Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Ontario (inc. Toronto) >
Feb 8, 2010 11:32 PM

Paul Boehmer’s Ossington Restaurant Opens Soon


2010 is looking up for the Toronto restaurant scene. It's interesting that he compares his planned retail store to Dean & Deluca rather than similar shops in Toronto (McEwan, Pusateris, etc).

  1. Looking forward to this restaurant opening. And even more so, the retail location. It's oft frustrating being in a neighbourhood with so much to offer dining wise and so little in the way of grocery locations.

    1. More gastro hubris, a la McEwan? Seems like just another layer of trendoid pretense troweled on Ossington. The celebratory Star piece goes so far as to mention his wishful thinking about how local landlords(unless he's one of them) intend to "curate" a brace of culinary tenants.Somehow no one seems to believe that City Hall has no plans to widen the Ossington party; indeed, there's apparent hostility to what's already in place. The area has already crossed over into the Queen W clone zone. Blech!

      5 Replies
      1. re: Kagemusha

        And where do you live, exactly? Because I'm pretty sure that people in that area, tired of schlepping to Liberty Village Metro or (shudder) the Price Chopper on Dufferin for quick meal ideas, would welcome some effort in their 'hood towards groceries and takeout. Even if it is too trendoid for your liking.

        1. re: childofthestorm

          Somehow, as I know I'll sound like the typical bitch once again, I'm actually empathetic with Kagemusha's comments (as much as I get annoyed by his opinions!). I get the impression that a lot of people really don't know how to cook for themselves, as it doesn't even really take a lot of effort or super expensive ingredients to whip something up that's tasty and ethically responsible. And my partner and I work-huge extensive hours-and still find the time to do it on budget, ethically and better than most TO restaurants. Sure, you can pay for the convenience, or you can buy into the "marketing" of convenience.

          Personally I would rather see more farmers markets/artisanal food producers than "celebrity chefs" proffering their ready made goods for sale in any neighbourhood at a markup only affordable by the nouveau riche moving in.

          That being said, in the society we live in, you can create a market for anything, I am just not in that market, or maybe I am just deciding to rebel against it. Chalk that up to years of living off the land and witnessing the rural areas of Ontario getting the short end of the stick :)

          I say this all without any ill will to Paul Boehmer specifically, just to be clear. Its late and I'm tired from working so late to make ends meet in an expensive city. For many, quite unfortunately, Price Chopper, No Frills and its ilk are the only ways to survive here.


          1. re: Splendid Wine Snob

            What about all the Portuguese bakeries, butcher shops and takeaways along Ossington and Dundas?...Dufferin Grove Park year-round market?...lots of not so trendy places with good food in the area if one looks...Marimba!

            1. re: Marimba

              These places are great, but maybe not so great when you're an evil yuppie getting home to your rapidly gentrifying neighbourhood from work on Tuesday at 8 pm, you know?

              1. re: childofthestorm

                from the article, i'm not entirely sure the evil yuppies will be getting what they want. he suggests that the shop is to draw people to the ossington strip during the day.

      2. I really don't understand why all the anti progressive attitudes whenever a business tries to make a go of it in a changing community. I get anti-establishment, I've never shopped at a walmart in my life - my choice, right or wrong. So, I respect that everyone is entitled to their opinion, however, Boehmer is a Torontonian, opening a venue in a Toronto neighbourhood to cater to an existing market. If it turns out that his food is bland, his atmosphere overly pretentious or his grocery selection tired and over priced, he will fail. No loss to the neighbourhood, no threat to the long time existing small grocers there. His own risk or success. What's the harm? It seems more a trend now to be snobby about what was once socially observed as a snobby locale. I know that there's been a lot of talk about the gentrification of Ossington, and both sides make some valid points. But in my eyes, living here, I see nothing but good. I really don't need to leave my immediate neighbourhood to find entertainment, good food (at any level of quality or price). But I do admit, that I'm sometimes hard pressed to find quality grocery when needed. And contrary to the opinion that one is only hindered by a lack of creativity in the Kitchen, I do cook, and cook well. It is because of this that I look for quality ingredients. Currently I need to walk to three different locations (not conveniently close to one another) to pick up the ingredients for a basic meal. I do this because I choose not to drive when avoidable. I for the most part enjoy it, but some times convenienceis a priority. Do we need to shut down every 'fine' dining establishment in the city, because not every person can frequent there? I don't expect that I can afford to dine or shop there every week myself, but I don't have to go to Boehmer's new restaurant, nor does anyone. I will go however, because I have the choice, and last time I checked, choice is a good thing we have in a great country.

        5 Replies
        1. re: mrbluemeanie

          Agree with you 100%.

          The only pretentiousness I can perceive is the pretentious preaching of people who speak out against those that are putting their money where their mouth is. Last time I checked, people were free to buy property so they can open more "acceptable" businesses in the area. Boehmer has invested in the community, has anyone criticizing his business venture done so? Boehmer is providing business stimulus and employment opportunities during a time when many people are cutting back. What are the whiners giving to the community other than an unhealthy dose of trendy soap box preaching about the over gentrification of these precious areas that used to be bright stars on the crime rate index map prior to businesses like Boehmer's moving in.

          I say put your money where your mouth is.

          I wish him luck and will definitely dine there once he opens.

          1. re: JPJ

            I agree. I don't understand how an area of the city that used to be known for crime rate can have opposition for getting cleaned up too fast. It is too bad that this will be one of the last openings here for a while.

            This place looks like it has potential and I'll check both the restaurant and retail store out once they are open.

            1. re: kwjd

              The only thing trendier than Ossington is whining about it. I've lived in the general area for almost 20 years and welcome all the changes. Ossington is an interesting area that has bars, some with a more refined drink menus, and others where you can go and hear Minor Threat and Hank Williams on the same night. There is a wide range of restaurants, boutiques and galleries. In the summer there is a farmer's market in Trinity Bellwoods. And still there are old school Portuguese butchers and bakeries, the old timers who play chess outside the store across from the beer store. Now there will be a grocery store that carries unique high-end items. I cook almost every night, I've shopped at No Frills, Trinity Bellwoods and Sarauren farmer's markets, bought cheap braising meats from the portuguese butchers but sometimes I do want high-end luxury items. Now I have that option. It's just sad that this is considered trendy and pretentious.

            2. re: JPJ

              I put my money where my mouth is every week when I deliver food vouchers to people barely surviving at the poverty line. I've just gotten cynical because as a "petit bourgeoisie" myself I've seen people get pushed out to the outer edges of communities here in Toronto. My comment was more to do with the reality of Price Chopper/No Frills stores as being the only option for many. Its easy for the well off to be able to shop at expensive stores selling luxury fine food products but what happens when that's all there is? Its already happened in many neighbourhoods in Toronto. At one point, there is no choice-the only choices are ludicrously expensive depending on the area you choose to live in.

              We live in a free market, of course. Its great that a business is opening and providing employment, I would never begrudge anyone that.

              Maybe I just need to go live in a yurt up North, or maybe I just need a vacation ; )

              1. re: Splendid Wine Snob

                People need to get a grip on the fact that gentfication is an organic, neighbourhood-building process (or neighbourhood destroying process, depending on what your politics are). It is very difficult, if not impossible, to control. If people don't like it, they should move to a new neighboourhood where rents have not increased on high-end restaurants/food shops have not emerged. Just remember that the new neighbourhood won't remain static either. Even the well-organized anti-gentrification activists in Kensington Market haven't been able to keep the gentrifying forces at bay.

                I look forward to checking out Boehmer's new place. It is sucks, then on to the next one.

          2. Boehmer's name doesn't instill much confidence in me, I'm not a fan.

            The room looks very nice, they must've sunk a lot of money into it.

            If you've been to Dean and Deluca, you'll realize the prices are even more expensive than Pusateri's or McEwan's. I would say it's Cheese Boutique sirarcha pricing level. How does that fit into the neighbourhood? You decide....

            1. ‘What’s missing from the strip, he says, is a bakery or a shop that draws people during the day.’

              I agree with the person on Toronto Life who said that Venezia Bakery is there and is a destination spot for people in the neighbourhood. Heck, when I'm in the area I always get some cod cakes and buns at the very least, usually adding in some beer cookies and orange cookies too.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Pincus

                Venezia Bakery is actually more of a destination food stop for me than a place like Union or Delux.