DRAKE GENERAL STORE 1144 Queen West, 416-531-5042 ext 101 drakehotel.ca
O Drake General Store, we stand on guard for thee. If anything is going to get us through winter's shopping doldrums, it's your Canadiana souvenirs, designer knick-knacks and traveller-friendly buys.
The boutique next to the boutique hotel embraces a True North spirit that spills off walls hung with hockey team photos and Queen Elizabeth portraits onto rustic tables and shelves filled with retro Blue Jays patches and buffalo-plaid shopping bags. If you still haven't come to terms with your inner hoser, savvy designer Avril Loreti's Birkin-bag-print cocktail napkins and Areaware light-bulb-shaped candles can be your beard.
For the forgetful Drake guest (and the Queen West Wester who doesn't do Shoppers), a toiletries nook includes Botot toothpaste, Malin + Goetz body lotions and Duray's cozy wool socks. It's all curated by Shared's Carlo Colacci and Joyce Lo, who fill a rack with their own T-shirt basics. A perfect purchase to remember Toronto by.
Photo By Kathryn Gaitens
Drake General Store picks: With a gentle squeeze, the head pops off a Marie Antoinette figurine, $15; keep track of Hogtown adventures in Moleskine's Toronto notebook, $21; Red Canoe reproduces RCMP imagery on products like its extra-large canvas duffel, $150.
Look for: The Birdscapes pop-up book delivers a different chirp with each turn of the page.
Hours: Tuesday and Wednesday noon to 7 pm, Thursday and Friday noon to 11 pm, Saturday 10 am to 11 pm, Sunday 11 am to 6 pm.