Cabin Fever Collective
Cabin Fever Collective is a cafe, record store, and gallery in one. Having undergone a transformation from a pretty nondescript nail salon in the west end, this space is now an airy and open multi-function space, brimming with Bad Religion, Metric, and Minus the Bear.
Robyn Harrison and her husband, Alex, dreamed up the concept behind Cabin Fever Collective. Motivated by their own love of vinyl shopping, but finding nothing much to explore in the area, the duo thought they would take it upon themselves to bring a little oolong and Alan Parsons Project to the neighbourhood.
"This is sort of like the forgotten part of Toronto," Robyn says as she tours me around the two-month-old shop. "We're not quite the Junction, and we're not really Bloor West." Located on Bloor right by Indian Road, Cabin Fever does seem to be a bit of an anomaly on the block, with a view that's limited to the condo construction across the road. "People have slowly been discovering us, though," Robyn says. "And it has started off great."
On the vinyl end, Cabin Fever Collective is about 95% new, with some vintage finds sprinkled throughout. "My husband is into electronic, indie rock, that sort of thing," Robyn says. "We're also really interested in finding local artists, and we've already had some people approach us." To sweeten the deal of any new vinyl purchase, they'll throw in a complimentary coffee or tea.
Beyond the vinyl, however, Cabin Fever is stocked with one-of-a-kind pieces by local artists, including a small collection currently in stock by Sean-William Dawson. I ask if the lego-man-inside-a-clear-cassette-tape piece is for sale. "We're still sort of figuring that out," Robyn replies. Understandable — I, too, would be sad to see the lego man go.
On the cafe end, Cabin Fever Collective is stocked with sweets and snacks from OMG Baked Goodness, and a growing collection of loose leaf teas (currently at about 25 and counting) sourced from Herbal Infusions down on Adelaide.
Espresso is TBA with plumbing repairs in the works, but the cafe does offer drip brew using Birds and Beans coffee. Even so, Robyn says the cafe will continue to lean on the tea end.
"We're more tea people anyway," she says. "And we've been talking about Dan [from Herbal Infusions] coming up here to run some tea workshops." In the meantime, Cabin Fever Collective will continue to grow its vinyl, art, and loose leaf tea collections, keeping its door open to local artists looking to share their new tracks. And people keen on cupcakes and chocolate chai, of course.
Photos by Jesse Milns