May 8, 2015

Old Faithful Shop

They had me at "Old Faithful Shop". Don't you just like this name for a shop. It's original, intriguing, and descriptive. And if you are imagining an old-fashioned general store that sells well-made products for simple everyday living such as kettles, wooden sugar spoons, balls of twine, blankets, soaps, brooms and dustpans, books, cutting boards and canvas totes; in other words, products that will age along side with us and stand the test of time, well, you are not far from the truth. These products reminiscent of the kind of goods that our grandparents used to buy - crafted by an artisan's hand, designed with a soul and thoughtfulness, woven by stories. 
Old Faithful Shop was first created in Vancouver by Walter Manning and co-founder Savannah Olsen. Inspired by the convenience store of Manning's grandparents, they succeed in establishing a modern day version of it, dedicated to traditional handcrafts and great quality household goods. The interior of the shop – simple, minimalistic and inviting – embodies the wise saying that "simplicity is the ultimate sophistication". The attention to detail is impressive. When I first opened the door of the shop, adjectives such as beautiful, simple, honest, organic, clean, inspiring, aesthetically pleasant were jumping around in my head. Truth be told, I felt the need to spend money here, not only because I wanted every single item from the shelves, but mostly because I wanted to support such a great effort of creating something meaningful in a thoughtful and generous manner. Something like a movement of going back to the roots of making things and selling them in the most human, friendly way. I wanted to give my vote for the vision of a modern general store where shopping becomes a human experience, where a sense of community is fostered and where craftsmanship, longevity of the product and the support of the independent artists is a philosophy. I wanted to vote for a sensible, sustainable consumer culture opposite to purchasing either cheap or unreasonably expensive, hidden behind big brands, mass-produced merchandise.
And I voted and I will again. 

As we will celebrate Mother's Day this weekend, give your mother or yourself  a gift of a visit to an independent local store that sells unique hand-crafted products. Ones such as this wonderful Old Faithful Shop on 886 Queen St. West, Toronto. 

Old Faithful Shop is not paying me for writing this post. The owner and the manager were extremely kind and helpful in giving me the pleasure to photograph inside. 

Happy Mother's Day to all of you wonderful women out there! 


  1. I'm smitten! If I lived there this would become a favorite shop, based on your tempting photos.

  2. Dearest Sylvia, this shop is EXACTLY like one we have here in Minneapolis, called THE FOUNDRY. It is housed in an old and very charming brick building from the 1890s....and they too sell quality products like these, with natural fibers. I must take a photo of it for you. I truly believe that back to nature in many ways, especially with the elimination of plastic items, makes cleaning or managing the household more fun and better for the environment. What lovely merchandise and that store front is GORGEOUS and beautifully photographed!

    So lovely to see you again! Anita

  3. A lovely shop Sylvia! A joy to look at the photo's.

    Wishing you a happy mothers day!

    Madelief x

  4. And a Happy Mother's Day to you, beautiful soul!
    Oh my...this is my kind of shop, Sylvia! Perfect in every way...
    And your photography leaves me in awe and speechless...brava, dear Artist...
    Much love to you,
    ~ Irina

  5. I know I could get lost in this shop. Your post was beautifully written and I think you described to perfection our desire to simplify and get back to the root of things, the essentials in a minimalist atmosphere. I find shops similar to this in Asheville, South Carolina where we have our condo. It's a very eclectic, "green" city with many interesting and talented artisans. I love purchasing items that aren't mass produced. These shops just draw me in like a magnet.

    Now...I think Old Faithful should start selling some of your gorgeous notecards! :)

    Jane x

  6. Love this shop will visit when I get up there....


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