4th Dundas West Fest Coming June 11

Poster_V6_nocropThe Dundas West Fest is going to be entertaining crowds next Saturday, June 11. We’ve got a long list of reasons why you won’t want to miss this one, for one, after 3 years, it’s already being touted as a top summer festival in Toronto.

First, the logistics: Dundas West will be closed to traffic between Ossington and Landsdowne all day Saturday, June 11. The streets will be for people, and for the businesses to fill as they wish. This means many of the retailers will have sidewalk sales, and the bars and restaurants will have patios, plus there are kids’ zones, art areas and music stages scattered throughout. With the wildly diverse businesses on the street, you will be able to choose from a lot of entertainment and dining.

I mentioned we had some highlights, but check out the site linked above because there is a lot going on this Saturday:

  • The Garrison is curating a full day of free live music from the parking lot of The Beer Store: headliners are The Dears, other bands range from the local old favorites The Shuffle Demons to the more current Run with the Kittens
  • For more music, the Lulaworld stage at Dundas and Brock features dance lessons, drumming and a variety of international performers all sponsored by Lula Lounge
  • Kids zone at Dundas and Sheridan will feature fun activities for the kids all day, including soccer and a kids’ stage
  • Check out the patio at West Neighborhood House: there will be games, music and community discussions
  • Milk Glass Co is hosting a party with music all day
  • Sports fans, take note! Euro Cup begins on June 10, and Opera Bob’s and likely many other local sports bars like Dock Ellis and The Contender will be airing the games all throughout the tournament
  • Food glorious food! From the Portuguese butchers grilling meats, to the Italian, BBQ, Thai and more, there will be outdoor seating and take-away all along the street

If you want to see what went on in previous years, click here and here.




Upcoming Local Events

There’s a lot going on in our neighborhood in the next few weeks, from music and shopping to drinking and comedy. We’ve got a round-up, and as always, check our calendar for daily listings.

TBW-Header-LogoToronto Beer Week runs September 18 – 26th with tastings, parties, crawls and more across the city. This celebration of local craft beer wouldn’t be complete without participants in Ossington Village. Among those businesses hosting brew-centric activities are Rock Lobster, Bellwoods Brewery, The Garrison, Porter House and The Painted Lady.

Also this weekend is another Dundas West Sidewalk sale. This Saturday, the street will still be open to traffic, but stores and restaurants will open their doors between Shaw and Landsdowne with special offers throughout the day. The Sidewalk Sale runs Saturday, September 19 from 10am-10pm.

jfl42The Garrison is a host venue for the JFL 42 comedy festival. Running September 24- October 3, JFL brings a variety of comedy shows to the city, from big name acts like Trevor Noah to hilarious lesser-known talent from across the globe. Expect to see a mix of performers in this intimate venue on Dundas West, like Kiwi Rhys Darby, familiar as the hapless manager on TV show Flight of the Conchords.

hpcIn two weeks, the Homegrown Park Crawl returns for Year 3. This event showcases a number of local parks and highlights local music and food at each stop on this travelling party. The crawl is September 27 from 12-6pm and you can buy tickets for the food from local spots like Pizzeria Libretto and Le Dolci. The crawl starts at Trinity Bellwoods Park and travels north through Fred Hamilton and Bickford before closing up at Christie Pits. Get your food tickets now!

Anything we’ve missed? Feel free to share with us.

Dundas West Fest Back for Year 3 This Saturday, June 6

dwf2015This Saturday marks the 3rd year for the Dundas West Fest. The first two years were a big success, both for the residents and businesses in the neighbourhood, and year three looks to be at least as good!

The festival closes down Dundas from Ossington all the way west to Landsdowne, and many community groups, shops, restaurants and more will be represented. What makes the Dundas West Fest so successful is the inclusion of all the local groups and businesses for food and entertainment.

With kids’ zones, lots of music, shopping, art, and plenty of food and drink, the Dundas West Fest offers lots of opportunities for everyone to enjoy.

Some of the highlights of this year’s fest include:

  • The Garrison hosts a craft beer festival and free music stage in the Beer Store parking lot, with well-known local bands ranging from The Royal Crowns to Good Enough Live Karaoke to Choir! Choir! Choir!
  • Comedy with The Afternoon Laugh party with local comedians at the Sheridan stage, and more jokes at Full of Beans
  • Free portraits from renowned photographer George Pimental at the Alegria Stage
  • Readings by Portuguese-Canadian writers at the West Stage
  • DJs and Art at Milk Glass Co
  • Kids zones at the west end of the fest
  • Busker zones scattered throughout the festival
  • Food and drink from all the local cafes, bars and restaurants, and a new food zone at the west end near Landsdowne

There are too many events to list, so check out the facebook page  and the location map.

Take a look at some photos from last year to get a sense of the scope and scale of the festival.

Schedule below:



Scary (and fun) Halloween events on Ossington (Update Oct. 29)

pumpkinUPDATE: A few more parties have been announced for Halloween.

Halloween is on a Friday this year, so there is no doubt when everybody will be dressing up and hitting the town. Wear your costume, and hit one of these local spots for a great night out:

The Painted Lady will start celebrating with a Devil’s Night Party on October 30th, with music from The Calrizians and The Deldoniks. Party starts at 9PM.

Halloween gets musical at The Dakota Tavern as The Mercenaries perform as The Muppets band Dr. Teeth and Electric Mayhem. Party starts at 10PM, it’s $10 at the door, and you can win prizes for best Muppet or rock star costume. mercenarieshalloweenalternative-200x300

Rocky Horror Cabaret Show

lot-rockycabIn what is becoming an anticipated annual event, just in time for dressing up for Halloween, Lower Ossington Theatre launches a short-term run of Rocky Horror this Thursday in the Cabaret:

WHAT: Rocky Horror Cabaret Show; WHEN: Thursday – Saturday 8PM, October 16 – November 1, 2014; WHERE: Lower Ossington Theatre Cabaret, 100A Ossington Avenue; COST: General Admission $20, Table for 4 $120.


hotnuts hallowqueenDrag queens, party animals and dancers will be at The Garrison on October 31, so make sure your costume is fabulous for HOTNUTS HALLOWQUEEN! There is a $100 prize for best costume!

WHAT: Hotnuts Hallowqueen, drag party with DJs; WHEN: Friday October 31 at 10:30PM; WHERE: The Garrison, 1197 Dundas St. W; COST: $10, come early to avoid disappointment

Ghost Stories at the Garrison

Later this month, The Garrison is hosting two different Halloween events:

First, another storytelling series turns spooky as True Stories turns to True Ghost Stories.

WHAT: True Ghost Stories told live; WHEN:  Tues October 28 @ 7PM  WHERE: The Garrison, 1197 Dundas Street W; COST: FREE

Tales of the Supernatural

Halloween celebrations start early – tomorrow, in fact – with a spooky night of stories at The Ossington:

WHAT: Tales of the Supernatural; WHEN: 8pm, Wednesday October 15, 2014; WHERE: The Ossington, 61 Ossington Ave; COST: PWYC

It’s that time of year of Ghosts and Goblins, Black Cats and…. Toronto’s greatest storytellers. On Wednesday October 15th at 8pm at The Ossington will be showcasing an amazing cast full of storytellers telling their spoooookiest stories with “Tales of…the Supernatural”.

This month’s show will be hosted by powerhouse Lauren Prussky.  Lauren is a writer and comedian whose hilarious and amazing stories make her the show’s most asked about performer.

The show will feature performers such as: Hilarious standup Jess Beaulieu.  Jess is a weekly columnist for “She Does the City”, co-host of Toronto’s new weekly feminist standup show “The Crimson Wave Comedy” and has performed in festivals across North America.

Actor and writer Amish Patel, whose sketch troupe “Fade to Brown” whose original sketch comedy show played to a sold out crowd at the Panasonic Theatre and then created a special for OMNI television.

Legendary writer Marcy Rogers.  Marcy received a Dora Nomination for her play “Nocturnal Emissions “.  She recently rocked the stage with her brilliant one-woman show “Lesbians Who Wear Lipstick: The Middle Ages”


Photos: Dundas West Fest 2014

DuWestSignYesterday the weather was perfect for the 2nd Annual Dundas West Fest. There was something for everyone: food, drinks, music, dance, art, crafts, shopping, comedy, games for kids and lots of politicians.

Below are some of the photos from the very fun day. Thanks to the Dundas West BIA and the Little Portugal BIA for making the day such a good time for so many people.

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Dundas West Fest is back again

Screen Shot 2014-05-22 at 12.31.35 PMThis year’s Dundas West Fest, a sprawling street festival that runs along Dundas all the way from Ossington over to Lansdowne, returns again on June 7th. The street will be closed the entire day and the festival features multiple stages with great local and international musicians, lots of food and drink from the local restaurants and bars, street shopping from the local stores as well as neighbourhood vendors, plus many other activities and events for the old and young alike.

One of the unique attributes about the Dundas West Fest is the focus on keeping it local. Unlike other street festivals in the city where there are a lot of outside vendors (think sausage stands and carny rides) the organizers from the Dundas West BIA have spent considerable energy to find ways to include as many of the local businesses as they could. They have even made a decision this year to limit the external beer gardens (usually funded or sponsored by beer companies) in favour of focussing on the restaurants, which will expand their patios out to the street.

There’s an enormous amount going on during the day, and we’ve noted a few highlights here:

  • Lula Lounge, a great international music venue past Dufferin will have a dedicated stage with a whole lot of world music, including Quique Escamilla, with special guest local politician Andrew Cash, as well as bands too numerous to mention.
  • There’s going to be a neighbourhood dance called “Slow Dance – No Excuses” in the St Clarens parkette – Check out and help them out on their Indigogo page as they need some equipment for the festival.
  • The Garrison is hosting the stage at Bellwoods Avenue, outside the Beer  Store, with some great Toronto bands including Sheezer (a female Weezer cover band), The Fast Romantics,  The Royal Crowns and many more. Click here to see the schedule.
  • Full of Beans will be taking their local music programming outside with performances by Pete Janes, Roman Walte Band, Jeff & Debbie Currie, Mike Mazzei & Friends, Heather Chappell & Vince Peets.
  • There’s a full-blown comedy stage taking place west of Dufferin – their Facebook page has details.
  • St Christopher House will be hosting an outdoor, giant scrabble game, theatre by Portuguese and Vietnamese seniors, songs for all ages led by youth.
  • Dundas West Fest will be the host of a number of ‘Urban Interventions’ happening for the 100 in a day initiative to transform cities, taking place also on June 7th. One of the interventions at the festival is entitled Neighbourhood Fan Mail. Go see what they are working on, and send someone in the neighbourhood a fan letter.
  • The Parkdale Flames are coming out to remind people how much fun street hockey is.

The list goes on and on, and we could continue, but the best thing to do is show up, and take a walk down the street and check out all the booth, shops, vendors, and other entertainment on Saturday. Check out their regularly updated Facebook page to stay on top of the new developments, and check out some photos from last year here.

The Dundas West Fest is this Saturday, June 7 from 11am to 10pm.

Look forward to seeing all of you there!

We’ve also posted below, directly from the DundasWestFest website, the stage and show list.





Catch Toronto SketchFest On Ossington This March

to sketch festThe Toronto Sketch Comedy Festival is back this March and major events are happening on Ossington. The festival runs March 6th-16th, and one of the main venues is the Lower Ossington Theatre.

This year’s festival will get a lot of attention for The Kids in The Hall reunion at Queen Elizabeth Theatre, but the bulk of the festival is local up-and-coming talented sketch troupes. And that is what you will see on Ossington.

Lower Ossington Theatre hosts two shows nightly, at 8P and 10P, and most shows feature at least two comedy troupes. With award-winning, local comedy acts like National Theatre of the World and She Said What, and ticket prices at $15 per show or 4 shows for $50, you are guaranteed some good laughs for the money. Other Sketchfest venues include Comedy Bar, the Randolph Theatre and Queen Elizabeth Theare

Upcoming Events: Art Crawl, Sidewalk Sale and Just for Laughs

There’s a lot going on these days to keep us sticking around the neighbourhood. This week is not only Toronto Beer Week, we’ve also got art, shopping and comedy coming up.

We’ve talked about Toronto Beer Week already, and it continues through September 21.

Screen Shot 2013-09-16 at 7.40.47 PMThis weekend, Saturday and Sunday the 21st and 22nd, is the Queen West Art Crawl. This annual event features a big public art exhibition and sale in Trinity Bellwoods Park, and events and exhibits across Queen and into Parkdale. It is also the perfect time for the Canadian Art Foundation to host their Canadian Art Gallery Hop, which features several stops on Ossington. This free event happens on Saturday, September 21 and features tours and talks, and lots of art. There are tours of 8 different neighbourhoods, including one of Dundas West and another of Ossington and Queen West. Local galleries being toured are O’Born Contemporary and Interaccess on Ossington, and Cooper Cole, LE Gallery and LOOP on Dundas.

Screen Shot 2013-09-16 at 7.43.56 PMAlso on Saturday is the Dundas West Sidewalk Sale, which runs from Shaw to Landsdowne, featuring specials and deals from all varieties of merchants on Dundas. The offerings range from fine dining restaurants to vintage clothing stores, art galleries, coffee shops and more. Seriously, the list of vendors is l-o-n-g and growing! So, in between gallery hopping, you can grab some food and get some deals!

Another festival hits the hood this week when JFL42 (Just for Laughs) hosts shows at The Garrison. Screen Shot 2013-09-16 at 7.46.39 PMThe festival is bringing some big names to the city, like Aziz Ansari, Sarah Silverman and the cast of Family Guy. You can buy a pass to see all of them or one of them, and that pass will get you in to some of the smaller venues, like the shows at The Garrison, each of which offers 3 different up-and-coming comedians to make you laugh. JFL42 starts Thursday, September 19 and runs through the 28th.




NXNE Guide to Ossington – Saturday Edition

downloadHere’s our Saturday guide for music and comedy lovers who want to check out some of the great NXNE action in our immediate area. Within a short walk there’s also more great music at The Great Hall, The Drake Hotel, The Gladstone Hotel and the Mod Club. Check out the NXNE guide for more details. You can also read our calendar for other events happening in the neighbourhood.

NXNE kicks off early on the weekend, with free shows in Trinity Bellwoods brought to you by Young Lions Music Club. Their Great Hearts Music Festival features acoustic music south of the Dog Bowl:

1:00pm: Jane’s Party –  Party rock band
2:00pm: Tyler Kyte: Guitar player-singer songwriter
2:30pm: Northcote: Bob Seger voice, sing-along songs
3:00pm: Taylor Knox: Poppy upbeat music that reminds us of Brendan Benson and Franz Ferdinand
3:30pm: Paper Lions: Quartet with beautiful harmonies and rocking guitars
4:00pm: Svavar Knutur: Icelandic troubadour
4:30pm: Eons: Male/Female pair who often play with Bruce Peninsula
5:00pm: Absolutely Free: Self-described psych rock world art rock avant garde

More unofffical (and free music) at Reposado, where Duggan’s Brewery also offers beer samples, the patio will be open and they’ll be flipping sausages and burgers for eating:

2:30 – The Dickens – Fast paced garage rock
3:30 – Station Twang – Country rock featuring Reposadist Sandy McFayden and Mike Duggan on drums
4:30: Rob n’ Bob Power Duo featuring Great Bob Scott

The Garrison: Hand Drawn Dracula showcase

8:00 PM breeze – Ethereal pop ala Belle and Sebastian
9:00 PM Cousins – Garage rock crossed with punk
10:00 PM Beliefs – Catchy atmospheric pop
11:00 PM Dusted – Brian Borcherdt of Holy Fuck fame leads this new band. The place will be busy and rocking.
12:00 AM Tangiers – Punky garage rock similar to The Vines
1:00 AM doomsquad – Synthy atmospheric music
2:00 AM Dream Affair – Industrial post punk
3:00 AM Greys – Loud rock band

The Dakota Tavern:

8:00 PM Jonah Tolchin – Flat picking guitar virtuoso with a bluesy singing style
9:00 PM Dusty Sunshine – Rollicking country from 6 women – if you liked O Brother, Where Art Thou
10:00 PM The Roseville Band – Welsh band with horns and guitars were a big hit at NXNE 2012
11:00 PM The Sumner Brothers – Alt-country band from Vancouver plays the perfect Toronto venue for their sound
12:00 AM Andrea England – Folk country singer with a sultry voice
1:00 AM Meanwood – Country five piece includes 2 guitars, accordion and banjo
2:00 AM Ketch Harbour Wolves – If you missed The National last night, go see this band

The Painted Lady:

9:00 PM Teen Violence – Early Beatles pop sounds, not what you’d expect from the band name
11:00 PM Little Creatures – Anthem rock from a guitar/drum duo
12:00 AM Brave Parents – Moody and synthy energetic pop
1:00 AM The Pinz – Green Day influence punk pop
2:00 AM Silvergun & Spleen – Fast paced new wave

Comedy at the Lower Ossington Theatre:

8:00 PM Barry Taylor
8:10 PM James Nghiem
8:20 PM Paul Thompson
8:30 PM Lianne Mauladin
8:40 PM Daniel Woodrow
8:50 PM Amanda Brooke Perrin
9:10 PM Debra DiGiovanni
10:00 PM Tim Golden
10:20 PM Definition Of Knowledge
10:30 PM Nick Flanagan
10:40 PM Todd Graham
10:50 PM Sandra Battaglini
11:10 PM Precious Chong

NXNE Guide to Ossington – Friday Edition

downloadHere’s our Friday guide for music lovers who want to check out some of the great NXNE events in our neighborhood. We’ve listed all the local stuff, but there’s more close by at The Great Hall, The Drake Hotel, The Gladstone Hotel and the Mod Club. Check out the NXNE guide for more details. You can also read our calendar for other events happening in the neighbourhood.

Free acoustic sets are happening in Trinity Bellwoods Park, south of the Dog Bowl.

The Great Hearts Festival:

4:00pm: James & Blackburn: Moody singer-guitarist
4:30pm: Eagle Lake Owls: Folky storytellers
5:00pm: BB Guns: A little rock, a little punk, with a little bit of retro and lots of energy
5:30pm: Nicholas Doubleyou & the B-Squad: Upbeat country rock band
6:00pm: Donovan Woods: Poetic lyricist with a compelling voice

The rest of the fest is accessed via wristbands or pay as you go entry:

The Garrison:

9:00 PM Sarah Jaffe – Texas singer songwriter with a big voice and an indie-pop sound
!0:00 PM VALLEYS – This couple from NYC delivers solid noise pop with some melody
11:00 PM Big Black Delta – Beat heavy, poppy and ambient electronic solo artist
12:00 AM The Soft Moon – Post punk noise rock from Oakland, CA
1:00 AM Odonis Odonis – Local Torontonians play guitar heavy rock with feedback
2:00 AM Special Guest

The Dakota Tavern: This showcase features several acts from Ching Music, including owner and member of The Tragically Hip, Paul Langlois

9:00 PM Jim Tidman – Canadian singer-songwriter with a classic country voice and sound
10:00 PM Greg Ball – Alt-country
11:00 PM Paul Langlois – Tragically Hip member and record label owner plays his label’s showcase
12:00 AM Tin Star Orphans – Country with extras like horns and strings, and great musicianship
2:00 AM Big Tobacco & The Pickers – Dakota regulars play traditional honky-tonk style country

The Painted Lady:

8:00 PM Daybreak Gentlemen – A mix of Brit-pop and the Strokes
9:00 PM HOT PEACH – Fun upbeat power pop
10:00 PM The Nameless Girl
11:00 PM Antennas Up – Bouncy energetic electro-pop similar to OK Go
12:00 AM Happy Lives -Poppy rock with DJ influence
1:00 AM Moon Furies – 80s new wave crossed with math rock
2:00 AM Technical Kidman – Techno alternative

Comedy at the Lower Ossington Theatre:

Jordan Foisy 8:10 PM
Danny Polishchuk 8:20 PM
Diana Love 8:30 PM
Deborah Robinson 8:40 PM
Ben Miner 8:50 PM
Tim Golden 9:00 PM
DJ Demers 10:10 PM
Aisha Alfa 10:20 PM
Patrick Hakeem 10:30 PM
Monty Scott 10:40 PM
Sarah Donaldson 10:50 PM
Ali Hassan 11:00 PM
Dave Merheje 11:10