The New Dupont
5 Businesses of Dupont
Dupont Street isn’t the same industrial thoroughfare it once was, and a groundswell of condo construction is expected to further transform the area in the coming years. However, before continued development builds on the strip’s character, local entrepreneurs have been contributing to its evolution. Here are five businesses that are helping to create a new Dupont.
Ann’s Coin Laundry and Refreshments
Ann’s Coin Laundry and Refreshments is “famous,” says Stephen Boujikian, treasurer of the Dupont by the Castle BIA, who purchased the business – and the building it has been in since 1945 – two years ago.
Boujikian didn’t know it at first, but he learned the place attracted famous customers back when the Annex was a breeding ground for artists, including the late Anglo-Canadian actress Jackie Burroughs.
Boujikian’s been renovating, put in a refreshments and snacks section, may add a restaurant area later, and plans to have his sister, Dr. Silva Boujikian, move her practice, Dupont Dentistry, into the building,
Creed’s Coffee Bar and Creed’s Dry Cleaning
Jonah Creed hopes his joint espresso bar/dry cleaner is a community hub. “We want people to feel at home here,” says the fourth generation Creed to run a Toronto business.
While the coffee bar opened in summer 2015, the dry cleaner has been a fixture for 20 years. Creed’s Coffee Bar serves up espresso-based beverages, high-quality teas, kombucha tea on tap, and baked goods. Its specialty is the cortado, a warm beverage that’s equal parts espresso and milk. The dry cleaning is done off-site. “We do household items, we do drapes, we do linens, we do wedding gowns—you name it, everyday items up to your fanciest ball gown.”
Around the time Ezra Brave founded his café, Ezra’s Pound, on Dupont, the street had a different reputation. “People sort of looked at Dupont as a no-persons land,” he recalls
“For me, it was like, this is great—I think this is uncharted territory.” It has since taken off, but Brave’s approach is consistent. “I had this idea that sustainable business was possible,” he says.
Ezra’s Pound was an early adopter of biodegradable cups and lids and only uses responsibiy sourced coffee beans.
The café is moving more into vegan and gluten-free options these days, Brave explains. A tahini-maple syrup cookie with sunflower seeds and oats has been a recent hit.
Madame Boeuf and Flea
Three years ago, chef Anthony Rose was opening up a cocktail bar on Dupont. The restaurateur already had a presence on the strip since 2012, when he launched Rose and Sons. It was time for something different.
“There’s lots of pubs and stuff in that neighbourhood, and we wanted to have a bar, like, a cocktail bar, something proper like that,” Rose told Village Living Magazine then. Thus, Bar Begonia was born.
Last summer, he launched Madame Boeuf and Flea in Begonia’s backyard, taking another direction.
At the seasonal open-air eatery (also a flea market, hence its name), the menu items fall under unpretentious categories: hamburgers, hot dogs, fries, and ice cream.
Pimlico Design Gallery
As an interior designer, Olga Velasevic enjoyed sourcing items. In May 2010, she turned that part of her job into a business and created Pimlico Design Gallery, a boutique shop, selling lighting, small furniture, and accessories. “I just thought that [Dupont] was a promising, up-and-coming area, and it was already part of a small home décor retail community,” says Velasevic.
She describes Pimlico’s style as “contemporary-transitional.” Many products have a Scandinavian influence but “with an eclectic twist.” Bloomingville, a Danish designer, is popular among customers, as are hand-made African baskets. “There’s always something new and fresh basically every two or three weeks,” Velasevic says. “And that’s our concept… we do rotate a lot.”