Toronto Life - The Goods

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Introducing: Scout, a fully stocked gift emporium and treasure trove of tchotchkes in Roncy

The Place: While travelling around Australia and Nepal, Scout shop owner Leah Eyles had an epiphany: she wanted to open up a gift shop on Roncy. On her days off—she used to work at Red Pegasus on College—she’d trek west to seek out the the real estate gems not listed on MLS. This ex-Cashmax needed a serious facelift; Eyles chucked the carpet, raised the drop ceiling, ripped out a wall and filled the space with beautiful antiques that could be repurposed as displays (a number of the pieces were bought at an estate sale around the corner). Right now the walls are fairly sparse, but Eyles is currently considering trying her hand at art dealing. Artists Jacqui Gardner and Craig Hopgood designed Scout’s window display, and the two oversized maps—one of eastern Canada, and the other of western Canada—are marked with little buttons, which denote the Canadian towns where Eyles sources her products.

The Stuff: Eyles went to countless craft shows and scoured Etsy in an effort to find the perfect pieces to fill her new boutique. There’s a great selection of Toronto-made products, but she also sources from Vancouver, Montreal and San Francisco. There are scores of shiny baubles to choose from, including the handmade sterling silver necklaces by Zippan Designs ($45–65), as well as Toronto-based Persylla’s brass pocket-watch necklaces ($30–40). For those who prefer practicality to whimsy, there are Freshly Printed tea towels ($25) and aprons ($45) with pastoral motifs, but for shoppers who like a dash of whimsy with their pragmatism, the San Fran–based FluffyCo’s cardholders with graphic designs might be perfect.

The Shoppers: The doggy-and-stroller set have fallen hard for this trove of tchotchkes, but with holidays around the corner, expect a lot of anxious shoppers in search of great stocking stuffers.

Out favourite stuff: With such a huge variety of items, from mittens to nail polish to baby bibs, it was really hard to narrow down a list of favourites. Scout carries a sundry of bags, and we particularly loved everything that came from Van City’s Track and Field—their laptop satchels are adorable. We also loved the Spruce line of jewelry, made from refurbished wood furniture ($50–60), and Blackberry Blush, an oil-based perfume by Sula (another Hogtown-rooted company) is intoxicating. But the Magritte-inspired lettuce-headed man design on the Blue Q lunch totes ($14) stole the show.