My Main Point
Miss Vicky's got a lot on her mind - so much she just needs to share it. You'll find assorted political observations, personal reflections and the occasional tidbit of gossip here. These are offhand remarks, after all!
So here's what's going into the second floor of Marshall's old location on Wellington West: Flava Factory Dance Studio, offering classes for kids and adults in a variety of street dance styles. I am pretty sure Wee G and AJ will be all over this.
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So I have this anonymous member of Miss Vicky's Faithful Legion that has been sending me chiding messages every once in a while, reminding me that I am falling down on my duty of keeping the neighbourhood informed.
And it's true. I have been neglecting the blog. And I am sorry! I really should ramp it up, what with this municipal election looming and all.
And then there are the changes in the 'hood. So many changes. Some of them are great - like the soon-to-be-open West End Well. Or the opening of the long-awaited LCBO. Some of them maybe not so great, like the sudden closure of Isobel's and the loss of the Harvest Loaf, which I am still mourning. And 4Cats and Character, which really caught us all off guard.
Aside from the 4Cats closure, which was the result of a legal dispute with the franchise owners, the scuttlebutt I hear is that it is increasingly difficult for small business owners to meet the demands of some Hintonburg landlords who are hoping to cash in on the rapidly-gentrifying mainstreet. I've heard rumblings of a few more moves on the street - stay tuned in the coming weeks.
But let's not dwell on the negative. Let's talk about some of the OK things that have happened.
Marhsall's gym seems to be settling nicely into the basement of the Takahashi dojo. Hopefully the downsizing means that he'll be around the neighbourhood for a while. Miss Vicky has come to rely on the training!
The Studio Café is now open and offering art classes for adults and kids, studio rental, and gallery space as well as caffeinated goodness. And it looks like they'll be offering a much-needed after school program as well. I'm not sure it cane take the place of 4Cats but it is a welcome addition to the 'hood.
The latest from the West End Well is that they'll likely be opening in a couple of weeks. They've had a lot of bumps along the road to opening, but they've been selling shares in the co-op and holding workshops and generally working on building their community of supporters. Since the Café is headed up by Stone Soup Foodworks' Jacqueline Jolliffe, I am really anticipating some tasty food.
Michael Holland's Cake and Shake opened this past week on Armstrong, right beside the Carleton Tavern. We tried a shake today, and it was pretty tasty! Lots of interesting baked goods on offer (like the white chocolate and licorice cookie...got to say that was tempting). If you've tried any of the cakes or other treats, feel free to post your reviews in the comments!
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Oh it is so nice to have the snow melting and be out and about in the 'hood once more. Was great to be on the street with the kids over the weekend, testing out the bikes and people-watching. Not so great to see the increase in people using the Hintonburger parking lot to turn around and go down our street the wrong way, or watch the short-cut-seekers speeding down our small street at an alarming weight. We may have to take some guerilla action....
At any rate, Miss Vicky received the following email today:
Hi Miss Vicky, it's your loyal web follower. I am wondering if you have any news for us about the neighborhood.
This is not the first email I have received recently reminding me I have been falling down on my self-appointed role as scribe to the comings and goings in our wonderful 'hood. I shall try to do better.
It is quite remarkable, how the street has changed. Here are a few things you have probably already noticed and maybe some tidbits that those not on twitter may not have heard.
LCBO has opened and there was much rejoicing. Now the speculation has begun about what should go in the large space next door, which formerly housed the restaurant supplies reseller.
Peekaboo Kids is closing and moving their business online. They'll be selling their fixtures, so if you're in the market, check it out.
The Studio is a combined studio/workshop space for artists and art instructors. Plans are underway for regular classes for kids and adults, and artists will be able to rent space to hold workshops. There will also be a gallery featuring both group and solo shows with an emphasis on contemporary realism, and a café component with rentable harvest tables for small meetings and gatherings. Sounds like a great fit for the Quad! Opening is slated for May 1.
Suzy Q Doughnuts is opening a second location by the Parkdale Market, in the former location of the Orange Gallery. Orange has moved to the City Centre in that amazing and underutilized heritage building (which used to house the CN Rail's bank).
Also moving to the Parkdale Market area is a new venture by pastry chef Michael Holland. Holland's Cake and Shake will be opening in the former location of Lulu and Coco.
With amazing desserts on the horizon, it's a good thing that Marshall's is still in business; they moved from their pricy location on Wellington West to the lower level of the Takahashi Dojo. It's intimate but you get the same great personal attention that you had in the own location and Miss Vicky is grateful they are still around!
OK, that's enough news for one post. Stay tuned and we'll try not to wait months before the next installment.
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Well haven't I been negligent lately. So much going on! Time for a long overdue post on the business comings and goings in the 'hood, and then we'll try to catch up on other happenings in other posts.
And I'll do one. I promise. But right now I do need to share a little news. Longtime readers will recall the efforts that Miss Vicky and other community volunteers made to keep the Hintonburg LCBO from closing. For those new to the area, it was located where the CAA has its storefront now and was closed in order to clear the way for the big box that is beside the Superstore on Richmond. We fought the decision, arguing there was plenty of business to support both stores and that keeping the Hintonburg LCBO open would help support our walkable community. But we were unsuccessful.
Lately I have been hearing rumours about a new LCBO opening in the former location of Carpet Sense. I figured they were just wishful thinking (particularly since there is a big For Lease sign still in the window).
But I decided to poke around today (mostly because I have been hearing other rumours about a distillery opening so I wanted to see if I could substantiate anything), and check out what I found on the LCBO website:
Hintonburg - Store 645 [NEW]
981 Wellington St. W.,K1Y 2Y1
Well, well. Welcome back.
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So for the last few months a group of parents and community reps have been trying to figure out what to do about the overcrowding at the two schools providing french immersion to the Dalhousie, Hintonburg, Civic Hospital, Mechanicsville, Champlain Park and Wellington Village communities. The Near West Accommodation Review Working Group was struck by the OCDSB; they're tasked with coming up with a recommendation for trustees to debate in the fall, for implementation in September 2014.
It has not been an easy process.
The reality is we have two schools bursting at the seams, and other schools that are being underutilized. But there's no easy, one-size-fits all solution, and parts of many of the possibilities on the table are really unappealing to certain groups of families, for different reasons.
I'm not going to get into those tonight. But I do want to let you know that there is a public meeting on the Near West Accommodation Review this Thursday, June 20, from 7:00 - 9:00 pm in the Auditorium of Nepean High School.
There are a lot of parents out there who don't think this decision is going to affect them. But they just might be wrong. The reality is that significant numbers from each of Devonshire and Elmdale Schools need to be moved to another location. Establishing new programs in some schools might mean existing programs have to move elsewhere. This could mean English programs at Connaught, grade 7-8 programs at Fisher Park, MFI at Hilson, Summit Alternative.... or none of them. There's a lot up in the air, so if you've got kids in public school in the area, or you've got younger kids and want to help shape elementary education in your neighbourhood, then this is a meeting you need to attend.
Child care will be available. I think there will be breakouts so it will be a good chance to engage. See you Thursday.
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