Next time you go to the Art Gallery of Ontario, don’t immediately exit through the gift shop… enter instead. And feast your purse on hundreds of very cool souvenirs.
No ma’am, this ain’t your average gallery store just filled with prints and art books. This store is filled with “merch” that’ll remind you of your visit to the Great White North and The 6ix.
You’ll find snowshoe mugs and paddle-shaped paté knives. There is Maple Tree flavoured Rooibos tea, moose coasters, Toronto racoon air fresheners (huh?), TTC streetcar key chains, and a cheese board cut in the shape of Canada. In fact, you’ll discover a wide range of items from Eh to Zed and priced between $5 and $50.
I found a t-shirt with a seagull perched atop a Canada Post mailbox strangely compelling, along with prints of a giant Tim Horton’s coffee cup. Of course, you can also buy the board game “Sorry!”
There are many products crafted by our indigenous peoples as well, including leather goods, scarves, serving spoons and Inuit sculptures.
Aside from Canadiana souvenirs, the store offers many other wonderfully wacky wares like a Keith Haring-style Spoon Saver that secures utensils to a pot; Quick Fix Hem Tape; and a Salvador Dali bobble head. My one disappointment is never having seen a Mountie version of the same.
What’s Spot On:
• Tour the actual Art Gallery free on Wednesdays after 6pm.
• Beaver-themed card game “Dam it”