The Best New Design Stores in Toronto, 2009
The best new design stores in Toronto offered something of an international battle royale in 2009. Canada had a strong showing with two crafty stores (Bluebird Handmade and Wise Daughters Craft Market) making the cut.
Japan made a play via Cubeshops and its Asian quirkfest, while the Scandinavians and Europeans continue to dominate the decor market, with Mjolk's sleek chic, and a nod to the multi-use pieces at double-store Bullfrog & Limitless.
Toronto shoppers are looking to the past, too - a couple of vintage shops are new favorites as well.
It just goes to show that, whether local or international, futuristic or vintage, good design will always triumph.
Here are the 8 best design stores that opened in Toronto during 2009.
Wacky name or no (it’s pronounced “mi-yelk!”), Mjolk is the city's best new design store. The bright, welcoming space and friendly young owners jive with the no-nonsense, stylish Scandinavian offerings here. I spotted silver birch platters ($120), Technicolor office supplies by Anything ($4 - $69), Povel Kjer wool rocking-sheep ($210 - $550), and Arne Jacobsen flatware ($163). More »
Need a gift for somebody? Head to Bathurst Street to Bluebird Handmade. There you can find Jen Ham's stuffed rabbits ($48), RC Boisjoli’s ceramics that feature a fox chasing a hare ($48), Up In The Air Somewhere papier-mache bowls ($15-$25), and Beside Herself’s floorboard-print scarves ($50). You can try your hand at felting, too, if you sign up for one of the store’s classes. More »
This Baldwin Street addition carries shelves and shelves’ worth of quirky Japanese oddities, from mugs with number handles and psychedelic flower-shaped pencilholders to ninja pins and Hario coffeemakers. More »
If you’ve ever stared covetously at a store fixture, Coriander Girl might satiate some of those lusts - pretty much everything in this flower store/decor boutique is for sale. Help yourself to shabby chic tables, old jugs, Ella’s Botanicals lotions, Lotte lamps, vintage cards, and handmade soap while picking out some blooms for a bouquet. More »
Bargain-hunters should get to the Junction, pronto - World Headquarters is officially the new HQ for well-priced vintage decor and strange treasures. No-one else on the block will have a brass Indian shoeshine kit ($100), cool old signs (including a lit-up Kool cigarettes clock), or the game Electronic Master Mind ($25). More »
You can barely squeeze between the towering stacks of vintage furniture and decor at this Parkdale vintage shop. During your visit, you might brush up against a Canadian postal scale, card catalogue, school lockers, a metal gooseneck lamp, or a typewriter or two. More »
These brands (German and Dutch, respectively) are housed in two connected stores in Corktown. The Europeans are definitely onto something - almost everything in the stores has an admirable versatility, like the ottoman with built-in storage ($2820), bendable lamps ($3120), and an entertainment console with hidden compartments and a swivel-stand ($4700). Bring your Platinum card. More »