An Inspiring Day in Leslieville

Leslieville is a community in Toronto located in the city's southeast side. Noted for its historical charm and adorable antique shops, it was the perfect place to spend a day with my friend Winnie, foraging for creative inspiration and 'new-old' goodies that sum up our design sensibilities.
A wonderful shop called Ethel had an amazing assortment of vintage kitchenware, including Pyrex collectibles in vibrant shades of orange, yellow and red.
I absolutely loved these 1960s canisters, perfect vessels for the kitchen counter.
Upstairs was another store called Fred's. Fred had all sorts of vintage toys, books, posters, paintings and all manner of things. The careful selection of goods is what makes stores like these so fantastic to visit. I loved this portrait of a green lady. The glass lamps and the 1970s chest of drawers aren't too bad either.
Wattle & Daub specialize in reclaimed wood, including old frames, shelves, hooks, benches and a beautiful selection
of old wooden letters.
 Jaws Antiques was a place crowded with treasures - some collectible, some not.
 I found this lamp, surrounded by a pile of shells, to be a very striking and unusual vignette.
 Gadabout is one of Toronto's most acclaimed antique stores, mostly because of the quality of its wares but also because of its charming and unusal assortment. In the other window is a news article about Penelope Cruz's visit to the store several years ago. She apparently loved it there. One of the things I was most interested in was this collection of old wool blankets, including vintage point blankets by the Hudson's Bay Company. They were quite expensive ($300 - $500) but they were in wonderful condition.
One of the windows at Gadabout is a mélange of curiosities from decades past.
 After a while, we stopped at an excellent coffee shop. It had been converted from a mechanic's garage into a bistro and the new owners kept the garage doors intact. Winnie tells me they open them up in the summer to let a breeze blow through. The atmosphere was industrial but warm.
While we were having our tea I gave Winnie her belated birthday gift; an assortment of stationery from Muji and Orla Kiely from my last trip to NYC. She loved how it was all wrapped using paper printed with butterflies.
Our next stop was Philz 20th Century Design Studio on Queen Street East. The amazing collection of lighting and home furnishings had me wanting to redo my entire place! Winnie is mesmerized by a huge, sculptural paper lantern.
Sleek but textured in a monochromatic palette; I love that style.
This insane chandelier was made of silk-worm cocoons. It had a great effect.
I loved this patchwork sofa!
Something about the clarity and lightness of glass lamps gets me every time. I really wanted this pair.
Across the street was a florist's shop called Stemz. Its window was filled with the branches of a flowering dogwood. 
This bouquet of king proteas immediately caught my eye. I love how its reflected in the mirror, adding to its dimension. The stems cost $30 each!
After that we drove down to the historic distillery district, once Toronto's hub of industry. With its brick roads and old red brick distilleries (now converted into shops, restaurants, galleries and artists' studios) it immediately impressed me.
During the summer months, these streets are filled with people: dining, shopping and enjoying the scenery. Old meets new in this atmospheric place.


  1. Those actually aren't "popcorn" styrofoam - they are silkworm cocoons. That is why they are so light and hollow. It gives the impression of a cloud. Great piece.