a peek inside the fishbowl

14 Jan, 2010

Writing about Nest

Posted by andrea tomkins in: - Ottawa for kids|Oh! Things!

Today’s article over at SavvyMom is about a new(ish) store in Ottawa called Nest.

Oy. I love that store. But I am very very sad they weren’t around, oh, eight or 10 years ago when my girls were wee. 

Nest store, downtown Ottawa

I’m sure the owner, John-Paul, thought I was a total nutcase when I was there. I don’t know what got into me that day (I guess I was over-caffeinated AND hyper excited to be there). Not only did I talk his ear off (I think I actually saw him picking it up off the floor as I was leaving) but I think (to his shock and dismay) that I fondled almost every item in the store.

I walked around saying brilliant things like: What’s this? And what’s this? Oh, what’s this?

The majority of the items are made of wood. What is it about WOOD that is so darn appealing? Wooden toys are warm, they’re soft, they’re uncommonly smooth and have a satisfying heft to them. Have we evolved to appreciate wood more than any other material?

Nest is full to the rafters of gorgeous toys. Many are German-made but there are a whole bunch of locally-made toys as well. So so so charming.

The article mentions a few of my personal favourites: multilingual wooden blocks (a display sign listed all of the languages, and had a note about the blocks not being available in Klingon – ha!) as well as Efie cherrystone warmers (had I known at the time that they smelled like cherry pie I would have bought one on the spot!). There were a hundred other things I wanted to take home with me. I was practically paralyzed by a wooden stacking toy that was shaped like a campfire. I could picture it perfectly on my mantle.

These toys are heads and shoulders and arms and legs above the plastic crap that comes off the slow boat from China. They’re an investment. They’re art. They’re heart. What lovely gifts for that special someone.

Next time you’re downtown I urge you to check out Nest!

ETA: I forgot to mention that Nest is offering SavvyMoms a 10% discount on all regular-priced items (excluding Ruskovilla items) from now until the end of February, 2010. Just mention you’re Savvy!

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5 Responses to "Writing about Nest"

1 | Nadine C.

January 14th, 2010 at 12:06 pm


What a beautiful looking store! I just love nice wooden toys and I also think that they are works of art. When we lived abroad we would buy them frequently instead of plastic ones, mostly for their safety . We always got them from this eco-friendly company called Plan Toys based in Thailand and that uses only recycled wood from the Rubber trees as well as non-toxic paints. Our daughter is now 9 and still has these toys as keepsakes!

2 | andrea

January 14th, 2010 at 12:39 pm


I love Plan Toys too. We have a few of those around as well!

3 | Shannon

January 14th, 2010 at 2:38 pm


Fondled. LOL! I’ll be sure to check them out, looks like a cute little spot! Love those kinds of stores!

4 | Rebecca

January 14th, 2010 at 6:25 pm


I want to go!! Sounds like such great stuff…

5 | Javamom

January 15th, 2010 at 10:08 am


I am ecstatic that the bulk of my family refrains from buying plastic junk for the kids (we have some, but relatively little comparatively speaking).

Many of our toys are wood, fair trade wood no less. A little store like Nest exists in the town where my parents live and my mom frequents it regularly.

I love wooden toys! They do not make my living space look like a landfill when the kids scatter the stuff everywhere.

Little gems like this store deserve such write-ups because it ensure that they prevail in this world of plastic junk. Or at least give them a fighting chance against Walmart and Toys R Us.

Thank you for this post, even though I’m all the way over in Toronto!

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My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our dog Piper who is kind of a big deal on Instagram. We also have two human daughters: Emma (20) and Sarah (18). During the day I work as a writer at The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, family travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa for families. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

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