BLUE BANANA MARKET, 250 Augusta, 416-594-6600, www.bluebananamarket.com Rating: NNNNN
’Tis the season of craft fair fatigue. A month of pre-holiday wanders through endless One Of A Kind Show aisles and dusty church basements might keep you from visiting Kensington’s Blue Banana Market right away, but when you’re ready to start getting your shop on again, a clever retail concept awaits.
A mammoth warehouse space is divided into nooks selling a mix of gifts, fashion, housewares and kids’ stuff. Leatherock studded belts with bedazzled buckles sit across the aisle from Kala Bandar’s silk scarf stock and Marmalade’s mod go-go dresses.
Village Gourmet’s booth is full of tasty condiment concoctions and serving platters, and Le Petit Chapeau Millinery’s space overflows with fedoras, bowlers and fishing caps wrapped in ribbon and lace. Curio cabinets hold costume and precious jewellery including John Medeiros’s pearly baubles and Precious Pink’s beaded pieces.
Blue Banana’s scheme will be familiar to anyone who’s travelled southern Ontario’s back roads hunting for antique malls. Just as at those out-of-town bazaars, the best time to shop is on weekends, when vendors show up to replenish their wares and chat with customers.
Photo By Mark Coatsworth
Blue Banana Market
Blue Banana picks: Tierre Tanner Taylor creates Felt Pelts, splayed-out animal silhouettes made of ribbons of colourful boiled wool, $80; pick up a family of Russian matryoshka dolls from Troyka Ltd. Imports, $11 to $220; Fairapparel.org’s area is a storefront option for its fair trade clothing buys.
Look for: Expansion onto the building’s second floor in March.
Hours: Sunday to Thursday 11 am to 6:30 pm, Friday and Saturday 11 am to 7 pm.