Dollar stores are a great place to get postcards. It’s not just because they offer a much better price than tourist shops (as with this overpriced gem). Dollar stores often have some rare items unable for purchase elsewhere. I’ve found many treasures, including:
- relics that have lingered on the racks for decades to the point they’re now quirky antiques
- cheapos of such abysmal quality there is truly nothing like them elsewhere
- rembrances of sites or stereotypes gone from the real world but immortal in dollar stores
Recently, while shopping at a dollar store near my house, I came across a few such treasures (Four for a dollar!). Here are two of them:
This postcard is of Toronto’s former Chinese Lantern Festival, which ended in six years ago. The festival was only intended to be a temporary event, but it was so popular they extended it for a few years. It was incredible, not that this awkward photo compilation captures it.
What I most love about this item is that it has a bizarre border that I think was the film negative (per the “4×5 FILM” words on the top and the white markings on the right margin). I’ve never seen such a production flaw in a postcard before. And it wasn’t just this one – all of the lantern festival postcards and others the store sold had them. Truly a one-of-a-kind treasure!
The Lantern Festival was held at this location, also now closed:
This more professionally produced postcard is of Ontario Place, a theme and cultural park on Toronto’s waterfront. It had the world’s first Imax theatre – in the geodesic dome on the left, a water park, rides, shows, concert, and a popular night club (on the right).
This was closed three years ago, with the future of the site still uncertain.
I loved this place (which opened a few months after I was born) such that even though Ontario Place has been among the most common images for Toronto postcards since it opened, I felt this was likely the last one I would encounter for sale as “new”.
A little bitter-sweet, but then again there are countless dollar stores yet to explore here.