Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival – It’s BACK!


The Parkdale Village BIA is delighted to be supporting the 2014 Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival for yet another year! This years programming saw an exciting addition as local photographers Hitoshi & Vincent from Hello Foto joined as curators and spent the winter season working with Parkdale Collegiate Institute students on the principles of photography and how to interpret the theme “Identity”.

Join us for the Festivals opening night Friday May 2nd 5-8pm and explore over 30 student artists in 9 venues within Parkdale Village.

See below for more details about participating venues: Queen West Antique Centre, Food & Liquor, This Little Piggy, Common Sort, Leesa Berry Haircutting, The Well of Alternative Medicine, The Parkdale Drink, The Public Butter & Rustic Cosmo Cafe.

The exhibit runs May 1-31, 2014. We thank the participating businesses, Hello Foto, CONTACT organizers and the teachers and students of Parkdale Collegiate Institute.

PCI Fielf Trip to Hello Foto 1 - CONTACT 2014

PCI students visit Hello-Foto Studios in Parkdale and learn the basics of a photoshoot.


Explore all the shops Celebrating 135 Years of Parkdale Village

Tonight marks the kick off of Parkdale Village’s 135th Anniversary Weekend with a local celebration at Porzia Parkdale Restaurant which coincidently opened its doors to locals just 1 year ago this weekend!

Festivities run at over 17 venues throughout the weekend as local shop owners celebrate in their own unique way. It might be chilli, so grab your favourite coffee to go, explore some shops, admire the Victorian architecture & share your Parkdale memories with neighbours and friends.

Participating shops include:

1. Rustic Cosmo Café (1278 Queen W) – Small coffee & cookie $1.35;Jan 25-26
2. Porzia Parkdale (1314 Queen W) – Kick off locals night & snacks; Jan 23 8pm
3. The Well of Alternative Medicine (1344 Queen W) – Free 15 min massage & puppy therapy; Jan 25-26
4. JR’s Natural Health & Bulk (1382 Queen W) – Complimentary tea; Jan 25-26
5. Fixt Point – (1550 Queen W) – 1/2 off for members to the Keith Richards One Woman Show & After party; Jan 25 7:30pm
6. Kitten & the Bear (1574 Queen W) – Scone Sandwich & Tea to-go $5;Jan 25-26
7. Sylvie & Shimmy (1640 Queen W) – Extra 30% off sale merchandise; Jan 25-26
8. Yummy Stuff (1660 Queen W) – Parkdale Anniversary Cookies; Jan 25-26
9. Chartreuse Style (1692 Queen W) – 15-50% off select merchandise; Jan 23-26
10. Fullworth (1371 Queen W) – No tax on housewares, gifts & clothing; Jan 25-26
11. Cambie Design (1535 Queen W) – Win $100 Gift Card in Store; Jan 23-26
12. PARC (1499 Queen W) – Free viral video workshop; Jan 25 1-4pm
13. Boutique Café (1542 Queen W) – 50% off Warm Fleece Leggings; Jan 25-26

and more…

Residents and visitors will also be encouraged to learn more about the community by visiting our History page and Facebook page, where historical photos and stories will be shared throughout the month.
Visit us online for daily announcements and share your memories of this wonderful neighbourhood!

Happy 135th Anniversary Parkdale Village! Click here for photos!

A new series that profiles female entrepreneurs in Toronto: Rustic Cosmo Cafe!

Check out a recent interview with long time Parkdale business owner Nicole Crowe as she shares her journey with contributing writer Carolyn Grisold for the online publication the Toronto Standard.  

   Petite Bourgeoisie: Nicole Crowe, Owner of Rustic Cosmo

Do you think it’s important for small businesses to be involved in the community?

Oh, totally. If the people running businesses in the neighbourhood don’t step up to make it a great place to be, then it’s not gonna get done. Parkdale is full of so many wonderful business owners. It’s such a mix of old and new businesses on this strip now, it’s great. Everyone interacts; we all help each other out whenever we can, and do what we can to bring people down to Parkdale.

What made your parents choose to move to Parkdale?

I’m not sure, but we’ve been here over 20 years now. Parkdale’s always been a very eccentric neighbourhood. It’s great, very community-based. It was a different neighbourhood 17 years ago when we started the restaurant.

How has your restaurant evolved as Parkdale becomes more gentrified?

When we opened, we were Parkdale’s original coffee house; there were no other coffee houses around. We started off with just coffee and desserts – cappuccinos and fun coffee drinks – and then, over the years, we just gradually evolved. We put in the kitchen about 10 years ago. We always did quiches and salads, so we had food options, but not much at the beginning. I had a hot plate before. Now we’re a full-service restaurant.

Do you find keeping up with food trends challenging, or is that something that you thrive on?

We follow food trends to a point; a lot of what we serve has been on the menu for the whole 17 years we’ve been here. We can’t take it off; people just order it anyways. Like the chicken, avocado and brie sandwich. It’s been on the menu since the day we opened the doors.

To read more from the interview, click here.

Photo: Carolyn Grisold