Month: May 2019

Spotlight: 40 Years in the Making and No Signs of Slowing Down

The Yonge + St.Clair neighbourhood features a wealth of community history hiding in plain sight. One local gem is Gianfranco Scavo’s Salon Scavo located at 1470 Yonge St., which has evolved alongside the neighbourhood over the past 40 years.


Teaching the Team at the First Salon Location in 1979


If you ask Gianfranco Scavo why he’s not slowing down anytime soon, he will tell you that a combination of passion, love for the industry, family, community, mentorship and success for the people around him are some of the things that drive Salon Scavo even after 4 decades in the industry. And Gianfranco is gearing up for the next 4 decades and beyond.

40 years of commitment to one industry is an achievement in itself. Gianfranco is not only a successful business owner who has stood the test of time in an ever-changing industry, he has been and still continues to hone his craft by keeping his finger on the pulse of the industry. You can still find Gianfranco behind the salon chair, serving long-time clients who now bring their children and grandchildren to his establishment.


Gianfranco Behind the Chair in 1993, at the 13A St. Clair W Location


By way of tradition and his Italian heritage, Gianfranco would say the number 13 is a good luck number. Gianfranco joined Maurice Fiorio’s first salon location at 13A St Clair Avenue W (now St. Clair Tanning Spa) in 1979. Gianfranco recalls,  “We had 5 people when we started at 13A and built the team to 12. We then moved in 1996 across the street to 24 St. Clair Ave W (now the Royal Bank) and our team of 12 grew to a family of 20 and we stayed at that location until 2004.” Gianfranco’s face lights up when he reminisces over how it all started from his first location.


1993 Team Expands to 12


2004 Team of 28, Taken at the 1470 Yonge St. Location


You can catch him and his abundantly talented family of stylists and colour technicians at Salon Scavo located at 1470 Yonge Street, a location they have called home for the last 15 years. In November 2018, Gianfranco took what he describes as, “a leap of faith” and decided to re-brand the business and renovate the 3,600 square foot salon

The business he has built organically from the ground up bears his name and is etched into the Yonge + St. Clair legacy where he has worked and lived for 40 years.


40 Years In The Industry With a Continued Passion to Learn and Evolve, 2019
1470 Yonge St., Where Gianfranco and His Team of 35 Have Called Home for 15 Years


You can find Salon Scavo on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter or visit them at their storefront location at 1470 Yonge St.


Doors Open Toronto: IBI Group, 55 St. Clair W

Doors Open Toronto is happening across the city between May 25th – May 26th 2019, giving visitors exclusive access to explore urban spaces that are culturally, architecturally, and historically significant.

For one day only on Sunday, May 26th, IBI Group will be opening its doors between 10AM – 5PM (last entry 4:30PM). Come explore their location during Doors Open Toronto at 55 St. Clair Avenue W.


IBI Group, 55 St Clair Ave W


Learn more about Doors Open Toronto locations, and IBI Group’s May 26th itinerary on the Doors Open Toronto website.

Spotlight: iQ CEO Alan Bekerman on New Yonge + St. Clair Location

This month we are welcoming iQ FOOD CO. to Yonge + St. Clair as they open their tenth storefront location at 2 St Clair W.

We spoke with iQ FOOD CO.’s CEO Alan Bekerman, to talk about the booming restaurant chain, what drives their brand vision, and to learn how the community at Yonge + St. Clair plays a role in iQ’s long-awaited arrival here in midtown.



Yonge + St. Clair: What is iQ all about?

Alan Bekerman: We’re a seasonal kitchen with sustainable food and scratch cooking at our core. Almost everything that we serve is made daily in-house by our teams. More than half of all the food we buy is sourced within < 100 km’s of our restaurants, and while not everything in our shops is organic, there’s a lot of it. Because of our approach, we recognize that as we grow, we have a real opportunity to change the way food is consumed and experienced.

In terms of inspiration, though we’re a restaurant company, a lot of what moves us comes from outside the industry. Fashion, art, music, design, architecture and technology are central to inspiring the creativity that shapes our brand.



Y+S: Why did you decide to open your newest location at Yonge + St. Clair?

AB: Embracing neighbourhoods in their early stages has been our M/O since day one (we launched our location at 18 York St. before the likes of Apple and Amazon arrived; launched at Yorkdale last September in a newly built west wing of the shopping centre that’s still very much in development; and earlier this year opened up in a Yonge and Sheppard Centre that’s currently under construction). That commitment continues today with our newest, and 10th location, at Yonge + St. Clair.

While the neighbourhood’s been around for as long as I can remember, it’s changing  quickly and food – specifically – is becoming a lot more exciting in the area. We’re happy to be a part of the shift.



Y+S: Your store interiors are exceptional. How do you go about the designing them?

A+B: Thx!

Our design process is more principle-based than it is formulaic. Though we have 10 locations, they’re all uniquely different. When we look at and ultimately build out spaces, we work to create environments that make sense given the context of the neighbourhood.

Will our guests primarily be taking their food to go? Dropping in post gym? Are they looking for a place to hang out? Meet up w/ friends? Something else…? What’s important to the community and neighbourhood? Those are the kind of questions we ask ourselves.

In terms of materiality and aesthetic, we’re pretty consistent: lots of natural materials (wood, stone), greenery and great art.



Y+S: What makes your new location at Yonge + St. Clair unique?

AB: Our kitchen!

The kitchen at our Yonge + St. Clair location is the largest we’ve ever built.  And while that might not mean much to our guests (b/c they don’t see it), it has a huge impact on the experience. Our teams have more space to prepare food with even more care. And happy teams mean even better service.

I remember hearing Howard Schultz (Starbucks’ former CEO) say something to the effect of  “the front of house is where we impress but the back of house is where we win.”

Those words feel particularly true at our Yonge + St. Clair location.



Y+S: What do you hope people take away from their iQ experience?

AB: We’re on a mission to fuel dreams through food.

For the small amount of time people spend in our restaurants – whether it’s through the music, the service, the aesthetic, or the general energy – we hope to inspire. And through our food, we hope to give our guests the nourishment they need to keep moving forward in pursuit of the things they love.



Visit iQ FOOD CO. located at 2 St Clair W., and their website at

Call for Musicians – 2019 Yonge + St. Clair Summer Music Series

Welcome to the 2019 installment of the Yonge + St. Clair Summer Music Series that aims to connect this bustling community to a roster of vibrant, live performances over a span of 8 weeks.

We’ll be featuring a new musical performance every Thursday between 5PM – 6PM for the months of June-August.

We’re looking for musicians of all types. Please note that these performances will be held outdoors rain or shine without the use of a tent/stage. Minimal tech requirements are preferred, and submissions who have links to examples of their work will also be preferred. A battery-powered amplifier can be arranged if needed.

Please fill out our form below if you are interested, and let us know which dates you are available.

Submission Deadline: June 6th, 2019

Selected artists will be notified by: June 13th, 2019

We thank all applicants for their interest, however only those selected will be contacted.

All inquires can be made below after submitting interest. Please no phone calls.


Wrap up: 2019 Jane’s Walk at Yonge + St. Clair

On May 3, 2019, we welcomed over 60 guests for a free tour of the neighbourhood as part of the international Jane’s Walk festival. The tour was led by Alex Bozikov, author of Toronto Architecture: A City Guide, and architecture critic for the Globe and Mail.

Bozikovic led the group to prominent mid-century buildings in the Yonge + St. Clair area, offering stories behind their architecture and history.

Tour locations included the Deer Park Library, the former home of legendary Canadian pianist Glenn Gould, the Imperial Oil Building, and the Deer Park Junior and Senior Public School.

A big thank you to Mr. Bozikovic for leading this free walk, and to all of the participants that joined us.


The Spring Flower Stand Returns to Yonge + St. Clair

On May 10, The Spring Flower Stand returns to Yonge + St. Clair! Purchase a bunch of flowers just in time for Mother’s Day, and you’ll be helping to support the Centennial Infant and Child Centre, with a portion of the proceeds going towards their amazing charitable programs for families.

Visit the stand at 2 St. Clair E between 11am and 6pm on May 10th.

The Spring Flower Stand is hosted by the Yonge + St. Clair BIA, in partnership with Slate Asset Management. Flowers are sourced locally from Yonge + St. Clair BIA merchants.