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Drake General Store Opens 3-Story Flagship [Photos]

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Unique Toronto-based retailer Drake General Store has opened a new three level flagship store on Canada’s ‘coolest’ retail strip, replacing its original location across the street. The new store is about double the size of the previous location and includes several unique features. The store officially opens on Tuesday, July 5, though it held its soft opening on July 1. 

Drake General Store began in 2008 as a ‘hotel gift shop’ as part of the edgy Drake Hotel, founded by Jeff Stober (CEO, Drake Hotel Properties), Carlo Colacci and Joyce Lo. The store is proudly Canadian, supporting homegrown artists and designers. Drake General Store describes itself as being “a traditional hotel gift shop, a classic general store, a flea market stand, and a museum shop all rolled into one”, going on to say “We love classic and modern goods that fill us with whimsy and nostalgia”. The company now operates five Toronto stores, as well as Hudson’s Bay partner concessions in downtown Ottawa and Vancouver. The Toronto locations include the new flagship at 2 Abell Street (at Queen Street West) and freestanding locations at 2607 Yonge Street (north of Eglinton), at Union Station, as well as shop-in-stores at Hudson’s Bay’s Queen Street/CF Toronto Eaton Centre store and 44 Bloor Street West/Hudson’s Bay Centre location.

CLICK ABOVE FOR INTERACTIVE GOOGLE MAP
ARTWORK BESIDE THE NEW STORE’S WEST WALL.
LOOKING BACK TOWARDS THE NEW BALANCE POP-UP ON THE SECOND FLOOR. BARBER SHOP TO THE RIGHT ON THE GROUND FLOOR.

The new Abell Street flagship is almost 5,000 square feet on three levels. The store’s ground floor features a variety of eclectic products as well as a coffee shop featuring Canadian roasters, customized chocolates by Brandon Olsen, and a one-seat barbershop by Toronto’s Crows Nest Barbershop. The second floor features rotating pop-up concepts and is currently a 300 square foot New Balance footwear shop-in-store. The store’s third floor is geared towards events, artisan workshops, performance art and whatever else can be imagined. The new store addresses the pop-up retail trend (which has never been more popular in Canada) by hosting regular events in partnership with retailers, brands, designers and artists. 

See below for more photos. All photos by Retail Insider, taken July 2, 2016. 

Article Author

Craig Patterson
Craig Patterson
Now located in Toronto, Craig is a retail analyst and consultant at the Retail Council of Canada. He's also the Director of Applied Research at the University of Alberta School of Retailing in Edmonton. He has studied the Canadian retail landscape for the past 25 years and he holds Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Laws Degrees. He is also President & CEO of Vancouver-based Retail Insider Media Ltd.

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2 COMMENTS

  1. It might be good to mention the move is a result of the Drake Hotel’s expansion across the street. 3 or 4 properties are slated to come down for a new structure by Diamond & Schmitt.

    • Thank you for that! We were unaware. We’ve decided to start a new series, profiling retail streets and what’s happening across Canada. West Queen West will be one of them and we’ll include those details.

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