weird things toronto

One of Toronto's weirdest shops is permanently closing

Those who like weird things, art and antiques will be sad to learn about the closure of a unique Toronto gem.

Weird Things Antique Shop and Clubhouse, a tiny art gallery and shop packed with odd objects and outlier art is closing for good on Aug. 28, owner Jonathan Petersen tells blogTO. Located at 998 Bathurst St., south of Dupont, the storefront isn't in a high-traffic shopping area.

Since opening the space in 2013, the focus for Petersen of Weird Things has been on art and creating a space for artists who may not be accepted in conventional art galleries.

"It has always been a community space, primarily, and it was a place for artists to get together and exchange ideas and show work," Petersen tells blogTO.

As lockdown restrictions drag on, Petersen hasn't held an art opening.

"It kind of defeats the purpose," he says. "It has been challenging to get people in a room."

He has spent the time waiting for the pandemic to pass but now has lost the energy.

"I know that things will probably open up soon but I am just done now — I am a little bit tired and it's time to move on."

weird things toronto

The message posted to Facebook announcing the closure.

Petersen says the shop was never a money-making venture — it always had a community focus. As an artist himself, he wanted to create a space for artists.

"I found a lot of art spaces challenging, I felt a little uncomfortable and I was hoping, I don't know if I did this, I was hoping to provide a certain alternative for people like me."

Over the years Petersen welcomed artists such as Marc Bell, Ginette Lapalme, Seth Scriver and Eunice Luk. He would have monthly events as a way to engage the community.

"Mostly it was kind of a clubhouse."

Petersen says he is not sure what he will do after the shop closes.

Another artist plans to take over the space on Bathurst Street but she hasn't announced her plans for the shop yet.

"It's not going to be called Weird Things anymore," he says. "I think she is going to do neat things."

The final day of Weird Things is Saturday, Aug. 28, and while there isn't much left in the shop, Petersen hopes fans of the gallery will stop by to say goodbye.

Lead photo by

Javin Lau


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