Wednesday, June 3, 2015


So packed with decorative accessories, gifts, furnishings, one feels they will be forever lost in the 3,000! Barbara Steward laughs and admits to sometimes loosing her way in her own shop, Adornments on Queen in downtown toronto.

A teenager dream was to be a poet living in a garret in Paris. The seeds of that dream live on in the undertones of a French-inspired theme. "I look at the Eiffel Tower and I go into dream world", she says wistfully, taking a deep breath.

At 64 years of age, Barbara's passions have converged in her shop and after five years she thinks it will be around for a long while still. Her love of travel and Europe have given way to romances that are the stuff of classic novels. In addition to having worked in the banking sector, and as a librarian, she also was very politically active which took her to Nicaragua for 14 years setting up bibliographic data bases for NGOs all through Central America.

Barbara moved to New York and worked for Sesame Street and the Children's Television Workshop. "Sesame Street was the most wonderful job I have ever had. Fantastic people, absolutely tops of creativity and kind & good people" she says of her time with Sesame Street. With the financial crisis of 2008, a third of the staff was let go. She had to sell her flat and move back to Toronto. 

Arriving in Toronto during the financial crisis, she made the bold move to go into retail and open a store, a business she knew nothing about! Having visited so many shops in Europe selling curios, she thought this would be the culmination of so many passions. It is truly evident when one walks - gently - through her store.

BARBARA FUN FACT: While working at Sesame Street, she fell in love with a man in England. Every couple of months one or the other would cross the Atlantic to spend time with each other in their storybook romance. "It didn't last, but it was great because it incorporated love and travel".


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