Boots & Pine

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Brooke Manning in Roncesvalles

Where did you grow up?

Belleville, Ontario.

What brought you to Toronto?

After high school, I went to Queen’s University for Fine Art/Art History. I loved Kingston (its architecture, the lake) but I wasn’t too fond of my program at the time, so I eventually transferred to OCAD. After graduating, I attempted to move but I kept getting pulled back for reasons that seem foggy now. Regardless of the reason, I like Toronto, I am happy I am here.

What do you do for a living?

Mid-July, I opened a shop in Roncesvalles called Likely General. I also make music under the name LOOM.

How did you get started?

LOOM happened pretty organically- it essentially grew from the music I was making in high school. Toronto is full of incredibly supportive musicians and moving here helped me to meet some amazing people that nudged me away from some of my musical shyness.

Likely General was an idea that I’ve had for some time. I rarely talked openly, but I’ve known for years that I wanted to open a shop/multi-functional space. It’s still very scary, but I think it should be.

What’s your favourite thing about your neighbourhood?

I love it! It’s super friendly but it’s also very easy to stroll side streets and not run into anyone. I like the business owners, yard sales, dogs, Monday market, and the proximity to the lake… High Park in the Fall…

What’s the last treasure you found?

My favourite ceramic artist Suzanne Sullivan gave me a tiny hand-molded and painted spoon. It fits my thumb perfectly and possesses a lot of energy. If I feel nervous in the shop, I hold it. My friend Sara held it recently and before I told her how it feels her reaction was a very sudden and genuine “Whoa!”.

If you were going to eat your last meal in Toronto, where and what would you eat?

I’d share a pizza from Libretto in the park! Any park!

If you could have a sleepover with anyone who has ever existed, who would it be?

My grandma, on the balcony, in early June.

If your life was a TV show, what would be the theme song?

The Spirit of the Beehive/El Espiritu de la Colmena

What does Toronto need that it doesn’t have now?

The Atlantic Ocean. (More realistically though: fresher air).

Visit Likely General in person at 389 Roncesvalles Avenue or online here. Visit LOOM’s website here.

© 2012 Arden Wray