Courage My Love
Courage My Love has been the source for students, bargain hunters and vintage lovers to find pieces for proms, parties and Halloween since I was in high school and long before that.
They’re known for their $5 rack outside, which seems to have its own field of gravity that makes it impossible to get past to enter the store or even walk by on the street.
Apparently an old employee always used to add “my love” onto the end of everything she said, hence the hopeful name of the shop.
The place is run by the Scriver family, started by a pair of teachers with a knack for garbage picking Persian rugs and the like in Toronto’s fancy neighbourhoods and a penchant for making cross-Canada trips visiting antique stores along the way.
In fact, old wooden shelving and drawers are from old general stores.
The family actually also owns 10 percent of a family-run button company in Indonesia, which explains how they have such an incredible stock of reasonably priced buttons.
Not only do they source beads and partner with workshops in Mexico for their products, they alter existing apparel as well: I can confidently say this is Toronto’s number one source for tie-dyed cashmere. They also make a lot of the jewellery sold here themselves, searching for standout stones and other pieces.
If cashmere is what you’re looking for, by the way, vintage cashmere sweaters are in stock by the bundle here.
At the front of the store along with these altered items there are also luchador masks ($24), perfect for theme parties or really any occasion where a fashion statement needs to be made.
With each step further into the recesses of this treasure trove, there are new discoveries to be made.
I love how there’s another little hut at the back usually with its own attendant staff member.
Where else can you say you can reliably find anklets in a range of sizes?
This stall also has more earrings, most oversized and retro, and your reward for making it all the way back here past the lure of the $5 rack out from is a “$2 bag bin” with grab bags containing a surprise assortment of jewellery and/or knick knacks.
Cece Scriver mostly presides over the place, but her parents still drop in to check up on their business of over 40 years.
Just remember, there are no returns or exchanges so make sure it fits!