Art2, 2359 Queen East, 416-686-4599, www.artsquare.ca Rating: NNNNN
It's a bummer when you stumble on a retail gem like Art2 and then learn from owner Gill Birol that she'll be shutting up shop by the end of August. Her closing is a matter of location. The Beach neighbourhood has loved her gallery of gifts and jewellery for the past four years, but the storefront is a few too many steps east of the last Starbucks before Scarborough to lure the tourists over. The Beaches Jazz Festival this weekend helps Birol go out with a bang as shoppers fill up the 'hood to shake their jazz hands and spend. Her entire collection is marked down by 25 per cent, and the discounted, handmade goodies are impossible to resist.
Gauzy Wildhagen hats provide stylish gardening shade, while orange and purple scarves from Turkey and India cozy shoulders on cool summer evenings. Wooden salt and pepper grinder pairs by Montreal's Bidule and collectable Ritzenhoff glassware tune up tired tablescapes. Art2 picks: Birol's own jewellery collection suspends spices like cayenne and ginger in resin discs and beads them onto baubles like her carnelian and hematite necklace, $420; Jana Pavlasek 's ceramic bottles nestle together, $145; a wire ladder climbs up a conical papier m&âché sculpture by Jennifer Hardie , $280.
Look for: www.artsquare.ca for updates on a new location and a temporary shop in the Art2 gallery across from the AGO.
Hours: Tuesday to Saturday 11 am to 6 pm, Sunday noon to 5 pm.