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

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    Exciting last inning at @camp4bar for game 3 of the @bluejays #alds

Sam James and Stussy are moving from Queen and Ossington

20151128_113648The building at Queen and Ossington, which used to house a sewing machine shop called WorldSew only a few years ago, has changed hands. As a result, both Stussy, which opened in late 2012, and Sam James Coffee Bar, which opened in April of 2014. are leaving the neighbourhood.

We’ve heard from a few neighbours, and it’s also being reported in Now Magazine, that the building is being taken over by Shinola, a Detroit company that sells retro watches and leather goods.

Sam James unsuccessfully tried to negotiate to stay in the space after the change of hands, and posted his displeasure at the result on his instagram this week.


While we understand change is inevitable, we’re still sad to see a positive local institution like Sam James leave our neighborhood.

Now Open: Community 54

c54New York and Parkdale retailer Community 54 has opened an outpost of their sneaker shop on Ossington.

Down below Hero Heroine at 216 Ossington, just south of Dundas, Community 5 have stocked a small room with women’s and kids’ sneakers and clothing. The space is very hip and the vibe is friendly. Go check it out for yourself! We didn’t take any photos when we visited last weekend because they weren’t completely set, but check out their instagram for some recent shots.



Jimmy’s Coffee Brings More Joe to Ossington

There’s a new place to get your coffee fix on Ossington. Jimmy’s Coffee, a popular java spot with several locations downtown, has moved into 15 Ossington, adjacent to Sweaty Betty’s and just north of another beloved coffee shop, Sam James.

15 Ossington, which used to be home to various consignment and vintage shops, is transformed into a comfortable and spacious cafe. It’s probably the biggest of the 4 indy coffee shops on Ossington, with a large back room as well as the front room and coffee bar. Jimmy’s is now open and serving drinks and pastries.

We took some photos so check them out in case you can’t stop in this weekend.




Now Open: Lola Salon

Updated: We found Lola Salon’s website and Facebook page so contact information is now available. Plus, we took some better photos!

20151114_152123A new salon just opened at 200 Ossington, taking over the space recently occupied by Lush and Lavish.

Lola Salon doesn’t have an online presence yet, and it was pouring rain out tonight when I dashed by, so here’s a couple of very blurry photos. We’ll stop in and report back soon! Contact us if you have any information.




Legally Blonde a Fun Night out On Ossington

lot-lb2015The latest show to debut at Lower Ossington Theatre is the comedic musical Legally Blonde. You may already know the sugary story from the movie starring Reese Witherspoon, and the musical doesn’t change much. What it does is add some cute and fun songs and dances – including one very impressive jump roping number – and the show at LOT doesn’t disappoint. You – and your girlfriends – that is who you’ll want to see the show with – will have a few laughs at this light comedic show.

The cast is fun and energetic. A standout performer is the star Madison Hayes-Crook as dreamy lovebird Elle Woods, who heads to Harvard Law School to follow her ex-boyfriend and turns out to be a successful student herself. Good thing she is so good because she rarely leaves the stage. Other highlights include Lindsay van der Grinten in a hilarious role as hairdresser Paulette and Breanne Dietrich as debutante Vivian Kensington.

Legally Blonde is running 5 shows a week Thursday – Sunday until November 22nd. Tickets cost between $49.99 and $69.99 – for the top price you get a front row seat and a specialty cocktail for a great girls’ night out. You’ll be saying “Oh My God You Guys” for sure.

Madison Hayes-Crook as Elle WoodsLB2

Lindsay van der Grinten as Pauline


Justine Grimes and the jump rope dancersJumpropeLB

Photos: Seanna Kennedy Photography

Now Open: The Saucy Pierogi

saucypDundas West has a new dining destination. The Saucy Pierogi styles itself as Toronto’s first modern pierogi restaurant. Located at 1282 Dundas West, just west of Dovercourt and next to The Contender, it’s now open and serving a variety of traditional and modern pierogis. FYI – a pierogi is an Easter European dumpling, traditionally filled with cheese, potato, and ground meat. The Saucy Pierogi also offers some modern takes including Jerk Chicken (which we tried) and Pulled Pork. Plates include 3 of the same kind and are priced very reasonably at $4.


The team behind this new restaurant are by no means inexperienced. They have been serving their food at pop-ups and food events across Toronto for a few years and were ready to have a home base.

In addition to the namesake pierogis, the menu includes cabbage rolls, schnitzel and a Polish meat platter for sharing. They are also going to be selling their sauces, pierogis and more ready-made to go.


We stopped in for the grand opening tonight and took some photos, but check the place out for yourself.




Ossington Alleyway Party Photos

Once again, the Ossington Village Alleyway party was a big success. The Day of the Dead theme was a big hit, with lots of people in costume and getting their faces painted and adding photos to the altar.

The musical performances went until 10pm, when we got shut down by a neighbor who called the Toronto police. For once, the weather held up – we got through an alleyway party without rain!

Below are a few photos from the day. To see more, check out our Facebook page and the event page.




Day of the Dead Themed Alleyway Party On November 1

The always fun Ossington Village Alleyway party is happening again on Sunday, November 1st, which is also Day of the Dead. On top of all of the music, dancing, and food, there will be Day of the Dead themed activities like face painting and an altar for people to honor the departed.


As always, the music line-up is going to be stellar, with performances from 2p-9p by a variety of Toronto talents:

Pressgang Mutiny
Freeman Dre & the Kitchen Party
Jerry Leger & The Situation
Ada Dahli & The Pallbearers
QuiQue Escamilla
Maracatu Mar Aberto
Mark and Marichka Marczyk

and more!

The event is taking place in the alley between Foxley and Argyle Streets and Ossington and Dovercourt. Neighbors share food, and the event is free, but we will be passing the hat to cover costs for equipment and such.

Refer to the Facebook event page for more details and share with your friends.

If you want to see how much fun there is to be had, check out some pictures from last year and from our first year.


Get Behind Some Good Causes in the Neighborhood

Local individuals and businesses are supporting some good causes, and you can help too. More info:
West Neighbouwnh_logo_markrhood House (formerly St. Christopher House) is our – very local United Way agency and community centre, providing programs and services to all. This year, a number of motivated individuals are running in the Toronto marathon to raise money for West Neighborhood House. If you would like to support the runners and the centre, click through one of the links. You are also invited to cheer them on as they run across the city on Sunday, October 18.charity challenge

rfcDoes anyone need an excuse to eat out at a delicious restaurant? Either way, lock down a reservation at one of the eateries participating in Restaurants for Change on October 21. Toronto restaurants including Ossington’s Union and The Saint will be donating proceeds from their dinner service to support healthy food access in low-income communities across Canada.


Do you know other examples of locals doing good for others? Please share with us in the comments or on social media.

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!


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