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Design Stores


Posted by Robyn Urback / Posted on May 8, 2012

Ecotique TorontoEcotique is Roncesvalles' very own eco-minded boutique. While the Roncy community does have more than a few green options in its neighbourhood — Sweetpea's for seasonal florals, Scout and Fresh Collective for unique local designs, for example — Ecotique is the first that is exclusively and explicitly about eco-friendly gifts, housewares, and beauty.

Ecotique TorontoThe boutique was launched in November by Anna Pinchak, who previously operated Dexterity Gifts & Decor on Queen West. I don't meet Anna when I stop by the store, but I do chat with Sarah, who relays Anna's initial intentions for the shop. "Her goal," she begins, "or, the goal of the store, is to provide greener choices without compromising good design." I take that to mean no hairy hemp shoulder bags, and indeed, there are none to be found. The store is lightly stocked — something the easily overwhelmed will surely appreciate — with pretty speckles of wood, white, and metal along the shelves.

Ecotique Toronto"The products are either recycled, reusable, sustainable, local, or any combination of those qualities," Sarah continues. We walk through the store, and she points out the locally made line of Crawford Street Skin Care products (made, of course, over on Crawford Street by hand, using only natural ingredients), a set of Nkuku stainless steel cups ($12/e) painted by hand and sourced from a fair trade co-op in India, and, my favourite, a line of Phasha leather notebooks and journals (average about $30) made from hand-dyed and hand-tooled leather with paper made from recycled cotton.

"I have one," Sarah says, as I pick up a mini sketchbook and examine it more closely. "I love it. It's great for notes and sketches."

Ecotique TorontoAnother item that quickly catches my eye is a coat hook made of a plank of reclaimed wood with bent silver spoons acting as the hooks ($45). The spoons have been imprinted with the words "peace" and "love" at Anna's request, though Sarah says the shop will look into asking the supplier for custom imprints at the customer's request.

Ecotique TorontoI soon realize the reclaimed wood is plentiful at Ecotique, available as cutting boards, serving planks, and even a pieces of jewellery, designed by a Northern Ontario couple who only use pieces of fallen wood. Perfectly paired with the couple's handmade wooden earrings ($28), are the Mistura wooden watches made from recycled leather and wood from sustainable forests. The watches are on the pricier end — about $200 a pop — but the designs are spectacular and strike me as a perfect unisex gift.

Ecotique TorontoThere's plenty more to see at Ecotique including natural linens, bathrobes, lotions, and other toiletries, and Sarah says the shop is constantly getting in new items. "We're always on the lookout for locally crafted products as much as possible," she says. "If it's green and of great quality, that's what we want to offer to our customers."

Additional Photos:

Ecotique TorontoEcotique TorontoEcotique TorontoPhotos by Nick Warzin



Maureen / May 8, 2012 at 02:32 pm
1968 all over again. I should know; I looked in my great auntie's scrapbooks.
D. Bowie / May 8, 2012 at 08:00 pm
Cool spot, I was in there a while back. Love those grey messenger bags!
Ratpick / May 8, 2012 at 09:13 pm
The metal cut-out moose/beaver/inukshuk. I must have them!

Roncygal / May 9, 2012 at 12:29 pm
Ecotique also sells satchels made from sails - bright, colourful, super-functional. I've got my eye on one - there's two pictures of them in this write-up, one in the window and another showing then on the coat-hook made of reclaimed wood. Not to mention her trays and platters made from old wine barrel wood - I bought one as a gift now I want one for me!
Gerry / May 9, 2012 at 12:57 pm
Does it not seem a little weird that the owner couldn't make it to an interview with BlogTO? I've been in before and been virtually ignored. The owner seems to be more concerned with her own paperwork than the customers in the shop. I guess she is too busy for an interview that could make or break her shop too. Cool concept, but a smile goes a long way in earning my business.
Mistura Canada / May 9, 2012 at 06:49 pm
Now you can find in Ecotique our eco-friendly watches for both men and women. Using natural material such as luxurious exotic woods, leather, colorful dry flowers and recycled elements. A piece of Art that you wear on your wrist. These timepieces are the vision of great artists & watch designers, they are hand crafted by specially trained artisans. These Mistura watches are truly one of a kind and need to be seen to be believed. True harmony between earth, Mother Nature and watch-making.
Jim / May 11, 2012 at 07:17 pm
I went to this store and found the staff extremely helpful!
ghp / May 16, 2012 at 12:50 am
I picked up a terrific recycled felt and reclaimed leather man-bag at Christmas and am lusting for one of those Mistura watches - great addition to the Roncy strip!
Rug Store Toronto / May 17, 2012 at 09:22 pm
I love this type of stores. Why not add area rugs hand knotted wool carpet at low prices contactrugs Torontous at our rug store.
RizMi / February 1, 2013 at 07:31 am
This is the way we should be heading in Carpet installation Company Toronto
Shopper / February 2, 2013 at 07:29 pm
Owner of this store was rude and unfriendly. I would not recommend this store to anyone.
Randall / October 2, 2013 at 09:47 am
Do you sell Lucia Goat Milk soaps?
Kind regards,
Felicia / October 23, 2013 at 06:56 pm
Hi Everyone ,
It is so nice to see so many nice things said about our store. We are always happy to hear people love our things. It also saddens me to hear some people have not had a positive experience. We are always striving to give the best experience possible. With that said I hope you will give us another shot I think you will be pleasantly surprised. We just celebrated our second year anniversary and in that two years have grown and are now filled with even more friendly , knowledgeable and enthusiastic staff. I promise we can turn that poor experience into a positive one. In addition to the smiles that will greet you we are jam packed with even more with amazing eco friendly products , fair trade goodies and awesome local treasures. For your next visit don't worry were going to have awesome ideas to help make your gift giving a bit more greener and make green living a bit more easy .

See you soon ,


Assistant Manager, Ecotique
Writer / July 1, 2014 at 01:03 am
Oh my gosh! I'm coming in just for the leather-bound journals! I've been looking for these everywhere! I hope they're priced right in this blog entry ($30). I would hate to have to pass them by.

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