Midoco Art and Office Supplies
Midoco may not be on the shortlist of go-to art supply stores for some of the more serious artists in the city, but for students and hobbyists it's the type of place that supplies all the basics and then some. Unlike other art supply stores, Midoco has an office supplies side to the inventory which means there's tons of general office stuff that we all need now and again like tape, rulers and staples as well an assortment of stationery, pens and pencils.
On the shelves are also random things like board games, birthday cards and various courier bags and knapsacks. But selection varies by store. The photos above and below are from the larger, more stocked Annex location on Bloor, just east of Bathurst.
Established in North Toronto in 1977, Midoco has been around for longer than you think. The Beach store opened in 1983 followed by the Annex expansion four years later. This fact may be a surprise to some who thought the Bloor Street store surfaced only last year. Not true, though perhaps it was its recent facelift and extensive renovations that caused more people to notice it.
What else is up with Midoco? The store's Anya Cramer recently filled me in on some of the salient details in the following Q&A.
What would you say is different or unique about Midoco compared to some of the other art supply stores in Toronto?
Our product line is unique. We have a comprehensive mix of office, school, and stationery supplies that complement our art supplies nicely. We like to think of ourselves as a one stop shop for creative expression. Also, our customers often tell us how much they appreciate our store hours. Our Bloor store is open until 9:30pm weekdays. Queen closes at 9pm.
What are some of the most popular products you sell?
Art supplies like Copic Markers, acrylics & related materials and canvas are very popular. People also like our wide array of journals (including Moleskine & SemiKolon) and agendas. We have an excellent line of greeting cards. And our office products range from functional to fancy. We have craft supplies for all ages and levels of interest; children's craft kits are especially popular.
How do you feel Midoco competes on price compared to most other art supply stores?
We try to be competitive across our whole product line. And our customer feedback in this regard tends to be positive.
Also, we offer discounts to specific art programs in neighbourhood schools.
Are there any items you carry that are unique to Midoco?
We continually try to update our product line looking for inspiration. For example, we recently introduced Whitelines which are Swedish stationery that's easy on the eyes and specially recommended for dyslexics. Also we just got in a line of bookbinding supplies and linen canvas because customers often asked for them.
Why did you choose the two locations you did?
We like the Annex and The Beach neighbourhoods and think that they are good areas for retail. Our product line is varied enough to make our locations work for us. Besides, there are artists in every neighbourhood!
Is there any difference between the two locations?
The Bloor store is much bigger, so we carry some products there that we can't carry at Queen (but we're always willing to send over product if requested by customers of that store). Each neighbourhood is unique, so some of our lines are more popular in one than in the other.
Anything else you'd like to add?
Yes, we are very excited about our new look. We recently redid facades of both stores and are currently working on updating our website.