Someone in Toronto Just Unearthed a 1970s Buying Guide and Directory

A Toronto salon owner shows a copy of a local shopping guide and directory from the 1970s.

The guide is a souvenir belonging to Jelena Karkinski, owner of D2E hair shop, which has been around since the 1970s themselves. It is listed in the directory as John and Mary’s Hair Salon.

The directory totally transports you straight to the 70s with bold graphics, swirling text, a green and brown color scheme, and sketchy illustrations. A map on the back shows the layout of the district and its shops.


“I actually kept the repertoire from when my parents had the living room. It’s been in my basement since 1987,” Karkinski told blogTO.

The guide describes Bloor West Village as “an area of ​​shopping delight” and “a colorful collection of fascinating shops”. It also says it’s “a reminder” that “all your shopping needs can be met here.” A reminder that we may need more than ever.

While you’d expect that in a city like Toronto, where it feels like businesses are closing left and right, just about every place listed would be long gone, there are a surprising number of places that have remained in place for 50 years.

Runnymede Barber Shop⁠, Sam’s Barber Shop, Sorrento Hair Stylists, Cecil Ward Men’s Shop⁠, Carload Food Market, Bloor Meat Market, Foods For Life, Kingsway Meat Products, Brown’s Sports & Cycle, The Village Playhouse⁠, Ukrainian Credit Union⁠ and Turner & Porter⁠ all stayed put.

There are also plenty of delicious defunct businesses listed, including those with original classic ’70s names like Jo Jo Junior Fashions, Impact Today, Easy Look and Martha’s House of Needlepoint.

Perhaps the most intriguing thing you can get from searching the directory, however, is how few major chain stores are there.

“By browsing through the directory, you can see how many stores have changed and how it’s no longer mom and pop stores,” Karkinski says.

Calvin W. Soper