The Long Goodbye

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At the beginning of 2014, I was a mom to two small children, 2 and 6. Although I had lived in the Junction/Bloor West Village area for 4 years by that time, I was still getting to know the neighbourhood. Walking by unmarked doors, I would wonder what lay behind them. What small business operated underneath that inscrutable shingle? So, I put together my natural curiosity (some would say nosiness) and my journalism degrees to create The Westside’s Story.

In its first manifestation, The Westside’s Story appeared in March of 2014 as a monthly e-newsletter, replete with articles and numerous listings. I focussed on the many local creative persons and small businesses that populate this area and created about 50 pages of listings per month. This continued until August of 2015, when the e-newsletter evolved into a blog.

Concentrating less on business/creatives articles and extensive listings, The Westside’s Story began to feature local politicians, reader-created content, weekly happenings, and topical articles. And, in the past year, our focus has turned to events, including our annual Camp Fair and our Pop-Up Tours.

Inspired by all the interesting businesses I had encountered through The Westside’s Story, and wanting to introduce the community to places in their midst that they may not have yet discovered, I came up with Pop-Up Tours. It was a great way to experience that community spirit up close and in person. And it has been a great success, with many happy participants exploring their neighbourhood and discovering some not-so-hidden gems while also having fantastic experiences and a lot of fun!

As my kids have grown and things have become much busier, I realized that I really want to concentrate on producing these fabulous events. So, as much as I will miss it, I have decided it is time to put The Westside’s Story to rest. I hope it has been as helpful to you as it has to me as an introduction to, and discovery of, the neighbourhood and all it has to offer.

Please visit Pop Up Tours at our Facebook page and website, and at @PopUpTours on Twitter and Instagram. We have fabulous evenings that we are planning for the next few months.

Or, perhaps you would be interested in a curated event for 8 to 10 people to celebrate a birthday, special occasion, or small work gathering. Just let us know of your interest, and we will tailor a night out to your group.

Check out our most recent Pop Up Tour!:

We started at Centauri Arts, where we had the chance to work our literary muscles with a writing exercise and worked together to create some very interesting poetry.

Our next stop was Archtop Cafe, where we found out about their Sunday jazz brunch and upcoming vinyl sales expansion into the basement. We were then led in a tea tasting, with delicious treats complementing each drink.

We ended the evening at local Nuevo Latino restaurant Boom, with a Pisco Sour cocktail demonstration and tasting, accompanied by tasty finger foods.

Let’s toast to Pop Up Tours!

What’s Happening in the ‘Hood?

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If you want to discover more about your neighbourhood, come with us on Wednesday evening to explore an established restaurant, a cafe newcomer, and an arts academy right in Bloor West Village! Pop-Up Tours are a great way to get more in touch with your community. Continue reading

What’s Happening in the ‘Hood?

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If you’re looking for something to do with the kids this week, there are programs every day at our local libraries. Check them out, and maybe check out a few books, too. Continue reading

Mix it Up in Bloor West Village!

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Welcome in Spring with our latest Pop-Up Tour. Our next event, Mix It Up in Bloor West Village happens Wednesday, March 22 at 7:15pm.

We will begin at Centauri Arts, where you can discover your inner author. Our next stop is the unique Archtop Cafe for a tea tasting with a food pairing. We end the evening at Bloom Restaurant, where we will learn how to mix Pisco Sour and Caipirinha cocktails, and enjoy them with finger foods.

That’s a lot of delicious food and drink, and a lot of fun, for $30 per person. And all food, drink, and extras are included! But there are only spots for 10 people (and they’re going quickly), so go to the link and snap up your tickets now.

Here are some shots from our last event – Good Taste at Annette and Runnymede II: Continue reading

What’s Happening in the ‘Hood?

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Lots of opportunities for giving and learning in the neighbourhood this week. An all-around feel-good week! Continue reading

What’s Happening in the ‘Hood?

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This coming Saturday is sign-up for city-led recreation activities, including Summer Camps! And, if you’re looking for other Summer Camp ideas, don’t forget to email us at junctionbwv@gmail.com so that we can send you links to all the camps that were featured at our 2017 Camp Fair. Continue reading

What’s Happening in the ‘Hood?

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Happy Family Day! Although a lot is closed around the city today, there is still so much to do. Go skating in the outdoor rinks, visit a cultural centre like the ROM or the AGO, or stay in with the fam and play games or just hang out and relax. Enjoy your time together with your family (whether home-grown or cultivated) and appreciate the strength in your bonds. Continue reading

Local Day Camp Fair 2017

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On February 5, The Westside’s Story hosted its 2nd annual Local Day Camp Fair, at Pinot’s Palette. A number of camps participated, sending enthusiastic representatives, and a selection of informative literature and interactive elements for parents and children.

Parents were able to speak to camp representatives, ask them in-depth questions about camp curriculum and other details, and get a feel for the atmosphere the camps provide. And kids were able to meet camp facilitators and get a feel for whether a specific camp was right for them.

The diversity of the showcased camps was quite impressive, from focus on the arts and outdoors activities, to building self esteem, and STEM learning. It was a wonderful opportunity to delve more deeply into the camps that are available for our children. And Pinot’s Palette was a wonderful and generous host location for our event, and a welcome addition to the neighbourhood.

If you missed the chance to drop by the Local Day Camp Fair, please email junctionbwv@gmail.com to request a list of links for all participating camps.

What’s Happening in the ‘Hood?

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Valentine’s Day is happening this Tuesday, so take your sweetheart out to one of the neighbourhood’s many fabulous restaurants and celebrate!  Continue reading