Charles Crosbie’s wrap-up of this weekend’s Taste of Wellington West festival

Charles Crosbie (blog/Twitter) moved from Toronto to the Hintonburg area after discovering it three years ago. He is an occasional blogger and the founder of Clout, a boutique marketing firm on Wellington West. 

This year’s Taste of Wellington West festival was a great success, as evident by a turnout that seemed to dwarf prior years: some of this year’s new attractions, alongside participation of 35 of the area’s amazing cafes and restaurants, drew a large amount of happy visitors to Hintonburg.

The classic car show was one of the main components of Saturday's festival

Crowds along Wellington West were elbow-to-elbow in many hot spots, chatting in line-ups and enjoying everything the area’s local shops had to offer. In addition, more than 50 local businesses took part in sharing and showcasing their offerings at this year’s festival, holding sidewalk sales and gatherings.

A few of the most notable participating local eateries were area newcomers. Alpha Soul‘s amazing samplings drew in visitors who stayed on their patio for an afternoon pint of delicious Kichesippi Beer; Isobel’s Cupcakes and Cookies, which opens in October, handed out samplings of their beautiful baked goods; Burnt Butter Italian Kitchen had the hungry gathered by the dozens outside; and, wood-fired pizza joint Tennessy Willems also had line-ups down the block to try their gourmet goods.

Hip hop at the Hintonburger

Hintonburger, the area’s year-old, rustic burger trailer near Somerset, had a winning setup: amazing live hip hop music and samplings of their homemade corn-dogs brought in a large crowd. They also (smartly) had additional picnic tables set up in their lot to allow visitors to stop by for one of their famous burgers while listening to the live tunes.

Cozy’s Restaurant, which has been under new management for just one week, was re-introducing itself to locals and making a great first impression on newcomers by giving away delicious samplings of their homemade pizzas. Regular favourites like the amazing Absinthe had lines around the block to sample their fare. Bridgehead was buzzing with visitors who were able to sample their red berry rooibos iced tea.

Area bars and taverns, such as The Royal Oak, Carleton Tavern and The Elmdale (which had a killer blues band in the adjacent parking lot) were also flooded with visitors.

Buskers at the weekend festival

Alongside the amazing eats and drinks this year, the festival offered some great new sights and activities for the day. Attractions like the kids play area in my office’s parking lot at Rosemount Avenue that sported a humungous bouncy-castle, street performers along the strip, live acts at various venues and a bike parade were all hugely popular.

One of the highlights of this year’s attractions was the classic car show component that was arranged in association with one of the coolest shops in the city, Fabgear 64. All kinds of antique and vintage rides lined Wellington West, including Fabgear owner Bob’s own beautiful cars, 1940’s business coupes, mid-sixties muscle cars like a Mustang GT 350 and cute mid-century compacts.

The streets of Wellington West were lined with classic cars like this one

The organizers crafted the perfect recipe of a great event. Visitors were able to enjoy a diverse and entertaining afternoon while being exposed to some of the amazing offerings – old and new – that have made Hintonburg one of the hottest up-and-coming areas of the city.

Thanks for letting us know about Saturday’s ongoings, Charles. We’re hungry now… Did any of you go to Wellington West for the weekend’s festivities?