The people who purchased homes at 109 Oz can be happy, as they have finally started demolishing the building which previously occupied the space. Yes, the storage facility (which showcased the heritage of Ossington, (sic)) is being knocked down for a condo.
There are fences up, probably to prevent people getting too close and hurting themselves, so it’s not easy to get photos, but we took some and they are posted below:
Here’s what it is supposed to look like when it’s done:
After much anticipation, La Cubana is finally open! Yes, as of this weekend, we now have a Cuban joint on Ossington. The owners of one of the early restaurants that made the strip famous, DeLux, have converted 92 Ossington into a snack bar style restaurant – similar to their successful location on Roncesvalles.
We already stopped in for lunch today. The space is bright and cheery, and the Cuban jazz playing on the stereo enhanced the party mood. It is a snack bar, so when you arrive, you must go to the counter to place your order. They are new, but we didn’t have to wait long for anything.
The menu is small and focuses on a few Cuban specialties including medianoche sandwiches and larger plates of ribs and roasted chicken. You can complement these with authentic side dishes of tostones, conch fritters and yuca frita.
They have a beer specially made for them, La Cubana beer, make by the Junction Brewing Company, vintage sodas, and red and white wine, as well as a selection of mixed cocktails including Cuban favorites mohitos and Cuba Libres.
For this opening weekend they are open from noon until 10pm today and tomorrow, and closed Monday, while reserving the right to change those hours while they are learning the ropes and training.
If you’ve ever tried to get into Ossington’s Singapore street food restaurant Hawker Bar on a weekend night, it could be a challenge. But that’s now going to change. Hawker Bar has finally opened their second floor dining room to expand their seating area, and serve more hungry customers.
In early 2013, the team at Hawker applied to the city for a back patio to add to their small space, but unfortunately their application was denied. The plans then changed to renovate and redevelop the second floor. For about a year they’ve been gutting and rebuilding and the last couple of nights they’ve offered a sneak peek with a soft opening. They’ve also added some new menu items, including the “”Fry””-nanese and a Black Angus Strip Loin, pictured below.
Expect a public opening this coming Sunday, February 15. For more updates, follow their hashtag #HawkerUpstairs
A snowy Ossington looks very nice today. Shopfronts, signs, even chained bicycles are very photo friendly in the clean fresh snow. So, we took some snapshots of some of our favorite spots looking pretty in the snow. Plus, it looks like La Cubana is getting closer to opening. Enjoy the snow while it’s clean!
Ossington has a new furniture and design store. Queen West home furnishings and design store Stylegarage has moved to a much larger space at 78 Ossington Avenue from their prior location at Queen and Shaw. The impressive new store covers 2 floors previously housing AWOL Gallery, their artists’ lofts, and an elevator company warehouse. There are exposed brick walls, resanded and polished flooring, with paint markings and lines in the floor where the artists worked.
This is a welcome addition to the street, and the new condo dwellers will definitely be happy to have such a convenient store for all their modern home decor needs.
We took lots of photos, but be sure to visit yourself. This weekend they are offering discounts on dining tables, and there will be more sales leading up to Christmas.
Ossington has a new restaurant and we predict it’s going to get busy. Borealia served it’s first dinner service last night. We were there and we sampled a lot of delicious dishes.
The space, at 59 Ossington, has been transformed into a comfortable Canadian urban lodge. Cozy soft throws and pillows abound, hip light fixtures bring a modern touch and combined with the friendly staff and inventive food make this a place we will return to again and again.
Borealia’s menu is a sharing menu, and the dishes offer an inspired new take on Canadiana. The recipes are inspired by food from the natives, with venison, pigeon pie, and devilled eggs all getting a creative new touch. An example were the Devilled Chinese Tea Eggs. These are not your grandma’s devilled eggs: they’ve got Asian spices for a tastier twist! Some of the menu items had years listed next to them, which we assumed represented era that they were created or popular.
Don’t forget dessert, either. The chocolate beignets and apple crumble further exemplified the care the kitchen takes to elevate even the simplest dishes.
We took lots of photos to inspire you to visit Borealia yourself!
A distinctive design inside:
A nice selection of cocktails:
A Grilled Mushroom salad with watercress sauce and hazelnut corncakes:
Bison “Pemmican” Bresaola with wild blueberry juniper vinaigrette and house-made lardo:
Pan Roasted Venison with wild rice crusted egg.
We ordered both desserts on the menu, and we weren’t disappointed!
Chocolate beignets! with gooey, melted chocolate inside.
A delicious apple crumble dessert with meringue topping.
We didn’t get to try everything on the menu, but we wanted to.
Ossington now has a very pretty new shop for brides! LoversLand opened a week ago at 215 Ossington Avenue, and it’s a beautiful boutique with clothing for the wedding, honeymoon and beyond. Brides-to-be can make appointments to try on the perfect gown for their big day, as the shop sources gowns from contemporary designers and offer customizable dresses for the entire party. Gifts for the wedding party and other beautifully curated accessories are also on sale.
LoversLand is a welcome addition to Ossington, adding to the growing list of fashionable shops, and making it a great time to be a stylish modern bride.
Dundas West has a new vegetarian, mostly organic and vegan, take-out spot. Veghed Bar is now open at 1199 Dundas St West, between Ossington and Grove.
This cute little spot along the same strip as The Garrison and Get Well features cooking from Ren Mercer, former chef at The Spoke Club. Offerings include soups, salads and smoothies, so if you’re looking for some fresh and healthy food, stop in and check it out yourself. It’s also GMO free!
We visited yesterday after seeing their tweets, and took photos of a lot of their offerings, which also include organic hot chocolate and sweets.
Last night marked the grand opening of a new and anticipated neighbourhood sports bar called The Contender, located at 1166 Dundas West, just to the west of Ossington. It couldn’t have been a better night for sports with two important games, Game 7 of the World Series and opening night for the Toronto Raptors.
The location takes over an old clothing shop that never seemed to have customers. Our first impression was the impressive size of the location, and the sheer number of TVs. We assume the capacity may be over 150 or so, and there are TVs on almost every wall, an assortment of sports memorabilia, and a selection of bar games such as shuffleboard and an old coin-slot baseball pinball game. They have 8 separate receivers to show games on the TVs, so on a Sunday afternoon you are quite likely to watch pretty much any NFL game.
The business was put together by an assortment of people familiar with the area, including servers or owners from a bunch of local bars and restaurants including Reposado, Camp 4, Unlovable, Get Well and The Garrison. You can follow and find out what’s happening from their Facebook page here.
The menu is simple bar food, almost what you would find if you actually went to a game – some sandwiches, hot dogs, nachos and pretzels. Simple, but very sports-y. They have about 12 bar taps and their beer selection is far more sophisticated than what you’d find at Rogers or Air Canada Centre – with local selections from Lake of Bays and Mill Steet, while also covering the standards with Heineken and Coors Banquet.
Ossington Avenue is being turned into New York City’s Greenwich Village today. The reason? Another TV show is filming on Ossington. This time it’s Showcase and CW TV’s Beauty and the Beast, which stars Canadian actress Kristin Kreuk.
According to the filming notice posted along Ossington last week, the romantic sci-fi series, which is going into its 3rd season, will be filming all day Monday, October 20, from 7am to 10pm.
In the meantime, Ossington has already been converted into a New York City set, with NYC subway signs and a non-government liquor store (oh wouldn’t that be nice!) in place of The Pedal Stop. The exact location of filming, is Ossington between Foxley and Humbert streets. Many of the exteriors of the businesses in between those streets are being converted into a variety of different New York City spots. Reposado is becoming a taco joint, La Cubana a pizza spot, and Venezia an Italian bakery.
To ensure authenticity, there are loads of New York parking signs, and we even saw some crew members removing the Ossington street sign at Ossington and Foxley. We took a lot of photos – it’s fun to see familiar local spots made over for TV.
Filming should be all day tomorrow, so let us know what – and who – you see!