Bad girl. I know. Anyway, let's stay positive, shall we? DeSerres biggest strength is that they seem to have everything, and while their prices aren't the lowest, their sales are fabulous. In the past six months alone I've bought lots of great stuff on clearance from wall decals to chalk board paint to primer.
DeSerres doesn't have that packed, indie feel that some of the downtown stores have. (Say, Midoco in the Annex or the ones in China Town). Nonetheless, they have a lot of stock and it's displayed in a busy, pleasing sort of way. (At least, if you enjoy the excess, which I do... at least when it comes to art supplies.)
The computer system can be a bit wonky. I was recently looking for egg-shaped foam balls, and the store computer said they had 24 bags in stock, but staffers were unable to locate even one. Even so, they took my number and offered to call me when they found some, so that was a nice thing.
One of the best things about DeSerres, in my opinion is that they have lots of craft supplies as well as real art supplies. They don't discriminate against the lesser-loved crafts. And why should they?
That said, I did have a slightly awkward experience recently when I asked a clerk (a young, hipster artist clerk) where I might find spray paint primer and he dismissively told me that they didn't carry it. He said something about the store being more about "art" and that I should try a hardware store or Home Depot. Ridiculous. They DID have the spray paint and I found it myself. The experience left a bad taste in my mouth, but it was a one time thing. I've always had great experiences in the past, so it won' t keep me from going back.
DeSerres (Uptown Toronto)
124 Eglinton Ave W
Toronto, ON M4R 2G8(416) 485-0331
*Screen grab of a shopping page in the DeSerres website.