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    This guy is overseeing the @m_layton campaign kickoff party at @theossington

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    The backyard BBQ at @YoursTruly229 is well underway. Good food, good drinks, good people.

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    It's the @townmoto #modsandrockerstoronto party. Bikes up and down the street.

Save the Date – The 4th Annual Ossington Village Alleyway Party – Sept 21

Mark your calendars! It’s time again for the Annual Ossington Village alleyway party! This Sept. 21 will be the 4th year of this great event which brings together neighbourhood families, friends, musicians, artists and the entire community. Check out more at our Facebook event page here.

It’s when people like us who live on Foxley and Argyle open their garages and bring the BBQs out back to share food, drinks and fun and put on an event showing how a community can come together. The music line-up is exceptional, featuring Juno nominated musicians such as the Lemon Bucket Orkestra and Alysha Brilla, as well as locals such as Freeman Dre, Eva MoonReposado Bar‘s house band the Reposadists, and many more.

Check out some of the photos from last year here, the year before here, and the first one here – when we had a crazy mid-day rainstorm.

 

 

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The music line-up includes some great local musicians – a few of whom are Juno nominated this year!


Ventanas
The Reposadists
Balfolk Toronto
Alysha Brilla
QuiQue Escamilla
Eva Moon
Freeman Dre & the Kitchen Party
Rambunctious
Lemon Bucket Orkestra
and
Pressgang Mutiny

Toronto Beer Week Events on Ossington

TBW_2014Logo_BlkBG-180x180Toronto Beer Week starts later this week and runs from September 12 -20 across the city. This celebration of craft beer extends into our neighborhood at local bars, breweries and restaurants.

As part of 2014 Toronto Beer Week, there is a beer cruise, a homebrewing class,  a beer crawl, and lots of parties, pairings and specials.

Local participants and their level of participation vary. A local highlight is a beer and seafood pairing at Rock Lobster with Sam Adams beer, and you can commemorate the event by quaffing a pint at locals like Bellwoods Brewery and The Saint. Also involved, and serving until 4am, are The Painted Lady and The Garrison.

Fans of good quality beer are already frequent visitors to our neighborhood to drink good beer. This annual event is an opportunity for us to celebrate the city and it’s great, and growing, selection of craft beer and the people who brew it. Cheers!

Yours Truly is closing at the end of September

YTwebYours Truly, the restaurant at 229 Ossington that renovated the old Galaxy Donuts spot (remember them?) announced today that September will be their last month of service and then they will be shutting their doors for good. They opened their doors in December 2011 to a small but high quality menu. During the course of their life they wandered back and forth between prix fixe menus and a la carte, with a focus on small dishes. They also had a great bar staff serving up unique cocktails and other drinks. At the end of March last year, Jeff Claudio, the famed chef they hired to get the restaurant going, departed for other opportunities and to travel the world and learn about more food. They hired Lachlan Culjak to replace him, and the food remained at a very high standard.

They also participated in a lot of local and city events including the Table d’Oz fundraiser, their own annual backyard BBQ (which just happened this weekend), as well as the recent Gluten Freedom week and  Cocktail week with their Bar Manager John Bunner as a participant in the citywide contest.

No word on what’s going in the location after departure, but we’ll let you know as soon as we hear.

 

Ossington Food News – August 2014

Lots of changes going on in the neighborhood’s bars and restaurants, most happening this Fall. We’ve got lots of news that will whet your appetites.

Just this summer, we’ve already had two local openings – Ossington Stop and Mamakasalready reported on here and elsewhere. We should probably also count Bang Bang Ice Cream, which we reported on early, and now the whole city can’t stop lining up to get their taste!

borealiaArdor Bistro hasn’t been open for ages, and we’ve learned via social media that a new spot – that sounds delicious – will be opening at 59 Ossington soon. Ardor Bistro couldn’t find their way – it probably didn’t help that their signature drink was exceedingly difficult to get in stock – but Borealia has a good chance of success. The owner is Evelyn Wu Morris, who’s twitter profile lists Fat Duck, O+B, Coi and Nota Bene as her resume. Earlier this month, they hosted a pop-up dinner with an amazing menu.  She and her team are aiming for an October opening of their restaurant, and we can’t wait!

junklogoThe space that housed Levack Block has been undergoing some renos since closing last spring. The roomy space at 88 Ossington will soon be occupied by a stellar team of Toronto food world icons, Matt Blondin and The Food Dudes. Blondin has served as chef at Momofuku Daisho and Acadia and The Food Dudes serve high-end lowbrow food through their food truck and catering company. The premise of Junk is a casual atmosphere with salvaged decor and innovative snacks to eat. Hope for an opening this Fall also.

Finally, Quinta, on Dundas West, is now closed, – but the team is holding onto the space where they’ve been serving modern takes on Portuguese rustic dishes for the past two years and opening a new venture in September. 1282 Dundas Street West will then be known as Essen, and Chef and Owner Leor Zimmerman is converting the menu into a family style Ashkenazi Jewish cuisine.

So, lots to look forward to this Fall. We’ll keep you posted as we learn more about the constant changes in our area’s vibrant restaurant scene.

New Greek Restaurant Mamakas Now Open on Ossington

IMG_20140813_200124We now have Greek food on Ossington! Mamakas Taverna is now open at 80 Ossington, and is serving traditional Greek food and drink 6 nights a week.

We have been anticipating this opening for many months now, and the spot has developed from the imagined bakery cafe into a full fledged restaurant and bar serving very tasty food.

80 Ossington, formerly occupied by high-end furniture and design store Ministry of the Interior, and empty for 3 years, is well-lit and lovingly furnished.  It has the feel of a clean restaurant on a Greek island with plenty of light and an open, inviting feeling. There are places to stand alongside the open kitchen in the front of the space,  a central bar that extends out into a communal table, and several tables in the back.

Here’s what the place looked like last night as locals and others came to check out the just-open entry to the Ossington restaurant scene.

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Thanos, the owner, is passionate about finding quality Greek food, and one of the specials last night was a heirloom tomato and Feta board with extra virgin olive oil. He told us this is the best feta in the world and it tasted like it!

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We moved from there onto Kalamakia, which is Ontario Lamb, fresh baked pita, tzatziki, mint, and a garnish of cherry tomatoes.

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We also indulged in Glykadia, which is sweetbreads sauteed with a white wine and dill sauce.

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We also checked out the Kalamari, which was a generous portion, looking perfectly cooked:

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There was also a shrimp saganaki – a combination of grilled shrimp, fresh tomato sauce and Donodis feta.

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Desserts, which we didn’t try, looked great! The special dessert – yogurt brullé – looked very inviting:

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Summerworks 2014

summerworkslogoThis week, the annual Summerworks festival converges on our neighborhood. The juried performance festival runs from August 7-17, and almost all of the events are very close to Ossington.

The main hub of this year’s festival is the new Theatre Centre, recently relocated from The Great Hall building at Queen and Dovercourt a few blocks west to the former library at 1115 Queen St. West. This is a slight shift from the last few years when Lower Ossington Theatre hosted the bar and lounge.

Not to worry, as there are still plenty of shows at Lower Ossington Theatre, including Lido Pimienta’s music collab with Natasha Greenblatt, The Secret Garden, and theatrical performances every night.

There are also local shows at Artscape Youngplace and Trinity Bellwoods Park – including a free music event centred around Garrison Creek called Zong! Meets Garrison next Sunday night from 6p-10p. Guests are invited to participate, wear white and bring blankets.

Summerworks offers an eclectic and diverse range of music, theatre, dance and art, and tickets are $15 or less. Enjoy! Summer only comes once a year, as does Summerworks.

 

Closing/Opening Soon

We’re losing art galleries on the street. Established art gallery AWOL Gallery, is closing up at 78 Ossington, and Oz Studios also closed at 134 Ossington this spring.

awolAWOL just finished its last show, after 15 years on Ossington, and they don’t know where they are going next. We guess that rising rent is why they are leaving: check out the official facebook post for more information. AWOL had many many interesting exhibits over the years, and the owners and artists were always friendly and welcoming. They also hosted some fun pop-ups, sales and more. One of our favorite AWOL events was the Annual Square Foot Sale - every piece of art for sale was one square foot and priced at $225, featuring a wide variety of artist from the city. It was a fun and accessible event, something AWOL has a knack for creating. We are happy we got to experience some of their shows over the years and hope they find a new place so we can continue to visit.

This spring, we lost another gallery when Joe Fuda closed up Oz Studios at 134 Ossington, He was a busy man in the 4+ years he was open, hosting art shows (his own and others), performances, pop-ups, inventions,  and lots more. He even published a book and invented the Spinogram during his tenure. Check out his TUMBLR site for a photographic history of Oz Studios. We still follow him and he will remain on our Twitter list.

We don’t know what is going to be filling the voids or the spaces left by these two notable businesses on Ossington. However, we do see signs – real world signs – of a change happening at 1166 Dundas West. Formerly home to a clothing store named Linalgo – here’s the google maps photo:

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This large retail space is being converted into a restaurant or bar – the sign on the window a liquor license application for a venture called “The Contender.”

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Is it a sports bar with a focus on boxing? Let us know if you are involved with or have any information about “The Contender”.

Photoblog: Summer Weekend On Ossington

Early Canada Day celebrations, World Cup watching, restaurant renos and condo growth: All that and more happened this weekend on Ossington, and we took some photos. How are you spending your long weekend?

Tiger of Sweden hosted another great Tiger Loves Ossington event, with beers from Bellwoods Brewery and Big Rock, tunes from Humble Mike, and ice pops from Philips Ice pops:

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We haven’t seen Ardor Bistro open for a while, and this weekend was no exception. Thinking they are out of business, and wondering who’s going to take the space:

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We know Levack Block is being taken over by some Toronto food superstars, and it looks like they are already at work renovating:

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It looks like 10 years in business called for a new sign at Sweaty Betty’s:IMG_20140628_124614

The facade is going up at Motif Condos at 41 Ossington:

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Lots of people were watching World Cup this weekend. The patio was hot at Reposado for Brazil and Colombia:

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And The Ossington continues to be busy for Netherlands games – and will continue to be as they advanced again:

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Hope you’re having a great weekend!

Get out to Vote – Trinity Spadina Federal By-election – June 30

The next in the series of elections for our neighbourhood, the Trinity-Spadina By-Election, takes place June 30th. If you didn’t vote early, head out on Monday and have your say.

The federal Trinity Spadina seat is being contested to fill the empty seat left by Olivia Chow, who resigned to run for Mayor of Toronto in the Oct 27th election. With no incumbent to vote for, this opens up a new set of candidates to run in this riding.

There have already been controversies in this election, ranging from sign stealing and party infighting. There was also a local debate which aired on Rogers TV;  unfortunately, unless you are a Rogers customer, you’re not privileged enough to  watch or listen to this debate.

There are six candidates running to be the Trinity Spadina MP and we encourage you to read up on all of them and pick the one you feels represents you and this neighbourhood. Below is a list of the candidates and links to their websites where available.

Joe Cressy is running as the New Democrat candidate. He is in the incumbency party and has strong ties to the neighbourhood. He comes from a political family, and is close friends with city councillor Mike Layton. His website is here.

Adam Vaughan is running for the Liberal Party of Canada. Adam was a city councilor in Ward 20, an area that covers downtown Toronto. Meet Adam on his page here.

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Running for the Green Party, which seems to be running a strong campaign in the riding, is Camille Labchuk.

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The Conservative Party is running Benjamin Sharma

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Also in the running are Linda Groce-Gibbons from the Christian Heritage Party of Canada, a party with a singular pro-life focus; and the rather interesting John “The Engineer”  Turmel, whose own website isn’t working, but who does have a fairly complete Wikipedia page.

Get out and vote on Monday, June 30.

Ossington Stop Now Open at 1164 Dundas West

The Ossington Stop is soft opening tonight at 1164 Dundas West. We’ve been writing about it for a while, and after all the anticipation, this new comfort food joint is now open and will be open into the (late) night.

We just stopped in and met the staff, who were all very friendly, took some photos and tried some of the menu items. The dumplings were delicious and the beers were from Creemore and Granville Island and only $4!!

As we said, it’s a soft opening so expect more offerings in the days and weeks ahead. The plan is to officially launch next Tuesday, June 24th.  So “stop” in and say hi and try some of their offerings!

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Upcoming Events

Sep
18
Thu
7:00 pm Tech Night @ Town Moto
Tech Night @ Town Moto
Sep 18 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Tech Night @ Town Moto | Anniston | Alabama | United States
8:00 pm Hedwig & The Angry Inch @ Lower Ossington Theatre
Hedwig & The Angry Inch @ Lower Ossington Theatre
Sep 18 @ 8:00 pm – 10:45 pm
WINNER! BEST OFF-BROADWAY MUSICAL. Hedwig was born a boy named Hansel in Communist East Berlin who dreamed of finding his other half and becoming a big American rock star. When a handsome American GI promises[...]
8:00 pm Spamalot @ Lower Ossington Theatre
Spamalot @ Lower Ossington Theatre
Sep 18 @ 8:00 pm – 11:00 pm
Spamalot @ Lower Ossington Theatre
SPAMALOT tells the legendary tale of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table and features a bevy (or possibly a brace) of beautiful show girls, witch-burnings (cancelled – health & safety), flying cows,[...]
8:00 pm We Run Thursdays @ Academy of Lions
We Run Thursdays @ Academy of Lions
Sep 18 @ 8:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Meet at the doors of the Academy Of Lions at 64 Ossington Ave. 5k Run for all levels. Then join us after for the #FlyinPigPicnic at Trinity Bellwoods and BBQ from our homies @SmoqueNBones.
10:00 pm The Reposadists Quartet @ Reposado Bar
The Reposadists Quartet @ Reposado Bar
Sep 18 @ 10:00 pm – Sep 19 @ 2:00 am
The Reposadists Quartet @ Reposado Bar
Sep
19
Fri
8:00 pm Hedwig & The Angry Inch @ Lower Ossington Theatre
Hedwig & The Angry Inch @ Lower Ossington Theatre
Sep 19 @ 8:00 pm – 10:45 pm
WINNER! BEST OFF-BROADWAY MUSICAL. Hedwig was born a boy named Hansel in Communist East Berlin who dreamed of finding his other half and becoming a big American rock star. When a handsome American GI promises[...]
8:00 pm Spamalot @ Lower Ossington Theatre
Spamalot @ Lower Ossington Theatre
Sep 19 @ 8:00 pm – 11:00 pm
Spamalot @ Lower Ossington Theatre
SPAMALOT tells the legendary tale of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table and features a bevy (or possibly a brace) of beautiful show girls, witch-burnings (cancelled – health & safety), flying cows,[...]
9:00 pm FIELD TRIP DISCOVERY SERIES @ The Garrison
FIELD TRIP DISCOVERY SERIES @ The Garrison
Sep 19 @ 9:00 pm – Sep 20 @ 2:00 am
The Field Trip Discovery Series BELIEFS ETIQUETTE LOBBY RLMDL DJ Graham (Holy Fuck) + DJ Jac & Trev (Doomsquad) DJ Emily (Milk Lines, WISH) Free with RSVP
10:00 pm The Reposadists Quartet @ Reposado Bar
The Reposadists Quartet @ Reposado Bar
Sep 19 @ 10:00 pm – Sep 20 @ 2:00 am
The Reposadists Quartet @ Reposado Bar

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