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Ride Cycle Club Opens: Go Spinning on Ossington

Ride Cycle ClubRide Cycle Club Ossington is officially open, so you can add spinning to the list of things to do in Ossington Village.

Located at 98 Ossington Avenue, Ride Cycle Club is the second location of Lululemon founder’s son’s spin studio. It is adjacent to the new Lululemon concept store The Local, and is another in a line of Vancouver-based businesses expanding to Ossington Avenue.

Outside of attending the actual spin classes, you can do most everything else at Ride through their website. According to the posted schedule, classes begin today. You can book your class in advance, but based on the sell-out levels right now, you’ll need to book early. You will pay $15 for the first class, and monthly and multi-class packages are also available for dedicated spinners.

We’ll let you know once we’ve been able to get in for a class! You do the same.

Ride Cycle Club Coming to Ossington

ride cycle club logoRide Cycle Club, another Vancouver chain, is coming to Ossington.

Vancouver Chains Currently on Ossington

Ossington has become almost a Vancouver east, with all the chain stores that have opened on the street recently:

About Ride Cycle Club

Continue reading Ride Cycle Club Coming to Ossington

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

Continue reading OSSFEST Recap and 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

Ossington Street Festival Ossfest July 23

See Also: Ossfest Recap and Photos;  What to Expect During Ossfest

ossfest logo

On Saturday, July 23rd, Ossington will be closed to traffic for the first ever Ossington street festival.  Ossfest will highlight local businesses and the community and features Toronto’s only city bike races, outdoor music, and a lot of patios and partying. Mark off your calendars for Ossington’s first – but hopefully not last – street festival. In addition to the major events listed below, sidewalks will be open for shopping, drinking and dining. All of this is being organized and executed by the Ossington BIA.

The Ossington Street Festival

Ossfest is a local street fest in which every business can participate. Details of each business’ activities will be updated to the BIA’s Instagram account. To give you an idea, expect lots of outdoor patios for food and drinking, sidewalk sales, and activities for kids as all of these and more will be along Ossington on July 23rd. We’ve been informed that Pizza Libretto, The Painted Lady and Mamakas will have extended outdoor patios. Get ready for a great day and night! We’ll post here as we find out what other businesses have in store for the 23rd!

Oss Fest Free Live Music

An exciting component of the Ossington Street Festival is the live music stage at Ossington and Dundas. The music starts at 2pm and continues with various great local acts through until approximately 11pm. With acts ranging from the reggae stylings of Bredren, to Saul Torres’ Latin music, to a brass band parade featuring The Heavyweights Brass Band, and roots rock from Samantha Martin and Delta Sugar, everyone should be entertained. These are bands you would normally pay a cover to see at local spots like The Dakota Tavern or Painted Lady. More details on the musical line-up in the poster below:

Ossington Street Festival Live Music

Ossington Street Festival Live Music

The Ossington Crit

A key component of the Ossington street festival is the Ossington Crit. From 11am to 6:30 pm, you can watch and cheer during this series of bike races officially sanctioned by the Ontario Cycling Association. The races begin with kids races, by age group, at 11am so be there by 10:30am with your kids and their bikes and helmets so they can join the fun!

After the kids races, it’s all licensed adult riders from 12 noon. Participants will ride as many laps as they can within their allotted race time. The early races are shorter races for beginners, and they build up to the elites who race for 90 minutes, with the final race ending at 6:30PM. The map (below) shows the race route: along Ossington, east on Halton, south on Givins, and west back to Ossington along Rebecca. It’s a short and narrow route and should be exciting to watch the races!

Crit Map

Map of Ossington Crit Course

 Save the date: July 23rd

Ossington between Dundas and Queen – street party, music, cycling and shopping: 11am-11pm.

Meet me on Ossington!

PED.Toronto – Free Bike Art Tours

A worldwide art and cycling organization PED.Toronto is bringing free bike art tours of the Ossington and Trinity Bellwoods neighborhood. The initiative is based out of Koffler Centre’s summer exhibit at Artscape Youngplace on Shaw.

The PED Collective organizes these community focused bike tours, exposing citizens to different layers of their cities in Buffalo, Rio, Belfast, St. John’s and Chongqing, China. And now we are lucky to have the opportunity to take a ride in our own city, our own neighborhood, all summer.

These free bike tours can be done individually or with a friend. There is no tour guide: you will borrow a bicycle at the gallery which comes equipped with the tour on speakers.

Start the experience at Artscape Youngplace

PedSign

Ped Toronto Exhibit at Koffler Gallery

Getting There

The experience is pretty simple, actually. Just head over to the Artscape building on Shaw Street, and follow the signs to the Koffler Gallery – it’s straight ahead through the front door. The bikes can be taken out whenever the gallery is open – no need to call in advance. Opening hours are Tuesday to Friday from 12 PM – 6 PM and Saturday & Sunday from 11 AM – 5 PM.

Getting a Bike

The PED Bikes

The PED Bikes

The bikes are all lined up and plugged in. You’ll need to sign a waiver and leave your ID and a credit card as security – you won’t be charged unless you damage or lose the bike – and then you’re eligible to ride!

These bikes are equipped with speakers – you just need to choose which tour you want to take, and turn it on. As soon as you do that, the tour starts on your speakers. There are helmets available to borrow too.

BikeEquipment

The built-in tour set up

Tour Options

The routes

The routes

You can choose 1 of 3 cycle tours, each about 20 minutes in length. They are called Toronto the Good, Toronto the Better and Toronto the Best and that they go from easy (little road riding) to hardest (mostly road riding). After our tour (we did Best), we learned there is much more to it than that. Each option takes a different route and has a different theme:

  • Good, which covers mostly the CAMH grounds, focuses on Toronto as a location for film and fiction
  • Better travels Trinity Bellwoods and West Queen West and talks about the streetscape and local culture around the gallery
  • Best was an out-there scifi narrative about endangered species and floods. I think. It took us across Queen West to Dovercourt, up to College and back east to Shaw and south back to the Artscape building.

Take Your Tour

Bike Ramp out of the Gallery

Bike Ramp out of the Gallery

Once you’ve chosen your tour route, follow the red dots out of the gallery and the building. Take your time pedalling the route as the tech on the bike recognizes where you are and will cut over some of the commentary to alert you when to turn. We may have missed some of the tour as a result of moving too fast, and there is no way to rewind the recording. There is also no way to change the volume, so while you’re inside the gallery it sounds really loud, it won’t sound that way out on the streets.

On the PED bike on College Street

On the PED bike on College Street

Back at The Koffler

Posing with the bikes in front of Artscape Youngplace

Posing with the bikes in front of Artscape Youngplace

The gallery features exhibits from the other cities where PED tours have been run. The exhibit and tours run throughout the summer at Koffler, until August 21st.

Toronto Bike Share Opens Ossington Riders to More of the City

bikeshareTOlogoToronto’s bike share program may finally become usable to Ossington Village residents.

Expansion plans were announced a few months ago, and today the organization issued a map of future stations, spreading out this system to more areas of the city after 7 years in operation. And, good news! They are adding several more bike stations beyond the one at Queen and Ossington and you will be able to take them west of Ossington!

The bike share program’s history has been tumultuous in Toronto.

Original operator Bixi went bankrupt, so the city’s parking authority took over management. While smaller cities like Montreal and Washington DC have successful programs that cover large swathes of downtown, Toronto’s started with bike stations along the subway line. So, as opposed to offering transport options where little were available, the bike share was a superfluous service where one already existed.

We waited a long time before the bicycles even made it past Bathurst, and those just a little west of us have waited longer, as the Ossington and Queen stop has been the furthest west for years:

Furthest West Location at Queen and Ossington

Furthest West Location at Queen and Ossington

Now there will be places to pick up and drop off your bicycle in Liberty Village, the Exhibition and Dufferin. Sorry, Roncy, you still have some waiting to do.

The upcoming bike stations include Trinity Bellwoods Park, Dundas West and more on West Queen West:

BetterBike

More bike share stations in the west end

Residents and visitors in other parts of the city will be interested too: bikes are coming to the Distillery District and Leslieville!

This is long overdue, so let’s celebrate! Toronto’s bike share is actually starting to look legit! Expansion begins today and will be ongoing through July 11, as they add 120 new stations and 1000 new bikes.

Since you may now want to try using these bikes, here are the details:

  • 24 hour access pass: $7
  • 48 hour access pass: $15
    • As long as you return bikes within 30 minutes of each trip, no extra charges beyond those access fees
  • Annual membership: $90

Will you be trying these bikes out this summer? Tweet us or let us know on Facebook.

Love Letter to The Great Lakes: Street Art Around Ossington

lovelettertThis week, Ossington is a major location for a new Toronto arts festival. This one brings some beautiful new murals to our streetscape. Love Letter to The Great Lakes as an event runs until tomorrow at Rally Ossington, but the street art will live on our local buildings for a long time.

Today, the team behind the project at Rally led a bike tour of the murals, starting behind their site at 12 Ossington. We stopped at several murals in and around Ossington, the street and alleyways. We checked out the murals as they were being painted, and got to hear from some of the artists. While this was a one-time experience, you can still go for your own walk or bike and have a look for yourself!

I took some photos and notes on where and who.  The website also showcases a map with the sites and bios of all the talented artists working on the project, so you can conduct your own personal self-guided tour in the days to come. Also, Rally is holding a pop-up shop and art exhibit with materials related to the project, so stop in tonight or tomorrow for more information.

Continue reading Love Letter to The Great Lakes: Street Art Around Ossington

Monthly Summer Series – Art Spin

feb6_art_spin_logoLast Thursday night, we participated in the first Art Spin of the 2013 season. Art Spin is a free monthly summer series that starts in Trinity Bellwoods Park and takes you to different art events in the near vicinity. All it requires is your bicycle and an open mind.

It’s been happening for a few years, and this past Thursday was the first time we could make it, and we were glad we did. What a uniquely west-end Toronto experience! More than 200 cyclists assembled at the south end of Trinity Bellwoods, and the tour started promptly at 7PM.

artspin1We rode north through Trinity Bellwoods, up to Dundas, east along Dundas and then south down to King Street. You never know where the first stop, the next stop or the next stop is, but rest assured, the organizers plan a varied and very interesting tour. We were never bored! The tour is different each time, so you can keep going and will see new performances each time. Continue reading Monthly Summer Series – Art Spin

The Pedal Stop Bicycle Shop Opens

Screen Shot 2013-04-06 at 11.08.47 AMJust in time for spring, a new cycle shop opened this morning at the corner of Argyle and Ossington. The Pedal Stop offers new bikes, repairs, and accessories. This is a great addition to the neighbourhood as finding bike accessories and even basic repairs used to require going up to College or down across Queen Street.

We spoke with Alex, the proprietor, and his plans go beyond being simply a bike retailer. They are already working on an area of the shop for coffee and energy drinks to make the space more of community hang-out for cyclists and locals. Head on over to their Facebook page and give them a “Like” to keep on top of what they are planning.

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