If you’re a sixties or seventies baby who grew up exploring Toronto nightlife, you’ll likely remember The Big Bop as one of the anchors of the Queen Street West music and dance scene. It was impossible to cruise along Queen without noticing the venue’s intensely purple exterior accented by flyers and posters for upcoming events.
Over the years, though, the building on the southeast corner of Queen and Bathurst looked less like a piece of architectural history and more like a dilapidated warehouse destined for demolition. Enter Crate & Barrel, the Chicago-based furniture retailer, which saw inspiration in the “artistic energy” of the Bop in its heyday and chose it to house the first Canadian location of its younger, trendier offshoot, CB2, which opened late last month.
Featuring a completely restored façade and giant windows that open the store up to the street, the renovated building has been returned to its original splendour while fulfilling a new, traffic-generating function. Inside, the brightly coloured contemporary offerings that CB2 is known for are showcased against a rugged backdrop that includes original stonework and beams, old concrete floors and industrial fittings. Pictured below are a few of the new store’s product highlights (online purchases can also be made through the chain’s website, www.cb2.com).