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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

The Crit proved to be extremely popular with people of all ages, and people who had never seen a crit before are excited to see it again! We got to watch some great cycling, with races for amateurs, fixies, and more seasoned women and men competing for prizes in fastest laps and overall race purses, which we were told were high for Ontario. The race route along Ossington was generally pretty crowded with viewers, but along Halton, Givens and Rebecca, there was plenty of room to view. For full results from the races, go here. Congrats to all the winners and finishers. The races were exciting to watch.

Crit On Givens

Ossfest: The Crit

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Ossfest: The Crit – women racing on Rebecca Street

OSSFEST: Music Fest

OSSFEST also included some great music at the north end of the closed off street by Dundas West. Festival goers danced and drank on The Painted Lady patio to live music including reggae, brass bands, and more:

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The Responsables on the OSSFEST music stage

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Heavyweights Brass Band on the march at OSSFEST

The street was packed with revellers all day and night, with people enjoying all that Ossington has to offer.

OSSFEST: Restaurant Patios

Patios were crowded with people taking a break in the shade to watch The Crit from Tiger of Sweden, hosting Cote De Boeuf, to Reposado, The Ossington and Mamakas, to the music stages near Pizza Libretto.

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Mamakas was busy with their side patio during OSSFEST

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La Cubana with sidewalk take-out

OSSFEST: Sidewalk Shopping

There were so many people on the street and the day was so hot, that popping inside for a break and a little shop was a great idea. A lot of the retailers brought their goods outside, and Telegramme Prints even offered a kids’ art workshop which was well received!

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Telegramme Art Workshop for Kids

Crywolf OSSFEST Buttones

Crywolf and Button Machine had free OSSFEST buttons

Did you enjoy OSSFEST as much as we did? Share in the comments and definitely check out our Facebook page for more photos!

Playing Pokemon Go in Ossington Village

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Pokémon Go launched in Canada on Sunday, and we’re already hooked and so are many other locals. There are PokéStops and gyms all around Ossington Village. Thanks to a lot of nearby graffiti, churches and parks, you can get a lot of Pokémon Go activity nearby.

Last night, we walked around the back alleys of our neighbourhood, taking in graffiti PokéStops, and meeting other people doing the same thing!

PokéStops

Collect balls and other items to use in the game for free. These locations have multiple PokéStops:

  • Trinity Bellwoods Park: signs, graffiti, memorials, statues: all of these are PokéStops
  • Ossington alleyways to the east and west of Ossington, there are so many alleyways with graffiti art that are featured in this game
  • Ostler Park playground: this is a good stopover between alleyways, and people were setting lots of lures there last night!
  • BQM has a mural on the side of the building which is a PokéStop
  • “Black and White” is the Black wall of OMAW across the street from the White wall of Mamakas at Ossington and Humbert

Here are some photos of some of the stops:

The Poke Stop at Ossington and Argyle

Poke Stop Ossington and Argyle

Martial Arts Graffiti

Martial Arts Graffiti West of Ossington and North of Queen: Also a PokéStop

 

Ossington alley art

Gamers lured some PokéMon and were trying to catch them among the art in the Ossington alleway

Gyms

The PokéMon gyms are for level 5 and up. Nearby gyms include:

  • The lumberyard behind the Downtown Lumber on Ossingon north of Foxley
  • The convenience store at Foxley and Dovercourt
  • Canada Herb at Ossington and Argyle

Are you playing Pokémon Go in the neighbourhood? Let us know in the comments and share your photos with us on Instagram.

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.

 

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The relaxing backyard at Té

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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!

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.

Please note – these murals are not finished. The artists have been working on them in the hot sun all week and they are elaborate so expect a few more days before completion.


Alleyway East side of Ossington, behind Rally:

We started behind Rally, where several different artists are painting their own work:

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The tour begins at Rally Ossington

First, a mural by Caratoes:

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In the same alleyway, a work by Peru evoking shipping lanes:

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Peru in front of his mural in the west alleyway behind Ossington


Alleyway West side of Ossington, at Humbert

Then, we went back onto Ossington and across to the other side of the street, behind House of Horvath, the cigar factory on the east side. First, we saw Birdo‘s street art which focuses on disappearing species:

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Birdo Disappearing Species Mural

Right next door, Chris Konecki‘s mural of shipping lanes sparked attention:

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Chris Konecki mural Ossington


West Side of Ossington at Rebecca

 Just a little bit further south, across from 41 Ossington at the south side of Rebecca Street, Bruno Smoky is in the midst of his mural. Apparently, there are a lot of restrictions and he is being held up, but try to check him out this weekend. You can see it is a very large piece and not finished!

Bruno Smokey mural

Bruno Smoky mural Ossington and Rebecca


Queen West Self-Storage building, 21 Ossington, west side

Right at a very busy part of Ossington, Toronto local Jon Todd has been painting some very detailed wildlife of the Great lakes.

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Jon Todd mural, 21 Ossington


Parking Lot next to Jimmy’s Coffee, 15 Ossington

We met Valinas, a muralist from Mexico who made his first trip to Toronto to participate in this project. 3 different pieces fill the wall in the parking lot north of Jimmy’s Coffee.

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Valinas, posing in front of his mural


Rally, 12 Ossington

Olivier Bonnard from Montreal painted the front of the Rally building, with fish swimming up and down the exterior.

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Oliver Bonnard at Rally Ossington

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.

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The crowds waiting for the parade

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Mayor John Tory and Councillor Ana Bailao

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Dancers

Smiles at today's #portugalparade #parade #toronto

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A Tasting at Té

telogoThis week, we were lucky to be included among a group of bloggers treated to taste the menu at Te.

Don’t know what Te is? Well, now is your chance to go try some of their delicious Asian fusion food before it starts getting written up and too crowded to get in. Located just south of Union, where Baby Huey used to be, at 70 Ossington Avenue, Te is open daily for dinner and brunch on weekends.

The event last night featured some signature cocktails, all Asian and/or tea influenced, including some bubble tea beverages, as well as samples from the entire menu. We couldn’t eat it all, but we enjoyed everything we tried. Standouts include the edamame with garlic and anchovy, kimchee ravioli and Taiwanese fried chicken.

We took lots of photos of the food, but you should try it for yourself!

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Cocktails at Te

 

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Garlic edamame and candied anchovies

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Taiwanese spiced tea egg shooters

 

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Sweet potato fries

 

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Bulgogi sliders

Taiwanese Fried Chicken

Dark Spiced Taiwanese Fried Chicken

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Toasted Kimchi Ravioli

 

Ossington’s Changing Landscape – Photo Blog Post

There are a lot of changes happening on Ossington including new buildings and businesses, so we did a walk around and took some photos to highlight some of the most recent ones on the street.

The small location at 104 Ossington just north of Lower Ossington Theatre most recently housed a onesie shop called Kigurumi, has also been a record store and a vintage shop,  and will soon be home to a tattoo parlour called Bellwoods Tattoo.

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Baby Hueys is now gone from 72 Ossington, and the space appears to be renovating into a new storefront. Next door there’s a logo for TA2, a recording studio with headquarters on the east end, and may be expanding to Ossington.

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Motif Lofts has been under construction for a few years and looks closer to being ready for tenants. In the next few months we may also see some new retailers on the ground floor at 41 Ossington.

 

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At the corner of Ossington and Queen, Stussy is now closed as we anticipate the arrival of the American retailer who took over the lease: IMG_4355

The building at 114 Ossington, which houses Venezia Bakery, is has been undergoing a massive transformation, adding two floors above, most likely for residences.

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186 Ossington, the old home of Vintage Mix 1, is now confirmed as the new home of Rotate This, which is currently prepping for the move from Queen St. West to Ossington later this month.

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Finally, The Crooked Star, at 202 Ossington on the corner of Roylat St, is in the midst of a transformation. We have no idea what’s going on behind closed doors, but a lot of people are hoping the renovated Crooked Star opens soon!

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Ufficio Restaurant Open on Dundas West

uThe neighborhood has it’s first opening of the year! Ufficio Restaurant, an Italian fish spot, is now open at 1214 Dundas West. We’ve been missing the former restaurant in the spot, the much admired The Grove, and have anticipated this opening for almost a year when we wrote about it last February.  Well, now it’s open and last night was the first night of service.

The restaurant, from a team including Chef Craig Harding from Campagnolo, focuses on seafood and vegetarian fare, distinct from much Italian food on offer in the city. We checked it out last night and there is a lot to choose from on the menu: crudo (raw fish), salads and vegetable dishes, pastas and cooked fish. Try it out for yourself. Photos of the bar and delicious cocktails below; the restaurant has an instagram account with more professional photos

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Ossington Alleyway Party Photos

Once again, the Ossington Village Alleyway party was a big success. The Day of the Dead theme was a big hit, with lots of people in costume and getting their faces painted and adding photos to the altar.

The musical performances went until 10pm, when we got shut down by a neighbor who called the Toronto police. For once, the weather held up – we got through an alleyway party without rain!

Below are a few photos from the day. To see more, check out our Facebook page and the event page.

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The Grow Op Opening This Week

The Grow Op, a new smoothie and salad bar and so much more, will be opening this week at 222 Ossington. You may remember a long line of fish markets in this space just south of Dundas, but now it’s clean, bright and ready to serve you anything from coffee to salads and sandwiches to kombucha and smoothies.

They’re doing soft opening private parties this weekend, but you should be able to stop by and try a treat this week. They’ll open around 8 or 9am each day, so you can start your day with a coffee or smoothie from The Grow Op.

So far, you can only find them on instagram. We took some photos Friday night, posted below:IMG_2567

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