Vintage & Antique Toy Sale in Almonte - theHumm June 2019
Vintage & Antique Toy Sale in Almonte - theHumm June 2019
By — Janet NoyesBrown
When I had my first baby, I had trouble finding simple, safe, well-designed playthings to help keep my active child happy and occupied — toys like the ones I had enjoyed. I was born in England during the war years, when toys were hard to find, so my dad made many of our toys himself, such as dollhouses, scooters and building blocks. As grumbling would not solve my problem, I chose to start my own toy shop! I had two friends who had Cordon Bleu training, so our original concept was to join forces and open a combination kitchen/toy shop.
Great idea, but what about a name? “Ampersand” seemed appropriate, as the word means “and”, which left us leeway to expand in any direction we might choose. Finding a suitable retail space was the next challenge, especially with no credit rating and very little capital. After much searching and many disappointments, we found a 100 sq. ft. space in the now-demolished Masonic Temple on Ottawa’s Metcalfe Street. Not perfect, but it was a start and the rent was affordable. The small space led us to put the kitchen merchandise on the back burner, focusing only on toys. It required many renovations, which we did mostly ourselves, with many days spent designing and building the 2-foot wooden display units, painted and stencilled to resemble children’s wooden building blocks.
Searching for toys that encouraged creative activity and motor skills while offering high play value and durability was the next challenge. Local toy representatives told us our philosophy would “just not fly” and would take us straight to the poor house. Undaunted, we researched European toy companies and attended toy shows in Toronto, the UK, Germany and New York. This was in the ’60s, so we couldn’t simply use Google to find the toys and games and activities that we wanted.
We soon moved to a larger shop, on Sussex Drive, as the ByWard Market was “the place to be!” It was a fun place; I had to break up many a plastic-swordfight in our dress-up section! And I had to dissuade boisterous children from trying out the boomerangs. A treasured memory is the time a small girl was allowed to choose any gift from the shop and, after carefully looking at everything, Catherine Clark selected a pretty little ring, price: 25 cents.
We were lucky with our customers — mums and dads with their children and then grandchildren would return and talk about the toys that they had bought over the years that were being passed down and enjoyed again. I loved getting to know my customers and seeing their children grow from babes to teens; the idea that I had played even a small role in their development was very rewarding.
Shopping has changed so much. In the ‘60s–’80s there was no online shopping, no debit machines, and even credit cards were not always accepted. These days, malls and big-box stores are everywhere, and small retailers with knowledgeable staff are becoming extinct. We are so lucky to live in Almonte, where small retailers fill our main street and you can always get a friendly smile and update on local happenings.
When the city did extensive renovations along Sussex Drive, we decided to close up shop. I was unwilling to part with many of the toys I loved, so I stored them away… until now. We are downsizing, so I have to find new homes for them. I will be having a two-day vintage and antique toy sale at 7 Johanna Street in Almonte on June 8 and 9, from 10am to 4pm. Please come and join me in my walk down memory lane, and perhaps find a new memory to take home. Adults only, please, as space is limited.
Union Hall Fundraising Concert with The Life of Pearls to Celebrate the Summer Solstice - theHumm June 2019
Sound of the Muse Records recording artists The Life of Pearls will celebrate the summer solstice and present their new 2019 album release and stage show Into the Beautiful Blue at Union Hall at ......
Celtfest 2019 — What a Line-Up! Ashley MacIsaac, Anna Ludlow, Mudmen and Many More! - theHumm June 2019
Each year, Almonte Celtfest attracts thousands of visitors to the Ottawa Valley for three days of Celtic music, dance and history. The celebration was created in 1997 by three young men — Br......
Welcome to Almonte, Curious & Kind! Social Enterprise / Workshop & Performance Space Opens on June 12 - theHumm June 2019
By Kris Riendeau
If you are a long-time Humm reader, the name “Danielle Grégoire” may be familiar to you. Shortly after moving to Almonte in 2007, she kick-started the Lanark County Spoken Word scene — bringing O......
By — Brian Turner is a Planet Youth Lanark Steering Committee member
Building bridges is what well-connected communities do, whether it’s to solve a transportation need or to help improve the health and wellbeing of their residents. Carleton Place Town Hall staff ......
By — Angie Arendt is the Director of Big Stone House in Almonte<bigstonehouse>. Drop in for a coffee and learn more about Big Stone House and the art of sacred living and leading on Sunday, June 2
There is a little pub in Terminal C at the Dulles International Airport that serves up the best hamburgers east of the Mississippi (the U.S. Mississippi, that is). Running along the back wall of ......
The Station Theatre is bringing world-class magic and illusion to Smiths Falls on Saturday evenings this summer. OUTERBRIDGE – Clockwork Mysteries is a high-energy magical adventure for both adul......
Unleash your inner yogi at a brand-new yoga festival in a town that’s on the rise — beautiful Smiths Falls. On Saturday, June 15, grab your mat, water bottle and a positive attitude and head for ......
Indigenous Youth Bring Mission “Home” SchoolBOX Picnic with Purpose on June 15 in support of First Nations Education - theHumm June 2019
What do a Mississippi Mills picnic, a school in Nicaragua and a lunch program in the northern community of Wabauskang First Nation have in common?
By Miss Cellaneous
Colours of Nature at Strévé Design Studio
You are invited to come and enjoy Colours of Nature — works by Canadian artist Linda Banfalvi at Strévé Design Studio and Gal......
Summer Starts in Mississippi Mills! Concerts, BusFusion, Porchfest, Dandyfest, Canada Day and More - theHumm June 2019
By Miss Mills
Each spring, community and cultural events seem to pop up like tulips throughout Mississippi Mills, and this year is no exception. June gets “rolling” right away with the eleventh annual Mississi......
Smiths Falls will be alive with Indigenous culture on Saturday, June 8 and Sunday, June 9, when the town and Smiths Falls & District Collegiate Institute’s (SFDCI) Indigenous Studies Program ......
Canadian Jazz and Blues music legend Chris Whiteley is coming to Lanark County on June 3 to perform in the intimate setting of the New Life Retreat’s beautiful living room. Along with his wi......
Back Forty Artisan Cheese will be hosting their 4th annual summer festival at their Cheese Factory on Saturday, June 29 from 10am to 4pm. Relax along the Mississippi River while enjoying great ch......
Doug Fleming: A Tribute - theHumm June 2019
By — Jim Mountain, on behalf of the Festival of Small Halls Board, staff and volunteers
When devoting time for anything to do with communities, one appreciates the work and dedication of amazing volunteers. The true rewards too, are those lasting relationships we forge when working ......
Just as the sun will brighten up the summer skies, the five strong female actresses in this laugh-out-loud comedy will brighten up the Station Theatre this June. The playwrighting team of Jessie ......
It is the time of year when winter-weary gardeners, desperate for a breath of spring, rush into garden centres to purchase cartloads of plants. When they return home they face the challenge of pu......
By — Ozo Construction is a locallyowned and operated construction company servicing the Ottawa and Ottawa Valley area. It is devoted to delivering topnotch services to all customers and to creating emplo
What started off as a part-time business in Cumberland, Ontario has led the husband and wife team of Adam Ozorak and Jessica Cadman back to Jessica’s hometown of Almonte. “Almonte is such a frien......
By Susie Osler
Horsetail… timothy… mullein… bramble… goldenrod… vetch… elderberry…. My eyes move slowly, feasting on the verdant verge between the willow growing out of the swale draining into the pond close by......
The award-winning Classic Theatre Festival in Perth is hosting a summer-long party in 2019. The Ottawa Valley’s only professional theatre company is celebrating its 10th anniversary season with s......
Dec 8 - 10 Christmas Craft & Art Show
Dec 9 - 10 MAG Christmas Show & Sale
Dec 10 Multicultural Meet & Greet
Dec 15 - 16 Ambre McLean Xmas Concert
Dec 16 Kintail Country Christmas
Dec 17 Ava-Lunch: A Snowfall Fable
Jan 27 Tom Wilson
Mar 23 The Once
- The Highs and Lows of Mary Loos
- Celebrate the Written Word — Readers and Writers Connect!
- Ava-lunch, a Snowfall Fable Family Puppet Show at the Almonte Library
- Winter Market at Brooke Valley School
- Union Hall Crafts atAFM Christmas Market
- “No Gift Is Too Small”
- A Musical Celebration of Christmas
- A Delicious Holiday Open House
- Holiday Wishes from Climate Network Lanark
- Folkus — Give the Gift of Music!