With snow on the ground and temperatures chillingly low, I’m in a particularly Canadian frame of mind. So with a Tim’s hot chocolate in hand, I recently headed to the newly opened Drake General Store in Toronto’s Rosedale neighbourhood.
Located across the street from Farrow & Ball and Hollace Cluny, the store brings a dose of hip to this haute enclave. Like its downtown post on Queen Street West, owners Carlo Colacci and Joyce Lo gave the interior a woodsy cabin feel. Wool point blankets and cans of Canadian maple syrup sit on rugged shelves made from reclaimed wood sourced from a barn built in the 1800s.
Jute-covered pillows by Thomas Paul bear seafaring motifs that evoke the 300-year search for the Northwest Passage. And stacking Totem cups by local designer Rob Southcott pay tribute to Canada’s First Nations. The cosy lumberjack vest in the picture above is by Vancouver’s Granted, a knitwear company that specializes in traditional Canadian designs. Handmade from 100% wool, they’re perfect for fending off January’s bluster.
Mixed in are antique goodies — dainty tea cups, ceramic barrel-shaped sherry and scotch dispensers — as well as cheeky novelty finds that are great for gifts or adding a bit of humour to your home: stag head salt and pepper shakers, mini garden gnome candles, small hand-cranked music boxes that belt out Happy Birthday, Blue Moon or Yellow Submarine.
My hot chocolate was long gone before I was finished exploring the store’s stock. Next time, I’ll get a large. And a ginger-chocolate cookie from nearby Patachou. Mmmmm.