Shopping Toronto: Toy Store at 60

In 2012, Toronto toy store Toytown celebrated 60 years in their North Toronto neighbourhood. How many retailers can boast 60 years in business these days? Not too many, I bet. At 60, Toytown might be Toronto’s oldest independent toy store, but it’s by no means dated. And its longevity is not surprising — with quality products and superb service, it’s bound to be around another 60 years. If you’re shopping Toronto for something fun to play with, they’re worth checking out.

Shopping Toronto at the City’s Oldest Independent Toy Store

Shopping Toronto toy store, Toytown, Yonge and LawrenceFounded in 1952, Toytown has always been family owned and operated, first by the Pollick family, now by the Bricks family. It’s been the toy store in North Toronto for decades. What’s the secret to their success? They focus on providing quality products that children and families can enjoy for a long time. As a mother of two, owner Shari Bricks understands our dollars can only go so far, so she only stocks products she believes in. She’s also passionate about helping families share quality time together. That passion is reflected in the staff at Toytown. They have  amazing product knowledge that makes it possible for them to help you find just the right product for the child you’re shopping Toronto for.

Tips for Toy Store Success

Shopping for toys can be overwhelming. So here are a few things Shari suggests you keep in mind the next time you head to the toy store:

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  • Always stay within the age guidelines posted on the box. We all know our children are brilliant, but age guidelines are there for a reason, and it often has to do with safety, especially for children under three.
  • Use toys to reinforce concepts, not to teach new ones. We want our children to be bright and learn new things. When you use play to reinforce concepts from school or home, you help solidify the learning.
  • Look for value, not just the lowest price. You could go to a discount store and load up on dozens of toys for under $50, but if the toys are inappropriate and will last no more than a week in your home, there isn’t much value in that.
  • Use the staff at your local independent toy store. They’re trained to ask the right questions and recommend appropriate items based on the child’s age and needs. You’ll end up with a few quality items that will last a year or longer.

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Toytown

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1754 Avenue Road, Toronto, 416-783-8073

* Photos courtesy of Toytown.

Tamara Sztainbok

Tamara loves children’s books, running, and pie. After nearly a decade working in children’s publishing, she launched Puzzle Box Communications – an agency offering editorial services to small businesses. Running her own business affords her the luxury and pleasure of walking her two children to school, and gives her the opportunity to rediscover her Midtown Toronto neighbourhood.

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