The Best Stores to Buy Greeting Cards in Toronto
The best stores to buy greeting cards in Toronto go beyond the typical selection you can find at your local Shoppers Drug Mart. At these stores you can usually find greeting cards that have that almost too-adorable, handmade look (often because they're actually handmade and made by local Toronto artists). These shops are just about guaranteed to have what you're looking for, especially if you need something a little less Happy Birthday thou most special of flowers and a little more Yo, I'm sorry the cat shat on your bed.
As any child will tell you, a greeting card can easily be the most pointless part of a gift. But if you've ever received a handmade, heartfelt little card with thought behind it, you'll know a card can mean everything. These shops allow you to skip the DIY factor and avoid ye olde Hallmark shop, and check out a local solution to your greeting card needs. The best thing about cards from these spots, other than the fact that many of them have a handmade quality, is that they've also got a great sense of humour.
Here are the best stores to buy greeting cards in Toronto.
Kid Icarus has operated out of Kensington Market for the past 15 years and their Augusta Avenue shop is seriously stocked with unique cards. They're happy to take on custom projects too, but check out the copious ready-made options ($5 to $6) before you go down that road. There's a focus on handmade and letterpress cards, with picks from Sudbury's Papillon Press and Kingston's Everlovin' Press.
Labour of Love is a Cabbagetown gem selling cards mostly from the U.S. They've got the benefit of being hilarious, though, and their staff will hook you up if you ask for sarcastic cards, which is always a necessity provided the recipient is endowed with humour. Labour of Love is also a good bet if you need to pick up a last minute gift, as its shelves are full of fun knick-knacks and handcrafted jewels.
Red Pegasus is a cutesy gift shop in Little Italy, and they've been selling cards and other treats to the community for about 16 years now. They carry cards from a range of artists, featuring work by the likes of Wendy Tancock, amongst a number of others. Red Pegasus is also a good spot to grab a gift for a lady (or a baby) in your life.
If Valhalla's stock were a person, it would be your bitchy frenemy left over from high school. The one you keep around because her scathing humour is just too good to lose. Valhalla has been open on Queen St. near Trinity Bellwoods for about 15 years, and, since the '90s, their cards have all become available online, too (many of them at ($4.50). My favourite is one by number 9 that congratulates a recent divorcee on his or her newfound freedom.
Scout is a design shop in Roncy, and their prerogative is to offer up handmade cards, whether they're screenprinted, illustrated or made with a letterpress. They sell cards for just about any occasion, with picks from Brockton Village, Greenwich Letterpress and Love, Love Me Do Designs. There are a ton of options from Toronto artists and others throughout Canada.
Hanji's stock includes a huge range of cards and stationery, including stamp sets to make your own cards if you're the crafty or frugal type. This Koreatown mom and pop shop is named for the Korean word for Mulberry paper, and you'll find it well-stocked for your card making (and purchasing) needs.
The defining aspect of cards at Sweetpea's is the cards' sense of humour. Owner Sara Jameson says she immediately falls for any card that's offside, unusual or quirky. There's an 18-foot wall of cards on one side of the shop, and an eight foot wall of them on another. The shelving in this Roncesvalles florist features work from plenty of Toronto artists, as well as some fantastic picks from the US and the UK. They stock over 2,000 different cards at any given time.
This store within a store (find it inside EMPIRE by Bullet) is Riverside’s answer to your greeting card needs, and it has an equal number of sweet and sassy cards. Father’s Day, for example, featured cards that said, “Thanks for making it easy to get you a gift on father’s day due to your psychotic love of golf” next to barfy ones that said things like “Dad. A son’s first hero, a daughter’s first love.”
Alongside Pixel Print's custom printing services, they offer a good selection of Artistry Cards, a self-proclaimed "greeting card company with a conscience." The cards are created and designed by Swati Bhagat, owner and operator of Pixel Print. Cards run at about $4.50 apiece, with deals available depending on how many you buy (four can be had for $10, for example).
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