1970s toronto

Someone in Toronto just unearthed a shopping guide and directory from the 1970s

The owner of a Toronto salon is showing off a copy of a local shopping guide and directory they have from the 1970s.

The guide is a keepsake that belongs to Jelena Karkinski, owner of D2E Hair Boutique, which has been around since the 1970s itself. It's listed in the directory as John and Mary's Hair Salon.

The directory totally transports you directly to the 70s with bold graphics, swirly text, a green and brown colour scheme and sketched illustrations. A map at the back shows the layout of the neighbourhood and its businesses.

"I've actually keep the directory from when my parents had the salon. It's been in my basement since 1987," Karkinski tells blogTO.

The guide describes Bloor West Village as "an area of shopping delights" and "a colourful collection of fascinating shops." It also says it's "a reminder" that "all your shopping needs can be filled right here." A reminder we maybe need now more than ever.

While you'd expect that in a city like Toronto, where it feels like businesses close left and right, pretty much every place listed would be long gone by now, there are a surprising number of spots that have stuck around for the 50 years.

Runnymede Barber Shop⁠, Sam's Barber Shop, Sorrento Hair Stylists, Cecil Ward Men's Shop⁠, Carload Food Market, Bloor Meat Market, Foods For Life, Kingsway Meat Products, Brown's Sports & Cycle, The Village Playhouse⁠, Ukrainian Credit Union⁠ and Turner & Porter⁠ have all remained in place.

There are also a lot of delightful defunct businesses listed, including ones with classic quirky 70s names like Jo Jo Junior Fashions, Impact Today, Easy Look and Martha's House of Needlepoint.

The most fascinating thing you can take away from looking through the directory, however, might be how few big chain stores are in it.

"Going through the directory, you can see how many shops have changed and how it's not the mom and pop shops anymore," says Karkinski.

Lead photo by

Bloor West Village BIA


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