gold one jewellery toronto

Family closes jewelry shop in Toronto and posts a heartbreaking sign on door

A family-run jewelry store selling chains and watches from the base of a Toronto condo has shuttered for good. 

Less than two years after first opening at 21 Carlton St., Gold One Jewellery has vacated its unit, leaving nothing behind but an all-too-familiar note of sadness on the door.

"We are a family business and we weren't able to survive," wrote Gold One. "We pass away as a business." 

"Thank you for your support, friendship and goodwill. It was a pleasure to meet you and all our wonderful neighbours that made [an] impact in our lives forever. In a business you put money, effort, passion, knowledge, love, service, but sadly this is not enough to face the pandemic. The best for you!!" 

gold one jewellery toronto

Gold One has left a goodbye sign on the door of the unit at 21 Carlton St. Photo courtesy of Abir Biswas.

The note has made an impact on passers-by, who've shared the sign online and received a flurry of reactions. 

According to Juan Mejia, one of the co-owners of Gold One, operating the store during COVID-19 was "very hard" for the family. 

"Due to massive losses we took, we had to shut down the business," he says. "Right now I'm working from home. I'm still selling jewelry on the side, trying to sell the stock we have left." 

Mejia, 23, officially opened Gold One with his father Luis, and two family friends, Fernando Valencia and Francisco Herrera, in December 2019, shortly after the Mejias arrived from Colombia. 

gold one jewellery toronto

Juan Camilo and his father Luis (centre) started Gold One with family friends Fernando Valencia and Francisco Herrera in late 2019. The business closed a year later. Photo via Gold One Jewellery. 

But then the pandemic hit. Their customer base, made up predominantly of executives and tourists staying at the Holiday Inn next door, dwindled when the hotel's capacity plummeted.

Mejia says he felt "very alone" during the pandemic with little assistance from the government. They officially closed the store in December 2020.

The 23-year-old had originally dropped out of school to "chase the dream." He says he loved working in the shop with his mother, Adriana, and meeting other people in the industry.

"The dream wasn't able to be accomplished," he says. "We started the biz before COVID and nobody could have foreseen the situation."

gold one jewellery toronto

Gold One has been temporarily absorbed into Milvan Jewelers in Plaza Latina. Photo by Tanya Mok.

Mejia is now back in school finishing his business administration degree.

Gold One isn't completely defunct, though. The store has been temporarily absorbed into Milvan Jewelers, a shop owned by one of Mejia's former partners, located in Plaza Latina

Mejia says there's still a chance that Gold One can resurface as its own store in the future. "Hopefully some day we can come back to Toronto and when this situation isn't so dire." 

Lead photo by

Gold One Jewellery


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