Sunday, 14 April 2013

Neighbourhood: Toronto Shopkeeper Explores Ossington

The west end street that went from grease pit to hip strip.

Ossington Avenue used to be known for its auto mechanic shops, but rising rents on Queen Street made the strip attractive to galleries and bars. Now the area dubbed Ossington Village (running between Queen St. W. and Dundas St. W.) is a hipster haven with new restaurants and shops added to the mix. Before you spend the night in the neighbourhood's bars, spend the day exploring the street’s unique collection of retailers.

Controversial condo development 109 OZ (109, all addresss on Ossington Avenue), is scheduled to take over the site of an old auto body shop. Local residents have been questioning the development’s inevitable densification of the neighbourhood.

The neighbourhood’s shopping used to lean heavily to the vintage side. You can still treasure hunt for vintage finds at I Miss You Vintage (63) you’ll find designer re-sale and vintage fashion; their Facebook page features newly arrived showcase items. Next door at Emporium (63) discover a nostalgic shop selling accessories.

Jonathan and Olivia (49) is one of the original fashion destinations on Ossington, offering a curated collection of designers such as Alexander Wang, Band of Outsiders, and ACNE Studios. It stocks clothing, shoes, and accessories for men and women, as well as amazing candles from New York based niche perfume brand Le Labo.

Across the street you’ll find Tiger of Sweden (56), a recent addition to the street with the brand’s first Toronto outpost. The store features sleek tailored menswear with a Scandinavian edge and professional separates for women in a modern store that has a decidedly Yorkville feel.

Philip Sparks (162) is a Canadian brand that has a vintage vibe and is made in Canada. The nostalgic clothing for men and women is dapper and classic. Standouts in the spring 2013 collection include cotton canvas duffle bags and briefcases with brightly coloured leather straps.

Motorcycle enthusiasts should zoom over to Town Moto (132). This store sells everything you need for a stylish ride, from jackets and helmets to motorcycle bags and accessories.

Satisfy  your inner carnivore with a visit to Cote de Boeuf (130), a butcher/grocer, this new spot features great prepared take home dinners sure to satisfy any foodie. Down the street you’ll find Venezia Bakery (114), a classic Portuguese bakery with breads and staples like custard tarts.

Grab a bite: Start off your afternoon of shopping with a coffee at Crafted by Te Aro (135) and ask for a flat white (an antipodean invention consisting of a shot of espresso and a dollop of microfoam). If you’re feeling peckish, get in line at Pizzeria Libretto (221) for authentic Neapolitan pizza. Then finish your evening with a drink at local institution Sweaty Betty's (13).