The secret of most Torontonian style mavens? The vintage stores. Aside from being an affordable way to shop, vintage shopping in Toronto is sure to refresh your wardrobe, draw attention, and earn you points in the hip hoods. Here are the city’s best bets for vintage finds.
Toronto’s King Street is aptly named. Once populated primarily by warehouses and industrial buildings, today it’s a multitude of fashion retailers, high-end lifestyle shops, and trendy restaurants that offer a shopping experience like no other. Once the epicenter of Toronto’s textile industry, the Fashion District is still home to a handful of clothing outlets and is an ideal spot to begin your day of shopping in King West.
King Street West is a favourite spot among foodies, so there’s no shortage of lunch options. Make your way to Wilbur Mexicana for an upscale Mexican meal or Patria, for its modern take on Spanish tapas.
There’s plenty here to appeal to the trendy and sophisticated shopper. Liberty Village is home to the only West Elm location in Ontario that specializes in modern furniture, bedding and kitchenware. EQ3, Casalife and Kitchen Stuff Plus all offer additional goodies for the home décor enthusiast.
Fashionistas will love the selection of dresses, jumpsuits and bathing suits at Ohlinda Wear Boutique. Nearby, I Have a Crush on You, boasts an unparalleled selection of unique gifts and trinkets, Demo Soap is worth entering for intoxicating aroma alone.
When you’re finished shopping, head to Mildred’s Temple Kitchen for a meal or one of Liberty Village’s gourmet coffee shops to relax and re-energize.
With stock ranging from exotic costume jewelry to repurposed dresses to retro barware, Courage My Loveoffers the experience of being inside a bohemian fashionista’s tickle trunk. Since 1975, a devoted following has enjoyed losing track of time scouring this eccentric mix of merchandise.
A staple for men’s vintage fashion, Kingpin’s Hideaway has a wide variety of suits, dinner jackets, tuxedos, ascots, fedoras and more. Owner, Jonathan Hagey, takes pride in making sure customers find unique and signature pieces to add to their personal fashion collection.
Filled from floor to ceiling with a vibrant selection of clothing, accessories, and eccentric curiosities from the late 1800s through to the 1970s, Gadabout is a one-stop-shop for creative vintage wardrobe add-ons. If sifting through crates, bins and racks is your game, Gadabout is sure to offer you an afternoon of fun and finds.
Penny Arcade Vintage
For those whose fashion idols include icons like Patti Smith or Debbie Harry circa 1975, Penny Arcade will not disappoint. Offering a curated selection of used, vintage and consignment for rockers at heart, the clothing racks here are all killer, no filler. The minimal décor, no-nonsense store layout, and friendly service make Penny Arcade’s higher price point well worth it.
Black Market Vintage
Be beckoned in by the “$10 for everything (yes everything!)” sign outside and head down to the basement haunt that is Toronto’s pioneering vintage store. Called the “punk rock granddaddy of second hand stores,” Black Market started off as a collection of pop-up shops in 1980 and grew into the 7,000 square foot mega warehouse that brings surplus, vintage T’s and alt-poetry chapbooks under one roof.
Love vintage but hate rummaging? 69 Vintage is a well-organized treasure trove of expertly curated clothing. Here, on the trendy Ossington strip between Dundas and Queen, you’ll find fashions and accessories worn by local icons like Emily Haines – and no second-hand-store smell.
House of Vintage
A can’t-miss stop on Queen West for designer junkies, House of Vintage keeps a vast selection of furs, boots, bags and frocks in a spacious Parkdale warehouse. Testament to his eye for fashion, owner Dennis Adamis launched a second store in London, England a few years ago, which has been thriving ever since.
I Miss You Vintage
One of Toronto’s more upscale vintage stores, I Miss You Vintage houses an elegant selection of cocktail dresses and women’s clothing from the 60s and 70s. If you’re looking for the perfect dress for a fab event, this is the place to find it, along with a matching pair of kitten heels.
Three Fates Shop
For women who want unique style options and a fun place to shop, Three Fates offers vintage finds alongside new clothing from Canadian and American brands. Vintage boots, floral dresses, structured skirts and plaid shirts are just some of the pieces you’ll find.
This tiny hole-in-the-wall boutique in Parkdale is as well-loved as it is unassuming. In a space no bigger than Carrie Bradshaw’s walk-in closet Stella Luna has dynamic and fashion-forward vintage pieces in brands like D&G, Alan Cherry, Holt Renfrew and more. Savvy and chatty owner Crispian Underwood will help you find what you want and be totally honest about how it looks.
Toronto’s vintage stores offer not only a way to find fantastic souvenirs for low prices, but also a one-of-a-kind day of exploring. Shop like a local. Shop vintage!