A Walk Down Main Street – Parkdale Edition

Slide1There’s no denying that Parkdale is a storied community. From its early roots as a resort destination for Toronto’s wealthiest citizens, to its struggles coping with the Gardiner Expressway and other challenges, to its recent resurgence as a mecca for artists, foodies and worldly newcomers… our story is unique, poignant and colourful.

On April 20th and 21st at Spring Into Parkdale, professional theatre and media company FiXT POiNT offered tulips in exchange for stories from residents and business owners about their firsthand experiences in our eclectic neighbourhood. What resulted was hours upon hours of honest, moving and inspiring tales of a town that were edited into a podcast for The Walrus.

This exciting finished work premiered at Parkdale’s Lab Cab Festival on July 27th and 28th with great success. “A Walk Down Main Street – Parkdale Edition” includes true tales of “the hilarious, the touching and the flat-out weird.”


Lab Cab guests preview the podcast!
Photo: Lab Cab Festival & Jeremy Mimnagh

To listen to the podcast in its entirety including memories from Belle Optical, Jola’s Good Catch General Store, Cattlemen’s Meat Market & Ali Roti, click here >

Here’s a few snippets:

“We used to go in all the deserted houses… they were a perfect place to play.”

“Cattlemen’s Meat Market… hotdogs were three pounds for a buck.”

“I have an optical store called Belle Optical and I’ve been here almost 35 years… there were a lot of Filipino nurses… so I thought why not open a Filipino optical?”

“It’s clear he sees a bright future for the neighbourhood he proudly calls home.”

“Parkdale Community Centre was doing a health awareness thing and they had me become Murphy the Molar… and all the kids came up and started kicking me!”

“Many stories loaded with tales of chaos on these streets… it was rough, rough, rough.”

“Stories of the barriers she encountered in Parkdale, but also the help.”

“I lived across the street and there was a sign that said ‘for rent’ and I had already started a food distribution business, Good Food… where I wanted to introduce better food to people.”

“The nose was more rodenty than a pig and it had a couple hairs poking out… we were kind of in awe of this thing. It was very mysterious. And then a few months later I was reading in the paper about Baldy the hairless raccoon that had been spotted in Parkdale!”

“That’s my story…”

Created by Dave Brennan and Charles Ketchabaw in collaboration with Lisa Marie DiLiberto and Zevon Albert, this incredible piece of performance art was supported by Parkdale Village BIA, Ontario Arts Council and Mammalian Diving Reflex.

The Parkdale edition is just part of FiXT POiNT’s larger picture: capturing “The Tale of a Town,” panoramic memories of Main Streets across the province of Ontario before they are lost forever.

To listen to the podcast in its entirety click here >

Tale of a Town Tells Parkdale’s Story this Weekend at Lab Cab Festival

At Parkdale Village BIA’s Spring Festival this past April, residents, business owners and visitors alike shared their memories and experiences from Toronto’s Parkdale neighbourhood. These numerous interviews were recorded live on site by Tale of a Town, and will be presented as a podcast at the 2013 Lab Cab Festival, which takes place July 27th and 28th along Queen West from Roncesvalles to Dufferin.

Lab Cab is a free festival of music, dance, theatre, poetry, comedy, film, visual art, storytelling, crafts, kids’ stuff and more, and for the first time since 2006 it will take place entirely in the businesses, homes and on the streets within the Parkdale Village BIA. Taking part in this incredible festival is Tale of a Town, a site-specific theatre and documentary initiative produced by local Parkdale business FIXT POINT, that combines local stories to tell a tale through interactive live performance. The idea is built on a belief that in order to understand ourselves together, we must start first by focusing on the neighbourhoods that combine to form the whole picture. Parkdale is the perfect place for this project, with its storied history and passionate people.Slide1

Whether you’re a resident, business owner or visitor be sure to come down to FIXT POINT headquarters and get a sneak peek at the inspiring Tale of a Town production of  “A Walk Down Main Street – Parkdale”. For scheduling click here.

To find out more about Lab Cab or read its full schedule, visit www.labcab.ca.

Parkdale Spring Fling a Success – Despite Chilli Weather

This past April 20-21 the Parkdale Village BIA celebrated the first Spring into Parkdale Sidewalk Sale and Outdoor Event. Visitors had an opportunity to meet business owners, shop locally and participate in free activities! We want to thank all the shop owners who participated, the organizations and community partners that collaborated on the event, the residents and visitors who came out to support our community and the wonderful volunteers – Thank You!

Please enjoy our full event photo album on Facebook!


A First Class Rickshaw Ride through Parkdale Village!


Our Volunteers!


Tulip Giveaways!


Enjoying the Sidewalk Sale!


Free Fruit Punch & Tulips!


Free Family Activities!



Sampling at Maialinos


Trading Parkdale Tales for Tulips with Tale of a Town



A Historical Tour through Parkdale hosted by The Parkdale Village Historical Society & The Roncesvalles Village Historical Society!      



Foodies on Foot Food Tour exploring all the delish food options in Parkdale!


Exploring all Parkdale has to offer!


Photo Credits: David WaldmanFIXT POINT, Andrzej Bartula and Carolyn Grisold

Spring into Parkdale

The Parkdale Village Business Improvement Area (PVBIA) invites you to Spring into Parkdale on April 20-21, 2013!

Put on your best sneakers, grab a friend and take a stroll down Parkdale Village’s Queen Street West this Spring for a weekend filled with sidewalk sale deals and free fun for the family.

Meet the shop owners and community groups that make up our thriving neighbourhood and enjoy some special attractions such as rickshaw rides, free crafty workshops and tulip giveaways. Spring into Parkdale 2013 - Small Poster

Stay connected via Facebook and Twitter to learn more about all the Spring into Parkdale activities and how you can participate, or email us at [email protected]