Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Out of the Past

Nag Champa incense is burning in the soil of a small, potted ponytail palm next to me. Instantly the smell triggers thoughts of Out of the Past, one of my favourite places downtown. Out of the Past was first opened in 1983 by Tammy Ziegler and is now co-owned with Lizz Yakovich. The store is known for pumping out unique vintage clothing, accessories, shoes, records and my preferred choice of incense.
Two years ago this July, Out of the Past and two other stores (one empty and the other occupied by Liberty Bicycles) suffered devastating effects of a fire that forced them from their St. Paul Street homes.
I remember being downtown the morning of the fire and feeling an overwhelming sense of disappointment and loss for the owners, employees and patrons of these affected businesses.
In May of 2010, less than a year later, Tammy and Lizz opened their new doors at 340 St. Paul Street. The trademark vintage clothing store was re-born Out of the Past.
Passing the store this weekend I was tempted by a sign urging me to come in and shop. So I did. Inside, loud indie rock played as I sifted through vibrant wool sweaters, old silver rings and wonderfully worn leather coats. If you like different, I suggest stopping in for a visit. They are kind and helpful or will ignore you if you prefer. Clothes and accessories are reasonably priced and unlike most things you will find in a typical retail store.
Number of Items Purchased: 4
Items Purchased: Brown suede clutch, silver saucer ring, fluorescent yellow leg warmers, 2 boxes of incense
Cost of Items Purchased: $29.74

One happy downtown shopper


  1. Shannon, you are an awesome descriptive writer! Your posts have great imagery, they're intriguing and I think it's great to see the connections you've made with these places.

  2. I LOVE Out Of The Past! Everyone is so helpful and friendly and you can always find that one piece of clothing or accessory that you can't get anywhere else. Lots of people don't like shopping for "vintage" clothes, but once you go to Out Of The Past, you have a new appreciation for all things old.

  3. I love going into vintage stores and seeing what neat things you can find. Queen St. in Toronto has tons of those stores. Its awesome what things you can pick up at vintage stores. I'll definitely have to check out Out of the Past.

  4. I love going vintage shopping but I usually go in Toronto. Now I know about this place I want to stop in. And unlike Toronto stores I will be less worried about beg bugs on the merchandise.

  5. I love this post because I can really relate to it. I live really close to Out of the Past and have bought halloween costumes, sunglasses and posters. I love just walking around the store

  6. I've never really done any type of "vintage" shopping. However, I do like unique pieces and "vintage" seems the way to go. Different pieces at a great cost, how can I go wrong. It seems you got a steal with the items you've purchased. I will definitely check out Out of the Past.

  7. I agree completely with Mike. I love reading your posts. You should be writing a book - seriously.

    That fire was absolutely devastating. I am really pleased to see that the shops have come back ... bigger and better than before.