And so it is that time of year again that stores pull out all the props to tempt you and lure you into their dens of delectables and whether you are a traditionalist or more of a modern novice, Christmas shopper gift giving is no easy task. I have found a perfectly magical shop this holiday season and I’m even inspired enough to call it my number one destination this year for novel, naughty, sentimental, classic, coy, and collectable gifts you will find in Toronto. Turn on your favourite Christmas song and allow me to paint you a picture.
The nights begin to chill in the fall of 1986. To boys, Ted & Mario, have been planning for months to fulfill their life’s dream of opening a shop that would celebrate Christmas year round. The holidays are soon approaching and as the weeks draw closer, the snow begins to fall one hustle bustle night late November as Ted & Mario open their doors for the first time. “Flatirons” was their Christmas dream come true and a tradition was born. It may or may not have happened just like that but one thing is for sure, Toronto has been loving them ever since. I asked the boys to share their story with me and as I explored their shop, they shared their dream with me.
We opened in 1986 and have been Toronto’s year-round Christmas market for over thirty years. At one point we had 3 stores, most notably on Church St. for 20 years. We have specialized in high quality and authentic Christmas items by going to Europe and sourcing nutcrackers and blown glass (in a riot of incarnations) as well we always look for truly exceptional pieces like the Merman you purchased in our store today. We like to push the boundaries. Over the years we have pioneered and introduced countless treasures to our customers, “everyday folk” (all types) as well as many celebrities (that’s another story). We see people from around the world looking for something to remind them of their visit to our wonderful city. We have made some wonderful friends. Many people have extensive collections. We know regulars who have hundreds of nutcrackers, vintage glass, snow globes, and themed ornaments. The appetite is one you can’t fill. Toronto Life has awarded us with the distinction of having the most outrageous selection of risqué greeting and seasonal cards in the city. We elves can be very naughty.
We have received numerous awards for marketing, have appeared on television shows (even in Japan and the Netherlands), in a book about Christmas in Canada and in print and other media. We have also contributed to many community projects over the years. We hope we’re not boasting too much but it’s been 30+ years… It’s been quite a life.
We were young when we started, now…. well we won’t go there and have seen a lot. The “Christmas World” is always changing reflecting fashion, demographics and tastes but there are constants. The goodwill for one and the so-called spirit of Christmas is still there if we look for it. We have the pleasure of sharing it with so many customers especially at this time of year.
They are kindred spirits that visit and shop in our store.
Bruce, we have a book or two inside of us but that’s for another day.
Ted Genova and Mario Friedrich,
Christmasmarket, 35 Jarvis St.Open MTWT 11:00am-6:00pm, Sat.10:00am-5:00pm, Sun.11-5
” We Believe in Santa Claus ”
I could not have summed up your magical shop any better. I trust I’ll get an invite to your book launch.
With much Christmas affection!
And now one of the newest but ever growing in popularity, The Badass B.I.T.C Beard of the Week!
This week it’s all about Mark! Born in Toronto he used to be a gold miner and worked for the CN Tower underground. Mark loves northern living. He has a beautiful other half that is his soul mate. He is very proud of his son.
Some of this sexy mans favourite things are a nice meal a good drink and close friends. Mark also loves to cook. If that doesn’t get your heart pitter pattering he also draws and loves to make things with his hands! And woof! Am I right Guys and Gals?!? Congrats Mark you are now enter in the year end draw!
Bruce in the City
Editor Mary Ellen Monk