dandySHOPS: Hooked

The September 2011 issue of dandyhorse magazine will be our first Food Issue featuring guest editor Bob Blumer of the Food Network. In preparation for the Food Issue the dandyBLOG will be posting stories related to the important fuel all cyclists rely on, food.

Hooked Gives Fish Fiends a Knowledgeable Option

Story and photo by Saira Peesker

It’s not the customers who ask for fish that doesn’t taste “too fishy” that really bug Hooked co-owner Kristen Donovan. It’s the ones that come into her east-end sustainable seafood shop and get fussy when they can’t buy bluefin tuna--one of the most sought-after and endangered fish in the oceans.

“You want to have a gong on the wall but you can’t,” said Kristin, who runs the Queen Street East store with her husband Dan. “We try to not be preachy... Sometimes people come in and they’re just happy it’s a fish store, which is great.“

Both trained chefs, the couple opened the store in March as an attempt to run a food-focused business that didn’t force them to work long hours away from their kids. Dan, who trained under locavore celebrity chef Jamie Kennedy, said they noticed there were no good fish mongers in their Leslieville neighbourhood and took it from there.

“That the business dealt only in sustainable fish and shellfish, we didn’t give it two thoughts,” he said, taking a break on the sunny private patio nestled behind the store. “It was just a deep personal conviction... that occupied all of about 20 seconds in the business plan.”

But as anyone trying to do the right thing knows, making ethical choices isn’t always a black or white decision.

Hooked looks to sources such as Ocean Wise, Sea Choice and the Monterrey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program for guidance, but since none of those programs are Ontario-specific, it often comes down to their own common sense. Kristin says they look at a fish’s source, seasonality and position on the endangered list, but also the methods used to catch it.

Methods they lean toward at Hooked include:

  • “hook and line,” the traditional fishing pole method;
  • trap-netting, where a large version of a lobster trap catches fish live, allowing those not desired by fisherfolk to be set free without injury; and
  • purse seine, in which a net closes around a school of small fish such as mackerel or sardines, leaving other species unharmed.

They also often get “bycatch,” fish accidentally caught by fishermen looking for a different species.

“We won’t deal with anything that’s trawled,” said Kristin, describing a method where fishers drag nets across the bottom of the ocean, with an effect not unlike clear-cutting a forest. “It wipes out everything.”

They also steer clear from long-line fishing, in which many non-desirable fish are caught by accident and wasted.

Both owners encouraged anyone who’s concerned about our lakes and oceans to stop buying fish from sellers who can’t say where it came from and how it was caught.

“Ask (where your fish came from), but understand that most restaurants and most grocery stores won’t have the answers,” said Kristin. “The ones who are truly committed will.”

“The only way retailers are ever going to respond is if people stop accepting no answer,” added Dan. “Until consumers are willing to do that, they’re not going to get a clear understanding of where their fish comes from.”

Still looking for help in choosing the right fish? Seafood Watch, Ocean Wise and Sea Choice all have smartphone apps to help consumers make ethical choices.

888 Queen Street East
Toronto, ON
M4M 1J3
(416) 828-1861


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What’s it Like Biking on Jarvis? (Do You Know that City Hall Voted to Remove this Bike Lane?)

What's it Like Biking on Jarvis? (Do You Know that City Hall Voted to Remove this Bike Lane?) What's it Like Biking on Jarvis? (Do You Know that City Hall Voted to Remove this Bike Lane?) What's it Like Biking on Jarvis? (Do You Know that City Hall Voted to Remove this Bike Lane?)

In our latest Bike Spotting we take a ride down Jarvis Street and ask: What's it Like Biking on Jarvis? (Do You Know that City Hall Voted to Remove this Bike Lane?)

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What’s Bike Parking in Kensington Market Like?

What's Bike Parking in Kensington Market Like? What's Bike Parking in Kensington Market Like?
What's Bike Parking in Kensington Market Like? What's Bike Parking in Kensington Market Like?

Augusta Ave. in Toronto's distinctive Kensington Market is now home to a brand new bike corral. With an additional 16 bicycle parking spots we went Bike Spotting to see what finding bike parking in Kensington is like. What's Bike Parking in Kensington Market Like?

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dandySHOPS: BikeSauce

By Laura Warner
Photos by Laura Warner and Tammy Thorne

BikeSauce has come a long way from its humble beginnings in the garage of a former funeral home on Queen at Broadview. “It still smelled of formaldehyde, it was pretty bad” recalls Michelle St-Amour, one of the founding members of the “not-for-profit do-it-yourself bicycle resource centre.” Walking into their new location, just off the corner of Dundas and Broadview, all you’ll smell is a little grease.

The DIY bike repair shop originated from a late night conversation between St-Amour and her friends over beer in the Spring of 2009. The cycling advocates decided that Toronto was in need of a unique community space for two-wheel enthusiasts to fix their own bicycles. This wild idea quickly became reality and the BikeSauce team held meetings and bike builds at a member’s personal studio space in Kensington Market. Their first location opened on April 17th, 2010 and their fully functioning community space (slash) repair shop was launched on June 4th, 2011.

Upon entering BikeSauce you will most likely be greeted by a friendly volunteer and several other cyclists working away. The shelves are stocked with locally made, bicycle-themed, merchandise: hand pressed cards, messenger bags, t-shirts and even jewelry made from bicycle chains. Partnering with local entrepreneurs promotes both environmental living, as they use mainly reused and recycled materials, and local economic development.

Proceeding further into the shop past a kitchenette there is a fully stocked library, wifi hotspot and lounge space. A full catalogue can be found on BikeSauce’s website of the magazines and books that are mainly about, you guessed it, bicycles and include topics like the history of bikes, bicycle culture and maintenance.

In the back room you'll likely find more amateur mechanics at work on their bicycles. The walls are lined with tools and the ceiling with bike parts. Missing a part? There is no shortage at BikeSauce. If you can’t find what you need upstairs, one can always check the basement as it too is lined wall to wall with bicycles, parts and many odds and ends.

The elbow grease Sauciers expend is not limited to just instructing and assisting with repairs in the shop. Cycling advocacy and education are also huge objectives in BikeSauce’s mission. Their web site serves as a point of contact for those interested in cycling events and issues taking place on Toronto streets. Their electronic newsletter, also available on the site or through their listserv, is full of valuable information and notices of upcoming meetings and seminars to help educate BikeSauce followers on cycling skills.

St-Amour told me how they keep this amazing space open and their cause running. “The shop is 100% volunteer and donation driven,” says St-Amour. With 20 to 30 volunteers putting in hours on any given week, resources are scarce. But what they lack in funding, they make up for in enthusiasm. The volunteers make everyone feel welcome. “We’ll see anyone come in from road bikers to hipsters,” says St-Amour. “It’s especially great for anyone living in the East end,” she notes of the convenience of the space for their local clientele, “this way they don’t have to push a broken bicycle over the bridge to a repair shop downtown.” This appreciation is obvious, both in the physical store space and in its virtual space as BikeSauce is almost at 600 likes on Facebook.

When asked what they hoped for in BikeSauce’s future St-Amour saw a welcoming and inviting space “filled with all sorts of cyclists and community members.” From my visit, it looks like they are well on their way.

Bikesauce is located at:
235 Broadview Ave
Toronto, ON


dandyhorse magazine is proud to have BikeSauce as a retail supporter. The Food Issue is currently for sale at BikeSauce along with select back issues including Spring 2011.

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Pinball Pinarello Prince Auction to Support Right to Play

Here at dandyhorse most of us have been connected to bicycles since we first learned to ride around our childhood neighbourhoods.

For childhood friends Michael Barry and Noah Rosen, their early appreciation of bicycles and pinball have reunited and the result is a stunning one-of-a-kind Pinarello Prince road bicycle.

Barry, a professional Canadian cyclist with Team Sky, and Rosen, a custom bicycle painter from Toronto, designed the pinball-themed paint job as a reminder of the positive influence sports and play had on their lives. Now, they are auctioning the bicycle with proceeds going to Right to Play an organization that supports sports programs for children.

Bid on the bicycle at eBay. The auction ends July 15, 2011.

Details of the Pinarello Prince frame:

Material: Carbon 50HM1K Torayca®

Fork: Onda™ FPX Carbon 50HM1K 1” 1/8 conified 1” 1/4 integral system

Rear Stay: Onda™ FPX Carbon 50HM1K

Weight for raw frame: 990gr

B.Bracket: Most® Croxover

Size: 55

(Seat Post and headset bearings included)

More photos and information can be found on Michael Barry's site here.

The frame is currently on display at Blacksmith Cycle until the auction ends.

Photo by Walter Lai.

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