Bloordale Magazine 2022

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BLOORDALE Magazine | 2022

By: Richie Dos Santos

What’s Inside




Message from the Board

What’s This?

Lookin’ Good




Celebrating Local Business Owners

The 8th Fire and Original Family

Pride and Inclusivity




Pigeons of

BIG on Bloor

Bloordale Celebrates




Bloordale, Ink.

Bloordale Bites

Ropes, Chocolates and Toxic Spills




Vintage Fashion Culture

Bloordale Business Directory

Word Search


Bloordale Magazine | 2022 |


Message from the Board ‘Let’s Become Reacquainted’ is the theme of

On your downtime (or anytime!) enjoy the games in this

this second edition of the Bloordale BIA Maga-

edition including ‘What’s This?’ (pg 5) and our Bloor-

zine. After another year under the shadow of the

dale Word Search (pg 31), and work up an appetite with

pandemic, and with reopening, we are coming out,

Bloordale Bites (pgs 22 & 23),

showing up and celebrating everything that makes this community unique.

rectory to our 100+ local businesses at the back (pgs

In this second issue of Bloordale BIA Magazine we’re again highlighting people, projects and places, while sharing some of the different aspects (big and little!) that make Bloordale BIA, with over 45 years in operation, a unique and tight-knit busiBloordale Magazine | 2022 |

ness-community and a great place to work, live

28-30). Despite the challenges that the past year has represented, Bloordale continues to do Bloordale and is embracing 2022. #livebloordale

and play.

Board of Directors

To quote the words and sentiments of Shelley

Chair: Liza Lukashevsky

Town, local Bloordale business owner and operator

Vice Chair: Matt Park

of TOWN: “The last two years have changed the

Secretary: Niki Tsourounakis

way we connect with everyone and through it all,

Treasurer: Alicia Lumsden

the community has remained strong and connect-

Director: Rob Perry

ed…Now when we see familiar faces come through

Director: Harrison Mazis

the door, we realize it might have been months or

Director: Oliver Couto

years since our last exchange, but we pick up right

Director (Ex-Officio): Councillor Ana Bailao,

where we left off... We’re so glad we’re all still here!

Ward 9 - Davenport

The connections remain and our days are better for them.” (You can read Shelley’s story on pg 8). This theme permeates these pages - from our article of intimate stories from businesses (pgs 8-11), to the Pride & Inclusivity features of local folks sharing

Magazine Team & Credits Editors: Jennifer Lay, Liza Lukashevsky & Meg Marshall Printer: Moveable Graphic Design & Illustration: Maria Piñeros

their stories (pgs 14 & 15). We also share many

Contributing Writers & Artists:

stories of local artistic expressions in our Lookin’

Darren Leu, Grace Cameron, Jennifer Lay,

Good spread of street fashion trends (pgs 6 & 7), public art from celebrated artist Philip Cote (pgs 12 & 13), Big on Bloor’s Darren Leu (pg 18), our Bloordale, Ink. story (pgs 20 & 21), and highlights We get up close and personal with ‘A Pigeon’s Viewpoint’ (pgs 16 & 17), and ‘Ropes, Chocolates & Toxic Spills’ (pgs 24 & 25). Questions / Comments, please contact: Bloordale BIA | @discoverbloordale

Liza Lukashevsky, Mary Kainer, Meg Marshall, Niki Tsourounakis, Philip Cote, Shari Kasman Photo Credits: Liza Lukashevsky, Marla Warner, Richie Dos Santos,

of local Vintage Culture (pgs 26 & 27).


Plus, we’ve updated the convenient local business di-


Shari Kasman, Selina McCallum, Toronto Archives, One Day Creates





Marla Warner of Rebel Howl Studios @rebelhowlstudios

What’s This?! Glad you asked! It’s a montage of photos, but zoomed in, of notable things and places you may recognize in Bloordale. Take a close look and perhaps take a stroll of the main street surroundings to see if you can spot them all! Have fun guessing what they are and then find the answers on page 31 to see how you did. Feel free to share your own photos or results with us on social media: @discoverbloordale



Answers on page 31.









Bloordale Magazine | 2022 |


Tara Thrift 1292 Bloor St W

Bloordale Magazine | 2022 |

(647) 832-8006

Razan Favourite shop: Tara Thrift

Scott Favourite shop: Tara Thrift


Lookin’ Good

1256 Bloor St W (647) 352-3385

We caught up with some of Bloordale’s most stylish folks and asked them which local shop is their favourite By: Marla Warner of Rebel Howl Studios @rebelhowlstudios


Alan, Ruby and Piper Favourite shop: Nuthouse

TOWN 1187 Bloor St W

Patricia Favorite shop: TOWN

Alice and Sumaya Favourite shop: Value Village

Value Village 1319 Bloor St W (416) 539-0585

Prime Rewind Vintage 1282 Bloor St W (416) 792-3377

Chantelle Favorite shop: Prime Rewind

Olivia Favorite shop: Value Village Bloordale Magazine | 2022 |


Celebrating Local Business Owners Edited by: Grace Cameron, Editor & Publisher of JamaicanEats Magazine By: Selina McCallum @shotbyselina

Shelley Town Owner, TOWN 1187 Bloor Street West |

Bloordale Magazine | 2022 |


fearless as I was at 25, but in 2012 we pulled it off, and opened TOWN.

TOWN When I think of the store and what we do, 1187 Bloor St W I often think of my mother’s early days as a librarian, helping people every day, listening to their questions and finding the books or material they needed, giving equal time to every request, making connections. At TOWN, we try and do the same thing. Someone may come in looking for a card for their crusty uncle who hates birthdays or the old friend they just reconnected with. They end up sharing stories about their lives, families, people they miss or just met. We can have a conversation about anything, but it always becomes a sharable moment and an opportunity for connection with no strings attached and no commitment.

Growing up in downtown Toronto, I loved listening to my parents and their friends tell stories. As kids, my sister and I would listen for snippets of adult conversations during parties and holiday gatherings at our house. My father, Harold, was an artist and my mother, Trudie, was a librarian. Their eclectic guest lists meant we were exposed to many different types of people and personalities. We were lucky enough to also have parents who allowed us to ask questions about anything — no topic was off-limits. Like the rest of my family, I was comfortable talking to people and listening to their stories. As I got older, this led to my first part-time job in retail, when I was 16, selling blue jeans at Hercules Sales on Yonge Street, a few blocks away from Jarvis Collegiate where I attended high school. Many more adventures in retail followed, selling everything from shoes and chocolate to coffee and cookware and, eventually, managing Urban Paper, a very 1980s cool stationery store on Queen Street West. In 1987, I opened PULP, a tiny 355-square-foot card and paper store on Danforth Avenue. I had a $40,000 budget for everything — rent, renovations, fixtures, inventory, etc. I was 25 and had no fear. Luckily it was a success and I sold PULP to a friend after 11 years and later opened Butterfield 8, a design and accessories store, also on the Danforth.



A few years of retail consulting for the TIFF Shop, York University and Food & Drink magazine after the closing of Butterfield 8 in 2006 was an exciting, new experience but an entirely different kind of retail and buying environment. I found that I missed being behind the counter — the daily conversations, catching up with regulars and memorable one-time interactions with people you might never see again. It was time to put a new store together — 25 years after opening my first one. This time around it was going to cost a lot more, and at 50 I wasn’t quite as

It’s these connections and conversations throughout the day that build a neighbourhood and a community. “Casual acquaintanceships,” as I call them, so beneficial to all of us. Over the 10 years that TOWN has been open we’ve developed hundreds of these warm acquaintanceships. Some have led to true friendships. Some connections even end up coming full circle, like the people who remember shopping at PULP as kids and are now, as adults, customers at TOWN. The Bloordale neighbourhood has been the perfect place to grow and continue these conversations. The last two years have changed the way we connect with everyone and through it all, the community has remained strong and connected even when the store was closed to instore shopping for months on end. Now when we see familiar faces come through the door, we realize it might have been months or years since our last exchange, but we pick up right where we left off. We share some neighbourhood gossip or speak of new jobs, old friends, crazy politicians and just trying to get through it all. “I’m so glad you’re still here” people will say about the store. We’re so glad we’re all still here! The connections remain and our days are better for them.

Prakash and Jay Patel Owners, SL Graphics & Printing Inc 1246 Bloor St. W. @slgraphicsinc

Mr. Patel was happy to provide the reference but also informed Prakash that he was planning to sell the business. Prakash, who was job hunting at the time, got the idea to buy the company. Having worked with a number of different companies over the years, he had industry experience. Since then, Prakash has been running the show, serving the community one print at a time. I’m Jay, Prakash’s son. I’ve followed in my father’s footsteps, studying graphic design and joining him in the business. I manage most of the design and printing along with our other designer Dipesh Lad who has been with the company since the days of Mr. Patel. At SL Graphics, we put our all into every order, no matter the size of the job. A fast and efficient service, combined with quality work, is what brings people back. Now our many years of hard work is paying off as our small Bloordale shop will soon be opening another Toronto location in Brampton. This is a big deal for a little company. But our loyal clientele has been reaching out to us from other areas of the GTA, and even from the U.S. So, the story continues as we grow, servicing loyal clients and welcoming new ones. We believe that with the loving support of the Bloordale community that our shop will SL Graphics & Printing remain in the community for a long time. 1246 Bloor St W (416) 531-4377

SL Graphics & Printing Inc has had quite the run, serving the Bloordale Community for more than 25 years. Prakash Patel, the current owner, has been running SL Graphics since 2010. The backstory of how Prakash came to own and operate the little shop on Bloor Street, goes something like this: Born in Mumbai, India, Prakash studied graphic design and worked in the field of screen printing for about five years before moving to Toronto in the early 1990s. His first job was at SL Graphics, working for the previous owner Mr. Lallubhai Patel, a lovely elderly man who was well known in the neighbourhood. Mr. Patel started the company possibly in the 1990s, first operating on Marguerreta Street before moving onto Bloor Street. After working at SL Graphics, Prakash moved on to other companies. Fast forward a decade, he contacted Mr. Patel, his past employer, when he needed a job reference.

Bloordale Magazine | 2022 |


Shorof Uddin, Mohammad Kabir, Sivaneswaran Sivapragasam (Siva) Co-owners, Uncle Sid’s Deli 1263 Bloor Street West Uncle Sid’s Deli 1263 Bloor Street

Bloordale Magazine | 2022 |


lieved that one day we would own and operate a deli business together. “Later”, he would say. But he passed away before that could happen. After his passing, we did not want to lose what he had built over all these years. His daughters - my wife Anwara and her sister Shunara - convinced us to keep the restaurant going. We didn’t know anything about the roti business; however, we did know the deli business. And so, we came together: myself, Shunara’s husband, Kabir and my close friend, who I’ve been working together with at different deli’s for over 20 years, Siva, to open Uncle Sid’s Deli.

Shorof’s story about Uncle Sid: We miss him a lot. Everybody misses him. He was my father-in-law, but he was also my good friend. I first met Mashud Siddique in Toronto in 1988. We’re both from Bangladesh and we became good friends. I met his daughter Anwara through him and in 1994 we got married. For 25 years, until his death last year, Uncle Sid, as he was popularly known, ran Vena’s Roti. The shop started out on Queen Street West in the 1990s before moving to Bloordale in 2004. He quickly won over the community with his Guyanese-style roti and big heart, giving away thousands of meals every year, particularly around Thanksgiving. Although he made a name for himself selling roti, he started his food career in deli. He was the one who first encouraged me to enter the world of deli food and be-


We named the shop Uncle Sid’s because up to this day people keep asking about him. And, in fact, 75 to 80 per cent of our business comes from his former customers. To have a Deli of his own was Uncle Sid’s dream. So, while he’s no longer here, his memory lives on.

Anyway, I turned my attention to automobile engineering, which I had also studied after high school. In Iran, I was employed in the aircraft industry, working on F4, F5 and Hercules jet engines.

Eddy Raisi

I moved to Canada with my family in 1989. My brotherin-law asked if I wanted to open a restaurant, but I was more excited to take over a vacuum store, because of the mechanical angle. It was one of about five or six being managed by brother-in-law at the time.

Owner, A2Z Vacuums 1189 Bloor Street West (416) 536-5956

Back in 1989, the store dealt exclusively with Filter Queen vacuums. When I took over, I added other Owner A2Z Vacuums makes and models and business flourished until 1189 Bloor Street West about eight years ago. YouTube has killed the vacuum service business as more people are watching (416) 536-5956 YouTube videos and fixing their vacuums themselves. Plus, people are now buying their vacuums on Amazon. Except for a loyal customer base, there are fewer people coming into the store now. While the business has changed, so has Bloordale. The neighbourhood has gone from good, to bad, to worse, and back to good. It was a family-oriented community in 1989 with ethnic groups like the Italians and the Portuguese. Then, the 1991/1992 recession saw an influx of drugs, an increase in prostitution and break-ins. I had 13 to 14 break-ins during that time and would sometimes find people sleeping on the doorstep. But it has been a better place in the last eight to 10 years. Now I’m an older man…I’ll be 69 in September…and stores like mine are closing or planning to close. But so long as I don’t have to put my hand in my pocket to support the business, I would rather stay put.

Food was my first love.

I operate the business at my own pace these days. So, I continue to enjoy life here with the customers. I’m a positive man. I’m an old man with a young heart and I hope to keep going until I can’t.

After high school I worked in my father’s bakery in Mumbai, India, where I was born and had been pitching in since I was a child. We baked bread nearly 24 hours a day, except around Easter and during the season when people fasted. On the heels of the bakery, I also took over an Indian restaurant in Tehran, the capital of Iran, where my family is from. I was 21 and had moved there because my father owned property. I took care of those, including the restaurant, while going back and forth to the bakery in Mumbai. After a while though, the food business lost its charm and became a bit of a headache. For example, people would look at the bread coming right out of the oven and ask if it was fresh. At the restaurant in Tehran, customers constantly asked if the ice was fresh. It was annoying but I eventually came to learn that, in reality, ice can indeed be fresh or stale.

Bloordale Magazine | 2022 |


Bloordale Magazine | 2022 |

By: Richie Dos Santos


“THE 8TH FIRE and ORIGINAL FAMILY” Mural Painted by: Philip Cote, MFA, Young Spiritual Elder, Artist, Activist, Ancestral Knowledge Keeper, and Historian

The Moose represents the wisdom of the forest and also the gentle teacher, a place where our young ones can learn.

Website: philipcote

Turtle represents Turtle Island and Truth.

Mural completed in: Summer 2021

Wolf represents Humility and Humanity.

Funded and Supported by: City of Toronto Outdoor Mural Grant and the Bloordale BIA @philipcote_indigenous_artist

Beaver represents Wisdom and the Earth. Raven represents Honesty and the Sky. Bear represents Bravery and the power of the North. Eagle represents Love and the power of the South. Buffalo represents Respect and the power in the West.


The ancestors called this time we are in “The Eighth Fire”, a time of our return back to the original knowledge of our ancestors. It’s said the bear would leave a trail for us to follow and that would help us remember our identity and purpose. This will be a time of mingling of the western ways and the Indigenous ways and from this the new people will be born and they will change the world of man and mother earth will become balanced and in harmony again. The Eighth Fire is a time to look to those original sources of knowledge. Where do we start? We start with the original family, the animal kingdom that is the source of much of our wisdom. What the Indigenous People call this knowledge is Land-based Pedagogy. Meaning that the wisdom of the land and animals from thousands of years of observation has accumulated from these experts, the animals. Original families wisdom was put into our ceremonies to help us stay close to nature where balance and harmony prevail to this day.

Bloordale Magazine | 2022 |


Pride and Inclusivity Bloordale Magazine | 2022 |

By: Marla Warner of Rebel Howl Studios Curated by Niki Tsourounakis


Carmine What LGBTQ2+ person has been someone you look up to and why? I look up to anyone within the Queer community that lives their lives openly, no matter their age or when they are able to come out safely. I also love Keith Haring, I was exposed to his art at a very young age and consider him a North Star in my creative pursuits. How does Bloordale represent diversity? Bloordale is a community that strives to have progressive leadership in positions of change. I believe that many of the local business owners aim to be welcoming to many people of different backgrounds and gender representations. What’s your favourite part about this neighbourhood? The community. I love that our customers and neighbours become our acquaintances and friends.


Katy What LGBTQ2+ person has been someone you look up to and why? Gabrielle Hamilton is admirable for her interdisciplinary skills: chef, storyteller, author, business owner. How does Bloordale represent diversity? Bloordale is host to such a unique variety of cuisines in only a few blocks - Vietnamese, Jamaican, Hakka, Ethiopian, Korean, Italian, Mexican - to name only a few! What’s your favourite part about this neighbourhood? I can support another progressive small business owner for all of my basic needs, and with such ease. Most of the owners work in their shops and live in Bloordale too <3

Sean What LGBTQ2+ person has been someone you look up to and why? For me, the one person I looked up to the most would have been my Uncle Mark. Growing up he was the only gay person I knew and was my first introduction into what being gay was. I watched him battle HIV my entire childhood and his fight showed me to not give up and his relationship with his partner showed me I could also find love. How does Bloordale represent diversity? Bloordale has so many different cultural representations as you walk through it. The murals painted on business walls show artistic diversity. Also within blocks of one another you have a Buddhist Temple, a Mosque, and multiple churches. What’s your favourite part about this neighbourhood? For me it is the actual feeling of a community. Also the annual Bloordale Pumpkin event. I enjoy seeing all the creativity and spirit Bloordale Village has.

Bloordale Magazine | 2022 |


Pigeons of Bloordale

Bloordale Magazine | 2022 |

Words and

by: Shari Kasman

Anyone who has walked through Bloordale knows the southwest corner of Bloor and Dufferin is a complete oasis for pigeons. It’s even labelled ‘Pigeon Corner’ on Google Maps. Those birds will hang out on the basketball court or perch on top of the fence along Bloor, then fly in a flock to the roof of Virgo Beauty Salon for a visit before heading back to the fence. Sometimes they’ll roost at the top of Kent School. There are offshoot pigeon hubs throughout the neighbourhood, but it’s clear that headquarters is Pigeon Corner where it can be an obstacle course navigating around birds or food thrown their way. The neighbourhood had an even larger pigeon contingency when the Ontario Giant Runt Club was on Brock Avenue, just north of Bloor, next to Saponetti. The oxymoron ‘Giant Runt’ in the club’s name refers to a large domesticated pigeon. It was a club for people who owned, bred, and showed and/or raced pigeons. They’d trade pigeons, too. On my one visit to the club, the men there offered me a chair, then brought out beer and lupini beans. I’d already had the inside scoop on the goings on since I live next to a former club member who has around twenty pigeons in a coop


attached to his garage. The club members’ pigeons are different from the feral ones we see on the street that are often seen as a nuisance. There’s a regular roster of pigeon feeders in the neighbourhood, each with their own particular schedule and food offering of choice. Some do their route on foot, others by bike. There are those who prefer to throw cubes of bread from plastic bags while others rip chunks off a roll, and some dump out whatever’s been sitting at the back of their fridge for the past month. Earlier this year, scattered across the ground at Pigeon Corner was a penne salad with baby potatoes, red peppers, carrots, beets, and onions, with three containers of dressing on the side. I imagine the birds had a tricky time pouring dressing on their lunch. On another day they were served canned chickpeas and cooked rice. Feeding pigeons is actually problematic. The food left for them doesn’t only attract pigeons, but is also enticing to other species, like rats.Bloor and Dufferin is notorious for its large rat population. Also, overfeeding pigeons leads to overbreeding, which is a huge concern. The number one problem with pigeons is their droppings. A single adult pigeon will offload twenty-five pounds of feces per year. Aside from the fact that it’s unsightly, it can carry up to sixty bacterial and viral diseases, and also, it’s acidic so it causes damage to buildings. Pigeons that are overfed will breed up to six times per year, whereas if they have to find their own food, they breed more like three times per year. When they need to forage for their dinner, which they’re able to do without the help of humans, it leaves them with less time for mating. I made attempts at putting an end to pigeon feeding by posting signs, though I don’t believe they made much of a difference.


FAQ on Pigeon Feeding Q: Is feeding feral pigeons a good idea? An existing by-law prohibits people from feeding wildlife in parks, but in July 2021, Kristyn WongTam, Councillor for Ward 13, put out a motion proposing a ban on feeding pigeons everywhere in the city. So far, no decision has been made but even if a ban is in place, will anyone enforce it? Other cities have managed to minimize their pigeon populations, but a pigeon-feeding ban has not been the answer. In Basel, Switzerland they found such a ban ineffective since it was hard to control, but they did manage to reduce the pigeon population through a combination of public education on the harmful impact of feeding pigeons, creating lofts for roosting and breeding where actual eggs were swapped with dummy eggs to control the pigeon population, and by creating “man-pigeon encounter areas’’ nearby where feeding pigeons was allowed—these would be areas more suitable for pigeon crowding than the sidewalk at Bloor and Dufferin. In the UK, PiCAS (Pigeon Control Advisory Service) has adopted this PETA-approved approach developed in Basel and has helped to disseminate and implement the tactics in other European cities, like Paris, France and Augsburg, Germany. So, as long as pigeons continue to be fed loaves of bread and other delicacies, the pigeon population in Bloordale will continue to expand. With impending construction taking place on the southwest corner of Bloor and Lansdowne, the pigeons might decide to spend more time across the road at the seniors’ residence, at least until they can take over each and every ledge on the future condo towers.

A: No, it’s a bad idea. It promotes overbreeding and attracts rats. Q: Isn’t bread good for pigeons? A: No, it doesn’t contain nutrients that pigeons require to be healthy birds. Q: What if I have too much bread at home and can’t eat it all? A: Give it to another human being, if it’s still edible. Otherwise, put it in your compost bin. Q: If I don’t feed pigeons, how will they find food? A: Pigeons have better eyesight than humans do. They’ll even find the tiniest morsel of granola bar that fell on the sidewalk. Q: What kind of food can they find on their own? A: Feral pigeons will find fruit and berries, grains and seeds, and of course, any scraps of food. They’ll also eat earthworms, snails, and other insects for protein. Q: Can pigeons find food in the winter? A: Yes, they are very skilled at finding food and can manage fine throughout winter. Q: Do pigeons have time to find food? A: Yes, since pigeons don’t have to work at a job to make money to live in the city, they can spend all of their time looking for food. They don’t expect catering services.

“Bloordale is one of my favourite neighbourhoods. The fence is a great place for catching up with my pals—that’s where I hear all the latest gossip.” - Peter Pigeon Bloordale Magazine | 2022 |


Bloordale Magazine | 2022 |

Contributed by: Darren Leu By: One Day Creates @onedaycreates

The BIG on Bloor Festival is back in-person and online with a series of participatory activities delivered by local BIPOC artists in a new hybrid format. The opening celebration takes place during a car-free Bloordale, attracting visitors to the area for the sights, sounds and support of local businesses. Further foot traffic and energy continues through public installations and online programming, showcasing local artists and participating businesses. In response to the shift in culture prompted by the pandemic, people have been reconditioned to interact only through online meetings and emails. The BIG on Bloor Festival theme this year is “RE: Union”, an invitation to join the festival as a society and community formed by others with a common interest or purpose; “Regarding Union”. The double entendre invokes the objective to gather again publicly, while also creating a dialogue of what gathering after such a cultural shift even means anymore.

Let us discuss, re:union. The festival features performances varying from music and dancing to breakdancing and drag/ballroom. Multidisciplinary projects invite visitors to contribute to workshops, and become a necessary component to be fully realized. This includes booths presenting digital projection mapping, clay-making, silk screening and spray painting workshops. The results are communal tapestries exhibited on Bloordale storefronts, as display partners and collaborators, highlighting local businesses in a tractable manner. Community members are encouraged to engage with businesses and the festival through funny commercial submissions, interactive murals and flea markets.


These curated projects reflect the diversity and energy of our downtown neighbourhood, by way of accessible multimedia, community platforms and engaging art installations and workshops. An array of opportunities to participate and explore each art site scattered throughout the incredible Bloordale strip. BIG: Bloor Improvement Group is a non-profit coalition of community groups, Business Improvement Areas (BIAs), politicians, artists, schools, service providers, institutions, gardeners, small businesses, residents and neighbours coming together to advance the economic, physical, cultural and social life of the targeted local Bloor Street by creating opportunities and events that improve the atmosphere and celebrate the area. BIG is a registered not-for-profit organization founded in 2006. More info: @bigonbloorfest

Bloordale Celebrates Bloordale Pumpkin Giveaway Meg Marshall This family-friendly event happens every year and is popular with children, families - and people of all ages actually! Organized and hosted by the Bloordale BIA, complimentary pumpkins purchased from Family Fruit and Flower are given out along with tasty snacks purchased from local businesses. The day’s festivities are accompanied by live acoustic music. It’s become a favourite event by many who look forward to connecting at the event. Held annually 5+ years now, in either Susan Tibaldi Parkette or near Bloor Collegiate. We are pleased to help show local support through this fun event!

Bloordale Snowflake Lights Richie Dos Santos In fall 2021, the Bloordale BIA lit up the main street with new snowflake lights! After many suggestions from local businesses and community members who wanted to see some winter decor, 15 snowflakes were installed. This inclusive winter symbol now brightens our streets from November to March annually.

Gingerbread Richie Dos Santos Long-time Bloordale business Penny’s Bar and friends decided to re-create their block in gingerbread just in time for the holidays, as a way to cheer passers-by up during the pandemic. They picked six businesses along Bloor Street, including Penny’s Bar, just east of Lansdowne on Bloor Street West, The massive gingerbread block is about three and a half feet long, 10 inches tall and a foot and half wide. After about “6 weeks, 150 combined hours, 15 pounds of gingerbread, 10 pounds of candy, 5 pounds of icing, and so much sugar later”, they displayed the creation in their storefront window complete with raccoons and the elusive white squirrel.

Bloordale Magazine | 2022 |


Bloordale, Ink Ink. Bloordale Magazine | 2022 |

Words and

: Liza Lukashevsky

Sometimes it feels like I’m the only person on Bloor Street without a tattoo. Whether it’s the young Gen Zs with their “stick n’ poke” fingers, or the hip Millennials flaunting their beautifully inked clavicles, or the Gen Xs who spent the later part of the last century getting their Japanese sleeve tattoo filled in, Bloordalians know what they want and are willing to make it permanent. But could I show this kind of courage and commitment? And, how would I decide what kind of image to permanently inscribe on my body? Following specific artists and then booking months in advance for a consultation and for an “exclusive” design is apparently not that unusual. A young Australian whom I met last summer, with a realistic drawing of her childhood home on her shoulder, had flown half way around the world for an appointment with her favourite tattoo artist at Ink and Water Tattoo on Bloor St (since-moved). While not that unusual, this does drain a lot of time and resources. It’s much cheaper, and on fleek, to get a small “fine line” tattoo: these are quick to do, easy to hide, and hurt less. But, being on trend can one day become completely out of date - nobody gets arm bands or tramp stamps anymore, unless it’s done “ironically”. Another option is to walk into a shop, pick out a “flash” from the wall, and get it done. Some of the boldest and most joyful flashes I’ve seen can be found right here in Bloordale at Corner Pocket (1185 Bloor St W). Panthers, snakes, skulls, and roses, all painted in bright reds, greens, and yellows. These iconic post-WWII Americana images are reconfigured here by artists committed to the American traditional style of tattoo and they are gorgeous. Braden, one of the artists here, explains that their aesthetic is closely tied to their


ethos-a respect for the tattoo scene of the past, specifically what was happening out of Doc Forbes’ shop in Vancouver and the underground New York parlours of the 1960s. The vibe at Corner Pocket is cool, open, and convivial with each artist bringing their own stamp to this artist/worker-owned spot. Braden’s specialty includes Japanese designs, artist Joey is interested in Jewish iconography, and Matt has branched out, printing his designs on a tattoo-inspired clothing line called Indestructible MFG. The space is open concept with artists and clients all close enough to share in conversation and the creative process. There’s a comfortable bench for people to hang out and watch the work, surrounded by framed prints of Corner Pocket’s beautiful and bawdy designs, like works in a pop art gallery. The effect works: this is a fun place to hang out and it might even be a good place for a “clean skin” like me to get inked. Of course, Braden warns me, everyone who comes here for their first tattoo comes back a few weeks later for another.

Braden Mangione working on a large piece// Flash Wall

‘AMERICAN TRADITIONAL’ TATTOO SYMBOLS: The Anchor: originally indicated a mariner who had crossed the atlantic Pirate Ship: good luck, new beginnings, bravery Swallow: travel and freedom Skull: life and death Rose: beauty and love Panther: prowess and virility Snake: potency and power Lady’s head: beauty and good luck

Corner Pocket Tattoo 1185 Bloor St W

Pravda Tattoo 1275 Bloor St W (647) 430-5891

Bloordale Magazine | 2022 |


Bloordale Bites Words by Meg Marshall

By: Richie Dos Santos


There are so many great eateries here in Bloordale. Community members have continually shared shout outs and praise to local businesses for their amazing diversity and affordable food options. While we can’t highlight all of our incredible local food spots in just two pages, here’s a sample of some Bloordale Bites!

Bloordale Magazine | 2022 |

Brock sandwich Brock Sandwich

@brocksandwich Local resident and chef Dominic Amaral is the owner and operator of the beloved Brock Sandwich shop. Everything is fresh and made to order. The portions are very generous and and guests certainly won’t leave hungry. They have new and creative sandwich specials, ensuring there is always something fun to try. Add a delicious side to any order, like their seasoned hand tossed fries or homemade salads. Proudly serving the community since 2013.

1260 Bloor St W (647) 748-1260



for continuing to eat, shop and celebrate local!

Seoul Shakers 1241 Bloor St W (416) 535-8606

Seoul Shakers @seoulshakers.1241 Korean inspired sharing plates are what’s on the menu at this dark and moody spot, owned by Leemo Han and Ihn Huh. Expect intense flavour, delicious cocktails, and dare to share because the dishes are just that good! The chicken wings, phat fries and roast kimchi chop cheese burgers are just some of the fan favourites. Arrive early, as they don’t take reservations.

Latin World Latin World 1229 & 1262 Bloor St W 416-603-3311

@latinworldtoronto For the past 9 years, delicious, authentic Mexican cuisine has been made to order here at Latin World. Their first location opened across the street at 1229 Bloor St W, and they have since expanded to a second Bloordale spot, a location on St. Clair Ave, and more are in the works. This family business started selling grilled chicken on the streets in Cuernavaca, Mexico, and then opened a pozole restaurant. Experience food packed with flavour, colourful presentations, and an exciting menu with options for every food lover to indulge in.

Bloordale Magazine | 2022 |


Bloordale Magazine | 2022 |

Ropes, Chocolates and Toxic spills: A brief history of Bloordale Industry Written by: Mary Kainer

By: Toronto Archives


Moloney Electric Co circa 1980s, Source: Toronto Archives


Industrial activities really began to spark in Bloordale after the turn of the 20th century. A 1903 Fire Insurance map shows only a couple of structures west of Dufferin and a few houses on Margueretta and Brock. The only significant industry in the area at the time was rope factories. McGregor Rope Factory had been there since the 1860s and James Lochrie Rope Manufacturer since 1884 (which by 1896 had become James Lochrie Rope and Bicycle). Picture Bloordale by 1910, and almost all the vacant lots on Bloor and adjacent streets are gone. Nearly a dozen new factories are situated along the rail lines between Dundas and Dupont, and more will follow in the next decade. These new industries, many with huge factories, provide jobs to the influx of new immigrants. West of Lansdowne was the massive Fairbanks-Morse Canadian Manufacturing Company Ltd. which produced radiators, engines and paints. Later, Moloney Electrical Company, JH Lock Refrigeration Machines, Canada Food Products and Imperial Woodwork moved in – some staying until the 1980s. Nearby was The King Radiator Company Ltd. North of Bloor and to the west of Lansdowne was the Toronto Railway Company Car Shed (now vacant land), the Standard Sanitary Manufacturers (plumbing supplies) and a Saw Mill. Further north were Canadian-Allis Chalmers Company and The Canada Foundry. Wallace Avenue hosted the Glidden Company that produced paints, varnishes and resins and Nacan Products Ltd. Dominion Radiator Co. Ltd. was situated where the Galleria later stood.

In April 1982, a night shift operator at Nacan Products Ltd miscalculated when mixing raw chemicals and, to cover up his mistake, illegally dumped nearly 4000 litres into the city sewers. Residents panicked when an awful stench came through their sewers and basements. Three neighbourhood schools were shut down temporarily and seven residents were hospitalized. In 1983, at the Glidden plant, open valves on a tank resulted in 2,000 litres of flammable liquid vinyl spilling into the sewers. Several households were forced to evacuate. When it closed, Glidden left behind massively contaminated land requiring cleanup after residents were again bombarded with smells causing headaches, and nosebleeds. In 2009, the site was deemed safe and is now a residential area. Similar cleanups at the Canadian Allis-Chalmers and Canada Foundry sites paved the way to residential use. Our Bloordale community is still home to a few industries (gelatin, nuclear fuel, chocolate confectionary, breweries) but since most of the historical sites have been demolished or converted into residential units we thought a brief history to remind us of these roots would be industrious and worthy use of these pages.

South of Bloor along St. Helen’s Avenue were smaller industries including millwork, die-casting and clothing production companies. Scythes & Company (later renamed Flying Colours International) was a textile product company that thrived at 128 Sterling Road for a century. Sterling has always had confectionary companies and is still home to the Nestle factory. These industries provided valuable employment but at an environmental cost. Many operations emitted toxins and contaminated the soil. Two notorious examples:

Canada Foundry circa 1900, Source: Toronto Archives (public domain)

Bloordale Magazine | 2022 |


Vintage Fashion Culture:

A View From Bloordale’s WAYBACH team by: Marla Warner of Rebel Howl Studios @rebelhowlstudios

Interview with


Bloordale Magazine | 2022 |


1344 Bloor Street W.

With vintage fashion culture firmly entrenched in Bloordale and growing locally and globally, the Waybach team is among the veterans of the vintage fashion movement. Established in 2014, WAYBACH started off thrifting and now source and sell vintage worldwide. They are known for their cool curated vintage clothes, from vintage tees, hoodies and some of the finest sportswear and high-end vintage in Toronto. Whether you’re a collector or new to vintage gear they provide that nostalgic feeling and unique pieces to customers through their bricks and mortar storefront in Bloordale as well as their online store. Here’s what the WAYBACH team had to share:

Why is vintage fashion and clothing such a trend? The Fashion industry is wasteful when it comes to creating clothing. Society has begun to place focus on sustainability and recycling in order to reduce our overall carbon footprint. If you are into Fashion it’s more a lifestyle than a trend. Vintage fashion is just one part of the industry and a new way to help reduce waste by giving old clothes a new life. Also it is a unique way to show who you are.

Why do you think Bloordale has become

96 Tears Vintage 1267 Bloor St W (416) 829-4778


Odd Finds General Store 1178 Bloor St W (647) 345-1178

Prime Rewind Vintage 1282 Bloor St W (416) 792-3377

Why do you think Bloordale has become such a hot scene for vintage?

Have any famous people purchased from you?

In the last 2 years we have seen more vintage shops (clothing and retail) move into our community. For us it was the lower rent and feeling that we could contribute to the already growing area by bringing more foot traffic. Shout out to Uncle Vintage and Value Village for starting the vintage wave!

We have been selling vintage since 2013 and have sold to different brands and celebrities. We appreciate everyone that has supported us and wish everyone success moving forward!

What are the top five most coveted items? With our team of four, each one of us has a distinct and unique style and taste. Not having a singular style focus makes this question too hard to answer. We love all clothes.

Note your future predictions for vintage fashion and retail. The Vintage Fashion industry is going to keep growing. More vintage stores will keep popping up and you will see more brands pull reference from vintage pieces

Which items are most requested in your shop? Workwear is definitely on the rise. We have so many different types of clients coming into the shop. We’d say it’s more based on the history and the story behind the items than a set list of most requested. We have tag hunters, era gurus, history nerds, and new-to-the-scene customers all finding items that seem to “jump out” to them.

What is the most rare item(s) you folks have come across? We have found some vintage band and rap tees that are worth a lot. A lot of these shirts are seen as collectibles now.

How is shopping vintage beneficial to the earth and the community? Our slogan is “Help us, help you save the planet. Buy vintage”. By reducing the amount of textiles that go to landfill, in some small part we are helping reduce the carbon footprint and the overall waste that we as humans produce.

Salvation Army Thrift Store 1219 Bloor St W (416) 533-9553

Tara Thrift

Value Village

1292 Bloor St W

1319 Bloor St W

(647) 832-8006

(416) 539-0585

Bloordale Magazine | 2022 |


BLOORDALE BUSINESS DIRECTORY Updated as of spring 2022


Bloordale Magazine | 2022 |

Bike Depot 1222 Bloor St W (416) 531-1028 Sweet Pete’s Bike Shop 1204 Bloor St W (416) 533-4481

Cafe/Bar/Restaurant/ Food Takeout Adal Restaurant 1160 Bloor St W (416) 519-9223 African Delight 1180 Bloor St W (416) 537-4063 Afrobeats Kitchen 1165 Bloor St W (416) 880-2994 Ali Baba’s 1283 Bloor St W (416) 913-4463 Alma 1194 Bloor St W (647) 346-1881 Bar Neon 1226 Bloor St W (647) 748-6366 Bianco Restaurant 1201 Bloor St W (647)748-6000


BRG Virtual Kitchens 1208 Bloor St W (647) 340-4360

Gino’s Pizza

Seoul Shakers

1158 Bloor St W (866) 310-4466

1241 Bloor St W (416) 535-8606

Brock Sandwich 1260 Bloor St W (647) 748-1260

Grey Tiger 1190 Bloor St W (647) 925-3310

Shakers Club 1261 Bloor St W

Buco Cafe Mercato 615A Brock Ave (647) 919-8685

Happy Cup Bar & Restaurant 1274 Bloor St W (647) 350-0287

Burdock 1184 Bloor St W (416) 546-4033 Caravan Cafe and Tea House 1165 Bloor St W (416) 516-8986

Home Baking Co 1242 Bloor St W (647) 350-3400 House of Lancaster 1215 Bloor St W (416) 534-2385

Caribbean Queen of Patties 1294 Bloor St W (416) 538-1732

Island Hot & Spicy 1334 Bloor St W coming soon

Chito’s 1308 Bloor St W (416) 530-7777

King’s Chef Chinese Restaurant 1266 Bloor St W (416) 532-8882

Club Paradise 1313 Bloor St W (416) 535-0723 Conzo’s 1279 Bloor St W (416) 792-1279 Daily Grind 426 St Clarens Ave (416) 546-6933 Duffy’s Tavern 1238 Bloor St W (416) 628-0330 Galaxy T&T 1227A Bloor St W

Leeko Roll & Bowl 685 Lansdowne Ave Unit 2 (416) 531-0166 Latin World 1229 & 1262 Bloor St W (416) 603-3311 Penny’s 1306 Bloor St W (647) 350-2337 Pizza Pizza 1193 Bloor St W (416) 967-1111 Ruru Baked 659 Lansdowne Ave

South Indian Dosa Mahal 1285 Bloor St W (416) 588-4147 Subway Restaurant 1171 Bloor St W (416) 535-9559 Sugo 1281 Bloor St W (416) 535-1717 Tadka Express 675 Lansdowne Ave The Burger Bros 1316 Bloor St W (416) 533-4044 The John 1174 Bloor St W (416) 532-7583 The Three Speed 1163 Bloor St W (647) 430-3834 Tim Horton’s 1251 Bloor St W (416) 551-9329 Uncle Sid’s Deli 1263 Bloor St W (416) 516-2327 4th and 7 1211 Bloor St W (647) 348-4500

TESOC Multicultural Settlement Services

Gallery Mercer Union 1286 Bloor St W

(416) 536-1519

685 Lansdowne Ave Unit1 A (416) 536-5678 The Buddhist Association of Canada & Hong Fa Temple 1330 Bloor St W, (416) 537-1342

Super Mart Convenience 1205 Bloor St W (416) 531-3771

Beyond Beauty 346 Margueretta St 416-281-8996

TL Variety 1264 Bloor St W (416) 536-5496

B Side Barbers 428 St Clarens Ave (416) 564-5191

Tower City Dollar & Variety 1232 Bloor St W (416) 533-7007

Comfrey Spa 1252 Bloor St W (416) 792-8457

Community Service/Faith Based Organization Ana Bailao Constituency Office 1240 Bloor St W (416) 392-7012 Bloor Lansdowne Christian Fellowship 1307 Bloor St W 416-535-9578 Islamic Information & Dawa Centre 1168 Bloor St W (416) 536-8433 Marit Stiles MPP Constituency Office 1199 Bloor St W (416) 535-3158 Midwives Collective of Toronto 1203 Bloor St W (416) 963-8842 MP Julie Dzerowicz Constituency Office 1202 Bloor St W (416) 654-8048 New Horizon’s Tower 1140 Bloor St W 416 536-6111 Safe Haven 1173 Bloor St W (416) 535-8525

Corner Pocket Tattoo 1185 Bloor St W

Grocery/ Corner Store Bangladesh Corner Variety 611 Brock Ave (416) 537-2661 Bengal Grocery 1220 Bloor St W (416) 534-9868 Easy Health 1276 Bloor St W (416) 474-2526 Economy Fruit 1170 Bloor St W (416) 534-4889

Health & Wellness Anatomica 1302 & 1277 Bloor St W (416) 890-1505 Bloordale Pharmacy 1290 Bloor St W (416) 538-9962 Discount Optical 1312 Bloor St W (416) 532-7997 Dr. Tri Tang Ngyuen Dental Office 1198 Bloor St W (416) 536-8523

Family Fruit & Flower 1180 Bloor St W (416) 531-2188

Ultra-Bloor Pharmacy 1254 Bloor St W (416) 792-3021

Five Star Variety 1210 Bloor St W (416) 532-3461

1196 Bloor St W (416) 588-2880

Harar Grocery 1320 Bloor St W (416) 220-4442 Hasty Market 1310 Bloor St W Nuthouse 1256 Bloor St W (647) 352-3385

YDO - Your Dental Office

Spa/Beauty/Hair/ Barber Shop/ tattoo

Glossix Nail Spa 1296 Bloor St W (416) 532-2421 Shred Salon 1265 Bloor St W (647) 444-6096 Magic Touch Beauty Salon 1250 Bloor St W (416) 588-0632 Mona Lisa Hair Salon 1179 Bloor St W (416) 530-0247 Nail Spa & Massage 1203b Bloor St W (647) 352-3689 Pravda Tattoo 1275 Bloor St W (647) 430-5891 Queen’s Shop Fine Hair Dressing 1169 Bloor St W (416) 539-0660 TCM Spa 1218 Bloor St W (416) 538-1331

Aces Hair Studio 430 St Clarens Ave (647) 448-7877

Bloordale Magazine | 2022 |


Bloordale Magazine | 2022 |

Virgo Beauty 1156 Bloor St W (416) 532-8132

Furniture Emporium 1237 Bloor St W (416) 535-3844

SL Graphics & Printing 1246 Bloor St W (416) 531-4377

Salvation Army Thrift Store 1219 Bloor St W (416) 533-9553

Vito’s Barbershop 1258 Bloor St W (416) 531-4771

Great Furniture 1300 Bloor St W (416) 516-4997

Sonali Currency Exchange 1284 Bloor St W (416) 536-7266

Tara Thrift 1292 Bloor St W (647) 832-8006

Indestructible HQ 1185 Bloor St W

The Bee Shop 1340 Bloor St W (416) 533-2337

Value Village 1319 Bloor St W (416) 539-0585

The Spot 1280 Bloor St W (416) 901-4070

Waybach Vintage

Specialty Retail & SERVICE

International Cellular Ltd 1192 Bloor St W (416) 588-0710

African Modern & Traditional Dresses 1346 Bloor St W (647) 719-9134

It’s Pay Day 1250 Bloor St W (416) 588-5626

Amkay’s Textiles 1181 Bloor St W (416) 532-3130

Mackie Biernacki 1244 Bloor St W (416) 816-4661

A2Z Vacuums 1189 Bloor St W (416) 536-5956

Music Therapy Centre 1175 Bloor St W (416) 535-0200

Bloor Army Surplus 1212 Bloor St W (647) 350-3322

New Way Upholstery 609 Brock Ave (416) 532-0195

Bloordale Village Laundromat 1268 Bloor St W (647) 456-8965

Qrint Studio 1243 Bloor St W (416) 535-7468

BMO Bank of Montreal 1293 Bloor St W (416) 531-3561 Cell Phone Clinic 1212A Bloor St W (416) 997-6162 Dead Dog Records 1209 Bloor St W (647) 748-0748 Fohr Design Studio 1348 Bloor St W (416) 670-3047


QT Jewellery & Watches 1183 Bloor St W (416) 459-2779 Saponetti Refill Depot 615c Brock Ave (647) 344-1875 SPAR Marathon 1360 Bloor St W (416) 534-8421 Sunny Buy & Sell 1273 Bloor St W (416) 539-9170 Sun Dry Cleaning 673 Lansdowne Ave (416) 532-3222

The Sword & Board 1193 Bloor St W (647) 350-7529 Town 1187 Bloor St W (647) 748-8696 Tram Anh Studio 1198 Bloor St W (647) 346-2649 Wine Rack 1298 Bloor St W (416) 538-0314

1344 Bloor St W 96 Tears Vintage 1267 Bloor St W (416) 829-4778

Pet Store Dee Tails Grooming 1264 Bloor St W (416) 887-3590 Earth Echoes 1192 Bloor St W (416) 389-3143

That Dog Next Door

Thrift & VINTAGE Eyesore Cinema 1176 Bloor St W (416) 955-1599 Lucky Tiger Vintage 1269 Bloor St W coming soon Odd Finds General Store 1178 Bloor St W (647) 345-1178 Ransack the Universe 1207 Bloor St W (647) 703-6675

1230 Bloor St W (416) 533-8363

Bloordale Word Search Take a moment and have some fun, finding these Bloordale inspired words.












Laneways Tattoos

Answers to What’s This?

1. Corner Pocket Tattoo

5. Afrobeats Kitchen

9. Sugo

(Page 5)

2. Queen’s Shop Fine Hairdressing

6. Nuthouse

10. Latin World

3. Eyesore Cinema

7. Five Star Variety

11. door, 1179 Bloor St W

4. Grey Tiger

8. Anatomica

12. Bengal Grocery

Bloordale Magazine | 2022 |


Bloordale Magazine | 2022 |



@discoverbloordale |

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