We took the kids for a walk up to Queen West and the Ossington Strip this past weekend for the first time this season and were really impressed at the new retail and restaurant additions popping up all over the place.
I grew up downtown and went to high school not too far from the Ossington strip. We actually used to frequent booze-cans on Ossington back in the early and mid-1990’s. Ossington was full of them and we were always looking for cheap places to throw parties.
Ossington got seedier and edgier as you got closer to Queen and even us hardened city youth stayed away from the Queen/Ossington intersection. It’s amazing to see it now.
A Shopper’s Drugmart popped up on the south side in the new CAMH building last year. There is a Starbucks on the north/west corner in the recently finished loft building which also houses some great new retail clothing boutiques. Ditto for the north/east corner.
The latest fashion retail boutique to open on Ossington is Tiger of Sweden from, yep, you got it, Sweden. I’m a big fan of Tiger for their style, fit and quality. Yet another reason Ossington is on the map.
Lest we not forget the restaurant explosion Ossington has and continues to experience. It wasn’t long ago that the only food you could find on Ossington was pho. You can still find great pho but you can also find terrific Neopolitan pizza, sustainable seafood, Korean street food, and a million other styles at the likes of Libretto, Foxley, The Saint, Rock Lobster Food Co., Hawker Bar, Delux, Boehmer, Union, Odd Seoul, Yours Truly and a few others. Beer lovers will love Bellwoods Brewery.
Ossington truly has become a mecca for foodies. After the dinner hour Ossington gets over-run by the drinking crowd and I haven’t had much use for that scene for a few years now because I’m an old fart with kids. I’ll stick to the food.
Anyway, the point of all of this is that Ossington has become a pretty impressive destination and is only a short walk from Liberty Village. That’s right, no car required to get to one of Toronto’s hottest strips.
As much as we love Liberty Village and all of the shops, bars and restaurants in it, one of the things we like most about Liberty Village is its proximity to all that is great in this city.
Get out there and enjoy it.