Meet Curiosa, Toronto’s “Harry Potter Store”

Stepping off the 501 bus on Queen Street West, I almost didn’t see the circular sign hanging a few feet up from the pavement. “Curiosa,” it reads; “Purveyors of Extraordinary Things,” the letters curved around a keyhole-and-eye icon.

Curiosa opened in Toronto on August 15, and the buzz around this small shop is almost as loud as an afternoon on the Quidditch pitch during a Gryffindor/Slytherin match. When I visited early in the afternoon, it was almost completely full of customers, wandering past shelves that elicited excited gasps. It’s been called “the Harry Potter store” on social media and there’s definitely lots for HP fans to exclaim over among Curiosa’s stock.

Want to decorate your walls with official designs from the Harry Potter films? Minalima prints are available for purchase, though they’ll run you into the $200-$500 range, depending on the design and size. Curiosa also carries smaller book-inspired art prints and vintage classroom posters.

Minalima posters and vintage posters at Curiosa - Photo by Angel Cruz, August 2017

But the magic doesn’t stop there. Visitors can peruse the House merchandise shelves beneath two self-stirring cauldrons:

Hogwarts house-themed merchandise - Photo by Angel Cruz, August 2017Alongside the HP merchandise, visitors will delight in literary trinkets, such as sets of library cards for your own home library, paper dolls of various authors, and even book-themed pins for your denim jacket or backpack. Shelves in the back of the store are devoted to Lord of the Rings merchandise and Fantastic Beasts notebooks and stationery. The library cards charmed me, as did an adorable little HP: Philosopher’s Stone book pin, but I’m sure they won’t be my last purchases this year.

It’s hard not to feel a little bit of magic as you wander through the store, and talking to the staff, it’s clear that they’re having just as great a time sharing the magic with everyone who walks into Curiosa. So if you ever find yourself in Toronto, do take that streetcar over to this small little shop, and take home a little bit of enchantment.

Celeste Ng, Jesmyn Ward, and Robin Sloan recommend their favorite books in our newest podcast, Recommended. Download it for free from Apple Podcasts or Google Play.
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