The Leslieville Flea: Let’s work together to help local shops and restaurants survive and thrive

The Artisans on Queen Street East in the Beach is one of the many small businesses in the East Toronto community. Photo by Alan Shackleton.

By CHRIS ROBERTS and BRIGID ELMY

The COVID-19 pandemic and it’s restrictions/lockdowns have made it incredibly difficult for our local businesses to thrive.

Most of the businesses we know and love are still functioning, but most have changed how they are doing business.

Some have set up online shopping on their sites, but shops that aren’t able to do this are still available to meet you at the door. If you knock you can let them know what you are looking for and they will bring you a selection of items to choose from, and take payment while social distancing.

You can call most of these shops too and they will have it ready for you ahead of time. Since small shops know their inventory so well, they are uniquely skilled at helping you find exactly what you want. I’ve actually found some of my errands are much quicker by simply calling ahead, or ordering online and going to pickup curbside.

It’s crucial that we all keep supporting our small shops and restaurants to help them make it through this unprecedented time.

Here are some of my picks for local goods:

CLOTHING & ACCESSORIES

The Good Neighbour: https://www.goodnbr.com/ 935 Queen St E. A super hip general store in Leslieville.

Set Me Free: https://set-me-free.shoplightspeed.com/ 2130 Queen St. E. Amazing items with great service to help you choose

The Pony Club: 1983 Queen St. E., 416-698-2799. Stop by or call. Great items for men with amazing service.

Corso Shoes: https://www.corsoshoes.com/ 1942 Queen St. E. They will bring shoes/boots to the door for you to try on.

HOME GOODS

The Artisans: 1974A Queen St E. Knock on the door to find an incredible selection of jewelry, accessories and some really great home goods. French linen tea towels, wood boxes and also some incredible boho styled throw blankets.

Midoco: https://midoco.ca/ 1964 Queen St E. Great resource for art/school/office supplies.

RESTAURANTS/FOOD

Almost all the restaurants in the area are open for business, albeit take out/curbside pickup only.

Please order directly from the restaurant and pick up yourself – food delivery services take a large percentage. Most restaurants will also sell wine and beer to go with your order.

Casa di Giorgio Pizza: http://www.casadigiorgio.ca/ 1646 Queen St E. Choose what you want off the menu and call to order.

Buds Coffee: 1934 Queen St. E.. This place serves up what some say the best cup of coffee in the Beach.

Life is Sweet: has been selling in cupcake alley (south of Queen off Balsam) all summer. They are now cruising around the neighbourhood selling their goods out of their vehicle. For more info, follow them @lifeissweetbeaches on instagram – think ice cream truck but with baked goods!

Casa Mia: https://www.casamiadelicatessen.com/ Their cheese, deli meats, pastas and prepared foods are incredible. Their pizza dough is the best I have ever tried.

If you really can’t find what you are looking for at the smaller shops, consider clicking on Canadian companies instead of Amazon or other big box stores.

Canadian Tire has been a great resource, as has Simons. If you don’t know Simons, their clothing and home decor is incredible!

 Since we at the Leslieville Flea cannot host any markets right now, we have decided to help local businesses by letting them take over our Instagram stories @leslievilleflea.

Feel free to email leslievilleflea@gmail.com if you would like to take part or have suggestions.

Let’s all work together to keep our neighbourhood shops and restaurants thriving.


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