Faces of Parkdale Art Installation Here!

Strolling down Parkdale’s Jameson Avenue, it’s clear the tree planters have seen better days.

An art installation on the planters, once a reflection of the community’s pride, is now faded. More than 500 images showcasing residents, iconic landmarks and everyday scenes in the community are cracked or even missing.

But an upgrade is in the works.

Local Parkdale mural artist Jim Bravo, who participated in the initial project called Jameson Ave Impressions, has been working tirelessly to give the eight year old art installation a new lease on life after receiving an overwhelming amount of positive community push for a revamp.

“I’ve been campaigning to get it reinstalled because we got some new people living in the neighbourhood now,” Bravo said.

“I got a lot of queries from people who want to be a part of this one.”

The outdoor photo exhibit was installed in 2009 with the help of Bravo and photographer Kate Young. It consisted of more than 500 black and white photographs installed on the perimeter of the 72 tree planters that stretched along Jameson from Queen Street West to Springhurst Avenue.

Bravo told CTV News Toronto for this version of the installation all the images that will appear on the planters will be printed on aluminium and then installed on the planters to ensure its longevity.

“I plan to include people who make up the community or keep the community going in a positive way. The focus is definitely the main hub which is south Parkdale, which is where the more marginalized communities exist,” Bravo said.

“It could be Parkdale legends, a person, a restaurant, a bus stop, a laneway or a house. The idea is to keep it authentic in the face of change.”

As an homage to the initial installation Bravo told CTV News Toronto he also plans to include some of the original images on a couple of “dedication planters” to honour some of the people the community has lost over the years.

The project continues to be funded by the City of Toronto’s Beautiful Streets Program, but it’s also getting some moral support from the local Business Improvement Area team. Executive director Anna Bartula, who is familiar with Bravo’s work in the community, helped him spread the word about the community’s beloved planter art getting a makeover.

“It’s such a unique project and it’s such a relevant project to the community right now, especially for Jameson. It will be filled with images of people that live in the neighbourhood. It just offers such a deeper significance,” Bartula explained to CTV News Toronto.

“We have a lot of voices in community, I think what this project does is it gives people a face. It reminds people that these are the faces of our community. It’s what’s beautiful about this project. People get the chance to see themselves and see their neighbours.”

Although the art installation doesn’t have a theme, said Bravo, the essence of the original installation will remain.

“The whole thing was put together initially to celebrate how people usually land in a place like Parkdale, where there’s usually low rent so they can get started,” Bravo explained.

Bravo added that the images will focus on what he calls “hardcore Parkdale,” without excluding the new wave of residents that have come to call the neighbourhood home.

“We’re getting right to the heart of the community. We’re not focusing on the new gentrified aspect of it. We’re going into the rough zones because that’s still Parkdale,” Bravo said.

Original Article by Hilary Caton, CTV News Toronto
Published Monday, November 13, 2017 6:13PM EST
Last Updated Tuesday, November 14, 2017 12:50PM EST

You’re invited to Momo Crawl – Sun July 29

Fill your belly with steamy and savoury Tibetan and Nepali dumplings at the fourth annual Momo Crawl T.O., hosted by Students for a Free Tibet Canada. This July 29th in Little Tibet, Parkdale hosts Toronto foodies on a steamy savoury crawl for the top momos.

What’s a Momo you ask? Momos are delicious Tibetan (and Himalayan) dumplings (meat or veg) mixed with a balanced blend of herbs and spices, hand-wrapped in dough and steamed to perfection.

Buy a Momo passport for $25, and open your gates to Little Tibet. You may think the passport is just a document that authorizes travel or authenticates the bearers’ identity, but it grants you a total of 10 Momos from 10 different Tibetan and Nepalese restaurants in Parkdale. This year will introduce three NEW Tibetan restaurants mentioned below. All participating restaurants will have meat and vegetarian options.

Participating Restaurants:
Daiko Indian and Nepali Street Food
Garleek – NEW!
Himalayan Kitchen
Little Tibet – NEW!
Loga’s Momo Corner
Om Restaurant
Shangrila Restaurant
Tashi Delek Cafe
Tibet Kitchen
Yak Cafe – NEW!

#MomoCrawlTO #LittleTibet #SFTCanada

If you purchase your passport on Eventbrite, you can pick it up on the day of at the headquarters tent in front of Tsampa Restaurant (non-participant). You can also purchase your passport physically at a location specified here on our Facebook event page.

For any questions or concerns contact: [email protected]
Visit their website to learn more about what they do: www.SFTCanada.org

West Lodge Garden is Getting a Little Makeover

The Parkdale Village BIA has been awarded a $500 grant from the Landscape Ontario Toronto (LOTO) Chapter, the funds will go towards Phase 1 of revitalizing the West Lodge Garden.

West Lodge Garden – After

Located at the corner of Queen Street West and West Lodge Avenue, is the public West Lodge community garden, maintained year-round by PVBIA.

In recent years, the garden has been susceptible to litter, illegal dumping and unwanted, illicit activity and has posed some challenges for community stakeholders working to improve the corner. Phase 1 of the Garden makeover began last week with the removal of cedar trees which posed structural challenges as well as safety concerns, the $500 grant will enable PVBIA to continue Phase 1 with weeding, adding new soil and plants, with hopes of Phase 2 of the rejuvenation being funded in 2019.

West Lodge Garden – Before

Special thanks to Parkdale Green Thumbs Enterprise for their ongoing expertise, products and services throughout the grant application. Hand and Glove Gardening Co., local to Parkdale will be responsible for the reinvigoration of the garden.

Stay in the loop on the progress at the West Lodge Garden on our social media! Instagram @parkdalevillage, Facebook @ParkdaleVillage and Twitter @ParkdaleBIA

Parkdale Village BIA Floral Programs

Did you know that the PVBIA oversees 7 community gardens? We continue to manage the installation, watering, and maintenance of over 180 floral assets in Parkdale such as sidewalk planters, gardens and hanging flower baskets on storefronts.

Contact us if you are interested in a floral hanging basket for your storefront facade!

How the Grant Recipients Were Chosen

All successful applicants had a project with a clear vision of community benefit and provided a viable implementation plan, a realistic budget, an ongoing maintenance plan and possess strongly engaged volunteers. In several cases, the projects involve long-term engagement by dedicated community members.

About Landscape Ontario Toronto Chapter

The Toronto Chapter of Landscape Ontario financially supports local community projects through their bursary program that encourages and supports community greening initiatives as a way to give back to the neighbourhoods and communities their members live and work in.

This year, the Toronto Chapter expanded the program to offer $15,000, a $5000 increase from 2017, with individual maximum grants of $1500. The applications they received support community gardens, pollinator plantings, native plant gardens, and laneway rehabilitation projects.

For more information about the 2018 Landscape Ontario Toronto Chapter Bursary and the winning community projects, visit here and stay updated on their progress through their Instagram @landscapeontario and Twitter @green_for_life.

Your Ultimate Guide to Parkdale Patios

With summer in full swing, the best way to embrace these sunny days is, arguably, dining al fresco. Whether you are out with family searching for a meal or grabbing a quick pint with friends, nothing beats relaxing from the heat at some of Toronto’s best-decked patios, many of which adorn grand umbrellas, and amazing city views.

What’s even better, is that you don’t need to go far to find them – some of the best outdoor patios are here in your own backyard from Dufferin Street to Roncesvalles Avenue in Parkdale Village – come and explore these hidden gems!

New to Parkdale’s scene is Dumbo Snack Bar, the perfect place to vibe with friends, grab a cocktail or try a couple of snacks like the mega-trendy avocado toast, chicken sliders and vegan pita + dip. Pro tip: Dumbo is open until 2am Tuesday-Saturday for all you night-owls. (1704 Queen St. W)

Amico’s Ristorante does Italian home cooking like no where else! They offer traditionally inspired Italian pizzas, pastas and sandwiches in a cozy, casual, family-friendly restaurant. Enjoy their spacious backyard patio, live music Fridays and 1/2 price pizza Wednesdays! An added bonus- from Thursday to Saturday, they’re open late! (1648 1/2 Queen St. W)

Meet your go-to neighbourhood bar who happens to be celebrating their 5 year anniversary: Food and Liquor. The bar boasts a unique snack menu consisting of fried tofu chips, apple dumplings, and curry sweet potato balls (plus more)! Their cozy backyard patio, is the perfect place for late night snacking with a kitchen open until 2am with wooden tables and hanging fairy lights. Don’t miss out on their “$5 at Five”. (1610 Queen St. W)

Replacing the Yukon Bar, Birky’s Bar serves an assortment of wood-fired pizzas and burgers, you can’t go wrong! Enjoy a classic Neapolitan-style pizza, a Birky’s burger or a large cold one out on their cozy outdoor patio. (1592 Queen St. W)

Specializing in Nepali and Indian cuisine, Daiko is a casual restaurant where food, ambiance and drinks come together! Relax on their quaint front patio and try their amazing Thali dishes, samosas, and momo’s with a view of Queen Street West. (1564 Queen St. W)

The Tennessee Tavern is an Eastern European bar open weekdays from 5pm and 10am on weekends. Their iconic 40-seater patio features a vintage bird cage from Smash, and picnic table booths – perfect for brunch with family or a night out in the town. Alongside their lengthy drink list, some of their must-try dishes are their big pretzel with mustard, pierogis and veal schnitzel. (1554 Queen St. W)

Parkdale’s very own rock dive restaurant, The Mezz, oozes a community-like vibe with customers hunkering down for their affordable alcoholic drinks and Guilty Milty (their biggest double patty burger)! Outside, wooden picnic tables, Muskoka chairs and green grape vines make up their patio, the ideal social gathering spot to dine with friends. An added bonus, Tuesdays is “buck-a-shuck”!. (1546 Queen St. W)

Specializing in Tibetan and Himalayan cuisine, Tibet Kitchen’s cozy backyard patio that’s draped with string lights, is the place to try popular Tibetan dishes such as momos, chicken chilli and phingsha. In addition to Tibetan delicacies, their menu is vegetarian friendly and includes other Asian favourites like spring rolls, chowmein and spicy lunch specials. (1544 Queen St. W)

Tsampa Restaurant is a Tibetan family-owned business serving Asian, Himalayan and Tibetan cuisine here in Parkdale for over 11 years! Try their beef fried momos, veggie curry and chicken thali on their cozy patio decorated with Tibetan prayer flags. (1528 Queen St. W)

Escape Goat is Parkdale’s craft beer bar, with a backyard patio lit with fairy lights and pastel yellow surroundings. Check out their current tap list featuring beers from Toronto microbreweries like the Bellwoods, Blood Brothers, Rainhard and Kensington. While tasting some of Toronto’s finest beers, grab some of Escape Goat’s delicious homemade bar food. $5 deep-fried pickles anyone? (1510 Queen St. W)

Join the community in welcoming Parkdale’s newest Tibetan restaurant: Little Tibet. Serving delicious Hakka and Tibetan dishes, take a shot at their chili chicken and beef on their new front patio facing Queen Street West. An added plus, it is totally Instagram-worthy with an aesthetic green grass wall and Tibetan prayer flags! (1439 Queen St. W)

Tucked away under a canopy of neighboring trees, Om Restaurant’s south-facing patio is a spacious gathering spot to taste their authentic Tibetan and Indian dishes (halal and vegetarian friendly). All of which include delicious momos, curry and large $8 adult lunch specials or $6 for students. (1330 Queen St. W)

This low-key pizzeria off of Queen St. W on Dunn Ave, offers a variety of scrumptious thin-crust pies. Have a taste of their hawaiian, capicollo or kale & gorgonzola pies on Superpoint’s newly built side patio! (269 Dunn Ave)

Grand Electric is a hip, taqueria joint dishing out some of Parkdale’s best baja fish tacos, pork carnitas and guac + chips. Come out to relax and socialize on their cozy backyard patio which boasts a bar and communal picnic tables, what’s not to love! (1449A Queen St. W).

A low-key, live music haven, The Cadillac Lounge, boasts a large 200 seat backyard patio resembling a trendy cottage-country deck, half covered to provide shade on bright, sunny days! Join the Caddy on their exclusive backyard patio stage for occasional karaoke nights and classic comfort food. (1296 Queen St. W)

As Parkdale’s resident neighbourhood dance party hub, the Parkdale Drink is the spot for a fun night out. Dimly lit, their large modern backyard patio is a swanky setting to experience global fare and endless drink options with a DJ spinning tunes just steps away. (1292 Queen St. W)

A destination for the world’s finest beers, The Rhino, has got you covered on those hot, summer days with their hefty assortment of beverages. Try their southern fried chicken or sausage penne on the largest side patio in Parkdale in a sea of iconic orange seats, the perfect place for people watching. (1249 Queen St. W)

A Parkdale staple since 1995, the Rustic Cosmo Café is not only famous for their cow-in-a-martini-glass logo but also for their delicious sandwiches, gigantic breakfast plates and friendly, familiar faces. This gem of a café has a quaint backyard patio, perfect for reading and relaxation while sipping a fruity beverage. (1278 Queen St. W)

Photo Credits:
@dumbosnackbar, @amicospizzato, @lisa__riedel, @cadillaclounge, @elana.simone, @fitgrrrljourneyj, @alessandra.elizabethh, @hipster_bachelor_pad, @brunasofiasimoes, @mllelford, @amicospizzato, @geenaweena, @saratarnai, @tibetkitchen.ca, @escape_goat.to, @blogto, @foodandliquorto, @tennesseetavern, @daiko1564, @allons.y, @chengjie.sun, @forkinhungry, @superpointexpress