Jimmy’s (Ossington)

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Head on back

Click above to listen to this, complete with ambient soundscape!

It’s right next to Sweaty Betty’s. And I’ll bet you’ll walk right past it without noticing it the first time you come.

I did. I did again the next time, and had to turn around a block later. I was so distracted by the ambient funkiness of the neighbourhood and the various photogenically unclean walls nearby, I didn’t see the small coffee icon hanging over the sidewalk and I didn’t look at the single door and square multi-paned window. This Jimmy’s has a very small street frontage.

It also has a very small patio at the back.

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Eyes front

In between the two, it’s about five times as long as it is wide. When you come in, you pass a counter at the window and two tables against the wall, and then you get to the espresso bar. Behind that is a step up and then everyone. Eight small round white marble tables, the same kind as at Jimmy’s on McCaul; wall benches; chairs that appear to have been rescued from a school while it was being demolished, including some padded ones from the staff room; a big wooden table at the back; an outdated wall map of Canada probably also from the same school; facing it, bookshelves filled with outdated encyclopedias which appear to have been used about as much as school library encyclopedias have (some parts well consulted, other pages probably never seen by human eyes). Also on a wall: a fabric map of the west side of Toronto south of Bloor showing all the Jimmy’s locations at the time of its making. The ceiling is… hell, I’m not even sure what it is at the back. Dirty mirrors, worn-down signage, eye decay, IDK. The ceiling in the front has wood and then shiny pressed tin.

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This is seriously the ceiling. See me reflected at the table lower left?

Look, it’s a Jimmy’s. It’s hip as funk. The atmosphere is absolutely primo for working stiffs of the e-gig economy. There are various electrical outlets. I’m usually one of the oldest people in the place, but since I’m used to not actually fitting in anywhere I go, I have to think about it even to notice it.

The music varies; today it’s funky as hip. Heavy diesel vehicles go by on Ossington all the time and nearly drown out the music for a second or two. The washrooms are in the basement, down the classic old-Toronto-building straight-flight steps. The coffee is the same as at any Jimmy’s, which means it’s good and you have lots of choices. On a sweaty summer day, you can get nitro cold brew too.

And you’re on the south end of Ossington. Many people who live farther east in Toronto don’t know about it, but this drag reeks of hipness. Your first clue is Sweaty Betty’s, a dark and cool and funky bar next door that you can displace to at beer o’clock. Continue up the street and there are various restaurants and similar joints, plus a micobrewery with a pub and a store. You’re not too far from The Good Neighbour at Argyle and Dovercourt, either. In fact, I’m going there next.

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This is where the magic happens

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