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.
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!