Source: Toronto Life
This eclectic shop sells everything from kung-fu slippers to colourful china and tiny Buddhas, but the real story here is owner Alex Ling, a prominent civic leader within Bloor West Village’s small business community. In 1970, when the new subway system and suburban shopping malls were drawing customers away from Bloor West Village, merchants formed a BIA, then turned to Ling, a natural charmer, to convince fellow shopkeepers to pay their dues. The Ling Fountain at Jane and Bloor honours his commitment to the community (he was chair of the local BIA for 24 years). Ling is semi-retired now, but he still keeps a warehouse from his old wholesale import business, and it’s chockablock with Asian-inspired goods. Patrons come from all over the city for Ling’s hand-embroidered linens (handkerchiefs $2.50–$10) and silk kimonos ($195).
Ling’s Importers, 2257 Bloor St. W., 416-767-6233.