This teeny, crafty urban storefront in Moss Park is reopening this week—and it delivers

This teeny, crafty urban storefront in Moss Park is reopening this week—and it delivers

Merchant of York is stocked with only the best local and international artisanal wares

Randy Spearing, a former urban planner, and his partner, Michael Zhang, a graphic designer, started printing artful, highly detailed black-and-white city maps out of their Calgary apartment a few years ago. The business took off, and they soon moved to Toronto, where they became regulars on the maker’s market scene while stocking their sliver of a shop in Moss Park with the work of local artisans they’d met along the way.

When the pandemic hit, only 10 per cent of their business was online, so they closed their doors early to strategize. They sanitized everything in the store and relaunched right away with same-day delivery—which they figured they could handle themselves—hoping for a few orders from local regulars. To their surprise, sales took off, and they found themselves zigzagging the city for a host of new clients, dropping off potted plants and boxes of CXBO chocolates all the way out to the west end and up to midtown. They’ve now hired additional help to handle the deliveries. Their storefront reopens on July 2, but they plan to continue their delivery service for customers who aren’t looking to step outside just yet. 181 Queen St. E., 647-343-6405,


A few of their current favourite things…


Profile bottle opener: “We love practical things that are elevated by good design. This Carrara marble bottle opener is inspired by a dovetail joint. It’s solid and it feels good in your hand.” $64


Bo vase: “Bo’s vases are handcrafted in Spain, and we love that the personality of this one changes based on what flower you place in it—it can be fun or elegant or austere. As the designer intended, the flower is part of the design, rather than something simply added to it.” $95


Modern milkman stool: “The solid construction of this walnut stool makes it useful, but it’s elegant enough that you want to display it, so it can also be used as a side table or plant stand.” $245


Grid vessel: “Designed and constructed in Toronto, the Grid vessel is one of our favourite locally made objects. The softly textured glass contrasts with the rough metal grid, but they work beautifully together.” $120
Quinqué tealight lamp: “We discovered the brand And Jacob on a trip to Mexico City. Old oil lamps are the inspiration behind these tea lights. The solid marble base and blown-glass funnel look modern, but they’re built using techniques that honour traditional Mexican craftsmanship.” $95