327 Queen St. East, between Parliament and Berkley streets, Toronto, Ontario, CANADA. 416.778.6608. email: info@ethel20thcenturyliving.com
Hours: Mondays by appointment, Tue - Thurs: 12pm - 6pm, Friday: 2pm - 7pm, Sat: 12 - 6, Sun: 12pm - 5pm


Back room open for business!!!

It's been over a week since we posted, but that's because we've been soooo busy getting the back room open for business again. As you may have read in earlier posts, Ethel had a resident architect, Paul Dowsett of Sustainable.to (and resident store kitty, Edyth) who just moved to bigger digs, so instead of finding another tenant, we've decided to restore the back room back to retail. It took a week to get it all cleaned up, and set up with some fabulous furniture, lighting and other fun stuff, and it looks great.

Thanks to our hubby Dave and his handybro brother Billy, we finally got the slatwall installed and painted our favourite colour.

We're going to be bringing in more card and paper lines but for now it looks real jazzy with the vintage harlequin romances, and the collection of Maureen O'Connor's photos.

Beyond the slatwall, just past the arch, is one of those "will it work out?" projects.

We got this set of metal shelf lockers the same time as the turquoise and orange lockers but they were pretty beat up and we weren't sure if they were up to Ethel's standards. After languishing in pieces in the store basement for the past three months, Dave and Billy hauled them out, assembled them and after a lot of scrubbing by yours truly, they're ready for the floor. They work so well as merchandising, I'm not sure if we're going to sell them yet!

We get a lot of customers asking if we have bedroom sets, and we never had room for them before, but now that we have more floorspace, we thought we'd try it out.
Check out this fabulous teak platform bed complete with nightstands.

We've added this funky vintage 70's op art bedspread ($65 and freshly laundered!) to complete the look. The painting above the bed is not for sale but is available for prop rentals.

We also are finally able to pull out the vintage Clairtone.

This model is the 200-S Stereo console, (we think), and was introduced in 1958. While this style of "hifi" was popular back in the day, the size of them, and the outdated electronic components makes them hard to sell today. Plus, most people don't want a turntable, and rely on their ipods for their music. Still, Clairtone was one of Canada's best stereo manufacturers and they produced the iconic Project G, which is sought after by midmod collectors worldwide. We'll see if we can get this baby up and running and maybe we'll play some vintage Sinatra in the store!

If you're looking for later 20th century stuff, we've got this fabulous oval smoked glass and chrome dining table, complete with Miami Vice era pastel ceramics.

The black and turquoise teapot and tea mugs are by Leslieville's own Helen Cloney of Beyond The Pale, a popular ceramics and pottery studio not far from the store. We love the pastel squiggles and geometric shapes and it makes us think of watching 80's era music videos.

So come by and check out Ethel's newly restored back end.
See you at the store!


  1. What is the Charley Harper looking piece of art on top of the Claritone?

  2. Hi Martin,
    The painting above the Clairtone hifi is an interpretation of a painting by a Montreal artist (can't remember his name). It's been altered enough that I can rent it out without copyright infringement. It is for sale, as well.