The CONTACT Photography Festival officially launches April 28th and runs through the month of May throughout Toronto. While the theme this year is Canada’s 150, there are a lot of different subjects confronted in the works on display around Toronto. Here’s where you can enjoy the CONTACT Festival in and around Ossington Village.
Photographers Without Borders presents – Sumatra: Conservation is our Future
Boehmer Restaurant, –Reception:
Boehmer Restaurant is a beautiful space for exhibiting art, and for the duration of CONTACT, it will host the photographs of 4 females with the focus on the Sumatran rain forest. Photos of the animals and people living in that rapidly depleting environment are mean to raise awareness of the endangered animals in Sumatra. Stop by Boehmer at 93 Ossington to see the photos.
The annual Toronto Design Offsite Festival (TO DO) brings design to untraditional spaces across the city, including places right here in Ossington Village. The festival runs from January 16-22 with events and exhibitions. Here’s what to do at TO DO Ossington Village.
Local events are detailed below.
Alma at Saudade
Dundas West Portuguese design shop Saudade gets involved in TO DO with authentic handmade needlepoint in the Portuguese historic style. The wall coverings will decorate Saudade as of Tuesday, January 17 through the end of the festival, Sunday the 22nd.
Information: Saudade, 1191 Dundas Street West. Opening Reception: January 17 at 7pm, RSVP here
2016 is almost over, and we look back at all the new businesses we welcomed to the neighbourhood this year, and the ones that closed. Here is our 2016 in Review of the changes in Ossington Village this past year.
Ufficio Restaurant opened January 2016
At the very start of the new year, we welcomed new Italian fish focused restaurant Ufficio. Still serving dinner most nights, Ufficio is located at 1234 Dundas West.
Bridge + Bardot closed January 2016
Women’s fashion boutique Bridge + Bardot was open on Dundas West for 3 1/2 years. The shop closed in January to focus on their online store, which is still operating.
Rock Lobster Closed, Baby Huey Moved Into the Space, March 2016
Barber & Co has been renovating the space at 89 Ossington for the last month and is now open and ready to groom! The renovations are not 100% complete, but they are taking appointments and serving men’s hair needs, with high quality cocktails to go along.
About Barber & Co
Barber & Co is a Canadian business, like many on Ossington, originally from Vancouver. You’ll learn that the concept is bigger than a barber shop.
For one, each Barber & Co location (there are 6: 5 in Vancouver, plus this new one) offers enough amenities to make men want to spend time there aside from just getting a hair cut and/or shave. For example, drinks and/or games, so men will go with a friend and stay and hang out after their service.
On top of that, they make a lot of their own products, after careful testing, which they use in-house and sell from the shop. These products cover men’s heads, beards and moustaches.
In one of the Vancouver locations, they offer workshops and more comprehensive barbering training
Barber & Co Ossington
Barber Ossington is located on the east side of Ossington, south of Crywolf and north of the alleyway next to House of Horvath, The Ossington location is inspired by the art studio it replaced, so the decor includes paint spatters to mimic that vibe. At this time, you can already book appointments and buy product. The team also plans to implement a high-end cocktail bar, bringing in mixologists from around the city to make some killer drinks for pre- or post- haircut.
Ossington is bringing more and more men to the strip, with new additions of clothing stores like Reigning Champ and Peace Collective, and a men’s grooming salon – with drinks – seems to be a suitable complement. The owners are back and forth between here and Vancouver to get the place up and running and happy to welcome clients.
Below are a few of our photos of the space, but feel free to check it out for yourself!
The Golden Girls are at Lower Ossington Theatre (LOT)!
Not the real Golden Girls, but puppets that sure look like them, and actors that sure sound like them! If you were a fan of the 80s sitcom when it originally aired, or became a fan over the succeeding years through reruns, this modern day incarnation, Thank You For Being a Friend, should amuse you and your friends.
I went with a group of friends last night and can tell you all about it!
It’s like watching new episodes of The Golden Girls
The 2 hour show at Lower Ossington Theatre, really less than 2 hours with an intermission, is like watching episodes of the show only in the theatre with live people and puppets. The characters and setting are the same, but the scripts are updated with modern-day references. The storylines are all familiar from the series itself and you’ll watch scenes in both their living room and their kitchen. They even have some cheesecake! Did you know that The Golden Girls ran from 1985-1992 and had 180 episodes!? Consider this a 183 episodes and sit back and enjoy. Continue reading The Golden Girls Are Putting On A Show At the LOT
There is news in our local gallery scene that you should know.
Wil Kucey Gallery
The Dundas West art gallery formerly called LE Gallery is now named after it’s founder and director Wil Kucey. LE opened in 2003 and has seen the area change, and now the gallery has changed it’s brand. The space at 1183 Dundas West showcases contemporary Canadian artists and will continue to be at the forefront of Toronto’s art scene, now as the Wil Kucey Gallery, with exhibitions planned through the end of the year.
Christian McLeod has announced he is closing his studio and gallery at Ossington. His CMC Gallery, mostly open by appointment only, was at 89 Ossington for over 10 years. An email blast from the artist reveals he is being forced to move due to the sale of the building. You will be able to find him at 1537 Queen Street West, in Parkdale, just east of Roncesvalles.
Ossfest is this Saturday. From 11a-11p, Ossington Avenue will be closed for a music fest and bike race and more. We’ve already detailed those schedules and provided links here. So, what is the “more” I speak of that will be happening on the street? As the big day approaches, we have information on what the local businesses are doing to make Ossfest a one-of-a-kind Toronto street festival.
Sidewalk Shopping and Sales at Ossfest
Anice Jewellery will be open and selling custom made jewellery from the front patio at 102 Ossington
Annie Aime plans to have special sales just for Ossfest
BQM already has a great patio, so expect some drink specials like beer or caesars and enjoy the sun!
Cote De Bouef is having a front patio where you can get some of their delicious sandwiches and a Pimms or cold beer to go with it; The butcher shop will also co-host oysters and Cava from the patio further down the street at Tiger of Sweden
Crafted Coffee is bringing their chilled delivery bike to the sidewalk for some cold brews
Golden Turtle – the pho spot’s patio will be even larger for Ossfest and they’ll serve fresh rolls and spring rolls to go on the sidewalk
Ideal Coffee – enjoy the smell of roasting coffee beans as you watch the Crit from the patio at Ossington and Foxley
Indian Grill – the family run restaurant will have a new location outside Lola Salon this Saturday. Serving a few of their choice dishes from the sidewalk patio at 200 Ossington, just south of Rolyat
La Cubana will be serving hot cubanos and cold drinks on this hot summer day
Mamakas Taverna is going all out with a 100 person extended patio on the side alley featuring meats grilled outside on the spit for a real summer barbecue vibe
Moliceiro‘s special front patio will be open with full menu and a Portuguese sandwich special
Rashers is going to be busy with $5 hogtown sandwiches and free bacon samples this Saturday
Reposado will expand next door with seating and drink specials at the Ossington Tire parking lot. Stop by for some buckets of beer in the Sol and Tecate beer tent and expect mezcal specials and a performance by Led Zep cover band Zeppelinesque
Salt Wine Bar will make you your choice of a special veggie or chicken chorizo paella and cinnamon churros from their special front patio for Ossfest
Union Restaurant is having a special front patio and will feature the usual favorites from one of Toronto’s top kitchens
Art and Kids at Ossfest
Stylegarage will feature some custom designed art pieces and a silent auction for CAMH this Saturday
Telegramme Prints stands out for parents with their plans for a kids art workshop for 12 and unders! Sounds fun!
William’s Craig is setting up a vintage bicycle lounge – fitting for the Crit and likely very instagrammable
Ossfest is tomorrow, Saturday July 23 from 11a-11pm. Shop local and Meet Me on Ossington
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!
Do you want to stay current on the coolest digital and new media art in town? Then Vector Festival is for you and it’s happening this week! Hosted by Ossington’s own cutting edge art space InterAccess, the festival features music, video games, lectures, films and more.
We attended several of the events last year, and it’s interesting, eye opening and enjoyable. It’s all very accessible too, with multiple locations in our area. You can buy a festival pass for $25, or pay as you go for individual performances and showcases.
The festival kicks off this Thursday at InterAccess with a launch party from 7-11p. This party is free to the public and should provide a sneak peek at the rest of the fest, with a lot of the attendees contributors to the art.
Many of the Vector Festival’s workshops and shows will be held at InterAccess’ Headquarters at 9 Ossington, including the festival’s main exhibit The Algorithmic Imagination, running there through August. You can also attend a music making workshop at InterAccess on Saturday, with paid admission.
To top it all off, after a weekend of workshops and art, local tequila and music hotspot Reposado Bar hosts the final closing party on Sunday night from 8-11PM, with a live musical performance by Castle If.
The Vector Festival is bringing all sorts of new art methods and viewpoints to Toronto, and Ossington. In addition to parties, there are lectures and workshops, so lots to keep you entertained this weekend in our neighbourhood!
As always, look at our calendar for all the local Vector Fest events and anything else going on nearby.
A worldwide art and cycling organization PED.Toronto is bringing free bike art tours of the Ossington and Trinity Bellwoods neighborhood. The initiative is based out of Koffler Centre’s summer exhibit at Artscape Youngplace on Shaw.
These free bike tours can be done individually or with a friend. There is no tour guide: you will borrow a bicycle at the gallery which comes equipped with the tour on speakers.
Start the experience at Artscape Youngplace
Ped Toronto Exhibit at Koffler Gallery
The experience is pretty simple, actually. Just head over to the Artscape building on Shaw Street, and follow the signs to the Koffler Gallery – it’s straight ahead through the front door. The bikes can be taken out whenever the gallery is open – no need to call in advance. Opening hours are Tuesday to Friday from 12 PM – 6 PM and Saturday & Sunday from 11 AM – 5 PM.
Getting a Bike
The PED Bikes
The bikes are all lined up and plugged in. You’ll need to sign a waiver and leave your ID and a credit card as security – you won’t be charged unless you damage or lose the bike – and then you’re eligible to ride!
These bikes are equipped with speakers – you just need to choose which tour you want to take, and turn it on. As soon as you do that, the tour starts on your speakers. There are helmets available to borrow too.
The built-in tour set up
You can choose 1 of 3 cycle tours, each about 20 minutes in length. They are called Toronto the Good, Toronto the Better and Toronto the Best and that they go from easy (little road riding) to hardest (mostly road riding). After our tour (we did Best), we learned there is much more to it than that. Each option takes a different route and has a different theme:
Good, which covers mostly the CAMH grounds, focuses on Toronto as a location for film and fiction
Better travels Trinity Bellwoods and West Queen West and talks about the streetscape and local culture around the gallery
Best was an out-there scifi narrative about endangered species and floods. I think. It took us across Queen West to Dovercourt, up to College and back east to Shaw and south back to the Artscape building.
Take Your Tour
Bike Ramp out of the Gallery
Once you’ve chosen your tour route, follow the red dots out of the gallery and the building. Take your time pedalling the route as the tech on the bike recognizes where you are and will cut over some of the commentary to alert you when to turn. We may have missed some of the tour as a result of moving too fast, and there is no way to rewind the recording. There is also no way to change the volume, so while you’re inside the gallery it sounds really loud, it won’t sound that way out on the streets.
On the PED bike on College Street
Back at The Koffler
Posing with the bikes in front of Artscape Youngplace
The gallery features exhibits from the other cities where PED tours have been run. The exhibit and tours run throughout the summer at Koffler, until August 21st.