Normally, I try to run through parks as much as possible. Not just because of the extra oxygen emitted in these green spaces but for the softer footing on dirt trails. Winter of course limits this option so one of my regular routes takes me through the West-Queen-West and Ossington area between Dundas and Queen. This strip of Ossington is described by Toronto Life as having gone from no-go to bo-ho in a matter of years. For those living in the vicinity it seemed even faster than that. I think the redevelopment started when a huge car wash-auto body business was replaced by townhouses.
Today, I enjoyed a leisurely 5 mile run on the treadmill. I was discouraged from running outside by the lightest sprinkling of snow, and the possibility of very icy sidewalks, which comes with this hovering-around-zero weather. And for a change of pace, instead of running up Ossington, I had a chance to hang out as a pedestrian and browse the galleries and shops.
The main focus of my trip to Queen and Ossington was World Sewing Machine on the northeast corner. This business is old-school Ossington with the most low cost signage going, although I think it may have been a Buddhist temple not long ago. They are open Monday to Friday 10-6 p.m. and carry an outstanding selection of sewing machines in all price ranges. I bought a Singer that does the basic stitches and buttonholes for $119. It was light enough to carry on the bus ride home.
I speculate that a 3/4 mile radius, with Dundas and Ossington as the centrepoint may have the highest density of coffee bars in the city. To name a few that I have tried; 2 LIT Espresso bars, the Dark Horse, Ezra Pound, the Communal Mule, 5 Starbucks and Crafted on Ossington which I visited for the first time today.
While enjoying my latte and the very intricate latte art design, I overhead a conversation about the film, Small Town Murder Songs which I blogged about earlier this week. The man and woman involved seemed very in-the-know, about the film and theatre scene in Toronto. They were talking quite loudly, in that way that suggests they want to be heard, however they were not obnoxious. Having a personal interest in this film, I actually took notes of their conversation.
The man said he had gone to high school with the director. The woman said she had worked twice with the director and remarked that Ed Gass-Donnelly knows how to create an environment that is conducive to creativity and getting the best out of yourself. She also said he is great at casting and the cinematography was strong. Both commended the actors although felt that had the male lead (I think he was in Fargo) given a stronger performance the film might have come together more strongly. I’ll call this the “Heard on Ossington” review.
I had a look in a couple of galleries, Propeller and The Stephen Bulgur Gallery and enjoyed this drawing, coated in resin by Frank Caracciolo. I looked at the title card wondering what the artist was asking for the piece but the price was covered by the traditional red dot, indicating the piece is sold.
A final photograph, taken of a storefront. Is that cat real or painted? Only the photographer knows for sure.