As I undertook this project to paint Toronto’s older corner stores, I was surprised at how difficult it was to find them!
Many corner stores had become part of convenience retail chains, keeping little of their original individual charm. These newer stores didn’t really stir up anything rich for me, as I like to paint things that activate memories. I wanted to find the stores of my youth or my early days in Toronto… and unfortunately I only found a very small number.
I understand that it’s been the story of human history that old makes way for new, but it doesn’t mean “new” is more interesting, evocative or endearing. In the case of these next 2 neighbourhood gems, I hope they can hold on to their yesteryear charm while they serve their communities today.
First up, a neighbourhood corner store that is now a neighbourhood flower shop (love those, too), while they’ve retained the vintage cola sign. Melding the best of old and new! “Roncesvalles & Galley Ave, Toronto” (2.5″ x 3.5″ ink and watercolour)
This next gem has kept its vintage cola sign in pristine condition, tucked away in a quiet Toronto neighbourhood. This place feels like 1970 – I can almost see my old banana-seat bike leaning up against that fence! BBQ Fritos anyone? “Symington & Wallace Ave, Toronto” (2.5″ x 3.5″ ink and watercolour)
I now have painted 3 in this Toronto miniatures series:
Painting this series has been a lot of fun and I’ve really enjoyed the stories you’ve shared with me on social media about your memorable corner stores! Keep them coming!
For purchasing information on these pieces, link here.