This should be invisible

The Home Hardware on College

Finding Computer Parts and Pieces on College

Being the geek I am, wandering down College Street on a sunny afternoon is like a small slice of heaven. Once you move west past Spadina, the street becomes an absolute hodgepodge of tech and electronics shops, each vying for a slice of your wallet. Yet, there's one particular shop that's always struck me as bit out of place amongst all the gadgetry.

That is, until further investigation proved differently.

Let it be known that the Home Hardware at Robert St. is not your usual home supply and renovation store. Growing up in the suburbs of Mississauga, the likes of Rona, Home Depot and Home Hardware were usually interchangeable when it came to things like tools or tiles. But despite my initial preconceptions, I'd be hesitant to group this particular shop in the same vein.

Inside the independently owned shop, it's clear that this Home Hardware is special, and as much of a part of the College computer ecosystem as any of it's surrounding stores. While you can still find the tools, the tiles, and the things you'd expect from the Home Hardware name, it's also chock full of pieces and parts to satisfy even the most tech-inclined customers.

Take note for a second - I said parts and pieces. While there's a small selection of power supplies, motherboards and similar components, what's really cool is the row upon row of cables, connectors, fuses and switches. This isn't just the place to go when your computer breaks - it's the place to go when pieces of your computer breaks, which is an incredibly unique quality amongst this stretch of shops.

While I've seen a few other shops in the area offer similar sort of offerings, nothing really matches the huge and varied selection this particular Home Hardware has. Parallel connectors, serial ports and more LEDs than I could shake a stick at were littered amongst the bins, and gave me more than a few things to take home for some of my crippled and repair-worthy components.

To be fair, this sort of stuff isn't for the faint of heart, or technologically challenged either. If you're just looking for some RAM, or perhaps a bit of a graphical boost, Canada Computers is just down the road. But if you've got some soldering skills and aren't afraid to get your hands dirty, then the Home Hardware on College probably has a bin for you.


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