Friday, 22 September 2017

Toronto's New Curiosity Shop: Curiosa

In August I saw an article posted on facebook about a new 'Harry Potter inspired store' opening in Toronto: Curiosa. It's in Parkdale, an area of the city I don't normally go to, but I was heading to the CNE (Canadian National Exhibition), which just happened to be in walking distance.

Curiosa isn't a Harry Potter store, a fact that seems to be disappointing some visitors according to a post by management on their facebook page (at the time I'm writing this, the post I'm referring to is pinned to the top of their facebook page).

I almost didn't go to the store. While I am a Harry Potter fan, I don't need any more stuff for the franchise. But I started looking more closely at the photos online about the store and noticed a nocturnal postcard in the same set as the working astrolabe postcard I got in Spain a decade ago. Since I was going to be nearby anyway, I decided to go for a look. (And my apologies for the poor photo quality/blurriness. I had my small, not very good camera with me.)

Turns out my biggest regret of going to the store was in not giving myself enough time there to properly enjoy the experience. I only had about 30 minutes to look around. I walked in and the place was amazing. I'd heard about the guilded ceiling and the amazing displays (cauldrons being 'magically' stirred), but I hadn't anticipated the number of pure curiosities there would be.
More importantly, while I hoped they might have metal antique replicas, I hadn't seen any photos that included them, so I was ecstatic when I spotted this display case:
Now, I have wanted a real replica astrolabe for years. You can buy them online, but they're quite expensive with expensive shipping costs. This store carries not one but three astrolabes (two sizes with latin text, one with arabic text). There are some compasses, an armillary sphere, norturnal, and more. The store also carries quill pens, sealing wax, notebooks, games, and all sorts of weird and wonderful things.

I left the store with this gem and the knowledge that I've got to go back at some point for a longer visit:
 I originally set the astrolabe aside for a Christmas present, but decided that it was dumb to have it boxed for the next few months when I can just repackage it when the time comes. In the meantime, here's my alchemy table, now with working brass astrolabe.

No comments: