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Archive for the ‘Annex Community Events’ Category

Seaton Village Hosts D-I-Y Music Festival June 9

Wednesday, June 6th, 2018

Open Tuning is a free music festival being offered this Saturday, June 9th in the heart of Toronto’s west end.

Amped up by the success of previous festivals, this will be the fifth annual event for Open Tuning and Freeman Real Estate is happy to be a part of the festivities. The family-run boutique firm has been a fixture on Bathurst Street for nearly five decades so when there is opportunity to give back to the community, the Freemans enjoy doing so. This year, Freeman is sponsoring Freeman Laneway Stage, which will feature some of the many great bands playing at the festival.

“This is our second year participating in Open Tuning,” says Dan Freeman, senior vice president and broker of Freeman Real Estate. “We enjoy these kinds of events as they allow us the opportunity to meet neighbours and those who live and visit the neighbourhood. More importantly, though, we like participating because it’s a way of giving back to the community that has been so good to us.”

The streets of Seaton Village will come alive this Saturday with live music, in a variety of genres, playing at unique venues throughout the neighbourhood. The festival seeks to celebrate live music and the many ways we understand it: creating music, performing it, experiencing and listening. Musicians young and old, from various musical genres and experience levels are invited to perform at the various venues which include front porches, parks, alleyways, garages and street corners.

“I think what’s neat about this festival is the grassroots, sort of democratic approach it takes,” Freeman says. “No matter what your experience is with music you can get up and perform, providing you register first, of course. Who knows? I may even consider it.”

This year’s line-up of acts includes the Fourteen Hens Band from 2 to 3 p.m., the Governor Douglas Band from 3 to 5, Tyler Simmons from 5 to 6 and from 6 to 7:30, the Storm Free Band.

Last year’s event welcomed more than 100 artists at over 20 different venues within Seaton Village. Musicians included first timers and professionals such as members of Toronto’s Broken Social Scene and Jane Siberry.

The festival began in 2014 thanks to a group of area residents, who were inspired by a similar event known as Fete de la Musique, which is held in Paris, France.

Open Tuning is entirely volunteer-driven with no paid advertising or corporate sponsorship.

Seaton Village is just west of the Annex and it bounded by Bloor and Dupont and Bathurst and Christie Streets.



Tuesday, December 12th, 2017

Freeman Real Estate is reprising its community giving this holiday season with a charitable gift that is even bigger and better than last year’s.

The family-run boutique realtor is stepping up its contribution to the community this year on Sunday, December 17 with a GREAT TURKEY GIVE that will see some 9,000 pounds of turkey given to members of the public on a first-come, first-served basis.

This is the second annual turkey giveaway for the Bathurst Street realtor, which launched the GIVE in 2016 as a way of giving back to the community and keeping the tradition of Ed Mirvish alive.

Freeman is located at 988 Bathurst Street, just four blocks north of the former Honest Ed’s store, which gave away free turkeys during the holidays for many years. Freeman is a company with a reputation for supporting community causes, charities and interests.

“For over 40 years, starting with my father, the Freeman family has been practicing real estate at this very location on Bathurst Street,” says Elden Freeman, Broker of Record. “The community we serve means a lot to us. Giving away turkeys is our way of saying thank you, engaging with those we serve and hopefully inspiring others to spread generosity and goodwill during the holiday season.”

Freeman has partnered with Bathurst Street organizations Spirit of Math, 918 Bathurst and A Nerd’s World for the giveaway. Spirit of Math is a leader in after-school mathematics education. Located in the Annex, 918 Bathurst is a centre for culture, arts, media and education. A Nerd’s World is a one-stop shop for all your online marketing needs.

The turkeys are completely free of charge and for each turkey given Freeman plans to donate to St. Alban’s Boys & Girls Club, an organization that offers programming for children and youth.

On hand to help give away the turkeys will be Toronto city councilors Mike Layton, Joe Mihevc, Joe Cressy and a number of other political figures and local celebrities.

The GIVE begins at 9 a.m. at Freeman Real Estate located at 988 Bathurst Street.



Happy to Pick Up Where Honest Ed’s Left Off

Wednesday, December 7th, 2016


Freeman Real Estate is launching a brand new community event this month that pays tribute to the memory of a much-loved retailing icon and honours the Freeman Real Estate spirit of community giving.

On Sunday, Dec. 18, Freeman is hosting a free turkey giveaway at the real estate company’s office at 988 Bathurst Street. The event, which begins at 12 noon, will see 500 turkeys given away to members of the public.

Located just four blocks north of Honest Ed’s, Freeman Real Estate is a family-run boutique real estate firm with a reputation for supporting community causes, charities and efforts. Honouring Ed Mirvish’s memory and the real estate company’s tradition of community giving helped plant the idea for the turkey giveaway.

“We always admired Ed’s charity and we thought this was a good opportunity for us to keep the tradition going,” says Elden Freeman, Broker of Record.  “We’re big believers in our local community. As residents and business persons, we benefit a good deal from our community. This is one way we can pay back and say thank you.”

Spirit of Math is also getting into the holiday spirit by sponsoring a portion of the gobbler giveaway.  Spirit of Math is an innovative leader in after-school mathematics education with more than 40 campuses in North America.

The turkeys are completely free of charge and for each turkey given away Freeman will donate 50 cents to St. Alban’s Boys & Girls Club, an organization that provides programming for children and youth.

On hand will be Ward 20 city councillor Joe Cressy. St. Alban’s executive director Chris Foster and boys and girls from the club will also be there to help give out the turkeys.

The Annex landmark, Honest Ed’s, gave away free turkeys at Christmastime for 28 years, ending the tradition this year. The retailer at Bathurst and Bloor Streets will close in 2017 to make way for condos and commercial space.

If this year’s giveaway is a success, Freeman intends to make the event bigger and better for next year.

A Neighbourhood Goes for Green

Friday, April 29th, 2016


The Harbord Village Residents’ Association (HVRA) is aiming to imprint a great big collective green thumb on its neighborhood by replacing concrete and asphalt with plants, grass and trees.

Harbord Village, which is bordered by Bloor, College, Spadina and Bathurst Street, is a neighbourhood that while lush with greenery and private gardens has little public green space, except for three tiny parkettes. The residents’ group decided to approach the city about developing a green plan and with the input of the Harbord and Bloor Annex BIAs, the 2015 Harbord Village Green Plan was born.

“We’ve done the plan and now it’s a matter of mobilizing the community,” says Tim Grant, chair of the association. “We already have an active effort on Croft Laneway where neighbours there have already gotten together and planned three different plantings scheduled for this spring. It’s neighbours helping neighbours and I hope to use that as a model to encourage others.”

The 600-plus member association hooked up with city councilor Joe Cressy in addition to local BIAs to devise its plan, which includes the greening of street corners, laneways, planters and derelict and under-used areas in the neighbourhood.

The first plan of attack addresses the often unoccupied paved space where residential streets meet commercial strips along Bloor, Harbord and College. The green plan calls for planting opportunities at 13 different locations in which in-ground planting, raised container beds, bicycle parking and seating might be provided.

As Harbord Village is home to over 25 laneways, the plan calls for a number of initiatives aimed at improving and greening the neighbourhood’s network of corridors and passages, with current emphasis on Croft Laneway and Sussex Mews. These include encouraging neighbours to plant containers in free spaces next to garages or in paving gaps along building walls, hanging flowering baskets from light standards where appropriate, creating punctures along the centre of laneways and introducing resilient plant species, introducing vining along walls and fences and seeking opportunities for rain barrels and other catchments to provide water.

The plan recommends the replacement of pitchpoint planters. These concrete planters, many of which are marked with graffiti, are only marginally effective at slowing motorists. The residents’ group would rather see an in-ground pitchpoint, which allows ample space for plants, shrubs and trees. These in-ground street features effectively slow traffic and discourage graffiti.

The development of parks in under-capacity parking lots, abandoned recreational courts and sections of surplus lawn around apartment buildings all have potential when it comes to green space.

On May 18, the HRVA is holding its annual spring meeting at the Kensington Health Centre at 45 Brunswick Ave.

“We’re excited about this,” Grant says. “Now we need to get boots on the ground and make things happen.”




Hibernate No More!

Monday, January 25th, 2016

It’s easy to understand why Torontonians want to crank up their heat and stay indoors during January and February. But don’t let cool temperatures and a little snow accumulation prevent you from exploring the city.

Despite the chill, there are plenty of fun and fascinating events taking place. Here’s our look at some of the more unique ones:

New Height for Rooftop Skating Rink


There is something decidedly exciting about skating outdoors but when you’re gliding amidst other towering rooftops there’s an added kick. Check out Molson Canadian’s 100-by-45-foot ice pad set 32 stories high atop the financial district at 120 Adelaide St. W. You can purchase ice time between January 29 and February 7.

The Hills are Alive with Toboggans

Toronto has a surprising number of great spots, from baby hills for real beginners to steep cliffs that only old seasoned sledders can navigate. Cedarvale Park, Winston Churchill Park, Christie Pits and Bickford Parks all offer good variety in terms of different size hills.



One of the city’s favourite foodie festivals gets underway January 29 and runs to February 11. Winterlicious offers delicious cuisine and unique culinary events at more than 200 restaurants. For more details, see website for details .

Want Fries With That?

La Poutine Week is the crème de la crème of fried foodie festivals that begins Feb 1 and goes to Feb. 7. For $10, you get to try a poutine dish from participating restaurants and then vote on the best Poutine Week location.

Spot of Tea


If your tastes fun a bit more refined, perhaps you’d enjoy exploring the world of tea at the Toronto Tea Festival. The two-day event at the Toronto Reference Library takes place January 30 and 31. A one-day pass is $15; two-day pass is $25. For more info, click here.

Try the Castle on for Size

Casa Loma offer two popular escape games for the adventurous at heart. Blending fact with fiction and gaming with theatre, the escape games offered here – Escape from the Tower and King of the Bootleggers – require advanced bookings. If gaming isn’t for you, consider the January 23 Robbie Burns celebration which includes a four-course Johnnie Walker scotch pairing dinner. See website for more.



Come Skate With Us

Monday, December 7th, 2015


Freeman Real Estate is once again inviting the community it serves to join its realtors, managers and owners for a free skate this weekend at the Bill Bolton Arena on 40 Rossmore Road in Toronto.

The free skate takes place on Saturday from 5:15 to 6:15 p.m. Refreshments will also be served.

A fixture within the business community of Seaton Village and Toronto’s independent real estate brokerage firms, Freeman has a long-standing tradition of community outreach and giving thanks to the clients and customers it has proudly served since 1972.

“The span of time we’ve spent on Bathurst Street has been good to the Freeman family,” says Elden Freeman, president of Freeman Real Estate. “And I think that goodness funnels back to the customers we’ve acquired in real estate. This is one small way we can show our gratitude and wish all of our clients and customers a Merry Christmas.”

The Freemans enjoy staging local community events year round and have organized historic tours of noteworthy neighbourhoods and sponsored dance performances as well as educational seminars that are open to the public.

Bear in mind that skating is great exercise because it’s easy on your joints and terrific for improving balance, coordination and muscle strength. You can also burn calories on ice skates. Be sure to dress in warm, light layers so you can adjust your clothing depending on how hot or cold you feel. You may want to consider a helmet as well.

Since space is limited at the free skate, you’re best to RSVP your intention to participate at frontdesk@freemanrealty.com or call at 416-535-3103.

See you on the ice!


Toronto Festivals for the End of Summer 2015

Friday, September 25th, 2015

Thinking about ways to while away the last few days of summer? Try attending some of the varied, fun and interesting outdoor festivals the city has in store over the next week or two:

Food truck Festival – Sept. 27

Bring your appetite to Downsview Park for this event featuring 16 delicious gourmet food trucks. Included in the line-up is Busters Sea Cove, ME.N.U Food Truck, Fit to Grill and Indian fusion nosh from Tdots Naansense.

Cider Festival – Sept. 26

Looking for an interesting and new way to cap off your summer? Look no further than the Toronto Cider Festival at the Yonge-Dundas Square. The event showcases craft ciders from across the country as well as Toronto food trucks, live music, cocktail competitions, games and contests.

Word on the Street – Sept. 27

This national celebration of literacy and the written word invites you to participate in author events, presentations, workshops, and to browse a marketplace that boasts one of the best selections of Canadian books and magazines. This free festival at Harbourfront Centre has something for all ages, from children and youth to adults and seniors.

 Woofstock – Sept. 26 & 27

At Woodbine Park, this admission-free event is the largest outdoor festival for dogs and their faithful owners in all of North America. With over 200,000 attendees and 150,000 canines, expect the unexpected in addition to a slew of doggy-related vendors and activities such as stupid dog tricks, canine beauty pageants and dog races.

Canada’s Walk of Fame Festival – Sept. 25 to Oct. 1

Showcasing 100 per cent Canadian talent, this festival features free performances at Yonge-Dundas Square, the Massey Hall concert series and new musical talent at the Horseshoe Tavern. Canadians in all fields are inducted into the hall of fame thanks to this non-profit organization that seeks to pay tribute and recognize Canadian achievement.

Gentleman’s Expo – Sept. 25 to 27

This celebration of manhood at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre covers every gentlemanly pursuit from fashion, cars and alcohol to sex, entrepreneurship and gaming with more than 100,000 square feet of brands and experiences.

Small World on Common Ground – Sept. 26 & 27

A free festival featuring music and arts on the grounds of historic Fort York. Enjoy this family friendly cultural feast that also includes spoken-word artists, pow wow fit sessions, crafts and food.


Wandering about Wychwood

Monday, September 14th, 2015

As part of its ongoing series of neighbourhood walks, Freeman Real Estate is hosting a historic tour of Wychwood Park on Sunday, September 27 at 1 p.m.

As part of its ongoing series of neighbourhood walks, Freeman Real Estate is hosting a historic tour of Wychwood Park on Sunday, September 27 at 1 p.m.

Formerly known as the gated community of Bracondale Hill, Wychwood Park is a small enclave that was set up around the turn of the last century as an artists’ colony thanks to Marmaduke Matthews, an artist and aficionado of the Arts and Crafts movement. Matthews would gain prominence as an artist after painting traditional Canadian scenes that appeared in the illustrated ad work of Canadian Pacific Railway.

Matthews’ friend Alexander Jardin owned a huge block of land in the Wychwood area, which is north of Davenport Road and just west of Bathurst. Jardin sold a good chunk of that land to artists. The land was still very rural back then, when Matthews planned his pastoral community and named it after Wychwood in his native Oxfordshire.

“The area is a little enclave that is almost not part of the city,” says Marilyn Spearin, a local history buff and former school teacher who is leading the tour.

She is referring to the fact that although Wychwood was amalgamated into the city of Toronto in 1909, it remains a private community. The streets and amenities are paid for by the local residents, and the community is managed by an executive council. As one of Toronto’s more exclusive neighbourhoods, house prices easily top a million dollars.

During its start, the land was divided into irregularly shaped lots situated around a central park, pond and tennis courts designed by Toronto architect Arthur Edwin Whatmough.  Many of the homes in Wychwood were designed by Whatmough in the Arts and Crafts style.

Several well-known people have lived there, including Marshall McLuhan and Anatol Rapoport. In 1985 the area became the first residential zone in Ontario to be granted heritage status. A handful of other homes were designed by Eden Smith, a well-known architect who lived in the neighbourhood.

Wychwood is a leafy area home to ravines, old-growth trees and Taddle Creek, a six-kilometre stream that has been largely buried throughout most of the city except in a few spots including Wychwood where it is visible above ground.

The tour On September 13 will also encompass a visit to the nearby Tollkeeper’s Cottage, an historic tollgate structure discovered in the early ‘90s that now houses a museum and a gift shop. Located at Davenport and Bathurst, the cottage is also now home to a blue canoe thanks to the David Suzuki Foundation. As part of the foundation’s homegrown national parks project, the canoe is designed and planted with plants that encourage bees and butterflies. For more info visit www.tollkeeperscottage.ca.

The tour is expected to take one-and-a-half to two hours in total. Participants are asked to meet outside of the Freeman Real Estate office at 988 Bathurst Street just before 1 p.m. Rain date is set for October 4.


Toronto: July: Festivals Galore

Saturday, July 11th, 2015

Summer in the city means plenty of exciting festivals and events showcasing everything from athletes and jazz music to gelato, movies and dance. Here’s a look at what July has to offer:





This July-long yum-fest featuring Toronto restaurants allows you to sample diverse and innovative cuisine at a fraction of the regular cost thanks to prix-fixe menus. See here for more info about participating restaurants.

Toronto Fringe Festival







Running until July 12, this event is a potpourri of odd, inspiring and poignant performances that can centre on everything from Shakespeare to Oreo cookies. This year’s line-up boasts over 60 comedy shows, 14 dance and physical theatre shows, 30 dramas, 13 musicals, 20 national and 12 international companies hailing from around the globe. For details, click here .

Toronto 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games






Cheer on your fave aspiring Olympian as the best athletes from 41 countries and territories compete. Tickets start at just $20. Get your tickets here.

Beaches International Jazz Festival






From July 10 to 26, groove to a kaleidoscope of cool musicians in this 27th annual event featuring four stages of international talent. See website for more info.

Toronto Summer Music Festival

Marking its tenth year, this international classical music festival and academy brings world-renowned performing artists to Toronto for an unparalleled combination of concerts, guest lectures and master classes. See website for more information.

Scotiabank Caribbean Carnival






Three weeks of Caribbean music, cuisine, visual and performing arts and revelry are up for grabs this month at this international event, the largest cultural festival of its kind in North America. For more information, click here.

Open Roof Festival

This not for profit, outdoor music and film festival highlights independent filmmakers and artists from Canada and around the world. Profits go to Canada’s independent film production and music communities. For details, click here.

Play the Parks

From June to September the Yonge BIA is offering a free concert series and wellness program. Various downtown parks such as Trinity Park and College Park Courtyard offer an array of musical performers during various times. Click here for more.

Christie Pits Film Festival

Sundays at sunset is the date and time to take in this year’s theme of films about great villains. Enjoy classics such as Nosferatu, The Birds and There Will Be Blood. There’s nothing like an al fresco film to celebrate summer. For more information, see website.

Sunday Serenades

Running every Sunday until August 16, is big band, jazz and swing acts at Mel Lastman Square from 7:30 to 9:30 pm. For details, click here.


To experience the rhythms, sights, sounds and delicious aromas of Brazil be sure to check out this 12th annual event on July 19 at Earlscourt Park. Go to website for more.

Pan American Food Festival

if you enjoy the culture and flavours of the Americas – North, South, Central and the Caribbean – this one’s for you. The free event takes place from July 30 to August 3 at Daniels Spectrum in Regent Park. See Pan American Food Festival for info.




June 2015: The Month of Festivals in Toronto

Friday, June 19th, 2015

When you look at the list of community events, festivals, parades and general merriment descending upon Toronto this June, it’s understandable that you might feel a bit tired already. With so much to do and so little time, we’d better get started:


When?: June 19 to 28

This annual 10-day celebration of the arts features talks, dance, art, music, song, film, food and theatre. Look for talks by Nelly Furtado, cabaret acts and so much more. Click here for details.


Ontario Craft Beer Week

When?: June 12 to 21

Marks this province-wide craft beer celebration. OCB Week is designed to expose consumers to the craft beer experience through tasting events, brewery tours, meet the brew master events, cooking demonstrations and more. For more information, click here.


Pride Parade

When?: June 19 to 28

This is when the Toronto Pride Festival takes place. Capping off the nine-day celebration is the world’s largest pride parade on Sunday June 28. Click here for more details.


Toronto Ribfest

When?: June 27 to July 1

Rotary Etobicoke invites you to kick off your summer at its 16th annual Toronto Ribfest. With two stages of entertainment, a free KidzZone and Toronto’s largest mobile midway it’s no wonder the festival makes the Top 100 list for Ontario festivals and events. Click here for details.


Live in Bellwoods: Great Heart Festival

When?: June 18 to 21

Trinity Bellwoods is hosting its annual Great Heart Festival for the sixth year. Featuring a lengthy list of unplugged performances, be there or be square. Click here for more details.


Toronto Jazz Festival

When?: June 18 to 29 

Here are a few performances that don’t require tickets. June 19 features three separate performances open to the public: George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic, Dumpstaphunk, and Morris Day & The Time. Check out the full calendar here.


Symphony in the Gardens at Casa Loma

When?: Every Tuesday evening beginning June 9 to August 25.

Starring the Toronto Concert Orchestra, this weekly event features the works of Edith Piaf, Mozart, movie scores and so much more. For more info click here.


Summer Music in the Park

When?: Fridays, 11:30 am to 2:30 pm, Saturdays and statutory holidays, 1:30 pm – 4:30 pm, from June 5 to September 12 (weather permitting) at the Village of Yorkville Park – Check out the line-up here.

Scotiabank CHIN Picnic

When?: June 19 to 21

Join the more than 250,000 picnickers who head down to College Street for this, the largest free multicultural festival going. Click here for more details.


Junction Summer Festival

When?: June 20

Put on by the Junction’s BIA, this summer solstice festival marries commerce with art installations, pageantry with live music and street food with buskers. For more information, click here.


Indigenous Arts Festival

When?: June 18 to 20

At historic Fort York celebrate traditional and contemporary music, dance, theatre, storytelling, spoken word, visual arts, crafts, and food created by indigenous artists. Click here for details.


Taste of Little Italy 

When?: June 19 to 21

Check out College Street between Bathurst and Shaw for this 16th annual event that features Italian music, food and so much more. Visit here for more details.



Battle of Black Creek

When?: June 20 & 21

Over one hundred soldiers set up camp for this colourful Revolutionary War re-enactment with a full scale battle. Kids will love the rubber band shooting gallery and the excitement of the encampments and demonstrations.  Click here for more details.


Traditional Outdoor Pow Wow

When?: June 21

Na-Ma-Res (Native Men’s Residence) holds its annual Pow-Wow to recognize National Aboriginal Day, June 21st, the Summer Solstice. The event is free, open to the public and features traditional dancing, drumming, feasts, giveaways, and children’s activities. For more information, click here.



When?: June 18

This festival runs for three months over the summer and features multiple installations that express the creativity of the artist while drawing attention to important issues affecting the environment. This show will also feature a number of performance art pieces that narrate the history of Todmorden Mills and the surrounding area. Click here for more details.


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