398 Vaughan Rd.
What they’re selling: The Hermit’s Lamp specializes in metaphysical and spiritual supplies, which, in layman’s terms, means that they sell things like healing crystals, herbs, and tarot decks. The small shop attracts people seeking improvements in what storeowner Andrew McGregor calls the big three: money, health, and love. “We help people understand why they’re stuck and how to get to where they want to be,” McGregor says, though he makes no promises or guarantees.
What’s the story?: McGregor and his wife, a medium and spiritual healer, opened the shop two and a half years ago. His journey into spirituality came after he was severely injured as a young teenager in a near-death accident in the Dominican Republic. His artistic side initially led him to OCAD, then to a career as an art director, but he wasn’t satisfied. So when a friend offered him a job as a tarot reader, McGregor didn’t look back.
Who’s the clientele?: Many people come into the shop looking to rid their homes of negative energies. McGregor will suggest herbal and crystal concoctions for clients, but he and his wife will also visit homes to cleanse them of negative and paranormal forces. Santería and Wiccan practitioners depend on herbs for various spiritual rituals, which McGregor orders from suppliers around the world.
So, how’s business?: Skeptics will always be skeptics, McGregor says, but the shop has expanded into an event, workshop, and exhibit space. And since eBay recently banned spells and hexes, it makes sense that McGregor is preparing to launch an online shop that will feature custom bath remedies and other spiritual and metaphysical items. The shop’s healing, coaching, and tarot services—perhaps its biggest draw—will still require in-person contact.