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KFC location has proposed redevelopment submission

20160821_100212The owner of the property where there is currently KFC at the corner of Grove Ave and Dundas, 1121 Dundas Street West, has submitted a proposal to the city to demolish the current restaurant on the corner and build another one story building, with 5 units. According to the application the new space will be designated such that each space will hold a restaurant, 2 over 30 seats and 3 under 30 seats. We assume that the new building will extend right out to the property line, as there is little use for the on-site parking in a downtown location.

As residents, we will not be missing the KFC – neither of us having visited the shop in the 10 years we’ve lived in the neighbourhood – so we will be looking forward to some new, creative food and restaurants options in the neighbourhood. It’s not like we don’t have enough, but we can always use more.

La Banane to open – replacing The Saint

La Banane

Chef with Great Pedrigree coming to Ossington opening La Banane

A new restaurant, La Banane, is scheduled to open soon on at 227 Ossinton, the former location of The Saint Tavern.  Brandon Olson, who has spent time at such Toronto notable restaurants as The Black Hoof and Bar Isobel – and completed a stint at The French Laundry – as well as running his own chocolate company, CXBO, is stepping in with a new concept restaurant called La Banane. We’re still short on details on the new location, but given the pedigree of the owners, we’re excited that we’ll be having some excellent food very soon. Keep an eye on their Facebook page here, as well as their Instagram here.

The Saint Tavern is now closed

Sunday night was their last night for The Saint Tavern in the location. They have served up their great steaks, brunches and maple glazed bacon since April 2012King Street Food Co, the company behind The Saint, will still be involved, and is the backer behind the new venture.

Keep your eyes open on the location, and we’ll be updating when we know more.

 

The Epicure Is Closed

So it looks like we have the first casualty in the dispensary wars at Dundas and Ossington. The Epicure, the first of it’s kind in our area, has burnt out. The first to open turned out to be the first to burn out as well.

Epicure Closed sign

The phone number they’ve left rings to a recorded message for The Vapor Social and another phone number. That leads to another message which seems to be a personal voicemail box. We don’t know anything about the circumstances behind their closing.

If you were a customer of The Epicure Dispensary, you can try the phone route or another dispensary in our neighborhood will probably be happy to supply you.

Peace Collective Opening on Ossington

Peace Collective Logo
You’ll soon be able to purchase from some of the brand’s iconic leisurewear with sayings like “Home is Canada” or “Toronto vs. Everybody” when Peace Collective makes its new home on Ossington. That’s right. Peace Collective is opening a bricks and mortar store at 131 Ossington. The space they will occupy is formerly home to O’Born Contemporary art gallery and is a big, modern and well-maintained location for the popular Toronto clothing company.

Peace Collective is a Toronto success story.  Founded and based here, without a doubt the brand’s Toronto and Canada-centric sayings emblazoned on shirts and jackets made a mark at home. The brand blew up last fall when Jose Bautista and other Blue Jays wore the “Toronto vs. Everybody” clothing they sell.

Toronto vs Everybody Clothes

Blue Jays wearing Peace Collective clothing

After operating solely as an online shop, with supplies in bigger stores like Hudson’s Bay, the merchant is ready to open it’s own retail space, and the first stop is Ossington.

Home is Canada image

Home is Canada, another big part of the Peace Collective line.

The company has had some positive and negative attention. The positive is their corporate pledge to donate some of their profits to feed hungry schoolchildren through Breakfast for Learning. They did not get out without some negativity, when a Detroit brand blamed them for stealing the idea for Toronto vs. Everybody. Peace Collective has a Canadian copyright on the slogan, so all ended well.

Peace Collective will be joining recent newcomers V de V and Shinola to the Ossington section between Dundas and Queen. After this trifecta of Montreal, Detroit and Toronto retailers, Ossington is without a doubt a destination for shopping.

Peace Collective Ossington storefront

The Peace Collective signs at 131 Ossington

We spoke to a representative from the company, and the team is excited to open their first retail store on Ossington. In addition to all the great clothing and gear you’d expect from Peace Collective, they’re launching a milkshake shop called Peace Treats! The front of the store will be given over to selling delicious and creative milkshakes.

We’ll let you know when we hear of the official opening, when they start selling a “Home is Ossington” apparel line, and if any Blue Jays visit!

Opening Soon: Hungry Amoo Restaurant

The space at 74 Ossington, just north of Union, is going to be a new dining and drinking spot named Hungry Amoo.

Hungry Amoo will take over 74 Ossington, which has been undergoing renovations for a while. As we predicted in our post in April, the name on their license was a placeholder and not the restaurant’s name. Late last week, we noticed new signage on the front windows advertising that Hungry Amoo is opening soon and looking for staff. If you’re an experienced cook, bartender or server, reach out to them online.

Hungry Amoo Front

 

Partner Houman Pourmarz is a chef who has worked at Jump and Stratus, both downtown Toronto fine dining establishments. According to Pourmarz, Hungry Amoo will be a restaurant/bar which will seat 65 people. He also told us the team’s plan is to make it a casual restaurant/bar with the concept of small and sharing plates. The menu will be updated seasonally and local products will be used whenever possible. It sounds like Houman will bring his experience working in those upscale restaurants and adapt for this more relaxed Ossington space.

The renovations at 74 Ossington are almost done and once staffing and training are finalized, they should be ready to open. Expect to be able to dine and drink at Hungry Amoo sometime later this summer! We will visit when it opens and share here and welcome another local restaurant to the strip.

 

OSSFEST Recap and Photos

The first ever OSSFEST was a long and busy day of cycling, music, food, shopping and dancing. Ossington street was shut down for an unforgettable – and blazing hot – day. Thanks to the Ossington BIA for putting on such a fun – and very complicated – event! We have a recap and some photos, but for more photos from the day and night, go to our Facebook page here.

OSSFEST: The Ossington Crit

The day started with cycling and kids ages 5-15 riding their bikes along the Ossington Crit route, later to be populated with semi-pro athletes racing through the heat for long stretches (90 minutes in 35 degrees!).

OssCrit Kids Race

Ossington Crit Kids race

The Crit proved to be extremely popular with people of all ages, and people who had never seen a crit before are excited to see it again! We got to watch some great cycling, with races for amateurs, fixies, and more seasoned women and men competing for prizes in fastest laps and overall race purses, which we were told were high for Ontario. The race route along Ossington was generally pretty crowded with viewers, but along Halton, Givens and Rebecca, there was plenty of room to view. For full results from the races, go here. Congrats to all the winners and finishers. The races were exciting to watch.

Crit On Givens

Ossfest: The Crit

CritWomensRebecca

Ossfest: The Crit – women racing on Rebecca Street

OSSFEST: Music Fest

OSSFEST also included some great music at the north end of the closed off street by Dundas West. Festival goers danced and drank on The Painted Lady patio to live music including reggae, brass bands, and more:

The Responsables

The Responsables on the OSSFEST music stage

Heavyweights Brass Band

Heavyweights Brass Band on the march at OSSFEST

The street was packed with revellers all day and night, with people enjoying all that Ossington has to offer.

OSSFEST: Restaurant Patios

Patios were crowded with people taking a break in the shade to watch The Crit from Tiger of Sweden, hosting Cote De Boeuf, to Reposado, The Ossington and Mamakas, to the music stages near Pizza Libretto.

MamakasPatio

Mamakas was busy with their side patio during OSSFEST

La Cubana OSSFEST

La Cubana with sidewalk take-out

OSSFEST: Sidewalk Shopping

There were so many people on the street and the day was so hot, that popping inside for a break and a little shop was a great idea. A lot of the retailers brought their goods outside, and Telegramme Prints even offered a kids’ art workshop which was well received!

Telegramme OSSFEST

Telegramme Art Workshop for Kids

Crywolf OSSFEST Buttones

Crywolf and Button Machine had free OSSFEST buttons

Did you enjoy OSSFEST as much as we did? Share in the comments and definitely check out our Facebook page for more photos!

What To Expect During Ossfest

ossfest logoOssfest is this Saturday. From 11a-11p, Ossington Avenue will be closed for a music fest and bike race and more. We’ve already detailed those schedules and provided links here. So, what is the “more” I speak of that will be happening on the street? As the big day approaches, we have information on what the local businesses are doing to make Ossfest a one-of-a-kind Toronto street festival.

Sidewalk Shopping and Sales at Ossfest

Food and Drink at Ossfest

  • Boehmer’s front patio will be busy serving special dishes and a view of Ossington Crit
  • BQM already has a great patio, so expect some drink specials like beer or caesars and enjoy the sun!
  • Cote De Bouef is having a front patio where you can get some of their delicious sandwiches and a Pimms or cold beer to go with it; The butcher shop will also co-host oysters and Cava from the patio further down the street at Tiger of Sweden
  • Crafted Coffee is bringing their chilled delivery bike to the sidewalk for some cold brews
  • Golden Turtle – the pho spot’s patio will be even larger for Ossfest and they’ll serve fresh rolls and spring rolls to go on the sidewalk
  • Ideal Coffee – enjoy the smell of roasting coffee beans as you watch the Crit from the patio at Ossington and Foxley
  • Indian Grill – the family run restaurant will have a new location outside Lola Salon this Saturday.  Serving a few of their choice dishes from the sidewalk patio at 200 Ossington, just south of Rolyat
  • La Cubana will be serving hot cubanos and cold drinks on this hot summer day
  • Mamakas Taverna is going all out with a 100 person extended patio on the side alley featuring meats grilled outside on the spit for a real summer barbecue vibe
  • Moliceiro‘s special front patio will be open with full menu and a Portuguese sandwich special
  • Rashers is going to be busy with $5 hogtown sandwiches and free bacon samples this Saturday
  • Reposado will expand next door with seating and drink specials at the Ossington Tire parking lot. Stop by for some buckets of beer in the Sol and Tecate beer tent and expect mezcal specials and a performance by Led Zep cover band Zeppelinesque
  • Salt Wine Bar will make you your choice of a special veggie or chicken chorizo paella and cinnamon churros from their special front patio for Ossfest
  • Union Restaurant is having a special front patio and will feature the usual favorites from one of Toronto’s top kitchens

Art and Kids at Ossfest

  • Stylegarage will feature some custom designed art pieces and a silent auction for CAMH this Saturday
  • Telegramme Prints stands out for parents with their plans for a kids art workshop for 12 and unders! Sounds fun!
  • William’s Craig is setting up a vintage bicycle lounge – fitting for the Crit and likely very instagrammable

Ossfest is tomorrow, Saturday July 23 from 11a-11pm. Shop local and Meet Me on Ossington

Canna Clinic Ossington Open

Canna Clinic Ossington Sign

Canna Clinic Ossington Open

Canna-Clinic-logo

The Vancouver based marijuana dispensary chain Canna Clinic has opened it’s doors on Ossington. Located at 213 Ossington, it is the 6th Toronto outpost for the brand since the new year.

Dispensaries in Ossington Village

We have a lot of marijuana dispensaries in the Ossington and Dundas area – at least four in a very small radius. Canna Clinic joins Dundas West’s The Epicure, Eden Dispensary and Twisted Smoke Haberdashery, not to mention Ossington’s The Ossington Dispensary, right across the street at 198 Ossington. While Dundas and Ossington may not be the epicentre of THC trade in the city, as Kensington Market ranks up there, this addition certainly pushes us towards peak pot purveyorship.

 

Toronto’s Climate for Dispensaries

Medical marijuana dispensaries fall within a grey area of criminality in Toronto. Not officially deemed legal yet by the government, some have suffered the consequences with police raids and shut-downs becoming big news earlier this summer.  While it’s been a few weeks since this kind of police crackdown, there’s no way of knowing if they’ve made their point or want to keep fighting these clinics. It’ll also be interesting to see if the market is strong enough for all of these marijuana merchants in this small area.

Canna Clinic Specifics

Canna Clinic Ossington has daily specials and happy hour deals. Memberships are required. If you are already a member of any of the Canna Clinics in Toronto your membership will be accepted at the Ossington spot.

Due to the police crackdowns, Canna Clinic is not selling any edibles, but offers a vast variety of buds, salves and oils. The sign says it’s open 7 days a week. On the marijuana information site Leafly, the Kensington location of Canna Clinic has very high reviews from customers – and a lot of them. So if that’s your style, get out your pipe and go.

Experience Virtual Reality Theatre

VividVRLogoOur neighbourhood has another entertainment option this summer. Vivid VR has opened a pop-up virtual reality theatre on Dundas between Dovercourt and Ossington in the space run by local art gallery and event space Milk Glass.

Overview

The experience last about an hour and costs $20 and you get to ‘live’ in three different short films, each using the new virtual reality medium in a different way. The shows run about every hour in the evenings on weekdays and from 1pm on on weekends. Reserve your tickets online here.

About the films

Vivid VR headset

The VR head set at Vivd VR

The three films screening now offer a variety of styles, which is a great way to imagine the possibilities of this art form. First is The Visitor, a creepy horror-style film shot in 3rd person showing a couple mostly talking to each other. The second is called Imago which is shot in first person and follows a former dancer with her family. Last but not least is the sci-fi adventure set in space called Sonar. You can read a little more about each here, but try not to so you won’t be spoiled before you go!t This slate of three shows runs until August 12th. Then, you can return and see a new and different group of 3 until Vivid VR ends it’s run at Milk Glass on September 11th.

The Experience

When you arrive, you’ll need to check in and sign a waiver. You’ll sit in one of about 20 swivel chairs which allow you to turn around completely and see the whole scenery. You’ll also be given  Oculus headsets to wear – these are equipped with Samsung hardware and high-quality Sennheiser headphones to hear. The staff will take you through an intro and “how-to” and are there to help you when you need it during the experience.

We’re fortunate because this is the first VR pop-up theatre in North America, and it’s not only in Toronto, it’s right in our neighbourhood. Check it out this summer while you can.

 

Playing Pokemon Go in Ossington Village

pokemongologo

Pokémon Go launched in Canada on Sunday, and we’re already hooked and so are many other locals. There are PokéStops and gyms all around Ossington Village. Thanks to a lot of nearby graffiti, churches and parks, you can get a lot of Pokémon Go activity nearby.

Last night, we walked around the back alleys of our neighbourhood, taking in graffiti PokéStops, and meeting other people doing the same thing!

PokéStops

Collect balls and other items to use in the game for free. These locations have multiple PokéStops:

  • Trinity Bellwoods Park: signs, graffiti, memorials, statues: all of these are PokéStops
  • Ossington alleyways to the east and west of Ossington, there are so many alleyways with graffiti art that are featured in this game
  • Ostler Park playground: this is a good stopover between alleyways, and people were setting lots of lures there last night!
  • BQM has a mural on the side of the building which is a PokéStop
  • “Black and White” is the Black wall of OMAW across the street from the White wall of Mamakas at Ossington and Humbert

Here are some photos of some of the stops:

The Poke Stop at Ossington and Argyle

Poke Stop Ossington and Argyle

Martial Arts Graffiti

Martial Arts Graffiti West of Ossington and North of Queen: Also a PokéStop

 

Ossington alley art

Gamers lured some PokéMon and were trying to catch them among the art in the Ossington alleway

Gyms

The PokéMon gyms are for level 5 and up. Nearby gyms include:

  • The lumberyard behind the Downtown Lumber on Ossingon north of Foxley
  • The convenience store at Foxley and Dovercourt
  • Canada Herb at Ossington and Argyle

Are you playing Pokémon Go in the neighbourhood? Let us know in the comments and share your photos with us on Instagram.