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Introducing the Bloor and Ossington-ish Area

Toronto is hailed for its multiculturalism. It’s a web of diverse neighbourhoods, containing colourful characters who experience mini-adventures in their day-to-day: man versus his environment, man versus man, and man versus himself. This blog pays tribute to survivors of Bloor and Ossington.

Heroes in economically depressed areas are overlooked by the masses, they are undermined by celebrities; they are ignored by magazine publications. But there are always local stars, neighbourhood folk who, like footprints embossed on still wet cement, mark Toronto sidewalks with uniqueness.


This introductory post will pay homage to former stars of Blossington that were once great in our micro-world, but have passed on to another area of the city.


On the corner of Roxton and Bloor lies a café, Saving Gigi. It is a fan-favorite for neighbourhood locals. Families, couples, business partners, solo-socialists, old and young come to Saving Gigi to enjoy good sandwiches and excellent coffee in a friendly, comfortable atmosphere.

Bloorcourt wasn't always that fortunate though. The café was once run with an iron fist, and a lot of potentially loyal customers were scared away. Many a disgruntled customer have only now begun to return to Saving Gigi and become frequenters. The original tyrannical co-owners sold about three months ago.

Along with Monica, the strictly-business minded owner of Saving Grace, Luigi, aka Gi, aka Lui, aka Lu, aka Coffee Nazi, used to terrorize desperate-for-good-chilling customers. Luigi and his business partner (and, *ahem* old lover. Ooops, guess I spilled the coffee beans) recently sold the café (it was a very hush-hush operation) to one of their former employees and her partner. Amelia and Kristjan - the new owners - are like the prom king and queen of Blossington now.

Luigi, once one of the greatest stars on Blossington stage, has moved out and onward opening yet another café, Rockabilly Rock around Davenport and Oakland. It was lonely at the top. The Bloorcourt tyrant, though harsh, will still be missed, mostly for his gossip generating antics.

Former owner of Saving Gigi, Luigi.

Another former cast member is LCBO-Ryan. Unlike Lui, everybody loved this guy. With his leather patched, tweed jacket and thick rimmed glasses, Ryan was like the moment before a first kiss for local alcoholics. In that brief moment between selecting booze, and the satisfaction of finally pressing your lips against the bottle (or can), Ryan was the perfect segue representing the transaction at the cash register.

He's been promoted to a bigger, nicer LCBO, and will be missed for entertaining us with his natural charm.

(from left to right LCBO-Ryan, LCBO-Ralph)

Blossington will also miss LCBO-Ralph's beard (seen above), which is no longer available. At least we still have the man behind the beard. LCBO-Ralph is great because, when sheltered behind locked glass doors, he repetitively yells, "You had all day!" to desperate alcoholics trying to squeeze into the store a minute after close.

(All photos by DmD)

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