As young entrepreneurs we truly understand how important it is to support small businesses within our communities. We’ve always loved to find those one-of-a-kind neighbourhood gems, so we took the American Express pledge to #ShopSmall and visited 5 of our favourite shops in Toronto.
Our first stop was Magic Pony on Queen Street West. If you’ve never been there before, let’s just say it makes you feel like a kid again. They have everything from designer toys, cool housewares, giant poster art, plus some hard to find books and magazines. We bought “Back Alleys and Urban Landscapes” by Toronto artist Michael Cho, who we blogged about back in September of 2012.
We made our way down Queen Street West until we got to Spadina where we ate lunch at What A Bagel! We managed to get the last available table during their busy lunch hour rush and ordered the “Old School” and their vegetarian breakfast. If you get the chance to eat here, ask for the owners Ely or Isaac and tell them that we sent you!
Our 3rd stop was Another Story Bookshop located in Roncesvalles Village. One of the reasons why we love this independently owned bookstore is because they focus on literary themes such as social justice, equity and diversity. They also highlight local authors and hold book readings and launches for local talent.
After a long day of shopping we needed to relax and refuel, so we headed to Yorkville to visit our friends at Sotto Sotto for dinner. This famous Italian restaurant has played host to celebrities for years, including Brad Pitt, Oprah, Diddy, and of course our very own Drizzy Drake. If you’re looking for a small, private dinning experience, look no further, Sotto Sotto is perfect for date night. (pay attention fella’s)
Shout out to Angelo for always taking care of us!
We decided to end off our night with a few cocktails at SpiritHouse located at 487 Adelaide St W at Portland. This specialty “spirit” bar has over 400 bottles to choose from, including a small selection of local beer such as Mill Street Organic, Steamwhistle, Tankhouse and Amsterdam Blonde. Next time you’re looking to try a new drink, try the “Toronto Cocktail”.
American Express recently conducted a survey to see how Canadians feel about shopping small and “Word-of-mouth” was the #1 way we find out about small businesses in our neighbourhoods. Do you have a favourite Shop Small business? Get out there and spread the word! Show them some love by voting in the Neighbourhood Gems contest on Facebook. Each vote earns you an entry into a draw to win a $50 Amex Gift Card!
We would love to hear about your favourite Toronto business! Tweet your recommendations to @1LOVETO @AmexCanada #ShopSmall