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Ossington Food News This Week

This week brings two new food pop-ups to Ossington. If you’re in the mood for food from a different source on the street, this is your chance!

Tocino Boys Opening at La Porte

Tocino Boys at La Porte

We mentioned that Tocino Boys, the Queen West Filipino pop up, would be moving to La Porte on Ossington soon. Well, now they’ve announced when this new venture will launch at the nightlife spot at 214 Ossington. This Friday, November 11, you can stop into the bar for some of Tocino Boys’ comfort food with a Filipino twist. As far as we can tell, they’ll be serving on weekends during the same hours La Porte is open.

 

 

Reposado’s November Mexican Pop-Upsantopecadologo

Reposado, the popular tequila and jazz bar at 136 Ossington, is giving us the opportunity to try the Mexican menu of caterers Santo Pecado this month. The kitchen takeover starts Wednesday and will be through Sunday all through November. Dishes will include a variety of tacos for meat lovers and vegetarians, along with typical snacks like chips and guac and street corn. For bigger appetites, they’ll also be serving larger plates like pozole.

 

Superpoint Takeout Window Now Open

Superpoint pizza logo

When Superpoint opened at 184 Ossington, they teased a future takeout window. Last week, they promoted the launch of their takeout service on social media. The takeout window is up front, and slices of all different types of pizza, including pepperoni, are $5.

 

Sounds like a couple more very good reasons to eat on Ossington this week, doesn’t it?

MoTo Snack Bar Now Open on Dundas West

themotogoDundas West has a new snack bar. Called MoTo Coffee and Snack Bar, it’s a new business in the space formerly occupied by Porter House and Brockton General at 1321 Dundas West. That Instagram account is their online presence.

There are a lot of restaurants serving snacks around these parts, but MoTo stands out with a menu of predominantly Italian snack food, with many ingredients imported straight from Italy. The chef, Wes Hains, has experience at big name Italian restaurants in the city like Gusto and Piano Piano.

MoTo Snack Bar opened earlier this month, but we just stopped in last night. It wasn’t the best time for them; they were having a private function, so we haven’t tried the food yet. The opportunities to taste Italian snacks are pretty good, however: MoTo is open and serving food every night but Sundays starting at 6pm. In addition, they’ve got Italian wines, craft beers and coffee on offer.

The space looks great. They’ve reconfigured it so the bar is not all the way in the back of the place; it’s alongside the west wall, with some tables and chairs up front, and seating at the bar. This gives the room a more welcoming feel, and the people we met last night added to that welcome.

 

A couple of photos are below. Let us know if you’ve been to MoTo Snack Bar.

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Tocino Boys Will Bring Filipino Flavor to Ossington

Tocino Boys are moving their popular Filipino street food kitchen to La Porte on Ossington.

tocino-laporte

About Tocino Boys

Tocino Boys is run by chef John DeBlois, and serves street food with a Filipino twist, including tacos, burgers, poutine, and more. Located out of the kitchen at Midpoint on Queen West for the last couple of years, the move to Ossington is for more space, and a great location! They’ve been lauded with good reviews from Now Toronto and are part of a burgeoning Filipino food scene in Toronto.

About La Porte

La Porte, generally known as one of Ossington’s clubby bars for drinking and dancing, hasn’t served food in the entire 3 years they’ve been in business at 214 Ossington. The addition of this kitchen to their space changes their hours and, probably, their clientele to an extent.

Tocino Boys on Ossington

According to their Facebook post, the kitchen will be open from 6-10PM (days are not specified) and late night from 10pm-2:45am on weekends. Location is 214 Ossington, on the west side of the street near Dundas. No word on when exactly the grand opening will be, but we’ll stop in for some Filipino eats and post about it here.

Ossington and adjacent Dundas West, is a snack food capital of Toronto, and the addition of this well reviewed kitchen to our hood is only making it harder to not eat out every single night.

 

Smoke Signals Barbecue Now Open on Dundas West

smokesignalslogoSmoke Signals Barbecue is now open on Dundas West. The new restaurant opened very quietly on Thursday with a soft opening.  We stopped in to 1242 Dundas Street West last night to enjoy a few sharing plates so we could sample a lot of their meats and sides.

Despite the lack of promotion for their opening aside from one instagram post, the new barbecue restaurant was hopping last night and food was flying out of the kitchen.

The menu covers everything you’d expect in BBQ favorites in mains and side dishes. Hopefully they have a vast supply of everything because methinks this place is going to be popular.

Smoke Signals Barbecue Menu Board

The menu board on the wall at Smoke Signals Barbecue

After their quick test run of the last two nights, Smoke Signals is shutting down for the weekend. They plan to reopen on Wednesday night and should be on regular hours after that.

Here’s a shot of their menu and some of the sharing plates on offer:

Smoke Signals BBQ menu

The Smoke Signals Menu

 

Ossington Village Alleyway Party Photos

The 6th annual Ossington Village Alleyway Party was yesterday and we were blessed with a beautiful sunny day to accompany the wonderful music, food and company in the alley.

The day was filled with friends old and new, food from the generous neighbors, Scrabble and other games, music and dancing. All of the talented performers donated their time and music, and for that we are very grateful! Here are some photos from the day and night:

SetList

The music line-up, which changed slightly

 

Rosey Kain made her first appearance at the Alleyway Party.

Rosey Kain made her first appearance at the Alleyway Party

 

Maracatu Mar Alberto: The drummers paraded down the alleyway to the stage

Maracatu Mar Alberto: The drummers paraded down the alleyway to the stage

Continue reading Ossington Village Alleyway Party Photos

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

Continue reading OSSFEST Recap and Photos

Playing Pokemon Go in Ossington Village

pokemongologo

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

Continue reading Playing Pokemon Go in Ossington Village

Ossington Street Festival Ossfest July 23

See Also: Ossfest Recap and Photos;  What to Expect During Ossfest

ossfest logo

On Saturday, July 23rd, Ossington will be closed to traffic for the first ever Ossington street festival.  Ossfest will highlight local businesses and the community and features Toronto’s only city bike races, outdoor music, and a lot of patios and partying. Mark off your calendars for Ossington’s first – but hopefully not last – street festival. In addition to the major events listed below, sidewalks will be open for shopping, drinking and dining. All of this is being organized and executed by the Ossington BIA.

The Ossington Street Festival

Ossfest is a local street fest in which every business can participate. Details of each business’ activities will be updated to the BIA’s Instagram account. To give you an idea, expect lots of outdoor patios for food and drinking, sidewalk sales, and activities for kids as all of these and more will be along Ossington on July 23rd. We’ve been informed that Pizza Libretto, The Painted Lady and Mamakas will have extended outdoor patios. Get ready for a great day and night! We’ll post here as we find out what other businesses have in store for the 23rd!

Oss Fest Free Live Music

An exciting component of the Ossington Street Festival is the live music stage at Ossington and Dundas. The music starts at 2pm and continues with various great local acts through until approximately 11pm. With acts ranging from the reggae stylings of Bredren, to Saul Torres’ Latin music, to a brass band parade featuring The Heavyweights Brass Band, and roots rock from Samantha Martin and Delta Sugar, everyone should be entertained. These are bands you would normally pay a cover to see at local spots like The Dakota Tavern or Painted Lady. More details on the musical line-up in the poster below:

Ossington Street Festival Live Music

Ossington Street Festival Live Music

The Ossington Crit

A key component of the Ossington street festival is the Ossington Crit. From 11am to 6:30 pm, you can watch and cheer during this series of bike races officially sanctioned by the Ontario Cycling Association. The races begin with kids races, by age group, at 11am so be there by 10:30am with your kids and their bikes and helmets so they can join the fun!

After the kids races, it’s all licensed adult riders from 12 noon. Participants will ride as many laps as they can within their allotted race time. The early races are shorter races for beginners, and they build up to the elites who race for 90 minutes, with the final race ending at 6:30PM. The map (below) shows the race route: along Ossington, east on Halton, south on Givins, and west back to Ossington along Rebecca. It’s a short and narrow route and should be exciting to watch the races!

Crit Map

Map of Ossington Crit Course

 Save the date: July 23rd

Ossington between Dundas and Queen – street party, music, cycling and shopping: 11am-11pm.

Meet me on Ossington!

Toronto Bike Share Opens Ossington Riders to More of the City

bikeshareTOlogoToronto’s bike share program may finally become usable to Ossington Village residents.

Expansion plans were announced a few months ago, and today the organization issued a map of future stations, spreading out this system to more areas of the city after 7 years in operation. And, good news! They are adding several more bike stations beyond the one at Queen and Ossington and you will be able to take them west of Ossington!

The bike share program’s history has been tumultuous in Toronto.

Original operator Bixi went bankrupt, so the city’s parking authority took over management. While smaller cities like Montreal and Washington DC have successful programs that cover large swathes of downtown, Toronto’s started with bike stations along the subway line. So, as opposed to offering transport options where little were available, the bike share was a superfluous service where one already existed.

We waited a long time before the bicycles even made it past Bathurst, and those just a little west of us have waited longer, as the Ossington and Queen stop has been the furthest west for years:

Furthest West Location at Queen and Ossington

Furthest West Location at Queen and Ossington

Now there will be places to pick up and drop off your bicycle in Liberty Village, the Exhibition and Dufferin. Sorry, Roncy, you still have some waiting to do.

The upcoming bike stations include Trinity Bellwoods Park, Dundas West and more on West Queen West:

BetterBike

More bike share stations in the west end

Residents and visitors in other parts of the city will be interested too: bikes are coming to the Distillery District and Leslieville!

This is long overdue, so let’s celebrate! Toronto’s bike share is actually starting to look legit! Expansion begins today and will be ongoing through July 11, as they add 120 new stations and 1000 new bikes.

Since you may now want to try using these bikes, here are the details:

  • 24 hour access pass: $7
  • 48 hour access pass: $15
    • As long as you return bikes within 30 minutes of each trip, no extra charges beyond those access fees
  • Annual membership: $90

Will you be trying these bikes out this summer? Tweet us or let us know on Facebook.

Harley Davidson Cafe on Ossington

A Harley Davidson Cafe is opening on Ossington tomorrow, June 17. They’ve taken over the space under the Lower Ossington Theatre, at 96 Ossington.  It is now filled with motorcycles and signage for Harley Davidson Cafes.

A quick google search for this name in Toronto brings up a placeholder for “1903: A Harley Davidson Cafe.” 1903 is the year Harley Davidson was founded, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Screen Shot 2016-06-16 at 5.47.31 PM

There’s a Harley Davidson Cafe in Vegas, which is similar to a Hard Rock Cafe, only with motorcycles as decor. In this case, their twitter account  presents as a coffee shop than a burger joint.  They plan to be open 7 days a week starting at 7am and will be serving all the typical cafe fare. The idea is for customers to have an espresso while admiring the assortment of bikes on display. UPDATE: the coffee is from Toronto’s Fahrenheit Coffee.

Here’s a shot from their twitter account:

1903

And a photo of the exterior:

harleycafe

With Town Moto just up the street, maybe some of those motorcycle aficionados will check out the space for the coffee and conversation. UPDATE: We stopped in a took more photos so make sure you’re following our Facebook.