Sunday, March 4, 2012

Shopping in the Junction

I headed over to a part of the city of Toronto known as the "Junction" yesterday because Above Ground Art Supplies was having a 20% off everything in the store sale and not only did I want to see their new location (you'll remember I wrote about my first visit to their downtown location last year here), I needed to pick up some 140 lb. watercolour paper for a journal I will be making in the next week or two.  Not surprisingly, as I arrived, my Journal Junkies buddies Laura and Kelly were just leaving the store!  Luckily, they didn't clean the place out so I was able to pick up what I needed.   Not as much ambiance in this new store but it was well-stocked, although the aisles are very narrow.
As I walked back to my car, I saw this plain, unassuming storefront:

and something told me to go inside.  I think it was the little sign that said "SMASH", I wondered what that was all about.  But it could have been this crest over the door, which is that of the Province of Alberta:

What did I find? Besides this piano with its own Canadian coat of arms carved on it?

A great big barn of a room filled with all sorts of neat old stuff, a combination of salvaged/reclaimed items and antique pieces. 

The staff person on duty very kindly told me I could take as many pictures as I liked, and answered all my questions about some of the cool stuff they had in the store.  For example, she told me they'd found this wallpaper when they were tearing down some drywall and decided to leave it where it was, on the chimney.

They had more printer's drawers than I had ever seen in one place, selling for a reasonable $25 a piece (same as you'd probably pay at the outdoor antique markets in the summer), as compared to the rest of their prices, which seemed geared more towards unsuspecting tourists and flashy decorator types than regular people and/or genuine collectors, but that's just my opinion.

One of the coolest items was this World War 1 bunk from a ship, the top bunk of which they had chained to their ceiling, probably higher than it would have been when in use in the hold of a ship:

Across the street, I had also noticed another store with very unassuming frontage and no signage, except for one in the window that reads "99%" (whatever that means).  I didn't notice the blue jay above the door until I was across the street.

Sadly, the door was locked but when I peeked in the window, everything looked all jumbled together, a little dusty and worn - just the way I like it! 

Not sure if they are closed for a vacation or just not working weekends in the winter but I found this blog from 2010 about the place online:, so at least now I know the name of the store is "World Headquarters".  The SMASH website ( mentioned an auction being held by the 2 stores, be still my beating heart!  But apparently I just missed it, it was last week.  Drat.  :(

You can be sure I plan to keep an eye on both these establishments in the future!


Anonymous said...

Only you could find a store with that many printers' trays at such a reasonable price!

Colleen said...

Omg - you find the best stores! I'm just going to start following you around with a shopping cart! (Or maybe a pickup truck ;D