(By: Brynn Anderson)
If you have ever been on Queen St. West, you have probably seen The Condom Shack, which is right by the intersection at St. Patrick Street. The faded blue paint and smiling condom logo make the store stand out among the rest. It has been giving off a strong retro vibe for 25 years.
“It would have been our twenty-sixth year,” said one of the workers. The last day of the store opening was Wednesday, Jan. 31. I wonder if they purposely had the final date on “Hump Day” or if it just so happened to fall on it. Either way, it is sad to see an iconic store that has had such a great history to the city and its costumers leave.
Inside, the walls are painted purple, the workers are friendly and it feels quite chill for a store that sells condoms, sex toys and whatever “gadgets” one may desire. Other sex stores are often intimidating for someone who hasn’t been in one before. The Shack feels like a non-judgmental, fun and casual space.
However, in its final days, the store gave off a more somber tune. The shelves were almost empty and a sad yet, comical memory wall was set up. I talked to the two friendly workers who were trying to take advantage of one of their last shifts there. They were blowing up balloons and decorating the store. I guess if the store started out with a “bang,” they should also end the legacy in good old Condom Shack fashion.
“We try to be fun and welcoming unlike other sex shops,” said one of The Shackers. They told me to call them that in the article as it is the last time they will ever be referred to as that.
“It is the only all ages sex shop in Toronto so it is really unfortunate. Teens need Sex Ed and a safe place to talk about it.”
What is the most unfortunate aspect about the store closing is what the store represents and means to its customers. It is not necessarily about the products it sells. The accepting environment is what will be missed, as well as the customer service. In a world where corporate industries and commercial stores are taking over, the relationship between costumer and owner is rapidly diminishing and a store is just a store. There are no connections, community and experience unlike local stores with passionate owners. Similar to sex, it is a lot better when both parties are there for happy devotion compared to a service.
It’s been fun, Condom Shack.