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


New Dispensary at Dundas and Grove

twisted smoke sign

At a time when the city is making moves against pot dispensaries, another one has just opened around the corner.

Twisted Smoke Haberdashery is located at 1245 Dundas West, in one of the two retail spaces at the new Abacus Lofts. This is on the south side of Dundas, across the street from the LCBO, and just east of Dovercourt.

Twisted Smoke had a grand opening last weekend and now are open and serving “Multiple AAAA strains, edibles, shatter, wax, BHO pens” (as per their instagram account).

No word on what will fill the adjacent space to the east of Twisted Smoke, which is still available for rent.

A Tasting at Té

telogoThis week, we were lucky to be included among a group of bloggers treated to taste the menu at Te.

Don’t know what Te is? Well, now is your chance to go try some of their delicious Asian fusion food before it starts getting written up and too crowded to get in. Located just south of Union, where Baby Huey used to be, at 70 Ossington Avenue, Te is open daily for dinner and brunch on weekends.

The event last night featured some signature cocktails, all Asian and/or tea influenced, including some bubble tea beverages, as well as samples from the entire menu. We couldn’t eat it all, but we enjoyed everything we tried. Standouts include the edamame with garlic and anchovy, kimchee ravioli and Taiwanese fried chicken.

We took lots of photos of the food, but you should try it for yourself!


Cocktails at Te



Garlic edamame and candied anchovies


Taiwanese spiced tea egg shooters



Sweet potato fries



Bulgogi sliders

Taiwanese Fried Chicken

Dark Spiced Taiwanese Fried Chicken


Toasted Kimchi Ravioli


Jane’s Walks Near Ossington

janeswalklogoThis year would have been Jane Jacobs 100th birthday, and the annual Jane’s Walk festival in her home city of Toronto is going to be a great way to celebrate. Free volunteer-led walks are happening all over the world this weekend, and we’ve got some you can join locally.

The local walks are starting either on Dundas West or Trinity Bellwoods Park, they focus on a number of different topics, and they aren’t even all walks! Leaders come in all varieties: we’ve been on walks led by historians and professors, to students and actors. Each walk has a write-up on the Jane’s Walk website so find something that interests you, or go on a local walk:


  • May 8 at 11am: Dundas West, The Real Deal: Glaciers and Beyond: This 2 hour walk being led by an architectural and social historian begins at Dundas West and Crawford and covers the evolution of Dundas West all the way to Sorauren Park
  • May 8 at 4pm, Anatomy of a Street Festival: 1 hour walk led by the Dundas West Fest coordinator and leader of the BIAs for both Dundas West and Little Portugal. He’ll take you from Dundas and Landsdowne to Ossington, telling stories about the creation and execution of the 4 year old festival and prepping you for this year’s on June 11.

All of these local walks are listed in our calendar, along with most local events. As you journey on any Jane’s Walks this weekend, be sure to share with the hashtag #JanesWalk

Ossington News: Pop Ups, A New Resto and A Great Review

Spring is a busy time on Ossington – new places popping up for short and long-term and older places getting some good news.

Two pop-ups are launching this month: online shops are taking the opportunity of empty spaces to engage with their customers in real life, so both Ace/Five and Fitzroy Boutique will be local for a while. Ace/Five, a menswear shop, opens today for the month of May at 1138 Dundas Street West, just east of Ossington. Fitzroy Boutique, a women’s fashion store, is popping up at 98 Ossington, in the space beneath Lower Ossington Theatre. According to a recent Facebook post, Fitzroy soft opened on Ossington this weekend, and will be here for a while.


A future long-term Ossington resident is already known to East Enders and Toronto bacon lovers. That’s right, Rashers is coming to Ossington, and from the looks of the storefront and their social media, it may open soon. So expect lots of bacon fans to descend on the strip soon!

Rashers Instagram Post

Rashers Instagram Post

Rashers is converting the space at 182 Ossington, which was a Vietnamese coffee shop called Dalat Coffee before closing a few years ago.

Last but certainly not least, Enoteca Sociale, having just been included in the Joanne Kates list, followed that up with a stellar review in The Globe and Mail, comparing the restaurant to the best places in Rome! They take reservations, but I’m not sure if you’ll get in there on Mother’s Day.

Screen Shot 2016-05-01 at 9.09.21 AM

CMW Hits Ossington Music Venues This May

CMW16_Festival_Creative_Website_Header_1200x100Canadian Music Week is in Toronto next week, and Ossington Village will have a lot of CMW music. CMW is a 7 day long annual event with an industry conference, and a festival of music and comedy, and even films about music. for the public. The fest runs May 2nd-8th, and a lot of our local music venues are hosting shows.

CMW has taken over the mantle dropped by NXNE by hosting loads of musical acts from Canada and abroad at multiple music venues across the city. The lineup is extensive, with large acts at bigger venues like The Danforth Music Hall and Mod Club, and plenty of club shows at local places like The Dakota Tavern, The Garrison and The Painted Lady. Other nearby venues include The Great Hall and The Drake Underground.

Shows run Monday-Sunday next week. You can buy tickets to one showcase at one venue for $10-15, or $75 wristbands are still available online with access to most shows all week long.

Noteworthy shows:

  • Painted Lady, Saturday night: A hiphop showcase featuring Modo 495, a hip hopper from Long Island, who raps about how great beards are; plus Living Proof, a collaboration between young Winnipeg rapper Abstract Artform and Doodlebug of Digable Planets
  • The Garrison hosts a “Day Rager & Vendor Market” on Saturday, from 12-7pm – 7 bands play for free
  • Shows at The Dakota stick to their usual singer-songwriter/country-blues every night from Tuesday-Saturday: Friday night, international acts hit the stage, including, from Germany, Jesper Munk, and Australia’s Timberwolf 

We’ve included the local shows in our calendar. Enjoy the music!

VdeV Now Open On Ossington


Ossington Village has a new housewares store in VdeV. The Montreal retailer has installed a Toronto outpost and, lucky us, it opened today at 120 Ossington, on the northwest corner of Argyle.
We stopped in to check out the wares and were very impressed with the selection! The space looks beautiful and it is filled with home decor, housewares and so much more! The product line reminds us of Fish’s Eddy meets Crate & Barrel. We took some photos of the varied items for sale: the product lines range from furniture, lighting and pillows to dishes, wall hangings, handbags and jewellery. Looking for a last minute housewarming gift or something for yourself? VdeV is a great addition to the growing home emporiums in the area like Stylegarage and Saudade.

Photos of just a sample of the products for sale:






Spend a lot, or spend a little on dinner on Ossington – according to Joanne Kates

Ossington’s local restaurants fared well on Joanne Kates’ recent list of best restaurants in Toronto. This year the list was broken up into two sections, one for the less expensive restaurants – categorized by her as those restaurants at which two people can eat for under $65 excluding taxes, tip and drinks – known as the ‘spend a little’ list, and the more expensive ones, priced above that level.

Screen Shot 2016-04-27 at 10.23.20 PMSome of the eateries on her less expensive list include:

Mr Flamingo #25

Pizzeria Libretto #26

Hanmoto #27

Golden Turtle #31

On the “Spend a lot” list of more expensive restaurants, the neighbourhood had even more notable choices with these local gems:

Screen Shot 2016-04-27 at 10.23.08 PMBoralia #7

Enoteca Sociale #17

Omaw #28

Union #30

Foxley #32

The Saint #37

Ufficio #39

and The Black Hoof, close by, ranked at #43

Congrats to all the teams at all of the honoured restaurants, and enjoy eating out at our city’s best restaurants.


CONTACT Exhibits and Events Near Ossington

c20logoThe CONTACT Photography Festival celebrates 20 years in 2016, with exhibits and events big and small across Toronto. This annual photography festival is open to the public now through early June. The exhibits are not exclusive to museums and galleries, they also take place in restaurants, stores and other public spaces.  There are many chances to experience the festival in the Ossington and Dundas area.

LE Gallery on Dundas West is hosting an exhibition that has already been recommended by Toronto press. We Soon Be Nigh! explores apocalyptic prophesies from the recent past, and is running at the gallery May 6-28.

HuntClub Gallery, also on Dundas West, is participating with an open exhibit about transgender and transsexual sex workers in Buenos Aires titled Hotel Gondolin running May 5-31.


Image from Hotel Gondolin at Hunt Club

Two local restaurants are also contributing their space for photography exhibits this May.  Julie’s Cuban on Dovercourt, fittingly, features photos of Havana street scenes for the show Habana Siempre. Boehmer Restaurant at 93 Ossington will host an exhibit of photographs of India from photographer Misha Masek.


Image from Misha Masek exhibit at Boehmer

The local Shaw Street location of Artscape Youngplace will showcase several CONTACT shows. You can spend at least a couple of hours touring all the photography exhibits on site, including one at Typology Projects called On the Surface, and Over A Distance Between One and Many at Koffler Gallery. There are youth photography projects at Artscape including Our Safe Spaces and Presence from Etobicoke School of the Arts Grade 12 students. Two more exhibits at 180 Shaw Street are women’s collective SOFIA’s Bad Behavior and, happening later in May, Mindset.


Image from Anna Naziri, Our Safe Spaces, Artscape Youngplace

Ellephant, a new gallery at the corner of Ossington and Queen, underneath the Gravity Pope store, will have an opening next Thursday, May 5 and an artist talk for the exhibit Biophilia Reimagined.


Willis photograph from Ellephant’s Bibliophiia for CONTACT

The festival kicks off tonight with an event at the AGO and runs across the city throughout May.


More Businesses Coming to Ossington

Ossington is going to get busier with more incoming businesses: a store is opening this week and two locations are under renovation and applying for liquor licenses.

V de V announced an Ossington grand opening for this upcoming Thursday. The Montreal home design store will begin selling furniture, decor, lighting and more to Torontonians at 120 Ossington. We’ll share more once it’s open.


The first liquor license application is for 74 Ossington Ave, which has long been an empty space adjacent to Union Restaurant. The name on the application is for “Bar 74,” not very original, but also not necessarily the name they’ll stick with.


Further north on 184 Ossington, the space previously occupied by Unit A Architecture is getting a complete overhaul into a bar – or bar/restaurant called “Superpoint.”


We  don’t know when Superpoint and Bar 74 will open but we’ll keep you posted.


Portuguese Restaurant Moliceiro Open at 217 Ossington

moliceirologoMoliceiro Restaurant opened last night at 217 Ossington. The space was long occupied by sustainable seafood restaurant Fishbar until it’s surprising closure last summer, and then replaced for a very short time by Return to Oz. Since then, the empty space has been renovated into a rustic room with exposed brick walls, pretty lights in the entryway, and a giant mural in the back of one of the owners cooking pig on a spit.

Moliceiro bills itself as modern Portuguese cuisine. When we went to the opening night last night we felt almost like we were at a Portuguese family’s house for a potluck dinner. It was a “sneak peek” buffet offering for opening night, with pans of all the different menu items they will regularly serve a la carte, which provided an opportunity to get a taste of everything. The Portuguese menu included the traditional potatoes, but with a sweeter sauce than we expected, the suckling pig, churrasco chicken, and tarts for dessert. Also on the table: a cheese platter, varieties of rolls and breads, salads, breaded lamb chop with lentils, cod cakes, and a shrimp and mussels paella type dish.

A musician was playing classic rock inside the open garage door style window. Most of the customers seemed to be family and friends – we’ve heard the place is being run by family members of the owners of Alex Rei dos Leitos. If they can maintain the quality level of the churrasco they’ve been serving for decades next door, they should be able to find a customer base.

We were told by one of the servers last night that Moliceiro is where the owner’s father is from in Portugal. It turns out – after a wiki search – these are traditional Portuguese boats common to the Alveiro region. That boat is incorporated into their logo.

Moliceiro will have regular dinner service plus brunch on the weekends. They have a full bar, an assortment of Portuguese wines, and some Canadian craft beers on tap like Hops & Bolts and Creemore.

The suckling pig:


Beer taps and bar: