I HAVE A CRUSH ON YOU – a not-so-hidden gem in Liberty Village

Given my complete love of alleys and any kind of wandering amble through new spaces, one of my good friends asked me recently if I wanted to go for a walk through some alleys in Liberty Village.

The day turned out to be one of those insanely beautiful and crisply cold ones, where you really want to stay in the sun and out of the shadows, but we ambled on.

After fuelling up on the home-style soups that have been on the roster at Liberty Village Market and Cafe, since long before the area exploded with condos and fancy furniture stores, we took a left turn towards the water.  The sky was clear and welcomed us to look upward, which lead to seeing these delightful windows:

View from JeffersonDespite them being above our heads we, for some reason, decided to go into the door below them, and came across this awesome ‘outdoor’  living space:

sunroofs and patio chairs

On one of the walls, there was also a tattered and yellowed map of the area from the time I had just been reminiscing about…

It was neat to be in here, but it definitely felt like we were trespassing on someone’s private patio, so we went back outside to try to figure out where those fluorescent pink letters were to lead us. We had to go UP the stairs, and open this big silver door:

UP the stairs!

The pink letters in the windows outside say “I HAVE A CRUSH ON YOU is a gallery. I HAVE A CRUSH ON YOU is a design studio. I HAVE A CRUSH ON YOU is a sweat shop.” And, that’s pretty much an incredibly accurate description of the small, but vibrant and active space within.

sweat shop

These words on the wall are the same as her about page:

about i have a crush on you

The room is filled with fabulous old and new kitschy accoutrement, and the materials that are needed to make them. In fact, when we first arrived, we interrupted Amy Kwong, gallery/store/sweatshop owner in the middle of making this fantastic sign.

wpid-img_20141121_120022.jpg wpid-img_20141121_120232.jpgShe apologized for the the glitter and the glue everywhere, but I felt rather honoured! In fact, even though it’s a retail space, it feels like you’re getting a secret peak into an artist’s space, where you get to see inspiration, process, AND finished products.


Creepy Santa Photo Booth is alarmingly adorable, and has seemingly been a hit, according to social media accounts!


Amy is incredibly sweet, and she strikes the perfect balance between letting us quietly browse, and excitedly explaining the reasons why she carries some of her products.

Amy KwongThis one made me laugh out loud, and I immediately told her about my poor friend Nyree who was stuck on a bus in New York while we spoke, and who I thought would have TRULY appreciated this pillow/accessory.  wpid-img_20141121_115650.jpg

BlogTO has a great feature on this store too, and they clearly have a better camera than me, so their photos better highlight the amazing selection of quirky and whimsical products on offer. In fact, they say in their feature, that this is the place to go “if you need a sassy greeting card for your friend with an offbeat sense of humour.”  And I did. I bought one that was so simple but was of two girls drinking tea or like, whiskey, and in big, bold letters it says “Have I told lately that you are freaking awesome?”

Well, I’d like to say the same to you, I HAVE A CRUSH ON YOU, you are freaking awesome and exactly the kind of space with real personality that Liberty Village needs to cradle and love and protect like a small, creepy, porcelain doll.

Located at 51 Jefferson Ave, and on-line with Website, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter. Check her out!

Also, given that we went on the walk to find cool shots in the alleys and near by… here are a few from the immediate vicinity of the shop:

wpid-img_20141121_120810.jpg wpid-img_20141121_120654.jpg

wpid-img_20141121_121615.jpg wpid-img_20141121_121010.jpg wpid-img_20141121_121404.jpg

1 comment
  1. You find the best alleyways!!!! So inspiring :)

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