Ossfest Returns To Ossington on July 22

Ossfest logo

Ossington will once again be shut down for a street festival on Saturday, July 22nd. The event, a huge success last year, will begin with bicycle races, feature patios throughout the day, and a music festival in the afternoon and night.

The Ossington Crit

The bicycle races that comprise the Ossington Criterium will kick off the day. Professional and amateur cyclists will take over the street in the morning, and, like last year, we’ll be watching the excitement!

The Ossington Music Festival

Bands have been announced for the Dundas West Creemore Stage, located at the north end of the festival strip. The fest features a free stage with live performances by local Toronto bands including Elise LeGrow, Ossington’s own The Reposadists, and Celebration Army. Bands are scheduled from 2-11pm.

The Ossfest Street Festival

All the local restaurants and bars – and you know how good our Ossington restaurants and bars are! – will be offering streetside eating and drinking. Patios out front, on the corner, everywhere! Don’t you remember last year?

In addition, our local shops will host street-side sales of clothing, home decor, and everything else you can find on Ossington.

We will update as more information is available. Save the date – July 22nd.

Introducing: Té Restaurant’s New Patio

Te PatioTé Restaurant Now Has a Patio

Last week,  Restaurant launched a beautiful backyard patio. That’s right, now you can enjoy the Asian fusion food and delicious tea-infused cocktails in the outdoors.

For those of you who missed our earlier posts, Té is at 70 Ossington, next door to Union. Like it’s northerly neighbour Union, the new backyard patio at Té is a beautiful oasis. Quiet and shaded, it’s a nice spot to take a break from the sun and the crowds on Ossington and Queen West. Today, a hot afternoon, when I stepped onto that patio, the air felt a few degrees cooler than the street temperature!

Below are some of the photos I took of the newly launched outdoor space. Té is open for weekend brunch and from 4PM each night excluding Tuesdays.


Backyard Patio Té

The relaxing backyard at Té

Te Backyard Patio

Te Patio with lights

The Té patio has shade and twinkly lights

Té joins the many other illustrious patios in Ossington Village. Check out our patio guide for more!

Ossington Village Patio Guide

Summer is finally here and with it, patio season! We in Toronto love spending this warm season outside, enjoying a beverage – or two – and food. Ossington Village has a wide range of choices for you to eat and/or drink in the fresh air.

We’ve summarized all the Ossington Village patios and the highlights of each. Share your faves with us on our Facebook page, Twitter or Instagram.

Bellwoods Brewery


Recently anointed one of the best patios in the city, Bellwoods Brewery can’t get any busier. Get there early or be prepared to wait in line. The reward will be tasty snacks and their award winning beer.



There are only a few tables on the front patio at Boehmer, but they offer good people watching, especially of the Bang Bang Ice Cream line. Plus, high quality food and drinks.



BQM‘s side patio at Ossington and Rolyat is a hot draw in the summer. It gets lots of sun and is open for both lunch and dinner and offers great people watching on the strip.

Crafted by Te Aro

craftedpatioThe backyard at Crafted allows you to enjoy your coffee in a quiet garden. It’s not a big space, but it rarely seems to fill up. If you can’t get a seat out back,  the front is also nice when the big garage doors are open. You’ll still get some fresh air with your coffee and snack!


churchillpatChurchill, at Dundas West and Lakeview, has a nice side patio that fills up early. You can have some cocktails and bao while listening to DJs spin, but the party does have to end at a reasonable hour. They close the patio well before last call to keep from bothering the residents with noise.

Enoteca Sociale


Enjoy delicious Italian food and wine while dining on the shady side patio at Enoteca Sociale on Dundas West and Coolmine. This is a top restaurant, so try to get a reservation for prime times.


The fenced off back patio at Tom Thai’s South Asian bistro is a lovely oasis in the summertime. The fusion food is among the best in the city too. Foxley does not take reservations, so expect a bit of a wait, but they’ll call you when your table is ready, so you can explore more of the neighborhood and even enjoy a beverage.

Golden Turtle


Rua Vang Golden Turtle is probably the winner in the Ossington pho wars for the patio alone. The side space, on Argyle Street, fills up all summer long with diners enjoying the cheap pho, and other Vietnamese specialties, along with some cold beverages.

Ideal Coffee/ Bobbie Sue’s Mac & Cheese


The side patio at Ideal, on the corner of Ossington and Foxley, is a popular spot in the summer months. During the day, enjoy the company of locals over a coffee and pastry, and in the evening, join others enjoying their Bobbie Sue’s comfort food al fresco on the next door patio.

Julie’s Cuban


Over on Dovercourt, Julie’s Cuban has been packing their front garden for decades. Make a reservation and have a romantic date over Cuban cocktails and tapas.

Lakeview Restaurant


Popular all year round and at all hours, The Lakeview has a prime patio on Dundas West. If you don’t mind the traffic and the lines of people waiting for a table during weekend brunch, you’ll enjoy the wide menu selection and people watching.

Opera Bob’s

It’s just a few seats out front, but you can technically say Opera Bob’s has a patio. If you aren’t watching the Jays or English football, watch the Dundas West locals with a beer in your hand.



The back patio at Reposado has lots of seating and you can get friendly with others while enjoying a wide selection of tequilas and tapas. Look for special pop-up barbecues on summer weekends.

Sweaty Betty’s


Sweaty Betty’s, an Ossington institution – it’s been open for almost 12 years – has a great patio tucked in the back. Bring your friends, order some cheap drinks, and spend some time enjoying the night air and the antics of the dive bar’s many customers.



Not only can you get a top quality meal at Union, including weekend brunch, the backyard is a lovely oasis for your feast!



So Rashers just installed seats out front. If you choose, eat your bacon sandwich on Ossington.

We also have to mention two local favourites whose patios are in limbo.

  • The Crooked Star has been closed since December. We have seen some work going on inside, but don’t know when the renovated space will be open. That side patio is a popular one on summer nights and weekends, so here’s hoping it will be operational soon.
  • The Red Light is another story, one which we are still investigating. This hip bar with friendly staff serves craft beer and a great selection of whiskey, especially bourbon. The back patio was a really fun place on Dundas West until it was unceremoniously shut down 3 years ago. It costs a lot of money to get approvals to reopen. Stay tuned for more details from us and let’s all hope the patio can reopen soon.

None of these places are secret, so definitely plan ahead or arrive early to ensure a good seat. Have a great summer and let us know your favorite local spot to hang outside!


Photoblog – Patios on Ossington

It’s PATIO SEASON! And of course there’s lots of great places on Ossington to enjoy a pint or a meal. Here’s some of the options we found and captured on a walk early this evening.

Starting at the bottom of Ossington, we have the hidden patio of Sweaty Betty’s:


Moving up to Union Restaurant, they’ve created a nice oasis where you can enjoy local food and drinks.


Up at Argyle you can enjoy your pho and other Vietnamese food outdoors at the Golden Turtle:


Across the street, one of the newest additions to the outdoor eating scene is, of course, the Bellwoods Brewery patio. Fine local beers, with a retail shop next door where you can pick up the bottles to take home.


Another hidden gem on the street is the back patio of Reposado. Try out some tequila cocktails while enjoying the outdoors. Don’t forget this Sunday is Cinco de Mayo.


At the south corner of Rolyat we have one of the oldest on-street patios at The Crooked Star.


Up on the north corner of that same intersection you can find burgers, beers and sun at the BQM patio.


Around the corner on Dundas, you’ll find the Lakeview patio – a good place to enjoy the outdoors. Get there early for an outdoor seat for brunch:


Finally, you can enjoy some sports at Opera Bobs. They even have a TV right inside the window so you can follow the game while outdoors:

IMG_20130503_180611Other notable patios we didn’t include are Crafted, which has a little back area to enjoy your morning latte, and I Deal Coffee, which is a rustic space off Foxley. And speaking of Foxley, the namesake restaurant has a very nice back seating area which isn’t open yet, but I’m sure will be soon.

Go out and enjoy the weekend!

Union Restaurant Patio Launches

Earlier this week Union Restaurant was finally given permission by the city to roll out their patio. Teo Paul had talked to all the neighbours, held a local event,  filled in all the paperwork and finished all the necessary applications and finally earlier this week he was approved.

On Friday night, when we visited, the patio was in full swing with customers enjoying some of the local goodness Teo puts together. The patio, which only seats around 25 people, is fully equipped with it’s own barbeque and a composter which, tucked away to the side, is how they recycle much of their organic kitchen waste.



Backyard Patios for A Hot Summer Night: Patio Guide V5

It’s mid-summer and we are still working our way around the local patios. The Red Light at 1185 Dundas St West is open most weekend afternoons, and at night. The two room bar also offers a cozy, South-facing patio with a lot of built in benches for seating. Order a drink from the bar before you head to the back, and lounge in the sun making new friends of your neighbors. It’s a young, friendly crowd, and sometimes they have special BBQ meals and other one-time-only events. You never know what you’ll get, but it’s probably fun at The Red Light.

Down on southern Ossington lies Baby Huey, a mostly late night spot at 70 Ossington. We stopped in on a recent Saturday after 11pm, and the crowd still hadn’t arrived, which allowed us the back patio almost entirely to ourselves. It’s a large back patio with some pretty interesting wall murals, and the drinks are cheap, so come early for a seat, or later to mingle with the cool kids. See you on the patio!

Summer’s Here: Patio Guide V4

As last weekend was our first summery weekend, lots of people were enjoying the sunshine on Ossington patios.

Our first stop most mornings is for coffee. Crafted by Te Aro has a lovely back patio that not many people seem to know about. Again this weekend, there were lots of empty seats in the east facing space.  They are open all day, and serve soups, sandwiches and baked goods in addition to the caffeinated beverages. There are about as many outdoor seats as there are inside, so you’ve got a good chance of enjoying the fresh air here.

Just down the street from Crafted, Rua Vang Golden Turtle Vietnamese, has a big corner patio on Argyle Street. It may be the well-priced pho, but I think the outdoor environment also draws the crowds. My favourite part about this patio is the quote painted on the wall: “In the infinite moments it takes to read this you’ll have lived forever”. Those are some heavy thoughts to chew on while sipping their delicious Pho.

See you outside!

Sidewalk Patios for a Lazy Sunday – Lakeview & Crooked Star (Patio Guide V3)

In our continuing series on the great patios on Ossington, today we highlight two options for enjoying a lazy Sunday afternoon, while watching the Ossington crowd roll by (which, on a Sunday, may include a few walks of shame from the Saturday night festivities) – the Lakeview Restaurant and The Crooked Star.

The Lakeview Restaurant has one of the prime outdoor spots, and includes a great menu for brunch, and recovery from the prior night’s activities. Boasting cheap Caesars and Mimosas, it’ll help you revive the hangover while you sit out in the sun on Dundas listening to the rumble of streetcars and watching locals walking over to Trinity Bellwoods. The outdoor area of the Lakeview only fits around 16 people, so can get pretty busy on nice afternoons. The patio is, in fact, open every day for lunch.

If you’re not looking for food, and just craving the hair of the dog while sitting outside enjoying the company  of locals, another option is the Crooked Star. This friendly neighbourhood bar is not known for its food, but for a wide selection of beverages including a cask draft beer and other locally made brews. The plastic chairs are somewhat awkwardly placed and it can be hard to navigate down the fenced off area, however it makes for many opportunities to get to know your neighbours at the close-by tables.

Support Union Restaurant’s Back Patio

Springtime is a time for enjoying patios and supporting good causes and, of course, enjoying good food. There is a great cause on Ossington worth supporting – the back patio at Union Restaurant. Teo Paul, the owner and chef at Union had a BBQ these evening attended by some locals, encouraging everyone to come and sign his petition to get his beautiful back patio operational.

Teo was out serving the best hamburgers and sausages I think I have tasted in a while, with some great condiments. Mike Layton, our Ward 19 counselor,  stopped by and chatted with Teo, explaining that these are the kind of local places that we need in the neighbourhood.

Right now, but current bylaws, Union cannot open their patio to the public, so they will need to go to the Committee of Adjustment. During these hearings, letters of support from locals can be helpful.

Teo’s goal for Union is to be a refuge for both farmers and patrons, and he has wanted a patio since he began his journey to ownership. The idea for the patio is that it would serve a maximum of 24 people, and also house his composting area as well as a charcoal barbeque. Produce from local farmers will also be showcased along the wall. It will close at 11pm, so as not to disturb local neighbours.

He is asking for letters of support so if you can email him at a letter noting your support, he can then use that at the committee meeting.

Patio News

Now that the warm weather is here, all of Toronto is talking about, and going to, patios. Well, we are still waiting to find out what happened with Bohmer‘s application for a front patio, which will draw all the neighbors for food and fancy drinks.

We also know that Union wants to open their patio and is still waiting for the city’s approval. Would be nice to share that prime rib for two al fresco, non?

In the meantime, we have news about another patio on Ossington that is going to expand.

Those who follow us on Twitter likely already know the news that BQM is planning to renovate their front patio and add a back patio on Rolyat Street. This southern facing patio gets a lot of sun and is busy for lunch, dinner and drinks, so customers will likely approve the expansion.

Don’t forget, we began a patio guide earlier this spring, put it on hold after weeks of rain, but we’ll be back with more very soon!