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Ossington Business Profile #21: Reposado

Reposado Bar OssingtonThe latest in our series of Ossington business profiles is of tequila bar-jazz bar-Mexican food-great patio-nightlife hotspot Reposado. Located at 136 Ossington Avenue, the bar has been a local favourite for a long time for all of the aforementioned reasons.

Aside from tequila, a patio, and live music, Reposado also has authentic Mexican food on their menu, courtesy of Toronto catering team Santo Pecado.

Sandy agreeably answered our questionnaire, and provided some photos showcasing the bar. Here’s our Reposado profile.

Tell us a bit about your business

Tequila, mezcal, Cocktail & Tapas bar with live music

Continue reading Ossington Business Profile #21: Reposado

Ossington Business Profile #20: Town Moto

Town Moto Ossington business profile

Town Moto looking out to Ossington

Ossington has some great independent retail stores, staffed by friendly folks who greet you warmly when you visit, and Town Moto is definitely one of the tops in this department. Since opening 5 years ago, Town Moto has hosted barbecues and ride-ins, welcoming motorcycle owners, fans and everybody else into their community. You do not need to know anything about motorcycles to feel welcome there, or to find something to buy at the shop. Check it out for yourself at 132 Ossington. We posed our business profile questions to Town Moto and the owner, Marika Thoms, obligingly responded. Here is the Town Moto Business Profile.

What’s your business?

We are one of the only places to buy motorcycle related items in Toronto. We carry brands that are hard to find, many exclusive in Canada, and we have an inclusive and knowledgable team when it comes to all styles of motorcycling.

How long have you been in business here?

We opened in May 2012.

 What drew you to be here on Ossington?

5 years ago Ossington was an affordable location that offered street traffic and had potential for retail. We all lived nearby and it was important we were located somewhere we wanted to spend time and felt connected to.

Continue reading Ossington Business Profile #20: Town Moto

Ossington Business Profile #19: TA2

Unedited TA2 West (7 of 9)In our return to profiling local businesses after a long hiatus, we focus on local business TA2, Tatoo Sound + Music. Located at 68 Ossington, this business opened this past February.

You’ve probably seen their bold sign on the building in between Academy of Lions and Té Restaurant but didn’t know what TA2 is. Now you can find out! When an award-winning employer opens an office on Ossington, they are bringing people to the neighbourhood to work and enjoy the other amenities, so kudos to TA2 and a late welcome!

For those of you who don’t know, the Ossington business profile allows the business owners and employees to share their opinions on Ossington, what it’s like operating on Ossington, and tell us their favorite place (or places) on Ossington.

And now onto our business profile of Tattoo Sound + Music.

What is your business?

Tattoo Sound + Music (TA2) is a post audio production company that specializes in making stuff sound better than you ever expected!

How is your business unique?

Continue reading Ossington Business Profile #19: TA2

Ossington Business Profile #18 – The Saint

THE_SAINT_2014_jesseweb

The Saint Tavern is one of the anchor restaurants on the Ossington strip. Serving a bacon-heavy brunch and classic contemporary dishes all week long to crowds from across the GTA, The Saint has been well-reviewed since opening – after a long delay – in 2012.

We spoke with the executive chef from The Saint, Jesse Vallins, about his restaurant.

Tell our readers a bit about your business?

The Saint is a classic tavern.  We’re a love-all, serve-all establishment with no pretense.  We have great food and warm, welcoming hospitality. No matter if you are there for a post work drink, a three-course prix-fixe Sunday Supper, or a weekend brunch with friends, we’ve got you covered! We specialize is sausages too. We offer a great wine, cocktail and beer selection.

How is your business unique?
We’re unique in a couple of ways.  First is our approach to food; we’re cooking very simple, familiar food, the food that people want to eat, but doing everything from scratch, and making the best versions of the dishes we do.  Second is that as a tavern in the classic sense, we’re a place that people can come for different reasons and different price points.  You can come in with a friend for oysters and cocktails; you can come in on your own for a burger and a beer; you can come with a big group and go all out on a family style feast with great wine.  We aren’t trying to be part of any scene, we just want people to come in and have a great time.  The Saint is one of King Street Food Company’s restaurants (Buca King, Buca Yorkville, Bar Buca, Jacobs, Jamie’s Italian Canada) and as a company, our goal is to provide a consistently great dining experience with the freshest and best sourced ingredients, an artisanal approach to the craft, a warm and sophisticated atmosphere, and a thoughtful approach to hospitality. Continue reading Ossington Business Profile #18 – The Saint

Ossington Business Profile #17: I Miss You Vintage and Emporium by I Miss You

emporium#17 in our series of Ossington Business Profiles is a two-fer: I Miss You Vintage has been selling beautiful clothes and accessories for years, and last year expanded with Emporium by I Miss You.

Julie, the owner of both shops, and a newer store around the corner on Dundas West at Dovercourt, answered our questions as they applied to both Ossington locations. If you haven’t been to either place at 63 Ossington, there are plenty of one-of-a-kind classics on sale. Go check it out!

What’s your business?

a) I Miss You Vintage specializes in ladies vintage fashion and designer label resale.

b) Emporium by I Miss You carries all original antique and rustic vintage accessories.

How is your business unique? 

a) There are many vintage and resale stores in Toronto but I Miss You offers a finely edited collection of one of a kind vintage clothing, accessories, and jewelry for the fashion conscious customer.  We also offer a large selection of luxury designer label resale at a fraction of the retail price. Shoppers will find labels like Chanel, Gucci, Hermes, Prada, Balenciaga, Lanvin Miyake, Isabel Marant, Alexander Wang, Martin Margiela, etc…  All of our items are selected for their historical appeal and/or how they can translate into today’s wardrobe for a runway inspired look. Continue reading Ossington Business Profile #17: I Miss You Vintage and Emporium by I Miss You

Ossington Business Profile #16: Boehmer

The 16th installment in our Ossington business profiles is Boehmer. Although only two years in the neighbourhood, the restaurant feels like one of the legacy restaurants on the strip.

What’s your business?

Boehmer restaurant, located at 93 Ossington Avenue, focuses on local, sustainable food. We draw inspiration from seasonality and local availability of produce and meat. We have a strong focus on simplicity – great flavors done without pretension.

How is your business unique?

Continue reading Ossington Business Profile #16: Boehmer

Ossington Business Profile #15: Philip Sparks

The 15th entry in our series of business profiles is Philip Sparks. Philip, a Toronto-based designer, recently opened his eponymous shop at 162 Ossington. This beautiful retail location is adjacent to Ideal Coffee, on Ossington and Foxley. Here, he answers our questions about his business and our neighborhood:

What’s your business?

I design, manufacture and retail a collection of men’s and womens apparel and accessories, all here in Toronto. Our retail space is on two levels at 162 Ossington (side entrance off Foxley)

How is your business unique?

I think it’s unique that a product is still manufactured in Canada and strive to make as much here as is still possible. The collection is a mix of tailored pieces (I love a good blazer or a coat) and most of the work I do has a modern nostalgic feeling to it. I’m always looking to history for inspiration.

Continue reading Ossington Business Profile #15: Philip Sparks

Ossington Business Profile #14: Academy of Lions

The latest in our series of Ossington Business Profiles is for the crossfit gym/cafe/general store/charitable foundation Academy of Lions, which moved last year from Dundas Street West to 64 Ossington.

As you can tell from the multiple hyphens above, this is not just a gym.  Dhani Oks, the Director and Owner of Academy of Lions, answered our profile questions, explaining more about the business.

What’s your business?

Well, here’s the short story… Academy Of Lions does many unique things, but basically we exist to put good things into the community and celebrate toronto strength in various forms.   Our space at 64 Ossington is 10,000 square feet spread out over 4 levels devoted to physical culture, healthy foods and locally designed goods.  We are open everyday, weekdays from 6am to 9pm.

Here’s the longer story… We have an old-style gymnasium that features small group classes, personal training and bootcamps.   We practice traditional forms of fitness & sport and were one of the first CrossFit Affiliated gyms in Toronto.   We have KettleBells, Olympic Lifting, Gymnastics, Ropes, Truck Tires and many other primal fitness tools.   We put a premium on good quality group and personal coaching.  Our team includes a former Olympic medalist and world record holder, Kinesiologists, Massage Therapist, Med student and Strength Coaches.   Our gym is open to everyone in the community whether you have great fitness or have never been to a gym before.

The Academy Of Lions General Store is located at the front of the house, and caters to the active lifestyle of our members and hopes to provide some good food options for the neighbourhood.  We support a very very primal, local and gluten-free diet.  So we only sell foods that we believe in and would eat ourselves:  locally, organic, naturally raised beef, bison, game, chicken, eggs, pork, sausage and we even produce our own house-brand of beef jerky.   We carry lots of snacks and grocery items for primal, paleo and gluten free nutrition and cooking.  And, we have a great Electra espresso machine and offer some unique specialty drinks that are on the healthier side of things such as Almond Milk Lattes, Coconut Milk Cappuccinos and and “CMC” (Coconut-Maple-Chocolate) Drink served hot or on ice.  We are also building a great selection of coconut waters which are super healthy and a better option than most sports drinks or juices.

We carry athletic equipment like KettleBells, Jump Ropes, Gymnastic rings and some very hard to find lines of minimal shoes like the INOV8 line from the UK and New Balance Minimus.

And last but not least, everything in the Academy General Store is available to purchase, including the tables and chairs that you sit on.  We partnered with Tinsel & Sawdust Design Studio and have made the space a “Functional Gallery.”  Most of the furniture, fixtures, art and lighting have been submitted by local designers.  We have a great table made by our neighbour Victor from Delux and some absolutely incredible seats and lights from Fugitive Glue, who have been doing stuff with the Gladstone Hotel.  If you like what you see or are sitting on, you can buy it and support local design.

Finally, we have a not-for-profit called the Academy Of Lions Foundation that works to help youth help themselves to help others. We run after-school programs for at-risk, street and homeless youth where we show them how to be fit, healthy and build community.  We then make them a part of the Academy by offering internships, employment and helping them start their own projects/businesses.

How is your business unique?

We don’t really stick to any notion of what business is supposed to be or what a gym is supposed to be.  I think early on we identified that Academy Of Lions is really about a community of people who care a positive lifestyle for themselves and their neighbours.  So we tried to grow in ways that helped our members and friends improve their lives in very basic and important ways.   So we don’t get tied down by what a “gym” or “store” is supposed to be and just work to put things into our business that we would want to have ourselves.

We take a very community health approach to our operations and want to make our neighbourhood better directly and by osmosis.  We certainly do that by providing a very powerful style of fitness and nutrition.  And we tend to think community/opportunity first in our business practices by hiring youth from our after-school program.  Our belief is that support of the community will lead to the community supporting us.

How long have you been in business here?

We moved to Ossington just this past December.  But we’ve been in the neighbourhood for 4 years now with previous locations on Dundas and on Gladstone.

What drew you to be here on Ossington?

We have always wanted to be here and even when looking at new locations we never wanted to go anywhere else.   Ossington/Dundas has the right feel and most of our members and friends live here.   Academy Of Lions is about culture manifested in physical forms.  So, it makes sense to be on a street where food culture, design culture and artistic culture are so pronounced.

What changes have you seen on Ossington since your business has been here?

I’ve seen some great new and exciting businesses open that really add to the whole experience of this neighbourhood.  Town Moto is amazing and and will make a lot of local bikers very happy.   Hawker Bar and Bellwoods Brewery are something really special too.  It’s very important to have small/medium sized businesses and entrepreneurs here, because it gives people a reason to come down here;  it can only help the rest of us.

How do you see your business and Ossington five years from now?

That’s pretty exciting to think about.  We are already developing our third floor into a functional medicine/naturopathic clinic with chiropractic and massage.  That will open later this year.   We are also putting together planning for a huge green-roof and patio that we will use to offer programming for youth on urban agriculture.  Most of all, we want to really expand the reach of the Academy Of Lions Foundation and offer fitness and sport programming to local youth, schools and community organizations.

I hope Ossington continues to attract small business that are more creative and adaptive to the needs of the community.  The street and the reputation are growing so fast I hope we can all get together and make some good long-term decisions for business and culture.

What is your favorite spot on Ossington, other than your own? and why?

That is a tough one, so I am going to cheat a bit.   Union and Delux are a tie for restos.  Crafted is a fantastic coffee-shop and does a  great job all around.  And I don’t think I could make it 3 days without some BQM!

Ossington Business Profile #13 – More Than Pasta

We were happy to introduce the community to More Than Pasta when it opened early this year. This take-out emporium for healthy, freshly cooked Italian fare has thrown open houses, donated food to charity, and plans to do a lot more to serve the neighbourhood.

I spoke with Gabriella, the passion behind the growing enterprise, and she answered the questions for our Business Profile series.

If the photos are whetting your appetite, More Than Pasta is located at 121 Ossington, just south of Argyle.

 

 

 

 

What’s your business?

PRODUCING A FRESH, UNIQUE PASTA PRODUCT
•       High Protein;

•       Low Calories;

•       Low Carbs;

•       Diabetic Friendly (Low Glycemic); and

•       High fibre content;

•       Premium High End Packaging & Product;

•       Using only the  finest, all natural ingredients.

*All our raw materials are purchased in Ontario
“It’s a win-win for all: fresh food for our customers and support for Ontario Suppliers

How is your business unique?

More Than Pasta is produced the old fashioned way – artisan style with an original Italian pasta machine. This beautifully crafted process kneads and works the dough to create a truly homemade pasta experience.
More Than Pasta is lovely textured pasta that is porous and absorbs the “gusto” – the flavour of the sauce.

How long have you been in business here?

Opened in March 2011

What drew you to be here on Ossington?

The eclectic group of businesses tucked into this distinctive and diverse neighbourhood

What changes have you seen on Ossington since your business has been here?

More diversity in terms of new businesses. Lots of weekend ‘visitors’ to the community.

How do you see your business and Ossington five years from now?

As part of the neighbourhood. Supporting community events, welcoming new businesses, active in Business Associations.

What is your favorite spot on Ossington, other than your own? and why?

PARAMOUR – THE SERVICE IS  EXCEPTIONAL, THE FOOD IS SPECTACULAR, AND  CHEF LAURA MALIN IS FABULOUS. SHE ONCE USED OUR MORE THAN PASTA PRODUCT  TO CREATE A WONDERFUL DISH FROM HER GRANDMOTHERS RECEIPES AND BOTH OF US BEING ITALIAN, WAS ONE OF OUR FAVORITES, PASTA CON IL TONNO EH POMIDORO DI LA NONNA   (GRANMOTHER’S TOMATO BASED TUNA & PASTA)

Ossington Business Profile #12 – Lower Ossington Theatre

Since we started the blog, we have enjoyed covering the events and shows at the Lower Ossington Theatre. From the Toronto Youth Theatre, to their support of the Summerworks and other festivals, LOT has a strong artistic presence and value in our neighborhood.

Lately, the Lower Ossington Theatre has added weekend matinees for children like Angelina Ballerina and Pinkalicious, and they continue to add to their evening offerings. Next month, for instance, Reefer Madness takes over the theatre from June 9-18. All of the events at LOT are in our calendar.

For our 12th Ossington Business profile, we posed our usual questions to Joseph Patrick of the Lower Ossington Theatre.

What’s your business?

The Lower Ossington Theatre (The LOT)

How is your business unique?

This year The LOT celebrates 5 years of being “family by day, fun by night!” Our diverse programming includes such popular shows as the children’s series “Pinkalicious” and “Angelina Ballerina”, and cult classics like “Rocky Horror” and “Reefer Madness”. Our Youth Theatre programs engage aspiring teen actors, providing real-life experience in a professional theatre setting.

How long have you been in business here?

Since April 2006, 5 years.

What drew you to be here on Ossington?

The opportunity to bring the arts to a great up-and-coming area on Toronto’s west side.

What changes have you seen on Ossington since your business has been here?

We have watched Ossington grow into a trendy area, full of great arts, retail, and restaurants.

How do you see your business and Ossington five years from now?

We will be the primary destination for arts and entertainment in this area.

What is your favorite spot on Ossington, other than your own? and
why?

We love Crafted Coffee. Free wi-fi is our top factor when deciding where to head for meetings on the strip.