exterior

We also know for sure that this movie is filming in Toronto now. If you see Octavia Spencer, Sally Hawkins or Michael Shannon around, or Guillermo del Toro!, you’ll know for sure this is the movie.

Lululemon Coming to Ossington

lululogoYesterday’s blog post about the closing of HD Cafe at 96 Ossington led to a sharp reader tipping us off that Lululemon is taking over the space.

A quick search on Lululemon’s own website confirms this news, as they already have a page devoted to a Lululemon Ossington location.

Lululemon Ossington

From Lululemon’s website

96 Ossington is a big room for Ossington, and in a great location, next door to the Lower Ossington Theatre and across from Bang Bang and the line-ups that ice cream engenders, so if Lululemon is looking for foot traffic, it’s here. Also, Lululemon’s stock is down amid ongoing struggles, and they are experimenting with different retail ideas, so maybe this Ossington store is another test for the future.

The store hours are empty on the page. As HD Cafe’s last day of operation is this Saturday, September 24th, and the space is in great shape, perhaps Lululemon could open as early as October 1st.  That may be ambitious. We’ve reached out to Lululemon to find out what the Ossington store will include and when they expect to open it. We’ll keep you posted.


Ossington Closures and Changes

We have news of some more changes on Ossington: A beloved, albeit short-lived, pop-up is closing up shop, and another one is moving to more permanent digs, just around the corner.

HD Cafe To Close

HD Cafe Closing

The opening of the HD Cafe made news all over town and beyond at the beginning of the summer. We knew from the start this cafe at 96 Ossington was only a pop-up shop. But people fell in love with the vibe, the great coffee, and the free wifi, not to mention the vintage motorcycles. So this Saturday is the last day to enjoy all of it. Get out today or sometime this week, or you’ll have to head east to get the coffee itself at Fahrenheit Coffee.

Fitzroy Boutique Opening a Permanent Shop on Dundas West


Fashion “pop-up” Fitzroy Boutique has been located at 98 Ossington (right next to HD Cafe) for a few months. They started with cute clothes and candles, and soon branched out into renting dresses for special occasions. This great idea seems to have taken off and now the ladies behind Fitzroy are moving around the corner with a permanent space for dress rentals!  1227 Dundas Street West, 2nd floor, is the new spot for trying on a dress for that party, wedding or night on the town. It looks like it’s on the south side of the street between Ossington and Dovercourt, so they are definitely staying in the hood. Look for the new opening on October 3rd.

Ossington Village Galleries Make Some Changes

There is news in our local gallery scene that you should know.


Wil Kucey Gallery


The Dundas West art gallery formerly called  LE Gallery is now named after it’s founder and director Wil Kucey. LE opened in 2003 and has seen the area change, and now the gallery has changed it’s brand. The space at 1183 Dundas West showcases contemporary Canadian artists and will continue to be at the forefront of Toronto’s art scene, now as the Wil Kucey Gallery, with exhibitions planned through the end of the year.


CMC Exhibitions

Christian McLeod has announced he is closing his studio and gallery at Ossington. His CMC Gallery, mostly open by appointment only, was at 89 Ossington for over 10 years. An email blast from the artist reveals he is being forced to move due to the sale of the building. You will be able to find him at 1537 Queen Street West, in Parkdale, just east of Roncesvalles.

Twisted Smoke Is Closed, Prime Dundas Space Looking for Tenant

Another marijuana dispensary, this one Twisted Smoke on Dundas West, is now closed. The space is immediately available for rent, and representatives of Abacus Lofts have reached out to ask for publicity in getting a new, and improved, tenant.

Abacus Lofts is a brand new apartment building on the south side of Dundas at Grove Street. The prime spot at 1239 Dundas West is near restaurants and the LCBO and is available immediately for lease. It’s 1,595 square feet with a 400 sf patio in the front, and they are open to a cafe or restaurant taking over the lease. So if you or someone you know is looking for a place to open your dream business, try the link here.

Here are some photos of the recently emptied space:

Abacus Lofts

Abacus Lofts on Dundas West

1239 Dundas West

The retail space at 1239 Dundas West

Twisted Smoke is the second recent closure of a marijuana dispensary, not surprising since we still have a glut in our neighbourhood.

Ossington Village Alleyway Party Photos

The 6th annual Ossington Village Alleyway Party was yesterday and we were blessed with a beautiful sunny day to accompany the wonderful music, food and company in the alley.

The day was filled with friends old and new, food from the generous neighbors, Scrabble and other games, music and dancing. All of the talented performers donated their time and music, and for that we are very grateful! Here are some photos from the day and night:


The music line-up, which changed slightly


Rosey Kain made her first appearance at the Alleyway Party.

Rosey Kain made her first appearance at the Alleyway Party


Maracatu Mar Alberto: The drummers paraded down the alleyway to the stage

Maracatu Mar Alberto: The drummers paraded down the alleyway to the stage


James Hirtle & Masha Maria were new performers this year

James Hirtle & Masha Maria were new performers this year


Portuguese Accordians

Portuguese Accordions and Folk Songs


Michael Louis Johnson

Michael Louis Johnson Trio


Patricia O'Callaghan and The Gryphon Trio captivated the crowd

Patricia O’Callaghan and The Gryphon Trio captivated the crowd


Freeman Dre and The Kitchen Party are regular favorites at the alleyway party

Freeman Dre and The Kitchen Party are regular favorites at the alleyway party


Rambunctious and The Kitchen Party played together

Rambunctious closed the show with their horn playing and made-up songs on the spot


Peace Collective Now Open at 131 Ossington

Peace Collective OssingtonOssington is now home to another of Toronto’s iconic brands.  Peace Collective opened it’s flagship store at 131 Ossington this week. They have been renovating the space which formerly housed art galleryO’Born Contemporary and are open just in time for fall shopping.

You’ve been able to buy their garments online and at various independent shops around the city, but this is the first stand-alone store for the t-shirt company.


Peace Collective Ossington

Inside the Peace Collective Store on Ossington

While a large part of the shop is devoted to their signature clothing, the retailer will also offer “Peace Treats,” gourmet milkshakes and desserts from the front of the store. Peace Treats will be donating to local charities each month, which is in line with the brand’s corporate philanthropic messaging.

Peace Collective

A Sample of the “peace treats”

The store is now open 7 days a week. Hours are Monday to Thursday from 11am-8pm, Friday to Saturday 12pm-9pm, and Sunday from 12pm-6pm.




6th Annual Ossington Alleyway Party Sunday, September 11

Ossington Alleyway Party

The Ossington Alleyway party is back this Sunday. So get ready for a day of meeting your neighbors, listening to great music, and sharing food and drink with friends – new and old. This event is good for people of all ages – kids are usually kept busy with play areas and the music of course – and runs from 2-10PM.

The party is open to the public and free and it happens in the alley between Foxley and Argyle Streets and Ossington and Dovercourt. Neighbors share food, and we will be passing the hat to cover costs for equipment and such. Also feel free to bring your own food and drink.

The party’s Facebook page has all the info on the line-up of great local bands. Many are returning from years past, and there are new acts you will soon love! Musical acts include:

Masha Maria
Rosey Kain
Maracatu Mar Aberto
Balfolk Toronto
Moskitto Bar
Quique Escamilla
Patricia O’Callaghan with Gryphon Trio
Freeman Dre and the Kitchen Party
and more …

If you have been to the Alleyway Party even once, you know. If you haven’t ever been, this is your chance. Read about previous events and we’ll see you on Sunday.