A Visit To The Toronto Designers Market

IMG_2062I love a good craft market so when I heard about the Toronto Designers Market, which is basically like a permanent craft market featuring, “…30 different designers ranging from furniture and household items to clothing and jewellery,” I knew I had to check it out. So last week, that’s what I did.

The TDM calls Parkdale home, with 1605 Queen St. W. being its exact address. The high-ceiling space has been split into two long aisles that have been lined on each side with dozens of “stalls.” Built out of plain, white walls, these stalls give the Market a bit of a art gallery feel.

Each stall is home to a different designer. Unlike far too many craft markets out there, the TDM isn’t 70 per cent jewellery sellers. Instead, it’s a mix of products including a variety of clothing, personal goods like moisturizers and household goods. There are also quite a few bags available so if you’re in the market for a new bag, I highly recommend that you check out TDM’s many offerings.

Pretty bench/coffee table by Manji.
Pretty bench/coffee table by Manji.

The price points are all across the board, from under $15 dollars for a tin of lip balm to over a $1,000 for handcrafted wooden furniture. While I’m hardly in the market for a new table, I like that the TDM does have a spot for those pricier products. It’s nice to know that there’s a permanent store that offers these types of goods in one,easy-to-access spot.

The team behind the TDS is aiming to create a space that is “…dedicated to creating a clean, affordable space for young designers and entrepreneurs to sell their products to the public without having to spend thousands of dollars on their own storefront, or lose a 50% consignment.” The TDM doesn’t take a consignment cut and unlike at a traditional craft market, the designers themselves aren’t burdened with selling their products. Instead, the TDS’ staff takes care of processing all transactions.  It’s really a smart idea that I hope is supported by both shoppers and designers.

My only disappointment with the market is that it’s not that big. Okay, it does occupy around 3000 square feet and as I mentioned above, there are dozens of different vendors. But not all of the stalls are occupied and because the business is basically craved out of the same warehouse space that Hideaway Antiques uses, it seems like it should be bigger than it actually is. Maybe in time, as the TDS takes off, it will be able to expand (nothing against you Hideaway Antiques) and offer even more products made by talented local artisans.

TTC tank anyone?
TTC tank anyone?

My understanding is that vendors will be rotated out on a regular or semi-regular basis. I like this approach as it will allow more designers exposures and it also gives me a solid reason for returning regularly to check out the TDS’s latest additions.

So yes, I will definitely be returning to the TDS.

The TDM's entry way.
The TDM’s entry way.

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