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Friday, March 27, 2015

Ladies + Escorts: A long history at the Linsmore

The Linsmore Hotel Danforth circa 1940.
The Linsmore Hotel circa 1940. Courtesy of Ryan Mangano. 
Pioneer had the chance to have a tete-a-tete over a cold drink with Ryan M., heir to the throne of the Linsmore dynasty and current music coordinator for the grand dame of Greenwood. The conversation started out with music but turned into a scintillating history lesson about the bar scene in the early 1980s. 

The Hustler, 1961. Photo courtesy of StaticMass,net. 
Picture the scene: Four drinking establishments held court at the four quadrants of the Danforth - Eton House at Donlands, Linsmore House at Greenwood, The Crossroads at Coxwell and the Wembley (now Wise Guys) at Keystone. Although there's not much to show for it now, the Linsmore prior to the 1980's was a real roadhouse straight from a scene in The Hustler. Dark, loud and smoky. A real man's bar. Waiters in white shirt tails bounced troublemakers out the door while local sports teams played darts and pool. Ladies and escorts stayed in a room at the back and the stained glass windows allowed gentlemen to be discrete with their drinks, away from the prying eyes of wives. Over time, as liquor laws loosened up in the early 80's and the restaurant industry expanded, clientele slowly drifted away and the working class neighbourhood began to gentrify.

Lucky for all of us in the east, the current owners of the Linsmore have been working hard to bring it back as a live music venue and have been mildly successful, investing the revenue back into the building. A new facade and a new bar have been installed among other upgrades. Pioneer had to ask: what's a guy to do with a corner lot with prime real-estate? To our delight, there's a long term plan to install a patio perfect for people watching.

Will they have craft beer? Nope - says Ryan. A man's gotta be able to get a Labbat50 somewhere, after all. 

And about the $1.50 draught? It's true, you can still get a $1.50 6 oz. draught on any given afternoon, but only by special request. 

This weekend is the last weekend of 70's month, with a Pink Floyd and a Zeppelin tribute band playing Friday & Saturday night. Last weekend was sold out so check out their website for more info & get tickets here: www.linsmoretavern.com

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Oh The Times, They Are A Changin'

As we noted on Instagram the other day, our fingers were only too happy to snap a pic of the mystery establishment under construction at 1286 Danforth. Our spidey senses were tingling so we had to investigate! Our inside sources confirmed that this is going to be another restobar, on a strip that is already buzzing with mouthwatering dining options. The sign for The Dylan won't be going up until the beginning of May when construction is complete, so we're going to have to leave you hanging for now - even though we're dying to share all the juicy details. Stay tuned!

Monday, March 16, 2015

Top 50 Danforth East

There are 50 NEW Reasons to Love Danforth East in 2015!

We here at Pioneer will be the first to admit we haven't done a great job with the new year's resolutions that we blogged about on our Danforth East resolutions post.  However, we kept our promise and pulled together a new 50 Reasons To Love Danforth East for 2015 and here it is (in no specific order!):

1. #1 will always be 'the people'...
2. Easy transit access
3. Red Rocket Coffee
4. The slide at Monarch Park Pool
5. Still only 4km to the Beach!
6. Carter's Ice Cream
7. The Homemade Oreo Cookie from Celina's bakery
8. S. Walter Stewart Library 
9. East Lynn Park on Thursday afternoons
10. The Chocolate Something at Morgan's
11. Gerrard Pizza - celebrating 50 years next year!
12. Only minutes from emerg at Toronto East General
13. #wethemeat
14. The trails at Taylor Creek Park
15. Cappuccino at Seb's walk up window
16. Eating with your hands at Rendez-vous Cafe
17. Happy Sushi! 
18. The first Toronto Tool Library
19. Melanie's amazing menu 
20. Bus Terminal Friday night curry
21. The Linsmore is ROCKING!
22. Doggy vacations at Canine Social Club
23. The west facing patio at Sarah's in the Spring
24. Spinning with Andy
25. Spring tuneups from the helpful staff at Cyclepath
26. The best selection of toys at Silly Goose Kids
27. The jewelry at Artisans At Work
28. Comic geniuses at Comics & More
29. The Danforth East Arts Fair

30. The Pumpkin Parade

31. Peak Freans Cookie Outlet on O'Connor
32. Kimbourne Drop-in for moms and kids
33. The Foam Store - a valuable resource for DIYers
34. Pegasus Studio for Pilates and Kindermusik
35. The deals at Ages & Stages (oh the deals!!)
36. Bison burgers from Royal Beef
37. No excuses: 2 yoga studios, 2 pilates studios, 2 gyms, a spinning studio and CrossFit. 
38. Lots of people to run with
39. The Pop-Up Shop revolution
40. The Wren is always hopping
41. The back patio at Sauce
42. Wash Your Own Dog at WAG on Danforth
43. A pretty decent Value Village
44. Sandwiches at Stock N Trade
45. The vinyl collection at Circus Coffee
46. We have our own tshirts (I heart EY)
47. To die for croissants at Patisserie La Cignone
48. Houses with character
49. Peaceful streets
50. Front porch socializing




Monday, January 12, 2015

Reformed

Like a lot of people after the holidays are over, Pioneer is back to wearing stretchy pants whenever possible and thinking about our impossible resolutions for 2015. A good friend sent us a cartoon recently that said "I've made peace with the fact I'll never hit my goal weight.....6 lbs 5oz just isn't realistic". While our intentions are not that dramatic, we had a few things on our bucket list to check off and one of them was learn more about Pilates and what the heck's a Reformer anyway? 

Our quest led us to this hidden gem: Counterbalance Studio Pilates at 1911 Danforth Ave**, a studio co-operative started by Pilates pro Elaine Biagi Turner. 

What Pioneer really loves about this warm and inviting space is it felt like what we think a 'studio' should be. People in the fitness industry often over-utilize the term studio to imply any large space dedicated to group classes. At counterbalance, the owners host private sessions, small group classes, an attention to each participant, community harmony and an intense focus on 'moving well' both in and out of the studio. If you are a beginner and want to start out right with guidance, proper instruction and to avoid injury then this is the place for you. 

Pioneer's studio tour guide (and co-owner) Sasha recommends calling or emailing to book a one-on-one introductory session, not only for a physical assessment but also to get you familiar with how the studio works. As for the Reformer, it truly is a medieval looking contraption with tubes and sliders, but Sasha promises that it does assist with strengthening and movement (as does the "Cadillac" - another device that you might or might not see in 50 Shades......). 

Counterbalance also hosts interesting workshops that tie into the Pilates foundation so if you aren't quite ready to hit the mats, you can still ease into good health this year with The Art of Breathing (coming up Feb 7), Restorative Movement and Alignment Rescue (seriously, we all need to learn how to stand up straight!)

For more information, you can contact counterbalance here. See you on the mats!

(**unfortunately Pioneer's camera malfunctioned so no beautiful photo to share!)