Toronto: John’s Hobbies

Adress:2188 Danforth Avenue
Toronto, Ontario
M4C 1K3
Date visited:February 2016Items purchased:Mini-vice
Needle file

This was an easy shop to reach from central Toronto. Taking subway line No.2 (green line) from Bloor-Yonge in the centre of the city to Woodbine station, I arrived within 15 minutes at a cost of CA$3.75 each way. From the station at Woodbine it’s a 1-2 minute walk to John’s Hobbies – nice and easy given that it was February and only 3 degrees celcius!

First impressions were of a “real” model shop, a hobbyist’s emporium! Walking in, the first thing you come across is the immense RC section. On the hunt for trains, I pretended not to notice and proceeded to the second part of the shop (it appears to be two shops knocked into one – very large!) Upon walking through, I knew the journey wasn’t wasted – trains galore! Manning the counter was Randy, who spent the best part of an hour chatting to me about all manner of things model railway related. He was particularly knowledgeable on the history of the manufacturers, especially the continental ones – Randy, if you’re reading this then you could write a book on all of that stuff! A true enthusiast!

There wasn’t much for the modeller of British Railways (come on, this is “Around the World” guys!) but the continental and Amercian stock was impressive. Brands included Fleischmann, Kato, Walthers, Minitrix, Marklin (for z gauge), Atlas, Rocco and all manner of scenic items.

If you happen to be visiting the Toronto area then this shop is easily accessible via public transport and well worth a visit, especially if you model continental railways. John’s Hobbies, founded in 1952, was originally known as Camera Repair Services and primarily serviced … errr … cameras! They’ve not done a bad job in transitioning to other hobbies – a true hobby shop!

Ah yes, for us Brit fans, there were a few Oxford Diecasts, and spot the Trix chocolate and cream MkI in one of the pictures!


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