Scout is a quaint little Roncesvalles gift boutique specializing in local and handmade goods. For some reason, the plum purple ceiling seems to tell me all I need to know about the shop. It's a little different, soft and pretty, and fits well with the aesthetic of the neighbourhood.
Owner Leah Eyles tells me she was determined to open her own shop in the area. "Roncesvalles is its own little village," she says. "And it had a flower shop, coffee shops, but no gift store.
Leah decided to create her own space after working at Red Pegasus for 10 years and taking a trip around the globe. "It was nearing the end of my 3 week trip," she says, "that I realized I needed to come back and start something new.
While not all of the gifts at Scout are made by hand or produced in Toronto, she says about 60% of the shop is stocked with Canadian goods. " I go to NY trade shows, smaller gift shows, the One of a Kind Show, I even scour Etsy--Canadian made is so important but I also try to have a range of price points and look for items that all make sense together."
Scout has sort of a nature-cozy type of feel. Leah shows me a 100% wool knit hat and mentions all the knitwear and outerwear is handmade in Canada. It's very soft and would surely keep you warm.
Other personal adornment pieces at Scout include a fabulous line of earrings from Hamilton designer Rare Specimens ($40) and necklaces made in Kelowna by Ugly Bunny out of wood ($75). All of the jewelry in Scout is made or designed in Canada.
A gift shop, of course, will always have cards, and Leah says she scours for anything that diverges form the norm. Thus, Scout has many handmade letterpress cards, as well as a great line of "To Do" checklist birthday cards from Vancouver's Regional Assembly of Text.
And this wouldn't be a Roncesvalles shop if Scout didn't exist with a little community integration, so Scout stocks Roncesvalles based Skipping Stone soaps, Toronto centered pins & patches from neighbourhood maker The Button Machine and bags handmade on Dundas West by Toronto's Eleven Thirty.
Leah says she's always "scouting" (ha..) for new pieces and will be updating inventory on a regular basis.