Opening soon: The Drake Hotel General Store in Rosedale

Opening soon: The Drake Hotel General Store in Rosedale

(Photo by Karon Liu)

The Drake Hotel launched its General Store in 2008, garnering oodles of media attention for its kitschy Canadiana. This weekend, the Drake brand is venturing out of its West Queen West safety zone with the opening of a second General Store in Rosedale.

Located just north of Rosedale subway station on Yonge Street, the former Shop NYLA space has been transformed into a cozy log cabin in a mere three weeks, with wooden bins of knick-knacks, a rack of dark denim and flannel for urban lumberjacks, and shelves of the Canadian tchotchkes that made the original store such a hit among tourists and locals alike.

Manager Joyce Lo also serves as the store’s buyer; she’s constantly scoping out blogs, trade shows and antique markets for new (and vintage) products that fit the Drake aesthetic. “Everything in here has a sense of humour, which is the most important,” she says. “It has to have a sense of quirkiness and good design, of course.” Cases in point: a mint-condition NKOTB Jordan Knight doll in its original packaging ($30), and a Charlie’s Angels board game from the ’70s heyday ($35).

Lo’s favourite items include a Marie Antoinette action figure, complete with detachable head ($16), cocktail napkins with a Mountie motif ($4.50 for 16) and squirrel Christmas tree ornaments ($12). Items exclusive to the Rosedale location include Pendleton wool blankets with vibrant Native American–inspired patterns ($90–$275) as well as a hand-knitted zip-up black and red sweater vest ($230), for people suffering from flannel ennui. Of course, this is a hotel store after all: in the back is a phone that connects directly with the Drake’s front desk, so customers can make room or restaurant reservations.

The store will have a soft opening on Saturday and an official launch party on Thursday, Dec. 10, at 8 p.m.

The Drake Hotel General Store in Rosedale, 1011 Yonge St. (at Crescent Rd.), 416-966-0553,