Congratulations to Riverside’s Dimensions Custom Framing & Gallery on 20 Years + The Hidden Tea Cup

As part of our ‘Riverside BIA 40 Years, 40 Stories’ series we’re pleased to share this story from Dimensions Custom Framing and Gallery, celebrating 20 years in business in Toronto in 2020. But before we being, here’s a message from Dimensions’ owners, Ellen and Wendy and their dog Hudson:

20 Artists, 20 Charities, 20 Years.

We hope this message finds you and your loved ones safe and well during this unprecedented time.

It’s been 20 amazing years, marking an important milestone for us as we look back on our growth, accomplishments and relationships built with clients, and in the community.

Some of you have been with us since the beginning, and some of you are new to the Dimensions family. Together you have helped to build our business and we are grateful for your support.

We are truly honoured that you have chosen to share your personal stories with us. You have trusted us with your most cherished possessions, knowing that we are committed to you and what we do. It brings us immeasurable satisfaction to know that our creations will have a place in your homes and hearts for years to come.

This anniversary offers us the perfect opportunity to thank each and every one of you for your business and loyalty. We promise that when we have defeated this pandemic and we can congregate once again, we will celebrate!

Stay tuned for more information on our 20th Anniversary Celebration and Art Auction.

20 Artists, 20 Charities, 20 Years.

We miss you and look forward to carrying on where we left off.

Wendy, Ellen and Hudson

Original location at 800 Broadview Ave, Toronto

Location now at 732 Queen Street East in Toronto’s Riverside neighbourhood

Now Wendy and Ellen had another interesting story to share from the very beginnings of their business. Read on for that story…

The Story of the Hidden Teacup at Dimensions

Inside Dimensions Custom Framing & Gallery at 732 Queen Street east in Toronto’s historic Riverside neighbourhood, if you look carefully, you’ll find something interesting and out of the ordinary framed and displayed high up in a notch, formerly meant for a joist, in the original brick wall toward the back of the gallery.

Dimensions, run by artistic director Ellen Davidson in collaboration with co-founder Wendy Palmer, is celebrating 20 years in business in 2020 and the framed teacup which inaugurated Ellen and Wendy’s business all those years ago also has much more to it special meaning. It preserves the teacup and saucer that belonged to Ellen’s grandmother, a tea lover, who holds a special place in Ellen’s heart. The cup, with a nature print from England, has Ellen’s lipstick mark on the cup along with Wendy’s Tetley tea bag inside it.

Given as a gift by her grandma, Ellen wanted to preserve the cup. She neither wanted to use it nor lose it. Therefore, framing it became an unconventional yet ideal and artistic solution in this situation, safeguarding the cup for 20 years and counting. Looking at this nostalgic teacup at times makes Ellen misty-eyed as it makes her feel that her grandmother is always watching over her.

The framed teacup, in spite of being displayed much higher than other artwork, has aroused curiosity of many gallery visitors and serves as an exemplar of their approach to custom framing that  ‘Anything can be framed at Dimensions’, even the things that one cannot imagine sitting inside a frame. It has tickled the fancies of many who were inspired to frame things that were special to them, or items that reminded them of cherished memories or a loved person, or objects that held emotional and sentimental value – be it treasured heirlooms that were passed down or a special item that was a part of the family history.

The ‘Anything can be framed’ idea portrayed by the framed teacup encouraged one customer to frame her husband’s baby dress while another framed the scissors that her mother used as a seamstress. Dimensions has also helped people to frame silk scarves, snake skin, a playlist from a concert, to a pocket watch along with its original box among so many other cherished items.

The hidden teacup thus continues to fire the imagination of many, 20 years on and counting.

What do you visualize inside a frame?

The ‘Riverside BIA 40 Years, 40 Stories’ Series is part of how we’re celebrating the 40th anniversary of this incredible neighbourhood of community-builders.

FIND THE SERIES HERE AS WE SHARE NEW STORIES EACH WEEK IN 2020

DO YOU HAVE A STORY OF THE RIVERSIDE BIA? SUBMIT YOUR STORY

Free Digital Main Street Services Available to Riverside BIA Members

Communication online is KEY today, more than ever.

Digital Main Street (DMS) has been developing some Digital Workshops to help Riverside BIA members get started. They’re covering topics like e-commerce, Shopify, customer engagement, online presence and more. DMS is See webinar list here.

A reminder of the FREE 1:1 services over the phone or web conferencing with our DMS rep Lorenzo to help you with your website, online store, social media, and more. Book your appointment  (first come first served): https://calendly.com/lorenzogonzalez.

DMS is also sharing partner offers such as Free Shopify account for 90 days (see offerings here)

Riverside BIA Putting a Hold on 2020 Public Events Due to COVID-19

Due to COVID-19, Riverside BIA will not be hosting our annual spring/summer Riverside Eats & Beats Streetfest nor offering Riverside Walks, guided walking tours this season. Community events are such a big part of what we do here in Riverside and we hope to bring them back in a big way in the coming year.

For now, in alignment with the City of Toronto, Province of Ontario and the risk factors for exposure – it is critically important that all organizations take every action possible to limit the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and do our part to flatten the curve.

We wish to thank everyone who has put so much time into organizing these events for 2020 and we look forward to working with you all next time.

Any future programming will be in alignment with the recommendations of the public health authorities and the communities we serve. At this time, we must all do our part to ensure the health and safety of our community.

Sash & Bustle Bridal Boutique Offering Free Virtual Bridal Appointments!

Given the times we’re in, lots of our local Toronto businesses are going virtual! Check out all the local offerings on our Riverside BIA COVID-19 Directory here including what’s open (essential workplaces), what open online and phone, and what’s closed (temporarily).

Today we’re featuring Sash & Bustle Boutique‘s Virtual Bridal Appointments:

“During a virtual appointment a stylist will guide you through the collection of dresses, rely info, and display dresses on a mannequin to discuss fit. During this consultation you will select up to 5 gowns that can then be tried once your able to visit the shop or at your In-Home-Try-On.

We highly encourage each bridal that has a virtual appointment to then host an ‘At-Home-Try-On’. Where we will provide curb-side drop off or courier delivery (depending on where you live in the GTA) of your dresses/accessories to try on at home. During your at-home -try-on you can elect to schedule a time with your stylist to answer any questions, offer suggestions, offer sizing/alteration tips or provide styling advice.”

You can book an appointment via:
https://app.bridallive.com/…/appoin…/726804d6/wrapper.shtml…

Riverside BIA 40 Years, 40 Stories: #1 How it All Began with the Queen-Broadview Village BIA in 1980

It’s the late 1970s, several local community-minded business owners in the Riverside neighbourhood, along Queen Street East near Broadview Avenue in Toronto, had been sitting and planning around a kitchen table on many a late night. Among them was Albert Edelstein, owner of Edelstein Jewellers and Watch Makers and Jack Korman, owner of Corby’s men’s clothing store, along with a handful of others.

Mitch Korman, Jack Korman’s son and long time owner of Korman and Co. Lawyers, has been Riverside BIA’s Chair since 2005. His father Jack Korman, who passed away in April 2009, was one of the founding members of the BIA, which was the Queen-Broadview Village BIA prior to being renamed the Riverside BIA (in 2004).

Generations of Community-Builders: Mitch Korman - Riverside BIA's Chair since 2005, holds photos in front of his law firm which has the Corby's sign from his late-father Jack Korman who helped found the then Queen-Broadview Village BIA in 1980

Generations of Community-Builders: Mitch Korman – Riverside BIA’s Chair since 2005, holds photos in front of his law firm which has the Corby’s sign from his late-father Jack Korman who helped found the then Queen-Broadview Village BIA in 1980

Mitch often speaks of his father being the motivational force in his own work with the BIA  – “My first experience in the neighbourhood was working in my dad’s clothing store. I started there when I was 10 and every duty possible, I did it.” “I remember late night meetings in my house discussing the BIA. Even after (my dad) retired, he continued with the BIA because he had so much passion for the neighbourhood.”

There the original founders of this Business Improvement Area – the 12th formed in the city of Toronto and one of the first in the world  – created it as a labour of love for the community and out of a real need to collectively improve the marketing, programming and streetscape of the area.

In 1983 Kicker's the nighclub occupied what is now The Broadview Hotel. Photo Creator: Harvey R. Naylor, Date: August 31, 1983, Archival Citation: Fonds 1526, File 71, Item 18, Credit: City of Toronto Archives, www.toronto.ca/archives, Copyright was transferred to the City of Toronto by the copyright owner.

In 1983 Kicker’s the nighclub occupied what is now The Broadview Hotel. Photo Creator: Harvey R. Naylor, Date: August 31, 1983, Archival Citation: Fonds 1526, File 71, Item 18, Credit: City of Toronto Archives, www.toronto.ca/archives, Copyright was transferred to the City of Toronto by the copyright owner.

Forming a BIA in Toronto is not an easy task, it requires at least a full year’s work of advocating, meeting, and convincing every existing business and property owner to buy into the idea and agree to pay a levy on commercial property taxes. Then, the formal City of Toronto process must be followed to create and adopt a bylaw for that new BIA by the City Council. The BIA then becomes a Board of the City. This was indeed done and signed on July 21, 1980 by then Mayor John Sewell. Even today, on the 50th anniversary of BIAs in the world, there are about 90 in Toronto itself which attests to the level of commitment needed to form one.

Those countless nights sitting around the kitchen table in Riverside were out of desire to create an association of business and property owners who, for 40 years now have been working together to “make direct investments to improve business as a group” by putting budget and effort together toward “collective promotion” as well as “joint business-community festivals” and “street improvements, making the area someplace proud to do business and attractive to shop, dine and use services.” (quotes taken directly from the BIA’s early Board of Directors Meeting Minutes)

This was where the Riverside BIA began, as the Queen-Broadview Village BIA in 1980 and before long the rewards would start coming in from these hard-working community builders.

Albert Edelstein, a local jeweller and watchmaker, and one of the original founding members and Chair of the Queen-Broadview Village BIA (officially renamed the Riverside BIA in 2004), showcasing a banner and planter - early streetscape improvement efforts (1993, Photo Credit: Jack Keohane), on Queen Street East, Toronto

Albert Edelstein, a local jeweller and watchmaker, and one of the original founding members and Chair of the Queen-Broadview Village BIA (officially renamed the Riverside BIA in 2004), showcasing a banner and planter – early streetscape improvement efforts (1993, Photo Credit: Jack Keohane), on Queen Street East, Toronto

Queen-Broadview Village received an honourable mention from the Toronto BIA Association (TABIA) in 1987 for streetscape improvements in TABIA's July 1987 Edition of 'The Storefront' newsletter, Toronto.

Queen-Broadview Village received an honourable mention from the Toronto BIA Association (TABIA) in 1987 for streetscape improvements in TABIA’s July 1987 Edition of ‘The Storefront’ newsletter, Toronto.

The ‘Riverside BIA 40 Years, 40 Stories’ Series is part of how we’re celebrating the 40th anniversary of this incredible neighbourhood of community-builders.

FIND THE SERIES HERE AS WE SHARE NEW STORIES EACH WEEK in 2020

DO YOU HAVE A STORY OF THE RIVERSIDE BIA? SUBMIT YOUR STORY