We recently listed and rented our house with Airbnb and somehow we qualified for professional photographs. I thought I’d take advantage of having great photos of our super clean and tidy house to post a little home tour.
When we moved to the neighbourhood a few years ago, Forever Interiors was one of the first stores that caught our eye and it was the first store that I thought of when I decide to start this blog. I was really excited to sit down with the owner, Martin, to hear the story of how this unique independent business got started. When I reached out to Martin, and asked to interview him, his response, “Sounds like fun, it would be my pleasure!”, pretty much sums up his laid-back, friendly personality.
Forever Interiors opened its doors 10 years ago last month. Up until then Martin had worked in advertising, but when the company he was working for laid off most of their employees he accepted his brother’s invitation to open a vintage furniture store together. Martin ended up opening the store on his own and quickly realized that he did not want to continue just selling vintage items. After acquiring some old doors he thought he would try his hand at designing furniture. He designed storage benches out of the doors and hired a carpenter to make them a reality.
From there Martin started designing media cabinets as well as coffee and dining room tables. As a result he started doing quite a bit of work with restaurants, “because restaurants need tables” he joked. Many restaurants and stores in the area (and across Toronto) house Forever Interior items (Indie Ale House, Cantina, and Gerhard to name a few).
All the wood he uses is reclaimed. Martin explained that the wood is mostly Douglas Fir from BC, brought to Ontario at the turn of the Century when Vancouver was being developed. At this time trains were taking items to Vancouver and because the trains couldn’t drive back to Ontario at full speed if they were empty, the trains were filled with lumber. “At first it seemed preposterous” Martin said, “why would anyone bring trees to a place already full of trees, but it turned out it made all the sense in the world because one of their tress equaled about 30 of ours, so they were bringing us lumber that we couldn’t possibly have had here”.
Recently Martin bought all the leftover material from an upholstery store that was leaving the area. He partnered with a seamstress, Lola, and together they are making bags, pillows, and their newest item- wine gift bags. “Its again making use of material that otherwise…I don’t know what would be of it”. The purses are really cute and come in different sizes, I may have purchased one as soon as I finished my interview.. and by “may” I mean did. I’m also heading back to buy a cushion or two this weekend.
Hottest items in the store right now are the “pew boards”- chalkboards made from the back of church pews, and the wine racks. You should also head to Forever Interiors if you’re in the market for a kitchen island or cart.
This was my first interview, I hope you enjoyed reading about the store as much as I enjoyed interviewing Martin and writing this story. I am having fun and plan to keep blogging around the Junction and Parkdale. Any feedback whether positive or negative is always welcome and can only help make this blog better for me and you… so please don’t hesitate to comment below.
Our first hidden gem in The Junction. Maria Street Parkette is (obviously) located on Maria Street, just one block north of Dundas Street a little east of Runnymede. This little park, which is completely fenced in (a big plus when you have a toddler who doesn’t ask permission before trying to run into the street) was completely renovated less than two years ago.
There is a large sandbox which houses a water spout that toddlers can turn on to pour water into the sand, and all over themselves (bringing a towel and change of clothes to this park is probably not a terrible idea). The equipment is great for toddlers, but I’ve also seen some older kids having a blast there.
It is definitely worth checking out if you’re in and around the area. All the parents I’ve chatted with here have been very nice (as all Junctionites are). Maybe Morris and I will see you there!
My husband, son and I live just outside the The Junction, I work in Parkdale and we all adore both. There are so many things to love in these two areas; stores, art, vintage, restaurants, markets, and parks. I want to share favourites from both and some stories from our life….
If you live in one area and love it, you should definitely check out the other, hopefully this blog can help you explore. If you are new to either area… same deal. If you live anywhere in Toronto and haven’t been to The Junction or Parkdale, you should plan your next Saturday in one and Sunday in the other… If you live outside Toronto there are even some gorgeous AirBnbs to stay in while you visit.
One of my hopes for this blog is to interview and photograph some shop/restaurant owners in The Junction and Parkdale so that we can get to know the people behind the local stores. I would also hope to talk to some residents to share their stories and find some hidden gems.
Please feel free to follow along, comment, request, and share stories of your own.