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    Perfect #Saturday soundtrack @michaellouisjohnson #jazz #music

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    Checking out the #pumpkinparade at @trinitybellwood

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    Great pumpkin decorating #halloween

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    Stop by @paintedladyossington for for some funky Halloween burlesque.

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    The team at @beausallnatural celebration of voting @OperaBobs. Come by for a beer! #voteforaparty

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    At the @reposadobar shrine having some Thursday night drinks.

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    Some rainy day filming on Ossington of Beauty and the Beast. Looking like #nyc #batb @cwbatb

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    Looking very #NYC with taxis and police cars for the shoot today #ossington

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    #fall colours #trinitybellwoodspark

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    The boards are off the new @stylegarage location on Ossington. #comingsoon

Now Open: Veghed Bar

veghedlogoDundas West has a new vegetarian, mostly organic and vegan, take-out spot. Veghed Bar is now open at 1199 Dundas St West, between Ossington and Grove.

This cute little spot along the same strip as The Garrison and Get Well features cooking from Ren Mercer, former chef at The Spoke Club. Offerings include soups, salads and smoothies, so if you’re looking for some fresh and healthy food, stop in and check it out yourself. It’s also GMO free!

We visited yesterday after seeing their tweets, and took photos of a lot of their offerings, which also include organic hot chocolate and sweets.

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Restaurant Changes on Dundas West

dundaswestThe restaurant scene on Dundas Street west of Ossington is ever expanding, growing and changing. Yes, sadly, we are losing the great The Grove, but we are also gaining many new restaurants, some of which are already open and some are coming very soon.

The award-winning, top of many year end lists The Grove, at 1214 Dundas West, announced via their website that they will be closing on November 15. This is certainly a disappointment as they were serving some creative and delicious food and we were finally feeling like they were settling into the neighbourhood. Make a reservation for a last chance to try the excellent food and beverage they’ve been serving there since 2012.



Earlier this fall, the crew behind Quinta converted the menu from a nouveau Portuguese restaurant into a modern take on Jewish cuisine. The newly named Essen at 1282 Dundas West serves up brisket, schnitzel and a variety of family-style favorites in a relaxed setting. They are open for dinner and brunch.


Mr. Flamingo is a brand new spot at 1265 Dundas West, taking over former Portuguese restaurant O Lagar (the sign is still there so don’t let it confuse you) at the corner of Dovercourt. A bright, small space with a big bar and 10 or 12 tables, Mr. Flamingo’s menu offers a mix of seafood and meat dishes. We tried a few last weekend and all of them were delicious, including the tuna with movie theatre popcorn sauce. Yum. Tasted like popcorn.


All of Dundas is blowing up these days, with tons of restaurants opening east of us close to Bathurst, and this section of the strip is holding up nicely. We’ve still got Enoteca Sociale at 1288 Dundas W, and The Atlantic near Dufferin is getting a lot of good press. There are more to come including a southern Italian restaurant food shop called Solita – South of Little Italy – that has already redone the front of the southeast corner of Beaconsfield and Dundas.


We’ve already discussed Han Moto, the snack spot from the team behind Oddseoul, which will be opening soon on Lakeview next to Churchill.

Also coming soon is a takeout place next to the 7-11 at Dundas and Dovercourt. Called Junked, this may be the snack spot once rumored to be taking over Levack Block on Ossington.

And, of course, we’ve just written about The Contender, our new sports bar just west of Ossington on the north side.


The neighbourhood has a new sports bar – The Contender

Screen Shot 2014-10-30 at 11.15.40 AMLast night marked the grand opening of a new and anticipated neighbourhood sports bar called The Contender, located at 1166 Dundas West, just to the west of Ossington. It couldn’t have been a better night for sports with two important games, Game 7 of the World Series and opening night for the Toronto Raptors.

The location takes over an old clothing shop that never seemed to have customers. Our first impression was the impressive size of the location, and the sheer number of TVs. We assume the capacity may be over 150 or so, and there are TVs on almost every wall, an assortment of sports memorabilia, and a selection of bar games such as shuffleboard and an old coin-slot baseball pinball game. They have 8 separate receivers to show games on the TVs, so on a Sunday afternoon you are quite likely to watch pretty much any NFL game.


The business was put together by an assortment of people familiar with the area, including servers or owners from a bunch of local bars and restaurants including Reposado, Camp 4, Unlovable, Get Well and The Garrison. You can follow and find out what’s happening from their Facebook page here.

The menu is simple bar food, almost what you would find if you actually went to a game – some sandwiches, hot dogs, nachos and pretzels. Simple, but very sports-y. They have about 12 bar taps and their beer selection is far more sophisticated than what you’d find at Rogers or Air Canada Centre – with local selections from Lake of Bays and Mill Steet, while also covering the standards with Heineken and Coors Banquet.

The Bar with plenty of TVs:


Lots of tables for lots of friends.


A simple, sports bar menu:


Some food items:

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And the winners in our area were….

As I’m sure most of you know already, John Tory has won the position of Mayor of Toronto. Locals in our area also voted for city councilor and Toronto District School Board (Ward 10) and Toronto Catholic District School Board (Ward 9).

The local winners were:

For City Councillor, Mike Layton won with an overwhelming 83.6% of the votes.


Mike Layton 21014 83.664%
Scott Bowman 2490 9.914%
Albina Burello 964 3.838%
George Sawision 649 2.584%

For Ward 10 in the Toronto District School Board, Mike Layton’s pick, Ausma Malik, made it with just over 40%:


Ausma Malik 16197 40.016%
Colleen Kennedy 7454 18.416%
Kenneth Chan 4399 10.868%
Michael Sims 3813 9.42%
Sabrina Zuniga 3499 8.645%
Tony Aires 2178 5.381%
Ybia Anderson 1302 3.217%
Richard Klagsbrun 1099 2.715%
Hans Bathija 535 1.322%km

Finally in the Catholic School board race Jo-ann Davis, the incumbent, took that race:


Jo-Ann Davis 8505 60.607%
David Shaw 3654 26.039%
Manuel Ching 1874 13.354%

We look forward to having these candidates represent us in the neighbourhood and help build a city for everyone.

Coming Soon: LoversLand

Instagram and Twitter are abuzz today with the announcement that Ossington will soon have a bridal shop, LoversLand.


LoversLand will be taking over the vacant space at 215 Ossington, just south of Fishbar and north of Dinardo Kitchen.


This space has been undergoing renovations for some time, and their Instagram comment said they’ll be open in less than a month. This is fantastic news to brides-to-be, naturally, and locals, who will appreciate a daytime business to increase foot traffic on Ossington.

We’ll keep you posted as we learn more about this new local business.

Beauty and The Beast Filming on Ossington

beautyandthebeastOssington Avenue is being turned into New York City’s Greenwich Village today. The reason? Another TV show is filming on Ossington. This time it’s Showcase and CW TV’s Beauty and the Beast, which stars Canadian actress Kristin Kreuk.

According to the filming notice posted along Ossington last week, the romantic sci-fi series, which is going into its 3rd season, will be filming all day Monday, October 20, from 7am to 10pm.

In the meantime, Ossington has already been converted into a New York City set, with NYC subway signs and a non-government liquor store (oh wouldn’t that be nice!) in place of The Pedal Stop. The exact location of filming, is Ossington between Foxley and Humbert streets. Many of the exteriors of the businesses in between those streets are being converted into a variety of different New York City spots. Reposado is becoming a taco joint, La Cubana a pizza spot, and Venezia an Italian bakery.

To ensure authenticity, there are loads of New York parking signs, and we even saw some crew members removing the Ossington street sign at Ossington and Foxley.  We took a lot of photos – it’s fun to see familiar local spots made over for TV.

Filming should be all day tomorrow, so let us know what – and who – you see!

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Toronto City Election: Our Ward

oct27vote2014Toronto has a pretty important election coming up, and the decisions we make this month affect us for 4 years – at least. October 27th is the official election day for mayor, city councillor and school board trustee positions. We’ve got information on the election, including where and when to vote, who is running in our Ward, and even some details on rewards for voters.

If you already know who you want to vote for, just go out and vote already. Advance voting started today through Sunday, October 19. You can vote from 10a-7p each of these days at Trinity Community Recreation Centre.

Toronto has a great new site with all the information on the candidates for each position. All you have to do is type in your address and the reference is all there. The only problem is there are about 100 candidates listed for mayor alone! Since we’re confident you’ve seen enough coverage of the mayoral election, we’ll focus on the Ward 19 City Council and Ward 10 School board elections.


This election we have four candidates running for Ward 19 City Council. Take some time and click through, read their platforms and learn about what they bring to represent the ward.


Scott Bowman comes to the race supported by provincial MPP Han Dong, the liberal representative for Trinity Spadina. Follow his twitter acccount here and his Facebook here. He is not the most googled Scotty Bowman, the ex-NHL coach. This Scott Bowman has an entrepreneurial background, and has been involved as a community activist, working for people with disabilities and youth.

Albina Burello has a set of well-outlined positions on everything from transit to animal rights to diversity and community centres. You can keep up with her on twitter here (although you’ll need to ask to get her to open up her blocked account). Albina’s background is in the private sector – working for financial services and training companies.


Mike Layton is the incumbent candidate in the ward and has been active in the area since the last election. He’s on twitter here and his Facebook election page is here. Many of you who have lived in the ward have seen Mike at community events and meetings and riding his bike around the area.

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George Sawision has been on the ballot here in Ward 19 before and he’s running for a 3rd time this year. He’s well known for his colourful and opinionated tweets. Sawision, a master electrician, placed second his first campaign in 2006 with 1,710 votes, but underperformed in the 2010 election with only 356 votes.

Read up and make your decision based on what works for you in our ward.


Ward 10’s representative, Chris Bolton, the former chair of the TDSBresigned earlier this year amidst corruption scandals.  As a result, there is no incumbent in Ward 10, so please pay attention to who you vote for in this election. The school board is still embroiled in scandal, so here’s our chance to influence it for the good with an honest representative.

There’s quite a few candidates running for Ward 10 TDSB so their names and sites are linked below (if they have them). We encourage you to read up on all their platforms, and don’t just trust the signs. Mike Layton supported Bolton last time and look what happened there.


Is doing your civic duty and having your voice heard not enough incentive? There are some people who guessed that, and they are offering free beers for voting. As far as we can tell, there are at least 2 different promotions going on around voting and beer.

Happy Voting Hour: A few Toronto bars, including Rock Lobster on Ossington, are offering early discounts on beer and apps to celebrate the election. Rock Lobster is offering the specials tomorrow, Wednesday, October 15 from 6-8pm. Another local spot, The Dog and Bear, hosts on Thursday from 6-8pm. Use the code “I VOTED” to get your special discount

Vote for a Party:  Targeting only voters in Ward 19 (lucky us!), this campaign encourages all voters on October 27 to look for volunteers who will give them a ticket to one of 3 parties at bars in our Ward: Opera Bob’s, The Caledonian, and Brazen Head. This ticket will get you a free Beau’s beer, only available on Election Day.

Scary (and fun) Halloween events on Ossington (Update Oct. 29)

pumpkinUPDATE: A few more parties have been announced for Halloween.

Halloween is on a Friday this year, so there is no doubt when everybody will be dressing up and hitting the town. Wear your costume, and hit one of these local spots for a great night out:

The Painted Lady will start celebrating with a Devil’s Night Party on October 30th, with music from The Calrizians and The Deldoniks. Party starts at 9PM.

Halloween gets musical at The Dakota Tavern as The Mercenaries perform as The Muppets band Dr. Teeth and Electric Mayhem. Party starts at 10PM, it’s $10 at the door, and you can win prizes for best Muppet or rock star costume. mercenarieshalloweenalternative-200x300

Rocky Horror Cabaret Show

lot-rockycabIn what is becoming an anticipated annual event, just in time for dressing up for Halloween, Lower Ossington Theatre launches a short-term run of Rocky Horror this Thursday in the Cabaret:

WHAT: Rocky Horror Cabaret Show; WHEN: Thursday – Saturday 8PM, October 16 – November 1, 2014; WHERE: Lower Ossington Theatre Cabaret, 100A Ossington Avenue; COST: General Admission $20, Table for 4 $120.


hotnuts hallowqueenDrag queens, party animals and dancers will be at The Garrison on October 31, so make sure your costume is fabulous for HOTNUTS HALLOWQUEEN! There is a $100 prize for best costume!

WHAT: Hotnuts Hallowqueen, drag party with DJs; WHEN: Friday October 31 at 10:30PM; WHERE: The Garrison, 1197 Dundas St. W; COST: $10, come early to avoid disappointment

Ghost Stories at the Garrison

Later this month, The Garrison is hosting two different Halloween events:

First, another storytelling series turns spooky as True Stories turns to True Ghost Stories.

WHAT: True Ghost Stories told live; WHEN:  Tues October 28 @ 7PM  WHERE: The Garrison, 1197 Dundas Street W; COST: FREE

Tales of the Supernatural

Halloween celebrations start early – tomorrow, in fact – with a spooky night of stories at The Ossington:

WHAT: Tales of the Supernatural; WHEN: 8pm, Wednesday October 15, 2014; WHERE: The Ossington, 61 Ossington Ave; COST: PWYC

It’s that time of year of Ghosts and Goblins, Black Cats and…. Toronto’s greatest storytellers. On Wednesday October 15th at 8pm at The Ossington will be showcasing an amazing cast full of storytellers telling their spoooookiest stories with “Tales of…the Supernatural”.

This month’s show will be hosted by powerhouse Lauren Prussky.  Lauren is a writer and comedian whose hilarious and amazing stories make her the show’s most asked about performer.

The show will feature performers such as: Hilarious standup Jess Beaulieu.  Jess is a weekly columnist for “She Does the City”, co-host of Toronto’s new weekly feminist standup show “The Crimson Wave Comedy” and has performed in festivals across North America.

Actor and writer Amish Patel, whose sketch troupe “Fade to Brown” whose original sketch comedy show played to a sold out crowd at the Panasonic Theatre and then created a special for OMNI television.

Legendary writer Marcy Rogers.  Marcy received a Dora Nomination for her play “Nocturnal Emissions “.  She recently rocked the stage with her brilliant one-woman show “Lesbians Who Wear Lipstick: The Middle Ages”


Weekend Events Around Ossington

The first weekend in October is a good weekend to be in Toronto, with fun – and free – things to do for the whole family.

nuitblanch2014Nuit Blanche is on Saturday night, and over the years, this all night art party has shifted from a free-wheeling Toronto sprawl to a corporate event clustered around the downtown core. This year, the exhibits have expanded to Chinatown and Fort York, and there are some aligned activities even closer to home.

With 19 projects by over 150 artists, Artscape Youngplace is a great local hub for Nuit Blanche. Offering a whole range of exhibits, including music, video, and illustrations, there will even be opportunities for the public to paint. There’s also an installation including students from Givins/Shaw Public Jr. School, with a kid-friendly reception in the early evening. The list of offerings at Artscape for Nuit Blanche is here.

There are also a couple of outdoor projects from community groups happening at CAMH at Queen and Ossington, an interactive art-project called PATCH, and a building initiative called Bring to the Table.
With all this on offer, you can enjoy Nuit Blanche without travelling far.

parkcrawlSunday marks the second annual Homegrown Park Crawl, a free outdoor event taking place in – and celebrating – neighborhood parks. This travelling festival has something for everyone, with a long list of local musicians parading with the people from Christie Pits to Bickford Park to Fred Hamilton, finishing in Trinity Bellwoods Park.

In addition to enjoying the fall weather in some nice local parks and listening to music, the Park Crawl will also include food from some of our city’s top restaurants. If you don’t want to (or can’t) walk from park to park, each of the parks will have musical performances from performers like Heavyweights Brass Band, Samba Squad, and more. Food from local restaurants like Pizzeria Libretto and Ursa will be for sale at the start at Christie Pits and at the end at Trinity Bellwoods. All proceeds will go to the David Suzuki Foundation’s Homegrown National Park Project.

To find out other local events, keep an eye on our calendar.

Ossington Restaurant News – Oct. 2014 – (Update Oct 20)

UPDATE: A reader has informed us that Matt Blondin has commented on a BlogTO article that Junk is not what will be at 88 Ossington but he is working on another concept restaurant to open there soon. We will keep in you informed as we hear more news.


As always at Ossington and Dundas, changes are happening in the restaurant scene. We have one recent closing and a lot of future openings in the news.

Yours Truly, the much heralded little restaurant that came out of nowhere in December 2011 from a former snack bar, served its last tasting menu at the end of September. No word on what will fill the space at 229 Ossington.

Delux Restaurant closed in June, renovating the space to convert into a more casual iteration, like their sister restaurant on Roncesvalles, La Cubana. Well, Delux has begun tweeting again, leading us to believe the wait may soon be over and we can have delicious brunch and Cuban sandwiches before long!


Another new restaurant, from the owners of cool Ossington favorite Oddseoul, is under renovation in the space next to Churchill at 2 Lakeview. While local residents think there are too many restaurants on what used to be a rundown strip of Dundas West, Toronto food fans will probably flock to the new Japanese snack shack to be called Han Moto, as posted on their Instagram:


Also on Dundas, The Contender has been in the works since the summer at 1155 Dundas West, next door to Ossington Stop, and is rumored to be from the team at neighborhood darling The Lakeview.

Also opening this Fall is Borealia, taking over 59 Ossington, the site of many failed restaurants before it, including Ardor Bistro and Beau Lieu. Hopefully this one, which plans to bring native and historical Canadian cuisine to the menu, succeeds where the others haven’t We’ll find out soon as they are planning to open by mid-November.


Also supposed to open in 2014 is Junkbar, from the guys behind the food truck The Food Dudes and Chef Matt Blondin, formerly of high-end spots Acadia and Momofuku Daisho. They are taking over Levack Block at 88 Ossington and making it a high-end snack bar, which are all the rage these days. All we know from their website is they plan to open in 2014. Only a few months left, and we hope to try their snacks sooner than later.


Do you have any local news? Let us know in the comments!

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