Putting Woods restaurant on the Map

rweait's picture
Woods restaurant on on OpenStreetMap

Toronto restaurant-goers have a new reason to go out in the rain. Woods is open.

It isn't really, officially, open. They haven't had their Grand Opening yet. But Woods is soft open. The doors are open, the staff are welcoming and you can order a fine plate of food. I ordered a plate of food that turned out to be fine, indeed. I like a nice plate of food.

I was looking forward to a new business in this area after Colbourne Lane closed. I'd had a couple of pleasant visits to Colbourne Lane for special event meals. The spot seemed too good to stay vacant for long, and so I noted with interest when a new sign was installed. For me, a new business means a new business to add to OpenStreetMap, so I put Woods into the database as a restaurant that is under construction.

Woods restaurant sign during construction.

I noted it with enough interest that I snapped the photo above, on that same day.

That was how I met, Bruce, the owner of Woods Restaurant. He was returning after a long day of preparing his new restaurant for launch, for more late-night work, preparing his restaurant for launch. Folks, this is not the glamourous part of restaurant ownership that they show you on the posters. Restaurateurs work hard. And he found me taking this photo of his place. I can't imagine what he thought, or what he expected of this guy taking a photo of his restaurant / construction site. I'm guessing that expert generated geographic data was not the first phrase to cross his mind.

Bruce and I chatted for a bit and he shared his infectious enthusiasm for his new place. I couldn't wait to stop in. And when I discovered that the doors were open tonight, on a rainy May evening, I dropped in for a bite. And now I can't wait to go back. I had a delicious dessert of mascarpone and raspberries, with basil ice cream. Try to imagine how delicious that was!

raspberry mascarpone dessert

You're going to have to imagine, because my terribly under-exposed photo isn't going to help you in the least. Sorry. I'm not a food critic; I'm a cartographer. [mental note: bring a camera with a flash, next time.]

The raspberry and mascarpone was fantastic and the accompanying basil ice cream was sublime. I'm going to be ranting about this dessert for a while if you meet me in person. Yup. That good. I've never had basil ice ream before, but you can bet that I'll have it again. The toasted pine nuts were a perfect garnish and have given me a new goal to try to reach in my own kitchen. Drop in to Woods and treat yourself, before the hoardes of Toronto foodies discover the place. It isn't every day that you'll get the chance to play the, Yeah, 'Woods?' Nice place. I was there last week. You been yet? card.

Of course, the big question in your mind is, Did you map it? Of course I did.

I've tagged Woods restaurant as being open now. You can find it with a quick nominatim search. Perhaps I'll use this as an example in the How to Use OpenStreetMap Data presentation, on Monday.

I also had a little something from the bar at Woods tonight, so any more details will have to wait. I'll leave the food reviews to an actual critic For now, I'll enjoy the memory of having discovered a new and delightful local landmark.