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Secret Planet Print Shop, Danforth’s energetic hyphenate printing studio, print shop and gift shop, is bringing back their summertime Sidewalk Sale and Popup series, where they’ll once again be bringing together the works of local artists and treats by independent bakers including Oy’s Joys, Hawked Sourdough, and Sum Nom Noms.
Secret Planet’s always prided themselves on carrying a little bit of everything. Besides being Lee’s own screen-printing studio for her retro interplanetary travel prints, the store is also filled with little trinkets by local artists, from cute, whimsical greeting cards to colourful coffee mugs and coffee table books.
“I try to source wares from new artists and illustrators to help them develop their brands. Since my shop is on such an amazing block, I figured I could extend this thinking to help creatives in other fields,” says Jackie Lee, artist and owner of Secret Planet. “There’s such a rich food culture on the Danforth, and I figured: why not have a pop up that showcases food vendors as well as visual artists?”
Lee’s journey with Secret Planet started in a little studio on Coxwell in 2019, where she quickly saw the space’s retail potential as a chance to highlight the other talented artisans she had met in craft shows throughout Canada.
“We called it Secret Planet because my work mostly revolved around a space theme, but also because it was such a tiny shop tucked away in the east end of Toronto. It felt like our little hidden secret.”
Thanks to her “space travel posters” and business acumen, Lee outgrew the Coxwell studio and signed the lease for a bigger location on Danforth at the start of 2022. Since then, she’s been able to support more local artists in her store and even expanded the screen-printing area to accommodate more of her own fun and quirky prints.
“Secret Planet totally has a life of its own,” says Lee. “We were extremely lucky that our neighbourhood was so passionate in supporting locally made goods. Creating art is a radical act of joy and we’re here to bring that energy to our community.”
Celebrating the passion of the Danforth, Lee hopes these events will engage and activate the community even further. They’re also planning to host a range of workshops and meetups all through the summer and into the fall.
At Secret Planet’s Sidewalk Sale and Popups, you’ll be able to grab delicious bites by Oy’s Joys, Hawked Sourdough, and Sum Nom Noms, and take home one-of-a-kind art pieces by Natalie Czerwinski, Flycatcher Press, Fabled Creative, Rosena Fung, and Heidi Cho.
Lee would like to emphasize that all their events are a LGBTQA+ safe space and the shop is completely wheelchair accessible. She also strongly encourages visitors to bring their masks, as these events can get a little crowded.
The next Secret Planet Sidewalk Sale and Popup will take place on June 25 in front of their shop at 918 Danforth Ave. If you can’t make that one, don’t worry—they’ll be doing this for the rest of the summer on July 9, July 23, August 6, and August 20. Keep an eye on their Instagram for the latest updates on sidewalk popups and other events.