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theBLOORDALE press Community News from Ward 18

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DECEMBER 2011 volume 1/issue 7

Locals lobby to expand Perth/ Dupont Library BY JUSTIN MILLERSON Ward 18 community residents aired their ideas about what changes they would like to see happen to the Perth-Dupont Library. A Nov. 22 meeting at St. Josaphat’s Ukrainian Catholic Church, at 110 Franklin Ave., wasn’t hosted by the city, but instead by a group of Juction Triangle residents. Councillor Ana Bailao, however was in attendance among the roughly 30 people. “We deserve a better and bigger library,” she said in her opening statement. A handful of suggestions were made by residents, but each comment came to a common consensus — a community space in which anyone one in the community can enjoy. Bailao, along with the local supporters, were advocating by pushing for an expansion for the 34-year-old branch and so far their efort has been successful.

see PERTH LIBRARY, page 3

INSIDE ELEMENTARY CHESS Kids at Pauline Public School are learning some valuable lessons on the chess board

Page 2

Bloor/Gladstone Library played host to the inal budget consultation meeting on November 25. PHOTO By GURPREET GHAG

LIBRARY BOARD REFUSES TO CUT BACK ON ITS HOURS BY GURPREET GHAG Ater much consultation, Toronto’s public library board has refused to approve Sunday closures and other operating hourly cuts at a bunch of its branches, including Bloor/Gladstone (1101 Bloor St. W). In October, the board approved a budget 5.7 per cent ($9.72 million) lower than the year prior, but then asked a report be produced on how to meet the city’s 10 per cent ($17 million) target. On November 25, at a public consultation at Bloor/Gladstone, library staf presented a proposal that included shaving hours at

56 of its branches (saving $5.1 million) and cutting back on the purchases of new items (saving $1.9 million). he meeting was attended by roughly 60 people including Councillors Ana Bailão (ward 18) and Mike Layton (ward 19). Layton began the meeting by saying “things don’t look good” when it comes to the number of Councillors against the idea of lowering the Libraries’ budgets. “It’s extremely unfortunate because it doesn’t have to be this way,” he said. he crowd was then presented with Bloor/Gladstone’s projected hours.

If implemented, the library would go from its current 69 hour week to 59.5 hours and its schedule would look like this: CURRENT HOURS Monday 9:00 am - 8:30 pm Tuesday 9:00 am - 8:30 pm Wednesday 9 am. - 8:30 pm hursday 9:00 am - 8:30 pm Friday 9:00 am - 8:30 pm Saturday 9:00 am - 5:00 pm Sunday 1:30 pm - 5:00 pm PROPOSED HOURS Monday 12:30 pm - 8:30 pm Tuesday 9:00 am - 8:30 pm Wednesday 9:00 am - 8:30 pm hursday 12:30 pm - 8:30 pm

Friday 9:00 am - 6:00 pm Saturday 9:00 am - 5:00 pm Sunday 1:30 pm - 5:00 pm Perth/Dupont Library (1589 Dupont St.) would remain operating at its 40 hour week, while the Parkdale (1303 Queen St. W) branch would digress from 69 hours a week to 56, including being closed on Sundays. However, at a Library Board meeting on December 12, a 13 panel committee voted against all further cuts. City Council will now vote on a new budget by January 20, and either approve the proposed budget or implement one of their own.

PATTY QUEEN’S BIG MOVE Bloordale’s and perhaps the city’s inest patty maker moves from her original front

TM

Page 6 THE DuWEST ART CRAWL he irst of a yearly event sheds some light on Dundas West’s growing art gallery scene

Page 10

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02 The Bloordale Press DECEMBER 2011

News

hai Do, Daniel Rodgers, Jade Nodwell, Adrienne McGee, Roxy Chen, Andrew Matheson, Alexander Baios, Julia Galbraith and Jeremy Hughes attending a dedication ceremony for WW1 pilot William Barker in September at Mount Pleasent Cemetary, PHOTO By MICHELLE LEUNG

Bloor C.I. arts and crafts fair has a fair turnout BY GURPREET GHAG Bloor Collegiate’s cafeteria put the mashed potatoes and chicken ingers on hold on Dec. 3 to serve out a dish of arts with a side of crats, raising money for a student trip to the Vimy Ridge memorial.

Twenty vendors were set up inside the maroon-and-gold themed lunchroom at the high school and were selling everything from water colour paintings to sock dolls. Near the centre of the fair, artcollective Elephant Shoes (1342 Bloor St. W.) held art battles where

two artists went brush-stroke for brush-stroke in a timed, themed duel. Somewhere near the back of the fair, a student planning to go to Vimy was sitting in for a vendor who couldn’t make the sale, selling her stained glass ornaments.

Andrew Matheson, who is in Grade 11, said the fair went a lot better than he expected. He also said he was divided in enjoyment between the historical value of the trip and just going to Europe in general. “I’m excited for both. My dad went to Vimy Ridge and really enjoyed it,” Matheson said. “He said it was an eye-opening experience. I’m really excited to see Europe and then go to the Ridge, the battle that deined Canada.” he students are headed to the Canadian National Vimy Memorial near Arras in northern France which commemorates the Canadians killed in the battle. On Easter Monday 1917, Canadians opened up with a barrage from more than 1,000 guns on German positions before about 15,000 Canadians troops went over the top in the irst wave of attack. housands more followed the irst wave and by the time the battle ended four days later, the

Canadians overran Vimy Ridge at a cost of more than 10,600 dead and wounded. It was the irst time ever that an all-Canadian force fought together, and it snatched victory where their British and French allies failed. It was also a signiicant marker in Canadian history in the road towards full independence from Britain. Julia Galbraith, the teacher who will be accompanying the students overseas, said the event was a success, but hoped it would have been a little bit busier. “As far as vendors, I’m quite happy, but as far as customers went, we could have had more – it came in lows,” she said. “Everyone who came in bought something.” About $800 was raised through the renting of tables and snacks and refreshments sales. Before the group leaves for Europe in April, they will be holding more fundraisers (nothing speciic just yet), while continuously selling magazine subscriptions.

Learning about life, one move at a time BY MATT LOPES

One of the round tables in play in a irst grade class at Pauline Public School. PHOTO By MATT LOPES

he students at Pauline Junior Public School (100 Pauline Ave.) have been given the opportunity to stash away the textbooks and take out the chess boards as a new program utilizes the classic board game to educate them on aspects of the curriculum and life in general, and as a side note, they’re also learning how to play chess. Principal Ken Kroeker said he has always been an advocate for the chess program while he was stationed at other schools and believes it’s a perfect it for the kids at Pauline P.S. “he students are learning that in life every decision you make has a consequence, sometimes it’s good and sometimes it’s bad,” said Kroeker “the same way that every move you make on a chess board also has a consequence.” Kroecker added that the program goes above and beyond any educan tion that could be gained from a simple chess club as the instructors k are using the nearly 1,000 year .m. old game in a modern way to teach stut. dents everything from mathematics,. language, life skills, integrity, honesty, e friendship and responsibility. l “In a sense it doesn’t just teach the curriculum it enhances it,” said e Kroecker. In one of the school’s irst grade

classrooms the students were drawn silent and to attention as the teacher announced “chess time.” Yakos Spiliotopoulos, Director of School Development, took over the class as he taught students the capabilities of a new chess piece (the knight) while relating the game to aspects of respect and sportsmanship through encouragement. “In order for this to be successful it has to be fun irst, and we have never had a issue with the kids not liking it, and it’s always been immensely popular with the kids because it’s enjoyable for them,” said Spiliotopoulos. Aside from the program being a hit with the kids, Spiliotopoulos said the parents have also been very supportive and encouraging as parent councils ultimately approved the program. he parent council has also shown their support beyond simply approv-

ing the long term learning activity by funding the program said Spiliotopoulos. In January Kroeker said each class will be given an eight week session and the cost of the program “isn’t cheap” but thanks the parent council for their eforts in fundraising and making it all possible. “he parent council has been working very hard to raise the money and they’re just being very supportive,” said Spiliotopoulos. Spiliotopoulos said the chess program has been taught in other schools in the area and with the growing popularity they have been expanding from a central region of the city to outer edges of the GTA. “he feedback we get is usually very strong. I’m not trying to thump on my own chest because there are always ways we can improve,” he said, “but generally the feedback we get back from the parents is really good.”


The Bloordale Press DECEMBER 2011 03

News

Salted cod brandade croq vette. PHOTO By JUSTIN MILLERSON

he current, smallish Perth/Dupont branch. PHOTO By GURPREET GHAG PERTH LIBRARY from page 1

Niki Tsourounakis during the irst week at her irst spot in Bloordale, he plan aims to link the land beside the Georgetown Corridor Neon Cafe, By City GURPREET to the rest of back Ward in 18.August PHOTO. PHOTO COURTESY of TorontoGHAG

Hard and gruelling work leads to Bloordale’s newest bar BY JUSTIN MILLERSON he newest bar in Bloordale, Bar Neon, located at 1226 Bloor St. W., opened its doors just before the turn of December, but the process leading up to the opening is an experience that bar owner, Niki Tsourounakis will never forget. “I sometimes blink and see the old space,” said Tsoutounakis who also owns Café Neon (241 Wallace Ave.). hose brief lashbacks are of what the space looked like during what she called a grueling facelit. “It took a very long time,” said the new bar owner. “I’d work in the Café during the day and come here until I couldn’t stand anymore.” Tsourounakis and a team of helpers were forced to use materi-

als from a dollar store to renovate the building due to a dwindling budget. A cheap oyster shucker was the only tool used to gut an entire wall, exposing the current brick interior. For Tsourounakis, the wall shucking cost a lot more than just time and during the process she developed carpal tunnel. “It’s beautiful now, look at it now, it was worth it,” she said. When Tsourounakis bought the building just as an investment, she said she wasn’t expecting this outcome. At the time Calico, a vegan eatery, was her irst tenant, but she soon learned they would also be her last. “[he owner] said he wanted to talk,” she said, “so I came here and he said ‘I’m shutting down my

restaurant’ and I was like ‘what?’” he former store owner moved on to become a private chief, said Tsourounakis, leaving her in “a bit of a dilemma.” “I started to panic and everyone was saying just rent it out for a year, I was kind of agreeable with them, but in the back of my head I thought it could be an amazing spot, I knew what I wanted to do.” he bar serves an array of tapas food, featuring salt cod brandade croq vette with safron aloli, marinated sardine with tomato onion and mint on crostini, roasted dates stufed with olive and ginger wrapped in bacon to name a few. he house drat is Beau’s, a beer brewed from a town called Vankleek Hill, about 100 kilometres east of Ottawa.

Baião said she was able to collect $1.1 million of “Section 37”money– money a developer, (in this case Neudorfer Corporations) is obligated to pay to beneit a community in order to increase the density of their project. Despite the total raised so far, Scott Dobson, one of the expansion supporters, suggested public donations could be a viable route to take in reaching the target. Toronto Star columnist Karen Von Hahn, who specializes in public libraries, spoke about what Toronto’s libraries are becoming. “Libraries are tools of culture,” she said during her presentation. Her presentation showed the evolution of libraries, using some of Toronto’s branches as an example of what the Perth-Dupont branch could become. “Libraries have become an open space,” said Von Hahn. She cited one example that she called “Toronto’s gem” among the city’s libraries– the Bloor-Gladstone branch. hat renovation, Von Hahn revealed, cost more than $9 million. Dobson pointed out the Perth-Dupont branch will have to undergo a much more modest renovation of about $3 million. Conversation sparked about how exactly the library could expand given the limited square footage the building sits on. Dobson said the only option is to build up. He estimated a second loor would increase space by about 7,000 square feet. he Junction Triangle website is conducting a survey to compile the community’s wishes. To ill it out visit http://www.junctiontriangle.ca/ libraryproject


04 The Bloordale Press DECEMBER 2011

Editorial Notes

the BLOORDALE press 231 Wallace Avenue, Toronto, ON., M6H 1V5 http://www.thebloordalepress.com General Inquiries: (647) 869-2531 Advertising: (647) 961-4516 thebloordalepress@gmail.com twitter@bloordalepress EDITOR-IN-CHIEF GURPREET GHAG EXECUTIVE EDITOR JUSTIN MILLERSON MANAGING EDITOR MATT LOPES CONTRIBUTING EDITOR JORDAN MAXWELL COPY EDITOR/ADVISOR ROB LAMBERTI ADVERTISING SALES BRYAN MILLERSON ART DIRECTOR ALICIA CONDARCURI

THANKS FOR THE GREAT YEAR, WARD 18

CARTOONIST KYLA SERGEJEW CONTRIBUTORS MICHAEL RADOSLAV KHRISTOPHER REARDON

he Bloordale Press is published monthly and is distributed within ward 18’s boundaries and in its neighbouring areas. Copies are delivered door-to-door in the ward and also at local businesses and other areas of interest. Call or email us with your story leads or to inquire about subscriptions and our advertising rates.

It’s been a long and eventful inaugural year for this paper. Since our irst issue in June this year, to this, our seventh issue here in December, we’ve seen some amazing developments, had a new councillor, a new MPP and most recently a new MP (who by the way is making his Bloordale column debut this issue), seen a handful of businesses come in, and seen neighbours unite to improve a library, tackle diesel trains, save our park and other services and just better the way of life in the community in general. Back then, in June, when we were running the newspaper out of a basement on a dinky little laptop that could barely handle operating Microsot word, we never imagined getting the amount of community feedback we have been getting. Nope, we never imagined recieving letters from people saying how much they actually enjoyed certain stories and we certainly did not imagine getting random phone calls that turned into hour long conversations about how great this great community, but, alas, people should love talking about this wonderful place. We would like to thank every member of this community who makes this place an interesting place to breathe in. We would especially like to thank all the businesses, schools, community organizations, contributing writers and artists, community members who have taken their time to share their worlds with us, and for anyone else reading our publication. We would also like to thank our councillor, Ana Bailão, for coming onboard and writing a monthly column that keeps this ward well informed of events in the area. he same goes for our MP, Andrew Cash, who has been regularly contributing and to our newest writer, MPP Jonah Schein. A huge thanks also goes out to the Bloordale BIA and speciically Dyan Marie for their continuous support – we couldn’t have done it without you. Lastly, we would also like to regretfully inform you that this issue will be the last until the week of February 1st. In our few weeks of, we will be working on straightening out the little details in our paper to bring you a tighter and more complete package. Once again, thank you for making this irst volume such a success. We look forward to bringing you a great second volume, hopefully with just as much cheer, develpoment and improvements as we’ve seen in these seven months. See you in February! Happy holidays! - Gurpreet Ghag on behalf of the press


The Bloordale Press DECEMBER 2011 05

The Councillor’s Corner BY ANA BAILÃO Dear Neighbours, With cooling weather, rosy cheeks, and arriving home from work in the dark, the signs of the season are upon us. Yet, despite these weather grievances, Ward 18 is alive with activity and colour. Whether it is the beautifully wrapped packages in the arms of residents walking out of Queen Street shops, the beautiful lighting along Dundas Street, or the shouts and sounds of skates on ice at our many outdoor rinks - the holidays are here. he holidays are also a busy time to move around our neighbourhood. While good public transit is vital for a well planned City, the increased ridership during the winter months - when many drivers and cyclists ind refuge from the salt and snow - is an important time to relect on our current transit priorities. As a candidate, I campaigned on the principles of fast, eicient and afordable public transportation. With those principles in mind, any transit decisions that I support will

The MPP’s Corner BY JONAH SCHEIN Greetings Davenport! This is my first article submission for the Bloordale Press. I’m really grateful to the editors for offering me this space to connect with you readers each month. In many ways the Bloordale Press does more than tell the news in our neighbourhood – it’s part of the good news in our neighbourhood. Bloordale Press is an example of a growing spirit of community engagement our riding. I feel so lucky to represent this riding where many people are making huge contributions to our neighbourhoods. Whether that’s the good folks at Bloordale Press, young people at City View Alternative School, organizers at Dufferin Grove Park, activists with The Clean Trains Coalition, or my old colleagues at The Stop Community Food Centre; people in Davenport are passionate about making our community a better place to live. I know that the NDP reflects the values of Davenport. We all know what it means to work hard to pay the bills each month, and we are deeply

committed to the environment and social justice. As residents we all contribute a lot to our community but we also know that government has to do its part too. We need government to help people when they are vulnerable, to steward our environment, and to make life more affordable. We need government to invest in public transit and childcare, and to support senior citizens. And we know we can’t continue on the same old path. In tough economic times, we need our governments to stop giving billions of dollars away to corporations and start investing in our communities. This is the message that the NDP and I have been bringing to the legislature this fall. I’m deeply honoured to have earned your support and I’ll work everyday to serve our riding and bring your voices to Queens Park. I look forward to hearing from you and working together to make this a better riding and province to live in. I am currently in the process of setting up my office at 1674 St. Clair West, and am available at 416-5353158 or jschein-co@ndp.on.ca At Queen’s Park I can be reached at 416325-0014 or jschein-qp@ndp.on.ca

have the interests of Davenport residents at its heart while never neglecting the need for a global transportation vision for the City of Toronto. In order to pay for improved transit infrastructure, and meet spending reduction targets, the TTC has proposed route changes across the City.In Ward 18, the 506 Carleton, 29 Duferin, 505 Dundas, 26 Dupont are among the routes experiencing reduction in service. In each case these reductions mean riders will have to wait longer (in most cases less than 50 seconds) between vehicles. I am pleased, however, that we will actually see service increases to the 501 Queen, 168 Symington and 40 Junction routes. hese service cuts raise serious concerns about how transit will efectively serve Ward 18 residents. It is critical that afordable and accessible transit be the focus of any transit changes in our Ward and we must look at a variety of methods of accomplishing this goal without compromising transit routes. I support the notion that we must demand our fair share of transit funding from other levels

of government, and also strongly believe that we must seek to do more with the resources at hand by addressing eiciency concerns like overcrowding and vehicle bunching. For example, I have requested that City staf investigate solutions to the bunching of buses along the 29 Duferin route and the TTC is now closely examining this matter. he Queen Street car is a further high-ridership route that sufers from bunching. Especially with the increased population that is predicted with upcoming development opportunities along Queen Street, it is necessary that we take a proactive approach now in order to guarantee the infrastructure to support the future. Regardless of the season, I will continue to advocate for afordable, accessible and sustainable transit for our neighbourhood and would like to wish all the residents of Ward 18 a safe and happy holiday. Best wishes to you and your loved ones and I look forward to seeing many of you over the holidays.


06 The Bloordale Press DECEMBER 2011

News

Georgina Hamilton ensures her patties are just as fresh as they were on the other side of the street. PHOTO By GURPREET GHAG

Long serving local Caribbean legend makes not so long leap across the lane BY MICHAEL RADOSLAV Ater eight years, Caribbean Queen of Patties, a popular Jamaican restaurant on Bloor Street West, was sent looking for a new home. But as the saying goes, when one door closes another door opens – and sometimes that happens to be right across the street. Caribbean Queen has been honoured from various local publications in the past for the quality of her food. However, ater new ownership took control of 1279 Bloor St. W., restaurant owner and manager Georgina Hamilton said the new owners had their own plans for the spot and those that did not include her family run operation. he new landlord “just said he wanted his property,” said Ham-

ilton. She said she was given no option to remain under the new landlord – “I was asked to leave.” he landlord of 1279 Bloor St. W was unable to be reached for comment. here are perks however to operating a beloved neighbourhood locale that people rave about. Hamilton said the community provided tremendous support to her ater hearing she had to move, helping put her in contact with her new landlord right across the street at 1294 Bloor St W., the restaurant’s new location. “I didn’t know him,” Hamilton said of her new landlord, “he just came and gave me his card and said, ‘listen, I heard your situation, if you’re interested just come over to my property.’”

Hamilton was going to relocate somewhere on Bloor but said she is glad she did not have to leave the area. “I love this neighbourhood, I love Landsdowne and Bloor.” It would appear the neighbourhood feels the same way about Hamilton and her restaurant. Regular customer Joseph Senisi, who works in the food industry himself, said, in his opinion, the Queen is the best of all the food options available in the area. “I cook for a living so I’ve had a lot of beef patties in my time, and these are the best that I’ve had,” he said. Senisi also said the Caribbean Queen has the best jerk in the city. What continously brings Senisi back however, is the owner as

much as the food itself. “She’s the best,” Senisi said of Hamilton. “She’s like a second mom.” At that moment, almost on cue, a group of 15 young patrons entered the restaurant shouting ‘we love you Georgina’ as they passed through the door. he group was the Torontonians– a Parkdale based youth art collective who had been rehearsing nearby. “Whenever we have a rehearsal we come here” said Darren O’Donnell, artistic director of Mammalian Diving Relex, a Toronto based art group promoting artistic ventures in the city. Hel is currently working with the Torontonians. “I was worried when I heard that guy was buying up (properties) and evicting people over

there and that she would be out of the area,” O’Donnell said. Hamilton said there are no longer concerns of her establishment leaving anytime soon as she is in her new location until she retires. When asked how long she sees herself remaining with the restaurant before she hangs up the apron, Hamilton just smiled and said, “I am 16 going on 20.” “The casualness of her and her friendliness is really nice, and people respond to her really well,” O’Donnel said of Hamilton. He said that Hamilton is one of the main reasons he keeps coming back – “I really like her.” This recent move ensures O’Donnell and others will be able to keep coming back to visit.


The Bloordale Press DECEMBER 2011 07

New in Business

coming of of it’s grand opening on December 4. For both Paule, and his business partner Janer Moises, who’ve been in the industry for years, hatching this business is a chance to seek out their own personal success. “It’s our irst business actually, since you been in the industry for 20 years, you want to just go on your own,” said Paule. “He used to

teach at George Brown, and I used to go to George Brown. hat’s when I started my apprenticeship, in the culinary management course.” Paule says one of the big driving forces in getting the business set up is Moises’s wife Barbara Arcilla who’s using her keen sense of marketing to help out with inances and promotion. Ancilla said Moises is driven by his passion for baking and this new location is a way for him to revive his from scratch style of baking; with less sugar and additives for people who are health conscious. “He’s a very talented man,” said Arcilla. “Janer was very frustrated, I knew that he really wanted to get back to business.” Paule said when he got a look at the vacant location, he went all in with Moises on the idea. He speaks of hopes to expand the business into a cafe at some point ofering residents out for a stroll a place to kick up their heels. Passers-by peek in once and awhile as Paule wistfully looks out the window, to big hopes and dreams loating in the sky. “We’re trying to do whatever we can to hear what people have to say. As you can see right now it still needs quite a bit of work but we will get it cleared up,” he said. “We’d like to get busier that’s for sure and our next step is to put out more products of course.”

the name Passione stuck with them when they moved from their previous location at 1610 Eglinton Ave., near Oakwood Ave. After a year on Eglinton Ave. and with a lease expiring in October, Julie and Joe searched for a location they say would be more “versatile” and would have more of a “mixed culture” than their previous spot. After some searching, the two found 685 Lansdowne Ave., just a few steps north of the Lansdowne subway station, and with a week left before the begining of the month, they worked quickly to open by Nov. 1. Passione boasts a wide range of authentic Caribbean dishes including stew fish, stew chicken, fried fish, fried chicken, oxtail, curried goat, jerk chicken, jerk pork, shrimp, chicken or goat roti and — what Julie says was the most popular dish from the previous location — cow or pig foot souse.

All of these dishes are all under $10 each. Domestic beers go for $3.50 each, while imports are $4. Along with authentic food and a selection of drinks, the sports bar also has a pool table where they host Canadian Poolplayers Association league play on Mondays and, for a limited time, free pool during the rest of the week. They will also host a live jazz band on Thursdays, karaoke on Fridays, and a deejay on Saturdays. The couple hopes to create a friendly atmosphere where families and people just looking to have a good time. “We want to welcome everyone in the neighbourhood,” Joe says. “Come play pool, meet your friends here, meet new friends and enjoy the food and the entertainment.” Passione is open Monday to Saturday from noon until 2 a.m., and Sunday from 3 p.m. to 2 a.m. For more information, call 416787-6923.

Joseph Paule admiring his loafs. PHOTO By KHRISTOPHER REARDON

Big plans for Janer’s new bakery BY KHRISTOPHER REARDON Janer’s Bakery has blank walls with a decent selection of french pastries but it’s owners are planning a lot more for their new location. A yellow banner rides a big window at 679 Lansdowne Ave. only

steps away from the bustle of the subway station. Inside Joseph Paule is busy at work behind a shelf full of croissants, danishes, cakes and pies that gleam beneath the luorescent light. “I think this neighbourhood needed a french bakery,” said Paule,

silent partner and baker for Janer’s. “One day we’d like to have a full range of sandwiches and lots of fresh breads. We want to open like a restaurant/bar/bakery-type place but this is just to start us of.” Janer’s Bakery has been in Bloordale for only a little while, just

Joe and Julie Vernon got their new spot and opened it up within a week. PHOTO By GURPREET GHAG

Italian name, Caribbean cuisine and good times BY GURPREET GHAG Despite its Italian name, Bloordale’s newest sports bar Passione

does not serve anything covered in pesto or tomato sauce. “We have a diversified menu, with a lot of Caribbean style

foods,” cook and owner Joe Vernon says. His wife, and the co-owner of the sports bar-restaurant, says


08 The Bloordale Press DECEMBER 2011

Art

Toronto Free Gallery hosts play “Dying City” BY JUSTIN MILLERSON Ater successfully directing “he Jones Boy” in the musty basement of the Toronto Free Gallery (1277 Bloor St. W.) two months ago, Peter Pasyk made the move upstairs

to direct his second show at the gallery, Christopher Schinn’s “Dying City” from Nov. 25 to Dec 17. “I love the Toronto Free gallery,” said Pasyk, “but I am glad to be out of the basement and I’m sure the audience is as well,” he joked.

his time, the audience was greeted by an usher before entering the gallery’s back room. From there they were directed to climb up on a stage where chairs were laid to create a ishbowl type efect. he audience was treated with

a one hour psychological drama focusing on a widow and brother of her late husband, mourning the same loss. Pasyk boasts of his exceptional cast featuring Sergio Di Zio and Lesley Faulkner, two television actors who put their on screen jobs on hold to work with the Toronto Director. “I was busy with Flashpoint and [Faulkner]was busy with her stuf and we inally found a window,” said Di Zio. “She came to me with this play, Dying City, which is this beautiful, really compact play for two actors with rich characters,” he said.

“he whole play is a mystery and I hope the audience walks away with that sense of mystery” Peter Pasyk Director he play begins with Faulkner – playing a therapist named Kelly – sitting in a desolate looking livingroom before she is surprised by a visit from the twin brother of her lost husband. he story portrays core relation-

Actress, Lesley Faulkner stands on set at the Toronto Free Gallery. PHOTO COURTESY Dying City Productions

ships coming together and falling apart, said Di Zio who had the challenge of playing the role of both brothers. Faulkner appeared to have lashbacks of brief moments before her husband died, throughout the play, allowing Di Zio’s second character, Craig to come in the play. As soon as Di Zio let the room to cap of a lashback, or start one, he quickly entered as a completely diferent character. “Craig is the more depressed one and Peter is the more outgoing one,” said Di Zio. Although this job may sound tough, Di Zio said the “writing saves it,” making the job easier than it would seem. he play used diferent lighting to better pronounce diferent emotions, leaving an eerie feel to the play. his along with questions let unanswered by writer Christopher Schinn enabled Pasyk to create a strange and unknown environment, something he wanted to shed light on. “he whole play is a mystery and I hope the audience walks away with that sense of mystery,” he said.

Gallery owner shows own mirror sculpture in group show BY JUSTIN MILLERSON At the Robert Kananaj Gallery (1267 Bloor St. W.), until Jan. 7, a jagged mirror structure sits at the very back of the gallery, relecting a myriad of triangular shapes on the gallery’s walls. his is the proliic centre piece of Kananaj’s latest “Group Exhibition,” which begun on Nov. 24. he group show features 16 artists, many of which participated in Kananaj’s previous group show in August, but the mirror sculpture belonged to Kananaj making him the 16th artist. Kananaj inished his prized piece just days before the opening reception. he materials came from the gallery’s basement, where Kananaj found disposed mirrors let by the building’s previous landlord. He had plans to eventually create something with the supplies, but not before fellow artist JP Rautio requested to use them for his own work. “[Rautio] said he wanted to do something with mirrors, I said come, I have mirrors,” said Kananaj.

Rautio, also in the show, created little black boxes, each with a jagged mirror interior. A small peep hole was carved out of the boxes to create an efect similar to a kaleidoscope. To complement his work, Kananaj placed these black boxes around his piece. When Kananaj heard of Rautio’s work it immediately encouraged him to come up with something of his own ater returning from a trip to Barcelona. “It is like a womb, like a sarcophagus,” said Kananaj of his work. “It relects the lights and all the walls become a huge canvas of light.” he piece, which is nothing more than mirrors glued together, took Kananaj three weeks to complete. “It was very labour intensive work,” said Kananaj, admiring his piece. Paintings, sculptures and a couple photographs from the remaining artists ill the remaining space in the gallery. One of pieces, by artist Isaac Applebaum, is a strip of seared wall paper from a ire purposely set by

the artist. Two photographs of the burning wall accompany the wallpaper completing the work. “I reference war and displacement in the work,” said Applebaum during the opening reception, “I show

the burning room, burning house.” Remaining artists in the show are: Vullnet Alushaj, Clara Bacou, Claude Breeze, Agron (Gon) Bregu, Soraya Hutchinson, Lula Motra, Mike Parsons, Tim Noonan, Tina

Oehmsen-Clark, Stefan hompson, David Van Drunen, Szonja Vucsetics and Ilir Zei. For more information about the group show, visit http://www. robertkananaj.com

Kananaj’s newest peice (seen above) is now on display at the Rober Kananaj Gallery in part with a group showing. PHOTO By JUSTIN MILLERSON


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10 The Bloordale Press DECEMBER 2011

Art

he second of three groups, took some time to look at the artwork of artist, Cynthia Girard at the Meredith Keith Gallery (1695 Dundas St. W.) . PHOTO JUSTIN MILLERSON

Art crawl uncovers Dundas art galleries BY JUSTIN MILLERSON Art galleries on a one kilometer portion of Dundas St. W. got an opportunity to showcase their featured art work for art lovers on Nov. 26 during the “DuWest Art Crawl” held by the Dundas West BIA and he Brockton Triangle Residence Group. he inaugural art crawl, held between St. Clarens Ave. and Rusholme Rd. was meant to bring more eyes to feast on the displays of the growing number of art galleries in this portion of Dundas West. Ultimately, for the Dundas West BIA, it’s also an idea to bring more feet — and accompanying wallets — to the area.

“We are oten forgotten because [Dundas] is between Queen and College, which are considered destinations, and we think Dundas deserves to be one as well,” said Dundas West BIA coordinator Helder Ramos.

“It’s good for the neighbourhood, it’s always fun to see people invest their time and learn about culture.” Larry Gauget Participating artist hree groups of roughly 25 people gathered at diferent times at Full of Beans Cofee House &

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and viewer, she enjoyed the experience. “I think it’s really good to have artists talking about their work, so you have that perspective,” she said standing in front of her large ink drawings at the Lula Lounge (1585 Dundas St. W). he Dundas West BIA has plans to hold similar events, said Ramos, although he didn’t specify any dates. As for the Art Crawl, he was happy with the turn out.

“You never know because it’s the irst one, it’s kind of a shot in the dark, but it proved there is a market [for Dundas],” Ramos said. Other locations for the tour were the Department Gallery Mainspace (1389 Dundas St. W.), Jessica Bradley Art Projects (1450 Dundas St. W.), p|m Gallery at (1518 Dundas St. W.), Meredith Keith Gallery (1695 Dundas St. W.), and Naco Gallery& Café at (1665, Dundas St. W.).

Roastery at 1348 Dundas St. W. before heading west and visiting seven more destinations. At each location, a gallery representative or an artist was ready to talk about the art on display. “It’s good for the neighbourhood, it’s always fun to see people come in and invest their time and learn about culture,” said Larry Gaudet, an artist whose work was on display at the tour’s fourth location, the Alison Smith Gallery at 1410 Dundas St. W. Ater the speeches, the community got a chance to take a close look at the art, take pictures and in some case meet the artist behind the images. For one artist, Zoe Maeve Jenkins, it was not something she was accustomed to. “No, this is really the irst time for me,” said Jenkins, who just came out of high school and has ambitions for a university degree in art. Zoe Maeve Jenkins stands beside two of her ink drawings at the Lula Lounge. Despite being new to PHOTO By JUSTIN MILLERSON the idea of marrying artist


The Bloordale Press DECEMBER 2011 11

Ice Rink Schedules

‘Future Drat Pick’ by D’Arcy Norman. Maps courtesy GOOGLE.

DUFFERIN PARK

CAMPBELL PARK

WALLACE EMERSON

Located at 875 Duferin St., just south of Duferin and Bloor St., Duferin Grove Park ofers two rinks- one for pleasure skating and one for hockey.

Located at 255 Campbell Ave., just a little north-west of Lansdowne and Wallace Avenues, Campbell park has one rink whose time is split between pleasure skating and hockey.

Despite it’s name, Wallace Emerson’s rink is not located at Wallace and Emerson Avenues. Instead, its two rinks can be found at 1260 Duferin St., which is just a few steps south of Dupont and Duferin Streets.

Supervised pleasure skating hours Saturdays from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., Sundays from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. and Wednesdays from 4 pm to 6 p.m. Hockey is played during all other hours.

Public skate runs weekdays from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and weekends from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Shinny runs weekdays from roughly 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

he rinkhouse has recently gotten a hold of a stove and is expanding its snack menu to include items such as warm chili, mini pizzas and fresh baked cookies.

he pleasure rink is not fenced, and shinny is allowed on that side ater 9 p.m. everyday except Fridays and Saturdays.

Pleasure skates run Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. and Sundays from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. he rinkhouse ofers an assortment of hot foods such as mini pizzas, soups, pancakes, cookies, hot chocolate, cofee and tea, all at very reasonable prices he rinks run on an extended schedule and will close March 11.


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The Bloordale Press, Volume 1, Issue 7