This hidden treasure hunt will be one for the history books.
For antique lovers, the thrill of the hunt is alive and well in Davisville Village. In fact, you’ll only need to walk Mount Pleasant Road to run the gamut on plenty of antique and vintage stores, Turkish coffee shops and lunchtime bites. So how about an Uptown day trip to sniff out a serendipitous find or two?
A 10-minute walk from Davisville (or Eglinton) subway station, the retail strip between Davisville and Eglinton avenues offers a step backwards in time thanks to its quaint indie shops, French bakeries and quirky storefronts.
There aren’t many chain stores on Mount Pleasant, so expect to make some discoveries. Need a little rocket fuel to power your antiquing? Check out Istanbul Café & Espresso Bar (174 Eglinton Ave. E.) at the north end of the strip on Eglinton Avenue for some Turkish beans and a cozy sofa to plan out your day.
You can catch a matinee at the historic Regent Theatre (551 Mount Pleasant Rd.). An old-fashioned neighbourhood cinema, the one-screen theatre is nearly a century old and comes complete with Venetian-style balcony seats and an offering of indie and foreign flicks. It’s a great place to take in a little extra history after an afternoon of antiquing.
But where do you start your hunt? Glad you asked.
What’s a hunt without a map?
Alexandre Antique Prints, Maps & Books (593 Mount Pleasant Rd.) is a delightful stop for anyone with the slightest interest in cartography. This antiquarian shop has thousands of maps and prints for sale, many dating back centuries. Not one to overwhelm newcomers, the store is thoughtfully organized by size and subject so you can easily find the piece you’re after. Beyond the wall-to-wall offering of prints, Alexandre’s is also home to a library of books from as early as the 1400s—just head to the back of the store and you’ll feel like you’ve stepped back in time.
The spot for home goods and works of art
Bernardi’s Antiques (699 Mount Pleasant Rd.) is a 2,500-square foot feast for the senses, stocked full of goods from as early as the 18th century. You will know you’re in a special place once you see the marble busts that await visitors or the glass cabinets holding 19th-century porcelain tea sets and ornate silverware. The storefront offers treasures including French and English antique furniture, Victorian glass and mid-20th-century pottery. Bernardi’s has a little bit of everything—and a lot of it.
For rolling out the red carpet
Royal Antique Rug Gallery (270 Eglinton Ave. W.) has been in the rug business for over 100 years. Toronto is the store’s home, but the owners’ roots are in Tehran. And after all these years, it’s still a family-run business and the go-to place for antique rugs. David, the store’s owner is a master rug maintainer and he personally oversees each piece that comes to the store. True to its name, Royal Antique Rug Gallery displays its rugs gallery style and boasts an offering that spans the entire world—including Persian, Turkish and Chinese rugs.
Getting to Davisville Village
Take the Line 1 Yonge-University subway to Davisville or Eglinton stations and walk east to Mount Pleasant Road. Route 74 offers bus service up and down Mount Pleasant Road.