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Whimsical Wonderment at Cardboard Castles Children's Emporium in Creemore, Ontario!

I’m thrilled to share this extraordinary gem on my blog! Cardboard Castles is nestled cozily in little downtown Creemore, Ontario. If you aren’t familiar with Creemore, I highly suggest spending a lazy Saturday morning at their lovely farmers market, enjoying coffee or brunch at the ever-popular Bank Cafe, and making your way to Cardboard Castles to get lost in all things play! It’s about half an hour from Barrie or 15 minutes from Collingwood, and worth every minute!

Literally everything about Cardboard Castles resonates with my own family’s core beliefs and values. It is not like other toy stores. There is a deeper meaning and methodology behind their unique product line-up! Their focus is on authentic, classic toys that inspire imaginative play and learning. I’m truly a big kid at heart, and I’m often caught with my head in the clouds! I never gave up daydreaming, and I hope to raise a child who continues to be a dreamer as well.

We’ve made a point to stop into Cardboard Castles every time we visit Creemore since our move back to Ontario - about 3 years now! (Yes, even before we became parents!) I’m not kidding when I tell you it’s a MUST VISIT - even my husband agrees we can't leave Creemore without stopping in to #browseplay and find some bucket list items for our little dude!

The name Cardboard Castles really speaks to their core beliefs and purpose - simple, non-battery powered toys that bring you back to the basics of play. Owner Laurie Copeland (who is absolutely lovely, btw!) has carefully curated an amazing collection of high quality toys from Canada and worldwide, some of which are even handmade! They are exceptional toys that spark imagination and encourage self-guided play for all ages!

Classic Teddy Bears on display
Steiff Bears - Did you know this is the ORIGINAL Teddy Bear?! Swoon!

Our family is all about minimal and quality. We would much rather save the clutter and excess, and have a few high quality items that our son will really cherish, that will grow and adapt with him as his skills progress. In the 18 months we've been parents, we are seeing first hand how easy it is to become a revolving door of cheap plastic toys! We agreed just before our son's first Christmas that if we wanted to avoid that, we had to take a firm stance on thoughtfully investing in a few of our absolute favourites. Last Christmas we actually brought our entire gift budget for our son to Cardboard Castles! We took our time and chose wisely, and I know he will continue to enjoy playing with those things in different ways for years to come.

Coincidentally, these are the guiding principles for my own business as well! The time, energy, and very thoughtful planning put into each portrait experience is an absolute must to be able to provide you with truly authentic and unforgettable portraits, that will be cherished for a lifetime. Each portrait experience leaves you with tangible art in hand, printed and displayed in archival quality. These portraits are truly works of art, and when displayed in the highest quality handcrafted materials, they will undoubtedly become family heirlooms.

This is the kind of shop you can spend a ridiculous amount of time in and still feel like you’re not ready to leave! Everywhere you look, there is a whole new rabbit-hole to fall into, in the very best way possible. Every visit leaves me feeling incredibly inspired - trust me mamas, if you ever feel like you’re in a bit of a play-rut with your little ones, you’ve gotta make the trip to Cardboard Castles. It will totally reinvigorate you and give you a first hand experience (almost everything has a “try-me” sample out to touch and feel!) that reminds you WHY we play in the first place. It literally lights up parts of your brain that can go dormant without exercising your imagination muscle...that’s a thing!

Cardboard Castles is truly an experience in and of itself!

All the love,

Hillary West

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