plant store toronto

Plant store transforms into garden centre so it can reopen in Toronto

Plants have taken on a new significance while we all remain stuck inside, and one Toronto plant store has been able to reopen to the public during these difficult times by transforming into a garden centre.

Dynasty has been a West Queen West staple since 2013, helping beautify spaces with its selection of lush tropical plants and cactus, and special emphasis placed on interior design and ceramics.

The store, like other retailers excluded from the province's essential list of businesses allowed to operate, remained closed since March.

But owner Michael Leach says he came up with a plan to allow his business to make sales while operating within the framework of government restrictions.

"I was driving home [one day]... and I noticed that the former Ossington Tire that's been an event space for the last couple of years [was] for rent."

So he reached out and the landlord, who has owned the auto-shop-turned event space for 46 years, agreed to rent it to Leach.

The transformation of the old autoshop into a garden centre is ongoing, said Leach. The big space is filled with plants and will feature an open-air format thanks to the large garage doors.

The move comes the same week the Ontario government permitted garden centres to reopen for the busy spring season.

"The nice thing about all of this whole, crazy scenario [is that] now that we have the room, we can also potentially re-hire our staff to work in a safe fashion because there's enough room in here for us to socially distance still while we're working."

He said that the Dynasty offshoot is planning to expand on its existing tropical focus and partner with several community-based urban gardening businesses to offer vegetables, potting soil and supplies. It also plans to donate a portion of sales to local charities.

"People are at home, everyone knows that plants help with oxygen in the air... and [plants are] something that enrich people's lives," he said.

Lead photo by

Hector Vasquez


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