Toronto is a music city. This is evident when you walk into a local bar on a Sunday night and hear excellent musicians performing a mix of originals and classic covers. This is what happens on Sunday nights at Opera Bobs when The Ole Fashion is on stage.
Boss Lady Mondays is a networking and lecture series for anyone in Toronto who identifies as a woman. This series is held every month on the last Monday of the month at Ossington’s own The Painted Lady.
With a different set of speakers each month, Boss Lady Monday is a great opportunity to connect with and learn from other women.
Two different speakers talk each month, so the topics will change. I just attended my first Boss Lady Monday event, with two speakers of indigenous heritage and artistic leanings, and got inspiration and knowledge from both of their talks. I also met very friendly and interesting women of different pursuits in the audience, so it was a good night for me! Continue reading Monthly Series: Boss Lady Mondays at The Painted Lady
It’s that time of year for parents and kids – getting ready for back to school. You can get into the spirit too, by learning something new in the Ossington and Dundas area. Lots of businesses in our neighborhood offer many opportunities to learn something new. Whether it’s athletic, culinary or technological, there’s lots to learn in Ossington Village.
Le Dolci on Dundas offers baking classes of all kinds on weeknights or on the weekends: learn to make croissants, bread or decorate cupcakes and more. They’ve also got a few weeks left of their farmer’s market class where Chef Michael Hunter takes you shopping at the Trinity Bellwoods Market and then cooks a feast with the finds!
Drinking delicious beer and learning too!? Sounds great! Which explains why Bellwoods Brewery‘s weekly sessions also sell out quickly. They announced the next round of guided beer tasting sessions last week so if you want to book one of their Tuesday sessions September 8th, 15th, 21st or 29th, email them now!
Academy of Lions offers crossfit classes and personal training – they even let you try your first crossfit class for free every Saturday at 12:15pm. If your goal is to get in shape, this is a great opportunity for you.
InterAccess, the technology meets art studio at 9 Ossington, regularly offers workshops. You can listen to guest lecturers, learn hands-on tech, use 3D printers, and all sorts of interesting things that you probably didn’t know about. The workshops are scheduled on weeknights and weekends, so sign up now!
Yogaspace has all sorts of yoga practices, but did you know you can also learn to be an instructor? They offer teacher training courses 3 different times throughout the year so inspire yourself.
Know of anything we missed? Teach us in the comments or tweet us.
Sunday afternoon is about to hop at Bellwoods Brewery (and by hop, we don’t mean the beer kind of hop) as A Little Rambunctious, a smaller version of the horn-based improv band led by Michael Louis Johnson, takes the patio stage there from 2-5 pm for the next few weeks.
Michael Louis Johnson, if you don’t know him already, bartends and hosts the Saturday afternoon Gyspy Jazz sessions from 4-7 at the Communist’s Daughter, where he plays a mix of originals and classic swing-jazz pieces, all while tending bar and making clients happy.
Michael also founded Rambunctious, which has played regularly at The Painted Lady and The Port (which is now Get Well Bar). The idea behind Rambunctious, and its offshoot A Little Rambunctious, is all improv. Audience members call out song titles and the band makes up a song based on one of the titles. The smaller version of the band puts a little more focus on swing, jazz and jump-blues sounds in their song formation. While the larger version of the band has up to 15 players, the smaller band has only 4, with Michael on trumpet, local favourite Eva Moon on drums, Ian Tulloch on sousaphone, and Christopher Weatherstone on sax.
Details: A Little Rambunctious, Bellwoods Brewery, Sunday, 2-5PM
Last 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.
We 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 Painted Lady, at 218 Ossington, hosts an open mic night every Monday which allows local musicians to come and present to fellow musicians, artists and community members. As part of the original vision of the bar to build community, Nicky, Jess and the team at The Lady have been doing this, with various hosts emceeing the night, since they opened. Some nights the audience is only a couple people and other Mondays the house is full. The night can end up going in many directions from the odd and eclectic to full-on jam sessions with lots of people together. They have had nights where well known musicians, including members of the Barenaked Ladies, have sat in or joined other amateur musicians on the stage. The range of performances is broad – from standard guitar playing singer songwriters to beatbox singers and rappers to comedians, and from individuals to full bands.
The deal is, if you want to play, then you come and sign in with the emcee that night. The emcee chooses performers on a first-come first-served basis. Each musician (or other type of performance artist or band) is encouraged to play originals (although there are still quite a few covers that get played), and they play three songs on stage. The crowd during the performances is very respectful and encouraging to everyone that comes on stage.
Last Monday night, we took some video of some of the players to give you a sampling of a show. Some of the players included Dave Pepper; David Heddy, a standup comic regular; Bruce Donahy, a guitar repair tech who works at Long and McQuade and played a Gene Autry Santa Fe classic guitar; Brendan Clark, who focused on his own originals, and many, many more.
If you are a musician or like watching musicians in the making or just people who make it their hobby to learn, head over to 218 Ossington on a Monday night starting at 9pm. It’s a fun night and helps build our community, both musically and socially.
Trampoline Hall is a monthly event held at The Garrison on Dundas West, and last week we finally got a chance to experience it. This unique lecture series has existed in Canada for over 10 years, and is hugely popular, consistently playing to a sold out crowd.
We went to our first Trampoline Hall on Monday, April 8. Hosted by the witty and humorous Misha Glouberman, Trampoline Hall has a different curator or curating team each month. The curators make the selections for that month’s speakers, the only caveat being the topic cannot be within the speaker’s area of expertise. Because of this set-up, each Trampoline Hall event is different, aside from the very entertaining host and an enthusiastic crowd. The curators on April 8 were the art duo Life of a Craphead.
The three lecturers on April 8 covered the topics of walking, ghosts and hell. The fact that these lecturers were not per-se “experts” seemed to make the audience more comfortable with those onstage, and the questions demonstrated compassion and genuine interest. The topics and speakers were thought-provoking, and the personal stories evoked emotions ranging from awe, empathy, concern, hilarity and more. The audience is encouraged to ask questions, and the questions and answers were as compelling as the lectures.
The list of topics was very vague before the show, and maybe that’s always the case. Don’t let the list of topics dull your interest. The host, the curators, the speakers and the engaged audience combined to make this event worth attending again and again. Trampoline Hall happens once a month on a Monday at The Garrison. Limited tickets are available the Thursday before the show at Soundscapes, and the $6 price is well worth it.
Update – Dec 4, 2015: Prices have gone up, for adults it’s now $18 a person. Plus, you can now make reservations for the Saturday show, for either the 10am or the 12 noon seating. Make your plans at least 48 hours in advance! Update – Feb 1, 2014: The hours for the bluegrass brunch are now 10am to 2pm.
If you like music or food, and especially if you like both, and you live in downtown Toronto, you’ve been to The Dakota Tavern for Bluegrass Brunch. If you haven’t, now’s the time, because they’ve just expanded the brunch to Saturdays from 11a-3P, and continue on Sundays from 11a-3P.
The bluegrass brunch is family style, with plates of scrambled eggs and potatoes, pancakes and sausages, fruit salad, OJ and coffee, all in for less than $15 adult and $8 for kids. Speaking of kids, bring them: this is a very inclusive event, kids are welcome, and most of them love to dance to the music!
The food is delicious and plentiful, and the food is not the only attraction! Every weekend, a great bluegrass band featuring talented local musicians plays for free while diners eat brunch. Often the band consists of members of the Foggy Hogtown Boys, as it did yesterday.
So, the music and the food are both great. What’s the catch? The only catch is you may have to wait for a table, or a seat at the long common table. Often there are people lining up outside at 10:30am on a Sunday (and probably now on Saturday too), so if you want to be there for the first set, get there early. Otherwise, show up after 12 noon, and you’ll likely only wait 20 minutes, and you’ll be indoors tapping your toes, or dancing with your kids, to some great local music. Just another regular event we are lucky to experience.
For those of you in the neighbourhood who haven’t been to see The Beauties on a Sunday night at the Dakota Tavern, you are missing out on seeing some great musicians. It had been a while since we stopped in, but last week we did for their post New Years Hangover Party , and the house was packed. There’s often other musicians who stop in and play, or at least come by to listen. In the past we’ve seen Ron Sexsmith, Feist, and others showing up.
In 2010, they released their first full-length self-titled album to muchcritical acclaim. This month they are even heading to Asbury Park, NJ for a music festival, so they are no longer just our local house band. See them while you can!