A Dumpdigger Discovers Blackbird Vintage Finds in The Distillery District

Tourists walk through the historical distillery district past the new store Black Bird Vintage FindsHistory Meets with Vintage Finds

It seems only natural that my history loving friend and Dumpdigger, Roberrific was drawn to the new store that opened up in the historical distillery district called the Black Bird Vintage Finds.  He shares common interests with Paula DiRenzo, the store owner, with her love for antiques and vintage collectibles.

Roberrific the Dumpdigger visits Owner Paul in the Black Bird Vintage Finds Shop The Dumpdigger Explores the Future Site of the Pan/Parapan American Games

The Dumpdigger friend seems to be always informed of various sites that are being dug up and loves glass collectibles.   This time he was  informed of some pile driving going on nearby the Distillery at the Cherry St and Lakeshore St location. I questioned to myself, “Where does he get these digging tips?”    Anyway, he immediately followed his lead and headed to the location which was originally the mouth of the Don River. When he headed over to the digging site the work crew was preparing building structures in anticipation for the Pan American and the Parapan American games located in West Donlands areas. The newly-constructed Toronto 2015 Pan American Village will be located at the heart of the Games on an 80-acre site next to the Don River in Toronto’s waterfront district.  The Village will be the Games home for up to 8,500 athletes and team officials, and will incorporate a full range of conveniences and amenities.

Old City of York

Roberrific the Dumpdigger brings in some vintage bottle finds to The new shop in the tourist distillery district new business Black Bird Vintage FindsRoberrific the Dumpdigger  historian shared with me his fascination with the site location and the fact that in 1793 it was where the first houses in Toronto were built.  This harbour area in Toronto was once called York.   The title “York” has a different definitive area in Toronto nowadays.  The Dumpdigger made it clear also when sharing his information that there were no natives that were displaced, which is a common misconception.  In the Black Bird Vintage Finds store in the Distillery District TorontoI guess he felt he had to point this out considering I lived in Northern Ontario for several years and feel a large amount of respect for our Canadian native cultures.   Apparently the natives were already relocated out of the area and did their trading in Baby Point, situated at the tip of the Humber River.

Collection of Bottle Treasures

The charismatic Dumpdigger, Roberrific managed to get some vintage bottles that were dug up thanks to the work crew at the Donlands site.  He had been given 6 – 10 bottles varying in age and character.  The collection of bottles were comprised of some cobalt blue, milk of magnesia and chromo-seltzer bottles that were in need of some serious cleaning.   Paula had the sink to clean them and took pleasure in Roberrifics’ scored bottles.    Roberrific passed on his joy finds to Paula because she was the only authentic vintage vendor he knew of in the Distillery District located in a historic building.  It was sweet to see this friendly exchange of gifts based on common historical interests in treasures.

Vintage Trunks and Suitcases and More

In the Historical distillery district in Toronto canada tourists shop at the new Black Bird Vintage Finds shop

We made another brief visit to Black Bird Vintage Finds for some extra photos of the shop.  Paula explained her wide collection of items for sale.  She showed him some of her vintage items.  She also mentioned that many of the tourists like to come in and buy small items that they can easily pack in suitcases to carry home to their homelands.   This kind of vintage store seems appropriate for the Distillery District.  The items in the shop vary.   All the items seem to have a kind of vintage flare to them and range from printing material, candles, scented items, decorative pieces, metal letters, scarfs and nifty looking jewelry and charms.  There are also a few large antique furniture pieces too.   Building number 57 is a great structural space that seems perfect to house these vintage finds, including vintage trunks and suitcases.  The building interior itself, like most in the Distillery District in Toronto, is beautiful and a perfect place to visit Canada’s history.

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About Ruth Wilgress

Ruth is an expressive arts therapist in Toronto Ontario Canada.
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