Anthropologie (Queen St.)
Anthropologie recently opened up a new store location at 751 Queen St. West. Adding to the chain's existing Toronto locations at Yorkville, Yorkdale and the Shops at Don Mills, at 7000 sq. ft., this new location takes the cake when it comes to unique retail spaces.
The new location has set up shop in a converted late 19th-century church (which makes sense, as Anthropologie is the holy grail of all things cute and kitschy) on West Queen West . The neighbourhood, with its eclectic and often eccentric vibe, is, to me, a great match. When compared to the glut of chain stores filling out the street until Spadina, the new shop also represents a major leap westward for big brands on Queen.
"We've gotten such a great customer response about the amazing architecture of the church. Anthropologie is the type of store that loves unique spaces - it's just something that felt right." the new location's store manager, Cindy Ha, told me.
Walking into the store, I can see what she means by amazing customer response. The space is grand, with high ceilings, reclaimed wood floors, and arched stained glass windows with everything spaced out between two floors. The second floor has been sub-divided into various rooms and walls, so you never know what you're going to find around each corner - all part of the fun of the exceptional space.
"We were fortunate to find such a rare, architecturally interesting building. It presented us with the welcome challenge of bringing out its inherent design features, while adding new ones to enhance the experience of the space," explained Missy Peltz, Anthropologie's executive creative director.
If you've never been in an Anthropologie before (who are you, and what are you waiting for?), the store is filled with the cutest range of clothing, from girly to bohemian. For me, though, the clothing isn't necessarily even the best part of the store - their housewares selection is irresistible. I spent a serious thirty minutes the other day just walking from candle to candle, sniffing each one and staring lovingly at the beautiful packaging.
If you're a lover of kitchen wares, you'll find beautifully painted and uniquely designed plates, mugs, glasses, etc. They also have retro-inspired aprons - so you'll look even more vintage-y and domestic while baking up a storm.
As if the massive space didn't hold enough already with the clothes, candles and kitchen supplies, you'll also find books, perfumes, lotions, accessories, bedding (in one of the second floor rooms they have a bedroom type setup, in case you were lacking decorating inspiration), hooks and knobs and - well, you get the picture; they have a lot of stuff.
Next Sunday, instead of hitting up the usual church service, head to Anthropologie's new location - no praying required (unless it's for your wallet).
Writing by Chynna Wilson. Follow Chynna on Twitter @chynnawilson .
Photos by Morris Lum.