Spotlight on The Opera House – Riverside Business Series

With year-round events including concerts, film shoots, fundraisers, raves and even weddings, The Opera House has been a destination for entertainment in Toronto’s Riverside neighbourhood for 30 years.

At least 3000 people a week tour through the Queen Street neighbourhood on event nights to visit the venue at 735 Queen Street East.

“I would like to think that the venue has helped with the revitalization of our neighbourhood,” says The Opera House owner and general manager, Athena Ellinas-Towers, and there’s no doubt that’s true.

Back in 1989 when Athena opened The Opera House with her family – Dad (Adam), Mom (Eleni) both brothers brothers (Gus and Chris) – the only other ‘entertainment venue’ she remembers in Riverside was Jilly’s (now transformed to The Broadview Hotel). She said it was a struggle to get patrons. Newspaper articles and reviews about the grand opening of The Opera House described the neighbourhood as a “dingy” part of town.

“In reality, it was at that time,” says Athena. “It was a huge risk to undertake such a venture but I was young and eager to make my mark with my family’s support.”

As Riverside continued to evolve over the next 30 years, so did the family business.

The Opera House-30 years-Riverside, Toronto

When Athena and her brother purchased the landmark building it was known as La Plaza Theatre. For the first six months, they ran it as a dance club, before transforming The Opera House into the concert venue and event space that it’s famous for today.

“Glam rock and grunge was the rage so we went with it,” said Athena.

The Opera House, Riverside, Toronto

Then came the addition of The Opera House Grill and Patio in 2015. That same year the new restaurant’s “Shaggy Burger” was mentioned as one of Toronto Life Magazine’s top 25 burgers.

The Opera House Grill, Riverside, Toronto“Living and working in Riverside for the past 30 years has been a blessing,” says Athena who is a long-time volunteer member on the Riverside BIA Board of Directors. “We never imagined the changes that have evolved since 1989. We dreamed of the potential in Riverside but it has surpassed our expectations.”

Check out all The Opera House’s upcoming events here.

 

Karen Lloyd from Riverside

Karen Lloyd is a writer, photographer and website designer in Toronto’s Riverside neighbourhood. This blog is part of the series Riverside Business Profile. Read other blogs from her: Riverside PatiosPlaces to Stay in RiversideBrunch SpotsHealth & Wellness in Riverside,  Kid-Friendly RiversideEvent & Catering SpotsRiverside ChefsSelf-Care in RiversideIt’s Easy Being Green in RiversideThe Dirt on Gardening in RiversideEat Around the World in Riverside, and Saying ‘I Do’ East of the Don.

Coldest Night of the Year Walk Comes to Toronto’s Riverside Neighbourhood

It’s cold out there and some of the most vulnerable among us experience that more than others. On Saturday, February 22, 2020, take part in the Coldest Night of the Year (CNOY), a nation-wide family-friendly walk to raise money for charities serving hungry, homeless and hurting people in our community. In Toronto’s Riverside neighborhood, the walk will be hosted by Nellie’s.

There are many ways you can support: join a team, be a sponsor, volunteer and more.  Sign up to support Nellie’s. Check out more event information. 

More about Nellie’s

Nellie’s is a place of safety and hope where vulnerable women, trans women and children are given the space to heal, experience workshops and community outreach services.

 

Oma Chiropractic & Wellness team is Supporting Nellie's Coldest Night of the Year walk - Riverside, Toronto

Oma Chiropractic & Wellness team is Supporting Nellie’s Coldest Night of the Year walk, Riverside, Toronto

More About Nellie’s Coldest Night of the Year Walk

The route will begin at the Raph Thornton Community Centre (765 Queen St E), then it will head west to Broadview; north to Bain Ave; south on Logan to Riverdale; jog over to Pape and then return to Logan and head back to RTCC for some refreshments and music. You can walk 2, 5 or 10 km.

Jam Factory T.O. is supporting Nellie's Coldest Night of the Year Walk, Riverside, Toronto

Jam Factory T.O. is supporting Nellie’s Coldest Night of the Year Walk, Riverside, Toronto

Don’t forget to dress warm!

Switchback Cyclery – Park Tool Workshops

Park Tool School

Want to learn the basics or take your bike repair skills to the next level? We are now offering Park Tool School courses for riders!

Preventive maintenance is key – “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

Registration for late February through March now open! 

Have any questions about the courses or interested in registering? Contact us at propel@switchbackcyclery.ca

 

 

Park Tool New Rider Maintenance Course 

2 Sessions @ 2 hours each
$80.00

Course Dates: Monday and Thursday
Course Time: 6:00pm to 8:00pm

Who is this course for?
You’ve recently purchased a new bike or you simply want to learn how to take good care of your bike for optimal performance and be self-educated in safety for your commute to work or fun weekend rides. You want to learn the basics about how to take care of it and keep it rolling smoothly.

Overview
Students are strongly encouraged to bring in their new bike, or one from home they want to work on. There will be 1 used bike available as a demo for students that don’t have a bike, but the intention is for the student to be able to learn more about their personal bike and apply the knowledge to it specifically.
Class will include short lectures, demos and hands-on labs on your own bike and plenty of time to ask questions!

  • Basic Drivetrain, chain cleaning and maintenance
  • Flat repair & Wheels and Tires 101
  • Brakes 101
  • Shifting 101
  • Safety check and inspections

The full 4 hours class will be broken down into 2 smaller modules (2 hours each) as follows:

1) Brakes, Flats and Wheels, Basic Safety

2) Shifting and Drivetrain, Cleaning and Maintenance

Upon completion of the 2 modules you will get a bottle of lubetire levers and patch kit ($26 value). You will receive a coupon which will allow you 20% off purchase of any Park Tools in the next 30 days from your graduation date.

Interested in learning more? We  also offer the Novice Course which includes all of the above course content PLUS bottom brackets, cranksets, cockpit, basic fitting and more! See details below.

 

Park Tool Novice Course

4 Sessions @ 2 hours each
$200.00

Course Dates: Monday and Thursday
Course Time: 6:00pm to 8:00pm

Who is this course for?
You’re a rider and want to learn more about the mechanics of your bike – D.I.Y. care is awesome! You simply want to learn how to take good care of your bike for optimal performance and be self-educated in safety for your commute to work or fun weekend rides.You want to learn the basics about how to take care of it and keep it rolling smoothly.

Overview
Students are strongly encouraged to bring in their new bike, or one from home they want to work on. There will be 1 used bike available as a demo for students that don’t have a bike, but the intention is for the student to be able to learn more about their personal bike and apply the knowledge to it specifically.
Class will include short lectures, demos and hands-on labs on your own bike and plenty of time to ask questions!

  • Brakes – Rim, caliper, cantilevers, Disc brakes Mechanical, intro to Hydraulic
  • Drivetrain – BB, Crankset, Chains, sprockets and cleaning and maintenance, Shifting – FD and RD
  • Wheels – How to fix a flat, Wheels and Tires, Tubes, Tubeless
  • Frame and Fork & key touch points –  Pedals, Cockpit (stem/handlebars/grips). Headset, Saddle, basic bike fitting & basic mechanical skills

Upon completion of all 4 modules you will receive the Park Tool Big Blue Book of Bicycle Repair ($40 value) and a Park Tool Certificate of Completion (please note that this does not mean that the student is a Certified Mechanic). Your certificate will allow you 20% off the purchase of any Park Tools in the next 30 days from your graduation date.

Wild Bettys Cycling Club 2020

Switchback Cyclery shop is pleased to be supporting the Wild Bettys through 2020!

Thinking about getting into mountain biking? Want to join a women’s group? Looking for other keen riders to ride with? JOIN THE WILD BETTYS!

They host weekly rides for members Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings from May to September, with monthly weekend rides June through October.

Sign up online or plan to meet the group at their sign up and social on Tuesday April 28th. Stay tuned for more details!

Riverside’s Switchback Cyclery Winter Bike Repair Program

Switchback Cyclery’s Winter Pick-Up, Drop-Off Bike repair program is back for its 5th year! It’s difficult to imagine warmer weather in the middle of January, but the biking season will be just around the corner in no time! In late January, Riverside’s Switchback is offering you the opportunity to have your bike picked up at home, serviced, and returned to you at no extra cost. Beat the spring rush!

Here’s how it works:
Step 1) Pick Up: Saturday, January 25th or Saturday, February 1st – you pick whichever date works best (between 9:00am and 5:00pm). Have your bike ready to be picked up at a location convenient for you.

Step 2) The Repair: As per their standard repair set up,they will call/email you with an estimate with regards to the service recommended for your bike. From there you would give them the approval to proceed with the labor item(s) you would like completed.

Step 3) Drop Off: Saturday, March 7th or Saturday,March 14th (between 9:00am and 5:00pm) (provided that any special componentry needed can be ordered within this time period). Your drop off time will be confirmed with you during the estimate process. Payments for the service done on your bike can be processed through credit card by phone or e-transfer prior to your drop off.

To Qualify:
You must live in Toronto within the following geographical limits:
Yonge Street to Woodbine Avenue
Eglinton Avenue East to Lake Ontario

Space is Limited!

Pick-up availability will be filled on a first-come first-served basis.

To sign up or to reach Switchback for more details please respond to this e-mail, e-mail us at propel@switchbackcyclery.ca with Subject: “Winter Tune-Up Program” or give them a call at 416-466-6776.