Two Music Festivals Near Ossington This Weekend

greatheartfestGood news for local music fans: this weekend we’ve got not one but two music festivals nearby. No heavy fees and no trekking to The Portlands to hear quality music.

From Friday June 17- Sunday June 19, the Live in Bellwoods Great Heart Festival brings free music to Trinity Bellwoods Park. On Friday and Saturday, The Garrison hosts No Fest for a small entry fee.

The Great Heart Festival has been a constant in Trinity Bellwoods the last several years. While there were issues with permits in the past, our Mayor is helping make this year’s fest a go!  No charge. The mostly acoustic music Friday from 4p-7p, Saturday and Sunday from 2-6p. Acts include Toronto rockers Sam Cash & The Romantic Dogs on Saturday at 4pm, and Jane’s Party on Sunday at 4:30PM. Look for the group near Dundas north of the Dog Bowl. Bring a blanket, picnic, and enjoy.



The inaugural No Fest brings two nights and a day of local music to The Garrison. This will feel more like what we used to have with NXNE.  Toronto indie bands are filling the back room both Friday and Saturday nights. Plus, Beau’s is sponsoring a free day party in the front room on Saturday afternoon. (remember those?) The No Fest music festival passes are on sale for $20 and each night alone for $12. Below are the schedules for Friday and Saturday nights:

Enjoy good music at a good price this weekend! And, as always, check our calendar for info on all local events.

2016 Portugal Day Parade Photos

This year’s Portugal Day Parade was a beautiful, if windy, day for the marchers and the onlookers.
We took lots of photos of the musicians, organizations, and politicians who participated in the annual parade that travels on Dundas West from Landsdowne to Ossington. Some photos are below, but check out our Facebook post for more.


The crowds waiting for the parade


Mayor John Tory and Councillor Ana Bailao



Smiles at today's #portugalparade #parade #toronto



Pictures from the Dundas West Fest

Yesterday was the 4th annual Dundas West Festival.

Lots of great music, food, shopping and entertainment were enjoyed. Here’s some pictures from the event. We’ve also posted a lot more on Facebook.




Continue reading Pictures from the Dundas West Fest

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.




Jane’s Walks Near Ossington

janeswalklogoThis year would have been Jane Jacobs 100th birthday, and the annual Jane’s Walk festival in her home city of Toronto is going to be a great way to celebrate. Free volunteer-led walks are happening all over the world this weekend, and we’ve got some you can join locally.

The local walks are starting either on Dundas West or Trinity Bellwoods Park, they focus on a number of different topics, and they aren’t even all walks! Leaders come in all varieties: we’ve been on walks led by historians and professors, to students and actors. Each walk has a write-up on the Jane’s Walk website so find something that interests you, or go on a local walk:


  • May 8 at 11am: Dundas West, The Real Deal: Glaciers and Beyond: This 2 hour walk being led by an architectural and social historian begins at Dundas West and Crawford and covers the evolution of Dundas West all the way to Sorauren Park
  • May 8 at 4pm, Anatomy of a Street Festival: 1 hour walk led by the Dundas West Fest coordinator and leader of the BIAs for both Dundas West and Little Portugal. He’ll take you from Dundas and Landsdowne to Ossington, telling stories about the creation and execution of the 4 year old festival and prepping you for this year’s on June 11.

All of these local walks are listed in our calendar, along with most local events. As you journey on any Jane’s Walks this weekend, be sure to share with the hashtag #JanesWalk

CMW Hits Ossington Music Venues This May

CMW16_Festival_Creative_Website_Header_1200x100Canadian Music Week is in Toronto next week, and Ossington Village will have a lot of CMW music. CMW is a 7 day long annual event with an industry conference, and a festival of music and comedy, and even films about music. for the public. The fest runs May 2nd-8th, and a lot of our local music venues are hosting shows.

CMW has taken over the mantle dropped by NXNE by hosting loads of musical acts from Canada and abroad at multiple music venues across the city. The lineup is extensive, with large acts at bigger venues like The Danforth Music Hall and Mod Club, and plenty of club shows at local places like The Dakota Tavern, The Garrison and The Painted Lady. Other nearby venues include The Great Hall and The Drake Underground.

Shows run Monday-Sunday next week. You can buy tickets to one showcase at one venue for $10-15, or $75 wristbands are still available online with access to most shows all week long.

Noteworthy shows:

  • Painted Lady, Saturday night: A hiphop showcase featuring Modo 495, a hip hopper from Long Island, who raps about how great beards are; plus Living Proof, a collaboration between young Winnipeg rapper Abstract Artform and Doodlebug of Digable Planets
  • The Garrison hosts a “Day Rager & Vendor Market” on Saturday, from 12-7pm – 7 bands play for free
  • Shows at The Dakota stick to their usual singer-songwriter/country-blues every night from Tuesday-Saturday: Friday night, international acts hit the stage, including, from Germany, Jesper Munk, and Australia’s Timberwolf 

We’ve included the local shows in our calendar. Enjoy the music!

CONTACT Exhibits and Events Near Ossington

c20logoThe CONTACT Photography Festival celebrates 20 years in 2016, with exhibits and events big and small across Toronto. This annual photography festival is open to the public now through early June. The exhibits are not exclusive to museums and galleries, they also take place in restaurants, stores and other public spaces.  There are many chances to experience the festival in the Ossington and Dundas area.

LE Gallery on Dundas West is hosting an exhibition that has already been recommended by Toronto press. We Soon Be Nigh! explores apocalyptic prophesies from the recent past, and is running at the gallery May 6-28.

HuntClub Gallery, also on Dundas West, is participating with an open exhibit about transgender and transsexual sex workers in Buenos Aires titled Hotel Gondolin running May 5-31.


Image from Hotel Gondolin at Hunt Club

Two local restaurants are also contributing their space for photography exhibits this May.  Julie’s Cuban on Dovercourt, fittingly, features photos of Havana street scenes for the show Habana Siempre. Boehmer Restaurant at 93 Ossington will host an exhibit of photographs of India from photographer Misha Masek.


Image from Misha Masek exhibit at Boehmer

The local Shaw Street location of Artscape Youngplace will showcase several CONTACT shows. You can spend at least a couple of hours touring all the photography exhibits on site, including one at Typology Projects called On the Surface, and Over A Distance Between One and Many at Koffler Gallery. There are youth photography projects at Artscape including Our Safe Spaces and Presence from Etobicoke School of the Arts Grade 12 students. Two more exhibits at 180 Shaw Street are women’s collective SOFIA’s Bad Behavior and, happening later in May, Mindset.


Image from Anna Naziri, Our Safe Spaces, Artscape Youngplace

Ellephant, a new gallery at the corner of Ossington and Queen, underneath the Gravity Pope store, will have an opening next Thursday, May 5 and an artist talk for the exhibit Biophilia Reimagined.


Willis photograph from Ellephant’s Bibliophiia for CONTACT

The festival kicks off tonight with an event at the AGO and runs across the city throughout May.


Day of the Dead Themed Alleyway Party On November 1

The always fun Ossington Village Alleyway party is happening again on Sunday, November 1st, which is also Day of the Dead. On top of all of the music, dancing, and food, there will be Day of the Dead themed activities like face painting and an altar for people to honor the departed.


As always, the music line-up is going to be stellar, with performances from 2p-9p by a variety of Toronto talents:

Pressgang Mutiny
Freeman Dre & the Kitchen Party
Jerry Leger & The Situation
Ada Dahli & The Pallbearers
QuiQue Escamilla
Maracatu Mar Aberto
Mark and Marichka Marczyk

and more!

The event is taking place in the alley between Foxley and Argyle Streets and Ossington and Dovercourt. Neighbors share food, and the event is free, but we will be passing the hat to cover costs for equipment and such.

Refer to the Facebook event page for more details and share with your friends.

If you want to see how much fun there is to be had, check out some pictures from last year and from our first year.


Experience Nuit Blanche Locally

SNB15_toronto_960x220This is the 10th year of Nuit Blanche in Toronto, and you can experience the free city-wide art party without travelling far, because there’s lots to do on Dundas, Ossington, and the local area.

This Saturday, October 3, at sunrise, explore the main exhibitions in the downtown core, sure, but also try the independent projects closer to home. Galleries, shops and music venues are all participating, and we’ve got the local highlights:

ravetapesThe Garrison, RAVETAPES: An Intergalactic. Interactive. Dance Music Experience.

This music club on Dundas West is hosting an event from music promoter Wavelength – a 12 hour interactive dance party from 7PM on Saturday to 7AM on Sunday. Different DJs will play all night and we don’t know what the interactive part is, but it sounds like fun!

Bridge + Bardot: Silenced SarissilencedSaris

Dundas West Vintage Shop serves as the venue for this photography and film exhibition exploring the history of South Asian female sexuality in public and private. Runs from 7PM-7AM.

PeepTiger of Sweden: Theatre Panik Art Project, PEEP

Check out this blend of high-performance drag show and photography at this 12-hour mutating exhibit at this popular Ossington fashion retailer. The exhibition will be in the window of the store, where performers will be recreating iconic photos in drag, so you can peep from the sidewalk or go inside to get closer.

Artscape Youngplace: Multiple exhibits. Conveniently located nearby on Shaw Street, the community arts hub is a natural fit for Nuit Blanche. Ranging from sound installations to interactive installations to more theatrical works, the night is open to everyone and there will be lots to explore.

photograpMillenials (the biggest participants in Nuit Blanche, according to a recent Globe and Mail story) will especially enjoy Memory Cube, the interactive social media exhibit that allows people to upload photos from their social media accounts to create and view their own memory bank in the moment.

Artscape will be open from 7A-7P also, so just head over and you’ll see the depth of exhibits on offer.

fluxdeluxTrinity Bellwoods Park Community Centre: Peggy Baker Dance Project Flux Delux

Another interactive project invites attendees to participate with their cell phones – as of September 30, you’ll be able to download the app that will help you participate in and control the performance. This performance is meant to be all-inclusive for people of all abilities to enjoy.

A little further afield are more venues like The Gladstone Hotel, Theatre Centre and the Drake Hotel. Plus, many other spaces will probably host their own events to on Saturday night, so keep your eyes open and have a fun night exploring the city.

Admission to Nuit Blanche events is free and the TTC will be running all night for your convenience.

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.