The Toy Factory is located at 5607 Route 13 in New Glasgow, Prince Edward Island, Canada
Telephone: (902) 964-2299 / E-Mail: email@example.com
January to May 2017
Our store and workshop in PEI are closed for the winter.
We will re-open 7-days-a-week on May 15th.
Until then, you may call us at 902-964-2299 to arrange a time to visit the store – if that’s possible at our end.
Or shop online here ! At the checkout, choose “Pick Up at The Toy Factory”, and we’ll call you to arrange a convenient pick-up time at the store.
Our Toy-Making History… Celebrating 45 Years in 2017 !
Our story begins in 1972. That’s when a grandfather named Alexis “Al” Shumate” was encouraged by his wife and family to open a toy store, to share the wonderful wooden toys he was making for his grandchildren with friends, neighbors and summer visitors to Prince Edward Island.
Al was a wonderful musician and arranger with the U.S. Army Field Band in Washington, DC. He had worked his way up to the rank of First Sergeant before he retired and moved to the Island.
With a fluffy white beard, rosy cheeks and a mischievous smile, Al looked a lot like Santa Claus. But… he was honest.
Al told the children he wasn’t Santa.
“He’s my brother !” he’d say with a wink.
Back then, The Toy Factory was a delightful little toy-making workshop, where curls of pine shavings, the smell of fresh sawdust, and Al’s jolly character made everyone happy.
In 1990, Al’s doctor told him “It’s time for you to retire, again !”
Al searched high and low to find just the right sort of toy-makers who could take over his workshop and toy store, and keep the warm and friendly spirit alive that was at the heart of The Toy Factory. That’s when we found Al, and he found us.
We’re Dan and Kathy Viau.
(It’s pronounced “vee-oh”, it’s French Canadian.)
We were making wooden toys and children’s furniture for our own 3 children, and our friends and neighbors, just like Al had been when he established The Toy Factory. It was a perfect match.
Al agreed to stay on as a toy-making advisor for us, and we took over The Toy Factory workshop and toy store. As time passed, we added our own new wooden toys and games to the original Toy Factory collection. Many were inspired by the imaginations of our three children, our own “hands-on” research & development team. They all worked as toy-makers with us as they grew older.
Today, we still hand-craft all our traditional wooden toys one-at-a-time – toy trains, airplanes, paddle boats – hobby horses, ball & cup games, spinning tops… magic wands and rocking horses. Our workshop is awesome, and our toys have been delighting children for 45 years.
The Toy Factory has always had plenty of toys available for play-testing in our retail store, and we know young families are happy to find our toys aren’t just lots of fun, they’re reasonably priced too. And they’re made to be solid and sturdy, the old-fashioned way… toys made to last a lifetime.
We looked for other toy-makers with the same ideals… toys with great play-value, well-made so they won’t break in a few hours… or many years !
That’s how we found our castles & knights, pirates & pirate ships, fairy tale play sets, doll houses and cute little Budkins. The children who play-test them in our store every summer love them… and so do their parents and grandparents.
Our dress-up outfits for little princesses, and our swords, shields and helmets for brave young knights and pirates are simply delightful, as you can see.
We found magical fairy figurines… sitting by a brook enjoying the sunshine, taking a pet dragon out for a walk in the forest, or gazing up at the stars in the night sky…. and awesome, environmentally-friendly t-shirts too, with beautiful fairies, unicorns and other magical creatures.
We Love What We Do… and Where We Do It
The Toy Factory is perfectly located in an old general store that was built in 1847 in the village of New Glasgow, Prince Edward Island, just a few minutes from the white sand beaches of Cavendish, Avonlea Village, Shining Waters Fun Park and Anne of Green Gables House.
We have wonderful neighbours. The Prince Edward Island Preserve Company just across the river makes delicious jams and preserves, and blends its own teas. It has a very nice cafÃ© and a delightful butterfly house in lovely hillside gardens called the Gardens of Hope. New Glasgow Lobster Suppers was the first lobster supper restaurant on our Island, and we think it’s still the best… and chef Emily Wells has wonderful food and wines at The Mill, served up by friendly local folks in a beautifully-restored, century-old building.
Insider Tip: It’s worth making a reservation at The Mill during the busy summer season. Ask for a table by the windows, looking out on the river. It’s lovely !
Our Store is Kid-Friendly
Children of all ages are welcome to play-test hundreds of toys in our store. They can visit our toy-making workshop too, and if they’d like, we’ll let them help make a little wooden car or magic wand to take home as a special souvenir. We’ll even personalize it with their name wood-burned on, and it’s free for children to “work” with our toy-makers to make a special toy of their very own.
We think having a special experience – the kind that “makes” a kid’s summer vacation – shouldn’t have to cost extra, especially for young families. And the kids totally love it.
The energy of all the children that visit our store every summer inspires us. We hope our toys will inspire creativity and fun for the children in your life too !
Our Motto: You don’t have to buy anything, as long as you have fun !
Update: Toy Factory founder Al Shumate passed away peacefully in April 2009.
But when we last checked (in the summer of 2015) his wife Jean was alive and well in her 90’s… and there were 20 grandchildren… so far. Now that’s a toy-maker’s legacy !