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Design Stores

Suitcase Vintage

Posted by Robyn Urback / Posted on August 22, 2012

suitcase vintage torontoSuitcase Vintage strikes me as the truest incarnation of what one might call a "nostalgia shop."

Now, as anyone who has seen Midnight in Paris likely knows, the term doesn't offer any sort of ready definition, but "nostalgia shop" immediately popped into my head once I started browsing the offerings at this new Dundas West shop.

suitcase vintage torontoUnlike typical "vintage" or "antique" shops, the collection of pieces at Suitcase Vintage don't fall into a distinct category. That is, it's not simply vintage furniture or antique decor items, but an assortment of quirky merchandise that ranges from appliances and electronics, to toys and newspapers, to functional pieces of furniture. But they all seem united through a sort of "remember when..." quality, as though they were plucked from an old house.

suitcase vintage torontoAnd in a strange way, they sort of were. "My brother is a real estate agent," says Rory, who, along with partner Sarah, opened the shop in early August. "Sometimes he'll sell these old houses with some really unique old pieces. That's one of them," he says, pointing to a communist-era Russian wall phone ($175).

suitcase vintage torontoThe shop is brimming with like history-laden objects that are sure to make any social studies scholar squeal. Along with countless back copies of LIFE magazine, Suitcase Vintage has a framed issue of the Toronto Telegram from the day John F. Kennedy was shot, as well as a few loose papers from January 28, 1967, when NASA's Apollo 1 burst into flames. There are vintage comic books, as well.

suitcase vintage toronto"The only new things we have in here are the crafts," Sarah says. "But since we find a lot of the pieces we use anyway, I guess they're really not that new." Sarah makes the dreamcatchers ($15-$50) displayed around the store from a variety of found objects, as well as feathers from a contact outside of the city.

suitcase vintage torontoRory is the woodworker (and perhaps characteristically, walks around the shop totally barefoot), using salvage pieces to create a chair from an old wooden ladder ($225), a cedar log shelf ($165), and a vintage suitcase made into a shelf ($150).

suitcase vintage torontoAnd speaking of, Suitcase Vintage has a healthy vintage collection of its namesake (priced around $30 and up), stacked under a painted Volkswagen trunk that has been made into a lamp ($500). Why not, right? And for some other comforts of (that decades-long-gone) home, Suitcase Vintage has a few rotary phones (in working order), Zenith TVs (manual knobs and all), and plenty of books and toys.

suitcase vintage torontoYou can also pick up a coffee or espresso to go, though not made on a vintage stovetop percolator. The "nostalgia shop" thing can only go so far, after all.

Photos by Morris Lum



vampchick21 / August 22, 2012 at 01:36 pm
I completely have to check this place out. Incidently, I have clear memories of having to get up to turn the knob to change the channel. Well, ok, kicking my brother to get up and turn the knob to change the channel. Also remember 8-tracks and 45s.
Dan Cummings / August 22, 2012 at 02:25 pm
Looks like good mix of stuff. Indeed, looks much like the garage sales I held this summer. I've still my 1954 model Admiral floor TV on which I watched 4 Maple Leafs' Stanley Cup victories. Hard to part with some things. Good luck with the venture; good to see entrepreneurs keeping things out of the landfill!
Pk / August 22, 2012 at 02:59 pm
Ok, ok, call me a mean-spirited troll, but this headline is roll-on-the-floor fantastic:

"New Dundas West vintage shop is all about nostalgia"

You don't say?
jenn / August 22, 2012 at 03:25 pm
Great store filled with all kinds of interesting pieces. Nice to see such young people with the eagerness to start a new adventure in life. kudos to you and good luck with your awsome store!!
AJ / August 22, 2012 at 05:00 pm
Been there it is a awsome store! it has something for everyone great prices and great merchandise. You need to check it out for yourselfs and go though a "remember when" moment . good luck with your store!
LOL / August 22, 2012 at 05:40 pm
who in their right mind buys this crap other than at garage sales?
sarah / August 23, 2012 at 10:17 am
I love this store - the dream catchers are really lovely and so are the owners.
Meg / August 23, 2012 at 02:40 pm
Checked out this store the other day, i was impressed ! Its something different for once, definitely has some cute unique crafts and prices are reasonable! Lots of great antiques too for people who are looking for cool pieces for their houses, restaurants, cottages etc.
gmc / August 26, 2012 at 01:35 am
It was an awesome throwback. Well crafted and well collected. A very interesting place, and such laid back owners. You cant help but strike a conversation while inside; or outside where i found rory gardening in his bare feet.
Jazzmin Vangeel / August 29, 2012 at 04:47 pm
The article didn't include the address which is 2009, dundas west. As well only called "suitcase" the owners were painting in the back, and a great feel plus coffee!
Jay / June 4, 2013 at 10:46 pm
This photo of this post is a bit old.
Now they have more stuff in store.

An amazing store this is! The owners are great people too. Do go check it out!

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