Shopping for Buttons on Queen Street West

* * * UPDATE : “Trillium Buttons” has moved a few blocks to the west, to 480 Queen Street West, Toronto, ON Canada.  It’s still an excellent place to go for buttons and other sewing notions. * * * 


Last week I found myself in need of a couple of buttons, one for a crocheting project I’m working on and another to match one that I lost on a coat I love. The buttons on this coat are not common, so I was actually thinking that I would have to replace all of them because I was doubtful I’d find a close match. So I headed to Queen Street West near Spadina, where I knew there was a shop that sold buttons, but which I had never been inside. Little did I know that I was entering button nirvana when I went into Trillium Button and Neveren’s Sewing Supply Shop on Queen Street West, near the southwest corner of Spadina.

There were shelves and shelves of boxes with an unbelievable assortment of buttons. I was able to get exactly what I needed, even finding an extremely close match to the one I had lost. The way it works is you look at all the samples on the outside of the boxes and choose what you want and then one of the clerks gets your order out of the box.

And the people who own this shop are so sweet and funny! I asked if it was ok if I took some photos and the fellow said sure, and then began pointing out spots that he thought would make good photo ops. I felt sheepish leaving with merchandise totaling under only $2.00 but they had no problem with my tiny purchase, thanking me kindly for dropping in. If you ever need buttons in Toronto, I recommend Neveren’s located at 451 Queen Street West (south side, just west of Spadina).

A little history of this stretch of Queen Street West between Spadina and Bathurst, will give you a better idea as to why there would be such a store located here, amongst all the cool clothing and shoe boutiques. This area was once known as the garment district (and is now called The Fashion District), where all sewists and clothing designers would come to get their fabrics and notions. South on King Street there used to be many clothing manufacturing factories. But the area is changing as we speak and what remains of those days are a few fabric stores, and this charming button shop! I’ll let you know when it has been replaced by The Gap. (Note: I’m all for progress and find all the changes happening in the area to be exciting; I’m not complaining, just observing, though I will miss great stores like this if/when they have to leave the area.)

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