For my first ‘city guide’, I thought I’d start with somewhere, and something, I know well; Toronto, Turronno, the 6ix, t-dot, whatever you call it, and one of my favourite past times: vintage shopping. There are some fantastic vintage stores spaced out all over this city, but when I want to make a real go of it I always head to my four favourites.
Up first is Blackmarket Vintage (#1 on the map). Located on Queen Street (between John and Beverly) in what looks like a very large, unfinished basement you’ll find everything from jean shorts to men’s blazers. This place is huge with racks-upon-racks that are packed full of hidden gems. The best part? Everything is $10. It’s easy to get lost and discouraged because of the sheer size so I recommend going there with an idea of what you’re looking for, every rack is labelled by commodity so you can easily head to ‘mens crew neck sweaters’ or ‘vintage denim vests’.
My favourite find: vintage Ralph Lauren men’s blazer (1). Also pictured: (2) hand-knitted winter jumper and (3) a cropped boys t-shirt.
Head west on Queen street and, just after crossing Spadina, you’ll find stop number 2, F as in Frank. This re-worked/vintage store is amazing for unique pieces (like my little boys tee turned peplum shirt) and 90’s streetwear finds. It’s the place to go if you are looking for Tommy, Calvin, Polo, Nike, etc. You’ll notice a wall of vintage ball caps upon first entering, plus they have a wide selection of denim which they can customize for you; destress, rip, shorten, tear, patch.
My favourite find: Levi BF jeans (4). Also pictured: (5) re-worked peplum boys t-shirt and (6) Woolrich winter coat.
Cross the street at Augusta and on the south west corner of Queen is Mama Loves You Vintage, our third store. Lace prom dresses, vintage handbags and a collection of scarves for vintage-loving ladies plus an awesome men’s section including old band tees, vintage plaid jackets and wool sweaters. The collection is obviously curated perfectly for anyone who truly enjoys vintage shopping.
My favourite find: black rimmed sunnies (7). Also pictured: (8) Men’s short sleeved button up and (9) men’s crewneck sweatshirt.
The last stop on this guide is Bridge + Bardot. They don’t have a men’s section, so sorry boys (but actually you could probably still find something). Large selection of vintage Levi’s sit on a table in the middle of the store. It might be my favourite place to find vintage denim. The price points are fantastic (F as in Frank and Mama Loves You sometimes have slightly inflated prices but not B+B) and the selection is small but marvellous.
My favourite find: my Levi’s jacket and my overalls (10 & 11). Also pictured: (12) vintage jumper.
Note: You might notice a large stretch between stores three and four. This is where you can choose your own adventure. Regardless, you will be walking west on Queen. There is a swap clothing store called Kind Exchange and this is (in my personal opinion) their best location, it’s worth making a bonus stop. Keep heading west and you will find tonnes of boutiques and there are even a few consignment stores you might tempt yourself with. When you get to the park, take a lunch break at Fresh (vegan and delicious, located at Queen and Crawford, the south west corner of the park) you can even get takeaway and eat in the park if it’s nice out. If you are too full to shop much more then take a leisurely stroll through the park and you’ll find yourself in front of stop 4, option A. If your meal gave you the energy for round two head north on Ossington where you will find a ton more vintage stops before you reach stop 4, option B. Happy Shopping.
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