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!
88 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:
Chef 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 socialmedia.
The Grow Op, a new smoothie and salad bar and so much more, will be opening this week at 222 Ossington. You may remember a long line of fish markets in this space just south of Dundas, but now it’s clean, bright and ready to serve you anything from coffee to salads and sandwiches to kombucha and smoothies.
They’re doing soft opening private parties this weekend, but you should be able to stop by and try a treat this week. They’ll open around 8 or 9am each day, so you can start your day with a coffee or smoothie from The Grow Op.
So far, you can only find them on instagram. We took some photos Friday night, posted below:
Have you seen some out-of-place subway station signs or new storefronts on Ossington today?
That’s because once again, our street is being transformed for Hollywood. This time, Beauty & The Beast is back filming on Ossington, and they’ve already taken over Soos,Tiger of Sweden and Humbert Street with New York City decor, including the requisite cabs.
They announced on Facebook late last month, so we are a little behind in alerting you of the news: Silver Falls Vintage, which had been selling a carefully curated selection of vintage goodies since 2009, shut its doors at 15 Ossington.
As a long operating retailer on Ossington, Silver Falls was one of our first business profiles on this blog.
Here’s the post on Facebook:
Tusk, which had been sharing shop space for a few years, had announced earlier they were moving as of August 2nd.
Not sure where they’ve gone, but we wish the teams behind both ventures the best of luck and will keep you posted on what’s next at 15 Ossington.
The Pan Am torch has been travelling around the GTA recently in an attempt to generate interest and excitement in the Pan Am games, which take over parts of Toronto and lots of near(ish) cities and towns beginning July 10. The torch will make a local stop on Thursday, bringing attention to a noble institution, CAMH, and its president and CEO, Dr. Catherine Zahn, who has been appointed an official torchbearer.
Thursday’s event at CAMH is planned for 11:45a – 12:30p. The torch is coming from Roncesvalles, and east on Queen to it’s stop at Queen and Ossington. Besides seeing a lot of press photographers and the torch itself, you’ll be able to enjoy some performances and buy lunch on site.
CAMH Pan Am Torch Relay Poster
Based on the Olympic torch model, the Pan Am torch is always lit by indigenous peoples from the Americas, usually Aztecs. This year the torch was lit in Mexico in May, the last site of the games in 2011, and will finally stop moving on Friday at the opening ceremony. It’s been travelling across Canada, and has been in and out of Toronto for the last weeks. It will take a circuitous route around the west end into Chinatown, Little Italy, Bloor and the Annex and downtown after the CAMH stop. You can check out the map here.
Summerlicious is on around the city right now; it began Friday, July 3rd and runs to the 26th. There are 210 restaurants around the city with various fixed-price offerings for the annual eating event. Ossington only has one restaurant participating – The Saint Tavern. They have some excellent choices for $25 with their 3-course menu for the promotion as follows:
Wedge Salad – Buttermilk Dressing, Pickled Vegetables, Bacon Praline
Chilled Pea Soup Smoked Salmon Tartare, Mint Pesto
Reuben Sausage Choucroute Onions, Russian Dressing Creme Fraiche
Saint Cheeseburger American Cheese, Dill Relish, Bone Marrow Aioli, Fries
Steelhead Trout Roasted Fingerlings, Brown Butter Cream, Watercress Salad
Slow Cooked Pork Jowl – Brussels Sprout, Caesar, Poached Duck Egg, Bacon
Lemon Posset Fruit Preserve, Chantilly Cream
Triple Chocolate Brownie with Burnt Marshmallow and Salted Caramel
Sorbet -Daily Selection
On July 1st, Fishbar, which opened May 2011, was closed with the door locked and a landlord notice of possession on the door. When Fishbar opened, it was the first place on the street to offer oysters as well as a selection of sustainable seafood choices. Obviously, since then we’ve a a number of additions, including Rock Lobster and the well-attended buck-a-shuck offerings of Boehmer and The Saint Tavern. In our recent visits to the restaurant it had been fairly busy, but not drawing the crowds it did in the first year of operation. The space at 217 Ossington is renovated nicely, so we predict it will be filled by another restaurant soon.
We found out this week that two of Ossington’s top art galleries are going to be closing this Fall.
The first, Angell Gallery, moved to Ossington from Queen West in 2010, and now Jamie Angell plans to move his eponymous gallery further west, as seems to be the trend in Toronto. His new location as of September 2015 will be 1444 Dupont Street, in the Junction. The first exhibition will launch on September 11.
It was only recently that the neighbourhood was known as an Art Gallery row, with art crawls and spaces like XSpace, C1 Art Space, Oz Studios and MKG127, all of which have either closed up shop or moved to other locations. Many of those spaces have been taken over by retail or restaurant locations – mostly due to the higher rents being demanded by the local landlords. Such is gentrification – the artists start it, and then move on to the next stop. Looks like that’s the Junction.
Summer festival season is upon us, including Pride. We all know the HQ for Toronto Pride is the Church and Wellesley Village, but there are events spread across the city. We’ve even got some in our area, happening this weekend and the next.
This weekend, Unleashed in the City hosts a fun event for dog owners and dog fans. Called “Puppy Pride Parade,” it’s a dog walk/parade from Unleashed’s shop on Ossington to the Dog Bowl at Trinity Bellwoods Park, where there will be a doggie picnic and fun times for all. The event is open to all and starts at 1PM on Saturday, June 20.
The Garrison continues it’s tradition of hosting fun and outrageous Pride parties this year. On Friday, June 26 from 10:30PM until last call at 4am, Electric Circus takes over The Garrison. You can expect a dance party with all the classic jams and dance floor anthems, courtesy of DJs Vanessa and Pamm.
The festivities continue on Saturday night with the return of HOTNUTS. Saturday, June 27 at 10:30PM.
HOTNUTS is sure to be a good time. This live band creates a huge party experience, and this year they’re bringing Avan Lava from NYC to tear up the stage.
Toronto Pride officially starts tomorrow – Happy Pride!
Local events are updated in our calendar. If you know of any other local Pride events – post in the comments or tweet us!
A couple local spots will be staying open late this June when they host some Toronto Jazz Fest performers. Both Reposado Bar and The Painted Lady are participating in the annual Jazz Festival, which means great music AND service til 4am.
Local schedules are updated in our calendar, and all the events look good, but here are some of note:
The Painted Lady: As a participant in both NXNE and Toronto Jazz Fest, The Painted Lady will be open late throughout both festivals
Divas Jazz It Up: A Night of memorable performances of classic jazz standards performed by amazing ladies, all backed up by Great Bob Scott, Tuesday, June 23 at 10PM ($10)
The Boxcar Boys, Toronto group performing New Orleans style jazz, Wednesday, June 24 at 8PM ($5)
Roaring Girls Records presents Miranda Mulholland, classically trained violinist and member of Canadian groups Great Lake Swimmers and Belle Star, Friday, June 26 at 7PM ($7)
The Reposadists and Guests: Reposado’s very good house band will be playing a few times during the festival, and a couple of those will feature special guest stars
Terra Hazelton & Her Easy Answers: Singer/actress/radio host Terra Hazelton is sure to put on an entertaining show of jazz standards with her band, Saturday, June 20 at 10PM ($8)
Late Night Jazz Jam: For the night owl’s, Reposado is hosting 3 late night jazz jams. Sunday, June 21; Saturday, June 27 and Sunday June 28 at 1:30PM
June 17-21st is NXNE, and while they’ve over-complicated it this year, it’s not all bad *we hope.
One improvement over last year is they got rid of the stupid non-compete which didn’t allow any performers to play Toronto for weeks outside of their official NXNE shows. Thankfully, bands will play at daytime shows and we’ll have plenty at places like The Garrison and The Great Heart Fest in Trinity Bellwoods. Aside from The Garrison, there will be shows nightly at The Painted Lady on Ossington.
Unfortunately, we are still seeing a drop-off in the number of local venues participating in the festival. The Dakota Tavern and The Great Hall are notable misses.
We’re updating our calendar so be sure to check it out daily for all the best shows and more in the neighbourhood.