Category Archives: ebikes

Mây — a hot wildflower on Dundas West

Mây Toronto bar is located on the north side of  Dundas West between Manning and Claremont. Just as Chinatown cuts off from Bathurst westward, the rejuvenated face of Dundas has been flaunting its new hip-n-trendy swag in what used to be an uneventful corridor of Little Portugal.

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source: Mây Facebook page

“It’s been a whirlwind the past two years,” says Ana co-owner. “We’re quite pleased by the steady  success of our revitalized space. It’s been a lot of hard work and perseverance, and we’re so thrilled by how Mây is suddenly becoming a favourite spot for both locals and people (bands!) from everywhere.”

A longtime karaoke, Viet-centric establishment with tinted black windows that practically made it invisible to outside traffic, Mây has finally bloomed from a perpetually enclosed ‘fixer-upper’ bud of a bar into a veritable urban wildflower. In fact, it’s become a popular performance venue among upcoming artists, particularly musicians, exactly as their owners envisioned it two years ago.

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source: Mây Facebook page

“We’re now tagged as a music venue and have hosted NXNE and the TD Toronto Jazz Festival. Upcoming artists really dig our space, and we book bands from all music styles, but definitely rock, R&B and jazz tend to get magnetized here,” Ana smiles recounting past gigs.

When I first visited Mây two years ago, it was indeed in pretty rough shape. Now, the open, gallery style space sports a newly designed bar that’s been diligent with expanding a selection of beer and fancy cocktails. A favourite is a draft lager from local Hogtown Brewers, which goes well with any number of very reasonably priced tasty finger foods on the menu (Viet Tapas!)

IMG_7625There is a mini arcade with two machines (one of which is a rare Iron Man pinball machine) at the front east side of the bar. On the west side is a cozy lounge area, which occasionally transforms into a small stage. The modular drinking/eating area occupies most of the middle space, while the back features a billiard table and a curtained area where they plan to dedicate as a video gaming lounge.

“The back part is key, as it’s often the area where musicians, DJ’s etc, set up and perform. But we also also have a space downstairs, which we’ve devoted to alternative music styles like punk rock, industrial, metal etc.”

In fact, Mây kind of reminds me of how the original Sneaky Dee’s used to be when it was just a sliver of a bar on Bloor West across from Honest Ed’s. Now-famous bands and artists first played at Sneaky’s basement before making it big . And that was way back in the 80’s. When I actually used to waiter for Sneaky Dee’s 😉

Here’s to hoping Mây keeps transforming into the next quiet gateway for artists as well as a well loved local hang out for years to come.

Mây—the force is definitely with you.

ezriders ‘sing the bike electric’ on the Danforth

2014-08-06 12.18.43ezriders is located on the north side of the Danforth in the middle of Greenwood and Coxwell. And while the Walt Whitman reference may be completely lost on your average urban cyclist, they’d certainly be thrilled knowing there’s a cool shop in the east end that specializes in electric bikes of all shapes and sizes!

“I definitely agree. Toronto is a booming cycling town , and compared to other major cities like Vancouver and Montreal, the city’s geography is a lot more bike-friendly,” notes Greg Moore, owner of ezrider. “There is a growing market for ebikes globally although the uptake in usage in town hasn’t been as obvious.”

image (2)Indeed, ebikes are ideal, alternative commuter vehicles that rival the efficiency of non-electric bikes, scooters and motorbikes, and it only costs about a quarter to charge its lithium batteries (the way you’d charge a smartphone).

ezriders carries a series of ebike brand names including Pedego (California), Stromer (Switzerland), Currie (California) and Easymotion of BH (Spain) as well as their own line of ebikes like EZcargo and EZfolder. And although they are slowly moving away from showcasing this model, they also have the odd e-scooter.

Scooters here range from $800 up to $2300 and bikes can start from $900 up to $4300. They currently have a special running for cargo bikes at $2500 (orig. $2800). I noticed a handsome,  black matte Ford (Pedego) cruiser, which prompted Greg to segue into a funny story familiar to many, but made me forget to ask him what the black beauty was going for.

image (1)“When we were on Queen, we had our share of challenges and successes with having the commuting public understand and appreciate ebikes .  But now as gas prices never seem to stop climbing, people are becoming more aware of greener alternatives, and looking for equally efficient ways of getting around town.”

ezriders don’t just do ebikes. They also service non-electric bikes and offer a basic tune up for $40.