ossington, restaurants, bars, art galleries, theatre, music, community, neighbourhood,

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    Cool #mural being painted on #ossington #streetart #art @hermannaudrey

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    At @tigerofswedento #sbnuitblancheto for #peep #ossington #charliechaplin

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    Great @sbnuitblancheto exhibit @bridgeandbardot tonight #photography #southasian #sbnuitblancheto

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    Getting ready for #jfl42 at @thegarrisonto with @tonyhinchcliffe

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    A busy @OperaBobs for the American League clinching game with the @BlueJays. #ComeTogether #bluejays

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    Head on over to the opening of @bobbiesuesmac. #MacandCheese at the corner of Foxley and Ossington

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    A new sign is up where @_fishbar used to be. Return to Oss. #ossington #comingsoon

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    Got lucky with a short-ish line @bangbang_icecream for some #longweekend #icecream Samnites

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    New popup storefront at 104 Ossington. #kigurumi #onesies #japan #popup

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    New storefront at 162 #ossington next to @idealcoffee on #foxley #teaser #openingsoon

Where to Watch the BlueJays Playoffs in Ossington Village

jaysnewWith the BlueJays hitting the playoffs for the first time since 1993, there’s a lot of excitement in the city. Playoff tickets are tough to get (and expensive) so you’re going to want to find a place to watch the game nearby. Luckily our neighbourhood has lots of choices. Here’s some of our suggestions for the early games – (as later in the playoffs we think other restaurants will get involved too) – the local spots which will be open early enough to catch Thursday and Friday’s games.

Opera Bobs

At 1112 Dundas West, just east of Ossington, Opera Bobs provides a great venue to watch games and has a nice neighbourhood bar feel. With a big screen behind their stage and a bunch of screens behind the bar, they’ll be showing games and serving up their traditional pub food such as wings and nachos.

The Contender

The Contender, at 1166 Dundas West, just west of Ossington, is one of the newest sports bars in the neighbourhood. Lots of big screens, sports bar food such as nachos, hot dogs and wings, and a menu that will make you feel like you’re at the ball park.

Dock Ellis

Who wouldn’t want to go to a bar to watch the playoffs named after a pitcher who threw a no hitter high on acid? And the food is not your typical pub food. They offer sharable snacks and a great selection of local craft beers, and are also on Dundas West, at 1280, just west of Dovercourt

The Saint

If you want to watch games with a nicer glass of wine and a perfectly cooked steak, or a dozen oysters, The Saint will be your neighbourhood place to go, at 227 Ossington.

Reposado Bar

If you’re looking for somewhere that’s a little less ‘sports bar’ head over to El Norte – the north room of Reposado Bar at 136 Ossington – where the games will be shown on the big screen and Sandy will be there serving up drinks and offering Goldfish. You’ll probably also be able to pick up flights of tequila if things go well.

First game is tomorrow at 3:30PM, followed by Friday at 12:30PM. Go Jays!


Experience Nuit Blanche Locally

SNB15_toronto_960x220This is the 10th year of Nuit Blanche in Toronto, and you can experience the free city-wide art party without travelling far, because there’s lots to do on Dundas, Ossington, and the local area.

This Saturday, October 3, at sunrise, explore the main exhibitions in the downtown core, sure, but also try the independent projects closer to home. Galleries, shops and music venues are all participating, and we’ve got the local highlights:

ravetapesThe Garrison, RAVETAPES: An Intergalactic. Interactive. Dance Music Experience.

This music club on Dundas West is hosting an event from music promoter Wavelength – a 12 hour interactive dance party from 7PM on Saturday to 7AM on Sunday. Different DJs will play all night and we don’t know what the interactive part is, but it sounds like fun!

Bridge + Bardot: Silenced SarissilencedSaris

Dundas West Vintage Shop serves as the venue for this photography and film exhibition exploring the history of South Asian female sexuality in public and private. Runs from 7PM-7AM.

PeepTiger of Sweden: Theatre Panik Art Project, PEEP

Check out this blend of high-performance drag show and photography at this 12-hour mutating exhibit at this popular Ossington fashion retailer. The exhibition will be in the window of the store, where performers will be recreating iconic photos in drag, so you can peep from the sidewalk or go inside to get closer.

Artscape Youngplace: Multiple exhibits. Conveniently located nearby on Shaw Street, the community arts hub is a natural fit for Nuit Blanche. Ranging from sound installations to interactive installations to more theatrical works, the night is open to everyone and there will be lots to explore.

photograpMillenials (the biggest participants in Nuit Blanche, according to a recent Globe and Mail story) will especially enjoy Memory Cube, the interactive social media exhibit that allows people to upload photos from their social media accounts to create and view their own memory bank in the moment.

Artscape will be open from 7A-7P also, so just head over and you’ll see the depth of exhibits on offer.

fluxdeluxTrinity Bellwoods Park Community Centre: Peggy Baker Dance Project Flux Delux

Another interactive project invites attendees to participate with their cell phones – as of September 30, you’ll be able to download the app that will help you participate in and control the performance. This performance is meant to be all-inclusive for people of all abilities to enjoy.

A little further afield are more venues like The Gladstone Hotel, Theatre Centre and the Drake Hotel. Plus, many other spaces will probably host their own events to on Saturday night, so keep your eyes open and have a fun night exploring the city.

Admission to Nuit Blanche events is free and the TTC will be running all night for your convenience.

New Openings: Bobbie Sue’s Mac & Cheese and Return To Oss

cropped-Bobbie_website_headerTwo new restaurants opened this weekend on Ossington, 20150926_180813Bobbie Sue’s Mac & Cheese and Return to Oss. Bobbie Sue’s is providing giant portions of a variety of mac & cheese styles, from classic to pulled pork, curry and even a vegan option. The address is 162 Ossington, but it’s located on Foxley, around the corner from the owners’ Hawker Bar. The down-home spot has a walk up window and serves the cheesy pasta concoction from the counter to the sidewalk to-go. It’s just open, but we imagine there may be indoor seating in the colder months. We’ll wait and see.



ReturntoOssThe other new opening is at 217 Ossington, previously held by Fishbar and now occupied by Return to Oss. This restaurant doesn’t seem to have a particular theme to their large menu, with a mixture of cuisines on the fare. We don’t know what the name means; is it someone who has had a business on Ossington before? or does it refer to something else completely? We’ll let you know when we learn more.




This Weekend’s Art Hop Explores City Galleries

ArtHopThis weekend is the time to explore the local art world for free, with Gallery Hop Toronto promoting Toronto’s gallery scene through lectures and tours across the city. As there are lots of galleries and art spaces in our neighborhood, there are also lots of local opportunities to enjoy Gallery Hop, as you can see on the map below:

Tours take place both Saturday and Sunday and are at set scheduled times. Just show up at the designated gallery by the start time, and you’ll be on the tour. There are a few tours right in our hood: the West Queen West tour visits InterAccess on Ossington on Saturday and begins at 1:30PM, the Dundas West/Ossington tour starts at G Gallery at 4PM on Saturday, and there’s a tour of Shaw and West Queen West, including Artscape, on Sunday at 12noon. The Ossington and Dundas stops also include LE Gallery and Loop Gallery.

So get out this weekend and learn some more about art and the local art scene.


Upcoming Local Events

There’s a lot going on in our neighborhood in the next few weeks, from music and shopping to drinking and comedy. We’ve got a round-up, and as always, check our calendar for daily listings.

TBW-Header-LogoToronto Beer Week runs September 18 – 26th with tastings, parties, crawls and more across the city. This celebration of local craft beer wouldn’t be complete without participants in Ossington Village. Among those businesses hosting brew-centric activities are Rock Lobster, Bellwoods Brewery, The Garrison, Porter House and The Painted Lady.

Also this weekend is another Dundas West Sidewalk sale. This Saturday, the street will still be open to traffic, but stores and restaurants will open their doors between Shaw and Landsdowne with special offers throughout the day. The Sidewalk Sale runs Saturday, September 19 from 10am-10pm.

jfl42The Garrison is a host venue for the JFL 42 comedy festival. Running September 24- October 3, JFL brings a variety of comedy shows to the city, from big name acts like Trevor Noah to hilarious lesser-known talent from across the globe. Expect to see a mix of performers in this intimate venue on Dundas West, like Kiwi Rhys Darby, familiar as the hapless manager on TV show Flight of the Conchords.

hpcIn two weeks, the Homegrown Park Crawl returns for Year 3. This event showcases a number of local parks and highlights local music and food at each stop on this travelling party. The crawl is September 27 from 12-6pm and you can buy tickets for the food from local spots like Pizzeria Libretto and Le Dolci. The crawl starts at Trinity Bellwoods Park and travels north through Fred Hamilton and Bickford before closing up at Christie Pits. Get your food tickets now!

Anything we’ve missed? Feel free to share with us.

Bellwoods Beer Bottles Now Accepted for Returns at beer stores

logobellwoodsThere was a bit of controversy in Trinity Bellwoods Park after the long weekend. So the story went, hipsters left their trash behind, the Bellwoods Beer bottles were everywhere, and who gets stuck with the clean-up? This led to some trash talking on the Friends of Trinity Bellwoods Park social, with people piling on Bellwoods for not taking deposits on their bottles.

As they say, it’s a long story – it’s never simple, is it? To summarize very briefly, Bellwoods Brewery beers are not available at LCBOs, so they are not automatically accepted for returns at The Beer Store. Yes, we live in Ontario where anything to do with alcohol is still controlled by those two monopolies. Since Bellwoods is quite a small facility, they cannot start a recycling program in their space.

We ran into Mike from Bellwoods on Ossington on Tuesday evening and discussed the situation with him. His plan was to try again to convince The Beer Store to start taking returns. Maybe because they can use some good press, it seems to have worked. Read the update on Bellwoods’ website, just added this afternoon. The gist of it is they’ll be taking a 10 cent deposit, and you can return your beers at the Beer Store like all the other beers you buy.

If you’re curious about the initial complaints, and want to read the whole thread, or learn more about what the Friends of Trinity Bellwoods Park are doing, click here.

Final note,  many of the bottles returned to The Beer Store are not being re-used, they are basically going to the same recycling centres as our blue bin plastics and cans. So while it’s fun to point fingers at a company for not doing things exactly the way you want them to, remember there are nuances to these stories, and let’s remember that individuals, not the brewery, left their beer in the park. So, next time you enjoy a picnic in the park, bring your trash out with you or throw it in a receptacle. Be a friend of the parks!

Ossington Back to School Guide

It’s that time of year for parents and kids – getting ready for back to school. You can get into the spirit too, by learning something new in the Ossington and Dundas area. Lots of businesses in our neighborhood offer many opportunities to learn something new. Whether it’s athletic, culinary or technological, there’s lots to learn in Ossington Village.

header-logo-2015Le Dolci on Dundas offers baking classes of all kinds on weeknights or on the weekends: learn to make croissants, bread or decorate cupcakes and more. They’ve also got a few weeks left of their farmer’s market class where Chef Michael Hunter takes you shopping at the Trinity Bellwoods Market and then cooks a feast with the finds!

Drinking delicious beer and learning too!? Sounds great! Which explains why Bellwoods Brewery‘s weekly sessions also sell out quickly. They announced the next round of guided beer tasting sessions last week so if you want to book one of their Tuesday sessions September 8th, 15th, 21st or 29th, email them now!

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Academy of Lions offers crossfit classes and personal training – they even let you try your first crossfit class for free every Saturday at 12:15pm. If your goal is to get in shape, this is a great opportunity for you.



InterAccess, the technology meets art studio at 9 Ossington, regularly offers workshops. You can listen to guest lecturers, learn hands-on tech, use 3D printers, and all sorts of interesting things that you probably didn’t know about. The workshops are scheduled on weeknights and weekends, so sign up now!

Yogaspace has all sorts of yoga practices, but did you know you can also learn to be an instructor? They offer teacher training courses 3 different times throughout the year so inspire yourself.


Know of anything we missed? Teach us in the comments or tweet us.

Local Food News

There’s been a lot of activity in the local restaurant scene these days. First, a recap on the new openings: Both The Grow Op and Omaw are now open and serving, as you can read about in our earlier posts. (Omaw even got a later write-up in the Toronto Star yesterday). Neither restaurant seems to have a website, but Grow Op is posting photos on Instagram.

We also posted this week that Jimmy’s Coffee is coming to Ossington soon, and then they tweeted us their plan is to open at the end of September:


Mamakas, the Greek restaurant which opened last August at 80 Ossington, got a rave review from Joanne Kates, so expect more crowds for the near future and reserve ahead!

You are now able to have vegan food and craft beer for lunch as Porter House just last week added afternoon hours to their schedule from Wednesday – Monday.

Rock Lobster is participating in “Le Burger Week” – and their Surf N Turf burger has been listed as one of the 5 burgers to try by Toronto.com.

Some sad news to report is that Jewish restaurant Essen, which used to be Quinta, at 1282 Dundas West, is now closed, according to Toronto Life. They closed the doors about a week ago and are not replacing it with another restaurant.

The space where Philip Sparks had his shop is also in transition, soon to be a food venue from the team behind Hawker Bar.

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Also, shout-outs to local favorites Pizza Libretto and Reposado, who both celebrated anniversaries last month!

Please keep us posted via social media or the comments if you’ve got any more news to share!

More Caffeine for Ossington: Jimmy’s Coffee Shop Opening Soon

Jimmy’s Coffee is already an established brand in downtown Toronto, and now it’s coming to Ossington. The July closing of Silver Falls Vintage and Tusk at 15 Ossington, provided an opportunity for Jimmy’s to expand west to our happening neighborhood.

According to Jimmy’s on Twitter, they’re currently renovating the space, which is just north of Sweaty Betty’s on the east side of Ossington.


With Sam James, I Deal and Crafted Coffee all offering us great brews, the addition of Jimmy’s may bring more people to the street or just keep more of us awake. We’ll keep you posted when it opens!


Omaw Opening Soon

UPDATE: Omaw is soft opening tonight and last night, serving up food and non-alcoholic drinks. Their liquor license is pending but imminent. They’ll be open at 5PM Tuesday – Sunday, so go sample some delicious southern style cuisine! 

OMAW88 Ossington is soon to be home to a Southern restaurant called Omaw, filling a cuisine cavity on Ossington, despite the delicious ribs at Union/CDB.

The former home to bar/club Levack Block, the space has been converted by chef Matt Blondin and catering team The Food Dudes. Toronto Life posted the news that the restaurant is opening soon, and in our wanderings we noticed the place looks ready to open:

OMAWfrontdoorChef Blondin’s tweet from February expected a March opening, but things may be getting closer. The latest news we could find is a posting from early July for restaurant staff. They  should be staffed up and ready to open by now, right?

We’ll keep you posted as soon as the doors open and we get to try the grub! If you beat us there, let us know in the comments or social media.