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    Seen in the window of 186 #Ossington - @rotatethis coming soon! #openingsoon

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    Another #Bowie #tribute at #stardusttodarkstar at @thegarrisonto

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Ossington’s Changing Landscape – Photo Blog Post

There are a lot of changes happening on Ossington including new buildings and businesses, so we did a walk around and took some photos to highlight some of the most recent ones on the street.

The small location at 104 Ossington just north of Lower Ossington Theatre most recently housed a onesie shop called Kigurumi, has also been a record store and a vintage shop,  and will soon be home to a tattoo parlour called Bellwoods Tattoo.

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Baby Hueys is now gone from 72 Ossington, and the space appears to be renovating into a new storefront. Next door there’s a logo for TA2, a recording studio with headquarters on the east end, and may be expanding to Ossington.

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Motif Lofts has been under construction for a few years and looks closer to being ready for tenants. In the next few months we may also see some new retailers on the ground floor at 41 Ossington.

 

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At the corner of Ossington and Queen, Stussy is now closed as we anticipate the arrival of the American retailer who took over the lease: IMG_4355

The building at 114 Ossington, which houses Venezia Bakery, is has been undergoing a massive transformation, adding two floors above, most likely for residences.

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186 Ossington, the old home of Vintage Mix 1, is now confirmed as the new home of Rotate This, which is currently prepping for the move from Queen St. West to Ossington later this month.

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Finally, The Crooked Star, at 202 Ossington on the corner of Roylat St, is in the midst of a transformation. We have no idea what’s going on behind closed doors, but a lot of people are hoping the renovated Crooked Star opens soon!

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Where to watch Super Bowl 50 near Ossington

SuperbowlLogoThis Sunday, February 7th, is one of the big sporting events of the year, the Super Bowl, where the Carolina Panthers will play the Denver Broncos for the NFL championship. While some will be interested in the game itself, lots of others – aficionados of marketing – will tune in for the biggest day in TV ad launches. Yet others will tune in for the entertainment, whether it be Lady Gaga singing the national anthem or Coldplay and Beyonce, who are scheduled for the half-time show.  The Ossington neighbourhood now has no shortage of great venues to get together with friends and watch the action.

Some of the local venues that will have big screens for the game are Opera Bobson Dundas east of Ossington, The Dock Ellis, also on Dundas but west of Dovercourt, which always has solid food optionsThe Contender is probably the biggest sports bar in the neighbourhood, with lots of screens, so you won’t miss any action.

Screen Shot 2016-02-03 at 4.22.15 PMCamp 4 is partnering with Fortune Sound Club in Vancouver  and putting on a party with retailer LiveStock Canada.

There are likely also big screens to watch the game at Rock Lobster, The Saint, and Reposado has been known to show big games in El Norte, their side room.

LAS, at 229 Ossington, will also show the game on a big screen so you can watch while dining on some of their gourmet sausages.

Have a big TV at home and don’t want to leave? Junked is offering delivery for the Super Bowl, so you can enjoy their nachos, pizza and more from the comfort of your couch:

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Let us know in the comments or send us a message if there are other Super Bowl events in the neighbourhood.

The Last 5 Years at Lower Ossington Theatre

Lower-Ossington-TheatreThe Lower Ossington Theatre, also known as LOT, is becoming a mainstay in the Toronto local theatre scene. They are mostly known for recurring productions of several popular musicals: Avenue Q plays there a few times a year, Jesus Christ Superstar, Rocky Horror, Spamalot, and Cabaret have all returned more than once.  For 2016, they’ve produced a new show: The Last 5 Years.

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While The Last 5 Years may not be as well known as the others mentioned, it was successful enough Off-Broadway to have a movie version made with Anna Kendrick. The stars of LOT’s version, Victoria Scully as Catherine and David Light as Jamie, are not as famous, yet they are two very talented singers. And singing is all they do in this musical about the deterioration of a relationship.

Before you go, be prepared. This is not a traditional musical. The cast is only the two stars playing Catherine and Jamie, and they don’t speak. The entire musical is sung and most of the time, except for one scene in the middle, the actors are not singing to each other. Catherine is telling the story backwards from the end of their relationship, while Jamie is starting from the beginning after the two first met. It is a challenge sometimes to follow it; it’s not uplifting, either. Thankfully, the performers have great voices and keep your attention.

The LOT always puts on unique productions, utilizing the small spaces they have to good effect. In this case, the stage is a long strip in the centre of the theatre and audiences sit on either side. The sightlines are very good for this general admission show.

The Last 5 Years is running at LOT until February 13, and tickets are available here. And Avenue Q is still on too – through April.

Bridge + Bardot Closing Dundas and Ossington Shop

Bridge + Bardot, the boutique vintage which opened at 1138 Dundas West in the summer of 2012, is closing. In the manner of many Toronto boutiques, the bricks and mortar business is closing in favor of online shopping.

Before they close for good on Dundas and Ossington, stop in for the sale, with some merchandise up to half off. You can also say goodbye in person at their closing sale and party this Friday night.

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The good news is you can keep shopping at Bridge + Bardot online; no word on a replacement tenant for the space.

Ossington Band The Reposadists Release 2nd Album

repocoverReposado house band The Reposadists are releasing their second album with a big party this weekend at famed Toronto jazz bar Jazz Bistro.

The Reposadists, led by Reposado owner Sandy McFayden on vocals, is a 5 piece jazz band showcasing the talents of Toronto’s best musicians. They play regularly at Reposado, entertaining patrons with a mixture of jazz standards. The party on Saturday night will be a foray into a different venue, and on top of the music, you can enjoy a special tequila beverage served by Tromba Tequila. Tickets are $20 and reservations are recommended.

If for whatever reason, you can’t make it to the show this weekend (we get it – January is a good time to leave town!), but are a fan of the classic lounge styles of Chet Baker and Frank Sinatra, the CD is available for sale online at CD Baby.

Rotate This is Moving to Dundas and Ossington

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Dundas and Ossington is going to get a whole lot more appealing to music lovers. Long-established music shop – and indie ticket outlet – Rotate This just announced on their blog that they’ll be moving from their Queen West location to Dundas and Ossington.

We are not sure where they will be situated, but there are a couple of spaces for lease on the south side of Dundas west of Ossington and west of used and vintage record shop Grasshopper Records.

Rotate is one of the city’s best curated record shops and we have always loved them for offering tickets to great shows in the city for minimal added fees. A few years ago they moved from their space on Queen near Bathurst to further west on Queen nearer Manning. The plan is for them to move west again to Dundas and Ossington by end of February. We’ll keep following the news and let you know the exact location as soon as we confirm it.

 

Ufficio Restaurant Open on Dundas West

uThe neighborhood has it’s first opening of the year! Ufficio Restaurant, an Italian fish spot, is now open at 1214 Dundas West. We’ve been missing the former restaurant in the spot, the much admired The Grove, and have anticipated this opening for almost a year when we wrote about it last February.  Well, now it’s open and last night was the first night of service.

The restaurant, from a team including Chef Craig Harding from Campagnolo, focuses on seafood and vegetarian fare, distinct from much Italian food on offer in the city. We checked it out last night and there is a lot to choose from on the menu: crudo (raw fish), salads and vegetable dishes, pastas and cooked fish. Try it out for yourself. Photos of the bar and delicious cocktails below; the restaurant has an instagram account with more professional photos

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2015 Look Back: Openings and Closings on Ossington

2015In the years we’ve written this blog, one thing is constant: change. There were a lot of changes on the street this year, with plenty of new restaurants, retailers and services opening on Ossington and Dundas. With those new openings, there were also some closings, notably in the art gallery scene as they move further west. So let’s look back at 2015’s changes in our neighborhood.

After building up clientele from the back of Lost & Found, Town Barber opened it’s own spacious location on Dundas West just east of Ossington, serving men’s grooming needs from 1114 Dundas since January 2015.


Hanmoto also opened in late January, and the tiny Japanese snack food venue on Lakeview just north of Dundas has been filling seats and getting good reviews ever since.


 

junked windowFebruary brought more restaurant openings, including Junked Food Co at Dundas and Dovercourt, and the long-awaited second site of La Cubana. Both seem to be keeping busy so let’s hope they keep serving us delicious snacks and more!


 

The closings began in March, with Philip Sparks moving his shop from Foxley Street into his studio in the west end, and long-standing salon Lush and Lavish closing for good.


 

La Saucisserie, which opened in May, brought sausage and beer to Ossington. Recently they changed their name to LAS.


 

In June, Indian Grill opened, bringing a small family run business to the space which used to hold Amaya Express.


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July saw the opening of a local jewellery store: Anice Jewellery, expanding from Kensington Market, now offers Ossington crowds unique and custom jewellery and workshops.


 

Sustainable seafood restaurant Fishbar closed in July, and in September Return to Oss opened and then closed by mid November in the same location.


 

The Grow Op, a juicery and eatery, opened on Ossington in August, and Omaw, a southern food restaurant, soft opened at around the same time.


We saw some new openings in September: Bobbie Sue’s Mac and Cheese, which is serving the masses with creative takes on the comfort food dish.

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Also in September, O’Born Contemporary, a top gallery focused on photography which had been open since 2010, closed it’s doors for the final time.


 

The last few months have been very busy, with businesses moving, closing and opening.

c54In November, Saucy Pierogi opened in the former Quinta and Essen space on Dundas West, Community 54 opened an outpost on Ossington selling sportswear and sneakers; Lola Salon revamped the Lush and Lavish space on Ossington, and Jimmy’s Coffee opened on the south end of the strip. Imperial Tattoo moved from Ossington to the corner of Dundas and Dovercourt.


 

Sam James and Stussy are being moved out of the Ossington and Queen corner at the end of the month to make way for an American retailer, and Pop Up 120 already moved out from corner of Argyle and Ossington.

Crooked Star closed last week and will hopefully open again soon after their renos.


Today, December 31st, is also the last day of vintage shop Vintage Mix One. So, once again we realize that the world of retail and restaurants is a fickle one and everything changes.

 

What was your favorite opening and/or least liked closing of the year? Let us know in the comments, and Happy New Year!

 

Lots Of Choices for New Year’s Eve around Ossington

Still trying to decide how to celebrate the passing of another year? There are lots of options in Ossington Village, as always, from the laid back to the extravagant. Here’s a summary:

Music and Dancing

NYE2016The Garrison is bringing back the popular DJs Chronologic for an annual replay of the best dance hits of decades past. This party sells out every year, so buy your $25 tickets now. Party starts at 9:30PM and goes into the wee hours.

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The Painted Lady is doing what they do best for New Year’s: burlesque dancing on the bar and DJ NV playing soul and funk hits. The party starts at 9pm with appetizers, the music will be pumping all night, and there’s a champagne toast at midnight. Entry is $10 and you can buy tickets in advance.

 

 

The Dakota Tavern is hosting a party with Canadian rockabilly band The Royal Crowns, sure to get the crowd on its feet. Doors are at 9pm, the show starts at 10pm and goes until 3am. You can buy your $20 tickets in advance.

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The New Year’s Eve bash at The Ossington features DJ Big Jimmy Mills, a regular at that night spot, spinning from 10p-close. The $25 entry fee covers some snacks and a champagne toast at the midnight mark. Tickets are available in advance by email if you want to plan ahead!

 

 

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The Ballet on Ossington has big plans for New Year’s Eve.  The nightspot will have music by CRSB & Teo Neo and live burlesque dancing. Their Minutes to Midnight party is a big night out, with a variety of package options and bottle service choices, all including a complimentary champagne toast at Midnight.

 

Bunda Lounge’s “Housin’ NYE 2016” will include a roster of DJs like Jason Palma, Dirty Dale and more for a night of house music. Get ready to rock the dance floor starting at 10PM and running until 4am. Tickets are on sale now for $20.

Reposado house band The Reposadists will be playing all night, so you can listen to their jazz stylings while sipping tequila with your friends.

Dining and Drinking

Boehmer is hosting a special dinner service on New Year’s Eve. In addition to their usual menu they’ll offer some very special additions including; Fire Roasted Oysters, Dry Aged Tomahawk Steak for 2, Turbot fillet with Spotted Prawns and Acadian Caviar, Muscovy Duck Breast with White Truffles.

Enjoy your last meal of the New Year at one of Toronto’s best new restaurants, Boralia. For $75, you get a 4 course set menu and a complimentary glass of bubbles.

The newly opened Southern eatery Omaw is offering 2 seatings with their a la carte menu for New Year’s Eve, or you can pay $10 after 10PM which includes a midnight toast and party favors.

Soos is open on New Year’s Eve – no prix fixe, the usual delicious menu and some “great features.” Make reservations now.

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The Saucy Pierogi, newly opened on Dundas, will have two seatings for a $35 5 course prix fixe menu. They’re touting complimentary cocktails and special giveaways, so if you want some Polish dumplings for your December 31st dinner, make reservations now!

 

The Dock Ellis has a different take on New Year’s Eve. Their “Happy New Beers” event is a tap takeover with some new brews from local breweries like Beaus and Junction Craft Brewing. Stop by anytime after 8PM, no reservation required, and toast the new year over some new craft beers.

Do you know of other local events for New Year’s? Let us know! Happy New Year!

Vintage Mix Closing on December 31

IMG_0028Ossington is ending 2015 with the loss of another vintage shop. Vintage Mix 1, at 186 Ossington, just south of Bazara Sushi, is closing up shop as of December 31. Until then, you can purchase clothing, shoes, handbags, jewellery and much much more (smurfs! Video discs! books! Wrestling figures!) at 50% discount.

Vintage Mix has been on Ossington for as long as I remember – blog.to did a write-up in 2007, so at least that long – and it will be missed as we continue to witness vintage shops and art galleries leave for less expensive rents in other parts of town.

Until the 31st though, you have a chance to try on some Japanese imports,
70s dresses and more! Photos of the current wares below:

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