I've been to heaven, and it's called the Little Dollhouse Company ...
Having found myself in Toronto for a few days, I simply had to check out Canada's largest dollhouse and miniatures store (isn't that an oxymoron?) The Little Dollhouse Company is at 612 Mount Pleasant Road in mid-town Toronto. I had visited their website many times, but this was to be my first visit in person, and it exceeded my expectations.
First of all, it's big. Really big -- 3000 square feet. And because its wares are, by and large (there I go again) quite tiny, there's room for a LOT of stuff :)
Second of all, there are far more things in the store than could possibly be listed on the website. The range of items covers all price points, styles and several scales, although 1" scale is the norm here. There are 85 dolls houses on display, so that a potential house buyer can check each model out in detail before buying.
There's something about walking into a store full of tiny things and teeny houses that totally connected me with my inner child. I walked around, dazed, for a little bit, getting my bearings and with a big, goofy smile plastered to my face.
Once I recovered a bit of poise, I hit the lighting display, since that's my new obsession. I want a beautifully-lit castle, and TLDC was the right place to learn more about lighting. I chose their round wiring kit, and can't wait to get back home and start plugging things in. Co-owner John, who builds and wires all the houses, gave me some great advice on making my own light fixtures, a subject I've not been able to find much information on. I picked up a few ready-made fixtures, too, as well as some lighting accessories for my first fireplaces.
I then stocked up on building supplies: windows and stairs, some railings, a fireplace mantel and few accessories I simply couldn't resist (a tiny trumpet for the minstrels' gallery, for example).
In the course of my shopping, I had the pleasure of meeting John's wife, TLDC owner Marie and her staff, all of whom were very helpful.
The trip was great, and I have a big bag of small things to take home and play with :) I recommend this great store to anyone who's going to be in Toronto, and I recommend their website to everyone else! Marie told me to be sure, when I'm shopping on the site, to ask if I don't see something -- they're always happy to check their huge inventory and give whatever help they can.
This blog chronicles the adventures of a group of Canadians building a 1:12 scale medieval or Tudor dolls' house or dolls' castle. We're also working on a William and Mary era dollhouse circa 1700, featuring Jacobean, Carolean and Queen Anne furniture. Dollhouse aficionados, those who enjoy making or sharing doll house miniatures, and people who enjoy sharing crafts with children may enjoy the adventures of this group.
I built the background image of this site using some of the fabulous work from Vintage Retro Grunge. The "Green Man" reproduction medieval tile on the bottom right is by Kate Tiler. The other two, the griffon and the happy little creature (possibly a lion with a bagel?), are both by Pataki Tiles.