Support Local! Construction-Friendly Fun in OEV
Updated: Apr 7
Now is a crucial time to support local in OEV with the COVID-19 pandemic and construction starting up again in Old East Village to restore the infrastructure and beautify the neighbourhood!
The construction happening in Old East Village is an infrastructure project that includes updating overhead utilities that will be relocated underground and new brighter street lighting to increase street safety. The construction workers are also implementing wider sidewalks, planting 100 trees, and placing planters throughout the area.
Cyclists get ready! They are also installing a separated eastbound cycle lane on the south side of Dundas, and a northbound lane on Ontario Street, which will connect to a new westbound Queens Avenue cycle lane, as part of the City’s East-West Bikeway.
Although Dundas Street is closed from Adelaide to English St., the pedestrian access is still open and so are businesses!
It’s important to support local businesses during the pandemic and construction and prove that London truly loves local. After all, OEV is a resilient community! Come on down to explore what OEV has to offer. The following are some COVID-19 and construction-friendly fun to be explored in the neighbourhood.
Banting tour by EXAR studios’ Engage ARt app
Make sure to check out the Engage ARt Augmented Reality (AR) app by EXAR studios. The app provides an in-depth and engaging AR experience at Banting House National Historic Site and showcases aspects of Sir Frederick Banting’s life and career. The timing is incredible since the Banting House will be celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. Just download the app and scan the statue of Frederick Banting to get started!
The experience includes the Banting statue in his bedroom, reading letters telling him the impact that he has had on their life by creating insulin to manage living with diabetes. There’s also a segment that displays his incredible landscape paintings with golden frames, appearing as if they are floating in the air. In the Flame of Hope module, Banting’s military career is highlighted, including the moment he met the Queen of England. There’s also a module that features the text written on the memorial bricks that appear to light up like fireworks—just scan the bricks to see them come to life. Seriously, it’s incredibly cool!
This is the first of a series of AR attractions to help raise awareness about local art, culture, and businesses in Old East Village as part of the Digital Main Street lab program, stay tuned for more AR experiences. Drop by Banting House for the full experience!
Enjoy some of patios in Old East Village as the weather gets nicer! For example, there’s Union Ten Distilling Co.’s patio which is located just back behind their storefront on Dundas. Union Ten is a small batch distiller of Gin, Vodka, Apple Jack and Whisky dedicated to making natural handcrafted spirits, cocktails, and stone-fired food. The patio will be opening shortly in the spring, so keep an eye out! It’s the perfect time to enjoy a nice, socially distanced brew.
There’s also a great patio to be found at Powerhouse Brewing Co., a craft brewery located in the revitalized Kellogg’s Factory, where you can sit and have a refreshing drink and a bite to eat.
Now located beside The Root Cellar, Backroads Café & Tavern will also be opening up its patio shortly! They are currently open until 8 pm. Across the street, Somerville 630 also has a great patio to enjoy.
Tucked in Gems
If you’re looking for a great spot to relax or grab a bite to eat, head to 630 Dundas, also known as Somerville 630! This bright and spacious building is filled with good eats and lots of seating. Managed by Kathy Navackas, located in the heart of OEV, this is the place to experience outstanding food, coffee, and arts. Creativity and connection are the cornerstones of the space!
Located at Somerville 630 is Fire Roasted Coffee Co., where you can pick up a great coffee, and enjoy incredible local food spots. For example, Bella’s Acacia Catering, specializing in Vegetarian Korean cuisine. Also find here Immanuel’s Kitchen, serving up delicious ketogenic and Latin food, and Momo’s at the Market, the only restaurant in London specializing in Nepalese food. You can also stop by Willie’s Café, which features great comfort food such as soups and sandwiches and lovely lighting. Yaya’s Kitchen, which specializes in Northern Nigerian and Sahel region food and creating Supper Club experiences to connect the community is also located here.
Did you know? There is a large parking lot available behind the building, accessible by both Queen’s Ave and Adelaide St. Look for the red backdoor! You can download the Honk Mobile app for free two-hour parking using the code B2B20 or call the City of London parking phone 519-661-4537 (call equipped with Licence plate number and Zone i.d (located on the meter).
Mark your calendar for the OEV neighbourhood bike tour held by London Cycle Link coming up on April 10th.The bike tour will start at the Covent Garden Market at 10:30 am and come down to Old East Village using the new bike lanes on Dundas. There will be a bike safety check and a Kid's Bike Sale from 11-2 pm at Squeaky Wheel Bike Coop and the participants of the tour will be given time to explore Old East Village. Register here to reserve your spot! *Update: Please note that unfortunately, our construction dollar program will be delayed due to the pandemic so we are not able to provide construction dollars this ride. Hopefully next time!
The glass artist, Hannan Fayad, is offering private fused glass workshops! She is offering packages for two to four people. To register, simply message her! Dates will open as of April 1st. Only available for evenings and weekends.
London Clay Art Centre also has a Drop-in Day on the third Sunday of each month where you can learn how to throw clay on a wheel, the next date being Sunday, April 11th. Check out this unique space and also learn a new skill! Also check out the London Clay Art Centre store, with curbside pickup still available.
Did you know there’s a new initiative at Factory London called the Club House? With an adventure-centered approach, it has a variety of new experiences such as mini-golf, golf simulators, bocce ball, and even a Multi-Sport simulator! Test your skills in Hockey, soccer, football, bowling, and more. The Club House blends classic sports and activities with a virtual reality spin. Grab a bite to eat here as they offer a restaurant and lounge experience as well.
Of course, while you’re down in the village, make sure to pop into the local businesses and discover all the gems that OEV has to offer, and take a look at our full Business Directory to plan your visit. Don’t let construction deter you from experiencing OEV--as a community, it’s important to show support to local businesses at this crucial time. It’s time to prove that London loves local!