This evening we sallied forth across the invisible border between Long Branch (or The LB as our neighbour Kate calls it) and New Toronto to a new joint called Ember. We used to go there when it was Long Grain Pan Asian food, but that’s ancient South Etobicoke history and Ember is the new kid in town.
The attraction tonight was live music – our friend and neighbour Chris Plock was playing along with a guitar player. Chris sings and plays all the saxes and clarinet and flute. Steve on guitar also sings, and these guys sound great together. It was especially fun because some other neighbours, Kate and Leon and Jolene and Phil came too. (by the way I realized tonight that I haven’t exactly told my neighbours I’ve had this 27th Street blog going since we moved here several years ago….surprise!)
For us it had to be a short evening, both because we get up at 5:30 weekday mornings so we generally can’t stay up too late, but as well, Tuffy P still needs lots of rest – regular readers will know that a little over a month ago, she became a liver donor, donating the right lobe of her liver to help give someone who needed one to live a fighting chance. It may have been a short night out but it was a fun one.
I’ve likely confused some readers by talking about South Etobicoke and Long Branch and New Toronto – and I didn’t even bring up Mimico. Maybe I should try to explain.
A number of years ago, Toronto was amalgamated. The area in which I live was once the Borough of Etobicoke, quite a big area on the west side of the city from the lake to Steeles Avenue on the north. Toronto proper is to the east and Mississauga is to the west. Etobicoke itself, along the lake, had three distinct “villages”, once upon a time. These were:
- Mimico on the east – from Fleeceline Rd and Louisa St to the east to Dwight Ave to the west and north to maybe Evans Ave (?).
- New Toronto in the middle, from Dwight to 23rd St on the west
- And Long Branch, from 23rd St west to Etobicoke Creek in Marie Curtis Park.
At some point in the 60s, the three villages were amalgamated into Etobicoke and in 1998 Etobicoke was amalgamated into Toronto. In spite of the efforts of politicians to chunk everything together (with a promise of big savings which somehow didn’t materialize, but that’s another story), residents around here still identify as part of Etobicoke and as part of one of the three villages. We might say we live in South Etobicoke or we might say we live in Long Branch, or if we’re talking with someone who has no idea about those places, we might even say we live in Toronto.
Our neighbourhoods are unique because they border Lake Ontario on the south and they are isolated from the rest of the city by both the rail tracks and the QEW/Gardiner expressway. One of these days, I’ll devote some space to some of the history around these parts.
Tonight, Kate was saying we should do a blog called The LB (for Long Branch) all about life in The LB. That’s when I mentioned that I run the 27th Street blog. I suppose I should have spread the word about it ages ago, but I guess I figured people would find this place if they’re interested. I know there are a few lurkers out there who live in the area. I post regularly as you know, but I don’t put much effort (translate: any) into promoting this blog. Of course there’s room for more than one blog on 27th Street – or maybe I can convince Kate to make some posts on this blog! Perhaps I’ll simply send her an invitation to post here. Stay tuned.