The Fairbank Neighbourhood

 
août 18, 2015

The Fairbank neighbourhood is a reverse L-shape that stretches from Eglinton Avenue West between Chamberlain Avenue and Dufferin Street.

The Fairbank Village Business Improvement Area (BIA) was established in 2007 and it currently has more than 120 members.

Fairbank map

Dynevor furnitureEnzo Torrone, chair of the BIA, owns Dynevor Furniture and Appliances (1877 Eglinton Ave. W.). Like many business in the area, Dynevor Furniture and Appliances is a family business, opened in 1966 by Enzo’s father who,as vice president of a previous BIA, was also very involved in bettering the neighbourhood.

A flagship event organized by the Fairbank Village BIA is the Fairbank Village Multicultural Summerfest, which took place in June this year. It is free admission with an amazing lineup of entertainment, as well as rides and sidewalk sales from fabulous local vendors. Enzo, Chair of the Fairbank Village BIA, at his Dyvenor Furniture and Appliances store

Fairbank festivalFor the first time this year, the Fairbank Village Artist’s Circle partnered with the Fairbank Village BIA to open up free spots for local artists to present their paintings, sculptures, crafts, dance routines, and creations of all kind.

On an ongoing basis, the BIA is also involved in sprucing up the neighbourhood by planting flowerbeds and installing hanging planters, as well as benches and Christmas lights.

Amici cafe

“Our area is extremely diverse,” explains Enzo. “We have Japanese, Mexican, Thai, Filipino, Jamaican, Portuguese (restaurants); very diverse and mixed.”

“But what really makes the neighbourhood stand out is its amazing view of downtown Toronto. Go to the roof of a mid-rise

building and you will see the skyline of Toronto and the lake - Gorgeous!”

In addition to the diversity and the views, what is unique about the Fairbank neighbourhood is that it has the perfect combination of unique locally-owned stores and big anchor stores such as Shoppers Drug Mart (1840 Eglinton Ave. W.), Dollarama (2388 Dufferin St.), and No Frills (1951 Eglinton Ave. W.).

One such local store is Amici Café (1974 Eglinton Ave. W.), which sells expressos and has an extremely specialized menu - no cookies, biscotti, or mints - only extremely flavourful espresso directly from Sicily, Italy.

The owner, Gino, is from Sicily himself and has owned the café for 17 years. Ninety-nine percent of customers are repeat customers and are there every day. “I know them inside out. I’m like their priest. They tell me everything,” says Gino. “They come here for guidance, and I give them advice. It is a very rewarding experience.”

halo haloOnce you have had enough caffeine (and counsel!), walk across the street to Mulu Bakery & Pastry (1893 Eglinton Ave. W.) for some Asian-African-Canadian treats. Merid, the owner, is of African background, whereas his wife is Filipino. So, at this bakery, you can find all sorts of African-inspired Filipino or Spanish breads, as well as Middle Eastern samosas. When asked what his restaurant serves, Merid answers: “Everything!” 

Mulu also serves fancy drinks, including “halo halo,” one of the most colourful drinks ever invented. It contains exotic ingredients such as jackfruit, palm fruit, coconut and plantain.

There’s no denying that a restaurant such as Mulu truly exemplifies Toronto’s diversity. In addition to great eats, the Fairbank area also has some amazing furniture finds - with competitive prices at Dynevor Furniture and Appliances to space-conscious pieces at Right Value Furniture (1936 Eglinton Ave. W.).

“We have been open since 1997 and we have very loyal customers. They come back even after they’ve moved away,” says Judy, a sales associate who has been working at Right Value Furniture since its opening and supports the Crosstown transit expansion.
right value furniture
“Transit will revamp this entire area. Even more people are going to come.” Enzo, Fairbank Village BIA Chair agrees: “This neighbourhood has changed quite a bit. It is a lot safer now, much more family-oriented. We face some challenges now, with the Crosstown construction, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I definitely want more density in the area and transit would play a role.”