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Giant paper dolls in this designer's Christmas windows

Updated: Dec 31, 2021

WHAT'S IN IT FOR YOU? Paper bag princesses! This one will please anyone who volunteers enthusiastically every year to wrap the Christmas gifts. (Note: Combine this with my 1.3-km stroll around Riverdale, also called East Chinatown.)

Year after year, Lea-Ann Belter, the designer of classy wedding gown with a boutique at Dundas Street East and Broadview Avenue, turns her mannequins into giant paper dolls.

I always marvel at the team's creativity. Over the years, during Christmas time, they have traded satin, charmeuse, chiffon, organza, tulle, and lace for paper. The ball gowns come in all shapes: sheath, trumpet, mermaid, column, with puff sleeves, bell sleeves...

Christmas windows collection 2021

On Lea-Ann Belter's website, we learn that many artisans are involved in the making of a wedding gown: designer, master cutter, draper, veil maker and hand finisher.

Christmas windows collection 2020

Last year, I recognized on one creation the placemat I had just bought at the local Dollarama to decorate walls... and the dress looked like a million!

In day light, one has to get really close to fully admire what they've done with cheap wrapping paper. At night, the dresses sparkle like jewels in the windows.

Christmas windows collection 2019

How could they drape the thin Christmas paper without tearing it the way I inevitably do when I wrap my gifts is a great mystery. Or maybe they have to use tons of paper before getting it right?

Christmas windows collection 2018

They usually include one "out of the box" creation. Sometimes quite futuristic, sometimes simply whimsical, like their "wrapped candy" dress.

Nathalie Prézeau is the author of the walking guide Toronto BEST Urban Strolls available in Toronto’s major bookstores, on and or We also deliver or contact the author directly at to arrange for a pick up with a discount at 299 Booth Avenue, in Leslieville.


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