Alfsen Art by Mark Koning
Strolling down beautiful Main Street in Markham, looking around at some of the aged, yet preserved and even updated, buildings that line up along the streets, one can get a sense of rich history. Amongst the hundred yearold structures that are there, one stood out to me as a place that I just had to visit. I think you must do the same, especially now that we approach those lovely days of fall where adventurous walks and explorations to little gem destinations are appropriate. This section of roadway that is a part of Highway forty-eight also offers perfect pubs and places to get your fill of caffeinated beverage; but the place I now refer to, offers everything from evenings of romance, mystery investigations and fantasy realms to historical facts, spiritual self help and insightful knowledge.
Alfsen House Books spoke to me with the literature of used and out-of-print hard and soft covers lining its shelves. Over forty thousand books with thousands upon thousands of words held inside, welcomed me in.
It stood as a corner house with a tall lamp post erected on the street right out front where a beautiful basket of flowers dangled. The mature brick work on the exterior of this establishment told a tale of historical value that was just as engaging as the interior layout of non-fiction and fiction reading material. The store is run by the Alfsen brothers who have been with the place for years. Upon entry I found one of them conducting business with a customer at the cash register beside the door and I eventually bumped into the other while strolling through the small labyrinth of written stories. Getting lost within the many pages and finding a cozy spot to sit on the carpeted floor was easy to imagine and quite tempting. (If I had no other obligations that day I may just have settled in and set up camp) I find quaint little book stores like this exceptionally unique and precious.
While gathering some information I came to learn that not only do books live here, but so does some wonderful paintings. The colourful canvassed art remains within the Alfsen family and ranges from the mid nineteen hundreds to more modern times. No paintings were in sight at the store that day, but you can see their art department on display at Alfsen House Art and you can make any inquiries through email.
The combination of literary and visual creative makes this truly a house of art, and one that I think is well worth a visit.