Rustic Owl finds a perch at Dovercourt and Bloor

February 2012 – By Gurpreet Ghag

Owner Stacey Collrin plans to work from close to open in order to meet all her neighbours. PHOTO By Gurpreet Ghag

The Rustic Owl perched itself at 993 Bloor St. W. in mid-January, and unlike the nocturnal creatures, it is awake during the day and serving up hot, caffeinated beverages and vegan friendly snacks.
Owl’s owner Stacey Collrin said after living in the “expanding” area for two years, she realized there was a real demand for another place to sit down and have a coffee or a latte.“Well, I lived in the area on Ossington [Ave.] for two years and there aren’t enough independent cafés in the area and the few that are here never have any available seats,” she said.

Ironically, Collrin found the Owl’s 185-square metre (2,000-square foot) perch — formerly Davenport MPP Jonah Schein’s campaign office — but realized it was too cavernous to be the “cosy little café” she planned.

Originally planning to feature works from an art collective on the walls, Collrin decided to turn the back half of her space into a full gallery featuring local artists. And it’s been successful as just after a  few days of being open, a number of pieces sold.

Collrin hopes to continue to have regular art openings and to start hosting acoustic performances.
As for now, Collrin is planning to run the spot by herself from opening to closing every day to meet her neighbours and better understand the flow of her business.

She invites everyone to come in on weekdays between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. and weekends  from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., But, Collrin said, if you see someone in there, then the spot is still open for business.

For more information and to view the current art on display, visit


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