Updated: Sep 22
WHAT'S IN IT FOR YOU? Two good reasons to get out of the house: A stop at Bang Bang Ice Cream + graffiti alleys around Ossington Avenue.
You may have noticed a long line on the sidewalk east of Ossington Avenue in the summer? All hungry people waiting their turn in front of Bang Bang Ice Cream’s counter for a taste of decadent cones made of bubble wafers and delectable ice cream, or ice cream sandwiches made with homemade cookies.
Those without a sweet tooth can grab a coffee at Jimmie's Coffee, near Jimmie Hendrix's great mural, or fries from BFF (Burger's n' Fries Forever).
A stroll along Ossington Street already has a lot of cachet, with all the small shops and little patios. Add to that an abundance of beautiful murals on the side streets east of Ossington, and in the alleys to the west of the main street.
The Ossington Laneway runs from Queen Street West to Humbert Street (but there are more murals further north!). It is nicely lit at night thanks to a beautification project run by The Laneway Project.
But last September, it was the scene of an unfortunate situation which was swiftly rectified). I had visited the Ossington Laneway in April 2019 and again in February 2020, and had noticed that many of the murals were new. Quite beautiful, but painted over some beloved murals. It turns out that between my two visits, The Laneway Project had given an English curator the mandate to manage the realization of seven murals on garage doors in the driveway, with the permission of the owners.
However, the English artist Ben Eine, hired by the curator, took the initiative to cover 26 doors without worrying about residents’ permission or the organization's desire to preserve works by local artists painted in 2012.
Known for his large, brightly coloured letters (one of his murals on Ossington Street bears the words Hung Out to Dry), Eine covered the garages in black (leaving small windows through which one could see parts of the old murals), over which he applied large fluorescent letters in stencil, making the alley unrecognizable.
The Laneway Project fired the curator and quickly commissioned local artists to create the murals that we can currently admire. Phew!
93 A Ossington Ave, Toronto
Hours: (last checked on August 15) , closed Mondays, open Tuesday to Thursday 2pm to 9pm., Friday & Saturday 1pm to 9:30pm, Sunday 1pm to 9 pm.
15 Ossington Ave, Toronto
Hours: (last checked on August 15) daily, 8am to 6pm.
182 Ossington Ave, Toronto
Hours: (last checked on August 15): Thursday to Sunday, 12 noon to 8pm.
This Toronto mini-walk is #13 in the #TorontoUrbanGems section in Nathalie Prezeau’s new walking guide Toronto Best Urban Strolls.)
To get the guide, visit www.torontourbangems.com.