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Design Stores

Blackbird Vintage Finds

Posted by Robyn Urback / Posted on June 3, 2011

Blackbird Vintage TorontoBlackbird Vintage Finds in the Distillery District is owner Paula DiRenzo's second take on vintage décor. She decided to close up her previous store, Fleur de Terre, which was on Avenue Road north of Lawrence, in favour of opening up something a little different, a little edgier.

"Everything was white, cream--very country estate," Paula says of her last store. "I wanted a new vision. Not so glittery. And anyway, I couldn't stop buying antiques."

Blackbird Vintage TorontoNeeding a space to put them, and after closing Fleur de Terre in January, Paula opened up Blackbird Vintage not two weeks ago, and is already enjoying the more relaxed Distillery vibe.

"People have been really friendly. It's not so serious."

Blackbird Vintage TorontoSo Paula has been able to get away with offering items with a bit of roughness to them, and the space itself emotes a sort of robust Victorian vibe (though perhaps that's the more the structure of the space than the stuff inside).

Blackbird Vintage TorontoBlackbird Vintage Finds has pieces sourced from various countries, from small decorative items to full-sized antique furniture. There are also soaps, candles, and scents, including liquid bubble bath packaged in whiskey bottles ($29.95), perfectly exemplifying something that would never have worked at Fleur de Terre.

Blackbird Vintage TorontoOne corner seems an ode to vintage religious finds, framed by a leaning antique Sunday school sign ($895) found somewhere in Massachusetts. Next to the sign is an incredible 30-foot tall bus roll, which, as of now, is not priced. "I still haven't decided what I'm going to do with that," Paula confesses. "It says 'World Fair'--that's hard to find. And we have the height in the space here to show it off."

Blackbird Vintage TorontoSome of the other, definitely for sale items include a variety of printing materials, such as calligraphy pens, an antique typewriter, and metal letter blocks in all different sizes. "Anything to do with communication," Paula says. "I really love that."

Blackbird Vintage TorontoBut she also loves antique trophies, evidenced by the array of golf and pigeon trophies displayed around the shop. They're neighboured by vintage trunks and suitcases, complete with original labels.

Blackbird Vintage TorontoSo, Blackbird Vintage has a little bit of everything. But I was drawn to the big items, including an incredible vintage iron washstand ($650), and an antique Argentina candy shop display composed of 18 individual glass canisters ($3,800). It's definitely not cream or glittery, and that's certainly a good thing.

Blackbird Vintage TorontoBlackbird Vintage TorontoPhotos by Dennis Marciniak

Discussion

23 Comments

Bewildered Bug / June 3, 2011 at 02:09 pm
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I am so going to check this place out! Thank you for letting us know about it!
Rosa Muscillo / June 3, 2011 at 03:31 pm
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looks fantastic--keep on rollin in it!!! Rox
Chris / June 3, 2011 at 04:50 pm
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this place looks like its about 80% new merchandise with a faux vintage theme, and 20% real vintage items. with most of that 20% being used as decoration. saw a sliver of an old streetcar roll sign that looked interesting, but otherwise looks sort of dull.
Paula replying to a comment from Bewildered Bug / June 3, 2011 at 04:59 pm
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Looking forward to seeing you!
Paula replying to a comment from Rosa Muscillo / June 3, 2011 at 05:10 pm
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Thanks Ro! It's been great!
Greg / June 4, 2011 at 03:27 am
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This kind of vintage store seems appropriate for the distillery.
Jesse / June 4, 2011 at 09:16 am
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Yay! More over-priced kitschy shit we don't need!
Bill / June 4, 2011 at 09:24 am
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Jesse, you mean more over-priced kitschy shit YOU don't need. Some of us like it. You better stick to Leons. Good luck with the store, Paula.
Paula replying to a comment from Greg / June 4, 2011 at 11:59 am
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Thanks Greg! Hope to see you at the store!
Paula replying to a comment from Bill / June 4, 2011 at 12:00 pm
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Thanks for the good wishes Bill! Please come in for a visit!
Sarah / June 4, 2011 at 12:08 pm
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Love love love this store....bought some very nice pieces for my house and left with some great gifts as well....will be back soon!!!!
Eva / June 4, 2011 at 12:28 pm
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I love this store! What an original vintage find it is! Interesting history behind the treasures that make this store stand out from the rest! Fit's perfectly into the Distillery District. Good Luck, much success!
Paula replying to a comment from Sarah / June 4, 2011 at 12:32 pm
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Thanks for your business Sarah! Hope to see you again soon!
Paula replying to a comment from Eva / June 4, 2011 at 12:32 pm
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Thanks Eva! Please visit again...lots of new stuff on its way.
gloria / June 4, 2011 at 01:16 pm
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The new location is terrific. Paula loves what she does and it is evident by the merchandise she sells and the great vintage treasures she finds and displays. Blackbird has something for everyone thats for sure. I'll be visiting it again just to see what's new. Love the store Paula!
Gloria / June 4, 2011 at 01:25 pm
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I loved Fleur de Terre and I love this store even more! Paula has a knack at putting stuff together. She loves what she does and it is evident by the merchandise she selects for the store and the treasures that are displayed. Backbird has something for everyone and it fits right in with the district. Great spot for the Blackbird to land....all the best.
Paula / June 4, 2011 at 01:45 pm
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Thanks Gloria! Hope to see you soon!
Jessica / June 4, 2011 at 07:23 pm
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Wow - what a great store! Love it
Paula replying to a comment from Jessica / June 4, 2011 at 07:46 pm
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Thanks Jessica! Sorry I missed you!
M / June 5, 2011 at 01:58 am
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Checked this out the other day and it has a great collection of items. Soap, metal type, purple glass cups, etc. The building interior itself was beautiful also.
M / June 5, 2011 at 02:01 am
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Checked this out the other day and it has a great collection of items. Soap, metal type, purple glass cups, etc. The building interior itself was beautiful also.
Sonia / June 24, 2011 at 12:03 am
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Congratulations on what will definitely be the place to find that unique piece every home craves! Can't wait to browse and buy...
Debbie Di Trolio / December 3, 2012 at 08:51 pm
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Loved this store so.......much!!!!

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