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OCH / MoT SHOP: Sweets

Updated: Jan 5

Food for thought (Part 1): What if a section of the OCH / MoT Gift Shop reflects Toronto's long history of candy and cookie manufacturing by carrying: a) chocolate bars invented in Toronto, especially Coffee Crisp and Crispy Crunch; b) long-forgotten chocolate bars revived by present-day Toronto candy manufacturers using vintage packaging (does anyone know what "Wildfire" bars tasted like?); c) existing types of chocolate bars souped up with reproduction packaging such as milk chocolate transformed into "Cowan's Royal Milk Chocolate"; and d) a Venezuelan-made hazelnut chocolate candy because it is named "Toronto"! The nickname of a former Venezuelan president was "Toronto" because he always carried these chocolates with him.

Chocolate consumption in Canada is a staggering 6.4. kilos or 160 chocolates bars a year. Affordable treats appeal to most people but especially to children.

Food for thought (Part 2): Especially if the OCH/MoT Gift Shop carries locovore chocolate bars, what if purveyors of fine chocolates are persuaded to consider setting up shop in the building to appeal to tourists looking for consumable gifts to take back home rather than dust-collecting tschokes AND to cater to the wedding trade in the building?

In the 1920s, the Patterson's Chocolate Co. of Toronto ran whimsically-drawn, black-and-white ads in the humour magazine "The Goblin" to promote its boxed chocolates. These included two wedding-themed ads, one with the rhyme: "Here comes the bride/ Here comes the groom/ Patterson's Chocolates/ For their honeymoon". The other ad, with a monocled groom no less, has a flower girl offering the bridal couple a box of chocolates. What if these were turned into black-and-white, "Colour-Your-Own-Cards"? This would allow people to pencil in cards to match bride's maids' dresses or other wedding colour themes.

One hundred years later, Patterson's chocolates-for-the-honeymoon pitch dovetails with the City of Toronto's plan to move the wedding registry office/chapel from New City Hall back to its original home in Old City Hall. The City wants to rent space to complementary commerical outlets. Restaurants able to cater to wedding receptions held in rented space in the building are a natural fit. Might it also make sense for at least one chocolatier to offer mini-boxed chocolate treats for wedding guests (perhaps with a picture of Old City Hall on it?) and as a source of chocolates "for the honeymoon"?

In August, 2021, the writer of this blog was inspired by the Patterson's ad to bring a box of quality chocolates in a fancy bag to a wedding reception in Kingston. It was a huge hit with the bridal couple!!!

Food for thought (Part 3): Spacing -- the magazine, blog and store -- published in 2021 the fascinating "Packaged Toronto: A Collection of the City's Historic Design, 1870 - 1950" by Matthew Blackett in collaboration with Toronto History Museums curators Wayne Reeve and Alexandra Avdichuck based the museums' collection. It belongs in the book store of the "Museum of Brands" in London!

When the OCH / MoT Shop gets going, there are two potential reproductions of Toronto sweets tins that might be popular as vintage-style containers. A small Christie's Biscuits tin was clearly meant to be a collectable in its own time. The Robertson's larger tin for "Genuine Ju Jubes" amusingly elevates a humble, inexpensive candy with grand, Art Nouveau flourishes!

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