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My mom had to have some surgery recently. She is fine, but the recovery will be a few weeks and is quite painful. So I wanted to bring her a little "pick me up" when I went over for a visit this weekend. Whenever I'm looking for this type of thing, I like to check out the vintage and antique stores along Toronto's Queen Street West. I thought you might like to come along with me.

Two of my very favourite shops happen to be right next door to each other just east of Dovercourt on Queen — 1080 Queen Street West, to be exact. Silver Falls (which also has a lovely vintage women's clothing store a few blocks away on Ossington), and Rec have a similar aesthetic and lots of reasonably priced houseware items as well as some furniture.

Here is a peek at Silver Falls:

I really wanted to buy this set for myself, but since I was on a hunt for something for my mom, I refrained.

Rec used to be located a couple of blocks east and was closed for a few years (a few very sad years for me). Luckily, the new store is still filled with a great selection of unique pieces at fair prices like its previous incarnation. Have a look:

I thought about buying my mom this awesome bowl or this lovely framed botanical watercolour.

In the end, I kept walking west towards my mom's place. Between Sorauren and Roncesvalles there are a number of antique shops, but I particularly like Arcadia Antiques at 1702 Queen Street West. I've been browsing here since... I can't remember when. And while they have some great pieces of furniture, they also have loads of small items like vases. When I give flowers, I like to include a pretty vase. Having decided somewhere around Lansdowne to go the traditional "get well soon" route with flowers and a little treat, I popped into Arcadia to see if they might have something appropriate.

I came close to picking up one of these puppies.

But finally decided on this little guy.

As for the treat, I went into Yummy Stuff at 1660 Queen Street West — just down the street from Arcadia — and picked up a red velvet cupcake. (Sorry, what? You are so over the whole cupcake craze? These cupcakes are so good they are like white walls or Jane Birkin — they will never go out of style.)

Now, for those of you not in the Toronto area or stricken with a bad case of agoraphobia, I also have a new favourite online vintage shop for you. Found is a great destination for carefully selected items at reasonable prices. It even boasts celebrity pickers like Tommy Smythe. Here are some of the items Mr. Smythe picked up:

Who doesn't love a brass fox? And how about this quilt? (Some lucky person already scooped this one up.)

And not one of Tommy's picks, but one of my faves, this sweet little vase.

For more, see Michael Penney's favourite antique spot and Morgan Michener's east coast finds.

Photo credits:
1-7. Kai Ethier
8-9. Foundstyle.net

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