The Best New Design Stores in Toronto, 2011
The best new design stores in Toronto give merit to the saying that what's old is new, and what's new is.. well.. probably hand-selected and imported from overseas. Vintage as a design concept certainly hasn't become dated, as evidenced by the shops cropping up on College, in Leslieville, and in the Distillery District in 2011.
Many of the other new design stores boast well-travelled owners; those who journey to South Africa, Korea, France and beyond to find unique, visually interesting pieces that are often crafted with an artisanal flair. Yet some great design picks can indeed still be found at home, and there's at least one shop on this list paying heed to locally made. "How 2010," the rabble-rouser might say.
Encompassing new and old, near and far, here is this list of the best new design stores that opened in 2011.
An Ottawa import and Roncy adoptee, Green Light District specializes in African and Scandinavian design. Owners David and Deborah Peets scour the globe looking to make personal connections with artists and designers, bringing home limited quantities of each piece of furniture and decor. Ottawa’s loss is Toronto’s gain.
Catherine Choi found not just a husband when teaching in English in Korea, but also an appreciation for Korean paper and art. The pair decided to open a store on the cusp of Koreatown upon moving to Canada, using husband Hyun Suk’s connections in the Korean arts community. The shop offers about every type of printed paper imaginable, as well as cards, ribbons, books, lamps, and other small gift items. All from Korea, of course.
A similar incarnation existed prior 2011, but it was tamer, beige-er, and up on Avenue Road. Owner Paula DiRenzo decided to retire that store in favour of something new, and opened Blackbird Vintage in the Distillery to showcase her new finds. The not-just-beige shop offers everything from antique typewriters, signs, and trophies to bubble bath in housed whiskey bottles.
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