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.
This year the rain didn’t stop the Portuguese Day Parade from coming along Dundas and celebrating our local Portuguese culture. As always there were plenty of colourful costumes, floats by many Portuguese-run companies, community groups and music by bands and DJs.
We’ve posted most of our pictures here on Facebook, but here’s a few as a sample of the participants and onlookers who tolerated the June rain to celebrate.
Amaya Express closed for “renovations” earlier this spring, and didn’t open again. Instead, just this week a new – and noticeably better looking – Indian restaurant has opened in the space at 108 Ossington. Called Indian Grill, the interior is much improved – you may want to stay and dine rather than do take-out as was common with Amaya.
The menu has a lot of options: a variety of curries, tandooris and other traditional Indian dishes, all at reasonable prices – the entrees maxed at about $13. While Amaya Express didn’t succeed, maybe Indian Grill will. We learned today that it is a family-run business, where the wife is the chef and the husband manages the front-of-house, where he already has experience at other Indian restaurants.
They’ve been open for 5 days, and expect to have their liquor license next week. We’ll let you know when we get to try the food.
On June 22nd Boehmer Restaurant is playing host to a dinner to support rebuilding the villages of Nepal. As that country was recently hit with devastating earthquakes, a group of some of the best chefs in Ontario have come together for a night of fundraising and dining. Organized by Paul Boehmer and Michael Statlander (of Eigensinn Farm), the group of chefs they’ve assembled is truly all-star. It includes such culinary luminaries as Keith Froggett, Jamie Kennedy, Claudio Aprile, Mark McEwan, Anthony Rose and more.
The 12 course menu features a different dish by each of the 12 chefs. The price is $250 and covers all the food and drink for the evening and 100% of the proceeds will be going to Nepal Village rebuilding.
It’s sure to be a delicious meal, with the added benefit of helping a country rocked by natural disaster back on its feet.
A gorgeous sunny day, patios and entertainment for blocks and blocks: what more could we have asked for yesterday with the 3rd annual Dundas West Fest? The turn-out was very large, with people from all over the city enjoying everything the local (and not-so-local) businesses were offering.
We have photos of the crowds, the bars, the entertainers, and more, but we’d love to see your photos too! Share with us on Twitter and Facebook.